Original Stories Fan Fiction ❯ Ai no Natsu ❯ Vol. 6, Chap. 36: Pipe Monkey ( Chapter 36 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
The problem began Saturday morning. Not with drips, but with a horrible scent.
“What is that smell?” Heather asked.
“No idea,” Reggie answered. In the morning, the smell was faint. By ten, things began to get worse. Sadao turned on his faucet to brush his teeth. However, he noticed it seconds later.
“What the--?” he asked. Brown sludge poured into the sink. A scream filled the air.
“Evie?” Sadao asked. He raced out to her apartment.
By 10:20, everyone sat in the lobby. Choko lowered her shoulders.
“Sorry guys,” she said. “Looks like a pipe broke in the basement.” Evie shuddered with her towel around her shoulders.
“And that brown stuff?” she asked.
“Sludge that leaked into the pipes,” Choko explained.
“Eww!” Evie whimpered. Jack held her hand.
“It's okay, babe,” he whispered.
“It's not,” she complained.
“So what do we do?” Hallie asked. Her aunt rubbed her forehead.
“For drinking, we have bottled water,” she asked. “For washing and cleaning… Ooo, I'm sorry.” The tenants frowned at her. Choko put up her hands.
“Don't worry,” she said. “I've called the plumber already.”
“When is he getting here?” Wong asked. Choko tried to count up on her fingers.
“About…” she said. “Two hours.” The tenant groaned aloud.
“I'm so sorry!” Choko yelped.
“What about my shower?!” Evie wailed.
“What about cooking?” Heather asked.
“And I still have to clean the bathroom,” Hal complained.
“Just bear with it a little bit longer,” Choko pleaded. She bowed while apologizing. The older woman lifted her head.
“Evie,” she said. “You and everyone else can go to the bathroom and eat out today.”
“What about cleaning?” Hal asked.
“It will have to wait,” the manager said. She pulled out her wallet. “Here,” Choko said. “Take the money. Let me know if you need more.” The tenants looked shocked. Choko fell out on the floor, panting.
Choko stayed behind to wait the plumber. Evie cleaned herself off at the public bath. The others did the same and took time to soak.
“Ah!” Evie said after coming up from the water. “I feel so much better.” Hallie sat back in the hot water, smiling.
“Is it so bad to hope that the pipe stays broken?” Hallie asked.
“Nope,” Evie said.
“But can Ms. Choko afford it?” Heather asked. The other two girls pondered this.
“This is true,” Hallie said.
“Hm…” all three said.
On the other side with the boys, Dustin began planning. He really wanted Hallie back. However, he couldn't do it alone.
“Guys,” he spoke up. “I have a little problem.” The other boys looked up at him.
“What is it?” Hal asked. Dustin's eyes lowered to the water.
“It's some girl trouble,” he admitted. His neighbors looked intrigued.
“Go on,” Reggie pressed. Dustin's stomach turned as he began to see where this was headed. Still, if he wanted Hallie back, anything would do at this point. He needed to man up for his beloved. Dustin took in a deep breath.
“How do I win a girl back?” the cowboy asked. The answers flooded his head so badly that he nearly fainted in the water.
Choko admired the muscled half-naked plumber working on the broken, leaking pipe. She smiled at his ripped abdomen. The plumber lowered his tools.
“That should do it,” he said. Choko frowned.
“You're done already?” she asked.
“Yep,” the plumber replied. “Call me if you still have problems.” He handed his business card. Choko smiled as she took it.
“Yes, I believe I will,” she said in a purr.
“Have a good day,” the plumber said. Choko's eyes focused on his tone, tight bottom as he walked away.
“Oh yes,” she said. “I think I will.” The older woman licked her lips.
Coming to Town with the Briefcase Blues