shaenie and anatsuno
Elijah hates the way the smell of the lab seems to seep into his clothes and stick to his skin after he's been working there all day. When he gets back to his tiny eighth-floor apartment after twelve or fourteen hours, he smells like dank, half-rotted crates and dust and damp concrete and brine. It doesn't matter that he'd cleared out all the crates and sealed all the leaks and dusted until he was streaming-eyed and dripping-nosed months ago, that the warehouse is as clean and sterile and water-tight (for the safety and operating efficiency of the equipment it has to be) as Elijah can make it. It still smells like what it is: an old, moldering wreck of a warehouse. It's too close to the docks, but at least it's not right downtown. There's no way Elijah could keep a lab in the heart of the city. He can't afford the cost of an alarm system.
He strips down less than two feet in the door, and then just stands there in his skin for a minute, taking his glasses off to rub at his face with one hand and the back of his neck with the other. He's tired and his back and neck ache from hunching over instrument panels all day, and it's another damned day with nothing to show for his work.
"Ninety-nine percent perspiration," Elijah mutters and grimaces, toeing the pile of clothes out of the way as he heads for the bathroom. "Where's my fucking inspiration?"
A nice long shower would be just the thing, relax some of the ache of of Elijah's muscles and erase the stink of the docks from his nose.
Unfortunately, he can't have one. The hot water heater serves the entire floor, and there's never more than a minute or two of hot water. Once he'd made himself get up at four a.m. to shower, because who the hell would be using hot water at four in the morning? Someone, apparently. He'd got three and a half minutes that time, and to his mind the extra minute and a half just isn't worth the effort.
Like today's results.
He steps naked into the water and sighs, already fumbling for the bar of soap. It's harsh and smells blindingly antiseptic, but it's cheap and plentiful, so it'll do.
He's tired, so damned tired, and he's starting to wonder if there's any point to this. Since he'd lost all but one of his grants, he can barely scrape up enough money to both continue his experiments and still eat. He's been toying with the idea of moving into the warehouse (he'd tried thinking of it as his lab for weeks after he'd lost the money necessary to keep his facility on the campus of the University, but he just can't manage to do it, it's the smell, it doesn't smell like a lab, this stupid goddamned soap smells more like a lab than the fucking warehouse) to cut costs, but the idea of smelling the place all the time, of not being able to come come to his tiny, cluttered apartment at the end of the day makes him feel panicky and slightly ill.
It's not like the place is anything great, but it smells like smog and whatever the people down the hall have been cooking and slightly musty laundry, and Elijah never would have imagined what a relief that was until he'd had to move his lab.
His two minutes are up before he gets the soap out of his hair (more of the bar soap, he's too broke even for fucking Suave, pathetic</i>) and ends up rinsing it in water that's cool and headed rapidly toward freezing.
"I hate my life," he mutters as he steps out of the shower and gropes for the towell on the bar. It gives him pause because he's thought it before, of course, but he's never believed it before. Maybe he doesn't even quite believe it now, but...
He's pretty close to believing it.
He hasn't made any real progress in a month, his lab is in a stinking, damp, probably dangerously wired (Elijah hadn't been able to bring himself to look, not with the juice he's pulling when he runs the bridge full out, because it doesn't make a difference, he can't afford anything else, so this has to do, and since that's the case he doesn't want to know what his chances are of starting an electrical fire whenever he flips the switch) wreck of a warehouse, his apartment is so small he can jump from one end to the other, and he's so tired of this shit.
He drags on a pair of sweats and a plain white t-shirt, and slumps into his deskchair (though he doesn't actually have a desk, just a deskchair) at the table, eyeing his computer balefully.
He's so tired he isn't even sure he wants to put forth the effort to pull up some porn (bookmarked for his convenience) and jerk off.
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