Irvine Kinneas loved it when his phone "warked" like a Chocobo. That telltale sound meant only one thing: his lovely Selphie was calling.
"Hello, darlin'," he drawled.
"Irvy! Oh my gosh, you have to come quick!" the tiny brunette screeched. "My dryer is squeaking! It's horrible! Fix it, FIX IT!"
Irvine smiled and shook his head. "Oh, Sefie, it's just a squeak. Don't worry about it. Besides, I'm trying to write the lesson plans for my marksmanship class. Quistis will throttle me if I don't have something for her by tomorrow."
"Hey, it's not my fault you procrastinated and now you're under the almighty whip of Headmaster Trepe. You just have to come over, Puh-leeeaaaze! I have laundry that can't wait," Selphie whined. "Besides, the sound is deafening and I don't want to disturb the neighbors. Squall and Rinoa made it VERY clear that they didn't want to be disturbed, if you catch my drift."
Irvine felt a wicked grin spread across his face and replied, "Well, Sefie, if I come over to help you, I expect to be repaid," he emphasized. "If you catch my drift."
"Irvine Kinneas, I am not that kind of girl!" Selphie screamed on the other end.
"Yes you are and you know it," the gunslinger replied.
"Just get over here and fix my dryer, perv."
The line went dead and Irvine sighed to the potted plant next to him on a small table, "I guess Quistis will have to be satisfied with one page for now."
He headed towards his apartment door, stopping briefly to fetch his toolbox from the hall closet.
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The soft, familiar taps at the door that always made Selphie smile came about five minutes after their phone conversation. The tiny SeeD leapt off her couch and skipped to the door. She yanked the door open, and upon seeing Irvine, she threw herself at him, tightly wrapping her arms around his neck and giggled, "Booyaka! My dryer repair man has arrived!"
She motioned for him to enter and closed the door behind them.
"Are you sure you need a handy-man, or were you just achin' to see me?" Irvine asked.
"Oh, give it a rest, cowboy. It squeaks so bad I couldn't even hear the TV," she replied, playfully slapping his chest.
She grabbed his hand and dragged him through the kitchen into the tiny laundry room. Garden was very good to its SeeDs and made sure each one had a very nice, albeit small, apartment. Squall was the exception, though, and as Commander he got "better digs" as Zell put it.
They entered the small room, which had been turned into a jungle of clothes hanging off of every imaginable surface. Irvine immediately became entangled in two bras hanging from the doorframe on hangers. "Maybe later I'll have one of these over my face again," he said with a wicked smile.
"Can it, you creep. Work now, play later," Selphie retorted, grabbing the undergarments and tossing them aside.
Irvine set down his toolbox and asked Selphie for a sample of the monster squeak. She turned on the dryer and immediately covered her petite ears.
She definitely wasn't lying, as the metal-on-metal grinding made the most horrible noise he had ever heard, and he had heard Zell sing. It truly was deafening.
"Turn it off, Sefie! I get the picture. Sounds like it just needs some oil," he said, putting a finger in his ear and shaking it around, trying to dissipate the awful lingering ringing.
He moved behind her, and, placing his hands on her hips said," I'm gonna need your help, little lady."
"Sure thing, Irvy," she replied, craning her head around to peck him on the chin.
As Irvine unplugged the dryer and started to pull it away from the wall, a medium-sized brown spider scurried out from underneath, sending Selphie straight into the air and onto the adjacent washer, screaming.
"Eeeewww! Squish it, Irvy, quick!"
"It's just a little 'ol spider, Sefie! He won't hurt you!" he declared.
"You don't know that!" she whined back, covering her eyes. "He could be plotting against me! Squish it!"
Taking the more humane route, he scooped it up on a piece of paper and tossed it out the small open window in the room.
"There, no more spider," he said.
Selphie begrudgingly climbed down from the washing machine and tentatively looked on the floor underneath and behind the dryer. When she was satisfied that there were indeed no more eight-legged intruders, she calmed down and let Irvine get back to the task at hand.
Irvine's attention could now be focused once again on the dryer, which he figured just needed a little oil on the drum. Getting to the drum, however, was going to be quite the challenge.
"Ok, Sefie. I need you to tip the dryer backwards and hold it up while I unscrew the front panel," he said as he helped her tip the massive appliance.
She strained along with the weight before finding a semi-comfortable position in which to hold the machine.
"Now, darlin', whatever you do, don't let go of this thing, or it's gonna crush my hands, you got it?" he emphasized.
"Got it, Irvy," she said, already starting to struggle with the dryer.
Irvine got to work unscrewing the bolts and almost immediately, Selphie started to whine.
"Irvy! Hurry up, it's heavy!"
"Hold on, Sefie. Don't you dare let go," he scolded. "I mean it!" He could feel that the dryer was slowly tilting downward towards his hands, and pushed his screwdriver work into overdrive. He knew that it was only a matter of time before that machine was coming down.
"IR-VYYYYY!" Selphie whined louder and urgently. "I mean it, hurry up! I'm gonna drop it!" The tiny brunette was huffing and puffing ultra-dramatically, her arms shaking, her face straining.
Irvine managed to get the last bolt undone and his hands out from underneath the falling colossus just as Selphie screamed, "I'm losin' it!"
The bottom of the dryer crashed onto the tile floor, making Selphie jump and yelp in surprise.
"Come on now, Sefie! I told you to hold on!" Irvine cried out. "I almost got my hands crushed, and you know how much I need my hands for, "he added with a wink.
Selphie stuck out her tongue at the young man and replied," Dryer. Fix. Now."
"Aye-Aye, Fujin," he chided. He grabbed his flashlight and shone it into the innards of the machine. He spun the drum manually, and it squeaked right in his ear, confirming his suspicions about the source of the noise. He cringed and pointed to his toolbox. "Selph, honey, hand me that little bottle of oil."
She obliged and took over flashlight duties. Irvine dabbed oil on the drum in random places and rubbed it around with some paper towels.
"Want me to flash the light somewhere else, Irvy?" Selphie asked, twirling her hair.
"No, but you can flash something else, darlin'," he replied with a sly wink, pointing at her chest.
"Be a good little repair man and you may get your wish," she shot back, with her own wink.
Irvine felt his cheeks flush and internally reminded himself to keep his mind on the appliance and not on Selphie's chest.
After a few minutes of oiling the drum, he spun it around once again. He was very pleased with himself; there was no trace of a squeak. Now came the dangerous part: trusting Selphie enough to hold the dryer up again so he could put the front back on.
"Alright now, darlin'," he lovingly reminded. "I need you to hold the dryer up again so I can re-attach the front panel. Remember…"
"…don't drop it," she interrupted, slightly annoyed at the reminder. "You can count on me," she replied, blowing him a kiss.
Irvine wanted to believe her, but he was still on high alert. He really didn't want to have to explain to his students tomorrow if he showed up with broken fingers. Rumors spread fast around Balamb Garden, and he just knew it would get out of hand. He could almost hear the whispers starting. "Did you hear that Instructor Kinneas broke his fingers breaking up a fight between Dr. Kadowaki and President Loire?" "I heard he was role-playing as a Tonberry with Selphie and it got crazy!" He would definitely like to avoid that situation.
Selphie grunted as she lifted the dryer back up and held it tight.
Irvine quickly set to work, keeping a vigilant watch out of the corner of his eye for the telltale signs of his girlfriend's trembling arms.
All of a sudden, the dryer lurched forward with a jolt, but did not touch the ground. Irvine quickly jumped back and looked up to see Selphie scratching her nose. "Sorry, my nose itched," she said, sheepishly.
"Sefie, please be careful, I'm almost done," he pleaded.
When the last bolt was in place, Selphie huffed and let the dryer down as gentle as she could. She bounded out from behind the machine and planted a big wet kiss on Irvine's lips. "Thank you, Irvy! Thankyouthankyouthankyou!"
He lovingly stroked her cheek and said, "Now, now little lady. We don't know if it's fixed yet."
He plugged it back in and pressed the "on" button.
Selphie put her hand on her heart and sighed as the sweet sound of a quiet dryer filled the room.
"My hero!" she swooned.
Irvine bowed to his lovely lady and spread his arms in acceptance. "Anything for my Queen," he smiled. "Just don't ask me to do any more manual labor for a while."
He then got a wicked grin on his face and rose up to stand before her. "How's about my payment, little lady?"
"How does a cold beer sound, cowboy?" she replied.
"Well, that wasn't exactly what I had in mind," he said, somewhat disappointed. "But it does sound mighty good."
Irvine followed her into the kitchen and then continued on to the living room, where he plopped himself down on the couch. He grabbed the remote and surfed the channels while Selphie retrieved his "payment."
The peaceful quiet was short-lived, however when a sudden screech came from the kitchen.
"Oh no! Irvy! I just stepped in a puddle of water! I think the fridge is broken now!"
Irvine closed his eyes and sighed. Looks like his beer was going to have to wait, because he needed to play handy-man once again.
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Author's note: This was actually inspired by my husband and I trying to fix the dryer today. I'm proud to say it worked. As we were fixing it, this idea popped into my head and I ran upstairs right away and started putting pen to paper! I hope you enjoyed this silly little bit of fun!