You ever had a story you just couldn't finish, and no matter how you end it, you're never happy with it? This is one of those. But I had to finish it and post it already. It's been making me nutty.
I started it January 3, 2013. At the request of MiseryMaker, because I loved her idea... even though there's no commercial out there that it's based off of (and that's really what these stories are supposed to be, but it's my thread and I can break my own rules, right?).
But really- it should be a commercial. So Kenmore, Maytag, Whirlpool... fight for this product placement (or something better but like it), okay?
So MiseryMaker- enjoy this, maybe? And thanks to Some1tookmyname for betaing this a half-dozen times since January. :-)
Accepting offers, Kenmore, Maytag and Whirlpool...
"… I do not understand why they are refusing to honor our warranty. We've only had that washing machine for… 17 months," she complained, pausing for a breath to do the math.
"It wasn't a machine flaw that broke it, Bones. It was the burst pipe behind the machine that broke it," Booth said, his hand on her back as they walked together into a large chain hardware store.
"Exactly. The pipe is what burst. And that singular event should not have incapacitated our machine solely and even though apparently, it did, we spent money to invest in a warranty for the appliance set! Therefore, there should be some sort of financial reimbursement owed to us for their machine breaking from such an infinitesimal jostle."
Booth took a deep breath to gather his patience. They had only been having this conversation constantly since they arrived home two nights ago to discover the leak and broken machine in the laundry room. And in between the half-dozen phone calls Brennan had made to the store they purchased the machine from and the machine's manufacturer, nothing yielded Brennan the results she wanted.
"Yes, I know. But the slight jostle busted the motor. So here we are, Bones…" he said, stopping at the end of the aisle that led to all the washing and drying machines and situating her in their direction. "I'm going to go get new pipes, material, washer hoses... You start looking for our new washing machine, please," he said, before turning to walk away – quickly.
"We're not getting the same machine or anything else from that manufacturer, Booth. I don't care if it doesn't match! It's the principle!" Brennan shouted after him, and he waved in response without turning around.
Brennan huffed at his annoyance with her —she has perfectly legitimate reasons to be frustrated— before turning to face the behemoth of an aisle that was the hardware store's appliance section.
The washing machines were paired off with drying machines, in a variety of colors and heights. Top loading. Front loading. Most had high-energy efficient labels. Some with bases to increase their height from the ground.
"Perhaps the bases keep burst pipes from ruining an entire machine," she muttered sarcastically.
She frowned as she passed another machine set by the manufacturer she had been arguing with this week. She tilted her head in consideration of each machine as she considered the spec sheets in front of the washers, before moving on to the next.
After walking the entire aisle once, looking longingly at some of the more energy-efficient front-loaders that used less water to do the same work, she walked back to the machines that looked most like theirs. The washer that died due to poor manufacturing and craftsmanship and an obvious lack of quality control by its producing company, was white and a top-loading machine. While she refused to buy the same brand and model, it made sense (mostly to Booth) to buy something that wasn't drastically different.
The first machine she walked back to that seemed to be a suitable match to the dryer at home… it bothered her. She stood in front of it, opened the lid, looked in, and closed the lid again. She put both hands on the edges of the machine as she read its specs from the tag. It was everything they needed. But still…
Something about it just wasn't right.
She turned a corner and repeated the process for a second machine. And a third. And a fourth.
And then she figured out what was bothering her.
She sized up the four machines, then walked back to the third. She hesitated in front of the washer, before turning around and putting her backside against the machine. She glanced around the aisle in search of anyone nearby, before putting her hands on the machine and lifting herself to sit on it.
She swung her legs. Then swiveled her hips. Then frowned, as the machine shifted slightly.
So she hopped down and walked back to the fourth machine. She put her backside to it. Lifted herself to sit on it with ease. She smiled at its appropriate height. Then, she swung her legs. Swiveled her hips. And there was no shifting.
And she smiled wider.
What Brennan didn't know is that Booth had been watching her for a bit. So when she smiled on the fourth machine, swinging her legs a little extra hard to make sure it was particularly stable, he couldn't hold back any longer.
He cleared his throat as he neared and she leapt from the machine like it burned her.
"Hey, Bones…" he drawled out, wearing a big grin, while she crossed her arms defensively. "Did you find a machine you liked?"
"I… was just checking the machine's… stability, because… the repetitive oscillation and the centrifugal force used to remove the water…" she stammered, as he closed in on her and backed her up into the machine.
"…can be loud and… therefore intrusive to… to normal activities and possibly... interrupt Christine's sleeping patterns…" she continued, while he nodded in pretend belief of her reasoning, boxing her tightly between him and the washing machine.
"Oh, keep going Bones. You know I like it when you talk squinty to me."
"No, seriously. Tell me more about the septa-frugal force of this washing machine."
"It's a combination of centrifugal force and gravity that makes the machine work…" she responded automatically.
"And, uh… what about the size of the machine, Bones? Do you think it will fit in the spot of the old one?" he asked, his breath ghosting over her lips.
"It has approximately the same dimensions," she responded, her gaze darting between his eyes and his lips.
"What about the height, Bones?" he asked, lifting her back into a sitting position on the machine. "Is it a good height?"
Brennan squeezed her eyes shut in attempt to school her features and searched for a disapproving tone. "Booth, we're in the middle of a store," she managed to say, more breathlessly than she would have liked.
And in the middle of a store they were. They had been standing there long enough for others to have wandered into the laundry appliance area, earning them some sideways glances from fellow shoppers.
"That fact didn't seem to bother you a minute ago, when you were testing the machines here," Booth shot back. She shot him an annoyed look, seconds before deciding to get even and fluster him in return.
A scrawny, yet brave salesman, was the first to interrupt them.
"Ma'am? Sir? Can I help you with something?"
Booth chuckled, his gaze not leaving hers as he responded. "Yes… we need to buy a new washing machine. We're thinking this one, right Bones?"
Brennan replied, a knowing smirk on her face as she slid off the machine and slithered under Booth's arms and behind him, keeping him facing the machine.
"Yes," she confirmed, pushing Booth forward with the full-length of her body, to see where the top of the machine hit him, grinning when she heard him gasp. "I think this one will be an acceptable substitute."
The sales associate cleared his throat, and Brennan eventually gave Booth a firm enough push to put space between them. In the time it took for Booth to tell the salesman they would take it with them today, Brennan had wandered away.
"Bones," he called after her, starting in her direction. "Where're you going?"
She paused and turned back to him. "The aisle with bathroom accessories. The washing machine got me thinking that I could really use a shower seat," she said.
"A shower seat? Why on Earth would you need…" he started, but she cut him off.
"It will be more comfortable than kneeling frequently, Booth," she said casually.
She waited just long enough to watch his jaw drop, then turned and walked away smiling as he stumbled to catch up.
It's done, it's over. I'll write better next time. Maybe. :p
Other new commercial ideas?