Inspired by the Big Bang Theory. And Sheldon Cooper. So this is probably going to be a weird One-Shot.
You have been warned.
The Lingerie Hypothesis
I have a special spot at Sheila May's Laundromat. It's a cute, waist-height washing machine situated about 5 feet away from the main door, close enough to reach whenever I enter the shop and far enough for me to not feel the cold draft that comes by every now and then. It's placed at a specific angle from the television, allowing me to watch my soap operas without distorting my neck and looking like a giraffe. Unlike the other washing machines, this one has a built in dryer attached right next to it, saving me the time and effort of walking to the other dryers at the far end of the shop.
It's a perfect spot.
Which is why I don't take it well when dark-haired and hazel-eyed strangers take my spot.
On a peculiar Saturday night, I walked into the Laundromat, stopped and completely hyperventilated at the scene in front of me. A tall and well-fit man, dressed in a black t-shirt and a ripped pair of jeans, was throwing his X-men boxers and dumping a cup of detergent into my washing machine. He closed the lid, automatically starting the machine, and turned around. He paused when he saw me, raked his eyes over my form and smirked.
Oh hell no.
"That's my spot," I said, walking towards him.
"Pardon?" he asked, still smirking.
"That's my spot," I repeated, stopping in front of him.
He raised an eyebrow. "How can it be your spot when it doesn't have your name on it?"
I huffed. "It doesn't need to have my name on it. It is commonly known that that is my spot."
"And everyone in the whole Laundromat knows this?"
"No. Just me."
He laughed. "Then your argument is invalid. It can't be commonly known if only you know."
I jutted my chin. "Fair enough. My imaginary friend and I know and agree that the washing machine is mine. And the dryer attached to it."
"Imaginary friend? That doesn't even count."
"Yes it does. An imaginary friend can constitute as another body that would agree to such measure. The fact that it only requires two people to create an agreement and attain a 'commonly known fact' makes my statement valid and true. Thus, I want my spot back."
He stared back at me with amused eyes. "Sorry sweetheart but…I was here first."
I scrunched my eyebrows and raised a hand. "Formal protest!"
Darn. "Informal protest!"
Darn again. "Fine then." Pushing past him, I jumped and sat on top of the washing machine, effectively blocking his access to his clothes.
He crossed his arms against his chest. "What are you doing?"
"Regular protest. Or peaceful strike. Take your pick."
"You're on a strike?"
"A peaceful strike, mind you. I will continue to sit here and prevent your access to your clothes until you give me my spot back."
"That's sound more like an ultimatum."
"Call it want you want but you'll never have your clothes back until you renounce your claim on my spot."
For a moment, his face remained blank and unmoving. Then, he curled his lips into what seemed like a mix between a smirk and a smile. Placing his hands on my waist, he lifted me up-very easily if I might say-and promptly placed my feet on the floor.
His smirk-smile tuned into a full blown smirk. My mouth gapped open.
"I'll tell you what," he drawled. "I'll give you your 'spot' back if you do me a favor."
I leaned back and gave him an odd look. "That sounds suspicious."
"I'm not a cold-blooded, hamster killing murderer if you're worried."
Huh. I thought he was more into puppies. "I'm not worried." I stared at him cryptically, trying to deduce what his 'favor' could be. His eyebrows, soft looking and bushy enough, were angled precisely to indicate that he was neither an angry-looking dwarf nor a super-high drug addict. His lips were evenly straight yet plump enough to suggest that he was not engaged in any lung-cancer provoking kinks. His eyes were a shiny hazel, warm and luring, a trait that most libido-stimulating alphas in our species tended to have.
I narrowed my eyes. "You want me to fold your boxers, don't you?"
He smiled. "You can take the Marvel superheroes and I could do DC?"
I paused. Suspicious indeed. "I'll do DC."
I walked into Sheila May's Laundromat and headed straight to my unoccupied spot. Humming, I placed my basket of clothes on the ground, opened the washing machine and proceeded to dump my belongings into the contraption. Jeans. Shorts. AC/DC t-shirt. Green jacket. Blue vest. Panties. Bras. Plaid socks-
"Is that black lingerie?" an amused voice asked. "I didn't see that one from last week's pile."
Darn. Forgot about him.
"No," I said. "It's dark navy blue lingerie."
"What's the difference?" hazel-eyed guy asked, walking past me and dumping his basket on the floor, by the other washing machine right next to my dryer, which we now had to unfortunately share.
Damn my estrogen.
"The difference?!" I exclaimed. "The difference is that black lingerie signifies that a person is in a committed and serious relationship while dark navy blue lingerie suggests a more…independent nature."
He gave me a look. "So blue-"
"-Dark navy blue-"
"-Sorry, dark navy blue-" An eye roll "-underwear is basically a code for 'Hey guys, I'm horny and single!'"
I gasped. "No!" I paused. "Well, just the 'single' part."
He laughed. "You know, the fact that it's 'underwear' kind of defeats the purpose of telling guys that you're free and single."
"What do you mean?"
"Well…it's underwear. Generally, girls don't walk around in dark navy blue bras and panties and proudly proclaim their nonexistent relationship status." He wiggled his eyebrows. "Unless you're into those kind of things, of course."
I scowled. "If you're trying to get me to walk around in my underwear, then you're not doing a very convincing job at it."
"Oh, I don't need you to walk in your underwear," he replied smugly. "The fact that I see your underwear every Saturday night is enough for me to envision you in underwear." He smirked. "And, imagination can be much more…satisfying than reality."
I blushed and glared at him. "Don't bring my underwear into this."
"Hey, you brought your underwear into this." He reached into my basket and pulled out my pale pink bra. "So, what does pink mean?"
I grabbed my bra from his hands and threw it into the washing machine. "Nothing."
"Nothing? Aw, come on sweetheart. Tell me."
"No." I reached into my basket and continued where I left of. Purple socks. Lime green socks. Rainbow suspenders. "Besides, you don't talk about a girl's underwear unless you're dating her. You don't even see a girl's underwear unless you're dating her."
He raised his eyebrow. "There are rules about that?"
"Yes. My rules."
"Huh." He smiled. "Now I'm intrigued." He leaned against the dryer and crossed his arms over his chest. "So, I've seen many pairs of your underwear for the past five weeks. Hypothetically speaking, what would that mean if we were dating?"
I narrowed my eyes at this. He looked perfectly innocent standing there with his cheeky grin. If he started whistling, he would complete the picture of a totally ignorant and naïve young man asking a mere curious question…
But I know better.
Friends don't ask friends about their underwear.
Even if they're hot.
I gave him a short-but secretly sly-smile. "Depends on the underwear that you've seen."
"Ok then." He pointed to a pair of blue boy shorts that I had just put into the washing machine. "If I saw those, what does that mean?"
"Well," I began haughtily, "boy shorts are typically worn for their versatile comfort. If a man sees his girlfriend with these on, it is usually at the stage of their relationship where they are comfortable in each other's company. This is about a month into their relationship. Or, it could also be because he barged into her room when she was changing. Either one is acceptable."
"Interesting." He rubbed his chin. "What about that lacy underwear thing?"
"Lacy underwear is usually worn when a woman feels a bit withdrawn from her feminine side. When a man sees his woman in lacy underwear, it's either they are really deep into their relationship-about 6 to 12 months approx.-or she just wants to remind him that she is still a female despite the fact that she burps and chugs beer like a man every Sunday afternoon at 2 pm."
A weird and almost constipated look crossed his face. "Uh huh." He looked inside my clothing basket, trying to decide what to pick next. Pick the white ones! He scrunched his eyebrows. The white ones! Finally, he pointed to a stack of plain white underwear.
"How about those?" he asked.
"Ah, yes. The period panties." I smiled inwardly. "If these babies are seen, it usually indicates that both parties have been in a committed relationship for a whole year. Perhaps two. Because you need the time and chance to actually see them, you know? And, these panties are usually plain looking and perhaps five years old since…you know…there's a good chance you're going to get blood on them anyway if your tampon doesn't work."
I glanced at his face and smirked. He looked like he just ate a raw lemon whole.
"You have period panties?!" he exclaimed.
I nodded. "Well, yeah. You're not going to wear the pretty ones when you have the Red Niagara Falls gushing out of your vagina every month."
He shuddered. "I think my mind has been corrupted."
"You're the one who pointed out the period panties."
"Please stop talking." He face was pale and he actually looked like he wanted to puke. I rejoiced at that fact. Silently, of course. He closed his eyes and took a few deep breathes. I almost felt sorry for him. But then again, he was the one who brought up the whole conversation about my private underwear so I shouldn't even consider feeling guilty.
I was a wuss.
"Are you okay?" I asked, beating myself for being weak. Again, damn estrogen.
He nodded. "I'll be fine." He took in a few more deep breathes. For a few minutes, he just stood there, silently breathing in and out. Then, out of the blue, his entire face changed. Color came back to his face and his grimaced turned into a breathtaking smile. Like he just had some sort of epiphany. "Can we talk about something else?"
My spidey senses were tingling. "Like what?" I asked.
He smiled. "Well…I've been thinking." He rubbed his chin for good measure. "Since, theoretically, I've seen all you underwear in the past five weeks," he began. "Boy shorts, panties, lacy panties, period panties-" shudder "-dark navy blue lingerie, white panties, green panties, polka dot panties, blue, yellow, neon, tan, freaking majestic purple, and the one with the teddy bears on it-"
"-That was a gift-"
"-And, given the information that you just told me, I've deduced and come up with a startling conclusion."
I raised an eyebrow. "Amuse me."
"We, my darling sweet, have been married to each other for about twenty years…theoretically."
I stared at him. "What?"
"Our theoretical relationship has lasted twenty years."
I continued to stare at him. "Yeah, I don't follow you."
He sighed. "Like I said, I've seen all of your underwear. Including the fact that I helped you fold said underwear a couple times shows that this theoretical relationship has exceeded over a decade. And, let's not forget you also folded my underwear that first day. That adds another decade to our theoretical relationship."
For a few seconds, I stared at him. And stared. And stared. Then, realizing that I can somehow beat him at his own game, I opened my mouth and began my own tirade.
"That doesn't make sense." I crossed my arms against my chest. "Folding underwear constitutes only about 2 years since that's how long it takes-on average-for a couple to be completely comfortably with each other to the point where they start farting in a synchronized manner. Now, twice that is 4 years since you have to count 'my folding' and 'your folding' separately. Since you saw my period panties that adds another year or two. If you include the fact we eat lunch at the Sushi Warehouse every Tuesday afternoon, then that would add another year. And since your cat scratched me when I dropped off the laundry that you forgot the other night, you would have to add another six months. Because animal violence takes that long to simmer down. Given that, the total would be about 6 to 7 years…and a half."
He scoffed. "I like my theory about our theoretical relationship better."
"But yours is way off."
"No, it's longer and everlasting. You should be thankful."
I snorted. "It's all theoretical anyway."
His hazel eyes gleamed at me. "I disagree." Then, he smirked.
I don't like that smirk.
My heart started to beat a little faster. I think I'm starting to sweat. "What do you mean?"
"Well…our theoretical relationship is sweet and all but we can't continue it."
"What?" I sounded more disappointed than I intended to be. "Why?"
"Because I need to make an honest woman out of you."
"You see," he continued. "We can't continue to have this theoretical relationship unless I start dating you for real. I mean, we've been intimate! Theoretically. And, I can't have my morals be compromised like that unless we're actually dating."
For the millionth time that day, I gaped at him like a fish. "Are you seriously asking me out on the basis that we have a theoretical relationship?" I asked.
He smiled. "Theoretically."
"Huh." I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. So, I punched him instead.
And it felt good.
It took him a second to compose himself and another to glare at me. "Woman, you're as bipolar as a polar bear."
I rolled my eyes. "You know you could have just asked me out without going into the whole underwear thing! Jesus, that was embarrassing."
He rubbed his jaw. "Well, I need a good story to tell my grandchildren about how I asked their grandma out. You can't go wrong with underwear."
I rubbed my hand. "God, how am I going to survive being married to you?"
"Here." He took my hand and gave each knuckle a sweet kiss. My heart swelled and the pain from the punch surprisingly went away. "If one of us survives this future marriage, it'll probably be you."
"I hope so."
He gave me another smile. "I'm sure you will." Dropping my hand, he closed the lid of my washing machine and turned it on. Quickly, he dumped his clothes into his washing machine, turned it on and looked back at me. "So…do you want to grab some food while we wait for our clothes?"
I rolled my eyes. "As long as you don't have anything else to say in that weird head of yours."
"Of course not." He grabbed my hand, rubbing it softly with his thumb, and pulled me out of Sheila May's Laundromat. "Unless you want to talk about our theoretical sex life."
I seriously have no idea where I went with this one-shot. It's like it's on steroid. And crack.
Let me know how crazy you think I am in your review.
And yes, I intentionally did not give them each a name.
Let your imagination run wild.