DISCLAIMER: The Facts of Life and its characters are the property of Columbia Pictures Television and Sony Pictures Television, no infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I have no clue where this came from…I was supposed to do homework…and ended up with this… not a bad thing to end this evening though *g* Huge thanks to darandkerry for all the work with beataing this (after I had already given up hope to finish it in time…
CHALLENGE: Written for the second 24 Hour Challenge.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
"It certainly is cold outside, isn't it? I wish I had my muff with me."
"Sure, Blair." Natalie rolled her eyes and gave Tootie a sympathetic look as she opened the door to let Blair in.
Stepping further into the room, Blair jumped in place when she heard the yelling from upstairs.
"You did WHAT?"
Blair recognized Jo's voice, but she had no idea who she was yelling at. She immediately started for the stairs.
"Guys, why don't you go to the kitchen and whip up some hot cocoa. I'll go and see what Jo's up to."
"Be my guest I sure don't want to be near her when she's in that kind of mood." Natalie didn't need to ask Tootie to follow her, her friend almost ran her over when they heard the next fit coming from upstairs.
"I can't believe it! How can one person be so stupid?" Jo was definitely upset about something.
With a half-smile, Blair rushed up the stairs, hoping to fix whatever had upset her lover.
When she entered their bedroom, she found Jo, pacing back and forth and muttering curses under her breath.
On the other end of the room, Beverly-Ann sat, cowering behind a huge pile of pillows apparently thrown by Jo.
"Don't you think it's gone awfully quiet up there since Blair went into our room? Shouldn't we go upstairs and make sure Blair and Beverly-Ann are still alive?"
"I don't know about that, Tootie. Why don't we just wait until everyone calms down and comes back downstairs?"
"Okay, sounds good to me."
Tootie reached into the cabinet to get some mugs when she spotted Natalie's big grin. "Natalie!"
Tootie walked forward towards her friend until the counter stopped her progress.
"I know when you're up to something, and you're definitely up to something right now. So, spill it!"
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"All right, all right, Ms. Pushy! I just pulled a little prank, that's all."
"Yeah, a prank you do remember how Beverly-Ann got us last Halloween?"
"Well, I just found a way to pay her back."
"And you didn't tell me?" Tootie glared at her friend.
"Tootie, if I'd wanted Beverly-Ann to know about it in advance, I'd have definitely told you."
"And just what do you mean by that?" Tootie took a step forward, and only Andy, rushing in, saved the two girls from going toe-to-toe.
"Hey Nat, it worked! She totally believed it now she's trying to find some way to get the house back."
"Andy?" Tootie bore holes into Natalie before turning back to Andy. "You knew about this?"
"Of course, I did. Natalie " Andy stopped suddenly, noting the looks he was getting. Turning on his heel, he ran back upstairs, afraid to incur either woman's wrath.
Again, Natalie stalked towards the slightly older woman.
"Oh my gosh; Natalie, Natalie, Natalie; people around here must think I'm too senile to remember my own name."
Looking at Tootie's expression, she decided to let her friend in on her latest prank. "Look Tootie, Andy has a friend who knows how to play poker and I mean he really knows how to play it. Last month, I did him a favor, and well today he returned it."
"By doing what?" Tootie tilted her head in question.
"He talked Beverly-Ann into a game "
"I was winning it was just like the first time Frank taught me how to play Monopoly and "
"Oh, please, Beverly-Ann, get to the point!" Jo crossed her arms in frustration while the older woman's expression took on a deer caught in headlights impression.
"Jo is just a little bit impatient today, isn't she?" Blair's words were more a growl. "And I'm sure Jo remembers that impatient little girls don't get rewarded, right Jo?" Blair added with her sing song voice.
"Oh please, Blair You can't be . . ."
"Sit!" Blair stared at Jo and waited until Jo plopped down in the chair before looking back to their landlady.
"So? What happened then?" Blair smiled reassuringly.
Beverly-Ann opened her mouth to answer, but her focus shifted to Andy who'd entered the room with a wide grin on his face.
"And after that, he was supposed to talk her into throwing the house into the pot."
"Which she did?" Tootie couldn't believe Beverly-Ann would do something so foolish.
"I guess so. At least, she must've believed it I mean you heard Jo yelling "
Tootie's eyes got huge. "Oh my God we've got to get upstairs and clear everything up Jo's going to kill her."
"Oh my You're right, Tootie. Let's get up there and stop Jo from doing something stupid."
"What stupid thing could I possibly do, Natalie? I mean, what do I have to lose no place to stay anymore my girlfriend keeping Beverly-Ann company, hanging around upstairs what other stupid thing could I do, Nat?" Jo stood in the middle of the kitchen. Neither woman had heard her come in.
Tootie could only stare at Jo's hand which was clutching a rather large butcher knife. Natalie looked on, equally spellbound; her voice sounded strange even to her own ears, "Jo? Where's Blair? Is she okay?"
"You shouldn't bother she'll have no problems ever again. Neither will Beverly-Ann." The brunette's voice was even, and the words spoken quietly. A slight smile curved her lips.
"Look Jo, I think we can fix this somehow .anyhow you know, it was all a joke, Jo nothing really happened." Natalie backed away further, silently wondering again why she was the one stumbling with her back into the counter.
The dangerous atmosphere was broken by giggling sounds coming from around the corner. Holding onto each other and shaking with laughter, Beverly-Ann and Blair stumbled into the kitchen.
"Oh come on, guys, I was just about to get them to spill every secret they've ever had! Couldn't you two behave a little bit longer?" Jo turned towards the doorway.
Natalie and Tootie continued to look at Jo, dumbfounded.
"Do you really think Andy would be able to keep a secret like that when he'd been given the perfect opportunity to tell Blair something she doesn't already know?" Jo smirked.
"That little tattletale just wait until I get him." Hands balled into fists as Natalie attempted to stomp away.
"Oh come on who tried to pull a prank first, huh? And try would be the operative word here, wouldn't it?" Blair interjected, wrapping an arm loosely around Jo's shoulder. It was then that she noticed Tootie's stunned expression.
"Tootie? Are you alright?"
The young woman stared at her two friends, remembering Jo's exact words from earlier "my girlfriend "
Opening and closing her mouth several times, she finally manged to blurt out her question.
"You two are together?"
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