DISCLAIMER: : I do not own these characters, or at least most of them. No profit being made, no harm intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

…And the winner is
By Berg


Part 1

Los Angeles, California

"…and the winner is…"

Back home in Peekskill

"Come on Tootie," Natalie, Blair, and Jo all cheered on from the living room of Blair's home on campus.

"She'll win. She's got too. I mean she was amazing in that film," Natalie smiled at her two friends who sat side by side on the sofa while Natalie rested comfortably on the chair.

"I didn't actually see the movie yet," Blair said.

"How could you not have seen the movie?" both Jo and Natalie asked at the same time.

"This term has just been crazy," Blair said, feeling the need to suddenly defend herself. "Tootie knows. I told her I'd see it as soon as I had the chance."

"Quiet…they're showing the clips," Natalie waved her hands.

Jo just continued looking at Blair.

"What? Do you have any idea how nuts my job is?"

"No. but I know how nuts you are," Jo replied and looked back finally at the screen.

"And how long have you been sitting on that one?"

"Since I first met you," Jo didn't even bother sparing her a glance.

"You'll never change."

"Takes one to know one."

"Quiet both of you, here's Tootie's scene," Natalie shhh'd them.

Tootie's voice could be heard coming from the TV. "You have no idea how hard it is do you Kelly? Well now you know. You know it all! I'm here on assignment. I was supposed to protect you," there was a pause. "But instead I fell in love with you."

"Love me?" another female voice asked. "I thought you hated me?"

"All those times I picked fights with you, all the arguments and disagreements…they were all to cover up how I was really feeling. The more I tried to deny it, push you away the more I realized just how much you really mean to me…I'm in love with you Kelly."

"and here comes Tooties first girl on girl kiss," Natalie giggled.

"Girl on girl?" Blair's eyes rose slightly. "What on earth is this movie about?"

"…and the winner is…Dorothy Ramsey for her portray as Blyth Smith in 'My Hero. My lover."

All three girls on the couch cheered. Everyone in town was watching this and finally, Tootie was getting the recognition she deserved. "She looks amazing in that dress. It's got to be an original," Blair commented.

The girls watched as Tootie accepted the award and smiled approaching the podium. "Thank you," Tootie smiled as the applause dulled down slowly. "This is such an honor. I'd like to thank the fellow people nominated as I know I'm just lucky having been in your presences tonight. I'd like to thank Michael for writing such an amazing story, Bill for directing it. My fellow cast mates, all of whom were amazing to work with. But most importantly I feel this award belongs to someone else," Tootie paused. "Living your life in secret and not being able to be who you are wasn't something I could begin to imagine. Taking on this role meant a lot to me. I wanted to do my character justice because to me, she isn't just a character. She's someone I love dearly. This is for you Blair," Tootie held the award up. "I love you for you," she smiled and blew a kiss at the camera. Jo looked at Blair and began laughing seeing the shocked and mortified expression on the debutant's face.

"What do I have to do with that character?" Blair asked horrified.

"Relax Blair it's nothing to be…" she giggled again. "…embarrassed about…."

"And Also Jo. Living with the two of you was the greatest inspiration I could have asked for. Thank you."

If Nat's jaw dropped any lower it'd be on the floor. "Is there something you two need to tell me?" Nat asked looking back and forth between the two women.

"Why did she say my name too?" Jo asked confused. Suddenly it wasn't funny. If Tootie suspected then that meant…

"Well that's obvious," Blair stood. "But as for bringing me into this…this award…I haven't a clue."

"What's obvious?" Jo stood up as well.

"Come on Jo. I can see why Tootie might have assumed…or at least thought that perhaps…maybe…"

"Spit it out princess and choose your words carefully," Jo began pulling up her sleeves.

"Calm down. Both of you," Natalie stood up. "I'm sure it's just a misunderstanding…I don't think anyone will read anything into that speech."

The phone rang as Blair answered. "Hello? Oh Hello mother. Yes we're all here now watching. It was wonderful, yes. Why yes, she's here too. No…no! Mother I don't have anything to tell you. Of course not…" Blair walked away from Jo and Natalie. "Mother I don't know why she said it like that. Trust me, I think I'd know if…well if I were that way. Okay mother. I love you too. Kisses. Bye." She clicked the phone off and looked at her two guests.

"That way?" Jo seemed almost offended. "What the hell does that mean?"

Blair was taken back slightly. It seemed almost as though Jo was more mad at her then at Tootie's comments. "Why are you mad at me? I'm not the one who just told half the world you're gay when you're not," Blair laughed. She suddenly looked serious. "You're not are you?"

"I'm not having this discussion," Jo reached around and grabbed her jacket. "I've got to go. Nat if you talk to Tootie before I do tell her I say congrats, okay?"

"Sure thing," Natalie nodded. This night was getting stranger and stranger.

"Jo," Blair followed suit behind her vistor. "Wait. Will you stop please," Blair pleaded slightly. Natalie knew enough about Blair and Jo that she stayed right where she'd be safe…the living room. Finally reaching the front hall to Blair's house, and the door she stopped and spun around. "Yes Blair?"

"What's gotten into you? Why are you rushing off? Is it because of what I just said? I was only joking with you. You're the one who said we should laugh it off," Blair waved her hands. "After all…my reputation's most likely going to take months to repair. Goodness knows how many people saw that."

"You always worry so much about what people think, even still. I thought by now you'd have grown out of that," Jo shook her head. "I've got to go princess, have a good night."

"Jo," Blair reached out and took her friend's hand. "Are you?"

Jo knew sooner or later she'd have this conversation with Blair. Truthfully she'd always hoped it would be later. Reaching for her helmet she looked Blair in the eyes.

"Yes. Yes I am Blair."

"Why didn't…"

"Why didn't I say anything? Because I guess I just never got around to it."

"I don't know what to say," Blair let go of Jo's hand.

"You don't have to say anything," Jo smiled. "Your face is saying it all."

"Jo wait a moment. That's not fair. You've had god knows how long to deal with this. I only just found out. I just need some time to…"

"To what Blair? Think about it? It's part of who I am. It always has been. I'm still me, same old Jo who is going to give you the same hard time I always do."

Suddenly Jo's cell phone rang. Jo flipped it open. "Hi Mrs. G," Jo smiled. "Yeah I saw. I know. Well sooner or later I guess I was going to have to. I know. I love you too." Jo hung up. She looked at Blair.

"Mrs. Garret knew?"

"She did."

"Natalie and Tootie?"

"No," Jo shook her head. "I don't know how Tootie figured it out," Jo smiled. "Though I can only imagine."

"Well at least you're smiling. Please don't go. Not like this."

"I really do have to go Blair. I've got work in the morning."

"I'll call you."

"Okay," Jo smiled. "Later Nat!" she shouted.

"Bye Jo!" a voice could be heard from down the hall.

"Bye Blair."

"Bye Jo."

Part 2

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