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
Jo sat on her bike. Thoughts kept racing through her mind. How could Tootie have known? She was so careful. For god's sake, she even got married! Maybe that was what it was? Maybe Tootie saw her for who she really was. Tootie had always been in tune with people's feelings, thoughts, and always read them very well.
Some memories from their younger years flooded her thoughts. Look how far Tootie had come. Jo was so proud. Tootie was like the little sister she never had growing up. All the empty playful threats, the dirty looks, the annoying lighthearted arguments they'd shared over the years.
Jo stopped. Wait. That wasn't Tootie Jo had argued with. A small mischievous smile spread to Jo's face. No. The arguments had almost solely been revered for the princess.
She felt her pocket vibrate. The caller ID read, "Blair Home." Waiting two rings, Jo hit the ignore button. Dealing with her sexual identity was one thing; being shoved out of the closet without any say in the matter was another matter. And whether Jo was ready to deal with this, looks like her time had just run out.
She remembered what Mrs. Garret had said to her once. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be not just for you, but for those around you.
On some level maybe she was ready for this. Maybe this was the push she needed.
Flipping the engine, she drove home.
Hearing the beep, Blair listened. Jo had finally switched from the very impersonal standard message of the automated voice to creating her own. "Hi, this is Jo and I can't take your call. Please leave me a message. Thanks."
Blair took a few seconds to gather her thoughts.
"Jo," Blair sighed. "please call me when you get this." She pushed the 'end' button on her phone and placed it back in the cradle.
"Thanks for a nice night Blair," Natalie's voice rang from the kitchen. "We need more excuses for these little get together. I had fun. I wish Jo didn't have to go," Nat sighed. "But you know Jo. She's on her own schedule half the time."
Blair nodded her head. "What did you make of Tootie's speech Natalie?"
"What do you mean?"
"About Me. More so Jo and I."
"Are you asking me what I think you're asking me Blair?" Natalie wasn't about to get in over her head answering a question she may have misconstrued.
"Does Tootie think Jo and I are or were an item?"
"Up till tonight I'd have said no way," Natalie glanced back at the room where the three women had been just hours before. "But given her speech I'd have to say she might have thought something was going on."
"Did I think you and Jo were a thing?" Natalie considered the words before she spoke them. "No I never thought you two were together. But I can certainly see where some people would assume or at least come to believe that you and Jo may have had certain feelings for each other."
"Geez Blair what is this 20 questions?" Natalie laughed. Not seeing a smile on her blond friend's face Natalie bit her bottom lip. "Look Blair, you and Jo have always had this tension between you. It's raw. It's passionate. It's " she paused. "Sexual. At least at times it appeared to be, especially as we got older. Sometimes the way Jo looked at you "
"You're saying Jo looked at me?"
"Not like gawking Blair," Natalie shook her head. "Sometimes I'd see her watching you, almost like she was studying you. Or for lack of better wording, appreciating you. I don't think she'd ever let on she found you fascinating, not back then at least. God knows it would have gone right to your head."
"I see," Blair nodded. "And what about me?"
"You've always been touchy feely with Jo. You always seem to take that extra added interest in her that I've never seen you give to any of your dates, boyfriends, or ever Tootie and I. Don't get me wrong. I know you love both of us, but Jo's always come first, even when she was driving you nuts."
"Was?" Blair replied laughing.
"Good point," Natalie smiled. "Look it was just a misunderstanding Blair. So Tootie saw something that wasn't there, it's Tootie. This will all blow over by tomorrow and we can all go back to being Jo, Blair, Nat, and Tootie," Natalie assured her friend. She leaned in and hugged her. "Now are you going to be okay?"
"I'll be fine. Have a safe drive back to the city. And thanks again for coming by."
"Well the night was certainly interesting I'll give you that."
For the eighth time in the last hour Jo glanced at the clock on the wall. She leaned over and pulled the small chain on her reading lamp. Opening the small end table drawer she pulled out a picture. It was of her and Blair, a simple candid snap shot. Neither of them were even looking at the camera.
Instead, they were simply looking at each other, smiling, almost as though they were sharing a secret.
She'd kept Blair from her secret and she knew no matter how Blair played it off, she'd be hurt by this. Blair and Jo had always told each other everything. There had never been secrets once they'd reached that level of their friendship.
"I'm sorry Blair," Jo whispered as her finger traced the picture.
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