DISCLAIMER: The Facts of Life and its characters are the property of Columbia Pictures Television and Sony Pictures Television, no infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
THANKS: To Ann for the beta.
Arguments and Motor Oil
Blair stepped out of her Porsche, and lowering her sunglasses, spared her surroundings a quick glance of dissatisfaction. It wasn't that the garage was particularly dirty, in fact the business was almost pristine compared to most, but the mere fact that it was a garage drew a look of distaste from the blonde. As far as Blair was concerned the inner workings of her fleet of motor vehicles were a foreign land left entirely to the ministrations of her well paid, and currently absent, staff.
Having recently been subjected to another one of her mother's lectures on her unladylike habit of yelling, Blair's call didn't travel far, and the garage remained unnaturally silent.
"Is anyone here?" Blair's hands migrated to her hips. "Jo!" she yelled.
A dog barked in an adjacent lot, and a clank and curse from inside the building let Blair know that her call had been heard. The continual sound of cursing also let her know that it hadn't been appreciated.
"What the hell?" Jo slammed back the door and strode out onto the garage entrance, her pace slowing to as stop as she spied the impatient blonde. "Blair? What are you doing here?"
"It," she pointed towards the Porsche, "is making a funny gurgling sound."
"Why are you here?" Jo repeated, dismissing the answer.
"First the steering started to vibrate, and then the gurgling began." Blair shot a look of menace toward the sleek and silent machine. "Then when I called Triple A they said it would be at least two hours before a mechanic arrived."
"Blair, why are you here?"
"I couldn't wait out in the middle of nowhere for two hours." She looked horrified. "Do you have any idea of the kinds of people who live in this neighbourhood?"
Jo glared. "Blair! Why are you here!"
"I've just explained. Really, Jo, if you're not going to pay attention I don't know why I bother telling you things. It's just like in school . . ."
"Blair!" The dog next door started to howl. "Why are you in New Jersey?"
The blonde looked around as if only just realising she had crossed a state border or two and was currently outside of her country club and martini comfort zone.
"I spoke to Natalie."
The look of irritation fell from Jo's face and in its place rested embarrassment. "I was going to call you."
She shrugged. "Soon."
"Soon? Is that Jo code for 'after I've told Nat, Tootie and everyone else I've ever met'?" Blair's voice rose with every word. "Or did you just forget I existed?"
"Blair . . ."
Blair cut her off with an imperious wave. "It's not as if I'm anyone important," she seethed. "Just another notch on your bedpost."
"Blair . . ."
"A diamond encrusted notch," Blair elaborated. "Who was fool enough to spend her days sitting at home waiting for your supposed return."
"Are you finished?"
Searching the area directly adjacent to her feet, Blair contemplated kicking something to signify the level of her frustration, but she wasn't sure her new Jimmy Choos would survive the impact. So instead, she settled for throwing her car keys in Jo's direction and stomping away.
Jo caught the keys and waited the full twenty seconds it took for Blair to realise there was no where for her to go, before asking, "Do you want to come in?"
"No." Blair turned away and waited for the entreaties she was sure would follow. When the sound of her car door opening rang out across the garage, she gave up her haughty stance and stomped towards the Porsche. "What are you doing?"
Jo sighed. "Fixing your car."
"But we're in the middle of an argument!"
"No, Blair, you're in the middle of an argument. I'm fixing the car."
Jimmy Choos met Porsche.
"Blair! Leave the car alone."
The pain reverberating up her foot, and the scuff mark on the toe of her shoe persuaded Blair that kicking her car probably wasn't the best option. She should have kicked Jo.
"I can't believe you wouldn't discuss something like that with me," Blair sighed, her anger suddenly transformed into hurt. "I thought we were in this together?"
"Then why didn't you tell me?"
Jo left the safety of the car, and wiping her fingers carefully on a cloth, placed a hand on Blair's arm. "I'm sorry, Blair, I didn't mean to upset you," she began. "It's just that you've been there for me through so much, and I didn't want to throw something else at you without knowing the facts."
Despite the air of flighty superficiality Blair liked to present to the world, she had been the first to offer comfort when Jo's marriage fell apart and she'd even managed to refrain from questioning her friend's sanity when Jo gave up her job as a social worker to look after her uncle's garage. As their relationship changed and they were finally able to admit the depth of their feelings, it was Blair who had made most of the concessions and gone out of her way to ensure that their new romance blossomed.
"Jo, I'm your partner, if there are big things happening in your life I want to know about them." Blair allowed herself to be pulled into a loose-limbed embrace, the slight smell of oil reminding her of the foolishness of pressing her clothes too closely to Jo's overalls. "Before, during, and after the facts."
"Sorry, Blair," Jo nuzzled a little closer, "but I promise that the only person I told was Nat, and I only told her because she bumped into me on my way out of the police station and I had to convince her I wasn't under arrest or anything before she spread it around town that I was a wanted felon."
Blair choked back a laugh. "Do you really want to do this?"
"I do." Jo traced the side of Blair's face with her finger, the smile it produced letting her know she was well on her way to being forgiven. "I know you didn't exactly sign on to be a police officer's wife, but it's something I've wanted to do for a while now."
"It could be dangerous."
Jo nodded. "It could."
"You'll be careful?"
"With you to come home to? You bet."
The hug was no longer loose as the two lovers squeezed each other close, and Blair said goodbye to another of her designer outfits. The moment stretched into minutes before they shared a brief kiss and disengaged.
"When will you know?" Blair asked.
"I haven't even taken the tests yet." Jo shrugged. "I might not even get in."
"Of course you'll get in." Blair looked mildly affronted at the suggestion. "You're a graduate of Langley and a member of the Lake Shore Country Club."
"I don't think the Police Academy cares about your stupid club."
"Don't be silly, Jo, everybody who is anybody belongs to the club." Blair fluffed out her hair. "I personally oversaw the selection of two judges and a member of Congress during my brief time with the application committee."
Jo merely smiled and prayed that the District Attorney and Police Commissioner wouldn't turn up to brunch next Sunday.
"I should call Daddy, I'm sure he once played golf with the Mayor."
Jo climbed into the Porsche and closed the door, her head descending to the steering wheel as she overheard Blair request the number for the Senator's office.
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