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: Story fragment that started and then just stopped in my head. Maybe someone else can do something more if it bears continuing. And let me know if I've borrowed the idea from someone else - if so, I apologize. My brain doesn't know where half of what's there came from - no infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Natalie and Tootie found Jo talking with a group from her Ethics class and managed, not too subtly, to extract their friend.
"Jo, aren't you going to do something?"
"Do something about what?" Jo took a drink but knew very well what her roommates were concerned about. Blair. Before they'd come to this Christmas shin-dig Blair had been going on about finding out she was the target of some drunken college bet. One of the Langley guys had bragged the previous night or week (whatever) that he would get a kiss out of Warner by the end of the night. She wasn't supposed to know, of course, but had overheard some idle gossip on campus. At first Jo had dismissed the issue outright as just that gossip but eventually had to admit to herself that it was just the sort of stunt one of the Parker boys would pull. Jo, who hadn't wanted to come in the first place, had reasonably (she thought) suggested Blair skip the party but to the contrary, Blair had insisted on going, and had insisted on Jo coming along too. Inwardly Jo had wondered what exactly Blair expected her to do what, that by her very presence this plot would be derailed? Natalie and Tootie had decided to come along for the sheer sport of it, and, Jo suspected, because the place would be crawling with Langley men.
"How much have you been drinking girl? You're supposed to be keeping watch on Blair." Tootie, of course. Jo deliberately took another drink from her rum and coke and raised an eyebrow. Of course she'd been keeping half an eye on the Princess, standing in a pool of light near the bar and the Christmas tree (only Blair would manage to find the position with the most flattering light at a party) just in case - but the other girls didn't need to know that. And yes Parker was just sliding up to talk to Warner as her current group stepped to the bar to refresh their drinks. Natalie continued for Tootie as if Jo still didn't know what they were going on about.
"Cam Parker is over there right now making his move. And what are you doing?"
"Enjoying my drink?"
"Exactly! Enjoying your drink when you should be over there making sure nothing happens to Blair." Jo raised an exasperated glance to the ceiling. When exactly had she been nominated Blair's protector? Mover of furniture, fixer of machines or applicances, and now protector of Blair's virtue? She glanced over, and sure enough, Cam Parker had taken out a sprig of mistletoe. Well that was cheesy. Cheesy but effective enough to work. Jo sighed. It wasn't fun to be the target of someone else's bet and obviously neither Tootie nor Natalie was going to do anything.
"Fine." She finished her drink in one last gulp, and made her way to the bar.
She placed her empty glass on the bar, flagging the bartender's attention for another she was close enough now to overhear Cam.
" Well would you look at this Blair "
Jo turned - just in time to see a glimpse of a fleeting horrified expression before Blair resumed a well schooled facade - and put a little drinking-happy enthusiasm into her voice.
"Hey, you're under the mistletoe Blair." Before Blair or Cam really had time to realize what was going on Jo leaned closer, put both hands behind Blair's head and planted a serious lips to lips kiss on her roommate. A moment later she rocked back and gleefully took the mistletoe from Cam's now frozen hand. "Thanks!"
She nodded her thanks to the bartender for her refilled drink and made her way back towards her other roommates, twirling the sprig between her fingers. She'd keep a happy relaxed demeanor and by the end of the night people would chalk everything up to a couple of drinks too many. But just for the expressions on their faces alone - Tootie, Natalie, Cam, and especially Blair it was completely worth it.
Blair Warner was not happy. She had been happy. The evening had been fun she had been socializing, found a comfortable spot in flattering light near the bar. Her roommates were around somewhere for the beginning of the evening she had kept Jo nearby in case Cam Parker decided to make good on that horrid bet she had heard of. She'd relaxed as the evening moved on and lost track of her roommate a bit. But now she realized Cam Parker had somehow sidled up without her notice and she was suddenly alone with him. Part of her wished she didn't know of the bet he actually was an attractive fellow but knowing about it killed any interest she might have had in a dalliance with him. She was only half paying attention to him she scanned the room as she played with her hair and found her roommates standing together at the other side of the room. What were they doing over there?
She turned her attention back to Cam and laughed brightly at some inane comment he made. He followed up with a nice bit of flattery and she found herself warming to him a bit despite the bet. They chatted a moment longer and then suddenly Blair realized Cam had lifted his arm over her head.
" Well would you look at this Blair." She knew without looking up there would be mistletoe above her head and mentally scrambled for a way out. Scrambled but came up empty. And just as she wondered where the hell her roommates were she heard a very familiar, very exuberant, and now very welcome voice.
"Hey, you're under the mistletoe Blair!" It was then a bit of a shock, however, to suddenly realize Jo Polniaczek - her roommate Jo Polniaczek - was currently doing a very decent job of a near tonsillectomy. It was a bigger shock to realize her roommate was more than a decent kisser. A moment later Jo pulled away, gave Blair what had to be the most subtle shit eating grin she'd ever seen and then somehow robbed Cam of his mistletoe sprig under the guise of slight inebriation. Blair had tasted the rum and coke but the glance she had caught from Jo told her her roommate knew exactly what she was doing. Jo retrieved a new rum and coke from the bar behind Blair and left. Suddenly back in control of the situation Blair realized Cam had lost his advantage and didn't seem to have an immediate plan B. They chatted a moment longer before she broke away to refresh her drink and found a new group of friends to talk with.
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