DISCLAIMER: I'd The Facts of Life and its characters are the property of Columbia Pictures Television and Sony Pictures Television, no infringement intended.
SEQUEL/SERIES: To Charity Begins at Home, A Sundae on a Sunday and A Good Cause.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Just Like Old Times
The alarm sounded, waking me from a deep sleep. Stretching, I reached for my lover, only to find Blair's side of the bed empty; she'd never once crawled out of the bed before me in the entire time we'd been together. Worried that something had happened, I grabbed my robe from the nearby chair and set out to find her.
After searching every room of the huge house Blair just had to have, I was just getting ready to call her cell when I noticed movement on the back porch. Walking towards the door, I spotted my lover reclining in the lounge chair.
"Blair, what are you doing out here? It's freezing, and you'll catch your death of cold," I scolded my lover, suddenly realizing that I sounded just like Mrs. G. Grimacing, I prayed that Blair didn't hear me, but it was too late to withdraw my words as she turned to face me.
"Jo, I'm thirty years old. I don't need you telling me what I can and cannot do. We promised each other that we wouldn't do that," Blair replied, putting me in my proper place and, for once, I couldn't argue with her. We did indeed say that we would respect each other's decisions; however, I never dreamed she'd do something so stupid. It was twenty degrees, for God's sake.
Oh, jeez. Now, I was thinking like Mrs. G, except that she'd never stand out in the cold wearing only a short robe. Maybe I could somehow coax Blair inside.
"I'm sorry, Blair. I wasn't trying to tell you what to do. I just don't want you to get sick. You do have to emcee at the charity dinner tonight, and I would hate to see you get a sore throat. You'd have no other choice than to step aside and let Muffy take over the honors," I offered sweetly, hoping that the event she'd been looking forward to for the past month would be enough incentive to entice her to go indoors. If not, the mention of Muffy should do the trick.
Blair shot out of her chair like she was on fire and headed directly into the house without saying a word. I waited long enough to pat myself on the back before heading towards the door but, perhaps, I should've held off on the congratulations until I'd gotten inside. When I pushed on the glass to enter the house, it stubbornly remained closed.
It took thirty minutes for Blair to finally hear the pounding on the door. She'd gone directly upstairs to take a bubble bath and had only come back down because she'd left her cell phone on the dining room table. By the time she managed to get the lock unstuck, I was practically frozen. Damn lock and damn the locks on the gate, too.
I was helped up the stairs by my lover, and I failed miserably in my attempt to apologize for taking her already drawn bath water. "Bbbllaiirr, I'mmm," I barely got out in between uncontrollable shivers, but my princess shushed me and ordered me to step into the tub. When she crawled in behind me a few minutes later, I was wondering why the hell I felt the need to apologize in the first place. Bath time with Blair was definitely worth the risk of catching pneumonia.
After a very leisurely soak in the tub coupled with some climatic water activities, I found myself in an exceptionally good mood for the rest of the day, despite the arrival of the sniffles. I even allowed Blair to lay out my clothes for me, not offering a single protest when she insisted I wear my sequined black pantsuit in lieu of my usual tux.
Hell, I'd consider wearing a dress to all the upcoming charity events if she'd promise to reward me both before and afterwards with a shared bath. It brought a whole new meaning to 'I'll wash your back, if you'll wash mine.' Grinning, I reached for my pants as I recalled other body parts that required extra attention.
An hour later, I continued to pace back and forth at the bottom of the stairs. Damn it, we were going to be late if Blair didn't get a move on. I opened my mouth to yell for my lover to hurry when the words stuck in my throat. At the top of the stairs was a vision of beauty.
Smiling, Blair began her descent while I worked to put my jaw back in place. She was absolutely stunning in her sequined green dress. Her hair was pulled up, and she wore matching diamond earrings and necklace. The off the shoulder dress and plunging neckline had me wondering how everything was staying in its proper place. But, oh, how everything looked perfect. It was going to take every bit of will power I could muster to keep my hands off her until we returned home.
I walked up the last few steps and offered my arm to my lover. She cupped her hand around my elbow and, together, we descended the rest of the way, continuing to the door. Blair was going to be the best looking woman at the charity dinner, and she was mine, all mine. Grinning, I grabbed our coats and led her to the car.
When we arrived at the entrance of the hotel, I suddenly remembered why I hated these damn events as the flash of the cameras almost blinded me before I could pull up to the curb but, thankfully, the valet motioned me to stop. He opened my door with a grin and smoothly jumped into the driver's seat the minute I vacated my spot.
I glanced over at the sidewalk to see that Blair had already exited the car and was posing for the photographers. She gestured me over and, with a forced smile, I moved to join her.
We made it inside with relative ease but, just as we stepped into the elevator, Blair visibly shuddered at the voice coming from within.
"Why, if it isn't Blair and her Neanderthal? Where's the ape suit?"
Stepping between Blair and the irritating woman, I grinned and replied, "Hey, Muffy. Long time, no see. Last time I saw you, you were all over me like white on rice. Where's Mr. Muffy? I'd love to meet him."
The peroxided bitch actually slapped my face; I truly didn't think she had it in her. Granted, she hit like a girl, but damn, she had more spunk than I gave her credit for.
"You keep your hands off Jo, Muffy. First, you try to kiss her and, now, you attack her. If you have a problem with me, you take it up with me."
"Please. I can never get close enough to have it out with you," Muffy spat, gesturing towards me, "Your bodyguard always gets in the way."
The two women continued to bicker back and forth the entire ride to the top floor and, as the elevator doors opened, their voices garnered the attention of the partygoers as they began to whisper and point towards me. Since Blair and Muffy were blocked from their view, I just happened to make the perfect scapegoat.
"Blair! Muffy! Stop it, right now. You've got people waiting to give loads of money to your charity, and you're going to scare them away," I shouted in a whispered voice and, amazingly, both women stopped mid-sentence and retreated to their respective corner. At least, they both realized the importance of the event as they seemed to agree to put their differences aside for the moment.
Releasing a deep breath, Blair held her head high and started for the doors as I placed my hand out to keep the doors from closing, and neither of us noticed Muffy making a move for the exit at the same time. Needless to say, the bitch bumped into Blair causing her to lose her balance, and only my quick reflexes kept my princess from falling.
"What a bitch," Blair muttered in my ear as I helped her back into a standing position.
Straightening her dress, Blair took another step forward and almost fell again, but this time the culprit was a broken heel. Cursing, Blair limped to the ladies restroom located just outside the elevator doors. Sighing, I turned and followed. This was not going to be a good night.
"Son of a bitch!"
"Blair, keep your voice down. What's the matter?"
"My heel is broken in two. I can't present the Humanitarian of the Year award in my bare feet."
"Here. Let me see it."
Looking at me with hope in her eyes, Blair handed me the faulty shoe, and I smiled reassuringly as I took my first look.
Crap. It was broken through and through. There was no way in the world I could fix this problem.
A familiar voice called from the door, saving me from having to deliver the bad news to Blair.
"Hey, Tootie. I told you I saw them come in here," Natalie said, walking over to join the two of us. "Uh oh. Looks like that shoe has seen its last ball."
"Um, Blair. I think I have time to run home and get your black heels," I offered as a compromise, seeing as how Natalie had spilled the beans about the status of the shoe.
"Jo! I can't wear black with this dress. Besides, these shoes were made especially for this outfit. I can't believe a pair of $10,000 shoes broke so easily."
"$10,000? Wow, that's a lot for a pair of shoes," Tootie piped up, saving me from saying something far worse. I can't believe Blair paid more for her shoes than I did for my first car.
"What am I going to do? I can't sit back and let Muffy do the honors."
"Superglue," Natalie suggested, nodding her head up and down.
"What?" I asked in disbelief.
"Superglue. It should hold long enough for Blair to do her thing."
Tootie looked at her friend and asked, "And where do you propose we find a tube of Superglue at this hour, Nat?"
"I bet maintenance has some," I replied with a grin. "You guys stay here. Nat and I will go find someone who can help."
Blair limped over to the divan and took a seat, and Tootie shrugged and joined her. Grinning, Natalie and I headed for the door.
Fifteen minutes later, we'd returned with the Superglue. Oh, and Natalie had a date for tomorrow night as well.
With a quick application and a bit of force, the heel was back on the shoe. Now, the question was would it withstand Blair's weight. Everyone in the room held both their breaths and comments as Blair took her first step.
Soon, we were seated at our $50,000 table. I'd instructed Blair to take off her shoes and not put them back on until it was time to make the presentation and, this time, she didn't argue. She just sat at the table looking beautiful as the different contributors made their way over to speak to my princess.
The usual fare of rubber chicken complimented with vegetables, roll, and dessert was served, and Natalie just shook her head as her plate was placed in front of her.
"You'd think with this much money; they'd have something decent to eat. I'm stopping on the way to your house to get a hamburger."
"It's for a good cause, Nat. Just eat your roll and desert. At least, they're usually done which is more than I can say for these vegetables. I think they just ran them under some warm water for a couple of minutes," Tootie offered, chasing a green bean around her plate with her fork.
"C'mon, guys. Tomorrow, we'll have homemade pizza. I've found the best Italian place in town."
Pleased with my offer, our two friends ate their roll and dessert, settling for a meal of yeast and sugar. We spent the next hour catching up on Natalie and Tootie's careers and making plans to get together again as soon as possible.
Finally, Blair's moment in the spotlight arrived, and we watched with bated breath as she gingerly stood and made her way to the platform. Her gait was perfectly even the entire trip there and back. In fact, I missed most of her speech, worrying about her return to the table, but I nodded in the appropriate places when Natalie congratulated Blair on her wonderful presentation.
The rest of the evening went off without a hitch, and millions of dollars were made for the new Cancer Research Center for Children. All in all, a very successful evening was had by the foundation.
As the number of guests began to trickle down to just a handful, we made our plans to leave. Natalie and Tootie decided to leave their cars at the hotel and ride with us back to the house. All that was needed was to pick up their bags, and we were almost to the coat room when Muffy walked towards us.
"Well, it looks like you were lucky once again, Blair. I didn't think you'd be able to fix that broken heel of yours, but damned if you didn't pull a rabbit out of your hat. You're going to fall one of these days, Blair Warner, and I'm going to take great joy in witnessing it."
Turning, she headed towards the restrooms, stopping a few feet away to speak to one of the foundation's organizers. Noticing that the room had pretty well cleared out, I came up with a wonderful idea.
"Hey, Blair. Why don't you and Tootie go get her bag and meet Nat and me back in the lobby? We'll get our coats and Nat's bag and save a bit of time."
"Okay, sounds good to me. Let's go Tootie."
Smiling, I watched the two women get in the elevator before pulling Natalie into the restrooms.
A couple of minutes later, Natalie was sitting in the left stall, and I took the right one, leaving the center stall available for the next person. We didn't have long to wait as a set of clicking heels headed our way.
Peering through the slit in the door, I smiled as Muffy stood in front of the mirror, checking her makeup. She hummed softly as she turned and walked into the middle stall. The minute she closed the door, I flushed my toilet, signaling Natalie that the trap was set. We both quickly moved to the door and waited.
"Hey! What's going on here? Let me go! Let me go!"
Natalie and I placed our hands over our mouths to stifle our laughter as we silently crept away, leaving a yelling Muffy stuck to the toilet seat.
As the elevator doors opened to the lobby, we stepped out grinning and were greeted by a surprised Tootie and Blair.
"Hey, where've you been? I thought you were going to get Natalie's things."
"Nat and I had a last minute contribution to take care of."
Blair looked at the two of us suspiciously; however, she decided to drop the subject. Besides, she knew she'd worm the information out of me later. She had wonderful interrogation skills, and I just loved being in her hot seat.
The four of us exited the building, and Blair slipped her hand in mine and smiled as we made our way to Natalie's car.
"I had fun tonight despite Muffy being a royal pain in the ass," Blair said causing Natalie to chuckle aloud at the thought of the pain Muffy's ass would be in for quite awhile. Having a toilet seat removed at the ER was certainly not going to be the crowning moment in her life; that was for sure.
"Well, you know what they say, Blair. Paybacks are a bitch," Natalie offered in explanation.
Grinning, I squeezed my lover's hand and countered, "Really? I always thought there was a saying about the person getting it in the end. Or, was it catching it in the ass? I can't remember."
Not able to hold her tongue any longer, Natalie began to elaborate on the latest use of our acquired superglue as an ambulance pulled in front of the hotel. My friends and I continued down the sidewalk, laughing and carrying on just like old times. All for one and one for all; it truly felt great to be together again.
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