DISCLAIMER: The Facts of Life and its characters are the property of Columbia Pictures Television and Sony Pictures Television. No infringement intended.
CHALLENGE: Written for the 48 Hour Halloween Challenge.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
At the sound of the door opening, Jo pushed up on her elbows, just enough to see that it was Blair walking in. Then she dropped down again, her head falling back onto the cushion propped against the arm of the couch. "Hey."
Above the low noise of the TV, Jo could hear her unloading her keys and bookbag onto the desk by the stairs, then crossing back to the door to hang her coat on the rack. The deadbolt clicked into place a moment later.
"How was your class?"
"Fine. We had a pop quiz, but I aced it."
"That's good." On the screen, Lucy and Pigpen were getting candy tossed into their pillowcases but all Charlie Brown got was a rock. "Anybody give you any trouble on the way home?"
The sound of Blair's movements stopped. "No," she answered, a curious note in her voice. "Why?"
"Just asking." Jo shifted a little. She was getting an annoying kink in her neck from watching TV at this angle. She tucked one hand behind her head, leaving the other resting on her stomach.
Blair came to stand at the end of the couch, above Jo's feet. Jo saw she was wearing that navy sweater, the one that clung in all the right places, and a pair of dark jeans. Obviously a night class didn't rate one of her fancy designer outfits, which was fine with Jo, but did she have to pick such a snug top? As if she didn't already call enough attention to herself with the way she acted.
"Were you waiting up for me?" Blair asked, sounding just a little more amused than Jo would have liked. The brunette scowled and turned her eyes back to the TV.
"It's only 9:30."
"Mmmhmm. Well, I'm home now. You can relax."
"Do I look unrelaxed to you?" Still keeping her eyes on the screen, Jo waved a hand over her reclined body. The couch was just long enough for her to stretch out fully, the soles of her sock-clad feet touching the far arm. She was dressed in an old baseball t-shirt and sweatpants. All she needed to complete the picture was a beer, but Mrs. G had this thing about people drinking alone. Not that she was home to see it -- she was still at Mr. Parker's with Natalie and Tootie, catering his Halloween party.
Blair didn't answer the question. After a good thirty seconds of watching but not really seeing Charlie Brown's antics, with Blair pretty much motionless in her peripheral vision the whole time, Jo gave in and looked at her. "What?"
"Is this because of last night?"
"What are you talking about?" Jo scoffed, knowing perfectly well what she was talking about. The night before, Natalie had decided the gang needed to get into the spirit of the season and insisted on reading aloud from a book of scary stories after lights-out. All the classics were in there -- the babysitter who gets a bunch of creepy calls that turn out to be coming from inside the house; the woman who's terrified by a car tailing her, flashing its highbeams, only to find out that the driver was trying to tell her there was an attacker in her own backseat; and for the grand finale, the couple who hears about a murderer with a hook for a hand, then peels out of Lovers' Lane in their car and later discovers a bloody hook hanging from the passenger's side door handle.
"What, are you afraid the hook guy might be on the loose in Peekskill?"
"Shut up." Jo rolled her eyes. She was 20 years old, had a criminal record, and had grown up in one of the roughest neighbourhoods in New York. She did not go all lily-livered because of some stupid story.
Blair was unconvinced. She took a seat on the arm of the couch. "You thought he was going to claw his way into my Porsche and--"
"Hey!" Jo interrupted the teasing. "That's not funny."
"It's just an urban legend."
"I know that." Jo glared at Blair, but what she really wanted to be doing was throttling Natalie. "But there really are psychos out there who go around killing people and hacking them to pieces. Not to mention rapists and thieves and--" She cut herself off when she saw that Blair was still smiling. In a one-step-away-from-laughing kind of way. "Okay, fine. Laugh. 'Cause it's so hilarious, all the horrible things that could happen to a person. Go ahead and make fun."
"I'm not making fun. It's just a little... surprising, coming from big, bad Jo."
"Hey, I can handle myself against just about anything. But you, you're a walking target. I wouldn't have to worry if you weren't so naive."
Blair didn't say anything for a moment, but her smile changed -- into that charmed, affectionate one that Jo was so ambivalent about. She slipped gracefully from her perch and onto the edge of the couch, her butt pressing against Jo's leg, and rested her hands on her own knees. "I thought you weren't worried."
"And you weren't lying here waiting for me to get home."
"Hmmmm." Blair lifted her left hand and very slowly trailed her fingertips across the back of Jo's hand where it rested on her stomach, maintaining eye contact as she did. Jo didn't move. The fingers stroked her again, more firmly this time, continuing the motion down over the material of her t-shirt to the waistband of her pants. "You're awfully tense for someone just relaxing on the couch."
Jo's abdominal muscles contracted even more as Blair's hand slid underneath the cotton and those warm fingers travelled up bare skin. "Don't blame that on Nat's book," she said gruffly. "That's all you, Warner."
"Me, huh?" Blair took hold of Jo's hand with her free one and moved it up beside the brunette's head, removing all barriers to her exploration under the shirt. The action also put her body in closer proximity to Jo's. Jo pulled her hand loose and wound it into Blair's hair. Her gaze dropped from dark eyes to full, parted lips.
"How come I make you so tense?"
"At the moment--" Jo clenched her jaw as Blair's hand crested her breast, over her bra. "Because you're startin' something you know we can't finish."
Blair made an unhappy noise. "We never get to finish."
That pouting lower lip was just too tempting. Jo surged up and tugged Blair's head down at the same time, capturing the blonde's mouth. Blair responded eagerly. While they kissed, she climbed smoothly onto the couch, nudging Jo's legs apart to slide one of hers between them. Involuntarily Jo rocked her hips, just a little, and Blair echoed the movement. Jo gasped and pulled her mouth away.
"They'll be home any minute," she said between shallow breaths.
"I know." Blair scraped a fingernail over Jo's hardened nipple through the fabric of her bra.
"Sssstop," Jo hissed. Her head dropped back against the cushion. "We gotta stop."
Blair ignored her. Her fingernails scratched lightly down Jo's abdomen while her mouth descended to Jo's throat, blonde hair cascading into Jo's face as she burrowed in to suck on sensitive skin. Jo bit back a moan. Only when Blair's fingers snuck under the elastic waist of her sweatpants did Jo finally take definitive action, against the furious protests of her body. She caught Blair's left wrist in her right hand and removed it from beneath her clothing, then cupped Blair's cheek with her left and gently raised her face so they were eye to eye.
"We gotta stop," she said again.
After a moment of intense eye contact, Blair sighed. Her expression was so full of emotion that Jo knew this wasn't just about frustrated lust. "I just want to..."
Jo searched her face, reading the little clues that had taken years to understand. She saw what Blair was trying to say. She brushed her thumb across Blair's lips, tenderly, then leaned up and kissed her again, this time more softly, slowly.
"You can do that without risking giving Mrs. G a heart attack," she murmured when the kiss ended.
Blair smiled. Jo snaked her arms around the blonde's body and carefully shifted her weight, turning them both onto their sides. Nose to nose, they shared the cushion for a moment. Blair smoothed an errant lock of hair away from Jo's face, then gave her one last kiss before rolling over until they were spooning. She wriggled down a little so that her head didn't block Jo's view of the TV. Jo tucked an arm around her and kept her close, and they lay in silence.
Linus and Sally were waiting for the Great Pumpkin together.
Jo felt Blair's body against hers, warm and solid, safe and sound.
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