Chapter one: Marry me Janine!
"No more!" Peter wailed as Ecto-1 sped the Ghostbusters through the dark city streets and back to the firehouse. "I can't take any more of these damn ghosts. One more gig like that and I think I might have to join their side!"
It was late and back streets of New York were virtually deserted as most of its citizens were either tucked up in bed or enjoying their Saturday night. Peter certainly wasn't.
He and the rest of the Ghostbusters had spent the last three days and nights fighting against increasingly large amounts of hostile ghosts all determined to create as much havoc in the city as possible.
The Ghostbusters were exhausted. Peter ached all over. His legs felt like lead and if he had to lug his heavy proton pack one more step he felt sure he'd collapse. The others seemed just as tired, their hair was ruffled and dark rings were forming under their eyes due to lack of sleep.
Peter took the rare opportunity to close his eyes. It felt so good. He tried to shut out all the noises of the city and allow the gentle rocking of the hearse to send him off to sleep, praying that it wouldn't have the same effect on Ray, who was driving, and looked just as tired as Peter was. Peter was just starting to dose when he heard a beeping noise next to him.
"Egon, put it away." He warned not opening his eyes. "You don't need the PKE reader to tell you that there's a large amount of ghost activity in the city. Just check out the bumps and bruises covering my body."
"I'd rather not." Egon said stiffly.
He was very worried and in no mood for Peter. The PKE was showing unprecedented amounts of psychic energy and the ghosts had worked themselves up into a frenzy.
He stared down at the meter and fiddled with the knobs hoping that he may have miscalculated and that things weren't as bad as they appeared. No such luck. No matter what he did the needle stayed high. Egon sighed and put it away.
Next to him an irritated Peter opened his eyes.
"What is it?" He snapped he hadn't meant to be rude but his temper was frayed due to lack of sleep. He wasn't alone in this.
Ordinarily Egon would have risen above it and pretended that he hadn't noticed the abruptness of Peters tone but he couldn't help but snap back.
"I thought you said you didn't need me to tell you that there's a large amount of ghost activity in the city?"
"Guys!" Winston called soothingly from the front. "Just relax will you."
"Love to." Peter said sarcastically, folding his arms across his chest like a petulant two year old who didn't want to eat his greens. "Unfortunately the ghosts in this city seem to have other plans for me today. Most of which involve throwing me from tall buildings."
"We caught you." Ray reminded him, taking the next right into their street.
Peter rolled his eyes. "That's not the point," He persisted, "The point is, we have no time to relax anymore. We've been on call out for three days! It's nine thirty now and we still have another call tonight before Mrs. Tenants poltergeist at 9 A.M tomorrow. If there is something big coming, and judging by Spengs constant clucking there is something coming ,then we are all going to be too tired to deal with it!"
He sat in a huffy silence as the others digested his outburst. He could see from their faces that they knew he was right. They just didn't want to admit it. Normally he would have been thrilled by this and continued to drive his point home but as Peter couldn't offer any practical solution to their situation he decided to leave it there.
As they pulled into the fire station Janine looked up from the computer screen and flashed them a warm smile.
Peter slammed the door behind him as he got out. He noticed the hot cup of coffee and the remains of her dinner still on her desk and pursed his lips moodily.
"Pleasant evening Janine?" He shot at her. "Not too strenuous I hope."
Some part of him knew that this was unfair. Janine was working just as hard as the rest of them to keep up with the paperwork and to deal with the irate customers demanding to been seen earlier and trying to claim for damages. But it wasn't the same as risking your neck zapping spooks on skyscrapers was it?
Janine shrugged. "Everything's been fine here." She said moving away from the desk and relieving Winston of the smoking trap.
"Thanks Janine." He said as she headed off to the containment unit in the basement. "What time's our next appointment by the way?" He called after her. "I need some food!"
"It's at Ten." She called back. Peter caught her before she reached the stairs.
"What!?" He exploded. "Forget dinner, we haven't even got time to change! Janine it's quarter to now. You're supposed to at least give us time to get to the next appointment!"
"I did." She replied. "It's ten A.M tomorrow. Or is twelve hours and fifteen minuets not long enough for you Dr. Venkman?" She demanded pointedly.
Peter's mouth opened and closed wordlessly. Janine shut it for him with a perfectly manicured nail.
Egon seemed confused. "What happened to Mr. Frost and Mrs. Tenants ghosts?" He asked.
"I moved their appointments." Janine said simply. "You guys are exhausted, you need a rest so I told them both that an emergency had crept up and that they would be dealt with as soon as possible. They're both stating with relatives so there's no real harm done."
Peter was still staring at her and it was beginning to creep her out. "What?" She asked him. "Did I do something wrong?"
Peter let out a sudden whoop of joy and grabbing Janine around the waist swung her around before planting a huge kiss on her lips. She pushed him away, red in the face but not quite as red as Egon.
"Dr. Venkman!" She protested, slightly embarrassed.
Peter didn't care. He clicked his heels and punched the air in triumph. Moodily Egon took the trap from Janine and thrust it into Peters chest.
"Why don't you take care of this for Janine?" He said coldly. "Then we can all eat."
"For this lady I will do anything." Peter said in a gallant voice and bowed graciously.
Janine couldn't help but giggle which only served to make Ego's cheeks flush redder.
"What is for dinner anyway?" Ray asked, leaning against his locker as he took off his boots.
A distant rumble indicated that someone else in the firehouse had food on the brain. A huge green blob floated down through the ceiling leaving a slimy stain behind him.
"You've eaten Slimer!" Janine reminded the ghost who pouted moodily as Janine went onto to explain that she had already ordered a Chinese meal for the boys and that it was on its way.
"Marry me Janine." Peter joked as Egon edged him towards the stairs to the basement.
"Oh Dr. Venkman." Janine laughed as she settled back at her desk. "My mother would never approve. She wants me to marry someone a little more reliable."
Half an hour later the Ghostbusters were showered, changed and settling down at the table for their meal. As even Peter was in a good mood tonight they had allowed Slimer to join them though Dr. Venkman had threatened to blast the spud with his thrower if the little beast hogged all the noodles.
When Egon finally arrived the others had already started. Despite being first in the shower Egon had arrived in the kitchen last as he had spent the last few minuets running an equipment check in his lab to see if he could pinpoint the source of the disturbance.
He left it running while he went down to dinner..
"Where's Janine?" Egon asked as he took his place at the table.
Ray pointed down the stairs with his chopsticks. "She said she's already eaten. She's just finishing off today's reports."
Egon looked thoughtful for a moment before reaching out for the wine bottle and pouring two glasses of red. Scooping them up he turned and headed down the stairs.
"Where are you going?" Asked Peter through a mouthful of chow mien.
"I'll be back in a minuet." Egon called as he descended the stairs. "Save me some."
Winston looked over at slimmer who was pouring egg fried rice into his mouth as though it were water. "We'll try." He said, though he looked doubtful.
Janine almost jumped out of her skin as Egon perched himself on the end of her desk.
"I'm sorry" He appologised quickly, "I didn't mean to startle you. I just though that you might like a drink."
Janine smiled gratefully and took the glass of wine from him. They sat drinking in silence for a moment before Egon spoke.
"Thank you." He said softly. "You didn't have to do all of this."
"Yes I did." She shrugged modestly. "You couldn't have continued at that pace for much longer and I know you guys, you wouldn't have stopped until you'd gotten to the bottom of all of this."
"There's something big coming isn't there?" She asked quietly.
Egon nodded. "I don't know what yet but there are certainly dangerously high amounts of psychic energy in the area. We're going to be in for a rough ride."
"Then it's probably best that you make the most of your down time."
"You should to." Egon said placing a hand on her shoulder. She looked up and they found themselves looking deep into each others eyes before Egon broke away, embarrassed.
"Why don't you leave this until tomorrow?" He blushed, not looking at her. "Come upstairs."
Janine relented. "Okay," She agreed, I'll just finish off this paragraph and I'll be up."
Egon left her to it and it wasn't long before Janine was saving her work on the computer and switching it off for the night.
As she bent down and unplugged it there was a knock at the door. She sighed heavily and trudged across the firehouse to the door.
"I'm sorry but we're closed." She called "come back in the morning."
But the caller remained undeterred. He knocked again, louder.
"Didn't you hear me?" Janine demanded, yanking open the door. "I said…"
Upstairs the others had managed to save some for Egon by holding Slimer off with Peter's thrower. Egon settled back into his chair with a satisfied smile.
"You managed to persuade her to come up then?" Peter grinned at him.
"I asked Janine to join us, yes." Egon nodded. "It seems only fair; she's been working hard as well."
They other Ghostbusters grinned at each other. "We tried to get her to some up." Ray smiled with a meaningful glance at the others. "But she refused.
"You must be very persuasive Egon." Peter teased.
Egon's cheeks flushed red and he opened his mouth to say something but before he could speak a sudden noise like splintering wood resounded around the firehouse punctuated by a shrill scream. Knocking the table over the Ghostbusters thundered down the stairs and skidded to a halt on the cobbles of the firehouse floor where an enormous ghost, black as the night with long sharp claws and gnashing pincers stood. Janine lay unconscious at his feet.
"Well," said Peter as the monster reared it head and roared at them, "At least she's getting a lie down!"