Bleeding Hearts

By London

Disclaimer: I don't own the Ghostbusters.

Note: Heavy Heart Challenge. Check the forums for more info.

Chapter 1: Running Hot and Cold

The New York wind was cold and wet. It cut into crevices and nipped the faces of everyone who was outside. The blonde, who was unfortunate enough to be hit in the face by a half dozen leaves, pulled her long wool coat closer to herself. It was supposed to be summer still, but the autumn colors were starting to speckle the trees despite it being September.

The girl, Jo Bateman, hurried down the street. She had a death grip on her bag, which was slung around her body in a casual style, and she wished that she had brought a hat. Her numb ears were starting to feel awful.

The wind howled around her. It seemed more ferocious then before and threatened rain. Jo looked up at her building, which was only a half block away. It was old, but she had a cool apartment that she rented for what NYC would call 'cheap'. She quickly hurried to get out of the wind and the sudden, slow drops of rain.

Blocks away, in a converted firehouse, Peter Venkman, ghostbuster and parapsychologist, was going through a pile of bills and invoices. He was down to his slacks and his undershirt, a white tank top that was nearly soaked through. GBHQ was over heating and Ray Stanz, fellow ghostbuster, had attempted to fix the problem for the last few days.

Peter looked at the outrageous bills from the city. There were so many taxes and people wanted to be paid for silly things. Peter brushed his brown hair out of his face and tried understand why the EPA wanted over five thousand dollars from them.

Sweat ran down Peter's back in an annoying trickle. He barely felt it now. His shirt was already wet and his pants stuck to him in an unflattering way. He groaned and stood up, dropping the papers into a heap on his desk.

"Ray!" Peter yelled, irritated, from the doorway of his office. "What's the god damn problem?! Did we merge with Hell?! Christ! Just call the god damn repair man!"

Peter's voice echoed throughout the first floor. Janine, the secretary who was in shorts and a tank top, looked partially irritated at the yelling, partially irritated with the heat, and looked somewhat pleased that despite everything it wasn't freezing cold.

"Do you really think he can hear you, Dr. Venkman?" Janine asked over her paperwork. Peter narrowed his eyes.

"He can hear me" Peter growled. "How're those invoices coming along? Everything up to speed?"

"I think we're missing a few" Janine said. Peter cursed under his breathe. Before the heating problem occurred, Slimer had managed to mess up the entire filing system. Peter was sure that the small ghost had also broken the heating unit in the basement.

"I have some stuff in my office" Peter said. "I'll let you have what I found. Maybe we'll get through all of this shit by Christmas."

"Yeah, and maybe I'm Balinese pirate" Janine said in dismay. Peter retrieved the small stack of invoices that he had found and handed them over to Janine. "It's too bad we have to keep this stuff around for a few years. It would be nice to be entirely digital."

"Ghosts and digital equipment sometimes don't mix" Peter said grumpily. He went back into his office. For the first day of the heating problem he had tried to leave the door to the station open, but with the winds raging through New York, the paperwork had gone everywhere. The week had been slow and the paperwork seemed to make it creep at a snail's pace.

The paperwork in his office greeted him like a bad habit. The pile reminded him of a trash heap. Sweat trickled down his back again and the heat swelled in a suffocating manner. Peter's temper flared again and he shoved the papers off of his desk in one swoop. Pens and pencils went flying. His tape dispenser, stapler, and stress ball all hit the floor with a dull thud. Peter flung his hand around and knocked his desk lamp off of the desk, the bulb shattering when it collided with the floor.

"Shit!" Was all that came out of the office. Peter lunged for the window and tugged it open desperately. The rush of cold, windy air hit him like a brick. He breathed like a man who had been drowning and now had air.

His nose felt strange. Did he need to blow it? Peter reached up as he felt something wet around his nostril. Blood. His fingers came back bloody from the drastic temperature change. He pulled his head back into the building and retrieved a fist full of Kleenex. He shoved them to his nose and looked up to find Janine watching him with wide eyes from her desk.

It took only a moment, but he slammed his office door shut and moved his chair so he could sit next to the open window.

Jo Bateman opened up her apartment door and groaned. Her apartment was trashed yet again. The building super had asked for the residents not to call the ghostbusters in for the ghost and claimed that it must be the spirit of the super's grandfather.

Jo dropped her bag and went through the apartment, trying to clean things up. It was awful trying to keep this ghost at bay. She had even seen it once. It had been a purplish glowing thing that looked somewhat human. The creepy part was that it had no eyes, just black sockets. It had moved through her door, looked at her, cut loose a loud shriek, and vanished.

The kitchen was tidy, much to Jo's relief. The living room/bedroom was a mess of clothes and books and various things that had been carelessly thrown about. Jo turned on the television and picked up the mess that her living room/bedroom area was in.

"…Do you believe in spooks, specters, or ghosts?" The tv said with a fairly common, yet unusual, commercial. "Call the ghostbusters today!"

Jo grumbled to herself and glanced up at the phone number and address. They weren't too far away from where she lived, only a few blocks. She picked up an open jar of honey and groaned when she realized that half of her clothes were in the mess.

"You've got to be kidding me!" Jo yelled. She looked up at the television, which was now showing a commercial for cereal. She collected her clothes and threw them all into a laundry basket. At least her building had a washer and dryer on each floor.

Jo retrieved a small bucket of soapy water and a sponge and started to clean up the honey. She looked up when her tv started to change channels by itself. She looked at the floor, to the tv, and back to the floor. She quickly cleaned up the mess.

In an annoyed huff, she pulled her coat on and left to find the ghostbusters.

"Dr. Venkman?" Janine called, knocking on his office door. "Peter? It's 5:30. I need to take off now. I promised my mother I'd be over for dinner tonight." There was only silence behind the door. Janine knocked again. "Peter?"

The door flung open, sending Janine a few steps back.

"Fine" Peter gruffed. His nose was rimmed with blood and he still had the bloody Kleenex in his hand. "Go. Have a good night."

"What happened to you?" Janine asked. "Did the desk win?"

"Just a bloody nose" Peter grumbled. He moved past her and checked the thermostat. "It's still 97 degrees in here! What the hell has Ray been doing?"

"I don't know" Janine said. "He told me not to call anyone because he would take care of it."

"If this isn't fixed by tomorrow, call someone" Peter said. "I can't work with the heat like this."

"Tomorrow is Saturday" Janine said. "I have tomorrow off."

"Today can't be Friday" Peter said. "I'm supposed to have lunch with my dad on Friday at that little Chinese place on 14th."

"Today is Friday" Janine said. Peter groaned and hit the wall. His nose twitched and the blood started to trickle out again. "Do you need me to get you a new Kleenex?"

"Oh no" Peter said sarcastically. "I'm attached to this one. I'd just get a new one dirty."

Janine shook her head and handed him a few fresh tissues. She started to collect her things.

"Have you seen Egon today?" Peter asked. He tried to sound casual, but with his nose blocked by tissues he sounded like he was prying.

"He's been in his lab for a few days" Janine said. "Since the heat went out."

"Since the heat went out huh?" Peter said. "Janine? Do you know if the heat is out because of Egon?"

"I don't know" Janine said. "I've been helping you with paperwork. I haven't checked on Egon."

"If that science nerd has anything to do with this heating problem, I swear I'll kill him" Peter said. He mumbled something under his breath as he moved back towards his office.

The station door opened and a cool gust of wind broke through the heat. Janine looked up to see a rain-soaked blonde woman walking towards her.

"Whew! Its hot in here" The blonde said.

"Uh, yeah" Janine replied. "Can I help you?"

The blonde looked around and noticed the dim lights.

"Are you guys closed for the night?" The blonde asked. Janine was about to open her mouth, but the blonde continued. "I'm Joline Bateman, call me Jo. I had a few questions about ghosts. I have one, you see, actually, no. My whole building has one."

"Hang on, Miss Bateman" Janine said. "Let me get Dr. Venkman for you." Jo started to unbutton her damp coat when she was startled by the red-headed secretary. "Dr. VenkMAN!"

There was some movement behind the office door and it sure enough swung open, revealing a tan, well-toned, Dr. Venkman. He still had a wad of tissues pressed to his nose.

"Janine, I got that intercom for a –" Peter said. He stopped when he noticed the blonde standing next to Janine. He removed the tissue, trying to make sure that he wasn't bleeding any more, and stuck out his hand. "Hi. I'm Dr. Peter Venkman."

"Joline Bateman. Call me Jo" Jo said with a smile. Peter gestured towards his office. The mess from earlier had easily been picked up and Peter was glad that he didn't just leave it for the morning. He moved to the windows and opened to others, drastically changing the temperature. Jo took a seat and watched as Peter put heavy objects on his piles of paper. "Why is it so hot in here?"

"I'm not sure" Peter said. "It was supposed to be fixed today." He sat down and looked at her. "So, you have a ghost?"

"My whole building has a ghost" Joline said. She rattled off the story and finished by telling him about her honey-soaked shirts.

"I can make a house call" Peter said. "We can see what we can do. Perhaps there's something minor that this ghost needs before it can cross over."

"You'd do that?" Joline asked.

"Of course. You have to let me change first" Peter said. Joline had indeed noticed his drenched shirt and nodded.

"I'll wait outside, Dr. Venkman" Joline said.

Outside of the hot firehouse the cold winds pressed on from the east. They had blown all the way from the north Atlantic, bringing with it, not only chilly wind, but a small windswept faery. As the wind pounded into the city, the small faery found himself in Rockefeller Center, staring at a golden statue.

"Oy!" The faery groaned. His accent was thick and Irish. He pulled a pipe from his belt pouch and let it hang from his lips. "No' a lucky day fer me ol' bones."

The faery was unlike most faeries. He was sometimes mistaken for a leprechaun since he sported red hair and a thin beard. His clothes were brown and green. His eyes were big and blue. He didn't have any wings, but he certainly knew how to fly.

In an instant he took off to see where the wind had taken him.