They drove in utter silence, Jo tightly clutching the steering wheel of the Porsche, Blair oblivious to it all, fighting for the rear view mirror so she could check her lipstick for the millionth time.
Jo wasn't really angry, just put off by Blair...again. She wondered once more, how they ever lasted this long. Only a few weeks into college and Blair was already acting crazy. How could she forget to sign up for a credit course and why was she still having study dates with that idiot, Guy? Jo fumed when she thought about that. She would have to talk to Blair about it at some point.
Jo looked over at Blair and was startled to see her staring back at her.
"What!" Jo said irritably. Blair gave her a blank look.
"I can tell you're mad. You drive too fast when you're angry...and when you're frisky". Blair said with a slight smirk. It didn't change Jo's irritation.
"Oh for God's sake, Blair, will ya knock it off?" Jo yelled.
"What is wrong, Jo? You have been wound up like a yo-yo all day." Blair replied, losing her patience with the younger girl.
"I dun no…everything and nothing. Why do you see guys when you are with me and why are we together in the first place. It doesn't make any sense to me!" Jo bellowed, letting the day's fury out once and for all.
Blair looked away from Jo and stared out of the car window, watching the Peekskill scenery. She felt as if she had been punched.
Jo sighed and slowed the Porsche down and parked on the side of the road. She put the car in park and reached out to Blair, "I'm sorry I yelled".
Blair looked at her and Jo could see that the blonde was crying.
"Blair? Ah jeez, look princess, I'm sorry, I just over reacted. Today was stressful and it's weird that we are going to see Boots St. Clair – that slimy little knee sock junkie that made a pass at you, and that you don't tell me stuff I should know. We are a team now, and you act like you are still single. Sometimes it riles me up!" Jo felt terrible even though she knew she was right.
She looked around the pristine car and found no tissues, nothing, so she undid her tie and used it to wipe Blair's tears before they smudged up her makeup. Blair allowed her to do this even though she was still visible hurt.
"Jo, you know it's just my way of dealing with things. If it means anything, I think Guy Reynolds might be gay. I think that's why he's latched onto me. It works for both of us." Blair said quietly while Jo finished drying off Blair's cheeks and proceeded to put the tie back on.
"You coulda told me that too. What's up? Is it school? Work? Me?" Jo asked, scared to hear the answer.
"There's a lot of pressure on me right now. The people at Eastland expected us to be tied to the hip because of Mrs. Garrett and our illicit past with the van and almost being expelled. Now, I have Langley freshmen questioning me, Blair Warner, as to why I hang out with you - a scholarship case, two teenagers from a girl's boarding school, and working for a 50 plus croissant maker in town. They think I'm crazy for not becoming a Gamma Gamma and living the sorority life like my mother did." Blair sighed, looking away from Jo again and stared at her hands. It was hard to admit that her own snobbery was finally catching up with her. It was fun to be rich and infamous around Peekskill and especially at Eastland, but it was now ruining her romance chances with Jo.
"I didn't realize..." Jo started to say but Blair interrupted her.
"...its okay, Jo. You're worth it. But just so you know in future, I may act odd at times." Blair said with a faint smile. She then reached out and touched Jo's arm affectionately, "And I most certainly do not consider your scholarship as something to be looked down upon. You earned every penny through hard work and just natural brilliance."
"Let's go to this wing-ding, huh? Maybe we'll find a broom closet and make out?" Jo said with a grin, starting the car. She then laughed and said, "How will I tell when you are being an oddball normally and when you're 'yikes I'm with Jo' oddball?"
Blair laughed back and leaned over to kiss Jo on the cheek.
"What was that for?" Jo said as they got back on the road towards Langley.
"Just a thank you for you being you, that's all." Blair said quietly.
Once they were in the Gamma parking lot, Jo reluctantly allowed a Phi Delta pledge to park the car.
"How do I look, Jo?" Blair asked with a smile. Jo gave Blair a once over and a wink that gave Blair pleasant shivers.
"You are perfect, Princess. Just perfect." Jo said happily.
Blair straightened Jo's slightly tear stained tie and touched her hair gently, "…And you look like a million dollars, my Jo."
They entered the Gamma residence together, although not holding hands, they were standing rather close and Jo wanted to make sure Boots saw that Blair was WITH Jo and off limits. No sooner did she think it, good ole Boots St. Clair appeared.
"WHOOOOOSH! People!" Boots declared as she waved her hands to all who were in the foyer. Jo rolled her eyes and whispered something funny into Blair's ear. Blair chuckled but tried to keep up appearances of being interested in what Bootsie had to say. There was after all, a job involved here.
"Warnsie! You came! And who is this…ah Joanna Polniazchek! Edna's Edibles employee, correct? Caterer, seller of pate, et al." Boots said in a sugary condescending tone.
"Uhm, Jo is a freshman at Langley, and is also on the baseball team…that's right isn't it Jo, baseball?" Blair said with a proud smile.
"Basketball, Blair, I'm on the freshmen women's Basketball team." Jo said annoyed already.
Neither Boots or Blair seemed to care about the difference in sports type, but several Phi Delta's and few Gamma's had their interest peaked and they began to converse with Jo. Soon Jo was at ease, talking sports, academics and motorcycles, with a can of Pepsi in hand.
Blair watched her in amazement but soon began to wonder just how long Jo was going to leave her to navigate this party on her own. Her boyfriends never left her side except to get her something to drink or a juice from the bar. Blair looked over at the refreshment table and noticed that the Gamma's had two punch bowls, one marked "spiked" and the other marked "why would you pick unspiked punch".
Was Blair supposed to get her own drink? But as quickly as that horrid thought flew into her mind, Jo was suddenly by her side with a glass of red wine and a canapé.
"Where did you get that?" Blair asked, pleased. She took the wine glass from Jo along with a small serviette with a tiny canapé on it.
"I guess the Gamma girls don't like spiked punch. I noticed that Boots had a glass, so I asked if I could have one for you." Jo said with a shrug. Blair handed her back the canapé and Jo proceeded to shoved it in her mouth and swallow. Blair ignored that.
"Are you driving?" Blair inquired. She had a bad experience with drunk drivers back at Eastland, mainly with Tootie's alcoholic older brother.
Jo smiled, "Don't worry; I'm drinking Pepsi from a can. I don't trust those stupid Phi Delta's. I think both punch bowls are spiked."
Blair sipped her wine and sighed, "You are the best date I could ever wish for." For once, Blair was being totally honest with Jo and herself. She hoped it showed.
"Thanks Princess. This wing-ding ain't half bad. Some of the people are actually human. Chuck, the big dumb blonde guy over there, drinking from the keg, is in my English Lit class and he's not as stupid as he looks. Well now he looks stupid but he's rushing Phi Delta so he has to be an idiot or he won't get in. He's scholarship like me." Jo said with amusement.
"Has anyone brought up the rush party?" Blair asked in a whispered tone, so as to not let on they were looking for work.
"Yeah, Jim Stockton. He's the male version of Boots I guess over at Phi Delta. He said he would love to have Edna Garrett cater their party. I guess his dad knows Edna from Eastland. Small world, huh?" Jo downed her Pepsi and put the can down on the nearest table. She let out a loud belch and smiled at Blair.
"So it's all set?" Blair said choosing to ignore Jo's neanderthal ways again, for now.
"Yep. They'll call Mrs. G tomorrow and hammer out the details. Our job here is done." Jo said casually.
Blair was about to respond when suddenly Jo blurted out, "Do you wanna go look at the fountain in the courtyard? Boots says it like art from France so I thought you might like to look at it. Or have you already seen it? Here? Or in France, I mean. I saw some in France but the water smelled like locker room."
"Well I glanced at it on the tour of the house but we rushed by it, so yes I would like to go look at it again." Blair said quietly.
This evening was not what she expected. Jo was not what she expected either. They had not gone to mixers together at Eastland and most of their 'couple' time had been spent on the grounds of the school, studying and chatting or while they worked in the kitchen. She really hadn't known what Jo would be like in social situation. Now she knew.
The two walked through the crowd of half drunk freshmen and seniors alike, Blair with her wine and Jo with another Pepsi that some jock had thrown to her as they made their way to the terrace door.
"Thanks Bobby!" Jo had yelled when she casually caught the can and opened it up to drink from it. Blair stared at her with awe. Who was this person?
"After you, Princess." Jo said softly.
Jo followed behind and soon they were both in the cool air of the evening. Fall in Peekskill was nice. Jo liked the smells of the trees and bushes, even though she wasn't a fan of the great outdoors.
They walked slowly towards the fountain, and when they stopped to look at it, Jo found herself gazing more at Blair than at the hunk of cement that was pissing out tap water.
"It's not the Gardens of Versailles, but the sculptor had vision. Maybe someday I'll take a picture of it and see if I can paint it." Blair said as she sipped her wine. She looked over to see Jo staring at her.
"What?" Blair asked, slightly put off.
"The moonlight makes your hair all twinkly." Jo said with a smile.
"I've never heard that one..." Blair said laughing.
"Hey I'm tryin' here. Anyways it's the truth. You look beautiful. The moonlight, the sounds of gushing water, Pepsi, wine...all the makings of a terrific romantic date." Jo said happily.
Blair chuckled, "That's one way to put it, but I have to agree. Now all that is missing is..."
"...Boots!" Jo blurted.
"What!" Blair said, confused.
"No I mean here comes that sock pusher." Jo explained.
"Now what?" Blair snapped. Jo looked put out too and they stood there watching as St. Clair traipsed over to them, whooshing it up with her hands in the air.
"There you are Warnsie. Thought maybe you were in a closet upstairs with a football player or possibly a cheerleader - ha!" Boots said with a chuckle.
"What is it, Boots?" Jo asked, attempting to be polite for Blair's sake.
"Nothing, I was just wondering what you were up to." Boots said, eying Blair.
"We are just admiring the fountain and the grounds. It's a nice evening. Is that okay?" Blair said annoyed.
"Of course, look around all you want. But, when you are finished teaching young Jo here all about the Baroque period, maybe you would like to come up to my newly renovated room and see my etchings from the romantic period, if you know what I mean, and I think you do." Boots said with wink wink.
About as subtle as a train wreck, Jo thought angrily.
"Look Boots, it's obvious I am here with Jo so leave us alone, please? I'm sure you wouldn't want me to make a scene, considering the closet you are in is as big as a walk in." Blair hissed.
"Why I never...!" Boots exclaimed.
"...and probably never will." Jo responded dead panned.
Boots gave Jo a dirty look and marched back inside, socks a blazing.
"You told her." An impressed Jo said as she toasted Blair with her Pepsi.
"Why thank you, I do believe I will have some more of her wine!" Blair laughed, clinking her glass onto Jo's pop can. They drank and Jo tossed the can in the fountain. Blair rolled her eyes.
"Look, before we are interrupted again, I just want to say that, well, the past few years ain't been easy for us and all, but I'm glad we stuck it out. Coz now here we are and you look gorgeous and I just want to kiss you, okay?" Jo said as she moved closer to Blair until their noses almost touched.
"What are you waiting for?" Blair whispered as she let her wine glass drop to the grass and put her arms around Jo's neck.
"I dunno, Princess. I really dunno." Jo said softly as she pressed her lips against Blair's.