Title: "National Secretary Appreciation Day"
Author: Pirate Turner
Rating: G
Summary: Forgetting her day is the final straw.
Disclaimer: All recognizable characters, names, codenames, places, items, fandoms, titles, and etc. are always © & TM their respective owners, not the author, and are used without permission. Any and all original characters and everything else is © & TM the author and may not be reproduced in any way without the author's express, written permission. The author makes absolutely no profit off of this work of fan fiction, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Note: 244. That's the number of stories that were sitting on my hard drive collecting dust because I lack the energy and time to take care of them as I once did. My betaing pattern has always been to write, then type up if written on paper, the story, read it aloud to my beloved Jack and our children, editing as I go, and then finally format and post. Sadly, this part is simply taking too much of my time and energy, and my beloved Jack and I have too little time together in person these days to be able to keep up with my stories. So what to do? Give up writing? I actually considered it for a while, tried to make excuses to myself other than the large number of stories collecting cyber dust on my computer, as to why I lacked the energy and Muse to write new tales. And then, with the turn of the new year, I decided to stop running and face the problem. The problem is, quite frankly, that once one gets so bogged down in formatting and editing that writing is no longer a pleasure but the actual posting of those writings becomes a hassle and - egad! - work, it's time to cut something out, and that will never be the writing process. So, in short, yes, there will be mistakes in this tale. Yes, it's missing about half of the header information I usually include. But I wrote it for pleasure and am posting it in hopes of sharing that pleasure with others. Do with it as you will.

She's been the best secretary in the tri-state area now for years, but she's never had to work like she does here. Working for the Ghostbusters is like taking care of teenagers. She keeps their refrigerator stocked, cleans their uniforms, keeps their business running smoothly, or at least as smoothly as a business that fights the paranormal can run, and forces payments out of deadbeat customers who think they can get away without paying now that the ghosts are gone. Of course, getting those payments usually isn't too hard once she starts threatening to release them from the containment unit, but the boys don't need to know that. There was even one time when the team was sick and she took care of all four of them while scrubbing the bathrooms behind them.

That episode made her break all ten nails. She doesn't remember getting a "thank you" from them then, and she hasn't gotten one since. She's been possessed, slimed, and had her life threatened on an almost daily basis since coming to work at this place, but most of the time, she can tell herself that it's all worth it to be a part of this grand adventure while helping the only heroes their realm has left to save the world.

But, today is the last straw. She's had enough. She's going to walk out. There haven't been any ghosts yet to bother or scare her; not even Slimer has shown up. She'd almost welcome him; at least, he always comes with a hug.

There are tears in her eyes as she snatches her purse up and starts to turn from her desk, her desk that is sadly empty and void of any card, flowers, cake, or other signs of gratitude. It's supposed to be her day, National Secretary Appreciation Day, and there's no one here to tell her "thank you" for all she does.

Not that they would any way, she thinks, sniffing. They're as thankful as teenagers, and teenagers never thank their parents. She looks up, suddenly, as she hears Ecto wailing. They'd already been out on a call, evidently, which was why no one had been present to greet her when she'd arrived. That didn't excuse them from not having left some sign of thanks on her desk, however.

She frowns as she realizes that the siren's still blazing. It only hushes when Ecto flies in to the firehouse. Four doors pop open, and the Ghostbusters and Slimer rush out. Slimer reaches her first and slimes her before she can move, hugging her tightly and kissing her numerous times. Janine starts screeching her complaints, but they die in her throat as she sees the men standing behind the yucky ghost and each looking more sheepish than the last.

Always the ladies' man, Vankman moves in first. He presses a big box of chocolates into her hands and then kisses the one spot left unmarked by Slimer on her cheek. Winston shyly hands her a piece of paper; her smile grows in surprise when she reads the free work he's promising her on her car for the next year. Ray brings more sweets in the form of a big box of doughnuts and a bigger hug.

Then, there's Egon, who's as bashful as ever. "Janine," he starts mumbling, pushing his glasses back up on his nose as he blushes red, "I-I didn't know what to . . . to get you . . . "

"Oh, just go ahead and give it to her, you big lug!" Peter pushes Egon, and what happens next is something Janine has dreamed of ever since meeting the scientist.

He falls face forward. She reaches up instinctively to help him keep from falling, and her arms go around him. His mouth lands on hers, and although he quickly pulls himself away, his handsome face redder than any apple, Janine knows there's nowhere else she's ever going to want to be than right here with these four wonderful men who will never grow up or stop chasing the monsters in which the world refuses to believe but they know are real.

She's smiling bigger than she's ever smiled when the gang shouts, "THANK YOU, JANINE!"

The End