Title: Twists of Fate (1/?)

Chapter 1

Pairing: Jo/Blair

Rating: T

Disclaimer: This is Facts of Life Fan Fiction. I don't own Jo, Blair, or their counterparts from the TV shows…I only wish. I am going to be adding a few of my own characters however.

Summary: I have taken the timeline of the original show and picked it up and dropped it 11 years in the future where the show would end in 2000 instead of 1989. That would put Tootie on rollerblades instead of roller skates and maybe make the hair less poofy. I wanted the characters to be current and Jo and Blair to not be past their early to mid thirties when they reached that mark. Come join Jo and discover what happens in her life once she decides to stop hiding who she really is and the twisted path fate takes her on.

Thanks to all of you reading this and giving this new story a chance. I hope you enjoy.

FoL FoL FoL FoL FoL

CHAPTER 1

Jo was stunned. Rick had proposed. She hadn't seen it coming. She cared for Rick and enjoyed spending time with him but could she really go against her true nature? "I can't answer you in front of an audience." Rick drags her to another room as her friends look on.

Jo was comfortable with Rick however she was not in love with him. He looked so excited and happy. "Maybe." Rick ran off enthusiastic about her answer.

FoL FoL FoL FoL FoL

Blair had asked Casey to marry her. He only wanted to live with her but the news still cut Jo to the quick. She was so tired of denying who she was and could no longer stand to sit and watch the woman she loved love someone else. Blair could never be hers. Jo felt she needed to finally accept that and move on. The dark haired young woman had been toying with the idea of going back to New York attending the police academy and becoming a cop. Going so far as applying to the academy and finding out she had been accepted only days before Rick proposed. The acceptance letter was in the back of her dresser drawer, pulling it out she found that the next class started in two weeks. Jo looked around her room; it had been great growing up in Peekskill however it was time to move on. Blair was going to be helping run Eastland and going to law school. Natalie lived mostly in SOHO now and Tootie was off soon to study acting in London. It was time for Jo to step out on her own into the world.

Over the next few days Jo packed up all of her belongings, which wasn't much and put them into a small rented storage space. She met and had dinner with Rick turning him down as gracefully as she could. He was upset and said he wasn't giving up. He would try again after he returned from touring and she graduated from the Police Academy. Before she could tell him it would do no good he had left the table and was gone.

Everyone in the house was so busy that they hadn't even noticed that Jo had moved out having dismissed her absence from the house as spending time with Rick.

Jo was set on telling her family and friends the truth before she started the Police Academy wanting to start the next phase of her life openly and honestly. Taking the opportunity given her the following night to tell her parents. Her father and his new wife and kids were in town for a short visit. Stopping by Giovanni's on the way to her mom's apartment she picked up her parents favorite foods. It took some fast talking to get her dad to her mom's place without his new family attached to his hip and her mom had to actually cancel a date with a man she was seeing.

Charlie showed up on the front stoop as Jo arrived kissing her on the cheek and helping her carry the bags up to Rose's apartment. Her ma ushered them in, she already had the table set. Rose hugged her daughter kissing her cheek as well. Working together they set everything out and were soon settled down to eat. Jo said a quick prayer that this meeting would go better than she felt it probably would.

Her parents had always been very supportive of her but they were also very Catholic. Her mother was devout and even though Charlie didn't go to Mass very often Jo still knew his tight views on what she was about to tell him.

A flicker caught her eye and Jo noticed the ring on her mother's finger as they were filling their plates. Reaching for her mother's hand she looked it over. "It's lovely ma. Did Mr. Francs give it to you?"

Rose blushed. "Yes dear. He asked me to marry him last weekend. I said yes. I love him very much. I was waiting to tell you until I saw you in person. I don't know if you remember him from when you were a child. He owned the bakery around the corner. He is mostly retired now and his son and daughter run it now. I know you will like him and his kids. They are a little older than you are. His wife died about nine years ago of cancer. We met one day at the park and sat for hours just talking. It has really been wonderful and I am very happy." Rose was glowing.

Jo was very happy for her; she knew the Francs pretty well and really liked them. Coming around the table she hugged her mom. "I am so glad for you ma. You look happier than I have seen you in a long time." Rose blushed once more.

Charlie cleared his throat. "Yeah Rose, congratulations. I'm really happy for you. Let's dig into this delicious meal our daughter bought us and celebrate." He topped off their wine glasses, raised his own clinking it to the two that followed.

The meal was pleasant and enjoyable and over too soon for Jo's liking. The last dish was cleared and dried. Charlie sat back down at the kitchen table, Rose sat opposite him and they both turned towards Jo who was leaning against the counter. "Well girl you put it off long as you can. What is it you wanted to tell us that you got us both together and fed us our favorite meals for dinner?" Charlie got right to the point.

"Well there are a few things I wanted to discuss. I'm leaving Peekskill and moving back to the City. I'm moving into housing at the Police Academy this weekend where I will be joining the next class. I'm going to become a cop. Hopefully a detective in the not too distant future, if I work hard enough."

"But what about your teaching and the center?" Rose asked stunned.

"I enjoy it, but is also makes me see and feel that I could make a difference in this way as well. When things are settled I can still volunteer and teach when my time allows. I have thought about this a long time. It feels like the right time."

"What about the Rick fella you've been seeing? I thought that was serious. What's he say about this?" Charlie wondered.

"I broke-up with Rick. He wanted something I wouldn't and couldn't give him."

Rose's face looked worried and sad. "What did he want?"

"Marriage, children, love. I care for Rick. He is a great friend. Nonetheless I don't feel for him the way one should if they want to share all their life with someone. I couldn't keep pretending and I didn't want to hurt him any further."

Charlie nodded. "I understand, my girl. That special guy is out there somewhere and someday he will sweep you off your feet."

Jo swallowed what felt like sawdust in her mouth, the moment of truth had arrived. "No he won't." She glanced at her parent's confused faces. "But maybe if I am real lucky that special woman will come along and capture my heart as deeply as I capture hers."

Charlie and Rose sat in silence as they absorbed what she had said. Tears began to run down her mother's face as she saw the truth in her daughter's eyes.

Charlie's face became redder and redder as he did the same. "Take it back JoAnna Marie Polniaczek. No daughter of mine is a lesbian." He shouted.

Jo stood straight and tall. "This one is."

"Then you are no daughter of mine. I don't want to lay eyes on you again until you come to me to ask forgiveness and introduce me to your husband."

Jo looked at the disappointment and disgust in her father's eyes and felt her heart break. She saw in her mother the same disappointment along with a deep sadness, yet resoluteness, before Rose closed her crying eyes and turned her back on her daughter.

Jo's heart shattered as her parents disowned her. After all she had done to make herself into a woman they could be proud of. They were turning their backs on her over something that wasn't even a choice. It was nature. Her God given nature. Jo turned to leave yet paused. "Even though you don't unconditionally love me, I still love you. I hope someday we can work all of this out, but if not I wish you all the best of love and happiness in your lives." Jo left and was able to hold in her tears until she was alone in the hotel room she had rented until her training class began. She cried herself to sleep as her heart and soul wept at the loss of her parents.

FoL FoL FoL FoL FoL

The following day she rode her bike around the City for hours letting her mind drift and her battered heart heal a bit. Jo knew she couldn't get all of her friends together now it would be too hard to face that. The sad woman decided on telling Nat first since the young woman was nearby before traveling back to Peekskill and telling Blair, Tootie, and Beverly Anne. She didn't think they would abandon her although she figured they would be shocked and surprised. It would take them a bit to get used to the idea. Writing to Mrs. G would be the best way to let her know. With that all settled in her mind Jo relaxed and enjoyed the ride.

It was beginning to get late when the rider spotted a flash of light near an old building that looked to be under construction, being renovated. A nice Lincoln Town Car was parked idling by the back entrance. Jo's gut told her something was off and pulled her bike into a nearby alley. After pulling her helmet off she kept it with her, it was the only thing she had to use as a weapon, if need be.

She pulled out her cell phone, a fancy one given to her for her birthday by Blair with all the latest tech on it. She dialed 911, but waited to press talk. No one was to be seen at the entrance so she slid silently into the building. Upon entering she found herself in a long hallway filled with closed doors. Hearing nothing from any of them the silent figure slowly moved down the hall hearing music coming from ahead, loud opera music. With each step closer to that music screams of pain and pleas for mercy could be heard. Not hesitating a shaky finger pressed talk as the woman continued to ease down the hallway as quietly as possible.

Jo was shocked at the scene before her. A family of four was trussed up hanging by their bound wrists from high ceiling girders. They appeared to be a well off family judging from their fancy clothing. Every member had blood dripping from them onto the bare concrete floor. A man who looked very much like an aristocrat stood in a dapper tux before the family. There was a big burly man behind him dressed in an expensive suit filming the whole thing.

Pulling back into the hallway Jo related what she saw and where she was to the dispatcher on the phone. A shrill scream filled the air and had her going back to have look. Having had read the papers and heard about the news of several upper class families being found in vacant buildings around the city and across the river in Jersey trussed up and tortured to death she knew what she had stumbled across. It was believed to be a serial killer, but there were no clues as to who it could be. No evidence as to the killer's identity had been found.

Quickly switching to the camera mode on cell phone, she took several photos of the men torturing the family. The dispatcher was telling her to stay where she was, but when the dark haired woman saw the tuxedo guy begin working on the youngest of the two boys again she couldn't make herself stand idly by and watch. After informing the dispatcher of where she was hiding the phone under a nearby crate set up on blocks, that several pictures of the assailants were on it and that she would leave it on, Jo began to ease forward.

The younger boy looked to be no older than twelve and his brother maybe fourteen. The parents didn't seem to be conscious anymore and the dark puddles below them were large. Both boys were screaming as Mr. Tux took turns cutting them. Running as fast as she could up behind the behemoth filming the scene she crashed her helmet into his temple with all her might. Seconds later she screamed upon feeling a searing pain rake down her back. Spinning she used her helmet to hit the arm that was coming at her for another cutting strike. The knife flew away, however the man advanced catching her in the stomach with his fist. Jo doubled over winded, but dove for the man's knees knocking him to the ground hearing his head smack hard onto the floor and groaning.

The behemoth must have had a really hard head because despite the blow she gave him with her helmet he was beginning to move. Joy shot through the injured woman when she heard the sirens approaching. Jo hurt and knew in her current condition she didn't have much of a chance of winning against the two strong men. She told herself that if she made it out of this situation she was going to take martial arts classes and become the best she could. The woman never wanted to feel this vulnerable again.

Screams were wrenched from her once more as her hair felt like it was being removed from her scalp as the behemoth picked her up by the hair and tossed her backwards into some scaffolding causing it to collapse around her.

The huge man knelt beside Mr. Tux. "Cops, professor. We must go." He helped the elegantly dressed man to his feet.

The Professor's gaze latched onto Jo's as she began crawling out of the rubble of the scaffolding. He smiled. "Shoot our little intruder my pet. We don't have time to have any real fun with her. I will gather our camera and the kit."

Jo barely made it to her feet as she heard the first shot ring out and agonizing pain blazed across her chest followed by a matching pain in her side. Her body was forced back by the impact of the bullets collapsing once more into the pile of rubble from the scaffolding, her head coming into firm contact with a metal pole hidden within knocking her into peaceful oblivion as the world around her erupted into chaos."

FoL FoL FoL FoL FoL

Tears ran unchecked down several sad faces as the flower draped coffin was lowered into the ground. The cemetery was just on the outskirts of Peekskill on a hill overlooking the town on one side and park land on the other. Jo had once mentioned to Blair that if anything ever happened to her that this cemetery was where she wanted to be planted. The blonde had taken care of the arrangements herself. Jo was her best friend.

Everyone was shocked when her parents refused to attend the services. However, no more so than when they found out she had broken up with Rick, moved out of the house, and joined the Police Academy. Even though Jo was a few days from starting her training she still received a hero's funeral. She had listed Mrs. Garret as her next of kin. The elder woman received a Medal for Honor from the mayor awarded to Jo for her acts of bravery. They were all proud of Jo. She had unmasked a serial killer and saved two children and countless others from their clutches. The two killers were still at large nonetheless the authorities now knew who they were and what they looked like thanks to their heroic friend.

Blair, Nat, and Tootie clung to Mrs. Garret and Beverly Anne. None of them could believe Jo Polniaczek was really gone. She had been the strongest person any of them had known. Their friend had touched so many lives. Just looking around let one know that. The church and now the cemetery was packed to overflowing. No one doubted that Jo was loved and would be missed. Her absence would leave a hole in several lives especially those of the four women who had been with her since her arrival at Eastland ten years before.

FoL FoL FoL FoL FoL

Come on don't be sad. It's only the first chapter with many more to go. So what do you think? As I said this is my first attempt at a non paranormal or urban fantasy style story. Please let me know what you think so far. Reviews are quite motivational and will help me get those next chapters out quicker. If you are a Rizzoli & Isles fan please check out my story called Winds of Change. It's urban fantasy rizzles. You can also check out more about me and other writing projects at my website hollyhwrites dot com. Again thanks for reading and I hope to hear from you at least to get a notice that you're following my story. Until next time…