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Snow Bunnies

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"I'm wishing," trilled Snow White as she gently settled in a wintery clearing, "for the one I love to find me." Her hands clasped against her breastbone. A blue jay alit on her left shoulder and chirped the melody; the cardinal on her right covered the harmony. "Today."

Before she could open her mouth for the next line, two huge breasts surged out of the pool at her feet. A head of long red hair was attached to them, and an incredibly long pair of legs, but both seemed to fade into the background under Snow White's astonished horror. "Oh my gosh! What are you doing?"

The woman happily arched and twisted like a cat in a sunbeam. "Stretching. These hot springs are heavenly. It's no wonder they charge an arm and a leg for vacations here."

Snow White rose to her feet and planted her fists firmly on her hips. The two birds on her shoulders her matched her accusatory stare. Now that her shock had worn off she could recognize the face from posters seen during her very occasional visits to Toontown. "The lodge property is across the highway. This belongs to the Dwarves."

Jessica raised one manicured eyebrow as she wrung out her hair. "What was that?"

Seven slack-jawed faces appeared out of the undergrowth.

"Oh," Jessica tittered and retrieved her clothing with no particular haste. "Trust me, darling. They won't be pressing charges."

"Leave!" Snow White insisted, pointing toward the forest and the highway beyond.

"Exactly my plan. I do have lift tickets that I intend not to use, after all," Jessica said as she somehow slid back into her skintight winter clothing. High-heeled boots as impractical as any stiletto pumps completed the ensemble; Snow White snorted. "And a tip: tone down that song of yours. You're coming across just a hint desperate."

"Ooh!" Snow White stomped as she watched that head of red hair vanish into the forest. And here she'd thought the Wicked Queen was a pain in the ass.

The jay and cardinal gasped, each covering their beaks with one wing.

"Did I say that out loud?" Snow White nervously giggled. "I meant: makes me a little unhappy, golly."

They seemed only somewhat convinced. At the edge of her hearing, the Dwarves were trying to figure out how many gems they'd need to sell to rent rooms at Big Snowy Mountain Lodge.

* * *

"Oh," Jessica said with mock dismay, "that mountain looks so tall and dangerous."

Five minutes later she was stretched out in front of a fireplace. Toontown's most eligible bachelors crowded around her, each fighting to be the one granted the honor of handing over the first drink of her vacation.

"It's so hard to choose," Jessica sighed. "But you remembered the marshmallows," she said with a quick little quirk of her nose. Taking the mug of hot chocolate, she sipped and let out a sigh dramatic enough to more than state her pleasure. "I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name?" That was a surprise; she knew almost every toon around. And this man was a handsome sort of fellow: tall, rugged, very outdoorsy.

"Mr. Mann," he said as the other bachelors left in disappointment.

"You don't say," Jessica purred.

Another man came up to gesture at his watch. With a huge sigh Mr. Mann stood and smiled apologetically. "I'm sure I'll be kicking myself for this tomorrow, but my hunting party is waiting on me."

"Hunting party?" Jessica asked. "That seems a little rough-and-tumble for this place." Big Snowy Mountain Lodge was for the crème de la crème of toon society. It was where one came to see, be seen, and in all likelihood, do very little actual skiing.

With that same regretful tone he continued, "We like hunting and camping, but we also like having a home base with maid service. Sorry. These deer hunting licenses expire soon; we've got to hit the forest."

Jessica was left sipping her hot chocolate with only the fireplace to witness her annoyed expression. She almost didn't glance over when a pair of grey snow boots propped themselves up next to her glittery red ones, but eventually relented into acknowledging, "Hello, Betty."

"Sweetie," Betty Boop said with no shortage of sympathy, "what's eatin' you?"

"I'm fairly confident I was just blown off," Jessica muttered. "Which is a fate I was sure I would never suffer."

"Happens to the best of us," Betty said and patted Jessica's knee. "Oh," she giggled, "there's your problem." Gesturing to her own jacket, she unzipped it well down into her cleavage. "Give it a few more inches."

Jessica followed suit almost absent-mindedly.

With that taken care of, Betty continued, "Now why are you so all fired up about landing yourself a fella, Jess? Back home you got the swells lined up outside the club just trying to get a peek."

"That's exactly it. That new Top of Toontown restaurant opened last week and the owners asked me if I would attend."

"Oh," Betty said dreamily. "The one on the top of the skyscraper, that sees all the way to the Pacific?"

"That's the one," Jessica confirmed. "They didn't want me there singing, I wouldn't have to put on a show... they simply wanted me to attend as a celebrity guest. I realized there wasn't a single man I could ask for my 'plus one' on the invitation. Oh, every man in that town would die for a chance to touch me," she said like it was a given, "but I don't know if a single one would be able to hold a conversation for more than a minute."

"Anything I can do to help?" Betty offered.

Jessica felt bad about asking; Betty was coming to the end of her contract with Fleischer Studios and most of Toontown didn't see many opportunities for her on the horizon. This might well be the last time she managed a visit to the luxury of that resort, or even had much of a chance to leave the boundaries of Los Angeles. But, well, if she were offering.... "Just mention around the lodge that there is a gorgeous and highly talented snow bunny by the fireplace," Jessica decided. "Who would love to learn how to ski."

"Will do," Betty promised. "Hey, I gotta skedaddle. I see a producer over there and I just know I'm right for his role." She hopped to her feet, thrust her hips to one side, and squeaked out her trademark, "Boop boop be doop... boop!"

"Good luck," Jessica called after her. Betty really was a sweet girl. A pity she had a head shaped like a pumpkin.

Some time later, when the dancing flames in the fireplace filled Jessica's vision, she became slowly aware of a man sliding next to her on the couch. She turned expectantly to see Betty's first try. "Gweetings," said Elmer Fudd through a bashful smile.

"No," Jessica immediately decided.

Elmer slunk off dejectedly.

"Gawrsh," Goofy soon sighed in wonder.


When Popeye stared at her chest and actually asked what Olive Oyl needed to eat to look like that, Jessica began to think that her vacation had been a spectacularly bad idea. "Spinach," she crooned. When he protested that it made him stronger, she shook her finger and explained, "Ah ah ah, dear, that's for men. For women, well, just like your arms get bigger, our...." Gesturing at her chest, she giggled and hoped he'd take the right idea.

When the man hurried off, Jessica leaned back with a smirk. What a cad, treating his girl like that. Maybe Olive could smack some sense into him after her arms swelled with temporary muscle.

"I need a drink," she sighed, and that time it needed to be stronger than just a mug of hot chocolate. A glass of something orange appeared in front of her. Startled, Jessica tried to focus on it so intently that she almost went cross-eyed. "What is that?"

"Carrot juice!" exclaimed the voice behind the glass. A white, furry head tilted from behind it to grin at her, but his smile soon fell off his face.

"Roger Rabbit," Jessica said, recognizing him from his cartoon shorts. Of course she knew him; everyone in Toontown knew Roger Rabbit. What she couldn't figure out was why he looked so suddenly disappointed. "Is something wrong?"

"Nothing!" he promised and replaced his disappointed look with a confused one. "Betty Boop just said that there was 'a cute snow bunny by the fireplace, wanting someone to bring her a drink.'" Roger placed the drink in her hands, tapped his finger thoughtfully against his chin, and then seemed to have a lightbulb moment.

"What are you doing?" Jessica giggled as he poked at her hair.

"Looking for your ears," he said like it was self-evident. "Any respectable bunny has to have big set of rabbit ears!"

Realizing what meaning he'd taken from Betty, Jessica caught Roger's wrists in her hands and pulled them away from her head. "It's just a phrase," she said, still having to fight back laughter. He just looked so perplexed. It was actually quite adorable. "I'm not a rabbit."

"Not even a... little bit?" he asked, holding two fingers an inch apart.

"Afraid not," she said with an apologetic shrug. "'Snow bunny' just means that I like to ski." Or so the story went; she liked to sit in front of a fireplace and hear tales of other people's spectacular accidents.

"Ski? Ski! I love to ski!" Roger enthused, grabbing her hand and pulling her toward the door. "What are we waiting around here for?"

"Oh," Jessica said, glancing back at her abandoned seat. "All... all right."

They could climb to the top of that little incline where the children practiced, slide to the bottom, and call it a day.

It'd be an adventure.

* * *

"I was hoping to just stay on the bunny hill," Jessica said nervously as they settled onto the lift.

"P-p-p-please!" Roger laughed. "Any hill with me is the bunny hill!"

"I suppose that's true," Jessica tittered, trying not to focus on how very high they seemed to be and how very hard the wind was blowing.

"Is that safe?" Roger soon asked.

Jessica fought back the urge to say that perhaps he should have asked that before they rode up the big, scary mountain. She then realized he was pointing to her tiny, stiletto-heeled snow boots and how she was attempting to adjust their connection to her skis. "I always wear heels. They're a girl's best friend."

"If you say so," Roger said dubiously, his back to the mountain slope and his arms folded across his chest. His head tilted to the side as he studied her shoes. It took Jessica a moment to realize that he was getting smaller, and another to realize than he was sliding down the mountain on his own oversized feet.

"Roger!" she gasped, planting her ski poles into the snow and shoving herself forward like she'd been skiing all her life. It was her fault they were even on that mountain; she couldn't let him be hurt!

Though she managed to launch with her ski poles, everything after that was far more challenging.

"Oh no," Jessica gasped as she felt her legs start to scissor apart. She tried to correct them only to find that closing her stance sent her speeding down the mountain. "Oh no!" she shrieked as every moment gathered more speed behind her.

A blur of white fur swept in from the side of her vision. Jessica's feet slid out from under her one moment before Roger swept her into his arms and grinned. "My hero," Jessica sighed. They were still sliding down the mountain at top speed, but Roger's enormous feet were far more stable than two narrow skis.

"You gotta be more careful!" Heedless of the fact that he was sliding down a ski run backward, Roger thoughtfully said, "It's almost like you don't know how to ski at all!"

Jessica struck a look of mock innocence.

They slowed and stopped as the hill reached its gentle conclusion. With a small groan of relief, Jessica extracted herself from Roger's arms and brushed off the snow that had sprayed across them as they sailed down the mountain. "I think I want to stay in the lodge for the rest of my vacation," Jessica said.

"Don't be silly," Roger protested. "We'll stay on the bunny hill."

"The real bunny hill?" Jessica asked pointedly.

"P-p-promise," he swore with his trademark stutter. One hand went over his heart. The other, clearly visible as he shoved it too far to one side of his back, crossed its fingers.

Despite herself, Jessica giggled again. He was entertaining. "Well," she said as her instincts told her to play just a bit hard to get, "I really would like another mug of hot chocolate if I'm going to be out—" Cutting off, she blinked down at the steaming drink in her hand. "Where on earth did you get this?"

"Found it somewhere," Roger said innocently. He whistled. "Brought some backups, too," he added and somehow managed to show off six more filled mugs without spilling a drop.

Jessica glanced to one side and saw the Seven Dwarves staring dejectedly at their empty hands.

He might be a curious little thing, but he could make her laugh. "Come on," she purred, gesturing him toward the slopes. "Later you can show me the bunny hump."

"Don't you mean bunny slope?" Roger asked, scratching his head.

"One thing at a time."