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The Heat Is Out

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The Heat is Out


Starring Blue Green as herself and David Jones,
set somewhere between a month and a year in the future, comic time.

***

Dave stood in the elevator with a sappy grin on his face, thinking forward to the cozy day of cocoa and movies Margaret had promised him tomorrow. Chester sat at his feet, smiling his ineffable cat smile.

Blue leaned insouciantly against the wall by the buttons, looking appraisingly at Dave, until he suddenly jerked back to reality. 'Blue? Why are we heading to the basement? I only wanted to get something from the vending machine in the lobby, and you,' indicating the hat, scarf and parka that conveniently muffled most of her more brainwarping attributes, 'are dressed for that frozen blizzard of an outdoors.'

'Mmm.' She tilted her head at him. 'I was headed out to,' hmm. I wonder if he reads Elf Life... 'frolic,' apparently yes, she grinned, 'in the snow, but there's something in the basement I want to show you first, since we have this-- ideal opportunity.'

'Blue,' he crossed his arms, 'If this is more of your mind games, I'll tell you right now that I'm not playing.'

'Me? Mind games?' She gave him her best innocent look, just as the elevator reached its destination and the doors opened. 'C'mon, it's toward the back,' and she ran out into the dim concrete space. Dave just stood in the doorway, glaring at her. drat, she thought, he really isn't playing along-- She expertly faked a fall, then cried out.

'Blue!,' Dave called, forgetting mind games, 'Are you all right?'

'I tripped,' she put just the right amount of strain in her voice, 'but I think I'm oka--oww! My ankle!'

Dave ran for her, leaving the elevator behind. I knew that would get you. Ah, my noble knight, I will always be willing to be your damsel in distress.

Suddenly, as he reached her, there was a loud sound, and all the lights went out. The mutted whirring of the electric heating stopped too, leaving them in silent darkness, lit only by a flickering emergency bulb in the corner and the reflection in Chester's eyes. Blue got slowly up, not even trying to fake a limp, and stared at Dave, then jerked out of his gaze. 'Stop looking at me like that! I didn't plan this! How could I? It must have been snow piling up on the power lines or something.'

'Right. Then why did you lure me down here against my will?'

'Okay, I was planning to try to warp your mind, I admit, but I didn't arrange to have the power go out! That's going a little far, even for me!'

He looked at her again, then seemed to give up. 'Fine. This place is getting cold already. Since we can't take the elevator, I'm heading for the stairs. I suggest you do the same.'

She stared at him for a minute, then followed him and Chester over to the door, getting there just in time to hear him curse.
'It won't open! It must be locked from the outside or something!'

'What? That's impossible!' She shouldered past him, even in these circumstances enjoying the thrill that touching him gave
her, and yanked at the doorknob. 'It is possible. That must be against some sort of building codes.'

Dave shrugged. 'Knowing this building, that makes it even more likely. Drat! We're really in trouble now.'

Blue smiled to herself. There could be worse people to be trapped in a basement with.

He noted the smile and shook his head. 'Blue, this is no time for your perverted libido. We're trapped here, with no heat, no way to tell anyone where we are, no supplies, a blizzard outside, and given the state of the roads and the fact it's almost midnight there's no telling when they'll get the power back on. There's a real possibility that we could freeze.'

'Oh, but I know a perfect way to keep warm!' she said.

Dave gave her such an uncanny replica of Mike's "Stop. Now." glare that she actually subsided, and looked at him with something approaching awe. 'Umm . . . maybe we should check and see if there's anything useful here? Like a kerosene powered space heater or something?'

'Fat chance,' muttered Dave. The basement was basically just a large, empty concrete box. There was something in the far corner, though, that they couldn't make out in the gloom.

Blue ran over there. 'It's a couple of plastic benches! At least we won't have to sleep on the cold ground! And- yeah! This one has an old blanket on it! Help me drag them over to the light?'

The blanket was very old, she noted under the yellow glow, very dusty, and had several holes that looked suspiciously like they had been made by rats, but it was big, warm, and fuzzy. She laid in down on the bench, then sat next to it. Dave sat on the other one across from her, Chester curled on his lap. 'Well, now what?' she said. 'Most of my ideas are out, since we haven't got any honey, or--'

'Um,' Dave said quickly, 'Wanna ...' she could almost see him mentally checking off all the options that had any possibility of being interpreted the wrong way, 'umm, have a nonsense contest or something.'

Blue had been around the roomies long enough to understand what that meant. She replied, 'But the butterflies aren't really plotting to devour my toenails, are they?'

Dave grinned in relief. 'Purple coffee only works when the elephant's already been on an airplane . . . . '

****

' . . . Unless, of course, the planetary bananas eat all of the applesauce first.'

Blue started to reply, but it turned into a giant yawn.

'Hmm,' Dave said, grinning. 'Roger never told me how to score that.' Then he yawned in sympathy. 'Man, it is getting late. Want to get some sleep? I know you were up early this morning.'

'Yes, getting Roger to rig that silent alarm on your bedroom door was cheating, Dave.'

'Well, it worked, didn't it? Heh. Go ahead and lie down, and take the blanket, it really is getting cold in here,' he unwrapped it from around his shoulders.

'Oh, I couldn't let you do that, we'll share it.'

Dave resolutely refused to take her up on that opening. 'Nah, I'm not too sleepy. Besides, I could never use a blanket when a lady was cold. Go ahead, you'll need it.'

'Dave! I can't let you do that! You're dressed much less warmly than me! If you insist on me having the blanket, why, I'll just have to take all my clothes off to make it more fair!' She started to unzip the parka.

'Stop it.' he said, getting up and draping the blanket over her. 'If you get sick Mike'll kill me. Believe me, taking all your clothes off when you're trapped somewhere in bad weather is a bad idea, health-wise. No matter how sexy the result.'

Blue looked at him in hopeful surprise. Did he just call me sexy? Then she saw the odd smile on his face and the faraway look in his eyes, that seemed, oddly enough, to be dancing with sunflowers . . .

Dave shook himself out of whatever pleasant memory he had found. 'Anyway, I can keep myself warm.' Blue looked at him, puzzled, taken off stride by his reverie, and unable to find even a double meaning in his comment. He grinned rogueishly, and squinted at her hands, which were bathed in warm blue light.

'Oh,' she said, holding her suddenly toasty warm hand to her cold cheek. 'Do I feel foolish. I'd forgotten about that.' She yawned again, and involuntarily collapsed over on her side. 'Well,' she said sleepily, 'If you still insist . . .' She closed her eyes and felt Dave tuck the blanket around her shoulders. God! she thought, He's even sexier when he's being all brotherly and protective. I can't stand it-- And then she fell into dreams that, strangely, rather than the usual things she dreamed about Dave, involved cozy evenings around fireplaces with good music, hot cocoa, board games, and Dave and Margaret and all their friends.

****

She woke up an undetermined amount of time later, stiff and chilly, with a black cat mewing urgently at her from her chest. 'Hmm? Wha?' Then she remembered. She was trapped in the basement with no electricity and Dave. Chester mewed again, and pawed at her face. 'All right, all right, cat, I'm up. What is it you want? There's no tuna here, I'm afraid.'

He jumped off her chest and she sat up. Chester was pawing at Dave, who was curled up on his bench, sound asleep, blue-lipped, and shivering.

Dave! You idiot! I should have known you couldn't keep that up all night! Why didn't you come get the blanket or something? Stupid martyr complex. Not all girls are like Margaret, you know. We don't expect you to be superhuman. She sighed, carried the blanket over to him, and tucked it gently and lovingly around him, then pulled her stocking cap onto his head and laid her parka over his shoulders.

He looks so angelic when he's asleep. . . She pushed his hair out of his face, then leaned down and kissed him gently on the lips.

'Stop looking at me that way, cat!' she said, scooping him up and sitting down at her bench. 'Ooh, you're almost as cold as Dave is. What say we keep each other warm 'till morning, since your owner wouldn't cooperate?' She unzipped her sweatshirt and tucked him inside, and he happily snuggled up, his head against her chest. Blue leaned her head on her hands, gazed at Dave, and daydreamed, every so often absent-mindedly petting the cat.

****

The sun was beginning to filter through the snow and the one small, grimy window under the ceiling when the sound of someone rattling the doorknob woke Blue from a light doze.

Chester popped his head out of Blue's shirt as Margaret, having finally got the door open, burst into the basement. 'Dave! Are you down here? We're worried sick, no one knows where you are, Mike thought you spent the night at our place--' Then she stopped.

'Well, hello, Margaret,' Blue drawled, warping time with her smile and lazily caressing Chester's head. 'Have a nice night?'

 

*Finis*