"Never Say Die"

"I knew Jeff and I should have gotten more boxes."

Ginger sighed and let out an exasperated laugh as she surveyed the clutter of clothes, books, and assorted trophies and picture frames scattered all across the floor and the bed. It was a wonder how in the past few days, she and Jeff had managed to avoid tripping over their entire life's possessions.

"Well, we'll have a few more when Jeff gets back from Rupert's," Linda said, tossing more clothes hangers onto the tower of other hangers already on the bed and threatening to spill over. "Besides, we've been at this for hours--don't you want to take a break for a bit?"

"You're probably right," Ginger said. She cleared some space on the bed and plopped down in exhaustion. "And you know, now that I think about it, your brother has wisely managed to get out of doing his share here, so I say we don't let him get away with it and leave him the rest of the work."

"Fine by me!"

Linda giggled and squeezed in next to Ginger, only to have the pile of hangers come crashing in on both of them. Of course, at this point, neither had the energy to get out of the way--or do much else of anything other than laugh.

"Oh, Ginny, I can't believe you and Jeff are moving out already."

"Already!" Ginger said, trying in vain to sit up, though all her muscles were aching. "Your family's had to put up with the two of us for almost two years, Linda. It's about time we got out of your way."

Linda smiled and looked down, absently fingering a piece of packing string. "It wasn't always a bed of roses having a full house, that's true," she said, "but you have to admit, it was nice for a while, wasn't it?"

This time, Ginger was able to get herself to sit up, and she turned to Linda and laughed softly. "Remember when we were kids and we'd wish that we were really sisters?"

"That we could live in the same house-"

"I practically did live here, growing up, if you remember," Ginger said. "My mother was always worried about your parents being annoyed with me hanging around all the time, but I told her that I was so good, you never knew that I was even around."

She heard Linda snicker, and she made a motion to elbow her sister-in-law, though Linda was swift enough--and knew her well enough--to duck out of the way. "Tell that to Jeff," she said.

Ginger looked back at her in curiosity. "What do you mean by that?"

"Oh, don't tell me you don't remember how he would bang on the door all the time, telling us to be quiet because we were giggling too loud, or we had the radio on when he was trying to sleep..."

A smile came to Ginger's lips just thinking about it.

"Now I'm the one tempted to bang on your door for being too loud..."

Ginger felt her cheeks get hot all of the sudden. "Linda! Oh God, I think I'm going to kill myself..."

Linda burst out laughing. "I meant... talking," she said, though Ginger knew better than to believe Linda wasn't talking about what she thought she was talking about. "Sometimes you guys stay up late talking..."

"We are moving out not a minute too soon."

"No matter where you live, I hope you know you can always talk to me."

Ginger smiled and reached over to give her a hug. "Oh thank you! You know we'll go back to our old ways in no time, tying up the phone lines."

"I mean it, Ginny. I know you've got Jeff now, but I'll always be your best friend--and you can always vent to me, like with this WREQ mess-"

"Oh don't mention those letters to me, Linda!" Ginger exclaimed. Though she had assured Jeff that she had accepted her termination from the station, she had to admit, it still stung like crazy.

"Well you can't fool me, I know how angry you must be at them for what they did."

After a while Ginger nodded. "I am, I-I am!! And you know what, I am not just going to sit here and let them put an end to my career. Jeff was right, I am not giving up without a fight!"

Behind her, she heard a familiar voice say, "Now, that's the girl I fell in love with!"

Ginger turned around and saw Jeff standing at the foot of the stairs, and his smile made her heart skip a beat. He walked up an slid his arms around her waist, bending down to kiss her. "I'm glad you decided to listen to my advice," he whispered.

"I sure do love a man who can appreciate spunk," she said, kissing him back.

"And where are you going?" Jeff said, having caught Linda trying to sneak out of their room.

Linda shrugged her shoulders. "My work here is finished, baby brother. And besides, I have a feeling you'll want to be alone now." She gave Ginger a mischievous grin. "Just... try to keep it down, will ya?"

Ginger threw a pillow at Linda as she left the room in laughter.

"... Thank God we ended up not having to host Coach's retirement party after all," Jeff said as he straightened his tie. "I don't think we've even halfway through with the unpacking. It's going to take us weeks to get everything in its right place."

Ginger sighed and maneuvered through the boxes to get to her dresser and put on her earrings. "Well I suppose I've got plenty of time now to arrange the rest of this stuff."

Jeff turned around and grabbed her waist. "I thought you were through with that kind of talk," he said.

"I just meant, we'll have some time over the Christmas holiday to get everything in order. Don't worry, I haven't given up fighting for my job."

He gave her a quick kiss and released her. "Good, glad to hear it." He reached into the closet to fetch her coat. "Come on, we might as well get this over with."

"Jeff, how can you say that? Coach Zelnick is one of the dearest people on earth. I would think you would be happy to go to his retirement party."

"Oh I'm more than happy to wish Coach well," he said, "but I'm just not exactly looking forward to seeing some of my teammates, that's all."

Ginger didn't ask whom he meant. For a moment, Jeff scolded himself and wondered if he had offended her. They never really talked about Arthur Schillhab much--he had the feeling Ginger was just as embarrassed about her brief courtship with him as he was about his temporary insanity regarding Caroline Hailey--but still, Jeff was always careful not to say anything bad about Arthur in front of Ginger.

Of course, that didn't mean he didn't think it.

To his surprise, Ginger only giggled and slid her arm through his. "After the last few days I've had, Slugger," she said, "I'm ready to have a good time and forget all my troubles."

Jeff couldn't resist grinning at her. "I love it when you call me Slugger."

"That's why I do it..."

Good Lord... For a second, Jeff was sorely tempted to skip the party altogether when Ginger stood on her toes and pulled him towards her for a maddeningly sweet kiss, but then he decided they could always pick up where they left off when they got home later.

"Let's go, Mrs. Metcalf."

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