was clear, wisps of greyish cloud dotting across the moon as a gentle
breeze blew through the trees and houses, teasing at stray leaves and
bits of litter that clattered against the roadside.
In the garden of one of the properties, a slim, dark-haired woman leant lazily against the white wooden railings, gazing thoughtfully across the grass as she surveyed her surroundings. In the distance, lights glittered on and off and she could hear the sound of carols faintly on the wind, as people celebrated the holiday season. She drew a deep breath of air into her lungs, enjoying the cool air as it ruffled through her hair.
here it is."
woman turned, smiling as she registered her companion. "Our first
Christmas as a married couple."
thinkin' about that, I more than need this." She nodded, holding out a hand to take
her glass of wine from him. "Ta, Justin. I'm tellin' you, last
Christmas Eve I wasn't thinkin' about spendin' the next one in me own
'ouse with an' 'usband in tow. It's more than surreal."
took a sip, pursing her lips as she considered.
Christmas Eve I wasn't thinkin' much at all." She acknowledged. "One of
the clubs 'ad this massive Christmas Eve celebrity night an' I got more
than a little bit tanked up."
in New York last Christmas, with Mom." Justin sipped his own wine,
slipping a free arm around his wife's waist. "So I missed all of that.
But I hope the Misfits aren't going to claim you the whole holiday,
Jetta. Mom's spending the season with her cousin in Boston this year,
because she said we should have a proper newlywed Christmas without the
inlaws playing gooseberry. Are you going to be off with the girls all
the time or are we going to spend some of it together this time?"
have me now." Jetta grinned playfully up at him. "An' if we ignore the
fact 'alf of this bleedin' 'ouse is full of boxes an' the rest of your
junk is scattered round your old apartment, we might even make it
habitable. What do you think?"
think I love you." Justin teased her. "And I'm honestly just glad to be
here this Christmas. Honestly, after everything in Michigan last
November, I'm not taking anything for granted. I've finally got a clean
bill of health and I'm fighting fit again - but it wasn't fun for
either of us and I'm glad it's over. New year will mark a new start,
after all - don't you think so?"
if you believe in all that tosh." Jetta drained her glass, setting it
down on the patio table. "Nice wine, by the way. French?"
Justin nodded. "I thought we'd try something new, in the spirit of new
beginnings and all of that."
Don't get mushy with me." Jetta scolded, linking her arm in his and
leading him back towards the house, pushing open the door and heading
into the sitting room. "I've never been big on the whole holiday season
crap anyhow, an' I don't usually bother with decoratin' and all of that
junk. I've let you 'ave your damn artificial tree - you can at least
lay off the sentimental season of goodwill rubbish."
tree is about two inches tall." Justin objected, glancing at the small
artificial tree that stood on the table in the far corner. "But for
this year, I guess it will do."
is a weird adventure, isn't it?" He observed, sinking down onto the
settee. "We've been married a month now, you realise that?"
than." Jetta became thoughtful. "But it's not like we really 'ave been,
honestly. We only moved in 'ere officially last week an' I spent two
nights of that out on stage with the girls, playin'. I stopped over at
Pizzazz's one night because we didn't get back till four o'clock an' I
knew you 'ad an early mornin' appointment at the 'ospital. I wanted to
sleep in. My stuff is mostly 'ere now, but not everythin', an' your
apartment is 'ardly cleared out because of you bein' sick an' all. I've
'ad to play nursemaid - which I really didn't like, to be honest with
you - an' the doctor only gave you a clean bill on Tuesday. We've been
married a month an' a half an' we've not been to bed together except to
sleep since we did the deed in Vegas. Some married couple we are!"
am fit now." Justin reminded her, beckoning for her to sit down beside
him. "With everything we've both been tired and frazzled and I've been
fighting to get myself better...it has been a bit weird. But at least
now you don't think I'm about to die whenever I cough...and my trips to
the hospital out patients did find us this place - which we wouldn't
have probably found if I hadn't taken that route."
Jetta acknowledged, doing as she was bidden and settling herself
against the sofa cushions. "I suppose it's still all kinda soon to know
what it's goin' to be like, now the dust 'as started to settle. We
ain't begun this like any married couple an' I suppose I don't know if
we'll cut it, when normality kicks in."
a moose out of myself when I first saw you, after the accident." She
added ruefully. "I was knackered an' babblin' all sorts. But even with
that said...I'm still 'opin' we do make a go of this. I don't know how,
but it would be nice to prove everyone wrong. Pizzazz thinks we'll last
about six months. Roxy reckons you'll get bored with me pretty soon.
Half the tabloids in the city keep pairin' me up with this movie star
or that rock legend...they don't even seem aware that I've moved out of
the Gabor place an' in with you. It gets wearying."
too, when they're talking about my wife bedding superstars." Justin
eyed her speculatively. Then he laughed. "Though in a sense it's
flattering, considering the calibre of men they think you should be
"Oh, don't be a git." Jetta swiped at him playfully. "You won't get a rise out of me, I'm well used to you by this time."
right." Justin grinned goodnaturedly. "And the tabloids will catch on.
It's just that we've been all over the place lately, like you said. Not
quite living anywhere, rushing around trying to get everything settled
before the Christmas chaos. By the New Year they'll all want to know
the big scoop about Jetta and the photographer."
Pizzazz doesn't sit on it." Jetta pursed her lips. "I know she's laid
off it lately, but she ain't 'appy with the whole deal. I think if she
weren't so scared of the whole death thing an' you 'adn't cut it so
fine, I'd 'ave had all kinds of naggin'. As it is, she seems to avoid
anythin' that 'as to do with mortality an' stuff...which means I'm more
or less off the 'ook. She plain ignored all the time I spent at your
apartment when they first cut you loose, just as if it 'adn't 'appened
at all. Who knows? Maybe in 'er universe it didn't."
so long as she lets us alone, I'm happy." Justin sat back against the
cushions with a shrug. "And we do at least have a front room, a bedroom
and half a kitchen organised here. It's not so bad. We can go out for
Christmas dinner tomorrow, and then we don't have to worry about
cooking. Unless you have Misfit plans?"
never work Christmas Day. They party, they don't work." Jetta shook her
head. "And Pizzazz always throws a killer New Year's Eve party - but
Christmas isn't really a Misfitty time. It's all about blech and
families and all of that garbage. We don't do that. We just, you
and rock out." Justin looked amused. "Speaking of which, you want
wine?" Jetta looked startled. Then she shook her head. "No...I'm good,
ta. One is enough for me tonight."
glass of wine, huh?" Justin eyed her keenly. "Don't tell me married
life has brought on a new sense of sobriety?"
"No." Jetta looked rueful. "An' it's good stuff. My stomach's just a bit unsettled today, that's all."
Justin frowned. "Like, sick? Jetta, you can't be sick at Christmas!"
not. I'm fine." Jetta shook her head. "It just feels a touch...funny.
That's all. I'm not about to hurl on you, so don't look at me like
that. I think it's paint fumes or somethin' from the kitchen, honestly.
It stinks in there and it gives me a headache. Maybe I've a migraine
comin' on or somethin' - though I hope not. I don't feel
migraine-y...just a touch wonky."
sure?" Justin's brows knitted together. "You know, since I had my
accident, you haven't been entirely yourself. You're not still having
those dreams, are you?"
Jetta stared. "Which dreams?"
know which dreams." Justin said softly. "The ones I had to shake you
awake from, because you were crying in your sleep. Those dreams."
Jetta bit her lip. "Them."
are, aren't you?"
Jetta shrugged her shoulders, looking uncomfortable. "But not like I
did before. Justin, I told you, I don't want to talk about those. It
was the shock of your accident, that's all. The doctors said as much
when you made me speak to them. Shock does freaky things to you an' the
last thing I need is you fussing because my brain went wussy on me.
You're not dead. It's just imagination. It's not important - they'll go
away of their own accord."
said you'd tell me if they still bothered you. I thought the doctor
gave you something to calm them down."
did, but I don't take sleeping pills an' they made me throw up anyway."
Jetta said pragmatically. "Look, dreams 'ave been the way my body copes
with stress for years. It's always been that way. It will work itself
out of my system when it's good an' ready - but in the meantime it's
not a big deal. So I 'ave the occasional midnight 'allucination that
you're drownin' in Lake Michigan an' I'm diggin' your grave in the
pourin' rain. So what? When I wake up, it's you bawlin' down my ear,
givin' me a reality check. It isn't goin' to 'elp if you fuss about it.
That's why I didn't tell you."
pursed his lips.
doctors did say that sometimes dreams can upset your body in other
ways, particularly dreams connected with a bad shock or major stress."
He reminded her. "You've not been completely well since we left
Michigan and I feel like it's my fault you've gone through this. If I'd
never gone to the lake, you'd never have been so freaked out. I know
that you had a hard time when I was missing. Noone's said anything
precisely - least of all you - but I can read between the lines. It's
all very well to say that they're just dreams, but when they start
affecting your whole life then they need to be taken in hand. And if
you won't take the pills the doctor gave you, then maybe you need to
think about his other suggestion."
suggestion?" Jetta raised an eyebrow. "Therapy? Do you think I'm
think you're traumatised." Justin said bluntly. "So many things
happened all at once. You were working way too hard before we went
away. We had that fight even before we went, which was me being dumb.
We got married on a whim, then fought again...next thing you know, I'm
drowning in Lake Michigan and you're being dragged through the
emotional mill. I know you're not weak, Jetta. And I'm not saying
you're crazy, not even one bit. But I am worried. I'm over the
accident...I'm just not sure you are."
sighed, leaning up against him and closing her eyes.
don't need therapy." She said firmly. "And I know the accident is
behind us now. It will be all right, once everythin' calms down. I only
'ave stupid dreams when I'm feelin' unsettled and as soon as we're
settled in here, they'll go away for good. I know, because I've 'ad bad
dreams before an' it always works out that way. You're blowin' it way
out of proportion, an' it's startin' to tick me off, to be honest. I
might be your wife now, but I'm still goin' to be the one makin'
judgements about what I do an' don't need, medically speakin'. Okay?
I'm old enough to do that."
you are." Justin kissed her on the forehead. "I'm sorry. I just worry
don't." Jetta's eyes snapped open. "Because I'm fine."
stretched out across the sofa, drumming her fingers idly on the cushion
there is one thing we could do about it, though." She said
thoughtfully. "I mean, not right now...but...you know, after all of
this 'oliday crap calms down."
Justin looked surprised. "Such as?"
just occured to me that we 'aven't 'ad an 'oneymoon yet." Jetta twisted
around to face him properly, meeting his brown eyes with earnest grey
ones. "An' I think it's bloody time we did, don't you? Most birds get
to live it up somewhere after they get 'itched. I've nursed you through
bloody pneumonia, moved 'ouse an' begun paintin' a friggin' kitchen. No
wonder I'm stressed out!"
right, on that we agree." Justin acknowledged, his eyes twinkling. "We
haven't had a proper honeymoon yet. And I suppose it doesn't matter if
we do it late...I mean, better late than never, huh? You're right. We
should definitely go someplace in the New Year."
"Good." Jetta looked satisfied. "I don't really care where we go. Just...somewhere. Away from Los Angeles an' the crazy stuff. And away from anywhere with boats an' water."
She shivered involuntarily.
as I love the beach, I'm not really lookin' for a sandy getaway."
could go to London." Justin suggested. Jetta snorted.
An' that's an 'oliday for me how, exactly?"
never seen your hometown...and you did say you'd show it to me."
you said you wanted to see it. I didn't say we would go." Jetta
would be a nice place to go, nonetheless. No sea to worry about. Plenty
of nightlife. You know the city so you know the best haunts. We
certainly don't have to bring any of your family into it. We'll just be
tourists, if that's what you want. I don't mind. But it would be cool
to see it, anyway. And you did say the other day that you'd been trying
to get a hold of your friend Laura to tell her our big news. If we went
to London, you could go tell her face to face, couldn't you? Rings and
I'm not goin' to win this discussion." She said resignedly. "Fine.
We'll do London. But only so long as you promise me the next trip we
take, I choose where we go. Okay?"
really hate it that much, we'll go someplace else." Justin shrugged. "I
just thought it'd be nice."
okay." Jetta spread her hands. "An' you're right, I do want to see
Laura. Okay. I guess...I guess London it is."
The Boring Disclaimer:
Jetta is not my character - she and the Misfits were created by Hasbro and given life by Christy Marx and the writers of the Jem series. However, the events, concepts and plotline contained in this story is my own and may not be duplicated. Justin, Gianina and any character not featured in the Jem cartoon are entirely my creation and are also not to be duplicated anywhere else.