Jetta's Chronicle
Part Two
Chapter Seven

How could he?

Jetta stared up at the family planning clinic, her heart in her throat as she ran over everything in her head. Despite herself, she bit her lip, struggling to hold back the flood of tears that wanted to fall. The taxi had long since left, and she had been standing there for a good ten minutes now, but despite herself, she could not go in.

"What if someone sees me and knows who I am?" She murmured, drumming her fingers together in evident agitation. "And why the hell did I come to this part of town, anyway? The one thing I said when we came here was that I didn't want to go home. Well, now I am home. Smack bang in the middle of the area I grew up' scared as shit to go into that place, just as I was when I was a teenager. But more rests on it right now. One thing goin' in there an' asking to be put on the pill when you're not yet sixteen. Another thing to be a travellin' rock musician with one positive test already behind you! Oh shit, I know how Pizzazz must've felt, now! Standin' in this situation, thinkin' over all the options. But...but it's not the same thing. I don't look like a Misfit an' there's no earthly reason for Jetta to be 'ere, in this part of the city. Nobody would know, if I went inside an' spoke to them. I could give them my real name - a lot of people still don't know that. So why am I still standin' here? What the hell is wrong with me?"

She chewed absently on her thumbnail, pausing for a moment, then turning on her heel, walking slowly down the road away from the big nineteen thirties building. She felt jumpy and on edge, upset by the argument with Justin but still angry when she thought back over the things they had said.

"I need to calm down first." She decided out loud. "If I go in there like this I'll probably look a complete basket case and they won't 'elp me, they'll section me instead! But this is the last place he'll think to come lookin' for me, if he even bothers to come. Right now I don't care if he does or if 'e doesn't. I 'ave enough to think about without 'im fussin' an' naggin' at me, anyway! I told him I didn't want kids! If he doesn't like what I've come 'ere to do, well, then he shouldn't 'ave married me in the first place!"

A hollow pang struck through her at this thought, and she frowned, quelling it.

"I'm not going to let myself get emotional about this." She told herself fiercely. "I'm not thinking about Justin. I'm thinking about what I need to do. What I 'ave to do. I just need to clear my head. Get a little perspective before I do it. That's all. It's been a crazy day already, an' it's going to get crazier. I need a time won't hurt if I leave it for another hour or so."

A rueful smile touched her lips as she realised the direction in which she had walked. The local shopping centre loomed large in front of her, and as she made her way towards the big double doors, she remembered the number of times she and Laura had cut class to hang out here and shop, often with other friends.

"Funny what you remember." She mused, walking slowly through the brightly lit centre and glancing around her at the familiar shops to the left and right. "But it ain't changed much. Nothin' does, I guess, not in this part of the world. Landcape still looks the same. Buildin's, too. They're all the same as they were, years back. I can't believe I came here. After everythin' that I've done to get away from it...why did I come home, anyway?"

A group of fourteen and fifteen year olds hared across in front of her, shouting and yelling as they made a beeline for the exit. As Jetta watched them, one of the taller members of the group hopped up onto the surrounding walls, lighting up a cigarette and tossing the lighter to their nearest associate. Snippets of their conversation drifted into the centre as the doors opened and shut to admit new shoppers, and despite herself, Jetta pursed her lips.

"Just like us." She muttered. "Thursday afternoon, cuttin' class to hang at the mall with a fag an' some friends. Guess nothing does change. Just the names of the people. That's all."

She glanced down at herself, feeling suddenly self-conscious in her expensive attire.

"Well, if anyone tries to rob me, they'll soon know they're dealin' with a Misfit." She decided. "Though I stick out in 'ere like a sore thumb."

She drew a deep breath into her lungs, sinking down onto a seat beside the aging, discoloured fountain that marked the mall's centrepiece. Turning to examine the fountain more closely, she ran a finger against one side, a slight smile touching her lips as she felt the indentation of letters beneath her touch. Slowly she traced out her name in the aqua marble, remembering with startling clarity the day she had first carved it. It had been a dare, she recalled, and she had very nearly been caught, all of them haring out of the centre at top speed with security officials on their tail.

"Still here." She realised. "Everything is still here. Just not me."

She sighed, feeling suddenly tired.

"An' now I'm knocked up an' completely lost." She added, getting slowly to her feet and turning her back on the fountain and it's memories. "It's completely thrown me. I don't know what to do or 'ow to act or what to say to people in that stupid clinic if I could get through the door. I feel like I might scream or cry or make a complete fool of myself, and dammit, I'm so sick of feelin' sick all the time!"

She clenched her fists, fighting back the rising wave of panic that threatened to engulf her.

"I'm not going to be a wimp!" She told herself fiercely. "I'm not going to cry or make people stare at me. I'm a Misfit. This isn't a hard decision. It's already made - I already know what I 'ave to do. I should just do it an' get it over with before Justin catches up to me an' tries his best at sweet-talkin' me again. Because if he thinks I'm goin' to do things his way just because it's how they are, he can forget it! I'm through fallin' for lines and promises! I'm through with it. I can't handle this an' I ain't going to, dammit! And then we'll see how he likes it!"

She turned, marching resolutely back the way she had come, but as she did so, a sense of melancholy washed over her and she faltered, remembering Justin's face as she left. She cursed, trying to force it from her mind, but it remained there, imprinted on her memories.

"Jerk." She hissed. "I'm not going to think about him. It isn't about him!"

She stared across towards the door of the mall, making out the corners of the clinic through the tinted glass. Reaching up to rub her temples, she realised that suddenly it seemed so very far away.

As her thoughts began to jumble together in her head, confusing her, she made a last brave attempt to reach a bench to sit down, but the sensation overwhelmed her and, oblivious to the exclamations around her, she felt her legs buckling under her, her vision swimming and refusing to find a focus as she began to fall. A sudden sense of nausea flooded through her, and then everything went black.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

"Can I help you, Mr Pelligrini?"

The lady on the front reception desk flashed Justin a smile, pausing in the notes she had been making and eying him expectantly. "Were you looking for someone, or...?"

"Yes. Well, no." Justin inwardly berated his flustered answer. He pulled himself together, offering the confused lady a smile. "I'm just...can I leave a message here? I'm going out for a...a walk with my camera, to get some shots of the local area. I don't know what time I'll be back - before dinner, I expect - and my wife has Could you let her know where I am, and that I'll see her at dinner? If she comes back before I do, that is. She may be later than that."

He offered a sheepish smile, and the lady's brows knitted together in bewilderment, but she nodded her head, grabbing a sheet of paper from her notebook and scribbling it down. She folded it in half, sliding it into the pigeonhole for the honeymoon suite.

"I'll be sure she gets it." She agreed, and Justin's heart sank into his boots as he read the question behind her professional smile. Jetta had been right, he mused darkly. People did assume you had marital problems if you left the honeymoon suite alone.

"But as it happens, I do have marital problems right now." He told himself, thanking the employee in as nonchalant a manner as possible, and then withdrawing to collect his camera and bag of films. "In that I don't know where my wife - hell, my pregnant and highly unpredictable wife - is at the moment, let alone when she's coming back or if she even is. There's even a slim chance she might have got that cab to the airport and flown back to America - God only knows what's in her head at the moment. I just hope she's calmed down, and seen some sense. And that she hasn't done what I think she was going to do, when she left here earlier on. Oh God, and this woman probably saw her storm out of here as well - what the hell they must think of us now I don't know."

He swung his camera bag over his shoulder with a resigned shrug.

"Oh well. Noone can call us conventional." He said aloud. "And she'll come back when she's ready. I know my wife. We've been through a lot. Whatever happens...she'll come back. And I need to kill some of this nervous energy before I pace a hole in the carpet. Let's hope photography has a calming influence on me today. Heaven knows I need it!"

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

"I think she's starting to come round."

As Jetta flickered open her eyes, the world around her seemed to be coated in a strange, blurry fog. Blinking, she reached a hand up to rub her eyes, struggling to bring herself into a sitting position, but someone had a hand on her shoulder and they prevented her from rising. She was aware of the floor moving beneath her, and a wave of nausea rose up inside her. She closed her eyes, swallowing hard. Then she wetted her dry lips, bringing her companion into clear focus.

"Who are you an' why are you touchin' me?" She demanded weakly. The man grinned at her question, then turned to gesture a signal to someone else. He moved his hand, helping her up into a sitting position and settling himself beside her. He was wearing white and green, she noticed absently, and there was a dull rattle in the background which seemed to mirror the jolting movement she had noticed before. With a flash of panic she realised that she was inside something - or somewhere - and that whatever it was, it was taking her somewhere against her will.

She struggled to get up, but the man shook his head, guiding her back down.

"No, you need to sit still, else we'll have you flat again." He warned her. "Now, just take it easy, will you? You've had a bit of an episode, and I need to ask you some questions. Hit your head or something, love...that's what they were telling us and you were stone cold out when we got to you. Just take a breath or two, all right? You're still very pale."

"You didn't answer my question." Jetta sank back against the seat, wanting to rebel but finding that her legs would not support her as the vehicle - yes, now she knew it was some kind of transport vehicle - swung around a particularly sharp corner. "Who are you?"

"James Dolfas, love. Paramedic." James cast her a warm smile. "You're quite safe, don't worry. You had a turn, like I said. We're just taking you to the hospital, so they can check you out."

"Hospital?" Now Jetta's senses were fully restored to her and she stared at him in shock. "I'm in a bleedin' ambulance!"

"You're really starting to come to yourself, now." James seemed pleased. "Still damn pale, though. Your eyes are a little fuzzy still. It'll be all right, I promise - just stay calm an' sit back. They'll look you over an' make sure you didn't come out of this with a concussion. Can you tell me your name?"

"Why?" Jetta was immediately on the defensive. "What are you goin' to do with it?"

 James laughed.

"I already know what your name is." He said playfully. "You have a Californian driving licence in your handbag. I want to make sure you know it, that's all. Just to gauge whether or not you're confused."

"Of course I'm bloody confused. Last thing I remember is walkin' in the mall an' now I'm shacked up with you." Jetta muttered. "Stop grinnin' at me like that, will you? You're turnin' my stomach."

"Do you feel sick?"

"Does it matter if I do? This crate ain't goin' to slow down, is it?"

"Probably not." James agreed cheerfully. "But the sooner we get to the hospital, the sooner you can get out of it. Does that sound fair?"

"Not really, but I don't seem to 'ave a choice." Jetta sighed. There was a pause, then, "Sheila Pelligrini. That's my name."

"Pelligrini, huh?" The paramedic sat back in his seat. "That's a new one on me."

"My license says Burns." Jetta said wearily. "I've been married three months, gimme a break. I can't do every bleedin' thing when the 'ouse needs fixin' up an' I'm workin' as well!"

"Ahh, I see." The medic smiled. "So you're a newlywed. I'm guessing from the license you're no longer a London local - though you sound like one to me, make no mistake about it. Is your husband in England with you? Any family...anyone we can get in touch with when we get to the hospital, let them know where you are?"

Jetta bit her lip, remembering the conversation she had had with her husband some hours earlier. Slowly she shook her head.

"I don't remember." She lied slowly, crossing her fingers absently behind her back as she did so. "We're in a hotel, but I don't 'ave the number."

James eyed her keenly, but did not push the issue. Instead he reached across to touch her brow, nodding his head.

"You felt a touch hot when I got to you, but you feel better now." He commented. "I don't think you've a fever. You didn't have any medic cards in your handbag - can you tell me if you have any long term medical conditions? Diabetes, epilepsy? Anythin' like that?"

"Nope. Nothing." Jetta rubbed her temples. "Except I'm gettin' a migraine listenin' to you. Do you talk to all your patients like this? God, no wonder they're sick when they get to the bleedin' 'ospital!"

"On any medications? Anything else we should know?" James seemed undeterred by her hostile attitude. "Any illicit drugs? Alcohol? Anything like that?"

"What the hell are you tryin' to suggest?" Jetta's eyes widened in anger. "No, I do not do drugs, an' no, I'm not a bleedin' alcoholic!"

"They're routine questions, that's all. We're here to help, not to judge." James shrugged his shoulders. "The doctors will do bloodwork on you if they think it's warranted, anyway. So, do you have a history of fainting? Ever experienced anything like this before?"

Jetta chewed down on her lip, shaking her head.

"No." She admitted eventually. "I don't faint. Like, ever. But..."

She faltered, and James raised an eyebrow.

"But?" He pressed her gently. "Something you think I should know?"

"Earlier today..." Jetta began, then stopped. She glanced at her hands.

 "I ain't felt so brilliant recently." She admitted. "This morning I almost passed out visitin' the Tower with me 'usband."

"I see." James pursed his lips. "And do you know what might have caused it?"

Jetta swallowed hard as the ambulance swung around another bend.

"Tell whoever's drivin' to stop it, else I'll puke all over your nice clean beddin'." She warned. James shrugged his shoulders.

"I assure you, it's seen much worse, and I'm not particularly squeamish." He said matter-of-factly. "Can't be, in this job. Anyway, you were saying? You gave me the impression you know more about this than you're letting on."

Jetta sighed, closing her eyes.

"I feel a bit shaky." She admitted. "Maybe you are right. Maybe I did 'it my head. I don't remember. I don't even remember passin' out."

"They said you fell pretty heavily. Like a dead weight." James told her. "The people who stopped to help you. I wouldn't be surprised if you did hit your were out for quite a few minutes."

"Would figure, seeing how my luck's been this week." Jetta muttered. She opened her eyes, examining her nail polish absently.

"I suppose I should tell you that this afternoon I took a pregnancy test." She said at length. "And...well, in my eyes, I failed it."

"Ah." Comprehension flooded James' expression. "So you're an expectant mother? That does put a new slant on things."

"Please don't use that word." Jetta groaned. "I ain't nobody's mother, believe me. I was in town for one reason an' one reason only an' it weren't to pick up bibs an' nappies. I was goin' to the clinic to...well, see someone. Ask advice, I suppose. About...everythin'. Options. Whatever. Only I ended up here instead. Trust me, this ain't somethin' I'm pleased about, so you can save the 'congratulations' speech for another time."

"I see." James looked thoughtful. "Well, you'll have to speak to the doctor about that, when he or she sees you this evening. I'm sure that, if it's simply a case of morning sickness and normal first trimestre dizziness, he'll be eager to look you over and cut you loose as soon as possible. But they'd be able to give you whatever information you needed about what you can do, from hereon in."

He pursed his lips.

"And your husband? He knows about all of this?"

"What business is that of yours?"

"None at all." James admitted. "But the hospital will ask us for a next of kin for you, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't know."

"So lie." Jetta said darkly. "He won't come, anyway. Trust me. After the talk we had earlier on..."

She faltered, realising she was giving too much away, and she shook her head, folding her arms across her chest.

"Stop asking me questions." She instructed. "I'll talk to the doctor when I see him. I'm done talkin' to you."

James eyed her keenly, but obediently fell silent, reaching to take Jetta's pulse and glancing at his watch.

"You're steadier than you were when we picked you up. That's good." He remarked instead. "And judging by the fact we've slowed down, we've probably about reached our destination."

"What's to stop me fleein' this thing the moment you open the doors?" Jetta asked, wrenching her hand from his grip and glaring at him. "Because I'm more than willing to do it, I assure you!"

"Nothing at all." James said calmly. "But if you're as dizzy as you were earlier, you won't get too far. Besides, if you have got a concussion and it clocks in later, you could quite easily go to sleep and not wake up. You seem all right to me, but I've seen patients go downhill at speed - patients who look in better shape than you when I've picked them up. So really, it's up to you - but considering what you told me, and the fact that - whatever the cause - you were out cold when we arrived - I'd at least let someone look at you."

Jetta looked mutinous, folding her arms across her chest.

"I don't like doctors." She muttered. "They prod you an' poke you an' you come away imaginin' you 'ave things wrong with you that you don't."

James laughed.

"I'm sorry to hear that." he said amiably. "But I assure you, our doctors are very nice people."

"All right, already. I'm not six years old." Jetta sighed. "Fine. I'll come with you an' I'll come quietly. But I ain't spendin' the night in no 'ospital. I know 'ow the bloody NHS works - stick you in a cubbyhole to rot for hours while you're waitin' to see someone. If I'm gonna be 'ere, I want to be seen an' seen smartish, you understand? I'm on my bleedin' honeymoon, an' I'm not spendin' part of it shackled up inside this place!"

"Then you'd better tell the doctor how to get in touch with your husband." James said practically, as the vehicle drew to a halt. "You're presenting with dizziness and possible concussion and they might want to keep you for observation - I certainly doubt they'd send you out into the wilderness on your own, considering the high risk of a repeat performance."

He smiled at her, and Jetta grimaced back.

"Even if it is simply baby hormones, you might want to think about that." He added. "And here we you think you can walk, or do you want a chair?"

"I can bloody walk." Jetta snapped. "And don't even think about touchin' me! If I've got to do this, I'm doin' it my bleedin' way an' noone else's, you got it?"

James' eyes twinkled with amusement and he nodded his head.

"In that case," he said levelly, "Follow me."

Part Two
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten

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.