Chapter Fourteen: Heartbreak
Stormer swung open the door of the Gabor Mansion, a startled look on her face which quickly became troubled as she surveyed their guest. "I...didn't expect it to be you."
"Is Roxy about? I have some news to convey to her." Justin offered the synth player a smile. Stormer bit her lip.
"She's diving." She agreed slowly. "Justin, listen...I don't know if you should be here. Not today, anyhow."
"Why not?" Justin looked startled.
"Roxy and Jetta came to blows last night." Stormer admitted, letting him in and closing the door softly behind him. "I interrupted it. Roxy would have ripped Jetta to shreds if I hadn't - she was in a foul mood."
"What?" Justin's expression took on a look of shock. "Roxy attacked Jetta? Why?"
"Because..." Stormer frowned, then, "Justin, did you sleep with Jetta in New York?"
Justin stared at his companion. Then, slowly, he nodded.
"How did you know that?" He demanded. "The mood I left Jetta in last night, she wasn't keen to admit it to herself, let alone brag to all her friends about it!"
"Well, she let it slip and Roxy didn't take it too good." Stormer sighed. "It wasn't pretty, Justin. Jetta has bruises all up her arms and though she says she's okay, she hasn't come down this morning. I'm afraid for the Misfits...things have never been like this before."
"Oh God." Justin fell silent. "I had no idea Roxy was so against the idea. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine she'd attack Jetta!"
"I don't think Jetta was without blame. I think she taunted Roxy as hard as she could go." Stormer said slowly. "But the fact remains that there's a rift developing here, and, well, the band is important to me. I don't want it to fall apart."
"Nor do I." Justin frowned. "Really, Stormer, I don't. What happened in New York happened on the spur of the moment. It probably shouldn't have happened...but it did. I can't change it. I don't want to be stuck in the middle of feuding Misfits, and I don't want to hurt either of their careers." He sighed. "Perhaps it's time I listened to what Jetta said last night, and took a step back. I mean, Roxy is my sister and I promised my Dad I wouldn't lose touch with her. In any case, I have stuff to tell and show her about her mother, and she's family. My feelings for Jetta, well, I guess I'll get over them. I don't want her hurt any more."
"Thank you." Stormer looked relieved. "Look, I'll go get Roxy for you, okay? See if she wants to come talk."
"Okay." Justin agreed, taking a seat. "But don't tell Jetta I'm here. Like you said, it's probably better left."
"Yes." Stormer nodded.
She headed into the hallway and out to the swimming pool, oblivious to the fact that the whole discussion had been overheard. Jetta stood at the top of the stairs, her dressing gown tied around her waist and an indescribable expression on her face as she digested what she had heard. She had gotten up with the intention of finding breakfast, but had heard Justin's voice and had paused to listen.
She had not liked what she had heard.
"'E's only doin' as I told 'im." She murmured as she turned, slowly heading back into her room. "I don't want another doin' like that from Roxy, anyway, an' it's bad news to be involved with a Pelligrini. Bad news to be involved with any guy! I'm best keepin' out of it."
She sat down on her bed.
"Guess 'e doesn't like me as much as all that after all." She decided, shrugging. "Well, it's over with now. Time to get back to normal."
But try as she might to turn her attention to other matters, her mind kept returning to Justin and the night in New York. Like a lovesick teenager she found herself stretching out on her bed, chin in her hands as she thought things over. She knew she'd never felt like this before, and it frightened her.
"I don't want to be 'ung up on a bloke." She muttered. "Especially not 'im, dammit! I can't be sweet on the guy! Can I?"
She groaned, burying her face in her pillow.
"Get a damn grip, girl." She ordered herself. "Now get dressed, go downstairs, get somethin' to eat an' ignore 'im. You can do that, can't you? Jus' walk straight past like 'e ain't even there. That should show 'im I don't give two monkeys what 'e's doin'!"
She moved over to her wardrobe, flicking through her outfits and picking out one she liked. Then she dressed, slowly and carefully, half hoping by the time she went downstairs he would already have gone.
Justin, for his part, had no idea that his arrival in the Gabor Mansion had caused such a flurry above stairs. He waited anxiously for Stormer to return from the poolside, relief touching his features as he registered that she was not alone, and that his sister had deigned to talk to him. She stood in the doorway, eying him carefully. Then, at length, she spoke.
"I'm surprised you dared show up here this morning." She said quietly, as Stormer wisely slipped away. "What happened to your march back to New York, huh?"
"I wrnt back East to find out information for you about your mother." Justin said quietly. "I spoke to Dad and he gave me some more information...even a picture."
"A picture?" Despite herself, Roxy was curious. "You got a photo?"
"Yes." Justin nodded, rifling through his folder and pulling it out. "Here."
Roxy came to join him, taking it from his hand and examining it carefully. She bit her lip.
"That's my Mom?"
"Yes. Sarah Marten. She looks like you." Justin responded.
"She does. I see it." Roxy nodded. "Well, guess there had to be some beauty in the family someplace, huh, for me to wind up looking good as I do?" She smiled slightly, but her eyes were clouded with emotion and the smile did not reach them. "What did Dad say, then? C'mon, spit it out. I'm not thrilled to be talkin' to you right now, but I wanna know the deal, now spill."
"Right." Justin nodded. "He did say something, actually. Something which might change your mind about what kind of a guy you think he is. He told me something about your mother's death, and when he went to jail...he told me why he didn't just take you and run."
"Oh? This I have to hear." Roxy looked interested.
Slowly Justin repeated what William had told him.
"He loved you too much to risk putting you in harm's way." He concluded. "He was afraid that you'd wind up dead, like your mother. I know they were bad to you, Rox, but it could've been a hell of a lot worse, you know."
"I don't know as it could." Roxy said, a humourless smile touching her face.
"Don't you understand, though?" Justin said gently. "This guy, your father, he gave up twenty five years or so of his life, just to keep you safe. Do you realise what a sacrifice that was for him? He cut himself off from you, from me, from everything...and he did it to try and protect you."
"I...I didn't think of it..."
"And more, Roxy, he loves you." Justin continued gently. "He was almost in tears when I gave him your photograph. He wants to meet you so very badly...won't you come with me to the East coast and see him? Just once?"
"If you don't hit it off, I wouldn't make you go again, not ever." Justin promised.
"He really loves me?" She asked doubtfully. Justin nodded.
"Trust me." He agreed. "Your mother was everything to him, that's obvious, and you were a little piece of her. I'm not saying he has favourites with you and I, but Roxy, I know that if he'd been able to bring you up himself you'd have been Daddy's girl. I'm certain of it."
Roxy stared at her brother, tears pricking her eyes.
"You know what?" She whispered.
"It means that...that I really wasn't just another unwanted, unloved brat. I wasn't a mistake...I was special. Like...like you are with your Mom. Someone cared about me."
Her eyes opened wide. "Oh god, my letter!"
"Your letter?" Justin looked confused. Roxy nodded.
"Yes! I have a letter...wait there, I'll get it!"
Before he could stop her she was gone, and he sat back in the chair, trying to work out what she could mean.
"Roxy can't read...what on earth can a letter have to do with things?" He mused.
Within a moment she was back, letter clutched excitedly in her grasp. Justin's news had completely dispelled her ill-feeling towards events in New York, and she tossed it down in front of him.
"There. That letter." She said, as if it explained everything.
"What about it?" Justin picked it up, glancing at the envelope. "Who's it from?"
"I...don't know." Roxy admitted. "I mean, I can't read it, can I? I just know it's addressed to me."
"It's postmarked Pittsburgh." Justin noted. "And this stamp...can't make it out. May I read it?"
"I want you to, stupid. It's gotta be about my family, hasn't it? Well, you're family, so read it to me already!"
"All right." Justin smiled, slipping the sheet of paper out of the envelope and skimming down to the bottom of the page. "Dad wrote it."
"Dad?" Roxy looked startled. Justin nodded.
"Looks like he wrote it from prison." He agreed.
"Just read it, will you?"
"Okay, okay." Justin grinned. "This is what it says."
He cleared his throat.
"To my dear Roxanne" He began. "I don't know the chances of you getting this letter, but I have to try. You might never know who I am, and maybe it's better in some ways that you don't. I don't want you to grow up thinking your father is a murderer, so maybe it's best I can't see you. I only hope you're safe.
Roxanne, I want you to know that I love you and I miss you very much. I didn't hurt your mother, I would never do anything to hurt her. She was the dearest thing to me, and you also. You have to understand that things have happened, things I can't explain here for fear of what might come next. But I want you to know that, whoever you grow up as and whatever you learn, your mother and father both love you and wish you well. You might never meet us, but we're still there, thinking of you and wishing we were with you - your mother from beyond and me from my cell. So long as you're safe, that's what matters.
Perhaps I should tell you now that you are not an only child. Yes, you read me right. You don't have to step out into the world on your own...you have a brother who is four years your senior - his name is Justin and he and his mother live in New York. Nothing would make me happier than to have my two children friends, bringing the scraps of this wretched family back into some sense of meaning. I can only hope you never learn to hate me for what they say I did.
Grow up safely, Roxanne...and never forget how much we love you,
Your father, William Pelligrini."
"Oh my..." Roxy snatched the letter from his grip, skimming it over. "Oh my god...it says all that?"
"It does." Justin nodded gravely. "Do you believe me now, that he loves you and wanted to protect you?"
"I...I guess so." Roxy nodded, swallowing hard. "Okay, Justin, I'll come to the East Coast. I'll meet this guy, see what the fuss is about. Right?"
"Fine." Justin grinned. "I'll give him a call, see when is convenient, okay? He'll be glad, you know, and I'm glad too. You may have lost your mother beyond your reach, but you still have a father who cares about you." He looked sheepish. "And a big brother."
"Hrm." Roxy cast Justin a thoughtful look, then, "What are you doing messing with Jetta, then?"
"Leave it alone, huh?" Justin begged her quietly.
"Did she hurt you already?" Roxy raised an eyebrow. "Not surprising!"
"No, Roxy, she didn't, but you hurt her, and I can't deal with that." Justin chided. "You went for her...why?"
"I hate the bitch. I would've had her good too, if Stormer hadn't interfered."
"I'm glad she did."
"Hah." Roxy snorted. "Look, we're in studio in half an hour then I've someone I'm meeting at half four, so you better get lost, huh? I'm a busy girl."
"You promise me you won't hurt Jetta again?"
"Oh, I can't be bothered with her today." Roxy shrugged. "Okay, okay, I won't!" As Justin raised an eyebrow. "But only because she's no challenge. She's a wimp, and I don't want to spoil my sudden good mood."
"Well, good." Justin stood. "I'll call you tonight, and tell you what Dad said, okay? I better get going now."
"Fine." Roxy nodded. "I'll speak to you then."
Meanwhile, oblivious to the depth of the conversation in the living room, Jetta had sauntered down to get her breakfast, grabbing an apple and heading nonchalantly out onto the patio, dropping down into a deckchair. Stormer, who had settled down to read glanced up, eying her in surprise.
"You're up!" She exclaimed.
"Well, it's more than Pizzazz is. If she even came home last night." Jetta shrugged. "Yeah, so? We got studio in a while, don't we?"
"We do." Stormer nodded. "Are you all right this morning?"
"Well, apart from lookin' like somethin' mauled me." Jetta eyed her bruised arms dryly. "I'm fine."
"Good." Stormer looked relieved. "I was a bit worried for a moment there that you'd fallen for Justin, and we were going to have a Misfit feud and a half over it."
Jetta choked on her apple.
"Fallen...for Justin?" She demanded, once she'd regained her composure. "Who in hell do you think I am? I don't do romance!"
"Well, after what happened in New York..."
"It happened. Big deal, it's over with now." Jetta shrugged, more nonchalance in her tone than she felt. Despite her cool facade, the act was getting harder and harder to keep in place. "I don't care if I never see the guy again."
"You don't?" Stormer seemed surprised. "Well, it's probably for the best. I mean, with him and Roxy spending time together...I don't want you guys winding up in another fight like last night."
"We won't. If it 'appens again I'll show 'er what's what an' 'ow to treat me." Jetta's eyes narrowed.
"Don't worry, it ain't worth my time. She's nothin'." Jetta shrugged. "So drop it, huh? It's not important."
"Okay, if you say so." Stormer shrugged. She heard the front door shut, and frowned. "Wonder what that was. I guess Justin..." She trailed off, looking awkward. "Nothing."
"I know 'e was 'ere." Jetta shrugged. "I told you...I don't care."
Her voice wavered slightly on the last three words, and Stormer, sensitive as ever shot her companion a suspicious glance.
"You knew he was here all along?"
"Yeah. I heard 'im come."
"So why didn't you come say hi, if you're not bothered about him?"
"Why should I bother? I wasn't dressed."
"Why should you care?"
"Oh, stop it!" Jetta exclaimed. "Stormer, leave it alone!"
"Hah! I was right!" Stormer's blue eyes opened wide. "I should have listened to my instincts first off...you are in love with him!"
"Shut up, I am not!" Jetta exclaimed.
"You are." Stormer's expression became troubled. "Oh, but...Jetta, did you hear what was said this morning? What I said...what he said?"
"I 'eard." Jetta said flatly. "So?"
"Oh..." Stormer looked stricken. "Oh, Jetta...I'm sorry, if I'd totally believed then that you had feelings for him I'd not have said it, only..."
"Just leave it." Jetta interrupted shortly, getting to her feet. "I'm goin' inside. I don't need your mushy crap."
Stormer watched her go, a worried expression on her face.
"She is...and I told Justin to lay off." She murmured. "What have I done now?"
Jetta, for her part, had more or less lost control of her could-care-less demeanour, and she shut herself in her bedroom, flinging herself down onto her bed as the unwelcome tears filled her eyes.
"Why do I give a damn!" She muttered fiercely, beating her fists on the duvet cover. "Stormer's wrong...she's wrong! I'm not in love...why does everyone keep saying I am? Why..."
She got to her feet, moving to the window. Roxy and Justin were talking on the front forecourt and somehow it made her feel worse to see him, laughing and talking as though nothing was wrong. Sickened, she turned away.
"Am I?" She murmured. "Is that what this is? Is that why I feel like crap right now? Is that why I let 'im so close to me in New York? Dammit, am I in love with Justin Pelligrini?"
Chapter One: Just One Wish
Chapter Two: Roxy's Ambition
Chapter Three: New York
Chapter Four: An Unexpected Meeting
Chapter Five: Roxy's Treasure
Chapter Six: The Answer
Chapter Seven: Justin
Chapter Eight: Jetta's Game
Chapter Nine: The Ultimatum
Chapter Ten: Laura's Wedding
Chapter Eleven: Professor Milton
Chapter Twelve: One Night In New York
Chapter Thirteen: Conflict!
Chapter Fourteen: Heartbreak
Chapter Fifteen: A Reunion
Chapter Sixteen: A Fragile Peace
(The Misfits and Holograms and other animated Jem
are copyrighted to Hasbro Inc. Justin and all characters who do not
in Jem episodes are my own creation. This story is copyrighted to E.A