Chapter Fifteen: A Reunion
"I'm not sure I wanna do this any more."
Roxy paced up and down the gravel path, pausing momentarily to cast Justin a doubtful glance, then resuming her vigil. "What do I say to a father I ain't seen, well, ever? I don't even know the guy!"
"Trust me, it'll be fine." Justin assured her, reaching over to ring the bell. "And there, now I've rung the doorbell, so we can't run away."
"Great." Roxy muttered. "Just wonderful."
It was two days later, and the two Pelligrinis had flown out to the East Coast once more, this time to reunite their family properly. Justin had not spoken to Jetta over those two days, and she had kept herself to herself, not letting her guard down for a moment and not allowing herself to go near him. As a result, he had no idea how much turmoil he had caused her.
For his part, he was as much in love with her as ever, and bringing Roxy to meet William had proven a welcome distraction.
Before he could retort to his sister's remarks, the door of the house swung open, and William himself stood in the doorway, casting his son a smile. Roxy was not immediately visible, and from where she was shielded by the trees she observed him, noting the resemblance between her brother and this stranger.
They exchanged a few pleasantries, then Justin turned, beckoning to her. She swallowed hard.
"You're a Misfit, you don't funk things." She muttered. "Knock 'em dead, Roxy!"
Slowly she approached the house, unsure as to how to begin a conversation, but as it happened she had no need to. William, after the first shock of seeing her, reached out to take her gently by the hand.
"Roxanne." He murmured. "It's been forever, hasn't it?"
Roxy took a deep breath.
"I didn't know I still had a Dad for ages." She admitted.
"And then you weren't sure if you wanted to drag up the past again." William smiled at her. "I understand. I'm glad you're here though, child...you don't know how long I've wished to see you again. And doing so well for yourself...it makes me feel that the twenty five years I served weren't wasted. You're beautiful."
Roxy blushed, speechless, and Justin ushered them both inside, closing the door behind him, for he was really afraid his impulsive sister might make a break for it.
"Shall I go make coffee?" He suggested. "Dad, you and Roxy have a lot to catch up on, after all."
Thank you, Justin." William nodded.
"Uh...yeah, I guess." Roxy nodded her head. "Whatever."
Justin winked at her, disappearing into the kitchen, and leaving the two, father and daughter alone in the lounge, exchanging looks.
"Roxy, huh?" William broke the silence. "That's how you like to be known?"
"I've been Roxy since I moved to Cali." Roxy nodded. "I like it better."
"It suits you." William decided. "Justin said you were quite a determined young lady and good at what you do...you do realise, I hope, that you have your mother to thank for your musical ability. She was...very gifted."
"Mom was?" Roxy looked startled, then, "What was she like?"
"In looks, like you." William smiled. "In character...she was sweet, shy, unsure about things. She wasn't the kind of person who passed judgement on people - perhaps her judge of character wasn't the best, but she had faith in humankind, and I loved her for that."
"So far we're not much alike." Roxy murmured.
"She had a big love of music." William continued. "She sang and played piano too, she told me, before she left home. I...don't know the circumstances of that, Roxy. She would never tell me about her family, I don't know if she had any still living. I met her when she lived with the people you grew up calling aunt and uncle, if Justin is to be believed. They were bad people indeed, and they cowed her spirit."
"I hated them." Roxy said with feeling. "But I wasn't gonna sit and take it! I left when I was fourteen and that was that. Never looked back and never regretted it. They're nothing to me."
"Am I nothing to you?" William asked her softly.
Roxy looked startled.
"I don't know, yet." She said finally. "I ain't...a family kinda person. I mean, I...I've never had anyone, and..."
"It's all right, child, I understand."
"I'm no child, you know. I'm twenty five next week."
"Yes, of course you are." William smiled. "I'm sorry...you lose track of time and age when it's so long since you've seen someone. You were a tiny baby when I last knew you - I couldn't pick you up now."
He got to his feet, picking up a photo album and leafing through the pages. "I found this...I thought you'd like to see it." He said, pulling out a picture and handing it to her. "This is the earliest photo I have of you...you were half a day old."
"That's me?" Roxy stared at the tiny baby, not fully comprehending. "And...and Mom?"
"Yes. That's your mother. I took the picture." William nodded. "I don't have more than three pictures of you and her together, Roxy...it's sad, really. She loved you more than she loved anything on the planet...it was only after you were born that she could find the courage to want to leave and start again."
Roxy didn't respond at first. She took the photograph, holding it almost reverently as she took in the image of the two of them, mother and baby, together.
"My family." she whispered.
"Yes." William nodded. "There isn't a lot left of it, I'm sad to say, and I wish it were otherwise...thanks to young Justin, though, I've found my daughter safe and sound and, well, it meant a lot to me to know you didn't believe me a murderer."
"I know who hurt my Mom." Roxy said darkly, handing the photograph back. "I know who he is, all right. He more or less boasted to me of it. But hey, he can't manipulate me so easy...I gave him a punch in the head for his trouble and he don't bother me now."
"Justin was right." William eyed her in surprise. "You have grown up tough."
"Had to." Roxy shrugged.
"Well, you guys getting along okay?" Justin entered at that moment, a tray of coffee in his hands. William smiled at him, nodding.
"Better than I ever hoped." He agreed. "Thank you, Justin, for bringing us back together!"
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