Chapter Sixteen: A Fragile Peace

"So, are you glad we did it?"
Justin eyed his sister's expression curiously as the taxi cab pulled up outside the Gabor mansion. "Are you glad you met your father now?"
Roxy looked thoughtful, getting out of the car and banging the door behind her.
"Yes." She said finally. "Actually, I am. I mean, I know so much now...about me! I never knew who I was when I was a, well, now I know who Roxanne Pelligrini is, an' that she's someone to be proud of being! My family...they're no wimps. I'm glad I'm a Pelligrini. I mean, I don't say I'm gonna be buyin' a place in Pennsylvania now, jus' so I can visit Dad every week or somethin', but I know he's there and that's important, you know?"
"Yeah, I know." Justin nodded. "I grew up without a Dad too, you know."
"Sure." Roxy nodded. "Hey, do you think you'll be stopping in California for good now? I mean, you keep jetting back here."
"I..." Justin frowned. "I'm not sure." He admitted. "See, I've been planning to leave New York for some time now, settle down out of state and become freelance, move about a bit more, see more of America without the hassle of being tied to someone's desk. Before...well, I wanted to come out I'm not sure I should."
"Why in hell not?" Roxy demanded.
"I don't think it would help either of us if I told you." Justin sighed, looking tired. "Look, I'll call you or something, okay? I have to go trawl the hotels for a room again."
"You ain't going anywhere till you explain to me what you mean." Roxy blocked his way, grabbing him by the arm. "I wanna know! Why won't you stay in California?"
Justin frowned, then,
"Because of Jetta." He admitted.
Roxy stared.
"Yes. I know you hate it, Roxy, but I can't help it. I'm in love with her...and I can't stay in this state and not want to see her. I'm sorry...I know you don't want me to see her, but I promised Stormer I wouldn't mess up the Misfits with a feud and so it's probably best I don't stop here for long."
Roxy snorted.
"Is that a fact?" She demanded.
"Why, what do you suggest?"
"You can do what you like about Jetta." Roxy shrugged. "I don't care...sleep with her if you must. It's no skin off my nose."
"Why the change of heart?" Justin stared at his sister as if she'd lost her mind.
"Do I have to explain everything to you?" Roxy demanded. Justin nodded.
"It would be nice." He agreed.
Roxy smirked.
"Look, slowbrain, it's obvious, ain't it?" She responded. "Jetta is nothing. The whole time she's been a Misfit she's made out she's something...and that she's better than me, well, she ain't, is she? She doesn't have a family who'll go to jail to save her, they all try and get her killed instead! And she can no way match up to me in a fight - I proved once and for all who the tough girl Misfit is! Jetta's second best...she don't got anything else going for her. 'Cept you. So you better do something about it, because it's not good for the Misfit image to have a loser in the band, is it?"
Justin's draw dropped. Then he laughed.
"You're impossible." He said slowly, shaking his head. "You really mean that, though? I mean, you don't care any more?"
"Like I said, why should I?" Roxy shrugged. She paused, her expression turning serious. "Listen, Justin. I didn't want you hanging out with her because I knew she'd try and mess you up and stop you spending time with me. That's how she works." She said quietly. "But that was only cos I didn't totally understand this whole family thing we got going here, and now I do. So I know that no matter what Jetta tries, well, you're still gonna be my brother, right? And we'll be cool, yeah?"
"Totally." Justin nodded. "And I'm glad you see it."
"There is something else." Roxy said slowly. "See, Justin, I didn't tell you, and I wasn't gonna say anything yet, but I might as well tell you, though noone else. I'm learning to read."
"You are?" Justin looked surprised. "You mean you...?"
"I called the Prof." Roxy nodded. "And we've met up twice. He...he made me do some test, and I do have dyslexia. Well, that's cool with me, because I know now what I'm fighting, and I proved with Jetta that noone can get the better of me in a fight. It won't stand a chance now I know how to tackle it. Anyhow, he's promised to keep in touch with me by phone and when he's in Cali he's gonna come by and see what's going on...likewise when I'm in New York. So you see, soon Jetta won't have anything left to crow about...I might as well be sweet and share you with her." She winked. "Right?"
"Right." Justin grinned. "And don't worry, I won't tell anyone about it, if you want to spring a surprise on them. Good luck, Roxy. I don't know anyone as determined as you are, and I know you'll succeed. All it takes..."
He trailed off, realising that they were being watched. Jetta stood in the doorway, an unreadable expression on her face.
"Roxy, you comin' in or you gonna spend all day yakkin'?" she demanded.
Roxy sent her bandmate a careless grin.
"I'm comin' in." She said airily. "He's all yours."
"What?" Jetta stared at her.
"Well, you want him, don't you?" Roxy shrugged. "And he wants you. So? Duh! Later, loser."
And with that, she was gone, leaving Jetta staring after her.
"What was that about?" She demanded.
"Roxy...thinks that you and I should talk about things." Justin said slowly. "About New York, I mean. I don't know what you were thinking that night, Jetta, or how you've been thinking since then, but I still feel the same about you as I did before."
"You think I care?" Jetta demanded. "I told you before, I don't need a guy on my tail."
"No, you don't." Justin agreed. "But don't you think it might be kinda nice to have one, anyway? I never said you needed me, after all."
"I'm confused." Jetta admitted. "Look, first you sleep with me, then you cut me off..."
"I didn't want Roxy going for you again. I didn't want you hurt, Jetta."
"So what's changed?"
"Well, I don't think it's gonna be a problem any more." Justin shrugged.
"So because Roxy's let you off the leash, you can come trotting up to me beggin'?" Jetta demanded. Justin laughed. Within a moment he was beside her on the step, and before she knew what was happening, he had kissed her.
"Remember that?" He murmured. "C'mon, Jetta, you scared of me? You never know unless you try..."
"I ain't scared of nothing." Jetta snapped. "All right, Justin Pelligrini, you're on! But don't expect me to go easy on you, all right? This is by my rules, and if you can't keep up with me, well, that's your problem. Okay?"
Justin grinned.
"I love you too." He whispered. Despite herself, Jetta smiled slightly.
"Oh, shut up, will you?" She instructed. "You're gonna make me barf." She pushed open the door. "Well, you comin' in?"
"Sure." Justin nodded. He smiled. "I thought you'd never ask."

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 characters are copyrighted to Hasbro Inc. Justin and all characters who do not appear in Jem episodes are my own creation. This story is copyrighted to E.A Woolley (2001)