Chapter Two: Teamwork

“You sure it’s gonna work now?” Aja stood back against the garage wall, eying the Rockin’ Roadster doubtfully. Though the car belonged to the band as a whole, it was most often Aja who did the driving, and she was also the one who spent most time on trying to fix it when something went wrong.
“It’ll work.” Roxanne Pelligrini, the Misfits’ bass guitarist poked her head out from under the bonnet. “Jus’ needed rewirin’, that’s all.” She pushed the bonnet back down. “Go on. Try it if you don’t believe me.”
“Okay.” Aja slipped into the driver’s seat, turning the key in the ignition. The car roared into life, and Roxy offered a self-satisfied grin.
“See? Told ya.” She said airily.
“Okay, you win.” Aja conceded, reaching over to open the passenger side. “How did you learn so much about cars, anyway? I mean, it isn’t as if you trained to be a car mechanic or anything.”
“I taught myself.” Roxy shrugged. Rough and ready, she had grown up on the streets of Philadelphia and as a result had learnt the arts of survival before the more mundane needs of life.
“There was this old junkyard where I used to live. We used to scale the fence looking for bits and pieces we could take - well, who’s gonna care if something goes missing from a junkyard, huh? Link taught me to hotwire and I’d drive the old bangers round the yard. When you’re driving things as clapped out as that you learn which bits to take from other wrecks to make the thing go.” Roxy responded.
“Well, all I can say is that you must have a knack for machines.” Aja observed. “I grew up tinkering with things here and there, Rio and I used to mess about a lot that way when I was a teenager, but sometimes this junkheap car is beyond even me. I swear you’ve saved us a fortune on mechanic bills already.”
Roxy shrugged.
“No big deal.” She replied.
“You want a ride anywhere? I was going into town to get some strings for my guitar.”
 “Sure.” Roxy slipped into the passenger seat. “My bass could do with a couple, too. Pizzazz bust ‘em messin’ about with it. I wish she’d leave it alone.”
“She doesn’t like being told what to do, huh?” Aja looked amused. Roxy pulled a face.
“You got it.” She agreed. “Worse still since I began this solo album stint. I’m damn well going to do it and do it good, whatever she thinks anyway.”
“To be honest, I’m curious to hear it.” Aja admitted. “I know what style of music the Misfits produce, and I know what Kimber and Stormer produced together, but I don’t have a clue what your album is going to be like.”
Roxy pursed her lips, considering for a moment. Then she shrugged.
“Like me.” She said finally. “That’s all it can be. An’ Stormer’s helping me out where I need her to - though I don’t need that much help!”
“The first Misfit to go solo.” Aja laughed. “Stormer doesn’t count since she was with Kimber on both her musical jaunts away from you girls. How’re you gonna promote it, with all the stuff the Misfits are gonna be doing?”
“Who cares? I’ll deal with that if and when it comes to it.” Roxy replied carelessly. “We going?”
“Oh, sure.” Aja looked sheepish, putting the car into gear and pulling out of the driveway of Starlight Mansion. “What time you gotta be back at the studio for?”
“I don’t. I’m takin’ the day off.” Roxy said decidedly. “Well, we all are, pretty much. We needed a vacation, and Pizzazz is off at some weird business meeting or somethin’ in DC with Eric and her father, so we’re free to do what we want. I don’t have to work on my record every second of the day, you know, and it’s more than half written already. I think I deserve some free time.”
“I wish we had a break, too.” Aja sighed. “It must be nice to have a week or two vacation, but the Holograms are bigger business than ever since our truce and we can’t afford the time off.”
“See what positive publicity we Misfits bring?” Roxy grinned.
Aja snorted.
“If you say so.” She bantered. “Hey, when does Pizzazz get back, anyhow?”
“Saturday.” Roxy replied. “I don’t know what this thing of hers is about and nor does she…all I know is that she wasn’t happy about having to go!”
“I bet she wasn’t.” Aja looked amused. “I think Pizzazz is generally allergic to work of any kind.”
Roxy smirked.
“There’s no point in doing work that you can pay someone else to do.” She said with a shrug. She glanced out of the window. “Feels odd I’m spending my free time with you like this.”
“Yeah, it feels kinda weird to me too.” Aja owned. “With us having our tour right after the business with Clash and the Rock Festival, I guess none of us really had the chance to sit down and really think about the implications. But to be honest, I’m glad of it. Aren’t you?”
“Yeah, I guess I am.” Roxy acknowledged slowly. “I was getting bored of always being on your case, anyway.” A glint entered her brown eyes. “And there are always those Stingers…”
Aja laughed.
 “Hey, if you’re going after Riot, you can always count me in!” She joked. “That guy’s ego needs taking down a few pegs.”
 “Pizzazz is working on it.” Roxy said with a grin. “And in the meantime, I’m hanging out with a Hologram.”
“Well, in the long run I s’pose it’s gotta help us both.” Aja reasoned. “Musically, as much as anything. I know Shana’s learnt something from you about bass guitar when we started hanging out and playing, and if Pizzazz would only bother to listen to me I swear I could improve her guitar playing.”
“Pizzazz and guitars are a no no combination.” Roxy wrinkled up her nose. “She smashes more than she plays…she’s safer with the mic, doin’ something she’s good at and that she can handle. Stormer and Jetta and I can manage the tune.”
“Well, I’d still like to help. I mean, you’ve helped Shana.”
“I ain’t.” Roxy shook her head. “I’m not good at the helping thing, Aja. If Shana learnt anything it was just cos she watched me play, that’s all. Nothing else.”
Aja smiled.
“But you helped me with the roadster.” She countered. “And you have helped Shana, you know. She’s the first to admit that music isn’t her natural forte, but she loves it and loves playing with the Holograms. Now she’s said she’s beginning to feel like a real guitarist, and not just a fill in. You made that difference, you know.”
 “Bah. Nonsense.” Roxy seemed uncomfortable. “Quit being mushy Hologrammy, will you?”
“I can’t help it, I’m a Hologram.” Aja laughed. “And you can’t pretend you didn’t help with the car.”
“That’s different. I like tinkering with the roadster.” Roxy objected. “It’s a nice little car. Now, are we shopping or not?”
 “Sure.” With a resigned smile, Aja gave up, pulling the car onto the forecourt of the local mall. “Let’s hit the stores!”

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    
“Well, how are they looking?”
Shana Elmsford, the Holograms’ bass guitarist shot her assistant an anxious look. “Do they look okay? I was hoping to try something a little different.”
“Shana, your designs are always magnifique.” Régine Césare, a young designer from Martinique clasped her hands together. “They are wonderful, so chic! When does the man come to inspect them?”
“Mr Evanson? Tomorrow afternoon. I wanted them ready today for you to check over and critique.” Shana replied, sitting down in her chair. “I’ve never been so involved in fashion design, Régine, not like this…under my own steam. I never knew I could love being a designer so much! But where it leaves my music I don’t know. I’m getting stretched between the things that I love most!”
“And that is why you ‘ave me, mon amie.” Régine dimpled, hurrying to the filing cabinet and pulling out a folder. “I ‘ave ‘ere the designs you asked me to do for the fashion shoot…I will begin to make them this very afternoon, if you like them.”
 “Ohhh! They’re gorgeous, Régine!” Shana exclaimed, flicking through the sheets. “Just perfect for what they want! With these and the ones I’m working on we might even meet the Saturday deadline! I sure hope we will. It’s so exciting being involved in a fashion photo shoot of this magnitude!”
“Régine et Shana, Vêtements Pour Tous.” Régine grinned. “We make a great partnership, Shana, don’t you think?”
“I do.” Shana nodded. She paused. “And Danielle has been so kind, offering her financial backing should we want to branch out and make a big thing of this.”
Danielle Du Voisin, a French countess who also dabbled in fashion had initially introduced the two girls and was very supportive of both of their growing talents. “Thing is, much as I’d like it, I have the Holograms too, which I love and whom I can’t abandon. I’d feel wretched if you and I set up something major together and then I was to go traipsing off on tour with the band, leaving you hanging. It just wouldn’t be fair.”
 “There is no rush. We both still learn, n’est-pas?” Régine smiled. “I’ll begin on these this afternoon and maybe tonight I will have more to show you.”
“Great.” Shana grinned. “I don’t know what I’d do without you these days, Régine. You’re a godsend.”
“And you are a bonne amie.” Régine returned. “Eh bien, I shall begin!”

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

“What are you thinking?”
Sheila Burns, sax player to the Misfits and better known among her associates as ‘Jetta’ started, turning to face the speaker.
“Justin!” She exclaimed. “I didn’t ‘ear you come in - don’t creep up on me!”
Justin Pelligrini laughed, coming to join her at the window.
“You were miles away.” He told her. “I let myself in, Roxy loaned me her key. What’s up? You look preoccupied.”
Jetta paused, looking thoughtful. Though it was some weeks now since she had lost her battle with her own will and allowed Justin into her life, sometimes she was still confused and frustrated by the way he made her act and feel. Sentiment and love were both foreign things to her, growing up as Stormer had rightly pointed out to Kimber in a loveless family, and men had always been little more than a form of amusement for her.
That was, until she’d met Justin.
Never before had she encountered a man who did not succumb to her manipulation and mind games, and, to her own dismay, she had found herself more and more intrigued by and interested in the photographer. The fact he was also Roxy’s half brother had initially been cause for conflict, but things had settled down, and Jetta had more or less resigned herself to the oddball relationship she and Justin had begun to form.
Despite this, however, she was extremely wary of calling him her ‘boyfriend’, claiming that such things as relationships were for wimps.
Justin had observed all this with amusement, loving her all the more for her desperate plays for independence. He knew only too well by now that, whatever she might say, Jetta’s heart told a different story, and that his affection for her was wholeheartedly, if slightly more subtly returned.
“Well?” He pressed her now. “Is something on your mind?”
“Oh, quit it with the agony uncle bit.” Jetta retorted, swiping him playfully. “I was just thinkin’ ‘ow so much ‘as changed lately, that’s all. Since we called the truce with the ‘Olograms, things ‘ave been ‘aywire.”
“Oh?” Justin put his arm around her waist. “How so?”
“I dunno. Feels odd, is all.” Jetta sighed. “I s’pose you ain’t ‘elped, neither.”
“Gee, thanks.” Justin laughed. “Blame me, I don’t mind.”
 “All right, I will.” Jetta returned neatly. “But don’t you think things are ‘aywire at the moment?”
“Not really. I thought it was always this crazy around the Misfits.” Justin said good naturedly. Jetta snorted.
“Oh, ha ha.” She replied darkly. “I’m serious, Justin!”
“I know you are.” Justin grinned. “So what’s wrong with things being a little different?”
 “Actually, that’s it. I…don’t know that anything is wrong with it.” Jetta considered. “We were too bothered with sabotagin’ Jem to make a big thing of bein’ Misfits, and it was starting to grate on me nerves more than a little. Much as I ‘ate to admit it, the Holograms ain’t so bad, though I still don’t think Jem likes or trusts us. Still, that’s no skin off my nose…if she don’t wanna talk to me I ain’t got nothin’ to say to ‘er and I certainly ain’t jeopardisin’ the truce for one pink haired freak singer.”
“It’s still very fresh in people’s minds.” Justin mused. “Personally, I’m more glad that Roxy’s reconciled herself to the idea of you and I seeing each other. I didn’t like the idea of having to make a choice, you know…or leave California all together.”
 “I wouldn’t miss ya.” Jetta told him calmly.
“Oh, you wouldn’t?” Justin laughed. “Okay, I’ll go book me a flight back to the Big Apple then, shall I?”
“Nah, don’t bother yourself. I’m sure I can find a use for ya.” Jetta smirked. “To be honest I ain’t all that sure even now ‘ow this ‘appened…” She indicated the two of them, “But I’m kinda fond of you these days. Jus’ don’t tell anyone I said that, cos I’ll deny it all the way!”
Justin grinned at her.
“Okay, understood.” He said. “It took me long enough and I had to take enough insults before I broke you down, after all.”
“Was I worth it?” Jetta’s tone was light, but there was a hint of seriousness in her tone, and she fixed him with an enquiring look. Justin laughed.
“You know you were.” He replied. “Hey, you got plans this afternoon?”
 “Yes.” Jetta grimaced. “With Pizzazz and Eric away guess who’s ‘oldin’ the fort at Misfit Music? Muggins ‘ere. Pizzazz says I’m the only one she trusts to do it, but it’s one ‘ell of a drag when Stormer an’ Roxy more or less ‘ave an ‘oliday out of this!”
“Want a helping hand?” Justin offered.
“Definitely, though you’ll regret it. It’s tons of blinkin’ files to sort back into the right order after Pizzazz ‘ad a tantrum an’ tossed ‘em all over the place.” Jetta responded dryly.
“Well, at least I’d get to spend some time with you.” Justin reasoned.
“True, but don’t get all mushy on me. I’m playin’ the executive today.” Jetta replied. “’Ere, you got your car out back? I don’t feel like drivin’, to be honest.”
“Sure. Might’ve known I wasn’t anything more to you than a means of transport.” Justin grinned.
Jetta shrugged carelessly.
"If you can't stand the 'eat, love, step away from the flames." She responded. "Come on. Sooner we begin, sooner we're done with it."
She paused, thinking.
"I wonder if any of the 'Olograms are free this afternoon an' fancy 'elpin' me out?"
"That's what I call exploiting the truce!" Justin looked amused. "But I expect they'll have practice today, plus any number of other things to do. They aren't on vacation like you girls."
"Some vacation." Jetta snorted. "Oh well. I got one willin' slave at least. Come on, let's go get it over with!"


"Wow, outrageous!"
Kimber squinted at her reflection, a delighted look on her face. "I look so totally different...miles older than twenty one! This is so cool, Stormer!"
The two girls had long since finished their shopping, secluding themselves in Kimber's bedroom to explore their new purchases and experiment with hair and makeup.
"You look great. Kinda scary, but it suits you." Stormer laughed. "Now all you need is a hairstyle to match."
"No problem!" Kimber grabbed her hairbrush, pulling her hair back into a high ponytail and twisting a band into it. After spritzing it liberally with hairspray to make it fluff out, she cast her companion a questioning glance. "Well? How do I look?"
"More of a Misfit than I do." Stormer admitted. "You know, I never had a friend when I was in high school to do all this kind of stuff with. I'm so glad that we can be proper friends now, Kimber...it's a lot of fun just hanging out and being silly adolescent types instead of worrying about the grown up world of music."
"You never did?" Kimber looked startled. "Stormer, you're one of the sweetest people I know - how come?"
"Too shy." Stormer looked embarrassed. "I wasn't bullied, but most people left me to myself since I never had anything to say."
"Well, you're not shy now, so guess the Misfits did something for you." Kimber dimpled, and impulsively she hugged her companion. "Besides, it's outrageous to have a friend who's about my age who I can behave like a total kid with! Since I was nineteen I've been with the Holograms and much as I love them to death they're all like my big sisters, except maybe Raya. Sometimes big sisters can be a major drag."
"Big brothers too." Stormer smiled. "But they mean well."
"Oh, I know." Kimber nodded. "But sometimes it's cool just to mess about like a teenager again." She looked impish. "My friends and I would cut classes some afternoons and hit the mall to get the best sale bargains before the after school rush. I love the Holograms but I do miss those days. Most of them are off at college now."
"I never had the guts to cut a class." Stormer admitted. "I graduated top of my grade and I was already one grade ahead of my age group - I mean I was seventeen when I finished school. After that Mom died...and Craig went to Europe, so if it hadn't been for the Misfits I don't know what I'd have wound up doing." She grimaced. "Being some meek and mild typist or something probably."
Yeuch." Kimber pulled a graphic face. "Bo-ring!"
"You're telling me." Stormer nodded. "So I'm happy enough with how things worked out in the end! Even if sometimes I'm scared for my life when Pizzazz drives!"
"I think the whole world is scared when Pizzazz drives!" Kimber laughed. She eyed herself once more in the mirror, then, "Hey, and if I'm now a Misfit lookalike, we totally have to make you into a Hologram type!"
"A Hologram?" Stormer looked startled, then she grinned, shrugging. "Well, okay then. I s'pose that's fair. I don't know that I've the clothes to match that kind of look, mind you."
She sat down in the chair in front of the mirror. "Guess this means my lightning bolt and slashes are history, huh?"
"Yep, you got it." Kimber nodded her head, reaching for one of the cotton wool balls and covering it with lotion. "Close your eyes, okay? You won't recognise yourself when I'm done!"
"That's what I'm afraid of!" Stormer joked, obediently closing her eyes. Kimber snorted.
"Don't be like that." She scolded, working quickly. "I used to do makeovers all the time when I was in highschool. Practically every sleepover my friends and I had, in fact. I'm practically a professional at this stuff!" She paused, eying her friend critically. "You know, you look really really different without your Misfit makeup."
"I know I do." Stormer agreed. "Not one bit tough and Misfittish, huh?"
"Nope, not at all." Kimber agreed. "You look cool, though. You're really pretty, Stormer."
"You think so?" Stormer blushed. Kimber grinned.
"Sure do." She agreed. "And when I'm done you're gonna look even more outrageous than ever!"
Deftly she redid her friend's makeup, this time more in the style of a Hologram, in pink and yellow with little gold stars on her cheek.
"Okay, you can look."
"Wow...that's me?" Stormer gaped. "I look so different! Is that what you'd have done to me if I'd ever joined the Holograms?"
"Yep." Kimber grinned. "What do you think?"
"I like it." Stormer nodded. "I just wish I had an outfit to go with it."
"It sucks that you're taller than me, else I'd lend you something." Kimber responded. "But we can do your hair..."
Carefully she removed her friend's clasp and flower, setting it down on the table. "Those belong to Stormer of the Misfits, so you can't use them in your Hologram look." She explained, dimpling. "But..." She grabbed the brush, running it through her friend's thick curls. "A barrette each side, like so...and there. Welcome, Stormer of the Holograms and Kimber of the Misfits!"
"We look crazy." Stormer giggled.
"Hold that thought, I've a camera here somewhere." Kimber rummaged through her drawers, finally coming up triumphant. "Ahah! Here it is. Now, if I sit this on the shelf here and set the timer...we should both be able to get in the shot together!"
"Ready when you are." Stormer nodded.
"There." Kimber set the camera down, hurrying to join her friend. "Say cheese!"
"Cheese!" Stormer laughed. "This morning has been so much fun, Kimber."
"It has. We definitely have to hang out more often." Kimber said decidedly.
"When Pizzazz is back, we'll be back on runthroughs again too, though." Stormer reminded her. "I hope we can still...Kimber? What's up?" As a look of consternation crossed Kimber's pretty face.
"Oh hell, the practice, I totally forgot!" She exclaimed. "What's the time?"
"Ten past two." Stormer glanced at her watch."
"Eek! It started ten minutes ago! I have to fly!" Kimber grabbed her manuscript, hurrying down the stairs. "I really need to get my clock fixed, it's been playing up all week, and I totally let it slip my mind."
"But don't you girls usually practice here?" Stormer sounded confused. "I don't hear anything."
"Recently we've practiced at Starlight Music." Kimber shook her head. "Jerrica's been so busy that it's the only way we've been able to squeeze in practices and all the paperwork she seems to think we need to do." She grimaced. "And I'm late."
"Want me to drive you? Be quicker than you calling a taxi." Stormer offered. "And the roadster isn't here."
"You're a lifesaver, thank you." Kimber nodded, as they hurried down the main staircase and out of the front door. "Oh, I hope Jerrica won't be mad at me...it's the third time this week I've been late."
"I'm sure she'll understand. Your clock's broken, after all." Stormer reasoned, unlocking her car and slipping into the driver's seat. Kimber sat down in the passenger seat, pulling a face.
"Yeah, you'd think so, wouldn't you?" She asked. "But she's in a ratty mood all the time at the moment. Total permanent PMT I swear. I don't have a clue why, maybe it's because she works so hard. But when I told her about the clock being bust she told me to get a watch and that was that." She frowned. "And now I remember, Aja did offer to loan me her spare one but I forgot to ask her for it last night...so I doubt Jerrica will be willing to listen to me make more excuses. Like I said, big sisters can be a drag."
"Well, you didn't do it on purpose." Stormer pointed out.
"I never do." Kimber looked sheepish. "I just lose track of time sometimes. You know, it's just so boring when you have to keep your eyes glued to the clock every ten minutes. Anyhow, Jerrica is getting to be a pain. I even heard Aja call her Ms Hyde last night, when she and Raya were talking out on the patio. It's screwy being a Hologram at the moment."
"Crazy being a Misfit, too, though for once Pizzazz has bowed to group opinion." Stormer replied. "Not that her commitment to the truce has really been tested yet. I hope it never will be. I don't think I could go back to us being foes again."
"Me neither." Kimber admitted. "Heck, I'm starting to like Jetta and Roxy some, too. I think we've come too far to turn back now."
"I sure hope so." Stormer pulled to a halt outside Starlight Music. "Here you go. Good luck and catch you later, huh?"
"Count on it!" Kimber replied, haring out of the car and into the building, her hastily gathered manuscript under her arm. Stormer watched her go with a chuckle. Kimber was always a lot of fun to hang out with.
"Stormer!" A voice from above attracted her attention and she glanced across the road to where the big black and glass structure of Misfit Music stood. "Stormer, come an' give us an 'and, will ya?"
"Hi, Jetta!" Stormer grinned up at the dark girl who was leaning precariously out of a top floor window to attract her attention, seemingly unaware of the dangers of doing so. "I'll be right up!"
And, Kimber and the Holograms forgotten, at least for the time being, she headed into the music company to join in the quest for missing files.

Chapter One: Ceasefire
Chapter Two: Teamwork
Chapter Three: A Stumbling Block
Chapter Four: Tackling Jetta
Chapter Five: Cracks
Chapter Six: Kimber's Escape
Chapter Seven: Confronting Jerrica
Chapter Eight: Dilemma
Chapter Nine: Begging Sanctuary
Chapter Ten: Kimber's Gauntlet
Chapter Eleven: The Plot Thickens

This story is copyrighted to E.A Woolley as of Spring 2002 when it was first begun. Any characters not appearing in the jem series are also copyrighted to myself (E A Woolley) and are not to be reproduced in form or character without express permission. Any character from the Jem series are copyright to Hasbro Inc, Sunbow and Christy Marx 1985-1988.