England's Rose

Chapter Nine: The Misfits In London

"Well, here we are again." Pizzazz stretched out on the sofa in the lounge of the hotel suite, putting her hands behind her head with a smile of satisfaction. "Merry old England. Whatever that witch Jem and her friends can do, we can do better."
Jetta glanced up from her magazine, shooting Pizzazz an amused look. It was almost two years on, and the Misfits were more a unit than they had ever been. Many things had changed since Jetta's first day as a Misfit. Her clever facade to conceal her true heritage had gone up in smoke more than a year before, but in the end it had hardly mattered. She had learnt to belong with the band more than she ever thought she could, and was secure in her role as the group's saxophonist. Often her role was more like Pizzazz's second in command, a position she had all but usurped from under Roxy's nose, and the blond did not love her any better for it, but Jetta didn't care. She was a bona fide Misfit now, and her doubts and insecurities had all but left her.
Over her time with the band, other things had also changed, She no longer held the view that Stormer was a wimp, for when the truth about Jetta's unsavoury family had surfaced, noone had been better support as her cool and unconcerned air had shattered into frustration and fear. Now the two had a more amicable relationship, though in some ways Jetta knew that Roxy would always come first to the synth player. Sometimes she resented this fact, for though she and Pizzazz were both close and amiable with each other, theirs was a friendship built out of a mutual love for fun, and therefore not prone to deep and meaningful conversation. Jetta was not fond of baring her soul, but it was good to know that if the need arose, she had someone who would listen and who would not laugh at her. Shrewd as ever, it had occured to her more than once that it was Stormer who actually held the Misfits together.
Now they were in England for the third time since Jetta had become a Misfit, and this time for more than simply frivolous reasons. Jem and the Holograms had recently completed a successful sell-out European tour, and Pizzazz was determined that the Misfits were not to be left behind. Having discovered that, of all the countries Jem had visited, the UK was their weak spot (though on balance it was hardly weak at all, for Jem's popularity was universal), she had immediately ordered her company's chief executive, the long suffering Eric Raymond, to organise a Misfit publicity blitz in England. Eric, though henpecked thoroughly by his protegees was good at his job, and the Misfits had flown into Heathrow hours earlier, checking into a suite of rooms at a glitzy London hotel. Their P.R would begin the next day, and for the time being Pizzazz and Jetta were alone, for Stormer and Roxy had retired to their individual rooms to sleep off their jetlag. Roxy, though she did not admit to it, had always hated flying, being nervy when it came to heights, and Stormer, though she loved planes often found being in a confined space with her three bandmates for ten hours solid was more than she could bear.
"So what exactly do you 'ave in mind, or are you leavin' it all to Eric this time?" Jetta spoke now, putting the magazine aside. Pizzazz shrugged.
"Who knows? We'll see how it goes." She cast Jetta a glance. "You know England, right? What's to do here?"
"England's more than just London, duckie, an' I can't say I've been all over it." Jetta looked amused once more. Her companion's ignorance about England and English custom never failed to entertain her. "But there's a lot of life in the city. You've been 'ere before, don't tell me you never explored the place?"
"I did." Pizzazz shrugged, her expression unconcerned. "But I found other things to do. I never stayed over long, anyway, and never as a music celebrity except to wreck Jem's fun or somethin'. This time the stage is ours...we're the centre of attention. I wanna make the most of it!"
"When have you ever failed to do that?" Jetta grinned. "I 'ave to admit I'm lookin' forward to crackin' me home country. Eric's made a big thing about the bringin' the British Misfit 'ome side of this tour...it was kinda nice to come off the plane a celebrity."
"It was alright." Pizzazz shrugged nonchalantly. "But it'll be nothing compared to the reception we get when we're through tourin' here. England ain't never gonna forget the Misfits!"
"Duckie, nobody who's met us ever forgets us." Jetta smirked. "We got a busy schedule, mind you, from 'ow Eric was talkin'."
"Where is Eric?" Pizzazz glanced around her. "I told him to come up here once he'd settled things downstairs...Men!"
"Probably found a pretty young 'otel employee to chat up." Jetta laughed. "I think 'e believes 'e's here on 'oliday, Pizzazz. He's certainly got that air about 'im."
"Well, we'll see about that." Pizzazz's mouth set in determined line. "He's here working for me and I didn't authorise him to flirt with the local trash. He'd better be here soon, or else."
"Watch what you're sayin' about the locals. I'm one of 'em, remember?" Jetta scolded. Pizzazz shrugged.
"So? You ain't trash. You're a Misfit." She said airily. Jetta shook her head in amusement. Life with Pizzazz was never dull.
"If I didn't know better, I'd say you were jus' worried about Eric payin' attention to girls other than you." She said, casting her companion a glance to see if she'd taken the bait. As usual, she had.
Pizzazz glowered.
"And what's that supposed to mean?" she demanded, putting her hands on her hips. Jetta shrugged unconcernedly, examining her black painted nails for chips.
"Just that 'e's your chief executive, duckie, an' 'e ain't doin' a blind thing you're tellin' him, not while he's off after other birds." she said carelessly. "Why, what did you think I meant?"
Pizzazz shot Jetta a long hard look, but chose to drop the subject. She merely shrugged.
"Well, if he wants payin' this month then he'd better start doing some work for a change." she said finally. "He's a liability at the best of times."
"You hired him."
"I know I did." Pizzazz snorted. "Don't need to rub it in! But I wasn't doin' all that paperwork myself!"
"And I'm glad we don't 'ave it to worry about, neither." Jetta owned. "I 'ad 'ad enough of paperwork when I left school."
"Precisely." Pizzazz nodded. "Oh, where is he? This is really making me mad!"
"Nothing new there then, my dear." A fresh voice came from the doorway and the two girls turned to see Eric lounging against the doorpost. "You wanted to see me?"
"It's about time!" Pizzazz snapped. "So what's the deal? What took you so long? You better have a good reason!"
"I do." Eric came into the room, shutting the door and taking a seat. "I was talking on the phone to a friend of mine...he's not someone you would have heard of, but he and I did some work together a few years back, before you girls were in the picture. He's involved in television now, and he's pulled a few strings for me. So, tomorrow night you girls are going to be performing live on Top Of The Pops."
"Top of the what?" Pizzazz looked blank.
"It's one of the biggest music shows in the country, Pizzazz." Jetta told her. "Anyone who's anyone playin' over 'ere plays Top of the Pops, only they only usually let in chart 'its. How'd you manage to get us billed? We ain't released a proper single out 'ere yet!"
"Like I said, he pulled some strings." Eric winked at her. "Anyway, you're playing. They're billing you as a special performance...it'll be great publicity."
"This show is a big deal then, huh?" Pizzazz was beginning to look interested. Eric nodded.
"The biggest." he agreed. "Everyone will know your faces if you play Top of the Pops live in front of an audience of millions - think of the promotional advantages for your live shows elsewhere! You can't go wrong!"
"Sounds pretty ace to me." Jetta nodded her approval. "I used to watch Top of the Pops sometimes as a kid, over at me grandpa's 'ouse...it'll be cool to actually play it."
"Did Jem play there?" Pizzazz demanded. Eric shrugged.
"To be honest I'm not sure. I don't think she did, because their single only hit the chart here the day after they left for Paris."
"Then we'll do it for sure. Anything to get one up on the Holograms." Pizzazz decided.
"Good. Just decide what song you're playing, something up-beat and strong that people will remember, because we wanna break down the British market." Eric told her. Pizzazz dismissed it with a wave of her hand.
"Yeah, yeah, we will, don't fuss. Now, get lost, will you? If we're doin' television, we gotta work out what to wear! When is this gig...tomorrow? That don't give us much time for shoppin'!"
Eric rolled his eyes, but shrugged, getting to his feet.
"All right, I'll leave it to you. I'll have a car come pick you girls up around ten tomorrow morning, the show starts at half seven but you'll need to be there to run through your act and everything."
"Okay." Pizzazz was only half listening. "Jetta, go wake Stormer, will ya? I'll get Roxy...we're goin' clothes shoppin', courtesy of Misfit Music!"

Chapter One: Life in London
Chapter Two: The Saxophone
Chapter Three: A Friend In Need
Chapter Four: Never Again...

Chapter Five: Sheila's Decision
Chapter Six: A Band In Crisis
Chapter Seven: First Night
Chapter Eight: Making It Happen

Chapter Nine: The Misfits In London
Chapter Ten: On Every Screen...
Chapter Eleven: A Musical Reunion
Chapter Twelve: Jealousy
Chapter Thirteen: An Old Acquaintance
Chapter Fourteen: Doing London
Chapter Fifteen: Sabotage!
Chapter Sixteen: The Final Straw
Chapter Seventeen: Opening Night
Chapter Eighteen: Jetta

(The Misfits and Holograms and other animated Jem characters are copyrighted to Hasbro Inc. All characters who do not appear in Jem episodes are my own creation. This story is copyrighted to E.A Woolley (2001)