Roxy's Story

Chapter Five - Back Home

"Well, what a great day to arrive."
Jetta stepped out of the big black limousine, grimacing up at the sky which was determinedly spitting rain down on her. "Might as well 'ave gone back 'ome to London, if I wanted weather like this. What a welcome!"
"After California it's a bit of a bummer." Stormer admitted with an involuntary shiver. "Pittsburgh wasn't so cold as this - how come Philadelphia is?"
"Guess it heard Roxy was coming home." Pizzazz snorted. "Come on, quit moaning, will ya? Let's get inside and settle, we're stuck in this hotel for the next three nights so we might as well check it out."
"It doesn't look so bad." Stormer glanced up at the big five star hotel. "Kinda classy, if you ask me."
"It'll do." Pizzazz shrugged. She turned. "Eric, get a move on, will ya? We don't have all day and we're gettin' wet!"
"That's what umbrellas are for, Pizzazz." Eric emerged from the car after settling business with the driver, shooting the singer a grimace.
"Umbrellas? You kidding? What do you want us to look like, a bunch of wimps?" Pizzazz put her hands on her hips. "Finally! Come on, girls, lets go find our rooms, huh? This place better have a pool..."
"If it keeps raining, duckie, you'll be able to swim out in the street." Jetta observed with a grin, pushing open the door of the hotel. "I 'ope we're not gonna have this weather the whole time we're here."
"Roxy?" Stormer glanced at the bass player, for her companion was very quiet, and had not even risen to Pizzazz's jibe. "You okay?"
"I'm fine. Why wouldn't I be?" Roxy looked startled. "Just tired, is all. And bored...aren't we gonna have any fun or are we just gonna work the whole time we're here?"
"I have my doubts that any kind of Misfit tour is gonna be totally work, Roxy." Stormer grinned. "Come on. This place is kinda cool, don't you think? I like the decor."
"It's all right." Roxy was clearly in one of her difficult to please moods, and Stormer recognised the early signs of her companion beginning to sulk. "I don't see why Eric had to come along. Now he'll be playin' the boss the whole time an' tellin' us what to do."
"Since when have we ever done what Eric told us to do?" Stormer demanded as they reached the desk, where Jetta and Pizzazz had already secured the keys to the rooms the four girls would be staying in. "Which are our keys, Pizzazz?"
"Here." Pizzazz tossed two keys at the synth player. "They're on the fourth floor, apparently, so we'll take the elevator up and dump our stuff. Then I wanna check out the pool..."
"Suits me, ducks." Jetta grinned. "Could do with a good swim."
"Aren't we waiting for Eric to get his key?" Stormer glanced back at the manager, who was deep in conversation with the clerk at the desk. Pizzazz snorted.
"You wanna take him up with us? Get real, Stormer. He's a creep and we don't wanna see him when we don't gotta."
"I'll go with that." Roxy nodded decidedly. "We don't need him, anyway."
"Okay." Stormer shrugged. "Just asking, that's all." She glanced around her. "So how far are we from our first gig?"
"Who cares? We're here to enjoy ourselves." Pizzazz shrugged. "We'll swim and then we'll check out the food in this joint, okay? Eric can see to the boring stuff - that's why we brought him, after all. We're gonna have some fun."
"All right!" Jetta exclaimed, pressing the button for the lift. "Let's go, then...maybe this tour will be okay after all!"
Half an hour later, the four girls were changed and relaxing in and around the hotel's big swimming pool. Pizzazz and Jetta were lazily swimming up and down, whilst Roxy indulged in one of her pet activities, diving, and Stormer sat on the side of the shallow end, dangling her feet idly in the water. She had never learnt to swim, and tended to keep out of the water when she could, for she knew that her bandmates would find it more than a little amusing to play on her weakness in the pool. Instead she settled herself to watching Roxy's diving. Despite her fear of heights, the bass player had always loved to dive, and the pool at the Gabor Mansion back in California had allowed her to perfect her technique, making her quite a proficient performer on the board. It was also a favourite game of hers to try and dive bomb either Pizzazz or, more often, Jetta, until one of the pool attendants came to tell her to stop.
Roxy had never been one to be intimidated by authority, mind you, so she simply shrugged, shoving the attendant into the pool itself and returning to the board. Stormer smothered a smile. More and more over the time she had spent with the Misfits she had found their less sinister pranks amusing, and had envied their daring. She knew she would never dare shove a pool official into the water like that, but Roxy seemed unconcerned and the attendant himself too bewildered by it all to know what to do.
"Well, soon everyone will know that the Misfits are in town." she told herself as she padded around the pool edge to get a drink from the bar in the corner. "I wonder what the damages bill will be like this time. I know Pizzazz used to like to see how much she could cause in a short space of time, but since her Dad handed control of Misfit Music over to her she's been kinda more responsible that way, when she remembers. I don't think she wants to give him any excuse to doubt her, but she's still the same Pizzazz, whatever happens. I'm looking forward to tonight's'll be fun to play a whole new crowd, and it's kinda neat to see something of Roxy's hometown, too." She paused, frowning. "Not that she seems as thrilled by it. Ah well...guess she's just nervous of how people will react to her this time, that's all. She'll be okay when we get on stage."

"How much longer do we gotta wait before we can go on?" Pizzazz paced up and down the spacious dressing room given over to the performing band, a frustrated expression on her face. "I hate hanging around, what on earth is so interesting out there that we can't jus' go out and do our set, huh?"
"Cool out, will you? You're givin' me a headache." Jetta snapped, glancing up from where she was adjusting the mouthpiece of the saxophone and checking that all of the silvery keys were moving properly. "We'll go on soon, so stop stressin'. We don't want to 'ear it."
Before Pizzazz could retort, the door of the dressing room swung open and one of the club workers put his head around the door.
"Misfits? Five minutes." he said, and was about to leave when his gaze rested on Roxy. "Hey, Rox!"
Roxy turned her attention from her guitar, her eyes widening in surprise as she recognised him.
"Link!" She exclaimed. "Hey, you workin' here now?"
"You got it." Link, one of her childhood allies winked at her. "And so are you, by the looks of it. You look good, Rox...guess bein' a Misfit really has got you outta trouble."
"We are the trouble, Link." Roxy corrected him with a superior grin. "You should know me well enough to know that nothing stops my fun! Only this time we're running the show." She indicated her companions. "We're gonna show you exactly what I mean, too, when we get out there."
Link laughed.
"I wanted tonight's gig because I knew you girls were playing." He admitted. "Only I wasn't sure as whether you were still hangin' with them, or not...heard you'd gone solo."
"No...I'm a Misfit, at least for now." Roxy shrugged. "Why give up a perfectly good deal, huh?"
Stormer eyed Roxy with interest. This was a different kind of Roxy to the tough girl wrapped up inside her defensive shell. She guessed that this guy was someone she knew from her childhood. Though the girl had not completely dropped her natural defences, she spoke to the stranger with a fair amount of geniality, and Stormer realised in a flash exactly why.. Roxy's usual reaction to probing about her upbringing was to snap and change the subject by means of threats...but obviously this newcomer, whoever he was, marked a happier time in the girl's past. Not only that, but he was someone from the same roots - someone she could identify with without feeling inferior or out-paced. Though she rarely said as much, Stormer strongly suspected that Roxy felt a fair amount of frustration when spending time with her three educated, graduated, literate bandmates. Even Jetta, who came from an equally impoverished background had the quickness of wit and a natural manner to handle anything the world might throw at her - she was very rarely out of her depth, whilst more often than not it was painfully clear that Roxy was floundering in a social structure she had yet to fully comprehend.
"Who is this guy, Roxy?" Pizzazz, clearly bored and not liking the fact she wasn't the centre of attention demanded.
"This is Link, we kinda grew up in the same neighbourhood." Roxy responded with a careless shrug, as if she had expected Pizzazz to know this much intuitively.. "Link, this is Pizzazz, Stormer and Jetta...the rest of the band."
Now there was a note of pride, and Stormer knew that the bass player was preening. Though her last visit to Philadelphia had been fraught with disaster and humiliation, she was back here now a star, about to go on stage and show her home city what she was really made of. Somehow the exchange of words with Link, who was incapable of bearing any kind of malicious memory towards someone he was as genuinely fond of as Roxy, had smoothed her ruffled feathers.
"Much as I 'ate to disrupt this touching reunion, Roxy, we 'ave a show to do?" Jetta lifted her sax, casting Roxy a meaningful look.
"Jetta's right." Pizzazz nodded. "C'mon, you can do this any time. We got an audience waiting!"
"All right, all right." Roxy rolled her eyes. "I'll see ya, Link. Duty calls. It ain't easy, bein' a celebrity."
Link watched her go, a grin on his face.
"She's all right." he mused. "I'm glad. Don't want nothin' bad to happen to our Roxanne...specially not when our luck's turned round. Knucklin' down and learnin' to read sure has changed things for the Red Aces...I wonder if Roxy's readin' yet. She always said she didn't need it, but how'd she cope with all the song lyrics otherwise? Guess she must've."
He headed up to the stage, risking a lecture from his superior, to watch the group perform from the wings. Girls were still things that bemused and bewildered him for the most part, and he preferred to keep his distance, but he felt almost responsible for Roxy's well being. She had been only a child, after all, when she had taken up with them in the squat all those years before. Though she had always proven that she could take care of herself, he had always felt protective of her, like the big brother she had never had.
"Woo, man, she's good." he murmured to himself as the group launched into 'Queen of Rock And Roll', Pizzazz sending Roxy a meaningful glance as they did so, as if to say 'don't you dare screw it up!'. But Roxy's adrenalin was piqued by the crowd and she had no intention of making a mistake. Though she hated having to work for things, when she put her mind to her music the result was startling, and even Link, who had no ear for music and no technical knowhow of the subject could appreciate the girl's ability for what it was.
As for Roxy herself, she was barely aware that there was a world outside what she was playing. Once the music started and she was up on stage, she always allowed herself those few moments to escape from her frustrations. Then it would be over, and she'd return to the real world, at least till the next time, but it was that buzz that performing gave her which had kept her with the band so the end the freedom of being onstage balanced the necessary work to get there.
Once their set was over to a rousing reception from the crowd, Link slipped back down the staff corridors to the dressing-rooms in order to avoid the fans. He was hopeful that he might get to congratulate her personally on her lucky break into fame and fortune, but as it turned out he was moments too late.
The crowd had gotten there first.
As the Misfits streamed into the dressing room, hot and tired with a mob of fans clamouring behind them, one man stood out from the crowd, watching from a thoughtful distance. Link glanced at him and his own brow creased. He knew only too well who this man was, and it worried him rather to see him here.
"I wonder if Roxy knows he's about." he muttered to himself. "If I weren't workin' I'd sort him out good and proper...we don't want creeps like his kind round here."
He was about to push his way through the crowd to the dressing room, in order to pass on a warning to his old ally, when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned, meeting his boss' gaze, and he sighed.
"Come on, I need all hands on stage." was all the supervisor said, mind you. "Got a mess and a half to clear up out there...the Misfits are a big name but they sure leave chaos in their wake!"
"They were worth it." Link grinned. "Okay, I'm comin'."
He cast a momentary glance back to the spot where he had spotted the man, but he was gone. With a shrug he gave it up as a bad job. Let him go. It was probably for the best Roxy didn't know about him, anyway. She was far too busy to be concerned with that kind of hassle.
With that, he pushed the thought aside, focusing his attention back fully on the matter in hand. Not perceptive, he could hardly realise what exactly this man meant to Roxy...
And equally, what he wanted from her now.

Chapter One: No More A Child
Chapter Two: Roxy
Chapter Three: Flashback to Philadelphia
Chapter Four: Pizzazz's News
Chapter Five: Back Home
Chapter Six: An Unwanted Visitor
Chapter Seven: Roxy's Dilemma
Chapter Eight: Where Is She?
Chapter Nine: Roxy's Confession
Chapter Ten: A True Friend
Chapter Eleven: I'm Gonna Change

(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). Background image was drawn and edited by me and therefore is copyrighted to me (E.A Woolley). Roxy is copyright of Hasbro Inc.