Jetta banged repeatedly on the door of her band-mate's hotel room, a decidedly exasperated expression on her clever face. "Roxy, you lazy oaf, open the door, will ya?"
There was no answer, and Jetta, knowing that the bass player was often harder to raise than the dead rolled her eyes skywards, pausing to consider her next move before trying another battery of knocks on the door, again to no avail. It was the next morning, and the sax player, who had risen early to swim had been accosted by one of the hotel attendants with a message for her bandmate. Resenting playing errand girl, Jetta had taken the message in very bad grace, storming upstairs to raise her companion and tell her exactly what she thought of it.
But she had to wake Roxy first, and that was no mean feat in itself.
"Damn you, open the door!" she snapped. "Why do you have to sleep so deeply, you stupid girl! I don't want to be 'ere all day long bangin'!"
"What's up, Jetta? Why all the noise?"
Stormer pushed open her door, tying her dressing gown around her waist with a yawn. "What's going on?"
"Some jerk downstairs sent me runnin' with a message for sleepin' beauty 'ere, apparently someone wants to see 'er or speak to 'er or something...she's wanted urgently in the 'otel lounge, whatever it is." Jetta explained bad-temperedly. "Only I can't wake 'er."
"Oh, I see." Stormer paused, considering, then pushed her door open fully.
"Come and try through my room." she suggested. "There's a door that links Roxy's room with mine, I discovered as much the first night when she came in and pinched the last of my coffee, and you might have better luck there...it might even be open. I don't tend to lock my side."
"Well, worth a try, love." Jetta shrugged, following the synth player into the other bedroom. "To be honest I've 'ad enough of standin' in the corridor yellin'. It ain't doin' a bit of good but makin' me 'oarse."
"And bad tempered." Stormer added to herself. She did not voice this comment aloud, however, for she knew that Jetta's temper, once roused, could take time to cool and she had no mind to be on the receiving end of one of the Briton's sulks.
"It's open." was all she said instead. "I'd go try and shake her awake if I were you, I know from experience that shouting doesn't usually do any good. She's taught herself to sleep no matter what...even a fire couldn't raise her."
"I'll do better than blinkin' shake her." Jetta muttered. She marched over to the oblivious Roxy's bed, and before Stormer could stop her had grabbed the glass of water that stood by her bandmate's bed, tipping it liberally over the sleeping girl.
"Hey!" Now Roxy was awake, and she was angry. "Jetta, what's the big idea? I'm soaked now!"
"Well, it's about bloomin' time you woke up and took notice." Jetta was unrepentant. "I've been tryin' to raise you for the last twenty minutes, Roxy! There's some message for you downstairs, or somethin' - you're wanted urgently in the 'otel lounge."
"You coulda just shaken me. You didn't have to drench me." Roxy snapped back, tossing her covers back and getting out of bed. "I'm gonna have to get up properly now...thanks for nothing, Jetta."
"Well, it made me feel better." Jetta shrugged. "You better get a move on, love. They gave me the impression this thing is important...someone wantin' to talk to you or somethin'. Old friend, perhaps?." She paused, eying her companion disdainfully. "Though 'ow anyone could want to talk to you is beyond me. They might as well talk to the wall for all the sense they'd get."
"Whatever." Roxy shrugged. "Get out of my room and let me change, will ya?"
"I'm going." Jetta nodded. "And don't expect me to play errand girl for you again, neither!"
"Like I want you to!" Roxy retorted. Jetta just shrugged, turning to leave the room, Stormer in tow.
Roxy slammed the door shut hard behind them, locking it firmly, then grabbing her towel and rubbing herself dry, muttering about the nerve of the sax player as she did so. Flinging open the door of the wardrobe she grabbed the first outfit that came to hand, dressing quickly and roughly pulling her hairbrush through her thick waves of hair. She glanced at her reflection in the mirror, grimacing.
"I'll get that Jetta." she muttered, reaching for her make-up box. "Whoever it is downstairs can wait...I'm not going down there lookin' like a scarecrow! If they want to see me that bad then they can hold on a while. I'm a star, there might be press about!"
She set down her lipstick, grimacing once more at her hair. "It's all wet still...Jetta, you're going to pay for this!"
Scooping her room-key off the unit, she unlocked her door, slamming it hard behind her and storming off towards the lift, feeling that whoever it was was going to get an earful from her for daring to come so early in the morning.
From her room, Stormer heard the slammed door and inwardly winced. She sent Jetta a reproachful glance.
"You shouldn't have done that." she ventured quietly. Jetta shrugged, settling herself back in the chair.
"Well, it were 'er own fault. She shouldn't sleep so 'ard." she said unconcernedly. "It was just a bit of fun, Stormer...you gotta admit it was kinda funny."
"I dunno. It was mean." Stormer paused. "Though she did look startled. I just wish you hadn't...she'll be in a mood for the rest of the day now."
"No change there. She's always in an 'uff about somethin' or other." Jetta responded airily. "Don't let it get to you, love. It's only Roxy. She can take it - she ain't the type to go off cryin' over spilt milk." she smirked. "Or, in this case, spilt water."
"She'll be out for revenge." Stormer warned. Jetta snorted.
"I'd like to see 'er try." she replied. "Roxy's not quick-witted enough to catch me out...she's been tryin' since I joined this band and she ain't succeeded yet. Stop fussin', will you? You're bein' a drag."
"Maybe." Stormer gave it up. She'd long since lost all hope of making Roxy and Jetta reconcile their differences. The rivalry ran too deep and was based on so much more than personal dislike...in any case she knew neither girl was a fan of deep and meaningful chats. She had only managed to penetrate their protective shields when they were vulnerable anyway, and even then both girls had been quick to close up and brush off any memory of such events.
Fond as Stormer was of both Roxy and Jetta, sometimes they infuriated her beyond belief.
Downstairs, in the hotel lobby, Roxy had demanded to know, with little concern for manners, what exactly they had wanted her for. The man behind the main desk looked at her thoughtfully for a moment, then directed her towards the main lounge.
"Some guy here to see you, says its urgent business." he told her. "Something to do with your record company, perhaps?"
"Did he give a name?" Roxy was startled. She knew full well that Eric, even if he hadn't been staying at the hotel, would call for Pizzazz and not for her...and she had no idea who else could be wanting her for business reasons.
"No, Miss. He didn't." The man shook his head. "Seemed to know all about you he did, though...very professional, like. Shouldn't keep him waiting, might be important."
"If it's that important then he can wait till I'm ready." Roxy retorted. "I'm a celebrity."
With which self-important announcement she stalked off towards the door of the main hotel lounge.
At this time in the morning it was empty, save for her visitor, and when she recognised him she let out an involuntary gasp, her hand flying to her mouth.
"You!" she exclaimed. "What the hell do you want here?"
The man smiled at her, as if enjoying her reaction.
"I came to see you, Roxanne." he replied smoothly.
"It's Roxy." Roxy snapped, edging back towards the door as she did so. "And I don't have anything to say to you, so get out of here, will ya? I've got more important things to do with my time than talk to a loser like you!"
"Big words, my girl." Her visitor was quick to close the lounge door, leaning idly against it. "But I've important things to discuss with you."
Roxy bit her lip.
"Like?" she demanded, but her confrontational tone was largely bravado.
The man's genial tone disappeared in an instant.
"When you ran away you took an amount of money." he said quietly, his tone faintly menacing. "Money that belonged to us...not to you. You stole it, Roxanne...and I want it back. It isn't," he added, glancing her over, "As if your lifestyle now can't pay for it."
"I don't owe you a cent!" Roxy exclaimed. "You never gave me nothin' when I lived with you, so I ain't payin' you nothin' back. If that's all you got to say, get outta my way, will ya? I'm gettin' bored with this conversation!"
"Fifty dollars over ten years generates a lot of interest, Roxanne." He paid no attention to her flustering demands. "I'd say you owe us a fair sum by now. We gave up a lot of our time, bringin' you up when your mother ran out on you - she doesn't know how wise she was, gettin' away from a worthless brat like you! Least we deserve is something in return!"
"I'll give you a smack in the mouth in return!" Roxy spat back. "Bringin' me up? Noone brought me up but me! All you ever did was threaten and yell and put me over the balcony - what I am now is no thanks to you! You ain't gettin' any of my money, even if I was as rich as you seem to think...and I ain't."
"Stop playing games with me." Now he was angry, and he grabbed Roxy by the wrist, forcing her up against the wall. "I want...your aunt and I both want what's due us. You've a week to pay up, my girl...pay up before you and your stupid no-talent band leave Philadelphia or I'm going straight to the press with the true story of what kind of reject Roxanne Pelligrini really is and how she got to where she is today - by stealing and lying and takin' advantage of the kindness of her aunt and uncle! Fifty dollars by ten years...I want fifty thousand bucks from you for all the hassle you put us through!"
"Fifty thousand...you gotta be kidding!" Roxy's eyes widened. "I don't have that kinda money!"
"You'd better be lying, for your own sake." Her uncle's eyes narrowed. "I always despised you, you were always a nothing kid with a pointless future ahead of you. This is the one time you might prove useful to me and I'm not going to let it slip through my hands. Fifty thousand dollars is the total. I've been waitin' a long time for you to come back to Philly, since I heard what you were doin' with yourself these days...and I know that you live the high life out in Cali so don't pretend to me you don't got money. Pay up, Roxanne...I'm warning you."
"I don't have to listen to you! I make my own rules to live by!" Roxy tried her best to wrench herself free but he had her held fast in his bruising grip. Despite her fighting talk she was frightened, for his tone and his hold reminded her all too clearly of the childhood she had fought so hard to escape. "You can't control me...that's why I left! To be who I wanted to be, without you tellin' me what to do!"
"What good are you to anyone?" Her uncle demanded. "You can't sing, can't play, can't hold a proper job...you're worthless, Roxanne."
"So why even bother with me?"
"Because you might be worthless in character, but not in bank figures, and I intend to cash in." Her uncle responded. "Would you like to know, my dear, why your mother left you with us? What was so pressing that she had to just up and leave you all alone in the world? Would you?"
"I don't care! Family means nothing to me!" Roxanne snapped.
"Well, I'll tell you anyway." Her uncle sneered. "She met with a little accident...and your father went to prison for it, that's why. You were the reason he killed her...noone ever wanted you. You owe everything to us, and don't you forget it - without us to protect you, you would have been killed too!"
"You're lying...I don't believe you." Roxy's voice was cold and hard. "And I don't owe you anything. Leave me alone, will ya? Get outta my way!"
This time she managed to pull herself free, fumbling with the door handle and making her escape.
Her uncle watched her go, an amused smile on his face.
"She won't dare go against me. She knows I won't bluff." he mused. "I never thought she had it in her to make herself a star...well, now I'm going to cash in on her. Stupid girl...she'll never figure out what really happened back then...and we'll be home and dry with a cool fifty thousand, courtesy of Misfit Music."
(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.