Stormer turned from where she had been carefully re-fastening the pink tie into her curly hair to see Pizzazz in the doorway of the club's bathroom. "You seen Roxy? She's gone...Jetta and I can't find her anywhere and I was hopin' we might gatecrash the stage and show this sleepy place some life!"
"I haven't seen her since we finished performing." Stormer shook her head. "I figured she'd gone on ahead, said something about meeting an old friend." She shrugged. "She knows the area better than we do, guess she wants to catch up with people."
"Well, when I get hold of her there'll be trouble." Pizzazz growled. "How are we meant to perform without our bass player, huh?"
"She didn't know you wanted to do that." Stormer said sensibly.
"Don't play smart alec with me." Pizzazz snapped. "Come on. We're goin' to look for her."
"Okay." Stormer knew better than to argue. "Where's Jetta?"
"Soliciting Eric's car keys from his driver." Pizzazz replied. "Think we're walkin' round this dump? No way! I'm driving!"
Stormer followed Pizzazz across the club, rolling her eyes at the thought of spending time in a car with the singer at the wheel.
"Let's hope fate is smiling on us tonight, we don't need a pile-up." she murmured to herself as they met up with the British girl by Eric's hired car. "I wish Pizzazz didn't always want to be in control...Roxy can go see her friends if she wants to!"
As Pizzazz unlocked the vehicle, pulling open the driver's door, they heard someone calling to them, and turning Stormer recognised Link coming across the parking lot towards them.
"I thought it was you girls." he said, his expression anxious. "Is Roxy with ya?"
"No...we were just going off to find her." Stormer shook her head. "Link, what is it?"
"What's she done now?" Jetta demanded. "Stupid Roxy...can't she do anything right?"
"I think she's gonna do something she'll regret." Link frowned. "She didn't tell me much...but I think she's got some crazy idea into her head about getting money tonight from someplace or other, and I don't think she means to do it legal."
"What?" Pizzazz stared at him.
"I always knew she was a common thief at heart." Jetta snorted.
"What exactly did she say?" Stormer looked anxious too now.
"Someone's tryin' to get money out of her and she thinks this is the only way to solve the problem. She wanted me to help her but I can't...I tried to talk her out of it, but she wouldn't listen." Link replied.
"Roxy's always been stubborn." Stormer sighed. "Where d'you think she'd have gone?"
"Wherever it is, we gotta find her before she does something dumb and lands the whole group in trouble." Pizzazz slipped into the driver's seat. "Get in, you two! We're going to drive round this stupid city till we find her and then we're gonna make her come back with us to the hotel, no matter what. You got it?"
"Yeah, yeah, cool out Pizzazz. It's only Roxy." Jetta rolled her eyes. "She can 'andle herself, and this is 'er 'ome turf. She'll be fine."
Stormer bit her lip but made no comment. She wasn't so sure about how fine Roxy would be. She didn't know what exactly this was all about, but if Link, who knew her better than anyone was worried then she knew something was really up. She hesitated in getting into the back of the car after Jetta, turning to Link.
"Did she say why exactly she needed the money?" she asked. Link paused, then shook his head.
"It ain't business of mine or yours." he said slowly, for nothing would induce him to betray his friend's past. He had heard plenty about the behaviour of Roxy's guardians. "Just find her, okay?"
"We will." Pizzazz's eyes narrowed. "Stormer, get in or we're goin' without ya!"
Stormer obediently did as she was told, the anxious look not leaving her eyes.
She hoped they were in time. Roxy could be both impulsive and reckless...who knew what she'd get herself into?
Several blocks away, Roxy herself was considering her plan of
amount of money was large, too large for her to raise through fair
means, and even raiding Eric's possessions for cash wouldn't generate
of cash she needed to pay off her uncle. She had all but resigned
to slipping back into her old role as the survivor, but somehow now it
different, and she wasn't sure how.
"I've never tried for this much money before...maybe that's it." she murmured as she turned down a familiar backstreet. "I dunno. I feel so creeped out...like I shouldn't be doing this! What's wrong with me? I ain't got a conscience to hold me back!"
But she was wrong. Conscience had never struck in the past because she had always been on the outside, taking what she needed to survive and therefore justifying it in her own mind as a necessity of life.
But now...now it was different. She wasn't on the outside any more. She had a good home, a dream job, responsibilities and ties in the real world. She wasn't what Jetta liked to call a 'street rat' these days - she had changed too. Like Link, she had become one of 'them', one of the priveleged.
And in her own mind it had always been wrong to take what you did not need.
"But I do need it...I do..." she tried to convince herself as she paused on the street corner. "I gotta settle this and get him off my back. And I'm gonna need help, too...Link was useless, but there must be someone in this old dump I can go to."
"Well well." A voice came from the shadows and she swung around, registering the speaker with some surprise.
"Jake!" she exclaimed. "What are you..."
"Looking for somewhere a bit warmer to stay." Jake offered her a slight smile. "If it isn't little Miss Showbusiness herself. I saw your photo gig in town, I almost didn't recognise you. You clean up real good, Roxanne."
"Most people call me Roxy these days." Roxy responded. "And yeah, I did okay. But then I deserved to, didn't I? I wanted it bad enough."
"Yeah. You always believed you could make it." Jake nodded. "What brings you back here, then? Woulda thought it'd be the last place you'd want to be now you've got assets."
"I...have business to see to." Roxy faltered. Jake, wiser than Link read more into her expression and frowned.
"Someone's stinging you for money, aren't they?" he demanded. Roxy shrugged.
"I can handle it." she responded.
"They blackmailin' ya?"
"I...I don't know." Roxy sighed. "Jake, it ain't all stars and lights, you know. Everyone wants to cash in...people have long memories."
"Listen, Rox. You have everything going for you, so don't throw it away." Jake said softly. "I'd kill for half of the success you've had - you always had a real talent and you've put it to the best use. Don't waste it and don't let them bully you. You ain't the Roxanne Pelligrini I know if you can't fight back and do what you want to do."
Roxy looked startled, then comprehension filled her dark eyes.
"You know, you're right." She said with a determined nod. "It's none of his business what I do, he don't own me!"
"Right." Jake smiled. "So I guess your business here is done, huh?"
"I guess...I guess so." Roxy nodded. "Oh...but..." she paused, reaching into her pocket and pulling out her purse, extracting a few bills and holding them out. "Listen. You taught me a lot, back then and...well...I guess it's...it's kinda thanks to you I'm where I am now, and all. You...you believed. So...so take this. It ain't charity, it's what I owe you."
"You don't owe me nothing, kid." Jake grinned at her.
"Take it." Roxy was unmoveable. She raised a fist, half-jokingly "Ya want more persuading?"
"Okay, if you insist!" Jake laughed, taking the proffered money. "I'll take it as payment for all them lessons I gave ya on bass, huh?"
"Right." Roxy nodded. "It's late...I oughta get back to the hotel. I...I guess I'll see ya."
"Sure. And I know I'll see you." Jake nodded. "Later, Rox."
As she made her way slowly back down the street towards the phone box to call a taxi, someone jumped out from the darkness, barring her way.
"Stop it right there, lady, you ain't goin' nowhere." the thug snarled, raising his fist in a menacing way. "You shouldn't be down this road, you're too well dressed for this part of town."
"Yeah?" Roxy folded her arms. "What you gonna do to me, creep? Stop wasting my time, will ya? I kinda have someplace I gotta be."
"Enough of the smart mouth." The thug's eyes narrowed. "Hand over your money and be quick about it, else things'll get nasty for you." He smirked. "Such a shame to wreck such a pretty face..."
"Think so?" Roxy looked amused. "Bad luck, loser. Don't you pay attention to the press? This is my patch and you gotta go some to put the fear into me." Before he realised what was going on she had him pinned up against the wall, her fist raised in a way that meant business.
"I been away a long while and a lot has changed, but noone messes Roxanne Pelligrini on her home turf." she warned. "Nobody, you got it? Now get outta my face. I told ya, I got stuff to do!"
And, pushing him aside as if he were no bigger than one of the Starlight girls, she sauntered on down the street, whistling nonchalantly as she went and leaving him staring after her in bewildered disbelief.
She glanced back at him, letting out a low chuckle.
"Guess you never lose the knack." she decided with a grin. "I ain't gone soft, even if I don't have to fight for my food these days! I still got it."
A car screeched to a halt up ahead, catching her in the glare of the headlamps and she frowned, sheilding her eyes.
"Roxy! What the heck you think you're playin' at!" The voice was all too familiar, and with a resigned grin Roxy realised that it was the Misfits' lead singer at the wheel. "We were all set to play and then we found you'd run out on us! You got a nerve!"
"Cool out, Pizzazz. I had people to see." Roxy leant up against the car.
"Are you okay? Link was worried you were in trouble." Stormer rolled down the window. Roxy frowned.
"What did he say?" She demanded.
"Not much. He wouldn't." Stormer responded. "Only that he was afraid for you."
"Well, he needn't. I can take care of myself." Roxy replied. "In any case, everything's fine. Shift up, will ya?" She swung open the door, slipping into the back seat. "Well, are we going? I'm starving!"
(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.