"Tonight's been the biggest drag." Jetta rolled her eyes, stretching
out on the sofa of the hotel lounge and flicking through the magazine
disinterested sigh. "This whole tour's been a waste of time for out of
fun, Pizzazz...please tell me we're gonna do something tomorrow night?"
"I sure hope so, if our bassist don't go AWOL." Pizzazz glared at Roxy, who was checking her reflection in her compact mirror. She glanced up now, shrugging.
"Not my fault. I had a good time." she said carelessly, shutting the compact with a snap.
Stormer stifled a yawn, curling up in her chair with the cushion.
"I'm so tired." she murmured. "It must be late..."
"'Alf twelve is all, love." Jetta glanced at her watch.
"It's been a long day, then." Stormer shrugged. "If you don't mind, I think I'm gonna go to bed."
"Whatever." Pizzazz waved her away. "Do what you want." She sent Roxy another glare. "Everyone else seems to."
"Ms Pelligrini? Phone call for you." The interruption of a hotel employee prevented the bass player from making any retort, and she got to her feet, trailing after the girl into the lobby where the main phone was located.
"What now?" She wondered, scooping up the receiver. "Hello?"
Her heart chilled at the sound of his voice.
"Get lost. I don't want to talk to a creep like you." she snapped.
"Oh, I think you do...and you know you have to." Her uncle's voice held an amused tone, but there was no disguising his threat. "I know you, my girl, and how easily you get distracted, so I thought I'd remind you. You have a commitment to me, remember...and I shan't forget it, so don't you forget either."
"I'm not giving you anything." Roxy retorted.
"No?" There was a deep chuckle. "I think you will, Roxanne...after all, you wouldn't want to end up like your poor mother now...would you?"
"You!" Roxy's heart skipped a beat. "It was you! You...you who..."
"You'd never prove it." There was no worry at all in his voice. "It was an accident, that's all. A nasty nasty accident. And I'm just giving you a warning...don't forget it, will you?"
There was a click and Roxy realised that her uncle had replaced the phone on the hook. Slowly she followed suit, her mind racing.
So he had been lying, but only to a degree. Accident or not, he had been involved in her mother's death, and his threats were only too clear.
Despite herself, Roxy was frightened.
"Roxy, you okay?" Stormer passed her, pausing to take in her expression. Roxy nodded.
"Yeah. Just...tired. I'm goin' to bed, don't bother me."
Roughly shoving her companion out of her way, she headed for the lift, banging the buttons with more force than was necessary.
After gauging her band-mate's expression, Stormer decided to take the stairs instead.
"I'll be glad when this tour is over, it's been nothing but chaos from start to finish." she told herself as she got ready for bed, brushing out her long curls and tying it neatly back from her face as she slid beneath the covers. "Travelling with the Misfits is crazy at the best of times but Jetta's right - it's been no fun."
Stifling a yawn she reached up to douse the light, settling herself more comfortably and closing her eyes.
"At least now I've time to myself and some peace." she mused drowsily. "In this line of work that don't happen often..."
Somewhere in the distance she was aware of a door slamming and she knew Roxy had indeed retreated to her own room also. A smile touched her face. Ah well. Twenty-four hours more and they'd be moving on, leaving Philadelphia far behind them. Surely then things would be okay?
It was gone three in the morning when Stormer next opened her eyes,
blearily reaching for the switch of the lamp as she pulled herself into
position. From somewhere she had distinctly heard a cry and it had
her out of her dreams...but now things all seemed quiet. Glancing at
clock she frowned. So early...she'd barely been asleep three hours.
"I guess I imagined it...everything was so busy yesterday it must have upset my dreams. Brilliant...I'll be a zombie tomorrow for our finale concert."
She was about to lie back down and close her eyes once more when she heard the noise again. She froze, listening.
It sounded very much like a frightened scream.
Now wide awake, Stormer frowned, pushing back the covers and sliding on her slippers. Where was it coming from? It was a sound unlike any she'd ever heard before, and she was about to place it once more down to imagination when the night's peace was once more broken, this time by the sound of a voice.
"No...please...please don't drop me..."
The words were muffled but audible enough and Stormer's eyes opened wide with shock as she recognised the voice.
"Roxy!" She murmured, pulling on her dressing gown and hurrying towards the door that divided the two rooms. With some relief she realised that both sides of the door were unlocked and it swung open easily. In an instant she was at her band-mate's bedside and it was soon clear enough the cause of the bass player's distress.
Oblivious to the fact she had company, Roxy seemed to be struggling against an unseen enemy, and every so often frightened little cries or pleas to leave her alone passed her lips. Stormer put a hand to the other girl's shoulder, shaking her.
"Roxy, wake up! You're having a bad dream!" She murmured.
Roxy, deep in her dream did not stir, nor did she cease to struggle. She murmured something incoherent and Stormer was startled by the note of vulnerability in the other girl's voice...it was something she had never heard before.
"Roxy! Come on, snap out of it!" she urged, shaking the guitarist more violently. "It's okay, you're only dreaming!"
Roxy's eyes fluttered open and immediate confusion was replaced by fear as she registered the fact that she had company. Pushing Stormer's arm away she pulled back against the bedhead, clutching the covers to her protectively.
"Get away from me!" she exclaimed.
"Roxy, it's only me, Stormer." Stormer spoke gently. "You were having a bad dream, that's all."
"A...a dream?" Roxy repeated, at first not comprehending.
"Yes. A nightmare, from the sound of it. You woke me crying out." Stormer nodded. "Do...do you want to tell me what it was about?"
"It doesn't matter. It wasn't real." The defensive tone was back in Roxy's voice. "Leave me alone, will ya? I want to sleep tonight."
"Well, all right." Stormer knew when not to push her companion. "Sleep better, huh? I'd kinda like to sleep too - we've a big concert tomorrow night."
"Don't remind me." Roxy rolled her eyes.
"You sure you're okay?"
"I'm fine. Go away." Roxy replied obstinately, and with a shrug Stormer obeyed, carefully pulling the dividing door to behind her. Finding she couldn't sleep right away, she settled down with her book to read for a while, but her mind kept being drawn back to the frightened cries of her bandmate.
"Whatever it was really scared her." she told herself with a sigh. "I don't understand that girl sometimes. It's like...I want to help her but when I try and reach out to her, it seems that she...she really doesn't want me to."
A sound from across the room caught her attention and she glanced up, seeing Roxy standing in the doorway that split the rooms apart. She frowned.
"I thought you went back to sleep." she said.
"Well, I couldn't sleep now you woke me up." Roxy spoke abruptly, but her expression belied her words, and with a jolt Stormer realised that there were real tears in the other girl's eyes.
"What's wrong?" she asked softly.
"I..." Roxy faltered, as if unsure as to how to proceed, and Stormer beckoned for her to come and sit down.
"Tell me." she said gently. "Maybe it'll help you sleep if you do."
"Oh, I don't know." Roxy bit her lip, doing as she was bidden. "It...it all seems so spooky in there and...and every time I c...close my eyes I see him there...he won't leave me alone."
"Who won't?" Stormer set her book aside, sending her companion a concerned look.
Roxy swallowed hard.
"My uncle." she whispered, her voice catching in her throat as she felt the tears begin to fall.
"Your uncle?" Stormer repeated. Roxy nodded numbly.
"I didn't know you still had family in Philly."
"I wish I didn't." Now Roxy's self-control was really wavering, and instinctively Stormer found herself putting a comforting arm around the elder girl's shoulders. "He...he wants me to pay him m...money I took when I left home, only he wants m...more. He's threatened to...to..." She bit her lip, unable to to continue.
"Then he's a creep." Stormer was surprised at the strength of her anger towards this man she had not even met. "And you should ignore him, Roxy. He just wants to cash in on your success."
"You d...don't understand." Roxy murmured. "He...when I was small he used to...when I was bad he...he'd hold me out on the balcony, over the edge, just air between me and the sidewalk, twelve storeys down below. He'd go...go to drop me, only he never did...but I'd be screamin' and he...he didn't take a blind bit of notice. He's evil...he'll do anything! And t...tonight I...I found out..." she swallowed hard.
"He told me my father killed my mother and went to jail...that's why I have no parents." she whispered, her voice wavering from the tears that now she had no control over. "B...but last night he let something slip...I...I know he had something to do with my mother...and...and he threatened to...he said I..."
"Oh, Roxy..." Stormer hugged her bandmate tightly. "I knew you'd had a miserable time of it, but I had no idea how bad. No wonder you ran away!"
"I had to. I had to get out." Roxy faltered slightly. "Whatever it was like livin' rough, Stormer, it couldn't be as bad as that...leavin' was the best thing I ever did!"
"Yeah, I think you're right." Stormer nodded. "And you know why? Because you proved you could survive against all odds, Roxy. Most people faced with the awful time you've been through would have folded and failed, even given up completely. You never have...and you're one of the most famous music stars in the country! You did what you had to do to make it...and there is noone I admire more for determination than I do you. You gotta know that."
"Really?" Roxy stared. Stormer nodded.
"Of course." she agreed. "Listen. I don't know what exactly this jerk of an uncle of yours thinks he can do to you, but he's gonna have to deal with all of the Misfits before he can try and take you out, and you're pretty good with your fists, you know. Don't be afraid of him...he's capitalising on your fear, that's all. On your bad memories. You're not a small child any more, you're a grown adult and you make your own choices. He can't control you now."
"I...I guess." Roxy paused, considering. Then she grimaced, dashing her tears away. "Look at me. I haven't done this since I was a kid..."
"It doesn't make you any less strong to cry sometimes." Stormer told her gently. "Really. And I don't think any the less of you for it. In fact I think it's better you don't bottle it all up inside of you...you'll only make yourself feel more alone."
"I don't need anyone." Roxy retorted. "Never have. I take care of me."
"Yeah, I know." Stormer nodded. "But...well, it might not matter much to you, I know you think I'm a soft little wimp and all that, but I'm kinda fond of you. You can always come to me if...well, if you ever feel you do need someone."
"You...you like me?" Roxy looked taken aback, and despite herself Stormer laughed.
"Of course I do, you idiot." she said with a grin. "Do you think I'd have stuck it out with you so long otherwise? Why do you think I came back to the Misfits in the first place? I wasn't going to abandon you when you needed my help!"
"Oh!" A strange expression crossed Roxy's face at this and she fell silent, as if digesting her companion's words. Then a tiny smile touched her face.
"I...never thought about it." she admitted.
"Well, it's true." Stormer responded. "Whatever you think about friendship, Roxy, I think of you as a friend...so remember that, huh?"
"I...never had anyone as a real friend before." Roxy admitted.
"Do you trust me?"
"I...I guess." Roxy hesitated.
"Well, you told me all this tonight...you must trust me some." Stormer reasoned.
"I...I think I do." Roxy replied, leaning her head on her companion's shoulder. "I...gee, I dunno, Stormer. It's late, I...I'm kinda tired..."
"I know. Me too." Stormer nodded. "You want to go back to bed, then? You feeling better?"
"I...I guess so." Roxy agreed slowly. "Stormer, you won't...tell anyone about this, will you? I mean...I kinda have a...a reputation to...I mean, if Jetta or Pizzazz knew..."
"Don't worry. As far as I'm concerned tonight never happened." Stormer said with a grin. "And as for this jerk uncle of yours, well, tell him to leave you alone or you'll stick the best lawyers in the country on him and get him sent down for stalking and harassment, okay? You're not a poor or insignificant Roxy Pelligrini in the big scheme of things these days, you have the power to stop this kinda behaviour. Don't let him abuse you, okay? He's done it enough already!"
"You...you know what? You're right, and...and I will." Some of the old defiance sprang into the blond's tired eyes. "I...guess I better go back to bed now, think it over...get some sleep. We...do have a big concert tomorrow, and all that."
"Sure." Stormer nodded. "Good night, Roxy. Sweet dreams now, huh?"
"Yeah, whatever." Roxy nodded, getting to her feet and tucking her hair behind her ear. "G'night."
She headed back towards her room, but in the doorway she paused, turning.
"Thanks, Stormer." she said softly. Then she was gone, closing the door with a click behind her.
Stormer paused for a moment, going through all that had happened in her head.
"She's not so tough underneath her shell...I just never got this deep before." she decided finally. "This guy's a creep for getting her that wound up - I hope she takes my advice and sticks the law on him. Misfit Music has pretty high powered lawyers thanks to Mr Gabor...surely something could be done to keep him away from her."
She shrugged, sliding back beneath the covers and flicking off the lamp, resting her head on the pillow and closing her eyes once more.
"Well, all that can wait till morning. For now at least I need some sleep, and so does Roxy, else we'll both be hopeless tomorrow and Pizzazz will throw a fit." she mused. "And with any luck this time tomorrow we'll be preparing to move on out of here...this has definitely been some visit!"
(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.