A Johnny/Sha Na Na Fanfic by Cheryl B.
(inspired by the song from the "Sha Na Now" LP)

Johnny stood alone in the corner at the party, his mood remaining stubbornly unlightened by the fine champagne he sipped from a crystal flute. He sighed as he watched Fiona flitting about the room, making her usual rounds of schmoozing and flirting and making contacts with all the "right people." Her close fitting, low-cut emerald green satin dress was expensive, but it was a perfect compliment to her spicy, shining auburn hair. Besides, when one needs to keep up appearances, one does what one must.

It had been four months since Johnny left California for the Big Apple to be with her. At first, it had been the most intense romantic roller coaster he'd ever been on - she was a beautiful starlet who showered him with attention, and he was a handsome, young and good-hearted singer who couldn't believe this gorgeous, worldly woman wanted him so badly. The siren's call was dangerously irresistible, and he fell prey to its seductive dance.

She assured him that his future as a solo artist would happen, with her help and guidance. But nothing had happened yet, and Johnny was starting to grow weary of this life - an endless stream of chic, shallow parties that always left him feeling like nothing more than a pretty but meaningless accessory to her designer gowns; weekends away, always at her favorite places; shopping trips with small hints and big expectations.

Fiona's tastes were rich, and Johnny's money certainly came in handy. The one time he made the mistake of bringing her a sweet bouquet of carnations, she barely huffed out a "thank you" before stuffing them quite unceremoniously into a vase and shoving them in an unobtrusive corner where they wouldn't offend her heightened sensibilities.

Of course, the next day, she purred with delight when Johnny brought home three dozen perfect long-stemmed red roses from the most expensive, elite florist in town, having learned his lesson well - just give the lady what she wants and there'll be no trouble in paradise. Just a whole lot of loneliness and emptiness...

Still alone in the corner at the party, Johnny closed his eyes and remembered Julie. He'd left her behind when he followed Fiona to New York City., and the image of her disbelieving, broken-hearted tears when he told her goodbye would haunt his dreams forever. Julie. He smiled softly at the very thought of her comforting name, imagining the huge grin that surely would have brightened her face if he'd brought her those humble posies, back in the day when she made his world make sense. Johnny could just picture his sweet, golden-haired love throwing her arms around him and drowning him in a sea of warm kisses - just because he had thought of her.

God, what he would give just to feel Julie's loving embrace and sweet, passionate kisses once again. To see her eyes, so innocent and true, gazing into his with such deep love and affection. No agendas, no ulterior motives, desiring nothing more of him, of life, than simply to be with him. In Julie's warm, tender arms, Johnny had found his home, and he woke up every day thanking God for her, feeling like the luckiest fellow on earth for the gift he'd been given.

But somewhere along the way, he'd tossed aside a perfect diamond for a cold, flashy rhinestone - and how could he ever even dream of getting her back? He didn't deserve Julie, not after walking out on her, and there was no way she could ever forgive him. He knew he'd never forgive himself.

Johnny was shaken from his daydream by Fiona's voice, as soft and kittenish as ever, but tinged with irritation. "I was calling you, why didn't you come over? I wanted you to meet some people." She frowned and picked a spot of lint off of the black wool jacket that topped his matching trousers and a rich, brilliant royal purple turtleneck, accented by a silver chain.

"Oh, sorry," Johnny said softly, "I... I was just thinking, that's all."

She laughed and tousled his hair. "You're too cute to think, all you need to do is be adorable..." Fiona dismissed any silly litltle thoughts he may have had with a kiss to his forehead. She sighed. "Well, they're gone now. But I arranged for us to go sailing with them this weekend, we leave early Saturday morning."

"This weekend?" Johnny asked, "I can't, remember? I told you I'm flying back to Calfornia to catch the guys' show on Friday night."

"You mean Sha Na Na?" Fiona sniffed with obvious distaste, "I thought you were going to distance yourself from them and their silly act. You broke free to get away from them and that whole ridiculous image, didn't you?"

"No," he replied. "I left to give a solo career a shot. But those guys are my friends, my brothers, and they'll always be a part of my life."

She pouted, as she usually did when she wanted her own way. "Well, I suppose it would be alright if you popped in for a quick visit. If you hurry back right after the concert, we can still make the sailing tr..."

Johnny interrupted her, something finally snapping inside of him, strengthing his resolve. "You don't understand, Fiona. I'm not asking your permission, I'm letting you know what I'm doing. And I'm spending the whole weekend with them, hanging out and catching up, like we planned." His voice was calm, but firm. "I'd hoped you could join me, but if you can't, I understand."

Fiona exhaled sharply and placed her well-manicured hands on her slender, Dior-draped hips. "Johnny, I have no intention of wasting an entire weekend with those..." - she spit out the word - "....people. And I don't understand why you'd want to, either. They can't help you achieve your goals, they'll only hold you back. If we go sailing, though, there are people there who can make your dreams come true."

Johnny looked at her, reality hitting him hard. "Whose dreams are we talking about, here, Fiona? Mine or yours? I don't recall you ever asking me what I wanted to do, where I wanted to see my career going, what made me happy." His eyes were dark and serious. "Or doesn't that matter?"

"My god, what's gotten into you, Johnny?" she said, shocked at his sudden burst of candor. "I'm just trying to help you be a star."

"I don't care about being a star," he replied, "All I want to do is sing. The only reason I left the group is because I got tired of always being on the road, having no life of my own. A small record on a small label and the freedom to perform when and where I want is all I ask. If I can have that, I'll be thrilled."

"Why do you want to waste your talent on two-bit gigs," Fiona huffed, impatience and anger beginning to swell within her, "When you could have the world at your fingertips?"

Johnny sighed softly. "Like I told you, all I want to do is sing. That makes me happy." He looked into her eyes. "But somehow, I get the impression that's just not enough for you, is it?"

She looked at him with a gaze colder than he'd ever seen in her eyes before. "I can't waste my time with a nobody, Johnny. I thought you were going somewhere."

A soft smile played across his full cupid-bow mouth, the glow of peace and newfound freedom shining in his tender brown eyes. "I *am* going somewhere. Home. Home where I belong."

Fiona snickered. "To her? What was her name, Julie? A quaint name for a naive little girl, I suppose. But do you really think she's going to take you back after you left her to be with me?"

"I don't know," Johnny said honestly, "But I am going to do everything within my power to beg her to forgive me."

"How sweet," she retorted. "You're obviously as naive as she is." And with a condescending glare, she whispered "Ah well, c'est la vie...bon chance, Johnny. When you fall on your face, you've got my number." She leaned in toward him and closed her eyes, softly puckering her berry- red lips to grace him with a farewell smooch.

Johnny looked at her, amused at her grandstanding. "If I didn't make myself clear the first time, I'll say it again. I'm leaving you, Fiona. I have no intention of crawling back, and I'm certainly not going to kiss you." He paused for effect. "Especially your backside."

"How dare you!" she shrieked, "I suggest you go now, before you embarrass yourself even further." Without a word, Johnny confidently walked away, and never once looked back.

On the red-eye nonstop flight to California late that night, Johnny, unable to sleep, chatted with Lindsay, his stewardess, who also just so happened to be a fan that somehow recognized him, despite his casual clothing and un-greased hair. He spoke with her for a couple of minutes while everyone else was slumbering away the long flight.

"I'm sorry to intrude on you," she said sweetly. "I should let you get some sleep."

He smiled. "Oh no, please, I can't sleep, not tonight, and I'd actually enjoy the company. Can you sit with me for a few minutes?" He patted the empty seat beside his.

"Well, everyone's sleeping, and there's nothing I need to do right now, but..."

"What is it?" Johnny asked. "I don't want to keep you from anything."

She grinned. "Oh no," she said, "it's just that we're really not supposed to fraternize with the passengers."

Johnny looked at her, smiling broadly. "Well, if you're not busy, and I want you to sit with me, they shouldn't complain, should they?" He leaned in and whispered. "If they give you a hard time, I'll tell them I'll just spend my first-class ticket money with another airline."

Lindsay giggled. "Alright, alright, you win! I'm going to grab a cup of coffee, would you like one?"

"Please, black is fine, thank you."

"Ok, I'll be right back." In a few minutes, she returned with two cups and sat down in the plush, comfortable seat next to Johnny.

After Lindsay got over the initial schoolgirl jitters of speaking to a long-time favorite singer of hers, and procuring his autograph, she relaxed and found herself growing comfortable in his warm, friendly presence. But there was something else in his beautiful brown eyes, something troubling, and she asked him if he was alright.

"It's that obvious, is it?" Johnny asked. "Sorry, it's just been a rather trying day. Actually, it's been a trying few months..."

"I don't mean to pry, I mean, I know you don't know me, but... well, I'm a pretty good listener. People often tell me I missed my calling as a bartender."

He laughed and smiled softly. "Thanks, I appreciate it. Actually, if you don't mind me chewing your ear off for a few minutes, I could use someone to talk to."

She nodded kindly and listened to his story of Fiona and Julie, and all that had transpired between them.

"Oh Johnny, I'm so sorry," she said when he finished. "I can see how much you miss Julie, but if she's half the woman she sounds like, I bet she misses you terribly, too." She smiled shyly. "I know I would." Lindsay could swear that the impossibly gorgeous man sitting beside her was blushing just a bit at her words.

"You're very sweet, but... well, it's probably too late for me, for us. I hurt her too much, and she probably hates me." He sighed heavily. "I certainly hate myself."

Lindsay touched his arm. "If you two loved each other as much as you say, one insignificant dragon lady from hell isn't going to come between you."

After thinking for a few moments, she leaned in. "I've got an idea..." She whispered her thoughts to him, bringing a slight smile of hope to his face.

"Do you really think it could work?" he asked.

"Have faith," she replied. "Have faith in love." She arose and kissed his cheek softly. "I've got to go back to work now, but good luck to you. And it was a real pleasure to meet you, thank you!"

Johnny's smile was warm and sweet. "No, thank *you* - I appreciate your help, more than you'll ever know. And thanks for listening, I really needed a friend tonight." He wrote down a phone number on a slip of paper. "Here's the number of my answering service, leave me a message if you ever want to talk."

She took the paper and wrote down her number in return. "I hope to hear some good news, very soon! Let me know how it goes with Julie." With a grin, she was gone, and Johnny took out a small notebook and pen and began to write...

Friday night. The big concert. The crowd was wild for the band's fun- loving rendtions of those great old classic rock 'n roll tunes. After a partcularly rousing version of "Jailhouse Rock," Bowzer took the mic and addressed the crowd.

"Ok, youse guys, settle down... hey! Shut up so I can talk!" Everybody laughed, but quickly hushed enough to allow the bass singer to be heard. "That's better. Anyways, I know that youse ladies out there miss one of our singers, Johnny, although for the life of me, I can't understand why..." A collective squeal of delight echoed through the crowd.

"Well, I've got good news for youse. He's here tonight, for one night only, to sing a song for youse all. Ladies and gentlemen, here's... Johnny!"

Dressed in a black suit with a white shirt, the first three buttons undone, his hair natural and soft, Johnny stepped to the front of the stage to a deafening round of applause and cheering from the stunned, excited audience. "Thank you, thank you so much," he said sincerely. "It's great to be back for this special night. I want to sing a song for you that I wrote last night, and it's dedicated to someone very specal." He took the mic, and he began to sing.

"The footlights and the curtain calls, the way she spoke the lines as though she meant them just for me - it fooled me every time. Now I'm forgotten for another stage door clown. I wish I hadn't left you, I wish I hadn't left you. Now I'm on the road alone and homeward bound..."

As he crooned, his heart was pounding. The blinding spotlight made it impossible to see if she was even there. But Lindsay's words echoed through his head.

Have faith in love.

"You're the only light still shining on my horizon now, shine on, shine on. You're the only silver lining in the grey cloud all around, shine on, shine on. You light the way ahead, the road I tread is getting hard to climb. I only hope I reach that light in time..."

Oh, Julie, my angel, are you out there? God, please be there...

"...You're a lonely cello playing in the silence all around, you're the only light on my horizon now."

Johnny sang the rest of the song, finishing to several moments of awed silence, followed by thunderous applause and not a dry eye in the house. Lennie announced the intermission, and Johnny retreated to his dressing room.

Pacing and gulping an iced bottled water, he couldn't help but wonder and worry. Was she even there, and if so, what was she thinking? Was she heading there to see him right now, or was she fleeing home in the first available cab, disgusted to think he imagined one silly little song could undo all the damage he'd done to her trusting heart?

A knock.

Johnny opened the door, and there she was. Julie wore a simple, elegant black pantsuit with pearls. She was the most beautiful sight he'd seen in a very long time.

"Julie... please, come in," he stammered, closing the door behind them when she entered. "I'm so glad you could make it." She nodded, and they sat together on the beige leather love seat.

"Well, to be honest," she said, "I was rather surprised when the courier brought the ticket and the note asking me to meet you here at intermission if I was willing to talk to you." She looked him in the eye. "I hadn't heard from you since you left. I assumed you were happy in your new life, madly in love, maybe even married by now..."

"No! Oh, God no, Julie... I've been so miserable without you. Leaving you was the biggest mistake I've ever made in my life." He took her hand. "I'm so sorry for everything I've done. I don't expect you to take me back, and I won't even ask because I don't deserve it, but if you could find it in your heart even to just forgive me for what I've done, that would be enough for me."

She sighed and looked at him. "No, Johnny. I'm sorry." He looked down, his face a portrait of inconsolable grief and sorrow.

"I'm sorry," she continued, "But just forgiving you isn't enough for me. I need to have you back in my life, back in my arms where you belong." She smiled softly, tears hazing her blue eyes. "Oh, Johnny, I never stopped loving you."

He burst into tears and wept softly. "Thank God, oh Julie...I love you so much..."

"Shhhhhh," she murmured as she gently held and comforted him, lightly grazing her fingers through his thick, soft, dark curls. "I loved the song, thank you," she whispered. "Did you really write it?"

"Yes," he said with a smile of joy and relief. "I wrote it for you. And I meant every word."

"Well, I loved it. Very much." she said. "But aren't you forgetting something important?"

Johnny brushed aside a tear and looked at her, puzzled. "What is it?"

Julie smiled mischievously. "Where's my welcome home kiss?"

Taking her into his arms, he whispered "Right here, baby.." His mouth found hers, and he kissed her deeply and passionately, like they'd never been apart. His heart was full as her familiar soft, blissful sighs rang in his ears, and her tender kisses made his soul sing with happiness.

Their joyous reunion was interrupted by another knock. Johnny grinned when he saw the familiar face standing in the doorway.

"You made it!" he exclaimed. "Julie, this is Lindsay, she was the stewardess on the flight I took to come back home, the one who convinced me to write you that song and try to win you back. Lindsay, this is Julie."

"Hi Julie!" she replied with a grin. "I'm so glad to see that everything turned out alright, and your song was beautiful, Johnny. I just wanted to come by and say hello, but now I'll leave you to your celebration." Lindsay reached out to shake his hand, but instinctively, he hugged her tightly instead.

"Thank you for the invitation," Lindsay said, "it was very sweet of you."

"Thank you," he said, "And don't forget to call me sometime." She nodded and hugged Julie too, then left to return to her seat.

"I'd better go out there too," Julie said, "Are you going to sing any more tonight?"

"Well, I wasn't sure, but now that you've given me a reason to sing, yeah, I think I'll take the guys up on their request and put on the gold lame again tonight, one more time for old time's sake." He kissed her again. "I'll see you after the show, baby."

As she opened the door to go, he reached over to the table and handed her something. "Wait! These are for you."

As Julie inhaled the sweet perfume of the bouquet of colorful carnations, she embraced him with a smile. "Oh Johnny, I can't believe you remembered that these are my favorites!"

"I could never forget," he whispered, holding her tightly, "I could never forget..."

THE END

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