A/N: I'm back finally! My stepsons are in school and I have more free time each day, so I have finally gotten a new story under way. This time I'm concentrating on fifth-season episodes involving Julie. Since Tattoo tended to be mentioned only in passing, or sometimes completely ignored, in the Julie stories, I've made a point of inserting him in my "supporting" scenes where I can. My plan is to also include some openers of episodes where Julie appeared in the beginning but wasn't involved in the fantasies, as well. This is still a work in progress, but I will write and post as often as I can, so keep an eye out. Enjoy!
Thanks also to Kyryn1 for her recent reviews on several stories. It's great to hear from you again, and I look forward to more reviews when you have a chance!
§ § § - September 2, 2006
Roarke stepped into the study from the terrace to find a surprisingly large group of eager faces waiting for him. "How long have the seven of you been gathered here?" he asked, surveying the six adults and an eager first-grader sitting around the tea table. "And what have you two done with my grandchildren?"
Christian and Leslie, the recipients of this question, grinned at him. "They've had a long hard day playing with Haruko," Leslie said. "She didn't have any weekend homework, since school just started yesterday, so she had time and energy to burn. She knocked out the triplets all right, but she torpedoed herself in the process, so I called Katsumi and arranged to have her sleep in the spare room with the kids. She'll be here for breakfast."
Roarke chuckled. "That should please Mariki. Very well, then, I suppose you're all more than ready to begin telling tales out of school." He slanted a teasing look at Julie, who rolled her eyes amidst the others' laughter.
"Are you sure you don't have any pressing issues with the fantasies, uncle?" Julie asked, clearly trying to deflect the attention away from herself.
Roarke smiled at her and assured her, "I've just made checks on both fantasies for the specific purpose of freeing myself to join in the discussion. Everything is well in hand for the night, and our guests are well aware that they are now on their own until at least mid-morning tomorrow." At Christian's raised eyebrow, he added, "Oh, don't worry. As with most guests, their fantasies are only as dangerous as they make them."
"I could argue with that," Christian observed, "but since Leslie's told me what the fantasies are this weekend, I'll refrain this time and merely agree with you. So I understand that this evening our focus is on Julie."
"Thanks a lot," Julie said grumpily.
Leslie grinned at her. "Oh, come on, Julie, think of it as a chance to relive some fond memories. I mean, you may not have been the most experienced assistant Father ever had, but you didn't do everything wrong, you know."
Roarke eyed Julie with amused surprise. "Is that why you're so reluctant to participate, Julie? Surely your memories aren't all negative ones."
"You can't tell me you didn't enjoy your time working for uncle," said Miranda, who had slipped into calling Roarke by this appellation as easily as her brother and sister-in-law did. "How could you not?"
Julie sighed. "Well, I guess you'd have to know something about my background to understand. Have you ever heard of the MacNabb family? Did your father ever tell you about them?"
Miranda nodded and said, "Yes, he mentioned them once. One of the few times he spoke of Rogan, he mentioned that he had a feeling there might be some MacNabb blood in him. So I know what you mean by referencing them. Are you part of the family?"
"Yup. MacNabb was my maiden name. I have a much older sister named Delphine, who has the fabled MacNabb magical powers. But I don't." She explained why, while Josh and Miranda listened curiously; even Christian was interested, having not really known before. "Delphine was born while the gene was 'active', but I came along too late to inherit the powers, and as a result she took three dozen different kinds of advantage of me all the while we were growing up. She could've easily handled all the things uncle asks of his assistants, but I was…well, let's just say I wasn't exactly equipped."
"Ah, me lass, your talents just lay in other directions, that's all," Rogan soothed her. "I think you should just chalk that year up to an interesting experience in your life and stop being so down about it. You were eager an' willing, right? And it's not as if you blew up the island or something similar."
Julie threw him a dirty look. "You're no help at all, Callaghan. Look, I can see you're all determined to do this, so I guess you might as well get it over with."
As if taking pity on her, Roarke chuckled and focused on Leslie. "Suppose we begin with an easy one, hm? Do you remember the first fantasy Julie helped us with, Leslie?"
She nodded. "Yeah…that was a pretty interesting weekend. Though, considering the fact that one of the guests was a magician, I wonder now if Julie didn't think…" She let her voice trail off and her eyes slide cautiously in Julie's direction.
Julie thought back, then snickered. "Oh yeah, that one. I suppose the reason I wasn't upset about the irony of uncle's bringing a magician here for my first-ever assistant's job was that the guy wasn't much good at it." They all laughed, and she gave her hands a little palms-up toss. "I guess I'll start."
§ § § - October 24, 1981
It was Julie who met Roarke and Leslie at the porch steps that sunny Saturday morning. "What happened to Tattoo?" Leslie asked, peering back at the house as the car pulled away; she had heard him ringing the bell in the tower, after all.
"He's making preparations for next weekend's fantasies," Roarke explained. "He appreciated the break, and said it would give Julie a chance to really become accustomed to her new position." For some reason he smiled. "Are you excited, Julie?"
The perky twenty-one-year-old nodded vigorously. "I can't wait to get started. I'm so grateful to you, uncle…I mean, Mr. Roarke. This is such a huge favor you're doing me, helping me save money to open my bed-and-breakfast inn."
"Everyone deserves the chance to make his or her dream come true," Roarke remarked as the car coasted down the Ring Road. "And it will be to our advantage as well, having extra accommodations for our guests."
The car pulled up in the little dirt turnaround at the plane dock, and Roarke, Leslie and Julie disembarked. Leslie still had a feeling of being a junior apprentice because she was wearing a calf-length white skirt trimmed in a black eyelet ruffle and a white blouse with black trim and buttons and three-quarter-length sleeves, while Julie sported a three-piece suit, complete with tie, that was a copy of Roarke's. Leslie didn't say anything about it, however; to be honest, she rather preferred her own outfit. She wasn't sure she would have been able to pull off wearing a tie.
"Smiles, everyone, smiles," Roarke called, as he always did, and signaled at the band to begin. As he tended to do with Tattoo, he cast a glance at Julie's suit jacket, and she quickly buttoned it while the attendants at the dock watched a dark-haired young man in glasses and a very seventies-looking blue plaid jacket climb out of the plane's hatch. "Mr. Timothy Potter, from Cleveland, Ohio."
"What's his fantasy?" Julie asked, peering dubiously at the jacket.
"Mr. Potter is an amateur conjurer," Roarke explained. "He entertains at hospitals and at children's parties with card tricks and producing a stuffed rabbit out of a hat, and other familiar prestidigitations." Leslie nodded; she had seen one such performer at her friend Myeko's little sister Sayuri's birthday party recently.
Julie commented, "Oh, that's nice…he gives pleasure to people!"
"Sometimes," said Roarke, catching the girls' attention. "That's debatable. Unfortunately, Mr. Potter is not a very good conjurer. You might say his sleight of hand is slight indeed, and his magic…is tragic." Julie snickered behind one hand at his totally poker-faced delivery of these puns; Leslie simply rolled her eyes, in that teenage way Roarke occasionally commented on with mock disparagement and a twinkle in his eye. Meantime, with the native girls watching him, Timothy Potter waved a hand over the pineapple shell that held his drink, closed his palm over the fruit and other frou-frou that decorated it, then opened it and displayed it at the laughing young women. Then his face fell as he realized he'd merely gotten the top of a miniature parasol stuck in his palm.
Julie blinked while Leslie slowly shook her head, and exclaimed softly, "Oh! I'm afraid he blew it."
"Yes, as usual," said Roarke through a resigned sigh. "That is why his fantasy is to be not just a good magician, but to be the very best."
"I don't know about that," said Julie doubtfully.
"Yeah, that's gonna be a challenge all right," Leslie agreed, watching Potter pause in front of a perch holding a parrot and a macaw that both seemed to be peering at the man as if afraid he might try to turn them into handkerchiefs. She stole a glance at her guardian, just in time to see his concerned expression shift into expectation. Turning her attention to the dock, she saw a tall woman with shoulder-length, spun-gold hair exit the hatch, a cheerfully anticipatory look on her striking features.
"What a stunning lady!" said Julie, impressed.
"Yes, indeed. Her name is Ms. Marjorie Denton." Roarke paused and studied the girls before asking on impulse, "Would either of you care to guess her profession?"
"Movie star?" Julie offered. "Maybe an actress who wants to write the Great American Novel?"
"I'd say a fashion designer," Leslie ventured when Roarke shifted his glance to her.
He smiled. "Would you believe, a bus driver from Philadelphia?"
"No way!" Leslie blurted.
"Really? A bus driver?" Julie asked in astonishment.
"Yes," said Roarke, amused again. "She is one of that new breed of women who believe they can do most things as well as men. And therein lies her problem. She has found that there is an unexpected price to such beliefs, and she hungers for the old days when women were treated with grace and chivalry."
Julie peered at Marjorie Denton and asked skeptically, "What's her fantasy, to wear a crinoline?" Leslie laughed at that.
"No, Julie, Ms. Denton's dream is simply to meet the most exciting, gallant and virile man in the world," Roarke replied, almost beaming as he spoke.
"Oh geez," Leslie said, catching their quizzical attention. "I can see it now. Here comes Casanova, with an eye to seducing every female on the island."
Julie clearly disagreed. "Well…I don't know about you, Leslie, but I can certainly sympathize with that fantasy."
Roarke peered at her with interest. "Can you, Julie? Well…" He drew in a breath, tamping down the amusement that had flared up in his dark eyes, and turned back to Marjorie Denton, who stood with drink in hand, watching them talk. "Unfortunately, to fulfill her fantasy will expose her to dangers she cannot anticipate." On Leslie's curious frown and Julie's worried, confused look, Roarke accepted his usual glass from a native girl and lifted it in the weekly toast, one of the few things that never changed from year to year. "My dear guests! I am Mr. Roarke, your host. Welcome to Fantasy Island!"
‡ ‡ ‡
"I'm so grateful to you, Mr. Roarke. If you only knew how desperate I am to be treated like a woman." Marjorie Denton spoke as Roarke, Leslie and Julie came into the inner foyer at the main house; Julie shut the door behind them while they paused for a moment. "Someone with real manners—someone to bring out my femininity."
Roarke smiled. "That, I promise you will experience. And," he said, bringing her into the room with Leslie and Julie following, "in what better way could I satisfy your fantasy than to transport you back to the very days when such men were plentiful?"
Marjorie's face lit with excited wonder. "You mean…back in time?" she gasped.
"Exactly," said Roarke. "Julie?" Leslie paused beside Roarke's desk to watch Julie head for the time-travel-room door; Roarke cast her a beckoning glance and a smile, which was all the invitation Leslie needed to join them. Roarke ushered her in ahead of him and closed the door on a few plumes of fog that tried to escape.
Marjorie zeroed right in on the suit of armor mounted on a partial bust of a horse in the corner of the room, ignoring all the other trappings. Leslie's attention was snapped back to the moment when Roarke spoke again. "Remember, Ms. Denton, you are going back to a time when human life was held very cheaply. Although men gave special attention to the ladies—that trait you so admire—women were also almost slaves, subject to many restrictions, and sometimes…" He let the pause stretch before concluding in a tone of light warning, "…great cruelty."
Marjorie smiled indulgently and shook her head. "You can't frighten me, Mr. Roarke."
Roarke absorbed this with a broad smile, the sort of smile that always made Leslie ever so slightly nervous and started her wondering what he was really up to. "I see," he said. "Then…step through that door, Ms. Denton." He indicated a door at the left-hand wall of the room, almost hidden behind the suit of armor.
For the first time Marjorie's face took on a faintly apprehensive look under the determination, before she turned and slowly paced to the door that waited for her. "Good luck," Julie offered in a low, almost mysterious tone, her bright grin somehow adding a subtle tone of you're gonna need it! to her aura. Marjorie peered at her over her shoulder and smiled, gamely if a bit nervously, before slipping through the door and pushing it quietly shut.
The three were still for a moment or two; then Julie blinked and straightened herself, slanting a faintly nervous glance at Roarke. "How'd I do?"
As if surprised, he turned to her. "You did just fine, Julie, just fine."
Leslie added, "You sounded like she was going to really need that good luck you wished her. Nice bit of mockery there."
Roarke's surprise became genuine, while Julie stared at her with sudden outrage. "I wasn't mocking her! I was being very sincere!"
Leslie cleared her throat. "Well, I didn't exactly mean mocking…I mean…you just sounded so, you know, mysterious. Even warning a little." She dropped her voice and managed to produce a fair imitation of Julie's earlier words. "Good luck."
Julie gasped and stared at Roarke. "Did I really sound like that?"
"I must confess, Julie, as a matter of fact, you did indeed," Roarke confirmed with a smile, winking surreptitiously at Leslie. "We'd better get back into the study so that we'll be in time to send Mr. Potter on his way."
"On his way to do what?" Julie wanted to know. "Ruin some showman's reputation or something by appearing in a revue?"
"I daresay the only reputation Mr. Potter will be ruining is his own," Roarke replied cryptically, gesturing the girls out ahead of him before closing the door to the time-travel room and making his way to his desk. Julie and Leslie looked at each other.
Just then there was a knock on the door and Julie hurried up to answer it, then got a speak of the devil look about her. "It's Mr. Potter."
"Come in, come in," Roarke invited warmly, while Timothy Potter stepped around Julie and down into the foyer. "Welcome, Mr. Potter, may we get you anything?"
"No thanks," Potter said quickly, his expression eager and hopeful. "I just wanted to start by saying thanks for granting my fantasy, Mr. Roarke. I know I'll get better with your help. I have to."
Roarke regarded him thoughtfully for a moment, then said, "If I may, Mr. Potter, I'd like to see an example of the tricks you normally perform."
Potter hurriedly wiped the abject surprise off his face when he saw Julie's and Leslie's poorly smothered grins, and said, "Sure, I'd be glad to, Mr. Roarke. Uh…tell you what, why don't you all sit down." Roarke promptly took him up on this offer, stepping around a large, weatherbeaten old trunk that sat on the table in front of the red velvet sofa below the shuttered windows and taking a seat. Julie and Leslie sat one on either side of him. Potter dug into a pocket of his already-out-of-style sport jacket and extracted a deck of playing cards, which he removed from their case, shuffled, and then stacked in his hand. Then he fanned them out and extended them to Leslie. "Take a card, miss…what's your name?"
"Leslie Hamilton," she told him.
"Nice to meet you, Leslie. Go ahead and pick a card." Potter smiled encouragingly at her, and she smiled back involuntarily, thinking he looked very nice behind those glasses, before reaching out and working a single card from the deck. She displayed it at Roarke and Julie, looked at it herself, then slid it back into the deck.
They watched then as Potter stacked the deck again, took a couple of steps behind the table, and then made an elaborate show of waving his hand at the deck in what was apparently supposed to be a "magical" way. Leslie was somewhat surprised when one card in the middle of the deck actually began to rise up out of it. When it was halfway up, Potter stopped it and turned the deck around to face his hosts. "Is that your card?" he asked Leslie with a broad, expectant smile.
"No," Leslie admitted a bit reluctantly. The featured card was the eight of hearts, but she had picked the six of spades. She felt compelled to apologize. "Sorry about that."
Potter took it quite well, she thought. "Oh well." He chuckled, partly nervous, partly resigned. "That's all right…I…" He put the deck aside and focused on Roarke again, starting over. "I practice every day, but I guess I-I'm just naturally clumsy." His hosts looked at one another and then at him with interested sympathy. "You see, the reason I do my magic is because, uh…I have no family of my own, and I like to make people feel good." Roarke nodded understanding. "Makes me feel close to them. Unfortunately, I am the Great Butterfingers." He released a tiny self-deprecating chuckle. "That's me."
Roarke nodded again, then turned to his goddaughter. "Julie?"
"Hm?" At his expectant look, she seemed to remember what she was supposed to be doing. "Oh." She arose and opened a small black box in her hand, lifting out a large key on a chain and handing it to him. "Maybe this will open up some new possibilities for you."
"Yes," said Roarke, taking over. "The key unlocks that trunk, which is full of assorted paraphernalia, items of wardrobe—but most importantly, personal journals which contain the secrets of all the greatest magic tricks of all time." At that, Potter brightened considerably, hope filling his mobile features. "And who is to say that some of those great stage magicians of the past did not, in fact, possess real magic, Mr. Potter?"
Their guest was beside himself. "That's terrific, Mr. Roarke! I-I can't wait!" With that, he started to bend down to insert the key into the lock.
Roarke stopped him. "Uh…first, take the trunk to your bungalow, Mr. Potter. Study its contents—study well. You see, I have arranged for a special matinee performance for you this very afternoon."
"What, do you mean a real performance?" Potter exclaimed.
"Yes," Roarke assured him. "So I suggest you prepare yourself as thoroughly as you possibly can." His smile looked a lot like that odd one he'd aimed at Marjorie Denton, Leslie thought, before his expression changed and he arose. "There is a jeep waiting outside to help you take the trunk with you."
"Fantastic," Potter bubbled. "Gosh, thanks loads, Mr. Roarke. This is gonna be the greatest show I ever put on." Upon hearing this remark, Julie and Leslie exchanged glances, but neither of them spoke till Potter had lugged the trunk out of the study and Roarke had closed the door behind him, with a decidedly amused look on his handsome features.
Then Leslie said, "The greatest show he ever put on? That sure won't be much of a performance." Julie let out a bark of laughter.
Roarke eyed them reprovingly. "Leslie Susan, have you forgotten? This is Fantasy Island! Not to mention that that was rather rude."
"But accurate," Julie pointed out, irrepressible.
Roarke sighed and conceded with great reluctance, "Yes, perhaps you're right. But I suggest you two give the man a chance to prove himself. That is, after all, what he's here for, and it would be commendable if you two would keep that in mind."
Contrite, Leslie nodded. "Okay, Mr. Roarke. So I guess that means we'll be going to the town theater later on and watching him, huh?"
Roarke smiled. "You might invite some of your friends, if you like."
Tattoo came back to have lunch with Roarke and the girls, and took in the stories of the two fantasies so far with interest. "Sounds like Ms. Denton is happy as a clam," he said, before his round face took on some doubt. "What time's the magic show, boss?"
"Two o'clock, my friend. Why?" Roarke inquired.
Tattoo was silent for a moment, digesting this, before shrugging. "I don't know. I guess something just doesn't feel right to me."
"That's funny," said Leslie slowly. "I wonder if my friends thought the same thing. I called everybody up and asked them if they were interested in coming to the show with me, and they all said they had other things to do." She started to add something, hesitated, then gave in when she noticed Roarke's, Tattoo's and Julie's questioning looks. "Well, Camille even said that magicians give her nightmares."
Julie laughed, but Roarke and Tattoo exchanged glances. "That's interesting," the Frenchman commented. He peered at Leslie with interest. "What about you?"
"I don't have any problem with magicians," Leslie said, flicked her eyes in Roarke's direction and then added, "if they're good ones. This guy isn't."
Again Julie laughed, and this time Tattoo joined in; only Roarke was silent, frowning a little in contemplation. After a moment, when he became aware of the silence, he looked around at the threesome who gazed at him and said only, "We shall see. You'd better finish eating, we all have duties this afternoon."
Julie caught Leslie's eye and smiled reassuringly at her. "Hey, it's perfectly plausible that your friends had other plans for the day," she said. "Don't take it personally."
"I'm not," Leslie said. "I just thought it was kind of weird that all six of them had something else they had to do. Even Frida." The Swedish girl had only recently joined Julie's household and was already proving to be a hard worker.
Julie shrugged. "Actually, Frida's not the most sociable girl I ever met. She's very shy, and I think she'd rather stay in and do housework and homework than run around touching base with a bunch of classmates she doesn't know very well." She shrugged. "Anyway, I think the friends she hangs out with most of the time live on Coral Island."
Tattoo had been staring at her, and when Julie noticed, he spoke right away, his voice light as if to defuse tension. "Housework and homework! What's the difference?" he wanted to know. At that everyone laughed, even Leslie, who had to admit he had a point about the oddities of the English language.