Chapter Three: A Disturbing Realisation

"Will you turn that damn thing down! I'm trying to think!"

Pizzazz stalked into the front room, casting a glare at the offending stereo player and then at Roxy as she dropped down into a chair, reaching half-heartedly for the morning paper.It was the next day, and the Misfits were all at home, getting ready for another busy day at the office.

 "I've a headache, it's early and you're blaring out music like you're starting your own radio station! What's with that? If they can't hear you in Sacramento I'd be surprised!"

"Morning to you too." Roxy said evenly, reaching over to flip off the switch on the hifi. "There? That make you happy? I'm going out, anyhow."

"You do know we're in studio again today? Thanks to Elliot's little tete-a-tete yesterday we didn't get half enough work done to sell this song, and we've Chimera coming at ten."

"Yes, I know. Yeesh." Roxy pulled a face. "But there's time before. I have to pick up some parts for the Misfit van anyway, so I'm trotting out early. Just as soon as Stormer's done cooking pancakes and I've eaten a whole bunch of them. I'm starving."

"You're such a pig sometimes." Pizzazz grimaced at her. "Do you ever think about anything but food and car parts?"

"Do you ever think about anything but men and screeching?" Roxy retorted. "Get a grip, will you? It's early but it's not that early and I've known you sleep through an earth tremor before this. What's wrong? Don't like that it wasn't Misfit music I was playing?"

"I don't care what it was. It sounded damn awful." Pizzazz grimaced. "Will you shut up, by the way? I'm trying to read this and you're breaking my concentration."

"I don't know why you're bothering. They're over the court case story now." Roxy gave a careless flick of her hands. "It's all about some homicide on the west side and which movie stars came to that premiere last night. Which, by the way, we weren't invited to. What's with that? And why didn't you tell us about it? We could've crashed it. It woulda been like old times."

"I didn't know there was a premiere last night." Pizzazz did not look up from the paper. "And I told you once, shut the hell up. Just because your reading is limited to picture books, it doesn't mean we're all that stupid."

"Obviously you're just going to talk crap this morning." Roxy rolled her eyes, reaching over to take her tape out of the player and slipping it into her pocket. "Fine. I'm going to go have my breakfast and you can read the really boring morning paper if it turns you on. I don't care. But do us all a favour, huh?"

"Hrm?" Pizzazz lowered the paper, casting her band-mate an irritated stare. "What now, Roxy?"

"When it's that time of the month, do you think you could not put your hormones out there for all to see?" Roxy said bluntly. "You're more predictable than a clock and it's damn hard to live with. Either go shut yourself away somewhere till you've sobered up, or get a grip on it, huh? You've been angsty for the last few days and we all of us know the signs by now. We've got to spend all day holed up in a studio with you and I'm already wanting to rearrange your face."

With that she was gone in the direction of the kitchen, and Pizzazz muttered something under her breath, returning her gaze to the paper. As she did so, however, Roxy's words rang through her head once more. She frowned, setting aside the paper as she considered them more carefully.

"Hormonal?" She murmured. "But I'm isn't..."

She shook her head.

"Delusional bitch." She muttered, reaching for the paper again. "Doesn't know what she's talking about and...oh God."

She froze, her hand half-way towards it. "Come to think of it, when did I last...?"

Shoving everything aside, she got to her feet, heading into the hallway and up the stairs to the top landing, where her own bedroom was situated. Pushing open the door, she entered the spacious, sunshiny room, pushing the door shut behind her and, as an afterthought, sliding the lock in place.

Slowly she crossed the room to the calendar that hung on the wall beside the window. Almost automatically, she traced her finger back through the month of December, pausing as she met a familiar symbol. Glancing down at the date on her watch, her frown deepened.

"I'm overdue." She realised. " I'm just's been a crappy month and it's not really getting much better, even with the Eric thing settled."

She pulled the calendar down from the wall, sitting cross-legged on the bed as she flicked back a page to the previous month. Running her gaze over the thirty days of November, she saw another distinctive star marking a date in the middle of the month, and she bit her lip.

"Nothing then, either." She acknowledged to herself. "God, how late am I? Sure, sometimes I'm erratic, but I've never been so late as this before."

She swallowed hard, wetting her lips as she contemplated the situation. Then she shook her head.

"Not possible." She decided out loud. "Not even close to being possible. It's just stress, that's all. Nothing else. Stupid calendar, trying to freak me out! I'll show you what I think of that!"

With that, she grabbed up the offending article, tossing it with some force in the direction of the waste paper bin. It clanged against the edge, falling to the floor beside it, and Pizzazz cursed, getting to her feet and retrieving it. Folding it in half, she shoved it firmly into the bin, pushing it down deep so that she could no longer see the numbers on the days. Glancing back at the empty hook on the wall, she grimaced.

"It's almost New Year and I don't need that old thing. It's about due to be replaced anyway." She told herself. "And besides, there's just no way that I need to worry. Roxy just doesn't know what she's talking about, that's all. She hasn't a clue and I'm letting it get to me. God knows I shouldn't ever listen to her. I've enough things to worry about without that!"

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

"It seems like a very long time since the last time I was here discussing videos."

Suzanne Mayor slipped off her jacket, taking a seat as she cast a rueful grin around at the assembled Misfits. "I did think I might not be here again, actually, with everything going on. Where is my sister, anyway? I thought she wanted me here at ten, but I don't see her anywhere."

"Our pro-tem executive hauled her into the office to authorise something." Jetta said with a grimace. "So she stomped off in there in a paddy to do it. No doubt as soon as she can she'll be throwing those things at me to do. Or did you not yet hear her latest brainwave, Chimera? She wants me to be chief exec in Eric's place."

"You?" Chimera opened her eyes wide, then she grinned. "Well, she could make worse choices. You might at least make her listen to you."

"Not so far." Jetta sighed. "She's been acting like the Queen of Sheba ever since the verdict. Our song this, our company that...Jetta, get your ass into the office an' let Elliot train you...blah. She's on a total power trip at the moment. I think her ego took too much from kicking Eric's sorry butt off to Canada, if you ask me."

"I read something about him taking off that way." Chimera looked thoughtful. "Not that he'll be missed by anyone in this city, I imagine."

"Nor in this state." Roxy glanced up at the clock. "And she jawed me out this morning because she thought I'd be late. She's got a serious nerve sometimes, that girl."

"If I didn't know better I'd say it was on purpose." Jetta reflected. "You notice she's turned the heating up full whack today, by the way? I swear that's because yesterday we gave her hell about the air conditioning. Sometimes her head is impossible to read."

"It is hot in here." Chimera agreed. "Think she'd bother if I opened a window?"

"Probably." Roxy grimaced. "Jetta's right. She's Queen Bitch at the moment. I think it's the time of month. She's so blatant when she's hormonal."

"God help us all then." Chimera said with feeling. "Oh well. I'll just make this morning as brief as possible, then, in that case. We can do most of the proper work on Friday or Saturday, if you're all ready for us to begin with the video then. I just want basic concepts today so I can go away and work on something suitable."

"She is late." Stormer pursed her lips, eying the clock. "It's almost twenty past. Should I go see if I can find her? Maybe she's forgotten."

"She's not forgotten. She's just being the brat." Roxy shook her head. "Don't bother yourself, Stormer. She'll be here. After all, she's the one obsessing about getting this song out so quickly."

Chimera drummed her fingers on the edge of her seat.

"Well, give me some rough idea about the song while we're waiting?" She asked. "I have another appointment at eleven thirty, and I can't be late for that."

"Unless you'd forgotten, Chimera, those kinds of decisions aren't made without me here."

At that moment Pizzazz herself entered, pushing the door shut with a click behind her, and leaning up against it. "So it would be nice if you'd bother to wait for me."

"We said ten and it's twenty past." Chimera said frankly. "I'm a busy girl, and I don't like to be kept waiting."

"Well, that's your problem. Not mine." Pizzazz shrugged. "We're all here now."

"I was just wondering something about the song. What kind of theme we were working with - what kind of concept you were looking for." Chimera gave up, turning the topic to the matter at hand. "I've not heard anything of it yet. Is it a Misfit classic or what? What do you see us focusing in on?"

"Something predatorial." Pizzazz pursed her lips. "Something wild and angry, something that's not going to take any crap from anyone. That's the kind of song we're dealing with this time. We don't have it laid down yet, so you'll have to wait to hear it and work from scratch with it when we go to tape. But do you think you can work on those when you're sketching your fun little stick pictures?"

"You really know how to make someone appreciated, don't you." Chimera grimaced at her sister. "Fine. Predatorial. Stormer, I presume you wrote it? Anything you want to add to that?"

"I guess I saw it as punchy rather than, well, dangerous." Stormer admitted. "But if Pizzazz wants predatorial then that works for me. I mean, she has to sing it...the camera will mostly be on her anyway."

"Exactly." Pizzazz looked smug, absently toying with the buttons on her jacket as she did so.

"My only concern is that you've covered the wild animal theme before." Chimera pursed her lips. "You've rather done to death the jungle-music industry analogy and all of that. I'm just trying to think of a different slant to put on it, that's all. Some fresh perspective we haven't seen before."

"I guess we don't usually do it in an urban setting." Jetta looked thoughtful. "I mean, you're right an' all, we do kick off with the jungle cat theme quite a lot. But you can 'ave an urban jungle, right? This whole business 'as been a catfight within corporate offices. This is our comeback song, an' Pizzazz wants to make the point that we're still the best an' noone is goin' to mess us about so easily. Do we need anythin' else as a theme? We already got one."

"Can we kick Eric's butt in the video, then?" Roxy looked interested. Jetta shrugged.

"Don't ask me. Ask the boss." She said ironically.

"Eric is not going to be in our music video." Pizzazz said darkly. "Not in this lifetime."

"But the urban jungle idea?" Chimera raised an eyebrow. Pizzazz pursed her lips.

"I could go with that." She acknowledged. "It is a new slant. I suppose. It is topical, too. No harm in reminding everyone that we won."

"Then it's something to start with, at least." Chimera made a note in her book. "Pizzazz, can I open a window, please? It's sweltering in here today, and it's making it hard to think."

"If you're hot, go somewhere else." Pizzazz snapped. "Nobody is ever happy, regardless of what I do!"

"Here it comes." Jetta rolled her eyes. "Pizzazz, yesterday you try to freeze us. Today you're trying to cook us all alive. What point are you trying to make, please? Because I think we'd all be a lot 'appier if you jus' screeched it at us instead of resortin' to torture, all right? Chimera's right. It's hot as 'ell in here."

"I'm not making any point." Pizzazz retorted. "I'm cold, so I turned the heating up. Yesterday I was hot, so I put the aircon on. If you all have an issue with that, then you deal with it. It isn't my fault if you come to work dressed inappropriately."

"I didn't think we'd need to be wearing a bikini in December." Jetta replied.

"Well, I'm not hot." Pizzazz shrugged. "What kind of wimps are you guys, huh? Drop it, and let's focus on the video? This is a big deal, and we want it to kick ass. We want Christmas Number One, remember? Or had that slipped people by?"

"Well, so far I'm seeing Pizzazz as the fat cat executive, ripping hell in all the other employees." Chimera said thoughtfully. "Not quite sure where to work the rest of you in as yet, but give me a few days and I'll have it all worked out."

She glanced up at the clock.

"I should trot, too. I've got an idea at least, and that's something...but I have somewhere I need to be at half eleven and it's a half hour drive out of the city to get there."

"What in hell is more important than our video?" Pizzazz snapped. Chimera smiled.

"Organising my wedding dress." She said with a shrug. "If you really want to know. But since you're not interested in my life and I'm really not a part of yours, you probably don't care all that much."

"You're getting married?" Stormer's eyes became big. "Since when, Chimera? How come you didn't tell us?"

"It's all been a bit sudden, really." Chimera acknowledged. "Whirlwind, you might call it. But fun, nonetheless."

She dimpled.

"Don't worry. So long as you guys don't guzzle all the food and wreck my reception, I'll invite you." She said. "It'll be one hell of a party, I promise."

"Maybe we've better things to do." Pizzazz bristled. Chimera shrugged.

"Maybe you do." She agreed. "But the invite will stand, anyway. And if I don't get across town, there won't be a wedding because I won't have a dress."

"Weddings? Blech." Roxy pulled a face. "But I guess if there's a party, I'm in. So long as it's a party with good food and drink and rocking music."

"That's the idea." Chimera's eyes twinkled.

She got to her feet, snapping her notebook shut with a click and sliding it into her bag. "Either way, I better make a move. I'll be in touch about the video, though - it'll be buzzing along in the back of my mind as I'm driving."

"Just make sure it doesn't buzz along too slowly, okay?" Pizzazz warned. "I..."

She faltered, biting her lip, and Stormer shot her a glance.

"Pizzazz? Are you all right?" She murmured. "You've gone as white as a sheet."

"I'm fine." Pizzazz responded, and Chimera frowned, crossing the room to where her sister stood. "I'm just tired this morning, that's all."

She moved to sit down, but before she could reach the chair, her legs buckled from under her and it was all Chimera could do to halt her sister's fall, letting out an exclamation of surprise as Pizzazz fell against her, a dead weight in her arms. Around her, there was something of a commotion as the other Misfits registered the fact their lead singer had passed clean out on the studio floor, and Chimera carefully laid her burden down on the carpet tiles, brushing her hair out of her face.

"She does look white." She observed. "She's fainted, I think...but maybe someone should call a doctor."

"She went very pale, like whatever it was hit her suddenly." Stormer remembered, coming to crouch at her other side. She touched a hand to the singer's forehead, then shook her head. "No fever."

"If you ask me, she's been bitten by her own brat routine." Jetta sighed. "Look at her. She's got a jacket and a sweater on underneath it. No wonder she's fainted. It's gotta be at least eighty eight degrees in 'ere at the moment, and she's dolled up like it's goin' to snow on 'er or something. It's the heat. Someone go turn off the central boiler an' open a window, huh? Stupid bitch."

"I think Jetta's right." Chimera acknowledged, gently slipping off her sister's jacket and setting it to one side. "She is way overdressed for this room right now, and that's for sure."

"No complaints on the window opening." Roxy leant across to oblige. "Shall I get a glass of water to tip over her, too?"

"I don't think we'll go that far, Rox." Stormer shook her head. "But she might need to sip some, if she's heat exhausted."

"Aw. Spoilsport." Roxy grimaced. "You're no fun sometimes, you know that?"

"Just get her a cup of water from the fountain in the hall." Jetta suggested. "There are cups there an' it ain't far."

"She's coming to." Chimera reported at that moment, as Pizzazz's eyes fluttered and she moved her lips slightly. "Pizzazz, can you sit up? You passed're too hot, you stupid girl."

Gently she helped her sister to sit upright, but Pizzazz pushed away her efforts, leaning herself up against the wall and casting Chimera a cold glare.

"Get your paws off me. I'm fine."

"You weren't a second ago. Pizzazz, you would have fallen headlong if Chimera hadn't caught you." Stormer said gently. "Do you still feel dizzy? It is hot in here...Roxy's gone to get some water for you."

"Stop fussing me, dammit! I'm all right!"

"You fainted." Jetta said bluntly. "You don't do that as a rule, so shut up, huh? An' listen. Puttin' the heatin' up full belt might be a joke to you, but this is what 'appens when you mess around and play the brat. Now quit whinin', or we'll let Roxy tip the water over you when she comes back, all right?"

"I don't need anyone's help." Pizzazz struggled to get to her feet, grabbing onto a chair for support. "I'm fine. I just...I just tripped, that's all."

"Tripped on thin air." Chimera rolled her eyes. "It's no good, girls. She's not going to have it from us."

"Oh, get out of my way, you bitch." Pizzazz growled, shoving her sister forcefully aside. "No wonder I'm dizzy, with you for company."

With that she stormed out of the studio, banging the door behind her.

Chimera raised an eyebrow.

"Someone should probably go after her." She said wearily. "And it won't be me. I've other things to be bothered about than her today."

"You go run your errand. We'll handle Pizzazz." Stormer promised, as Roxy re-appeared with a cup of water. "It's all right, Roxy. She's come to and taken off in a huff."

"Apparently she didn't faint, we all just hallucinated." Jetta grimaced. Roxy rolled her eyes.

"So I went and got this for no reason? Great." She muttered. "By the way, I cranked the boiler down, too. Whatever stupid games she's playing, they're done now."

"Guess this meeting is over then." Chimera raised a smile. "Meeting with you girls is always interesting...I guess I'll see you this weekend!"

Part Four: Desperate Times
Chapter One: Recovery
Chapter Two:  Harvey
Chapter Three:  A Disturbing Realisation
Chapter Four: Shock
Chapter Five:  Complications

Chapter Six: New Year's Eve
Chapter Seven:  Bombshell

The Boring Disclaimer:
Pizzazz is not my character - she and the Misfits were created by Hasbro and given life by Christy Marx and the writers of the Jem series. However, the events, concepts and plotline contained in this story is my own and may not be duplicated. Justin, Alan and any character not featured in the Jem cartoon are entirely my creation and are also not to be duplicated anywhere else.