A Model's Tale

Chapter Four: Old Rivals

"I could well ask you the same thing." Saffron scowled, all friendliness gone from her tone. "But from what I've heard you're doing the exact same thing you were doing in high school...chasing after other people's men and making a silly fool of yourself in the process."
"You watch your mouth." Pizzazz's eyes narrowed. "I don't take garbage from a nobody like you!"
"Guess again." Saffron raised an eyebrow. "I'm not quite the same girl you used to know, Phyllis. I'm a model now, and, I'm proud to say, a good one at that."
"So you say." Pizzazz snorted. "And quit it with the Phyllis', will you? It's Pizzazz. As in Pizzazz of the Misfits."
"Well, then you can get used to calling me Saffron." Saffron retorted. "Not that I care what you call me. You clearly haven't changed one little bit in the last seven years, have you? Pity, that."
Stormer glanced between the two girls, then exchanged confused looks with Jetta and Roxy, the former of whom rolled her eyes and the latter of which shrugged helplessly.
"You two know each other?" She ventured.
"Went to school together. Unfortunately." Saffron responded, not taking her eyes off her foe.
"You never could compete with me, could you?" Pizzazz said cattily. "Captain of the cheering squad..."
"Till they kicked you off it for punching your co-captain." Saffron interjected. Pizzazz ignored her.
"Not to mention dating the hottest guys in school, taken to the prom by the captain of the football team...and you with your pretty little cardigans from the nearest thrift. No wonder you're so bitter."
"I wouldn't want to compete with you in the kind of way you like to play the game." Saffron shot back. "Everyone at school knew why it was all the guys liked you...and it had nothing to do with your cheerleading, either."
"You shut your face. I had a much better time of it in high school than you did." Pizzazz spat out. Saffron nodded.
"I know. It was written in black marker all over the bleachers." she retorted.
"Okay, time out!" Now Jetta took a hand. "We ain't competin' for world's bitchiest Californian 'ere, you know? Chill, the pair of you! Pizzazz, I jus' saw Eric come in, you'd better go tell 'im what you want doin' for our stage set."
"Whatever." Pizzazz's tone was sulky, but Jetta had a way with her bandmate's petulance and it had the desired effect. "Don't really want to hang around here with this loser anyway."
With a toss of her head she stalked off across the studio, Jetta and Roxy in tow. Saffron scowled after her.
"Witch herself." she muttered. "I never liked that girl!"
Stormer bit her lip, getting to her feet and glancing after her bandmates, but hesitating. Saffron caught sight of the look on her face and offered a smile.
"Go with them." she said. "You probably gotta practice."
"You...won't hold it against me?" Stormer looked anxious. Saffron shook her head.
"Of course not! Stormer, just because there's bad blood between me and Phyllis...uh, Pizzazz, doesn't mean I'm gonna turn on someone who's been friendly enough to me. I don't know why you want to work with her, but I guess a career is a career, huh?"
"It's hard to explain why, but I like them." Stormer admitted. "Even Pizzazz. I've gotten to know them...I've lived with them all for a while now and you learn so much then. I'm sorry you didn't get along in school - I know how mean and bitchy Pizzazz can be, but really, she's not so bad deep down."
Saffron snorted.
"I'll believe it when I see it." she responded. "Go on. I'll talk to you later, I hope, when she's not about. It's not a childhood acquaintance I want to renew more than I gotta."
"Okay. I'll see you, then." Stormer smiled. "Bye, Saffron. It was nice to meet you."
"What took you so long?" Pizzazz demanded as she rejoined the Misfits, her hands on her hips. "What do you want with that loser, huh?"
"I was just talking to her." Stormer said mildly. "Are we gonna practice?"
"Yeah, yeah, keep your hair on." Pizzazz snapped. "And listen. Don't spend too much time with that creep Meredith...you're soft enough."
"I'm a Misfit, Pizzazz." Was all Stormer said. "What song are we gonna do?"
Fixing her bandmate with a long hard stare, Pizzazz gave it up. Stormer was not so easily intimidated these days, and her usual technique was simply to avoid the subject and begin a new one. However, she did not forget it, for she was prone to brooding on things she could not get control over. Jetta, who knew her best recognised the signs and rolled her eyes skywards. They were in for an interesting few days, she could tell...

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"They've been setting up the models for the last hour." Kimber sighed, resting her chin in her hands as she surveyed the bustling stage. "At this rate we won't get to play at all today, and we need practice on the new song!"
"You're worried about practising a new song?" Jem cast her sister an amused grin. "Well, there's a first! Relax, Kimber. They'll get to us. None of the bands has got to run through their set yet."
"I know." Kimber admitted. "But Shawn's are at least able to set up their stuff. I wish we weren't last to perform...it means they'll never get to us!"
"Patience." Aja scolded. "This is a rock fashion show, Kimber, not a Hologram concert. Even the Misfits aren't causing a problem." She glanced around her. "Where are they, anyway?"
"Who knows? Who cares!" Kimber exclaimed. "I wanna be up on stage!"
"Only because Shawn's there." Jem laughed. "Calm down. You have all week to talk to him, you know."
"I know I do, but it feels weird with Pizzazz always there." Kimber responded. "I know I shouldn't worry about her, but I do."
"Shawn is interested only in you, Kimber." Raya glanced up from where she was selecting her sticks. "Pizzazz is nothing to him."
"Maybe." Kimber sighed again. "I can't help feeling insecure, though. I mean, we're apart for so much of the year. What if he does meet someone else?"
"Kimber, be sensible! Shawn always comes straight over to see you, and he writes and phones you a lot." Aja pointed out. "More even than Craig does me, and I have no doubts about his fidelity."
"I guess you're right." Kimber conceded. "Hey, don't Shana's fashions look outrageous on Saffron and the others?"
"Totally." Jem nodded her head. "But then, we've always known Shana has the talent to be a top class designer. Now she has Regine to help her, she's actually got the means to do it as well as play with us."
"She's flitting round that stage like a nervous butterfly." Kimber giggled. "I never thought I'd see the day when Shana was really ruffled!"
"It is odd." Aja nodded. "Reckon she can cope? Regine won't be back from Paris till tomorrow...C'mon, Kimber. Let's go see if she needs a hand with pins or anything."
"Okay. So long as she doesn't ask me to sew." Kimber laughed. "I'm coming."
"Well, how do I look?" On the stage, Saffron did a twirl, turning to Shana for approval. Shana eyed her critically.
"You look fabulous, but there's something missing with the outfit. Can you stick the heels on and give me a few steps? I'd just like to see the whole effect."
"Not a problem." Saffron grinned, sitting down on her seat and slipping on the black stilettoes. "Where do you want me to walk, exactly? Up the catwalk?"
"Sure, as far as the band set up would be fine." Shana nodded. "Thanks, Saffron. You're way easier to work with than your colleagues, I have to say. I've not had either of them out of the dressing room or makeup for longer than ten minutes at a time, it's driving me nuts."
Saffron laughed.
"You get used to it. It's called being a professional." She said dryly, getting to her feet. "Me, I haven't ascended to that great height yet. All right, here I go. Tell me what you think."
"She's really pretty, isn't she?" Aja remarked as she and Kimber reached the stage, watching the model begin her walk. Shana nodded.
"Very. She's a natural...and, thank God, she doesn't have an ego!" she agreed. "Woah, Saffron, be careful! Mind the cables!"
"Eek!" Saffron glanced down, misplacing her foot and overbalancing. "Who put those there!"
"My fault." Shawn looked sheepish, coming from where he had been setting up his microphone to help her up. "I'm sorry, love. I didn't mean to trip you."
"That's okay. It happens." Saffron dimpled. "Just please don't let them be there on the night. It's not good for a model to end up on her rear."
Shawn laughed.
"I'll do me best." he agreed amiably. "You're Saffron, ain't you? Don't suppose you remember me?"
"Shawn Harrison, of course I do." Saffron grinned. "You played the thing we did in Paris six months back. We never got to speak then, which was a shame, because I'm a big fan of your music."
"Nice to know it." Shawn responded.
"Shawn, are you trying to cripple my models?" Shana put her hands on her hips, pretending to be annoyed as the singer escorted his new acquaintance back to base. Shawn spread his hands.
"Sorry, Shana. Total accident, I promise you." He winked. "I'll go shift me cables, make sure I don't cause anyone else to come a cropper, all right? Be seein' you, Saffron."
"I hope so. It's nice to meet you." Saffron smiled. Then she turned to Shana. "Well? Apart from my unelegant descent, what did you think?"
"Still something missing...maybe jewellery is the answer." Shana looked thoughtful. "Kimber? What do you think? You're the one with the huge jewel box."
"I think she's plenty pretty enough already." Kimber's tone was strange and Aja shot her a confused look.
"Kimber? Are you all right?"
"I'm fine." Kimber nodded. "Just fine."
"Did I say something wrong?" Saffron looked anxious.
"Not as far as I know." Shana frowned. "Kimber, come on, what's eating you? This isn't like you!"
"Oh, stop telling me what to do." Kimber snapped. "And you!" She pointed at Saffron. "Don't play it all innocent. Just because you're pretty doesn't mean you can have any guy you want, you know, and Shawn is taken!"
"What?" Saffron's eyes opened wide with shock.
"Kimber, stop it!" Aja took a hand. "This is silly. Saffron was only being friendly and so was Shawn. Don't get all paranoid just because Pizzazz put the wind up you earlier."
"Stop talking to me like I'm a kid." Kimber pouted. "I don't want to help anymore. I have more important things to do." And with that she stalked off the stage and back towards the dressing room.
Saffron looked stricken.
"I...I didn't mean to upset her!" she exclaimed.
"It's okay, Saffron. Kimber's emotional and impulsive sometimes, and Shawn means a lot to her." Aja assured her. "We all know you were just being friendly and Kimber will realise it in time, too. Don't let it get to you."
"I'll try." Saffron sighed. "It's just...I'd never try and steal someone else's guy. I know how it feels to be on the receiving end of that." She frowned. "Okay, back to business, huh? We don't have time to hang around."
Shana put her hand on the model's shoulder.
"Don't take it so hard." She murmured. "You were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It's really Pizzazz's fault."
"I've no doubt about that. Where there's trouble, there's usually Phyllis Gabor." Saffron said dryly. "Okay, I'll try not to let it get to me. I just hope Kimber doesn't stay mad...I don't want to make an enemy on my first day on set!"
Unobserved, Pizzazz crept away from the stage wings, a look of amusement on her face. She had seen the whole encounter, and as she had watched, the seeds of a plan had begun to form in her mind. She had never forgiven Shawn for rejecting her, and she had never liked either Saffron or Kimber. This would be a way of getting back at all three.
"Maybe this will be fun after all." she mused. "I wonder..."

Chapter One: Meredith
Chapter Two: On Set
Chapter Three: The Misfits
Chapter Four: Old Rivals
Chapter Five: Kimber
Chapter Six: Saffron's Story
Chapter Seven: Enter The Dancers
Chapter Eight: Blast From The Past
Chapter Nine: Kimber and Eboni
Chapter Ten: Visit From The Backers
Chapter Eleven: Chimera's Secret
Chapter Twelve: Danse Takes A Hand
Chapter Thirteen: Decisions
Chapter Fourteen: Saffron's Advice
Chapter Fifteen: Closure


(The Misfits and Holograms and other animated Jem characters are copyrighted to Hasbro Inc. Eboni, Saffron, Chimera, Sakura and all other characters who do not appear in Jem episodes are my own creation. This story is copyrighted to E.A Woolley (2001)