A Model's Tale

Chapter Five: Kimber

"Go away!"
"Kimber, it's half past ten, we have to leave for the set now, we are already late!" Raya knocked again, her tone urgent. "Are you ready?"
"I'm not coming." Kimber retorted. "You don't need me, we won't play. It'll just be all over the stupid models and their stupid clothes, that's all."
"Kimber, what's the matter?" Raya opened the door carefully, coming to sit on the bed. "You did not eat any dinner last night either, and now you do not want to come? But you were so excited before, and Shawn will be there!"
"So?" Kimber pouted. "He'd probably rather flirt with that model anyway. They were very friendly yesterday."
"Que?" Raya stared. "Shawn loves you, Kimber!"
"Does he?" Kimber demanded. "Does he really? Or am I just another pretty girl for him to take advantage of, hmm? First I find out exactly what his relationship with Pizzazz was, then he starts flirting with some girl he doesn't even know...he loves me, does he? Yeah, right."
"Kimber, what is all this?" Raya looked confused. "I do not understand, what model is this? And why do you think Shawn would treat you that way? He has always treated you well, at least since I have known you both!"
Kimber sighed.
"It...was something Stormer said." she admitted. "She didn't mean it, but she let slip that Shawn and Pizzazz have...well, you know what I mean. He won't ever talk to me about her...I'm sure it's true. And that made me think. Pizzazz said that Shawn used to like to show all the pretty girls a good time. And then yesterday he was flirting with Saffron...he's trying to replace me already, isn't he? He's bored with me and he's moving on!"
"Don't be daft. Whatever Pizzazz said, it was probably rubbish." Raya put an arm around her redheaded friend and Kimber rested her head on the Mexican girl's shoulder. "Now, come on , get ready...deprisa! We are already behind and it does not look good to be too late when we are such a high profile act!"
"Maybe you're right." Kimber sighed. "Okay, okay, I'm coming."
"That is better." Raya smiled. "You will soon see I am right, Kimber. Do you think Shawn would have fought so hard to win your affection in the first place if he valued you that little?"
"I suppose you have a point." Kimber looked sheepish. "All right. Let me get my coat, okay? And Raya? Please don't mention this to any of the others. Guess I overreacted again...I'll just tell them I was wound up yesterday about performing and lost my mind for a moment or two."
"I won't say anything." Raya agreed. "And I'm sure Saffron will not hold a grudge, Kimber. Shana says she is very sweet."
"She is. That's what makes me feel worst, I guess." Kimber sighed. "I shouldn't have snapped at her."
"Well, sooner we go, sooner you can make amends." Raya said sensibly. "Vamos!"

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

"The Holograms haven't shown up yet."
Pizzazz peered out from behind the stage curtain, a look of amusement on her face. "How unprofessional!"
"What did you do to them?" Jetta shot her companion a glance. Pizzazz pretended to look affronted.
"Me? Would I?" she demanded. "Actually, though, I ain't done nothing. Yet, anyway."
"You have something up your sleeve." Jetta observed. "I know you when you're plottin', Pizzazz. What's the deal?"
"I'm just going to liven up things for Kimber." Pizzazz shrugged. "She already thinks that Shawn has a thing for Saffron...I'm just going to add a little bit of my own scandal, that's all."
"You tellin' the others?"
"Roxy and Stormer? Nah. Not for now." Pizzazz shook her head. "Stormer's soft in the head where Kimber's concerned, she'd only tell her the truth. And Roxy's gone soft over Stormer these days, anyone would think they were friends, the way she acts." She pulled a face. "So it's probably safest that they don't know. I'm just gonna stir it up a little and watch for the sparks to fly. Wanna play?"
"Hey, why not." Jetta shrugged. "Sounds better fun than sittin' doin' nothin' backstage while those models hog all the limelight. What do you want me to do?"
"Not sure, yet." Pizzazz looked thoughtful. "Just play along with whatever I say, okay?"
"You got it." Jetta nodded, mischief sparking into her grey eyes. "'Ere, looks like they decided to crawl in after all. There they are!"
"No Jem. Just that busybody Jerrica." Pizzazz observed. "Well, looks like the Holograms won't be on stage for a while, since their lead singer seems to be having a lie in at home. Come on. Let's see if we can't cause a stir." She smirked.
"You usually do." Jetta responded dryly. "I'm right behind you."
"Here's trouble." Aja nudged Kimber, who glanced up, grimacing as she saw the advancing Misfits.
"Great." She responded. "What do you reckon they want?"
"Nothing good, I bet." Jerrica frowned. "I'll see you girls later. I gotta change anyway, and the further I am from them when I do so the better."
"Okay, Jerrica." Aja nodded. She turned her attention back to their two foes.
"What do you two want?" she demanded.
"Us? We're just...sampling the atmosphere of the set." Pizzazz cast Aja a falsely genial smile. "Oh, and I wanted to say commiserations to you too, Kimber." She winked. "I guess we can't always be lucky in love."
"What do you mean?" Kimber's eyes narrowed. Pizzazz feigned surprise.
"Oh! You mean...you mean you don't know? Shawn hasn't broken up with you?" She demanded. "Well, well, Jetta, what do you make of that?"
"I reckon it's just the sort of thing 'e'd do, judging by what you've told me about 'im, Pizzazz." Jetta, quicker witted than most soon caught on to what her companion was doing. "Perhaps we oughtn't get involved...would 'ate to be the bringer of bad news now, wouldn't we?"
"No, wait. What are you talking about?" Kimber held out her hand to prevent them moving on. "Why would Shawn break up with me?"
"Kimber, don't listen to them. This is some warped scheme of Pizzazz's to get Shawn away from you." Aja told her.
"Me?" Pizzazz's eyes opened wide. "You think I want Shawn? Oh, Aja, please...I've been there." She winked at Jetta. "I've done that. I only flirt with him to wind Kimber up, didn't you know that? He's nothing to me...hardly worth even remembering. No, I don't want him." she paused. "I just wondered if you knew that he and Saffron arrived together this morning, that's all. Not that I'm all that surprised. She had something of a reputation back at school for that kind of thing, a real tease, she was. Always boasted that no guy could resist her charms." She grinned. "Ah well, you live and learn, huh? You won't be the first heart he's broken, no doubt. C'mon, Jetta. Me want Shawn indeed. Hah!"
Kimber watched them go, a hollow sensation in her heart.
"Do you think he did?" she murmured.
"You're going to listen to Pizzazz? Saffron probably isn't even here yet." Aja was scornful. "If that's the best she can do..."
"Look!" Kimber interrupted, grabbing Aja by the arm. "Over by the bandstand. That...that's Saffron's purse!"
"So?" Aja responded. "She's allowed to leave her purse about, isn't she?"
"It means she's here."
"That doesn't prove anything." Aja said sensibly. "Pizzazz is winding you up, Kimber."
"Well, I'd like to know for sure." Kimber folded her arms. "Come on. We're going to the model's dressing room."
"Okay, okay." Aja rolled her eyes. "I'm coming."
The model's dressing room was located at the back of the stage, at the far end of the corridor from where the Holograms had their base. Kimber pounded on the door, impatiently waiting for it to be answered.
"Oui?" Finally the door opened to reveal a confused Lilianne, hairbrush in her hand. "What is it?"
"We're looking for Saffron, please." Kimber said.
"Saffron? Ah, but she is not 'ere!" Lilianne responded, smiling. "She 'as gone with the homme to 'er car, n'est-pas? She ask 'im to fix 'er and he goes."
"What?" Kimber's eyes opened wide.
"Oh God." Aja bit her lip. "Kimber, there has to be a mistake, I'm sure Saffron wouldn't..."
"Listen, whoever you are, did the guy she was with have dark hair?" Kimber ignored Aja, as, anxious look on her face she questioned the bewildered Lilianne.
"Yes, he did. His name I think was...Shawn? You know him, perhaps?" She asked.
"Yes, I do." Kimber's brow knitted. "So Pizzazz was right about Shawn after all."
"Kimber..." Aja reached out to put a hand on her friend's shoulder, but Kimber shook it off, stalking back down the corridor. "Kimber, wait, where are you going?"
"To settle this once and for all!" Kimber retorted. "I want to know exactly what that...that creature thinks she's doing with my boyfriend!"
"Oh brother." Aja rolled her eyes. "Kimber, come back! It's hardly going to help if you...." She trailed off as they reached the main auditorium, catching sight of Saffron and Shawn, and her heart caught in her throat. The two had just entered together, Shawn looking hot and bothered and his hair in a mess, and they certainly seemed fairly amiable with each other. Maybe Pizzazz had been right all along.
"Maybe a leopard doesn't change his spots so easy, after all." She mused. "If he hurts Kimber he'll have to deal with me! They both will!"
"What the hell do you think you're doing?"
Kimber descended upon the two in a rage, her eyes flashing fury and her brow knitted in the darkest of scowls. The suddeness of her outburst made Saffron jump, and she turned in consternation to stare at the redhead.
"Kimber, love, what's gotten into you?" Shawn looked equally confused. Kimber glared at him.
"I thought you loved me!" She exclaimed.
"Sweetheart, you know I do!" Now Shawn was doubly bewildered. He tried putting an arm around her but she pushed him away, raising her hand and slapping him hard around the face.
"Don't you dare touch me, you...you creep!" she spat out. "And as for you!" She glared at Saffron. "Little miss nice and innocent? I don't think so. Pizzazz was right about you."
"Pizzazz?" Now Saffron's own brow furrowed. "What's that girl been saying about me?"
"It doesn't matter. For once she was telling the truth. How can you even hold your head up, after what you've done?" Kimber demanded. "And don't pretend nothing's happened, because that French girl told me everything. I...I don't want to see or speak to either of you ever again!"
And tears filling her eyes she turned and fled across the set, almost knocking Aja over in her bid to escape.
Saffron shot Shawn a confused glance.
"What was that about?" she demanded.
"You're askin' me?" Shawn retorted. "I ain't the foggiest idea, love."
"Is schizophrenia one of Kimber's normal characteristics? I had no idea she could get wound up like that!" Saffron exclaimed. "Whatever the heck Pizzazz told her..."
"Pizzazz is bad news." Shawn frowned. "She's been a thorn in me side ever since Kimber and I met. Whatever it is you can bet it's drivel."
"You don't have to tell me that. I went to school with her for four years. I know how she works." Saffron scowled. "I think I need to have a word with Kimber, before this gets out of hand. Yesterday she snapped at me after you helped me up off those cables...I don't know how Lilianne fits into this but I think Kimber thinks I'm trying to steal you away from her, in the most blatant way possible."
"I don't think Kimber's very approachable right now." Shawn said slowly. "It's me own fault some, Saffron. If you followed me group at all you'll know I 'ad a wild lifestyle when I was younger...but I cleaned up me act an' all before I met Kimber. There was a lot of alcohol an' a lot of women."
"Pizzazz being one?" Saffron asked. Shawn nodded.
"Yes. Unfortunately for me she 'as a long memory." he replied.
"Yeah, I can believe it." Saffron sighed. "She was my worst enemy in school, Shawn. My family had next to nothing in the bank and she was always flaunting everything that she had. And I do mean everything. She had something of a reputation...well, I've never been one to sit back and take abuse, not really, and we came close to catfighting once or twice. How she graduated I'll never know. Except of course that her precious Daddy was on the school board, so I guess that's how she got her diploma. She certainly did more extra-curricular than she did study."
"And now she's causing trouble for both of us, again." Shawn groaned. "It's crazy. I mean, you're a real pretty girl an' all, Saffron, but I'm in love with Kimber. I thought she knew that. I put meself in 'ospital tryin' to win her away from this other bloke she had her eye on. Least she could do is realise what she means to me. I'd never hurt her!"
"Have you talked to her about your past?" Saffron asked. Shawn shook his head.
"No...I guess I've been afraid to." He admitted. "There are...a lot of things that not even the press know, Saffron. I'm...afraid of what she'd think of me if she knew all."
"Well, right now she's uncertain, and jumping to crazy conclusions." Saffron replied. "I can tell she loves you by the way she reacted, Shawn."
"She doesn't trust me, though." Shawn replied sadly. "I...suppose I need to talk to her too."
"Maybe that would be a good idea." Saffron agreed, retrieving her purse and sliding the strap over her shoulder. "But let me try first. I want to get to the bottom of this, and it's better she takes her anger out on me. You have more to lose."
"You're a good kid, Saffron." Shawn smiled. "I only 'ope that if Kimber an' I resolve this, she realises it, because you'd be a good mate for 'er."
"I like her." Saffron admitted. "That makes this worse for me. I'd never doublecross an enemy in this way, let alone a friend. I'll hopefully talk to you later, Shawn. Kimber and I need to talk."

    "Woo, did you see Kimber explode just then?" Roxy demanded, tossing a can of soda at her companion and flipping back the ringpull on her own. "She went super mental!"
"What?" Stormer glanced up from where she was poring over manuscript, an anxious look on her face. "Kimber's upset?"
"Psycho is the word I'd use." Roxy smirked. "She had a total fit at Shawn and that model girl then ran off crying."
"Where did she go?"
"Charged into Aja." Roxy replied. "But who cares anyway, Stormer? It's just a Hologram. Neat entertainment, that's all."
"Kimber's my friend, Roxy. You know that." Stormer frowned.
"Oh yeah, she's your friend." Roxy mimicked Stormer's voice. "Big deal, Stormer. She's a wimpy kid who can't control her temper tantrums or her tears. You really wanna hang out with a doofy like that?"
"Roxy, please don't." Stormer begged. "If she's crying something must be really wrong. You reckon I should go talk to her?"
"Not unless you want Pizzazz on your trail. She an' Jetta are headin' this way." Roxy replied. "Perhaps we're finally gonna get to do some playin!"
"Doesn't look like it." Stormer glanced at the singer, then sighed, rolling her eyes. "No mic, no instrument and no Eric. No point in turning up, in fact."
"Is there ever?" Roxy asked dryly. "We could be by the pool right now, y'know, instead of hanging out here. I bet that's what Eric's doing, relaxing by the pool someplace while we waste time here. We haven't even gotten so far as makeup yet!"
"What you moanin' about now, Roxy?" Jetta, catching the end of this demanded, sitting down in a vacant seat. "Bored already?"
"Yes, actually." Roxy retorted. "Where've you two been?"
"About." Pizzazz shrugged. "Not that it's your business."
"Did ya see Kimber have her fit?" Roxy demanded. Pizzazz smirked.
"You bet I did." she agreed. "Worth the time waiting for that loser Eric just to see sweet little Kimber Benton throw a tantrum and slap darling Shawn clean around the face."
"She did what?" Stormer stared.
"Lover's tiff, by the looks of it." Jetta said airily. "Sissy 'Olograms."
"What did you guys do?" Stormer looked suspicious.
"Us, Stormer? What do you think we are?" Pizzazz opened her green eyes wide with false innocence. "And in any case, we hardly did a thing. Saffron did most of it herself."
"Saffron?" Stormer was confused. Jetta nodded.
"Came in with Shawn right on cue, she did." She agreed. "Funny, that."
"Pizzazz, did you tell Kimber that Saffron and Shawn were seeing each other?" Stormer demanded.
"Listen up, Miss Phillips, it's none of your business what I do with my time." Pizzazz's eyes narrowed. "So keep out of it, you got it? Or else."
Stormer looked troubled, but she shrugged, returning her attention to her manuscript.
"Sometimes you shock even me." she murmured.
"What was that?" Pizzazz glared at her. Stormer raised grave blue eyes to the singer.
"I'm just surprised sometimes at how low you can go, that's all." She said calmly. "Are we going to run through any songs today, or just sit about?"
"Cut the lip, miss fussy." Pizzazz snapped. "We'll play later. For now, there's a scandal on the loose, and I for one do not want to miss a second of it!"

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)