END OF THE LINE
Chapter Four: Tackling Jetta
"How on earth did these things get into this mess?"
Stormer stared at the mounds of files in disbelief. "I thought Eric
kept them all shut away in cabinets!"
"Yeah. He does." Jetta paused in collating sheets of contracts to
grimace at her bandmate. "But Pizzazz got mad when 'e told 'er she 'ad
to go to Washington too, an' threw files at 'im. So-o-o now we gotta
clear up the mess."
"Great." Stormer rolled her eyes. Jetta nodded.
"The more 'elp I can rope in, the sooner it'll be done." She said,
clipping the file back together and setting it down on the desk. "Much
as I respect Pizzazz, I wish she'd learn to control 'er temper
"Me too." Stormer admitted, getting down on her hands and knees and
scooping up a pile of loose-leaf sheets. "So is it just you and me?"
"Nah." Jetta shook her head, an impish grin touching her lips.
"Justin's about, I jus' sent 'im down to get coffee. Thought 'e might
as well make 'imself useful."
"What did he think of that?" She asked. Jetta shrugged.
"'E's 'opelessly in love with me. 'E'll do whatever I tell 'im." She
said airily, but there was a sparkle in her grey eyes which told
Stormer that the feelings were reciprocated one hundred percent. It was
not that Jetta spoke of her feelings often, indeed internally she was
still often at war with them, and she liked to be in charge of what was
going on, even though deep down she knew that her affection for Justin
was beyond her
control. She had not changed her snappish, matter-of-fact attitude one
and when with Justin in public she preferred to keep things to a light
rather than risk delving into deeper emotion and making herself
Despite this, Stormer was a romantic at heart and perceptive enough to
know that feelings ran strong between the pair, only strengthening over
the time they had been together. Secretly she was glad of it, because
Jetta had few people outside of the band in whom she had any faith.
"Hey, we're really recruiting today!" At that moment the door of the
office swung open to reveal Justin, two mugs of coffee in his hands. "I
see you found yourself another willing slave...well, I found someone
sculling around in the lobby, think she'd be any use to you?"
He stepped aside with a grin, and Stormer let out a surprised
"Kimber! But I thought you had practice."
"Don't ask." Kimber rolled her eyes expressively. "I saw your car was
still outside and I figured you must be here. I met this guy in the
lobby and he told me where abouts you were, so I decided I'd tag
along...I needed to get out of Starlight Music for a while, anyhow."
"What the 'ell are you dressed as?" Jetta's eyes almost dropped out
of her head. "You look more like one of us than...well, than Stormer
does right at the moment! What 'ave you kids been playin' at? Ain't you
kinda old for dress up?"
"We were just experimenting with makeup." Kimber shrugged. Her
expression became beseeching. "Is there any chance I can crash at the
Gabor place tonight? I don't wanna go home just yet."
"At the Gabor place?" Jetta raised one eyebrow. "Ain't that
enterin' the lion's den a bit too far for you, love?"
"What happened?" Stormer set down her file, casting her redheaded
friend a look of concern. "Did you and Jerrica fight?"
"Kind of." Kimber sighed. "Well it was Jem who actually ripped my head
off this time, but it really amounts to the same thing. Bottom line is,
I'd had enough and I walked out."
"I didn't think you 'Olograms were allowed to 'ave spats." Jetta looked
amused, taking her coffee from Justin and sipping it. "I thought that
were a privelege you only got when you were a Misfit."
"Well, you thought wrong." Kimber groaned. "Please can I stop
with you guys tonight? Pretty pretty please? I know Pizzazz is out of
town else I wouldn't ask."
"Jetta?" Stormer cast the saxophonist a hopeful look. Jetta shrugged
"Not my permission to give." She said simply. "Listen, I don't know
nothin' about no 'Olograms stoppin' at Pizzazz's Dad's 'ouse, you get
What you guys do ain't mine nor Roxy's business."
"Thanks, Jetta. I won't trash the place, I promise." Kimber looked
grateful. She cast her gaze over the mess. "Wow, what happened in here?"
"Pizzazz did." Stormer rolled her eyes. "Give us a hand, huh? We're
trying to put the files back in some kind of order before she and Eric
get back from Washington DC."
"Sure, I'll help." Kimber nodded. "I mean if I'm hiding out at yours
tonight I might as well earn my keep a little." She winked, reaching
for a folder and a handful of papers and began to skim through them.
"How will I know which file goes in which folder?"
"All of them are labelled." Justin told her. "It's not so horrible as
it looks, really."
"Oh, okay." Kimber dimpled. "Say, I'm sure I know you from somewhere,
but I totally can't place it."
"I think we met in New York some months ago." Justin smiled at her.
"I'm Justin Pelligrini, Roxy's brother. I think I took your photos when
you girls were on tour on the East Coast."
"Ooh!" Kimber snapped her fingers. "That's it! I remember now." She
grinned. "What brings you to California? Roxy?"
"Yes, among other things." Justin cast a surrepticious glance at Jetta
as he said this, and she scowled at him, tossing a handful of erasers
in his direction.
"Quit tryin' to make me barf an' get on with some work, will you?" She
snapped. "I don't want to be 'ere all night. Hell, I want to go out
"You're not the only one." Justin's eyes twinkled with amusement, but
he obediently returned his attention to the file he had been sorting.
"Don't worry. I know my place."
"So what exactly did Je..Jem lay into you about?" Stormer asked, once
the four of them were busy with folders. Kimber sighed.
"My new song." She admitted. "You remember, the one Aja and I wrote,
that I told you about?"
"Yeah." Stormer nodded. "What's wrong with it?"
"Everything, apparently." Kimber rolled her eyes. "Well, sort of. It's
not the song so much as the ideas Aja and I had for the counter melody."
"She didn't like it?" Stormer asked. Kimber grimaced.
"She didn't object to the counter melody, only the person who we
suggested should play it." She replied dryly. "It was so unfair though,
Stormer. I mean, Shana suggested it too, before either Aja or I said
anything, and Raya really didn't seem bothered." She cast Jetta a
sidelong glance, but the
Misfit did not appear to be paying attention to their conversation.
just that my sis...uh, Jem is totally paranoid at the moment about the
and she thinks that asking...you know who...to play will incite riots
"I see." Stormer looked troubled.
"She even said you were a bad influence on me. That's how bad it got."
"Well, maybe I am." Stormer sighed. "After all, it's my fault you were
late, and my fault you look the way you do at the moment. Perhaps Jem
has a point."
"No, she's just being a pain." Kimber shook her head. "You didn't make
me do anything, and I'm always late, Stormer, it has nothing to do with
you. She just doesn't like us being friends with Misfits."
"Nor does Pizzazz like us being friends with Holograms." Stormer looked
pensive. "But she's kinda been overruled this time."
"I guess you girls are more vocal in your objections than we are in
ours where our lead singer's opinions are concerned." Kimber looked
pensive. "But usually we don't disagree like this. It's generally
insignificant differences in opinion, thats all."
"Misfits have a habit of speaking their mind." Stormer acknowledged.
She smiled ruefully. "Sometimes too much."
"Well, either way we're still stuck without a saxophone for the counter
melody, and the way I feel right at the moment, the Holograms aren't
going to be playing this song at all."
"Saxophone?" Jetta glanced up at this, fixing Kimber with a quizzical
look. "You girls branchin' out in your music now?"
"Not quite." Kimber bit her lip, then, "Jetta, in theory...um...well,
if another band asked you to guest on their single for whatever reason,
would you do it?"
"Another band?" Jetta's eyebrow shot up once more. "Meanin' the
"Well...sort of." Kimber looked uncomfortable. "See, Aja and I wrote
this song...and it has a counter melody...and, well, we both
thought...um..." She trailed off, and Jetta eyed her thoughtfully for a
moment. Then she smirked.
"And you thought you could sweet talk me into playin' it?" She asked.
"Well...yeah." Kimber glanced down. "Though I don't know that it
matters now. Jem wasn't thrilled at the idea."
"I bet she wasn't, love." Jetta laughed. "I can't imagine 'er ever
willingly lettin' one of us near 'er precious music."
"But its a good song." Kimber sighed. "Jetta, in theory...if
Jem were to change her mind, say, would you be willing?"
"I ain't makin' no promises about nothin'." Jetta spoke carefully.
"Because it's somethin' I'd 'ave to clear with Pizzazz first, since she
controls me contract an' pretty much me right to stay in the US. Also,
I'd want to 'ear the thing. I ain't playin' no mushy 'Ologram crap - I
ain't damagin' my Misfit reputation."
"It's not mushy! It's very up-tempo!" Kimber protested. She fished in
her pocket, pulling out the crumpled manuscript and holding it out.
"Hmm." Jetta took it, skimming it over. Then she shrugged.
"Well, I can play it. It ain't 'ard." She said finally. "Though I'd
want to 'ear the whole thing first. I ain't sayin' if I would or not,
Kimber...especially if ol' pink 'air wants to make trouble for me. But
if the tune ain't so bad...maybe."
"Well, at least it's better than Jem's straight out no." Kimber
remarked, taking the manuscript back and pushing it once more into her
pocket. "I don't know. Life's got so mixed up since we called a truce."
"Not for us, love." Jetta looked amused. "We've been mindin' our own
Misfit business, an' keepin' out of your way. Any problems you girls
'ave ain't to do with us."
"I know." Kimber sighed. "That's what makes it so bad. We're fighting
each other for no real reason."
"It'll blow over when Jem is more used to the idea." Stormer told her
comfortingly. "Don't worry. You guys are way too close knit to let this
affect you long term."
"When I met you girls in New York you all seemed reasonable, sane
beings." Justin nodded, setting his completed file down on the desk and
scooping up another from the mess. "Sometimes when things are confusing
or stressful it's easy to turn on those who mean the most to you, but I
don't think you should worry. Artistic differences of opinion seem to
be the norm in this business, and at least you haven't resorted to fist
"Maybe they should try it." Jetta suggested. "Speakin' of which, I
still owe your sister one."
"Oh, shut up." Justin shook his head, amused. "You and Roxy aren't
gonna beat the hell out of each other so long as I'm in this state, you
"You shut up!" Jetta shoved a folder at him with some force.
"Don't be so bloody arrogant as to think you can stop me doin' whatever
the 'ell I want, okay?"
"I wouldn't dare." he said goodnaturedly. "And I might be a hopeless
male, but I can't sort out your share of folders at the same time as my
own, you know, so would you like this back?"
Jetta rolled her eyes.
"Bloody men." She muttered, taking the folder back with bad grace and
snatching up her haphazard pile of paperwork. "Waste of space, the lot
Kimber eyed this exchange with interest, then shuffled closer to
Stormer, lowering her voice.
"Hey, crazy idea, but are he and Jetta an item?" She murmured. Stormer
glanced up, then nodded, a smile touching her lips.
"Yes." She agreed. "They are. Only Jetta's desperately trying to assert
her independance and pretend she couldn't give two hoots, so play
along, huh? I don't think she's quite ready to admit to the world that
she likes Justin, but she really does."
"Are you sure?" Kimber looked doubtful. "She's glaring at him like she
wants him to drop off the face of the globe."
"It's an act, probably because you and I are here." Stormer explained.
"They're closer than they appear, trust me."
"Well, I guess I can see what she sees in him." Kimber eyed the
photographer critically. "He's good looking, that's for sure."
"What about Shawn?" Stormer demanded. "You're terrible!"
"No, I'm not." Kimber defended herself. "Shawn and I are on a break,
you know that. Till he's settled up his business with Eboni and all of
that, he and I are no more than friends. I'm perfectly entitled to
look. Besides, I never thought of Misfits falling in love, it's a
novelty to me."
"Pizzazz fell for Riot." Stormer pointed out. "And I've been engaged in
the past, albeit foolishly."
"True." Kimber acknowledged. "But you're kinda different, you're more
like me than like, well, the rest of them are." She shrugged. "I don't
know how to explain it. I suppose you're right about Pizzazz and Riot,
though. If she can have a crush on him, why can't Jetta find a guy? I
I guess it's just the last thing I expected to walk into when I came in
here this morning."
"You get used to strange things happening around the Misfits." Stormer
grinned. "Besides, they really are a cute pair. I think it's romantic."
She clipped her file closed. "There, another one done. Hey, you think
Jem will look for you here?"
"Maybe. Who knows?" Kimber shrugged. "I hope not though. We need a time
out to think and calm down before we speak again." She clipped her own
file together. "I hope that's in the right order, by the way."
"Well, if it isn't, Eric can sort it out." Stormer shrugged. "That's
why Pizzazz pays him, after all."
"Guess he has to have some use." Kimber grinned.
"It'll be a first if 'e does." Jetta put in at that moment, startling
them both. "Quit gassin' and sort, will you?"
"We're sorting, we're sorting!" Stormer assured her, grinning.
"We were just discussing how cute a couple you and Justin make." Kimber
opened big innocent blue eyes, smiling sweetly at the older girl, who
stared at her, for once struck speechless. "I didn't realise when I
came in, but you guys are sweet."
Justin laughed at the stunned expression on his girlfriend's face,
coming to put an arm around her shoulders.
"You can't win, so don't even try." He murmured. "After all, she's got
you there, and we are a cute couple, don't you think?"
"I'll give you bloody cute!" Now Jetta found her tongue, glaring at
the hapless Hologram. "I thought you were 'ere to 'elp, not antagonise
me! And as for you!" She wheeled on Justin. "You can be
so don't be so damn cocky!"
"We'll see." He responded, and without warning he kissed her, taking
her off guard. Stormer giggled.
"Justin won that round." She observed.
"Ooh...I'll deal with you later!" Once she'd regained some composure,
Jetta glowered at her boyfriend, incensed.
"Promises, promises." Justin was unrepentant. "And you won't, not
unless you stop messing around. The files aren't moving themselves."
"Cheeky git!" Jetta exclaimed, putting her hands on her hips in her
indignation. "Who's to say that you ain't the distraction, huh?"
"Well okay, I'll go and leave you girls to it, shall I?" Justin
suggested innocently. Jetta's grey eyes narrowed.
"Don't you bloody dare." She retorted. "You said you'd 'elp, now 'elp!"
"Yes boss!" Justin laughed, but nonetheless he obediently returned to
Stormer grinned across at Kimber.
"Isn't it romantic?" She said dryly. Kimber giggled.
"Oh, definitely." She agreed.
"You kids watch it." Jetta warned, her sharp ears picking up every
word. "I can throw you out of 'ere too, you know, or call Jem up an'
tell 'er to come pick up 'er stray brat."
"Aw, we're sorry." Kimber reached for another file. "I just thought
you guys were really cute together...I wasn't being silly. You really
"One more remark like that an' you can spend tonight sleepin' in the
garden!" Jetta threatened. "Now, for the last bleedin' time get
workin', will you?"
Kimber saluted the Misfit sharply, much to Stormer's amusement, but
the two girls soon returned to file sorting and, as the mess began to
clear, Jetta's ruffled feathers began to settle. No Jem materialised,
and by the time night fell the office was clean and tidy. Jetta
carefully locked the door, telling the security guard that the building
would be closed for business on the next day. Once done, they left for
the Gabor Mansion - Jetta to change and shower for her night out,
Justin to see his sister whilst he waited
for his girlfriend to get ready and Stormer and Kimber to find the
an empty room to spend the night in.
"I don't suppose Pizzazz is gonna know 'bout all this sneaking round,
huh?" Roxy greeted Stormer's summarised explanation with an amused
lounging in the doorway of the dining room. "Don't think she'd love it
that much if she knew we'd had a Hologram playing sleepovers."
"It's just for tonight. Pizzazz need never know." Stormer looked
pleadingly. "Please, Roxy, you won't blow our cover, will you?"
"Hey, ain't my business." Roxy shrugged her shoulders. "No skin off my
nose. Ain't my house." She grinned. "Guess we'll see how tough she is.
It's horror night on the movie channel and I figured since old big nose
is going out we'd have a night in with some scary flicks."
"You just like seeing me squeal and hide behind the couch." Stormer put
her hands on her hips indignantly, and despite herself Kimber giggled.
"Hey, I love horror movies." She assured Roxy with a grin. "I'm game,
even if Stormer's a wimp."
"I'm not a wimp." Stormer shook her head. "I just don't like
the really gory bits, that's all."
"She's a wimp." Roxy nodded at Kimber. "Still, we'll soon see how tough
you are, won't we?" She turned her attention back to the other
Misfit. "Hey, think the room at the far end of the top landing ain't
filled with Pizzazz's souvenir junk or her dad's trash. She could sleep
"Oh!." Stormer's eyes lit up. "Cool idea, Roxy. C'mon, Kimber, I guess
we'd better make sure it's habitable. You never know with the rooms in
this joint! Pizzazz and her dad have so much stuff they've accumulated
from trips and tours and you know, general temper tantrums whereby
things get thrown at the wall then dumped in a spare room out of the
way because noone can be
bothered to clean up..." She looked slightly sheepish. "Anyhow, come
just up here."
Roxy watched them go with a chuckle. She had no issues with the
Hologram truce and her conscience did not care whether or not Pizzazz
would approve of their houseguest. After all, she mused, if Stormer
thought so much of this Kimber chick, and Aja had turned out to be not
as soft and wimpy as she'd
expected, maybe there was something to knowing the Holograms.
"And if nothin' else I'll get to watch two babies cringe behind the
couch tonight." She added with a grin.
"You know, I always forget how big this place is." Kimber remarked as
the two girls mounted the big old staircase to the top landing, in
to inspect the room in question. "I know Pizzazz and her dad are loaded
but still, this is like a palace. It makes the Starlight Mansion look
"Hardly." Stormer grinned. "Some parts of the house are mostly closed
up anyway, because we just don't use them and Harvey's hardly here. And
the Starlight Mansion is big, you know."
"It doesn't seem like it when you've as many people living there as
there are." Kimber pointed out. "That's another reason I'm glad not to
go home tonight. I don't want the girls to pick up on any negative
vibes that I can prevent. They have too many braincells, some of them,
for their own good and
I just know they'll want to nose on in and try and sort things out. I
the space tonight."
"Space and Roxy's horror marathon." Stormer pulled a face. Kimber
"Yeah, well, it'll clear my head." She remarked. "Who knows? Might be
"You haven't experienced Roxy's taste in horror movies." Stormer
reminded her. "Let's just put it this way...If a film comes into movie
theatres that grown adults emerge from screaming and crying, Roxy walks
out munching popcorn and complaining that there weren't enough scary
bits. That's the kind of horror flick we're talking."
"Well, it'll be an experience." Kimber dimpled. "Besides, after living
with the Misfits as long as you have, I'm surprised any horror
movie scares you!"
"Hey, we're on a truce, remember?" Stormer laughed. "Here, this is the
room. I hope it hasn't been locked." She tried the handle. "Nope, it's
open. Here. What do you think? Do you for tonight?"
"More than." Kimber nodded, sitting down on the bed. "If I can borrow
a night dress and a towel I'd be grateful. I don't want to go home to
stuff. I'll call Aja or someone later and let them know where I am so
don't worry, but I don't intend on turning up anywhere with the name
'Starlight' till the morning."
"I'm sure it'll blow over." Stormer sat down beside her. "And...you
know, if you want us to stop hanging out for a bit till she's more used
to the truce..."
"Hell, no. I'm twenty one and Jerrica is not telling me who I
can be friends with." Kimber shook her head. "Since we released
Back2Back she's been cool with you and me being on speaking terms. I
thought she actually liked you, too...so I think this is just a general
anti-Misfit phase and isn't really us hanging out at all. Besides,
you're like one of my best friends in the world so I'm not gonna let
Jerrica get to me. This isn't a big deal argument, at least I hope it
isn't. It's just because I was late. Again." She rolled her eyes. "Damn
"Well, I know what to get you for your birthday." Stormer's blue eyes
"So unoriginal." Kimber put her hands on her hips. "I thought Misfits
were supposed to think outrageous!"
"No, I'm pretty sure that's you guys. We just think loud." Stormer
responded. "Well, I'll go find you a night gown and then I'll call out
for pizza. If we're stuck watching horror movies later I want to eat as
early as possible, to give me a chance of digestion first!"