Chapter Seven: Riot
Stormer made her way downstairs slowly, her expression thoughtful. Her common sense told her that had Pizzazz been functioning on all cylinders, the confessions of the last few minutes would never have been aired, for her bandmate was very proud. Somehow, though, she was glad it had happened.
"Perhaps finally we've found our common ground." She mused to herself. "It's kinda a relief in some ways to know why it is she hates me...if she still hates me. Perhaps we'll even be friends now...well, sort of friends, anyway." She smiled, pushing open the door of the kitchen. "I understand more now, anyway. Oh, I hope Harvey does pull through! Pizzazz needs him more than either of them ever realised."
She opened the cupboard, scanning the contents for something quick and easy to make, finally settling on soup as a simple meal. Stifling a yawn of her own as she cooked, she decided that once she'd eaten she'd head to bed herself. It had been a long week, and she still had to call Roxy and give her the latest news on the situation. She hoped that her two rival bandmates had not torn chunks out of each other in her absence. Carefully pouring the remains of the soup into a thermos to keep in case Pizzazz was hungry when she woke, she headed into the main lounge, sitting down in an armchair and reaching for the day's newspaper.
As she sat there, trying her best to unwind there was a knock on the door. Curious, Stormer got to her feet to answer it, setting her mug down on the sideboard. Wishing, not for the first time that Pizzazz had not lost her temper with the house staff, she made her way into the hall as there was a second knock, both impatient and forceful.
Stormer scowled.
"Okay, I'm coming, keep it down." she snapped, undoing the latch and swinging open the big oak door. Her frown changed to surprise and concern, however, when she registered the visitor.
"Riot!" She exclaimed.
"Where's Pizzazz?" Riot did not look pleased, and he was in the building before Stormer realised what was going on.
"She's asleep." The synth player regained her composure. "What do you want?"
"What do I want?" Riot demanded. "Fifty percent of one of my music company's main acts has gone AWOL across America and you ask me what I want? We've a concert tomorrow night, or had you forgotten that?"
"We hadn't forgotten. We're just not doing it, as I'm sure Roxy and Jetta have told you." Stormer said matter-of-factly.
"What do you mean, you're not doing it?" Riot was almost speechless with rage.
"Exactly what I said." Stormer folded her arms, her natural obstinate streak rising to the fore, for she had never liked Riot's arrogance and conceit, and she was in no mood to be polite. "We have other things to deal with."
"Listen to me, Stormer." Riot sounded irritated. "I want to speak to Pizzazz, not one of her hangers-on. She - you - have an obligation, and..."
"No, you listen to me." Stormer interrupted, too tired and emotional to be intimidated or cooperative. "Stop thinking of yourself for once and take into account that Harvey Gabor is critically ill in hospital. Pizzazz can't leave DC...and I'm not going either, not without her."
"Look, the old man isn't dead yet." Riot pointed out with a careless shrug. "Her inheritance isn't going to be jeopardised if she takes out a day to do a isn't as if he's going to know about it, and if she really wants to she can dedicate the thing to him. This is business, Stormer, and everyone across America knows that her being here is only a publicity stunt."
"Do they?" Stormer's eyes narrowed. "And what if you're wrong, Riot? What if Pizzazz is genuinely worried about him?"
"Pizzazz? Oh, yes, that would be a coup." Riot was scornful. "The only thing Pizzazz is interested in is Phyllis Gabor. Sure, it looks good that she's here and the press have been having a field day over it - I must say, very clever. But it's time to end the charade. If he's going to die, then he'll die and she'll get what's due her. She doesn't need to be flitting around DC like a lost soul while she waits for it to happen."
"Why you..." Rage flared in Stormer's heart and before she knew what she was doing she had slapped him around the face, a fierce protective instinct aroused in her heart towards the Misfits' lead singer. "I don't know what women see in you, I really don't - least of all Pizzazz. She's way too good to be messed about by a nothing like you! You're the most arrogant, shallow, egocentric man I ever laid eyes on! And, for your information, you're not even attractive!"
"Don't you raise your hand to me!" Riot was angry and he grabbed her wrist, his eyes flashing dangerously. "You're nothing in the music business, Stormer! You're barely even a Misfit, Heaven knows why Pizzazz keeps you on! I could terminate your contract in an instant, so don't get cocky with me. Your career might rely on it!"
"Hang my career." Stormer snapped. "There are things more important than money, you know. And I got more musical ability in my little finger than your two flunkies have put together! Do you wanna know why Pizzazz keeps me on, Riot? Well, I'll tell you why! I write the songs, I put together the lyrics so they fit the tune, I mastermind the music. So you better be careful who you sack, else you might find yourself making a loss!"
The sarcasm and disgust in her tone was so uncharacteristic of the normally meek musician that for a moment Riot just stared at her blankly. Then he smirked.
"You? Write the songs? You must think I was born yesterday." He said derisively. "You're barely more than a kid!"
"I'm twenty two!"
"Stop it!"
A fresh voice joined the heated debate, and both parties turned to face the staircase. Pizzazz stood halfway down the stairs, a strange expression on her face. For once she had taken little care with her appearance, for she was not made up, and her hair was tousled from her attempt at napping. "Stop screeching in my house! Some of us are trying to sleep!"
"I only came to tell you to be in L.A by tomorrow midday, that's all." Riot turned his back on Stormer, addressing the singer alone, and it was all the synth player could do to keep from poking her tongue out at her foe. "It's time this silly charade stopped and you returned to the real world. You know that your father is too ill to change his will, so there really is no need for it. You'd do better to obey your contractual obligations and return home for the concert tomorrow."
"I see." Pizzazz's voice was strangely quiet. "And if we're not there?"
"I don't anticipate that to be an outcome." Riot said levelly. "I control your contract and I say you should be there, so you really have little choice in the matter."
"Oh?" A spark of the old, resiliant Pizzazz flared up in the tired green eyes. "Is that so?"
Slowly she advanced down the stairs to meet him.
"You know it is."
"Well, let me see." Pizzazz offered him a benign smile. "Now, we could do as you say, pack and fly home like good little Misfits, couldn't we, Stormer?"
"I..." Stormer looked confused. "But in an instant the singer's expression had changed.
"Or you could take your threats and your arrogant fat head and get the hell off my property before I call the police!" She hissed, jabbing him in the chest with a sharp, perfectly painted nail. "Now, you listen to me, and listen good. You might think you have some power over me, but you don't, all right? I play games by one set of rules only - mine - and I just got bored with you and your demands! Do whatever the hell you want! If you kick us off your books, well then, I'll set up my own company and run you outta town! So don't tell me what to do!"
"You have a contract! Stingers Sound can sue!"
"Do I look like I care?" Pizzazz shot back. "Riot, honey, I've turned down better lawyers than you and that creep Raymond could ever get together!"
She leant closer, stroking his cheek with her hand.
"Don't play with fire. You might get burned." She murmured. "Now get out, okay? And don't come crawling to me for favours, either. The Misfits play when I say they do, where I say they do. You got that?"
"We'll see." Riot's eyes narrowed. "You're forgetting, Pizzazz, that you don't have money to hand just like that and your father is in no fit state to sign the cheque."
"And you're forgetting, Riot, that while Father is sick I effectively control the finances." Pizzazz returned. "Not many people are gonna argue with me, now are they? So you watch your doesn't pay to mess with me."
Riot muttered something unrepeatable under his breath. Then, highly indignant, he stormed out, slamming the door behind him.
For a moment the two Misfits just stared at each other. Then Pizzazz sank down onto the bottom step with a sigh.
"Creep." she murmured absently.
"Think he'll cause any other trouble?" Stormer was anxious.
"Yeah, probably he'll go running to Eric to tell tales." Pizzazz shrugged. "I hope he don't push the contract thing. I was bluffing when I said I controlled Daddy's money...I don't. That would only happen if...well, if I inherited."
"It won't come to that." Stormer told her, coming to sit beside her. "Your father will get better, and once you tell him how Riot's been treating you I'm sure he'll help somehow."
"Think he'd even care?"
"Of course." Stormer nodded. "You'll see. Hey, since you're up, want some soup?"
"Why not." Pizzazz rolled her eyes heavenwards. "You know, you can be pretty spunky. I never thought you'd go for him like that."
Stormer blushed.
"You saw?"
"Sure I did. I was gonna interrupt sooner but I wanted to see what happened."
"He made me mad." The younger girl admitted. "I didn't mean to hit him, it just happened."
"Hey, don't worry about it. Only wish I'd done it myself, and a lot sooner." Pizzazz said ruefully. "You know I hate it when someone else is right...but Riot is a jerk and I should've seen it from the start. God knows what I thought I was doing...but it's okay now. It's gone."
"Thank God for that." Stormer smiled. "It wasn't like you to act that way...none of us liked it much."
"Well, it was you yellin' at him as you did that made me realise what a creep he was. Kinda woke me up some." Pizzazz admitted. "Maybe you should get mad more often. I like you better now I know you got a spine."
Stormer laughed, leading the way into the kitchen to retrieve the thermos of soup, and pouring her companion a mug.
"I guess I'm not a total wimp after all." She said quietly.
"No, guess you ain't." Pizzazz agreed. "Guess you are a proper Misfit. Who woulda thought meek li'l Mary could be such a wildcat? I wouldn't've missed seein' that for the world." She took a sip of the drink. "Mm. Good soup. Guess I didn't realise I was hungry till now." She cast Stormer a questioning glance. "No phonecalls?"
"'ve barely been asleep at all." Stormer replied. "Nothing yet."
"No news is good news, I guess." Pizzazz stifled a yawn. "God, I'm beat. I'm goin' back to bed...I'm not thinkin' or actin' like myself right now. Maybe when I wake up, things will be clearer, and I'll feel more myself. I'm blitzed." She drained the mug, setting it down on the counter. "Night, Stormer. Lemme know if anything happens."
"You know I will." Stormer nodded. "Sweet dreams, Pizzazz...let's hope this time noone comes knocking!"
"They'd better not." Pizzazz rolled her eyes. "Else I'll show 'em what I think of it!"
With that she was gone, and Stormer smiled. Though no news had come from the hospital, somehow she felt better about the situation.
Maybe, just maybe, things were going to be okay.

Chapter One: The Magazine
Chapter Two: A Phone Call
Chapter Three: Washington DC
Chapter Four: Harvey Gabor
Chapter Five: Answering To Eric
Chapter Six: Breaking Down
Chapter Seven: Riot
Chapter Eight: A Change Of Luck
Chapter Nine: Harvey's Proposal
Chapter Ten: A Cunning Plan
Chapter Eleven: As It Should Be

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