Chapter One: Alone

"There is only so much a girl can take."

Phyllis Gabor rested her chin in her hands, her brow creased in evident irritation. "If this carries on much longer, I think I'm gonna go out of my mind. Twelve o' clock, she says. And what time is it? Half past goddamn two!"

"Pizzazz, it's not like Jetta's usually late." her companion, the soft spoken Mary Phillips chided her gently from the corner. "And it is only a lunch meeting. Roxy's not here yet either, you know."

"Roxy I can handle. Roxy's downstairs in the studio helping those loser technicians get the wiring straight again on the microphones." Pizzazz, singer for all girl rock group the Misfits growled. "She's accounted for."

"So is Jetta." Mary, or 'Stormer', the group's keyboardist reasoned. "I mean, you know where she is, don't you?"

"Too damn right I do." Pizzazz's eyes narrowed. "Having lunch with Roxy's dumbass big brother! I told her twelve, who does she think she is? Roxy is at least late for a good reason! Jetta, on the other hand..."

"Jetta is right 'ere." A fresh voice joined them from the doorway, and both girls turned to see Sheila Burns, or 'Jetta', the group's saxophonist watching them, arms folded. "Am I to guess that Pizzazz is 'avin' another paddy because I 'ave a date with a good lookin' bloke an' she doesn't?"

"You're late." Pizzazz scowled at her. "Two damn hours or more late! What have you got to say to that?"

"Get a social life, you might like it." Jetta told her with a shrug, dropping down into a chair. "I'm 'ere, which is more than can be said for Roxy! Look, Pizzazz, I'm sorry I'm late an' all, but me watch 'as stopped and I lost track of the time. Okay? It weren't on purpose to spite you. And I am 'ere now. Soon as I saw what the time was, I got Justin to drop me back 'ere."

"I'm so grateful." Pizzazz rolled her eyes. It was no good, she realised. Trying to outmanoeuvre Jetta with words was near impossible, for the Briton was rarely to be caught off guard and was often extra-defensive where her relationship with photographer Justin Pelligrini was concerned. They had met through Justin's sister, Roxy, who was the group's technically able bass guitarist, and what had begun as casual flirting and occasional dating had, despite the occasional hiccup, begun to look suspiciously to Pizzazz like the foundations of a 'relationship'. Since Jetta had joined the band in 1987, the two girls had struck up a close, if unique sort of friendship, and Pizzazz, as ever territorial, resented her bandmate's time being taken up by this 'loser'.

Jetta, for her part, was obstinate enough to prevent Pizzazz dictating her social life, and perceptive enough to know that her place in the group was not at risk from it, but in truth she preferred not to clarify exactly what her feelings towards Justin consisted of. They were there, but she had left it at that and for the time being had chosen just to go with the flow.

However, it was a touchy subject, and the one thing that she and Pizzazz had begun to row over, if pettily.

"Well, now Jetta's here, shall we just start? Do you want me to go get Roxy from downstairs, Pizzazz?" Stormer put in hurriedly, hoping to smooth over her companions' tempers. Pizzazz sighed.

"No, you just tell her later, okay? I'm sick of hanging around." She replied with a grimace in Jetta's direction. "Firstly, tomorrow's photoshoot...time's changed."
"Time's changed?" Jetta started at this. "Justin didn't say nothin' to me!"

"That's because he doesn't know yet, lamebrain. He was out with you." Pizzazz told her cuttingly. "But Eric called just before eleven. Apparently he mucked up our schedule again, and so whilst he's out of town I'm left to fix his mess. So we have to be at the venue for half eight tomorrow morning. It's the only other time both we and all the backstage people can do."

She frowned. "And if Justin can't do that time, Jetta...we'll just find someone who can, okay? So."

"Hey, I ain't Justin's personal secretary. Sort it out with 'im yourself." Jetta shrugged. "I ain't got plans for tonight, anyway."

"Well, looks like all evening plans are off in light of the early morning." Stormer sighed.

"Oh God, don't tell me you've caught Jetta's disease and found a guy to fawn over too!" Pizzazz exclaimed. Stormer held up her hands.

"No, I promise! But Craig is in town, he wanted to take me to dinner this evening, and I don't see him often. We were gonna go to the theatre...I was looking forward to it. For a brother and sister, we really don't get a lot of quality time."

Pizzazz threw up her hands in frustration.

"Fine! Go out, go to your stupid theatre, see your damn brother! Just make sure you're awake and ready to go tomorrow morning, okay?"

"I promise." Stormer nodded. "What about Roxy?"

"What about Roxy?"

"You know that she and Aja are going to the bike rally this evening...remember, Roxy rebuilt that old motorbike and she's determined to ride. Aja's just going along for the fun of it, but that's the idea."

"Gah, damn Holograms." Pizzazz muttered, though in truth she had known and forgotten about Roxy's plans with The Holograms' lead guitarist Aja Leith. Though the two bands had a truce, Pizzazz was still not their biggest fan and the friendship growing up between Aja and Roxy, both essentially tomboys at heart, had vexed her more than once. It had been to no avail to try and prevent it, however, for once Roxy's mind was made up there was rarely any changing it, and in any case, the Holograms had been through enough recent traumas of their own to worry about ousting the Misfits from their current top spot. A very public split between Jem and the rest of the band had resulted in some kind of rift within Starlight Music, and as yet the new Holograms had failed to put together a record hit to match the power of previous chart achievements, such was their preoccupation with the business side of things. Pizzazz didn't care who wound up winning the fight, but the chaos that had ensued in what she still saw as the enemy camp had somewhat mollified her to the fact that her bandmates seemed determined to befriend the remaining Holograms, despite her disapproval.

 "If Roxy comes off that bike and comes home bleeding..."

"This is Roxy. She's 'ard as bloody nails, she'll walk it." Jetta pointed out.

"True." Pizzazz sighed. "Well, fine. So long as everyone is up ontime tomorrow, I could care less what you all do with your lives!"

"Looks like it's jus' you an' me tonight then, love." Jetta observed offhandedly. Pizzazz raised an eyebrow.

"You think that I'm stopping home if noone else is?" She demanded. Jetta laughed.

"Well, then if you don't mind my company, we should go rouse up the new club in town." She suggested. "Who needs sleep - we're Misfits, ain't we?"

"New club?" Pizzazz looked interested. "What new club is this?"

"Justin told me about it." Jetta shrugged. "It's on the corner of fourth, opposite Le Klub Kool...ain't you seen the posters?"

"Mm, actually, I think I have." Pizzazz acknowledged. "Hell, why not! But girls only, you got me? No sneaking that loser boyfriend of yours along!"

"Firstly, he's not my boyfriend, I'm just seeing him casually." Jetta retorted. "And secondly, I wasn't intending to. I do have a life without 'im there, you know!"

"Sometimes I wonder." Pizzazz muttered. "Well, fine then. We'll go hit the town." She shrugged. "Who knows, maybe we'll just meet you at the studio tomorrow morning without coming back to the house at all."

"Is there anythin' else, or can we go?" Jetta asked. Pizzazz grimaced.

"Its not my fault this stupid meeting has to happen like this, Eric's in Vancouver." She snapped, glancing down at the sheet of notepaper before her. "Right, only other thing I got to say is that the new single is ready and will be in stores Monday morning, that's that taken total care of. Oh, and we're playing LinZ Friday night. Otherwise, nowt." She tore up the sheet. "There. I'm outta here."

"Shouldn't you tell Justin about the photoshoot?" Stormer wondered.

Pizzazz waved a handful of paper scraps in Jetta's direction.

"She's sleeping with him, she can tell him the happy news." She said with a shrug. "Later, kiddies...Jetta, don't forget tonight, huh? Don't be late on me again, or else!"
"Okay, okay." Jetta rolled her eyes. "I'll be there. I wanna check this joint out too, you know."

"Well, fine." Pizzazz shrugged. "We'll go at nine from home and if I can't damn well get a fast driver, I'll drive the thing myself! Now, I'm off out to find something to wear...don't sit around too long or you might gather dust!"

And with that, she was gone.

"Well, she's in a good mood then." Jetta remarked, getting to her feet and heading over to the desk to phone Justin. Stormer frowned.

"She wasn't so put out earlier. I think you being so late didn't help." She replied honestly. Jetta grimaced.

"Well, it weren't on purpose." She responded with a shrug. "An' I know Pizzazz 'as a bee in 'er bonnet about me seein' Justin, but it's no different than 'er and any of the million an' one dates she 'as every year. I wish I knew why she 'ated it so much. I mean, she's always findin' a way to dig at me now, an' I don't need it. I'd rather 'ang out an' make trouble than get bitched on."

"I wonder if she's jealous." Stormer looked thoughtful. "What you have with Justin is different, Jetta, from any of the dates she's ever had. I mean, she's attractive and she gets attention and she always gets her way, but you and Justin have a good time too, as friends as much as anything. She rarely sees a guy for more than a week, but you and Justin have been seeing each other fairly regularly since April. I think she's worried he'll come between you guys and the fun you do have hanging out."
"Don't be daft." Jetta pulled a face. "I mean, maybe she is jealous, she's weird in the 'ead sometimes, but Justin's just a bloke, he ain't a Misfit. I'll probably be bored of 'im next month anyway."

"If you say so." Stormer smiled. "I'll go tell Roxy the change of plan, and let you make your call. And have fun tonight, let me know what the club is like."

Pizzazz, for her part, had gotten into the black limousine that had been ready and waiting outside the big music company Headquarters, barking an order at the driver to take her into the city. She never refused a night on the town, and her bank balance could more than cope with a few new outfits to make people stare.
"After all, I'm a star." She mused to herself, drumming her fingers on the armrest of the car's backseat impatiently as they drove through the traffic. "If anyone's gonna rock that joint tonight it's gonna be me. They don't call me Pizzazz for nothing!"

A small smile crossed her face.

"Hey, maybe I'll find some cute guy while I'm at it, have a laugh." She decided. "Jetta would be hopping mad if I did! I mean, Justin's no picnic, he's no way as hot as some of the guys I met last time I hit the club scene."

The memory of Jetta and her recent relationship sobered her, and she frowned, biting her lip.

"What in hell does she see in him?" She wondered, her good spirits all but gone. "Hell, this is Jetta...not some wimp like Stormer who sees romance in the weirdest places! What's gotten into her? What's wrong with the world? She's been with this jerk since the start of April! That's...hell, that's almost three full months! Dammit, it's no fun anymore with everyone all going off their own ways like this! Stormer began it, with her dumb solo stints with Kimber 'I'm an airhead Hologram' Benton and then Roxy with her number one platinum selling solo album and Jetta with her...god, her boyfriend, I suppose he's becoming. Dammit, the Misfits need to get a grip and get back to how we used to be, before all of this craziness started!

What is the world coming to, anyway?"


Part One: Summer, 1989
Chapter One: Alone
Chapter Two: A Night Out
Chapter Three: Tragedy
Chapter Four: Aftermath
Chapter Five:  Alan Garcia

Chapter Six: Fire vs Fire
Chapter Seven: Eric

Chapter Eight: Ambition
Chapter Nine: Eric's Offer
Chapter Ten: Misfits To Arms