Chapter Three: Siren
"The place is busy tonight."

Jetta pushed open the door of Le Klub Kool, taking in the atmosphere with a thoughtful look on her face. "Are we crashing this joint to play or just to hang out and have a blast? Because I ain't in the mood to work, an' besides, Justin is droppin' by 'ere tonight at some point. I like to 'ave some time off when we're not scheduled by slavedriver Eric."

"This is for fun." Pizzazz flexed her fingers, glancing at her shiny red nails. "Though if you can't spend two minutes away from loser loverboy, you got real problems. Are you telling me his company is more interesting than playing with the Misfits live and impromptu? You need to get your priorities sorted out."

"My priorities are where they should be, don't worry." Jetta rolled her eyes. She turned, casting a glance out into the parking lot. "Stormer, are you an' Roxy comin'? Or are we on our own tonight?"

"We're here." Stormer emerged from the darkness, followed a short time later by their final bandmate. "Roxy a motorcycle that was parked up against the building."

"Admiring it? Or working out how to swipe it?" Pizzazz raised an eyebrow.

"I don't steal things I don't need." Roxy snorted. "There's no point in getting caught. I just borrowed one of it's screws, that's all. I'm missing one and the handlebars are wobbling. The driver won't miss it."

"Well, for once you said something I agree with." Jetta smirked. "I've been saying you've a screw loose for years."

"Shut your face, big nose." Roxy retorted. "You wouldn't know the front end of a bike from it's back, so give it a rest. At least I can do something which doesn't involve whining, blowing hot air down a big black pipe and smarming all over my brother for a living."

"Is it even safe that way?" Stormer eyed her doubtfully. Roxy nodded.

"Yeah." She said flippantly. "But if I'm repairing this bike, I'm repairing it and I'm going to do it properly."

Jetta rolled her eyes.

"I thought you'd fixed it once." She muttered. "What did you do, break it again?"

"Oh, this is a different bike." Roxy grinned. "Mine is great. This one's Aja's - she asked me to take a look at it and I said I would."

"Gah, my garage is turning into a bike workshop!" Pizzazz threw up her hands in frustration. "Roxy, you better not get grease all over my new car, because if you do your bikes will be down the junk yard for scrap!"

"Chill." Roxy shrugged, slipping the screw into her pocket. "I'm careful. I know what I'm doing, and besides, Aja's bike is almost done. I told you. I was just missing that screw."

"Well, I hope the driver doesn't mind." Stormer pursed her lips. "Come on, let's change the subject. I've seen some of the guys who drive bikes like those...and I don't think I want to stick around if he does mind."

"Wimp." Roxy nudged her teasingly. "That sounds like a cue for a drink. Who's buying?"

"Pizzazz. Who else has cash to throw away?" Jetta observed dryly. "Besides, this is a "The Misfits are Back In Town" club crawl. We 'ave to follow our leader's example. An' none of us are drivin'. There ain't gonna be no accidents this time."

"Right." Pizzazz nodded her head. "Though they better start playing some decent music soon." She grimaced. "The Holograms were bad enough when Jem was caterwauling with them. Since she upped and went into hiding they've been even worse than ever. Someone should put them out of their misery."

"They're not so bad." Stormer said chidingly. "Besides, they've had a lot of problems to deal with. You know that it's not just Jem who's disappeared into...well...wherever. Jerrica's been ill, and..."

"Noone cares if Jerrica Benton is alive, dead, ill, well, sane, insane or appearin' in panto." Jetta interrupted. "It was barely news when she an' that Rio left Los Angeles, it's even less news that she's come back, an' we really don't want to spoil a good evenin' thinking about her."

"Jetta's right." Pizzazz agreed. "Noone cares about Jem or Jerrica Benton or Starlight Music any more anyhow. It's all about the Misfits these days. Everyone knows that."

"There speaks an objective and reasoned woman of the people."

A wry voice interrupted the discussion and the quartette turned to see Justin standing watching them, an amused look on his face.

"Do you have to creep up on us like that?" Pizzazz snapped. "It's bad enough you exist, without you lurking in dark corners waiting to make us jump. And what do you mean, objective and reasoned? I'm a Misfit! Of course I'm right - who cares about being objective?"

Justin laughed.

"I stand corrected." He said good-humouredly. "I'm glad to see you back to full health, by the way. The papers kept reporting horror stories about how they'd had to remove your voice box or's good to know that you're just as vocal as ever, Pizzazz."

Pizzazz eyed him warily, then shrugged.

"Whatever." She said flippantly. "I have better things to do than spend the evening in the company of the photographer."

She pursed her lips. "Though now the Misfits are back in action, we'll need you at the end of the week to take some new glossies for a brand new single. Maybe before. Stormer's working on the script as we speak, and we want to get it out and about as soon as possible. Think you can handle that? Because if not I'm sure I can find someone else."

"As ever, your confidence in my work honours me." Justin pretended to tip his hat, causing the singer to scowl. "I'll be glad to do the job, Miss Gabor. You have my number - just give me a call and we'll arrange it."

"Eric will do that." Pizzazz shrugged again. She cast Jetta a glance, then,

"I suppose you will want to stay with Mr Smug here." She said resignedly. "Roxy, Stormer, let's leave them to it. If Jetta's gonna make an ape of herself, I'd rather not be here to see it. I might bring up my dinner."

With that parting comment she swept off across the club and, after exchanging looks, Roxy and Stormer trailed after her, leaving Jetta and her boyfriend alone on the dance floor. She reached the bar with very bad grace, dropping down onto a free stool and demanding the attention of the bartender with impatience.

"We're in for a night of the sulks. I can sense it." Roxy muttered, sending Stormer a graphic grimace. "Bad enough Justin thinks Jetta's worthy bedroom decor. He could have had better timing than to show up right then and there. If he ain't careful she'll cut off his working for the company completely."

"She won't. She might hate him but Pizzazz knows she has to have the best and Justin is the best." Stormer shrugged. She grinned. "Are you worrying about your brother's career, Roxy?"

"Not at all." Roxy shook her head. "I'm worried about my hearing after I've had to listen to the whining from both sides, instead of just hers." She returned the grin. "Still, it's good to have a night out like this without worrying about that stupid new song she seems to want us to have down before it's written. I know we've been off the charts for a while, but we're Misfits, not miracle workers."

"I've almost finished the basic script, though I'd like you to peek at the bassline for me, because I think it's screwed in places."

"For sure. But not tonight." Roxy turned her attention to the list of drinks on the chalkboard behind the bar. "I ain't got my glasses with me, Stormer. What's the most expensive shot on the list?"

Pizzazz, for her part, was indeed in a dark mood. She paid for her drink in sullen silence, tossing a fifty dollar bill in Stormer's direction to cover their drinks, then turning her attention away from her bandmates, scouring the room.

"Jetta thinks she's so precious, going off with that stupid camera-geek brother of Roxy's." She muttered. "So fine then, it's okay for her to hang onto that idiot's arm, is it, and make a fool of herself in public, but I invite a doctor to a concert and suddenly she's all making jokes about it? Like it matters that he turned me down! I can get a guy if I want one. Hell, if I was to lower my standards to her level, it would be even easier."

She took a sip of her drink, her brows knitting together as she spotted Jetta and Justin across the floor. They were sitting to the side, talking, Justin's arm around Jetta's waist. She was laughing at something he'd said, and, as she watched, the couple kissed. Pizzazz muttered a curse, downing the rest of her drink in one go and turning back to the bar, demanding another one from the barman, who quickly obliged her. As she did so, she realised that Roxy and Stormer had slunk off into the crowd, and she clenched her fists in frustration, bringing them down hard on the bar top with a bang.

"This is supposed to be a Misfit night out!" She muttered, taking her second drink and downing that too. "Ooh, when I get my hands on them! This is stupid! I spend a few lousy weeks as an invalid and they take off on me! Roxy's going mad on this bike thing with that Hologram..." At this juncture she cast a poisonous glare towards the unfortunate guitarist, who, quite oblivious, was still busy performing - "And Jetta's playing truant with Mr Camera Lens. And as for Stormer - bah, she's always been a wimp. She'll trot off shopping with that stupid Kimber again. What's wrong with the world, anyway?"

She gestured for another drink, sipping it bad-temperedly. Well, if that was how they wanted it, that was just fine.

"I don't need them to have a good time." She muttered. "I'll cut out of here and leave them to it - that'll bug them, when they realise I ain't stuck around to play nanny to their games. I'll go back to the music company, I'll get on the phone to the airport and I'll charter one of Daddy's jets out to Reno. That'll teach them to mess me about! They'll be fuming when they realised they missed that trip!"

She finished her drink, getting up and stalking purposefully towards the exit, summoning the driver with an imperious click of her fingers. He came at once, having borne the brunt of Pizzazz's temper in the past, and she clambered into the back seat, instructing him to take her to Misfit Music.

"Will you need me again after that, Miss?" The driver asked, obediently taking the turning for the music company. Pizzazz shrugged.

"I can always call another car." She said absently. "It might take me a while to get through to Daddy's pilot, anyhow."

The driver looked confused, but he did not dare question her further, and he drew into the forecourt of the music company in silence. Pizzazz took little notice of his preoccupation. The alcohol was already buzzing around her system, for though she had not drunk many, they had been potent enough to unsettle her head and make her rash. She pushed open the door of the car, heading into the big black fronted building with purposeful, if slightly unsteady steps, and stumbling over the doorstop as she tried to make her way through the darkness. Uttering expletives, she fumbled for the lights, banging them on and flooding the lobby with light. The security guard who should have been on duty was nowhere to be seen, and Pizzazz uttered more curses, yelling his name at the top of her voice. There was no reply, and, confused, Pizzazz made her way slowly towards the stairwell, pushing open the door rather clumsily and stomping up the stairs.

As she reached the top floor, she became aware that there was a light on beneath one of the office doors, and she pursed her lips, anger flooding through her system.
"If that goddamn guard is in my office again..." She muttered, stalking along the corridor and flinging the door open.

"Hell, Pizzazz, you made me jump!"

Eric's hand flew to his chest, the phone receiver slipping out of his grasp as he struggled to regain his composure. "What are you doing here? You and the girls were going out tonight - didn't you tell me that all functions were off and you wanted a night on the town?"

"I did. I came back because I need my filofax. I need the number of Daddy's private airline." Pizzazz spoke slowly and carefully, and Eric frowned.

"Are you drunk?" He demanded. Pizzazz shook her head.

"It takes more than three glasses to make me drunk." She said darkly. "I'm just bored with Los Angeles. I felt like going somewhere new. Besides, why do I have to explain to you why I'm in my music company? You explain to me. Why are you here? What are you doing working this late? Do you have no life to go to?"

"I was working on closing up the sponsorship deal." Eric said hurriedly, pushing his open folder closed and folding his arms across it. "I heard that Moss's company had had another offer from...from Starlight Music to close a deal there, and so I wanted to get our push through before anything could materialise there. I thought that would be what you'd tell me to do, and you had left by the time I realised what was going on. I used my initiative - I figured it was for the best that way."

"So did we get the gig?" Pizzazz sat herself down on the desk, eying him thoughtfully. "The sponsorship? Is it ours or did the bitch Benton sisters swipe it away like they try and swipe everything away from this company?"

"Starlight Music will not be getting any sponsorship from them, I promise." Eric said calmly. He pushed a document across the desk. "Here. This is Moss's contract. In light of things I persuaded him that it was for the best we get it through now. I told him how eager you were to sign. All it needs is your signature and then it's official. One million dollars into Misfit Music's coffers. Just like that."

"Just like that." Pizzazz repeated slowly, scooping up the piece of paper and skimming it over. "Daddy could give us that kind of money just as quick, you know."
"But I thought you wanted this deal." Eric looked startled. Pizzazz nodded, dropping the contract down and signing it in a big, looping scrawl.

"I do." She agreed. "I don't want to ask Daddy for everything, you know. How would I ever prove to him that I can be a businesswoman too, if I'm always getting his help to fix my company up?"

She pushed the sheet of paper back. "Here. It's done. Tomorrow you can give a copy to...whatever his name was. It's official now."

"Moss." Eric took the contract, placing it carefully inside his folder. "I will do it first thing."

He frowned.

"You were going to call your father's airline?"

"I was." Pizzazz nodded. "But I'm fed up of Daddy's stupid things. They're Daddy's. Always Daddy's. Never mine."

She swept a careless hand across the desk, tipping documents and paperweights into a messy heap on the floor. Carefully she made herself more comfortable on the smooth oak surface. "He always tries to tell me what to do anyhow. I don't think he believes I can run this place. He seems to think he needs to play nanny."

"Harvey's a shrewd businessman." Eric said quietly. "He's a man who wants to know where his money is and how it's being used. I like that in a man."

"Well, so long as Misfit Music is the best, I don't care where the money comes from, or where it goes." Pizzazz murmured. "But I'm sick and tired of noone believing that I can do anything here. I'm not a good enough singer, I'm not a good enough owner, I'm not a good enough anything, it seems. I spend my life competing with Jem, then I spend it competing with those Bentons at Starlight Music and I'm sick of it! Riot keeps giving me lip about some tour and the others think I'm still an invalid because I had a silly accident two months ago! I'm sick and tired of idiots, Eric!"

Eric eyed his companion doubtfully.

"Are you sure you're not drunk?" He asked at length. Pizzazz snorted.

"Do I look drunk to you?" She demanded. "Don't be silly."

She reached over to pull open the desk drawer, grabbing her filofax and dropping it down onto the surface.

"So what next for my company, huh, Eric?" She asked playfully. "You've won it a million bucks and free instruments - what next? A star-studded tour for the Misfits, perhaps? Some big publicity splash?"

"If that's what you think is best." Eric agreed. "I have been thinking about some kind of plan to put Misfit Music over Starlight once and for all actually, and..."

"Oh, you have?" Pizzazz raised an eyebrow. "Well, at least I have one employee who gives a damn about making this place a success! You don't think I'm a fool, do you, Eric? You don't think I'm some stupid airhead rock singer who can't manage a business on her own?"

"Of course I don't." Eric replied hurriedly. "But you see, this plan..."

"Forget the plan." Pizzazz dismissed it with a careless gesture. "We can talk about the plan office time, when everyone else is at work. I have a security guard to fire, but otherwise I'm all yours after that."

She cast him a strange smile, then, "I don't want to talk about work tonight. Do you?"

"I'm not sure I follow." Eric began. Pizzazz laughed.

"Don't you?" She asked, her tone teasing. She leant forward to pull on his hair, and he was aware of the smell of alcohol on her breath. "Well, maybe it's time I taught you a little more about how a Misfit operates. Don't you think that would be a good idea?"


"Shh." Pizzazz put her finger to his lips. "Enough talking. Talking is for work time...not for now."

She paused, eying him thoughtfully. Then she smiled.

"I'm gonna teach you something that you're never going to forget." She murmured.

And then, very purposefully, she kissed him.


Part Two: A Test Of Faith
Chapter One:  Back In The Spotlight
Chapter Two:  Eric's Deal
Chapter Three: Siren
Chapter Four: The Morning After
Chapter Five: Schemes

Chapter Six: Roxy Acts
Chapter Seven:  Cracks