Disclaimer: Jem and all related elements, characters and indicia © Hasbro Inc., Sunbow Entertainment, Marvel Productions Ltd. 1985-2004. All Rights Reserved. All characters and situations—save those created by the authors for use solely on this website—are copyright Hasbro Inc., Marvel Productions Ltd., Sunbow Entertainment©1985-2004.
Please do not archive or distribute without author's permission.
Author's Note: Set during "Scandal". Written for Mae, as a Yuletide Treasure New Year's Resolution. Beta'd by the lovely and speedy Kanna Ophelia. Any remaining mistakes are mine and mine alone.
Her Little Secret
by Tara LJC O'Shea
"... and that's it for today's edition of California Beat, on the scene in—"
Pizzazz clicked off the television in disgust. Stormer stared at the floor as Pizzazz and Roxy leapt up from the couch, furious.
"Why those creeps!" Roxy growled as Pizzazz paced, hands on her hips. "They cut out our segment!"
"Now nobody knows we're in town," Stormer added, despondent. She'd been so excited when they'd gotten the invitation to be a part of the Venice Beach festival. It would mean really great contacts, generate great buzz for their new single. All those hopes lay in ruins now. They hadn't gotten a single invitation since they'd arrived, and their one shot at publicity had passed them by.
Pizzazz had balled her hands into fists, and her green eyes were narrowed dangerously. "Sweet Kimber Benton. Gag me. I'd love to get something on her. Harriet Horn would beg us to be on her show."
"Well," Jetta said, lifting her head from the book she'd been reading ever since they'd gotten back from the beach. "How about sweet little Kimber's mean streak, or her crush on Sean Harrison?"
"What's that?" Roxy asked, noticing the book for the first time. Stormer could just make out the words "My Diary" scrawled across the front in gold cursive. Since Jetta hardly seemed the type to keep a journal, Stormer curiosity was piqued.
"Kimber's diary." Jetta smiled maliciously, and Stormer was suddenly very glad she'd never thought of keeping a journal, noting the obviously glee with which Jetta offered the open book to Roxy. "Here, read what she says about you."
Roxy turned her back on Jetta, and only Stormer saw the panic that had flashed across her face at the invitation. "I wouldn't waste my time," she said airily, covering the fact that she couldn't read it if she wanted to. Every time Stormer wrote a new song, Roxy would come over to her house and they'd drill the lyrics until she had memorised them. Roxy had an amazing memory, but couldn't manage more than streets signs and Cool Trash headlines if she was really trying. She'd never told Pizzazz that she couldn't read—and had sworn Stormer to secrecy.
"'Roxy isn't dumb, but she is so ignorant,'" Jetta read aloud from the pink journal.
"Oh yeah?" Roxy spat, her blood obviously boiling. Stormer could tell that Kimber's comment had struck uncomfortably close to home. There was no way for the Hologram to know just how close to home, and that only made it worse that she'd come so close to guessing.
Jetta continued, a wicked gleam in her grey eyes. "'And Pizzazz is just a rich, spoiled brat.'"
"Let me see that." Pizzazz snatched the book from Jetta, paging through it as she wandered out onto the patio, obviously scanning the hand-written pages for her own name. "That little..."
As she settled into one of the chairs around the glass table, she laughed. It was not a pleasant sound. "She even bad-mouths members of her own group! They'll be devastated."
Stormer was almost afraid to ask what Pizzazz had in mind. She was still reeling from the fact that Jetta had stolen the diary right out from under Kimber's nose.
Her band mates were having the time of their lives, but Stormer couldn't help feeling sorry for Kimber. Kimber wasn't her favourite person in the world by a long shot, but having her private thoughts exposed... It just felt wrong. Stormer was torn between sympathy and revulsion at the glee with which Pizzazz was approaching her latest exercise in humiliation.
Pizzazz flipped through the pages, and began tearing select ones from the bound journal. "Stormer, go to the front desk and get blank envelopes. Three of 'em. Make sure they don't have the hotel's name on 'em."
"Wh-What are you doing?" Stormer stammered, confused.
"Just giving the Holotwerps a little taste of Kimber's poison pen," Pizzazz said with a wicked grin. "When Jerrica, Shana, and Aja find out what Kimber really thinks of them..."
"Great idea!" Roxy chimed in, obviously an immediate fan of the any plan that would humiliate the youngest Hologram. Stormer suspected that, even if Kimber hadn't called Roxy ignorant, she'd still be all for it.
"I have an even better one," Jetta cooed to Pizzazz, and flipped through the diary at random, scanning pages for names. "Why stop at the Holograms? The tabloids would pay big bucks for dirt like this."
Pizzazz gave the newest Misfit a glowing smile of approval. "I like the way you think, Jetta. Cool Trash would print this in a heartbeat. It's delicious."
"Isn't giving the pages to her friends bad enough?" Stormer asked, knowing she was inviting trouble, but unable to stop herself.
"Are you kidding?" Roxy looked at Stormer as if she had lost her mind. "This is primo stuff! It would be criminal to stop at just screwing up Kimber's precious little band."
"The world deserves to know the truth about Jem and the Holohags," Pizzazz said as she started two piles on the glass tabletop. "I only wish she actually ragged on Jem herself. That would be just too perfect. The little twerp probably worships the ground that pink princess walks on."
Stormer watched the piles grow nervously. "But won't they know who stole the diary?"
"Who cares?" Roxy said with a shrug. "By the time they figure it out, it'll be too late. Kimber will be totally trashed."
"Serves her right," Pizzazz muttered darkly, obviously still smarting from Kimber stealing Sean Harrison away from her. "Now move it! We don't have much time."
While Pizzazz, Jetta and Roxy were still out on the patio, trying to narrow down which passages would hurt Kimber's sister, Jem, and the other Holograms the most, Stormer sat on the couch in the suite and flipped through the much-abused journal. The pink hardback book was thinner than it had been by almost a third, ragged edges poking out where her band had careless ripped out handfuls of pages. She flipped until she found the page she was looking for, and then stopped.
"I am so sick of the Misfits! Ever since the Battle of the Bands, they've been nothing but trouble. Why can't they just leave us alone?" Kimber had written in August 1986, her handwriting looping and childish. She even dotted her I's with little circles. Glancing out at the other Misfits cackling as Pizzazz gestured wildly along with whatever she was reading, Stormer slipped the book into her purse, and headed towards the bathroom: the only room in the suite with a lock.
She closed the lid of the toilet and sat down, keeping an ear open for Pizzazz, and began to read in earnest.
It's not like we've ever purposely set out to beat them. Okay, Jerrica can get a little competitive. But still. Sometimes it's like it's not business—it's out and out war, and the Misfits always fight so dirty. The whole Starbright shoot, when Eric was director, was the worst, just the absolute worst. If it hadn't been for Be Nee, we never would have put up with them for that long. I can't believe how close I came to being completely fried when those explosions went off. If Jeff hadn't been there, I could have been killed. Doesn't Roxy even care that people could have been hurt?
Roxy isn't dumb, but she is so ignorant. And Pizzazz is just a rich, spoiled brat. I've driven past her father's mansion a million times, and I just don't understand why she's always acting like we were put on this Earth just to spite her. She grew up with everything—a huge house, money, the best of everything. It just makes me so mad, sometimes. To see somebody who gets it all, without even trying, and then like a spoiled little kid, can't stand to see anyone else happy and has to go and spoil it for everyone she comes in contact with.
The one Misfit I can't figure out is Stormer. When she's with them, she's just as bad as they are, I swear. But when we were all stuck on that island, she was—actually really great. She was so worried about Jerrica, and she didn't complain about the hike through the jungle. Even I complained when we were getting eaten alive by the mosquitoes. (I still have a scar on my elbow from one of the worst bites. Yuck.) I mean, she even saved me. Okay, saved me from being scared half to death by a big ugly bug. But when I tried to thank her, it was like she had no idea what to do when somebody is actually nice to her.
When I suggested that maybe we could all be friends, she didn't seem to mind the idea so much, before Pizzazz and Roxy nixed the idea, and like always, she just went along with them. And Ashley said when she ran away, Stormer really looked out for her. Which seems pretty un-Misfit-like to me, but even after she came back, Ashley still doesn't talk trash about Stormer, the way she does Pizzazz and Roxy. Whatever happened, it obviously made a pretty big impression on her.
I just don't get it. If she's so nice, what's she doing hanging out with Pizzazz and Roxy? If my band treated me the way Pizzazz treats her, I would have walked a long time ago. Jerrica can be so totally overbearing sometimes, and God knows Aja acting all high and mighty just because she's three years older makes me want to scream. But Jerrica and Aja and Shana have never treated me like they're doing me some big favour, letting me play with them. But that's just how Pizzazz acts. Like Stormer should count her lucky stars they let her into their little nasty little club.
The thing that really gets me is that Stormer's a really good composer. Jerrica would kill me if I ever actually said this out loud, but Misfits' music isn't all that bad. I mean, it's loud, and the lyrics can really be obnoxious. (And repetitive). But the music itself... I can see why the band has fans, I guess. Maybe if I wasn't a Hologram, I'd even be a fan. Well, if the Misfits themselves weren't such... Misfits.
Stormer flushed. Kimber actually likes my music? It was the last thing she would have expected. She suddenly felt a wave of sympathy for the other girl, even though she knew she ought to hate her rival. She just couldn't bring herself to. Kimber's unexpected sympathy for her enemy made her intensely uncomfortable.
She knew she ought to be outraged. Kimber didn't know the first thing about Stormer, or how the Misfits treated her. Stormer knew deep down she wasn't a charity case. Knew that Pizzazz and Roxy and even Jetta cared about her. They just didn't show it with the same goopy pink hearts and flowers the Holograms did. Kimber was naïve, and sheltered, that was all. She didn't know the first thing about who the Misfits really were. She had no right to judge them. No right at all.
But she liked Stormer's music. Even liked her, after all the lousy stunts they'd pulled in the last two years.
"Stormer!" Pizzazz yelled from the patio, and Stormer ripped out the page and shut the diary quickly, stuffing the offending page into her pocket.
"Coming!" she called, flushing the toilet, and casually dropped the diary onto the couch as she walked out to the patio. No-one even noticed.
Wearing sunglasses, her blue hair coiled up under a floppy sun hat, Stormer walked into the lobby of the Holograms' hotel. Stopping at the concierge's desk, she asked for the loan of one of the sharpies on his desk. The lady behind the desk handed it over, barely sparing her a glance.
"Cool Trash magazine has your diary" she printed in fat block letters on the single sheet of white paper, folded it, and scrawled "Kimber Benton" across the front. Tucking the note between the other envelopes, Stormer tried to resist the desire to glance over her shoulder to make sure no one was watching her. But the lobby of the hotel was bustling with tourists arriving and departing, and no one gave her a second glance. Adjusting her hat and sunglasses, she went up to the bellhop, fishing a $20 bill out of her purse.
"Make sure these are delivered to the suite booked by Jerrica Benton," she said, handing the boy the bill and envelopes. As he disappeared toward the service elevator, Stormer buried the flash of guilt. Pizzazz would never know—and at least this way, maybe Kimber could get ahold of the diary before the magazine went to press.
It wasn't like she actually liked Kimber or anything, she said to herself as she walked back out into the bright afternoon sun.
It was just... her good deed for the day.
Her little secret.