Author's Notes:

I'd like to thank the fantastic Denisia for her beta-testing. This fic is a stand-alone fic.

Pizzazz doesn't know why she's allowed Roxy and Stormer to talk her into this. As she drives the van towards Toys R Us, she vocalizes to her bandmates a litany of sins committed by Jem and the Holograms "and those Starlight brats." As she talks, Pizzazz knows her claims are outlandish and untrue. Jem and the Holograms didn't cheat during the Glitter and Gold contest, losing Misfits Music wasn't due to Pink Hair and her band, they weren't the ones who dropped the Misfits' music award for Best New Group, and it definitely wasn't Jem and the Holograms' fault that both bands once ended up stranded on an island together. Pizzazz knows this but she rambles on, her bandmates smiling tolerantly, knowing that the singer is not trying to talk anyone out of this but simply letting off some steam.
Ba Nee has been able to attain something far beyond Phyllis Gabor's reach, and she therefore can't really relate to the reason for Ba Nee's celebration. At one point maybe she could have but no longer. Ba Nee has found her father but Pizzazz has given up her own search for her father. She has surrendered in her struggle to win him over.

It hasn't always been that way though. She used to try.

That sunny day in Mulberry had been brutal. Despite being stuck in a barn in the middle of nowhere surrounded by the most un-cool people in the state, Pizzazz had been having fun with her bandmates. She touched Roxy's arm as they giggled with the others around the punch bowl, wishing it had been spiked. More fun still had been the sense of belonging she felt when they mocked Clash and told her she'd never be a Misfit. But then the boom of a Concord jet sounded, Pizzazz's heart began to pound, and the entire crowd rushed outside.

The floppy bow in Pizzazz's hair mocked her and the horrific sight she witnessed: Harvey Gabor smiling and holding Kimber's arm. Pizzazz had humbled herself, asking if he wanted to spend time with her on Father's Day, and now she'd been spurned in favor of a Hologram.

Her ensuing tantrum raged like a fire. "You're impossible! I give up!" Harvey had yelled back.

Pizzazz hadn't given up, at least not at that point.

She was pretty much done for that day though. She needed to be alone and therefore took a taxi back to L.A., leaving the rest of her band to drive the convertible home.

On her way back to the mansion, Pizzazz had stopped at a bar. She spent a few hours with a handsome man she picked out there. Pizzazz rivaled any male rock star or super-athlete in terms of number of conquests, though none of them meant anything to her or replaced the one figure she couldn't have.

When she finally reached the mansion, her bandmates had put together a care-package for her. It contained a new dartboard with a shiny picture of Jem and the Holograms; a new box of darts; the latest issue of Playgirl magazine (she already had it though), and a bag of her favorite chocolate-peanut butter-fudge delight cookies from an exclusive upscale L.A. confectionary.

She never thanked them. She had started to tell herself, 'At least I got those three people,' but then stopped herself. 'Screw them. I don't need them. Don't need anyone.' That felt much better.

Pizzazz has no idea what to buy. Roxy and Jetta are pretty clueless too, so they follow Stormer as she steers the lumbering shopping cart through the aisles. Stormer occasionally picks up a brightly-colored box, inspects it, and either places it inside the cart or back on the shelf.

"They better gift wrap," Pizzazz says, glancing inside the cart. "I'm not doin' this myself."

"Don't worry," Stormer says, with her now-omnipresent confidence and cheer. "I'm sure they do it."

Roxy and Jetta meanwhile are chasing each other around the store with plastic guns. They're laughing as they do it, without malice. They provoke surprised looks from the other shoppers. Most of the moms steer their children away from the rambunctious quartet with the loud hair and garish makeup.

And a while later, Pizzazz's eyes widen again at the mountain of toys inside the cart. "Hey, Stormer, we're not buyin' the whole store here!"

"It's okay, Pizzazz. I said I'll pay for this myself," Stormer replies.

"Come off it. I'll pay," Pizzazz insists, though she doesn't know why. She's paid enough already.

Pizzazz tried again after the Father's Day debacle. She's never been one to give up easily. She listened to Eric Raymond and his scheme to purchase a factory in Alaska. She convinced her father to accept their proposal. "Make me proud of you, sweetheart," Harvey had commanded.

"I will, Daddy," Pizzazz vowed, with every fiber in her body.

It had again ended in disaster over the sonic roar of another jet plane. Speaking via radio from his plane, Harvey told his daughter in no uncertain terms that she had failed him again. "No, Daddy! Don't leave me!" she begged, in front of Eric and her three bandmates. Her hand trembled as she held the receiver and she wished she could crawl under a rock. She remembered glancing briefly at Stormer who was facing her and who, tragically, had a look of pity in her eyes.

The Misfits spent the night in Alaska, deciding to brave the dog sleds the next morning. Back at the hotel, a grinning Jetta told Pizzazz, "I was in the restaurant downstairs and found you a bloke. He is fine." Her eyes twinkled.

Pizzazz declined the offer, instead insisting upon a slumber party. Her surprised bandmates agreed.

She barbed them the entire time, over the din of the television as they munched on pizza. She brought up – for the first time in months – Jetta's deception in England. She mentioned Stormer and Roxy's respective departures from the band. "You're all as worthless as Raymond!" she declared, stomping off to her room.

A short while later, someone tapped on her bedroom door but she didn't answer.

Pizzazz leads the way as the Misfits ring Starlight House's doorbell. Walking past a surprised Kimber and into the living room, Pizzazz declares, "Start the party! The Misfits are here!"

"Pizzazz, if you have come to cause trouble…" Jem begins, fury in her eyes.

"Why do you always think the worst of me?" Pizzazz asks coyly.

As Stormer explains the sincere reason for their presence, Pizzazz looks around. Loud children everywhere. Lots of cake and ice cream. Colorful banners adorn the room, and one delighted little girl is being fawned over by her elated father.

The Stingers are there too, but Pizzazz blots them out.

Looking at Ba Nee triggered another flashback for Pizzazz. The girl, like all children, seemed so vulnerable. She was powerless. Pizzazz looked at her and remembered her own misery at that age. She remembered the bawling of a young girl unable to prevent her mother from leaving, a girl knowing full well that her mother just didn't want her. Phyllis had promised herself never to be that weak again, to toughen up and never allow herself to love anyone else.

Like so many of Pizzazz's plans, it hadn't worked.

And so here she was at this party for this little girl. Meek and penniless Ba Nee found her father. No matter how famous, how notorious Pizzazz became, she couldn't get her own father to take notice of her. No matter what she did, she couldn't win his love.

And so like her mother, Pizzazz's father left her too, only he did it more gradually. The final tie, however, was cut when Harvey sold Misfits Music to Eric Raymond. It had been his gift to his daughter, a gesture to show that he cared in his own perverse way. Now Pizzazz knew full well that he loved money far more than he ever loved her. Harvey knew it too and wasn't trying to cover it up anymore.

When Pizzazz met Riot so soon afterwards, she fell hard and fast for him. Maybe this would be the man to make her forget, the one to wipe out all the stinging of the past betrayals.

But that wasn't how it happened either. At the end of it all, Pizzazz was left with another failure and another broken heart.

She wasn't left alone though. At last she realized the people who had always been there for her, the ones who had stayed with her or at least always come back, testing and re-testing their bonds and always passing, one way or another. They hugged her when she rejoined the band.

Roxy wants to do this. Apparently the Ba Nee kid once gave her a book or something. It's odd that Roxy doesn't mind sharing this fact, but she reveals it freely.

Stormer wants this too. She's always liked children, always wanted the war with the other band to cease.

And Jetta's not exactly gung-ho over it, but she doesn't oppose it either. She realizes their feud with Jem and the Holograms needs to end. She seems like she wants whatever will make her bandmates happy.

Pizzazz wants that too. It hurts her to admit it to herself, but it is the truth.

Besides, fighting with Jem and the Holograms never got them anywhere. And the Misfits are embarking on a nine-month worldwide tour in two weeks. First stop's in England and they won't have to face the other bands or anyone from L.A. for a while.

After a while, Ba Nee approaches Pizzazz. The singer stoops down to bid her farewell, and the girl reaches up to plant a kiss on Pizzazz's cheek. The kid shows pluck and Pizzazz likes it, but she's frazzled by the kiss.

The rest of the Starlight Girls react with fear and horror at Ba Nee's boldness. (Too many of them have had run-ins with Pizzazz before). Roxy chuckles good-naturedly as she puts a hand on the flustered Pizzazz's shoulder. The friendly touch grounds her instantly and reassures her, though she won't be so mushy as to tell Roxy that. Besides, Roxy already knows.

The party begins to wind down. Pizzazz, Roxy, and Jetta pull Stormer away from Kimber and head out. Jem smiles and thanks them for coming, and sounds sincere.

"Hey, Pizzazz," Roxy begins as they walk towards the van, "you did a good job with the whole Riot thing."

"I ignored the bastard," Pizzazz replies. "And he ignored me back."

"Well, who needs the tosser anyway?" Jetta adds.

"That's just what I was gonna say!" Pizzazz declares. "Without the 'tosser' part," she adds, and the band laughs hysterically even though her remark isn't that funny.

Stormer commandeers the driver's seat, which means the Misfits have a much greater chance of arriving at their destination alive. Pizzazz relaxes in her seat.

The Misfits and Jem and the Holograms now have a truce. Pizzazz has one within herself too. Truces are tenuous and they're not the same thing as peace. But sometimes, they'll do just fine.


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