Author's Note: My first Iron Chef fic. It's not normally a format that comes easily to me (write something based on a prompt), but I gave it a shot and I like the results. If you do too, or even if you don't, please let me know via the wee little button that says "Go" next to the words "Submit Review." Reviews mean the world to fanfic authors – it's all we get for our work.

And now, as they say at Chez Pierre, je vous presente:

The Vertical Stripes

Fashion sometimes means risk. And Sandi Griffin was nothing if not a risk-taker. So if Waif magazine was going to declare Spring 1999 the season of the vertical stripe, well then Sandi was going to have to take that to its logical conclusion. And so it came to pass that the girls met in Sandi's bedroom one Saturday afternoon in March, where she laid down the law. She was, after all, President of the Fashion Club. And this was no time for half-measures.

"Then it's decided. The Fashion Club will henceforth be referred to as 'The Lawndale Sweet Adelines'. Quinn, you will sing Tenor, Tiffany, you will sing Baritone – "

"Eww… Sandi. That's just, wrong… Isn't Baritone, like… a guy's part?"

"No, Tiffany. Sweet Adelines have traditionally used the same voice parts as their male Barbershop Quartet equivalents."

"Oh… So I'm singing, like… First Alto?"

Sandi placed her forehead in her hand and sighed. Her mother told her that being a leader was sometimes difficult, but Tiffany had a positive genius for pushing every one of her buttons.

"Tiffany. The Sweet Adelines does not allow chorus geeks into its membership. If you want to sing First Alto, I'm sure Miss Horne will be more than happy to have you in her chorus, after you provide me your resignation from the Sweet Adelines." Sandi noticed a flicker of acceptance behind Tiffany's vacuous expression.

"Oh... Okay. Ba-ri-tone…"

"Yes, Tiffany," Sandi continued, "Baritone. If I may continue, please? Stacy, you will sing Bass, and I, of course, being President of the Lawndale Sweet Adelines, will sing Lead. Are there any other questions before we adjourn?"

"Sa-andi?"

If anyone was going to try to break Sandi Griffin's vice-like grip on leadership, it was going to be Quinn Morgendorffer.

"Yes, Quinn? What is it?"

"Sandi, while we all know you have the loveliest singing voice here, and we would be fools not to feature it prominently…"

"Is there a point to this, Quinn?" Sandi was getting annoyed. Not only was Morgendorffer questioning her authority, she was also using that esoteric vocabulary of hers.

"Well, it's just a thought, of course, but wouldn't you think your voice would be better suited to Bass? You do have the lowest range of all of us, after all. And a true contralto like yourself is so rare!" Quinn added her signature ingénue's giggle to the end of her statement, alerting Sandi that she wasn't going to pull any punches. She needed to protect her turf, and do it quickly.

"I see, Quinn. And I suppose you would rather sing lead? I suppose you would like to be the spokesperson for the group, sending me to sing comic relief?"

"I don't mind singing Bass!" Stacy squeaked. "I like to make people laugh!" Good old Stacy; always there to back Sandi up.

"Actually, I'm probably best staying on Tenor, where you so wisely put me, Sandi," Quinn continued. "I thought Stacy would do a good job on lead."

"Ha!" Sandi thought, "Stacy as lead? Stacy couldn't lead the school's defensive secondary to the cheerleaders' locker room."

"I don't think that's a wise idea, Quinn."

"Alright, Sandi. You are the President, after all. Stacy, the Bass part in "Coney Island Baby" goes down to a G below Middle C. You can sing that, right?"

Stacy looked worried. Quinn played the note for her on the miniature electric keyboard Sandi had in her bedroom. Stacy, trying desperately to reach the note, instead produced a sound much like air leaving a bicycle tire. This was not good. Sandi tried to rescue the situation.

"Okay, Quinn. We'll just have to get her there. Let's work on some downward arpeggios, Stacy. We'll start at Middle C." Stacy made it as low as B-flat. Sandi was defeated in this battle, but she'd be damned if she was going to lose the war. Singing Bass, after all, does have its advantages.

"Very well, Morgendorffer. She can sing lead. But just so everyone knows, I'm the one that keeps the time and the pitch when we're singing. Flat, off-tempo music is so unfashionable, and will result in dismissal from the Lawndale Sweet Adelines. This meeting of the Lawndale Sweet Adelines is adjourned."