A/N: Here's another Tess Tyler drabble-y ficlet. Though I don't know if I want to call it that, because it was actually almost 900 words. Almost a oneshot. Anyway, It's kind of odd and I'm not sure about the ending. I just had to get it down when it came to me. I personally wouldn't consider this behavior actual pyromania, but I think Tess in her frustrated "look-at-me-mommy" state of mind would consider it as such. Anyway, enjoy! R&R! Thanks! –Mac


Disclaimer:
I don't own Camp Rock.

Pyro

Tess is just a tad bit obsessed with fire. She wouldn't exactly call it pyromania yet, but it's definitely borderline.

It started when Tess was about seven or eight. She had completed her first serious ballet class—after weeks of being carted back and forth to class by her nanny, there was going to be a recital that her mom could actually see her perform in. Tess couldn't wait to show her mom how meticulously she had learned the routine. Much to her dismay, when the curtains opened up, it wasn't TJ sitting in the reserved parents section, it was the nanny. That was the first time TJ disappointed Tess, but it wouldn't be the last.

After the recital, the nanny kept saying Tess was "so good", "excellent", that she should be proud of herself, that they should sign her up for the next level of classes and that her mom would certainly make it to the next performance. Tess didn't want to hear a word of it—she locked herself in her room.

It was around this time that TJ had been nursing a particularly nasty nicotine habit. She had a tendency to leave lighters lying around all over the place. Tess had taken one off her mom's dresser awhile back—when her mom was out of town she would sometimes sit in her room clicking the flame on and off. It made her feel connected with her mom for a short moment. She kept the lighter tucked away in the back of her nightstand drawer. Now she had a good reason to pull it out.

Tess found a sick satisfaction in touching that flame to the satiny ribbons on her ballet slippers. She watched entranced as the fire slowly overtook the slippers. It wasn't until the heat nicked her fingers that she dropped them. It set off the smoke alarm, but the nanny was so terrified of being fired that she helped Tess keep the whole thing quiet. She pulled out the singed rug and got rid of the remnants of the ballet slippers—and the incident was never spoken of again. One thing was for sure though, Tess was never going to dance ballet again.

When Tess was a little older, before she started attending Camp Rock, TJ got her involved with the school choir. It wasn't Tess's idea to begin with, but she didn't mind it too much. Plus it provided her with numerous opportunities for her mom to attend one of her performances—and to make up for all the things she had missed already in Tess's childhood. But after TJ had made a thousand excuses to miss the first half of the scheduled performances, Tess decided to stop trying.

She had a mini bonfire and used all the dresses she had for her choir performances as fuel. As the dresses went up in smoke, Tess vowed never to be part of a group again—she would be the star, the one with the spotlight shining down on her. If her mother couldn't see her then, maybe she never would.

Tess got their maid fired when TJ finally noticed the dresses were missing when Tess refused to attend a performance without proper attire (although TJ wouldn't be attending anyway). Tess wasn't sure if her mother thought the maid had stolen them or just lost them, but she wasn't going to correct her mother's assumption either way.

After that summer at Camp Rock, the one where TJ actually showed up for the Final Jam, all Tess's mother could talk about was Shane Gray and Connect 3 and fame and publicity. TJ had gotten over her disappointment at Tess's failure to win the Final Jam almost instantly when she found out Tess had actually met the famous trio. She kept talking about how good it would be for their careers if Tess could land one of the Connect 3 boys—especially "that Shane boy."

Tess was already pretty sure that Shane was head over heels for Mitchie Torres. And honestly, Tess wasn't really interested in him—at least not after she had sent the way he looked at Mitchie. Tess couldn't understand how her mother couldn't care at all about how upset Tess was that she was on a phone call while Tess was performing, but could spend weeks focused on a boy Tess didn't really like or even know all that well just because he was a celebrity. It was then that Tess decided to stop trying to get her mother's attention.

One night when her mother was out, Tess started a fire in their fireplace. She fed in every magazine that featured Connect 3 or Shane Gray, every poster, every trace of the boy in her house. She watched the pages curl in the flames until all that was left was ash.

It was somewhat freeing. It was therapeutic—watching the fire burnt away the disappointment and frustration. And it would save her thousands and thousands of dollars that she would have spent on conventional therapy. So Tess was a borderline pyromaniac, but it kept her from being driven crazy with disappointment.