by Pearl-o

"So, Josie. This new album is a much more serious one than your last. Is the new, grown-up Josie?"

"Well, first, everything on this album was really a group effort. All of us are writing these songs. We wanted to reflect the groups. That's why we've returned to our original name, The Pussycats."

"So that wasn't just a publicity stunt, then?"

"Honestly? We've gotten enough publicity to last us the rest of our lives."

"Are you referring to the scandal at your former label, MegaRecords? Your testimony at Fiona and Wyatt's trials has been in the news a great dealthese last few months."

"We're really not supposed to talk about that till the verdict comes in."

"Your relationship and messy break-up with Alan M. were both very much in the public eye. Were those events inspirational for these songs?"

"Alan and I are still very much friends, and I respect his privacy a great deal. I'd really rather not talk about our relationship."

"What do you have to say to those who think you're still riding the wave of your subliminal success?"

"I suppose all there is to say is that we're making the best music we can."


Val was in the kitchenette when she heard the scream of frustration.


She followed Josie's voice into the living room of the hotel suite, where Josie stood, apparently trying to tear a thick magazine in half, to no avail.

Josie looked up. "You know what I hate?"

"Avocados?" Val ventured.

"Reviews." Josie gave up and dropped her Rolling Stone on the floor. She stalked to the couch, and threw herself across it, crossing her arms over her chest and glaring at the ceiling.

Val took another spoonful of her lowfat strawberry yogurt. "Josie, honey, why do you read them if you know they're going to make you mad?"

Josie turned her face back towards her, wearing a mournful expression. "I just want them to take us seriously. Is that so much to ask?"

"Aw, sweetie." She set her yogurt down on the end table and sat down on the arm of the couch, petting Josie's hair. "We're doing awesome stuff. It just takes people awhile to recognize it, you know?"

Josie blew out a puff of air towards her bangs. They lifted straight into the air and fell back down against her forehead.

"Josie. Come on." Val poked her armpits, and Josie grunted. "We're fucking rock stars." She tickled her slightly, and Josie wiggled away, giggling.


"What?" said Val. She was starting to giggle as well. She slid onto the couch next to Josie.

"Stop it!" Josie said breathlessly. She tried to squirm out of Val's reach.

"You sure you want me to stop? Huh, Josie?" Val poked at her between words. "Huh?"

"You are such a goof!" Josie cried, and Val kneeled over her stomach and smiled down at her.

"We're all goofs. That's what makes this fun." She knelt down and kissed Josie's forehead. As she sat back up, Josie grabbed her face and pulled her back down to kiss her for real.

"We're rock stars," Josie whispered.

"We're rock stars. We have everything we ever wanted. We're all still best friends. What do you care what they think about us?"

Josie nodded. "Val."

"Yeah, Josie?"

"Don't let me read the reviews anymore, okay?"

"We'll filter them all through Melody," Val says firmly. "By the time they get to us, they'll all be happy."

Josie smiled and pulled her down closer. Val snuggled up and waited.

After a moment, Josie said, "I think on the next album, we should have a song about bitter old rock critics."

Val rolled her eyes and reached for her yogurt.


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