The Shattering cookie: Meet Janna!

Cookie time has come again! A very fast poll indicated you would like to see Musician Janna, as opposed to Flirty Janna or Magic Janna, so here we go. But with flirtiness attached anyway. Janna van der Zaag multi-tasks, yo!

SPOILERS. BUT MILD ONES.

Tiny bit of relevant context: Janna’s nickname is Stardust. She claims it’s because she’s vital to the existence of the universe, but Keri has a different, less flattering, origin story for the name.

Patrick looked disgusted, but then again, that was his basic state. “Don’t spend the money before we’ve earned it,” he ordered. “I don’t know if you’ve thought about this, but we have eight days to prepare for the most important gig of our lives. We need to be focused!”

“We need a set list,” Janna said, and slung Cherry Bomb over her shoulder. “Let’s start with ‘Elephant in the Bath’; it’s jumpy, and everyone loves it.”

That, as she had predicted, started an argument about what to play in which order. Patrick won, because he was picky and stubborn and also because he had an annoying habit of being right. Takeshi watched them shout at one another for a while, but his eyes began to wander, inspecting the equipment and the egg cartons nailed to the garage walls.

Janna was wondering if this had been a bad idea. She picked out a B-flat scale, held the final chord, and stepped on the chorus pedal. The sound reverberated around the room. The boys stopped talking. And Takeshi’s eyes snapped back to her.

“Could we, I don’t know, rehearse?” she asked.

Patrick tilted his head, and the twist of his smile said that he knew exactly what she was doing. But he was a good ex-boyfriend.

“‘Elephant in the Bath,’ ” he said, stepping up to the mic. “One, two, three.”

And Janna felt Stardust come up through the soles of her boots and take over. The work was all Janna’s, learning the song, getting the timing, playing alone and with the boys over and over and endlessly over until it clicked at last into what they needed. But once that part was done, and the song was muscle memory in her strong hands, it was sexy, powerful Stardust who took the stage, the backbone of the band, the rhythm that drove them all on and up to new heights. She could feel Takeshi’s attention, warm sun on her skin, as her calloused fingers spider-walked through the opening notes.

And the boys, as always, felt her shining beside them and went for it.

They finished, note and beat perfect, with Patrick breathing out the final words, energy crackling between them.

“We’re going to kick ass,” Hemi said, grinning. And Janna thought that was true, but it was Takeshi she looked at, for the first time since Patrick’s countdown. His pupils had dilated, and he was staring directly at her.

“What did you think?” Patrick asked.

“Good,” Takeshi said. “Very, very good.”

But he said it to her.

REMINDER OF SEVERAL AWESOME AUCTIONS. RAISE MONEY FOR WORTHY THINGS. GET GREAT STUFF.