After my horrific abomination of a fic earlier ("Once Upon A Time") I've tried to make up for it with something significantly better. This is a pre-series one-shot focusing on Mitzi and some of her internal thoughts. I hope my interpretation of hers stays close to canon and can be understood/accepted/whatever by you lovely readers. :3

the magic runs out at midnight

She just wants to see her name in lights.

To walk down a street and look up to spot "Mitzi May" blazing in neon across a skyscraper, or to notice her face on a billboard smiling back down at her- is that too much to ask for?

At seventeen, she was a stupid and naïve girl, convinced joining Zib's drifting band will be just that little thrust to send her into the limelight, to watch adoring fans chant her name, Mitzi, Mitzi, we love you, Mitzi, over and over until the words echo inside her head.

In between passionate kisses from Zib, he assures her that it's all okay, that she'll get her wish, that wandering around the country like gypsies, leaving one city as soon as the sights grow dull and boarding the first train to another is the perfect solution to her dilemma, and for some reason- maybe faith, maybe love, or just sheer innocence- she believes him.

And with each note she sings, each chord she strums, each song she memorizes, each gaudy dress she wears, each glass of wine she downs, she can feel herself getting closer and closer to her goal of becoming a star. Each night, she dances until the crowd blurs together into a speck of dust on the horizon, until the lights blind her and make her dizzy, and she's ecstatic, because in that one moment, everything - everything – is absolutely perfect.

(But only until the sun comes back up and she sobers, then she realizes it's all just some stupid game and is forced to wait for dusk, wait for the lights to flicker back on, waits for a new crowd that'll never remember her name to perform for- over and over again, repeat ad nauseum until she's blinded and dizzy and stumbling in the dark, the rush completely gone.)

And just when she's ready to give up, to dash into the rain and walk in the street all the way to the train station to buy a ticket for the first locomotive back to Savannah, she finds a glimmer of hope in the form of Atlas May.

As she leaps from the stage and begins to run towards the door, heels click-clack-clicking on the floor, her eyesight blurs from the tears welling up and she can't see where she going, she runs into Atlas. Embarrassed, she keeps her eyes towards the ground and begins to pant, the adrenaline rushing out of her and leaving her helpless.

He wordlessly reaches out and places an exquisite necklace around her neck- it's a pearl necklace with a gorgeous green stone, and she briefly wonders how much it could be sold for- when she dares to look up at his face to thank him for his undeserved generosity. He's about ten years older than her, more dignified and proud than she could ever hope to be, and he actually seems smitten with her- a wealthy, handsome tycoon actually interested in a young Southern runaway-turned-showgirl.

She decides it might just be time to start believing in fairy tales again.

Six years and a dead husband later, she stop believing.

"That's it," she whispers to the portrait of her knight in shining armor that never managed to save her in time. "I'm leaving." she states bluntly, as if it's a normal thing to say to a portrait of a deceased man, and rushes upstairs to her bedroom. She grabs a handful of clothes out of the dresser, dresses and jackets and shows and gloves, anything she can stuff into her arms haphazardly and not have to make a second trip for, and drops everything into the suitcase.

She walks past the garage where Viktor is having a .38 caliber bullet dug out of his knee while Ivy whispers calming words of encouragement in his ear, walks past Rocky sitting in the Fordor, preparing himself to make his very first bootleg pick-up after being automatically promoted to rumrunner after Mordecai's departure, and she wants to feel something, but can't feel anything more than a dull pain.

Clutching the suitcase tightly, she begins to walk aimlessly around, not sure where she's going or where she even wants to go, suddenly hears the wails and toots of a jazz band drifting across the city, and she can't hold back the sobs that begin to explode out of her. She sneaks back to the Lackadaisy, tries to swallow her tears as she faces the band.

"I want to feel the magic again."

And the ukulele in her hand, pianist and bassist behind her, Zib playing his saxophone in time to her vocals and leaning towards the microphone to add some harmonies to the tune, it all only serves to remind her why she was never really cut out to be a bootlegger's wife, anyway.