Chapter Fifteen: Closure
"Well, this is it."
Saffron peered out from the wings nervously. "There are a lot of cameras...but even more people in the audience. I didn't know a live audience could be so big!"
"I thought you were a pro at this by now." Shana, who was with her remarked. "I have to admit I have butterflies...these are my designs!"
"You needn't. You're a fabulous designer." Saffron dimpled. "And as for being a pro, sure, I've done shows before...but this is live and my twins promised to watch - I want to do them proud."
"Oh, I see." Shana smiled. "You're real devoted to them, aren't you?"
"Yes." Saffron agreed. "They come home tomorrow, and I can't wait. I've missed them so badly." She grinned. "They were blown away when I told them I was working with Jem and the Holograms - they're big fans of yours."
"That's good to know." Shana winked. "Well, tell you what. Bring them over to Starlight Mansion when they're home, huh? I know that Kimber and I both want to meet them in person, and Jem and the others will keep your secret, don't worry."
"They'd love that." Saffron looked taken aback. "Thanks, Shana."
"Well, we're friends, aren't we?" Shana pointed out. "Hopefully we'll see plenty of each other. I mean, if you're only in San Diego..."
"It's not far, considering." Saffron agreed. "Sure, that would be great." She looked rueful. "I'm afraid that with work and the twins I've neglected having many friends. My social life is almost nonexistant."
"Well, we'll have to change that." Shana remarked. "Starlight Mansion is home to the Starlight Foundation and there are tons of kids your girls can play with there, if you ever want to come pay us a visit."
"I'd love it." Saffron grinned. "This show has been a bit of a rollercoaster, but I'm glad I did it. It's not often I meet people in showbusiness who don't have an ego about it."
"We do our best." She admitted. "I think that it's because Aja and I at least were foster girls ourselves that we have ourselves so firmly rooted in the Foundation and its needs. It keeps us in the real world." She frowned, glancing around her. "Hey, where's Kimber? We're due on set in a moment."
"I'm here." Kimber herself emerged at that moment from backstage, closing the door behind her. "I had...something to do."
"Shawn?" Shana asked. Kimber shook her head.
"No...we haven't spoken yet." She said with a wistful sigh. "No, I was wishing Eboni good luck and telling her to dance her best tonight."
"You are remarkably friendly to Eboni." Shana observed. Kimber nodded.
"I know. Odd, isn't it?" She replied, shrugging in her usual happy-go-lucky way. "But I think we might be friends. She's so unhappy deep down that I can't be mad at her."
"I'm kinda proud of you." Shana said gently. "You're looking deeper into a person and you've found a friend because of it...guess you're growing up at last, huh Kimber?"
"I hope not...at least, not totally. Not yet." Kimber replied. "It's no fun, taking life seriously. It's been a nightmare week for me...I suppose by helping Eboni I'm taking my mind off my own problems with Shawn." She grinned at Saffron. "Thanks for your help, Saffy."
"No problem." Saffron winked at her. "Is he here, then?"
"Yes...I spoke to him just a little while ago." Kimber nodded. "His English is good, considering."
"Who's this?" Shana looked interested. Kimber waved her hand airily.
"Noone important." She said. "And we ought to be getting ready to go on. The Misfits have almost finished their set."
"They're playing well tonight." Saffron observed. "I guess I have to give Phyllis...Pizzazz credit for being able to perform. But then, she always was an exhibitionist."
"Pizzazz likes to be in the spotlight wherever she is." Kimber rolled her eyes. "She's hopeless."
"You're sounding a lot more like yourself tonight, Kimber." She observed. Kimber nodded.
"I think it's the adrenalin, but I feel more like myself." she agreed. "Not quite outrageous...but better."
"I don't suppose that means I can 'ave a word, does it Kimber?"
Shawn's voice interrupted the conversation and Kimber turned, her expression grave to face him. He looked anxious, she decided, and it was clear that he'd lost sleep. In a moment she knew that, whatever his faults, she did love him...but that this time she wasn't going to be swept away. This time she was setting the rules.
She smiled slightly.
"Yes...we can talk." She said slowly. "But there isn't much to say. You have things you need to settle with Eboni before we can decide what's happening to us, don't you?"
"Yes." Shawn sighed, glancing down. "I'm sorry, Kimber. I never meant to lie to you, or 'urt you. I...I'm not the guy I was when I met 'er, or when I married 'er. You gotta believe that. You're a big part of makin' me a new man...I don't want to lose you."
"I don't know if you have." Kimber said gently. "I love you, Shawn, and I think I always will. But...well, I'm not going to be anyone's mistress...especially with you having hurt Eboni as badly as you have. When you're a free man, then we'll see if we can work things out. Till then...we're on ice."
"I guess that's fair." Shawn admitted quietly. "In the meantime...are we friends?"
"I think we'll always be that." Kimber nodded. "You know, I've been so angry at you these last few days, and I've cried so much...but in the end, it's made me realise that there's more to a relationship than just being in love...and I'm glad of that." She smiled again. "We have our set to play now...I'll see you later."
And she stood on tiptoes to kiss him on the cheek, before leading the Holograms out on stage to a rousing reception.
Shawn watched her, sighing.
"It could have been worse." Saffron told him gently. He nodded.
"I know. I'm relieved." He said. "An' I spoke to my lawyers this mornin' about a divorce settlement...so that's somethin' begun, anyway. I hope we can put this behind us one day, Saffron...I'd 'ate to lose her over somethin' so daft. If it's made 'er realise what a relationship's about, it's made me realise that I can't imagine not bein' with 'er...somehow I will make it up to 'er."
"Right now, you have to settle business with your wife." Saffron reminded him, nodding out towards the other stage, where Eboni, Danse and the other dancers were performing their routine to the Holograms' music. Shawn nodded.
"Yes, I know." He agreed. "But I think that won't be so 'ard, now we've talked." He frowned. "An' we'll just see what 'appens, huh?"
"Yes, I suppose so." Saffron agreed. "And that's my cue. Later, Shawn!"
Once the Holograms had finished their set, Kimber grabbed Eboni by the arm, pulling her backstage.
"What's going on?" The dancer stared at her companion blankly. "Kimber, have you lost your mind? Where are we going?"
"You'll see." Kimber pushed open the big fire doors, leading the way across the darkened parking lot and into the building by the far door. "We had to come this way to avoid the crowds - it's mental in there!"
"I wish you'd tell me what the deal is!" Eboni responded helplessly. "I was gonna come out and have a fag before I had to go on stage again!"
"This is better than that." Kimber told her confidently. "Stop complaining and come with me...I've someone who's dying to meet you."
"Meet me?" Eboni looked startled. "Who?"
"I told you, you'll see." Kimber led the way down the narrow corridor to the back door of the auditorium. "Now wait here. Don't move, else you'll miss it!"
"You're mad as a hatter." Eboni decided, but she obediently sat down on the top of a nearby rubbish bin. "Okay, I'm here. Now where are you going?"
"You'll see! Just wait here, I'll be right back!"
And with that, Kimber was gone.
Eboni frowned. She had learnt already that the real Kimber Benton was prone to impulsive ideas and whims, and she was more than a little curious. What she had yet to find out, however, was that there were few people with a more generous heart in the music business than the youngest Hologram, and in Kimber she had found herself a true, if unpredictable friend.
At that moment the redhead reappeared, but Eboni's interest in her friend disappeared in an instant when she saw who was with her. Her face drained of all colour, and her green eyes widened in stunned amazement.
"Michel?" She whispered.
The man smiled.
"Hello Eboni." He murmured.
"Oh!" Eboni found speech deserting her, as she stared with disbelief at the man she loved. Kimber dimpled.
"I thought you'd like to know that you had a fan in the audience." She said airily.
"I looked for you." Michel said quietly. "When I came back to America last year, I asked all around in the business if they knew where to find a dancer named Eboni...but noone knew."
"I...haven't danced in a while." Eboni forced her vocal chords into cooperating. "This is my first big show in...well..." She trailed off. "You looked for me? Why?"
"Because I wanted to know if you still thought about me as much as I always think of you." Michel said with a smile. "When your friends got in touch with me and invited me 'ere tonight, I was only too 'appy to come."
"My...friends? Kimber? You..." Eboni stared at the redhead, then hugged her wildly. "Oh, you don't know how much this means to me!"
"Saffron helped. She knew the guy directing the show Michel had been working on over here." Kimber laughed, disentangling herself. "When I spoke to him this morning, it was clear enough that he still liked you...so I thought I'd go ahead with my idea of bringing you back together."
"I have my paperwork to stay in America another year at least." Michel added. "Since I do so much work here. So perhaps we can see something of each other, now I know you are here, and you I?"
"Definitely." Eboni's eyes sparkled with something that Kimber had not seen there before - real happiness. "God, I missed you so badly...you have no idea."
"Is that husband of yours still pulling the shots?" Michel asked her, putting his arm gently around her shoulders. Eboni shook her head.
"No...he agreed to a divorce." She replied. "He spoke to his lawyers this morning, too...so finally I'll have my freedom back...you don't know how glad I am to know it."
"Bon." Michel smiled. "Then you an' I...we 'ave a future?"
"I hope so." Eboni nodded, then impulsively, she kissed him. "I never loved anyone else like I do you...so I think it's a foregone conclusion."
"I love a happy ending." Kimber said with a smile.
"But what about you?" Eboni asked. "I mean, for you it's not been a happy ending..."
"No...maybe not yet, but this is just part one in the adventure." Kimber dimpled. "We talked, and...I think in time we'll work it out. So one day perhaps I'll have a happy ending too."
"I hope so." Eboni said sincerely. "You're one amazing girl, Kimber...and I hope we'll stay friends. I need all the friends I can get at the moment to get me out of this mess of a thing I call my life."
"I think we'll stay friends." Kimber grinned. "I'd like it, anyway. It's been one heck of a show to work on...but I'm not entirely sorry things have worked out how they have. I've made two new friends, you and Saffron, and I know now what it takes to make a real relationship with a guy, so when you and Shawn have settled your divorce, I know I can be happy. And you know what?"
"Whatever it brings, the future's gonna be outrageous!"
Chapter One: Meredith
Chapter Two: On Set
Chapter Three: The Misfits
Chapter Four: Old Rivals
Chapter Five: Kimber
Chapter Six: Saffron's Story
Chapter Seven: Enter The Dancers
Chapter Eight: Blast From The Past
Chapter Nine: Kimber and Eboni
Chapter Ten: Visit From The Backers
Chapter Eleven: Chimera's Secret
Chapter Twelve: Danse Takes A Hand
Chapter Thirteen: Decisions
Chapter Fourteen: Saffron's Advice
Chapter Fifteen: Closure
(The Misfits and Holograms and other animated Jem characters are copyrighted to Hasbro Inc. Eboni, Saffron, Chimera, Sakura and all other characters who do not appear in Jem episodes are my own creation. This story is copyrighted to E.A Woolley (2001)