A Model's Tale

Chapter Eight: Blast From The Past

"What's all this about, Roxy?" Pizzazz sent the bassist an irritated look, glancing at Eboni with little interest. "Lin-Z is here, those damn Holograms are getting all the attention...whatever it is better be good."
"Oh, I think it is." Roxy squatted on the stage, pulling a troubled looking Stormer down beside her, and indicating for Eboni to sit down.
"It's Roxy's idea. Don't 'old out much hope." Jetta, who had rejoined the singer observed idly, but for once Roxy was too engrossed in her own brilliance to pay any attention.
"This is Eboni." she said importantly. "She's a dancer."
"So?" Pizzazz raised an eyebrow, idly tilting back on her chair.
"She's also Mrs Shawn Harrison, Pizzazz." Roxy's brown eyes sparkled, anticipating the reaction her bombshell would get.
It was worth the wait. Pizzazz's green eyes almost popped out of her head and it was nothing short of a miracle that she didn't fall back off her chair.
"She what?"
"It's true." Eboni scowled. "Roxy reckoned you might be able to help me out some. I'm not keen to stay on set with him here, he's done enough to me already, but I have debts...big ones...and I need this job to cover them. Roxy..."
"I see." Pizzazz's expression became thoughtful. "So...what you're saying is...that if I were to, say...help you cover your little indescrepancies financially, you might help us out in some other way. Yes?"
"That's basically it." Eboni spread her hands. "I'm no charity girl, I don't take money I haven't earnt...but if I can help you girls then I guess that's different. I'm meant to be working with Giselle and the others on the Jem set, but right now I'm not feeling too friendly towards Holograms, if one of them is really dating Shawn."
"Kimber's practically engaged to 'im." Jetta observed. "All but a ring, I'd say. Didn't 'e propose or somethin'?"
"Definitely." Pizzazz nodded, eying Eboni's reaction with some interest.
"She can't marry him while he's still married to me! How dare he even ask her!" The dancer was livid. "Wait till I get my hands on this witch girl...and on him, wait till I get my hands on him! How dare he! As if I didn't even exist!"
"If you hate him, why not divorce him?" Stormer asked.
"Because that's too easy." Eboni's eyes narrowed. "He refused me a divorce, the one time in my life that I could have been happy he took away from me because of protecting his precious image. Well...I'm not going to be used any longer. He's not marrying this Kimber chick so long as there's breath in my body!"
"Good...good." Pizzazz's tone was far more friendly than it had been previously. "Then stick with us...we'll help you get your revenge on both Shawn and Kimber...and we'll have a little fun in the meantime!"

"There you are!"
Danse poked her head around the door of the dancer's dressing room, casting her friend a smile. "I've been looking for you all over! Jem and co are done with Lin-Z and I'm dying to introduce you to them all...I know you're gonna love them!"
"Am I?" Eboni examined her makeup in the mirror, her tone flat. "That's good."
"Okay, what's up?" Danse frowned. "Someone been messing you about?"
"Not yet." Eboni shook her head. "And they're not going to get a chance to. I'm gonna strike first."
"Oh, Eboni, don't get into a fight!" Danse pleaded. "We both know that you need this job!"
"I have debts, I'll get 'em paid." Eboni responded with a shrug. She reached into her purse, extracting a small white pill and downing it with a glass of water at her left hand. "Okay, I'm ready. Let's go."
"What was that?" Danse demanded.
"What was what?" Eboni looked startled.
"That pill."
"Aspirin! What do you think?" Eboni was indignant. "I've a raging headache thanks to all the noise out there - I'm not used to this much fuss and bustle!"
Danse sighed.
"I'm sorry." she said with a frown. "I ought to trust you, oughtn't I?"
"Yes, you should." Eboni nodded her head. "If you're any kind of friend. Come on."
Danse watched her go for a moment, then, with a sigh, followed her out of the dressing room.
Whether or not the pill was an aspirin or not she didn't know, but she had her doubts.
Eboni paused by the Hologram bandstand to wait for her friend to catch her up, allowing her jumbled thoughts to settle themselves. She felt a bit guilty for lying to Danse, but not for worlds would she admit what she was into. The fact that she had become more and more dependant on the anti-depressants she had initially been prescribed after the breakdown of her relationship with French lighting technician Michel Chabou was something she was fiercely ashamed of, and heartily in denial over. Of course, her prescription was long ended, but not wanting to face the real world she had found other means to get her hands on the tablets she wanted and these days they were second nature to her.
As she crossed the floor after her friend, she caught sight of Shawn once more, leaning up against the coffee machine and talking to a tall black girl. They seemed to be getting along, and somehow it sparked off her anger again.
"I wonder if that's Kimber." She mused.
"Hey, are you on the same planet as me?" Danse nudged her. Eboni turned, startled.
"What are you thinking?"
"I was just wondering who that girl is. She looks...uh...familiar."
"I think she's a model, though I'm not sure I remember her name. Saffron, is it?" Danse replied. "From what Shana and the others were saying earlier she's a real nice girl...perhaps we'll get to meet her properly later."
"No thank you." Eboni said darkly. "I'm here to do a job and that's enough."
"What?" Danse looked taken aback. "Eboni, what's eating you? You were all fired up about this opportunity before!"
"Oh, leave me alone." Eboni snapped. "I've got things to do."
With that she pushed past her friend, stalking across the studio. Danse stared after her, her eyes big with disbelief.
"What was that about?" She wondered. "Heck, I better get after her - God only knows what she'll do if she's in a temper!"
Eboni was indeed in something of a temper. A combination of amphetamine and resentment boiling up inside of her, she marched straight up to where Shawn and Saffron had been chatting, casting the model a contemptuous glare and grabbing Shawn by the arm.
"What in hell do you think you're doing?" She seethed.
Shawn's expression changed in an instant.
"What are you doing here?" He demanded.
"Working." Eboni's eyes narrowed. "I'm a dancer, or is it so long ago now that you've forgotten all that, huh?"
Saffron looked confused.
"Excuse me, is something wrong?"
"Butt out." Eboni told her shortly. "You'd do well to keep away from him. He's not worth your time."
"Shawn and I are just friends!" Saffron exclaimed. "Kimber's my friend too and I wouldn't hurt her like that. And what business do you have butting in like this? We were only talking. Who are you, anyway?"
"Who am I?" Eboni repeated, her green eyes sparkling with fury. "Who am I? So it matters that precious Kimber doesn't get hurt but it doesn't matter who the hell I am? Well, thanks, Shawn. Thanks a whole lot."
"Eboni, stop it. You're making a scene and I don't need this." Shawn tried to shake himself free from her grip, but she had him held fast. "For God's sake, woman, let me go!"
"Let you go?" Eboni raised an eyebrow. She leant closer to him, running her free hand through his hair. "Let you go? After all you did to me? I don't think so."
Shawn registered the wild look in her eyes and with a start realised that she was not one hundred percent sober. Getting a grip on himself he grabbed her around the wrists, pulling her off him.
"What 'ave you been taking?" He demanded.
"How dare you!"
"Eboni, you're stoned. What are you takin', dammit!"
Eboni wriggled free.
"Don't you touch me!" she exclaimed. "You forfeited that right! You sleazy, no good creep...how dare you propose to another woman. How dare you!"
Saffron's brow creased in a frown.
"Shawn, you actually know this creature?" she asked, as Danse joined the melee, her own expression troubled.
"Eboni, stop it!" She exclaimed, grabbing her friend and forcibly pulling her back. "I don't know what the heck's gotten into you, but leave Shawn alone! You can't go around attacking every single man in the world just because you were hurt!"
"Hurt?" Eboni was well beyond self-control now. "Yeah, I was hurt. And he's the creep that hurt me!"
"What?" In her surprise, Danse almost let her friend go, and Eboni was almost able to land a kick at Shawn's kneecap. "Shawn?"
"She's stoned." Shawn's face was devoid of all emotion, and he spoke in level tones. "I don't know what on, but she ain't thinkin' straight. She'll calm down when she sobers up."
"Would someone mind telling me what's going down here?" Saffron put her hands on her hips. "Shawn, who is this girl anyway?"
"Who am I?" Eboni struggled against Danse's grip, but her friend held her firm. "I'm his goddamn wife, that's who I am!"
"Shawn?" Saffron's jaw dropped and she stared at her newest friend in disbelief. "Your...your wife? But Kimber..."
Shawn's expression became troubled.
"Everyone makes mistakes." He intoned softly.
Danse shot him an unreadable look, then turned her attention to Eboni, whose anger was beginning to cool as the effect of the drug began to fade.
"We're going someplace quiet and we're going to talk." She told her friend quietly. "You have a lot of explaining to do, Eb. I don't like that you lied to me about that tablet, either. I thought you wanted me to trust you. You promised to play nice!"
"I didn't know he was going to be here." Eboni muttered.
"Well, if you'd bothered to tell me who exactly the guy you married was, I'd never have gotten you a job on this set." Danse said levelly. "But as it stands you're here and I'm not going to let you blow things. Come on. We're going to sit down in the fresh air, where you can cool off your temper a little."
Once they were gone, Saffron shot Shawn a reproachful look.
"Does Kimber know?" She asked quietly. Shawn hesitated, then shook his head.
"No." He admitted. "I was goin' to tell 'er, Saffron. I've been tryin' to perk up the courage for ages, but somethin' always comes up. I didn't want to propose to her in the first place because of all of this...I knew I couldn't go through with it till I could get a divorce, but I kinda didn't 'ave much choice, she'd 'ave married another man if I 'adn't stepped in. It's made me life more complicated than I ever imagined...but I didn't think Eboni would show up here."
"That's the deep dark secret you were talking about?" Saffron asked. Shawn nodded.
"Yeah." He agreed ruefully. "We were young an' stupid an' probably a bit drunk, to be honest. Married life weren't for either of us, in truth, an' we fought more than we got on. It didn't last long. I mean, we're still married, in the legal sense...but emotionally it were over almost as soon as it began." He glanced at his hands. "I was a very different man then. I've grown up since. Meetin' Kimber was a large part of that, though I was on my way to reformin' me character before that. Once I met Kimber I knew I wanted to be with 'er, and I knew there was no place for the dangerous, 'eartbreakin' Shawn 'Arrison if I was goin' to get any place with 'er. That's just how it is."
"Why didn't you just get a divorce?" Saffron asked. "I mean, I married too young and divorced too young, and it shook me up a fair bit, but I don't regret getting out of that match. It was a nightmare relationship."
"That was my fault." Shawn looked uncomfortable. "Young, impressionable, arrogant an' in the public eye. I didn't want the world to know that the teen 'eart throb were married...much less did I want the tabloid press gloatin' over me divorce. I made 'er keep it quiet. An' it woulda been okay, she was game...then she met some French guy. After that it were all daggers drawn. She couldn't get 'er paperwork to go with 'im to France because she were still tied to me..."
"And you wouldn't give in, huh?" Saffron murmured. Shawn frowned.
"I was way to sweet on meself." He said sadly. "Didn't believe much in love and kinda mocked 'er a bit for it. Said it was an excuse to get me humiliated."
"So she lost out."
"Yeah. In 'indsight I was wrong." Shawn sighed. "But what can I do? Can't go back in time. It weren't till I met Kimber that I realised that true love did exist, you know? An' then it dawned on me that Eboni must've loved that Michel bloke just the same as I love Kimber...and that she'd never give in and let me 'ave a divorce. Not now. Workin' out how to tell Kimber...that's been the worst part. I don't want to lose 'er, an' in truth I don't see 'er settling for any less than marriage."
Saffron bit her lip.
"You have to tell her, Shawn, before Eboni does it for you." She said quietly. "Otherwise...well, I dread to think what might happen."

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)