"Well, it's about time we were back in England."
Nancy Pelligrini gazed around the bustling arrivals gate of Heathrow Airport, a contented smile on her face. "I feel like I've come home, almost."
"It's weirdest of all getting off a plane with no press flocking around us." Sylvina Martescu remarked. "But it is kinda neat to be back here. About time we broke the local market, don't you think?"
"Well, Jewel have done good in the States." Elizabeth Santiago or 'Copper', the eldest of the group grinned, scooping up her hand luggage and making her way over to the baggage claim depot. "This is a whole new challenge and I'm looking forward to it in a big way."
"Me too." The final member of the group, Aurora Stapleton, or 'Topaz' dimpled. "But most of all I'm hoping to see a certain guy whilst we're in London. He promised me we'd meet up and it's been such ages...I want to see if anything has changed between us."
"This is a business trip, not a pleasure jaunt." Jetta Pelligrini, one of Jewel's two managing executives and a former Misfit herself reminded them, coming up behind them and making Topaz jump. "You're here on tour, not to flirt an' get drunk."
"I know." She admitted. "But I do want to see something of Cameron when we've time free...I didn't mean during Jewel time, Jetta."
"Well, see you keep it that way." She said playfully. Cameron Milligan was the son of her own childhood friend Laura, and she was well aware of the affection between Jewel's bass player and the young medical student, for she and her hometown friend kept in ready contact with each other.
"What are our plans for the next few days anyway, Mom?" Nancy turned a curious gaze on her mother as they collected their cases and headed onto the forecourt to find the car that was ready waiting for them. Jetta smiled.
"Lots of things." She said ominously. "Interviews an' photoshoots mostly. Your new video's been shipped to all the major European music channels for broadcast already, so with any luck people will 'ave 'eard the track. I've booked you in for a radio interview on Monday an' a television show slot on' the Tuesday. Wednesday afternoon you've a photoshoot for a magazine plus you're playin' warm up for the Teenangels at the Millenium Stadium in the evenin' on Thursday, an' on Friday you're due on set for Top of the Pops."
"What about this weekend?" Sylva enquired as they got into the back of the car. Jetta lifted her briefcase onto her lap, flipping it open and producing typed copies of the girls' schedules.
"I 'ad these done up for you before we left." She explained, handing them around. "Today you're free. I know you girls an' jetlag, an' I know you'll wanna adjust to the time difference. No point in tryin' to get sense out of you when you've spent twelve hours on a blinkin' plane, is there? Tomorrow...at present I ain't got nothin' down for tomorrow, but that don't mean nothin' is gonna 'appen then. I 'ave calls to make."
"Hm...looks like we're in for a busy week." Copper skimmed the sheet of paper, folding it in half and sliding it into her pocket. "That's cool though. It's gonna be fun travelling all over the UK like this, too. I mean, we're in London till Wednesday morning...then we're in Cardiff on Thursday, then back in London...then Manchester over the weekend and Birmingham next week. And that's just the first part of the schedule! It's gonna be so cool to see other parts of the country."
"I'm not sure I know where all these places are." Topaz owned.
"So long as you remember that Cardiff, Swansea an' Edinburgh aint in England, you'll be fine, love." Jetta looked amused.
"Swansea's in Wales, isn't it?" Sylva asked.
"Yes. An' Cardiff. You'll be playin' the Millenium Stadium there too." she agreed. "You won't be an 'eadline act or nothin', but it's a big venue an' lots of publicity."
"I can see we're gonna be run off our feet." Topaz sighed. "I'll call Cameron from the hotel, then, and see if I can see him sometime we're in the capital. I didn't realise we'd be dotting around as much as this."
"That's life, love." Jetta said matter of factly. "Three weeks doin' the British isles, then you're off to France an' Belgium an' Germany...you finish in Spain an' then back to the States. It's not an ideal European tour, but Pizzazz thought you'd be best off breakin' in Britain first an' saving the major European blitz for later." She frowned. "In truth though I think she's worried that Diablo are gonna take over the States while you're away."
Diablo were a new rival band signed to Misfit Music's main competition Rebel Records.
"Pah." Sylva snorted. "Diablo are nothing compared to Jewel!"
"We've the reputation." Nancy said slowly. "But Diablo...have Luca Ranieri."
"What's so special about Luca Ranieri?" Sylva demanded.
"He's got charisma and charm and the girls fall all over him." Nancy rolled her eyes.
"Sounds like a second Blade." Copper shivered. Nancy shook her head.
"No...Blade was sweet on himself. Luca ain't." She replied.
"You seem to know a lot about this Luca." Jetta eyed her daughter thoughtfully. "Somethin' you oughta share with our press associates, Nancy?"
"No! God no." Nancy shook her head. "Mom, don't tease me...you know full well that Dean and I are...well, an item and I'm not interested in Luca. It's just that he's always hitting on Emily."
Emily Gabor was the daughter of Jetta's business partner Phyllis Gabor, and a singer in her own right under the pseudonym Sirena. A single mother since the previous March, Sirena's temperamental and snappish attitude to the world had mellowed some with her new responsibilities, and she and the youngest Jewel had built up a tentative but sincere friendship. At first Jetta had disapproved of the alliance, but these days had relented, and Nancy had written music for her friend since.
"All right." Jetta grinned, winking at her daughter. "If you say so. An' here we are at the 'otel. You're sharin' rooms...you can choose 'ow you do it...an' I don't want to 'ear a word from any of you till dinner time! Go on, in!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The seven year old girl flung herself on her beloved aunt, bestowing her with a wide grin.
"Well, what did I do to deserve this?" Sadie dimpled. "I'm only the babysitter, Shari!"
"You tell the best stories." Sharita, now two years older and devoted to her aunt even though Sadie was now in a flat of her own told her importantly. "And you have the best movies, too. Auntie Sadie, can we watch Bambi?"
"Charming." Alyssa sent Sadie an amused grin. hoisting the placid eighteen month old baby girl in her arms up onto her hip. "I swear this kid likes you better than us! Thanks for watching them, by the way...this dinner party of Andrew's is a big deal with promotions at stake."
"Well, it's no bother. I owe you guys enough for everything you've done for me over the last two years." Gently Sadie relieved her sister of her precious burden. "And yes, Shari, we can watch Bambi, just as soon as I settle your sister with her toys. Okay?"
"Yay!" Sharita skipped into the front room, heading to the cabinet to root through her aunt's large collection of Disney DVDs and locating the one she wanted. "Okay, I got it!"
"Aren't you gonna say goodbye to Mum?" Sadie teased her. Sharita turned, startled, eying her mother with a sheepish smile.
"Bye Mummy." She said obediently.
Alyssa laughed, coming to kiss her daughter goodbye.
"Be good for your Aunt Sadie and we'll be back for you later." She said with a smile. "And look after Megan, all right?"
"Yes, Mummy." Sharita nodded her curly head.
"Good luck." She told her sister. "I'll see myself out. Thanks again!"
"You're welcome." Sadie winked.
Once Alyssa was gone, Sadie carefully set baby Megan down on the rug, emptying the bag of toys Alyssa had hurriedly packed to bring with her.
"There, that'll keep you happy." She said with a grin, as Sharita waved the DVD case. "And it looks like you get to watch a video too, Meg. Okay, Shari, put it in the machine. Why you want to watch it I've no idea...it isn't like you haven't seen it eighty times already."
"I like it." Sharita defended herself, snuggling down beside her aunt as the video began to play. "It's on my list for Father Christmas, only I don't think he can find it...it's not in the shops any more, Mummy said. Where did you get your copy?"
"I found it in a charity shop." Sadie told her. "When I began collecting disney stuff last year. I tell you what, I'll look out for a copy for you, all right?"
"All right." Sharita nodded. "Thanks, Auntie Sadie."
She sighed, then,
"I wish you still lived with us. Then I could watch Bambi whenever I wanted to." She said wistfully. Sadie laughed.
"You're a horror, you are." She said affectionately. Sharita grinned.
"That's what Daddy says." She agreed. "Because I always forget to wipe the mud off my shoes before I walk on the carpet."
Sadie grinned, imagining her brother in law's expression at such a sin.
"Yes, I can imagine neither your Mum or your Dad likes you much for that." She agreed, amused. "Now, settle down and watch the film, okay?"
As the familiar tale played itself out on the screen, Sadie found her mind wandering away from the plot. She cast Sharita a glance, secretly only too grateful to be trusted enough by Alyssa and Andrew to take charge of their children like this. In the two years since she had left rehab her life had been turned around completely, and she knew it was largely thanks to their help. Andrew had found an advertisment in the local newspaper for a job at a local halfway house for troubled teenagers, and had passed it her way, telling her that if anyone had enough experience for that kind of role, she did. The advert had not specified a need for any qualifications, and she had taken her brother in law's advice, interviewing and getting the job with little trouble. From there on, things had only gone in one direction - up. She had found her own apartment, made friends locally and settled. There was nothing further from her mind than her days using drugs.
Sharita, for her part, had adored her aunt from day one, trusting her implicitly with the unwavering faith of a small child, and she had proven to be a large part of Sadie's victory over her past bad deeds. In fact, there was only one tiny shadow still hanging over Sadie's busy life.
Though she had not spoken to her ex-boyfriend since she had moved to Birmingham, a little part of her still feared that he might yet appear and try and take from her all she'd managed to achieve in her two years of freedom. She did not speak of her fear to her sister, afraid that she might sound silly, but it was still there. And even after all this time, she had not allowed her friends to coerce her on a date.
Men were still a definite no-go area in Sadie's perception of the world. However, thanks to the easy, bubbly friendship of Cece, or Cecily Evans, a young hairdresser who lived in the flat below, she was not lonely. In fact, Sadie mused, overall she was happy with life.
And yet, that tiny fear still nagged at her.
Pushing it aside, she turned her attention back to the film, determined not to let him ruin her evening. After all, he was well away from her now.
Chapter One: Jewel In England
Chapter Two: Lovesick
Chapter Three: A New Sensation
Chapter Four: Cameron
Chapter Five: Sadie Gets A Warning
Chapter Six: A Little Love Advice
Chapter Seven: Topaz Makes A Friend
Chapter Eight: At The Halfway House
Chapter Nine: A Shock For Sadie
Chapter Ten: A Family Encounter
Chapter Eleven: Copper Gets A Fan
Chapter Twelve: A Burns Family Secret
Chapter Thirteen: Thicker Than Water
Chapter Fourteen: A Phonecall
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE NOTE
Copper, Nancy, Sylva, Anna, Blade, Raesha, Sirena, Topaz, Aaron, Sophie, Justin, Elliot, Rosita Madeleine, Marissa, Luca, Stefana, Clay, Luis and any other characters in this fiction which do not appear in the animated Jem series are copyrighted to me (E.A Woolley) as of January 2002 <unless otherwise specified> and are not to be reproduced without permission ANYWHERE. Jetta, Pizzazz, Stormer, Roxy, Raya and all other original Jem characters are the copyright of Hasbro Inc, Sunbow, Christy Marx and the other writers of the Jem series. The future world of Pizzazz, Raya, Jetta, Roxy, Stormer, Clash, Synergy, the fate of Jem and her memorial are all copyrighted to me. The future world of Kimber and Shana is copyrighted jointly to myself and Gemma Dawn.
The concept of 'Jewel' is entirely my own, and any apparent link with any fictional or actual person or persons of this name is entirely coincidental. Equally the characters in this fiction are not based on any real life individual.
The concept behind the future world of Danse, Aja and Craig, the idea behind Jerrica's futureworld and the split of the Holograms is copyrighted to Gemma Dawn, whose Teenangel Outsiders fiction is directly twinned with Just a Dream. The character Sammi and any of the other Teenangel Outsider characters mentioned in this fiction are entirely copyright to Gemma Dawn and appear here only with her permission.
Pay her page a visit!