It Must've Been Love

Chapter Twelve: The Morning After 

Topaz groaned, rolling over in bed and turning her head away from the sunlight that streamed in through her bedroom window. "It's too early, go away, whoever you are!"
"It's only me." Sylva's voice penetrated the silence, sending a dull pain ricocheting through the singers brain and causing her to bury her head deeper into her pillow. "Rough night last night?"
"Go away, will you?" Topaz muttered, her voice muffled. "It's too early!"
"It's gone one o' clock. In a few hour's time we have to be up and ready to go to the studio, it's Connie's Corner tonight." Sylva sat down on the bed, putting a hand on her friend's shoulder and gently turning her over, till the clouded blue eyes met her own concerned ones. "Did you get drunk last night?"
"I don't remember." Topaz groaned again, rubbing her eyes. "It's gone one o'clock? Already?"
"You mustn't've gotten in till four or five." Sylva responded. "I didn't drop of to sleep till late and you weren't home then. What did you get up to last night? I figured you must've gone back to Aaron's with Cameron or something!"
"Ughh..." Topaz sat up slowly, closing her eyes as another throbbing pain shot through her hungover skull. "No...I definitely didn't do that. We...had a row, I...I think. Right now I'm not clear on much, to be honest." She rubbed her temples. "I guess I was drinking. I've the hangover from hell, Syl, and I can't remember a damn thing."
"You rowed?" Sylva looked concerned. "Do you remember what about?"
"Something to do with...newspapers?" Topaz looked blank. "Man this isn't good. I haven't had total blackout like this for ages!"
"Ooh...newspapers." Sylva looked troubled. "Speaking of which, there's quite a juicy scandal in this morning's tabloid scum-rag...I don't s'pose you want to read it."
"They can all go to hell." Topaz muttered. "I need to get up, get my head straight and call him. If only I could remember what I said or did last night that made him mad...I'd like to know what I'm apologising for, to be honest."
"He did call this morning, you know." Sylva remarked.
"He did?" Topaz looked startled. Sylva nodded.
"Yes. Copper took the call." She agreed. "She told him you were asleep and we couldn't rouse you, so he said he'd call back later."
"Oh..." Topaz's tired blue eyes lit up. "Well, that's a good sign."
She sighed, stretching, and pushing back the duvet cover. As she did, she caught sight of her nightgown and despite herself, began to laugh.
"Inside out and back-to-front" She observed ruefully. "Always a clear sign I was wasted when I came to bed."
"Mm, well I'm just relieved you put it on at all." Sylva joked. "Come on. I'll go make you coffee, and you can get up, huh?"
"Sure, Mom." Topaz teased. Sylva poked out her tongue.
"Don't." She warned. "It's a sore point and I was just being nice...if you're gonna be obnoxious you can get your own coffee!"
"Okay, okay, I'm sorry!" Topaz held up her hands in mock surrender. "I give. Coffee sounds good."
"I'll think about it." Sylva offered her an impish smile, then headed downstairs to the kitchen. As she did so, she heard a knock at the door.
"I'll get it!" She called, hurrying to unlock it and half expecting it to be Jetta or Phyllis with some new work assignment. The last person she expected to see standing there, a troubled look on his face, was Luca Ranieri.
"Luca!" She exclaimed, her expression one of surprise. "What are you doing here?"
"Is Topaz in?" Luca asked, his green eyes unusually sombre and preoccupied. Sylva nodded.
"She's just getting up." She agreed, looking nonplussed. "Why do you want her?"
"There's something she...uh...left behind last night. I wanted to return it to her." Luca said quietly.
"I didn't know you were at Le Klub Kool too last night." Sylva admitted. "Can I take it for her?"
"No, best I give it to her. I think it's something...rather precious." Luca responded. "And I went to see Sirena play, of course. Why else would I go?"
Sylva grinned.
"Well, you better come in, I guess." She said amiably, pushing the door open fully and allowing him inside. "Topaz!"
At that moment the singer herself appeared at the top of the stairs, clad in her dressing gown. She let out a startled gasp as she saw the Diablo frontman, followed by a look of consternation as shards of her memory returned to her.
"We need to talk." Luca said softly. "I have something to return to you."
"In the garden." Topaz said quickly. "I...I'll be right out."
Sylva glanced from one to the other, as if trying to work out what she was missing, but in the end she shrugged her shoulders, heading into the main lounge as Luca made his way slowly out to the Starlight Mansion's extensive grounds.
"Who was it?" Nancy glanced up from her manuscript book, sheets of paper spread all around her on the carpet. It was not unusual for the youngest Jewel to fly into something of a panic hours before a performance, and her companions were well used to her perfectionist nature by now, so Sylva took little notice of the mess, merely taking a seat.
"Luca Ranieri, would you believe it." She responded. "Apparently Topaz left something at the club last night and he came to return it to her."
"Well, that was...erm...nice of him." Copper frowned.
"Overly diligent, I'd say." Nancy sat back on her heels. "None of us really know Luca...least of all Topaz."
"Well, everyone says he's a nice, friendly guy." Sylva pointed out.
"Yeah, that's true." Copper nodded.
"Well, he might've just felt he was doing his duty." Nancy said slowly. "Or he could be in league with that sabotage-mad sister of his, and he might be here to upset us tonight."
"We've no proof Stefana sabotaged us last time." Copper chided. "And Luca's always been the perfect gentleman."
A startled look entered Sylva's blue eyes.
"Oh my God, what if we're totally wrong about this?" She demanded. "What if we're looking at it from a total other angle? Topaz told me this morning she and Cameron had a fight last night...what if..."
"She made out with Luca on the rebound?" Nancy finished, her brown eyes widening at the idea. Copper frowned.
"Topaz isn't like that."
"Mm...she was drunk." Sylva looked troubled. "She's told me before, guys, that she's something of a liability round men when she's trashed, and if she was already upset...?"
"You think she slept with him?" Nancy's eyes could not get any bigger.
"You're kidding." Copper stared. Sylva shrugged.
"She didn't say anything to me, but she looked freaked at the sight of him." She said, spreading her hands. "I hope she didn't, but it would not surprise me one little bit if she did."
Outside in the garden, Luca was pacing the grass nervously, running over the previous night's events as best he could recall them. He had also woken with something of a hangover, but his blackout had not been as emphatic as Topaz's, and bit by bit he had recounted almost everything with a growing sense of horror and embarassment. Pushing his headache aside, he had left the Diablo house without a word to anyone, intent on speaking to Topaz before she could say anything to anyone else.
"If this can be swept under a rock, then dammit it's going to be." He muttered, as he saw the singer stepping out through the patio doors and making her way to join him. She cast him an apprehensive look.
"I didn't expect to see you here." She murmured.
"After last night, are you that surprised?"
"I'm only just beginning to remember what happened last night." Topaz ran her hands through her thick fair hair, evidently agitated. "Luca, it should never have been allowed to happen! I mean, I don't...I didn't..."
"It's cool." Luca interrupted her, putting his hand gently on her arm. "Listen. We were both very drunk, right?"
"Yeah...I guess we were."
"And it was a mistake. Mistakes happen."
Luca sighed.
"I don't think it would do either of us any good if anyone were to find out what we did last night." He muttered, his eyes flitting back to the open patio door as he spoke, as if afraid another Jewel would descend upon them. Seeing his expression, Topaz took his arm, leading him further from the house. Then, at length, she replied.
"You have no idea." She murmured. "I have so much to lose, Luca. You know the guy I told you about last night? Apparently he called and he's going to call me back."
"This is the guy you're in love with, right?" Luca asked gently. Topaz nodded.
"Yes. Oh, Luca, I hate myself for this!" She exclaimed helplessly. "I haven't behaved like such a...well, like such a slut since before I left Canada! I swore to myself never to act like that again, and demean myself any further. I'm just so...easy when I'm drunk, and I was so upset!'re a great guy and all that, but...but I love Cameron."
"It's understood." Luca smiled sadly. "I haven't much hope right now of getting Sirena's attention, but I don't think this would go in my favour, either."
"Then noone must know." Topaz decided. "At least till we work out what to tell people."
"Agreed." Luca looked relieved, then, "There's one other thing, Topaz. I mean...well...after last night...there isn't any way you could get...well...pregnant from this, is there?"
Topaz frowned, then shook her head.
"No." She said softly. "I promise, Luca, that isn't going to be an issue. I might be the queen of all sluts, but I'm careful with it. I'm covered."
Luca closed his eyes briefly, his expression one of utter relief.
"Thank God for that." he murmured. "I was scared I'd put you through more than just a stupid one night stand that should never have even happened. I like and respect you a lot, Topaz, and I do want us to be friends...but I swear I didn't mean it to happen last night. I don't think you're a slut, either. You were just very drunk and very upset..."
"Neither of us did. It just...well...happened." Topaz sighed. "Man, I've a headache. And now I have to deal with Cameron. Oh God...what am I going to say to him?"
Luca frowned.
"He shouldn't've made you cry in the first place." He said finally. "I really hope you fix things, Topaz. I mean it."
Gently he kissed her on the cheek. "And I'm sorry. I know we both did this, but I feel like I've mucked up more and taken advantage of you somehow."
"Believe me, if anyone was at fault it was me. I've a track record in these matters." Topaz said bitterly.
"Don't be so hard on yourself." Luca instructed her. "If you believe that, it'll happen that way." He offered her a resigned smile. "I'd better go, before someone wonders where I am. Good luck at Connie's show tonight, and even more luck with this Cameron guy. He must be pretty special, for you to care so much what he thinks of you."
"He's very special." Topaz said quietly. "I only hope I haven't ruined everything."
"I'll see myself out." Luca murmured. "Thanks for being reasonable and not throwing stuff at my head, by the way."
"You're too nice a guy for me to throw stuff at." Despite her gloom, Topaz managed a smile at this. "And it needed clearing up. Bye, Luca."
"Bye." Luca echoed. "And chin up."
"Some hope." Topaz muttered to herself, turning on her heel and heading back inside via the patio doors. Entering the kitchen, she poured herself a mug of coffee, heading into the main lounge and stopping dead as she realised there were three pairs of eyes trained on her.
"What?" She demanded.
"I was just coming to pour that." Sylva protested.
"Well, I did it. So?" Topaz retorted, dropping down into an empty seat and taking a sip. "Quit staring at me! Haven't you seen a girl with a hangover before?"
"What did Luca want?" Nancy asked quietly.
"None of your damn business." Topaz snapped.
"Topaz, if there's something you want to talk about..."
"I don't." Topaz cut across Copper before the drummer could offer any kind of sympathy or support. "There's nothing to talk about, anyway."
"Did you sleep with him?"
Sylva, blunt as ever fixed her friend with a searching gaze that proved too much for the singer's guilty conscience. She cursed, burying her head in her hands.
"Oh god, Topaz, you didn't! Not really!" Copper exclaimed.
"I hate myself." Topaz murmured. "I wish I'd never been born, Copper. I screw up everything."
"Come here." Sylva gave her friend a magnanimous hug. "Look, you were trashed, you couldn't help it. People do dumb stuff when they're trashed."
"You'd think I'd have learnt." Topaz sighed wearily. "Cameron broke up with me...that's why I got so drunk. I guess I didn't care what happened or who saw me or what. And Luca was feeling mixed up over Sirena - she gave him a hell of a drilling in front of everyone. So I s'pose we gravitated together. Things happen under the influence, did."
"Cameron is gonna freak." Nancy observed.
"Does he even have to know?" Topaz looked pleading. "I mean, you guys won't tell him, right?"
"It's not our business to get involved." Copper shook her head. "Of course we wouldn't, Topaz."
"Don't look at me so shocked, please." Topaz sighed. "I know it's awful, I know, okay? I know I'm a slut and a loser and I don't deserve a nice guy like Cameron to be in love with me, but please, I need you guys at the moment, so don't. You can't make me feel any worse, I promise you."
"Will you tell him?" Sylva asked softly. Topaz shrugged.
"I kinda promised Luca that I'd not tell anyone." She admitted. "But I can't...can't lie to Cameron, can I? I mean, could I really just not tell him?"
"Maybe you should wait and see what he wants first." Copper suggested. "He sounded tired and worried when I spoke to him this morning, Topaz, but you don't know why he wanted to speak to you. P'raps you should find that out first."
As if on cue, the telephone in the corner began to ring, making them all jump. With some trepidation, Nancy reached out to answer it, then, with a frown, she held it out to the singer.
"Looks like that time is now." She murmured. "He's on the phone."

Chapter One: Twilight In California
Chapter Two: Diablo's Place
Chapter Three: A Shopping Encounter
Chapter Four: Some New Acquaintances
Chapter Five: A Girl In Love
Chapter Six: Topaz's Advice
Chapter Seven: A Professional Saboteur
Chapter Eight: Melanie
Chapter Nine: A Lover's Tiff
Chapter Ten: Sylva's Decision
Chapter Eleven: One Night At Le Klub Kool
Chapter Twelve: The Morning After

Chapter Thirteen: Stefana Again
Chapter Fourteen: Luca Confesses

Chapter Fifteen: A Christmas Party
Chapter Sixteen: Repercussions

Chapter Seventeen: Christmas Eve on TV

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!
The concept of RayzaBlade is copyrighted to my sister Elena...^_^ (Yeah, blame her!)