It Must've Been Love

Chapter Seventeen: Christmas Eve On TV
"Well, ladies and gentlemen, it's been a busy week in the lives of Jewel and Diablo."
Connie settled herself on a stool, sending the audience an amused grin, a wicked twinkle in her blue eyes. "Not only have California's favourite all girl rock group secured the number one slot this Christmastime by the narrowest of margins ever recorded, but Diablo's own song, 'Believer' has soared in the chart from 18 to 7 in a matter of days! Could it be anything to do with the tittle-tattle behind the scenes? And is there any truth in the Topaz/Luca affair story? Let's see if we can't ferret out the truth behind the rumour, before we get down to some hardcore Christmas rock and roll! Now, before the show this evening, I was approached by both parties, each wanting to give their side of things live on national television! So, you'll hear it here first! Later we'll hear from Jewel's Canadian frontwoman, Topaz, but first, please give a huge hand to Luca Ranieri, from Diablo!"
There was a rousing reception from the crowd, as a slightly uncomfortable Luca made his way out onto the dais to take the other empty seat. In a way he was glad that Connie had been unanimously selected to host the Christmas special, for she was a fairly sympathetic interviewer, but he had decided that the record must be put straight. The fact that he had spent an unfortunate half an hour in Rory's office to the same end had further convinced him, and before the show he had spoken to the producers, who had promised him a live slot.
But, for Diablo's PR man, Luca was looking decidedly hot under the collar.
"Well, Luca, thanks for talking to us, first of all." Connie sent him a grin. "Tell us, this must be a bit of a novel experience for you, being at the centre of such a hyped up scandal."
"It's not a pleasant experience." Luca began slowly. "I want to make something very clear, though. There relationship brewing between Topaz and myself. The tabloid press have...settled on rumours, I don't know where from, that there is some kind of romantic attraction between us, but it's not true. Topaz has someone who she cares very deeply about, and myself, well, I like Topaz a lot, but only as a friend."
"So there is no truth in the rumour that the two of things together?" Connie could sense the disappointment rippling through the crowd at this simple denial. Luca frowned.
"I'm not a liar." He said evenly. "And I'm not going to pretend it didn't happen when every man and his dog knows it did. But it was a one isolated incident. Both Topaz and I are agreed that it happened under exceptional circumstances and should never happen again."
"Well, let's hear it from the girl herself." Connie suggested. "Ladies and Gentlemen, it's Topaz!"
Luca looked visibly startled at the thought of facing the singer in front of such a big audience, but Topaz appeared completely composed, taking her seat with a small smile at the host. There were one or two whistles and jeers from the crowd, but she ignored them.
This was more important, after all.
"Topaz, what have you to say about this whole business?" Connie asked.
"Nothing much." The singer spoke in soft tones. "Except to echo what Luca's already said. We're friends, but that's as far as it goes between us." She frowned. "In any case, as he mentioned, there's someone else who means the world to me. The press have done their best to split us up this Christmas, with one thing or another, and I hope they're satisfied that they succeeded. Had...had he and I not been broken up, there is no question that Luca and I would have even spoken to each other. The fact of the matter is, though, that broken up or not I made a...a huge mistake. I underestimated the one man I really love, and I've paid for it by losing him." She bit her lip. "I can't say any more, Connie. Only...well, I'd like to dedicate tonight's performance to him. Even if he can no longer love me...I want him to know I'm never going to stop loving him."
Her voice wavered on the last note and, seeing it, Connie took the show to a commercial break. As Jewel set up their instruments to play their opening song in the round robin format the directors had set out, Sylva squeezed Topaz by the hand.
"Nicely done." She murmured. Topaz shrugged.
"I just hope he's watching." she replied. "I can't see any reason why he would be, after last night."
"He'll watch." Sylva responded. "Trust me."
Sylva was right.
In Aaron's front room, alone and surrounded by belongings strewn every which way in a half hearted attempt at packing, Cameron had found himself drawn to the television set.
"Jus' torturin' yourself, mate." He muttered, nevertheless sitting down and turning the channels over till he saw Connie's smiling face. "Why you want to watch her? The girl cheated on ya! What are you, a bloody sadist now?"
As Connie announced first Luca, then Topaz, the redhead sat motionless, intent on the screen and on every word being spoken. Despite himself, his heart ached. He knew he loved her, regardless.
"But I can't 'ave a long distance relationship with someone who'll jump into bed with some git like...well...'im at the drop of an' 'at." He murmured darkly, jabbing the handset viciously in the direction of the hapless Luca. "No matter how bad the fight or what it's consequences!"
At that moment, Jewel's first song began, and before Nancy played the opening chords, Topaz took the mic from it's stand.
"I don't need to say a name, he knows who he is." She said softly, her blue eyes wet with tears. "The first time we met, we played this I asked the girls if we could play it again today. It's not quite the same way, we've no acoustic guitar or regular piano...but I hope it'll mean something, just the same. This...this is Any Other Way."
As the song began to play, Cameron felt a lump forming in his own throat and, despite his anger and hurt, he remembered only too well how special that first meeting had been.
"Love at first sight." He whispered. "That's what it was. Dammit, Rora, 'ow could you do this to me!"
He got to his feet, pacing the room. Finally, he could bear it no longer and, grabbing his coat from one of the messy piles he slipped his feet into his shoes, hurrying out of the apartment and down the three flights of stairs to the door, jumping into the hire car and putting it in gear. He only had a vague idea where he was going, but that didn't seem to matter.
All he knew was that he had to speak to her.
By the time he arrived at the studio, Jewel's song was finished and the girls were once more backstage. As he slipped the attention of a wayward security guard, he caught Copper's eye and the drummer gasped, grabbing Topaz by the arm.
Topaz turned, startled. Then, as she met his gaze, she blushed scarlet.
"Did you come here to see me?" She asked softly, barely hoping for a positive answer.
"I came to talk." Cameron said evenly. "Can we?"
"Yes...I have a while." Topaz nodded quickly. "Over here. Girls...I'll meet you in the dressing room, huh?"
"Sure." Nancy grinned at her.
"Good luck." Sylva added, then they were gone, leaving the two alone.
"It's been a bloody miserable Christmas." Cameron observed. "Do you s'pose if we were together all the time we'd always fight like this?"
"I don't know." Topaz admitted. "All I know is that I love you and I'm so so sorry. I really am. I know it's unforgiveable, but..."
"Nothing is going to make me stop loving you." Cameron frowned. "I realised that just now, seeing you on television an' watchin' you play. But Rora..." He sighed. "Love can't make a relationship work on it's own."
Tears pricked once more at the back of Topaz's eyes.
"I know." She whispered. "You...deserve better than me, anyway."
Cameron pursed his lips.
"I ain't given up on you yet." He admitted. "If I 'ad, I wouldn't 'ave come. But listen, Rora. This ain't gonna work...not 'ere an' now. Too much 'as 'appened over the last week or's too much to deal with. I need...I need out."
"All right..." Topaz paused, slightly unsure as to where this was going.
"I want a break." Cameron said. "I think...we need to cool it, Rora. Quit bein' anythin' but friends for a while, see 'ow it takes us. See other people, even."
"Listen...if we come back together, all well an' good." Cameron held up his hand to silence her. "And if we don't, it weren't meant. You 'ave to understand, Rora, I need to rebuild some trust in you."
Topaz sighed.
"I understand." She murmured. "And if that's what you want, then all right. I...I'd rather have you as a friend than not at all. But Cameron, there won't be anyone else. I learnt that's not the same. I'm in love with you...noone else."
"Well, Sylva called me this mornin' and bullied me till I promised to come out to America for 'er twenty first birthday party in April." Cameron looked slightly sheepish. "She even said she was buyin' the plane ticket. So...we'll see then, huh? We'll see how we stand in April."
"Okay." Topaz managed a faint smile at Sylva's machinations. "She's a good friend to me, you know."
"Yeah...I think she is." Cameron agreed. "You should listen to her more often."
"I know." Topaz admitted. She frowned, glancing at her watch. "I'm sorry, I have to go. Will...will I see you tomorrow?"
"I don't know, yet." Cameron admitted. "But if not, Merry Christmas, okay?"
"You too." Topaz whispered. Then she was gone across the studio to rejoin her bandmates, aware that he was watching her until she was out of his sight. As she reached the door, she smiled.
"Perhaps there's hope yet." She murmured. "And either way, if Syl can get into Christmas and enjoy it, feeling how she does about Jack, then so can I. Cameron and I...well, we'll see where it goes. But for now, I'm just gonna sing with Jewel and worry about having a Merry Christmas!"

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!)