Arc Three: When Life Goes On...
Shadow Of The Girl

Chapter Thirteen: A Birthday Surprise

"So what did happen in the end, with this whole Emily business?"
Sylva set down her milkshake, casting Topaz an interested look. It was some days on and the two girls were at the airport, waiting to meet the flight from London which would bring Cameron back to Los Angeles. Topaz had balked at the idea of meeting him alone, so Sylva had agreed to come along on the condition she got a milkshake and all the latest gossip on the Sirena story which had been buzzing around the city.
"Far as I understand it, Emily rumbled Eric herself and Phyllis paid him off to leave the city - and them - alone." Her companion responded. "I'm sure it wasn't a pleasant exchange of words, but it seems to have done the trick. Phyllis has got her people to ensure Eric the permits he needs to stay in Toronto - out of her hair - and so he went."
"Neat." Sylva looked thoughtful. "So do you think he will come back?"
"Don't know." Topaz admitted. "But I hope not. If he's as money orientated as Phyllis seems to think, he'll only be back next time he needs an injection of cash."
"It sucks for Emily." Sylva considered. "I know I was mad at my Dad when he and Mom split up, but it's nothing like this."
"No." Topaz agreed. "But some good has come of it, if Nancy's right."
"Oh?" Sylva raised an eyebrow.
"Well, you know that it was Mike's birthday three days back?" Topaz asked. Sylva nodded.
"Yeah -what of it?"
"Rumour is that Luca spent a lot of the day at Sirena's place." Topaz winked. "I don't know if it's romantic - I have my doubts, to be honest - but it looks like she's made a friend out of this if nothing else."
"Sweet." Sylva dimpled. "I love a happy ending! And besides, it's so-o-o close to mine and Anna's 21st. Gonna be odd not having her here - we had a huge bash for our eighteenth - so it has to be extra special. No fighting allowed!"
"Well, you invited Cameron. I hope that isn't gonna lead to fights." Topaz bit her lip, glancing up at the clock. "His flight is due soon. I'm so nervous, you wouldn;t believe how bad I feel."
"It's gonna be fine." Sylva assured her. "Just you wait and see." She clasped her hands together. "My party is gonna so rock. Even if Jack and Melanie are there and there together! It's the perfect time for Emily and Luca to..I dunno...fall madly in love or something, whatever. And you and Cameron are gonna end up together, and Copper and Aaron are gonna get engaged..."
"It's gonna be quite a night for it." Topaz replied. "Does Copper know anything about this yet?"
"Nope, she hasn't a clue." Sylva shook her head. "But you should see the ring, Topaz. It's the most gorgeous thing on the planet, I swear. Aaron said he's going to propose the night of the party, since the atmosphere's gonna be wild and festive and he thinks it'll give him confidence." She grinned. "I keep telling him he has nothing to worry about. You know she talks about him in her sleep?"
"I'm kinda worried about you knowing that." Topaz giggled. Sylva swiped her friend playfully.
"Moron!" She exclaimed. "Her room is next to mine, and I've passed her door when I've been down to get a drink at night before, that's all. You know she has her door open at night. Anyway, that's not the point. Girl's mad in love with him and that's that. It's practically a done deal."
She glanced at the clock, draining the last of her milkshake and getting to her feet. "It's almost time - we ought to get to the gate."
"Okay, okay." Topaz stood, then hesitated. "Syl, do I look okay? I mean, my makeup's fine? My hair's okay?"
"Quit fussing. You're a knockout." Sylva assured her. "And if you ask me, you getting back together with him is another done deal. Now come on! If you miss the flight it won't be a good start to your reconciliation!"
"True." Topaz looked rueful. "Okay, I'm with you."
Cameron's flight was on time, and, as people began to leave the busy plane, Topaz swallowed hard, muttering a silent prayer to herself.
"This is it." She muttered. "Get a grip, don't want him to think you've lost your brain since Christmas."
"Hey, I see him!" Sylva exclaimed at that point." Cameron! Cameron, over here!"
The redheaded student raised his hand in a wave and, once he'd grabbed his case he headed over to join them. Topaz was only half aware of the fact her impetuous companion had made an excuse to slip away, for her mind was entirely focused on the matter at hand. She knew more than ever how she felt about him - but how did he feel about her?
She hesitated, then smiled slightly. "It''s good to see you."
""Likewise." Cameron spoke with equal awkwardness, and despite herself, Topaz let out a rueful laugh.
"Look at us. Like painful old acquaintances." She said sheepishly.
"I know." Cameron frowned. "I guess I didn't know what it'd be like to see you again, after everythin'."
"Me either." Topaz became grave. "Listen, Cameron, I can totally understand if you can't trust in me ever again. I deserve it, anyway. But I've not thought of anyone else since you left Los Angeles last winter. That's the truth, and you can ask Syl and the rest if you want to know how many dates I've been on. The answer is none."
"I believe you." Cameron said softly.
"I guess I realised more than anything what I'd risked." Topaz sighed. "Cameron, whether we'd broken up or not, and whether I was drunk or not...I should never have ended up in bed with Luca. That was totally not on and not fair on you. It was just that I felt so much like the first guy who'd ever really loved me didn't want to know me any more...I suppose I didn't much care what I did."
There was a pause, then,
"I didn't stop loving you, you know." Cameron told her gently. "I can't tell you 'ow it made me feel, Rora, when you told me what you'd done...but I've done a lot of thinkin' too. I know we ain't really talked much over the last few months online but in truth it's because I wanted some 'ead-space. I needed to know 'ow I felt without having you there to cloud my judgement, if you know what I mean."
"I think so." Topaz nodded. "And?"
"And I''m willing to give it another chance." Cameron said finally. "Because at the end of the day, I can't change the past, but I can't be without you either. You live a bloody ocean away but I love you more than any other bird I ever met already, an' we've overcome the distance so long I don't want to throw it away." Gently he took her hand in his.
 "I know you wouldn't have gone with that Luca guy if I 'adn't 'ave 'urt you an' I should never 'ave listened to tittle tattle, so I suppose I owe you an apology too." He murmured.
" don't." Topaz shook her head. " you really mean it, when you say you want to give us another go? Because I want that so much, but...but I also want you to trust me." She bit her lip. "Can't build anything on love without trust."
"I can trust you." Cameron took her other hand in his, meeting her pale blue eyes with his green ones. "It was a one off moment of insanity and it won't happen ever again. Right?"
"I swear." Topaz promised solemnly. "Really, truly, honestly."
"Then what's to doubt?" Cameron smiled at her. "I love you too much to give you up. Besides," he looked sheepish. "I asked Aaron's opinion about what I should do, too. 'E told me 'ow cut up it had left you and 'ow 'e didn't think you'd do the same mistake twice. I trust Aaron's opinion, 'e's a good mate, an' 'e's been out 'ere with you the last few months."
"I owe him a hug later, then." Topaz's blue eyes twinkled. "Or I could give it to you instead, what do you think?"
"I think we 'ave a lot to put right." Cameron hesitated, then put his arm around her shoulders. "And I think we should try an' forget what 'appened at Christmas. It's almost Syl's birthday - we've plenty to celebrate."
"Will you be my date for the party?" Topaz asked. Cameron laughed.
"Silly question. Of course I will." He said dryly. "An' I promise to quit worryin' about what the press think of me, either. It don't matter. All that does is you an' me and that's all. Right?"
"Right." Topaz nodded. She pursed her lips, considering. "I think I've learnt actually, from what happened at Christmas. If nothing else it's a bitter lesson in what happens when you let paranoia obscure trust in someone special. I won't do that again, Cameron. I won't take having you for granted ever again."
"Me neither." Cameron said softly. And then, before she knew what was happening, he had set down his case, putting his arms around her and kissing her gently.
From her hiding place, Sylva allowed herself a secret grin of triumph.
"I knew it would be fine." She murmured to herself. "Well, one down, one to go! I can't wait!"


"Trust Syl to throw the biggest party in the whole of Los Angeles!"
Copper took a sip of her drink, leaning up against the doorpost as she surveyed the busy party scene before her. "I swear she's invited everyone on the planet to come."
"Well, that pretty much sums it up." Nancy, at her side laughed, nodding. "But I suppose it is a twenty first."
"Are you feeling okay? You usually hate things like this." Copper looked startled.
"Well, aside from a run in with some snooty cow called Melanie, I'm enjoying myself." Nancy admitted. "Maybe I'm losing my touch."
"Melanie? Isn't that the chick who's dating the guy Syl was after?"
"Dunno, don't care." Nancy shrugged. "Whoever she is, she has an attitude problem. She pretty much shoved her way through the queue to get a drink and then was really rude to Cynthia about something or other - I didn't hear what. I wish I'd heard Cynthia's reply though, it struck her silent."
"It really is all go tonight." Copper grinned, setting her drink down. "I wonder how many hangovers there'll be tomorrow morning?"
"Cameron and Topaz have already vanished somewhere." Nancy said wryly. "I don't know where - it's not one of those things you ask. But since he arrived in LA a week ago, they've been closer than ever, so I guess she was worrying about nothing."
"Guess so." Copper shrugged. "I'm glad. You know me. Sucker for a happy ending."
"Next thing we know they'll be getting married and there'll be a ton of little Topazes and Camerons running around." Nancy laughed. "That's a scary thought."
"What, Topaz producing clones of herself or them being old enough to marry?" Copper asked. Nancy shrugged.
"Either, both." She replied.
"Hey, girls." At that moment Aaron emerged from the melee, casting his sister and his girlfriend a warm grin. "Busy night, huh?"
"Syl's party...nuff said." Nancy observed. Aaron laughed.
"Yeah, I'd noticed." He agreed. "Hey, Copper...come for a walk with me in the garden? It's kinda crazy in here and I want to talk to you."
"Talk to me?" Copper looked startled, and she shot Nancy a confused glance. Nancy shrugged.
"Don't look at me." She replied. "Just because I share his genes doesn't mean I know what goes on in his brain."
"Cheeky." Aaron rolled his eyes. "Copper?"
"Okay, I'm coming." Copper nodded, scooping up her drink and following her companion towards the patio doors. "But why all the secrecy? What's so special that you have to drag me outside to talk to me about it?"
"Well, you'll see." Aaron told her, leading her to a secluded spot, and sitting down on the bench, indicating for her to follow suit. "And it is mad in there. Can hardly hear yourself above the music."
"True." Copper conceded.
Aaron paused, glancing at her.
"You know, you look so pretty tonight." He murmured. "I can't believe you're my date."
Copper blushed.
"You're embarrassing me." She scolded, though her brown eyes sparkled with pleasure. "And you don't look so bad yourself."
"Glad you think so." Aaron grinned. "Copper..." he paused, then, "Do you ever think about where we're going?"
"Excuse me?" Copper looked blank. "Where we're going? In what sense? Far as I'm aware we're sitting on a bench."
"No, silly." Aaron looked amused. "I mean, in life. Jewel are really big news these days."
"Yeah, I guess we are." Copper nodded. "It's so totally different from what I expected life to be when I was younger. The whole law school idea isn't so appealing now. I wouldn't swap this life for anything."
"I'm glad to hear it." Aaron squeezed her hand, kissing her gently on the cheek. "Because I'd miss you a whole lot, you know."
"I'd miss you too." Copper told him with a smile. "But I don't see what Jewel has to do with us sitting out here like this."
"Nothing, really." Aaron admitted. "I suppose I should get to the point, shouldn't I?"
"Well, it'd be nice." Copper teased him gently. "Assuming you have one, and you didn't just bring me out here to seduce me without witnesses."
"Chance'd be a fine thing." Aaron grinned. "But no. Something else is on my mind, Copper."
"Then spill." Copper spread her hands. "I'm all ears."
"I hope you're not, you wouldn't be half so pretty if you were." Aaron quipped. Then he looked sheepish. "Sorry. I'll quit it with the humour now, I promise."
"You're acting kinda weird, you know." Copper looked confused. "What's all this about, Aaron?"
Aaron looked at her for a moment, as if gathering his courage. Then, taking her hand gently in his, he slipped off the bench and down onto one knee, oblivious to the stunned expression on his companion's face. Fumbling in his pocket, he produced the ring, flipping the box open.
"Elizabeth Santiago," he began, "Will you marry me?"

Prologue: February 1997  
Chapter One: Sirena's Show

Chapter Two: A Plot
Chapter Three: In California
Chapter Four: About Chimera
Chapter Five: Sirena's Aunt
Chapter Six: A Special Quest
Chapter Seven: The Plot Hatches
Chapter Eight: Eric Strikes
Chapter Nine: Webchat
Chapter Ten: Complications
Chapter Eleven: Handling Emily
Chapter Twelve: A Discovery
Chapter Thirteen: A Birthday Surprise

Copper, Nancy, Sylva, Anna, Blade, Raesha, Sirena, Topaz, Aaron, Sophie, Justin, Elliot, Rosita, 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!