Arc Three: When Life Goes On...
Part One

Chapter Ten: Here Comes The Bride

"They should be here any minute."
Sylva peered through the lace curtains of the front window, as if impatient for the car to appear at the end of the big crescent shaped drive. Since her encounter with Jack, she had wholeheartedly thrown herself into helping prepare for Violet's wedding, not wanting to let her mind dwell on another wedding ceremony that would be taking place without her there, even as a guest. Violet was a quiet and retiring young lady with a sweet nature and all of Jewel were fond of her. Her heritage was half Indian, half white English, giving her a slightly exotic darkness and long, sleek dark hair into which she dyed streaks of purple, to fit her nickname. Like Sylva, she was the keyboard player for the Teenangels, and she and Nancy's cousin Taylor had first met on the internet. However, their relationship had only blossomed upon them meeting and Jewel had been only too glad to have them marry at the Starlight Mansion. Though she would not stay at the Mansion itself until the night of the hen night, she was anxious to make sure everything was ready for her wedding in good time, so she was due at the Starlight Estate that morning to discuss exactly that.
 "What time did they say they would get here, Nancy? She called, didn't she?"
"I spoke to someone who I think was Violet's mother." Nancy nodded. "I didn't recognise her voice, but she said she was Mrs Anderson, and I think that's Vi's surname, isn't it? Anyhow, she called about the wedding and that they were heading out soon, but were running a little late. They should be here soon, yes. Violet knows where the Starlight is, anyway. I wonder what kind of a state she is in? She must be pretty wound up, it's not far off really."
"Violet, wound up?" Topaz emerged from the kitchen, a slice of toast in one hand and a glass of milk in the other. "That'd be something."
"Well, she is getting married." Nancy shrugged. "Wouldn't you be?"
She glanced around her. "Where are Copper and Cynthia? Are they up?"
"Cyn got a call from Misfit Music. They need her there." Topaz took a sip of milk, settling herself on the couch. "Copper is just getting dressed - she asked me to put coffee on for her, and she'd be down as soon as she'd done her hair. She seems okay about all this, you guys. I think she really meant what she said about being a good hostess and making the most of this. Perhaps she's starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel."
"More likely she's just doing what I'm doing and blocking everything but Vi and Taylor out of her head." Sylva said darkly, then, "I hear a car!"
"That looks like them." Nancy nodded, coming to join her companion at the window. "Come on, before our gawking distracts them."
"Looks like Kimber driving." Sylva observed, obediently letting the lace curtain fall back. "Someone should give Copper a yell."
"It's okay, I'm here." Copper herself entered the lounge at that moment, fastening the end of a long braid with a band. "Just. My hair is still damp so I braided it, I don't want to look like a scarecrow."
"There speaks the girl every guy seems to have a crush on." Nancy said dryly. Copper blushed uncomfortably.
"I don't want every guy." She said, a little wistfully. Then she seemed to pull herself together. "I'll go open the door for them. It'll be nice to see Violet again, and Kimber, of course."
She headed into the hall, undoing the catch and swinging open the big door, casting the three visitors a smile as they headed up towards her.
"We heard the car come up the drive." She explained, as she interpreted their incredulous expressions. "Syl and Nancy were watching from the window and saw you drive in."
"Mama was admiring the grounds." The tall, dark teenangel returned the smile warmly. "Mama, this is my friend, Copper..Copper, this is my ma."
“It is very nice to meet you Copper, you have such an unusual name!" The woman at Violet's side, so like her to immediately give away their kinship cast the drummer a smile. "Are you sure you are not in the wrong band?"
"My name is actually Elizabeth." Copper told her with a smile. "But my Papa nicknamed me Copper when I was small, because of my hair, and it's stuck. Now it's my stage name, too."
"Mama, remember I told you about Jewel." Violet reminded her. "Copper is the drummer.”
Copper nodded.
"My mother was a friend of Kimbers." She agreed. "They played together, and she taught me everything I know." She looked sheepish. "And you must think me rude as anything, keeping you out here on the doorstep. Please, come on in. Everyone is up and excited to welcome the prospective bride to the Starlight. I only hope it's going to be a good enough venue."
There was a slightly wistful note once more to her voice as she ushered them inside, and Violet sent her a thoughtful look, though she made no comment in front of her mother. As it happened, Mrs Anderson seemed to have put a name to a face, for a warm smile lit up her features.
"Ahhh yes, then you must be the young lady I read about in the magazines back at the house! They call you….a rock babe?” she asked, sending Violet into amused giggles and causing Copper to blush scarlet to the roots of her auburn hair.
"Well, I don't know about that..." She began.
“I think that’s a rock chick” Violet explained “And I think it’s a title Copper doesn’t exactly always feel comfortable with”
"Yeah, you can say that again." Copper rolled her eyes.
“I can see why, you are a young lady, not a chicken!” Mrs Anderson added, and her daughter dissolved into more fits of giggles, catching Copper's eye and making the drummer join in her laughter.
She pushed open the door of the lounge.
"Come grab a seat. We've coffee, if you're thirsty. You too, Kimber, if you want."
"I hate to leave you to it, but I really have to get back to the Foundation” Kimber told them regretfully “When you need to be picked up just give me a call and ill be right over.”
“Oh! Kimber, im sure we can find our own way back! I feel awful keep asking you to drive us all over the place.” A guilty look crossed Violet's pretty face at this.
“Oh its no trouble at all” Kimber reassured her “Just call the house ill be there.” She turned to Copper. "Say hi to the other girls for me, Copper, and tell them im sorry I couldn’t stop.”
"Okay, will do." Copper nodded. "It was nice to see you."
Once the former Hologram had shown herself out, the drummer ushered her guests into the main lounge, where they were greeted by smiles and exclamations from the three inhabitants. Copper introduced Violet's mother, indicating for them to take a seat.
“You girls must make a lot of money to keep a place like this going, so many grounds to see that are mowed, must get tired legs from all that walking” Mrs Anderson observed as she did so, glancing around her at the spacious, well decorated front room. Violet blushed violently at her mother's outspokenness, looking embarrassed.
"Mama, Jewel are one of the top groups in the country, im pretty certain they don’t do the lawn mowing themselves." She said, her tone slightly chiding.
"No, thank God." Sylva dimpled, stretching out a hand of flawlessly manicured nails as if to inspect them instinctively for damage. "My nails would be a mess and a half if we did! Besides, we're generally really busy, so even if we wanted to mow the place ourself, we'd drop dead from tiredness before we even began. We're fairly lucky if we get a full night's sleep, with late night shows and early morning tv appearances."
“Your father is going to love this place” Mrs Anderson decided.  “So much garden space, he loves gardening., He would be in his element if he ever saw these gardens! I certainly would have an empty bed at night - he would sleep with the flowers!"
"Sounds very tempting." Topaz decided, settling herself down on the edge of the sofa and finishing the last of her toast, setting down her milk. "It's certainly hot enough here to spend the night outside, sometimes, and the flowers are beautiful in the summer."
"Can I get you coffee?" Copper asked.
“Actually, as you friend said it is very warm outside. I suppose I am not yet used to the warm weather. Would you mind if I asked for something cool, perhaps…ice tea or a diet cola?” Violet's mother smiled.
“I wouldn’t mind the same if you don’t mind, Copper?” Violet added. “It is gorgeous weather outside, I just pray it isn’t this warm outside on the actual day. If it is, were gonna have to put ice in the pool so we can dive in after the ceremony!"
Copper grinned back.
"Not a problem, we have plenty of stuff in the fridge." She agreed. "Only Nancy here grew up in Cali, so the rest of us live through air conditioning and cool drinks. You do get used to the hot weather, but a real summer's day out here in Los Angeles can be stifling." She headed to the door. "Well, iced tea coming up. Girls?"
"None for me, ta. I've got my milk." Topaz pulled a face, and Copper grinned, understanding.
"Nance? Syl?"
"Nah, I'm cool." Sylva shook her head.
"Me either." Nancy agreed.
Once the drummer had returned bearing glasses of cool iced tea for Violet and her mother, she settled herself down beside Nancy, her gaze absently resting on the sparkling gem on Violet's engagement finger. Despite herself she bit her lip, glancing down at her own left hand.
"Oh, snap out of it." She muttered to herself. "This is Violet's wedding. Forget him."
“I never showed you the ring properly did I?” The Teenangel caught the drummer's look, holding out her hand to exhibit the beautiful ring.
"Ooh, it's a gem. Taylor's a gentleman." Sylva peered across from her seat to see. "That's one hell of a rock, Vi...he must love you a lot." She cast Nancy a teasing look. "And he evidently has taste - why didn't you get that gene, huh?"
"They do say that the size of the ring indicates how much they love you." Topaz said with a grin, then her hand went to her mouth as she registered what she had said. She cast Copper an apologetic look, but the drummer's eyes were fixed on the pretty ring.
"It's gorgeous." She whispered, her eyes wet with tears. "And I'm sure you deserve it. Taylor's a sweet guy and I know...I know you will be very happy together." She blinked back the tears, offering a smile. "Will you excuse me a moment? I...I have to call Cynthia, it's rather urgent."
Before anyone could complain she fled the room, leaning up against the door and closing her eyes against the tears.
"If it's not meant to be." She whispered. "Why do I love him so much?"
Back in the main lounge, a concerned expression crossed Violet's face.
“Has something happened?” She asked softly  “She seemed upset...did I say something wrong?"
The three remaining Jewels exchanged awkward looks, then,
"She and Aaron are having some trouble, that's all." Nancy said quietly. "Don't worry, Vi, it's nothing you did or said, I promise."
“Oh I hope its nothing to serious” Violet looked sympathetic. She stood.  “How about me and mama go take a look around the grounds? We have to decide where to place the setting and things, and in the mean time maybe you could check on Copper? I would hate to see her unhappy at the wedding, and perhaps all the talk of wedding might be getting to her. I cant think of a worst time to have problems."
"You have no idea." Nancy muttered, but was quickly silenced by a glare from Topaz.
"If you want to go have a look around, feel free." The singer said now, casting the confused guests a warm smile. "Syl will show you everything, and we'll go find Copper. I'm sure she'll be fine, Violet, though it's sweet of you to be concerned. She's just in a very emotional state right now, you know how it is when you love someone."
"Well who better to have me help design the wedding look outside” Violet said with a smile “If anybody knows style its you, right Syl?”
Sylva grinned.
"Queen of Jewel Style at your service!" She exclaimed, affecting a salute which made her friends laugh. "Come with me."
Once Sylva and the guests were gone, Nancy and Topaz headed off in search of their missing friend, both sure that she would have taken refuge in her room until she had gotten better control of her emotions. Sure enough, she was curled up on her bed, a photo album on the duvet cover in front of her. Tears spilled down her cheeks as she flicked idly through the pages, pausing to look at one and sighing.
"Copper?" Nancy murmured softly, and she glanced up.
"I'm sorry, guys. It was the ring, I didn't mean to." She said quietly. "I...did Vi...what did she say?"
"Nance told her you and Aaron were having problems, and Syl has taken them out to look at the grounds." Topaz sat down on the bed. "You need a hug?"
"Please." Copper nodded, and gently, Topaz obliged.
"I wish you'd tell us what was going on in your head, Copper." Nancy sighed, sitting down on the other side. "I mean, you're nuts about my brother and he's nuts about you. You're both so unhappy about this...why won't you talk to him? I don't understand."
"Something happened." Copper swallowed hard. "I found something out that changes everything, Nancy, and that's all I can say. It hurts like hell because I love him like mad, but he won't want me when he knows the truth and I...I don't want him to ever know. Better he think I don't love him or want him any more than have him fret over me and stuff."
"You're not talking much sense." Nancy grimaced. "I still think that if you're that hung up on him, you can talk it out with him. Aaron is a decent guy, and you said there wasn't anyone else. I don't think he'd be unreasonable."
"Can we not talk about this now?" Copper shut the photo album, drying her eyes. "Violet is downstairs and I feel a real brat, being up here snivelling instead of being a good hostess and helping her plan her wedding. Come on. I'm going to clean myself up, and start acting like a human being again. It's time I stopped letting this get to me so much!"
Reaching for her make up, she headed into the bathroom to clean her face and re-do her mascara and lipstick. Topaz and Nancy exchanged looks, and Topaz shrugged.
"If she won't tell us, Nance, we can't beat it out of her." She said. Nancy grimaced.
"Pity." She admitted. "I'm sure it's no good for you, either, worrying about Copper with everything going on for you."
"I'm honestly trying to keep a level head." Topaz admitted. "I'm not feeling wonderful today, in truth, but I've been worse this week and I think I'm getting to grips with it. I just wish Copper would open up a little. Even if it's something bad enough to break up her and Aaron permanently, she should be able to tell us."
"Yes, I agree." Nancy nodded. "I..." She paused, frowning, as her eye caught something poking out from beneath Copper's pillow. "What's this?"
"Nancy, whatever it is, it's not your business to read it." Topaz reached out to stop her, but Nancy had already pulled the envelope out from it's hiding place, glancing at it.
"I'm not going to read her mail, Topaz, give me some credit." She responded. "I just...oh God. Topaz, look at this."
"Look at what?"
"The postmark, do you see it?" Nancy held the envelope out and, despite herself, Topaz took it, glancing at it. As she did so, her own expression became grave.
"St Martin's Hospital." She murmured. "Oh no, Nancy, you don't think that...?"
"That she's sick again?" Nancy finished. "What if she is, Topaz? What if that's why she won't talk to us, and why she's refusing to talk to Aaron? What if that's what she meant when she said that something had changed everything?"
"I think we should put the envelope back before she comes back and not say anything to her about it." Topaz decided, slipping the envelope back under the pillow. "We could be wrong. She hasn't seemed unwell."
"It seems awful strange though, that she turns down the one guy she's die hard in love with, and suddenly has mail from a hospital." Nancy replied. "I dunno, Topaz. What if she is sick? What then?"

Prologue: Sylvina's Voice
Chapter One: Stefana's House

Chapter Two: Tensions
Chapter Three: Backstage At The Dean Stacey Show
Chapter Four: Topaz
Chapter Five: Sylva's Discovery
Chapter Six: Copper Loses Her Temper
Chapter Seven: A Shock For Jewel
Chapter Eight: Sylva Takes The Plunge
Chapter Nine: Fireworks
Chapter Ten: Here Comes The Bride

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!