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

Chapter Four: Topaz

"Are you sure you're okay now?"
Sylva cast Topaz a doubtful look, sitting down on the end of her friend's bed as the singer folded her nightclothes. Upon returning from Dean's show, she had elected to take a nap, to try and sleep off the remainder of her nausea and so, three hours later Sylva had decided to go and check on her friend's progress. For Topaz to be ill was a novelty, so there was some excuse for the anxious, flustery attitude Sylva had adopted.
Topaz laughed.
"I promise. Actually, I'm starving hungry, so I guess whatever it was has gone through. I did wonder if the fish I had last night was in date or not, I couldn't read the label so well because it was all smudged. I think that was the culprit." She hugged her companion. "Thanks for taking over and singing so well this morning for me. The audience kinda liked the twist of hearing a unique performance of it and I really wasn't up to singing anything."
"Welcome." Sylva grinned, returning the hug. "Hey, if you're hungry, you fancy going into the city and getting something to eat? I want to show you this outfit for the wedding, anyhow, and with you taking ill this morning, Copper persuaded Jetta that we'd be okay to miss studio today and go tomorrow instead."
"Okay, I'm game." Topaz nodded her head. "Just for a while though, huh? I'm still kinda tired - I've not slept much at all this week - so I don't think I should push it."
"Well, we'll take my car and we'll go hang out at the Red Rock for lunch, yeah?" Sylva suggested. "The store with the dress is right across the way from there anyway, and it's so-o-o me, you'll just die when you see it. Besides, I need something for Vi's hen night too, if we're gonna be invited, and it would be rude of her not to invite us if we're going to host the ceremony."
"We'll be invited, I should think." Topaz nodded her head. "What kinda thing are you looking for for that, then?"
"Dunno." Sylva shrugged. "Oh, but what I do know is that I have to show you these pants I saw which would be so cute on you. Seriously, you haven't been shopping with me for the last couple of weeks and I always see the best things when you're not there to show!"
"Well, if I always shopped with you, you'd never see them." Topaz winked. She grabbed her jacket, slipping on her sandals and picking up her bag. "All right, I'm ready. Let's go spend some money, huh?"
"Okay." Sylva dimpled, but her blue eyes showed a measure of relief. She had been worried about her friend, but Topaz was clearly much recovered, and she found her anxieties fading.
"Just dodgy fish." She mused as they got into her car. "So that's all right."
Once they had had lunch, during which Topaz allayed the last of Sylva's fears by eating a good meal, the synth player dragged her friend across to the big designer store that stood opposite the popular local haunt. The dress, much to her delight, was still there and, after having tried it on and strutted up and down, she demanded her friend's opinion.
"It's very sexy." Topaz eyed it thoughtfully. "But then, I guess you know that, huh?"
"Don't you like it?" Sylva looked surprised. "I think it rocks."
No, I do like it." Topaz assured her. "It's not quite how I pictured it when you described it, but it is a stunning dress. Only thing is..." She came across to her friend's side, carefully removing the younger girl's silver slides and then standing back to examine the effect. "Yes, that's better. With the barrettes in your hair you looked kinda too young to be wearing it - I don't mean that in a bad way, but you know, the slides give you that whole playful look because they poof your curls up around your face more. When they're loose you look a lot more sophisticated and the dress is perfect."
"Mm, that's something else." Sylva remembered. "I'm seriously thinking about having my hair cut, actually."
"Cut?" Topaz stared. "In the whole time I've known you, Syl, your hair has been down to your waist!"
"Yes, but this wedding made me think, and you know, I feel like a new look." Sylva giggled. "Also, thanks for the information about the barrettes, because you see, if I do what I'm planning, I'm gonna need to find a whole new sophisticated way to clip my hair back from my face. I'm gonna take it up to here." She indicated her shoulders. "And I'm so gonna wear it straight more often when I've done it. It's just that I can't do so much that way with it whilst it's so long, it just gets tangled and in the shower this morning it got caught in one of my nails and I almost had a manicurist's nightmare." She grimaced. "So-o-o...what do you think? Will it suit me?"
"Actually, I think it will." Topaz agreed. "Though won't Anna freak out? She and you both have really long hair - you won't be so identical if you cut yours."
"Oh of course we will." Sylva dimpled. "Hair grows. It's not like I'm having a tattoo or something permanent."
She reached up to her hair, pulling it up so the curls cascaded down her back. "You think it'll look okay, if I cut it? I mean, I like my curls, but I don't want to be thought of as boring or unadventurous."
"I think it'd look great, and save you a fortune on hair products." Topaz laughed. "Hey, you getting that dress?"
"Yes, if you can lend me the money till Tuesday, my card hasn't cleared yet." Sylva looked hopeful. Topaz rolled her eyes.
"I knew there was a reason I was invited on this trip." She teased. Sylva poked out her tongue.
"No, I invited you because I was worried about you and wanted to make sure you were okay." She returned. "Nice thanks I get, too!"
"Oh, come on." Topaz scolded. "You know I love you really. Besides, I'm still kinda tired, remember? We were up early this morning and I've probably had about ten hours sleep all week. I don't know what's gotten into me at the moment. I'm becoming a regular insomniac."
"Things are funny all over at the moment." Sylva mused. "But Copper seemed more herself this morning. I dunno, I guess we just have to be patient with her. She was trying to be the Copper we all know and love earlier, and whatever the deal with Aaron, she's our friend and a Jewel. We just have to give her time, right?"
"I agree." Topaz nodded. "It's harder for Nancy, because she's Aaron's sister, but I think what she said this morning was right. I think Copper and Aaron are the only ones who can or can't sort this out, and we have to step back and let them do it. I hope they resolve it some way before Violet arrives, though. I want her to have a happy wedding, even if things are mad here."
"There's nothing as sweet as a wedding." Sylva agreed. "And it's a good excuse to get a new wardrobe, too!"
She disappeared back into the changing cubicle, changing back into her original outfit. "Hey, what do you think about me showing you these pants I found, and then I take the plunge and have my hair done?"
"Well, I'm feeling impulsive and daring, why not?" Sylva laughed. "You know me."
"I thought you were broke!"
"I am, but I can tell them to put it on my tab and I pay it all off at the end of the month." Sylva shrugged. "My card will be clear by then. Will you come?"
"Sure, if you like." Topaz agreed. "I'm rather curious to see you with shorter hair, and it'll give Nancy and Copper a surprise."
"Yeah, it will." Sylva giggled, pushing back the curtain. "Okay, I'm ready. Let's get this and then go. This is the last one in my size and I don't want to risk not getting it."
"Okay, okay, I got my card." Topaz rolled her eyes. "It's a good thing for you I haven't been in a shopoholic mood this last week or two, isn't it? Else I wouldn't be able to do this."
"That's not like you, you know." Sylva remarked, as Topaz purchased the dress, then handed the bag to her friend's care, slipping her credit card back into her purse. "What isn't?"
"Not wanting to shop."
"Well, I told you. I've been tired."
"Yes...I know." Sylva pursed her lips. "But still."
"I thought you'd done fussing over me." Topaz scolded. "And I'm shopping now, aren't I?"
"Yes, true." Sylva acknowledged. "Okay, I'll let you off. I guess things at home have been kinda mad."
Once they had paid a visit to the girls' favourite clothes shop,  Sylva led the way into the local hair stylist's, a place she haunted, despite the fact that Copper was a more than competant hair stylist herself, and that Nancy always preferred to have her bandmate handle her hair. Sylva was in every sense of the word flamboyant, and the world had never held any fears for her, so it seemed perfectly logical to simply decide to cut her hair at a moment's notice - all the better if it meant she got a chance to flirt with Gaston, the Parisian stylist who often trimmed and styled her hair and whom she considered "a real babe." Gaston was married, with two children, but he knew that her flirting was just a game and took it in good spirits, for he was an amiable, easy going man. He greeted her with a smile and a hug, and, after exclaiming at her idea of losing so much of her beautiful hair, he ushered her into a chair, wrapping a gown around her and instructing one of the newer members of the salon staff to shampoo her hair through.
Topaz took a seat across the room, picking up a magazine and idly flicking through it. It had been a while since she'd had her own hair done, she mused.
"Maybe I'll have curls for the wedding, if Syl goes straight." She decided with a mischievous smile. "That would create a sensation."
She stretched, yawning.
"Oh, what is with me at the moment! It's so warm in here, I just want to curl up and sleep on the salon chairs!"
"Tired, Topaz?" Gaston cast her a smile and she grinned, nodding.
"I was up at four this morning, we played Dean's show." She replied, for Gaston was well acquainted with the careers his clientele followed, and was entirely unphased. He was well used, after all, to styling the hair of stars.
"Things are never still in showbusiness, huh?" Gaston seemed amused. "You work on a new album, n'est-pas?"
"Of course." Sylva herself answered this one, her hair lathered and immersed in the basin of water by this time. "And our latest song is out next week, so it's all go."
"Ah oui." Gaston looked understanding. "Then I understand your tiredness!"
Topaz yawned again, then,
"Syl, would you hate me very much if I went home?" She asked. "I'm falling asleep here."
"You had a nap before we came out, though." Sylva sounded confused, as her hair was roughly towelled dry. "You can't be ready to sleep again yet."
"I am." Topaz looked sheepish. "I'll get a taxi or something. Would you be very mad?"
"No, not if you're tired, but sheesh, Topaz, you're not a hedgehog! People don't hibernate, you know!"
"I know." Topaz grinned. "I'll be okay after I get some sleep."
"Take my dress back with you, would you?" Sylva indicated the bag with her foot. "I might go shop again after I'm done here, show off my new 'do' a little."
"Okay, will do." Topaz nodded, taking the bag and slipping it onto her arm. "I'll see you back at the Starlight, and I'll be ready to wow over your hairstyle, don't worry." She winked at Gaston. "Bonne chance!"
"Merci." Gaston grinned back. "Don't worry, she is in good hands with me."
Once the singer was gone, the hair stylist eyed his client thoughtfully.
"Topaz is unwell?" he asked her. Sylva looked startled.
"Unwell? Why do you ask?"
"Well, she is very pale to me." Gaston shrugged, carefully combing out the long, silky curls. "And it is unlike her to be so listless. Is she sick?"
"If you can keep a secret, Gaston..."Sylva frowned, then, "She wasn't so well this morning. We think she ate something bad."
"Ah, je vois." Gaston looked understanding. "I hope she is better soon."
"Me too." Sylva bit her lip. "Me too."

For Topaz's part, she too was starting to doubt her own simple dismissals of her symptoms.
"I don't know about fish, but I feel odd." She admitted, glancing at her reflection in her compact mirror as she sat in the back of the taxi, on the way back to the Starlight Mansion. "I don't look exactly right, either. I am kinda pale, Syl was right about that. I wonder if I picked up a bug or something? Syl spends so much time with that kid Courtenay it's possible that I picked something up that way. I don't know, I'm just sick of going to bed and tossing and turning and god, even sicker of waking up feeling more exhausted than I began! Plus there was this morning - how embarrassing was that? I wish I knew what had gotten into me right at the moment. I don't feel like myself at all. It's not like me to duck out of shopping trips, Syl is right, and it's not like me to almost pass out before we do a live show. I don't get queasy before I perform, and I don't get stage fright so I can't blame it on either of those. Is it just bad fish? Or is it something else that's making me feel like this?"
She glanced out of the window, feeling once more nauseous with the bumpy, careless driving style of the driver. She bit her lip.
"I can't carry on like this though, that's for sure." She mused. "I've not felt properly well for the last few days, if I'm honest, and I highly doubt that fish had anything to do with it. I've had headaches and that aspirin made me ill at the time - I wonder if it's had more of an effect on me than I thought? Maybe I should find time to go see a's just that we're so busy and I don't want to interfere with our schedule. Jewel have so much to do plus Violet's wedding to get ready for. I know Jetta and Phyllis want us to have most of the Exotic album tracks down before mid June, and we're on course for that as things stand. Oh well. Maybe I just need a good long rest, and that's what I'm going to have, I think. I'm going back to bed and I'm not getting up again till we're in studio tomorrow, so if Syl wants to show me her hair she'll have to come and show it to me in my room. Then, with any luck by tomorrow, whatever it is will have gone! At least, I hope it has. Otherwise, well, 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!