"Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the show!"
It was the following evening and, on the set of Studio 1, the live television
experience that was Connie's Corner was getting well underway. The host
of the evening, Constance Montgomery herself cast a playful grin at the
audience, settling herself comfortably on her couch. She was well known
in the business these days for being both one of the most sympathetic but
also one of the most successful interviewers, for she was able to pick apart
information and ask the right questions at the exact right moment to get
her show the scoop. Stars loved her for her down to earth, friendly interview
technique, whilst the fans loved her natural ability in front of the camera.
From the wild groupie of the eighties, Constance had settled and grown up
into a woman with ambition and drive. This wasn't to say, however, that she
had grown up cold, for she had become a mother at a young age and her daughter's
upbringing had been the main factor in her own maturing. She had forged a
close friendship with that television icon of the eighties, LinZ Pearce,
who had vanished in an air crash over the Amazon some years before, and,
devastated, she had done everything she could do to help LinZ's only son,
the eligible Dean Stacey to realise his own dreams in front of the camera.
She saw it as a posthumous thank you, though noone knew if LinZ was alive
or dead, and had continued to thrive in the very business to which LinZ
herself had given her all.
Tonight the studio audience was buzzing, for she was about to host the
first exclusive showing of Sirena's latest music video, and two of California's
biggest and most talked about musical acts were to perform live in the
studio. Jewel were without a doubt the favourites with the Los Angeles
viewers, because they considered them 'home grown', even though only Nancy
of their number had actually grown up in California. Diablo, however, had
a fierce following too, and, since achieving their first number one single
in recent weeks, they were being talked about as Jewel's biggest band on
band competition in the state. Sirena, for whom none of this rivalry business
meant much any more, had simply laughed off the suggestion that she had been
replaced in the public eye by this rock group from Connecticut, and the rumours
abounded as ever as to precisely what her friendship with Diablo's singer
Luca Ranieri - Stefana;s precious older brother - really amounted to. Sirena
was successful, though, and the most successful solo artist the state had
seen in ten years, for, now under the able backing of her own mother, the
legendary Phyllis Gabor, the young, ambitious singer had gone from strength
to strength and had become a household name all across America and Canada.
She and Nancy were good friends, however, and she was amicable with the rest
of the group too these days, so she had calmly told the press that she was
above inter-musician rivalries now, and far more focused on her own career
and her young son.
"Boy, have we a show for you tonight!" Connie dimpled at the audience,
as the camera focused in for a facial shot. "Remember Sirena was here the
other night, and she promised us the first showing of her brand new video
for her single, Shadow of the Girl? We'll have that for you later in tonight's
show, so stay tuned to the screens, and don't touch that dial! We also
have, live in the studio for you tonight, both Diablo and Jewel, keen to
talk about what the future holds for them all, and of course, the real scoop
on this wedding rumour at the Starlight Mansion. Is it true? What are the
details? You'll find out live, right here this evening!"
Backstage, in the big spacious dressing room that Jewel liked to call
their own when playing Connie's show, the band were carefully tuning up their
instruments, able to hear the cheers of the crowd outside.
"Sounds like a full house tonight." Topaz mused, as she carefully fixed
a new string to her guitar. "There. Wretched thing had to break, didn't it?"
"You aren't gonna pull a fainting trick on us tonight, are you?" Nancy
demanded. "We're gonna go out there in front of the crowd under all those
lights and stuff - that ain't a good time for a blackout!"
"Nancy, I feel absolutely fine tonight." Topaz told her with a smile.
"Ready and raring to go, in fact. I really hate that I couldn't do Dean's
show, but I'm up and ready for this one, no problems."
"Good." Sylva said with a frown." I'm not in the mood to sing tonight.
I'm still thinking about Jack."
"Jack?" Nancy asked. "What about Jack now, Syl?"
"None of your business." Sylva told her firmly. She cast Copper
"Hey, you're kinda quiet tonight - are you gonna be all right out there,
"Huh?" Copper looked startled, looking up from where she had been idly
toying with her lucky drumsticks.
"I asked if you were gonna be all right. You're on some other planet
to us." Sylva told her. Copper blushed.
"I'm sorry." She said contritely. "I guess I am miles away. But yes,
I'm okay. Playing, and all." She glanced up at the clock. "When are we
"Last segment I think." Nancy told her. "So we've a while yet."
"Nice to see you girls bothered to show up on time for the show."
A fresh voice interrupted them from the doorway and Sylva turned, glaring
at the intruder.
"What are you doing here, Stefana?" She demanded. "Don't you know this
is a dressing room for stars? Not wannabes!"
Stefana raised a perfectly shaped eyebrow, leaning up against the doorpost.
"Yes?" She purred. "Well, I'm not sure that's entirely true, Sylva. After
all, would you say that stars let their road managers do odd jobs for any
"I beg your pardon?" Nancy stared. "What are you talking about now?"
"Aaron helped us out at our concert last night." Stefana told them sweetly.
"He offered, I didn't ask. I helped him pick out what to wear and then
he helped up with stage equipment. I'm sure it was a nice change for him."
Her gaze swept across to Copper, whose face had paled at her words. "He
did say it was something of a relief to get away from the tension of working
"Stefana, get lost, will you?" Topaz said quietly. "We have to play tonight
and so do you. We're professional musicians and you won't affect our act
by trying to bait us before we go on. Aaron is his own person and it's nice
that he helped you out. If that's all, could you go?"
"It's not quite all." Stefana seemed unperturbed by the singer's words.
"By the way, Topaz, if you're such a professional musician, how come you
were throwing up backstage at Dean's show, huh? Very professional that turned
out to be!"
"How did you know that?" Topaz stared. Stefana laughed.
"Aaron mentioned it." She said idly, examining her black painted nails
carefully as she did so. "He and I have been getting very close lately,
as I;m sure you've noticed. He wants...a real woman, and besides, I'm almost
sure that soon enough he'll decide working for you children is not enough
of a challenge for him. He had a good time last night, which is more than
can be said for any of the times he's had with you girls lately." She fixed
Copper with another pointed smile.
"You say one more word, Stefana, and you'll regret it." Copper's brown
eyes flashed with uncharacteristic anger. The remaining three Jewels exchanged
anxious looks. Copper did not often lose her temper, but when she did,
she tended to do it wholesale, and Aaron was still a sore point. "I don't
care what you think, Aaron would never be interested in a girl like you."
"Why not?" Stefana shrugged. "I'm not messing him about, leading him
on then turning him down. You know he spent eight hundred bucks or more
on that ring, Copper. What would the press say if they knew what a heartless
bitch their little drummer hearthrob really is, huh?"
"Why you..." Incensed, Copper lashed out at her foe, bringing her hand
down hard across the guitarist's cheek. Before any of her friends could
stop her, she had grabbed Stefana, pushing her hard up against the wall.
"Listen to me, Stefana." She said darkly. "You do not and will not ever
understand the grown up problems that real couples have, or the real world
reasons why things don't always go according to plan. You can flirt with
Aaron as much as you like, flaunt yourself, even strip, if you want to, but
he has morals and standards and honey, you will never meet them. So go try
and seduce him into working for Diablo. You'll never succeed."
"Get your paws off me!" Stefana shook herself free. "And you're wrong,
because he agreed to help us with our set here tonight, too."
"Aaron's doing Jewel's set, with Cynthia!" Nancy protested.
"Yes, Nancy dear, but we play first and he's also helping supervise ours."
Stefana shrugged. "Maybe he's not tied to your beloved Aunt Phyllis' purse
strings after all, huh?" She laughed, pushing Copper aside. "And as for
you, Copper, well, you had your chance. Aaron is gonna wind up coming to
work for Diablo because he can't bear to be around you - how does that make
you feel, huh? He can't even bear to be in the same room as you, now that
you hurt him. He's even talking about taking back the ring and that's that,
forgotten. So there." She winked. "When he's working for a better team,
then you'll see who has the last laugh."
With that, the girl was gone, and Nancy shut the door firmly behind her.
For a moment noone spoke, then Copper sank down onto the unit, burying
her head in her hands. Her shoulders shook and at first her friends thought
she was crying, but when she raised her gaze to theirs they realised that
there was nothing but pure rage in her brown eyes.
"How dare she come in here like that?" She demanded. "Barge in here,
bait and insult the lot of us and then suggest Aaron would work for her
tinpot company, anyhow? How dare she?"
"Copper, cool it. She wanted to get you wound up and she succeeded."
Topaz said gently. "You shouldn't have gone for her, if she tells the press..."
"Noone would believe Copper hit out at her. She's the sweetheart of the
band, and Stefana's a spitfire at the best of times." Sylva said with a shrug.
"I think she should've hit her again. Actually, I was quite tempted to."
"Syl, that isn't helping." Topaz cast her friend a dark look. Sylva shrugged
"So? It's true." She said, unrepentantly. "She's a bitch and she's had
it coming to her. And Aaron! What in hell was he doing at a Diablo show
with her? When I get my hands on him..."
"No, Syl, leave it alone." Copper shook her head. "Aaron's a free guy,
he can do what he wants." She shrugged. "He won't leave Misfit Music because
all of his family ties are there." She sighed. "Though I guess Stefana
was probably telling the truth when she said he can't bear to be in the
same room as me. I can't bear it all too good either."
"Do you still love him?" Nancy asked gently. Copper nodded.
"More than anything on this planet." She murmured. She held up her hands.
"Please, don't ask me stuff. I can't...I really can't answer those kind
"But you do love him...if that's true, Copper, isn't it worth trying
to rescue your relationship?" Topaz asked. Copper shrugged.
"He thinks I'm seeing someone else." She said softly. "Who can blame
him, either? I can't tell him any more than I can you."
"Are you seeing someone else?" Nancy demanded. Copper looked hurt.
"What kind of girl do you think I am?" She protested. "My own best friends
think I'm a cheater too? Oh, great."
"No, we don't, but it's been weird for us at home, Copper, and it affects
us all. Aaron's like one of the family." Sylva said.
"He is one of the family. My family." Nancy added. "And his interests
are as good to me as yours, Copper. I can't take sides."
"Well, I give you my word that there is noone else." Copper said solemnly.
"I still love Aaron. I think about him, dream about him and cry myself
to sleep over him every night, if you must know. But I couldn't say yes
to his proposal - it surprised me - and everything spiralled from there."
"I guess that's understandable. You're young and it's cool if you're
not ready to marry yet." Topaz reflected. "I mean, it means a big committment...and
of course, family - kids and all of that."
"Yes." Copper nodded sadly. "It does." She stood.
"If noone minds, I'm going to go get some air, clear my head a little."
She said. "I won't go near Stefana, I promise. I just need some fresh air,
it got rather intense in here for a minute there."
"Sure. Go." Topaz told her. "We'll see you when its time to go on. We've
a while yet, as Nancy said."
"Okay." A glimmer of a smile touched Copper's lips. "Bye all. Thanks
Then she was gone, and her companions exchanged looks.
"But do we understand?" It was Nancy who first spoke. Sylva shrugged.
"I dunno, but if she still loves him, we so have to get them back together
and put Stefana's nose firmly out of joint." She said.
"I don't think we should interfere." Topaz shook her head. "It's personal
and between Aaron and Copper. His pride is hurt, her heart is broken -
interfering couldn't help and might make it worse. Let them handle it,
Syl. If it's meant to be it'll work out."
Across the studio, Copper had slipped outside, away from the busy crowds
of fans who gathered around the studios, hoping to catch a glimpse of Connie's
guests as they arrived and left. She sat down on the wall, closing her
eyes as she considered everything.
"I should not have hit Stefana, but I'm damn glad I did." She realised.
"She got me so mad. And I'm glad she knows that I'm not just going to sit
back and let her treat me like garbage just because things aren't working
out for me at the moment. We're not sappy little wimps, Jewel. We can fight
back too." She looked rueful, realising how like Sylva such a sentiment was.
"Gee, guess some of that Misfit gene is wearing off on me, too!"
His voice made her heart stop in her throat and she swung around, seeing
him watching her. His expression was unreadable, and she bit her lip, feeling
awkward and uncomfortable. They had not been alone together since the row,
and she had no idea what to say. Stefana's words still burned in her ears,
and she found herself confused and unsure. Was Aaron really switching sides?
What was going on?
"We haven't spoken in a while." Aaron broke the silence, as it became
almost unbearable. Copper shook her head.
"No." She agreed softly. "We haven't."
"Can we now, do you think?"
Copper hesitated, then slowly, she shook her head.
"There is nothing to say." She whispered. "You've decided what you're
doing, and I have a show to play. Ex...excuse me."
Before he could stop her she took off across the tarmac, hurrying back
into the building towards the safety of the dressing room. She dared not
look back, for she knew that she could not bear to see the expression of
hurt and confusion on his face, the same expression she had seen the night
of Sylva's party, when she'd turned down his proposal.
For the millionth time she wished he had never asked her.
"But it's too late now." She whispered, closing her eyes against the
tears that longed to fall. "It's gone too far to be changed now, and I
have to be strong. I can't cry, I can't let Stefana see me weak and I can't
let Jewel down on stage. They are what I have to focus on now, not Aaron.
If he makes the choice to be with Stefana, then that's his choice and I
can't change it. I just have to carry on, somehow, and hope one day it stops
hurting. I just wish I knew how long it was going to take! Am I ever going
to get over him? Or am I going to be in love with a man I can't have for
the rest of my life?"
Prologue: Sylvina's Voice
Chapter One: Stefana's House
Chapter Two: Tensions
Chapter Three: Backstage At The Dean Stacey
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
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE NOTE
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
Pay her page a visit!