Chapter One: The Bride To Be

"Well, I think that's just about everybody."
Elizabeth Santiago set down her notepad, casting her fiance a questioning look. "Anyone you can think of, Aaron? We ought to be getting the invites done and sorted, so we can work out how many people will be coming."
"I can't think of anyone else." Aaron Pelligrini admitted, leaning over her shoulder to skim down the list. "I've already emailed Logan about being my best man, and we spoke on the phone last night, so I think he's up for it. Mom and Dad are already in Los Angeles, of course, and Gran will fly in from New York - she said she wasn't gonna miss her first grandchild's wedding. Taylor and Vi will be about, of that pretty much accounts for my family. Nancy's one of your maids, so there's no way she'll escape it."
"Mama has told me that she'll be there, whatever the weather." Copper grinned. "Ros is bouncing at being a bridesmaid, and Luis has agreed to give me away, so that's not a problem. If Papa can't do it, Luis is the next best thing. Ros is gonna fly out sometime in the next few weeks so that I can make sure all the bridesmaid's dresses are sorted - and help, I need to go sort out my own dress, as well!" She rolled her eyes. "Whoever said getting married was easy?"
"We're getting there, though." Aaron pointed out. "We've a list of guests, and it's not like we have to find a venue. The Starlight Mansion is perfect."
"No, but there's everything else. Dresses, cake, flowers, making sure all the guests from outta town can get here and can find somewhere to stay..." Copper counted them off on her fingers, one by one. "Not to mention convincing your sister that she'll look nice in a bridesmaid's dress. That's gonna be the toughest of the lot, if you ask me."
Her companion laughed. It was a well known fact that he and his younger sister Nancy were like chalk and cheese for, whilst Aaron was gregarious and open, with a laid back temperament, Nancy was far more intense and introverted, with a sarcastic tongue and a cynical outlook. Whilst Aaron was tone deaf, Nancy was something close to musical genius, and it was her songs that formed the musical backbone of the group to which both she and Copper belonged. It had been through that group, Jewel, that Copper had come to meet Aaron, and, although the relationship had had it's ups and downs, it was blatantly clear to all and sundry how perfect a couple they were.
"She already agreed to be one of your chief maids, and she won't back down on her word." Aaron assured her now. "It's all starting to come together."
"Speaking of coming together, Aaron, did you go see that guy about the house?" Copper turned anxious brown eyes on her fiance. "It's just so perfect - not too big, but exactly right for what we need, and plenty of space...please tell me you went to see him already? I'd hate to lose it when it's taken us so long to find somewhere so right!"
"I spoke to him yesterday morning." Aaron assured her. "I agreed terms with him and we're to see him Friday to sign the lease. The house will be ours officially in two or three weeks, when they've done with all the clearing and all of that stuff - so we'll have it ready and waiting long before we come back from our honeymoon as Mr and Mrs Pelligrini."
"Good." Copper kissed him, then, "It's gonna be odd not living with the girls here at the Starlight any more, but I think it'll be fun to be husband and wife and have our own home and all of that. I feel very grown up, you know, thinking about all of this. I can't wait for it to come!"
"Well, let's send out our invites before you go wishing it here." Aaron laughed. "Else noone will be able to come!"
"Okay, okay." Copper grimaced at him, retrieving her list and skimming over it one more time. "I suppose the next stage is to get them all sent out - I hope Synnie's database has all the relevant information - it would make life so much easier if she could print off envelopes for us, don't you think?"
"There are big advantages to having a holographic computer living in the basement, yes." Aaron looked amused. "But I'm sure that she'll oblige. She told me you asked her - or should I say, Cynthia - to be one of your bridesmaids, and she was bowled over. I don't think she'd expected it."
"Well, why shouldn't she?" Copper demanded. "I know she's a hologram and so do you, but she's still one of my best friends and it would be cruel to leave her out. She never got to go to any of the Holograms' weddings - so she should definitely be a big part of the first Jewel wedding." She giggled. "Ooh, that feels so funny, saying that. The first Jewel wedding - can you believe we're finally gonna do it?"
"If you ask me, I've been starting to wonder whether we'd ever get there." Aaron admitted. "Things have been so crazy. But I feel better now we've begun to properly organise it, and that we have a date for it. It actually seems real, at long last, instead of just a dream."
"Things have kinda conspired against us." Copper looked pensive. "But we've come through it, so that's a good sign, isn't it?"
"I think so." Aaron grinned. He pursed his lips, eying the list once more.
"I don't suppose that you'd mind me inviting another old friend to come along?" He hazarded.
"Old friend?" Copper looked startled. "Aaron, I don't know a lot of your old friends - why would I mind?"
"Well, this one you have met." Aaron admitted. "And I don't think you were all that taken with her."
"Her?" Copper frowned, then, "Aaron, do you mean Mackenzie Davenport?"
"Yeah, that's who I meant." Aaron nodded. "I know there was all that confusion with her and you a few christmasses ago, but surely that's past now? And you know I love you - would you mind me inviting her? She's always been a friend, and..."
"Aaron, you can invite who you like." Copper put a gentle finger to his lips. "I'm not worried about Mackenzie or anyone. I know you love me and that you're marrying me - why should I mind?"
"Thank you." Aaron kissed her. "I'm glad you see it that way."
"I don't bear grudges, and you and she were a couple a very long time ago." Copper told him, amused. "Besides, so much has happened since she was last in California and chasing after your attention. It would be stupid for me to worry what she's doing."
"I wouldn't invite her if you weren't cool with it, but I'm glad you are." Aaron responded. "That's what I like about you. You don't dredge up ancient history."
"Well, life is too short." Copper reasoned. "And nothing can possibly spoil this for me, Aaron. I've dreamt of my wedding day since I was a little girl - well, I think most little girls dream about their wedding day at some time or another - and I've always been a die hard romantic. I'm so excited that we're finally tying the knot."
"I still can't believe you're my fiancee." Aaron admitted. "And marriage does seem very grown up, but I'm not as worried about doing it as I thought I would be. I suppose it's true what they say - when it's right, you just know it."
He got to his feet.
"I have to scoot, because I promised Mom I'd fix her computer this afternoon, so I'll take the list of invites with me and see if she can think of any long lost relative I've forgotten." He suggested. "I'll call you later, okay?"
"Sure." Copper kissed him, then, "Don't let Jetta work you too hard, huh?"
"I never do." Aaron said dryly. "Bye, Copper."
Copper watched her fiance leave, her expression thoughtful.
"He's so determined to involve Jetta in everything." She mused. "I suppose that's only natural - he did almost lose her last summer, and I know what it's like to get that kind of rude awakening. I know he wants her to play a part in his wedding day and I understand that. I just wish Papa was here, that's all. Luis will give me away, but it isn't the same thing."
"Someone looks thoughtful."
The drummer glanced up, seeing her prospective sister in law lounging in the doorway, a cheese sandwich in one hand and a sheet of mangled manuscript in the other. "Not plotting more dire things for us poor bridesmaids to wear, are you?" She grimaced. "I'm still getting used to this idea you have of making us wear flowers in our hair."
"Aw, poor Nancy." Copper laughed. "No, we've been discussing the invites. Aaron's taken the list to Jetta to ask her if she can think of anyone else - whilst fixing her computer, or something like that. I'm glad in a way that your folks are so approachable and local, because there's so much to organise when you get married, and Jetta's the sort of person who knows who to call and where to ask. I was just wishing Papa would be here to give me away, that's all."
"Well, he'll be here in spirit." Nancy said softly. "You know that, right?"
"Yeah, I know." Copper nodded. "I always believe that he's with me, whatever I do or decide. You know, like a guardian angel?" She blushed. "Maybe it's silly, but I do."
"I don't think it's silly." Nancy reflected. "Admittedly, if Mom hadn't been so sick last summer, I might be thinking you mad right now...but coming so close to losing her, I guess I understand a little more what your Dad meant to you." She shrugged. "I'm just glad she's still with us. I don't know what would have happened if she'd passed on."
"Jetta is the kind of woman who'd fight the Grim Reaper if she wasn't ready to go." Copper smiled. "She's gonna be an interesting mother in law."
"She likes you, so you've nothing to worry about." Nancy assured her. "It's only if she doesn't like you that you have to watch your back."
"I know." Copper agreed. "That's something to be thankful of, at least." Mischief sparkled in her brown eyes.
"And she told me that, if I can get you into a fancy dress, I'll have her respect for life." She added. "She said that, no matter what the occasion, she can't remember a single time when you ever wore a party dress as a kid."
"I hate all the fussing around and frills." Nancy groaned. "But you asked me to be one of your maids and I can't refuse that. So I guess I have to grin and bear it. It will only be for one day, after all. Just...go easy on the flowers and the lace, okay?"
"Okay, deal." Copper laughed. "I've a good idea of what dresses I want for you guys, but I've not chosen my own yet, so it might change."
"Topaz said you were considering pink." Nancy's expression became apprehensive. "Tell me she was joking."
"Pink is a cute bridesmaid colour." Copper protested. "It won't clash with ivory, which is what I want for my dress. Besides, pink will suit all of you."
"Gah." Nancy grimaced. "This is going to be awful."
"Don't worry. When it's your wedding day, you can return the favour." Copper assured her. Nancy shook her head.
"I don't think there will be one." She said with feeling. "After all the fuss of Violet's wedding, and now yours, I'm going very quickly off the idea of being Mrs Anyone. It's too much fuss and bother...I'd rather stay out of it."
"What if Dean asked you to marry him?" Copper looked interested. Television presenter Dean Stacey was Nancy's long term boyfriend.
"Then I'd tell him to get a reality check." Nancy was unmoved. "Besides, he wouldn't. He knows me by now, and he knows I'm not looking to get involved in all that crazy stuff. You might be almost twenty four, Copper, but I'm only twenty two, and I've no plans to tie myself down to anything except my music in the next few years." She smiled. "So look at someone else for the next wedding - it's not going to be me."
"Not that you're predictable." Copper laughed. "Okay. If that's how you feel, I suppose that's fair enough. I'm just having bride-to-be syndrome - I want everyone else to be happy and settled too!"
"Well, you picked the wrong group of friends to hang with, then." Nancy told her bluntly. "Put the wedding on the back burner for a moment, will you? The others have called out for pizza and we're settling in the front room to watch a movie. Think you can tear yourself away from your daydreams for that?"
"Sure, I s'pose I can manage that." Copper nodded amiably. "So long as the film's a romantic one!"
"Gah, you're hopeless." Nancy rolled her eyes. "Come on, you. Anyone would think you were the first girl to ever get married!"

Prologue: Steffi's Vice
Chapter One: The Bride To Be
Chapter Two: A Little Piece Of Hell
Chapter Three: Jewel
Chapter Four: Shopping Trip
Chapter Five: Copper's Dress
Chapter Six: A Devil Strikes
Chapter Seven: Gaynor To The Rescue
Chapter Eight: A Shock For Marissa
Chapter Nine: Wedding Plans
Chapter Ten: A Blow For Steffi
Chapter Eleven: Logan
Chapter Twelve: The Final Straw

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!