Chapter Five: Copper's Dress

As it happened, Jewel were not the only celebrities shopping in Beverly Hills that morning. After a spat with Marissa over a meaningless passage of music that morning in the studio, Stefana had walked out on the practice, determined to clear her head and get away from her fussy, naggy bandmates for a few hours. She had seen Copper and her entourage from her seat on the promenade of a chic french cafe, and her eyes had narrowed when she had realised what errand the Jewel girls were on.
"Wedding dress shopping." She muttered. "Does that bitch really think she can hide what a hag she is in lace and muslin? Bah. It would take the plastic surgeon of the century to fix her look!"
She had borrowed money from her brother's room that morning, in order to pay for her shopping trip, for she had already had one credit card taken from her because of her difficulties repaying the debt. Luca was her brother, she had reasoned, therefore taking his money wasn't exactly stealing, and it wasn't like she was using it for anything bad.
"Just lunch out and some retail therapy. After last night, I need something to perk me up, and I ought to see if that top is still there." She had mused. "Luca will never know, anyway."
She had not expected to see her foes, but it had added insult to injury, and the resentful guitarist almost felt like the trip had been planned on purpose, just to spite her.
"Rubbing it in my face that she's marrying Aaron." She muttered, clenching her fists. "Well, we'll see about that. Maybe I'll follow them, see if I can't upset things a little. The mood I'm in, nothing would make me happier than to wreck their little shopping trip."
She tossed a handful of dollars down into the tray with the bill, getting to her feet and heading in the direction that the other musicians had gone. Time was running out before the big day, and she was ever more conscious that, unless she did something soon, Copper would become Mrs Pelligrini. That was not something her heart was willing to let happen, and she narrowed her eyes, considering her options.
"I'm gonna make her wish she'd never heard of Aaron Pelligrini." She decided darkly. "When I'm done with her, she'll be ready to run screaming back under whichever rock she crawled out from. You just wait, Copper Santiago! I'll show you yet!"

Inside the wedding dress shop, oblivious to the fact their expedition was being observed, Copper had pulled out the wedding dress she had liked so much, holding it up for her friends to admire.
"It's so pretty." Sadie breathed, touching the hem of the gown. "Try it on, Copper - we wanna see what you look like as the perfect bride!"
"I don't know about the perfect bride." Copper blushed, her eyes sparkling. "But it's a lovely dress, don't you think? Syl, what do you reckon?"
"I reckon it's lovely." Sylva said promptly. "But Sadie's right, we need to see it on you. Go try it on, Copper, we'll wait here."
"Sure." Copper nodded. After a brief word with the clerk, she disappeared into a small changing room, emerging a few moments later in the coveted dress. Sadie's hand flew to her mouth.
"Oh wow." She murmured. "Copper, you look amazing!"
"I'm almost convinced about buying it, actually." Copper responded. "You think it suits me?"
"You look awesome." Sylva came to adjust the veil slightly, a thoughtful look on her face. "What are you going to do with your hair?"
"I don't know, but Aaron asked me specifically to keep my curls." Copper admitted. "He likes my hair curly, so I promised I wouldn't straighten it for the wedding."
"You know what I think?" Sadie put in at that moment. "I think your hair would just be the cutest thing if you pulled it back here, and here..." She indicated, "with flowers or something. The veil is a little plain - don't you think it would be cool?"
"I was planning on a flowers in the hair theme, actually." Copper laughed. "You know already I want my maids to have flowers, so I did think of them myself. I'm not sure how well they'd go with this veil, though, so that needs a little more thought."
"You look fabulous, miss." The clerk approached them at that moment. "When's the big day?"
"March 28th." Copper blushed.
"Well, he's a very lucky guy." The man beamed. "Though I'm sure he knows that, huh?"
"He'd better." Nancy muttered. "I hope he knows what a sacrifice I'm gonna make for him, too."
"These are my bridesmaids, or half of them." Copper told the bemused clerk. "We were just discussing floral options for the dress."
"Well, the advantage with a simple, elegant dress like this one is that your options are pretty much endless." The clerk told her. "I must say, it suits your complexion very well."
"That's why I wanted ivory." Copper replied. She touched her curls self-consciously. "White would be a little too stark, with my red hair."
The clerk looked thoughtful for a moment, then a light dawned in his eyes.
"Say, I knew you were familiar from somewhere!" He exclaimed. "You're Copper, aren't you? The presses have been buzzing about Jewel and this wedding...I knew I knew your faces!"
"Yes, that's me." Copper could not go any redder.
"Well, I've sold a lot of celebrity gowns in my time." The clerk grinned. "And I must say, you do look stunning in this one. Is it a sale?"
Copper glanced at her friends, and Sylva gave her the thumbs up.
"I guess it is." The bride to be agreed, her eyes twinkling with excitement. "I'll take it!"

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

"Aaron, where is your mind today!"
Aaron jerked out of his daze, casting his reproachful colleague a rueful smile, and setting down the handful of wires that he had been holding.
"I'm sorry, Cyn. I'm not focusing on fixing recording equipment right now." He admitted. "There's so much still to do with the wedding so close, and I can't help thinking about this or that, wondering if everything will be ready in time."
"I admit I am not the expert on human behaviour, but I thought it was the bride who was meant to worry about such things." Cynthia looked amused. "Not the groom."
"Well, I just want this to be perfect." Aaron replied. "It's been long enough coming, I don't want a thing to go wrong."
"It is very exciting for me." Cynthia's violet eyes became pensive, and she scooped up Aaron's discarded wires, neatly fitting them into place. "I have never been asked to be a bridesmaid before, Aaron, and I must confess I have spent much of the last few days researching what it is that bridesmaids do. I know I attended Violet's wedding, but I did not pay full attention to what was going on there. Violet, after all, is not such a dear friend to me as you or Copper are."
"You'll make a stunning bridesmaid, Cyn." Aaron grinned. "And I wouldn't worry about what to do. Copper will make sure you're well briefed, and you'll have Sadie and the rest to ask if you're not sure."
"True." Cynthia agreed. "It is such an honour, though." She smiled. "It makes me feel once more that you treat me like a real person, and not just a machine."
"It's easy to forget." Aaron admitted. "The longer you've had Cynthia going, the more I've noticed you acting like one of us. When you had that virus, Cyn, we all realised with startling clarity how attached to you we'd become, but you are getting more and more human-like in your actions and emotions as time goes on."
"I am a good student of human nature." Cynthia looked amused. "But I like the anonymity which being Cynthia has allowed me. Noone questions my origin, for I look as everyone else looks, and as far as they know, I am just another relative of the Benton family tree. Kimber will not give me away, and I feel secure in my new identity. There has been no mention of Synergy in the public sector for some time, and I am glad of it. Perhaps the FBI cease to believe in my existance."
"Copper will miss you when she leaves the Starlight." Aaron observed. Cynthia nodded.
"I will miss her too." She admitted. "But I am content to see my two closest friends finally commit themselves to each other. It has been a long time coming, Aaron, but I am glad it is to happen at long last."
"I feel like we've been through so many things, and we've just gotten closer." Aaron admitted. "I don't know what I'd do without her now, and that's the honest truth. I never thought, when Mom and Aunt Phyl began this whole band project, that I'd wind up meeting someone, but I'm glad I did. It seems like we've known each other forever." He looked sheepish.
"I even wondered at some points why she stuck with me, when she was becoming a celebrity and could have any showbiz stud she wanted." He admitted. "I mean, Nancy is dating Dean Stacey, and the press are always naming Copper among the hottest music stars in Los Angeles. I've never been sure of why she's been so happy to settle for me."
"I don't think she's settling for anything." Cynthia told him thoughtfully. "I am still learning about human emotions, but I believe that love is something that status cannot bring you. Nancy dates Dean because she likes him very much - and likewise Copper dates you because she doesn't want anyone else."
"No, I suppose you're right." Aaron grinned. "I'm glad that that's the case."
He picked up his screwdriver. "I should get working, and not leave you to do it all, shouldn't I?"
"Yes, you should." Cynthia laughed. "But I will not tell. Besides, you do have a lot still to arrange."
"I meant to ask you, by the way, can Synergy print off envelopes for our invitations?" Aaron asked.
"Nothing easier, if you give me the list." Cynthia agreed. "I have a good database of your acquaintances, and I'd be happy to help out."
"Good." Aaron grinned.
"Does anyone attend this wedding who I have already met?"
"Well, we're obviously inviting Teenangels and stuff." Aaron told her. "My best friend from high school is flying out to be my best man - he works in Milwaukee, but he's stoked at the idea. You haven't met him, but I'm sure you'll get on with him just fine. He's fairly outgoing and stuff."
"Okay." Cynthia nodded. "Anyone else?"
"Copper's family, of course." Aaron responded. "And mine, can't leave them out! Gran will be flying in from New York - Dad already told her the big news, and she's thrilled. Other than that? I can't think of anyone you know."
"Cameron?" Cynthia asked innocently.
"Copper didn't mention him, and I've been debating it." Aaron admitted. "See, I feel kinda bad if I invite Taylor and Vi and leave Cameron out, since we're such good friends and well, it was partly him who helped me get it back together with Copper when we almost threw it all away over the fertility issue. He showed me a bunch of sites and helped me realise what she was going through - it seems cold to not invite him to my wedding. I've just hesitated because of the whole Topaz situation. I know they're broken up."
"So should that stop you inviting a friend? It is your wedding, and well, Topaz would not want you to sacrifice a guest on her behalf."
"No, I suppose not." Aaron looked thoughtful. "I never really did understand why they broke up, anyway. I figured they had some fight over the baby, but I honestly don't know, and Copper hasn't really talked to me about it. I don't suppose it would hurt to invite him. It would only be for a short few weeks, and he doesn't have to speak to Topaz if he doesn't want to." He smiled. "All right, add him to the invite list."
"Will do." Cynthia's eyes twinkled. "I think you have made the right choice, Aaron. It will be nice to see Cameron again."
She scooped up her tools, heading down to the far end of the studio to fine tune the equipment, hoping that her companion did not see the triumphant sparkle in her violet eyes.
"I hoped he would say that." She mused. "Whatever Topaz says about Cameron, I know she still loves him, and I am sure that he loves her too. More, that little girl needs a father. I haven't told Topaz, but sometimes, when she's watching television, she reaches out for the screen and says 'dada'. I don't know if I can get them to talk to each other, but if Cameron is at least in Los Angeles, I might be able to spark off another happy ending for one of my friends. It seems obvious to me that she wants to be with him, anyhow."
She shrugged, settling herself to removing one of the panels.
"And if it doesn't work out, at least maybe Topaz will find enough closure to move on and find someone else, instead of talking about him in her sleep, and fretting because Hollie looks so much like him." She mused. "Either way, something has to be settled. If he comes to the wedding, maybe it will be!"


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!