Chapter Seven: Gaynor To The Rescue

 "Seems 'ard to believe, but in a matter of weeks, our eldest brat is gonna be a married man."
Jetta settled herself down on the comfortable sofa in the Pelligrini's front room, taking a sip of tea and setting the mug down on the table beside her. "Are we old enough to 'ave a married son, Justin? I don't feel it."
"Me either." Her companion, photographer Justin Pelligrini pursed his lips, taking the seat opposite. "But in so many ways its about time that it happened. Surely you saw it coming, Jetta? Our boy's mad on that girl. Almost..." he paused, amusement twinkling in his dark eyes, "Almost as crazy as I was over you when we first started getting serious."
"Past tense?" Jetta raised an eyebrow. "I'll 'ave you know, Justin Pelligrini, that you are still as besotted with me now as you were then, an' don't you forget it!"
"Oh, all right." Justin grinned good naturedly. "I'll keep it in mind."
"Git." Jetta rolled her eyes. "And to answer your question, yes, I did see it comin'."
"I do wonder, you know, if it's the only wedding we'll get to attend." Justin looked thoughtful.
"That wouldn't be a bad thing, in my view." Jetta reflected. "I presume by that you mean that you don't expect Nancy to be announcin' an engagement any time soon?"
"Not really." Justin admitted. "She reminds me a lot of you, in truth...if she does marry, I don't think it will be for a long while yet."
"I married." Jetta objected.
"Yes, but you've been telling me it was a lapse in sanity ever since." Justin grinned. "Besides, Nancy is very intense over her music, and I don't think even Dean has come close to changing that. Music will always come first to that kid, no matter how many guys fall at her feet."
"So long as she's 'appy, then it's not our business to intervene." Jetta told him firmly. "And the less weddings I get to attend, the better for me. I'm not a fan of them, if you hadn't noticed. They're long, mushy an' full of crap, at the end of the day. Cause stress an' 'assle, cost a bloody fortune an' then bam! You wake up the next mornin' realisin' you're tied to some guy for the rest of your life! You do realise that Aaron's weddin' will be the, the fourth weddin' I've been forced to attend durin' me life, and that's forgettin' for a moment our own elopement in Las Vegas! It will be a weight off my mind if Aaron's turns out to be the last."
"Four?" Justin looked startled.
"Yep.  Lauras, Stormer's, Taylor's an' now Aaron's." Jetta counted them off on her fingers. She frowned. "An' I ain't been able to call Laura much lately, because of this bloody baby business of Topaz's. Don't you jus' wish kids would sort their own melodramas out properly, an' not get us involved?"
"It's a tricky situation for you." Justin admitted, remembering Laura Milligan, Jetta's clever childhood friend whom he had met during their own honeymoon in England. Laura and Jetta had been friends since the age of six, attending school together and later sharing a flat in the capital, before Jetta had made the move to Los Angeles. They had always been close, but the birth of Topaz's baby had created a rift between them for, though she did not want to get involved, Jetta was loath to lie to her friend.
"Tricky ain't the word." Jetta rolled her eyes. "Still, what can I do? Can't land the kid in it. Topaz is too valuable to the music company an' Pizzazz would throw a fit at me if I messed things up. An' it's not really my business to go tellin' tales across the atlantic. I just don't like keepin' things from 'er, that's all. Don't seem right. If it 'ad been Aaron who'd fathered a sprog across the sea, I'd damn well want to know about it."
"Would you?" Justin looked interested. "I had no idea you were feeling so grandmotherly."
"Who said I was?" Jetta raised an eyebrow. "More a case of makin' sure it wouldn't 'appen again!"
"Copper and Aaron might have children yet." Justin reminded her. "So you'd better prepare for that eventuality."
"Copper can't 'ave kids." Jetta said with a shrug. "Or so I understand. I'm not too worried."
"I think it's more a case of she might not be able to, as opposed to flat out can't." Justin replied. "And I'm sure they'll find a way around it, so I'd watch how often you lay the grandmother joke on Pizzazz, if I were you. She's not the kind who forgets, and she can more than retaliate in kind!"
"I'll deal with 'er when it comes to it." Jetta said comfortably. "'Ere, is Roxy comin' to Aaron's weddin'?"
"I've emailed her to find out." Justin replied. "I know Aaron is going to invite her, but you never know where Roxy is at any one time. It would be nice if she did come, though."
"Weddin's are even less 'er scene than they are mine, mind you." Jetta pointed out. "An' though she's always been okay with Aaron, she ain't really spent much time fussin' with our brats. If it were Sylva who were gettin' 'itched, that might be different."
"Yeah, Roxy does see Sylva as more her family than our two." Justin admitted. "It's sad, in a lot of ways, but I suppose she didn't resign herself to you and I marrying as much as we thought."
"I don't think it bothers 'er one bit. I jus' think she's always 'eld Stormer in 'igher esteem." Jetta shrugged. "An' she an' Nancy 'ave never gotten along. If she doesn't come, Justin, I doubt Aaron will be 'eartbroken, though I think 'e'd like her to." Her eyes twinkled. "Tell 'er that she'll get to see Nancy in a fancy dress. That'll get 'er here."
"Okay, I'll try that." Justin laughed. He got to his feet, coming to sit beside his wife on the sofa.
"You know, I don't know what I'd have done if I'd have had to have attended Aaron's wedding without you." He said softly.
"Huh?" Jetta looked startled, then her eyes became grave.
"Justin, not that again." She scolded. "I thought we'd agreed, no more talk of the fire, okay? It's bad enough it almost killed me, without you 'arpin' on about it all the time."
"I know, and that's not my intention." Justin said quietly. "But it made me realise that I'll never take you for granted ever again."
"Well, good. Then you can buy me a nice birthday present, since it's a week on Saturday." Jetta's grey eyes twinkled with mischief.
"I walked right into that one, didn't I?" Justin realised. Jetta nodded.
"Yep. You've lived with me long enough, Justin. You should know better by now than to let your guard down so blatantly."
"Ah well, I don't mind." Gently Justin kissed her. "You'll do."


 "There's nothing I can do with it, I'm afraid."
Gaynor Fitzpatrick gently touched the hem of the damaged dress, casting the drummer a regretful look. "I doubt even Shana or Regine could fix it. I'm sorry, Copper - whoever did this did a thorough job of it, and it can't be fixed."
"Who'd be so evil as to destroy a wedding dress?" Copper demanded, her brown eyes still wet with tears. "Who in hell have I upset so much that they'd go to these lengths?"
"Shh." Sadie hugged the redhead tightly. "Gaynor, are you sure that the dress can't be fixed?"
"I'm sure." Gaynor dropped down onto the sofa, biting her lip. "I wish it were otherwise."
"Thanks for coming to look, at least." Nancy said quietly, anger burning in her brown eyes as she surveyed the wrecked fabric of the ivory gown. "I know it's late."
Gaynor shrugged.
"You're my friends, and it's what I'm here for." She said simply. "But this one is beyond me. I could take it to Shana, ask her, but I think she'll say the same thing. The fabric is too torn to be put back to rights."
Copper swallowed hard. It had been Sylva's idea to call out Gaynor, who, as design apprentice to Shana Julian and Regine Cesare, had come to their rescue once before. She was a close friend of Sylva's twin sister Anna, having graduated with her from college the previous summer, and she had soon slipped into the role of Jewel's unofficial fashion designer, though she still maintained that she had a lot to learn.
"So I'm back to square one." She managed finally, her eyes doleful. "It was so pretty, Gaynor, and it looked so right. I can't believe anyone would do's beyond belief."
"I bet it was that bitch Stefana." Sylva's blue eyes flashed. "She's fixated with Aaron, and she's the only person who's soulless enough to do something like this."
"It hardly matters if it was Stefana or anyone else. The point is the dress is ruined and we need to think again." Topaz said gently, for she had been alerted to the disaster downstairs and, leaving her baby to sleep, had joined the others once more.
"Perhaps I could help?" Cynthia offered at length. Copper looked surprised, then shook her head as she understood the hologram's meaning.
"Thanks, Cyn, but a wedding dress something special." She murmured. "I want something I can keep as a memento."
"Well, then I have a suggestion." Gaynor's brown eyes lit up with an idea. "Copper, would you let me make your wedding dress? I know I could do it, and this way you could have it exactly how you wanted that one, if you want, or different...or whatever. I don't have a lot of work on with Shana and Regine at the moment, because we just finished a big order and there isn't much for me to do. Can I help you out instead?"
For a moment, Copper just stared at the young Chinese-American girl. Then, slowly, a smile touched her lips.
"You'd do that for me?" She asked.
"Of course, if you think I'm good enough." Gaynor assured her. "I've had a lot of practice with wedding attire, though, since I came to Los Angeles, and nothing would please me more than to make a special dress for one of my closest LA friends. What do you reckon?"
"I reckon you're a life saver." Copper responded. "Thank you, Gaynor. I really appreciate it."
"Not a bother. I like making things for special occasions, and this is about as special as it gets in a girl's life." Gaynor's eyes twinkled. "I know it's not the same as the one you picked out, and I wish I could do something about that one, but this is the next best thing I can think of."
"We know you're good at what you do, Gaynor." Sadie assured her. "Whatever you made for Copper would be beautiful, I'm sure of that."
"So am I." Copper agreed. She cast the dress a glance, then sighed.
"Will someone do something with that? I don't want to see it again. I don't like the idea that someone came here tonight just to blitz my dress."
"I'll put it out back." Sylva got to her feet, scooping up the dress and leaving the room. Copper bit her lip.
"Gaynor, please don't tell anyone that you're making me a new dress." She said at length. "I don't want whoever it was who did this to come take a second shot. I'm marrying Aaron because I love him, and I don't need the extra hassle."
"I promise." Gaynor agreed. "It will be our secret." 
She reached over, squeezing Copper's hand comfortingly.
"I can make an almost exact copy of that dress, I'm sure, if that's what you want." She murmured. "I know just the place with the right sort of fabric, and eighty percent of the pattern pieces I have templates for, or can adapt. If that's what you want me to do, Copper, I'll do it and noone need be any the wiser that it's not the same dress you bought."
"I don't know." Copper looked troubled. "I liked that dress so much, Gaynor, but now it feels almost...tainted by all of this. I...If you don't mind, I think that dress is, well, kinda bad luck after tonight. I think it would be better to have something...well, different."
"If that's what you want, then that's what we'll do." Gaynor grinned at her. "If you come by my apartment tomorrow sometime, I'll see if I can't sketch a couple of rough outlines and we'll go from there, okay? I know time is tight and you have a lot to do, so the sooner I get started on this, the sooner you have one less thing to worry about."
"Thanks, Gaynor." Copper hugged the designer tightly. "I'll be there."
"Good." Gaynor smiled. "But for tonight I have to be heading home. It's almost midnight as it is, and it's raining like hell out there - visibility is awful and I'd like to get home in one piece."
She got to her feet. "Topaz, say hi to Hollie for me, will you?"
"I promise." Topaz agreed. "She's fast asleep and I'd like her to stay that way, else I'd let you up to say it for yourself."
"It's fine, tiny babies are adorable only whilst they sleep." Gaynor laughed. "At least, that's what I heard!"
"Very true indeed." Topaz dimpled.
"I'll see you out." Sylva volunteered, linking her arm in the young Chinese-American's and together the two girls headed to the big front door. Sylva turned the key in the lock, going to open the door, but then she paused.
"Thanks for tonight, Gaynor. Copper's devastated by this." She said quietly.
"I would be too." Gaynor said solemnly. "And it won't be the first wedding dress I've been commissioned to do, since Anna's already told me that I'm gonna be making hers when she and John get round to setting a date. I'd like to make this for Copper - she's always been sweet to me, and I know how much she loves Aaron."
"I still reckon Stefana blitzed the other one." Sylva sighed. "But we'll never prove it, and I kinda think it'd upset Copper more to go delving into all of that. At least you were able to give us a positive option, even if you can't change tonight's events."
"I wish I could have fixed the dress, but it's beyond help." Gaynor looked troubled. "Syl, I wouldn't say this in front of Copper, but it looked like it had been attacked by...well...someone in a crazed rage, to be honest. I know Copper has some rather, erm, obsessive admirers since her rise to careful, okay?"
"You think she's in danger?" Sylva looked startled. Gaynor shook her head.
"No, not exactly, since she was here and whoever it was could easily have gone for her and not the dress alone." She said at length. "But I do think someone might try their best to wreck the wedding, Syl. Just be on your guard, all right?"
"I will, and so will the others." Sylva nodded, her blue eyes grave. "Thanks again, Gaynor. Drive safely, huh?"
"I'll do my best." Gaynor promised, as the synth player pulled open the big oak door. Then she was gone into the rain-soaked darkness, and Sylva carefully fastened the door up again once more, deep in thought.
"Gaynor's assumption still fits Stefana, in my book." She muttered. "That girl's psycho all right!"
She padded back towards the main lounge.
"She's gone." She said unneccessarily, for all could hear the roar of the car engine as it pulled out of the driveway. "Copper, don't cry, huh? Gaynor will do her best for you, you know that."
"I know." Copper swallowed hard. "And I will be all right, Syl. It's just such a horrible thing. This morning I was so happy - I had my dress, I knew what I wanted for my maids, and everything was exciting and...well...real! And now? Now someone broke into my home, wrecked my wedding dress...what's going on?"
"Well, we're not going to worry about it." Nancy told her firmly. "Cyn's found where the intruder got in, and she's nailing up the window first thing in the morning. We're gonna go to bed and sleep and tomorrow things won't seem so awful."
"Nancy's right." Sadie agreed. "It was a horrible thing, Copper, but I bet Gaynor will make you the most beautiful dress ever. In the end, it will all work out all right, you'll see."
"I guess so." Copper looked troubled. "It's like some weird omen, though, telling me not to marry Aaron at all."
"Don't be stupid." Nancy snorted. "It's just some nutcase with a penknife who thought it'd be fun to mess with you, that's all. You're big news, and weirdos read papers too, you know. It could even have been someone following a dare. Not an omen."
"Well, I hope not." Copper said sadly. She stood.
"Guess I'll go take a shower, go to bed and try and get some perspective." She said finally. "Thanks for being supportive, guys. I needed it tonight."
"Night, Copper. Sweet dreams, all right?" Sylva cast her a smile. "And Nancy's right. Don't worry about it. Your wedding will be fine and if you think you shouldn't marry Aaron then you've lost your mind. You guys are perfect together and you know it! Tonight was just some, I dunno, jealous idiot trying to be clever, whether that was Stefana or some other moron."
"I hope you're right." Copper murmured softly.
"Do you really believe that?" Sadie asked quietly, once they were sure the drummer was well out of earshot.
"Yes. Stefana is an unimaginitive jealous moron." Sylva shrugged. "Gaynor thinks someone might try and wreck the wedding, and she's probably right, but then, we know Stefana and we know her games. I just wish I had her here, so I could rearrange her jaw for her."
"Me too, if it was her." Nancy narrowed her eyes. "That bitch girl is obviously delusional if she thinks that anything is gonna stop my brother marrying Copper and being happy."
"Gaynor is a sweetie to help out." Sadie observed.
"She always is, but then she enjoys sewing." Topaz told her. "And she has a kind heart. Besides, it does seem the natural solution."
"Well, it might be a secret for now, but when Copper is happily wedded and the photos hit the presses, I vote we make sure all of Los Angeles know what a talented designer did Copper's dress." Nancy decided. "She's doing this for Copper, and I reckon we should make all of California aware of what sort of a designer Gaynor Fitzpatrick is capable of being."
"I second that." Cynthia agreed. "One good turn deserves another, after all, and Jewel are very public figures. It would do Gaynor's career no harm at all for her name to be linked to you girls."
"Well, when she's done with her apprenticeship, she'd probably make Jewel a fine designer." Topaz said with a shrug. "But all of this is into the future." She stifled a yawn, "And I for one need my bed. It's been a long day, and a traumatic one in many senses! Goodnight all - and let's hope tomorrow has a happier ending!"


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!