A Jewel Whodunnit...
Chapter Two: Jewel's Sound

"Boy does it feel good to be back in the studio and making good music!" Sylvina Martescu, better known as 'Sylva' to Jewel's fans tossed her jacket up in the air and caught it again, a grin on her face as the group of young musicians made their way out into the summer sunshine. At twenty two years old, there was an impetuous, playful streak in Sylva's character that had never quite been quelled and although these days she was a lot more mature in some respects, in others she was still what her bandmates called the 'same old Syl'."
"Funny you should say that as we leave." Nancy Pelligrini, the youngest of the quintet put in, amusement on her face. "But I agree, it was nice to get some solid Jewel practice down now we're all back together, especially with the new single release sometime soon."
"Well, s'pose we'd better head back to Starlight Mansion and see what mess my bratty daughter has made this time." Topaz grinned. "I'm just about getting used to working my life around the kid, now the movie's done with, but I feel guilty when I leave her too long."
"Cynthia's taking care of her, she'll be okay." Sadie Monahue, the final of the group assured her. "Hollie loves everyone anyway, Topaz. I'm sure she's fine."
"Me too." Topaz owned. Cynthia was one of Jewel's technical directors, working in tandem with Nancy's brother Aaron, the band's road manager to make sure all Jewel's shows went to plan. Few also knew that Cynthia was in fact a solid holographic projection produced by a powerful computer, Synergy, and even to those who did know it was often hard to remember, for it seemed very much like Cynthia's feelings and morals were much the same as their own. "I just worry some when I'm away from her for too long, that's all. I guess it's some weird mother thing." She looked rueful. "After the mess I almost made of raising her when I was filming that movie, I s'pose I'm prone to going to the other extreme now. It ain't easy being a single mother at twenty two going on twenty three you know."
"Don't worry, you do great." Sylva assured her, giving her a hug. "So we're heading home then? All agreed?"
"Mm, I fancy a nice cool lemonade out by the pool anyhow." Copper decided. Sadie grinned.
"Count me in." She agreed. "I swear I'm never going to get used to California's heat. I'm melting and I'm barely wearing more than a top and shorts!"
"Wussy Brit!" Sylva teased. Sadie poked out her tongue at the younger girl.
"Children, please!" Nancy grinned. "I think you'll get used to it though, Sadie. Mom did, after all. She's been here since what, '87? And the heat barely bothers her now, though Aunt Phyl said it used to."
"I hope so." Sadie looked rueful. "Or at least I hope that I don't have to wait twenty or so years before I don't cook every time I step out of the house!" She fished in her purse, lighting a cigarette. "I think we got that song down though."
"I wish you'd quit it with those stinky things." Sylva complained, waving the smoke away. "They're real antisocial, Sadie!"
"I know, but I'm not looking to attract anyone." Sadie retorted. "And if nothing else the smoke keeps bugs away. Pipe down, Syl...I could be smoking a lot worse and you know it."
"The girl has a point." Topaz conceded, for all knew now that Sadie's life before she had joined the band had not always been on the straight and narrow, even dabbling in drugs for a while. "Still, Sadie, put it out before we get home, huh? Not good for Hollie and all that."
"Sure. I try not to smoke round the kid anyhow, when I remember I'm even doing it." Sadie responded. "Sorta become an automatic reflex now."
"Changing the subject slightly, when do you s'pose we'll be meeting up with Zoe to discuss our new video?" Copper wondered as they reached the car, opening the driver's door and slipping into the front seat. "It can't be long away now, after all. I don't s'pose we'll be out of state to film it, since it's a song about family and all that."
"Hollie might get to be in it, Topaz." Nancy observed. Topaz laughed.
"Yeah, maybe. I think she'd like that." She admitted. "She's becoming a right little show-off when people are about - can't think where she gets it from."
"Mm, what a mystery." Sadie smirked. Sylva laughed.
"She might look like Cameron more than she does you, Topaz, but she's definitely got your personality genes." She decided.
"The kid's eight months old, give her a break before you condemn her!" Nancy protested. Topaz pulled a face, slipping into the back seat.
"Thanks, Nancy." She said dryly. "And actually, she's seven months at the moment. So."
"Seven, eight, whatever. I'm close enough." Nancy seemed unperturbed. "Babies aren't exactly my strong point anyhow."
"Yeah, we'd noticed." Sylva sent her a teasing look. Nancy poked out her tongue.
"I can change diapers now." She defended herself. "And I've fed the kid too, without choking her. I'm not that bad!"
"You all rock." Topaz laughed. "Copper, can we go now?"
"Sure, I'm waiting for the traffic to let me." Copper agreed. "Okay, here we go. I just didn't want to screech into a full stream of traffic."
"Like Syl does." Nancy put in.
"Hey, if you can do it then do it, I say." Sylva shrugged. "I've never pranged the car yet."
"Yes...yet." Sadie laughed, winding down the window the full way. "You know, there isn't even a breeze! It's horrible! Nancy, how can you be wearing a jacket!"
"It's not the hottest weather we've ever had here." Nancy responded with a smile. "I grew up in Cali, Sadie, I'm used to it."
"Well, you're making me hot just to look at you." Sadie groaned. "Can't you step on it, Copper? I'm melting...I need the pool!"
"You know, it's kinda neat how Jewel have grown." Copper mused as they drove down the main road towards the Starlight Mansion. "Though I don't think we'd better add any more members, else it'll just be crazy in the long run. But seriously, I like it. It was fun as a trio, but somehow it all clicked better when there were the four of us, and now there are five..."
"We're equal to Diablo and can show them what's what." Sylva finished. Diablo were Jewel's big local rivals.
"That's not what I meant." Copper scolded. "I just think it's fun somehow, that's all. Especially since we've been very multinational with our additions."
"If you'd told me when I was eighteen that I'd wind up playing in an american rock band I think I'd have been asking you where you got your dope from." Sadie said dryly. "But it's come true...sometimes I wonder if I'll wake up and find it's all just been a nice dream, to be honest."
"Some dream." Sylva snorted. Sadie shrugged.
"Well, good things don't tend to come to me and last." She said matter of factly. "I guess it's only natural. I really thought you'd kick me out when Topaz came back."
"I might not have come back." Topaz reminded her. "And even though I did, there's no way Jewel could have parted with you, Sadie. Your artwork makes for brilliant album cover designs and you're the first Jewel who's been able to help Nancy with the songwriting part of things. You probably have more justification to be in the band than I do now."
"This is silly. We're all Jewels." Sylva said firmly. "And Topaz, don't you dare talk about justification or whatever, okay? You're my best friend on the planet, isn't that justification enough? We want you and we want Sadie...so can it, the pair of you."
"Well said." Copper nodded. "We're a team and we'll always be a team."
"It'll be odd when you and Aaron get hitched, Copper, and you move out of this place." Nancy observed as the car drew up outside Starlight Mansion. "Won't you miss us?"
"Miss us? When she has a house with Aaron all to herself? What planet are you from, Nancy?" Sylva demanded. "Of course she won't miss us! She'll be too busy testing out all those perks of married life!"
"Quit teasing me!" Copper turned scarlet, switching off the engine and pushing open the car door. "In any case, just because Aaron and me have begun to talk about fixing a date, it doesn't mean it's imminent. We're going to start looking at some houses, and well, we might move in together before we get hitched, we might not. But either way, stop packing my bags for me before I've said I do!"
"Here's a question." Topaz's eyes twinkled with mischief. "Copper, how much of it will be an, um, wedding perk, when you do finally tie the knot?"
"What do you mean?" Copper looked bewildered.
"She means have you slept together yet or are you waiting till the big night." Nancy translated. "You should know Topaz by now, Copper."
"Oh!" Copper looked embarrassed. "That's not something that's any of your business...it's between Aaron and me, so don't ask silly questions, okay?" She put her key in the lock, opening the front door and pushing it open.
"Aw, spoilsport. I was just interested." Topaz responded goodnaturedly. "I mean, we're all adults together, it's not going to warp anyone's mind."
"Aaron is very special to me." Copper said quietly. "And I'm not saying if we have or we haven't, because it's my relationship and it's too special to ruin by gossiping, even to you guys. Okay?"
"I guess that's fair enough." Sadie observed. Nancy nodded.
"Yeah. I don't like you folk butting in on me and Dean." She acknowledged. "So I s'pose it's the same thing." She slipped off her jacket, dumping it on the newel post. "Cynthia? We're home."
"I heard you." The hologram materialised in the doorway of the living room, making them all jump. "Hollie, however, sleeps, so unless you wish to make her scream, I'd lower the volume. I'm surprised the whole neighbourhood didnt hear you."
"Sorry." Nancy looked sheepish. "It's easy to forget there's a tiny baby living here sometimes."
"Not when she's awake, it isn't." Topaz said dryly. "Guess I'll go up and say hi to her without waking her, if I can. She is upstairs, Cyn?"
"In her crib. She was a very good baby, despite the fact she has a new tooth coming." Cynthia broke the news calmly, eying Topaz's stricken expression with some amusement.
"Another one? Oh Christ, am I to get any sleep this week?" She demanded. "I thought last night that one was through and that was the end of it, at least for a little while!"
"Evidently Hollie does not agree." Cynthia shrugged. "But she was not naughty this afternoon, and went to sleep as soon as I put her down."
"Which means she will be up tonight, most likely." Sadie said thoughtfully. "Topaz, if you want me to help you out at all with her tonight, come let me know, okay? I don't sleep easily in this heat anyhow, so I might as well be of use."
"Thanks, Sadie. That would be good." Topaz said gratefully. "Well, I'll go up and see her, then I'll go have a quick swim and take a nap before she wakes up again and demands her dinner. What about the rest of you? Did someone mention lemonade?"
"I'll go pour some out." Nancy volunteered. "You guys might as well get changed, I'll come join you when I'm done. I assume everyone wants ice?"
"Yep." Sylva nodded.
"Tons of ice for me." Sadie grinned. "Please. I need it."
"Okay, message gotten." Nancy laughed. "See you all in a few, huh?"
The remaining Jewel girls headed upstairs to change, Topaz pausing beside the crib that stood at the end of her bed to watch her daughter sleep for a moment. A smile touched her face as she gently stroked the tiny, clenched fist. Hollie slept on, oblivious to her mother's presence.
"You're as bushed as me after the nights we've had, aren't you?" She murmured. "But some of us can't just sleep it off all day, Hol, so please be good tonight, huh? For Mommy?"
The baby did not stir, and, as quietly as she could, Topaz changed into her swimsuit, pulling her golden hair back into a ponytail. Then she hesitated.
"Maybe I oughtn't go outside, and leave her in here on her own." She mused aloud, frowning.
"Don't worry, Topaz...I'm still here, you know." Cynthia's voice came from behind her, making her jump. "I don't mind keeping an eye to her whilst you take a break - you need to relax too sometimes."
"Thanks, Cyn, you're an angel." Topaz hugged the hologram impulsively. "I won't be long, I promise. I'm gonna come up and sleep, anyhow. It's just hot and sticky at the studio and I could do with a cool dip."
"I understand." Cynthia looked amused. "Go on, enjoy yourself. Even single mothers deserve some time off!"
"Well, maybe." Topaz winked. "Thanks again, Cynthia."
And with that, she was gone down to the pool to join her bandmates.


Prologue: 1989
Chapter One: The "Anniversary"
Chapter Two: Jewel's Sound
Chapter Three: At Sirena's Place
Chapter Four: Jewel's Video
Chapter Five: Fanmail
Chapter Six: A Stranger
Chapter Seven: Stefana's Date
Chapter Eight: The Results
Chapter Nine: A Moment's Weakness
Chapter Ten: A Shock For Zoe
Chapter Eleven: A Surprise For Jetta

Chapter Twelve: Fire!

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!