Blind Faith

Chapter Ten: Wise Counsel

With a triumphant chuckle, Stefana flipped the magazine closed, pushing it aside as she considered it's contents carefully.
"Who would've thought they'd bite so easily, and with so little actual proof!" She murmured, a vindictive sparkle touching her green eyes as she rested her chin in her hands. "They make it sound so awful, how they've written it in there. It's just perfect. They've chosen us as their favourites for the award, and with this story now circulating, the other magazines will do as well to follow. Besides, the award committee won't take kindly to a group who are cheating. Diablo produce all their own music, so we should win this fair and square."
A voice from the kitchen doorway startled her and she glanced up, casting her brother a grin.
"What gives?" She asked. "Something up?"
"Rory just called. Said there was some crazy story about Jewel in Cool Trash that just shot our award chances sky high." Luca dropped down onto a bar stool. "You know anything about that?"
"As usual, I'm a step ahead of you." Stefana shoved the magazine towards him. "I bought it for the article on lip gloss, but it made interesting reading. Whatever you think of Jewel, Luca, I bet you never thought they'd stoop to the level of releasing a song that isn't even their own work."
"Do you really think that they did?" Luca opened the magazine, skimming over the article. Stefana shrugged.
"I don't care." She admitted. "I care about us winning. Jewel can do as they like."
Something in her tone made her brother glance up, shooting her a suspicious glance.
"Did you have something to do with this?" He asked.
"Luca, we're going to win this award fair and square." Stefana injected a note of hurt into her tone. "We don't have to resort to dirty tricks and cheating to win - we're already ahead of the pack."
She got to her feet. "I'm not stopping here to be insulted. I'll see you later."
Luca watched her go, a frown on his face.
"I wish I could believe you." He mused, pursing his lips. "The story might be true, but it's convenient how it's suddenly come out like this. I really wish I could believe you meant that, Stef, about playing it fair, but I wonder. I really wonder."

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"Something's on your mind."
Aaron cast his fiancee a curious look as he pulled open the door of his car, climbing into the driver's seat and reaching over to release the lock for the passenger side. Copper swung open the door, getting in without acknowledging his comment, and he rolled his eyes, leaning over to kiss her.
"Copper, are you on the same planet as I am?" He teased gently. "Earth to Copper? Are you with me?"
"Huh?" Copper started, then, reading her companion's expression, she blushed.
"No, I guess I'm not." She admitted at length. "I'm sorry, Aaron. I've something on my mind. I didn't mean to be a space cadet tonight - I know I haven't been much fun as company, but's a big deal thing, and I'm not sure how to handle it."
"Can you talk about it?" Aaron asked, putting his key in the ignition. Copper shrugged.
"I don't know." She replied.
"Well, will you try? I'd like to help, but I can't read your mind." Aaron's tone was light and teasing, and despite herself Copper smiled slightly.
"I suppose it wouldn't hurt to trust you on this." She responded eventually. "Aaron...can we just stop here a minute? I mean, I'm in no hurry to go home tonight, if you want the truth."
"Ooh." Aaron's eyebrows shot up, but he obediently switched the engine back off. "You had a fight with the others?"
"Not exactly." Copper looked troubled. "Aaron, what do you think of our new song?"
"Dolorida? It's cool. Why?"
"Well, there's a big problem with it." Copper spread her hands. "Cool Trash have got the idea from somewhere that we're releasing a song that isn't our own, and, well, the award committee are going to throw us out of that competition if we can't prove it really is our music. Nancy and the others want us to perform it live, but...but it's more difficult than that. I don't think can be performed live."
Aaron paused for a moment, taking in his girlfriend's doleful expression. He pursed his lips.
"You're not happy about singing to an audience, huh?" He asked gently. Copper's eyes widened.
"How did you know?" She demanded. "Did Nancy...?"
"Copper, I'm going to marry you." Aaron put a gentle finger to her lips. "I don't need Nancy to tell me that when Jewel release a song that's mostly in Spanish, it's going to be you behind it. Besides, I've heard you sing. I recognised you straight away."
" did?" Copper looked stunned. Aaron nodded.
"Of course." He agreed.
"But you didn't say anything."
"Why should I?" Aaron grinned. "You and the others had this big secrecy thing going on, and I didn't want to burst any bubbles. Besides, Copper, I wanted people to hear it and think how great it was without having a name to put to the voice. You doubt yourself far too much as it is, otherwise you'd have sung lead a long time before this. You have ability and this song has let you show it, that's all. What's bad about that?"
"Well, this whole scandal business, now." Copper groaned. "Aaron, they really want me to sing live, and...and I never saw Jetta look so foreboding and angry when I said that I wouldn't do it. She wants to see us tomorrow morning, and I know it means more trouble. The others are probably mad at me but they don't understand - I can't sing live. I just...just can't."
"Why can't you?" Aaron asked gently. "Would it be so terrible?"
"Yes." Copper swallowed hard. "It's one thing being behind my kit. There I'm safe, Aaron. It protects me and I'm not afraid. I get into the song and it's fine. I belong there. But I'm not a singer. Topaz and...and the others, they've already proven themselves behind the microphone. I don't want people to laugh or...or to screw it up and make Jewel a joke. To say that I'm just an airhead who plays kit and that I should have stuck to what I knew."
"But isn't that what you're saying, if you don't perform live?" Aaron reasoned. Copper stared.
"What do you mean?"
"You're assuming what other people will say. You have no evidence for any of it." Aaron spread his hands. "You can clearly sing, because you've done so on the record. That's a start. And stage fright is a terrible thing, but people overcome it all the time. Nancy does it every time she goes on stage - you know that. Yet she loves Jewel and wouldn't be anywhere else."
A guilty look touched Copper's brown eyes.
"This song means a lot to her." She murmured. "I'd forgotten, but that's why I agreed to do it in the first place. She wanted our comeback to be special, since...since it so easily might not have happened at all. I mean, with Jetta sick and everything..."
"Nancy's had a hard few months with one thing and another." Aaron agreed gravely.
"So have you, if it comes to it." Copper replied. Aaron shrugged.
"Yes." He said evenly. "I love my mother dearly and I was afraid to lose her. But Nancy...isn't like other people. She's far more intense than I am about things, and it can make her a lot less rational. When she feels something, she feels it to the bone, and I know that Mom being sick was a huge blow to her. If Mom had died, well, we'd all have grieved. But I don't think Nancy would have moved on - or even been able to for a long while to come. The things that matter to her matter to her passionately. Sometimes so much so that she can't see around them."
He kissed her on the cheek.
"And then, I had you." He added.
"Nancy has Dean." Copper objected. Aaron nodded.
"She does, but it's not the same." He said matter-of-factly. "I think you know that as well as I do. Copper, if this song means that much to Nancy, then you're going to hurt more than just Jewel's reputation if you can't bring yourself to sing it live. You're going to hurt my sister too - and it's the kind of hurt she won't easily forgive. Her music means everything to her, and I'd hate you girls to fall out over something so small. You both mean the world to me."
"Nancy is my best friend." Copper glanced at her hands, idly picking at the glossy nail polish as she considered his words. "And I feel like I'm letting Jewel down, Aaron. I don't like that feeling at all. But...but the thought of singing makes me feel sick inside. It knots up inside of me and...and I'm sure I'd choke or pass out or screw it up somehow. I just...just know it. That's not going to do us any good."
"I don't think you'd screw it up at all." Aaron told her gently. "I have total faith in you, Copper, and you should have it in yourself, too. You've been a Jewel for a long time now. People adore you. Thousands of fans write to you every week. They idolise you girls, and want to be just like you. If you sing live once and hate it, well, noone will force you to make a habit of it. But if you don't, and this mud is allowed to stick, think of the damage it could do to Jewel. Those fans who've believed in you so wholeheartedly - they'll never quite know if their favourite group really did get so desperate they had to cheat. The song won't sell. Mom and Aunt Phyl will be forced to look at all kinds of other legalities. But most of all, Copper, it's going to set you against the girls who mean the most to you. You recorded this for them, and Jewel have always been a team. Don't let that go, huh? I know you can do it. You should believe it, too. The others will help you, if you ask them to."
Copper was silent for a moment, considering. Then she sighed.
"I need to think it out." She said at length. "I understand everything you've said, Aaron, but I...I need some time to put it together in my head and decide what to do."
"Okay." Aaron nodded. "Then we might as well get moving. Do you want to stop at my place tonight?"
"It might be wise." Copper agreed slowly. "Just while I think it through. After all, whatever I decide going to affect Jewel one way or the other. I want to be sure that I'm happy with what I choose at the end of the day.
Because...well...whatever I do decide, there'll be no going back."

Prologue: Texas

Chapter One:News For Jewel
Chapter Two: Zoe Confides
Chapter Three: A New Sound
Chapter Four: A Challenge For Copper
Chapter Five: Plots
Chapter Six: A Secret For Stefana
Chapter Seven: Hope For Zoe
Chapter Eight: Dolorida
Chapter Nine: Jewel's Dilemma
Chapter Ten: Wise Counsel
Chapter Eleven: Decisions For Jewel

Chapter Twelve: Zoe Takes The Plunge
Chapter Thirteen: Her Father's Daughter
Chapter Fourteen: The Awards

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!