Blind Faith

Chapter Eleven: Decisions For Jewel
"So you finally met him, huh?"
Fiona Daniels lazed back in her armchair, reaching for her mug of coffee as she cast her girlfriend a smile. "Was he what you'd hoped he would be?"
"It's hard to say." Zoe frowned, sipping her own drink as she considered the situation. "You see, I wasn't able to tell him. I wanted to - but he was talking about his friend and stuff, and I was actually interested in everything he was saying, since these people took part in Mom's life before me. If you like, they...they led up to me. I mean, if Mom had married Andrew Power, I wouldn't be here. If he'd lived, I wouldn't be here. My entire existance is based on the after-effects of a horrible tragedy. When that sprung to mind, I wasn't sure I should tell him at all. We were getting on so well, Fi. I don't want to turn him against me. Especially since I have to do this interview."
"We've had this kind of a chat about your Dad before." Fiona reflected. "I told you then and I'll tell you now - who you are is nothing to do with how you came about. If your Dad had been that nutcase who torched Misfit Music, well, so what? He wasn't any part of you except biologically, and like that really matters when all's said and done. This is the same thing. It isn't your fault that guy bought it, or that your Mom wound up with this Jeff guy out of comfort. That just happened. You might've been the result, but it wasn't anything to do with you. You see what I'm saying?"
"Yes, I suppose so." Zoe grimaced, setting her mug down on the table. "I'm glad you were in tonight, you know. You always straighten my head out for me beautifully."
"Well, you get too wrapped up in things that don't matter." Fiona said bluntly. "You know it and I know it. Besides, if you don't tell him, you will never know what he thinks. Perhaps he'll surprise you - and you were the one who said you needed to know how you stood. Are you going to funk it now?"
"Probably." Zoe admitted ruefully. "It's just, well, it struck me that there's no second chance with this kind of thing. Fi, if it was your father, how would you treat it?"
"Zo, I'd walk on by as if I hadn't even seen him. I'd certainly not know him and family ain't ever been a big deal to me." Fiona shrugged. "You know that. I ain't like you in this. I know that Connie's important to you and I respect that - she's pretty cool, for a Mom type, and she doesn't mess with our business. At the end of the day, you gotta decide what to do here. He might leave town soon as this documentary's done. You gotta decide if you can watch him disappear without knowing the answer to your questions."
A wry smile touched her lips.
"And I'm not going to listen to plaintive what ifs for the rest of eternity, so make up your mind and keep it made up." She added.
"Well, whatever I do, I'll do it after we film our interview tomorrow." Zoe decided at length. "No sense in making it awkward."
"Your Mom knows about all this, I s'pose?"
"Yeah. I spoke to her this afternoon when we were doing her interview. I can't make out how she feels about it, to be honest. She didn't say a lot, but she didn't seem upset that I was talking to him." Zoe shrugged. "We'll see what happens."
"Changing the subject, whilst you've been dancing round television studios and movie sets, some friends of yours have been hitting the local gutter press." Fiona scooped up a tattered copy of Cool Trash, handing it to her girlfriend. "Jewel, page four. Apparently this is the best that rag can come up with to champion Diablo's chances of winning this big award."
"I don't want Diablo to win that award. Stefana's a bitch and she doesn't deserve anything." Zoe said angrily, reading over the article. "She probably made this up, too. What did you hear about it, or did you just read it in the morning's press?"
"I was working for that mad duo at Misfit Music today, so I heard more than I probably should have done." Fiona said with a dark smile. "I'm involved in Sirena's new video - God help me. That girl and I don't see eye to eye on most things, but I suppose art is art and a paycheque feeds me. Mind you, it's no fun filming any video without you to tease behind the camera."
"So what did you hear?" Zoe ignored the banter, fixing her green eyes on her companion. "What did Pizzazz and Jetta have to say about it?"
"Pizzazz on the subject was high-pitched and I didn't see her, beyond a whirlwind storming into her office and banging the door. Three pictures fell off the wall and two platinum disks into the bargain." Fiona laughed. "Quite funny, really, since one of them bashed an intern on the head."
"They could've been hurt." Zoe scolded. Fiona shrugged.
"I don't care. It's that spotty nerd who thinks all lesbians will rot in hell." She said carelessly. "I thought it served him right - he'd shot his mouth off enough already."
"Oh. Him." Zoe looked thoughtful, then, "What about Jetta? Did she say anything?"
"No, and what she didn't say spoke volumes." Fiona responded. "I gathered there had been a row between her and the group. Something is behind this, Zo...I don't think it's what Cool Trash say it is, but there is something. You're Jewel's bud - Sylva hasn't said anything to you?"
"No. I know they didn't play this Dolorida track live on Mom's show, but I didn't do the video this time with them. I made them a montage because I knew I'd be tied up with this project of Viv's." Zoe shook her head. "Maybe I'll give the Starlight a call in the morning."
"Well, they'd better hope they work it out soon." Fiona remarked acidly. "Because I did hear that the award committee had been in touch with Misfit Music about the press speculation, and I gathered enough to know that if Jewel don't do something smartish to prove this is baloney, they could be kicked out of the nominations. Which, of course..."
"Would give Diablo a clean sweep to the prize." Zoe's eyes sparked with indignation. "Noone else is even in the running, if the media is to be believed. Now I know for sure Stefana must be involved."
"Yeah, I think that way too, but we've no proof and you and I have generated enough press scandal over the last year." Fiona shrugged. "Jewel are big girls. They'll handle it. And win the award too, most likely. At least, that's what I bet."
"I hope you're right." Zoe grimaced. "Bad enough them having to deal with the fire, without Stefana's scheming too!"

Across town, at Misfit Music, four Jewel musicians were heading inside the studio building, hearts each full of trepidation. Copper had not come home the previous night, and though all had surmised that she'd stayed with Aaron, it had only accentuated the rift of the day before. Nancy in particular was very quiet, with shadowy, troubled eyes that told of a night with little sleep, and even Sylva was beginning to get anxious.
"What if she bails on us?" She said now, as she pushed open the main entrance, leading the way across the lobby. "None of us have seen anything of her since she left here yesterday - do you think she's really stubborn enough to blow things for us?"
"She can be obstinate. We know that." Topaz bit her lip, sending Nancy a sidelong glance. "But I would have thought that the Jewel bigger picture would have sunk in by now. At least I hope it has. The trouble is, guys, that even if we can understand why Copper doesn't want to do this, we can't explain that to the press or the award people without betraying our promise to her. So either way, we cause problems. And I don't care about the award, but I do care about people believing we'd cheat. It's just not a Jewel thing to do."
"We've come through scandals before, and survived." Sadie said softly, as they headed upstairs. "And those have been based in far more truth than this one. The first time I sang for Jewel I felt like nothing on earth -sick and giddy and petrified. I know it's the same for Copper, that's all. We can't be angry with her. She's just scared."
"Can't we?" Nancy asked darkly at that point. "Look, you guys, I know what you're saying, but listen. I've lived here my whole life. I've grown up around the music business and I know how it works. Something like this can ruin your career. Seriously. This could be the end for Jewel, if we don't perform the song and put paid to the speculation. If Mom and Aunt Phyl can't clear things up then they might find themselves making a loss through us. It's not like a personal life scandal - that's nothing to do with music and can be lived down, in time. But this..." She shook her head. "This is related to our career. Our whole fanbase is dependant on the outcome of this."
"That's slightly exaggerating, surely?" Topaz looked startled. Nancy shook her head solemnly.
"When I was twelve, there was an artist working in LA who was busted for lip syncing and not recording his own stuff. It was a big scandal." She said quietly. "He never recorded again. He left L.A. That was it for his career."
"Wow." Sylva grimaced. "That's not promising, is it?"
"The higher you are, the further you have to fall." Nancy agreed grimly. "And if Copper lets us down, girls, then we've got a long way to fall."
"Maybe she won't." Sadie suggested.
"Well, do you see her?" Nancy gestured around her. The corridor where the offices lay was deserted, and Sadie sighed.
"No." She admitted. "But that doesn't necessarily mean anything. Maybe she arrived early and is already with Jetta. Aaron's car is here so she must be around."
"Only one way to find out." Topaz shrugged, heading up to Jetta's office door and knocking three times.
"Come in!" A voice called, and, exchanging looks, the quartette entered.
Jetta was sitting behind her desk, going over paperwork. She glanced up, casting them a frown.
"Only four of you?" She observed quietly. "Where's Copper?"
"She hasn't been here?" Sylva asked. Jetta shook her head.
"Not seen 'ide nor 'air of the girl since yesterday." She said. "So it's that way, is it?"
"She didn't come home last night, so none of us have had a chance to talk to her about it." Topaz said at length. "We think she went to Aaron's, but his car is here, and, well, if she isn't with you..."
"We don't know where she is." Sadie finished.
"I see." Jetta knitted her brows. She muttered a curse, then, "Damn obstinate girl. What the hell is she playin' at? Does she want this to ruin Jewel?"
"I don't know that she's thought of it. She's just scared to perform." Sadie said quietly. Jetta shook her head.
"Of the lot of you, Copper's the one who'd realise first of all what the implications are for the band." She said firmly. "It ain't any good, Sadie, defendin' 'er won't work. The only recourse we have is to issue a press bulletin and tell them who's singin' the track, and what happened. It's the only way we can save the reputation of Jewel an' the company, but if Copper refuses to sing it live, or worse, denies it..."
She held up her hands.
"This is a big deal, girls." She added. "A lot 'angs on 'ow this is 'andled."
"We're starting to realise that." Topaz admitted. "Do you think that this could break Jewel up for good?"
"It could, love." Jetta nodded. "It definitely could. I 'oped that Copper would 'ave come to 'er senses by this mornin', but I suppose from 'er no show I'm to assume that isn't the case. Damn 'er! What a time to get stage fright! But of all of you, I wouldn't expect Copper to be the one lettin' the side down."
"I'm not letting anyone down, Jetta."
A fresh voice came from the doorway and the girls turned with exclamations to face their missing member. Her expression was grave, and her brown eyes clouded and troubled, but she stepped into the office, closing the door behind her.
"I'm sorry to be late." She added. "I came with Aaron, but I stopped to help him set something up downstairs, since it's Cynthia's day free today. I lost track of time."
Jetta eyed her keenly.
"Whether I forgive your lateness or not depends on what you 'ave to say." She said at length. "Well? Are you goin' to do your bit for your band, or is my son marryin' a coward?"
Copper flushed at this, biting her lip.
"I'm not a coward." She said softly. "I never expected to be put in this position, that's all. But...but I talked to Aaron last night, about everything. He...he made me see things differently, so...I guess I'll sing."
"Oh!" Sylva hugged her friend impulsively. "I knew you wouldn't let us down!"
"That's why I'm doing it." Copper admitted. "I don't want to - the idea makes me feel sick - but you guys are my best friends, and almost like family. Aaron made me realise that it wouldn't be the band I'd be letting down if I didn't do it, but the people who mean the most to me."
She cast Nancy an apologetic look. "Especially you, Nance. I know how important this song is to you - I'm sorry."
"It's okay." Nancy's dark eyes had lost their grave look. "So long as you perform, it doesn't matter. Does it, Mom?"
"No, it doesn't." Jetta's expression had relaxed at the drummer's words. "If I call the studio and try an' get you a last minute slot on Dean's show tomorrow, you won't back out on me?"
"I promise." Copper said determinedly. "Though if I faint on stage, won't be on purpose."
"You won't faint." Sadie assured her, squeezing her hand. "I felt awful before the first time I sang for Jewel -actually, sometimes I still do, and you know Nancy does, too. But once you're out there and the crowd are cheering it doesn't seem so bad. It's a buzz and I bet you don't get the same thrill sitting behind your kit as you will being in the spotlight."
"Ooh, don't." Copper shivered. "I'm already terrified."
"It'll be all right. We'll help you practice today, and you'll be fine on stage by the time we're done." Topaz told her. "We can use the studio downstairs, Jetta - can't we? If we're going to shake Copper's nerves out of her, we'll need to begin as soon as we can."
"As far as I know it ain't booked up." Jetta cast a glance at her computer screen, then shook her head.
"Nope, it's free today. You girls might as well get goin' and practice. I'll call the studio an' see what I can wangle regardin' a slot on Dean's show."
"What about Aunt Phyl?" Nancy looked startled.
"She's in San Diego." Jetta replied. "So she won't be 'ere till tomorrow now."
"Nothing's wrong with her Dad, is it?" Sylva looked anxious. Jetta shook her head.
"No, not at all." She agreed. "'Arvey Gabor is one of the most resiliant old folk I know, so don't worry your 'ead about 'im. No, it's purely business - checkin' up on a lead Dawson gave us. She wanted to go in person."
She eyed Copper thoughtfully. "I suppose you girls will need a studio drummer, if you're to pull this off tomorrow." She reflected. Copper nodded.
"I can't sing and play kit." She agreed. "And even if you could set up the mic, I'd screw up the rhythm or the lyrics."
"Then I'll get onto that, as well." Jetta decided. She indicated the door. "Go on, shoo! You need all the practice you can get! Tomorrow's show is gonna be as publicised as possible, so no mistakes, all right?"
"She's so great at boosting confidence." Copper said dryly as the five girls made their way slowly down to the big studio, pausing to collect their instruments on the way.
"I'm glad you decided to do it." Sadie said. "We were worried, you know. Jetta made us realise how important it was."
"I know. Aaron did the same for me." Copper admitted. "And I'm sorry I gave you girls a fright. I realised that okay, you pretty much coaxed me into doing it, but I had the power to say no, and I let myself be persuaded. That being the case, I have to see it through. It's not fair to let the gossip rags win because I'm playing chicken. Besides, I didn't want to let you girls down. You are my best friends and that wouldn't have been nice."
"We're glad you think so!" Sylva dimpled. "And we'll school you in everything you need to know for singing live, don't worry. Won't the world get a shock tomorrow when they switch on and find that Jewel's rock hearthrob is taking the mic!"
"I'm not Jewel's hearthrob!" Copper blushed hotly. "And Jetta mightn't be able to get us on."
"Dean's show? Almost a given that she will." Topaz laughed, indicating Nancy. "He's biased."
"Well, I'm glad it'll be soon. The quicker I get it over with, the better for everyone." Copper said matter-of-factly.
"What are we going to say, if people ask why we didn't perform it earlier?" Sylva wondered. "We can't say 'Copper was afraid to.' No offence, Copper, but it sounds really unprofessional."
"None taken." Copper assured her. "But I don't know -what can we say?"
"Simple." Nancy shrugged. "We'll tell them that we were saving it for the Award Ceremony. That we'd planned to spring the surprise on them that night, only because of the negative press we'd been forced to do it early. That's all. We've plenty of things we can do for a special Award performance if the need arises, but that covers us pretty nicely. At least, I think it does."
"Like mother, like daughter." Topaz's blue eyes twinkled with amusement. "That's just like something Jetta would say."
"But I'm right, though." Nancy was unperturbed. "It would stop questions."
"So that's the line we'll adopt." Sylva decided. "But next song we do, guys, let's do a simple English one with no special fancy stuff, huh? This one's been more than enough for me!"
"I'm with that." Copper agreed fervently. "I don't intend to sing again, I'll tell you!"
"You haven't even done it live yet." Topaz scolded. "You might love it."
"Maybe, but I doubt it." Copper replied. "I'll settle for getting it good enough today and playing it tomorrow, if you don't mind."
"I think most of us would settle for that at present." Sadie grinned. "And don't fret, Copper - the rest of us are happy enough singing these days. This can be a one off."
"Good." Copper sighed. "Okay. If we're going to do this, let's do it!"

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!