No Such Thing As Ghosts

Chapter Five: Sadie's Family

Sadie stepped out of the big black limousine, casting a contented smile around her at the busy city landscape. "Home!"
"Well, if anyone was in any doubt as to where we were tourin' next, kid, you've set us all straight." Jetta eyed her charge in amusement, ushering the rest of the band out of the car as she did so. "And you ain't the only one glad to be out of London without any mischief 'appenin'! We're 'ere for two days, then it's on to the castle - behave yourselves, huh? Tonight you play the NEC and tomorrow you're at BRMB and then the NIA in the evenin'. This afternoon is all yours, don't get yourselves arrested!"
"We promise, Jetta." Copper dimpled, linking her arm in Sadie's. "We've tried that particular adventure. But we're really free for the rest of the day? It's only half twelve!"
"Yes...I want you back 'ere around five, so we can get to the NEC with plenty of time to spare. You play at eight." Jetta replied. "Normally I'd 'ave you there all day but there was some problem with lights an' they can't 'ave you there till 'alf five at the earliest. Then I expect you all to work your butts off - but for now you 'ave a breather."
"Then it's a good time to call my sister and see if I can drop by there for an hour or two." Sadie decided. "So long as nobody minds me haring off, of course."
"Nope. We'll hit the city centre and shop, or something." Sylva shook her head. "Say hi to Alyssa and the kids for us, though? They're real cutie-pies."
"Of course." Sadie laughed. "In truth I can't wait to see them myself."
"So where are the rest of us heading? The Bull Ring?" Nancy folded her arms. "So Syl can rack up her credit card and double our luggage home?"
"That sounds like a plan to me." Sylva nodded her head. "Anyone in?"
"Oh, you can always count me in on a shopping spree." Topaz laughed. "And I've not been here in so long!"
"Not since the first time we met, in fact." Sadie cast the singer a playful smile. "At New Street Station."
"Yes, that's true." Topaz acknowledged. "And that was ages ago!"
"We'd better check into the hotel first." Copper observed. "Just so we know where we're going to sleep tonight. We've enough cases to dump and none of us will want to see to that stuff after we play tonight. Likely we won't be back here till midnight anyway."
"Sadie, if you like, we'll see to your stuff." Nancy offered. "We've a suite of rooms so we can ditch your stuff in your room for you, if you want to go phone Alyssa. We'll catch you back here later at five, all right?"
"Sure, thanks Nance." Sadie nodded. "I'll see you all this evening - bye for now!"
As the English girl took her leave of her friends, she slipped her hand into her purse, pulling out her mobile phone and dialling her sister's home number. Glancing around her at the familiar streets, a smile touched her lips. Despite all she had been through the last time they had visited England, this was her hometown and she missed it, even among the busy streets of Los Angeles.
"It might not be perfect, but it's a part of me." She mused, crossing over the road as she waited for her sister to answer. Excited teenagers whispered and pointed at the sight of her, but she was oblivious to their attention. For a split-second she was just Sadie Monahue again, not a Jewel, not wrapped up in the hype of the music world.
"It's hard to explain to the others what coming here means to me." She decided. "I'm glad they seem to understand that I needed to do this on my own this time. I haven't been just Sadie for a long time and, much as I love being a Jewel, this is home."
At that moment, Alyssa answered her phone, and Sadie greeted her with a cheerful hello.
"Sadie!" Alyssa exclaimed. "The line sounds pretty good - are you in England?"
"You didn't watch Top of the Pops last night?" Sadie bantered. "Yes, we've been here a few days."
"Nope, didn't catch it. Andrew was watching the football and I was busy explaining to Megan why it's naughty to try and feed Sharita's rabbit crayons." Alyssa sounded rueful. "I'm sorry, I'm out of the loop."
"Well, do you fancy having a houseguest this afternoon for an hour or two? We just got to Birmingham and Jetta's cut us loose till about five." Sadie replied. "I thought I'd grab lunch in the city at an old haunt then come drop by your place, if you'll have me. I'm dying to see you."
"Well, Shari is at school, so she'll be mad to miss you, but you know you're always welcome." Alyssa told her with a laugh. "And Georgia's home today too, so you can see her."
"Good, that's what I'd hoped." Sadie responded. "And I'll stop around till Shari comes in from school - I can always get a taxi straight to the NEC if need be. Jetta won't skin me if I'm five minutes late."
"You'd better hope not!" Alyssa laughed. "Okay, so shall I expect you around half one, then?"
"Yep, that sounds good to me." Sadie agreed. "Thanks, Aly. Talk to you soon, all right?"
"Yes, for sure." Alyssa responded. "See you later then! Take care!"
"I will. You too!"
Carefully Sadie terminated the call, dropping her phone back into her bag and pulling out her cigarettes, lighting one and continuing her walk down the busy Birmingham high street. She knew the city like the back of her hand, and she knew that she wasn't far from New Street Station, the place which, she knew all too well, had changed her life considerably some years before.
"Though I didn't know Topaz was a Jewel then, or that by helping her I'd make a friend for life." She mused, a slight smile touching her lips at the memory. "It's so weird how things turn out. Nobody had a clue who I was then, or cared, either. Now the whole world queue up for my autograph. It's beyond strange."
"Well, well. Look who's come back from the cold."
A voice startled her out of her reverie and she turned, surprise entering her dark blue eyes as she surveyed the speaker. The girl was about twenty years old, her short reddish hair pulled back into a ponytail and her dark eyes both curious and questioning. This was Chevonne Demarr, once one of Sadie's waifs at the Halfway House that the girl had worked at, and one of the centre's success stories. It had been thanks to Sadie's gentle understanding and patience that Chevonne had been able to face her problems and break through them, and the two girls had developed quite a bond. Despite that, however, they had not been in contact since Sadie's move to America, and the Jewel was a little apprehensive about the reception she might receive.
"Hi, Sadie. Let's just say that you're the last person I expected to run into this afternoon!"
"Chevonne!" Sadie found her voice. "Holy crap, I never expected to run into you, either!"
"Well, since we've nicely surprised each other, what's the big star doing in Brum?" Chevonne eyed her quizzically. "I thought you quit here a long time ago for the big time, Sadie. Has the prodigal girl come home to roost, or what?"
" I'm here with the band and we're touring the UK." A blush touched Sadie's cheeks. "Look, I don't know if you're mad at me for the way I left, but I didn't mean to leave you in the lurch like I did. I wasn't given a lot of choice in the matter."
"Hell, I know." Chevonne dismissed it with a wave of her hand. "And yeah, I was mad as hell for a day or two, when Jessica told me you'd upped and scarpered. Running away from your problems was something you taught the rest of us not to do and I felt kinda cheated. I know you stuck up for a lot of us and helped us out, but you and I...I thought you'd at least have told me about something like this, before you went." She shrugged. "But Jessica took me to one side after I'd been ranting on the subject and she explained to me what happened in that nightclub. What that jerk tried to do to you. And dammit, Sadie, in your shoes I'd have bloody well done the same thing."
"I felt like I'd let everyone down, and I hated leaving my job, because you guys meant a lot to me." Sadie admitted. "But I was so scared, Chevonne. I didn't think rationally about anything - I just fled for my life. But...but he's gone now. There's no danger. I can come back here and walk the streets and everything is fine."
"I know. I read the papers in January." Chevonne said briskly. "But you never came to say hi then - I wondered if your new lifestyle made you too good for us, to be honest."
"No...only after having been confined to a hotel for ages during the investigation, the rest of our tour basically happened all at once." Sadie looked rueful. "And since I was pretty much to blame for a lot of that, I couldn't really complain. Besides, Chevonne, you're no kid now. I know you planned to move out of the centre when you were eighteen and you're well past that now. I didn't know if coming there would be any good. The kids who knew me would've moved on."
"You'd be surprised." Chevonne linked arms in the guitarist's, leading her over to a bench and sitting down, pulling the other girl down with her. "Tony and I still remember you, you know, and so do some of the others. Jessica talks about you occasionally, so noone has a chance to forget. You did a lot for a lot of people."
"You and Tony still see each other, then?" Sadie asked. Chevonne nodded, a slight blush touching her cheeks.
"Could say that." She said flippantly, holding out her left hand. "We see something of each other."
"Aww." Sadie dimpled, eying the modest engagement ring with a grin. "I always knew you two would have a happy ending. Guess I was right."
"Well, yeah. We've been engaged for three months but we're not getting married yet. Too much still to get organised." Chevonne responded. "But Tony's been working full time in the diner for the last two years - he's now assistant manager, you know, so he's doing real good there and the staff all think the world of him."
"Good for Tony." Sadie replied. "What about you?"
"I'm still at the centre, of course." Chevonne shrugged. "Like I always said I would be."
"You're a counsellor now?"
"Well, that's what I wanted to do, once I turned eighteen." Chevonne nodded. She grinned. "I had a good mentor and she taught me a lot. I want to teach other kids what she told me."
Sadie returned the grin.
"I'm glad to hear it." She said softly. "In that case maybe I haven't completely abandoned my work here."
"No. But your group play some damn good tunes nonetheless." Chevonne told her. "I'm proud of you really, Sade. Seriously I am, now I've had time to reflect on it. It doesn't half take guts, doing what you did and capitalising on it"
"Perhaps. I was just lucky." Sadie replied. "Hey, are you working this afternoon or do you want to grab lunch? I'm going to drop by my sister's at half one but I'm starving - we just drove down from London."
"It's my afternoon off, and lunch sounds good." Chevonne dimpled. "We've plenty to catch up on and Jess and the others will be mad as heck when I tell them who I met in town. Sure, Sade, count me in. Only this time we're not going to lose touch, okay? Tony and me are getting the internet at home at the end of the month and I damn well expect you to email me."
"I promise." Sadie's eyes sparkled. "It'll be my pleasure!"
From across the road, a slim figure watched the two girls head into the restaurant, a frown on her face.
"This is weird." She muttered. "I thought Jewel were off to colonise some castle in the name of charity...what's that Garnet brat doing sauntering round Birmingham with the local population? And where are the others, anyway?"
She pursed her lips.
"Jewel are playing the NEC tonight, and it would be fun if their little concert was somewhat delayed." She mused. "I heard Garnet say she'd get a taxi back from her sister's. Well...what if the taxi-driver didn't quite know the route?"
She giggled. "I'm sure I can find myself a car in time for this evening - I know I've never yet found a driver who can resist my persuasive techniques! If one of the Jewel girls didn't turn up at the NEC, it'd sure be a coup for Whatson before they even reach the goddamn castle! I'll keep on Garnet's tail. There's bound to be something I can do to interfere before she reaches the NEC!"

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

"You found us all right, then?"
Alyssa opened the front door, casting her younger sister an affectionate grin. "It's good to see you, Sadie - come on in."
"Of course I found you - I was here in January and my memory isn't that bad." Sadie teased, stepping into the hallway and removing her jacket, hanging it on the coatrack and slipping off her boots. "Though you've redecorated the front hall since then - I'm sure it wasn't blue last time I was here."
"Nope. Andy redid it in April." Alyssa shook her head. "Georgie and Grey helped, so it was done in no time."
"Grey?" Sadie raised an eyebrow. "He's still a part of things, then? George doesn't really mention him to me a lot when we chat online."
"I think she's afraid you don't approve of him." Alyssa pursed her lips. "But he's pretty good for the kid in truth. He's gotten her out of the house on more than one occasion and she always seems to feel safe when with him. Andy and I haven't done anything to intervene in that friendship - she doesn't have enough friends and he seems loyal enough."
"Last time I met him he was seriously sweet on her." Sadie remembered. "You said George was home, by the way?"
"Yes, she's in the lounge with Meg and Josh." Alyssa nodded. "Josh is getting everywhere now he's almost a year and so she's keeping an eye on him while I got the door. He's in the playpen but you know, I'm sure that given half a chance he'd be out of it within seconds. He's that kind of kid."
She led the way into the front room, and Sadie paused in the doorway, eying the scene with a contented smile. Megan was the first to see her, and she let out a shriek of excitement, dropping the barbie doll she had been playing with and haring across the living room floor, almost going flying over a discarded cushion in her hurry to greet her aunt.
"Hi, Meggi." Sadie scooped her up. "Hey, you're getting too big for this!"
"Mummy said you were comin'." Megan said, hugging her aunt tightly. "You don't come see us enough."
"No, I know, but I'm here now." Sadie winked at her, hoisting the small four year old more securely in her arms. "And this is your little brother, huh? This huge kiddy here? He was a tiny little thing when I saw him last."
"Babies grow." Alyssa said with a grin. "And he's no exception to the rule, I assure you."
"Hi, Sadie." The room's final occupant now spoke up, and Sadie met her gaze with a warm one of her own.
"Hi, Georgie." She said gently. "You look well."
"I am. Pretty good, anyhow." Georgia nodded. "I saw you on TV last night. I wondered if you'd have time to drop in."
"I promised I would and I didn't want to break my word." Sadie settled herself on the sofa, placing Megan gently down beside her. "Besides, I miss you lot like crazy when I'm in LA. It's nice to come home and see people."
"I'll get coffee." Alyssa decided. "Sadie, milk and sugar?"
"Please." Sadie nodded. "Thanks, Aly."
"Meg, you wanna come help me put out biscuits?" Alyssa eyed her daughter questioningly and, ever the little hostess, Megan nodded importantly, wriggling down off the couch and trotting into the kitchen after her mother.
"So, you had a good trip over here?" Georgia eyed her elder sister questioningly. Sadie nodded.
"Smoother than last time I was here." She said lightly, but there was no malice in her words, and the teenager cast her a slight smile.
"I don't think it could've been much worse." She said matter-of-factly. "I'm glad you came, though. I...I need to talk to you. Sister to sister."
"Talk to me?" Sadie looked startled. "But not Alyssa?"
"Well, Aly's more like a Mum than a sister sometimes." Georgia said with a shrug. "And there are things you can't talk to a mother figure about, even though you love them like mad. Besides, this is something you understand better than Aly can."
"Okay, so what's on your mind?" Sadie asked. "What can I help you with?"
"Well, last time we chatted you told me about this guy you'd met." Georgia glanced at her hands. "I wondered if Neal...well, if he's still there sometimes for you. Even though you've moved on and found this guy you really you ever think of Neal?"
"No." Sadie shook her head. "Not since Alex and I got serious, George, and that's the truth. He's healed that part of me. If I ever think of Neal at all it's in terms of you and how you're getting on since his death. My own involvement with him is a part of the past now and I can leave it there." 
She eyed her companion keenly. "Why do you ask?"
"I guess because I'm confused." Georgia sighed heavily. "I've spent the last nine months in therapy, Sadie, so I should know my own psyche backwards by now, but I don't know if I do. It''s kind of to do with Grey, if you must know."
"Aly mentioned that you still saw something of him, even now you were here in Brum." Sadie agreed. Georgia nodded.
"More than I led you to believe." She admitted. "He got a job up here at this car yard and he's doing real good in it - he has an apartment out in Shenstone and his own car and everything. I see him, well, quite a lot, in truth."
"So?" Sadie asked gently. "What's wrong with that?"
"I didn't tell you because I know you didn't want me to have anything to do with that crowd, and I thought you'd feel I'd let you down if you knew I was still seeing Grey." Georgia responded slowly. "But he did help me out, and...and well, now I need your advice."
"George, just because Grey and I weren't friends when I used to hang with Neal, it doesn't mean I don't think you and he should be friends." Sadie shook her head. "He stuck by you when everything happened and he's never been involved in drugs. Why should I think badly of him? He mightn't care much for me, but he certainly cares about you."
"Well, that's what I want to discuss with you." Georgia admitted. " so many ways I'm still so afraid. I still have dreams and...and I don't want to let anyone near me. But...well...I like Grey, Sadie. I know that. And the more we hang out together, the more I wonder...well, where it might end up if I wasn't so afraid. I know he liked me back when things happened, he made no secret of it, but he never pushed the issue. And these days he doesn't say anything about it, just banters and teases with me. I don't know what I should do. I like him and I don't want him to go off dating some other girl. But then again I'm not ready to date myself. I know that. So I'm stuck."
"You love him but you're afraid to make any kind of move?" Sadie asked gently. Georgia nodded.
"You know what Neal can do to a girl's confidence." She replied quietly. "I knew you'd understand."
"If Grey is still as fond of you as he was in January, you've nothing to worry about." Sadie took her sister's hand gently, squeezing it reassuringly. "Listen, George. The only way you'll settle this with yourself and with him is to talk to him about it and be honest about how you feel. If Grey knows there's something worth hanging in there for, he will stick around. He's that kind of guy. So long as he knows that you're not a lost cause. He knows what Neal did - he's not going to push you. But if you don't talk to him, he won't know. Will he?"
"I guess not." Georgia hugged a cushion to her chest. "I'll think it over, I guess. Maybe you're right."
"Right about what?" Alyssa re-entered at that moment, coffee in hand and Megan, laden with biscuits in tow. Sadie cast her younger sister a grin.
"Nothing major." She said simply. "We were just discussing all that's happened since last we met, that's all."
She took a mug of coffee, taking a sip. "That tastes good! It's nice just to kick back and be Sadie Monahue for a bit, even though it's only for a few hours!"


Chapter One: Flight To England
Chapter Two: A TV Welcome
Chapter Three: Avril
Chapter Four: A Rival
Chapter Five: Sadie's Family
Chapter Six: Suspicions
Chapter Seven: Bainbrook Castle
Chapter Eight: Jesta's Game
Chapter Nine: Trapped!
Chapter Ten: The Castle Ghost
Chapter Eleven: To The Rescue

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!