Chapter Two: Reminiscences

"Hey there!"
Sylva stopped in her tracks, turning to cast the caller a curious smile as she did so. It was the next morning, and she had been heading into the centre of Los Angeles in order to find what she termed 'the perfect sandals', but she had so far come up empty handed. She had not expected to see Aaron's best man up and around so early but, she mused dryly to herself, with Stefana stopping at the road manager's apartment, he had probably taken the first chance to escape that he could.
"Hi." She returned as he joined her. "I thought you'd be sleeping off your flight. Miss Psycho get too much for you or what?"
"Stefana? Oh, she's gone back home, or something. I dunno." Logan shrugged. "Weird chick, though. In truth, with all you said about her, I'm kinda glad that's the case." He grinned. "She did seem kinda strange."
"Understatement." Sylva rolled her eyes. "So what brings you into the city?"
"Old times, mostly." Logan replied. "As for sleeping off my flight, well, I've flown about the states a bit since I got my job and I don't usually get lagged so bad. I wanted to see how much the old place has changed in five years or so."
"And has it?"
"Yeah, some." Logan indicated across the street. "When I was in high school, that used to be a pizza parlour. Now it's some chic wine bar - wonder what that's about."
Sylva laughed.
"I think it was a pizzeria when I moved here, too." She admitted. "I'm not sure. I've lived here four or five years now - wow. I didn't realise it was that long! But I came here fall of it's going on for five years this fall. Scary thought."
"You like LA, then?"
"Definitely. It's my spiritual home." Sylva nodded. "DC is all right, but hey, this place has a beach within driving distance and it's sunny so-o-o much. Talk about your perfect habitat." She grinned. "But then, you grew up here. Guess you know all about the beach, huh?"
"Sure do." Logan agreed. "That was going to be my next nostalgic stop, actually. I hired a car this morning - I was gonna drive out and see the sea. You busy, or you wanna tag along for the ride?"
"I was shopping for shoes, but I'm having no luck." Sylva grimaced. "A trip to the beach always sounds good in my book. Sure, Logan. I'd love to."
"Great." Logan's eyes twinkled merrily. "The car's right this way. Mustangs aint usually my kind of ride, but you know, this one ain't so bad. Could convert me."
"Dad used to drive a Mustang." Sylva remembered, slipping into the passenger seat. "Long time ago, though, when my sister and I were tiny."
"You've a sister?"
"Yep, I sure do." Sylva dimpled. "Anna and I are identical twins."
"Wow. Bet that confused your folks!" Logan got into the driver's side, starting the engine. Sylva laughed.
"Mom has never ever gotten us confused." She replied. "Spooky, but true. We could always pull the switch on Dad, and pretty much everyone else, too. But Mom? Nah. Not a hope."
"Your sister into music too?"
"Yeah, only she writes it, she doesn't perform it." Sylva replied. "When we were in High School I used to sing in statewide and nationwide competitions and stuff - she wrote the songs, and I sang them. We made a good team - I miss her."
"She still in DC, huh?" Logan looked sympathetic. Sylva shook her head.
"No, New York, now." She replied. "She and her fiance have a place there - that's another wedding I've to attend this summer. Feels odd my kid sister is gonna be married soon, but that's beside the point. She has a job writing music for this big corporation - you know, for media productions and stuff like that. It's a really good job for someone who's only graduated last summer, and she loves it...I just wish she was closer, that's all."
"Yeah, I can imagine." Logan agreed. "I've one brother - Austin. He's in the marines, though, and I've seen him what, six times in the last five years? He's four years older than me and he's married, with a one year old brat t'boot. He's been moved around six states already since he joined the corps...that was when he was eighteen, or thereabouts."
"Must make you proud, though - that he's doing that for his country and all." Sylva reflected. Logan nodded.
"Very proud." He agreed. "I don't know if Aaron mentioned it, but my mother was in the military and my father in the peace corps. Mom left to raise Austin and me, but I've always grown up with a lot of respect for that way of life. Might have gone that way myself, if it wasn't for the b-ball scholarship. And well, now I'd be of no use, with my knee and all." He winked. "But I can cheer on my bro from the sidelines, right?"
"Sure." Sylva agreed. "Must've been a blow when you did your knee, huh?"
Logan frowned, then,
"In truth, it was something of a relief as much as anything." He admitted.
"A relief?" Sylva looked startled. Logan nodded.
"Yeah. I mean, I loved basketball and I'm gutted I can't play it now." He agreed. "But I never really wanted to play pro, you know? Just wasn't cut out for all that hard core grit and determination and stuff. Far too fond of my junk food and late mornings, if you get my meaning! But once I got the scholarship, I felt I had to make good on it - after all, I was at college, and I was damn happy to be there. In the end I think things worked out for the best. My accident wasn't a good thing, but it did kinda mean I didn't have to make tough decisions about my future that maybe I would've had to have made."
"Oh, I see." Sylva grinned. "Well, I was a cheerleader, so I kept in shape, but I wasn't a huge fan of the whole sport thing, to be honest. Far too much sweat and mud for me." She looked amused. "Although, sweaty muddy linebackers...they were a different matter."
Logan rolled his eyes.
"So let me get this straight - you joined the squad to gawk at footballers?" He demanded. Sylva giggled.
"Yes?" She admitted. "No, seriously, I loved cheerleading. The buzz of the game was electric and I liked being a part of all of that. But hey, it was an added bonus. And you know, not just footballers. Basketball players and baseball stars were good with me too..."
Logan laughed.
"Well, can't say you aren't honest." He said good-naturedly. "And whilst we're being honest, there were some fine cheerleaders on the squad when I was playing b-ball."
"There you go then. We're even!" Sylva exclaimed. Logan nodded.
"Guess we are." He agreed. "And here we are - sun, sea and sand. Looks just as I left it - stuck in a time warp. Man, we had so many beach parties down here when we were in senior year. I remember one time someone snuck beer here and we'd hooked up stereos and stuff - it was manic. Real good night out, though." He laughed. "I remember Aaron had one beer too many and fell in the sea. There's one for my speech...must remember that."
"Must've been fun to hang here in school." Sylva observed. "Never had that kinda venue in DC, though we had some way wild parties."
"It was the best." Logan looked pensive. Then he seemed to snap himself out of his reverie, grinning at her and opening the car door. "Well, shall we go soak up some sand and sun? I wonder if the guy still sells ices on the pier."
"I'm game, and yes, he does." Sylva responded, getting out of the car herself. "Though he's often surrounded by a swarm of kiddies when it's real hot."
"Yep, I know that much." Logan grinned. "I was one of the same kiddies!"
After buying their ices, they found a deserted spot of sand, settling themselves down to enjoy the fine March weather.
"Takes me way back." Logan remarked after a while. "Aaron's right. I should be looking for a job in Cali. Gonna be real hard to get on that plane to Milwaukee, I'm telling ya!"
"So why stay there so long, if you hated it? Why not find a job here after grad?" Sylva looked curious.
"Well...there was a chick." Logan said at length. "But that's ancient history now. I thought it was something kinda special, but it didn't work out, and we broke up six months ago." He shrugged, looking rueful. "Sometimes them's the breaks."
"Yeah, I guess so." Sylva's expression became sympathetic. "Ain't always easy where love is concerned."
"I hope you don't mind, but I asked Aaron if you were dating." Logan looked sheepish. Sylva looked startled, then she grinned.
"No, I'm not. Not at present." She replied. "The last two guys I got at all emotionally attached to were no-go situations from start to finish. One was a single father - though we're great friends, and I never dated him, not really - and the other, well, he lives half a world away, and that just isn't for me. So there you have it." She shrugged. "Free and single."
She sent him a sidelong glance, then,
"I'm flattered, though, that you asked him."
"I wasn't sure if you'd be mad or not." Logan admitted. "But we seem to click pretty good - have you noticed this? We only met yesterday, and we're already talking like old friends."
"Yeah, I had." Sylva admitted. "But that's how it should be, I reckon. Life's too short to be shy or reclusive."
"I tend to agree." Logan responded. He finished his ice, leaning back on his hands to survey the beach. At the water's edge, two small boys were playing with a ball, and not far along a girl was building a sandcastle with the help of her father. He grinned.
"Feels like old times." He mused. "So, if you're not dating at the moment, then, and nor am I, can I take the plunge and ask you out one evening this week? I don't know how busy Jewel are at the moment, but I figured it can't hurt to ask."
"You work fast." Sylva's blue eyes sparkled with mischief. "Hell, why not. Jewel aren't busy at all, because of Copper's wedding - she and Nancy are taking the brunt of what needs to be done and the rest of us are at a loose end."
"Well, the busier Nancy is, the less likely I am to run into her." Logan looked rueful. Sylva laughed.
"Oh, come on. Nancy's not scary." She chided. "A hermit, maybe, and definitely on the odd side, but she's not scary." She paused, then, "A lot of people consider her to be a musical genius, actually. She writes most all of what we perform."
"I always remember her with some instrument or other whenever I called round for Aaron." Logan remembered. "And I'm not really scared of the kid. I just don't want any awkward situations to mess up Aaron's wedding day. That's all."
"Don't worry. I'll beat sense into Nancy if need be." Sylva laughed. "So, where were you planning on taking me? I bet you know the city as well as anyone - what do you have in mind?"
"There's a restaurant north of the city - serves Mexican cuisine, and Aaron tells me it's still in business." Logan told her. "I used to go there a lot when I lived here - you ever been?"
"I can honestly say we don't eat out Mexican a lot." Sylva admitted. "Whenever we have Mexican food, it's usually because Copper's in the mood to cook it, not because we've hit the local take out."
"So, you game? Say, tomorrow night?"
"Sounds good to me." Sylva nodded her head. "Pick me up at the Starlight around half seven, okay?"
"I'll be there." Logan winked.
"So what did you make of Copper, now you guys have met?" Sylva wondered.
"She's not a bit like the chick I imagined Aaron settling down with, but I liked her anyway." Logan grinned. "She seems nice enough, and he's obviously besotted with the girl. That's usually a good sign in my book."
"They're nauseatingly devoted from time to time." Sylva laughed. "But they're both such sweetpeas, it's impossible to be too jealous of them. I can't wait for the wedding - it's gonna be so beautiful."
"I never imagined him hooking up with one of showbusiness's elites." Logan remarked. "When he first told me he was dating Copper from Jewel I didn't even believe him - guess I don't have a choice now, huh? But so many of the guys in my classes at college were creaming over this chick - and my hometown best friend is now gonna marry her? Didn't see that coming!"
"Aaron and Copper met before Jewel were Jewel, though." Sylva pointed out. "So I don't think that ever came into the equation. As for all the Copper press..." She grimaced. "We tease her about that all the time - it drives her mad. She gets so embarrassed at the idea that the world's masses consider her one of the babes of rock and roll."
"I don't see why. I would've thought it flattering."
"Well, Copper's pretty modest about these things." Sylva replied. "I don't think she likes the singling out."
"What about you?" Logan teased. "You a rock babe, Sylva?"
"I try to be." Sylva winked. "Why not? Being a star is fun! Well, except when you have to do lo-o-o-ong CD signings, or get chased places by people wanting autographs. I like meeting fans but they have the worst timing. I almost missed you at the airport because I got spotted."
"Must make privacy difficult."
"Kind of, but you learn to live with it and we don't do so badly." Sylva shrugged. "It's just one of those things you accept if you want to be successful in this business."
"You always wanted to be a star then?" Logan asked her, as they headed back towards his hire car. Sylva nodded.
"Always." She agreed. "I used to sing in front of mirrors with hairbrushes or hairdryers - very kitsch, but true nonetheless. My Mom was a Misfit - you know, like Aaron's Mom? - and I always wanted to grow up to be like her. I won't say it's been as easy as I imagined it would be - it's a hell of a lot of hard work and sometimes it can be just as tedious as it is exciting - but I wouldn't swap it."
"Lots of people come to LA in search of fame and fortune." Logan observed, slipping into the driver's seat and leaning over to open the passenger door for her. "But very few, I imagine, are successful in finding it."
"It helps to know the right people." Sylva admitted. "I mean, Mom's pedigree didn't get me my contract, not at all, but because she knew Jetta and Phyllis, it meant that I had a chance to be noticed. Having said that, mind you, Sadie and Topaz both hit it lucky in LA. We met Topaz singing in a diner in Canada and were blown away by what she could do - and Sadie came from England originally."
"I thought Topaz sounded Canadian, when I met her yesterday." Logan observed. "Though I wasn't sure and I didn't want to make a fool out of myself asking. I've yet to meet Sadie."
"Topaz's accent has become more Americanised since she's lived with us." Sylva admitted with a shrug. "She's been in LA almost as long as I have, now. But I think she's still as Canadian at heart as ever, to be quite honest."
"Home is where the heart is, huh?" Logan laughed. Sylva nodded.
"Yep, exactly." She agreed.
"You know, when I last drove past here, this Starlight Mansion of yours was derelict." Logan remarked, as he pulled off down the road leading to the big Starlight estate. "It was all boarded up and people were whispering that it was gonna be torn down. What's the story?"
"Phyllis bought it for us to live in, so she'd have somewhere for us close at hand." Sylva explained. "It was logical, since I was living in DC at the time and Copper in Detroit - we needed a base in Cali. And it's become a real home to all of us now, even though it is so big and strange to begin with. It's going to be odd as anything when Copper moves out, but I guess we'll get used to it."
"I suppose it makes sense. This was the Holograms' house, once, wasn't it?" Logan pulled into the arc shaped driveway, killing the engine. Sylva nodded, opening the car door and stepping out.
"Yep, once upon a time." She agreed. "Thanks for the ride, Logan - and the company. I'll see you tomorrow round seven thirtyish, yeah?"
"You sure will." Logan grinned at her. "Later, Syl. See you then!"
"Wow, what great company you keep."
As Sylva made her way into the house, a voice startled her from the top of the stairs and she glanced up, a frown crossing her face. Nancy, her long hair pulled back in a ponytail and her fingers blue from ink, was leaning up against the newel post, an indescribable expression on her face. "I might have known Logan would be your type."
"Hell, Nancy, can't I make friends with anyone without you butting your nose in?" Sylva demanded. "It's not like it's your business who I hang out with."
"Suit yourself." Nancy shrugged. "I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised, but I did expect better of you."
"Nancy, what is it with you and Logan?" Sylva demanded, heading up the stairs towards her bandmate. "You're not usually some freak of nature about things these days - what's so big a deal about this one? Please don't tell me you're still bothered by a silly high school prank?"
"He told you?" Nancy's face drained of all colour and she took a step back. "Oh, it gets better. Dammit, I might have known he'd tell you everything. Now I'll never live it down."
"Okay, you're weirding me out now." Sylva looked bemused, and she grabbed her companion by the arm, dragging her up the stairs and into her bedroom. "I wanna sort this out. Last night at dinner you were muttering about Logan, and now you're bothered about me hanging with him at the beach. The guy just got into LA yesterday! I mean, what gives here? So the cheerleaders played a prank on you in high school, so what? It's not like it was Logan's fault! Sheesh, get over it already!"
"You like him, don't you?" Nancy's eyes narrowed.
"Yeah, I like him. No, I'm not in love with him." Sylva said with a shrug. "But he's fun to hang with and I like his company a lot. He's a fun sort of guy and I can't imagine for the life of me why you hate him so much."
"Then you're more dense than I thought." Nancy snapped. "If he told you everything, you should be able to work it out for yourself. You're not that stupid."
"You can't hold a grudge for a school trick that happened six years ago." Sylva told her firmly. Nancy folded her arms.
"Why not?" She demanded. "You weren't there. You don't know what it was like to have everyone on campus reading parts of your diary and laughing at them. Hell, if it was you you'd probably like the attention, but I was the school freak, remember?"
"Your diary?" Sylva stared. Nancy frowned.
"You said Logan told you everything." She snapped.
"He didn't mention a diary." Sylva responded, then, "He said that some of the cheerleaders had messed about with you and tried to set you up with him, but..." Her eyes widened.
"Oh!" She breathed. "Nancy, you had a crush on this guy, didn't you?"
Nancy buried her head in her hands.
"My life is over." She muttered.
"For real?" Sylva was still reeling. "You had a crush on Logan in high school? Nance, is that it? And the cheerleaders read your diary and spread it about - that's why they tried to fix you up with him? Is that it?"
"Well, considering that every time I open my goddamn mouth I incriminate myself further, maybe I should just shut up altogether." Nancy grimaced. "Syl, I thought he'd told you that. I wouldn't have mentioned my diary if..."
"I don't believe Logan even knows." Sylva shook her head. "Seriously, he didn't mention anything to me about a diary or a crush, just that some of the popular crowd messed you about and tried to set you up with him. I don't think he knows the half of it - and even if he did, it's a long time ago now. So you liked this guy in High School? So what? Every kid has their crushes."
"Well, not me." Nancy shook her head. "I pride myself on not being like anyone else, Syl. I always avoided all that silly "who fancies who" crap in school."
"Wow." Sylva fell silent for a moment, digesting this, then, "I guess you're more normal than I thought."
"Hardly." Nancy muttered. "Syl, if you dare tell Logan - if he doesn't know about this, then I don't want him to. I don't want anyone to, and I know how big your mouth is. If you tell anyone..."
"Hey, it's not my business." Sylva shrugged carelessly. "No biggie."
"I'm serious, Syl!"
"Why does this matter to you so much?" Sylva looked confused. "It's just a high school crush."
"No, it was more than that." Nancy shook her head. "You have never known what it's like to be at the brunt of everyone's jokes, Syl. My diary was the only place I trusted my thoughts and my secrets - and they violated that. Imagine if your most private thoughts were passed about the corridors when you were at High School. How would you have felt? And people had long memories. It went on and on...people found it funny to pick on the freak, and laugh at her." Her voice shook. "And I didn't know then how to deal with my crush on Logan, because I knew I wasn't like other kids and that if he ever found out I'd be the laughing stock of the whole school. It was my worst nightmare come true and I had noone to confide in."
Sylva eyed her companion gravely.
"High School really scarred you, didn't it?" She said at length.
"You have no idea."
"Well, all I can say is that the cheerleaders at your school must've been bitches." Sylva decided. "Because me and my friends would never do anything like that."
"No?" Nancy raised an eyebrow. "You never picked on another kid - a geek, a weirdo - for being different?"
"Nope." Sylva shook her head. "Remember, Nancy, my sister hung around with a lot of people who friends of mine would term "geeks" or whatever you wanna call it. But noone messed with Anna, and I sure as hell didn't pick on her crowd."
"I guess I never thought of that." Nancy admitted.
"Well, if it means so much to you, I won't mention this whole prank thing to anyone - not even Logan." Sylva said at length. "I don't honestly think it's a big deal that you had a crush - I'm relieved to know that you had some normal teenage drive in you, actually, because when I met you I seriously did wonder about you a lot. And lets face it, Nance - you're twenty three this fall, and you've been dating Dean for ages now. It's not like the Logan thing is a big deal these days, right?"
"I s'pose not." Nancy admitted. "Copper said much the same, and I know it's true. It's just..." She looked rueful. "I'm a Pelligrini. We don't take it well when something attacks our pride."
"I'd noticed that." Sylva laughed. "Hey, look at us, having a deep and meaningful chat!"
"Well, I s'pose it had to happen eventually." Nancy looked resigned. "You really like Logan?"
"He's taking me out tomorrow night, but I'm not thinking of him in terms of romance." Sylva told her. "He's sweet and damn good looking, but I'm still wary of the whole men thing. I want to just see how it all goes." She winked. "You had good taste in High School, mind you. Logan's fine."
"Okay, okay, that's the last time I mention it!" Sylva held up her hands in surrender. "I promise. But he seems a really nice guy, to be honest with you. I'd like to get to know him better, and tomorrow night seems a good opportunity to do it."
"Well, good luck, I s'pose." Nancy shrugged.
"Is anyone else home, by the way?"
"No. I was writing upstairs, but Sadie and Topaz took Hollie out shopping for baby clothes - the kid is growing again - and Copper's talking to cake decorators in the city about her wedding cake. Cynthia's at work, so I was grabbing some peace and quiet." Nancy eyed her companion dryly. "Something that's fairly impossible when you're home."
"Thanks." Sylva looked amused. "Well, if that's the case, how about you leave the writing and come swim out in the pool with me, huh? Since I make such a noise you won't be able to concentrate, and it's a nice day."
"Oh, all right." Nancy rolled her eyes. "Let me wash my hands and get changed and I'll see you out there."
"Sure thing." Sylva's eyes twinkled. "See you in a few."

Chapter One: Madeleine

Chapter Two: Remeniscences
Chapter Three: A Shock For Topaz
Chapter Four: Marissa
Chapter Five: Dilemmas
Chapter Six: Ranieri vs Ranieri
Chapter Seven: Home Truths
Chapter Eight: The Bridesmaids
Chapter Nine: An Olive Branch
Chapter Ten: Stag Night
Chapter Eleven: Demons...and Angels

Chapter Twelve: A Broken Secret

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!