Topaz poked her head around the door of the spare room, sending the invalid a warm grin. "What you up to? You look a lot better this morning, you know. Your colour is far less flushed - I think you've probably lost your fever."
"I feel better." Sadie acknowledged, setting down her pen and paper and making herself more comfortable in the bed, adjusting her pillows then leaning back on them. "I'm still waiting for Syl to give me back my fags, but otherwise, I feel a hundred percent better."
"I'm glad to hear it." Topaz laughed, sitting down. "You had us worried, you know."
"Had me scared too." Sadie shivered. "When I think back, I must've been insane to come out here like this, you know. I think it frightens me more to remember the magnitude of what I did than it did when I was doing it. I guess I really am out of my tree, aren't I?"
"Or maybe just frightened." Topaz said softly. Sadie nodded.
"Mm. That too." She agreed. "I think I'm finally free of him though. He'd never think of looking for me here. If I can do anything to repay you guys, I will. Really, I mean it. You've all been so kind to me, and I'm a relative stranger to the others."
"Friend of mine is a friend of the band's - didn't Syl already tell you that?" Topaz chided. Sadie nodded.
"I think you're the best friend I've had in a long time." She murmured. "And if I can be of help when the baby's born, too...hell, I'll do anything under the sun to repay you."
"You don't need to repay us for anything." Topaz assured her. She grinned. "Although I won't refuse help with baby-sitting and diaper changes."
"I hope immigration don't suss me." Sadie frowned. "I don't want to be deported. It was hairy getting into this country...I don't want to be booted out. Scary as it all is, waking up and realising I'm on the other side of the world, well, going back and facing Neal again is harier."
"We'll think of something." Topaz promised. Her gaze strayed to the sheet of paper Sadie had been working on, and the Briton blushed, taking it and turning it over.
"It's nothing." She said, embarassed. "Just me messing about, passing some time. Convalescence is boring and the doctor won't let me get up till he's sure my chest's right and my fever's really gone."
"May I see?" Topaz asked gently. Sadie hesitated.
"It's just a doodle...it's a bad habit of mine, I draw too much." She murmured. "It's not very good, you'll laugh at it."
"I won't laugh, Sadie, I promise." Topaz reassured her. "Please?"
"All right." She said slowly, handing the piece of paper over. "But really, it's not very good...it's just a rough sketch."
Topaz took the sheet, turning it over and eying the picture on it with some surprise. Sadie had described it as a mere doodle, but reproduced on the paper before her was the image of a child's face, her hair carefully sketched in and her features so beautifully drawn that the singer half expected the image to come alive. Sadie's expression became more uncomfortable at her silence, and she frowned.
"I said it wasn't good." She murmured.
"Not good?" Topaz found her voice. "Sadie, I had no idea you had so much artistic talent! It's brilliant!"
"You're just saying that." A tiny smile touched Sadie's face as she took it back. "But really, it's not good. The proportions are all over the place."
"I can't believe how much you downplay what you can do." Topaz stared at her friend in bewilderment. "Sadie, I wish I could draw like that, I really do! You've a fabulous talent, why aren't you using it?"
"Who is it a picture of?"
"Oh, my niece, Sharita." Sadie grinned, a slightly wistful look entering her blue eyes. "I miss her."
"Yes, she is." Sadie groped for her bag and pulled it towards her, tipping out the contents and extracting her purse. Carefully she pulled out a photograph. "See, that's her...and my sister, Alyssa. I think Shari looks a lot like Alyssa. Aly always was the beauty of the family...probably why she got the decent guy."
"We really need to work on your self esteem." Topaz said with a smile. "Sadie, you're beautiful, you can draw, play guitar, you've reached out to all those poor kids you worked with at the halfway house...you're pretty special."
A shadow touched Sadie's expression.
"I'm not." She said quietly. "Really, Topaz. I'm not."
"Well, I think you are." Topaz was not to be dissuaded. "And you just gave me an idea. We haven't got a print yet for the cover of our new album. Will you design one for us? Draw us?"
"Oh god, I'm not good enough for that!" Sadie looked frightened at the bare idea.
"I know you're more than good enough." Topaz took her friend by the hand. "Listen, it's time you used some of that ability you got hidden in there, else what's the use in having it at all, huh? I just know that if I were to show that picture you did of Sharita to the others, they'd agree with me for sure. Please, Sadie?"
"If...if the others want it too, then I'll do it, but...but only because you've been so kind to me." Sadie said at length. "But don't get up your hopes...it won't be very good."
"I think it'll be fabulous." Topaz assured her. "Besides, if you're doing a commission for Jewel, you're also working for us in one way or another...which means I'll ask Phyllis about a work permit and residence permit for you."
"Oh! That explains it." Sadie's eyes clouded. "A reason for me to stay..."
"Sadie Monahue, that's not why I asked you to do it." Topaz scolded. "If you weren't good enough I'd never have asked you, because Phyllis and Jetta are both picky women and they'd never let anything but the best get through. You have enough talent about you to do this! I mentioned the permit just to try and convince you more, not for any other reason."
Sadie paused a moment, taking this in. Then she smiled.
"Well, I've not much else to do at the moment, so I'll try some rough sketches." She said at length. "Okay? See if I can get you all to look right."
"Fine." Topaz winked. "I'll go find you some more paper to scribble on. Anything else you need?"
"Colour crayons." Sadie nodded. "Please. And a pencil sharpener? This one of mine is chewed up and blunt as hell."
"I'll find you a better pencil." Topaz promised. "May I take your sketch to show Syl and the rest? I know they'll jump at the idea when they see this."
"Well...I guess so." Sadie said with a reluctant nod. "All right. You can." An impish look touched her tired features. "And tell Syl to give me my cigarettes back, will you? I'm all on edge up here!"
"Bad for your chest infection, not to mention your asthma." Topaz said with a grin. Sadie poked out her tongue.
"Mean!" She exclaimed. Topaz nodded.
"Yep." She agreed. "But seriously, Sadie, if you must smoke at all, at least let your chest recover from the chill first. We don't want to have to rush you to ER."
"Okay, okay. It's just not easy sitting here doing nothing without even my fags to keep me occupied." She said. Topaz hugged her.
"Cheer up." She ordered. "You'll be better soon and then we can show you Los Angeles proper! You won't be so bored when you're up and about."
"Maybe." Sadie shrugged. "In the meantime, guess I'm gonna be playing the artist. Can you get me that paper? I think I have an idea brewing."
"I'm on it." Topaz promised. She winked. "And you know, if the others go for this, which I more than think they will, you've solved one of our big problems as much as we have yours. You get to stay here, we get our special album cover for Exotic. Seems a perfect solution to me."
After collecting and delivering the asked for supplies to the sick girl, Topaz glanced again at the drawing, a smile touching her lips as she headed downstairs to the living room to show the rest.
"She was always talking online about scribbles and doodles but I didn't know she meant she was so artistic as this." She mused, pushing open the door of the lounge and casting a grin at her three surprised bandmates, sitting down in her favourite chair. "Hey, guys! I've solved at least one part of Jewel's problems!"
"You've changed your mind and you're not gonna leave us?" Sylva demanded. Topaz rolled her eyes.
"No, not that. I'm talking about Exotic." She responded. "Say, what do you girls make of that?"
She pushed the piece of paper across the coffee table and, as one girl, the other three musicians crowded around it. There was a moment of silence, then,
"Where did you get this, Topaz?" Copper picked up the image, smoothing the crumpled sheet as she did so.
"Don't tell us you did it, because after the stick people thing I won't believe it." Nancy added. Topaz laughed, shaking her head.
"No. I'm reduced to my stick people artistic genius." She replied. "What do you think of it? I'll tell you where it came from when I know what you think of the style. I thought maybe I'd found someone good enough to do Jewel's inlay for Exotic."
"I'd say you have." Sylva sounded impressed. "The girl looks so alive, almost, even without the colour." She glanced up at the blond girl. "C'mon, Topaz, spill! Where's the mystery artist?"
"No mystery." Topaz shook her head. "Sadie drew it."
"Sadie?" The word was spoken in surprised chorus and, grinning at their expressions, Topaz nodded.
"Yes. She said, and I quote, 'it's just a doodle. It's not very good.'. I didn't know she could draw like that and she didn't even seem to think it was anything special. She said the proportions were out, or something. I dunno, it looks fine to me."
"Me too." Copper murmured. "Sadie really drew this?"
"Yes." Topaz nodded. "And if you guys like the idea, I'm going to go speak to Phyllis about Sadie doing our inlay. I already gave her paper and crayons and begged her to try and sketch us. I gave her some of our press pictures if she needed a reference for features, since she only really knows me out of us yet. What do you guys reckon? Am I a genius?"
"Well, the stick people seem to think so." Nancy laughed. "Oh, I say give her a go. I mean, she obviously has talent, if this is anything to go by, and it'll give us a reason to ply Aunt Phyl for permits, which also means we're less likely to be sprung for harbouring an illegal immigrant in our midst."
"I think it'd be fab." Sylva decided. "If she can draw people like this, she'll make us look awesome."
"I agree." Copper raised soft brown eyes from the picture. "Sadie needs to stay in the States and we have need of her skills. Who can lose?"
"Cool." Topaz dimpled. "I knew you'd all love the idea. I'll call Phyllis right away, and..."
At that moment, however, the shrill ring of the phone cut across her words and, with a shrug, Topaz leant over and scooped up the receiver.
"Hello? Starlight Mansion, Topaz speaking." She said. There was a pause, then she smiled.
"Hi Phyllis. You must be psychic, I was gonna call you. We've had an idea about Exotic, and...what?" In an instant the smile was gone. "What kind of a story? What do you mean?"
"Topaz, what's up?" Copper picked up instantly on the change of tone in her friend's voice, her expression becoming anxious.
"Has something happened?" Nancy added.
Topaz held up her hand, shaking her head to indicate she was listening and would relay the information to them once the call was done. This indeed she did, for, as soon as she had placed the receiver down she turned to the others, anger blazing in her blue eyes.
"There's some story in Cool Trash." She exclaimed. "And I think it means someone in this talent sweep is not playing the game!"
Chapter One: Conference
Chapter Two: An Unexpected Houseguest
Chapter Three: The Wannabes
Chapter Four: Sadie Confides
Sadie's Diary: September 6th, 2013
Chapter Five: A Spy
Chapter Six: Inspiration
Sadie's Diary: September 7th, 2013
Chapter Seven: Cynthia Lends A Hand
Sadie's Diary: September 8th, 2013
Chapter Eight: Into The Lion's Den
Sadie's Diary: September 9th, 2013
Chapter Nine: Latisha Admits
Chapter Ten: Dinner At The Starlight
Chapter Eleven: Truth Will Out
Chapter Twelve: The Newest Jewel
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE NOTE
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!