The Story So Far...
Copper's wedding plans are going well, and the big day is looming ever closer. Sylva finds herself becoming friendly with Aaron's best man, Logan Matthews - a former crush of Nancy's. The Teenangels are also on the scene, and Aaron's bachelor party has gone without a hitch.
Chez Diablo, Madeleine managed to prevent Stefana's suicide attempt in the nick of time, and, with Luca's help, the wayward guitarist has reluctantly returned home. Quiet and withdrawn, Stefana's mind is still in turmoil about her friend's ever nearer marriage, and she confesses to a much recovered Marissa that she can't stand the idea of Copper marrying Aaron.
Cameron is also in Los Angeles, and, much to Topaz's dismay, has agreed to accept a resident position in a San Diego hospital come the Autumn. Despite making peace with her ex boyfriend, Topaz is determined to keep baby Hollie as far away from her father as possible. That is, until Cameron descends upon them unexpectedly in the local park, finally meeting Hollie face to face...

Chapter One: A Father Should Be

 "Are you going to sit and just stare out of the window for the rest of eternity?"
Taylor shot his companion an anxious look, setting his newspaper down on the table with a frown. "Cam, what on earth happened to you today? This morning when you left here you were fine. What's happened between then and now to turn you into the living zombie?"
There was no response, as the redhead continued to gaze sightlessly out of the window. The sun was still shining, and somehow it seemed like it was mocking him and his stupidity. His gullibility. Where did that leave him now?
"Cam?" Taylor got to his feet, coming to join his friend at the window. "Something out there that's more interesting than my dazzling wit and conversation?"
"Huh?" Cameron started, turning strange green eyes on the older man. "Taylor, what do you want? I'm busy."
"Pardon me for breathing." Taylor's frown deepened. "What's eating you? You've been acting possessed since you came in - what gives?"
"None of your goddamn business."
Cameron shoved his friend aside, grabbing his jacket from off the chair and heading out into the hall. Taylor was too fast for him, however, and the redhead found himself propelled firmly back into the living room, with the door shut firmly behind him.
"You are not going out there in this frame of mind." Taylor told him firmly. "If you're going to be working out here in a few months, you are not gonna start by making the local police think you're some kind of deranged menace. And, acting like this, I wouldn't blame them if they did think it."
"Quit it with the wisecrackin'. I'm not in the mood." Cameron muttered. "Let it alone, will you? I 'ave enough on me mind without you botherin' me!"
"Well, in all the years I've known you, I've never known you like this." Taylor said reasonably. "And I'd kinda like to know what gives. Did something happen while you were out?"
"Somethin' is an understatement." Cameron growled.
"Well? Like what?"
"I don't want to talk about it."
"Something to do with Topaz?"
"Don't mention her to me!" Cameron exclaimed, glaring at his friend. "She's nothin' but a liar and a manipulator an' I wish I'd damn well never met her!"
"Woooh boy." Taylor held up his hands. "What did she do this time? Some other guy in the picture after all? I thought you were getting on fine now."
"Evidently not well enough." Cameron was bitter.
"So who is he?"
"It ain't a 'he' that concerns me." Cameron responded darkly. "More likely a she."
"A she?" Taylor's eyes could not get any bigger. "You aren't telling me Topaz is..."
"No, you moron, of course she ain't." Cameron rolled his eyes impatiently. "Not that kind of a bird. I'm talking about Hollie. The reason we broke up."
"Hollie?" Taylor looked confused. "I don't know that I..."
"Hollie! Her goddamn daughter." Cameron paused, then, "Hell, my goddamn daughter."
"What?" Taylor stared. "Hang on a minute, Cam, back up here. Are you telling me that this baby of Topaz's - this kid that you thought was that Ranieri bloke''s not his at all?"
"Well, you're smart today." Cameron muttered. "Yes, dammit. Clear as day as soon as I saw her. The kid's mine, Taylor, an' she never even mentioned it. Lied, even. Why would she do that? Why?"
Taylor cursed under his breath, then,
"What are you going to do about it?"
"Do about it? What in hell can I do?" Cameron shrugged. "She's obviously made it clear enough she don't want me in the kid's life. What can I do about it? She 'as lawyers behind her that are more powerful than anythin' I could get a hold of, even if I did give a damn about raisin' the kid. Right now I'm fairly ready to wash my 'ands of the pair of them and leave Los Angeles altogether."
Taylor frowned. He bent to pick up something from the floor, turning it over in his hand. It was a daisy, the petals bent and crushed, and the stalk broken in many places.
"This yours?" he asked gently. Cameron glanced at it, and he bit his lip.
"Kind of." He replied quietly. "Hollie...gave it to me."
"How come you wrecked it?"
"Because I was angry." Cameron admitted. "I've never been this angry before, Taylor. Not even when I found out Rora had slept with Luca - that was peanuts compared to this. The kid is at least a year old - hell, she can talk! And Rora's damn kept this from me. Lied to me. Convinced me it was some other bloke's kid. Why?! Dammit, I don't understand why! I could 'ave 'elped 'er...I would 'ave stuck by 'er. Why did she lie to me?"
"That's something only she can answer." Taylor said at length. "And you're only going to find out by confronting her, Cameron."
"Well, 'ow would you feel if it 'ad been Vi?"
"More gutted than I could put in words." Taylor admitted. "I know you're angry and you probably have damn good reason to be. I don't understand how a girl's brain works, and I can't tell you why she did what she did. Maybe she was afraid you'd contest her for custody or something? I don't know."
"What can I do with a baby?" Cameron looked helpless. "I ain't even finished school yet. Face it, even if I did want to see my daughter, I'm on to a loser before I begin. I should never have come to America - friend's wedding or not."
"She can't keep the kid from you, if you want to see her."
"In England, yes. I don't know the law in this bloody country." Cameron grimaced. "And do I want to be 'Dad', Taylor? Do I want to acknowledge this kid, after all the lying that's gone on around her?"
"She obviously wanted you." Taylor held out the daisy. "Since she gave you a present."
Cameron took the crushed flower, eying it thoughtfully.
"She were damn cute." He admitted. "I dunno, Taylor. Findin' it 'ard to seperate Mum from baby in me 'ead. And to be truthful? I'm damn scared. Petrified."
"Of what, exactly?"
"That's just it. How can I be scared of a one year old baby?" Cameron groaned. "It doesn't make a bit of sense. But that's it. I'm terrified of the girl. This baby...I made her. Whatever Rora tells people, I'm fifty percent of that kiddy's gene pool. Hell, I've studied enough biology, I know how it all works. That kid is a part of me...whatever she does in the future, I'm partly responsible, because I 'elped bring 'er about. One night between Rora an' I and there she is. A life. I've studied medicine for so many years now I get used to thinkin' of it all as textbooks, data an' facts, but it ain't. Oh God, it ain't. It's real flesh an' blood."
Taylor eyed his friend keenly.
"Well, my opinion probably counts for nothing, since kids aren't on mine or Vi's list at the moment." He said slowly. "Things are too crazy right now anyway - you know that better than most. But I reckon you need to have it out with Topaz. Get to the truth of it all. It mighn't be pretty, but it'll haunt you if you don't. And could you really live with the fact that, just a city's drive away, there's a little girl gonna be growing up not so far from where you're working - without a father?" He frowned. "I woulda given my right arm as a kid to have had a family to belong to. Whatever Topaz has done, is it fair to take it out on the kid?"
"I suppose I see where you're comin' from." Cameron said slowly. "But she can pull legal crap on me...I don't know what I might be goin' into.You didn't see the look on her face when the kid ran up to us this afternoon. It was as if she couldn't get away fast enough."
"But she knows as well as I do that she can't hide this forever. You know the truth now, and it's your right to know, Cameron. At least find out the truth behind it. She owes you that much, at the very least."
"You're right." Cameron admitted. He sighed. "I'm almost afraid to go ask. I was so mad - I might lose it again. I'm not the kind of bloke who 'its a girl, no matter what she does. I don't want to lose my rag with 'er that badly."
"Do you want me to come with you?" Taylor asked. Cameron shook his head.
"No, but I'd appreciate use of the car, if you ain't got plans for it." He said quietly. "I need to go see ''s time we settled this, one on one."
It was not a long drive from the Teenangel house to the Starlight Mansion, and Cameron put his foot down on the pedal, wanting to have as little time as possible to dwell over what he was going to say. Ideas and recriminations flashed through his head as he screeched down the correct turning, pulling to a sharp stop at the foot of the mansion's long arc shaped drive. He hesitated, taking a deep breath to calm himself, then pushed open the car door, heading purposefully up the white cement to the front door, and knocking three times.
For a moment there was nothing, and Cameron half wondered if noone was home, though the presence of cars on the front forecourt told him otherwise. At length he heard footsteps and the door swung open to reveal Cynthia. The hologram eyed him gravely.
"Hello, Cameron." She said quietly. "What do you do here?"
"I'm 'ere to see Rora." Cameron replied flatly. "Either you can go get 'er for me, or I'll come in an find 'er myself, but I'm not going anyplace until we've 'ad a little chat."
Cynthia's eyes narrowed somewhat at his confrontational manner, and she shook her head.
"Until you speak with some civility, you're not going anywhere." She told him calmly. "There is an infant in the house, and I will not have her witness to raised voices."
"Then go find her for me." Cameron was unmoved. "I mean it, Cynthia. You're no fool, you know why I'm 'ere, an' what I want to see 'er about. If you won't let me in, damn well find Rora an' let me talk to 'er. I won't leave the Starlight Mansion till I've seen 'er."
Cynthia eyed him carefully, then she sighed.
"Very well." She relented. "But I feel you are making a mistake. Stay here. I will locate her."
Cameron leant up against the doorpost, waiting impatiently. From the nearby living room he could hear the sound of infant laughter, accompanied by the odd gurgled word, and a strange feeling flooded his heart. That was his daughter in there...and yet until that morning he had had no idea that he'd played such an important role in someone's life. He muttered a curse under his breath.
Before his thoughts could go any further, however, Cynthia reappeared at the top of the stairs, Topaz in tow. The Canadian was pale and anxious, her eyes red from tears and, as she made her descent, Cameron was sure she was shaking. He gritted his teeth grimly. She damn well should be apprehensive! It was time for the truth.
Cynthia glanced from one to the other, then, without a word, she disappeared back into the lounge. Topaz eyed her former boyfriend in trepidation, hardly daring to speak. It was Cameron who broke the long silence.
"Outside." He said quietly. "Unless you want the whole of the bloody 'ousehold to know what I'm going to say to you."
"Cameron..." Topaz obediently slipped out of the front door, and Cameron pulled it roughly shut, taking her firmly by the arm and leading her around to the back of the house to a spot which, in happier times had once been a makeout spot. Topaz swallowed hard, taking a seat on the wall and staring up at him, fear and dismay mingling in her eyes.
"I can explain." She whispered.
Cameron snorted.
"I doubt it." He said coldly. "There isn't much to explain - I saw enough for myself this morning."
"I know." Topaz bit her lip. "I'm sorry."
"Sorry? Is that all you can say?" Rage flared up in Cameron's green eyes. "Sorry for lying to me for over a year about the identity of your baby! My baby, Rora! My damn kid! Did it never occur to you that a father 'as rights in this world as well as a mother? What game were you playin' at, lettin' me believe it was some other guy's kid? And dammit, I was comin' round to the idea of us bein' on good terms - even friends again. Now what am I supposed to think? The whole of Los Angeles is in on the secret, but I didn't know a damn thing!"
"Cameron, that's not how it was!" Topaz protested, her eyes full of unshed tears. "Really, I mean it! It was never meant to hurt you! I kept it a secret because I had to!"
"Oh, you 'ad to?" Cameron stared at her, incredulous. "'Ow do you figure that, Rora? What in 'ell possessed you? Or isn't it good enough for your precious little girl, to 'ave a dad who's nothin' more than a stone broke medical student, huh? Did you think that maybe, if you put out that it was that Ranieri bloke's kid, you could extract money from 'im for 'er upbringing? Not much good askin' me - I don't 'ave more than bare livin' costs to my name. Do you know that it cost me near enough every penny I 'ad to come out 'ere for my mate's weddin' - and, as usual, I wind up in a mess over you again!"
Topaz swallowed hard.
"That's not true." She murmured. "I'd never think that way, Cameron, you have to believe me! And I never put about that Luca was the father! The press did that. Not me. I never intended..."
"No?" Cameron interrupted. "Well, I've caught you in another lie, 'aven't I? Because Sylvina - your very own best friend in the world - she told me the brat was Luca's, too. What did you do, make 'er lie for you? Is that it?"
"No!" Now Topaz's own temper was ignited and she shook her head. "No, dammit! I wasn't there in London, so I don't know what Syl exactly said or didn't say, but that's certainly not how it was supposed to be!"
"Well? When were you goin' to tell me that your baby was also my baby, huh?" Cameron demanded. "I was all ready to come out to America two Christmasses ago, when I first found those files online an' discovered you were pregnant. I thought you were scared of me - mad at me - feelin' abandoned by me, because I wasn't there. But then suddenly an' mysteriously your number is unavailable - even though Taylor told me that Jewel's 'ome number ain't changed - I 'ad 'im check with Vi. So then the only other option was that maybe the kid wasn't mine at all, a fact which Syl confirmed for me when I saw 'er in London. Any idea what that did to me, Rora? I almost threw away everythin' I'd worked for at University because I couldn't get the idea out of my 'ead. I couldn't believe I'd been betrayed yet again, but you know what? This is worse. Much worse. This is a kid's life you've been playin' with."
"It was Cynthia's idea to sever all contact with you that Christmas. Not mine." Topaz said quietly, her voice trembling. "And she was right, too. You know why? When you called, you upset me so badly you almost sent me into labour. I had trial contractions and it freaked me - and everyone else - out. You and I were broken up, what was I supposed to do about it? I'm not the kind of chick who tries to keep a guy's attention by throwing the pregnancy card into the ring!"
"Oh, sounds very noble." Cameron snapped. "Except that I 'ave a sneaky suspicion that you knew damn well you were knocked up before we broke up. Now I think about it, there were things at Taylor an' Violet's weddin' that didn't make sense at the time...but they bloody well make a chillin' kind of sense now. You knew, didn't you? Even then, you knew."
Topaz lowered her gaze, and Cameron cursed.
"I knew it." He muttered. "Hell, Rora, why?"
"I had no choice." Topaz murmured. "Believe me, Cameron. I had no choice."
"'Ow can I believe you?" Cameron exclaimed. "I loved you! I would 'ave been out 'ere - I would've done anything you damn asked of me! But you push me away - now I think about it, you always push me away when it comes to the big deals. Is that all our relationship ever was to you? Fun an' games?"
"No." Topaz shook her head, tears spilling down her cheeks. "No, Cameron. I loved you more than anyone I ever met before...that's the truth. And maybe I was wrong, but if you'll let me explain..."
"I don't want more excuses." Cameron held up his hands. "Likely they'll turn out to be lies, anyway, an' I don't need to 'ear more of them. For now it's enough I 'ave to deal with the idea of bein' a father. I 'ave to think seriously about what my next move is gonna be."
He eyed her coldly.
"This isn't over."
With that, he turned on his heel, heading out of the estate grounds. Topaz watched him go, horror filling her heart.
"Cameron." She whispered. "Oh, what have I done...what is he going to do to me now? And what is he going to do to Hollie?"
"Are you all right?"
Sylva's voice came from the french doors, and in surprise the singer turned, realising as she did so that the most of the exchange had been visible from the lounge. She shook her head, and Sylva came to hug her tightly.
"Was it...very bad?" She asked.
"Worse." Topaz swallowed hard. "Much much worse. I never saw him so mad at me before...there's no going back now. He told me that it isn't over - I don't know what he's planning, but it can't be good. Not for Hollie or for me."
She closed her eyes briefly.
"I won't let him take her from me, whatever happens." She vowed. "I don't care what it takes...noone is going to take my little girl away from me!"

Chapter One: A Father Should Be

Chapter Two: Stefana and Aaron
Chapter Three: Sylva Intervenes
Chapter Four: Stefana's Battle
Chapter Five: Common Ground
Chapter Six: A Special Meeting
Chapter Seven: La Familia Santiago
Chapter Eight: Hen Party
Chapter Nine: Rory's Scheme
Chapter Ten: Stefana's Dilemma
Chapter Eleven: A Friend Indeed

Chapter Twelve: Sadie Gets Involved
Chapter Thirteen: The Night Before

Chapter Fourteen: Closure

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!