Just A Dream...

Chapter Four: The Singer

"Where did you get to?"
Copper shot Nancy a confused look as she entered the hotel salon, her face flushed for no apparent reason and her eyes unusually sparkly. "Tisn't like you to forget the time...you're ten minutes late!"
"Aunt Phyllis isn't here so it hardly matters." Nancy dropped down into a chair with a careless shrugged. "She's never on time for our briefings, Copper, so don't worry. It's not the end of the world."
"What have you been doing?" Sylva demanded. "You look like you've been running."
"I..." Nancy paused, then, "I was hurrying back here for our meet, if you must know. I was writing and forgot the time."
"You're always writing." Sylva snorted derisively. "You need a life, Nancy!"
"Some people happen to think I have talent." Nancy shot back. "And I don't want the kind of life you're talking about, anyway."
"Oh please, stop it." Copper sighed, rolling her eyes. "I see Phyllis coming, anyway."
Nancy looked rebellious, but she made no demur, for Phyllis herself descended upon the trio at that moment, eying each of them in turn then taking a seat herself.
"Well, least you're all here." She observed. "I just got off the phone with the guy who owns the venue you're playing tomorrow night, and he wants you there sometime during the afternoon to plan stage directions."
"Its a pity we didn't bring Aaron along, he knows all about our stage effects." Copper observed.
Phyllis snorted.
"There's no reason for him to come. This is a tour, not a family holiday, Copper. It's business." She said firmly. "In any case, Aaron has things to do at Misfit Music, not to mention he's not done rewiring your home properly, apparently."
"So what time will we be there?" Sylva asked.
"I arranged for two o'clock." Phyllis replied. "The interview you girls recorded this morning will air tonight, and everyone will get to see you perform your song, so I've high hopes of good ticket sales. So far they're not bad...but they could be better...so tomorrow morning's radio appearance better be somethin' special."
"Are we gonna get time for lunch?" Copper wondered. Phyllis nodded.
"Yeah, probably." She said. "You girls got a problem with the schedule?"
"No, no problems." Copper shook her head. "Are we free tonight?"
"Yes." Phyllis agreed. Her gaze fell on Nancy. "Nancy? What's eating you?"
"Nothing...I'm just tired from this morning." Nancy said quietly. "I'm fine, Aunt Phyl. Really."
"Well, okay. Don't you get sick on me." Phyllis warned. "We can't afford the delay."
"I'm not sick." Nancy assured her. "I promise."
"Okay then." Phyllis got to her feet. "You're dismissed. I wanna see you ready to leave at half-six tomorrow morning, so don't party too hard tonight, huh?"
"Like that's a risk, with Nancy." Sylva muttered once the executive was out of earshot.
"Oh, shut up." Nancy snapped.
Copper stretched.
"I vote we change clothes and go into Toronto." She suggested. "We don't have to stay late, if we've an early morning tomorrow, but we've been busy as heck these last 2 days with interviews and stuff and it's starting to make us all ratty...I think a night out is what we all need."
"I'm game for that." Sylva nodded.
"Okay, I suppose so." Nancy nodded her head. "We gonna eat out, then?"
"That was the plan." Copper agreed. "I reckon if we call a taxi we'll find somewhere pretty easily."
Within half an hour, the three girls found themselves in the city itself, glancing around them as they looked for somewhere possible to eat.
"We don't have much money with us." Nancy realised as she got out of the car, after giving Copper her share of the taxi fare. "Did anyone bring a credit card, or are we stuck with cash?"
"Cash here...and I don't get Canadian dollars at all." Sylva responded. "Everything seems so expensive!"
"Guess we're eating cheap tonight then." Copper grinned. "Anyone see a takeout or a diner or anything anywhere about?"
"How about that place?" Sylva suggested, pointing across the road.
"It looks kinda seedy." Nancy's expression was doubtful.
"It has live entertainment." Sylva replied. "Sure, it looks tacky, but what's the worst that could happen? We're overdressed? Come on, I'm hungry, and any place with live music can't be that bad."
"Okay, then looks like that's our place." Copper put in. "Hope they have a good menu!"
The diner, they soon discovered, was not particularly busy, for the usual rough crowd that invaded it did not tend to come till past eleven at night, and though it was by no means a classy establishment, it did not look quite as rough from the inside as it did from the outside.
They sat down as a waitress approached them, pencil behind her ear and notepad in hand. She cast them a smile.
"Hi...can I help you?"
"Hope so." Sylva smiled at her. "What've you got?"
The waitress dimpled, neatly reeling off the list of meals the diner served without hesitation.
"Wow, how did you learn to do that?" Copper looked impressed.
"Practice." The waitress replied. "What can I get you?"
"Burger and fries is good by me." Sylva said. "Nance? Copper?"
"Same here." Nancy nodded. "No mustard, though."
"Guess you can count me in too." Copper grinned.
"Copper?" The waitress' expression became surprised. "Not Copper of Jewel?"
"Yes...how did you know?" Copper looked self-conscious. "I didn't think we were all that well known in Canada."
"I'm not sure you are." Their companion admitted. "But I love music, and I listen to the radio a lot...I've heard your new song playing all week and I was sure I heard them refer to you as Sylva, Goldie and Copper."
"That's us." Nancy smiled wryly. "Wow, it's nice to know somebody's heard of us."
The waitress laughed.
"You guys are lucky." She observed as she took down their order. "Being able to do something you love as your job. Wish I could."
"What do you want to do, then?" Sylva asked, curious.
"Syl, stop poking your nose in." Copper scolded.
"I don't mind." The waitress assured them. "It's dumb I know, but I always had this secret dream to be a singer." She laughed. "I guess I partly got my wish, actually, because I sing here in the evenings. Nothing of your standard, but it's welcome relief from waiting tables."
"I bet." Nancy pulled a face.
"You're the entertainment, huh?" Sylva looked interested. "What's your name?"
"Aurora." That girl replied. "But I'm not getting your order done by standing here socialising and I can't sing till I've cleared my quota of orders...so I'd best take this to the kitchens. It won't be long!"
And with that, she was gone across the diner.
"She's pretty." Sylva observed. "Wonder how good she sings?"
"We'll find out soon." Nancy told her. "She can't be that bad if she sings in public."
"This place isn't exactly Broadway, though." Copper reminded her.
"Not everyone can be a star." Sylva shrugged. "Sad, but there you go."
Once Aurora had delivered to the girls their meal, she disappeared from the main floor of the diner. Within a short space of time she was on the stage, her waitress apron discarded in favour for more elegant attire, and the lights in the place dimmed accordingly to allow a spotlight to fall on her, highlighting her golden blonde hair in it's glow.
As soon as she opened her mouth to sing, however, all three members of Jewel realised that she has underplayed her own talent. She sang five songs, two in French and three in English, and there was no denying that her voice was both powerful and sweet. It was only too clear to the watching musicians that Aurora's talent was wasted in a Toronto nightspot.
At the close of her last song, she paused, then stepped down off the stage, walking across to where Jewel were sitting.
"It'd be really great if you girls would play your new song for us." She begged.
"We don't have our instruments!" Nancy looked startled.
"The band will lend theirs." Aurora replied. "But I understand if you can't...I'd just like to see how professionals perform."
"I say we do it." Sylva decided, her love of the spotlight winning through. "Come on, you guys. Phyllis won't bother about it if it's good publicity - we don't even have to tell her about it."
"Well, okay, if Nancy's game." Copper agreed. Aurora dimpled.
"Thank you." She said. She headed back up to the stage, retaking her microphone and announcing the group, then returning the mic to it's stand and stepping to one side to watch them perform.
"How did you pull that off?" Shelley came up behind her. She turned, shrugging.
"I don't know. They seemed nice enough." She replied. "And it's not often we get a real band playing in this place."
"Nice of them to do it for free. Some bands are so stinky about that kinda stuff."
"I know...but I don't think these girls are." Aurora sighed. "They don't know how lucky they are, you know."
"One day maybe it'll be you." Shelley suggested. Aurora shook her head.
"No...fat chance of that." She replied. "It's okay, Shelley. I'm happy enough with what I got...really. At least I get to sing, which I love doing, you know that." She smiled. "And Jewel are good. Really good. Tonight's been more special than most."
"True." Shelley agreed. "Come on. We got stuff to do before either of us can crawl home."
"Okay, I'm with you." Aurora nodded. She followed her friend down off the stage and across the diner, though she glanced back over her shoulder more than once at the performing musicians, envying their reception from the crowd.
She sighed.
If only...

Prologue: The Reason For It
Chapter One: Jewel On Tour
Chapter Two: Trapped in Toronto
Chapter Three: Nancy...and Blade
Chapter Four: The Singer
Chapter Five: Rows
Chapter Six: Defection
Chapter Seven: Topaz
Chapter Eight: Sirena Reveals
Chapter Nine: Confrontations
Chapter Ten: A Broken Heart
Chapter Eleven: Jewel Forever

Copper, Nancy, Sylvie, Anna, Blade, 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.