Just A Dream...

Chapter Six: Defection

When Nancy reached her hotel room, it was almost midnight, and she showered quickly, changing for bed with a merry whistle. She could not explain either the change in her mood or the reason why she had allowed Blade to kiss her, but she did know that she liked both. He had been gentle, kind and courteous, and the very last of her doubts about him had been abated.
As she slipped beneath the covers, tired out from the day's excursions, she contemplated the exchange of words. He had confessed his liking for her without being prompted, and it touched her almost as much as his allusions to his sister's death. Somewhere she felt that they had something in common - unsure and hesitant, and with a deeprooted love of music.
She frowned, considering.
Did this mean she was in love with him, then?
This was something that she could not answer, for she had never felt anything like this before. Her pride snorted at the bare idea of it, but her heart seemed more convinced and, the more she thought it over, the more she thought that maybe it wouldn't be so bad to be in love, after all.
That was the last coherent thought she had before sleep overtook her and she knew no more till morning.

"You're in a good mood today." Copper observed as the three girls ate breakfast, awaiting the arrival of their business manager.
"I am, I guess." Nancy looked self-conscious. Sylva pulled a face.
"Not Blade, please?" she demanded.
"What's wrong with him?" Nancy demanded.
"Well, aside from his taste in women?" Sylva snapped. "Come on, Nance. It's so transparent that he sees you as a bit of fun and that's all."
"Well, you're wrong. He stood up for me last night when this guy was giving me hassle. He's really sweet to me." Nancy defended him.
"Nance, tell me honestly, are you in love with him?" Copper asked gently.
Nancy blushed.
"I...don't know." She admitted. "I think...I like him a lot."
"You kissed him?" Sylva demanded.
"Why do you want to know?" Nancy returned.
"You have." Sylva deduced. "Well, you're real hard to get. What happened to playing it tough?"
"Syl, why do you hate this guy so much?" Copper asked. "If Nancy likes him, he can't be so bad."
"Thankyou, Copper." Nancy smiled at her friend. "And now, can we change the subject? I don't want to talk about this any more if that's the reaction Im gonna get."
"Fine." Sylva shrugged. She pushed her chair back, getting to her feet. "I'll go back to my room and let you chat."
"What's eating her?" Copper frowned. Nancy shrugged.
"Who cares?" She replied.
At that moment Blade himself appeared, casting his new acquaintance a smile and causing her to colour again. "Sleep good?"
"Yes, fine." Nancy agreed. "You?"
"Yes." Blade sat down at the table, casting Copper a grin, then returning his gaze to the guitarist. Seeing his gaze, Nancy hastened to make the introductions.
"Pleased to meet you." Copper dimpled.
"Likewise." Blade told her. "Nancy, can I borrow you for a while? There's something important I want to talk to you about - a musical problem I got going on with my new song. You're the best songwriter I know these days, care to give me a hand?"
"Of course, if I can." Nancy agreed. "Copper, I'll catch you later, all right?"
"Sure." Copper nodded. "See you, Nance. Don't forget we got a car coming for us at half ten."
"I know." Nancy replied. "Bye!"
Copper watched them go, a frown on her face. Something was not right about Blade.
Slowly she left the table, heading upstairs to their rooms and knocking on the door of the one belonging to Sylva. Her friend let her in, raising an eyebrow when she saw her.
"Where's Nancy?" She asked.
"Gone off with Blade over some musical question." Copper replied. "I...don't think I like him, Syl."
"Oh, finally, someone agrees with me!" Sylva exclaimed. "Listen, Copper, I know men and I know a jerk when I see one. I dunno what he wants from Nancy, but whatever it is you can guarantee it ain't good."
"I thought you didn't like Nancy." Copper objected.
"I was thinking for the good of the band." Sylva replied. "It's hardly cool when one of your members throws themselves at someone from a rival company." She frowned. "Besides, he's bad news. He hit on me yesterday morning, Copper."
"What?" Copper looked startled. "He hit on you?"
"Yeah. He didn't seem to realise who I was or that I knew Nancy, otherwise I doubt he would've bothered." Sylva agreed. "Whatever his scheme is, I guarantee it isnt love for Nancy."
"And she's in very real danger of falling in love with him." Copper looked troubled. "We oughta warn her, Syl."
"Why bother?" Sylva shrugged. "I've tried, she won't listen."
"Tell her what you told me." Copper suggested. "That might do it."
"Well, if you say so." Sylva rolled her eyes. "He's a sleazy creep, Copper. He knows all the lines. Just I'm experienced enough with flirting to know when someone's putting me on. Nancy isn't."
"You're awful concerned about Nancy, considering you don't like her." Copper observed.
"Like I said, I'm worried about Jewel." Sylva said, but her tone belied her. Copper hugged her friend.
"Nancy should be grateful you're so anxious about our music." She said, amused. "Perhaps we ought to go find her before the car gets here, get this over with before we face the press."
"If you say so." Sylva nodded. "Anything to wipe the smile off that creep's face. Let's go."
Meanwhile, in the hotel grounds, oblivious to the sentiments of her two companions, Nancy had once more let down her guard, discussing music with him with eager and unreserved enthusiasm. Her knowledge took him aback, and he was beginning to realise how precious her talents were to him.
"You know, I hope your friends know how lucky they are, having you around." He observed as they headed back towards the main building. "I'd hate them to take you for granted. You must work real hard to keep Jewel ticking over."
"Well...I guess I do." Nancy looked startled. "But I never thought of it like that. I like doing it."
"That's what I mean. You're the backbone to that group, if you ask me." Blade replied. "I s'pose that it's beyond logistics to ask you to write something for me, if you have a moment?"
"Oh!" Nancy looked startled. Then, "Well, I'd love to try, but your style is so different..."
"Maybe we could work together...learn something from each other." Blade suggested smoothly. Nancy blushed.
"Well, maybe." She agreed.
"Nancy, about kissing you last night...I shouldn't have done it."
"It's all right, Blade. Really it is." Nancy assured him. "I told you last night that I...well...liked it. You didn't offend me."
"I'm glad of that. It was kinda unprofessional, but you're so pretty." Blade replied. Nancy looked self conscious.
"Definitely." Blade agreed. He glanced at the building and his brow creased in a frown.
"Looks like your friends are looking for you." He observed. "They do work you hard, don't they?"
"We have an interview this morning." Nancy explained.
"I thought the car came at ten or something?"
"Well, yes."
"I see." Blade paused a moment, then, "I guess I'll see you later, if they'll give you permission."
"I don't need their permission. I'm an adult, I make my own choices." Nancy told him.
"I'm sure you do." Blade laughed. Gently he kissed her. "Okay, then later? Is it a date?"
"Guess it is." Nancy nodded. "Later."
"Ugh, you're sickening." Sylva wrinked her nose in disgust as the two girls joined their third.
"Jealous?" Nancy snapped.
"Not at all." Sylva shook her head. "Listen, Nance. We gotta talk."
"Oh?" Nancy bristled. "And what about?"
"What is your problem with him?" Nancy demanded.
"Nance, hear her out." Copper begged.
"Look, Nance, your romeo guy here made a move on me yesterday morning." Sylva said slowly. "He was flirting like anything...and he was downright offensive...like I'd go with a guy like him!"
Nancy was silent for a moment. Then her eyes narrowed.
"Oh, really?" She asked quietly.
"Yes." Sylva nodded. "Really."
"I don't believe this." Nancy's voice shook. "I don't!"
She wheeled on Sylva. "How dare you try and screw this up for me with your lies! Blade likes me and not you, is that really so hard for your ego to cope with?"
"Nance, Syl wouldn't make that up!" Copper protested, seeing Sylva was dumbstruck.
"You too?" Nancy looked hurt. "I thought you at least were my friend, Copper!"
"I am!"
"Then why don't you want me to be happy?"
"We do, you stupid idiot!" Sylva exclaimed. "But not with a loser like Blade!"
"Well, just because I'm younger than you two doesn't mean you can tell me how to live my life." Nancy snapped. "Blade's right, you do control me and you do take it for granted that I'll do what you want me to. Well, that's it! I've had enough of you trying to be the boss of me!"
"Nancy, come on!" Copper put a hand on her friend's shoulder but Nancy shook it off.
"No! Leave me alone, Copper!" She exclaimed. "You know what? I'm done with this. You want to do things your way, well, fine. You try and make your stupid group work on your own, okay? I quit! I'm going to spend my time with someone who actually believes I have talent and who doesn't take me for granted!"
"Nance?" Sylva stared. "Are you serious?"
"You heard me. I said I quit." Nancy folded her arms. "Go do your stupid interview, see if I care. I don't want to see or speak to either of you."
And with that she turned on her heel, heading off across the grass.
Copper and Sylva exchanged looks.
"She can't be serious." Sylva was the first to speak. "Can she?"
"I think she was." Copper frowned. "Oh hell, Syl, what are we gonna do? And what are we gonna tell Phyllis? She'll be livid!"
"Tell her to blame Nancy." Sylva grimaced. "I was only trying to help! Remind me to avoid good deeds in future."
Copper sighed.
"Maybe she'll realise when she cools off that she cares about Jewel more than she thinks." She said doubtfully. Sylva shrugged.
"Beats me." She replied. "Come on. Let's go tell Phyllis the good news."
Nancy, in the meantime had secluded herself in a hidden part of the grounds, throwing herself down onto the grass as her tears overcame her. She was angry, she was upset, she was resentful and she was hurt...but most of all she was confused. She had never imagined that Copper would betray her, and had been developing faith in Sylva...but now she was miserable as she realised that she really couldn't trust them any more than she had been able to trust the people she had been to school with.
"Nancy, what in hell's wrong?"
That was Blade, and she raised her tearful eyes to his. Haltingly she choked out what had happened and he sat down beside her, hugging her tightly and stroking her hair, whilst inwardly thanking Sylva for her misplaced lack of discretion.
At length he spoke.
"You stick with me, Nancy." he said finally. "We'll show them exactly what you're capable of...don't you worry about that."

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.