Just A Dream...

Chapter Four: On Set

"You know, it's fun to be able to observe them playing from an audience point of view." Cynthia observed, settling herself more comfortably in her seat. "Even more satisfactory to know that I helped in their stage show. I think I'm going to like this new freedom of mine."
"I'm sure you are." Aaron looked amused. "I must admit, I have one reservation about handing control of the projectors entirely over to your care like this...I never know what you're going to do next."
"Surely that's what makes it interesting?" Cynthia opened her eyes wide, adopting a look of innocence. "And surely you believe  my knowledge of human behaviour to be too limited for me to cause much trouble?"
"Cyn, I know full well that your understanding of human nature is probably superior to mine." Aaron responded dryly. "And as for causing trouble, well, I haven't forgotten the Jem Memorial, you know, and nor have much of America, I'm sure."
"That was different." Cynthia dismissed it with a careless gesture. "I had a score to settle with Jerrica and I settled it."
"At the cost of Starlight Music and almost the Starlight Foundation." Aaron reminded her.
"But all ended well." Cynthia replied. "The foundation is stable and I no longer have the desire for revenge. In any case, I promised you not to assume the Jem hologram any more. It's time to move on."
"Definitely." Aaron agreed.
"There is one thing I wonder, Aaron." Cynthia looked thoughtful. "And that is why Jewel have decided so suddenly to add this new girl to their band. I have searched the internet repeatedly for the answer and can find no clue to it."
"Oh, that was partly Nancy's fault." Carefully Aaron explained what had happened. "I don't know what exactly passed between them, but she seems well over him now."
"I see." Cynthia fell silent for a moment, digesting this. "Blade likes to play games with women, does he?"
"From all accounts, yeah." Aaron nodded. "Can't say I love him all that much for messing with my kid sister, either."
"Of course not." Cynthia agreed. "Hm. That information is worth storing for future reference...Blade likes to play the field, and considers himself a sure thing with a pretty girl. Very interesting."
"What are you planning?" Aaron looked suspicious.
"Nothing." Cynthia offered him a benign smile. "I am merely adding to my database of human activity, that's all."
"Yeah, right." Aaron frowned. "C'mon, Cyn. Spill."
"There is nothing to spill." Cynthia appeared unconcerned. "In any case, Jewel have finished playing...soon they will need us to help clear the set."
"Holographic or not, you women are all equally difficult to figure out." Aaron groaned. Cynthia laughed.
"Tell me, Aaron." She said, as they made their way down the steps to the stage. "Is there any one woman who you wish you could figure out more than the others?"
"I'm sorry?" Aaron looked startled. Cynthia smiled.
"I meant, is there one girl that you would like to know the thoughts of more than another?"
"What do you want me to say?"
"Well, it has come to my attention that you have a great fondness for Copper." Cynthia examined her nails, frowning at the colour, and projecting a new one. "There. Much better."
"Copper?" Aaron was taken aback. "Why? Has she said something to you?"
"Even if she had, it would not be my place to relate it to you." Cynthia said smoothly. "I wonder about your feelings, merely for my own curiosity."
"Will you promise not to mention it to her if I tell you?" Aaron asked. Cynthia nodded.
"Of course. Neither Cynthia nor Synergy will tell Copper any secret you divulge." She agreed. "Well? Are you in love?"
"You know full well that I like her." Aaron responded. "Else you wouldn't be pestering me. Have Nancy or Syl been talking to you about me?"
"Not at all, Aaron. I've merely observed you enough to know it." Cynthia replied.
"And you say you know nothing of human behaviour." Aaron snorted. "Come off it, will you?"
Cynthia merely sent her companion another benign smile, for at that moment they reached the stage and further conversation on the matter was impossible. She greeted the group warmly, congratulating them on their performance as her companion took his chance to escape across to the equipment itself.
"Is that your newest song?" She asked.
"Yep, due for release in a week or two, if Mom's to be believed." Nancy nodded her head. "By the way, Cynthia, your lighting effects rock. Guess Aaron knew what he was doing when he asked you to help out."
Cynthia laughed.
"Thank you,but it was my pleasure to help you." She replied. "Aaron...my debt to him is great enough, so it was good to repay him some."
"You and Aaron sure seem to be cosy." Sylva said.
"Syl, shut up." Topaz grimaced at her, but Cynthia smiled.
"We are good friends." She agreed. "But we aren't involved, Sylva. Of that I can give you my word. In any case, I believe his feelings run in a different direction."
Copper blushed at this, for Cynthia's gaze had fallen onto her as she'd spoken.
"I wish." She admitted. "I'm gonna go see if he needs any help with the equipment, anyway. Cyn, you coming?"
"I wouldn't dream of interfering." Cynthia winked at her. "He's all yours."
Copper blushed again, hurrying across the set before anyone else could make a comment. Nancy shot the hologram a look.
"You wouldn't be trying to play matchmaker, would you?" She asked shrewdly. Cynthia adopted an innocent look.
"Me? Nancy it's none of my business!"
"I'd say that was a yes." Topaz grinned. "I have to say, though, from all I've seen of Aaron and Copper since I've met them both, they'd make a really sweet couple and they're obviously keen as heck on each other, too. I think that it's a matchmaking scheme that couldn't fail."
"If you ask me, they need a push in each others' direction." Sylva observed. Cynthia nodded.
"In the time I have been acquainted with Aaron, I have heard him speak of her a lot." She agreed. "Even when he does not realise he does it."
"You have a strange way of speaking, you know." Sylva sent Cynthia a curious look. "Where are you from, Cynthia?"
"I'm as American as you are." Cynthia replied smoothly. "My birthplace is here in Los Angeles, like yours."
"How do you know where I was born?" Sylva demanded, looking startled. "I know I don't speak like a Californian, because Mom says I have my Dad's accent, and he was born in New England!"
Cynthia laughed.
"I know a great many things." she said, winking at the confused synth player. "You and Nancy were both born here, I think, and yet neither one of you has a Californian accent."
"Jeez, what has my brother been telling you about us?" Nancy stared, as a studio employee arrived to summon them to their waiting car. "Our life stories?"
"Not at all." Cynthia shook her head. "I pick up pieces of information here and there, and remember them for the future, that's all."
"Must be useful." Topaz observed. "Guess we better round up Copper and get going, girls. We've a studio date and I don't think either Phyllis or Jetta are gonna love us if we hang around here chatting."
Nancy pulled a face.
"Mom doesn't love me at all at the moment." She said with a grimace.
"Did she give you a hard time in the end?" Sylva asked. Nancy nodded.
"She did." She said dryly. "One thing you gotta know about Mom, Syl, is that she has one hell of a temper when it's roused, and she was pretty steamed at me."
"You deserved her to be." Sylva pointed out.
"Don't rub it in!" Nancy retorted. "I'm gonna claim momentary insanity for the whole episode and then I'm gonna forget it as soon as I can."
"I'm glad in one way that you had it, though." Topaz remarked as they reached the set. "Else I'd still be stuck in Toronto waiting tables for peanuts."
"There is that." Nancy acknowledged.
"We're glad to have you, Topaz." Sylva grinned, linking arms with the newest Jewel. "Anyone who shares my love of shopping is always welcome!"
Topaz laughed.
"Well, I'm having a blast with you guys already, and singing like that, live on TV...wow, what a buzz!"
"You were fab." Sylva dimpled. "You acted out the song, almost...Nance, you know what I mean?"
"For once, yes." Nancy agreed. "You're a natural in this business, Topaz. Weren't you nervous at all?"
"Nope, not an inch." Topaz shook her head. "I just couldn't wait to get out there. As soon as Dean announced us - and nice guy, by the way - I was dying to begin." She laughed sheepishly. "Guess I just like the attention, huh?"
"Like I said, you're a natural." Nancy said dryly. "Hey, Copper! Are you planning on coming to the recording session, or are you just gonna hang about here all day?"
"I was helping Aaron." Copper turned, defending herself, as a faint blush rose in her cheeks. "He can't do everything on his own, you know."
"Where's Cynthia go?" Sylva glanced around her. "It's her job to help Aaron move stuff."
"Right here, Sylva." A voice came from behind them, and the girls turned to see the hologram watching them, looking entirely unruffled and a little amused. "Copper, you had better go with the others. I can help Aaron finish up here."
"Okay." Copper agreed, her expression somewhat reluctant. "I'm coming. Catch you later, Aaron...duty calls."
"Sure." Aaron winked at her. "Later, Copper. Thanks for the help. Have a good session, huh?"
Copper dimpled.
"Thanks." She said. "Bye!"
"C'mon, lovebird." Nancy grinned as her friend blushed violently, hushing the other girl with an anxious look around her. "Hey, cool it, he didn't hear me."
"You looked like you were having fun." Sylva remarked. "What were you talking about?"
"Nothing much." Copper replied vaguely. "Just friend stuff, that's all. No romance, Syl. I guess he just doesn't see me that way."
"He's a fool if he doesn't ask you out." Sylva said decidedly. Copper shrugged.
"He's the kind of guy who easily attracts girls. Why would he want to settle just on me, huh? He could have pretty much any chick he asked!"
"Aaron's never been a player." Nancy objected. "He attracts girls, sure, but it takes more than looks to get his attention back. He's no flirt." She looked rueful. "Sometimes I think he got all the nice genes and I got all the cruddy ones. I mean, he's keen on machines and computers and sport and he's always found it so easy to make friends...it's a pain to grow up with sometimes."
"He seems fond of you though, Nance." Topaz put in. "I've a stepbrother who...well, sick is too good a term for him. I loathe him and always will...Aaron and you seem to get along okay."
"We always have." Nancy agreed. "In school, if people gave me hassle he'd stick up for me. He's a good big brother really, Topaz. Just sometimes it bugs me how easily he does everything, that's all. I'm...not good with people. Things with Blade made me see that with graphic clarity."
"You're not savage, silly." Copper laughed, linking arms with the younger girl as they headed down the steps to the waiting car. "So you're a little shy, so what? Not everyone's the kind of social animal Syl is."
"She's a recluse." Sylva remarked. "That ain't shy, it's antisocial."
"You're antisocial anytime you open your mouth." Nancy retorted. Topaz grinned.
"Aw, come on. You know that you'd stick by each other in a jam, you two." she said with a grin. "Spending as much time together as you do, you can't hate each other all that much."
The two girls exchanged looks, and Nancy shrugged.
"I can put up with her." she said finally. "At least she can play."
"Thanks a lot, miss bigshot." Sylva raised an eyebrow. Copper groaned.
"Shut up, the pair of you!" she exclaimed. "Topaz, I'm glad you've joined the group - now I don't have to play referee on my own!"

Chapter One: Aaron's Experiment
Chapter Two: Cynthia
Chapter Three: Back To Work
Chapter Four: On Set
Chapter Five: Mind Games
Chapter Six: Sirena's Scandal
Chapter Seven: Zach
Chapter Eight: A Happy Ending

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.