Just A Dream...
Chapter Two: Exploring London
"I like London."
Copper sat down on her bed with a smile. "This room is nice, don't you think?"
"It's better than some we've stayed in." Nancy nodded her head. She sent her companion an expectant look. "Okay, now we're alone, Copper, spill."
"Spill what?" Copper looked startled.
"Well, is Mom right? Have you and Aaron..." She trailed off. Copper blushed violently.
"It's none of your business if we have or not!" She protested.
"He's my brother, you're my friend." Nancy stretched out on her bed, resting her chin in her hands. "I'm just concerned for the well being of your relationship, that's all."
"Yeah, right." Copper retorted. "You can be as nosey as Syl when you want to be, you know that?"
"Well what?" Copper demanded. "You know full well if I asked you the same question about Blade you'd be mad at me, so why ask me about Aaron?"
"Because Aaron isn't a creep like Blade." Nancy said. "Okay, if that's how it is don't tell me. I was just curious, that's all."
"Well, don't be. It's not something I feel comfortable discussing and I wish Jetta hadn't teased us like that." Copper picked at the duvet cover. "As if we'd try anything when I'm sharing a room with you!"
"You could go to his." Nancy reasoned.
"And have you know what was going on? I don't think so!" Copper replied. "My relationship is private between me and Aaron!"
"Okay, okay, chill out!" Nancy put up her hands. "I've done asking." She stifled a yawn. "I think I'm jetlagged too actually. Losing hours really disorientates you."
"I'm starving hungry." Copper replied, relieved at the change of topic. "Airline food never fills you up properly. And I'm so stiff! But I can't wait to see more of London tomorrow."
"Assuming any of us wake up early enough to go." Nancy remarked. "Think Mom will stick with us this vacation or is she gonna leave us to our own ends, you think?"
"Mostly our own ends, I reckon." Copper replied. "Though she did say she wanted us in Ruislip one day, since her friend wanted to see you and Aaron again. I'm guessing you'll bring us along for the ride."
"You, definitely." Nancy nodded. "Topaz too. I think we'll stick Syl on the wretched circle line and let her amuse herself!"
"Oh, she's just tired, and so are you." She scolded. She glanced up at the clock. "What time is dinner, any idea?"
"Not a clue." Nancy owned.
Copper got to her feet, heading over to the dividing door and knocking on it. Hearing Topaz call her in, she swung it open. Topaz was busy unpacking, while Sylva was sprawled on her bed, examining the tourist guide to find out what they should do on the morrow.
"You guys know what time dinner is?" Copper asked.
"Between seven and nine." Topaz replied. "There's a thing in the chest of drawers which lists times of stuff. Why, are you hungry?"
"Starved." Copper nodded. "Aren't you?"
"Yeah, a bit." Topaz admitted. "It's half-six according to my watch...Syl is still on LA time, so I'm not gonna ask her what time she makes it."
"Half past ten in the morning, actually." Sylva glanced up from her reading. "What time you wanna eat then, Copper? And can you leave Nancy up here when you come?"
"You two are bad as each other." Copper rolled her eyes. "Would you guys care if we went down at seven?"
"Nope." Topaz shook her head. She grinned. "Going to eat with us or with Aaron?"
Copper blushed again.
"Don't you start on me." She threatened. "I'm going to eat with you guys, far as I know. This isn't some romantic getaway for him and me, you know. To start with, his mother's three doors down!"
"True." Topaz acknowledged goodnaturedly. "Parents are great contraception, it's true."
Sylva giggled at this, and Copper shook her head slowly.
"You're awful." She decided. "For the last time, Aaron and my relationship is my business and his. Not yours. Got it?"
"Got it." Topaz grinned. "See you at seven, Copper."
Despite their best efforts, the long flight and the excitement of being
in a new country meant that all four girls were in bed and asleep well before
midnight, and it was not till eleven o'clock the next morning that they began
to stir. Nancy was the first to wake, yawning as she sat up, wiping the sleep
from her eyes and glancing at her watch.
"Eleven." She murmured. "Not bad."
She glanced across at Copper, who was still asleep, then slipped out of bed, pulling on her dressing gown and moving over to the window. It was a bright day, though Nancy knew well enough that sunlight in England could be deceptive, and that there would still be something of a nip in the air, for it was still only May. The streets were busy and she stood for a moment just watching the people bustling about as they took care of their various errands.
A smile touched her face.
"Somehow England feels like home." She mused. "Even though I've never lived here. Maybe it's because Mom and I have always been so close...I feel like I belong here."
As she watched, she saw a tall, dark man pause on the corner, gazing up at the hotel, a thoughtful expression on his face. She frowned. What was he doing?
Noone on the street seemed to be taking much notice of him, and as she looked he met her gaze, startling her in the process and causing her to take a step back from the window. The man merely smiled and winked at her, then turned, heading along the main street and down the steps to the underground station.
Nancy took a deep breath, a frown on her face. Why had she been so creeped out by him? The likelihood was that he had just been waiting to cross the road, or had been admiring the elegance of the hotel building.
But there had been something about him, something that she didn't like. It wasn't his apparel, though he had not been either too smartly or too scruffily dressed, nor his general appearance. No, it was something else. Something about the way he had looked at her. There had been no warmth to his smile, no friendliness that she would have expected from one stranger to another. Just a cool acknowledgement of her presence.
"Weird." She decided. "Ah well. Guess there are odd people in London just as much as there are in Los Angeles. He's probably late for work or something - I dunno. Might as well forget him. I'll probably never see him again."
She turned from the window, as Copper began to stir, sleepily demanding to know what the time was.
"Twenty past eleven." Nancy told her. "If we dress quickly we might be able to get some shopping in after lunch."
"Sounds good to me." Copper sat up, stretching. "Are Topaz and Syl up yet?"
"I don't know - doubt it. If they're determined to sleep it out you and I could go explore a little. I'll get our tube passes off Mom."
"I don't think either Syl or Topaz would love us very much if we did that." Copper grinned. "One of us should see if they're awake, at least."
"All right, I'll go." Nancy shrugged, moving over to the interconnecting door, the stranger forgotten. It was still unlocked on both sides and she pushed it open, surveying her sleeping bandmates with some amusement.
"Sleeping like babes." She observed. "Shall I wake them?"
"If you're feeling brave." Copper replied with a laugh. Nancy grinned, moving across to Sylva's dresser and setting off the alarm on the girl's clock.
Within a moment or two both girls were wide awake and Sylva glared at Nancy, putting her hands on her hips.
"What was that for?" She demanded.
"Copper and I are gonna have lunch then go shopping." Nancy said sweetly. "We wondered if you wanted to come."
"Course." Topaz nodded. "But you didn't need to wake us so abruptly!"
"We kinda thought you might sleep all day." Nancy replied.
"Guess we'd better get up now." Sylva frowned. "Okay. Give us a while and we'll meet you downstairs for lunch."
"Suits me." Nancy winked. "See you soon."
It was almost half past one by the time the girls were ready to leave the hotel and, after having collected their underground passes from Jetta, they headed downstairs. Though he had been invited to tag along, Aaron had chosen not to share the girls' shopping expedition, since he knew how time consuming shopping with Sylva and Topaz could be, so it was just the four girls that left the hotel in search of souvenirs and new clothes.
"Wonder if we'll see Sammi and Rose again." Copper mused as they made their way down the steps to Bayswater underground station. "Or any of the others, for that matter. It's cool us all being in London together...we oughta meet up to shop at least one of the days we're here."
"Please God no." Sylva shook her head. "Sammi'd probably want to go look at manuscript paper or something!"
"Don't be so hard on her." Copper scolded.
"She seems nice enough." Topaz agreed. "You don't look a lot alike, mind you. Hair, perhaps...and eyes...but you're really nothing alike."
"I know. Anna and I got the looks." Sylva said airily, though inwardly she had always resented how much her cousin resembled the former Misfit herself. Sylvina's own features came largely from her father, and it galled her greatly to think that not only had Sammi inherited Mary's musical writing ability, but also a large part of her appearance.
"So who do you look like?" Nancy demanded. "Your Dad?"
"Well, duh." Sylva retorted. "Who else am I gonna look like?"
"My father, for your information, is a very important businessman." Sylva snapped. "With a lot of responsibilities. He's very well thought of in his line of work!"
"Blah blah blah." Nancy rolled her eyes. "I couldn't care less what he is, Syl. Whatever he is, it hasn't passed down to you."
"You know what I find interesting?" Topaz observed.
"What?" Sylva asked.
"Well, when I first met you guys, I kinda thought you had an oriental look about you." Topaz admitted. "Now I know your aunt is Aja of former Hologram fame, right? And she's Chinese-American...but she's not bloodrelated, am I right?"
"Yes." Sylva agreed. "Mom and Uncle Craig are brother and sister, Aunt Aja's just blood by marriage."
"Well, what struck me when we met Sammi on the train is how oriental she doesn't look." Topaz replied. "I mean, it's kinda there, but it's not overpowering, despite her mother's heritage. But you...well, I would have pegged you as Aja's daughter more than Sammi."
"Yeah, you know, Topaz has a point." Copper eyed her bandmate critically. "You do look a bit oriental, Syl...what's the story?"
"No story, not really." She replied. "Mom's as mongrel American as they come, but Dad has blood from all over - I think his grandmother was from Singapore, his father was born in Romania but emigrated to the US with his family and took nationality here - he died when Dad was sixteen, so I never met him. We're a very mixed blood family, and Anna and I inherited a hint of the Singapori gene, that's all."
"When are we gonna get to meet this sister of yours?" Copper wondered. "We've been a band almost nine months now and we've never seen hide nor hair of her."
"Perhaps she doesn't exist." Nancy looked amused. "Perhaps Syl leads a double life."
"Very funny!" Sylva exclaimed. "She exists, Nance. Trust me. Only she's at college most of the year and then in DC the rest of the time." She pulled a face. "Anna's scared of airplanes and won't fly without being coaxed to do it first. When we've flown to England she's been a pain every time...she's hardly going to get on a flight voluntarily, just to come see me in Cali, considering that I'm not even there half the time these days."
"Maybe we'll get to meet her if we get tour dates in DC." Topaz suggested. "It's kinda strange to think that there are two Sylvina's floating about."
"Oh, please. Anna and I are so not alike." Sylva shook her head. "She's the swotty one...I'm the one with flair."
"Do you even like the girl?" Nancy demanded. Sylva frowned, then,
"Of course I do." She admitted. "She's my best friend in the world, Nancy. Why do you suppose I write to her? You should know how much I hate writing letters and stuff."
"Aw, that's kinda sweet." Copper dimpled. "It's neat that you're so different, too. It must've been fun growing up with a twin."
"Yeah, it was." Sylva grinned. "I used to convince her to switch places with me all the time...people got so muddled as to who was who. Mom is the only person who can always tell us apart, no matter what. Maternal instinct, I guess."
"You're totally identical, then?" Topaz asked. Sylva nodded her head.
"Entirely." She agreed. "Well, aside from one tiny little thing. Anna has a mole on her right shoulder, I don't. Otherwise that's it."
"Wow." Topaz grinned. "That's neat."
At that moment, the train rushed into the station and the girls turned their attention to getting on board, mindful of the speed with which the doors tended to close.
"No circle line impressions today, Syl." Nancy hissed. "Not unless you want everyone to think you're sick in the head!"
"Don't tell me what to do." Sylva retorted. "In any case, I wasn't going to. I'm too busy trying to work out what to spend my money on."
"Anything and everything, knowing you!" Topaz grinned.
"You're not much better!" Sylva laughed. Topaz looked rueful.
"Touche." She acknowledged. "Hey, where are we heading, anyway?"
"Knightsbridge. Harrods." Sylva's eyes sparkled.
"Then we gotta change trains someplace." Nancy observed, examining the tube map. "Um...at South Kensington. I bet that's where Rose and Sammi were headed yesterday when we met them."
"Probably." Copper agreed. "You sure we can afford Harrods, you guys?"
"Well, we can look." Sylva reasoned. "Where's the harm in that?"
"With you along for the ride, there'a a lot of harm involved." Nancy said dryly. "I've never known anyone max out a credit card as quick as you, Syl."
"But I have impeccable taste." Sylva retorted. "And this is our stop...come on!"
Despite the fact it was their first time out alone on the tube trains, they managed to change trains to the Picadilly line with few problems, and were soon outside the front entrance of the immense shopping arcade that was Harrods itself.
"Wow, its huge!" Topaz exclaimed. "We'll get lost soon as we go in the door!"
"That's half the fun of it." Sylva dimpled. "Mom and Anna and I came here once, when I was twelve and we visited Harrods. We bought lunch here and picnicked in Hyde Park, it was neat. Mom had business here, but it was our summer vacation and so she brought us along for the ride."
"Sounds cool." Copper remarked.
"Well, are we going in?" Nancy demanded. "Or are we just gonna stand and stare?"
"We're goin' in." Sylva responded, grabbing the nearest girl - Topaz - by the arm and pulling her through the doorway. "Let's shop!"
PART FIVE: FAMILY FEUD
Chapter One: Invitation To England
Chapter Two: Exploring London
Chapter Three: Taylor
Chapter Four: A Surprise For Nancy
Chapter Five: Jetta Explains
Chapter Six: To Ruislip
Chapter Seven: Romance
Chapter Eight: The Stranger
Chapter Nine: Kidnap!
Chapter Ten: The Aftermath
Chapter Eleven: Bad Blood
Chapter Twelve: An Unlikely Hero
Chapter Thirteen: A Family For Taylor
JEWELFIC MAIN PAGE:
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.