Just A Dream...
Chapter Four: A Surprise For Nancy
"Well, we've shopped ourselves to death pretty much so far this afternoon."
Copper cast her companions amused smiles. "And been caught in a beautiful
rainstorm, too. What next, Syl?"
"Don't ask her if you value your life." Nancy groaned. "She's almost got splatted on two busy roads today."
"They drive the wrong side." Sylva shrugged. "Don't fuss, Nancy. I got the hang of it now."
"Let's hope so." Topaz grinned, linking arms with her friend. "Jewel would be a lot worse off without it's synth player, you know."
"Oh, shut up." Sylva grinned.
"So what are we gonna do?" Nancy asked.
"Well, I dunno about you guys, but I need a mirror, and fast." Copper eyed a lock of her rain-dampened hair with a critical frown. "My hair's going mental on me."
"It's gone all curly." Topaz observed with interest. "I never knew you had curls, Copper."
"Naturally I do, it's the only thing I inherited from Mama." Copper nodded. "But they get messed up and make my hair look shorter, so I tend to straighten it." She grinned at Nancy. "As Nancy knows from sharing a room with me in hotels, I never go anywhere without my straighteners."
"Your hair's long enough." Sylva objected. "Why fuss about it? Curls are cool, you know."
"Yeah, I know." Copper dimpled. "But really my hair isn't that long, Syl. It's about to here when I straighten it out." She indicated her shoulders. "The rest is extensions. I got very hair-conscious when I had my chemotherapy and lost it all...so I tend to go with it as long as I can get it these days."
"When did you have chemotherapy?" Topaz stared at the drummer. Copper shivered.
"In my senior year of High School." She replied. "I had Hodgkin's Disease...the treatment saved my life but ruined it too, if you know what I mean. I lost a lot of time and friends and self-esteem...so I'd rather forget it."
"Wow." Topaz looked taken aback, then, "Okay, cool. I won't mention it again."
"Well, let's go get our hair done." Sylva suggested, pushing open the door of a nearby hair salon. "Chic new look for London, what do you say? My hair could use a trim anyway."
"Okay, I'm game." Topaz dimpled. "I suppose this is the time you're gonna tell us your curls are a perm, Syl."
"They are not!" Sylva looked affronted. "They're all natural, as you'd know if you'd ever met my mother or my sister!"
"Cool it, Syl, Topaz is teasing." Copper grinned. "We all know you're naturally curly, despite the amount of hair products you use."
"My hair's all natural, thank you." Sylva replied haughtily, tossing her curls over her shoulder as she headed up to the desk. Topaz laughed.
"Bless her." She observed. "She always rises."
"Yeah, but it's usually me baiting her, not you." Nancy raised an eyebrow. "You're stealing my thunder!"
"Sorry, Nance." Topaz apologised goodnaturedly. "So what's the plan? Are we all gonna dye our hair green and be Hallowe'en rejects, or what?"
"I just feel like being pampered a little." Copper grinned. "Being a salon employee has it's perks, you know...I know the things they can do and the cheapest way to do it. I think I'll just have a shampoo and set, and perhaps my hair trimmed...no doubt we'll be heading on to be manicured next if Syl has her way."
"I'm sitting this out." Nancy folded her arms.
"Oh c'mon, Nance...play along." Topaz grinned. "You know, you'd look real cute with curls..."
"I am not having a perm!" Nancy objected.
"Not a permanent one, you goof...I meant a temporary one...just to see what it looks like."
"Not a chance." Nancy shook her head. "I might let Copper mess with my hair, but noone else. You guys have your pampering, I'll see you in a while. There's a record shop across the street and I'm gonna go browse."
"Okay, suit yourself." Copper laughed. "Later, Nance. Don't spend too much!"
Nancy sent her friend a grin, pushing open the door of the salon and heading across the street to the record store, humming the melody from one of her new songs. Not looking where she was going, she ran headlong into a stranger, tumbling to the floor.
"Oh, are you all right?" The voice was unfamiliar, tinged as it was with a mild version of her mother's accent, and Nancy looked up, startled.
"Yes, I'm fine." She agreed. "I should've looked."
"Let me help you." The stranger smiled, pulling her to her feet. "Say, you've a familiar look about you. Have we met before?"
"I don't think so." Nancy shook her head, feeling a little confused. "I...I'm here on vacat...um, I mean I'm here on holiday with some friends of mine. We...we're kinda a band, but I don't think any of our songs have been released here yet."
"Oh, so you're a musician?" The stranger looked interested. "I figured you were American by your accent...what kind of music do you do?"
"Anything that comes to me." Nancy said simply. "Our band's called Jewel."
"Can I ask your name? I like to know who I'm running into." The man's eyes sparkled at her. "I'm Taylor, by the way. Taylor Conway."
"Oh! Nancy Pelligrini." Nancy smiled. Despite Taylor's rather rough and ready appearance, she did not feel threatened by him, and had completely forgotten for an instant all her mother had taught her about talking to strangers. Taylor too seemed quite comfortable, as if they had been friends for years, and in no hurry to continue his shopping.
"Pelligrini?" He asked her now. "Say, you're not related to Sheila Pelligrini, are you?"
"Yes." Nancy looked surprised. "How do you know Mom?"
"She's your mother?" Now it was Taylor's turn to look taken aback. Then he smiled. "No, actually, I shouldn't be surprised. I can see the likeness - that's why you're so familiar to me. It's just that the accent threw me rather. I didn't expect Aunt Sheila's kid to talk with a beautiful American drawl."
"Aunt Sheila?" Nancy demanded. "What do you mean? Mom doesn't have any nephews or nieces."
"Well, she didn't exactly know about me until recently." Taylor owned. "My father is her brother, Nancy...your Uncle Jeremy."
"I don't have an uncle." Nancy frowned. "At least, Mom's never said so."
"They don't speak." Taylor shrugged. "I don't know the details of it, mind you. I grew up in foster care and never really knew either of my parents."
"Oh!" Nancy was silent for a moment, digesting this, then, "I'm sorry. I don't...know what to say."
"I suppose you don't expect to meet a relation in the streets, but they do say that if you hang around this part of London long enough you'll meet someone you know." He said with a smile. "I didn't know for sure that Aunt Sheila had kids, though I got the impression from Laura that she had. It was nice to meet you, Nancy...I hope we'll meet again."
"I hope so too." Nancy replied, realising as she said it that she spoke the truth. Though she knew nothing of Taylor and had no way of proving that his story was true, for some reason she believed him anyway. Somehow his careless, offhand manner inspired her trust, and she made a mental note to discuss the possibility of a cousin with her mother later that evening.
Taylor grinned at her, then headed off across the store, leaving her deep in thought. Why would her mother fail to mention the existance of a brother? Even on their trip to England for her grandmother's funeral there had been no mention of him, no trace left. She turned her mind back to the funeral itself. Though her memory was grainy, she thought she remembered the vicar recounting the birth of another child when discussing Florence's life, but she had been busy trying to get her hymn book back off Aaron at the time and had not paid direct attention to what he had said. She frowned, wishing she had. Though Jetta had never claimed to be an only child, she felt deceived all the same.
What had happened between Sheila and Jeremy Burns to make her mother omit his existance from her life?
Pushing the thought to the back of her mind for the time being she moved idly over to the racks of cds, catching sight of a familiar name on a disk as she did so, and grinning. So Sammi and her group were doing all right in the English charts then...Sylva would not be amused to know that. The rivalry between the cousins entertained Nancy as much as it irritated her, but she was not sure which of the two she had most sympathies with. Despite her bickering with Sylva, in their nine months together as part of the band they had developed their own special kind of bond - not friendship, but a mutual tolerance of each other that on occasion bordered into amiability.
She scooped up a copy of the Teenangel Outsiders' latest single, turning it over to read the back. Their music was different from Jewel's, but good all the same, and there was no harm in helping out friends. She headed up to the cash desk to buy it, pausing for a moment by a display of cds from the eighties. Greatest Hit albums - Jem and the Holograms, the Stingers...she reached for one, grinning at it. The Misfits. Too tempting to leave behind...she was a fan of her mother's group's music, anyway.
After making her purchases she made her way back to the salon, where Copper and Topaz were sitting having their hair dried, and Sylva was having her long curls trimmed for split ends.
"You guys done yet?" She demanded. "It's almost seven and we're gonna miss dinner at the hotel, unless we're gonna eat in town."
"Quit whining and enjoy yourself." Sylva told her firmly. "We're on vacation, Nancy!"
"Hah." Nancy snorted. "You're always on vacation."
"Well, I'm almost dry, and nice and straight too, thank god." Copper eyed her reflection with approval. "I vote we go back to the hotel to eat and then hit the town after, if we're not too tired to."
"Works for me." Topaz nodded her head. "Syl?"
"Okay, okay." Sylva rolled her eyes. "Give me a minute or two, and I'll be with you."
"Fine." Nancy retorted. "But don't take too long! We haven't got all night!"
None of them noticed the dark stranger on the corner, observing them as they left the salon and headed towards the underground station. None of them noticed his slight smile as he glanced at Nancy, taking in her features and making a careful mental note. And none of them saw as he slipped down the station steps and onto the train behind them as they made their way back to the hotel.
It was a shame that none of the girls observed his strange behaviour, for if they had, they might have been able to prevent the events to follow, but none of them did, and so the stranger moved on, unnoticed, to hatch his scheme in undisturbed seclusion.
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.