Just A Dream...
Family Feud

Chapter Eight: A Stranger

"He asked you out?"
Sylva let out a squeal, stretching out on her bed as she fixed her roomate with a scrutinous look. "And you said yes? Well, of course you said yes, he's cute as heck and he likes you, that's obvious."
"Well, it's just one date." Topaz said with a slight smile. "Don't make such a big deal over it, Syl! It's just drinks, that's all."
"You're not old enough to go drinking." Sylva scolded her. "So don't tell me it's just drinks!"
"It is. The legal age to drink in bars in England is eighteen, Nancy told me that." Topaz replied with a grin. "So I'm safe. And that's what he said. He asked if he could take me out for a drink. He didn't ask me to run away to Scotland with him!"
"Aw, come on, you're taking the romance out of it!" Sylva protested. "Tell me the truth, do you like him?"
Topaz blushed slightly.
"I don't know." She said finally.
"You do!" Sylva exclaimed. "Oh God, it's all over your face! You're in love with him too! Copper was right, it was love at first sight!"
"Have you guys been talking about me behind my back?" Topaz demanded sharply.
"Not really." Sylva shrugged. "But it was just so cool, the way you blushed when he complimented you. I knew you liked him! Wow, you're gonna have a holiday romance!"
"Gah." Topaz pulled a face. "I really hope not. I hate holiday romances."
"Why?" Sylva demanded, making herself more comfortable on her duvet. "They're fun and hassle-free! Why do you hate them?"
"Because you either wind up with some loser who won't leave you alone your whole break, or you find someone you totally lose your heart to and then you have to go home and leave them behind." Topaz groaned. "Neither one is fun. And I have such an awful track record with men, Syl...I just know this is gonna screw up somehow. I should never have said yes to going out with him!"
"C'mon, he's a friend of Aaron's." Sylva said.
"I know, but he's also friends with Taylor."
"You know, that cousin of Nancy's she met yesterday." Topaz frowned.
"So?" Sylva demanded. "Nancy doesn't think Taylor's trouble, and anyway, what has Taylor to do with what Cameron's like? He's a medical student, he's studying to save lives, Topaz! He's not gonna be some sleazy creep! And he's drop dead gorgeous too, if you want my opinion. Take the date and have fun! You only live once, you know, you might as well enjoy yourself."
"I want to." Topaz admitted. "It's crazy, Syl, but I feel like...well, when we were talking it was like I'd always known him. But I'm afraid..."
"Afraid? Of what?"
"Of falling in love with him and then having to go back to America without him." Topaz sighed. "I'm no good at long distance relationships, and I'm a liability where other men are concerned."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, put it this way." Topaz frowned. "If I'm drunk and a man asks, I don't tend to put up a fight."
"Ooh." Sylva was silent for a moment, then, "Boy do we have to cure you of that habit! You gotta learn to be more choosy!"
"Yeah, I know. It's gotten me into enough trouble in the past." Topaz smiled ruefully. "I've had two hairy thugs knocking each other's brains out over me before, because...oh, let's face it, I'm easy. At least I am when I'm drunk."
"Then don't be." Sylva shrugged. "Don't get drunk."
"Guess you're right." Topaz replied. "Thing is, Syl, I get the feeling that Cameron...well, he wouldn't be impressed if he knew the kind of girl I am. I mean, he thinks I'm pretty, but so what? When he finds out what I'm really like..."
"What you're really like is friendly, laid back, and with a good sense of humour." Sylva told her firmly. "So drop it. You don't have to tell him you slept with half of Canada's quota of sleaze, do you? He's not asking you to marry him, after all! It's just a date!"
"Yeah, I suppose so." Topaz nodded. "Trouble is I think I like him more than is safe already...I dunno if I know what I'm getting into."
"That's the fun of it." Sylva winked at her. "It'll be fine, Topaz, trust me. You'll have a blast."
"I hope you're right." Topaz responded. "I really hope you're right."

"So what are our plans for this morning, then?" Sylva set down her knife and fork, eying her bandmates questioningly. "What are we gonna do today?"
"I can't believe how much you just ate." Nancy wrinkled her nose.
"Hey, you come to the UK, you gotta try a proper cooked English breakfast." Sylva grinned unrepentantly. "Anyway, I was hungry. We had a busy day yesterday."
"I vote we go see some of the sights today." Copper suggested. "Get a picture of the real London, you know? Take the cameras and play tourist for a day."
"Do we have to be so crass?" Sylva asked.
"C'mon, Syl, it'll be fun." Topaz grinned. "We can go visit Big Ben and the Tower and Buckingham Palace...don't you wanna see them?"
"Topaz, I used to spend history classes flicking pellets at my friend Marianne." Sylva replied firmly. "Bad enough America has the history it has without making me learn stupid British history too!"
"Well, I liked history...it was one of my pet subjects." Copper admitted.
"And the sun's shining, so we should take advantage." Nancy agreed. "We didn't just come here to shop, you know."
"Guess not." Sylva sighed. "Okay. We'll go sightseeing. But not too much historical drivel, huh? I might fall asleep!"
"Hey, what you girls up to?" At that moment Aaron joined them, kissing Copper good morning and pulling up a chair to their table. "I feel like I've hardly seen you since we got here!"
"We're going to see the sights." Copper told him. "You wanna come?"
"Sure, if noone else minds." Aaron grinned.
"Course not." Sylva laughed. "Can't separate lovebirds now, can we?" She fixed Topaz with a meaningful look at that moment, causing the Canadian to choke on her toast, hurriedly reaching for her coffee.
"Don't kill me, Syl!" She exclaimed. "I'm eating!"
"Me? What did I do?" Sylva adopted an innocent expression, and Topaz glared at her.
Nancy grinned.
"Are we to assume this has something to do with you and Cameron spending ages in deep conversation yesterday?" She asked. Topaz went red.
"I should know better than to tell Syl anything." She muttered.
"Hey, I haven't told anyone a thing!" Sylva protested. "It's not like it wasn't obvious you liked each other."
"Holding out for Cameron, huh?" Aaron looked amused. "Hm, maybe we should invite him along this morning, too!"
"Shut up teasing me!" Topaz exclaimed. "Can't a girl have a little crush anymore? I mean, c'mon, be fair here. It's hardly abnormal for a girl to like a guy or vice versa! You two," She indicated Aaron and Copper, "Are living proof of that, and who knows what else you get up to when we're not looking your way, so leave me alone!"
Copper and Aaron exchanged embarrassed looks, and Copper shrugged.
"Aaron and my relationship is our business, I told you that." She chided. "And c'mon, Topaz, it's romantic that you have a crush! It's the first time since you joined the band that you've met a guy you liked."
"True." Topaz admitted. "But I don't need you giving me hell about it. I like Cameron, okay? That doesn't mean I wanna tell you all about it!"
"Okay, we'll let you be." Sylva grinned. "Hey, are we going? I'm getting the hang of these train things now."
"I like the underground." Nancy responded. "It's like nothing else...not even the New York metro."
"It's stuffy, smelly, and cramped." Aaron laughed. "All right, I know the kind of house you girls want when you settle down and start a family."
"Oh, you." Sylva pulled a face at him, punching him playfully. "Are we going or not?"
"Okay, cool it, we're coming." Nancy rolled her eyes, getting to her feet. "I thought tourist stuff was beneath you."
"Well, someone's gotta stop you from boring yourselves to death." Sylva retorted as they dropped their keys in at reception, heading out into the bright sunlight. "Woo, it's a nice day today!"
"Perfect for visiting places." Copper nodded her head. "And maybe we can try that think you and your Mom did that time, Syl - picnic in Hyde Park for lunch."
"That'd be cool." Topaz agreed.
"Definitely." Nancy nodded. "I hate stuffy cafes. Picnics are cool."
"Well, let's catch the train first." Aaron laughed. "We can't go on this amazing sightseeing trek from here, you know!"
"So where are we starting our tour?" Topaz asked, as they boarded the first train that thundered into Bayswater station. "Copper, you're the history buff, where do you want to go?"
"The Tower, I think." Copper said after some deliberation. "I dunno why, but it's always kinda fascinated me, all that mediaeval torture stuff."
"Aaron, you're dating a psychopath." Sylva giggled. Aaron laughed.
"Hardly." Copper protested. "It's just neat, that's all."
"Okay, the Tower it is." Topaz laughed, glancing up at the tube map. "That's Tower Hill, I'm guessing."
"It's a place to start, anyhow." Copper nodded. She glanced at Nancy. "Nance, you okay?"
"Yeah." Nancy nodded. "I just have the creeps this morning, that's all. Some guy was watching us from across the street as we left the hotel. He was opposite the place the other morning and I saw him from the window, it was like he was waiting for something...or someone. And he saw me...he smiled at me, it was the creepiest thing."
"Maybe we better tell Mom about him, if you're worried." Aaron suggested. Nancy shook her head.
"No...she'll just jump to the wrong conclusion about it." She said. "She's edgy enough being here - don't tell me you haven't noticed it. I'm not gonna make her any more unsettled...it's probably nothing."
"Your call." Aaron shrugged. "And here we are, Tower Hill. C'mon girls, time to play tourists!"

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

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.