Just A Dream...

A Gabor Legacy

Chapter One: Sirena and Blade

"What's eating you this morning?"
Emily-Jayne Raymond turned from the hotel room window, where she had been gazing idly down at the clusters of press below, offering her companion a vague smile.
"Me? Nothing." She replied. "Just wondering at the stupidity of the press, that's all." She smirked. "They wait and wait in hope of seeing one of us for a brief second, just so they can put some crazy story in their gossip rag tomorrow morning...it's pathetic how easily they can be manipulated."
"The press can burn in hell." Her companion, Carl Arca said bluntly, coming to join her at the window. "Don't you ever get sick of their stories?"
"Why should I?" Emily-Jayne, or 'Sirena' as she was better known to her fans laughed, her tone flippant. "They're all mad romantics, Blade, and next they'll be saying we're getting married or something dumb like that."
"Hah." Blade snorted. "Like I'd ever marry a chick like you."
"The feeling is mutual." Sirena raised a perfectly fashioned eyebrow. "You're only good for two things, and one of those you could be better at, you know."
"Watch it." Blade scowled. "What's the other?"
"Publicity, what else?" Sirena shrugged. "That's what this is about, and you know it as well as I do." She turned from the window, indicating the messy pile of letters on the table. "Hey, did you check your mail?"
"Yeah. Nowt interesting." Blade smirked. "Fan mail forwarded from the music company, a coupla death threats, bill for new jacket, usual stuff."
"Death threats?" Sirena laughed. "Come off it, Blade. Only the reeeally big stars get those."
"I think it's either one of the reporters or Rory having a nice li'l joke with me." Blade looked equally amused. "Take a look see for yourself."
"Okay." Her curiosity piqued, Sirena accepted the proffered letter, skimming down it, then laughing herself. "Oh brother. You can just tell when it's a put-up job, can't you? I bet some tabloid floozie wrote this. I mean look. They can't even spell properly!"
"Well, it's entertaining." Blade took the letter back, tossing it onto the pile with the others. "Perhaps I'll mention it idly in my next interview. Should get the publicity buzzing."
"Well, at the moment what helps you helps me." Sirena winked at him. "This was a good idea, you know. People can think what they want, and so long as we ain't giving them answers, they're jumping to the conclusions they wanna jump to. Our PR has never been so great."
"Tell me about it." Blade dropped down into a chair, lighting a cigarette and tossing the match idly into an ashtray.
"And, the biggest bonus is, while they focus on me their attention is well away from that loser group of my damn mother's."  Sirena sat down on the bed, reaching for her magazine and flicking absently through the pages.
Blade let out an amused snort.
"You and she are a funny pair." He observed. "I still can't get over you being the daughter of the infamous Phyllis Gabor. You wanna sell tabloids? Why not give 'em that to chew on?"
"I've been tempted, more than once." Sirena admitted. "But it's such a juicy piece of gossip, you know? And there's something fun about knowing that she's wondering all the time if and when I'm going to stick the knife in. I'm waiting for the right moment to do it...it just hasn't come yet."
"Chicken." Blade remarked.
"I'm not!" Sirena reacted to this at once, her expression angry. "You should know better than anyone that I'm no wimp, Carl Arca! But there's no point in letting it seep out. I need a big deal show to blast her world right apart in...the chance just hasn't come knocking."
"If you say so." Blade shrugged, taking a lazy drag on his cigarette and blowing smoke in her direction.
"I do." Sirena snapped back.
"You know, it probably ain't good for my image if I'm seen spending too much time with one woman." Blade observed.
"Well, it's not good for my image to be seen spending too much time with you, but at the end of the day it's boosting both of our record sales." Sirena responded. "We both know there's no love involved in this, and that's the important thing. It's just business. You see who the hell you want - it doesn't bother me. Just don't expect me to be sitting here waiting for you to come in."
Blade smiled indolently.
"Em, I never expect you to sit around for anyone." He said dryly.
"Well, all I can say that hanging out with you has one major bonus, and that's the fact that it spites that creep daughter of Jetta's." Sirena responded. "Nancy's such a baby and I don't know what Mom sees in her or her dumb group."
"Nancy?" Blade inhaled on his cigarette, looking thoughtful. "Oh yeah, I remember Nancy." He laughed. "Stupid little kid that she is, I'd almost forgotten about her. How Jewel made it so big I don't know...she's such a nothing."
"Agreed." Sirena's lip curled into a disdainful smile. "Why my mother wastes her time on them is beyond belief."
"Some might say that you were jealous of her." Blade remarked.
Sirena's eyes narrowed.
"Shut your face." She instructed. "Else you'll be sleeping in the bath tonight, you understand? You should know by now that you don't get anything from me that way."
"Touchy." Blade did not seem a bit perturbed. "You've left it too late to play hard to get, Em, you do know that, I hope. You're no challenge."
"Nor are you." Sirena retorted. "In any case, its easier when you don't involve feelings in the equation."
"Yeah, true." Blade nodded. "At least with you I don't have to worry about some weepy chick calling me up twenty-four seven trying to find out why I never come and see her. You're like me...you know the deal."
"Heaven forbid I should be like you." Sirena rolled her eyes skywards.
"What time is it?"
"You're not blind. Look for yourself."
Blade rolled his eyes, glancing up at the clock on the mantlepiece.
"Ten." he observed. "What time did Rory say he'd send the car for us?"
"Elevenish, he said." Sirena replied. "San Diego is such a drag, you know. Press hounding your every move - you can't even go out any more!"
"I thought you liked the press." Blade objected.
"Only when they're useful." Sirena replied. She frowned. "I better get dressed, I s'pose."
"You called down for breakfast?" Blade asked.
Sirena shook her head, reaching for her towel and heading towards the bathroom.
"No. Not hungry." She replied.
"Not surprising considering how much you ate last night."
"If you're so bothered, order some yourself." Sirena bristled. "And put that wretched cigarette out, will you? It's giving me a headache!"
"It's never bothered you before." Blade retorted. "I've known you light up yourself on occasion. Quit trying to be difficult, Em, and don't hog the bath forever, will you? I know you women first thing in the morning."
"I wonder that you stick around long enough to find out." Sirena snapped. "God, why do I spend so much time with you!"
With that she disappeared into the bathroom, banging the door firmly shut behind her and locking it.
She paused, eying her reflection in the mirror. Despite her complaints to Blade, they had not been short of nightlife since their arrival in San Diego two days ago. Sirena's career as a singer had begun before Blade's, and their styles were very different, but in terms of fan base they were more or less equals, and Rebel Records was reaping in the benefits of their self-arranged alliance.
Not that it was a relationship. Both had been firm on that point. Since his sister's death Blade had refused to tie his emotions to anyone, hurting many in the process, and Sirena's own cynical view of romance had kept her own feelings equally disinterested. They had slept together, but they were not in love. Blade viewed Sirena as relief from the emotional and silly (as he viewed them) young girls who threw themselves into his path and Sirena viewed Blade as useful publicity. They both came from similar backgrounds - Blade had grown up a foster child of unknown parentage and Sirena had been given up by her mother at birth - and they had formed a strange, cool sort of friendship as a result.
But sometimes he drove her spare.
"I don't mind staying with him if his ego'd go out for the night." She muttered as she ran her bath. "Who does he think he is? Sometimes I wish Rory had never signed him."
She took a deep breath, calming herself.
"Remember the publicity." She chided herself. "You and Blade are the hottest rumour that the gossip columnists have to write about - don't blow it now. Since we began this arrangement record sales have gone sky high and tonight's show will no doubt be a sellout too." She frowned. "More work. Stupid photoshoot. Publicity can be a real drag."
She sighed. It was all becoming such a hassle. She couldn't pinpoint where exactly things had changed, but the fun she had originally had in parading for cameras and performing live on tour had all merged into a dull blur of events in her mind. She was tired, she supposed. Overworked, most likely. It was strange, though, how suddenly things had overtaken her.
"I'll bug Rory about vacation time." She decided finally. "We leave San Diego tomorrow afternoon...after that I finish cutting my new album and then I'm demanding a break. I swear it's too much work that's making me wake up dizzy each morning."
Or, she conceded, it could be due to too much drinking the night before. The celebrity high life had always suited her to a tee, and she had always been keen to sample as much of it as possible. But late night indulgences had their price and more than once she had woken with a dull ache in her head and a patchy memory of the night before.
She had not been drinking the previous night. Rory had arranged a press conference, where both she and Blade had been delightfully ambiguous about their affair, and then the executive had taken them to dinner. After that she had returned to the hotel alone.
She frowned. Why had she? It wasn't like her to refuse a night on the town, especially since Rebel Records would most likely foot the bill.
"Probably needed a break from Blade's company." she decided, slipping into the warm water. "Who could blame me? Why the women throw themselves at him I've no idea. He's as big a loser as Rory. God, I hate the need for PR. As if I'd even look twice at a guy like him if it weren't for this stupid celebrity couple image!"
"Are you gonna take forever in there?" That was him now, and Sirena poked her tongue out at the closed door.
"Wait your turn." She snapped back.
She heard him mutter "Women!" under his breath, then footsteps moving away from the door.
Sirena rolled her eyes, dipping beneath the water briefly.
"This can't go on." She muttered. "He's driving me crazy!"
A short time later, as she dressed and Blade took his turn in the bathroom, she noticed that the press who had gathered outside the hotel had swelled in number, and a wry smile touched her face.
"That means our car is on it's way." She mused. "Who needs Rory to phone and tell us?"
She scrutinised her reflection, applying her makeup with her usual care, and then brushing her waves of hair back from her face into a ponytail. There was time enough for the stylists at the photoshoot to fix it properly, and in reality she didn't care all that much about doing it herself.
"I'm still half asleep." She muttered. "Oh God, and my roots are starting to show! That means another thing to see to, dammit!"
She dropped down onto the bed, her gaze falling on Blade's cigarettes and after a moment's hesitation she put one to her lips, lighting it.
"What he don't know won't hurt him." She decided, disposing of the match. "God, what's gotten into me this morning? I'm all over the place."
She raised a hand to her head. "And where's this headache come from? If I'm coming down with something I know where I got it from and I'll kill him myself for it!"
She drifted back over to the window, inhaling absently on the cigarette. She was not a regular smoker but on occasion she accepted one socially and now and then she took one, believing it to steady her nerves, although in actual fact it did little but make her more irritable.
She glanced up at the clock, scattering ash carelessly on the windowledge as she did so. Five to eleven. Okay, so they'd be late to another engagement. Great.
"Blade, you're gonna make us late again!" She called. "It's five to!"
"Since when have you cared about being on time?" Blade emerged from the bathroom at that moment, then,
"Hey, you said you had a headache! And those are mine!"
"I do, I know they are, and I could care less." Sirena replied bluntly. "Get dressed, will ya? Car'll be here any minute."
"Yeah, yeah. Chill out, girl." Blade did not seem in the least bit worried. "We'll get there when we get there. After all, we're the stars."

Prologue: Twenty One Years Ago
Chapter One: Sirena And Blade
Chapter Two: Nancy's Heart
Chapter Three: Coup D'Etat
Chapter Four: The Reaction
Chapter Five: Nancy Finds Out
Chapter Six: Dilemma
Chapter Seven: Facing Phyllis
Chapter Eight: Scandal!
Chapter Nine: An Unexpected Shock
Chapter Ten: A Revelation
Chapter Eleven: Harvey Takes A Hand
Chapter Twelve: Sirena vs Pizzazz
Chapter Thirteen: Settling Rory
Chapter Fourteen: At Misfit Music
Epilogue: A New Beginning

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.