Just A Dream...
A Gabor Legacy
Chapter Ten: A Revelation
Topaz opened the door to the Starlight Mansion, a surprised look crossing her face as she registered the visitor. "What's up? What brings you here?"
"I wanted to speak to Nancy...properly." Dean replied, coming into the hallway. "She about, Topaz? We can't keep messing each other up like this."
"She's upstairs." Topaz nodded. "If you go grab a seat I'll shoot up and find her. Copper's making coffee, if you want some."
"Sounds good." Dean smiled slightly. "Thanks."
Topaz grinned at him, then headed off up the stairs to the room that Nancy had made her own in the year the girls had lived at Starlight Mansion. Gently she knocked on the door.
"Nancy? It's Topaz, can I come in?"
"Sure." Nancy's voice came through the door and Topaz did as she was bidden, casting her housemate a smile.
"You have a visitor, so you'd better dress." She observed lightly.
"A visitor?" Nancy frowned. "What kind of a visitor, Topaz?"
"Dean, of course. Who else?"
"I don't want to talk to Dean." Nancy frowned. "I'm confused enough as it is."
"I think it'd be a good idea if you did." Topaz responded. "Listen, Nance, I've been out with my fair share of guys and I've dated most of the biggest jerks on the planet at one time or another...Dean ain't that type. You gotta talk things through with him."
"Copper said that she didn't think he'd force himself on me." Nancy admitted, getting to her feet and reaching for her clothes. "It's just...after Blade...I can't help being nervous."
Such confidences from the sharp-tongued Nancy were not common, and Topaz's expression softened.
"I know." She agreed. "Blade screwed you over big time, and I know how bad that feels. But if you tarnish every guy with the same brush, you'll never give anyone a chance."
"Maybe that's the best way to be."
"Well, it's playing safe, but it's not a whole lot of fun." Topaz grinned. "Do you think you do have feelings for Dean?"
"I've been thinking of nothing else since I came back to bed, and I haven't slept a wink." Nancy admitted. "To be honest, Topaz, I'm still a little unsure, but the more I think about it, the more I'm worried that Copper is right, and I do. I don't want to, though...that's why I don't want to see him. I'm afraid of where it'll lead if I let things begin."
"You never know until you try." Topaz winked. "I don't think you can go far wrong with Dean, Nance. Just be honest with him, and see what happens. That's all you can do, and I think, all he expects from you. He likes you for who you are, it's not as if you have to play pretend, because you know what each other is like so well already. I don't think you can lose."
"Maybe not." Nancy smiled slightly. "I guess you're right. Okay. Go tell him I'll be down as soon as I'm dressed...I guess it is time to sort this out, either way."
"That's the spirit." Topaz winked. "I'll let him know. See you soon, Nance!"
With that she slipped out of the room and down the stairs to relay the message to the waiting Dean. Before long Nancy herself emerged, casting the visitor a hesitant smile from the doorway.
"Hi. Topaz said you wanted to talk to me...I'm sorry I spouted off at you earlier."
"I'm sorry too." Dean said quietly, getting to his feet. "Can we go somewhere and talk, Nancy? I mean, properly talk, without anyone interrupting or calling you away?"
"Sure." Nancy nodded. "Let's go outside, huh? There's plenty of space out there."
Once alone in the grounds of the house, settling themselves in a secluded patch of greenery, it was Nancy who began the conversation.
"This morning...I had a lot on my mind." She began awkwardly. "I can't tell you what, exactly, but something had happened regarding someone I'm close to and I wasn't really focused on anything else."
"I see." Dean smiled slightly. "I'm sorry, then, for imposing on you at a bad time. I guess I should have realised that there was a reason for you being out so early. Is everything okay with them now?"
"I guess so." Nancy nodded her head slowly. "I guess I have it figured out, more or less." She sighed. "What I don't have figured out is this whole mess here. Dean, tell me honestly. When did things change? I mean, when did you stop looking at me just as a friend and start looking at me as something else?"
"I wish I knew." Dean said sheepishly. "I knew I was fond of you, Nancy...but I guess I was a bit dense. I didn't notice where my feelings were heading till Zoe pointed them out for me. Once she'd said it, I could see it clear as day...but I knew you didn't feel the same way, so I didn't say anything to you. You're too important a friend for me to lose, you know."
Nancy smiled, toying idly with a blade of grass.
"You're a good friend to me too." She acknowledged. "Thing is, Dean, I've never been comfortable dealing with guys. At school they used to make my life hell...I was the class freak, if you like. I didn't share their interests...they liked making a joke out of me where they could. And then Blade..."
"Blade was a creep and I'm glad you saw through him when you did." Dean said firmly. "Especially if the papers are to be believed about Sirena's condition...that could have been you, you know."
"I don't think it could." Nancy murmured. "I wasn't ready to take that step with him...or anyone." She sighed. "In any case, he just wanted to use me for my music and my contacts...I know that now." She glanced up at him.
"But you were there for me when he messed me about." She remembered. "You helped me find the courage to go back to Jewel and get my career back on track."
"What else could I do?" He said lightly. "Lose my favourite Jewel? No, you needed them and they needed you...and I needed the lot of you. You brighten up my show no end, and I hated to see you upset."
Nancy blushed slightly.
"I don't know what you like about me." She said slowly. "I'm nothing much to look at and I give you attitude whenever you try and approach a difficult subject...you must think I'm a real pain."
"No...actually, I don't." Dean grinned. "Firstly, you gotta stop putting yourself down. You're as pretty as any of the others...prettier in my eyes, if you wanna know the truth. And the attitude...well, it's kinda cute, to be honest. I dunno...I find it endearing."
"Man, you're sick in the head!" Nancy exclaimed. Dean laughed.
"You think so?" He demanded. "Is it really so impossible to be attracted to you, Nancy, for more than just your abilities and contacts?"
"You don't need either my music or my contacts...so I guess I have to believe you really like me." Nancy replied slowly. "And...well, you are my friend, so I guess that goes in your favour too. The trouble is, Dean, that I'm having trouble working out where I fit into all this. Copper thinks I have feelings for you too and that's partly why I've been so quick to pull back - I'm scared to be hurt again. I...I think maybe she has a point. Copper knows things like that...I trust her judgement more than anyone's."
Gently Dean took Nancy by the hand.
"Listen. Whatever happens, we're friends and always will be, okay?" He said with a smile. "I can wait as long as it takes for you to work out what you feel...whether it's just friendship or something more. I'm not going to force my attentions on you if you don't want them...as far as I'm concerned you're too precious a friend to risk. But you have to stop running away from me, you understand? Last thing I ever want to do is hurt you!"
"I understand." Nancy nodded. "And I'll try. Guess I am still a kid, huh?"
"Not really." Dean shook his head. "But you'll soon realise, Nance, that I'm a pretty patient kinda guy. And with that in mind, will you let me take you out someplace for lunch, as friends, to seal the deal?"
"It would be my pleasure." Nancy dimpled. "Let's go!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Sirena gazed up at the big, rambling mansion house, her heart in her
throat. Panic had driven her to San Diego, but now she was here, she hesitated.
She could hardly just barge in on a man who, until recently had been a
perfect stranger to her...a man who she didn't even know the last name
of, let alone anything else.
She swallowed hard, trying to get a grip on herself. She had not been thinking or acting right since the doctor had dropped her bombshell, and it was proving hard to get her thoughts in gear. The Sirena the world knew was brash, confident and determined...so why was she so afraid to even knock on the door?
As it happened, the decision was made for her, for the front door swung open, and Harvey himself appeared, dressed in casuals, and clearly going out for a walk. He stopped dead at the sight of his young visitor, casting her a smile.
"Emily!" he exclaimed. "Well, well, what brings you to San Diego, my dear? Were you coming to see me?"
His friendly, open manner was too much for the singer, whose fragile defences broke down into tears at his tone. Concerned, Harvey came to comfort her.
"Why, child, whatever is the matter?" he asked.
"I'm sorry." Sirena choked. "I...I d...didn't know where else to go."
"Come inside, and I'll get you a drink." Harvey made up his mind in an instant, ushering the girl into the safe seclusion of the house, and calling for the housekeeper to fetch a glass of water. "Now, tell me, what on earth's wrong? What's got you in tears?"
"Have you seen the papers?" Sirena asked, allowing herself to be coaxed onto the big, soft sofa, and accepting the glass of water the housekeeper brought without really registering it. "My life is over, Harvey...I'm finished."
"The papers?" Harvey asked gently. "No, child...I can't say I have. Which papers?"
"Tabloids, damn them." Sirena replied darkly. "Oh God, what am I going to do?"
"Tabloids aren't worth the paper they're printed on, my dear." Harvey sat down beside her, putting a gentle arm around her shoulders. "If they've printed something that's upset you..."
"It's not that." Sirena shook her head. "I could c...cope with a made up scandal, I could! But it's t...true...and I didn't know!"
The tears engulfed her once more at that point and Harvey hugged her instinctively, waiting for her to tell him what had happened. He didn't have long to wait, for, slowly and painfully Sirena choked out the whole unhappy situation.
For a moment, Harvey was silent. Then,
"I thought that you didn't have a relationship with this Blade?" He asked gently.
"You...you'll think me awful." Sirena faltered. "It was business...but...we...oh, you must think me so cheap and nasty!"
"No, child, I don't think that." Harvey told her gently. "I think you could have been more cautious, but it's done now and there's no point in handing out blame. You made a mistake, that's all...mistakes do happen."
"I know. I was one." Sirena said bitterly. "That's the worst of it, Harvey...I'm turning into my own damn mother!"
"Have you thought about what to do?"
"No...I still can't get my head round it." Sirena replied quietly. "Rory...Rory told me to get rid of it, more or less, or else my contract with him is over. I can't lose my record deal, Harvey...I can't! But I don't want him to tell me what to do with my life! It's my body...my baby. I want to decide how to deal with it!"
"Of course you do, and it's wrong of him to make an ultimatum like that." Harvey looked angry. "Don't let him control you, Emily...this is something only you can make a decision on, because it's your life. Not his."
"I don't want it." Sirena spoke numbly. "But I...don't want to get rid of it either. I don't want to do what my mother did to me...I don't want to end up like her!"
"I think it would be best, then, if you stayed here a while." Harvey told her gently. "You're in no state to deal with extra stress from an inconsiderate employer, and I don't want you to let him make your decisions for you. You know you're welcome here...I'd like you to stay."
"I hoped you'd say that." Sirena admitted. "I don't want to be in Los Angeles at the moment. Too much...too much hassle."
"Well, then, it's settled. You stay here with me." Harvey smiled. "At least until you've worked out in your own mind what you want to do."
"It's awful, but I think I'm beginning to understand what Mom went through when she realised she was having me." Sirena's tones wavered. "I...I've hated her so much for treating me how she did, but now I feel how she must have felt and...and I understand, dammit! I...I understand..."
"Things often work out that way, child." Harvey nodded. "It's all the more difficult for you, not having a mother to go to." He sighed. "I know that not having a mother affected Phyllis more than I ever knew it would."
"Phyllis?" Sirena started, fixing her companion with a confused look. "What do you mean?"
"Phyllis is my daughter." Harvey explained with a smile. "Did I not tell you that? She lives in L.A now, and I'm proud of her as any father can be of his little girl, but she had something of a wild childhood, and I know that losing her mother so young had an effect on that."
Colour drained from Sirena's face.
"Not...Phyllis Gabor?" She demanded. Harvey frowned.
"Yes. But you knew my name was Gabor...didn't you?"
"No...no I didn't." Sirena looked stricken. "Oh no...you're Harvey Gabor? Oh God, you'll want me out of your house when you know..."
"Calm yourself, child, whatever's wrong?" Harvey looked concerned. "What can my name have to do with anything?"
"It has everything to do with everything." Sirena's voice shook. "Phyllis Gabor is...is my mother."
"What?" This was clearly the last thing Harvey had expected to hear, and the shock was clear on his face. "Impossible! Phyllis has no children!"
"She...she had me." Sirena's voice was barely above a whisper. "Only noone ever knew about it. She gave me away when I was born and tried to hide me under the name Raymond...but it didn't work. Rory found my birth certificate and showed me who I was...do you want me to leave?" This last in an uncharacteristically hesitant tone, for the look on her companion's face was unreadable.
"I never had any idea." Harvey's voice was numb. "But...now I look at you...I always knew there was something familiar about you, but I thought it was because you were so much in the public eye. But it's not that at all. You have Phyllis' eyes...Liza's eyes...and you look more like a true Gabor than my own daughter does. Oh God...I had no idea. I had no..."
"I know you didn't know about me." Sirena agreed quietly. "She was ashamed of me. Ashamed of who my father was, too."
"Eric Raymond." Harvey's eyes narrowed and he clenched his wizened fists. "I knew he was bad news and I knew he'd get her into trouble one of these days! Oh, if I ever get my hands on him..." Then he sighed. "Oh Emily, I'm sorry. I don't know what to say to you."
"I'll go." Sirena got to her feet, but Harvey reached up to pull her back down.
"No, child. You were welcome before and you're welcome now." He told her gravely. "I always wished for a grandchild...I just never knew I had one till now. You're part of my family, my dear...of course you should stay here. This isn't your fault - no child chooses her parents."
Touched once more by his sincere kindness, Sirena hugged her companion rather awkwardly.
"You're the nicest person I ever met." She murmured. "You're the only one who's bothered about me at all...I'm glad you're my grandfather. I never had any family who cared till now."
"I need to have words with my daughter about this." Harvey said quietly. "But that won't affect you in any way, Emily. Whatever she says about it, I'm not going to turn away anyone who is my flesh and blood...especially one in your condition. Whatever you decide about the baby, I'll be here for you, even if your mother doesn't feel she can be. You're not alone any more."
Tears touched Sirena's eyes once more at this, but this time they were happy, relieved tears. Harvey hugged her once more, stroking her long, thick hair.
"We'll sort things out." he assured her. "So don't worry. Things will work out fine...trust me."
PART SIX: A GABOR LEGACY
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.