Chapter Four: Marianne

Topaz knocked on the door of the bedroom, waiting to hear her friend's voice. "Syl, you awake? We're going down town shopping for tomorrow's photoshoot, you wanna come?"
There was no immediate reply, and frowning, Topaz knocked again.
"I heard you." The door swung open and for the first time that day Topaz and Sylva met gazes. Topaz eyed her bandmate keenly, and despite herself Sylva blushed.
"Don't stare at me!"
"Are you feeling up to a trip downtown?" Topaz repeated. "We were going to go hang out and explore, and you know the city better than any of us."
Sylva sighed.
"I guess so." She said resignedly, grabbing her purse and slipping it's strap over her shoulder. "Let me get my boots on, huh?"
"Are you feeling better?"
"No." Sylva shook her head. "It's not the kind of thing that can get better just by spending a morning in bed trying to sleep, Topaz."
"Syl, what's up?" Topaz's blue eyes softened. "This isn't like you!"
"It's none of your business." Sylva closed up. "Are we going shopping?"
"Yes." Topaz gave up with a sigh. "Copper and Nancy are waiting in the lobby."
"Jetta's not about?"
"Nope, she went out somewhere. Didn't tell us where, but I didn't see her come back." Topaz shook her head. "We mostly spent the morning swimming - hey, did you want some lunch, by the way?"
"I'm not hungry right now." Sylva said quietly. She jabbed the lift buttons impatiently. "Man, how long is this car going to take?"
"It's a big hotel." Topaz shrugged. "And there are a ton of people staying here. Hey, there's a group of college guys from Minnesota spending the weekend here, we met a couple in the pool earlier."
"Is there? That's nice." Sylva did not seem to be paying much attention, and Topaz's brow creased in confusion. She reached out to touch Sylva's forehead and the other girl pulled away, startled.
"What?" She demanded.
"I was checking your temperature, you're acting delerious." Topaz retorted. "You not interested in college guys? Are you really Sylvina and not Anna?"
"I have other things on my mind rather than love." Sylva said flatly. "And I'm not Anna, don't be stupid."
"Well, right now I'm having a job believing you're Sylvina." Topaz admitted. "You're not acting a bit like normal."
"Well, I'm sick."
"Sick with what?"
"None of your business." Sylva retorted, as the lift finally reached them. "Come on, before it shoots off again."
A startling thought entered Topaz's head as she stepped into the car, and she frowned. After dismissing it and returning to it twice, she finally voiced it, as the lift reached the ground floor.
"Syl, you aren't pregnant, are you?" She demanded.
Sylva stared at her as if she was mad.
"What do you think?" Her tones were scornful.
"Well, I don't know, and if you don't tell me, well, I have to guess." Topaz responded evenly. "Are you?"
"Don't be silly, of course I'm not!"
"You promise me?"
"Topaz, I'm not a miracle worker." Sylva met her friend's gaze coldly. "I give you my word that it would be a biological impossibility. All right?"
"All right." Topaz sighed, then, "I'm sorry. But I had to've been acting so odd."
"There are other reasons people act odd than an accident in bed." Sylva snapped. "Though I don't expect you to know that."
With that she stalked off across the lobby to find the other two Jewels, leaving Topaz hurt and reeling.
"Hey, you decided to come!" Copper greeted her with a smile. "Feeling better then?"
"Why does everyone wanna ask me questions today?" Sylva groaned. "I'm okay, Copper...can we please just shop and not talk about this? I need to get out of here."
"Sure, no problem." Copper met Nancy's gaze, finding the younger girl's expression equally bemused. "Where's Topaz?"
"I'm here." Topaz herself joined them at that moment. "Let's go find a cab."
"Topaz, something up?" Copper murmured to her as Nancy hailed a taxi. Topaz frowned.
"Not really. Syl just said something that smarted a little, that's all." She replied softly. "I don't think she's much better than she was this morning, Copper, but whatever it is bothering her, I'd be very surprised if it was genuine illness."
"Huh?" Copper looked confused.
"Well, if I thought something happened at the Martescu place before, now I'm certain of it." Topaz responded grimly. "Leave it at that."
"She didn't tell you anything, then?"
"No, and I wouldn't try asking her, unless you want your head blown off."
"All right, warning taken note of." Copper smiled wryly. "Thanks."
The journey into the centre of the capital seemed to take forever, shrouded as it was in an awkward, tense silence. However, upon arrival at their destination Sylva stepped out of the car with a heavy sigh.
"Man, I hate this." She murmured. She turned, meeting Topaz's gaze and frowning, remembering what she'd said. Bad as she was feeling, Topaz was her friend and they rarely fought. A little sheepish, she offered the girl a half smile, which barely even touched her eyes.
"I didn't mean what I said before." She said quietly.
"Forget it." Topaz shrugged. "It's no big deal."
Sylva sighed once more, her blue eyes clouded and troubled.
"No, s'pose not." She agreed absently. "Where are we going?"
"Anywhere. You know this place better than any of us." Copper responded. "Somewhere to grab a drink, p'raps?"
"Syl, you know anywhere?"
"Sure." Sylva shrugged, little enthusiasm in her tone. "There's a coffee shop about two blocks from here that my friends and I used to hang out at. Follow me."
The three other girls did as they were bidden, and soon they were at the said coffee house, pushing open the door and taking a seat. From across the room there was an exclamation of excitement, and instinctively Nancy tensed.
"I think we've been rumbled." She murmured. "I think someone just recognised us."
"Play cool." Copper advised.
"Yeah, act like you don't see them." Topaz agreed. "I'll go and order some coffee...everyone want some?"
"Sure, milk no sugar." Copper nodded, handing her friend a dollar bill. Nancy shrugged.
"Latte for me." She said. "Can you spot me and I'll pay you back this evening, I kinda left my purse on my bed. Hey, Syl, what you drinking?"
"Cappuccino." Sylva responded absently. "Thanks."
"You on our planet today or what?" Nancy frowned. Sylva didn't even respond. Topaz eyed her thoughtfully for a moment, then headed across the floor to order the drinks, keeping an eye on the exciteable group in the far corner as she did so. She soon surmised that they had indeed been recognised, but as yet none of the crowd had mustered enough courage to approach their table.
"Groupies, great." She muttered to herself, offering the man behind the bar a warm smile as she placed her order.
"You're not from round here, miss, are you?" He observed as he counted out her change. Topaz shook her head.
"Gee, how can you tell?" She asked dryly.
"Yep." Topaz dimpled.
"What brings you here?"
"Work." Topaz immediately twigged she was being flirted with, and her naturally charming manner came into play. "I'm a singer...we're based in California."
"California, huh? West coast, eh?" The man smiled. "Not too hot for your liking down there?"
"No, I like it." Topaz responded. "I always wanted to travel."
"Well, here's your change miss, eighty cents exactly." The man handed over the loose change. "Hope you enjoy your stay in DC! Your drinks will be right with you."
"Many thanks." Topaz dimpled again. "We're the table by the window."
She retook her seat, dropping the change into the middle of the table.
"Copper, twenty of that is yours." She said. "Nancy you owe me one dollar ten and Syl you owe me a buck fifty, right?"
"Whatever." Sylva nodded.
"This place ain't bad." Nancy glanced around her. "Classy joint. It also has this kinda east coast feel to it too, you know? You wouldn't find a place like this in California."
"Well, no, that's why we're in DC, silly." Copper grinned, as a waitress delivered the drinks. "Thanks."
"You're welcome." The waitress smiled, seeming a little overawed, then fled to the safety of the back room with her tray, eyes bright with excitement.
"But word travels fast." Nancy observed. "Great, more people know who we are."
"Proves we have a healthy PR machine." Topaz grinned. "That's all. It does us no harm, you know."
"I know, but since Blade's shooting, I get creeped when people stare at me." Nancy replied. "I vote we drink and then we leave."
"Suits me." Sylva shrugged.
"Yo, Sylvina!"
A fresh voice interrupted the conversation and all four girls turned to see who had spoken. Sylva's clouded eyes lit up slightly at the sight of the stranger, and she offered a slight smile.
"Marianne!" She said. "It's been a long time."
"Way too long." Marianne, clearly not at all either shy or awed sauntered over to join them. "Wow, and my high school best friend is a true blue star! Way to go, Sylve!"
"Thanks, I guess." Sylva responded. "Hey, guys, this is Marianne Delacey, my best friend from High School...we scraped through most classes together."
"Gonna introduce me round?" Marianne pulled up a seat. Sylva shrugged.
"Sure...Nancy, Topaz and Copper." She indicated each girl offhandedly. "Now you know Jewel."
"Wow, I'm chilling with celebrities." Marianne's face broke into a warm, excited smile. "Say, Sylve, I didn't know you were in the city. You girls have a gig here or something?"
"Yes." Sylva nodded. She frowned. "We've a lot on."
", I cant believe you really got your dream." Marianne exclaimed. "Cee and the rest will just die when I tell them I saw you...where you staying? They'll probably want to see you and catch up on things."
"If we've time." Sylva responded quietly. "But we're staying at the River Hotel. From tomorrow though we're gonna be working pretty hard."
"Yeah, since we missed today." Nancy nodded. Sylva shot her a dark look.
"We'll get it done." She said curtly.
"Well, I'll tell them you're in town anyhow." Marianne dimpled. "Hey, Sylve, did you go see your mother yet? People been saying stuff, I wondered if you knew what was going down."
"What do you mean?" Sylva's expression became both anxious and indignant. "Why are people talking about Mom?"
"Well, you know she's not really into the DC scene." Marianne shrugged. "But the whisper is that your Dad's got another woman on the go. I thought I'd tell you so you can crush it all, you know? I mean, you know what these gossips are like." She grimaced. "Mom heard it from that Mrs Allen woman who's always spying on people and if you ask me she makes up half her stories."
"Mom wouldn't stand for that." Sylva said firmly. "And Dad wouldn't do it. Just because he's working away a lot doesn't mean..." She trailed off, as her conviction failed her. Her family was unstable at present...could Elliot have found someone else?
"Well, that's what I said when I heard it." Marianne responded. "But I thought you should know. Think to be honest people want to find a scandal about your family cos you've always had everything goin' for you and your Mom's such a sweetheart. It's just jealousy, that's all."
"Right." Sylva nodded, but her eyes were clouded once more. "Look, Mari, I hate to run on you but I think we need to get going...we're busy girls."
"Sure...I'll call you though, huh?" Marianne dimpled. Sylva nodded distractedly.
"Sure, call me." She agreed, getting to her feet. "C'mon Nancy, quit playing with your drink, we got to go."
"We do?" Nancy stared.
"What's up?" Copper frowned.
"We have to go." Sylva said quietly.
"Well...okay." Copper shrugged, sending Nancy another helpless look and getting obediently to her feet. "If we do, we do."
"Are the groupies in the corner waiting to pounce or something?" Topaz asked. Sylva hesitated, then nodded.
"Yes." She said, hating to lie. "Come on, before they jump on us for autographs! Later, Mari."
"Bye, Sylve." Marianne responded. "Good luck with your show...I'll get Cee and Shelly and everyone together and see if we can't crash it, lend our support, you know?"
"Great." Sylva managed a parting smile. Then they were out of the coffee shop, and on the main street.
"What is eating you?" Nancy demanded. "You are acting odder than ever, Sylva!"
"Was it what she said about your family?" Copper asked gently.
"You don't know anything so don't try and guess." Sylva snapped. "And it's nothing to do with it. Dad wouldn't have an affair, anyway."
"Your Mom's too sweet, he'd be a fool if he did." Topaz agreed. "It's just gossip, Syl. Gossip sucks, but Marianne is probably right. People are jealous."
"Yeah, whatever." Sylva frowned. "Drop it, will you? I thought we were here to shop!"
"We are." Copper agreed. "I guess now would be a good time to hit the mall, then?"
"Works for me." Topaz winked. "Let's go!"

Chapter One: The Martescu Home
Chapter Two: Anna's News
Chapter Three: Jetta Discovers
Chapter Four: Marianne
Chapter Five: Nancy Speaks Out
Chapter Six: Elliot
Chapter Seven: Another Row
Chapter Eight: Sylva's Solution
Chapter Nine: Decisions
Chapter Ten: The Show

Copper, Nancy, Sylva, Anna, Blade, Raesha, 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. The future world of Pizzazz, Raya, Jetta, Roxy, Stormer, Clash, Synergy, the fate of Jem and her memorial are all copyrighted to me. The future world of Kimber and Shana is copyrighted jointly to myself and Gemma Dawn.
The concept of 'Jewel' is entirely my own, and any apparent link with any fictional or actual person or persons of this name is entirely coincidental. Equally the characters in this fiction are not based on any real life individual.
The concept behind the future world of Danse, Aja and Craig, the idea behind Jerrica's futureworld and the split of the Holograms is copyrighted to Gemma Dawn, whose Teenangel Outsiders fiction is directly twinned with Just a Dream. The character Sammi and any of the other Teenangel Outsider characters mentioned in this fiction are entirely copyright to Gemma Dawn and appear here only with her permission.
Pay her page a visit!