Chapter Six: Elliot

"Wow, finally we get a break!"
Topaz fanned herself, flopping down into a vacant seat with a relieved sigh. "I'm exhausted! No, I'm past exhausted. I never knew a photoshoot could be so much work?"
"Pose like like this...up a little, left a" Nancy quoted, grimacing. "I'm beat too, and it's only lunchtime. Mom, when you said we were doing pictures, you could've told us you'd arranged for us to be run into the ground too!"
Jetta eyed her daughter with an amused smile.
"If you can't take the strain, Nancy, maybe you're in the wrong profession." She suggested lightly. "Never did me any 'arm."
"I bet you complained as much as I am." Nancy retorted. Jetta laughed.
"Yes." She agreed. "I did, rather. Well, till your Pa was our camera guy. Then I got me own back in rather different ways." An impish smile crossed her face, making her look at least twenty years younger. "Well, you got your hour for lunch, anyhow...don't waste it an' don't be late back! You 'ave an album signin' this afternoon in the mall!"
"Great." Topaz groaned. "I'll be dead by tonight."
"I'm glad of the distraction." Sylva admitted. She had done as she had promised Nancy, explaining her fears to the other two Jewels that breakfast time and, thanks to their sympathy, was feeling a little more like herself. "I called Dad and he said he'll be in town by threeish, so he's gonna come by the mall after our signing and see me. I said it was important, so..."
"You think it'll help?" Copper asked. Sylva shrugged.
"I don't know how to ask him questions about him and Mom without him getting suspicious." She admitted. "I might just come right out and ask him. I don't know...don't want to think about it right now." She glanced around her. "Where do we go for lunch, then?"
"I saw a cafe two or three blocks down the road from this place." Copper responded. "Looks kinda nice and it's not far for tired feet to walk. Any takers?"
"Count me in." Nancy grimaced. "My feet and I are both on the verge of strike action."
"Syl, Topaz?"
"Sure, if it isn't far." Topaz agreed. "I'm so hot...I can't think why."
"It's only March." Nancy agreed. "And it's hardly California weather, Topaz!"
"Guess she's not used to such hard work." Copper teased. Topaz laughed.
"Yeah, that'll be it." She said goodnaturedly. "I'm a skiver at heart."
"Count me in too." Sylva nodded. "I'm not real hungry but I guess I should eat, huh?"
"If you don't want to faint this afternoon then yes." Copper nodded. She linked arms with the other girl. "Come on, let's go."
Three o' clock seemed to tick round all too quickly for the apprehensive Sylvina and, as the crowd flocked around the tables in the record store, she found herself eying the clock between each signature she made, even searching the mass of faces for her father. Occasionally she found herself face to face with an old school acquaintance, many of whom greeted her warmly, and she did her best to reciprocate the greeting, not wanting people to think her time in the spotlight had made her into a snob.
"You sure do know a lot of people, Syl." Topaz remarked. Sylva nodded.
"Went to school with a lot of them." She smiled slightly. "I've seen three ex boyfriends today, you know. Seven old friends, three or four people from my homeroom that I think I remember...kinda...some girl on the cheering squad and another girl Anna used to like hanging out with. Guess Washington isn't that big a place after all, huh?"
"No, you just socialised enough for both you and Anna." Nancy put in dryly from her other side. "I'm still waiting for your high school teachers to show up!"
"God, I hope not." Sylva shivered. "Most of them didn't like me much...a lot of them threatened to fail me fairly often. I don't want to see them ever again."
"I'm sure the feeling is mutual." Nancy laughed. "Though I don't think mine would be any too thrilled to see me."
"I thought you were straight A." Sylva looked surprised.
"Sure...once I dropped Home Ec I was cool for As across the board." Nancy nodded. "They just didn't like me."
"Sensible teachers." Sylva muttered.
"Well, good afternoon, Sylvina."
Sylva's head jerked upright at this and she met the familiar hazel eyes of her father.
"Dad!" she exclaimed. "You're not meant to join this queue without a disk to sign, you know?"
"I'm your father...I have to queue to speak to you now?" Elliot's tone was teasing. Sylva blushed.
"We'll be done soon. Jetta said we were finishing at three thirty, and it's practically that now." She said. "Can...will you wait?"
"I'll wait." Elliot nodded. "I'll see you outside, okay?"
"Sure." Sylva smiled. "Thanks, Dad. See you in a few, okay?"
"Of course." Elliot winked. Then he was gone, back into the crowd.
"That's your Dad?" Topaz asked. Sylva nodded.
"You look like him." Copper decided, signing the next album with a flourish and handing it back to a smiling owner. "Except your eyes aren;t so dark, but mostly you look like him, not like your Mom at all."
"I know." Sylva sounded a little wistful at this.
"I'm not saying its a bad thing." Copper continued. "You just do."
"Yeah, everyone says that." Sylva admitted. "Mom has curls and blue eyes, and those are the only things in terms of looks we inherited from her. Everything else came from Dad's side of the family."
"Okay, girls, time to wrap it up." Jetta's voice cut into the conversation at that point. "It's three thirty and you girls 'ave an 'interview to get ready for at six, remember?"
"Oh brother, more work." Topaz rolled her eyes. "How many hours does your mother think a day has, Nancy?"
"Three times as many as a normal sane human being." Nancy replied darkly, being careful to make sure sharp-eared Jetta did not overhear her. As it happened, however, the executive was chatting to the store manager, and lucky for Nancy had not been paying attention.
"I better go meet up with Dad. I'll see you girls soonish." Sylva got to her feet, slipping on her denim jacket.
"Do you want us to wait and keep the car for you?" Copper asked.
Sylva considered, then nodded.
"Better had, with the interview tonight. I won't be long, I don't think."
"All right, we'll go grab a coffee someplace nearby." Topaz decided. "And see you when you've settled things up."
"Great." Sylva smiled. "Thanks, guys." She paused, then hugged them all in turn.
"You girls are the best." She murmured. Then, embarrassed, she slipped through the crowd and outside into the bustling high street, looking for her father. He was leant up against a lamp-post not far from the door, and at the sight of her he smiled, waving.
"Here, Sylvie." He said.
"Hey, Dad." Sylvie hurried to join him, smiling back. "Thanks for waiting. I guess you had a long flight, huh? I don't wanna keep probably wanna go home and sleep it off, right?"
"Well, I do feel kinda tired." Elliot acknowledged. "I'm kinda touched you thought of it, too, Sylvie. You're not so heedless as you were last time I saw you and I'm proud to see it. You're growing up good."
"So you don't hate me doing my music now?" Sylva asked hesitantly.
"I never hated it." Elliot responded. "I just hoped you'd get some qualifications and experience behind you first, that's all." He eyed her curiously. "Sylvie, what is this about? You call me up and ask to meet me here...there has to be some reason."
"Maybe I just missed you."
"Mm, perhaps, but why not just call by the house and see me?"
"You were working."
"Yes, I know. But I didn't know you would be in town. Your mother didn't mention it to me till the night before I had to go away."
"She didn't?" Sylva looked startled. "Whyever not?"
"Well, I guess she didn't think of it." Elliot shrugged. "We've both been busy - she's had a project deadline to meet and I've had conferences out of town, we've not seen much of each other to speak."
Sylva paused, frowning.
"Daddy, what's going on at home?" She asked softly.
"What do you mean, kid?" Elliot looked startled.
"Anna said there was...a fight."
"Yes, there was a fight." Elliot agreed levelly. "What about it?"
"Well...I don't remember you and Mom ever fighting."
"No, of course you don't." Elliot sighed. "Listen, Sylvie. I love your mother a lot, and I love you girls, too. Maybe I don't always understand you, but I do love you. And people fight with people they love."
"So things are okay? I mean, it was just a one off row?" Sylva sounded hopeful.
Elliot paused, looking pained.
"Oh God, Sylvie, I don't want to have to discuss this with you right now. I just got off a plane." He said at length, but Sylva was too bright not to notice his evasion. Horror filled her eyes.
"Anna was right? There have been other fights?" She demanded.
"No, Daddy, I want to know?"
"All couples fight." Elliot said evenly. "It's something you accept when you marry. Noone is perfect...things usually resolve themselves."
"But you never used to fight." Sylva protested.
"Oh, Sylvie..." Elliot sighed. "No, I suppose you would see it that way. Truth is, girl, you and Anna kept us on the same wavelength. I don't know that we're there at the moment."
"Did...did you fight...about me?"
"Does it matter?"
"Daddy, tell me!"
"Don't get petulant with me, young lady." Elliot's tone was stern. "It's not your business, not really."
"Then you did." Sylva spoke in low tones, her voice shaking. "You did...Daddy, why? Why can't you just let it go that I'm doing what I want to do without going to college?"
"We fought about a lot of things. You were just a passing topic that your mother threw into the mix." This time Elliot could not keep the edge out of his voice when he referred to his wife and sensitive Sylva gazed at him in horror.
"What do you mean, a passing topic?" She demanded.
"Well, to be brutally honest, kid, I still think you made the wrong choice and one day you'll regret it." Elliot admitted. "And, to be even more honest, I still think your mother's advice to you and actions regarding you were misguided, perhaps even unkind in the long run to you. You're young now and think you know what's best...but kid, paper speaks. Qualifications get you respect in this world."
"I have qualifications." Sylva's tone was controlled, but she was close to tears. "I have my high school diploma and I can sing and play music. That's all I need for the job I want to do and I'm proving it. Mom never went to college!"
"Your mother is something else where music is concerned." Elliot said quietly, taking his daughter's hand. "But I've never liked how she can shut herself away and write instead of coming out and meeting people. She's narrowed her own world, Sylvie, and I don't want her to do it to you, too. You're a bright, pretty girl...I just want you happy."
"Then leave me alone!" Sylva exclaimed, pulling away from his grip roughly. "I shouldn't have bothered talking to you...I should have known you wouldn't understand. You don't understand me and you don't understand Mom...leave me alone!"
With that she took off across the street, darting into the road and straight into the path of an oncoming car. Though the driver slammed his foot down on the brake pedal, honking his horn frantically, it was too late for Sylva to get out of the way, and with a little shriek she froze, staring in horror as the vehicle came down on her. From somewhere behind her she heard someone scream her name, but it was very far away...
That was the last she knew, as the car made impact, tossing her up into the air and down like a puppet onto the concrete below.

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!