Chapter Seven: Mending Ties

"Nancy, can I talk to you?"
Copper knocked hesitantly on her housemate's bedroom door, an apprehensive look in her dark eyes. Nancy glanced up from her manuscript book, eying her companion quizzically.
"It depends on what you wanna talk about." She said quietly.
"Jewel." Copper admitted. "And...I wanted to offer a long overdue apology for slapping you. I shouldn't have done it - you don't hit a friend and I haven't lost my temper so badly since I was a little kid."
"I guess I provoked you." Nancy seemed to relax at these words. "It's okay, Copper. I think I already forgave you, once I calmed down." She bit her lip. "You won't really leave Jewel, will you?"
"I was going to." Copper responded. "But I spoke to Rose earlier and she made me realise that you guys were right...Phoebe didn't want to help me and I was stupid to believe in her. I just wanted it so badly...but I really do have to let Papa go. He wouldn't want me to behave like I have been behaving, anyway."
"So you'll stay?" Nancy's eyes lit up with hope.
"I'll stay." Copper nodded her head. "I promise not to go crazy on you guys again, either. I mean, it still hurts, but I did some thinking after Rose left me and I realised that you guys are my best friends in the whole world. I didn't want to come in on your practice in case you yelled at me, but...I don't want to leave Jewel. I'd be mad to want to...Rose was right. It is a dream job and something I should be proud of."
"Well said." Nancy smiled. "Did you tell Syl and Topaz yet? I kinda feel we haven't been like a group since the photoshoot on the beach...I don't like it."
"Me either." Copper agreed. "And yes, I did speak to them - they're watching TV downstairs. But I felt I owed you a special apology, after the fight we had."
"Well, all's forgiven." Nancy waved it away dismissively. "I'm glad we have you back. Time is running out before the big show, you know, and it's been kinda crazy for a couple of days. Jade volunteered to play rhythm if you weren't gonna do the show, and she's a good drummer, Copper, but it wasn't the same without you."
Copper sat down on the bed.
"Tomorrow I have to go apologise to Mama for the things I said." She said quietly. "But then I need plenty of Jewel business to keep my mind occupied. What's on the agenda?"
"Tomorrow morning Aunt Phyl wanted to book us on Dean's show...and by us she meant the Misfits as well as Jewel." Nancy said. "But I asked her if we could do it the next day, since I wanted to fine tune the song she wanted Jewel to do. She tomorrow's plan is basically just rehearsal time. If you go see your mother in the morning, we can spend the afternoon putting this song together for Dean's show. Oh yes, and Anna and her friend are flying in tomorrow too, so Syl's gonna go meet them at the airport. So tomorrow's kinda busy, actually, now I think about it. But the day after we've the TV appearance, a press conference, and then more photographs. The Holograms, so I hear, are making an impromptu appearance on Connie's show tomorrow night, and the Teenangels are gonna play there too, the next night."
"And the Stingers?"
"Who gives a flying monkey?" Nancy asked dryly. Copper laughed.
"Okay, okay." She agreed. "I don't really care either. I just wanted to be sure they were out of our hair."
"Don't worry, I think Aunt Phyl will make sure of it, after the way she spoke to us yesterday." Nancy shivered. Copper frowned.
"I'm sorry about that, too. It was my fault."
"Yep." Nancy nodded. "But I s'pose we needed a wakeup call. It's cool, Copper." She looked rueful. "You're too good a friend for me to tell to get stuffed, anyhow. You've been there for me enough times." She got to her feet, moving to the window. "From tomorrow, we're gonna work like heck to be the best we've ever been." She said slowly. "And more than that, if I can get Mary's permission, I think it'd be cool if we released the song we're playing on Dean's show as a Jewel single...don't you?"
"Which is it?" Copper looked interested. "A Misfit song?"
Nancy grinned.
"Takin' it all." She said dryly. "I've reworked the score and tomorrow we're gonna blitz it, Jewel-style. The crowd won't know what's hit 'em. It's cool that we play it - Aunt Phyl said it had the bite we needed to get attention, so that's what we're playing. Think you can handle being a Misfit kid instead of a Hologram one for a bit?"
"Sure." Copper nodded. "I'll give it my best. The way I feel right now, well, I can pretend the drum is Phoebe Asche. That should give it a good beat."
"That's the spirit." Nancy grinned. "Hey, by the way, did you happen to see this?" She produced a magazine. "Syl found it earlier, thought it might cheer you up." She flipped it open, finding a page then handing it to her friend. "Did you know you were a rock babe?"
"Rose mentioned this but I didn't take it in." Copper blushed, taking the magazine and scanning it. "Rock babe? Oh my god...this is ridiculous!"
"Well, they seem to think you rate, Copper." Nancy laughed. "You rank 6th in the rock babe about that, huh?"
"It's embarassing." Copper admitted. "But kinda nice too, actually. But why? I don't get it."
"You're pretty, you're nice and there are obviously a lot of guys who lust after you." Nancy replied with a smile. "We keep telling you you're the prettiest Jewel, now do you believe us?"
"Not bad for a lowly drummer, huh?" Copper grinned. "I don't usually take centre stage - to be honest I'm surprised they know I'm alive." She squinted at the article. "Best feature - eyes? Oh, this is mad!"
"I wonder what Aaron thinks." Nancy teased.
"Aaron and Cynthia have been so busy with preparations for this show I've not seen him all week." Copper admitted. "But I know he'd tease me about it."
"Probably, if I know my brother." Nancy nodded. "Don't you feel proud, though? That people you never even met think you're hot?"
"It's weird." Copper admitted. "But I think I needed the confidence boost, so I'm glad you showed me." She grinned. "I know where I belong now, don't worry. Rose made me see how crazy and nonsensical I was being about things."
"I'm amazed Rose made you see it. She's pretty crazy and nonsensical herself." Nancy observed.
"Not at the moment." Copper frowned. "She's pretty sick, Nancy...she doesn't look well, either. She's putting on a brave face but she must be so scared. She said to me she wasn't sure she was ever going to get put things into perspective."
"Will she come to the show?" Nancy asked.
"If you ask me, if she possibly can, she will." Copper nodded. "Sammi and the others are her best friends, remember? She wouldn't miss it for the world."

Chapter One: One Jewel Down
Chapter Two: Fireworks
Chapter Three: Phyllis Steps In
Chapter Four: Esteban Speaks
Chapter Five: Consulting the Teenangels
Chapter Six: Rose Helps
Chapter Seven: Mending Ties
Chapter Eight: Misfit Reborn
Chapter Nine: Dean's Show
Chapter Ten: Sylva and Jack
Chapter Eleven: Sabotaged!
Chapter Twelve: Settling the Past
Chapter Thirteen: Revenge
Chapter Fourteen: Show Must Go On