Chapter Nine: Dean's Show

"And next on the agenda we've some of my favourite guests to the show! Everyone please give a warm welcome to Jewel!"
To rousing applause, the four girls stepped self-consciously out of the wings of the studio onto the main stage and took their seats on the couch which was used to interview all of Dean Stacey's guests. Rumours had been buzzing for the past few weeks that there was something of a love story brewing between the handsome presenter and the youngest Jewel, but Nancy was shy about airing her private affairs in public, and, although they had begun to date officially, both had said little about it in public circles. However, Dean's affection for the group as a whole was genuine, for he was friendly with all of them and enjoyed having them on his show. Having interviewed Pizzazz and Jetta already that morning, he had now turned to his younger guests, and they had not failed to cause a sensation. Dressed in stunningly chic Misfit wear, Jewel had fully embraced the eighties challenge set down to them by the cover version of Takin It All.
"Well, well, what's with the fashion statement?" Dean demanded playfully, and a ripple of laughter spread through the audience at his words. "This a new look for Jewel? Sylva, care to explain the threads?"
"It's simple." Sylva grinned. "We're getting into the mood for the big reunion concert - it's not far away now. And since we're going to be playing an old Misfit favourite for you here this morning, we thought we'd look the part, also. We've had some fun playing at being Misfits and Holograms with this show, but we've given everything a Jewel twist, so there's gonna be plenty of surprises at the concert."
"Any truth in the rumours that you're planning on making Takin' It All your next single release?"
"Totally." Topaz nodded. "We had inspiration from someone a lot closer to the song than we are, and the track really rocks. So, since we've gotten permission from Mary Martescu, as it's composer, and Misfit Music itself is our sponsor as well as that of the Misfits themselves back in the eighties, we decided to go ahead and record the track. It'll be in stores from Monday week...and of course, we'll be playing it for you in a little while from now."
"Nancy, how has it been for you, as Jewel songwriter, tackling a few cover versions in with your own?"
"A challenge." Nancy said slowly, for she was always shyer and more reticent than the others when talking on air. "It was a lot more difficult than I envisaged reworking a couple of the tracks for us to play, and I really hope I did them justice." She smiled. "But it also gave me some inspiration for my own tracks, and we've been working on two songs for the concert which have a decidedly eighties sound to them."
"One of the songs Nancy mentioned is going to be on the single release of Takin It All." Topaz added. "The other...we will only be playing at the concert itself, and it won't appear on any albums afterwards except the live album from the show. It's a special track to commemorate the event."
"Copper, the papers have been buzzing with a rumour that you were considering quitting the band." Dean cast the percussionist a reassuring smile. "Can you enlighten us?"
"I'm not leaving Jewel." Copper said firmly. "The press have been mistaken. I simply needed a brief time out to take stock and reflect a little on things, that's all. But Jewel is where I belong and these girls are my best friends, so I'm not going anywhere. I'm looking forward to the show as much as any of them."
"Well, then could you give us that little taste of eighties glitz you promised us?" Dean's eyes twinkled. "Takin' it All, right girls?"
"Yep." Sylva grinned back at him. "C'mon, girls...let's do it!"
To further claps and cheers the band gathered their instruments and with a smile Dean announced them properly, then sat back to watch them perform. Idly he remembered the first time they had played his show, and noticed with some amusement that their time and experience in the music business had made their performance style more mature and more professional. They had not, as he had wisely surmised himself, been one hit wonders. Jewel had gone from strength to strength, and he had a feeling that they would be around for a long time to come.
The Misfit track was one which many of the audience seemed to know already, and soon they were clapping along in time to Copper's beat. Adrenalin racing through her veins, Sylva sang the song like a true Misfit, and as they finished Dean knew beyond a doubt that it would be a big hit.
"Jewel's next number one single." He murmured. "I'd stake my reputation on it. Whatever these rumours have been about Jewel being unsettled...well, this proves once and for all that they're not."
 Once the show was over, the young presenter slipped backstage to congratulate his guests on their performance.
"You really blew them away this morning." He told them. "It's never easy to do a cover track, especially of a well known song like Takin' It All, but, well, you really did take it all. It was amazing."
"It was such a blast out there!" Sylva exclaimed, her eyes bright with excitement. "I needed that buzz, Dean, I haven't sung lead vocal on a song in public like that since before we went to DC...I really needed that. I don't think I could be more psyched for the big show now!"
"Well, this is off the record, of course, but I wouldn't be surprised if you hit number one with this one." Dean winked at them. He cast Nancy a grin. "And you really are the mistress of music, aren't you? Jewel's backstage genius."
"Don't tease me." Nancy looked embarrassed, and Dean laughed, kissing her playfully.
"I wasn't teasing." He said with a smile. "It was good to see Jewel back from the East Coast and strong as ever. There have been so many press reports since you did come back...and so much uncertainty, I was worried about you all."
"Well, we're stronger than that." Copper said firmly. "We might spat and we might have our problems, Dean, but we're gonna do this concert and we're gonna make it a hit."
"I'm glad to hear it." Dean's eyes twinkled. "Because Phyllis asked me in the break if I would compere the show, and I agreed. I think it's gonna be a lot of fun."
"You're compering?" Nancy's brown eyes became big as she gazed up at her boyfriend. "Oh!"
"Well, unless you have a specific objection." Dean agreed. "Do you?"
"No, I want you to do it." Nancy assured him. "It might help my nerves some to know that you're on my side and rooting for us all the way."
"I would be anyway." Dean told her gently, putting his hands on her shoulders and meeting her gaze. "You're too important to me not to."
"Ugh, pass the sick bucket." Sylva rolled her eyes, but there was an expression of amusement on her face. Nancy shot her bandmate a dark look.
"Ignore her, Dean, she's just childish and jealous." She said decidedly. Dean laughed.
"You girls are always the same." He said teasingly. He kissed Nancy gently on the forehead, then, "I gotta run. I'll call you later though, Nance...we ought to go out some time this week to celebrate the imminent success of Jewel's newest hit."
"Tempting fate, but how can I resist that?" Nancy dimpled, her cheeks slightly pink. "Okay, I'm in. Speak to you later then, okay?"
"Count on it." Dean nodded. Then he was gone, and Nancy let out a little sigh.
"Syl, I wish you wouldn't tease me everytime he's about." She murmured.
"I'm only playing. Lighten up." Sylva scolded. "Dean's not bothered by it, so why should you be?"
"Because this is my first proper relationship and I don't need the hassle." Nancy snapped back. "When you've had a proper relationship, then you'll understand."
"Ooh, miaow." Sylva laughed. "Actually, I'm still debating what my chances would be with that guy we met at the mall the other week..."
"Jack Miller? The single Dad?" Copper looked startled. Sylva nodded.
"Yep. I know we've not seen him in a week or so, but he's probably been working. I'm thinking about looking him up."
"Sylva, you are no way ready to play stepmother to a three year old tearaway." Nancy said dryly. "Hell, you can't even take care of yourself properly yet."
"What's the big deal with this guy, Syl?" Topaz sounded interested. "I mean, yeah, he's cute...but why Jack? Nancy has a point...he does have Courtenay to look after."
"So? I like the kid." Sylva defended herself. "In any case, I wasn't thinking about marrying him, was I? I just wanted to see what was on offer...get to know him a little, you know. That kinda stuff."
"Syl, dating a single Dad is not like dating any other guy." Copper frowned. "The kid's needs have to be taken into's not fair on Courtenay if you just flirt and mess about with her father."
"Oh, give me some credit." Sylva snapped. "If I do chat Jack up, I'm gonna do it properly, okay? I'm not into messing with any guy's heads. And c'mon, I'm young, it's not a crime to flirt!"
"Things really are back to normal." Topaz laughed.
"For Jack's sake, I hope that he's working a lot for the next few weeks." Nancy grinned. "At least until Syl's gotten bored with the chase and moved on to the next guy."
"Haha, very funny." Sylva pulled a face. "You all suck, okay? Just because you're all mushy and monogamous doesn't mean I have to tie myself down. I told you once already that I'm gonna be the femme fatale of rock and roll, and I meant it, too!"
"Think she means it." Topaz smiled. "Ah well, Syl, I guess you'll get your chance to woo Jack before this week is out, or I don't know you like I think I do."
"Well, I hope so." Sylva's blue eyes twinkled mischievously. "For now, though, I vote we go find somewhere to hang out and get a late breakfast. I'm starving!"

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