Devil May Care

Chapter Twelve: Sirena's Show

"Well, here we go."
Sirena dropped down into a chair, taking a sip of mineral water from her bottle and casting Nancy an apprehensive glance. "In five minutes time we go out there and the fate of Sirena is decided once and for all."
"There's no need to be so damn melodramatic." Nancy snapped. "I'm just as nervous as you are, you know. I almost got blown up this week, if you'd forgotten, and I'm more than a little worried someone is gonna mess my amp leads up again!"
"Nah, that ain't gonna happen." Sirena shook her head. "Mom's made sure personally that all of the cables are connected up properly. Whatever happened on Connie's Corner isn't gonna happen tonight." She frowned. "Least, it had better not. Dammit, I need something stronger than water!"
"That'd be good, go on stage drunk." Nancy raised an eyebrow. "That'd impress everyone."
"Oh, quit it." Sirena sighed. "I'm wound up enough, okay? Like I'd try and drown my nerves in alcohol before a gig like this one! It's huge out there!"
She frowned, picking up her purse and hunting through it, finally finding a cigarette and lighting it. "I wish they'd let us out there."
"I wish you'd think of other people and not do that." Nancy retorted. "I already feel sick, Em, I don't need lung cancer into the bargain."
"This is my neck on the line, not yours." Sirena responded, exhaling a cloud of smoke. "And you make me sound like a chain smoker. It's just now and again."
"Well, I wish it wasn't 'now'." Nancy snapped back, getting to her feet. "If you're gonna smoke I'm gonna wait outside, before I throw up."
She grabbed her guitar, pushing open the door of the dressing room and stalking into the corridor, stopping dead as she recognised a familiar face.
"Luca!" She exclaimed. "What in hell are you doing here?"
"I came to wish Sirena luck." Luca looked just as startled. "I thought there was a while before you girls went on, the warmup act are still playing."
"Well, nerves are getting us both on edge so it's better we're apart till we go on." Nancy admitted. Then, "What in hell are you doing here anyway? I thought security was meant to be tight here! Especially after what happened to me on Connie's show..."
"That was an accident, surely?" Luca looked startled. Nancy frowned.
"I...I dunno." She said finally, remembering her promise to Cynthia, and who she was talking to. "Does Emily know you're here?"
"Oh, so she's Emily? That's her real name?" Luca looked interested. "I did wonder."
"You didn't answer my question." Nancy responded quietly. "Does she know you're coming tonight?"
"No, she doesn't." Luca owned. "To be honest with you, Nancy, I don't know that she likes me a whole lot. But I'd like us to be friends, and I'm hoping that she's only hostile to a guy on the first two encounters."
"Emily doesn't have room for a guy in her life. She'll tell you that herself." Nancy was too quick not to interpret what Luca meant by friends. "She has other responsibilities."
"A son. I know." Luca nodded. "I wondered if she was being so intense toward me because of his father."
"His father is dead." Nancy said bluntly. "And it's for the best for both of them. Now, if you don't mind, we have a concert to do, and..."
"What in hell is he doing back here?" At that moment Sirena herself swung open the door of the dressing room, staring at Luca incredulously.
"I wanted to wish you luck." Luca smiled, ignoring her expression. "My bandmate Marissa and I came by to catch the concert, since she's a longtime big fan of yours and I'm...getting into your music. I thought it would be nice to..."
"It would be nice if you'd just leave me alone." Sirena snapped. "I have a concert to do...get outta my way."
She grabbed Nancy by the wrist, jabbing her cigarette out and tossing it away as she did so. Before the guitarist could protest she found herself pulled towards the stairs that led to the stage wings, leaving Luca well behind.
"What's that about?" Nancy hissed as they reached backstage.
"I got a loser on my trail." Sirena muttered. "As you might have noticed."
"Some would say he was good looking."
"You like him so much, you take him off my case. I don't need it."
"No thanks." Nancy said dryly. "I think that Dean might have words about that."
"Well, then I guess Luca struck out twice over then, didn't he?" Sirena rolled her eyes. "He was at my apartment...he woke Mike up just after I'd got him to sleep."
"I wondered how he knew about Mike and yet didn't know about Blade being the father." Nancy observed. "That explains it."
"I should never have agreed to go for a drink with him after that gig. It's nothing but trouble."
"Well, I wouldn't go near any of Diablo." Nancy said darkly.
"What they done to you?" Sirena raised an eyebrow.
"I can't say. I made a promise and there's no proof."
"You think they fixed your leads." Sirena was nothing if not quick witted.
Nancy hesitated, then nodded.
"Yes. And I'm gonna be checking my cables personally tonight, just in case." She agreed. "Now that I know that at least two of Diablo are here and that one of them at least has gotten backstage."
"Well, thanks for the warning, cryptic though it was." Sirena responded. "I'll keep tabs on my stuff, too." She smiled grimly. "I learnt one thing from Blade's murder. One lapse in security can cost you your life...and heaven knows what Mike would do if anything happened to me. I ain't having my kid grow up not knowing his mother."
"You're so funny when you talk about him." Nancy looked amused. "One minute you're all tough girl Sirena, the next you're the protective mother cooing over her baby."
"I don't coo!" Sirena protested hotly.
"You do." Nancy grinned. "I've seen you."
"Girls, you're on." Phyllis interrupted them at that moment. "So get out there and make some noise, huh? The crowd is wild tonight, so don't blow it!"
"Thanks for the pep talk, Mom." Sirena muttered, leading the way onto the hot stage and pausing beneath the dazzling lights, listening to the roar of the crowd.
"Well, you lot seem psyched up." She observed, grabbing the microphone. "Good show so far, is it?"
There was another approving roar, and Sirena grinned.
"Well, you ain't seen nothing yet." She assured them. "Hit it!"
From the crowd Luca watched the singer with interest, inwardly making up his mind not to be put off by Sirena's hostile attitude. Nancy had said that the baby's father was dead and that she saw it as a good thing...more it meant that Sirena was a single mother. Something in this had sparked his curiosity as much as anything else, and the more he thought about it, the more protective he felt about his new acquaintance. Wondering if perhaps the fiery singer had been a victim of an abusive male, he was determined to get to the bottom of her attitude and break her down.
"Not that she needs it or would welcome it." He mused wryly to himself. "But I'm not giving up so easily. You haven't got rid of me yet, Sirena...and maybe one day you'll give me a chance to prove I'm not the deadbeat the baby's father clearly was."

Prologue: New Blood
Chapter One: A Comeback...And A Beginning
Chapter Two: Rumours
Chapter Three: Diablo
Chapter Four: Misfit Music
Chapter Five: Consulting Zoe
Chapter Six: Luca...and Sirena
Chapter Seven: Partners In Crime
Chapter Eight: Luca Makes A Discovery
Chapter Nine: Backstage At Connie's Corner
Chapter Ten: An Eventful Night
Chapter Eleven: Headline News
Chapter Twelve: Sirena's Show
Chapter Thirteen: Stefana's Resolve

Copper, Nancy, Sylva, Anna, Blade, Raesha, Sirena, Topaz, Aaron, Sophie, Justin, Elliot, Rosita Madeleine, Marissa, Luca, Stefana, Clay, 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!
The concept of RayzaBlade is copyrighted to my sister Elena...^_^ (Yeah, blame her!)