Devil May Care

Chapter Five: Consulting Zoe

"That was one gruelling interview." Topaz groaned, leading the way out of the KBST studio with a grimace on her pretty face. "I don't think we've ever been asked so many searching questions before."
"I didn't like the insinuation that just because I'm playing with Emily this week, I'm suddenly considering quitting the group." Nancy sighed. "People are such idiots sometimes. I'm a Jewel, that's where I belong...can't a girl branch out a little without causing a scandal?"
"And why haven't Jewel released anything new in the last few weeks?" Sylva mimicked the interviewer. "Hell, what was she on? Takin' It All is still in the damn chart! It was six weeks at number one and she thinks we're hasbeens?"
"KBST have always been obnoxious interviewers." Copper pointed out. "And I guess it didn't help with us being five minutes late, either. I know it wasn't our fault, but still...people don't like unreliability."
"KBST don't like people, period." Sylva groaned. "I'm gonna ask Phyllis if we can not interview there again, I swear. It's worse than an interview with my high school principal!"
"I can guess that those were just as much fun, knowing you." Nancy observed dryly. "Well, what now? We've done our obligatory interview and to be honest I'm in no mood to be sitting down at the piano or the guitar to write this afternoon. I've begun to dream about harmonies and that can't be good."
"I vote we drive down to the beach and hang out." Topaz suggested. "We have the afternoon off, and the sun is shining."
"Works for me. I wanna work on my tan for the album cover photos anyhow." Sylva agreed. "And I have the best new swimsuit, too..."
"You have a new swimsuit every week, Syl." Copper giggled. "Moving to California sure enhanced your wardrobe!"
"Well, a star can't be seen in the same thing twice." Sylva responded, but there was a smile on her own face.
"Where do you reckon we'll be filming our next music video?" Nancy wondered, as they headed back to Starlight Mansion to collect their swimming things. "I did ask Mom but she doesn't seem to know."
"I guess we have to ask Zoe when we see her." Sylva shrugged.
"I get the feeling though, that with this new band about Phyllis won't want us out of state for long." Copper observed. "You know how competitive she is if she feels someone's breathing down her neck. If you ask me, if we do go out of state, we'll be doing a twenty four hour round trip and an interview about as soon as we touch back down in Los Angeles."
"Brilliant." Topaz rolled her eyes. "Ah well...I suppose you gotta take the rough with the smooth in this business, huh?"
"Guess so." Copper nodded.
"And if this group prove to be nobodies, then she'll relax." Sylva pointed out with a carefree shrug. "But I've had enough of talking about work. Topaz, what are you doing for your twenty-first?"
"Syl, it's October! There's a whole month till my birthday!" Topaz protested, grinning.
"So? It's too early to plan a party?" Sylva demanded.
"Syl just wants any excuse to party." Nancy looked amused. Sylva shrugged.
"Well, of course." She said. "I'm a party chick, Nance. Not all of us are music hermits like you."
"If I'm a hermit, why do I have a boyfriend and you don't?" Nancy raised an eyebrow.
"Because I don't want one." Sylva retorted. "I could have plenty if I wanted them, you know. And Dean just took pity on you."
"Ooh, claws in, you two." Topaz laughed.
"Yeah. We're on the same team, all right?" Copper added. "Syl, you know Dean cares about Nancy...and Nancy, you know that Syl's not looking for a long term relationship."
"Blah." Nancy pulled a face. "Oh, okay, I'll play nice. But it's kinda sickening sometimes when she throws herself at any guy who's in the vicinity. Noone has been more splashed over the gossip columns than Syl in the 'who's the guy she's with?' sense."
"Then it's good publicity for our group." Sylva seemed unphased. "And let's face it, Nance, it's not like I'm sleeping with them all, is it?"
"It hardly matters, if the press think you are." Nancy said acidly.
"Well, the press are morons, then." Sylva shrugged. "Anyway, I wanted to know if we were having a party...not a moralistic chat on my social life from Miss Hermit 2012."
"I hadn't thought about it." Topaz owned. "After all, we might be in England when November 5th comes...we don't know when this European tour is gonna be yet, do we?"
"Probably won't be till January, I would've thought." Nancy said thoughtfully. "These things take ages to arrange."
"I dunno. It's been in the pipeline a while, and Phyllis did say it wouldn't be too far along in the future." Copper pointed out. Nancy shrugged.
"Guess we'll see, then." She said with a grin. "Personally, I can't wait to go."
"I'm sort of hoping we are in England for my 21st." Topaz owned. "I want to see if things are still good between Cameron and I, after so long apart, and it'd be know?"
"Aww...that's sweet." Copper dimpled. "And the length of time you spend chatting to him, I'm sure he does care, you know."
"Well, I can but hope." Topaz shrugged philosophically. "Anyhow, are we going to the beach today or not?"
"We sure are." Sylva nodded her head. "Everyone grab their stuff, and I'm driving!"
With that she hared into the mansion, leaving her companions to follow on behind her.
Within the hour they had pulled up at the sea front, settling themselves on the beach to enjoy the beautiful California weather. Despite it being Autumn, the sun was still shining brightly, and there was every chance of Sylva obtaining her suntan.
"It's nice to relax now and again." Topaz sprawled on her stomach, rubbing suntan lotion into her arms. "Since I joined Jewel it's been busy, but it's been even busier in the last year or so. People tend to recognise us a lot more, and we play more and more gigs and tv shows."
"I guess this is the bigtime, then." Copper observed. "It's odd though. Jewel have been playing together since...well, it must be two years ago now. Does that seem incredible to you?"
"Two years? Wow." Nancy looked impressed. "I didn't realise it was that long...but you're right, it must be. I was only just eighteen when we started out, and I was twenty last it must be a little more than two years."
"And I'll have been with you two years in March." Topaz dimpled. "Doesn't time fly when you're having a blast?"
"Time also flies when you're worked off your feet." Sylva put in, settling herself on her towel and slipping her sunglasses on to protect her eyes from the glare.
"That's true, too." Topaz acknowledged. "But at least it's fun work, most of the time."
"KBST wasn't fun this morning." Nancy groaned.
"Mm, but we survived it." Copper pointed out. "And we're playing the new song on Dean's show know you'll enjoy that."
"I like playing his show." Nancy admitted, slightly self-consciously. "But this time it'll be a miracle if I'm even conscious for it. The day Aunt Phyl has earmarked for a slot on Dean's programme is the morning after I play Le Klub Kool with Emily. I probably won't get home from that till one at the earliest, and we have to be up at half five to do Dean's."
"Well, that's why they have make-up." Topaz grinned.
"No amount of makeup could make her look pretty first thing in the morning." Sylva remarked.
"I'm not even going to lower myself to replying to that." Nancy said sweetly. "I am looking forward to Dean's show, though. A sense of normalcy, you know? We've been playing his show since we began, pretty much. His and Connie's Corner."
"It helps to have our music videos produced by Connie's daughter." Copper grinned. "But Zoe is such a would be impossible not to like her."
"Dean calls her his adoptive sister." Nancy nodded. "They grew up together and I know Connie looked out for Dean as though he was her son too. She got him into the television industry."
"Doesn't Dean have a mother?" Sylva sat up at this, looking startled. Nancy shrugged.
"Noone knows for sure." She said. "I've met his Dad...he's a nice guy, incidentally. But when I asked Dean about his mother, he just went kinda quiet and said he didn't know."
"What's the deal with that?" Topaz looked interested.
"If you can't tell us, Nance, we understand." Copper put in. "I mean, some things are sacred between couples and all that."
"Well, it was all over the press at the time, so it's hardly a secret." Nancy responded. "Dean's parents were a mixed race couple...actually you might've guessed that, since Dean's not really that dark-skinned himself, though his Dad is very dark. His father was a camera operator on set at the LinZ Pearce show, back in the eighties - Copper, your mother would've played there a lot, I'd have thought."
"Yes." Copper nodded her head. "Mama liked LinZ a great deal, apparently she was very bubbly and friendly with her guests. Her accident was a great shock to everyone."
"Erm, will someone backtrack please?" Topaz raised an eyebrow. "What has LinZ Pearce to do with anything?"
"LinZ was Dean's mother." Nancy said simply. "His parents met at work, and fell in love...they married a year later and Dean was born not long after that. They didn't have any more children, since LinZ was always busy on location and all of that stuff...though Dean told me he and his mother were very close. Then, when he was eleven, she went to do a report in the Amazon. The light aircraft she was travelling in crashed, and no survivors were ever found."
"Oh! That's awful...poor Dean." Copper's brown eyes became soft with sympathy.
"But if that's the case, then surely Dean knows what happened to his mother?" Sylva demanded. "She died in the crash. Right?"
"This is the thing." Nancy replied. "They found the pilot and a couple of the camera crew dead at the scene...and one of the other technicians about half a mile further on, they think he bailed from the aircraft, because he had a parachute, it just never opened. But LinZ herself was never found."
"Wow." Topaz murmured. "But surely if she was alive she would have come home?"
"Nobody knows what became of her." Nancy shrugged. "Dean said that he's never believed his mother is dead, but he also feels like he doesn't want to look for her, because there must be a reason she didn't come home and he'd rather not know what it was."
"I guess I can understand that." Copper looked thoughtful. "Better to know that she loved him when she left, rather than try and justify her never coming back. It's sad though. I'd never have guessed Dean had been through that."
"Well, apparently it was largely due to LinZ's help in the mid nineties that Connie got her television show opportunity, and the two of them became great friends." Nancy responded. "So, when LinZ disappeared, Connie decided she was going to repay the favour by helping LinZ's son into the television industry, since it was his dream. That's why Dean and Zoe are so close as they are...since LinZ vanished, Connie's been a mother to them both."
"It explains a lot of things." Topaz looked thoughtful. "Connie's so nice, it's just like her to do that."
"Well, apparently when she was younger she was trouble incarnate. Actually, she hung around the Misfits a lot and caused plenty of mischief for them." Nancy responded. "But something big happened - noone's ever told me what - and she and her cousin wound up working together in video production. Then Zoe was born, and Connie decided she'd had enough of playing backstage. LinZ was friendly with Connie's cousin Vivien - you know, Video Montgomery? - and offered to help Connie Connie's Corner was born."
"Wow, neat." Topaz grinned. "So Connie was a tearaway, huh? I so can't picture that!"
"I can." Copper looked thoughtful. "She has an impish look about her sometimes, when she smiles at you...yeah, I can see there's a wild child inside of her still."
"A wild child inside of who?"
A fresh voice interrupted them and the four girls glanced up to see Zoe herself smiling down at them.
"Zoe!" Sylva exclaimed, moving up to make room for the newcomer. "We were just talking about your mother and her wild streak."
"Oh yes." Zoe grinned, sitting down. "Mom definitely has one of those."
"Zoe, did you know LinZ Pearce?" Copper asked. Zoe's pretty face became grave and she nodded.
"Yes." She agreed. "Dean and I grew up together. But it's not something we talk about much - he misses her a lot still, so it's better that way."
"I don't think anyone in the business realises that Dean is LinZ's son, you know." Topaz observed.
"Dean wanted it that way." Zoe responded. "He wanted to be known in his own right, not for being LinZ's kid. I guess I'm the same...and I'm sure you guys are, too. You want your own reputation."
"Too true." Sylva nodded agreement. "I'm a Jewel, as well as a Misfit's daughter."
"Well, exactly." Zoe agreed. "Speaking of which, I came to find you to discuss video ideas for your new song. I had a call from Misfit Music this morning telling me to get a move on with it, so I figured there was no time like the present."
"What are your thoughts on it, then?" Nancy asked, spreading out on her stomach and resting her chin in her hands.
"If Rory Llewelyn has a new group in the works, then it needs to be something pretty spectacular." Zoe said, dimpling. "At least, that's what the boss told me, so that's the deal. I heard the song this morning, it's got a good, catchy beat and it's clearly a love song with a twist, so I'm thinking that's the theme we work with."
"Are we gonna go out of state to film it?" Sylva demanded. Zoe shook her head.
"No, not this time." She replied. "I had strict instructions to keep you in California."
"Bummer." Sylva pouted. "I hoped we'd go somewhere exotic, since it has to be such a dynamic video."
"Well, California has some nice places too." Copper pointed out.
"Yeah, but we live here." Sylva protested. "It's not the same."
"I thought we should film it in Hollywood itself." Zoe suggested. "After all, the subtle message is that you girls are stars. Right?"
"Hollywood? Hrm, I can live with that." Sylva looked brighter. "Go on."
"Well, we'll hire some dancers and stuff, and see if we can't get clearance to film the video on some movie sets, in costume." Zoe continued. "Give people the impression that your video is a mini-movie in it's own right. What do you think?"
"I think it rocks." Topaz grinned. "It'd be so much fun to play dress-up too."
"Romeo and Juliet, perhaps." Copper dimpled.
"By the way, who's vocal is this song?" Zoe asked.
"Mine." Nancy owned. "Apparently it was my turn...we're very democratic here, you know."
"Okay. I thought so, but I wanted to be sure." Zoe grinned. "Then I'll get on to some people this afternoon and make arrangements. With the money Misfit Music has behind it, I don't think it'll be a problem getting where we want to film. And hopefully, it'll be fun to do."
"So long as we have another number one hit out of it." Sylva teased. Zoe laughed.
"Well, that's your department. I just package the song." She retorted playfully. "And now I've your consent, I guess I'd better get back to work. I'll see you soon, huh? See if we can't make Jewel's new single a video to remember!"

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!)