Chapter Twelve: Team Spirit
"That was the most amazing thing ever."
Sylva dropped down onto the chair, her blue eyes sparkling with excitement. "It totally rocked! I can't believe how many people were really getting into our music. And did you see all of the cute guys in the audience? What a total blast!"
"It was great." Copper agreed. "Nancy? How did you like it out there?"
"I never felt like that before. It was magic." Nancy's brown eyes were uncharacteristically dreamy. "I wanna go out there all over again, I'm still buzzing."
"You were pretty hot stuff, I have to admit it." Sylva acknowledged. "I really thought you might bail on us but you came through good in the end. And that last song we did was dynamite - reckon we can release that as our debut?"
"Well, considering that we only have three songs so far, I'd say it was a definite possibility." Copper looked amused.
"I swear it would knock smug Sirena off the top, anyway." Sylva shrugged.
"What do you reckon her deal is?" Nancy wondered.
"Who cares?" Sylva spread her hands. "She's rude, obnoxious, and she had the nerve to threaten us on our own ground. Ain't that enough?"
"I still think she looks familiar. I wonder where I could've seen her before." Copper mused. "Nance, you're from LA, do you know her at all?"
"Nope. But she looks older than me." Nancy replied, examining her gold-painted nails absently. "I barely had anything to do with my grade, let alone anyone else."
"Nance? Hey, you guys all chummy now or something?" Sylva demanded. "We've been in this dressing room a whole ten minutes and Nancy hasn't bitten anyone's head off. What gives?"
"Oh, leave it out." Nancy rolled her eyes. "Can't we just enjoy tonight, huh?"
"I'm with that." Copper agreed. "Listen up, you two. I know you don't reckon you have anything in common and I know you were kinda forced together, but if we're going to make something of this and as you say, Syl, show Sirena a thing or two, we have to all be batting for the same team. You got it? If you two are fighting all the time then we're never going to make it big."
Sylva and Nancy exchanged looks. Then Sylvina sighed.
"I guess you have a point." She acknowledged.
"Much as I hate to admit it." Nancy added.
"So are you gonna call a truce? Because I like the both of you and I consider you both to be my friends." Copper continued. "Even though we've only been a group for a few weeks I'm loving life in LA more and more and I'm kinda starting to feel like I belong with you guys too. You're a big part of me not being homesick, and I'm not ashamed to admit that. It would be so much cooler though if we could all three be friends together. I'm not going to be taking sides and I don't want to be stuck in the middle."
"Friends is pushing it." Nancy murmured.
"Do you even know how to be friends?" Sylva demanded.
"No." She admitted. "I don't do friends. People hurt you. I don't need that."
"That's dumb." Copper told her. "Not all people are like that."
"Most of the ones I know are." Nancy replied.
"What about me? Am I like that?"
"No." Nancy acknowledged. "I...guess I like you. You were nice to me - you're always nice to me. So I guess maybe we are kinda friends. But..."
"Why do you bitch people out so much?" Sylva demanded. "You can't go through life behaving like a hedgehog to everyone, you know! No wonder you don't make any friends. The first moment we met you bitched at me - I'd barely even entered the house! If you want people to like you then you gotta play nice once in a while!"
"And you'd know, of course, the criteria for being nice." Nancy flared back. "Your problem is that you're so narrowminded and shallow that if someone doesn't fit your perception of fun then you mock them and try and make their lives miserable. I'm stronger now than I used to be and it doesn't bother me...but I know your type and you're the last kinda person I'd ever want to make friends with!"
"Now who's laying on the judgements?" Sylva put her hands on her hips. "You say I'm narrowminded but you never even gave me a chance to show you what I'm really like! You assumed I was a type of person before you even met me...what's that if it isn't narrowminded?"
"It's justified, actually. You are like I expected you." Nancy snapped.
"Stop it!" Copper exclaimed. "Both of you! Now! I'm not going to live with this!"
Both girls stopped, staring at the redhead in surprise.
"Right. That's better." Copper reverted to normal volume. "Now you're done behaving like highschoolers, maybe we can settle this. Sylva, you're a lot of fun, you gotta know that, and I like you a lot, but in all honesty I don't think you've given Nancy any leeway to be her. You joke about her clothes and her makeup and whatever and none of that is important to who Nancy is. The real Nancy is hidden away in there behind the sarcasm and you're not going to pull it out by taunting her."
She turned to Nancy, who was looking uncomfortable and embarrassed by Copper's words. "And you, you have to stop assuming that Sylva is like those kids at school who hassled you and made your life miserable there. I don't think it's fair to lump her with people she hasn't even met. I know it's tough for you to relate to people because you don't have the same interests as them, necessarily. But you and Sylva both love music, and that's a start, surely? It's common ground, at least."
There was a moment's silence. Then,
"I...I suppose I never stopped to think about it like that." Sylva admitted slowly. "I mean...sure, I tease Nancy about her clothes and stuff but I didn't think it was a big deal. My friends and I used to do it all the time."
"But you're not my friend." Nancy responded quietly. "And I don't take it as teasing, Sylva. I take it as bitching."
"Right. Okay. Good." Copper nodded. "So Syl, maybe you need to drop that, huh?"
"I...guess." Sylva nodded, her expression unusually troubled.
"Nancy, your turn."
"What do you want me to say?" Nancy demanded. "I don't like her, Copper."
"If Sylva is willing to stop teasing you, you have to give a little ground too." Copper said patiently. "How about you stop calling her shallow and insinuating she's stupid? I don't think she's stupid, nor do I think you are. It's not nice to target each other like this, for me as much as for you guys. Life's too short. Really."
Nancy appeared to be thinking this over. Then she sighed.
"Okay." She agreed finally. "I'll try and remember. Okay?"
"Then do we have a truce?" Copper looked hopeful.
"I guess we do. Far as I'm concerned, anyway." She said.
Nancy paused, then,
"We do." She said finally. "But this is only because Copper asked us to, and...well, I guess owe her one for tonight."
"I appreciate it." Copper grinned. "Look, you two. It'll get better as you get more used to each other. You have totally different perceptions of the world and you gotta learn to adjust to that in each other."
"One thing is for sure, though." Sylva looked uncharacteristically thoughtful.
"Oh?" Copper looked interested. "What's that?"
"We make good music together." Sylva dimpled. "You, me, Nancy...Sirena doesn't stand a chance. It's three on one!"
"Forget Sirena. She's not important." She said. "We have our own plan of action to follow if we're really going to play at the Jem Memorial."
"True enough." Nancy nodded. She paused, then a wicked grin crossed her face.
"But it would be one in the eye for her if we could blow her off the stage." she added.
"Finally, you're starting to think like me!" Sylva grinned. Nancy rolled her eyes.
"Heaven forbid!" She exclaimed. Copper laughed.
"You're both impossible." She said, shaking her head. "But Nancy's right in one respect. We do have to blow the audience away at the Memorial. Show them what Jewel are made of and that we're not kids."
"Not a problem." Sylva said confidently. She grabbed Nancy by the hand, reaching to take Copper's in her other and raising both high above her head. "Jewel rules!"
PART ONE: STARSTRUCK
Chapter One: Sylvina
Chapter Two: A Budding Genius
Chapter Three: A Well Kept Secret
Chapter Four: Making Waves
Chapter Five: Copper...and Sirena
Chapter Six: City of Angels
Chapter Seven: At Misfit Music
Chapter Eight: Jewel
Chapter Nine: I Want Everything
Chapter Ten: Sirena Strikes
Chapter Eleven: Stagefright
Chapter Twelve: Team Spirit
Copper, Nancy, Sylvie, Anna, Blade, 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.