Christmas In California
Chapter One
"Christmas in California."
Sylvina Martescu gazed out of the window of the Starlight Mansion, letting out a sigh. "Great. Somehow it doesn't feel real least you get snow in DC."
"Well, on the bright side, we'll have our first Christmas together." her companion, Aurora Stapleton pointed out. "And Syl, I'm kinda glad you're staying in town. I was wondering what in hell I was gonna do if you all went home, especially since Misfit Music gave us all of this week off work. There'd be noone for me to celebrate with if you'd gone back to the capital."
"There is that." Sylva acknowledged, grinning at her friend. "Your first Christmas with Jewel and our first Christmas break together...that's gotta count for something, hasn't it? But...oh Topaz, I don't know. I wish Mom hadn't been invited to spend Christmas with Aunt Aja and Uncle Craig. Dad's working, as ever, and it's kinda odd I won't even see Anna this year, cos she's going off to Vale with some people from college." She sighed. "It feels totally odd...we've always spent Christmas as a family, more or less. Dad always makes sure he gets part of Christmas day off so we can open our presents together, and Annie and Mom and I always watch the Christmas movies on cable in the evening...and then on the 26th there's always a big party down our way. My local friends and I generally go shopping the first day the stores reopen to spend our money in the sales...I'm gonna miss all of that this year."
She frowned.
"It sucks sometimes being a working girl." She murmured.
"Well, I promise we'll have the best Christmas we possibly can here." Topaz dimpled. "And you might not have your hometown friends, Syl, but you do have us, right? We know how to have a good time good as anyone. We've plenty of time to have a blast before the New Year Eve TV bonanza we have to play, and I'm predicting multiple Jewel hangovers!"
"You're not twenty-one for eleven more months." Sylva objected, a smile coming to her face. "And anyway, you weren't kidding when you said alcohol has a bad effect on you. When we were in you were hopeless! Remember, here we'll have the press on our backs if we make idiots of ourselves!"
"Okay, okay." Topaz relented. "I'll be good. But I promise it'll still be fun." She paused, then, "What are your friends from home doing with themselves then, if they're not working? They in college?"
"Some of them went with Annie." Sylva nodded. "Others hung around and got jobs locally, others did nothing." She grinned. "One eloped to Las Vegas."
"Woo. And you say I'm hopeless." Topaz whistled. "You miss them?"
"Sometimes." Sylva acknowledged. "But it's more Annie and Mom I'm gonna miss this break. As if it isn't hard enough having the whole of the United States between me and home!"
"Well..I'm in a total other country." Topaz reminded her. "But you guys are the best friends I have these days and that's the truth. There is noone else I'd rather spend Christmas with."
"Well, if I can't go home, Jewel will do for me too." Sylva grinned. "Come on. Lets go see if Copper and Nancy are back from the store."
"Sure." Topaz slipped off her bed, following her friend to the door. "It's gonna be interesting, with the house staff having the Christmas week off too...can we handle doing our own cooking and stuff?"
"Pizza on Christmas day." Sylva giggled, as they headed downstairs. "But Copper's a good cook, so I'm told. It might be okay after all. Remember, she cooked for Aaron here that one night, and he didn't die or anything, so she can't be that bad."
"I heard that!" An indignant voice greeted them at the bottom of the stairs, and the girls greeted their friends with a grin. Oldest and youngest members of successful young rock outfit Jewel, Elizabeth 'Copper' Santiago and Nancy Pelligrini were the remaining two of the quartet of girls who made their home at Starlight Mansion.
"I was just teasing." Sylva assured her friend now. "We're gonna be relying on you a whole lot, you know...I'm a terrible cook."
"I refuse to cook every night." Copper protested, putting her hands on her hips. "And we either go out for Christmas dinner or we all cook, okay?"
"You want a fire in the kitchen?" Nancy demanded. "Copper, they threw me out of home ec in school, I almost  burnt down the whole classroom!"
"How'd you manage that?" Topaz looked amused, lifting one of the carrier bags of shopping and making her way into the spacious kitchen to put the goods away. Nancy blushed.
"I had a song buzzing in my head and I wasn't paying attention." She admitted. At nineteen, Nancy was the group's songwriter as well as co-vocalist and lead guitarist, and more than once in her life she had been labelled an impossible genius because, despite both exceptional academic ability and a unique gift for everything musical, Nancy had never found it easy to fit in and bond with those around her. Relentlessly bullied in school, she had pulled away into a defensive, sarcastic shell, but more than a year with Jewel had begun to rehabilitate her rather unsettled self confidence and she had begun to trust those around her, particularly Copper, who had become almost like a sister. Noone, therefore, had been more delighted than the songwriter when Copper had begun dating Nancy's easygoing and amiable elder brother Aaron.
"I'm a rockstar, I can't believe I'm putting groceries away." Sylva rolled her eyes as she shoved a few packets halfheartedly into a cupboard. Topaz laughed.
"Brings you down to earth a little, huh?" she teased. Sylva rolled her eyes.
"No kidding." She agreed.
"Hey, Copper, you didn't tell us why you decided to stop here in Cali for Christmas and not go back to Detroit." Topaz observed. "We all know Syl can't go home...but you can, can't you? Why decide to stay?"
"Well, you guys were all here, and Aaron too. I guess I didn't want to run out on anyone since everyone else was staying here this year." Copper shrugged. "I promised Mama I'd call her on Christmas day and she was cool with it. She said I was growing up and it was up to me. I'll miss her and my brother and sister like crazy, but...well, this is Aaron and my first Christmas as a couple and..." She trailed off, embarrassed.
"Young love, huh?" She observed dryly.
"Well, maybe you can spend this Christmas working out what exactly your relationship with Dean Stacey is, Nance." Sylva put in, watching with some amusement as her bandmate flushed a deep scarlet.
"It's none of your business." She said finally.
"Maybe not, but Dean's a good looking guy and has a devoted fanbase of young floozies waiting to fall at his feet should he ever ask them to." Sylva replied with a shrug. "So if you don't want him, I'm sure there are plenty of other girls who do...I wouldn't keep him hanging on. You might lose him, you know." She eyed her companion thoughtfully. "He's a television presenter, with a busy life..what he sees in you is anyone's guess, but you better act before he stops seeing it."
"Nancy's a rock musician, Dean's a tv presenter." Copper reminded her. "They're both very busy people. And it's doubly hard to have a private life when you're both in the public eye. Cut her some slack, Syl. Only Nancy knows what the situation is with her and Dean and it's really not our business to pry."
"Thanks, Copper." Nancy sent her friend a grateful look. She stood. "Hey, anyone for coffee? I'm done putting this stuff away."
"Sure, count me in." Topaz nodded. "I'm parched."
"Syl,  Nance, you guys aren't gonna spat about things all Christmas, are you?" Copper looked anxious. Sylva sighed.
"Guess we could call a truce, but just for this week." she offered reluctantly. Nancy grimaced.
"Ugh, do I have to?"
"Nance..." Copper raised an eyebrow.
"Okay, okay!" Nancy conceded. "I'll agree. Just for this week, mind you. And only because it's Christmas!"
"Then we'll have the coolest time." Topaz dimpled. "Bring on the party!"

Christmas In California
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven

Copper, Nancy, Sylva, Topaz, Anna, Blade, Sirena, Aaron, Cameron, Taylor, Gaynor, Sadie, Cynthia, Alan, Stefana, Luca, Maddie, Marissa, Clay, Sophie, Justin, Zoe, 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. Sammi, Rose and any of the other Teenangel Outsiders characters are copyrighted to Gemma Dawn and appear here only with her permission. 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 names of the bands, the characters and the concepts in the stories are entirely fictional and any similarity to any genuine musical act, situation, person or concept is entirely coincidental. Jewel, Diablo, Sirena and the other characters are NOT based on real individuals, either in the press or in everyday life.

The future world of Jetta, Raya, Stormer, Pizzazz, Roxy, Riot, Minx, Synergy, Eric, Clash and the death of Jem are concepts which are entirely my own. The future world of Aja, Jerrica, and Danse are concepts belonging to Gemma Dawn and the future world of Kimber, Rapture and Shana are concepts which belong to us both jointly, since they were discussed in some detail!