‘OVER HERE PLEASE’
Today had been the first time she had stepped outside of her hotel room, the first time since the news of her past had broken loose into the media, the first time she would have to come to terms with everyone knowing. Her social media posts were short and sweet, simply admitting to what she had been avoiding half of her life, sharing a long-buried picture of 16 year old Quinn, pregnant belly and all. The paparazzi swarmed the outskirts of the Rosewood Hotel, filling the streets of High Holborn, a single picture of Oscar winning actress Quinn Fabray after the ‘pregnancy scandal’ would be worth thousands to the tabloids, all wanting a chance to comment on her life before fame, not that it was any of their business. Tilting the sunglasses and tightening the ponytail, she was ready to go out there and address the world, but in reality ‘addressing the world’ was more of a quick nod to the paparazzi and fans and hunting around London for a bite to eat. She was going to reclaim her life, one simple lunch at a time.
‘You’re on in 10’
He nods, silently standing in the middle of a rather simplistic green-room, small piles of nuts were not the equivalent to an actual lunch, but it would do, the scarcity of time left would not exactly help his nerves, but he’d done this millions of times, greet the presenters (in this case the world-famous couple Sugar and Rory Motta on their show ‘Keeping up with the Mottas’), sit down on some plush sofa and discuss any upcoming projects and his relationships. The small TV in the corner blared as the ‘breaking’ news of Quinn Fabray’s first appearance since the revelation of her teen pregnancy had come to life, he couldn’t help but pity her, the big leagues of fame were hard enough without a massive scandal that affects whatever good girl attitude she had reigned over before. He can’t help but smile as she wanders out of the hotel lobby live on camera, you could never deny her beauty, hell if he ever gets the chance maybe he’d ask her out. The assistant suddenly appeared and the rush onto stage made his heart almost stop, but Rory’s comforting smile and Sugar’s borderline overzealous nature meant that he was immediately at ease. The feminine voice pierces through his thoughts, announcing the arrival of Ohio's newest star.
‘Please welcome Ohio’s and everyone’s sweetheart: FINN HUDSON!’
The applause and cheers drown everything else out.
‘Kurt, you’re seriously not telling me you DON’T find him attractive’
Rachel huffing and puffing about having to be still and not suddenly breaking out into song was not a rare occurrence, the queen of complaints was in fact his most valued customer and occasionally a good dance partner. She had insisted on leaving ‘Keeping up with the Motta’s’ on as her newest celebrity crush/obsession was the featured guest and musical act, therefore it was Kurt’s duty, much to his displeasure, to listen to her gush over the surprisingly decent looking man.
‘He’s not too bad I suppose, but do I have to remind you about your engagement?’
Here we go, there’s the world-famous pouting that this fitting session was missing, the rock still remained on her finger, although it was worth noting it was probably a sight hazard, you’d be blind if you look at that jewel for too long. Kurt had no time for romance, trying to balance fashion and performing was a tough slope but he was getting there, his reputation was shining and any A-list celebrity could vouch for his talents both on stage and in the dressing room.
‘Jesse doesn’t have to know all my mindless crushes Kurt, but what I wouldn't do to…’
The Fashionista rubs his temple as she rambles on about what she wanted from the poor Hudson boy, but he couldn’t help his mind from wandering down that direction himself…
Mercedes driving in a Mercedes. Kinda ironic if you look at it. Pulling up at the exclusive apartment complex, the chauffeur parks in the reserved space, MJ engraved into the ground beneath it. Rummaging through her bag and fumbling with her to unlock the steel door, the element of peace finally hits her as she collapses on the sofa along with her belongings. The fitting with Kurt for the next photoshoot for her album (‘Hell to the no’ in honor of a joke song she had made during her high school days) had run late, so everything she had planned into an airtight schedule went haywire, and to make things worse she had bumped into the Rachel Berry on the way out, the good mood withering away into frustration. But now she is back home. Back home with some freshly baking tater tots. The phone had been bombarded with calls, yet she opted for a more relaxing time in front of the TV to complain about some trashy show to her friends’ group-chat. Turning the lights on, the brightness swarmed the pristine studio, filled with her first few Grammy awards and overly expensive paintings, everything that was supposed to be there was there, yet on The coffee table laid a small package, along with a note from her agent:
‘Mercedes, baby,I know you don’t do TV but check it out for me please? - Shane’
Reluctantly, she slices the packaging and glances at the thick pile of paper that rested under the palms of her hand, the urge to dump it in the trash and berate Shane for trying to tie her to a huge commitment was there but after zoning out, the alarm was blasting and had been for five minutes but checking on her tots, they were perfect, not even a hint of burnt crumb - this was a sign, this was what God intended for her to do, and she’d never go against God’s will
The greenlight had been all that Artie needed in order to finally send out the remainder scripts to potential cast-mates; McKinley was the brainchild of both himself and world-famous director and show-runner, William Schuester. They’d met as Artie was fresh out of college, roaming the bars of NYC in order to gain connections and begin his first proper project, Mr Schuester on the other hand just happened to be in his last bar of the night, nursing a beer alone, regretting all his mistakes and marital issues that he probably shouldn’t of told a young, 22 year old in a wheelchair just looking for his next ‘big opportunity’ but everything happens for a reason right? Turns out Schue had just bombed a massive TV pilot proposal and was stuck looking for his next winning piece, Showmance had been a success but nothing else fit right without the magic of leading actress Tina Cohen-Chang, but there Artie stood, well sat, presenting to a drunk middle aged-man in the middle of some skanky New York bar, something that could be potentially life-changing. Somehow it worked. Somehow 6 months down the line, Artie had a chance to prove his self-worth, prove that he knew what he was doing, and finally get together a cast in order to film the pilot to his first ever show project. He slumped on his sofa, clutching his head in his sweaty hands as he scoured tabloid headlines and audition tapes, he had brief ideas on who would be perfect for a role, whilst others were quite general, yet no one could fit the bill of Kevin.
Will’s awkward half smile comes to his attention as he glances up, nodding for the man to continue.
‘So, i know you’ve sent over all the casting notes and calls, but i saw there’s only a couple for Kevin so i thought we could get you in for a couple chemistry checks and-’
Everything else blanked out as those words swirled around Artie’s mind, Will Schuester wanted him to play Kevin. Will Schuester wanted him.
Rumors of a new Schuester production show spread through gossip forums and twitter threads like wildfire. Showmance’s cancellation had been a shock, specifically to the network and the fans, but without their ‘superstar’ there was no way for it to continue successfully. Don’t get the wrong idea, it’s not like Tina wanted to quit, her role as Noelle on the show had launched her into worldwide fame and now her face or ‘iconic’ quotes were on basically every urban outfitters shirt or bag in the country, everything had been perfect until she caught wind of a draft script of season 6. According to the single piece of paper that was leaked over Tumblr, Noelle was supposed to become the antagonist and step aside for some ‘new, fresh’ talent. New and Fresh. No-one speaks of Ms Tina Cohen-Chang like this, like she was some old maid. Naturally she quit, told the show-runners where they could stick it and went on a complete public rampage (ending up hitting her head in the middle of the mall and having some weird hallucinations to say the least) but now she was bored. It had been over a year since Showmance ended and her explosive conflicts with Schue ceased, sure mall tours and public performances were fun but nothing matched the energy she could bring to the small screen, so as soon as the news broke they’d be a new addition to the William Schuester cinematic universe, she was more than interested.
Getting back into contact with him was the hard part, after several arguments with someone and telling them ‘i never want to see your ugly, sweater wearing, pathetic looking…...self again!’ meant it would be difficult to get a leading role on their show. Hatching the plan was easy enough, seduce the new side-piece Schue had working with him, get a private audition, wow the executives with her sheer talent and skill and then bam, just like that she’s the leading lady once again. Yet once she came home from yet another shoot for whatever teen magazine she was headlining, there was a thick envelope with ‘Tina Cohen-Chang’ written in that unmistakable handwriting. Maybe reconciliation was possible after all.
God how he hates self-proclaimed divas. Sure, he’d been in rooms with the infamous Mercedes Jones and maybe hooked up with Santana Lopez a couple times before she came out. But lord above knows how much he despises working with Rachel Berry AND Tina Cohen-Chang on their own, let alone on the same day. Usually his job was simple, take a couple pictures of them looking pretty, then goofy and then top it all off with a hint of sexiness and your portfolio is done and everyone can go home. But with these two clowns short of a circus, he knew it would be a long, long day full of complaining and tears.
‘Please tell me you’ve taken my advice and shaven off that sin to fashion mohawk’
Puck raises his head up to greet Kurt, obviously with the prestigious Ms Berry in tow. When he first came to New York, times had been tough but Hummel had taken him in for some freebie photoshoots in order to promote his stylist branding, ultimately working out in both of their favours as their reputations exceeded them. As the hat left the head, the disappointment shone in his eyes.
‘Sorry man, the ‘hawk ain’t ever going out of style’
‘Ahem, can we just get this started please?’
Berry being stressed out that the attention wasn’t on her for once wasn’t unnatural, neither was Kurt’s worn out face as she dumps the layers of handpicked coats and jewellery upon his arms. Small talk was normal for these shoots, Rachel going off about how her ‘beloved’ St James left the toilet seat up again with Puckerman holding back the frustration to tell her to shut the f-
‘Did you hear the news about Quinn Fabray? I can’t believe she had a baby at 16! I would never be so irresponsible...’
He couldn’t breathe. The room was spinning. How did she know that? He had a non disclosure agreement for a reason. Quinn. Quinn, was she okay? Noah ran out without a second thought, despite the protests from Berry, dialling those forever familiar numbers into his phone. Tonight was going to be a long, long one just as he suspected.
The New York penthouse was everything she had dreamed of and more. Furnished with such treasures as an authentic, white baby grand piano from Marylin Monroe and a framed outfit worn by Barbara Streisand herself. Her career was booming, she had Broadway deals, movie deals, fashion deals and television deals coming at her from every direction. And to top it all off she was engaged to a beautiful man who followed the same dreams and aspirations as she once had. Rachel Berry had it all. All except one thing. A home. Now you’re probably thinking, you just described her beautiful penthouse that literally no one in their right mind could afford and had a healthy enough relationship to be engaged, of course she has a home. The truth is Rachel Berry isn’t content. She’s bored of the day to day shenanigans she’s roped into by her ‘future husband’, even the thought of that made her shiver. At the big old age of 24, with 2 Tonys and a grammy already under her belt, most would just stick with what they know and get married, maybe buy a summer home in France and perform from time to time. But not her. Barbara Berry needs that big shiny EGOT accomplishment, and no one would stand in her way.
Her mood was already sour by the time she had gotten back to the penthouse, disrespectful photographer Puckerman just walked out, leaving her draped over the chaise like an idiot. All she wanted was a nice, relaxing bubble bath, no distractions, no negative thoughts and definitely no Jes-
‘Rachel? Are you home?’
Crap, she knew she should have invested in a ‘do not disturb’ sign. Throwing open the door, she observes as he hastily strips off, rambling on about his day and how awful it is that his TV show pilot didn’t get picked up. Again. Being reassuring wasn’t exactly Rachel’s top quality, that spot belonged to her talent, so she performed the classic monologue featuring such hits as ‘you’ll get em next time honey’ and ‘it’s just not what they’re looking for, not your fault’ but today, oh today he picked the wrong day to mess with her.
‘You’d never understand about losing a new show Rachel, you’re just so picky and demanding’
You know what. She’d show him. Oh she would show him alright. No time for a towel, she skids through the hall to the critically acclaimed ‘pile of auditions’ that had been taking up half of the second dining table, picking up the first one and delicately tracing the letters; McKinley? Sounds fun.
‘And that’s it for today’s live my unicorns! thank you so much for joining us!’
He holds the pose for a few seconds as the blonde wanders to the computer set up to shut it all down, she wasn’t the best at using technology but she tried her best to make sure there were no stragglers in the stream. It was another average Thursday for ‘Brike does dance’ as they were so graciously called, it was their livestream day so hopping onto twitch and performing some sets they had been working on plus the good old Q&A always did the trick. The sweat pouring down his face wasn’t exactly helping Mike’s thoughts as he glances over at her. Fondness and adoration was the only thing that he could feel as he watched her scoot over to the fan in an attempt to cool down. Don’t assume anything like their fans, Mike could only ever see Brittany as his little sister, even though she was technically older, he just could never imagine his life without her and they were probably the best couple that's not a couple. Together, they had amounted to just over 17 million subscribers on Youtube, almost 8 million on Twitch, with a combined instagram following of 15 million. So to say that they were successful would be a pretty big understatement. He was proud. Proud of her, himself and everything they had worked for since their first dance classes together in elementary school. Yet he couldn’t help wondering about a life outside of all this, neither of them had time for relationships or any other hobbies other than dance practice, so what would be next for them? The buzzing of Brittany’s phone interrupts the heat induced silence, both scrambling to get up and retrieve it; the rule of the dancehall is simple, if it makes a noise it’s fair game for anyone to read. Mike slid through her legs in order to snatch the pink device from her weak hands, leaving her in a state of both shock and laughter. The giggling fit was worth whatever floor burns he would receive from that move.
‘And what is this? Ms Santana Lopez following you back on instagram? And messaging you?’
‘No way! Give it, Give it!’
The fond smile came back as he watched her get all giddy over her long-term celebrity crush noticing her. If anyone deserved it, it was her. Something told Mike that this was just the beginning of something big, even if she didn’t know it
She was used to this. The crowding of the paparazzi as she steps out of a car, her faithful bodyguard and occasional hook-up partner Dani ensuring they didn’t get even close to her by aggressively waving her arms about and yelling. She was good at that. It’s not like Santana was fully famous, sure she had a couple golden globes and a Grammy but it’s not like she’s at worldwide fame. Yet. Her original plan was to campaign for an Oscar by 25, but her reputation took a blow when a certain, no good, hobbit decided she was jealous of the latino’s talent, stage presence, stunning looks and amazing personality and thought it would be a great idea to insult her live on stage when she received her Grammy for best new artist. Since then it’s been a slow rebuild of her once strong and ‘taking no shit’ persona whilst building up a case against-
‘Ms Lopez! Do you have anything to say about Rachel Berry?’
Dani prepares to intervene, she would never say that Santana has a temper per say, but mention Berry and she sees red.She approaches the poor interviewer just looking for a quick story, her heels destroying a discarded pen left on the sidewalk.
‘Let's get one thing very, very clear. I have no opinion of that tiny, institutionalised toddler dressing hobbit’
Everyone holds their breath, the cameras flashing continuously to catch this all live. Dani opens her mouth to encourage Santana to come inside but she is instantly dismissed by a wave of the hand.
‘I’m not done. If she wants to publicly attack me again, I'll happily show her how it goes down in Lima Heights. Thank you.’
Sashaying off, Dani apologises profusely to the crowd before following her into the hotel lobby, warily watching as she grins mischievously at her smaller counterpart.
‘Do you think breadstix would deliver here?’
Lord Tubbington wasn’t the most active cat. Running an active crack den? Probably. But actually running about like a normal cat? Of course not. Brittany loved and accepted this about him, she just wished he could do the same for her. Sexuality wasn’t really a topic she likes to touch on, to her love will always be love, no matter what gender, race or how many limbs they have (her last boyfriend had 5) but for some reason she was scared to discuss it with anyone but her two boys. Mike was immediately supportive and ecstatic for her figuring out who she is, it wasn’t exactly surprising but welcomed nonetheless, he was her rock and she was his, no matter who they were. Lord Tubbington on the other hand was more apprehensive, obviously he’d support her in everything, but he presented another perspective to Brittany, another more shameful, angry reaction to who she is. He was right. As always. So she keeps quiet, making sure any dating app has her preferences set to private, she couldn’t cause a scandal when Mike and her had worked so hard into getting there. She didn’t need a relationship to be happy, obviously, but a part of her always felt empty. But Thursday was when this all changed.
‘Hey, this is so weird, but I saw your video of you and your partner(?) dancing to trouty mouth and just wanted to say you’re gorgeous and I love your style! :)’
The Santana Lopez had messaged her. Not just messaging her. Complimenting her. With a smiley face on the end. Had Mike not been there with her to read it out and confirm its authenticity, she would have held it down to a hallucination caused by the blood, sweat and tears going into this week’s routine. Lopez wasn’t some small, Z-list celebrity (not that she would have minded), she was an icon, an out and proud lesbian who still had the ability to succeed and achieve her dreams. Added with the fact she’s stunning and was basically perfect to Brittany (right next to her high school art teacher, that's a long story), the blonde had no idea what to do. She’d left her on delivered for 3 hours now. Maybe she should send a gif?...
Jolting awake, he blinks as the light escaping through the drapes fills his eyes. What time even was it? The last thing he remembers was playing on the playstation with one of his online buddies, the infamous ‘Nightbird’ who he’d been playing every single game with since they were teenagers. Crap, he’s going to have to apologise for passing out on him. Again.
‘Stacie...It’s too early’
The teenager crosses her arms, rolling her eyes and she effortlessly whips out her phone to show the dishevelled blond the time. 11AM. He’s got an audition in an hour. Fuck. Lifting himself out of bed and throwing whatever shirt he had on last night, he beams over at his little sister, who appears pleased with herself for proving him wrong (as always).
‘Okayyy, not too early, thank you kiddo’
She storms out, obviously to go get the first pick of the breakfast buffet his mum would have put out. Bonuses of coming home for the weekend, nothing beats the good ol over the top waffle-pancake extravaganza his mother always puts on. He shoots a simple text over to Nightbird, claiming aliens took him hostage over night but he’s safe and sound now. It was a recurring joke between them, specifically if he slept first, with him being nightbird and all. They didn’t know each other's actual names, they were just simply Nightbird and BlondChameleon to one another, but it worked, they were practically unbeatable and best friends, even if they knew nothing much about their personal lives. He was ecstatic when Sam told him all about the audition he got for some new show; The audition. To say he ran into the shower would be an understatement, throwing Stevie out in a haste to make sure everything looked good. Hair? Check. Body? Check. Lovable goofball personality just as the casting sheet asked for? Hopefully. Shoving a couple waffles in his bag and returning quickly to kiss his mom’s cheek as she scolds him for running out without saying goodbye, he does one last phone check before getting ready for the drive over.
‘Good luck with the audition man, you’ve got this! I’m sure the aliens helped prepare <3’
The heart was so cringe. But Sam couldn’t help but grin the whole drive to the studio.
Bouncing his leg up and down wasn’t a surprise. Nerves were normal for auditions. Especially when you’re in a room full of people whispering your name.
‘Is that Blaine Anderson?’
‘No way is that him, he just won an Oscar for Dalton’
Yet he wasn’t nervous about the audition itself. Sure, it was a callback after his pretty decent audition last time, so he doubted he’d have much to worry about but it was more the looming feeling that any moment now, a certain boy would walk in and have no idea who he was. Well, he’d know who he was, he was ‘Blaine Anderson', famous actor and performer, searching around for his next big ‘thing’ to wow the critics with. But there was a deeper persona to him, at night, he was a videogame warrior, bringing out his competitive energy and letting him form connections that had nothing to do with his fame, fortune or even handsome good looks. It was him, his console, his mic and Sam. The other boy had once let his name slip, leading to a highbrow stalking session and finding out his name, address, likes, dislikes and of course appearance. But Sam, his own best friend, would have no idea who he actually was. And that’s what was crushing him.
Blaine lifted his head up as he saw the casting director call him over, along with a boy in a wheelchair, raising his eyebrows quizzically, the actor followed, albeit apprehensively. As he wandered into the practically empty he mentally made notes of who was sitting opposite, ready to judge his every move. William Schuester, show-runner and creator of some of the best projects known to man, Sue Sylvester, head of New Directions Productions, someone he had come into qualms with several times, but they remained civil with mutual respect after ‘‘the cheerleading project’, the other was the boy in a wheelchair from earlier, of whom he had no idea of who he was or what he did. Schue rises to shake his hand and take his head-shots, briefly explaining the point of this ‘experiment’.
‘So today is a chemistry check, as you may know, we’ve got several people gunning for the same character, but we’re pairing up a couple of you in order to see if there is an on-screen translation of you and your character with other people. Got it?’
Sounds easy enough. Yet as the blond man wanders in with a classic confident stride, Blaine felt the colour leave his face, but he was certain of one thing. They were both getting these roles.