Title: The Winner Takes All
Prompt: Rachel Berry vs. the Noah Puckerman Fan Club – PuckRachel Drabble Meme on LJ (by: maggiequeen4)
Rachel Berry glanced nervously (and somewhat impatiently) out at the view through the dark tinted windows of the tour bus as they drove very slowly towards the loading dock of the venue the band was playing at that evening. Someone had obviously taken the security requests for outside of the venue, specifically where the buses would be coming in, as suggestions; as a result, they were inching through a hoard of fans who were screaming, crying, waving signs (most in variations of, “Marry Me Noah?”) and generally making idiots out of themselves while security tried to get them to move onto the sidewalk.
Unfortunately, she didn’t think that Eddie planned on running over any teenage girls this morning; even if he probably very much wanted to. Therefore, they were going to be late getting inside, again. She had pointed out to him quietly two days ago that if he just lightly tapped one of the girls; they all might learn a lesson from it. He had looked slightly wistful, and understanding, at her suggestion but had yet to try it.
She was holding out hope that by next week he would. After all, they were only three weeks into the summer tour. Even fifty-five year old Eddie Marsh, who had driven Aerosmith and countless other artists over the years had to have a breaking point. A month of this would test the patience of a saint.
She glanced up as Josh and Max, Puck’s drummer and bass player respectively, walked into the main lounge from the bunk area and flopped down across from her. She waved lightly, gestured out the window and shrugged before turning back to her laptop and went back to work. If they were going to be late; she might as well get ahead on some things.
“Where’s Noah?” she questioned them, without looking up from the excel sheet she was reading.
“On the phone with some radio station in New York,” Josh replied and Rachel nodded with a smile; marking off that very phone call as complete on her spread sheet. “It sounded like he was wrapping it up if you need him.”
“Nope. We’re going to be stuck on the bus for a while anyway,” she responded, letting her annoyance creep into her tone. “Liz told me this venue doesn’t have an underground area for the buses.”
“Oh goodie,” Max muttered slumping further into the other couch. “Make them go away Rachel!” he added, sounding much younger then this twenty-two years.
“Sorry Max,” Rachel responded honestly. “I’m just the assistant this run. You want the Noah Puckerman Fan Club to go away you go talk to the boss.”
“Liz gets mad at me when I call her,” Max joked back, referring to Noah’s manager and the unequivocally agreed upon real “boss” on the tour. Puck’s name might be on the marquee but Elizabeth Snyder is the reason it was there to begin with.
Rachel smirked and tapped a few more notes into the spreadsheet before saving and closing it. Three weeks into the summer after her junior year of college and she still couldn’t quite believe what she was doing; for that matter, what she had been technically doing since her freshmen year of college. At the same time, she also couldn’t imagine herself anywhere else.
Somehow, by pure blind luck or possibly the grace of God himself (Puck and Rachel never had agreed on the why of it) by December of Rachel’s freshmen year at NYU and a mere four months of playing wherever he could be heard Liz Snyder had discovered Noah Elijah Puckerman at a open mic in Greenwich Village. Rachel had decided to act as his manager when he followed her and Santana (and Kurt and Blaine) to New York in the hopes of doing something with his music; and somehow, over the last three years, she just hadn’t moved on from his entourage (had in fact moved deeper into it).
She was still studying at NYU (specifically classical Voice and Opera at Steinhardt) and performing was still her first love and her future; but under Liz’s urging she had added a second major (the Recorded Music BFA from the Clive Davis School in Tisch; which was really just a degree in being an entrepreneur in the music industry) for a fall back and a reason to be on tour with Puck. Rachel’s plans for after graduation were very much in synch with what they had been while in high school; this arrangement with Liz just allowed her to spend time with Puck and gave her a nice paycheck to put in the bank at the end of every summer. It had also helped to remove what little naivety she had left over from growing up in Ohio (plus Liz had assured her that as soon as she graduated, she had representation).
Essentially, everyone wins.
It still amazed Rachel that Puck had gone from coffee shop open mic shows to being signed by Hollywood Records nearly over night. And even though he insisted on writing the whole record himself (which took more time then the label wanted), to avoid a generic pop-rock sound that would guarantee him a short career, by the summer following Rachel’s Sophomore year Puck had a number one album and was opening for Jack’s Mannequin; subsequently Liz was dragging Rachel along as her assistant (under the claim that, “No one but you can fully control him. Do not let him sleep with anyone under eighteen.” At the time Rachel and Puck hadn’t informed Liz that wouldn’t be an issue.) Considering that her winter and spring breaks during that school year had been spent traveling with Puck and his band on two short college tours in sixteen passenger vans she had been very excited for the Jack’s Mannequin tour.
That was before she saw the vans again. Apparently, Liz liked her clients to retain money and didn’t see the point in spending forty-thousand on a bus for two months. While Puck insisted on vans so that no one could claim he never “paid his dues.” Rachel just reluctantly agreed; then made him be her pillow. She also learned exactly what “merch girls” are subjected to that summer when she was forced to double as Liz’s assistant and Puck’s merchandise manager.
It was that very summer that caused her to avoid Noah’s fans like they carried the plague.
It seemed that even though he was making music that Rachel was fairly certain went right over their squealing blonde heads, Puck’s matinee idol good looks had garnered him a money-making teen pop aged fan base (along with a much older more appreciative crowd) and those fans despised Rachel for no reason other then the fact that she gets to be near “Noah Puckerman.” That was without them knowing a single thing about Puck and Rachel’s history; all they needed to know was that Rachel was pretty and was photographed with “their Noah” often.
Which brought her to the here and now; Noah’s first stadium tour. His second album had been released in March (Rachel was proud to state that she had a co-writer’s credit on three songs) and had gone number one in it’s first week. If anything, the insanity surrounding Puck’s career had gotten more intense; despite a seven month break (minus a few appearances and a secret show or five in Manhattan) to write and record his sophomore release. And as Rachel had learned over the last three weeks – the Noah Puckerman Fan Club hated her even more this summer then they did last.
“Hey babe,” Puck’s voice broke into Rachel’s internal musings as she continued to stare out the window. “Trying to glare them into submission?”
She simply shook her head and accepted the soft kiss as he leaned down to brush their lips together before sitting down on the couch beside her. It wasn’t until he pulled her fully into his side, whispered that he loved her and was studying her left hand with a soft smile on his face that she turned her attention fully away from the window with a contented sigh.
At least this summer she supposed they had a reason to “hate” her; but hey, what girl is going to say no to a marriage proposal written in the thank you notes of her boyfriend of four year’s CD liner?
And if any of Puck’s fans had doubted what her answer would be? Puck opened his album release concert the night the album dropped with three words, “She said yes!”
“Noah Puckerman Fan Club zero,” Rachel mumbled quietly so only Puck could hear her. “Rachel Berry, three carats.”
“I love you too. And it’s three and a half.”
“Nothing but the best for my girl. That’s why I finally got a bus.”
“My neck appreciates you so much.”
“I could think of better body parts to appreciate me,” he whispered in her ear and began trailing kisses down her neck, smirking at her hitched breathing.
“Okay, seriously you two,” Josh interjected, tossing a throw pillow at them and causing them to look up in surprise. “We’re sitting right here. If you’re going to have sex on the bus at least wait until it’s empty.”
Max simply frowned and commented without looking up from his magazine, “This is why I wanted to ride over from the hotel in the other bus. The fans make Rachel nervous; Noah calms her down with orgasms. What do you think they do in the bedroom every night?”
Puck just smirked at Josh’s confused look and reminded him, “Why do you think I got a bus that had a bedroom…and then soundproofed it?”
“Oh geez,” Josh muttered, shaking his head. “I hate tour buses. You two couldn’t do that shit when we toured in the vans!”
When Rachel and Puck simply traded glances and avoided meeting his eyes he groaned louder and started tossing more pillows while Max simply laughed, still flipping through his magazine. And as the screaming grew more impatient outside the bus Rachel just let the heavy weight of her engagement ring remind her just who had the upper hand; despite their greater numbers. Because in the grand battle of Rachel Berry vs. the Noah Puckerman Fan Club, she had won in the most important way possible.
They had his gratitude. She had his heart.