Guess who's back, back again... :) Hell to the yeah, it's your one and only Fes, back with a new story and boy, did it take long for me to get this one out. :) It's been well over a year since I finished "The Journey" and started writing this one. In between that and now, a lot has changed. Went abroad to study for a year and anyone who's been studying abroad knows it's basically one, big, long, happy vacation. No responsibilities and nothing but time to party. Best part was that you're surrounded by other exchange students which are going through exactly the same thing. So, yeah finally going back home to Finland was like going to rehab except that I actually welcomed the change. :) Though I did NOT welcome the more expensive food prizes. No more 2-euro-wine bottles for Fes. Tear... :)

I was able to write the first 4 chapters last summer but the reason I never uploaded any was because I was going abroad and couldn't be sure whether I could continue with the story. Well, I went back home. And left 7 weeks later to Ireland to do my internship. So, I'm abroad again. This time WITH responsibilities and I can only party on Fridays and Saturdays. :P So, can't really promise how often I can update the story but I'm now well on the way, and have learned to find time for writing so we should we be good update-wise.

Anyways, I started writing The Challenge last summer and if you have a good memory, I even asked the public's opinion on writing a story based on a MTV reality show. Many of you encouraged me, though I'm sure many had their doubts (me included). Well, I've never been known to back out so here we go again. :)

And yes, I'm bringing back the "quote of the day" part which I did with "The Journey". And no fear, I know the first part, the Prologue, is extremely short but the "real" chapters will be LONG! I'm talking about 15-30 -page chapters. :)

As always, hope you enjoy it and please, review. :)

It's good to be back.


The Challenge

Full summary:

AU, Naley. 20 people, 10 weeks, 200 000 dollars. "Haley, come on. It's gonna be like a fun, relaxing, long vacation. I promise." As soon as Haley James heard the word "promise" from her sister's mouth, she should've known better than to agree to apply to an MTV reality show with her. But she did. And they got in.

Clueless on what she had gotten herself into, Haley must battle the social, mental and physical trials while dealing with the demons from her past. Facing the grueling, brutal challenges; the crazy, drama filled contestants; and not to even mention the constant camera crew around, Haley must come to terms with what she wants and needs.

Based on the MTV show "Real World/Road Rules Challenge".

Disclaimer: I don't own MTV, Real World/Road Rules, TJ Lavin, Mexico, One Tree Hill or it's characters, etc... I own nothing (except this brand new, cute lap top that I use for my writing). :)

Quote of the day: 24.

Jack Bauer: "The only reason that you're conscious right now is because I don't want to carry you."


Dedicated to all the cool people in my life, you know who you are. ;)

Prologue.

To say that Charlotte Baker was tired of her job was the understatement of the decade. Burned out mentally and physically as well as borderline suicidal, was a far more precise description.

When MTV had offered the job as an assistant to the co-chief of the casting department 10 years ago, she had been a sophomore in college and had thought the job would be fun and stress-free in a relaxed atmosphere with flexible hours and the chance to make a difference and meet interesting, new people.

Now 10 years later as the head of the casting department while sipping her 4th coffee that day, or "lunch" as she called it, Charlotte scoffed at the memory of her young, innocent, naive self.

With her thick, brown, curly hair on a loose bun she went over the piles and piles of videos on her desk and floor, while reading the newspaper, talking on the phone with a contestant while scribbling down notes for her assistant with her right hand as her left one used the remote control to fast forward all the casting videos that didn't have a chance.

Charlotte had been there when they had casted the very first "Real World/Road Rules: The Challenge" after which she had been responsible for casting every single season of Real World and Road Rules. Now she was in the middle of casting the 20th season of "Real World/Road Rules Challenge" which would be called "Season of Newbies".

Charlotte's young, new assistant Molly Daniels watched her boss work in awe. She had been working for Charlotte for two months now and she still couldn't believe the multitasking skills her boss held. She quickly took the note her boss wrote her and read it. "CC 15.00". Cancel 3 o'clock.

Nodding her head, Molly hurried off outside the office where her desk was situated. Checking her boss' calendar, she checked who her 3 o'clock was, called them and cancelled the meeting.

Coming back few minutes later, Molly noticed that Charlotte was now off the phone, putting another video inside the VCR. The one she took out, she threw into a huge garbage can that was already filled with similar tapes. It was the same garbage can she had emptied just 30 minutes ago.

"No luck?" Molly asked.

Charlotte turned to look at her with a small smile.

"Nope, it was a Casey and a Mary." Charlotte said nonchalantly.

"Again? That's like the 50th tape today." Molly said sighing.

"I know... 'Alex' and 'Johnny' have also been pretty popular mix..."

Molly knew exactly what Charlotte meant by Casey, Mary, Alex and Johnny. Over the past 10 years while Charlotte had casted all the shows, she had noticed that all the applicants could be categorized into eight different groups, four for girls and four for guys.

There was "Casey: the sorority/party girl", "Mary: the sweet and innocent who cries a lot", "Donna: the bad ass and the reason why censors get paid", "Cory: the different, artsy type", "Alex: the ultimate manwhore, player and a stud", "Johnny: the funny guy", "Tyrese: the huge football player looking black guy" and finally "David: the sarcastic, mean, gay guy who all the girls love".

"Why, oh why, did this season have to be so different?" Charlotte stressed out while rubbing her temples.

"You'll survive it." Molly said.

"I understand that the execs wanted fresh, new people for this show instead circling the same 20 to 30 people we usually do. And I also understand that casting those fresh, new faces as two-person-groups instead individually is much more interesting because they already have ties when they go into the show. But what I don't understand is how the fuck do they expect us to find two interesting people when finding just one is task enough!" Charlotte yelled. "It's almost impossible!"

"Almost." Molly said.

"I can do it, of course I can." Charlotte said which made Molly smile. "Of course I'll find them, I always do."

"Yes, you do." Molly said.

"Sorry, I yelled and cursed." Charlotte said looking at her assistant carefully.

Molly gave her a bright smile not minding that her boss yelled and cursed, as long as it wasn't directed at her. Charlotte smiled at her assistant and took a mental note to buy her assistant something nice for her upcoming birthday.

Many bosses, especially in corporations as big as MTV weren't that nice to their assistants and interns because, well honestly, they didn't have to. The work was hectic, chaotic and stressed. There was always the pressure of missing the next big thing and it didn't take a big mistake for the MTV execs to fire the person responsible. So, for employees in charge of anything, it was always easy to yell at the people below them and blame them for their mistakes.

That wasn't the case with Charlotte. On her second day working for MTV when her boss had thrown her coffee on Charlotte's white shirt because she had put the wrong kind of sugar in it, Charlotte had made a vow to always treat her employees with respect, and so far she had succeeded in it. She was the most liked management person in the company.

"Besides, you only have one girl group missing." Molly said while Charlotte threw yet another tape into garbage after only seeing the first 8 seconds of it.

Charlotte had done her job long enough to know exactly which type of personalities were the wrong kind and unfortunately for her, about 95 percent of the applicants seemed to fall in that category.

"I know... I've been looking for that one last team over a week now..." she mumbled.

"What exactly are we looking for?" Molly asked as Charlotte put another tape inside the VCR.

"We need something different, something new, something real, something fresh..." she mumbled while fast forwarding the tape and then throwing it in the trash. They both sat down on the floor when Charlotte put a new tape in the VCR.

They both watched in silence a video of two girls, sisters, explaining why they should be cast. They watched as the younger and more innocent looking girl talked to the camera.

Hi, I'm Haley, I'm 20 and a business major at Stanford.

Charlotte and Molly watched as the other girl started to talk.

Hi there, I'm Haley's sister Taylor. Age 24 and I'm a bartender. The reason why we should be cast is because we're both extremely hot and-

Charlotte and Molly smiled when they saw the Haley girl turn to look at her sister horrified.

Taylor!

Molly was about to take the tape away from the VCR and throw it, when Charlotte took a hold of her hand and shook her head while keeping her eyes fixed on the TV. Molly looked at her boss surprised that in those few seconds she had already seen some potential. Molly turned to look at the screen in again, wanting to find that same potential as her boss had.

-hot and beautiful and gorgeous and funny.

Taylor, stop it! What my dear sister meant to say is that we both believe we could learn a lot by living with other people and we're not afraid of a challenge.

Yes, that also.

We done?

Yes, we are, Haley. Let me turn this thing off...

Charlotte and Molly watched as Taylor sat up from the couch and walked towards the camera but instead of shutting it, she let it roll.

Good… Tay, you're not seriously sending out that video, are you?

Of course I am, Hales. What's with the negativity?

Why did I let you talk me over? And you know what I think about reality TV. It sucks! It's fake! And the people in it? Fake, fake, fake! There's nothing real about those shows, they're all fixed.

Jeez-Louise, take it easy. Just go back to your puzzles.

It's sudoku, Taylor.

Yeah, yeah, whatever-ku.

Charlotte and Molly saw as Taylor turned to look at the camera once Haley was out of the room.

Okay, so that was totally lame. Let's start again. I'm Taylor and the reality-TV hater you just saw is my little sister Haley. Now, I know you must wonder why you should cast us on the show. What makes us different from the others? Well, here's the dirty little secret...

Without noticing it, Charlotte and Molly inched closer to the TV screen as Taylor also leaned closer to the camera.

..I'm not planning on being poor for the rest of my life. That's right, I'm in this to get paid. Kah-ching!.

Molly laughed as Taylor rubbed her fingers together as if imagining money between them. Her face then turned serious and both Charlotte and Molly could feel that what was about to come next would be something good.

Okay, MTV. Here's the deali-o. I'm a college drop out, wannabe-actress who will maybe luckily end up in one of the Girls Gone Wild videos but never making it farther that a bartender or a waitress.

Molly and Charlotte watched in awe at the complete honesty in Taylor. Taylor's sincere, sad face then turned into a proud one.

But our sweet little Haley there? She got into Stanford straight out of high school. She's been a member of Mensa, the über-geek association, since she was 13. She can speak three different languages and she has a heck of a singing voice.

But don't mistake smart for boring. She's funny, sarcastic, loud and can be mean if you manage to push the right buttons. See this scar on my shoulder? Haley got "a little" mad when I broke her science project on 5th grade.

Taylor showed a small but visible scar to the camera. Her soft, proud expression turned into a dry, annoyed and sarcastic as she looked at the camera again.

Yeah, I didn't mess with her school work after that because apparently pushing me down the stairs is justified for breaking something stupid, boring and smelly.

Charlotte laughed out loud at the dry, annoyed look Taylor gave for the camera. Molly turned to look at her boss with wide eyes. She had never seen her laugh out loud because of an application video.

Anyways! I really think that she's gonna be something great in the future and this would be the perfect opportunity to get her "exposed". You do wanna be responsible for finding the next Nobel prize winner, right?

So, please cast the two of us and help my sister get famous so I can live off of her money for the rest of my life. Ciao!

Charlotte and Molly smiled as Taylor sent the camera a kiss before turning it off. Both women looked at the static on the TV screen without saying anything, and bumped their fists together simultaneously.

Charlotte reached to take the video from the VCR and turned to look at her assistant with a wide smile.

"Come on, Molly. Lunch at The Ivy, take the company credit card. We're celebrating." she said helping the young woman up from the floor.

"Wow, really? Thanks! I'll go make the reservation right now." she said while making a mental note in her head to buy her boss something nice next Christmas.

"Oh, and Molly, leave your car here. When I said we're celebrating, it means that we are celebrating." Charlotte said putting emphasis on the last word which gave the implication that there was going to be some serious drinking involved.

"Sounds awesome." Molly said jumping up and down in excitement.

"Oh, and if you want to, you can call up the cute guys in production and that one hot accountant to join us. We need some man candy."

"Oh, I definitely will." Molly said and gave out a loud, happy laugh while once again thanking any higher power for having the nicest boss on earth.

Charlotte smiled at how excited her assistant was of the offer and remembered for a second herself being that young and sweet. Though she was only 7 years older than her assistant, she felt so much older and hell of a lot more cynical. She had seen the dark side of business and money and never wanted anyone else to experience that.

Charlotte walked up to her desk slowly and set the precious video on a small box that had nine other tapes in it.

"Welcome to MTV, James sisters."


So, thoughts on the prologue? I know it was short, but I promise to make chapter 1 extra long. :) Please, review as always. :)

-Fes-