A/N: I don't know why I cannot stay away from this couple! I love them. This story is very out of character but will end in the canon pairings. It's also in an alternate universe where no one has met. Not all Glee characters will make appearances but most will. This story is based on the movie Love and Other Disasters as well as The Devil Wears Prada, you may even find a little Ugly Betty in there. Enjoy .
Chapter 1: Force of Nature
Mercedes Jones was forced to be a hard worker. As the last child in the Jones family she was given all of the tools for success and made to use them. But over 20 years of stress weighed heavily on her shoulders. She never had a choice to be anything but what her parents wanted. She was to be the crowning jewel in the family empire. Mercedes, like her brothers were expected to become something better than their parents. Due to the more than humble beginnings they wanted the best for their children but the way they showed it left little to be desired.
After graduating at the top of her class from McKinley High in 2012 she spent four years at the Ohio State University School of Communication. She graduated at the top of her class with a major in journalism and a minor in international business. She sacrificed friends, relationships, parties, and developing important social skills so that she could reach the top. The only extra curricular activities her parents allowed were those that focused on her goals of being a writer since that was her chosen goal. Church choir was her mother's idea, for the sake of keeping up appearances she forced Mercdes to join. What better way to stay a pillar of the community than to be part of her wealthy church's choir? Within a year she was the main soloist and found that she had a love of music. Mercedes was a good girl, never fighting her parent's demands. For years she let them use her as a tool in their game of keeping up appearances in Ohio's high society causing her to become spread thin, and overly stressed for someone her age.
Her mother and father were lawyers running a small firm in Lima. Her four older brothers were lawyers landing jobs at prestigious law firms across the country right out of college, or choosing to join the family business. The four oldest Jones' children were quickly rising to the top and had the favor of her beloved parents. All were married and one had children. Those children were the apples of Mercedes eye. She never thought she'd have children of her own one day, so she focused on them when she had the chance. Mercedes was considered all but a family failure for picking journalism. Her father stressed that she should pick something that would ensure her success. When she mentioned music her father flew into a rage, music led to a dead end future. There was no way he would allow his only daughter to fail. He barely accepted her major and all but forced her to minor in international business as a condition of paying for college.
Mercedes justified her lack of a social life by saying she didn't have time for friends or love. She tried to date her first year of college to appease her socialite mother. A big brutish boy named Shane who wasn't even her type started to court her in the first months. He was a nice black boy that made her socialite mother happy. She wanted Mercedes to have the perfect boyfriend to take to social events. Mercedes and Shane quickly broke up in her junior year when she saw that her ambition intimidated him. He wanted her to pop out "cocoa babies" after she graduated and squander the education she worked so hard to get while he became a lawyer and working her in fathers law firm. She never looked back after dumping him. She knew if she wanted to reach her goals she had to work twice as hard to prove she wasn't a failure and gain the acceptance of her parents. Her goal was to become a journalist for what she liked to call a "real publication" by the time she was 35 that left her 11 short years to accomplish her goals, but with her natural sass, and go getter attitude she knew she'd be able to do anything.
Mercedes moved to the city after college. She was determined to take control of her life and if that meant leaving her family behind that's what she would do. Mercedes moved in with her middle brother and his wife the day after graduation. She agreed to work odd jobs and clean his Brooklyn townhome to earn room and board when she couldn't pay rent. She could accept those terms as long as she was allowed to make her own decisions. Shortly after moving to the city she joined several employment agencies and canvassed the city with her resume. Most publications knew her by name after only a short time. It took a year to land an interview with any publication but when she did it was in the most unlikely of places.
After interviewing five times with a fashion magazine she was assigned to be second assistant to Sue Sylvester editor in chief of Deviant Magazine. Deviant was voted best fashion magazine for the last 20 years. Incidentally those 20 years were under the strict hand of Sue was known for her fashion genius as much as her cutting wit and harsh demeanor. Mercedes read horror stories of Sue's ability to bring grown men to their knees. While Mercedes was never easily intimidated, this woman could give her goose bumps just from reading about her. As she stood in the office, she was pulled from her thoughts by the clicking of a keyboard. The small girl typing away has instructed her not to sit. If every day was going to be like this there was no reason not to begin counting down the days until she was done working for the woman everyone called Satan in Stilettos.
Mercedes Jones knew nothing about fashion. She knew how to match her clothes, and knew two prints never went together. Her idea of style ended with Birkenstocks, and a beanie to cover her hair when it was time to get it done. Her self imposed tunnel vision left little time to focus on anything else she could have been interested in. To put it in a better way, Mercedes Jones didn't know if she even had a passion for fashion because she never focused on anything but "serious" journalism.
As she stood at the entrance of her new office it was painfully obvious that this was not where she belonged. She tugged nervously at the black suit her mother helped her pick out for her first day of work. She was uncomfortable in the stretchy fabric of the wide legged pant suit. She knew it was all wrong as she looked to the girl she'd be working next to for the foreseeable future. The tiny brunette was dressed fashionably in a black pantsuit, only hers was way more stylish. It looked almost like a tuxedo. It was cut close to her body with a white blouse under it that tied at the neck to form a large stiff bow. She was positive her suit cost more than Mercedes first paycheck would, and for the first time Mercedes was jealous of someone's outfit for just a moment. The only thing she recognized were the red soled stilettos on her tiny feet. Everyone knew a pair of Christian Louboutin's on sight, even if they found fashion a vapid waste of time as she did.
She looked at the woman sitting across from her studying her for a moment. She'd read up on Rachel Berry. Mercedes never went into a situation blind. She was often in the society pages of the newspaper. She was Sue's first in command, and just as brutally honest and vicious. She was known as much for her socialite status as her first in command position. The high ponytail wearing girl was more intimidating in person. Despite only being 5' tall she was known to take men twice her size down with just her words. She was Sue's protégé. It was rumored that Rachel was being groomed to take over the magazine when Sue retired. Mercedes took a deep breath and rocked back on her heels while looking down. Looking at Rachel Berry was like staring at the sun. After a while you know you'd go blind.
"So, do you like working here?" Mercedes asked as she looked to Rachel. Mercedes was told to stand and wait for Sue; Rachel didn't want her to get comfortable while she was waiting to be dismissed.
"I've been here for years." She said as she typed feverishly, her short dark manicured nails were a blur across the keyboard.
"But, do you like it?" Mercedes was never one to be cowed by others, especially a woman who looked like she could be a child.
"What are you getting at, chubby girl? You aren't going to be here long enough to sit your big ass in that desk. Sue doesn't do pleasantly plump, or hefty. You my dear are definitely hefty." Rachel kept her tone flat, never took her eyes from the computer screen. Mercedes started to make a rebuttal as she was hit in the face with a heavy fur coat. She stumbled back a few feet and shook her head.
"Hang that up chunk-a-dunk, and meet me in my office." Sue breezed past her. "Rachel where is my coffee?" Sue screamed next. Rachel moved quickly dialing a number. She heard the girl mumble something. Mercedes looked around for a closet, seeing one behind the desk she may not have the chance to sit in. She quickly hung up the heavy coat on a wooden hanger and scurried into the office of one very impatient Sue Sylvester.
"It took you long enough, chunks of love. So what makes you think you can work for me?" Sue asked as a small blonde wearing a green Starbucks apron ran past Mercedes and set the coffee on a coaster to her left and ran out without a word.
"With all due respect Ms. Sylvester, my name is Mercedes like the vehicle you are driven around in so you should be able to remember it. My name is not chubby girl, chunks of love, hefty girl, or any other demeaning name you can think of to call me that will put me in my place. Now to answer your question: I'm a hard worker, focused, and willing to devote all of my time and energy into being wonderful at this job." Mercedes steeled her spine staring Sue in the eye. She channeled her energy into boring a hole into this woman's head. In front of this woman as memories flashed of being teased about her weight and she made sure to let the comments run off of her back.
"So, you're one of those girls?" Sue said picking up her coffee cup and taking a sip before continuing. "You're one of those single minded girls who take themselves so seriously you can't even handle a fat joke. That's a damn shame that you can't laugh at yourself, because until you lose about 50 pounds off of that ass of yours you will always be laughed at whether it be behind your wide back or to your chubby face." Sue moved to the front of her desk sitting on the edge. "Trust me, that Chico's power suit you're wearing isn't helping your case either. Did your mother help you pick that out?" Mercedes only nodded in understanding. She repeated her mantra to herself. Her fists clenched and released to stave off the anger. Her full lips drew into a tight line.
"Are you finished Ms. Sylvester?" Mercedes took a deep breath. She commanded herself not to cry in front of this woman, unlike some people the tears were angry.
"Am I finished what?" Sue said taking another long sip of her coffee.
"Shaming me." Mercedes said, digging for the courage she wasn't sure she'd find after the insults and name calling. "Are you done making me feel like shit for not looking like the poster child for anorexia? Putting me in my place, and for also being a raging, bitter, self righteous bitch? I will tell you now Ms. Sylvester I give respect where it is due, but I will not be insulted and treated like a second class citizen for anyone." Mercedes took a deep breath as the last words left her mouth. She wouldn't take this shit from anyone in high school and she definitely wouldn't take it from this woman. She technically hadn't signed any paperwork with human resources so they couldn't fire her. She got a sense of satisfaction as she saw Sue visibly choke on her coffee. She arched her eyebrows in the way she learned from her mother as Sue met her eyes. Mercedes felt a sense of triumph. Something told her no one talked to Sue Sylvester like this and lived.
"Get to your desk, and don't wear that awful suit again." Sue went to sit back at her desk, looking at the girl as she walked away. She knew then she'd met a true force of nature. This girl was one of them. She was strong, focused, and wouldn't be taken down by anyone. Most of all she stayed true to herself. She had the skills, and the makings of greatness.
Mercedes looked to Rachel who for the first time took her eyes off of the computer screen. Something told her the woman heard everything Mercedes said. Mercedes gave her a look that said "you're next" as she sat behind her desk and pulled the paperwork from human resources from her small brief case. Just two years she thought, and then she'd be able to write her ticket to any place she wanted to work. Everyone paid their dues.
Samuel Evans was bored. He stood in front of the camera hitting all of the cues the photographer yelled at him. He made no effort to impress the man. This was one of those brands where you were supposed to look detached, bored, and aroused if that was even possible. He was just a warm body to fill the tight white boxer briefs he was paid to model today. He kept reminding himself that this was better than what he'd been doing before the scout found him. Though his story was unorthodox he wasn't ashamed of his roots.
He'd been discovered by a scout who decided a strip club was an appropriate way to entertain his new clients. He remembered the night the man slipped a business card wrapped in a $100 into his shorts. The card had "call me, I have a job for you" scrawled across the back of it. Sam almost threw the card away, it wasn't the first time he'd been offered a "job". Sam was ever hopeful that maybe this was real. That card changed his life. After calling the number within the week he had headshots and booked his first modeling job. He was far away from that gentleman's club in Hell's Kitchen. He'd learned valuable lessons while working in the club. The most important lesson learned? To tune out the humiliation that was heaped upon him. Even in the modeling industry he suffered humiliation on a daily basis. He told himself he was making a living so that he wouldn't have to rely on anyone else.
It barely bothered him after his sophomore year of college. Something about the reassurance of knowing the electricity in his 5th floor walk up wouldn't be turned off made stripping worth it. Sure the club was seedy, and the men that worked there were cut throat if you weren't one of them but at the time he did what he needed to survive with no ones help. He'd never go back to that life now. He'd had a taste of what success was like without middle aged gay men, and desperate cougars begging him to come home with them. He no longer had to fish singles out of his shorts at night to put in a canister for rent money. He could have called his mother or father in those four years begging them for a loan, or a place to live but then his education and his life would be on their terms. He'd done it all on his own with no regrets.
After graduating from the Pratt Institute he decided to stay in the city for a number of reasons. He knew he'd never realize his dreams if he went back to Kentucky. He'd do what all the men in his family had done: work in the family architecture business, and marry some blonde girl with big hair from the country club. He'd settle into a loveless marriage and produce beautiful blonde children who would do the same thing. Love was a foreign concept to the Evans men, it was all about image.
He never saw himself marrying or even falling in love with any of the girls he grew up with. While Sam wanted to find love and make a life with a woman, he knew he wouldn't settle. The woman he fell in love with had to possess his body and mind he knew he'd feel it when it was the right woman. The girls he was exposed to never gave him that feeling. His ex-girlfriend Quinn was a perfect example. They dated all four years of high school. She was classically beautiful with blonde hair, hazel eyes, and a petite figure. A man would have to be blind not to fall in love with her based on looks alone. But Sam merely tolerated her. Sam found her vapid and controlling. She was obsessed with image, and in his elite small Kentucky town snagging an Evans boy was like signing your lease on life. She dug her controlling meat hooks into him and refused to let him go. Sam had to run all the way to New York to finally have the luxury of being just Sam Evans.
Shortly after moving to the city he started to build a relationship with his mother. Sam believed the gossip spread about her for years. But upon embarking on this new life, and catching his father and step mother in numerous lies he decided to investigate for himself He found her living in SoHo. She'd made a comfortable life for herself, and he owed it to himself to work on a relationship with the woman his father had called Satan and a harpy. His mother and father divorced when he was only four years old after deciding that they wanted different things. His father wanted a trophy wife, and his mother wanted a career. After a long custody battle it was decided that Mr. Evans would have Sam full time. His mother never really had a chance at keeping him; his father had money and a stable life on his side. She could barely afford a lawyer, much less a decent one. Sam was always made to believe his mother never wanted him.
Some days his new relationship with his mother was easier than but she'd welcomed him with open arms and unconditional love once he contacted her. She also passed no judgment for what he did to support himself. She looked at him with respect for not relying on his family name and money to get him through life. Those simple facts alone told Sam that he hadn't been told the truth about his mother.
He was thrilled that she'd expressed a desire to want to get to know him. After talking to his her he discovered that his father decided it was best she no longer be involved in Sam's life. Sam's heart broke when he found out she'd sent birthday cards, gifs, and even long handwritten letters. She showed him the boxes, all returned to sender unopened. She was nothing like his father described. Sure she was head strong, determined, and even a little mean but she was so much more than that. She was compassionate, caring, and loving towards him. Her personality came from a life of always having to be tough as nails so she wouldn't get stepped on.
He came back into the moment, shaking the thoughts of his life away. He stood there running his hands through his hair as he took a deep breath. His hands absently ran down his sculpted stomach as he rolled his eyes. He was thankful that the blonde fringe of his too long bangs hid the annoyance; he wanted to be finished with this day. He knew after this he'd have to run across town to Deviant for a fitting. He was staving off a yawn before he heard the photographer scream again. "That's it Samuel, give me sex!" The flash went off at lightening speed "You're the face of the most popular brand of men's underwear in the world. Show me sex!" Sam gave a laugh; he wasn't bringing sex he was bringing tired and starving. He hadn't eaten since early this morning, and now it was almost 4:00pm.
Sam took a deep breath as the shoot wrapped up. Sam stepped off of the black back drop padding over the craft services table. He let out a loud moan as he took a bite of the small turkey sandwich sitting on the platter. He made quick work of filling up a plate and moving to a corner to eat as he dressed himself. He didn't have to turn around to know there was someone standing behind him.
"What Blaine?" He asked as he zipped up his faded jeans. His back still to the man but he didn't have to look at him to know the look on his face.
"Sam, you know you shouldn't be eating that." Blaine said as she looked distastefully down at the plate filled with food.
"Eating what, normal food? I'm hungry. I deserve a decent meal even if it is from craft services." He said stuffing another small sandwich into his mouth.
"But you're one of the faces of..." Blaine trailed off as Sam cut him off.
"..the largest brand of men's underwear in the world. I know Blaine." Sam rolled his eyes as he opened the small container of potato salad and took a spoon full before pulling his shirt on. He turned to face the man who was fully dressed; he held the container out to the man with a grin. Just like him Blaine was a southern man and he loved good food. Unlike Sam he had extreme discipline.
"Sam, you know I can't." He said eyeing the small container of potato salad, licking his lips. "We have the fitting for Deviant in a few hours. Then I have a date tonight. So I have to look my best. Potato salad does not help with these abs." Blaine said with a wolfish grin Sam hadn't seen since Blaine met his last dalliance.
"Alright, I know you want to tell me all about him. I know that look anywhere." Sam said as he pulled on his jacket and his lucky red Chuck Taylor's that had seen better days.
"Well," Blaine started as they headed out of the large studio. "his name is Kurt. He works in the closet at Deviant. He's adorable. He's a bit out there and high strung, but it adds to his appeal. He has the sweetest smile and eyes! You may get to meet him during the fitting. Please don't say anything, okay? I want to keep this private at least until I'm certain. You remember what happened with Sebastian?" Sam looked to this friend and patted his back. Sebastian had been Blaine's first mistake. He was another male model who only used Blaine to get noticed at the agency. He strung Blaine along for months, ultimately breaking his heart. Blaine decided it was smart to be more cautious with who he decided to become close to.
"How can I forget, Blaine?" Sam said as he took another container of potato salad from his messenger bag. "Man, this is really good. But I'd kill for some good country cooking." He said as he ate while walking down the street. The 24 year old loved to eat.
"Is your mind always on food?" Blaine asked as they turned the corner, getting ready to enter the large building.
"As much as yours is on sex." Sam said as he the small container away as they entered the building together. He gave Blaine a playful shove before making his way over to the Starbucks stand. Sam usually didn't get any attention when he went out but he couldn't help catching the stare of a few women who knew who he was. He waited in line patiently for his third cup of coffee for the day. He idly tapped his foot as he waited. Finally retrieving the sacred brew he opened the top, smelling the stuff before looking up. He felt his body make contact with a small but solid object.
"Holy shit, that burns!" They screamed at the same time. Sam looked past the coffee cup to the dark skinned woman who was trying in earnest to catch her breath. Sam grabbed a handful of napkins to dry the woman off. He tried to wipe down her ample chest causing him to become even more flustered. His nerves became shot at her horrified expression.
"Ma'am Oe ma ha sorry." Sam said continuing to clean her off. His face becoming redder as his embarrassment grew, she continued smacking his hands away but he failed to notice.
"It's okay!" Mercedes said over and over.
"Rutxe txoa oe." Sam said as he continued to clean her off. He was embarrassed and when he was embarrassed or nervous he began to speak Klingon, or Na'vi. He prayed the Klingon didn't begin.
"Are you speaking Na'vi while trying to molest me?" Mercedes said as her smile broke through. Sam stopped as he met her eyes. His knees went a little weak when his eyes traveled down to her lips. He'd only seen a mouth like hers once. She looked into his for a moment and felt like she should know who he was but she couldn't place his face.
"Yeah, I guess I am." He said breaking out into a grin. He finally took noticed of the face in front of him. "My dork is showing."
"Nìltsan oe txoa nga." Mercedes said as she ran towards the bathroom to clean herself up. Sam stood there gob smacked as Blaine stood next to him.
"Who was that?" Blain asked crossing his arms over his chest.
"I don't know, but I'm going to find out." Sam said his mouth still hanging open as he watched her disappear.
A/N: I hope you've enjoyed the first chapter! Read, Review, Critique!
Ma'am Oe ma ha sorry."- Ma'am I am so sorry
Rutxe txoa oe – Please forgive me.
Nìltsan oe txoa nga- Don't worry, I forgive you.