Fic title: My Love For You (Went Viral)
Rating: T (for now)
Summary: Pitch Perfect AU. Beca's living her dream; nothing could possibly go wrong in her life right now. That's until she stumbles upon a PR firm in the heart of LA.
A/N: Also posting this on Tumblr but here it is here for anyone who likes this format better. Feedback is greatly appreciated.
Four top 10 hits (2 still on Billboard's Top 100), a number-one debut, a platinum album and now an AMA nomination—there is absolutely nothing that could possibly go wrong in Beca's life right now.
Except her dad is looking at her with that disappointed frown of his, his eyes soft but pointed—critical even after all she's achieved.
She fucking hates it when he does this.
It's bad enough that he's even here—that after years of constantly bickering and fighting, the only thing her parents could conclusively agree on was that the only way she was skipping out on college to purse her dream in LA was if her dad tagged along to "manage" her career (otherwise known as babysit her like she's five or something). And instead of even doing that, he was too busy shacking up with—marrying, even!—the bimbo dragon lady who actually wants her to call her mom. Now, with her career in full swing—because she's been smart, creating fresh beats, sampling the best of old ones, and delving deep into the worlds of indie pop-rock and underground rap to find fresh new vocals—he has the nerve to actually try to "manage" her.
God, he pisses her off so much sometimes.
"Beca." She shakes her head as soon as he sighs her name. She's so ready to tune him out or else brace herself for another argument. "I'm worried about you Becs. You have to stop doing this to yourself."
"Doing what exactly, dad?" she asks, steeling herself (bulletproof, nothing to lose—David Guetta has been the soundtrack to this crazy journey of her life) for whatever ego blow or guilt trip or cheap shot he intends to land.
His frown deepens, showing his age in crinkles around his eyes and at the corner of his lips.
"This antisocial thing you've gotten so good at." The frustration is easily distinguished in the strain of his voice—it's something that only serves to piss Beca off even more. "You've been in Los Angeles for what? 3 years now? You still don't have any friends. You won't visit Sheila and me unless I bribe you. All you do is lock yourself up in your studio for hours on end and that roommate of yours wouldn't even check on you if she thought you were dead—"
"She would definitely check on me if I were dead!" She argues for argument's sake. "I mean, she'd have to yell at me for the stench disturbing her studying, so…"
"Beca," He's using the stern fatherly voice now—Beca really resists the urge to roll her eyes. "It's not healthy for you. It's not good for you or your career."
"My career?" She's incensed, gritting her teeth against saying something she really doesn't mean even though the words are forthcoming. "Maybe you really haven't realized dad, but my career is going great. Not that you'd care! My album went Platinum and you didn't even congratulate me. You're just so against me living my life the way I want that you refuse to acknowledge when I've done something right!"
He sighs, soft and defenseless. That's another thing she hates when he does—he's just so levelheaded even when he's got her blood boiling.
"You career is going fantastic." He admits, guiltless, even now—even though this is the first time he's ever said something positive in regards to her music."And I'm proud of you. Both your mother and I are so so proud of you but have you stopped for a moment to think about what's next?"
"I keep making music." It's simple. She doesn't have to think about it.
He's rubbing his temple now, annoyed with her even though he refuses to raise his voice about it like she'll do to him.
"I take about a hundred calls every day from people trying to book you for concerts or events and you ask me to decline every single one of them. You refuse to appear in your own music videos. You haven't even physically met with anyone who has done vocals on one of your songs. Your fans don't even know you're a girl, Beca! The mystery may be all the rage now but what's next? A Grammy performance behind a brick wall? Are you even planning to show up to the award show you're nominated for?"
"I—maybe?" She hadn't really thought about going to the award show—she's content with just the nomination, just like she's content with all the praise for her music without the praise for her face. "I just—I don't think people need to know me to like my music is all."
"But what's the harm in people knowing you?"
"I—nothing," she stammers. "I don't know!"
He smiles, like he's got her right where he wants her.
He probably does.
"I'll cut you a deal."
"I never like your deals."
"Hear me out, okay?" He asks, half-smirking in that way her mom always used to hate—it's no wonder it's like the only thing she's ever adopted from him.
"Your award show is in two months. Work yourself out of hiding before then, hire a publicist to do it right if you're worried about ramifications to your career; whatever—do whatever you have to do to actually get yourself out there and then go to the show. If you do, then I'll cut you loose to make all these career decisions on your own. You can even hire a brand spanking new manager. Heck, you can even hire that ex-rapper guy with all the gold chains and the hoes!"
"Dad," she sighs, seriously resisting the urge to bang her head against his desk. "I don't know."
He looks so hopeful, like he already knows her answer before she even knows it.
She sighs again—that desk is looking like the perfect place for her head right about now.
"Think about it at least?"
Bellas Agency is the first PR firm to pop up in her Google search and because she really doesn't care enough to keep looking, it's her first choice.
Probably not the best choice, she realizes, once the secretary—who looks at her like she's the first sign of civilization she's seen in decades (weird.)—gives her the go ahead to go right into the main office.
There's this cynical part of her brain that's expecting this exaggerated caricature of corporate America—like a creativity sucking black hole of dull fitted suits and even duller personalities.
No part of her brain—not even the most irrational, petulant part that usually comes into play at the same time her dad's plans do—could prepare her for what she actually gets.
There's a desk, a blonde women clutching onto it, dry heaving (maybe even crying) and a redhead patting the blonde's back delicately, simulating these exaggerated deep breaths that the blonde is doing a horrible job at replicating through her gagging.
It's like she's walked right into a post breakup scene in a chick flick.
Or a demented kind of child birth.
Or Wall Street as the stock market crashes.
"Yikes," slips from her lips before she can even help herself (or hope to make a quick invisible getaway) and she's met instantly with a sharp scowl from the blonde (at least she's stopped gagging) and a smile bright enough to light the universe from the redhead.
She was pretty freakin' sure this was a bad idea before she even entered the building and when the redhead (who is as pretty as she is bizarrely happy, Beca notes really, really briefly in the midst of thinking up an escape plan) starts on and on about public image and how they can influence it through social media and branding and word of mouth, she's at least one hundred and fifty percent fucking sure that she will never listen to her dad's advice ever again.
She gets away with a lie about being in the wrong building and she absolutely doesn't look back.
Not even at the redhead with the eager smile and pretty blue eyes.