A/N: All rights belong to Glee and the [never-gets-old-no-matter-how-many-times-you-watch -it] movie Pretty Woman.
The house's bar was crowded with men in suits, Wall Street folk. The parties were usually like this; the men of money and women who wanted to hook them were the only people who showed up, because the host's real friends know better.
Something akin to jazz drifted over the lawn, trickling into the large house and wafting overhead of the party guests.
"Broke in right on the two of them," one of the guests said, smugly.
His buddy slapped him on the back, chuckling. "No matter what they say, it's all about money."
Puck broke between them, turning to the ladies on their arms. "So let's imagine, ladies, that you're a Savings and Loan officer. Watch." They leaned closer, and the other men began to frown. Puck put a coin under a few cups, and shuffles. "One, two, three. See?"
He gestured for them to pick, and winked. "You've got it all, and we've got nothin'. And you have all four. Take a look. – Oh!" He pulled up the cup they picked and grinned when they squealed at his trick. "But I wouldn't trust you with real gold. That's why this one's only worth about a penny."
"Hmm," one of the men grunted, annoyed that his date had fawned over a petty parlor trick.
Puck ignored him and continued. "And if you wonder where the other one went, watch." He reached over and snagged a coin from behind one of the women's ears, fingers lingering in curled, ginger hair.
One of the men turned to the other, and whispered, "A penny from the ear. How much for the rest?"
They both chuckled, not noticing that Puck had already walked off with their dates. It's the only reason he came to these parties, anyway. His Jewbabe had hot party guests.
Finn bumped into him, looking frazzled. "Have you seen Rachel?"
Puck shrugged. "No, I haven't. Great party, dude."
"Yeah, as usual," Finn replied, before moving further into the crowded room to look for the party host.
On the way, he stopped short. One of their biggest sponsors had shown up, and at this rate, Rachel most likely hadn't thanked him, let alone made an appearance. He sighed. He had to do everything around here. "Excuse me, Emma. Mr. Schue, how are you?"
Will smiled and shook his hand. "Finn, good. Hey, I understand Rachel's directing a Hollywood musical."
"Yeah, well, she's not here to get a suntan," Finn said, grinning.
"Can I get in on it?"
He hesitated. "Yeah. Call me."
Finn shrugged. "Just call me."
"Where's the guest of honor?" Mr. Schue asks, glancing around the room.
Finn shifted. "She's probably off in a corner somewhere charming a very pretty lady."
God, he didn't get paid enough for this shit.
"I told my secretary to make the arrangements. Didn't she call you?" Rachel's brow furrowed as she looked down over the lawn, which was speckled with random guests. She was late to her own party, she knew this, but Finn really should have let her cancel it. She wasn't in the mood to entertain the sponsor puppets.
She sighed and returned her attention back to the woman on the phone, who had just finished an angry outburst. "I speak to your secretary more than I speak to you."
"I see." Rachel rolled her eyes. What an exaggeration. That had to be an exaggeration, right?
"I have my own life too, you know, Rachel."
Rachel frowned. "This is a very important week for me. I need you here."
"But you never give me any notice. You just think I'm at your beck and call."
"I do not believe that you are at my beck and call," Rachel said, and began twisting at the phone cord.
"Well, that's the way you always make me feel." There was a pause, and Rachel knew what was coming. "Maybe I should just move out."
"If that's what you want, yes," Rachel replied. The words stung each time, though she knew her relationships had a four week expiration date. It was only a matter of time until it soured, and this one had just reached that point.
"All right, when you get back to New York, we'll discuss it."
Rachel leaned against the wall. "Now is as good a time as any."
There was an indignant huff. "That's fine with me, Rachel. Good-bye."
The call ended after a loud bang, which she assumed had been her now ex-girlfriend slamming the phone down. "Good-bye, Jessica."
She gingerly placed down the phone, and glanced back out the window, figuring she might as well make her way down now. Maybe everyone would be drunk enough by now, and she could slip under the radar.
Did she walk under a ladder earlier? Have a black cat yowl at her? Knock over the salt shaker last Friday?
Because fortune was just not on her side lately.
At the moment, she had one of her sponsors arguing with her about having a part in her Hollywood project, which she couldn't remember offering him. Was he an important sponsor? Could she just say no and walk away?
"Finn suggested that maybe I could–"
"Finn is just my lawyer, okay?" Rachel snapped, and shoved past him.
"Hello, Ms. Berry."
Rachel paused to smile gratefully at her assistant. "Hi. How are you doing? I want this whole thing..." she gestured at the Californian mansion, "wrapped up as soon as possible; I gotta get to New York by Sunday. I got tickets to the Metropolitan."
She had to make a quick trip back to the city. There was nothing wrong with California, per se, it just wasn't New York. Broadway was calling her name, and she was beginning to regret agreeing to this project. However, with a little vacation back to one of the greatest art displays and cultural capitals, Rachel figured it could hold her for another two months. Just the amount of time left in Hollywood. Not that she was keeping track of the days, hours, and minutes.
Finally, someone who listens! Rachel nodded a goodbye, and walked over to the garage. One of the doormen followed her out. "Your coat, Ms. Berry."
"Thank you," Rachel replied, stopping to shrug on the jacket.
The brunette turned to see an old ex, and smiled. "Kitty! Hi."
They kissed cheeks, and Rachel placed a hand on her shoulder gently. "I was sorry to hear about Carter."
The blonde looked down at her feet. "Oh, yeah. Thanks."
"Heard you got married."
Kitty smirked. "Well... yeah. I couldn't wait for you!"
Rachel chuckled. "Mmm. Kitty, tell me something."
"When you and I were dating, did you speak to my secretary more than you spoke to me?"
Kitty rolled her eyes. "She was one of my bridesmaids."
"Hmm." Rachel furrowed her brow before focusing back on Kitty with a smile. "Your husband's a very lucky guy. I'll see you around."
Kitty smiled. "Thanks, bye."
Glancing out at a crammed driveway, Rachel turned to one of the valet workers and pointed to one of the vehicles at the end. "ls that Mr. Hudson's car?"
As if summoned by name, Finn popped up behind her. "Rachel, where you goin'?"
The brunette ignored him. "You got the keys to your car?"
"Why, what's wrong with the limo?" He fiddled with his pockets.
How is he a lawyer, again? "Look, the limo is buried back there. Darryl can't get it out."
"Uhm." He looked uncertain.
Rachel narrowed her eyes. "Please give me the keys."
"Alright, look," Finn handed her the keys, opening the car door as she slid in. "I don't think you should drive. You're a little excited. Don't drive my car."
She twisted the key in the ignition and grinned as it purred.
"Let me work something out here." Finn stepped back. "Fellas, what kind of a system is this? Can you move these cars out of here?"
"Look, Rachel," Finn said, giving up when none of the workers spared him a glance.
Rachel fiddled with the radio.
"Rachel." She looked up at him. "Uh, are you familiar with a stick shift?"
"Uhm, yeah," she muttered. No, never.
"Have you driven a shift? Listen, all right."
Rachel rolled her eyes. "Yeah. Yeah."
He gave her a few basic instructions then bit his lip, uneasy. "Just be ginger with it. It's a new car. Don't, uh—" Rachel twisted the stick shift, and the gears clashed. "Just don't—" She did it again and he cringed, glaring at her.
She threw up her hands innocently. "Okay. I can do it."
The brunette backed out of the driveway and revved the car as it moved forward. The tires pealed. Finn clenched his fist. "Rachel! Give me a break, please!"
Rachel could faintly hear his last few shouts, but she was no longer paying any attention. "You're gonna get lost in the dark! Beverly Hills is down the hill!"