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02 September 2010 @ 09:24 pm
The Best Things In Life Are Unexpected  
Title: The Best Things In Life Are Unexpected
Pairing: Andrew Goldstein (FNB)/ OFC (also featuring All Time Low and Friday Night Boys)
Rating: PG-13 for this chapter, NC-17 overall
Summary: Zoe Duncan loved her life. She is the manager of one of the hottest clubs in Baltimore where she met some of her best friends. She didn't want to change one thing. Then she met Andrew Goldstein, and her world fell apart.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the bandom members featured in this story.
Authors Notes: Comments are appreciated. Special thanks to rulistenin14 for showing me how to do all this :-

The sound of a pencil tapping on a desk could be heard out in the hallway. This usually occurred when a certain individual was frustrated. She was sitting behind her desk on the phone, trying very hard not to throw it against the wall.

"I understand that you would like to book your band here for the 15th," she said, glancing down at the calendar on her desk, "but like I've told you time and time again, we already have an event going on that night. They booked months ago and have priority. I have the 16th and the 19th available, but other than that we are all booked up. I'm sorry."

Zoe pinched the bridge of her nose trying to prevent the headache that was forming. Her long dark brown hair was up in a tight ponytail, so that probably wasn't helping. She loved her job at Scene; there was no doubt about that. Being the manager at one of the popular clubs in Baltimore was exciting. Bands were constantly booking concerts at the venue. She had met a lot of interesting people and even met some of her best friends there. What she didn't like was when she had to deal with people like this.

Finally she slammed her hand down on her desk making a sound loud enough that it caused the person on the other line to stop talking. "You know what? Find another venue!" She slammed the phone down and let out a low growl. She still didn't understand how people called to book a venue the week before they wanted it and then got mad when it wasn't available. She could understand if they were calling to check if there was any availability, just in case there was, but to expect to be able to book whenever they wanted was another story.

"Hey, everything ok?"

Zoe looked up from her desk to see Stephanie Hughes, her best friend and bartender, standing in the doorway, eyebrow quirked and chewing on her lip ring.

"Yeah Steph, I'm fine. Just another idiot trying to book here last minute and getting mad when they can’t. It’s frustrating.”

Stephanie nodded her black hair bobbing with her. "Yeah, well people are stupid. Tell them that if they piss you off I'll kick their ass," she stated.

Zoe just laughed as Stephanie winked at her then walked away, presumably to check the bar for the night. She turned her attention to the list on her desk. She hadn’t been able to be there for most of the day due to something she had to take care of outside the club, but she had capable employees and she trusted them. She just wanted to verify the list one last time.

"Ok," she said out loud, which she did a lot. "Rider items, check. All bands accounted for, check. Soundcheck, check. Jack Barakat running naked through the hallways, che..."

Zoe's head shot up at that last one. Did she really just see Jack running by her office naked? She got up out of her chair just in time to see Alex Gaskarth jogging past the door.

"Um, Lex," she called once she was in the hallway. "What's going on?"

The singer stopped and turned to her and gave her a goofy smile. "Well, you see Zo," he said, scratching the back of his neck, "we were in our dressing room and Jack kept mentioning how hot it was. At one point he said something like 'it's getting hot in here' and Rian started singing 'so take off all your clothes,' and that's kind of how we got here."

Zoe shook her head and just chuckled. That was just like Jack. "Just make sure you get him back into clothes before he causes any damage." She then watched as Alex continued his way down the hallway and around the corner.

Zoe had met the guys her first week working as a sound tech at Scene. It was 2004 and she was 18. All Time Low had a weekly gig there, playing covers of Green Day and Blink 182, along with a few original songs, and their show as going to be the first one she worked. She remembered it clearly.

"Dan, the sound is still off in the left monitor. I think it still needs to be upped a little bit."

Zoe listened to the monitors as she mic checked for the band that would be playing there tonight. When she was happy with the result, she gave a thumbs up to the guy behind the board and hopped off the stage. Even at 17, Zoe had been her own person. Her normally brown hair was pixie cut and dyed black and pink. She had a lip ring, a nose ring in which she only wore a stud and a couple of tattoos. Her plan was to have a half a sleeve on both her arms. The only thing she didn't change was her eyes. She loved her silver-blue eyes. As did everyone else it seemed.

She turned around to face the stage, giving it the once over. She checked to make sure the mics and amps were where they were supposed to be. Once she was satisfied, she turned around and smashed right into someone, knocking water all over the both of them.

"Come on man, watch where you're going!" She looked up at the guy with the shaggy brown hair and warm brown eyes. "I could have been holding electrical equipment or something."

The guy narrowed his eyes slightly. "Hey, you were the one walking backwards. I could have been carrying a guitar or bass. And guess what, if we don't have instruments, we don't play."

Zoe's eyes widened a little bit. "Shit, you're one of the guys in the band?" The guy just nodded his head. She stared him straight in the eye. "Yeah, well you can't play without sound either."

She watched his mouth twitch a little bit before breaking into a tiny smile. "Yeah, I guess you have a point there. How about we call a truce?" He extended his hand. "I'm Alex Gaskarth. I sing lead and play guitar for All Time Low."

"Zoe Duncan," she said, placing her hand in his and shaking it. "Sound tech here at Scene. I've actually heard you guys play. I use to come here before I got a job. You guys are good."

Alex smiled at her. "Thanks, that means a lot." She started to turn away when he grabbed her left arm. "That is a sweet tattoo!"

She looked down to where he was looking at her Halloween tattoo. It was a smiling pumpkin with a black cat curled around it. She looked back up at him. "Thanks. It was my first tattoo. I love Halloween."

"Ha, me too. I'm only 15 so," he said, holding out his arms, "no tattoos yet, but one day, I will."

They continued talking, and that was all it took for their friendship to form. Alex introduced her to the rest of the band and they hung out after their set. Pretty soon they were hanging out after every set, and then even outside of the club. It didn't matter to Zoe that she was 3 years older than the guys, no one ever really thought about it. They had become best friends. She loved watching them grow as a band and was so proud of them when they released "Put Up or Shut Up" in '06. She was extremely happy for them as she saw their popularity grow over the years. She had known from the beginning that they would make it. They'd even invited her out to tour with them before, but with her job she couldn't be gone for more than a week. It didn't matter though because they always started and ended each tour at Scene. It was in their hometown and the club was where they really got their start.


Zoe herself had had a pretty good progression of career as well. At 18 she was a sound tech. At 21 she was promoted to bartender which she loved because she got tips. At 23, she became manager, and that’s where she was now at age 24.

She walked out of her office and made her way to the bar to see if Stephanie needed any help. As she turned the corner to walk into the area, she saw her two best friends attached at the lips. She chuckled and then put on a stern face.

"HEY, WHAT HAVE I SAID ABOUT KISSING IN MY CLUB?"

"That it’s highly encouraged," Alex said, turning his head to look at her, then back around to his girlfriend. Zoe had introduced Stephanie and Alex on one of the many occasions they had played at Scene. Zoe and Stephanie had met when they were both taking classes at the community college and had hit it off right away. Shortly after Zoe had become manager at Scene, her friend was in need of other employment, and Zoe hadn't hesitated to offer her a job. She taught Stephanie everything she needed to know about being a bartender, and Steph had picked it up fast. She'd been hailed as one of Scenes' best bartenders by the patrons for some time now.
“Speaking of kissing, when are we going to catch our esteemed manager in a hot and steamy, mildly inappropriate one?”

Zoe turned around to see Tiegan Connell, club promoter for Scene, approaching them.

“You know what Connell? Just because you and miss tongue over here,” Stephanie blushed slightly at that, “have boyfriends doesn’t mean we all want them. I’m perfectly happy with my life right now. I have a great job, great friends, a place to live and I’m not hurting terribly for money. I don’t need some guy messing that up.”

Tiegan just shook her head. “One day Zoe. One day you will change your mind. I wasn’t looking for anyone either, but then I met Zack, and it all changed.”

Zoe cocked her head to the side. “You guys didn’t even like each other at first.”

Tiegan tucked a strand of her brown hair behind her ear, “Yeah, but it was because we had a secret desire,” she said, her brown eyes sparkling.

Tiegan and Zack had met when Zoe brought her along to a party that the guys were throwing. It was they’re traditional ‘send off’ party that they had before they went on tour. Zack had somehow spilled his drink on Tiegan, soaking through her jeans and We the Kings shirt. Now, Tiegan was normally a happy person, but she could let her anger get the best of her, and it did that night. She’d started yelling at Zack and he started yelling back and that was how the night ended. Whenever someone would bring up his name, she would shoot them a look of hatred or mumble something under her breath about him being a jerk. No one really knows how they ended up together as neither of them will give details. One day about a year ago, Tiegan and Zack were caught making out in the back of Scene by Zoe, and as shocked as she was, she didn’t question it.

Zoe pulled her lip ring into her mouth, biting it slightly. “I still don’t know what flipped the switch on you two.”

She watched as Tiegan’s face blushed slightly, pronouncing her freckles, which often happened when someone would bring that subject up. “And you never will.” She then turned and walked towards the back, presumably towards her boyfriend.

Alex shook his head. “Hey, Zack won’t tell us either. I guess it’s always going to be a mystery.”

Zoe just nodded her head and took a look around. Everything looked like it was ready to go. The bar looked stocked, the stage was set up with the first band’s drum set and instruments, the ceiling fans were turned on and the floor was clean. Not that it would stay that way for long once doors opened, but for now it was. She looked down at her watch. 3:30. That left 2 ½ hours until people were being let into the venue.

Zoe turned her attention back to Alex and Stephanie. “Hey, I’m going to go to the back, see what the rest of the guys are up to. Since I wasn’t here for sound check I want to meet the other bands too.”

Alex stepped away from Stephanie but still had hold of her hand. “Here we’ll come with you. The guys in the other bands are great; I think you’ll like them.”

He started to walk towards the hallway, with Stephanie and Zoe following behind him. That’s when it happened. A stray wire running across the floor. Zoe didn’t see it, and the tip of her shoe caught it and before she even knew what was happening, she was falling forward, right toward the concrete floor. She closed her eyes and waited for the pain to come, but it never did. Instead she felt two arms encircling her from behind, pulling her upright. She turned her head and found herself staring into a pair of pale blue eyes.

“Hey are you ok?”

Zoe couldn’t speak; she couldn’t form words, so she just nodded her head.

The guy smiled. “Good. Lucky thing I walked in here just now. My name’s Andrew.” And that’s when everything went black.