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The Vortex Boys, New AU! Chapter 1/?

Title: The Vortex Boys
Author: onabearskinrug
Rating: Teen
Characters/Pairing: Ten/Rose with LOTS of others
Summary: Rose Tyler, a writer for Smash Hits magazine, gets the opportunity of her career when she's chosen to go on tour with the new teen sensation The Vortex Boys. What happens when appearances aren't really that deceiving after all?
Author's Notes: My first entry for trope_bingo. This will fill the "au:band" square. If you're at all curious about my card, you can click here! Not sure how long it's going to be, but there is a deadline so I'm going to work through it as quick as I can! MANY MANY MANY thanks to timelord1, kelkat9, who_in_whoville, callistawolf, and kahki for looking this chapter over and all of the ladies over in bad_wolf_rising who helped me plot! This is going to be a fun one, so I hope you enjoy it!

Rose Tyler often forced herself to admit that there were several benefits to being a writer for Smash Hits magazine. First of all, the compensation was more than adequate for someone with a Bachelor's degree in journalism from NYU. She was able and even encouraged to wear jeans to work. Plus, there was a Starbucks right in the lobby of her building. Her boss was friendly and encouraging, and she had struck up an easy working relationship with a few of her coworkers.

Rose repeated these words like a mantra every morning as she steeled herself to face the day of vapid, artificial teen sensations and celebrities. She had graduated at the top of her class and had always dreamed of being an investigative reporter. However, upon finding no job prospects in New York and only marginally more in London, she finally had to cut her losses and accept a position writing about One Direction's favorite ice cream flavors and where they buy their preferred brand of socks.

It was soul-crushing, mind-numbing work, and she was desperate to escape.

However, that was not possible. She had no prospects for an investigative story that could make her visible to more...reputable periodicals. Despite her decent wages, her financial situation was a bit tight. She had student loan payments to contend with, along with trying to make a deposit on a flat in the city so she could finally move out of her mother's place. So she was stuck for the moment, and despite trying to make the best of her situation, she was miserable.

Rose sighed as the shiny elevator doors opened to her bustling office. She plastered on a fake smile as she made her way to her desk. She'd barely put down her latte and purse before her editor, Sarah Jane Smith, peeked her perfectly groomed head out of her office and gave Rose a warm smile.

"Rose! May I see you in my office?"

Rose returned her smile, reminding herself that her editor was definitely a perk to the job, having taken Rose under her wing early on and always encouraging her to strive for more. "Of course, Ms. Smith!"

"How many times have I asked you to call me Sarah Jane?" she asked as she ushered Rose into the bright room and took her seat behind the desk.

"Oh, fine...slave driver," Rose teased back. "What's going on?"

Sarah Jane's grin widened, and she leaned forward on the desk, excitedly. "I just got the exclusive story of the decade, Rose! Have you heard of the Vortex Boys?"

Rose wrinkled her nose in distaste. "You mean that new boy band? The ones that can't be bothered to write out an entire word? Ur My Everything?"

Sarah Jane had to pinch her lips to hide her smile. "Yes, those are the ones. We were able to get a spot on their tour for one of our reporters. She's gonna write about the real Vortex Boys. Get to know them, talk about their inspirations and how they prepare to perform, what they like and don't like. This is going to be a huge seller!"

Rose tried to muster up some enthusiasm, but it honestly sounded horrifying. "Sounds great! Congratulations!"

"I should be the one congratulating you," Sarah Jane told her with a smile.

"Oh? And how's that?"

"Because you're taking on the story, Rose."

Rose couldn't help the guffaw that escaped her throat. "Oh, Sarah Jane, that's a good one. You really are one of my favorite things about this job. Now, honestly, please tell me you're sending Reinette..."

"Absolutely not!" she replied. "Reinette is good for one thing, and that is batting her eyelashes at tour managers. You have talent. You have a way of getting to the bottom of things, of digging deep and getting the real story. And your grammar is impeccable. I want you, Rose."

"I don't know the first thing about this band! Except they're way too pretty and that their ridiculous song plays about fifteen times a day on the radio..."

Her editor smiled and reached into a drawer, pulling out a thick paperback and dropping it down in front of her. "Into the Vortex, the unofficial biography of the Vortex Boys. John, Jack, Adam, Rory, and Mickey. Go home, learn everything you can about them, and pack. You're meeting them in Cardiff and your train leaves tomorrow."

"Sarah Jane," Rose pleaded, giving one last-ditch effort to get out of the assignment. "Please, I'm not right for this..."

"Rose," she began, reaching over to grasp both of her hands. "You are better than all of this. I know you want more, and something like this could set you apart. Experience is so important in this field, even if you think no one will take you seriously. I promise that this will only be good for you."

She glanced up and met her editor's warm brown eyes. Sarah Jane was her mentor and friend, and had never given her bad advice. She had even had an investigative reporting job, before she'd settled down with her husband Tom and their two boys, Peter and Colin. She'd been in the business for a long time, and Rose ultimately trusted the older woman's judgment.

Sighing, she picked up the thick book and stood up from her chair. "I hope you know what you're doing to me."

"Torture, I realize it," she answered with a smile, handing Rose a manila envelope. "There are your travel arrangements, the card for the expense account, and an outline of what we want the article to include. It's loose, so use your discretion."

"How long will I be gone?"

"It's a summer tour...so...three months?"

"Three months...?"

"Rose," Sarah Jane began imploringly. "You're the only one who can do this justice. I know it's not exactly Pulitzer-worthy, but we've all had to pay our dues and work our way up. Being a twenty four year old editor at Smash Hits is going to get you noticed far better than being a junior copy editor at the Daily Mail. Do you understand what I'm saying?"

Rose rubbed her fingertips just above her brow, trying to ward of the headache she could feel suddenly building. "I understand, Sarah Jane. Thank you, this is a fantastic opportunity. I guess I'll see you in three months, yeah?"

"Don't sound so excited," Sarah Jane told her sarcastically. "This is going to be a fun assignment. And from what I hear, The Vortex Boys are very nice and down-to-earth."

"Yeah that's what all the celebrities act like when there are cameras and reporters," Rose grumbled. "Underneath they're all neurotic, self-absorbed balls of..."

Rose trailed off, an idea forming in her head. The Vortex Boys had everyone fooled, thinking they were these well-adjusted, wholesome boys when they were most likely sex-crazed addicts. All of these teenage girls who were so in love with them wouldn't even think about bringing them home to mama if they knew the truth. Rose was nearly positive that under their cute, sweet boys-next-door exterior, she would find drugs, alcohol, and maybe even a sex scandal or two.

She thanked Sarah Jane once more and smiled to herself as she left, wondering if this assignment wasn't going to be her ticket out of teenybopper world after all...


Rose's coworkers, Lynda and Reinette, were waiting at her desk when she returned with the unofficial biography and manila envelope clutched in her hand. They both held green and white cardboard cups and were watching her every move with great interest. Lynda was smiling her usual sweet, friendly smile, while Reinette was raising a carefully-sculpted eyebrow and looking suspicious. Rose had been wary towards the perfectly-groomed blonde woman from the start. She never had a nice thing to say, she thoroughly enjoyed gossiping behind people's backs, and she treated Rose like an ignorant child every chance she got. In complete contrast, Lynda was welcoming and peppy from the start, and always coaxed a smile out of Rose even after her most depressing assignments.

"Did Sarah Jane want to talk to you about your last story on R-Patz? Because I told you before, it could have been much peppier..." Reinette began before Lynda cut her off.

"Oooh, Rose, The Vortex Boys?" she asked excitedly, picking up the book on the desk and flipping to the center pages of glossy photos. "They're so cute! Are you doing a story on them?"

"Sort of..." she replied vaguely while she gathered her belongings. Lynda couldn't keep a secret worth a damn, and she wouldn't trust Reinette with her library card, let alone something this important to her career. She decided not to talk about her expose and just give them the basic run down. "I'm sort of...well...covering their tour for the rest of the summer..."

Reinette cocked her head to the side. "I'm not sure I heard you right...I'm sure Sarah Jane didn't pick you to write The Real Vortex Boys article...?"

Rose smiled sweetly. "Yeah, she did. I'm meeting them in Cardiff tomorrow."

Lynda squealed and rushed over to give Rose a hug. "That's brilliant, Rose! Congratulations! Oh, this is so exciting! They are so dreamy!"

Rose laughed. "I don't know about that. Not really my type, these pretty boys. I prefer the chiseled Roman God look myself. Thoroughly masculine and manly." She let her eyes skim over the cover. "None of these boys fit the bill."

"I think ten million girls worldwide would disagree with you on that," Reinette replied with a sniff.

"Well, I guess there's no accounting for taste, is there?"

Reinette scoffed. "Excuse me, but I really must talk to our editor. Rose, have a lovely trip. Try not to do anything...well...unbecoming. You are representing Smash Hits magazine."

Rose had to bite back her desired retort. "Don't worry Reinette...I won't do anything you would do."

"Good," she said, moving towards Sarah Jane's office. Rose quickly hugged Lynda once more and promised to text constantly, even to try and get them all together when they came to London.

She entered the elevator and was just able to make out Reinette's indignant "Hey!" just as the doors closed.

Next Chapter


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 9th, 2013 05:44 pm (UTC)
*flails* oh, hon! This is wonderful! *eagerly awaits more*

And I LOVED how Reinette took a few seconds to realize that Rose had just insulted her. <3
Mar. 11th, 2013 01:20 am (UTC)
HEEEEE!!!! I am so glad you like it so far! And yeah...Reinette isn't the brightest crayon in the bunch but she's far from innocent in this whole thing...

Thank you for commenting! <3 <3 <3
Mar. 9th, 2013 06:42 pm (UTC)
I saw what you did there with Sarah Jane's family.... ;)

And oh Rose, honey, you have no idea just HOW good for you it'll be <3

Can't wait for the next chapter!!!
Mar. 11th, 2013 01:22 am (UTC)
LOL glad you saw what I did there... :-)

Ohhhhhh it will be VERY good for her :-)

I just posted the next one after a LONG ordeal with tumblr *grumbles* I hope you like it!!!! :-D
Mar. 10th, 2013 12:49 am (UTC)
Great first chapter and setup - it pulled me right in! I am still pretty new to reading AUs but getting into them more and more lately.

Love it when she said:
"I don't know about that. Not really my type, these pretty boys. I prefer the chiseled Roman God look myself. Thoroughly masculine and manly."
Christopher Eccleston right?

All of the DW characters fit their roles here perfectly. Well Reinette is more ditzy of course but I'm not gonna complain about that - love how Rose insulted her and she didn't realize it right away.
I really really don't like when people shorten You are to U R - drives me nuts!!! Totally with Rose on that one. I think we both have to get over it though as everyone seems to do it now...

Can't wait to read more!
Mar. 11th, 2013 01:28 am (UTC)
Oh, I love AUs! I'm so glad you're getting into them!!!! They're so much fun


OH I KNOW! I can't stand chatspeak, and I try to avoid using it unless I'm typing one-handed for some reason :-) All I can say is that none of the boys wrote the song, they're just doing as they're told! :-)

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR COMMENTING!!!! Just posted chapter two, I hope you like it!
Mar. 12th, 2013 02:35 am (UTC)
When you have to one handed type (I've had to do that many times while nursing my babies in the past), text etc the chat speak abbreviations make sense. What drives me mad is when people work into everyday writing and language. Glad to hear there is a possibly nefarious reason behind it (and I'm sure Rose will be more sympathetic then and learn not to be so quick to judge) ;).

I'm off to read chapter 2!
Mar. 10th, 2013 01:17 pm (UTC)
Tom, Peter, and Colin, huh? Nice..

I'm am ridiculously excited about this story, bear! Rose has her work cut out for her...
Mar. 11th, 2013 01:30 am (UTC)
HEEE! Glad you caught that :-D

She absolutely has her work cut out for her! :-D It's going to be interesting... :-)
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )