Hey Maksyl fam!
Welcome to Chapter 2 of “The End Result”, an AU fanfiction where our lovely queen Meryl is the next Bachelorette.
Meryl Davis was excited.
No, not excited—absolutely giddy.
Standing directly in front of The Bachelorette’s Mansion, palms clasped loosely together, she tried to perform some breathing exercises she’d used before her Olympic performance to relax.
In and out, Meryl. In and out. You’re on live TV, possibly about to meet your future husband. No biggie…
Actually, yes biggie. You could end up meeting the man you’re going to marry tonight. Seriously, how fricking cool is that?
She shook her head in an attempt to clear her thoughts.
Despite her noble attempt, however, she could feel the beginnings of a traitorous smile stretch on her face at the notion of finding the Cliché Love of Her Life.
In and out. In and out. Calm down. Focus on your surroundings instead.
She turned her head.
Behind her, the mansion stood in all its glory. Elegant and chic, Meryl had known the second she’d first laid eyes on it that she would love it.
To her left, the stone pathway which led to the mansion had tapered off a bit to reveal a small wishing well.
The well was nearly hidden amidst the vast shrubbery which decorated the front of the mansion.
Beneath her blue high heels, the stones from the pathway sparkled. The cobblestones were still glistening from the day’s earlier rainfall. Although the brief spurt of rain was a pain for the camera crew, it did add to the ambiance.
To her right, Chris Harrison was beaming at her.
“Well, you don’t seem excited at all,” he joked, pulling her out of her mental exercise.
Meryl chuckled in response to the quip.
“Why would I be? Reality shows are pointless,” she teased back.
The show’s host rolled his eyes good-naturedly.
“No, but this really is going to be fun! I’m excited, Chris,” she smiled warmly.
“I’m excited for you, Meryl! Even if the board had said no, I still would’ve pushed for you to be here. We really need more people like you on the show,” Chris confided.
Meryl was about to reply to the sentiment, touched, but Chris opened his mouth first.
“Cameras go on in one minute,” Chris informed, polite as always, “so just remember to stay authentic. America loves authenticity. While it’s pretty unnecessary for me to tell that to you of all people, you just have to be true to yourself. You’re an independent girl who certainly doesn’t need a man in her life to determine her self worth. Now, with that in mind, you also have to remember to let your feelings come naturally. Falling in love is a gradual process sometimes,” he advised.
Meryl nodded, letting the host’s words sink in.
A gradual process.
She’d been used to structure and order her entire life. She loved routine.
She also loved getting things done quickly and according to plan.
Now? With 25 different men that she had to date at the same time?
There really wasn’t a routine for that.
Oh, yeah, now would have to be different.
She would have to be ready to become spontaneity’s friend.
She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly.
After a moment, she looked up at Chris, smiling slightly.
“Alright. Let’s do this thing,” she grinned.
She stepped off to the side so she would be hidden from the camera’s view. She’d been instructed to do so hours before; it was necessary for Chris’ customary introduction to the season.
Chris gave the official nod for the camera crew to begin recording.
Davey, the show’s head cameraman, flashed Chris a thumbs-up sign.
A red light blinked on the left side of the camera’s large lens.
Recording, Meryl surmised.
“Hello! I’m Chris Harrison, and welcome to this season of ‘The Bachelorette,’” Chris shot the camera an easygoing smile.
“Meryl will be joining me in a little while, but for right now, let’s get to know this season’s Bachelorette a little bit better,” he spoke in an almost-conversational tone, pausing at the end of his introduction.
The red light on the camera blinked off.
“That was great, Chris,” Davey commended from behind his camera. “I think we’ll only need the one take for that one. Now, let’s move on to the mens’ introductions.”
Chris smiled. “Sounds like a plan,”
The red light blinked on again, and Meryl watched as Chris resumed his conversation with the show’s future audience.
“Now that we’ve gotten to meet our Bachelorette, it’s time to meet the men that have come from all over the country to try and win her heart,” he introduced.
The red light blinked off again.
“One more take of that? Camera 3, move to the side to shoot a different angle,” Davey instructed.
Chris nodded in compliance with the request.
Another cameraman emerged to Meryl’s right, kneeling to get a different angle of Chris.
“Ready,” the cameraman called.
“Rolling,” Davey began.
Chris delivered his line once more, and the red light blinked off.
“And that’s a wrap for the intros!” Davey spoke happily.
“Meryl, the first limousine will be arriving in about an hour. Are you ready?” Chris spoke off to her right.
Meryl nodded her head.
“I’m ready,” she answered.
Meryl stood at the edge of the cobblestone pathway as the night sky settled around her.
A pair of gleaming yellow headlights announced the arrival of the first limousine.
She twirled a lock of her hair nervously—it had become an absentminded habit of hers.
The surrounding cameras were focusing, now, on the limousine as it crawled to a stop.
What were the men in the limo thinking when they saw her?
Did they think she looked okay?
Was the man of her dreams in the limo?
Meryl mentally chided herself for the utter girlishness of her questions.
The door to the limousine opened.
The first man exited the door and shut the limousine door behind him.
There he was, the first man of the season; he was relatively tall—Meryl guessed he was about 5’11”—and sported blond hair styled slightly to the side. He was dressed in a crisp suit.God, he’s hot.
His eyes were full of excitement as he made his way down to Meryl.
“Hi,” he introduced, not unkindly, “I’m Richard. It’s really nice to meet you.”
Meryl stuck out her hand, offering the man a warm smile.
He took her outstretched hand and pulling her in for a brief hug.
“Hi,” Meryl laughed into the hug. “It’s nice to meet you too!”
Pulling away, yet still remaining within friendly distance, she questioned, “What do you do?”
Richard’s face lit up at once, “I’m a pediatric doctor. I love it,” he grinned.
Meryl mulled over his answer in her head.He loves his job…he must be good with kids. It’s nice to know that he has a stable career, too. Good looks AND good with kids. Duly noted.
“That’s amazing!” She praised, but then noticed Davey motioning with his hand to speed things up a bit.
“We have to talk more in depth about that later on! I’ll, uh, see you inside,” she concluded.
“See you inside,” he adjourned, proceeding to walk into the mansion.
Then the next man came out, and the next, and the next, and Meryl was thinking that she was probably going to give Richard the first impression rose when all of a sudden, a horse-drawn carriage pulled up to the entrance.
“What even—” Meryl’s eyes widened marginally, bewildered.
Out of the carriage emerged an extremely attractive man. He looked to be about a few years older than her, but age suited him well. He had his dark hair combed, but not styled, which Meryl appreciated—she’d never really been into the whole hair gel thing in the first place—and wore a suit that looked absolutely dashing on him.
Frick, this one was attractive with a capital A.
“Hi,” Meryl grinned, stretching out her hand for her customary handshake.
“Hi,” the man answered, smiling ever so slightly as he shook her hand. Meryl wondered for a moment if that was an accent she’d heard in that voice of his.
“What’s all of this?” She laughed, motioning towards the carriage.
It was the man’s turn to chuckle now.
“Since I wanted to impress a princess, I figured I should enter like a prince,” he smiled, and Meryl laughed at the sentiment.
She really did feel bad for her laughter—but come on.
No matter how attractive he was, or how blush-y she got whenever she looked at him, she probably would never be able to get over that remark.
That was so cheesy it physically pained her.
The man seemed to be expecting her reaction, however, and even seemed a bit pleased about it.
“The answer was absolutely terrible on purpose,” he amended, chuckling softly. “Now you’ll remember me.”
“It definitely did make an impression,” Meryl admitted.
“Which was exactly what I was going for, babe,” he uncrossed his arms from his chest and opened them out for her.
Babe. This sex god called me babe? Is this real life?
Stop it, Meryl. Control your fricking hormones.
“Clever strategy,” she praised, walking into his introductory hug.
Meryl had meant for the hug to be quick, but once she was entrapped in his embrace, she found that she was pretty comfortable.
He held her in his arms as she pulled back to look at him.
“What’s your name?” she inquired, eager to put a name to the handsome face before her.
“Maksim Chmerkovskiy, at your service. You can just call me Maks, though,” he introduced.
“And where are you from, Maksim Chmerkovskiy?” She questioned, smiling when he told her she did a surprisingly good job of correctly pronouncing his last name.
“I was born in Ukraine but my family emigrated to New York when I was young.”
“So that’s why you have the foreign accent,” she beamed, pleased she could figure out the enigma that was his accent.
Because she was still in his arms, he was able to hear her little comment.
“That is why I have an accent—to you, at least. Ah, Meryl, your observational skills astound me,” he quipped, joking, and she playfully shoved at his chest.
“Hey!” She pouted, trying to stop the laughter bubbling up inside her chest.
“Aw, you know I’m just kidding, babe,” he mimicked her pout, which got her laughing again.
“Yeah, sure,” she smiled coyly. “I’ll see you inside, Chmerkovskiy.”
“Can’t wait…” he trailed off, waiting for her to say her last name.
“Davis,” she helped, unable to get a stupid grin off her face.
“Davis.” He repeated, winking at her. Then Mr. Maksim Chmerkovskiy walked inside—Meryl had her eyes on him the entire time.
Safe to say she had a pretty good idea of who was getting the first impression rose.