*Darren Criss/Chris Colfer
*Their drunk jokes that make no sense are from this Kids in the Hall sketch
It’s 6 pm on a Tuesday and they’ve given the same interview 7 times today. Chris smiles and kicks his foot at the edge of the air beneath his chair, staring at the space in front of him as Darren gives his answer, again, the one that’s been refined but not exactly rehearsed, the one that makes the female interviewers giggle and flutter their eyelashes, the males guffaw and sit up straighter in their chairs.
Why would it be weird? I know my own sexuality...it is what it is. That has nothing to do with this role, or the work we do. And Chris is an excellent kisser.
That’s Chris’s cue to pipe in, his eyebrow arch and his head jaunty next to Darren’s shoulder in the shot.
Yeah, I turned him. I’m just that good.
Darren laughs the hardest because he actually gets the levels of Chris’s jokes. His hand is behind Chris and he rubs his back softly with a broad, flat palm. The toe of his Converse stretches out, circling in the emptiness before touching down right next to Chris’s foot, the soles of their shoes just barely connecting. They could do this forever.
Fox always gets them their own hotel rooms, two adjoining or across the hall, well appointed boutique kings with shiny striped sofas and animal print robes hanging in the closet. Only one gets used.
Darren knows that Chris will take the side of the bed closest to the wall, shoving his rolling suitcase into the alcove of space there before flopping down on the bed. Darren will open the thoughtful bottle of red wine on the desk and pour it between the two thoughtful glasses, setting one next to Chris on the bedside table next to his laptop. It relaxes him, the ritual, even if they don’t usually drink it all. Darren takes longer to unwind, answering about a hundred emails to his management and his brother and an entire cadre of musicians and a producer they’ve both taken (secret) meetings with; Chris has no idea how Darren keeps so many balls in the air at once but he never drops them, just keeps them going in perfect arcs around him.
Sometimes Chris takes his glass of wine to the bathtub, soaking in whatever mint-rosemary-satsuma concoction the hotel provides, all the overhead lights off and the door half open. He gets a lot of good ideas in the bathtub and he likes to be able to talk to Darren without raising his voice.
They order dinner in and Darren works on music, swapping digitized bits and pieces of songs with his various partners in crime. Chris either reads scripts or writes them, and falls asleep easier with Darren thinking beside him than he does alone in his own bed. They naturally gravitate toward the edges, not crowding each other and rarely curling in close, but they’ve found that if Darren lays with even just a finger lightly tethering him to Chris, he notices and can help settle Chris quicker if he tries to get up and do things in his sleep.
They’re back in LA shooting almost all of their scenes together for the rest of...well, the rest. They’re graduating at the end of the next two weeks of work. It’s Lea and Cory’s turn to give the interviews, and Amber is recording, Heather has booked two videos to choreograph. It’s them and Ryan and the secure, manicured grounds of the Paramount lot, sunny and green and clean.
They have a bunch of seemingly random scenes to film that will eventually fit into empty spaces and make whole episodes. One with Matt and Jayma that takes half a day, another one with Mike and Romy about the same. That one is hard. Chris is in a rush to call his family when they're done. Darren jerks his thumb toward the door and mouths “want me to go?” Chris shakes his head and holds out his hand.
They have two (and a possible three) scenes in Kurt’s bedroom. Darren uses the same vanilla Kiehl’s lip balm when he’s going to be kissing Chris, because he knows Chris likes the scent and says it keeps him grounded.
A makeup assistant runs a shiny electric shaver over Darren’s face after a few takes because his stubble is already showing and giving them shadows in the shot. They call another take and he presses in close to Chris on Kurt’s bed, wraps an arm around his waist and leans him back against the pillows that are propped just so. Chris cocks his head and the particular glint in his eye is a joke only Darren understands. He laughs a little as he closes his mouth over Chris’s lips, but it’s in character, and he knows he’s got the angle right because he can feel the heat of the lights just where he should on his cheek. Chris presses up into the kiss, bringing one hand up Darren’s shoulder in the foreground of the shot, wrapping it firmly around his neck and tilting his head as he pulls away.
“I got into NYU,” he says, eyes bright and glistening. Darren beams and hugs him and someone yells, “Cut! That was fine but Chris we need your face about 3 inches back, we can’t see your eyes...Darren can you take your left shoulder away from him....right there that’s perfect...”
They get a good one but it takes a while.
At the end of the long nights they still go back to their separate apartments. Then one night they don’t.
It’s 1 am on a Thursday and they’ve been shooting this scene for...a long time. It’s closed set and their last cheery group musical number was done ages ago. Chris hasn’t slept in four days.
The crew is moving lights and setting up another take and Darren stares at a spot on the floor, rubbing a knot at the top of Chris’s neck and twisting his own to try to crack a few vertebrae. Chris scrolls through his phone, habit and auto-pilot, rolls his head into the strong kneading motion of Darren’s hand at the base of his skull.
“We should stop at the store. I’m out of hand soap for the bathroom and I know you need orange juice in the morning.” Chris sounds like he could actually be asleep right now, the way his words drone, dreamlike. He hands his phone off to a PA and stands still for a touch-up to his hair.
“Ok.” Darren understands, takes his mark, wraps his arms around Chris from behind and rests his chin on his shoulder. Chris takes a deep, shuddering breath as action is called. Kurt has cried in Blaine’s arms for 11 takes today.
Naya’s boyfriend knocks on the door around noon and Darren gets up, since Chris just finally fell asleep around 6. He looks at Darren and kind of squints one eye, makes a non-committal “uhhh...” sound before turning around to find Naya, clinging to him in her hangover and bathrobe.
“...it’sis boyfriend, idiot...Darren do you guys have any coffee? Please we can’t even make it across the street,” she rasps out, pulling ineffectively at her hair to try to get it out of her face.
“Uh, yeah. Come on...or, I’ll just get you the beans.” He leaves them in the hall and listens to them murmuring to each other.
“Sorry! I didn’t know, god...”
“Well you’re dumb, everyone knows,” Naya snaps and Darren smirks at how much she sounds like her character when she’s annoyed. He grabs them a brand new bag of Starbucks from Chris’s cabinet and hands it to her where she’s leaning on the door frame looking like she’s trying not to fall over. “Do you need milk or sugar, or Vicodin?” Darren laughs because seriously they are a mess.
Naya smiles weakly and pats his cheek. “No baby thank you though, you’re a lifesaver. What time today?”
“I think 3.”
“Fuck me. Alright, see you in a while.”
She takes her boyfriend’s hand and drags him away down the little cheerily lit corridor that has been the well-trod path from hers to Amber’s to Chris’s apartment for almost three years. She and this guy are moving to the Valley at the end of the month. Darren closes the door and looks around a little, thinks about how this apartment is so basic to Chris, so effortless and reliable because it’s what Glee ushered him into, straight out of high school. It and his parents’ home were literally all he knew. Darren tries to picture the next place Chris might live after it, and he has no idea what that looks like.
He closes one of the living room blinds that’s letting in too much hot, expanding light, walks softly back down the hall to Chris’s bedroom, and crawls back onto the bed opposite him. Chris tosses around and mumbles to himself, but doesn’t try to get up. He doesn’t have to yet. Darren touches the small of his back, waiting for him to still, then closes his eyes.
One day they shoot in the actual theater auditorium, and Darren just wants to sit at the piano in the lobby all day. Chris slouches in Darren’s chair and watches him run through Somewhere Over the Rainbow in three different tempos and two octaves, eyes closed or just looking up and out at the tops of the high, cupped bay windows, sunlight streaming in.
A tour group stops outside on the walkway and Chris knows they would normally come in and see the theater, but they won’t get to today. He smiles and gives the tiniest wave of acknowledgement, knowing they can see him, then looks down at his script. Darren keeps playing until they’re called inside for their scene on the stage.
Chris gets the call on a Wednesday afternoon, and Jane is the only one around. He slaps and grabs at her arm and shakes it excitedly before he’s even off the phone and she knows, smiles and nods and pats his knee, because of course she knows. She always knew.
“We got it. We got the producer and we’ve got financing. Holy shit, Jane!”
“There you go, see? You’re on your way. I never doubted it. Proud of you, hug me, hug me!” He jumps into her arms and he’s making funny little crackling noises in his throat and she grabs hold of him before he can start crying. “What are you doing? Call your partner and tell him you’re gonna make a movie together!” Chris giggles and shakes his head because he can’t believe his life, fumbling at the speed dial icon for Darren on his phone.
There are two bedrooms in the apartment and Darren actually does have his own bed in one of those. Every once in a while Chris will tell him, usually after a drink or two, that it really is ok if he wants to have a girl come home with him or...whatever. Darren snorts and calls him an idiot, or asks him when he’s going to call Ian from upstairs again, and goes back to whatever he was working on.
[They’re at the Abbey, Darren’s 25th birthday, too many friends and “friends” for Darren to keep up with after three and a half martinis (the other and-a-half having spilled spectacularly with a clatter near the glass fireplace and Chris was glad the bartender had wisely switched their party to plastic stemware) and he’s pulled Chris into his lap. Chris keeps talking to Ian from upstairs and Darren accepts two brightly colored shots from girls in sparkly dresses, hands the second one to Chris.
“It’s a girl drink,” Darren cackles as he pours the icy pink liquid neatly down his throat.
“Tastes like candy - don’t disappoint me, Ray,” Chris completes without even a thought, laughing around the shot glass and shifting his weight to try to balance the fact that he’s much too tall to sit on Darren like this. He swallows his drink and feels a little more fuzzy around the edges than he did a second ago and Darren’s hands clutch at his hips.
“Can I kiss you,” Darren slurs a little, trying to pull Chris down to him but only making him fall sideways.
“You’ve kissed me hundreds of times.” Chris catches himself on the booth and holds onto Darren’s shoulders.
“And waitress, this time no giggling...” Darren is cracking himself up but also definitely staring at Chris’s mouth like he hasn’t done that hundreds of times either.
“That...doesn’t make any sense,” Chris is laughing so hard he has to rub his eyes and hold onto him a little tighter because now he does feel like he’s falling.
“I think I did!” Darren is completely gone in this joke and his face falls into Chris, nuzzles against him and Chris’s hair tickles his nose.
“Ok drunky...” Chris sits back and curves down to take Darren’s face in his hands and kisses him, slow and thick and pink-flavored. Darren’s hands slide down around his ass and Chris laughs into his mouth, reaches behind and nudges them up comfortably around his waist.
“I know I’m adorable and everything but you are wasted,” Chris mumbles, his hands still on Darren’s chest and waist and Darren’s mouth still on his, sweet and sloppy.
“I know. I’m not. I just...I love you, Chris.” Darren sighs against his lips and lays his cheek on Chris’s arm. Chris looks around and catches Ian’s eye, who holds up his car keys in silent question. Chris nods and slips his arm around Darren to help him stand.
“I know you do. I love you too.”]
“Do you think we should move? Do we need a bigger place?” Chris asks while he’s looking over the contracts from the director and the production company, swallowing a few of those words with a sip of pinot noir. There are two days of shooting left. He gestures about the living room, vaulted-ceilinged and even with his indulgent furniture purchases, garishly large television and half of Darren’s string instrument collection, plenty spacious to Darren’s mind.
Darren pauses his Ableton track and looks around at all the things they’ve brought with them, two amps tagged FW on the sides, stacked and currently holding some shimmery, nebulous sculpture that Chris probably bought online at 4 in the morning; they’ve spread out and filled in the gaps and made it theirs.
In a few weeks Chris leaves for New York to do a short-run stage production with Jonathan, something they cooked up years ago (when Darren is pretty sure they were sleeping together, and he admires how Chris is always able to stay friends with his lovers, even Ian from upstairs) and Darren’s going out with Chuck for a leg of his summer tour. When they get back they start pre-production on their movie and Darren doesn’t want to be anywhere else but here.
He shakes his head and smiles at Chris, sitting on the opposite couch but just close enough to share his space. “No. No, I’ve always liked this place.”