|Beauty in the Breakdown
Author: xheartoflifex PM
Even through dealing with a stalker, Chris can't help but feel that the similarities between him and Kurt Hummel are getting a little old... .:chriscolfer/maxadler:.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Kurt H. & D. Karofsky - Words: 7,443 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 55 - Follows: 1 - Published: 01-29-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6695627
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
As soon as Chris felt his phone buzz in his back pocket, he grinned with giddiness. His TweetAlert was buzzing, like it did every few seconds to let him know that someone had tweeted about him. And every time they did, he had to go check it immediately, because reading them really made his day better. But reading was only half the fun. He liked to try to respond to as many of them as he could.
When they found themselves at a break for lunch, Chris wandered over the table in one of the trailers where Kevin was currently checking his email on his laptop while sipping a coffee. "You mind if a borrow this for a quick second when you're done?"
"As if, bitch. I hate you. Find your own," Kevin muttered before breaking out in a huge grin. Chris swatted playfully at his arm before taking the seat across from him, the room filled only with the sound of the keys being clacked away at. "New tweets to check?" Kevin asked without looking up.
"You know, considering that you know more about my own life that I do, I'm not sure if I should consider that to be creepy or a compliment…" Chris responded, raising an eyebrow. But honestly, he was pretty sure that everyone knew that he was TwitObsessed.
Kevin shrugged indifferently, taking another sip of coffee. "I think everyone knows that you're addicted to Twitter, Chris." Yep. It was true. "Every time your phone vibrates, you practically jump a foot into the air. So unless you're really excited about something else…?" He smirked deviously, which was so strange to see considering he was still in wardrobe. Chris just silently flipped him off. But instead of coming back at him with something else, Kevin sighed, frowning now. And suddenly the air of humor and lightheartedness was gone.
"You know I'm right. It's not healthy. It just invites in unwanted attention," Kevin mumbled, standing up and brushing himself off. Chris looked up from his phone for the first time, meeting Kevin's eyes. Behind the dark rims, Chris could see the worry that was lurking there, even though the person he considered to be his best friend was desperately trying to hide it from him. He sighed, pressing his fingers against his temples. "Chris…" he started.
"Kev, I'm fine. Don't worry."
Turning away from him, Kevin bit out "It's not you who I'm worrying about. It's everyone else out there…" Without another word, he walked away from the computer and out of the trailer. Watching him retreat, Chris sat there frozen for a second, wondering if maybe he was right. But as he felt the phone buzz again in his pocket, he chuckled to himself. Unwanted attention was going to follow him anywhere. It came as a price with this amazing new life he found himself in. And he was smart enough to know to ignore it. Kevin was just overprotective.
He slid the computer over to him and logged in, finding himself with dozens of new tweets since this morning. He smiled as he read the majority of them, trying to answer them each in a concisely thoughtful way.
"Hey Chris," someone called out as the door of the trailer shut. Without looking up Chris replied back with an unintelligible noise, so grossly fixated on what he was typing back. He didn't even know who he was saying hello to, but they sat across from him, watching him curiously.
"That must be one hot guy on the screen, because I don't think I've ever seen someone stare at a computer screen that hard without it being porn," Max mused, an entertained look on his face. Chris finally looked up, a blush creeping over his cheeks. Max grinned, holding his hands up in defense. "Hey, just saying."
"Wouldn't you know all about that," Chris mumbled playfully, scrolling through the few last tweets, sending another look Max's way. Gay jokes were the best way to make straight men feel uncomfortable, so it would work easily on Adler.
Max leaned forward, resting his chin on his forearms, smirking again. "Whoa there, Christopher. I don't remember sharing any of my personal life experiences with you, now did I?" Chris simply snorted, chuckling more before he stopped, the laugh turning into a gasp.
loveyoubetter: chriscolfer why won't you reply? all i want is to meet the boy who has done so much for me. is that too much to ask?
loveyoubetter: chriscolfer i hope you're not upset about my last post. i'm sorry. i just feel so connected to you and want to make it more personal by meeting the real you. please make my wish come true
loveyoubetter: chriscolfer you won't regret it. i swear. your times of heartbreak and loneliness will be ended. ps. here's a sneak peek.
All Chris saw a flash of bare pixilated skin, and he felt himself gagging. He turned away from the computer screen, feeling sick to his stomach, his head now reeling. Nausea washed over him in waves as he realized that whoever this was had posted these tweets in a matter of ten minutes. Added to the past ones Chris had received, and that put the number up to well over forty in the past week.
'just part of the job, just part of the job,' he tried to tell himself, but it wasn't making him feel any better. This guy had started out with casual conversation, talking about what a revolutionary Chris was and how he had completely changed the way a gay teen was portrayed on television. Chris had thanked him, and made light small talk. Then, slowly it intensified, with this guy confessing his love over and over, telling Chris about how he never had felt this way about anyone before and knew Chris would feel the same if given the chance. Chris replied that thank you, but no thank you.
The last one before this was him asking for the address of Chris's apartment, to which Chris had gotten scared of, but didn't respond to.
"Chris? Are you okay?" Max asked concerned, sitting up from the table. Chris tried to nod, reassuring him with some witty comeback, but all that came out was a squeak. Max made a face, getting up from the table. He stepped across the room, obviously trying to get to Chris, who still felt like he was going to be sick. He should just respond to this guy, telling him once again that he wasn't interested in any of that, but he couldn't even bring himself to turn back towards the computer to look at that horrible picture. Slowly, he felt Max's hand place itself on the back of his neck, giving him a new sense of comfort. He took a deep breath, trying to calm the roiling in his stomach.
"What the fuck-" Max whispered harshly, and no longer did Chris have to worry about the nauseous feeling in his stomach, because at this point, it had completely dropped. He opened his eyes to find Max leaning in front of him, reading the tweets before getting to the picture. "What the fuck is this?" he demanded turning back to Chris, motioning to them.
"It's – it's nothing," Chris whispered, his voice shaking uncontrollably and giving him away. The silent tension that filled that room threatened to smother them both. For a moment, Chris was scared that Max might actually think that this was all his doing; that he was into engaging into relationship with strange faceless men over social networking sites. Max slowly deflated, his face losing the anger that it had been holding. He looked away, crossing his arms.
"It sure doesn't seem like nothing. Because guys sending you tweets asking to meet you, saying they want to know you on a personal level, sending you naked pictures of themselves – if it was nothing, I think it would've come up in a conversation," he muttered. Chris opened his mouth, trying to come up with some sort of defense that might pacify Max and make this all go away so that Chris could go back to handling this all by himself. But all that came out was absolutely nothing. "Chris," he implored, but Chris turned away, tearing his eyes from Max's pleading ones.
Max then picked up the computer from the table and walked across the room to where he had been sitting before, typing furiously on it. "What are you doing?" Chris exclaimed, sitting forward quickly, slamming his palm down on the table. Max just held a hand up, still typing with his other hand. "What are you saying? Give that back to me!"
When Max was done, he shut the computer, and immediately Chris felt his phone begin to buzz in his back pocket, to which he groaned internally. "You said something to him, didn't you?"
Sitting back in his chair, Max's eyes didn't leave Chris. "This isn't normal, Chris."
Max let out a noise of frustration, practically exploding forward in his chair. "You know? So why didn't you say something?"
Shifting uncomfortably, Chris found himself drawing away from Max's eyes again. There was something about them that tugged at his heart, made him want to spill out his soul for the world to see. But maybe that was just because of what was going on. "I can handle myself. I don't need anyone to take care of me," Chris stated, although the fact that his voice was barely above a whisper was nothing to be confident in.
Max sighed, leaning forward on to the table, closer to Chris. "Chris, you can't fool around with this kind of stuff. Guys like this? They stop at nothing! And you replying to his previous tweets has just encouraged him to think that there might be a possibility for it to happen!" he told him, his hands waving about.
Chris winced, suddenly feeling about three inches tall. He hated knowing that the other cast members thought of him as 'the youngest', but it just made him feel even worse about himself when he gave them actual reason to.
"Hey, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to yell before," Max said, his voice softening as he smiled sheepishly. "It's just. I know you've seen The Bodyguard," he said with a smile, with got one out of Chris. "You know you can't mess around with this stuff."
"What did you say to him?" Chris asked bluntly.
With a laugh, Max got to his feet, reaching out a hand to pull Chris to his. "I'll tell you on one condition."
Chris raised an eyebrow dramatically. "And what with that be? I didn't know you were the type to blackmail."
"You tell me or anyone else if you get anymore messages or tweets from him. Deal?" Max asked. Chris was very well aware that he could easily go onto the computer to see what Max had said to this guy, but he played along, shaking his hand. "I told him that if he didn't get the hint now, 'The Fury' could help him get the picture." Smiling, Chris left the trailer and any thought of loveyoubetter behind.
Weeks had gone by since that episode in the trailer. They had just wrapped up filming on the back half of the second season and were preparing to embark on the second tour. It was a really good time for everyone. Not to mention that Chris had stepped back from his Twitter addiction.
Or, at least, he had managed to convince everyone that he had done so.
Though it broke his heart to do so, he started responding less personally to the people tweeting him., clumping them together into single tweets or sometimes not even at all. It wasn't clever in the least bit, but it had managed to get Kevin off his back, who in turn had sung his praises to the rest of the cast.
If only he could get loveyoubetter off his back. Even with his new outlook on the social network, the tweets from his biggest fan were still coming in at their regular pace. He got them everyday, and everyday, it took all of his willpower to not respond to them. Or to tell someone.
No one ever became famous and asked to have a stalker. Though Chris was finally aware that this was what he was dealing with. Max was right; this was just like in The Bodyguard, only his clothes were much better looking than Whitney Houston's and he didn't have any brawny guard detailing him. So yeah, he could admit that he was a little scared. But it was nothing that wouldn't go away eventually. Him calling more attention to it would just make it worse.
So when the cast went out to celebrate the successful finish of the second season, Chris celebrated a little more than everyone else did. While everyone partook in a few drinks, Chris was close to drinking his body weight in tequila.
Sitting in between Chord and Mark, who seemed to be in slight disbelief that he had been going shot for shot with them over the past hour, he felt warm and tingly. He didn't give a shit about whatshisface doing whatever.
"Are you okay?" Chord asked with a laugh. Chris nodded enthusiastically, starting to motion to the bartender to bring him another. Mark shook his head.
"I think you're done," he stated, grabbing onto his arm.
"Since when are you my mother?" Chris asked before bursting out laughing hysterically. He could feel Mark and Chord communicating behind his back but he couldn't stop laughing to tell them to stop. The image of Mark as a mother was too funny.
"Alright, kiddo. Time for bed," Mark teased, which made Chris's cheeks burn with humiliation. "Where's Kevin?"
"NO!" Chris exclaimed, trying to stand up to stop Mark from finding Kevin. The last thing he needed right now was 'the talk' from Kevin about drinking responsibly and how it was wrong to abuse his status to get privileges and blah blah blah. Even worse, he'd have to sit in the most awkward car ride home with Jenna and Kevin after having broken up their groping session. No thank you. Kevin was out of the question. But it seemed that his legs had suddenly turned into rubber, unable to support him.
Quickly Chord grabbed him under the arms before he could fall onto the ground, setting him back onto the stool. He heard Chord and Mark muttering behind him, but he closed his eyes, the warm buzzing turning into a heavy throbbing that was making him dizzy. "…Heather, Amber and Naya already left, Lea and Cory are drunker than he is, and Harry doesn't have his car…" Once again, he was the baby of the group – being passed around from one member to the next, seeing who would be the unlucky one to be stuck with him.
"Come on, Chris," a voice said softly, fingers wrapping around the crook of his elbow and pulling him to his feet slowly. When he finally opened his eyes, Max was there again, an unreadable expression on his face. Yet without a word of complaint or anything of the sort, he kept his hands on Chris's shoulders, leading him slowly to his car.
Once they had been driving for a few minutes, Chris with his head pressed against the window, finally remembering why he never drank this much, Max broke the silence. "So. What's wrong?" he asked as lightly as possible. Chris just grunted in response. Max chuckled softly. "That good? Wow, because honestly I never thought of you as a guy to get embarrassingly shitfaced in public at any opportunity he had with not having a good reason for it…"
"Stop," Chris finally said, his tongue feeling thick in his mouth. With each turn and each bump they hit, it felt like he skull was going to explode. "That's not true and you know it."
Max pulled into the parking lot of Chris's apartment building, turning off the car with a sigh. "So tell me."
Laying his head back against the seat, willing the world to stop spinning, Chris asked "Does everyone think of me as a child?"
"Well, I mean when you drink like that, it's kinda hard not to…" Max joked. Chris sat forward, opened his eyes and gave him a pleading look, which wiped the smile off of his face. Looking down at the wheel, Max mumbled out "Why do you ask?"
"Because it always feels like that. Like I'm the baby and everyone just has to put up with me because of that," he muttered, undoing his seatbelt and opening the door. He had barely even gotten his feet onto the pavement when he felt Max right next to him, supporting him before he could tumble forward onto the cement. "I'm not that much younger than some of the others, and I can't help it that I happen to have a youthful bone structure…"
Max laughed at that, wrapping an arm around the smaller boy's waist to keep him upright. At any other moment in time, Chris would've felt strange with it, but right now, he was thankful for someone to be here with him. Otherwise, he probably would've found himself with a face full of tar by now. "Then why are you worrying so much? Being the baby isn't such a bad thing. You could always be like Monteith or Salling who're 30 years old and playing a 16 year old on TV… at least you went to high school in the last decade."
Chris smiled, feeling a little bit better. At least Max knew how to lighten up a situation like this. "It's – it's just that I always feel like sometimes no one takes me seriously. Like 'it's just Chris being Chris, it's because he's too young to understand, he'll grow out of it eventually' – when that's actually just me being me," he said softly, thinking back to his conversation with Mark and Chord. What if he had wanted another drink? What if his main intent was to drink himself into a blissful oblivion? Who told Mark that he was allowed to tell Chris he couldn't do so?
He fumbled with his keys for a second at his door before Max wordlessly took them out of his hand and opened the door, leading them both inside before closing it behind him. He had barely made it a few steps inside before he crumpled face down on the couch, groaning into the pillow. Just closing his eyes for the few seconds was enough to quiet spinning in his head. When he opened them again, he found Max crouched next to him with a glass of water. "I'd give you the aspirin, but it might be a bit too early." Chris grabbed at the glass greedily – fuck the aspirin – and drank the entire thing in one sip.
Placing the glass on the floor, Max sat down leaning back against the couch. "If you want my opinion on this, I don't think it has anything to do with your age. I just think it has to do with that everyone really cares about you and doesn't want to see you hurt. They're like that with everyone, but maybe your behavior causes this to come out more," he told him.
With a scoff, Chris rolled over so that he was no longer buried in the pillow but was more face to face with Max. "That's a lie. What behavior?"
"Oh, I don't know? Ignoring an obsessive fan who sends naked pics and wants to know where you live? Drinking the local bar out of its supply of Jose Cuervo?" Chris didn't say anything in response, but Max reached up, tangling his fingers with the smaller boy's. All Chris could do was stare at them for a minute, before realizing that this was actually happening. "People really care about you, Chris. They don't want to see anything bad happen to you."
Chris nodded slightly, humming in agreement, still speechless from the fact that he had another boy's hand in his own. All this time, all he had wanted was for someone to treat him like their equal, like a friend, like something more than just a cast mate to look after. And right now, Max was doing exactly that. He wasn't bullshitting him, he wasn't reprimanding him for his behavior, nothing like that.
"Do you want me stay, or are you going to be okay?" Max finally asked, getting to his feet. Chris rolled over, ignoring that horrible feeling in his stomach. His hand was empty, leaving it cold so he shoved it into his jean pocket. Max had busied himself with getting him another glass of water and bringing him the whole bottle of aspirin, leaving it on the floor by the couch. "I take it you're not moving from this spot?"
"No, and I'm good. Thanks," he said softly, before the nausea sent a chill through his body, causing him to shiver. He really wished he had a blanket to pass out under. Straining his eyes to see the clock on the microwave, he saw that it said 3:30. That gave him about 5 hours to collapse until he had to be back on set to start rehearsing for the tour.
Max must've read his mind, because within a few seconds he was going down the hall to Chris's bedroom. Chris waited, closing his eyes and listening for the return footsteps.
"Fuckin' fuck, fucking shit," he heard Max cry out, before he came barreling back down the hallway. "Let's go. You can't stay here. We have to go. Now." Max was grabbing at his arms, trying to get him into a sitting position, but Chris was still trying to comprehend what had just been said. He felt like a limp rag doll, his head pitching forward onto Max's shoulder as his feet finally met the ground.
Clutching at his head as Max slid an arm around his waist, pulling him to his feet, he muttered, "What are you talking about? What's the matter with my house? Why don't you like it?" He looked over his shoulder, longingly at the couch. It was practically calling his name, wanting him to come back and just crash. Five hours. That was it. He needed them so badly. "Max, what the fuck?" he yelled at the man who was half carrying, half dragging him out of his own apartment, while locking the door at the same time. His feet weren't even walking themselves; Max's arm looped around his waist had pulled him off the ground and was holding him up.
Once out the door of the apartment building, Max set him back down onto the ground. He reached back into his pocket, pulling out a handful of Polaroids, which he reluctantly dropped into Chris's hands. He kept pushing onto Chris, but slowly Chris stopped walking, looking through the Polaroids.
"Where did you find these?" he said.
Max stopped walking, still standing right behind him. "They were. They were covering your bed."
Pictures of a body. Naked. Taken in his bed.
The same naked body from before.
As the Polaroids slipped from his fingers, fluttering onto the pavement, Chris heard Max calling his name, his hands reaching out to grab onto him, but he ignored it. His feet bring running him over to the bushes. Apparently, his stomach had decided that now was an okay time for him to get sick. Which honestly, he agreed with.
"What do you mean you can't do anything?" Kevin exclaimed, his hands flying out in a blurry of motion. Chris buried his face into his palms, just wanting all of this and everyone to go away. Maybe if he wished hard enough, the couch would swallow him whole. He hadn't slept in almost forty-eight hours, he had what was probably the worst hangover of his life, and now the whole obsessive fan news was spread all over the set. Which meant that everyone had to get involved.
"I didn't say that, Kevin. I know you're concerned about Chris. We all are. What I said was that we don't have any proof of who it is, or that these are even real images. Therefore, we cannot go to the police with these. Much to my dismay, they would laugh in our faces. All we can do is try to make sure that the set and Chris' apartment are as secure as possible," Ryan told him, pinching onto the bridge of his nose as he watched Kevin fume in the chair facing him.
Luckily Ryan had told the whole cast they weren't allowed into this meeting. Otherwise, Chris would've probably murdered himself by now, listening to Cory talk about how he wanted to 'shank that sonuvabitch' or Amber say 'no one is gonna get near her man'. Right now it was just Matthew (because he was the smartest one), Ryan (because he was in charge), Kevin (because he wouldn't let Chris out of his sight now) and Max (because, well, Chris kinda wanted him there).
"There's gotta be something we can figure out to make Chris feel safer," Matt added. Chris couldn't help notice how familiar this was to Kurt's storyline in the past season. How many times did he have to play the victim? How many times did he have to be saved by everyone else? It was getting kind of old; feeling like the helpless victim with no ability to defend himself.
"Your apartment was searched, and we found that whoever this is made it in through the front door before picking the lock to your door and disarming the security system. Which means that he knows what he's doing," Ryan mentioned, which Chris honestly couldn't believe that he didn't notice that he hadn't needed to enter the security code when they came in earlier. "So, where do you want to go from here?"
Chris jerked his head up, suddenly realizing that they were talking to him. "Me?" he asked softly. All of them were watching him, and all he wanted to do was to crawl into a hole and die. "I don't – I really – I."
"What if we tried to figure out who this guy is?" Max offered softly, coming to his rescue. Chris felt the soft reassuring touch on his arm, and at this point, it was all that was keeping him tethered down to his sanity. "We've secured the apartment, we've secured the set. Why not try to see if we can find out who this is?" Chris looked to his left, where Max shot him a smile.
Ryan nodded slowly. "Alright, that could work. Chris, I'll need any information that you have about him to give to the tech staff."
"Okay," Chris said, sitting forward and scribbling it onto a piece of paper. When he had finished, he sat back in the chair still feeling like this was one of those out-of-body experiences. "I know we're supposed to start rehearsing for the tour now, but do you mind if I take an hour just to gather myself?" he asked meekly. An hour was nowhere near enough time to get the thoughts of the stranger writhing around naked in his bed out of his head, but at this point, he'd pay all the money he had to spend that time by himself…
"Take as long as you need. We'll fill you in whenever you feel ready to start up," Ryan smiled, folding the paper into his pocket and standing up and walking out. Matt followed him out, the two of them talking about logistics, while Kevin and Max stood back.
"Are you sure you're okay?" Max said softly, hand coming down onto his shoulder, squeezing onto it. The touch was enough to shatter him in to a million pieces; all Chris wanted now was to fall into Max's arms and never let go. But it was too tempting. He'd fall, and fall hard. And when he did, there'd be no one there to pick him back up.
Chris nodded, pulling out of the touch clumsily. "I'm just going to get some shut-eye in the trailer. Maybe an hour or so?"
Kevin and Max exchanged looks of concern before Kevin took a step towards him. "Do you want me to come with you?"
With a bitter laugh, Chris headed for the door. "As much as I'd know you'd love to, you can't be with me every second of the day, McHale…" Even as he said it, Chris realized that now there was actually some truth behind it.
Being alone in the trailer was usually refreshing, giving him some sort of centeredness that he found himself looking for after being around the others for twelve hours at a time. Now, it just left him feeling lonely, and surprisingly empty. He wandered around the trailer aimlessly before he felt the fatigue in his muscles begin to remind him that he was working on a hangover and zero hours of sleep. Working his way back to the pull-out cot in the rear of the trailer, he thought he couldn't remember a time when he had ever been this tired. As he flopped face down onto the pillow, he thought back to last night when Max had been there, covering him with a blanket and taking care of him and just…being there. It was nice. Comforting.
Too good to be true.
The next thing he remembered was opening his eyes and finding himself in a slowly darkening trailer. Groggy from that nap hangover feeling, he scratched at his head, wondering where he left his phone and if it was even worth it to stay here still. He looked to the side of the cot, which was where he remembered leaving his phone last.
But not a body.
He stared at it for a moment, wondering who it was. Disoriented, he tried to put the pieces together in his head of who it was. But something wasn't fitting together, as he still didn't know who this was. Until they rolled over and grinned at him. "Hi."
He was suddenly wide awake, his heart now hammering against his chest, feeling like his lungs were collapsing in. "You," he whispered barely audible, scrambling back across the bed desperate to get out and out of the trailer. His 'friend' grabbed onto his wrist, making any attempts of running impossible.
"Me! Aren't you glad to see me?" he said with a big smile, and Chris for a moment could believe that this guy was for real. When he pictured him, he either thought of an insane fifty-year old pedophile or some legit lunatic who actually thought he was Kurt Hummel.
But this guy. He wasn't either of them. He looked like he was in his mid- twenties, was mildly attractive, and seemed pretty sane. So Chris couldn't figure out why in God's name he was obsessed and wasting his time on him?
Swallowing, Chris nodded meekly, trying to twist out of the grip with no luck. "It's – it's very nice to see you. I even got those pictures you left at my apartment. But I – uh – I have to – uh – go to – uh – rehearsal. So, uh, it was nice to meet you…" Chris started, but this guy didn't stop smiling.
"You got them? Did you like them?" he asked, slithering closer on the bed to the point where there was only a few inches separating them.
"Oh, yeah. Loved them. But I really need to get going. So if you could just let me go…" Chris tried again, taking his other hand and encircling the hand wrapped around his own. Stalker or not, this guy was freakishly strong.
The guy frowned, suddenly looking extremely upset. "You don't want to spend time with me? But – but I'm your biggest fan. Haven't I proved that? Haven't I done enough to win your affections?"
Chris sighed, letting go of his arm. "What's your name?" Obviously playing nice with him wasn't going to work. So then it was on to Plan B – telling it like it was.
Getting as far into a sitting position as he could, Chris looked him in the eye. "Alright, Anderson. You seem like a normal, smart guy. But I have to be real with you. I'm not interested in any of this. In you, in what you're offering. In any of it. It's creepy and it's scaring me, honestly. I have no problem with talking to you about normal stuff, but when it come to naked pictures or meeting you, you need you to leave me alone and promise that you won't try to proposition me again…"
Anderson tipped his head to the side, watching Chris warily. The smile disintegrated from his face again. The grip that was around his wrist was loosened, and for a second, Chris thought that he might actually have gotten through to this guy. He backed away slightly, getting off of the cot into a standing position.
It all happened so fast that Chris never had a chance to react. At one moment, Anderson was reclined on the bed and more than twenty feet away from him. The next, he was leaping across the room, smashing Chris's head into the counter behind them.
As Chris let out a cry of pain and the two of them slid onto the floor in a huddled tangle of limbs, Anderson was whispering frantically "I love you. Don't you know that? I love you more than anyone ever will and yet you still reject me. You're making a huge mistake, and I won't let you. I love you too much to let you let me go. I know you love me back. We will be together, and we will be happy." His voice was hysterical, but Chris couldn't tell if it was coming from anger or from sadness.
"Please, you have to understand…" Chris squeaked out, trying to push Anderson off of him, but his head was throbbing; a shooting pain working its way from the back of his neck all the way to behind his eyes. As he tried to move, the pain made him feel worse, taking all his strength with it. This was probably one of the only times in his life that he wished he had listened to Kevin. Because as he ran over this scene in his head, he could only see this ending in disaster.
"Shh." Anderson gathered him in his arms, trying to get him to his feet. "It's all going to be okay. We're going to be happy together. You'll have the life that you always wanted, and you and I. We will be happy." Chris stumbled, his knees bending awkwardly and letting go of his weight. He couldn't even save himself from his own stalker. He was the baby of the cast. Everyone else, they would've been able to put up a fight and save themselves. Him? He couldn't even manage to not get hurt.
Anderson grabbed onto his arms, leading him towards the door of the trailer, supporting most of his weight with it. Chris stole a look at the man who was dragging him out the door, kidnapping him, but all he could see before his head exploded with pain was the red stains covering his white v-neck. With a shaking hand, he reached up to touch the surrounding skin on his forehead, which came away slick with blood.
As he tried to open the door of the trailer, it was open from the other side – Max, Mark, and Cory bursting in. They looked around and their eyes landed on Anderson holding up Chris, before they almost immediately froze. "Whoa," Mark whispered, throwing his hands up.
"Who the fuck are you? What are you doing?" Cory yelled, stepping forward, his hands now balled in fists. "Let go of him!"
"What do you think you're doing here? He's mine! He loves me!" Anderson exclaimed, wrapping an arm protectively around Chris. It felt like a tentacle, strangling him of his life.
"Help me," Chris whimpered, knowing that he sounded pathetic, but at this point, he was pretty sure it was okay. Cory and Mark exchanged a quick look before they charged at Anderson, taking him flying backwards. As the support that was holding him up left him, Chris's legs gave out. Arms grabbed at him before he crumpled to the floor. His head was exploding with pain at this point.
"Hey, it's okay. Everything's fine, they got him, I got you, everything going to be okay." Something soft was pressed against the pain on his head. Max's hands brushed his hair out of his face, the towel pushed against his forehead. The constant voice was soothing, making him sleepy.
" 'ax," he slurred out, his tongue suddenly feeling thick. He felt himself beginning to drown in the voice. It was soft and comforting and everything that he needed right now. His hands held Chris up, voice lulling him into the waves of darkness that were washing over him at this point. As he slipped under, he tried to find his way back out, but the numbness was a relief, so he just let go.
The next time he woke up, he felt like he had been run over by a tractor trailer truck. And then it backed up and ran over him three more times. Light was not a nice thing, as he groaned when he saw the sunlight streaming in through the windows of the trailer-
Sunlight? Trailer? Was it that bad of a hangover that he slept the whole day away?
He sat up quickly, before immediately regretting it. Head spinning, he sank back down onto the pillows. As he reached up to rub his temples, his hand brushed over a bandage wrapped around his forehead, causing him to wince and retract his hand.
He opened one of his eyes, to find Max standing in the doorway, looking extremely pale and swaying uncomfortably on his feet. Waving weakly but smiling at him, Chris motioned for him to come over, which he did. "How are you? Feeling?"
Considering that the past twenty-four hours were coming back to him in patchy blurs and he couldn't really feel any pain at this moment, he didn't think he had anything to complain about. But oddly, he felt…hollow. "Okay. I guess," he shrugged half-heartedly.
From his spot on the edge of the bed, Max moved a bit closer, clasping his hands together. "I don't know if it's possible. But could you, uh, never do that again? Because I don't think I could survive seeing that again…"
"Is it over? For good?"
"The last I heard from Ryan was that Anderson, as he told us his name was, was being taken to the local station on charges of stalking, attempted kidnapping, and aggravated assault. So, you shouldn't be hearing from him for a while…" Max added, a weak smile gracing his face. Chris's nod mirrored his, but strangely, hearing that this whole endeavor was over didn't leave him feeling better. He still felt that unsatisfied hollow feeling in his stomach.
Oh boy. Here it came. "Yeah?"
Max sighed, moving on the bed so that he was laying on his stomach next to Chris, propped up by the pillows. "I want to apologize. I know that I'm not exactly the brightest person out there, but even I know how to –"
Dropping his head, Chris felt his cheeks go aflame. This was what he had been dreading since day one. Again, the striking similarities between him and Kurt Hummel were becoming pretty old. He needed a major overhaul. With a sigh, he rolled over to face Max. "You don't have to say anymore. I know what you're going to say, and it's my fault. I should learn how to be more subtle…" Guys like Max weren't going to stay around if their gay co-star confessed their love for him. He fucked up. And he was pretty sure he had just lost one of his closest allies in the cast.
Max made a face, which was a different response than the one Chris had been expecting. He had been expecting more of a sigh of relief, a exclaim of happiness, something to show how excited he was that he was free of the gay kid and was now free to move onto all the vagina he wanted… But that wasn't coming.
"I don't think you get it. I'm apologizing to you. Having crushes on guys isn't something I'm well-versed in, and I haven't been able to keep my feelings to myself very well. It must've been very awkward for you…" he said with a shrug, his cheeks turning a pinkish hue.
Chris shut his eyes. "It's alright. Don't feel bad about it, this happens all the – what?" He wasn't sure if he was still in some head trauma induced coma or if he was dreaming, but he was pretty sure that he had just heard Max Adler – the Max Adler who he had been told from the beginning was straight – tell him that he had feelings for him. "I'm sorry, did you just tell me? Feelings? What?"
Max chuckled, scrambling up the bed so he was lying on his stomach next to Chris, his head propped up on the pillow. "I know, it kind of came as a shock to me too. But I don't know. I just. Ever since I started filming with you and really getting to know you, it's like you're all I can think about. I can't get you out of my head. And – and it just won't go away. You aren't like anyone I've ever met before…" He reached his hand out and tangled their fingers together.
His breath hitching, Chris was pretty sure he must've died and gone to heaven over the course of the night. Because things like this? They didn't happen to Kurt Hummel, which meant they never, ever happened to Chris Colfer.
"I really like you, Chris. I'm just not very good at hiding my feelings," Max said with a grin. Before he could say anything else, Chris found himself leaning forward and pressing his lips against Max's in a chaste, short-lived kiss. When he didn't feel Max react, he drew away, feeling more embarrassed than ever before.
"Sorry," he whispered, looking away. "That was. Was a little too fast."
Instead, Max smiled. "Don't be sorry. I'm not. I just can't get it through my head. I thought you were going to say no. And then now you're kissing me. It's a big difference…" he admitted, before leaning forward, catching Chris's lips in his own. "I've been wanting to do this since the locker room scene," Max whispered against Chris's lips, smiling. It was soft and easy, like they were old pros at this. Full of feeling and sensual, everything that happened yesterday was leaving him. And at this moment, Chris couldn't remember a time in which he'd felt as loved as he did now.