The spontaneous cheers and shouts from the enthused audience behind the curtains were like a drug to Chris. The Anaheim audience was drinking this concert up, and he was absorbing their excitement. Sure, he was working on his 21st birthday, but could this honestly be described as working? No, he was doing what he loved with the people he loved.
"River Deep Mountain High" was drawing to a close. Chris heard the ending strains of Naya's and Amber's voices floating back to him on the air, bringing with it the thrillingly anticipatory feeling that came with being on stage in front of thousands of people. The "Brittany/Klaine" skit was coming up soon. Chris tried to remind himself that his nerves had nothing to do with acting with Darren.
Chris stood up, stretching in front of the door that he would be expected to walk through in five minutes. He wasn't sure where the rest of the cast and crew were; it was unusual for him to have any moments of quiet on the Glee Live tour. Still, he wasn't complaining. The continuous chaos of tour life only made the rare peaceful moments more cherished.
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHRIS!" A loud voice shouted from directly behind him, making him jump in shock.
Chris turned around to see Darren. So much for peace. "Thanks, Darren . . . for the fiftieth time." His shorter, excitable coworker had taken to sneaking up on Chris at random moments throughout the day to wish him a happy birthday. It never failed to amuse him when Chris yelped in surprise, so Chris had tried to master the skill of looking nonchalant when his heart was racing inside.
"Fifty-first time, by my count. But you're welcome." Darren beamed at him, and Chris tried to control the nerves that cropped up that had nothing to do with the upcoming skit.
"What are you doing here?" Chris asked distractedly. It was hard thinking straight when Darren was aiming that high-powered smile right at him. "You have to be onstage soon."
"Yeah, they're probably looking for me," Darren said agreeably.
Chris rolled his eyes. Darren had this enviable skill of being completely unconcerned with everything. Hakuna matata.
"I need help." Darren pouted pathetically, his hazel eyes trained on Chris for maximum effect.
"With . . .?" Chris asked suspiciously. Working with Darren had taught Chris to always expect the unexpected. Once, Darren had dragged Chris out of bed at three in the morning for a Disney marathon. The boy thrived on spontaneity.
"My tie-tying talents are . . . nonexistent," Darren admitted, gesturing at his chest.
Chris forced himself to pull his gaze away from his handsome face to his equally attractive body. To Darren's credit, he actually did seem to need help. His tie was tangled up around his neck. Chris took a step towards Darren and started fiddling with the knot, carefully avoiding the skin showing beneath the man's Dalton blazer and unbuttoned white-collared shirt. It only took him a moment to fix the mess Darren had created.
"There," he announced, dropping his hands from Darren's chest reluctantly. "How you managed to do that, I'm not sure. . . ." Chris tried to take a step back, but bumped into the wall behind him. How did that get there? He and Darren must have shifted in the struggle with the tie. "'Scuse me." Chris pointed behind him. "I'm a bit stuck."
Darren didn't move. "Are you nervous?" His eyes searched Chris's, hazel meeting light blue intensely.
It took a moment for Chris's brain to understand what Darren was talking about. "Um, no?" His voice went up an octave, betraying him. "I mean, I'm nervous we're going to miss our cues if you don't get back to your place."
"So that's a yes on being nervous, then." Darren nodded decisively. "Right, I can fix that. In return for the tie, of course." He leaned a bit closer, his face an inch from Chris. "Happy birthday," he whispered with a mischievous smile.
Chris found himself whispering, too. "You already said that."
"True." Darren didn't move away, a fact that made Chris apprehensive. "Well, how 'bout I spice things up a bit?"
And Chris didn't have time to think of a response, because suddenly Darren's lips were on his, and it was confusing, because he was dressed as Blaine and looked like Blaine, but this was so not like Kurt kissing Blaine, this was more, and holy crap, since when could Darren kiss like that?
Chris sort of melted back against the wall, one hand reaching up to pull Darren in by his tie. Darren followed, his lips still attached to Chris's, and the pair pressed against the wall fiercely. Chris couldn't help but run a hand through Darren's hair, pressing his lips against Darren's insistently.
And then Darren licked Chris's bottom lip, and he moaned, he couldn't help it. Darren took the opportunity to slip his tongue inside of Chris's mouth.
Dimly, Chris registered that Heather had started speaking onstage, but he didn't care about being late anymore, he only cared about Darren and the noises he was making and the sinful things he could do with his tongue.
But all too soon, Darren was pulling away, his eyes bright and glinting, his hair half-gelled, half-curly. Chris could only imagine what he looked like; from the feel of his lips, they were definitely swollen.
"What was- you just- you can't- Darren!" Chris spluttered, his cheeks reddening in embarrassment. "What the hell was that? We don't have time to get made up again! Are you crazy?"
"You weren't complaining much earlier," Darren replied with an infuriatingly smug look on his face. "Unless those moans I heard were complaints."
"Darren!" Chris shrieked indignantly. "Oh, God. Stop talking. Don't- ohmygod."
"Yeah," Darren grinned cheekily at Chris and grabbed his tie, which was, for some reason, hanging out the front of Chris's pants. "Happy birthday." And with one last knowing smile in Chris's direction, Darren turned and walked away, just as Heather called out, "Blaine Warbler, will you come here?" from onstage. The man had impeccable timing.
Chris leaned back against the wall, trying to slow his breathing. He fussed with his hair, trying to get it to lay down, then shrugged and gave up. Why not indulge the ever-observant fangirls? They'd have a field day with his and Darren's appearances if they could put two and two together.
Straightening up with a sigh, Chris took a quick inventory of his clothes to make sure nothing was ripped, misplaced, or undone. He then walked up the stairs that led onstage to make his entrance.
Sometimes, he thought a minute later as he did a high-kick onstage that was intentionally close to "Blaine's" face, Darren Criss is the gayest straight man alive.
Happy birthday, indeed.
Author's Note: This is my first attempt at Criss Colfer. I didn't really ship this until I wrote this fic. Make of that what you will. ;D Feel free to review and tell me what you think! I love writing fanfics but I'm not sure if I'm that great, haha. Ah well, fun is fun. :)