And finally, here is the last chapter of Then We Got on a Boat.
So think real slow
don't forget that yes is yes
and no is no,
about the way you want to go
Cause I may forget the way to get back home
This is the end, if you want it.
(Darren Criss's POV)
I was packing. We were going to be docking back into Santa Barbara in two hours, so now was as good a time as any to start putting things back in my suitcase. I walked around the room, haphazardly throwing my possessions into my two bags. It didn't take long, and I was done in about ten minutes. I had just finished packing up all the toiletries when I decided to take one final look around the room. Sitting back down on my bed, I leaned against the wall and looked at Chris's side. His bags were already packed, sitting peacefully on top of his already-made bed. He must have snuck in and packed his things after I woke up this morning.
I haven't talked to Chris since the incident. He and Ashley had slept in their fort again last night. Every time we ended up in the same room, he would refuse to make eye contact with me and try his best to go somewhere else. I still wasn't sure how I was going to apologize to him. There really wasn't an excuse. I just ran, simple as that. I ran and I locked myself in a piano room for a good fifteen hours. I only made things worse for Chris when he probably needed me the most.
I continued to sulk in my bad decisions. As if I hadn't done that enough.
There was a knock on the door. Dianna slipped inside, shutting the door behind her and smiling politely at me. I folded my lips inside my teeth, sending her a small wave with my right hand. She walked in and sat down next to me on the bed.
"So this has been one hell of a trip" she said.
I laughed. "You can say that again." A short silence followed.
"This has been one hell of a trip." She repeated. I smiled, playfully nudging her shoulder with mine.
"How are you doing? Like, with all of this?"
"I'm okay. No better, no worse. It's a little weird though."
"What's a little weird?"
"You and Chris – being a couple. I guess I'm not completely used to the idea." I rested my hand on her back, rubbing my thumb in small circles on the back of her shirt. "But the more I think about it, the more I get it. You two honestly click really, really well. I'm…I'm happy for you Dare."
"Thank you, Dianna." I responded quietly.
"So how are you two doing?"
I laughed remorsefully, bowing my head and resting the tip of my forehead on her shoulder. "I'm an idiot, Dianna."
"Idiot's a harsh word, don't ya think?"
"No, idiot is an inadequate word, actually. I'm brainless – a disaster – a complete fuckup."
"I had no reason to run, Dianna. None. Zero reasons. Yet I still ran away like a scared puppy and hid in my corner."
"Well, have you told that to Chris yet?"
"Then I suggest you do it soon, Darren. There aren't too many people like Chris Colfer in this lousy world of ours."
"Trust me, I know."
"Okay, that's it." Dianna said, getting off the bed and pulling on my arm. "We've only got an hour or so left on this boat and I'm not going to let you spend it wallowing in regret."
"Don't 'Dianna' me, Darren. Believe me, you can't afford to waste any more time inside on this vacation. You've already done enough of that. When we start Glee up again you're going to want to shoot yourself for not taking advantage of this."
"Okay, okay. You win." I grumbled as I let her drag me out of the room and up the stairs, towards the top deck.
(Chris Colfer's POV)
There wasn't much time left on this trip. I couldn't leave without at least talking to him.
I knocked on the door, looking through the glass and seeing Austin recording something from a screen onto a notepad. He looked up, shocked to see me, before walking across the room and unlocking the door.
"Surprised to see you here."
"Hello, Chris." He walked back over to where he was standing before, leaning against the counter and folding his arms over his chest.
"So today's our last day."
"Yup." He replied.
"Yeah." I looked down at my hands. He let out a cynical chuckle, turning around and going back to writing something down on his notepad. "So um…how's the boat?"
He stopped writing for a second, looking back at me incredulously. "How is…the boat?"
God, Chris, you don't use your brain much these days, do you? People used to say you had inexorable wit. Where did that go? "Yes?"
"The boat is running." He said as he went back to writing.
"You should probably go catch it." I murmered. Awesome. I ask my brain for wit and I get clichéd puns.
"You want me to go catch the boat we're on?"
"I'm just going to stop talking now…"
Austin laughed a bit more genuinely (though still a bit pained) at this and turned to face me once again. "So, why are you here?"
"I didn't…I didn't want to leave without talking to you first. I didn't want to leave without making sure we were okay, that you were okay."
He looked up at me for the first time. There was a short silence as we both just examined one another. "…Are you okay?"
"I'm as 'okay' as I'll ever be."
"That doesn't really…"
"Yes, Chris. I'm okay. I'm not ecstatic, or exactly happy, but I'm okay." He replied.
"Austin, I'm really sorry."
"You've mentioned that before."
"I've never broke anyone's heart before. The concept…it—it's strange to me. I guess I'm so used to being on the other side of the fence, I don't really know how to go about properly apologizing. I'm not even sure if apologizing for a broken heart is something that someone can do. I mean, the heart is something that's so personal. Really…a broken heart is kind of the romantic term for false hope. So…in a way…apologizing for a broken heart is sort of like apologizing for disappointment – which doesn't in any way get rid of the fact that you're disappointed in the first place. So really…I'm only here to help ease my overactive conscience – and it kind of has nothing to do with you…really. Oh my god, what am I even—"
"You're rambling." Austin replied, simply.
"I've been around Darren way too much."
Nice job Chris, bring up the touchy subject why don't you.
"You really like that guy, don't you."
"Yeah…yeah I think so." I said quietly, looking back down at my hands. "I don't really…we haven't talked in…in a while."
"Well why not?"
"I'm really not sure. I guess it's just easier to avoid the discussion which is bound to happen eventually."
I nodded. The whole thing was very awkward, really.
"You shouldn't give up on him, you know." He said suddenly, not looking me in the eye. "That would be a really stupid thing to do."
"It's the only reason that I can't be with you. He's the only reason I can't have what I want. Me losing you would have been completely in vain if you give up on him."
"You always talk so seriously about me, like I'm some big prize that you've lost. You've barely known me for five days. I mean, I'm really not that special."
"That's the thing, Chris, you have no idea."
"There aren't many people in this world like you."
Well, that's new. "Really?'
Austin laughed, walking over to me and putting his arm around my shoulder. "Really really."
I smiled as he opened the door, leading the way back down the stairs. We walked onto the top deck together, finding everyone else by the bow of the ship, chatting and looking out towards the California shore on the horizon. Most of us just seemed to be in a trance, staring at the ripples of the ocean and simply enjoying our last moments on the ship. Austin left me with Naya and Heather, who were at the very tip of the boat. He had to go back to the control room so we could dock safely. I looked over the edge of the railing, looking down at the sides of the yacht and the way it glided through the water. It seemed to be splitting the ocean in two, trekking on without hesitation, taking on the sea at full force.
Before I knew it, we were pulling into the docks. I looked back at the rest of the boat. Everyone was talking to Austin, saying thank you and praising him for being an amazing captain. I didn't want to say goodbye yet, so instead I went downstairs to my room to grab my bags. I walked into the room, half expecting to find Darren there, but he wasn't. All that could be seen on his side of the room was an empty bed. All of his things were gone.
A thought invaded my mind before my heart could defend itself.
What if this really is the end? What if all this was a onetime deal, only to happen at this place – on this boat? What does this mean to Darren? All of this is riding completely on his feelings, and feelings are the most indecisive force in this whole universe. Feelings aren't trustworthy. Feelings are cheap, impermanent, fickle thoughts that can change on a whim. I mean think about it – feelings are all about what you feel – and things you can feel are purely momentary. It isn't meant to last, it's a passing deal, only to satisfy a fleeting didn't love me. He said that he felt like he could be in love with me. How can I trust that?
What if he's done? What if his 'feelings' ran out? What happens to me then? That just leaves me here to hurt, to somehow continue to ignore my sudden impulses to declare him as mine.
I don't want that to be true, I really don't, but I can't get the fucking thought out of my brain. It spread like a disease all throughout my senses as I sat on his former bed. It hit me like a ton of bricks, all I could do was stare at the ground with an expression of sudden consciousness on my face.
"Chris?" I heard Ashley call from the hallway. "Chris? Where are you, bud?" The door opened and she walked in. "Chris! Oh god, I thought you left without me for a second. What are you doing down here? Everyone's already off the ship."
That caught my attention and I got up off of Darren's old bed, reaching out to grab my luggage from my bed. "I'm sorry." I said, finally zapping myself back to reality. "I just got lost in my own thoughts."
Ashley could obviously sense my gloomy mood as I hoisted my bags onto my shoulders. "Well, maybe you should take a break from all that thinking. It can really hurt a person to do that too much, ya know."
"Yeah, yeah I think you're right."
(Darren Criss's POV)
"So how was it?" Joey asked me excitedly as he helped me put my things into the trunk.
Hmm…what words do I use to describe this trip? "Umm…" I closed the trunk door, leaning my head back in thought. "Unexpectedly radical."
"…Unexpectedly radical." He repeated. "Explain."
I laughed, running a hand through my hair while a smile found its way to my face at the thought. "Oh god, where do I begin."
Joey gasped and pointed a finger at my head. "That's your romantic face! That's the face you use when you talk about all of your girlfriends!" he said, smiling triumphantly. "Darren, you dog. Did you have romantic relations with one of your female cast members?"
"…Yeah, you can say that." Dianna counts, right? Yeah, she counts…I mean of course she counts, she's female for Christ's sake.
Joey looked confused as we got into the car again. I was driving this time.
"Tell me more, dude. Where did you go?"
"We sailed to this remote-ish island. It was like something straight out of 'Lost'…except it had dirt roads and disc golf and hiking trails…"
"Well that's fun."
"Hey, do you want to go get a beer? C'mon, let's go get a few beers."
"Darren, it's 2PM."
"So? People drink beer in the afternoon all the time."
"Yes, yes they do. But not usually in bars."
"Well society can suck it." Joey was skeptical but let me continue to drive anyway. He didn't say anything until we were on the highway.
"You're really not going to tell me?"
"Tell you what?"
"About your ocean romance," Joey said with a smile. "You know I'm always up for a good love story."
"Oh, then you'll love this." I muttered, thinking back to Chris and the fact that I told him that I thought I was in love with him. Which I had to admit was a bit weird because usually it takes me a good month to work up to the big 'L' word.
I hadn't thought about that yet. I told him that super soon. Like, I'm actually surprised he didn't freak out more when I first said it.
I pulled into a random bar, sort of relieved to find a homey looking place in Santa Barbara. We sat down at the bar and I began to tell Joey about everything that happened. He seemed a bit shocked to hear about Chris and me, but he didn't have a problem with it at all. In fact, he said that we'd actually look adorable together.
That's when I ordered my third beer…because, well…it's not like I was in a very good place with Chris. Before I knew it, I was ordering my seventh. Joey was being very nice and watching over me, not really drinking and just listening to every rant that spewed out of my mouth.
"I'm a fucking idiot, Joey. I can't believe that I—ran like that. I mean, I just fucking hid on top of a piano in my fucking wet bathing suit and shit, Joey, do I have some sort of illness or something?"
"I would diagnose it as the love bug mixed with traces of a temporary fear virus." Joey responded.
I touched my fingers to his arm. "So you think I'm in love with him too? I'm not—a crazed lunatic and shit?"
"Well you still might be a little bit of a lunatic. A teeny tiny smidgin of a loon—"
"Hey look!" I said, pointing at the other side of the empty bar. "There's a karaoke machine. There was a karaoke machine on the yacht too, Joey. Did I tell you that? Did I tell you about how we sang…"
"Yes, Darren, you told me about your Avril Lavigne duet."
"Haha!" I laughed. "Du-et. Duet sounds like…'do it'. And guess what?"
"You did it."
"We did it!" I was an indisputable mess at this point, clinging onto the edges of the wooden counter of the bar. The bartender just looked on at us, amused. "You know what?" I said, taking another swig of my beer. "I'm gonna do it."
I didn't respond to him and I made my way over to the karaoke machine in the corner of the room.
"No. No. No. No." I grumbled, flipping through their selection. "Ah! Yes! Fucking perfect!" I pressed the button, grabbing the microphone and doing my awkward shoulder dance thing as I listened to the guitar intro.
"Sea is foaming like a bottle of beer.
The wave is coming but I ain't got no fear.
I'm waxing down so that I'll go real fast.
I'm waxing down 'cause it's really a blast.
I'm going surfing 'cause I don't like your face."
"HAH!" I yelped in the middle of the song, causing me to miss the next few lines "Just kidding, I fucking love your…face."
"I'm goin' surfin, goin' surfin'
You take your car to work.
I'll take my board.
And when you're out of fuel.
I'm still afloat.
My buddies and their honies all come along.
They seem invincable, it takes 'em along.
The sea is rolling like a thousand pound keg.
We're goin' surfin', we're goin' surfin'!"
Joey watched me with an entertained smile as I serenaded him and the amused bartender. I enjoyed myself thoroughly, dancing around the little stage and dropping to my knees for that little high pitched part of the song.
"you take your car to work, I'll take my board.
And when you're out of fuel, I'm still afloat."
Both Joey and the bartender clapped enthusiastically after I finished my little solo performance. I threw both of my arms up in victory as I jogged back to my stool. Well, I tried to jog…I ended up tripping against a chair on the way and in Joey's lap.
"Ooookay buddy, let's get you home."
"But, but we can't leave Marlin." I replied, pointing at the bartender.
"My name's Matthew."
"Oh, I'm sorry. I coulda sworn it was Marlin. I hope you don't hate me now. Marlin's a cool name too though!...from Finding Nemo and shit…"
"I think Matty's gonna be just fine, aren't you Matt?" Joey asked. The bartender laughed and gave us a thumbs' up in response. I nodded understandingly and fished my wallet out of my jean Capri pants, slapping three twenty-dollar bills onto the counter.
"Here ya go, Matty. You've been swell."
"Thank you boys, I'll see you around."
"Probably not…" I yelled over my shoulder as Joey dragged me out. "…but you know…it's whatev's." We made our way to the car and I threw my keys at my taller friend. "You should probably drive, right? Right."
We drove in silence for a while. It was about a three hour drive to LA, so we let the radio take over for a while. I sipped on a bottle of water and could feel myself slowly start to sober up after the first hour or so.
"I miss him." I said out loud, staring at the highway in front of us.
(Chris Colfer's POV)
I woke up in the middle of the night, in the shower.
Like, literally in a steady stream of cold shower water.
It took me a couple of seconds to figure out what the hell had happened to me. As it turns out, I had sleepwalked out of bed, walked to my guest-bedroom's bathroom, and hopped into the tub. My subconscious wasn't even nice enough to have me take off my pajamas beforehand or adjust the temperature.
So I stood under the showerhead for a while, letting the reality of my sleeping habits settle in, trying to accept that this is just what I do. Waking up to things like a cold shower was something that I was just going to have to live with. I actually ended up standing there for a good half an hour. I turned up the dial and basked in the feel of the hot water against my clothes, which was strangely relaxing. That sensation combined with my grogginess made me not want to move at all. In fact, I considered plugging the drain so I could let the tub fill up and just sit in the water for a while, but I decided against it.
After I got out I didn't really know what to do with myself, to be honest. I tried to go back to sleep, but I couldn't. I sat on my bed, staring at the TV while a re-run of How I Met Your Mother played. I really wasn't concentrating on it, though. My mind was on Darren and what he was doing. I wondered how long we were going to avoid each other, and if our friendship would ever be the same.
It would really suck if I couldn't still be friends with him. He's a great guy.
I decided to keep myself busy by unpacking. I got my luggage out from my car, glimpses of light just starting to show up in the early morning darkness. I dragged my bags into the house and flung them on my bed. When I opened the larger one, a yellow note was sitting on top of my clothes. It read,
I really don't think we got off to the right start of things on this trip. I meant what I said today, you really are an extraordinary person. I'm really glad that I've gotten the chance to get to know you in these past few days, even if it didn't end like I had hoped. Please don't forget about me when you get back into the craziness of Hollywood. I know I won't forget about you anytime soon.
With much love,
P.S. Just in case you and Darren don't work out after all, my number is on the back of this card. You didn't think I would give up that easy, did you? (:
I smiled as I put the card on my dresser. No, I really didn't think he would give up that easy. Just then, I heard the doorbell ring.
I looked over at my bedside clock. Who the hell is knocking at my door at 5 AM?
I walked nervously to the front door, tons of possibilities of who it could be rolling through my head. I peeked through the window at the door, expecting to see my mom or my agent or someone like that.
No, it was not my mom. It was Darren.
"Darren, it's 5 in the morning. Why?" I said as I opened the door, trying to let my drowsiness show, as if I hadn't been awake for the past hour and a half.
"I couldn't sleep."
Darren looked like shit. I mean, he looked a little bit nice, but…he just looked like shit. It was like he was trying to look good, suave even, wearing a dark grey button up shirt and denim jeans. But his hair looked like he had tugged at it all night and he had this dark bags under his eyes. His whole attitude seemed sad and beaten down. It was a bit disheartening.
I opened the door wider, stepping aside and gesturing for him to come inside. "You look like absolute crap."
"You don't look so hot yourself." I looked into a small mirror that was in the hallway. I had my glasses on, my hair was still damp, and messily tousled from me not styling it at all after the shower. I too had huge bags under my eyes. I guess he's right. "Well, I mean, you do look hot – you always look…yeah." I smirked as he stared down at his feet. "So what are you up to?"
"You'd think that I'd be sleeping, but I'm actually unpacking and watching TV." I was surprised that I actually told him the truth.
"Can I join you?"
"You want to join me in unpacking at 5 in the morning?" I asked, hesitantly.
"I just want to be near you." he replied. He looked up, meeting my eyes. They pleaded with me, searching mine for absolution.
"Yeah," I said, taking in a shaky breath and turning for the stairs. "c'mon." I lead him up to my bedroom, where the TV was still playing and my suitcase was open on my bed.
"But, really, you sound miserable. Are you okay?"
"Yeah, well, I was drunk earlier. So I think the effects of that might be sinking into my head right about now."
"You went drinking?"
"Mhmm. With Joey."
"I see." I said, then gesturing to my bed. "Make yourself at home."
He let out an amused breath as he sat tentatively on my bed. Darren began to stare at his hands, fidgeting. I could tell that he was trying to come up with something to say, so I decided to keep unpacking to give him time of collect his thoughts. Plus, I needed to do something, because suddenly having Darren here was making my heart race.
I grabbed a small toiletry bag out of the suitcase, moving out of the room. "I'll be right back." I said before I walked to the bathroom down the hall. I put the bottles back into their places as slowly as I possibly could. Honestly, the situation was all very awkward.
When I came back I found Darren reading the note that Austin had left me.
"Darren, what are you—"
"So you and Austin are still going at it, huh?" he said, looking up from the note.
"I really don't know what I'm doing here. I – I thought that maybe you really did feel…" Darren seemed at a loss for words.
"What are you talking about?"
"You, Chris. I'm talking about you." Darren blurted, suddenly looking me in the eye. "I thought we really had something and…and I thought you would want to give it a try. I thought you would want to at least try."
"I just – what?"
"You and Austin! You're still together and I'm still just that guy in the background. I don't want to be that guy in the background, Chris. I don't want to just be your friend. I want you. I want all of you. I want everything you have to offer, and I don't want to share." Darren said strongly, rising to his feet and putting the note back on the bed. "And I know I probably sound like some selfish little – foolish boy but…I just don't care anymore. I want to be free to fall in love with you, Chris. I don't want anyone getting in the way of you – and me. I don't want anything getting in the way of us."
I stared at him in disbelief because – shit – this is all I've ever wanted. I couldn't respond, I just stared into his golden eyes which were on fire at the moment.
"I – I…I should go." Darren said, suddenly moving to leave the room.
"No." I managed to blurt out, stopping him from walking out the door. "Don't leave, Darren. Why are you – what makes you think Austin and I are together?"
"The…th-the note, on the bed." He responded skeptically.
"Yes, Darren. The note on the bed. Did you read the bottom part?"
"What bottom part?"
I couldn't help but smile because, sheesh, Darren could be clueless sometimes. "There's a PS. Go ahead, read it."
He moved back over to the bed, picking up the note in bewilderment and reading the bottom. A huge, stupid grin formed slowly on his face. He looked up at me and we both beamed at each other.
"So you're not…"
"Nope," I replied with a smile.
"And I didn't…"
Darren surged forward, dropping the note on the ground and attacking my in a huge hug. I laughed as he knocked the breath out of me, wrapping his arms around my sides, and pressing kisses all along my neck and jaw.
"Oh my god, Chris I am so sorry. For everything." He said, pausing every few seconds to kiss my cheeks or whatever else he could reach. "I'm such an ass. I shouldn't have ran, Chris. I regretted it as soon as I did, but I was too much of a coward to come back. Please, please, please forgive me. I care about you so much and I just…I can't lose you."
"It's okay, Darren. It's okay. I forgive you." I managed to say as he continued to hug me as tightly as he possibly could. We stayed like that for a minute longer, just holding each other. "Did you mean it?"
Darren pulled away to look me in the eye.
"Did you mean it when you said you didn't want anything to get in the way of us?"
"Yes, yes Chris of course. I want you, only you."
"So, you really want to try?"
"Of course I want to try." He breathed. "I want nothing more than to give this…" He reached down, holding my hand in his, "our best shot."
I leaned my forehead down, resting it against his, closing my eyes and reveling in his embrace. "It's gonna be tricky." I whispered. "A lot of things are going to try their best to keep us apart."
"I'm in if you're in." he whispered back, smiling.
I laughed, a giddy warmth spreading throughout my whole body. Finally, I thought. Finally, this man is mine.
Words couldn't express how happy I was when we sealed it with a kiss.
I hope you've enjoyed this story as much as I have. You guys have really been amazing to me. I can't believe all the attention this story has gotten. Thanks so much for sticking through it with me. You all are magnificent.
I hope I was able to leave you guys happy with this ending. I'm pretty sure all the loose ends are tied up, right?
So anyways, the quote at the beginning of the chapter is from the song This is the End (If you want it) by Relient K, one of my favorite bands ever. Also, the song that Darren sings in the bar is called Surf Wax America by legendary band, Weezer.
Also, if you're sad about not having any more of my writing to read (which I probably doubt) I have this very funny slightly new story called 'Just For The Night' on my profile. People are telling me that it's hilarious. And in my opinion, it's ten times better than this story. And don't forget about the poll on my profile!
Thank you all for being such amazing readers (: I'd love to know what you thought of the ending, so review!
and I will see you all on tumblr (: