Rating: PG-13 (language)
Word Count: 1235
Summary: Darren isn't stalking, no matter what his friends think.
Warnings: College!AU, brief Starkid appearances
A/N: Written for CrissColfer week on Tumblr, unbetaed.
No matter what Lauren says Darren knows he isn’t stalking. Stalking implies knowing everything about someone; following them through their daily routine, to their house, taking creepy pictures through their windows while mentally complimenting the new painting they have hanging on the wall.
No, Darren doesn’t stalk. He simply admires from afar. Because regardless of what his douchebag friends think, he doesn’t know everything about the beautiful boy that he sees sitting by himself in the dining hall every evening or roaming through the campus with his nose buried in a book that he can never quite see the title of, no matter how hard he squints. And it’s only by accident that Darren finds out his name is Chris and that he moved from Clovis, California and that he’s a freshman majoring in Creative Writing. It’s definitely not stalking; Darren just knows people and they happen to share a class or two with Chris.
That doesn’t stop the accusing look Lauren is sending him as she takes a much too aggressive bite of her fruit salad. Joey’s giving him that all-too-familiar look as well, the one that says ‘grow a fucking pair and go talk to him so you can put us out of our misery’. And Darren is a little tired of not being close. He wants to find out once and for all what color Chris’ eyes are and what cologne he wears, if he’s a vegetarian or eats meat like a champ (despite himself, Darren grins at that particular double entendre). Most importantly of all, Darren would really like to find out if Chris’ skin is as soft as it looks and if he prefers boxers or briefs or best of all, boxer briefs. Because for all of his social skills, Darren just hasn’t found the right moment to put himself out there and actually speak to the person he’s been mentally objectifying every time he sees him. There’s the small problem of his mouth going dry and words getting stuck in his throat when he actually sees Chris. Darren knows that’s easily fixed with a bottle of water and a clumsy yet charming stumble over his words. The real problem lies with Chris himself.
Because, as much as Darren hates to admit it, he just seems… Well. Not interested.
It’s not as if he hasn’t tried to catch the underclassmen’s gaze. He’s followed all his usual tactics. Playing guitar in the quad, jumping on tables and reciting a random scene from the latest Harry Potter movie, walking by (repeatedly) in a pair of tight jeans in the hopes Chris will check out all the assets he has to offer. Short of having Joey de-pants him during the dinner rush (again), Darren’s tried everything he can think of, with the exception of actually talking to him.
He’s determined to change that today. He’s feeling confident and his hair looks good and it’s first thing in the morning so he knows his breath isn’t awful. Yeah, today is the perfect day to talk to Chris and it has absolutely nothing to do with the way his entire table of friends are simultaneously shooting glares and amused grins in his direction.
“I’m doing it,” he announces, to no one in particular as he stands up. Darren almost blushes when the whole table cheers and the entire dining hall look their way. Including Chris. Who just looks annoyed by the commotion instead of curious the way everyone else does. Fuck.
He drops his ass promptly back into his seat. “Maybe tomorrow instead,” he grumbles, cheeks definitely feeling warm, suddenly wondering what the fuck he was thinking because his self-esteem just took a nose dive in front of half the campus and his hair is frizzy as fuck and it’s cloudy outside and it’s not the perfect day to put himself out there at all.
“Oh no you don’t!” Joey grabs him by the back of his shirt and starts forcefully marching him across the room. “I’m tired of watching you make heart eyes at the kid. You’re doing this and you’re doing this today.” The words are hissed in his ear, Darren’s eyes growing wider as he realizes just where they’re going, but before he can protest or fight back, there’s a chair dragging across the floor and he’s being thrust into it without so much as a warning.
Chris looks up, eyes wide and shoulders hunched, eying the both of them suspiciously. A piece of hair is loose on his forehead and Darren wants to push it away from his face. Instead, all he can do is gape like a moron. “Chris, this is Darren. Darren thinks you’re awesome and wants to eat your face. Please talk to him so I don’t have to hear about how nice your ass looks in those jeans anymore.” And without so much as a backward glance, Joey is gone and Darren is left sitting with a shell-shocked, very red-faced Chris.
All Darren can do is chuckle awkwardly, shifting his feet so they’re tucked around the legs of his chair. He rubs at the back of his neck, can barely bring himself to glance up at Chris’ face because he’s positive it’s going to be filled with the same sort of disdain that had crossed his face only moments before. He doesn’t think he can stand that.
They speak at the same time and it’s the first time Darren’s actually heard Chris’ voice and if it isn’t the most beautiful sound in the world, he doesn’t know what is. He can practically feel the heart-eyes that Joey mentioned taking shape and he knows he looks like an idiot, but he just doesn’t care. Darren grins, a little shy and lopsided but genuine, and motions for Chris to speak first.
It takes the younger man a moment to speak, hands fumbling with the pages of the book he’s reading before he lifts his chin and meets Darren’s eyes for the very first time. “So do you really think my ass looks good in these jeans?” His voice is almost breathless, as if he can’t quite believe a guy would find him attractive and suddenly Darren wants to know everything about this boy.
His grin grows wider and he laughs, loud and obnoxious before he holds a hand out. “I’m Darren.”
He’s rewarded with a tentative, shy smile that grows a little more sure at the introduction. “Chris.”
“Well, Chris. How do you feel about boxer briefs?”
Chris fumbles, cheeks once again turning a delicious shade of red that Darren could easily become addicted to. He recovers after a few seconds, side-eyeing Darren before he flippantly replies, “I think that’s a question better suited for a second date, don’t you?”
It’s Darren’s turn to stutter, quickly covering it up with a cough before he nods fervently, curls falling into his eyes. “How about I buy you dinner tonight?” He’s overeager, but he doesn’t care as he leans forward, dropping his voice low, suggestive, and he’s speaking just loud enough for Chris to hear. “I’ve got a meal card and I hear the pizza here is fucking awesome.”
Chris’ laugh is melodious, music to Darren’s ears, and he knows it’s going to prove to be just as addicting as the rest of the boy. “Sounds perfect.”
Yeah, Darren thinks. It really, really does.