Summary: Darren’s only got eyes for one.
He’s not supposed to be there; he’s never supposed to be there. But that doesn’t stop Darren from showing up at the NYADA set once again. He’s got the day, well, the afternoon off, and nowhere else he’d rather be. At least this time he has the excuse of Joey and Tessa being there; he can get away with this a little easier than usual.
The NYADA crew has finally gotten used to him being there, hovering back just out of Chris and Oliver’s eyelines. Darren wants to be there, but he doesn’t want to be a major distraction. He knows how awful that is. And the PAs have stopped asking him if he knows that he’s not scheduled for filming. Everyone knows why he’s there.
Darren has the shooting schedule from Chris and he shows up on set when he knows they’ll be filming the Apple’s performance and not Chris’ reaction shots. Not that he doesn’t want to be there for the whole day – he does. He catches Chris in his trailer, sprawled out on the sofa, half-asleep and playing idly with his phone. Darren’s phone buzzes with a text just as Chris looks up to watch him step inside the trailer.
“I just sent you a message.”
Darren drops his coat on the floor and walks over to the sofa. “Oh yeah?” He crawls onto the cushions, settling himself between Chris’ thighs, and twists around until he can rest his head on Chris’ stomach. “Let me see.”
Chris angles the phone over Darren’s head, settling his arms on Darren’s shoulders as his legs bracket Darren’s body, so Darren can see the screen.
Dinner later? Joey says hi and that you’re a creeper, whatever that means.
Darren laughs. “Joey knows about my, er, field trips over here.”
“Of course he does.” Chris tightens his legs around Darren. “Everyone knows.”
“That’s a goddamn lie. I’m a stealthy fucker. Like a panther.” Darren takes a hold of the phone and finds the camera function. He stretches his arms out as far as he’s able to and can just get his head on Chris’ stomach, framed by Chris’ strong, pale arms, with most of Chris’ sleepy-eyed face in the shot. He takes the picture.
“Uh-huh.” Chris scratches his fingers through Darren’s hair and Darren sends a copy of the picture to himself before he lets Chris have his phone back.
“Come on, if we’re going to watch your friends experience the humiliation of our everyday lives, we need to get going.”
“Fine, fine.” Darren rolls himself out of Chris’ embrace and stands up. “And we are so getting dinner later.”
They sit in the far back of the auditorium for the Baby Got Back filming. It’s only because Chris and Darren are pretty much the stars of the goddamn show that lets them get away with it. Darren’s allowed to hover during Chris and Oliver’s filming because he refuses to leave, and because he stays far enough off set to be considered “out of the fucking way.” But sitting in the auditorium is another thing altogether. The director gave them one warning to shut up and be invisible or else they’d be unceremoniously booted out into the cold.
It’s hard though. Darren kind of wants to hoot and holler at Tessa and Joey, to be the obnoxious shit they both know he is, but he’s professional enough to keep his mouth shut. Most of the time.
“You really shouldn’t join this group,” Darren whispers into Chris’ ear after a cut is called. This close, Chris smells like makeup and hairspray. Darren wants to nuzzle closer to see if he can’t find the scent of Chris’ soap underneath, the same scent that was lingering in his sheets that morning.
Chris snorts. “You just don’t want any competition.”
“Pfft. Competition. Not likely.” Darren watches as Joey talks to some of the other performers. He’s so ridiculously happy for his friends that it hurts.
“Hey.” Chris’ voice is pitched low, intimate, and it pulls Darren closer. His body curves into Chris’ shoulder even as his eyes stay on Joey. “There’s no competition at all.”
Darren’s heart stutters. He turns to Chris; his eyes are ocean-blue in the dim lighting and so beautiful.
Chris’ mouth twitches in the way that means he’s thinking about a kiss. “Yeah.”
Darren slips a hand between their close-pressed thighs and finds Chris’. He squeezes Chris’ fingers and strokes his thumbs over the wide knuckles. He shouldn’t still need to hear those kinds of things, the deep confessions, not after this long, but he does. He’s thankful for every time Chris lets him hear them.
“You either,” Darren breathes out.
Chris smiles, just a little, but it means everything, and his fingers flex around Darren’s. Darren can see it in his eyes that he wants to say something else, something more, but it’s really, really not the place. He shouldn’t even be here, after all. Maybe after dinner.
“Pay attention,” is what Chris finally says. “You’re supposed to be watching your friends, not me.”
“Yeah.” Darren lets his eyes roam over Chris’ face, memorizing what he already knows by heart. “But I’m always watching you.”
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