Title: I Don’t Think That There’s a Quiz
Pairing: Darren Criss/Chris Colfer
Rating: PG for now (will go up in later parts)
Summary: Darren’s students have been bugging him to talk to the new Language Arts teacher for weeks now. He’s so handsome and cool and talented, they say. Turns out they’re not wrong.
A/N: And apparently this is now a switching-POVs fic :)
part 1 | part 2
It wasn’t until Friday that Chris saw the elusive Performing Arts teacher again. They had only chatted in passing before this week, and he had been surprised when the man peeked into his classroom during third hour on Tuesday. For days Chris had been sure that his stupidly enthusiastic grin had scared him off for good.
Except there he was, looking into his classroom again, and this time it was during lunch. Which meant that Chris would be able to talk to him.
He figured the giant cardboard cut-out of Professor Minerva McGonagall (which Mr. Criss was currently gaping at) was the perfect starting point.
“I got it as a Christmas gift,” Chris said, laughing when Mr. Criss jumped in surprise. (And Chris seriously wanted to be on a first name basis with this guy, because it was too bizarre having a teacher named Mr. Criss. Half the time he thought the students were talking about his collection of crazy sunglasses before he remembered that they didn’t know him by his first name.)
“It’s awesome,” Mr. Criss said, leaning against Chris’s doorframe. His arm casually crossed his torso to clutch his elbow and a smile-induced crinkle appeared around his eyes. “You a big fan of Minnie McG?”
Chris snorted. (This guy was such a dork.) “My sister thought it would be funny. New teacher and all that.”
Mr. Criss nodded sagely. “Ahh, I see. So what, like, you’re McGonagall?” He raised an eyebrow and—was he checking Chris out? He was definitely looking.
Chris blushed. “Yeah, well,” he rolled his eyes, shaking his head fondly, “my sister’s kind of a smart ass so that probably is what it means.”
Mr. Criss chuckled. “Hey. At least she didn’t get you Snape. Or, like, Hagrid.”
“Oh, god, Hagrid. Can you imagine?” Chris laughed and shook his head. He didn’t get much adult interaction in his day, and Mr. Criss was…intriguing. It was still the beginning of lunch…maybe they could eat together. He leaned forward in his seat and nodded at some of the empty desks beside his. “Would you like to come in, Mr. Criss? I usually just eat my lunch alone, but I wouldn’t mind the company.”
“Oh!” He stood up straight again and rubbed the back of his neck with a small frown. “I would love to, yeah, but…I actually have a drama club meeting today. I was just grabbing my food from the fridge.” He lifted the metal lunch box in his hand. “Can I get a raincheck?”
Chris nodded, trying to seem casual (and not too disappointed). “Yeah, totally. Like I said, I’m usually in here, so…any time you want to come by is cool.”
(That didn’t sound too desperate, did it?)
“Awesome.” He shoved off the doorframe with his shoulder and ran a hand through his very curly hair. “And it’s Darren.”
“What?” Chris blinked at him. (The hair was distracting, okay?)
“My name. You can call me Darren.” He was grinning again.
“Oh! Yeah, okay. Darren. I’m Chris. It’s nice to actually meet you.”
Darren’s grin widened. “The pleasure is all mine, Chris.” He glanced at the clock on the wall and sighed. “Yeah, I have to get going. Sorry. But I’ll come by on Monday, maybe? We can talk about your striking resemblance to McGonagall over here.”
Chris let out a huff of a laugh. “Yeah, well. It’s all in the cheekbones.”
“Clearly.” Darren smiled. “Okay, yeah, I’m going now.” He took a step backwards. “See you next week?”
“Sounds good to me.”
“Awesome. Sweet.” He was still standing in the doorway.
“Oh my god, go.” Chris said, laughing a little.
“Right! Yes. The meeting.” He gave a little salute and then turned away, calling “bye!” over his shoulder.
When he was gone, Chris buried his face in his hands and let out a giggle that he would deny with his dying breath.
Over the weekend there were several times Chris debated saying something to Darren on Facebook, but ultimately he decided to wait until Monday to see the man in person.
Monday started out a disaster.
He slept through his alarm and almost missed the bell, he spilled coffee on his tie during first hour, he forgot to make copies for his second hour, and his third hour was just plain hyper. By the time his prep hour rolled around, Chris was ready for the day to be over. So it really shouldn’t have been surprising that he forgot all about his lunch with Mr. C—Darren.
“Is this a bad time?” a voice said from the doorway.
Chris sat up, startled, and saw Darren standing awkwardly just inside his door. “Oh! Darren, hi. No, uh—” he grunted and pushed himself up from the floor. (He had been lying behind his desk, his jacket covering his eyes to keep out the light and ward off the migraine that was threatening to pound his brains into oblivion.) “Sorry. I didn’t realize it was already lunch time. Um. Come in.”
Darren smiled and approached his desk, looking him up and down. “Long day?”
Chirs’s laugh was not bitter. “Oh, you know, the usual. Overslept, ruined my favorite tie, dealt with crazy thirteen-year-olds for three hours straight.”
Darren chuckled sympathetically. “Well. It is Monday.”
“Mondays are the worst. I have an extra rolling chair over there if you want to pull it up. Those student desks are murder on your back,” Chris said.
“Oh! Yeah, okay, that sounds good.” Darren set his lunch box on Chris’s desk (it was an Avengers lunch box, of course) and grabbed the chair, giving a cheery wave and saying “Hey, McGonagall!” when he passed the cardboard cut-out.
“I think she likes you,” Chris said, trying to lighten his own mood. (He really wanted to have lunch with Darren with a non-morning-ruined attitude.)
“Oh yeah? What makes you say that?” Darren dragged the chair around the desk and sat right next to Chris, which surprised him a little but was absolutely okay.
“Aw, come on, she’s definitely checking you out,” Chris said, grabbing his sandwich from his desk drawer.
Darren chuckled and glanced back at her. “Well. Sorry to disappoint you, Minerva, but I don’t really play for your team very often.”
Chris didn’t comment on the “very often” (though he was morbidly curious). Instead he said, “Poor McGonagall. She’ll be heartbroken.”
“Yes, well. Our love was never meant to be.”
“I heard you had lunch with Mr. Criss yesterday.”
Chris shook his head and said, “Good morning, Abby.”
She dropped her bag into her chair and sat on top of her desk. “Well? Was it romantic? Did you guys kiss?”
“Abby!” He erased the errant streak of blue dry erase marker that was the result of his shock and resolutely continued writing the day’s agenda. “That is absolutely none of your business.”
She narrowed her eyes at him, and Chris felt like he was being studied under a microscope. Then her face relaxed into a pout and she sighed. “No kiss yet, huh?”
“Oh my god. Sit in your chair, Abby. I’m not talking about this with you.”
His half-hearted attempt didn’t really deter her.
“You should come to our showcase tomorrow night,” she said, sliding off the desk. “We’re doing the songs from our concert and all the teachers and staff are invited to see it for free so we can practice in front of an audience.”
“That sounds cool. I can probably be there, yeah. What time?”
She picked up a marker and said, “It’s right after school. Can I write it on the board?”
“Sure, go for it.”
“And then afterwards,” she said, tilting her head as she wrote in a pretty cursive, “you can take Mr. Criss to dinner.”
Chris sighed and rolled his eyes.
It was shaping up to be another long day.
What he hadn’t told Abby was that Darren had already invited him to the showcase.
They had talked the whole lunch period, laughing about shared interests (Darren, much like Chris, was a huge nerd) and comparing stories about their common students. Abby herself came up in conversation, though he hadn’t mentioned that she had been pushing for a romantic development between the two of them.
It was a little too early in their non-relationship to joke about things like that.
In the end they agreed to meet up at the showcase and then grab coffee afterwards.
As colleagues, Chris told himself. Nothing more.