Things Are Different, But You Still Pretend: Epilogue

by: mal

word count: ~1,000

a/n: this is it guys! Thanks for taking this journey with me. I absolutely loved writing this story, and I hope you guys liked the way I ended it. I originally intended on one more chapter then an epilogue, but I sort like the way this felt. Enjoy!

previous chapters: Tumblr, ICH, FF.net

***

"You nervous?" Chris asked quietly, wiping his sweaty palms against his slacks. He could only make out the sliver of light that gave way to Darren’s face, his eye crinkling up into big smile.

"No," Darren realized, taking a step toward Chris. "Not anymore."

Chris took his hand, twining their fingers together. “You sure you wanna go through with this?”

Darren brought Chris’ hand up to his mouth and brushed his lips softly over them. “I’m more sure than ever. I’m tired of waiting. I’m tired of hiding from who I really am. I just want to get everything out in the open and over with.”

Chris’ face scrunched up into a smile, his heart lifting, hardly believing that only a few months ago he and Darren were in such a terrible place. Now Darren was planning on coming out on national television in less than 10 minutes, and Chris was the one that was shaking with nerves.

"Now I’d like to welcome stars Chris Colfer and Darren Criss from Glee, who play the beloved characters Kurt Hummel and Blaine Anderson!"

The two of them walked out with big smiles and arms brushing, waving to the screaming crowd until they sat down in the cushy chairs, facing the host of the Today Show.

"So," she began once they settled. "You guys had your big kiss on last night’s episode."

Chris nodded enthusiastically. “We did.”

"Finally," Darren scoffed with a playful eye-roll.

"How was it?" she asked with a grin.

"Well," Chris began, but Darren cut in.

"It was fantastic," he enthused. "A really beautiful moment for both of those characters. It built up just enough to have everyone root for them, despite the fact that they are homosexual couple, which is not seen often on television. I am so thankful to be apart of all of this."

"A huge burden and a blessing at the same time," Chris supplemented. "The fans are really crazy about this couple."

The host started nodding, a huge smile stretching across her face, and that’s when Chris knew it was coming.

"It has been reported that you two are very close on set," she began, her eyes shining with gossip. "Care to elaborate on your work relationship?"

"Well," Darren trailed off, fingers twitching on his leg. Chris almost expected Darren to grab his hand and hold it. "Chris is really a generous talent, such an honor to work with him. I haven’t really had the chance to hang out with the rest of the cast yet, but hopefully in the future!"

"Darren and I like to tease each other," Chris offered carefully, avoiding any eye-contact with the members of the audience. He wanted Darren to take the step when he was ready, but a gentle nudge in that direction would probably be appreciated. "We like lots of the same things so we have plenty to talk about. Also I think people underestimate Darren, he’s an amazing actor and he really doesn’t get enough credit-"

"Chris."

Chris halted mid-ramble and turned to face Darren who had interrupted him. His expression was so soft and affectionate, it took a moment for Chris to collect himself. “What?”

"Let’s just tell them."

Chris sucked in a quick breath, heart in his throat. “Okay.”

"What is it?" The host wondered. A tense silence had fallen upon the room.

Darren took a deep breath. “We-“

It was as if time had slowed down. Darren bowed his head, his eyelashes fanned against his cheeks as he steeled himself. Chris reached out to squeeze his thigh for reassurance, to show that he was there. Then, after a long moment, Darren turned his palm up and twined their fingers together tightly from habit.

"We had a reason to come here," Darren announced, lifting his head and facing the audience head on, confident and vulnerable at the same time. "Chris and I would like to formally come out as a couple."

There was a beat before the room broke out in excited whispers and shocked gasps. However before Chris could even acknowledge more of the situation Darren grabbed his head and pulled him in for a wet kiss that seemed to reverberate around the room with finality.

"Wow," the host exclaimed, clapping her hands together. "Oh wow! Well, we have to go to commercial, but when we come back we have a lot to discuss with these two!”

The cameras went off air, and Darren sort of collapsed into Chris’ side, his hands shaking. Chris held his shoulder steady and stroked his hair. There was commotion all around, but it all fell on Chris’ ears as white noise. Nothing else mattered right now except for Darren.

"Are you okay," Chris whispered, kissing his temple.

Darren turned and pressed their lips together sweetly, visibly relaxing. “I am.”

"You sure?" Chris had to double check. "This is huge."

"It is," Darren conceded, smiling slightly.

"I hope you’re prepared for it," Chris warned. "This is only the beginning."

Darren stroked Chris’ cheek, not caring who saw, his face suddenly serious. “I can do anything if I have you.”

Chris’ heart flipped in his chest, his stomach swarming with butterflies. He was so in love with this man, that he actually couldn’t even collect himself as he normally did on TV before there was the signal that they’d be back on only in a minute or so.

Darren straightened up in his chair and dug into his pocket, pulling out something a bit crumpled, smoothing out the tips with his fingers. His heart felt warm as he gazed at the photograph. It was like closure. All the bad was behind them all, and now the bright future was ahead, and Darren couldn’t wait to take it on. It only got better from here.

"We getting lunch with them afterward?" Chris giggled, bumping his shoulder into Darren’s as the cameras turned on them, hands clasped.

"Yeah," Darren grinned. "I think they said they had something to tell us."

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