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Chapter 2

 

Chris stopped in his tracks, tilting his head and looking at Darren with newfound curiosity. That name sounded oddly familiar, but Chris couldn't quite place it. Then after a few seconds, he remembered where he had heard it, and his face lit up in realization. "Oh, I know you!" He said, a smile forming on his face. Now that he recognized he could definitely tell he was right. The curls were the biggest giveaway, since it was a bit harder to make out Darren's face on a small computer screen, where he had first encountered it, but the curls were easily recognizable. "You're the guy who plays Harry Potter."

 

The guy, - Darren, Chris reminded himself - smiled brightly at the recognition and nodded eagerly, his curls jumping all around his face. "Yeah, that's right! I can't believe I basically just tackled a fan, what a way to greet someone," he joked, laughing at himself.  He didn't look too worried by the situation, he could tell Chris wasn't mad or hurt. "But I'm really sorry about that, man. I would say I'm not usually that clumsy, but that would be a lie."

 

"Well, at least you're honest about it," Chris replied with a smile, grabbing his belongings around him and standing up. When he had gotten to his feet, he held out a hand for Darren, who took it without hesitation. "So, do you want me to help you get the water safely back to your car?" He offered, eyeing the bottles on the ground. How Darren had even managed to carry that many in the first place was a mystery, it was no wonder he had fallen over.

 

"Yeah, sure, but you don't have to. Aren't I the one who kind of owe you a favor already, you know, with the whole 'smacking you as I fell over' thing?" Darren had already began picking up bottles as he talked,  and Chris laughed to himself as he walked over to his car, stuffing the block, pen and water in through the open window.

 

"No, it's okay. Really. And I could use the exercise, so I don't mind." When Chris turned back to Darren, the other man had already managed to get an impressive stack gathered in his arms, but Chris quickly made sure to get the rest, so Darren wouldn't drop them all again. He briefly wondered why Darren needed that much water, he was pretty sure there was enough to keep an elephant going for a few days. But he didn't ask, since he didn't want to come off as too nosy. "So is your car far away?"

 

Darren shook his head as he began to make his way down the road again, going slowly so he wouldn't lose balance. "Nah, just like forty meters, or something like that," he replied simply, glancing curiously at Chris. "So, what were you doing on the ground of an overheated highway?"

 

"Oh, I was just writing a little. I should probably choose a better location, though, so I won't knock over any other innocent people, who are passing by." Darren laughed, which caused Chris to smile as well. They both knew the small incident was probably mostly Darren's fault, but nothing had happened, besides Chris meeting a cute, talented guy, so he definitely wasn't complaining.

 

Everything after that happened very quickly. Suddenly they were surrounded by a group of Darren's friend, some of whom Chris could recognize from "A Very Potter Musical". They were all grabbing the water from Darren's arms and looking curiously at Chris, and asking what he was doing there.

 

Darren introduced him, with an enthusiasm Chris quickly realized was just a part of his personality, he really wasn't trying to lay it on too thick, he was just naturally that bubbly, which Chris had to admit, he really liked. The Starkids were spread out in a few different cars, but they had gathered as one collective group at the moment, just hanging out and enjoying the sunny weather.

 

Chris was invited to join the, and since the cars were holding completely still, not even moving one meter, he decided that he might as well. He found out that the reason Darren had been the one to get water for everyone was because he lost a bet. The guys had placed a bet on who of the guys were hottest in the girls' eyes, and apparently Darren was more attractive than he thought, which resulted in him having to get the water. That was his "punishment" for being the hottest, at least that's what Joey Richter had said.

 

After a while of just talking, mainly done by Darren and his friends, while Chris listened, one of the girls suddenly turned to Chris, realization dawning on her face as she looked up at him. She was standing right next to him, and she was considerably shorter, so her head was tilted in a sharp angle, but it didn't seem to bother her. "Hey, Chris? Are you Chris Colfer?"

 

Chris' eyebrows rose in surprise at the sudden question and he couldn't help but laugh at Lauren's concentrated face as she studied as much of his face as she could see. But he could imagine how it was a bit hard to tell, since he was wearing sunglasses. "Uh, yeah. I am," he replied, noticing how more people had stopped and looked curiously at his and Lauren's conversation. Apparently Lauren had said it louder than she realized.

 

"Ha!" She yelled triumphantly, making Chris and several others jump in surprise. "I knew it!" Now everyone was definitely looking at them. The ones who knew Chris was, looked at him with the same expression of realization that Lauren had, but Darren didn't look particularly surprised. Maybe he had realized it earlier. Chris thought back to the moment of wonder Darren had displayed when he first saw Chris, after stumbling over him, and he realized Darren had probably recognized him then. But much to Chris' gratitude, he hadn't made a big number out of it.

 

But he soon realized that Darren's friends wouldn't do that either, they were just very curious by nature. "How strange is that? I've seen you on TV and shit," Joey commented, causing a number of the others to nod and comment in agreement. And just like that, it was over. Everyone just accepted that Chris was who he was, and went on with their conversation as if nothing had changed. Which, of course, it hadn't, but a lot of people didn't seem to realize that, and treated him differently when they realized who he was. It was very refreshing from what Chris was used to, and it made him like Darren and his friends even more.

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