A/N: I truly don't know what I'm doing here anymore... This is just an attempt to what could possibly be my last crisspez. Let's cry forever.
It's an AU and my warning are the usuals: Swears, eventually sex scenes, probably violence, death? Idk I just wanna cover everything. And I'm sorry for the OoC, it's all for the sake of the story. Yknow they're all puppies in real life. Also, it is so cliché that I became everything I hate.
Disclaimer: I don't own the people or places mentioned. The title is an Arctic Monkey's song, and the story is somewhat losely based on Federico Moccia's novel Three steps above heaven.
Enjoy! - Natt
That's where you're wrong
Chapter 1: Strike One
Lauren didn't like distractions.
Whenever her mind settled up on an objective, short or long term; anything that diverted her from it was pointless bother.
That's why she closed the dorm's window when a herd of motorcycles started to mend close to her place. It was not a surprise- they disturbed the campus at the beginning of every year, before people complained with the executive committee and they had to limit their activities outside.
When the water heated up enough, she made herself a cup of tea. She glanced at the clock after drinking the first sip. Then she walked to the room next to hers, opening the door with a swipe.
"Thirty minutes!" Lauren warned, kind of upset her roommate was in such a heavily sleep. Mainly because she barely had gotten any herself. But her tone didn't have an effect, the girl didn't move a hair. She'd try again in ten minutes.
She finished her tea and put some concealer on the dark circles under her eyes. It wasn't magical, but at least it wasn't obvious she had been rolling on the bed until 4 in the morning. She left the empty cup and the makeup bag next to her notes on the table. Her second attempt to wake up her friend was in vain, too.
The herd of motorcycles went on a second round; and she frowned, annoyed, as she stood in front of the mirror and made a neat half tail with her hair. She wasn't full aware yet, it wasn't the mood she'd rather start classes with. She had already accomplished half of her career in the University of Michigan, but the second half was the most important, and the hardest. She had done it alright so far, but she definitely needed to get her crap together this year.
When the first class was ten minutes away, she grabbed her notes, and entered to the other room. She shamelessly turned the lights on, getting a howl as response.
"Are you stupid?!" Someone yelled at her with a hoarse I-just-wake-up voice.
Something moved under the sheets, but it was hard to tell in which direction.
"Ten minutes, Caroline! See you there."
This was kind of the ritual of every year, too. If Lauren woke up ten minutes before class, you could be sure she'd never make it on time; but her roommate had this exceptional gift and she could always arrive to give her attendance.
While Lauren was walking down the stairs of their building, the guys on the bikes were still around. One of them passed dangerously close to her when she tried to walk through the road. She recognized him. It was Joe, one of the seniors of the same career as her, the drama major. He turned to the left and continued nonstop until one of the furthest points of the university, where he met his friends.
About four young men were enjoying the shade of the trees of that morning, sharing a bottle of beer to start the day (Some were both finishing it and starting it at the same time), and throwing a few meaningless conversations. Joe got off the bike, leaving it next to the rest; and a smile was drawn on his lips as he approached them.
"So, it's true then." He commented, first grabbing the glass of beer, and then stretching his other hand to a friend he knew very well, but hadn't seen in a long while. He still didn't know what to think about his appearance. The guy grabbed his hand and used it as a support to get up from the ground. "What brings you here again?"
Darren shrugged shortly. "Life." He grabbed the beer right from his hand before Joe had a chance to drink. He didn't realize, but that was annoying. He thought his return would be all about good news, especially when it came to Joe, one of his closest friends. "So, what did I miss?"
Lauren yawned once again while leafing through her notes. As soon as the teacher gave them the curriculum, she'd try to study in advance as much as she could. Study in advance was actually her best trick for conceptual notes. As much as the teacher said the most important grades were based on the exams, they always helped that student who knew the answer since the first class.
She picked up the bag from the desk next to hers when Caroline arrived into the classroom. If someone else occupied that seat, she'd have to bring one from another class. The professor interrupted their speech for a few seconds, before realizing who it was. They've already had him on Mondays mornings last year.
"It's good to know you'll keep interrupting my classes this year, Miss Brown." The professor commented, and a low laugh echoed. Lauren didn't laugh.
"Thanks, honey." The girl whispered as she sat down. Her red hair was still messy and she seemed aroused. Lauren tried to ignore it and kept on taking notes from what the teacher was saying. But the peace didn't last long. She added quickly. "You won't believe what Julia told me in the hall."
Evidently, Caroline was waiting she asked what it was, but the fact that Lauren didn't do it wouldn't stop her.
"Remember that guy Darren Criss? He's back in Michigan. I guess he'll be in some of our classes."
"Mm, who?" Lauren didn't even look away from her notebook.
"Darren Criss." She repeated, frustrated at her friend's ignorance. "You can't not remember him!"
"Shhh." Lauren said, worried she was being too loud. "I'm pretty sure I don't know him."
"He was in our classes half of freshman year, but then he moved to San Francisco because he got a music contract. Hadn't you seen his music video?" Before Lauren even had time to think and say no, Caroline continued, barely taking a short breather. "Well, the thing is he came back! And he's kinda famous now, so that's that."
"Okay." She just replied, upset because she lost the track on the professor's discourse.
"Do you remember him now?"
"No. Why is it important?"
"Everyone's talking about it."
Caroline sighed, "I'm just trying to make our Monday a little interesting. Never mind. Do you have a pen? I forgot mine."
Lauren shook her head with a little grin on her lips; as she searched for the pen in her bag.
"So, to sum it up, Brian finally got his Harley, and…" Jeff explained, even though he was omitting to mention a very important matter. Brian's chest inflated proudly. "I got rid off my acne, too. So we're even." He joked.
Darren noted that they were hiding something. He wasn't totally catching up. But he didn't try to force it to come out.
"How did you get the money for your Harley, Brian?" Darren asked, despite he didn't really pay attention to his explanations. Something about a garage, and his father. Meanwhile, someone else arrived. He put his Harley with theirs, but Darren was sure he hadn't seen him before. "Who's this guy?" He asked.
"That's Richard." Brian said. "He's only a sophomore but he throws these amazing parties at his house, and he's been following us for like two months last year so Joe decided to give him a shot."
"Hey, Richard!" Darren called. The thin, tall brunette looked at him with a frown; taking a few seconds to recognize him. "I'm Darren." He introduced, offering his hand.
"Yeah, I've heard about you. What brings you back to Michigan?" he politely said as he shook it.
The question of the year. Darren giggled shortly.
"Michigan has the best parties. Go Blue." He turned around before Richard had time to say something else. "Hey, guys, what is Devin up to?" He continued abruptly, as if a struck just hit him. He had been remembering her on and off since he took the decision to go back to Michigan.
There was an awful, eternal silence after that question. It seemed as if nobody had the courage to answer. Darren had dated Devin since the second week in college and they hadn't spent half minute away until he moved out. They were absolutely in love- and by that I mean as much in love as two freshmen in college with a dozen of exams and free bar every weekend fifteen minutes away could be. But they did date, and that was the issue.
"A lot of things happened, Darren." Joe finally said, kinda bitter, kinda ashamed. He thought they wouldn't have to touch the Devin subject until… a long later. What was he supposed to say? Darren wasn't supposed to come back. "You left."
"What does that mean?" Not even a fly dared to buzz, and the silence pissed him off more. "What the fuck?!"
It couldn't be what his instincts were telling him. He walked to Joe, dangerously close, with his eyebrows up. Joe was looking down at first, but then he took a long breath, and stared back, defiantly. Darren tried to decode the meaning of it, and the word war kept echoing distantly in his head.
The rest of the classes were okay (As okay as a Monday morning of the first day in the academy term could be), but that night when Caroline offered to make dinner, the thermostat remote started messing with them. After 15 minutes the entire apartment became so cold that Caroline was walking around the house with a blanket. Lauren gave up on trying to understand the instructions and said she was going to Administration and see if she could get a new remote. Luckily, it wasn't that far and it was no big deal to get there.
Outside of the Administration Department there was a guy crouched under a motorbike (by what Lauren could tell) trying to fix it or something; he had a gripper or a tool that looked like it. He didn't notice her as she passed by. She sat down in the reception to wait; she could see through the transparent wall that there was someone else inside.
The waiting wasn't peaceful either. On that instant, the guy outside started his motorbike, but didn't go away. It seemed as if he was trying to test it, but couldn't he do that somewhere else? She tried to ignore but he wouldn't stop after like tree minutes, it was very annoying. She finally walked out of the reception again.
"Excuse me!" Lauren yelled, trying to make herself heard above the sound of that engine. "You, bike guy!" She said doubtful, not knowing how to call him. "There's people trying to talk in here!" He didn't need to know she was just waiting.
He only understood what she was trying to say after a while, but he sat down from his position to look at her. It was just then, when the light of the lamppost lit his face that she realized who it was. Some dark curls fell onto his forehead and his face was a little sweaty. She did remember him! The memories were vague, but basically, yeah, as Caroline said, he attended to their career for a few months and he was part of Joe Walker's group, despite being younger. She had always thought they were nothing but a pair of lazy idiots, and couldn't care about them less.
"You're making a lot of noise and the walls here are thin. Please, go somewhere else." The fact that she said please didn't make her petition more polite or less cheeky.
"The campus is mine as it yours, and I want to make noise with my bike here. I'm sorry, babe." His tone was so fake he didn't even seem to try.
Lauren frowned, not only mad at his reply but also the way he said it. Not only that, then he grabbed the handlebars, started the bike and sped up, without moving from its place. It was a very loud racket.
Lauren was offended that he wouldn't even let her reply. That was so disrespectful. She walked right to him. "Can you not?!"
Darren stopped the bike almost right away this time, and looked at her again. He wanted to laugh, but he held it.
Maybe it was curiosity, on first instance, what allured him about her.
"I'm not in a position in which I'd like to waste time." He muttered seriously.
"Great, because my hobbie is to come here every night and let everyone just walk over me." Lauren added sarcastically.
"You have a point there. I'll let you that one." Darren shrugged, deciding that was fair. "Look, I'd go somewhere else, but I happen to be new here and I don't know the place. Would you show me around?"
Lauren didn't have to be very smart to realize there was a second intention under that suggestion. He was trying to fool her; and it'd insult her that he forgot that they knew each other, if it wasn't because she forgot about him first.
"You're new?" She tilted her head in disbelief.
"Yeah, why are you looking at me like that?"
"That's the way I look at liars, Criss." She said disapprovingly.
Darren frowned. "That's weird." He shook his head. "I think I'd remember you if I had seen you before."
He checked her out from head to toes, as in slow motion, after saying that.
"Hey!" Lauren complained, this time totally upset.
"Sorry. That's the way I look at hot girls, darling." He mimicked her with a prude grin.
Lauren snorted. She was so out of that conversation, and the rage was settled in her stomach so hard that she walked directly to the room again. Darren didn't take a long time before he started focusing in the bike again. She was upset for allowing him to upset her; if that made sense. He was an idiot, better to stay out of his way until he decided again he was so much better than this university.
Caroline almost screamed when she saw her entering again. She had made a shelter out of blankets. It was freaking freezing in there.
"So? Did you get the remote?" She asked anxiously.
Lauren felt she should stab herself of embarrassment in that moment.
"Fuckkkk. The remote!" She cried.
Caroline was kind of astonished. Lauren isn't the kind of person who forgets things on a daily basis.