There were seven of them gathered in the Meeting Room, which was basically a small plain room with chairs and cushions arranged in a circle around the walls, facing the empty centre that acted as a temporary stage. The various Glee cast members were lounging around, their latest scripts in their hands. This scrip was rather unusual – whereas in the past, the title of the episode had been printed across the top in bold letters, this one merely read: “Season Three, Episode Fifteen.”
‘Anyone have any idea why they changed the format?’ Naya Rivera asked, neatly folding her legs beneath her.
Almost everyone directed their expectant gazes towards Lea Michele, who seemed to always be in the loop. But on this particular occasion, she was shaking her head, throwing her hands up in denial.
‘Ryan hasn’t told me a thing,’ she said, looking sorely disappointed.
‘Well, we’ve only had the scripts for a little while; I’m sure he’ll come clean soon,’ said Darren, while Chris just rolled his eyes at the voice of reason.
‘Alright, let’s just do a run-through, shall we?’ Cory asked, flipping his already-highlighted script open. ‘We’re kinda running on a deadline today, and I’d like to actually eat some lunch.’
‘I can’t wait to shoot our performance! Wait, when are those Warbler boys coming over anyway?’ Heather asked.
‘Probably sometime in the afternoon,’ said Amber, before clearing her throat and reading out the stage prompts to set the scene. ‘“McKinley hallway. Kurt is at his locker with Blaine. Mercedes, Rachel and Santana are approaching. Three jocks walk past and slushie Blaine –” ’
‘Why me?’ Darren groaned. He was ignored.
‘“ – The three girls run towards them while Kurt turns, furious.” Alright, go Chris!’
‘Hey!’ Chris shouted, pretending to slam a locker. ‘What is your problem?’
‘What’s yours?’ Cory sneered back, filling in for the absent jocks.
‘Oooh, snappy comeback,’ said Chris coolly, mockingly flicking back his hair. ‘Maybe if you spent as much time thinking up retorts as you do buying slushies, you might actually be able to hold a decent conversation.’
Lea opened her mouth, her countenance already oozing with concern over the slushied-Blaine’s wellbeing, when the door to the Meeting Room was suddenly and very dramatically slammed open. Everyone in the room spun to face the intruder, who was only recognised by two of the Glee cast.
‘Brian!’ exclaimed Darren in surprise.
‘Hey Darren,’ Brian Holden said with an easily smile, tossing Chris a wink.
‘What are you doing here?’ said Darren
A rather evil looking smirk played across Brian’s lips. ‘Oh, you know,’ he said casually, ‘just came to show Chris my dick.’ That smirk quickly turned into laughter when Darren began choking on thin air.
Grinning, Chris reached over and thumped Darren on the back a few times before breaking the shocked silence to address the StarKid. ‘Brian, I’m flattered, but unfortunately you’re just not my type.’
‘Wait,’ Cory interrupted with a frown. ‘Were you being serious?’
‘Of course not,’ said Darren, apparently fully recovered. ‘Ignore him, guys; he’s an idiot.’
‘Shut up Darren,’ said Brian, rolling his eyes. ‘Anyway, Chris.’
‘The StarKids and I read the script, and we all agreed that your heroic actions deserved to be sung about.’
‘Okay ...’ Chris trailed off, looking rather nervous. ‘So you...’
‘Wrote you a song!’ Brian finished with a flourish, looking spectacularly proud of himself. ‘Which I shall now serenade you with!’
And so saying, he grabbed the ever-present guitar in the room, sat down a little too closely to Chris, and began to play a very familiar tune.
You’re Kurt freakin’ Hummel!
I hope you realise
You’re the best guy of them all
All the Glee club losers – SAFE!
From jocks and dirt
All because you are the man, Kurt!
If Darren gets slushied, we hope it’ll huuuuurt!
‘Oi!’ said Darren. ‘You know, I’m meant to be your friend!’
‘Oh, shut up,’ said Brian easily, still strumming the guitar.
‘Yeah, be quiet, you big fat traitor!’ And suddenly, Joey Richter was bounding into the room through the door no one had bothered to shut. ‘Hey Chris! Would you like a delicious Red Vine?’
‘Sure,’ said Chris with a grin, holding out his hand while Joey pulled out a red vine from nowhere and passed it over.
‘Would you like to join in?’ asked Brian.
‘Well of course!’ beamed Joey, and the two began singing in harmony while the rest of the Glee cast looked on in amusement as Darren started banging his miraculously ungelled head continuously against the wall.
Long story short this guy – Karofsky – was super gay
He probably thought it was a phase
I hate him, but he sorta started Klaine
Joey pretended to clear his throat, wrapping an arm around the grinning Chris and an arm around a struggling Darren.
If it weren’t for him and several death threats
You never would’ve found out what Blaine does best
And now we’re gonna need more help please Lauren Lopez...
‘What?’ Darren blinked, wrenching himself free of his friend’s tight hold.
At that moment, the grid filtering the air coming through the ventilation duct was kicked clean out of the wall, rocketing across the room. Both Lea and Heather shrieked in surprise, while Cory leapt to his feet, Chris burst into laughter, and Darren dropped his burning face into his hands.
‘Did someone say “Lauren Lopez”?’
‘Hurry up Lauren, you’re going to miss your part!’ Joey hollered towards the duct.
Naya let out an exclamation of shock when the petite blonde girl suddenly came shooting out head first of the duct, flipping once in midair before landing gracefully on Darren.
‘Get off me, you lump!’ came his muffled voice.
‘Oh, shut up,’ Lauren said, settling herself down comfortably. ‘Hey Chris!’
‘Hi Lauren; I like your haircut –’
‘Okay,’ Brian interrupted. ‘Enough chit chat – start singing, Lopez.’
Lauren grinned, still pinning Darren to the ground as she looped her arm through Chris’s and rested her head on his shoulder.
You’re Kurt freakin’ Hummel!
You know you’re cool
And your eyes are awesomely blue
You’re a whole lot hotter
Than Sebastian Smythe
So Seblaine shippers beware
‘Cause nothing is happening there!
‘It’s nice to know I have your full confidence,’ said Chris solemnly.
‘Can you get off me now?’ asked Darren.
‘Well, it’s either me or Meredith – take your pick.’
‘Uh, probably you,’ said Darren, wisely choosing the tiny girl. ‘Wait – Meredith is here?’
‘Of course I am!’ came Meredith’s voice as she skipped into the room, holding a large cardboard box.
‘You have got to be – there’s more of them?’ Amber exclaimed.
But Darren was more concerned with what the girl held in her hands. ‘What is that?’ he asked, warily eyeing the box.
‘Present from my mum,’ said Meredith brightly, taking a seat beside the squished Darren and opening the lid. ‘She’s cut out all the articles she could find that featured you, and pretty much forced me to bring it to you. Oh, and I think she was also planning on sending along a life-sized cardboard cut-out of you.’
Darren groaned, letting his face drop into the carpeted floor. ‘Why me?’
‘I think it’s sweet,’ said Chris with a smile, while Lauren affectionately ruffled his hair.
Meredith grinned. ‘That’s because –’
You’re Kurt freakin’ Hummel!
You’re the sweetest boy that ever
Walked McKinley’s halls
So kind and caring
You forgive your past
Such an inspiration to us all
And best of all, you’re actually tall –
‘– well, taller than Darren,’ Meredith finished.
‘Everyone’s taller than Darren,’ said Heather, nonplussed.
‘Except Lauren,’ came Darren’s muffled voice.
‘And Lea,’ added Chris.
‘Don’t make me sit on you,’ said Lea with a mocking sneer.
‘Don’t you dare!’ said Brian suddenly, all but dropping the guitar into Joey’s hands as he pointed a threatening finger at the startled girl. ‘I’m here to make sure no one ever hurts Kurt Hummel again.’
A beat passed in which everyone stared at him awkwardly.
‘Uh, dude ...’ Cory began. ‘You do realise that Kurt is ... well ... a fictional character, right?’
‘He doesn’t,’ came a new voice; the all turned to see Jaimee Lynn Beatty walk in, perhaps the first of them to make a relatively normal entrance. ‘He has issues differentiating between fiction and reality – he spent about a month convinced that Darren was really Harry Potter, and that Joe was actually trying to murder him. It gets worse when people are actually in character, you know, all dressed up and everything.’
There was a stunned silence, in which everyone was desperately praying for someone to jump out and yell “April Fools!”. When no denial was forthcoming, several Glee cast members began exchanging glances, seriously questioning the sanity of the intruders.
‘We find it’s easier if you just play along,’ Lauren added.
‘Especially if he starts talking about ... K.L.A.I.N.E.,’ said Joey, carefully spelling out the word and glancing at Brian to make sure he didn’t set him off.
Lea blinked, before sighing and shaking her head. ‘I’m sorry, but who are you people anyway?’
‘Well, together, we’re Team StarKid,’ Jaimee grinned. ‘But individually we are –’
‘I’m Kurt’s boyfriend on Glee –’
‘Oh my God, Darren, shut up!’ Joey said, rolling his eyes. ‘Seriously, you’re like the most self-absorbed guy I know! For your information, the world does not always need to revolve around you.’
‘Besides, these lovely people already know who you are,’ Meredith said, before adding a muttered: ‘Traitor.’
‘I would hit you, but Lauren’s still sitting on me,’ said Darren.
‘You hit girls?’ Chris sighed disappointedly. ‘And here I was thinking you were chivalrous. Guess I was mistaken.’
‘Sorely mistaken,’ Jaimee agreed.
‘Are you going to sing me something too?’ Chris asked.
‘You know me too well,’ Jaimee laughed, before bursting into song.
You’re Kurt freakin’ Hummel!
With so much courage
You have an awesome voice
And an amazing wardrobe to match
We’ve no idea why Blaine took so long to catch
There were several impressed looks being tossed Jaimee’s way, her amazing voice immediately catching their attention. However, Chris couldn’t help but notice the put-out expression on Lea’s face as she folded her arms with a huff. He barely managed to conceal his laugh, instead asking:
‘Are there any more of you?’
‘Just one,’ said Joey. ‘And I’m pretty sure he’s coming in costume.’
‘He’s coming in –?’ But Chris never got any further than that, for at that precise moment Lord Voldemort strutted into the Meeting Room.
Chris choked, and he wasn’t the only one; on the ground, Darren was spluttering away, while several the Glee cast had fallen off their chairs in shock. Because, whatever they were expecting, this was not it. However, the StarKids treated the newcomer with such a nonchalant air, it was as if they were used to it, as if this was something that happened as a daily occurrence.
‘Hey Joe,’ said Joey.
‘Hey Voldemort,’ said Brian.
‘Hey guys.’ It was weird to see Joe Walker in costume, speaking with his normal voice.
‘This is the strangest thing that’s ever happened to me,’ said Chris.
‘Trust me, I’ve had worse,’ muttered Darren.
‘Oh, shut up,’ said Joe. ‘Ready for this, Chris?’
‘I don’t think anyone can ever be ready for this,’ Chris said. ‘But go ahead.’
Joe spared him one single laugh before he launched into song.
You’re Kurt freakin’ Hummel!
I promise you that this will
Be the final verse
Of this epic so-ong
Which we managed to write
Without the help of Darren Criss
The traitor within our midst!
‘That verse was just about me,’ said Darren, lifting his head up.
‘I quite liked it,’ Chris said mildly.
‘Of course you did; I wrote it,’ said Joe proudly.
‘I’m sorry, maybe I’m missing something,’ Cory spoke up, looking highly confused, ‘but can someone explain why there’s a half-naked dude in our rehearsal? Actually scratch that; why are there six crazy people here at all?’
‘Wow, man,’ said Joe. ‘We know Darren’s crazy, but he’s not crazy enough to be counted as six people. Two or three, maybe.’
‘Uh, Joe? I think he meant us,’ said Lauren, tugging on Joe’s cloak.
‘Oh ... yeah, that would more make sense.’
‘We’re here because we’ve been invited to guest star,’ said Brian as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
‘Wait, seriously?’ said Naya. ‘Whose brilliant idea was that?’
‘That would be mine.’ Ryan Murphy said from the door. ‘Glee cast, I’d like you to meet New Direction’s competition at Regionals – the Maritian High Moonshoes.’
It had taken a while (a very long while) for Ryan Murphy to figure out exactly why Darren Criss had become such an instant success.
Sure the kid was talented, and extremely so, with a natural charm and easy confidence that some of the other actors sorely lacked. And it definitely helped that his character, the out-and-proud Blaine Anderson, not only stood up for Kurt but was almost immediately labelled Kurt’s boyfriend by the entire fandom (despite Ryan’s original intention to have Blaine act as only a mentor and friend). Plus Darren’s debut song ‘Teenage Dream’ had already been a chart-topper.
But one episode? It took Chord Overstreet at least three or four before he was even acknowledged by some. And yet Darren had somehow managed to capture the entire fandom’s heart in just one episode? Surely there was more to it than that ...
However, it was several months before Ryan had the time to think upon that issue once more, by which time the Glee Live concert had come and passed, and Darren and Chris Colfer completely reinvented the Klaine skit in Dublin. In fact, it was one of the fans who reignited the mystery, at one of their conferences, when she stood up and asked: ‘Are you planning on having the rest of the StarKids guest-star on the show?’
Ryan’s answer had been a completely stumped: ‘What are StarKids?’ At that moment, he had been very aware of Darren sitting beside him, laughing himself to death.
So of course, like any good series creator, Ryan began asking around. His first port-of-call was Lea who always seemed to be in the loop. Unfortunately, she’d been in the middle of rehearsing, or song-writing, or whatever it was she’d actually been doing, and thus had ignored him. So Ryan went to Cory, who’d been just as confused as he.
‘Maybe ask Chris?’ Cory had suggested. ‘He and Darren always seem to have some inside joke going on. He’ll probably know.’
And so, Ryan took Cory’s advice, and tracked down Chris (who’d actually been at home ... for once). After explaining the situation, Chris had merely left the room before coming back and thrusting a USB into his hand.
‘Free up your schedule,’ he’d said when he ushered Ryan out of his house. ‘You’ll need it.’
That was the day Ryan Murphy became a StarKid. And like all StarKids, he began to do a little research on some of the cast. It was rather amusing really; he’d had no idea Darren had actually come with his own (rather extensive) fanbase when he’d joined Glee. But what caught his interest even more was the amazing talent that had been featured in A Very Potter Musical and its sequel, both of which had been on Chris’s USB. Those kids could sing, act and script-write! It was then that the idea began to form in his head.
The next day, upon returning the USB to Chris, Ryan had asked: ‘What do you say to the idea of guest-starring StarKids?’
Chris had just beamed at him. ‘Ryan, if you do that, I will honestly worship you as my new God.’
‘I still can’t believe this is happening to me,’ muttered Darren as he sat down for lunch, ignoring the noise made by the rest of the crowded cafeteria.
‘Why not?’ Chris asked, spoon halfway to his mouth.
‘I just ... I just can’t. Why did you say anything? Then at least I would’ve been a little bit prepared.’
‘Now, now Darren, where would the fun in that be?’ Joey asked, grinning as he and the rest of the StarKids joined them at their table.
‘You guys really know how to hold a grudge,’ Darren grumbled. Before he could say anything else though, there was a sudden clatter as Brian dropped his fork, catching all their attention. Turning to him with a frown, he asked: ‘What’s up?’
‘Sebastian,’ Brian breathed.
But as they all turned, Darren caught sight of a very confused Grant Gustin, already dressed in Dalton uniform, approaching their table and scratching his head.
‘Hey Grant,’ both Chris and Darren greeted.
‘Hey guys,’ Grant said, flashing them a distracted smile, rubbing the back of his neck as he glanced over his shoulder. ‘Uh, Darren ... erm, don’t know how to tell you this, but there’s a life-sized cardboard cut out of you outside your trailer.’
There was a pause, before Darren let out a long suffering groan, pushing his food away from him so that he could drop his head and repeatedly bang it against the table. Apparently feeling sorry for him, Chris managed to tuck his jumper between his head and the table as some form of insulation. The rest of the StarKids, meanwhile, had burst into laughter at the news, Meredith positively choking with delight at Darren’s reaction.
Grant just blinked at them, nonplussed. ‘Am I missing something here? And ... who are ... is that guy dressed as Voldemort?’
‘Don’t mind them,’ Chris said. ‘They’re all crazy.’
‘“Darren” crazy, or “insane” crazy?’
‘Definitely “Darren” crazy,’ said Chris, shaking his head. ‘Hey, have you –’
But whatever Chris had been about to say was cut off when Brian suddenly jumped up out of his seat, his full cup of orange juice in his hand.
‘Whoa, Brian!’ Joe exclaimed, reaching out to pull his friend back down, but Brian quickly danced out of the still-dressed-as-Voldemort boy’s reach, before stalking forwards, approaching a rather taken-aback Grant with a sneer.
‘This is for slushying Kurt’s boyfriend,’ he growled. And before anyone could do anything, he’d snapped his arm forwards and tossed the entire contents of his cup into Grant Gustin’s face.
Shocked silence whipped through the entire cafeteria. Even the volunteers serving them lunch had dropped their ladles. It was so quiet, a pin drop would’ve probably sounded like an explosion, while they all waited to see how Grant would react. To his credit though, Grant did nothing more than slowly raise his arm to wipe the orange juice off his face. The Dalton blazer was ruined anyway. He was about to say something but, after catching the pleading look on Darren’s face, simply closed his mouth, before spinning on his heels and walking out of the cafeteria, no doubt to get a change of costume.
The entire cafeteria breathed a relieved sigh, before all hesitantly turning back into their previous conversations, though now more than one set of eyes were carefully surveying Brian.
‘Dude,’ Darren hissed, forcing his friend back into his seat, ‘you can’t throw orange juice into people’s faces!’
‘He deserved it.’
‘Sebastian deserved it. Grant didn’t.’
‘I see no difference,’ said Brian, turning up his nose and returning to his lunch.
Darren sighed, catching Chris’s amused eye, before dropping his head back onto the table and muttering: ‘Please, kill me now.’
‘It really sucks to be you right now, doesn’t it?’ asked Chris, casually sipping his orange juice. ‘I mean, your expression ... it could literally be used as the definition for “fml”.’
‘You’re enjoying this way too much,’ Darren grumbled. ‘You have no idea how seriously I’m regretting introducing you to them.’
‘Why? Because that’s one more person to gang up on you?’ Chris grinned, ruffling Darren’s hair purely because he knew Darren hated it. He was evil, sometimes. And with such an innocent face, no one ever believed it when Darren accused him of being pure evil.
That afternoon, they were shooting the actual performance for Regionals. Which basically meant a lot of people on set, and one very stressed out Ryan Murphy, who hadn’t taken kindly to the lead Warbler needing a change. As he set about rearranging that afternoon’s shooting schedule, Darren helped his friends keep one oblivious Brian Holden out of Ryan’s sight, on the off chance the man lost his temper and went into a rage.
‘We need the Moonshoes on stage now!’ one of the Assistant Directors shouted, rushing into the changing room. He began ushering everyone who was dressed in red out towards the set. ‘Moonshoes! Quickly now!’
Darren and Chris exchanged identical glances, before quickly following the StarKids out, taking a seat on the side while the six StarKids took their places on stage in front of eight other extras who apparently made up the rest of the “Moonshoes”.
‘This is going to be interesting,’ said Chris.
‘I can’t believe they’re allowed to sing my songs, and I can’t!’ Darren pouted.
‘Shut up, Darren,’ said Chris fondly, rolling his eyes as he patted the top of Darren’s head in a most patronizing manner.
On the stage below, the StarKids grinned at each other as the Director shouted ‘ACTION!’. This was going to be so much fun.
Music began to play overhead as Lauren and Brian stepped forwards into the spotlight, taking the first verse. While Ryan had explained to them that lip-syncing along to their pre-recorded voices was fine, the StarKids had point blank refused, stating that it would be fake, and that they were all perfectly able to sing and dance, thank you very much. Jaimee had even managed to negotiate it so that they would sing live, the microphones clipped onto their ears used to record their voices while they were only backed with an instrumental track. And while Ryan had pointed out how tired they would get after the twentieth take, the StarKids were adamant about doing it live.
Though Ryan had caved in, and though there was some excitement amongst the editing staff at the twist, Darren had been most vocal about his disagreement, convinced that they were planning on screwing around with them.
Lauren had to work hard to suppress her smirk, mindful of the fact that the cameras were rolling. Darren really had no idea how right he’d been. Closing her eyes, she took several deep breaths, letting herself get into character, before coming in on her queue, Brian’s voice blending seamlessly with her own.
Look how the silk worms sway in the wind
Weaving their silk, regardless of what you’ve done
Or where you’ve been
They’ll give you
‘What do you know,’ Chris whispered, ‘Lupin really can sing.’
Darren snorted, but didn’t deign to comment.
On stage, Lauren and Brian stepped back to allow Meredith and Joey to have the spotlight, the two twirling around each in a mockingly uncoordinated manner other as they sang, pretending to trip and fall, and laughing when they spotted Zach the choreographer slapping his forehead from the corner of their eyes.
See how the dragonfly dances through the flowers
A brilliant ballet, at fifteen miles an hour!
There’s no admission
To this vision of
Darren jumped, snapping his head up to see Lea Michele. ‘Hey Lea.’
‘They’re not doing so well, are they?’ Lea whispered, taking a seat next to Chris. ‘Those two aren’t exactly that coordinated.’
‘They’re just fooling around,’ said Darren, rolling his eyes. ‘Apparently, they’ve yet to see Zach chuck a fit. I warned them that antagonising the man isn’t a great idea, but hey, since when does anyone listen to me?’
‘Or maybe they’re just braver than the rest of us combined,’ Chris said.
Lea would’ve answered, if Jaimee hadn’t chosen that exact moment to belt out the next verse, Joe having no trouble keeping up with her powerful voice. Strangely enough, the two were highly embellishing the melody, adding in impossible leaps and flashy harmony that Darren definitely did not recall writing. It wasn’t until he spotted the challenging smirk Jaimee shot in their direction, and until he saw Lea’s narrowed eye response, that he thought he understood.
And it might, be slightly different
From the things that you may know
You can’t deny, there’s something special
When you see the night sky glow
With a huff, Lea stormed away, making a beeline for Ryan. Darren and Chris watched their hushed argument with uncontained curiosity, while the Director sat by uncomfortably, clearly having no idea if he should keep filming while Ryan was distracted. However the StarKids and the extras had begun belting out the chorus now, which they’d somehow arranged into eight-part harmony without Darren’s consent, and so the cameras kept rolling.
It was now, though, that the StarKids began playing up. Instead of following choreography like the extras were doing, Lauren and Brian broke off into what Darren recognised as the Quidditch dance from AVPS, getting up in each other’s faces while singing about beauty. Meredith and Joey were marching along, as if they were singing “Voldemort is Going Down”, while Joe was dancing so closely and intimately next to Jaimee, he looked like he was dry humping her. She looked like she didn’t mind at all.
It was the most bizarre thing Darren had ever witnessed, and that was saying something considering he grew up with these people.
So look out!
It’s around every corner
There’s something magical in the air
Don’t hide, from your eyes or ignore
There is beauty
‘Cut, cut, CUT!’ the Director shouted, while Zach stormed up on stage, steam all but coming from his ears as he ranted and raged at the nonplussed StarKids.
‘Well, at least they didn’t mess with the lyrics,’ said Darren, relieved.
‘You’re not upset that they massacred your song?’ Chris asked, curious.
‘Well, compared to what they could’ve done ...’ Darren trailed off, not even needing to finish his thought. It was at that moment that Lea came skipping back to them, a very unsettling smile on her face.
‘Guess what guys, I’ve got some amazing news!’ she grinned.
‘For you, or for us?’ Chris asked wearily.
‘For us, of course! Ryan’s agreed to let us record live, too!’ she crowed. ‘I’m going to tell the others; you two better warm up.’
‘That girl is turning more and more into her character with each passing day.’
Darren had nothing to say to that, so wisely he kept his mouth shut.
It turned out to be one of the most gruelling days of shooting they’d ever had. With the added stress of actually having to sing and harmonise, something a lot of them simply weren’t used to doing over and over again, they were all but dead by the end of the day. Only the StarKids seemed to be enjoying themselves; indeed their scene had taken fifty-three shots, of which the Director had estimated about five were usable. The New Directions fared rather badly, since most of them really had no experience singing and dancing at the same time, over and over again. Jenna did her best to coach the rest of her team through their gruelling performance, which consisted of some of the hardest choreography they’d performed to date. Meanwhile, Lea was in her element, bounding around on the stage, hitting impossibly high notes, and all the while tossing triumphant smirks in Jaimee’s direction.
It was the Warblers, however, who suffered the most. The good news was that Grant Gustin was also a Broadway veteran. The bad news was that he played Sebastian Smythe. The really bad news was that Brian Holden had somehow managed to find the slushie machine.
‘Help me!’ Joey shouted, his arms wrapped tightly around Brian’s waist, pulling him away from the set. Joe grabbed one of Brian’s flailing arms, while Darren was left to jump for the slushie cup being held high out of his reach.
‘Let me go!’ Brian said, struggling as Chris joined in, a handful of Brian’s shirt in his hands as he helped pull the boy back.
‘As much as I would love to screw around with them some more,’ said Lauren, clambering onto Blaine’s back, ‘it’s almost nine, and I’d really love dinner before I go to bed tonight. Jump Darren, jump!’
Growling, Darren jumped, giving Lauren enough of a boost to knock the cup out of Brian’s hand, showering them all with the ice cold slushie.
‘Good one, Lauren,’ said Darren, dumping the girl off his back.
‘Oh, shut up,’ Lauren retorted.
Unfortunately, in the relief that had followed Brian’s disarming, they’d let their guard down too soon. As a result, Brian twisted easily out of Joey’s grasp and leapt up onto the stage, all but tackling Grant to the ground, a rather amazing feat considering how tall Grant was. Even as they all stood around, jaws dropped in shock, Brian pulled back his fist, clearly intent on getting in a few punches before they threw him off the set. It was Riker Lynch who reacted first, somehow managing to grab Brian and haul him back so that his punch missed by several inches.
‘Unhand me, you –!’ Brian shouted, twisting as Curt Mega ran forwards to help restrain him.
The rest of the cast and crew just stared, or, in Ryan’s case, laughed themselves silly at the maddened boy now shouting insults at the highly confused and terrified looking Grant, who clearly had no idea that the only thing he’d done wrong was be chosen to play Sebastian Smythe.
‘Do you think we should stop him?’ Darren asked, worriedly chewing his lip.
‘Nah,’ said Jaimee. ‘If it were bad, Mr Murphy would’ve already done something.’
‘Besides, the cameras are still rolling,’ Chris pointed out. ‘Maybe they’re planning on actually keeping his rant in the episode. I must say, this is rather epic.’
‘Either that, or it’ll have its own little section in the blooper reel,’ Meredith laughed.