Dan pushes open the doors to the auditorium. It’s seemingly empty, which Dan is grateful for. The last five times he’s been in here to practice his solo parts, the weird Hanson kid who’s in charge of lights and audio for the show has interrupted him. He’s pretty sure Arin isn’t in here, and he sighs, relieved.
He’s got several parts where the ensemble won’t be singing with him, and he wants to make sure he’s perfect for opening night. He never thought he’d try out for anything, but they were doing Rock of Ages! His 80s loving heart couldn’t say no, and he had somehow managed to land himself the part of Stacee Jaxx, though he’s still not entirely sure how he managed that.
Dan stretches his arms above his head and groans happily at the resounding crack. Sitting in a school desk that he was way too tall for for eight hours a day is going to give him a permanent curve to his spine by graduation, he’s sure. His vocal warm-ups echo loudly in the empty room, and he feels like an idiot while making such weird noises, but they’re necessary.
After five minutes of ridiculous babbling to warm up his voice, Dan starts with ‘Wanted Dead or Alive" since he’s almost completely on his own for the number. He’s halfway into the second line when a deafening noise comes from the speakers up above.
SOMEBODY ONCE TOLD ME–
"Hanson!“ Dan shouts, frustrated as all fuck. This is the sixth time this week! It takes a moment to spot him, but when Dan does, he has no clue how he missed him. The dude is wearing a bright fucking pink shirt, for Christ’s sake! Arin is up on the catwalk laughing his fucking ass off while the shitty sound of 'All-Star’ continues to reverberate off the walls.
"Fuckin’ piece of shit,” Dan mutters, marching over to the ladder that leads to the catwalks above. “Shitty taste in music, listening to this bullshit.” He keeps muttering angrily as he ascends, and soon enough he’s standing behind Arin, who looks like he might topple over the railing with how hard he’s laughing. Dan slams his hand down on the switch that turns off the music, which only makes Arin laugh harder.
“I’m gonna body slam you,” Dan threatens, glaring at Arin.
“I’ve never been body slammed by a pipe cleaner with hair before,” Arin says, still laughing slightly.
“Fucking,” Dan begins, using the word as a placeholder for the start of his sentence. “What’s the deal, man? I gotta practice for this shit! Like, I just, do you wanna be responsible for me whiffing it in front of the entire school?”
Arin is still giggling, but he’s getting it under control.
“Sorry, dude. You’re fun to mess with. You’re really cute when you’re pissed off.”
“That’s not–wait, what?” Dan feels the telltale heat in his face that signifies he’s blushing. Thank god it’s dark up on the catwalk.
Arin’s grinning, but he barrels on like he hadn’t said anything out of the ordinary. “And besides, you’re already gonna steal the show from the rest of the cast. If you keep practicing it’ll just be cruel."
“You say 'what’ a lot, don’t you?” Dan wants to wipe Arin’s shit-eating grin right off his face.
“You think I’m cute?”
“Well, yeah,” Arin says, like it’s the most obvious thing ever. “I do have eyes.”
"Quit being an asshole,“ Dan snaps, but it lacks malice.
"Aw, but what will I do with the rest of my life then?"
"Arin, fuckin… shut up for a second before I actually body-slam you.”
Arin leans back against the railing and fixes Dan with a heated look. Dan tries and fails to ignore the way it makes his stomach flop.
“Promises, promises.” Dan covers his face, exasperated. “At least take me to dinner first.”
“Fine. Be ready at six.”
Once he gets back on the floor, he looks up to see Arin dancing in place up on the catwalk. He rolls his eyes.
When he picks Arin up that night, he uses a great deal of restraint to keep from pushing him right back out the door when Arin flings it open and starts singing All-Star at the top of his lungs. Dan’s got the feeling that this is going to be the start of a ridiculous relationship.