Status: One-shot.

Stair Wars

one of one

Kellin’s starting to think that he should work out more. He has to run up three flights of stairs to get to his chemistry class, and he’s really not enjoying getting heavily winded by the time he reaches the room. The building actually does have an elevator, but he has to have a key to be able to use it. He doesn’t, obviously, because he’s not handicapped and he’s not injured (although he’s briefly considered purposefully breaking a leg just so he has an excuse). Thus, up the three flights he goes.

“Eh, you’ll be fine,” his roommate, Justin, tells him when he complains about it. “You’re still alive.”

“Barely,” Kellin adds from where he’s flopped face-first on his bed.

“It builds character,” Justin replies smoothly. “Determination. Bravery. All that shit.”

Kellin snorts. “Easy for you to say. You don’t have to do it.”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever. You’ll be fine. Maybe you can find someone else who has to do it and complain with them about it.”

Kellin just flips him off.

The next day that he has chemistry, he notices someone else from his class a few steps ahead of him on the first flight. The guy—short and brown-skinned, with long, dark hair and some fairly simple name that Kellin still can’t remember—is going up fairly quickly, and it takes Kellin a moment to realize that it’s because he’s hopping the stairs two at a time.

“Showoff!” Kellin calls without thinking; he can’t help himself. His impulse control is shit.

The guy—Kellin decides that he’s going to call him “Stair Guy”—glances over his shoulder and sticks his tongue out, pausing on one of the last few stairs. “You’re just jealous ‘cause you’re slow,” he calls back.

Kellin makes it up the next couple of stairs before responding. “Oh, really?”

“Yes, really,” Stair Guy says, rounding the corner and starting up the second staircase.

“Oh, it’s on,” Kellin says, adopting his newfound opponent’s technique and climbing the rest of the first staircase two stairs at a time.

Stair Guy, unfortunately, is already halfway up the second flight. “Ooh, looks like someone wants a little competition!” he exclaims.

“You bet your ass I do!” This strategy is fast, he’ll admit, but it’s also a lot more short-lived, and he’s not going to spend all his energy early on just to fall apart at the end. This means war.

“Catch me if you can, motherfucker!” Stair Guy yells, pulling himself up to the third and final staircase. He’s still ahead, but Kellin’s catching up.

“What’s that sound?” Kellin yells back as he reaches the third flight only a few seconds later. “Oh, it’s the sound of me catching up!”

It’s too late, though—Stair Guy has already made it. “What’s that sound?” he repeats, turning around and looking down with a stupid smirk on his face. “Oh, it’s the sound of me winning! Ha!”

Kellin rolls his eyes as he makes his way up the third flight. “You are so childish,” he huffs, even though he’s aware that, well, he started it.

Stair Guy shrugs. “You’re the one who couldn’t resist calling me a showoff.” What a cocky asshole.

“Fuck you,” Kellin says pleasantly, still only halfway up the staircase. “Rematch on Wednesday.”

“Suit yourself,” Stair Guy says, turning on his heel and walking into their chem class.

A few moments later, a voice behind Kellin says, “The sexual tension between you two, I swear to God.”

Kellin looks over his shoulder and is greeted by his friend, Jack, another chemistry classmate. “What?” Kellin says.

Jack just shakes his head. “Funniest thing I’ve seen all day.”

Through chemistry class, Kellin learns that Stair Guy’s name is actually Vic. Then, through Justin, he learns that this isn’t just some guy named Vic but Vic Fuentes, also known as the hot gay dude that Justin’s been talking about possibly hooking Kellin up with for the past month or so.

“Looks like you two found each other on your own, though,” Justin comments, clearly amused by this whole situation.

“Yes, and he’s an asshole,” Kellin says in the midst of flipping through his notes as he sits on his bed. Really, he knows that Vic probably isn’t an asshole; he’s just still bitter that he lost their little race.

“Nah, come on, dude,” Justin says. “I know him. He’s cool. He’s just kind of…hard to get used to.”

“Huh,” Kellin says, not looking up. “Yeah. He’s, um, different.”

Justin makes a face. “To be fair, you started it.”

“Okay, but in my defense, he was being a showoff and it was annoying,” Kellin says simply.

Justin just laughs. “You’re unbelievable. What’d Jack say to you? Something about sexual tension? Because he’s totally right.”

“There was no sexual tension!” Kellin protests, feeling a blush creep up on him.

“Sure there wasn’t. And the sky is green. And you’re straight.”

“Oh my God.”

On Wednesday, Kellin runs into Vic in a similar fashion, with Vic at the bottom of the first staircase and Kellin only a few feet behind him. Kellin consciously speeds himself up, but quietly, hoping that he can sneak up on Vic and then pass him. Unfortunately, Vic glances back over his shoulder at the last moment, raising an eyebrow and then taking off like a bullet. “Rematch starts now!”

Kellin wastes no time in chasing after him, both of them pounding up the stairs like a pair of Olympic runners. “I hope you’re ready to taste defeat, Fuentes!”

“Maybe you should focus less on trash-talking me,” Vic says as he reaches the top and rounds the corner, “and more on beating me.”

Kellin follows a second later, catching up surprisingly quickly. “I’m so good, I can multitask!”

“Oh, you are, huh?” Vic replies, still ahead of him by a foot or so. “Prove it!”

“I will!” Kellin uses the two-at-a-time technique once again, gaining on Vic so that they’re at the same spot, but Vic just makes a face at him and mimics his strategy, pulling himself up ahead once again as they reach the top of the second staircase and turn to face the third.

“I swear to God,” Kellin says, “if you beat me again…”

Vic just replies with this ridiculous, obnoxious laugh as they push themselves up the final stretch. Just when Kellin thinks he might be able to make it, Vic skips the last stair, bouncing up to the very top and spinning around, whooping victoriously as Kellin stumbles up the final few steps.

“Accept it,” Vic says, that dumb yet oddly attractive smirk back on his face, just like last time. “I’m the Stair Champion.”

“I refuse to give in until I beat you, you little punk,” Kellin says, pointing a finger accusingly.

Vic just stares at him for a few moments, looking him up and down, taking him all in, before nodding approvingly. “I like this thing that we’ve got going here. And it’s cute when you get competitive. I like it. I’m in.” Then, with a teasing eye-roll, he adds, “But don’t expect to win anytime soon.”

As he turns back around and heads for chemistry, Kellin calls after him, “Fight me!”

From there, it just sort of becomes their thing. Every day that they have chemistry together, they end up meeting each other near the bottom of the first staircase and racing to the top. And every single time, Vic beats Kellin, even if it’s only by a few inches. It’s the talk of the entire chemistry class; even their professor has heard about Kellin’s desperate plight and since started joking about it. The situation has been dubbed “Stair Wars” as a pun off of Star Wars, and now, quite a few students have begun standing at the top of the stairwell to watch the race go down. Kellin’s heard many wild stories about college, but he never imagined having one like this to tell.

In addition to all of that, Vic seems to be getting more and more attractive every time Kellin sees him, or maybe he’s only just now noticing it. Justin keeps doing the whole “I told you so” thing and constantly tells him that he should ask Vic out. Eventually, Kellin makes him a promise: on the day that he finally beats Vic (he’s convinced that it’s going to happen one day), he will ask him out. Justin takes it.

Today is another chemistry day. They meet the way that they always do, locking eyes the moment that they both reach the first staircase. Vic grins at him. “Eat my dust, Quinn.”

“Eat my ass, Fuentes,” Kellin replies smoothly.

With that, they’re off, sprinting with everything in them. Kellin’s got a feeling that there’s something different about today, but he tries not to think about it in fear of jinxing himself. He just runs, surprisingly close to Vic once again, but he’s not going to let himself think that this means he’ll win. He’s not going to let his guard down so easily. They’ve still got two more staircases.

“Fast little fucker,” Vic comments with a knowing smile as they both make it to the top of the first flight and rush over to the second.

“Damn right,” Kellin says as they run. Above them, there are a few cheers; the people at the top must know that they’ve started.

They’re neck-and-neck by the time they reach the third staircase, both of them out of breath but unwilling to give in. The cheers are louder now, and they spur Kellin on, his legs carrying him as fast as they can. Now is the time for him to expel the rest of his energy—to “never save anything for the swim back,” as he heard in a movie once. He skips the final few stairs, the classic two-at-a-time method saving his ass, and even with Vic adopting the same strategy, it’s too late—Kellin has already pushed himself forward and made it to the top, barely a split second after his adversary. “Yes!” he gasps, holding his fist up high, and the small crowd erupts in more cheers. He spins around to face Vic. “Ha! In your face!”

Vic just stares at him in what looks less like disbelief and more like awe, a smile on his face that actually looks genuine for once…and it’s really cute. “Wow,” he says, nodding. “I…wow.”

As the crowd begins to disperse, Kellin bites his lip, suddenly shy as he remembers what he promised Justin he’d do. “Hey,” he says quietly. “So, um…I’ve been wondering…”

Vic raises an eyebrow, almost knowingly. “Yes?”

“I’ve been wondering if you wanted to, uh, maybe go out sometime? You and me?” Kellin is tempted to look away, but he forces himself to maintain eye contact.

Vic’s smile just grows wider. “I’d love that.”

As the words sink in, Kellin takes a deep breath in happiness and relief. “I—holy shit.”

Vic leans in a little. “Wanna know a secret?” he says quietly.

Kellin looks at him suspiciously. “Uh, sure. What’s the secret?”

Now Vic just looks amused. “I was gonna let you win one of these days.”

Kellin narrows his eyes, not sure what, exactly, Vic is trying to say.

“Justin told me that on the day you beat me, you’d ask me out,” Vic continues. “Since, y’know, he’s been trying to hook us up for so long now. And I couldn’t wait. So I was planning on letting you win so that you’d ask me out sooner.” He shrugs. “But you seemed determined, and I couldn’t do that to you. So. Great job, Kells. I was afraid it’d take you a lot longer and then I’d end up waiting for you forever.”

Kellin just laughs a little, shaking his head. “If it went on too long, I probably would’ve broken down and asked you before then.”

“The sexual tension would’ve gotten to be too much, huh?” Vic says, and when Kellin’s face heats up, he adds, “Justin tells me about it, too, don’t worry. Whatever he’s been telling you about us needing to just get together and kiss already, I’ve probably heard it, too.”

Now Kellin’s confidence is starting to come back. “Well, we got together,” he says slowly. “What’s the next step?”

Vic just nods. “I like the way you think.” Then he leans forward and pecks Kellin on the lips.

“Wow,” Kellin says with a stupid grin on his face. This is probably one of the weirdest and best days of his life.

Vic turns around, glancing over his shoulder at Kellin with a similar smile. “Now,” he says, “we should probably get to class so everyone can congratulate you.”
♠ ♠ ♠
hi ok as you can see i chose “college” for the letter “C” and i used a prompt from one of those super long AU lists and this one was focused on college AUs. so yeah. the prompt was “we started racing up the three flights of stairs to class for some reason and we can’t stop” bc i love Kellic being competitive and i needed to write this