The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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airpsfic: (this is) not a statement, 9/10
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
(this is) not a statement, 9
by Seperis
Rating: NC-17
AIRPS, Adam, Kris, Adam/Kris
Notes: Title from starandrea who named it in delicious and saved me the effort, as titles stress me. My love to girlnamedpixley and transtempts who manipulated and pushed for the last--God--seventeen thousand words the last week, tricksterquinn who made me email her every morning with a new section or she sulked, and everyone who left comments, because honestly, this was a snippet.

Art for this by katekat1010 for this story here, as commissioned by daemonicangel.

first part, second part, third part, fourth part, fifth part, sixth part, seventh part, eighth part, ninth part, tenth part



"Okay, it's been twenty minutes and you're a five minute bathroom person," Adam tells the half-closed door, picking up his jacket from the sofa. "Are you shooting up? Because I'd, you know, understand. And wonder why you're not sharing."

Kris makes a faint protesting sound, but the door doesn't open, despite the fact they're running fifteen minutes late for the casinos and for once, it's not actually Adam's fault. He'll get the blame anyway, which is just. Typical.

It's only good manners to tap on the door when it's half-closed; it's not Adam's fault the hinges are so sensitive. To Adam's surprise, Kris is standing in front of the mirror, one hand braced on the counter and staring critically at his reflection. Kris turns toward him, flushing a little, like he was in fact caught shooting up, when really, he was just caught being totally hung up on himself. Leaning against the doorway, Adam crosses his arms, biting down on a grin. "How very Narcissus of you."

Giving Adam a frown, Kris looks back at the mirror for a second, eyes narrowed in dissatisfaction, though of what, Adam has no idea. Kris really has no bad angles. Even in bad light. "Okay. Show me how to do it."

Adam blinks slowly. "Repeat that?"

"The--" Kris makes a sweeping motion. "With the eyeliner."

"How long was I asleep?" Adam asks curiously, coming in the bathroom. "Can't be a mirror universe, no goatee--"

"How much Trek have you been watching lately?"

"Cute," Adam answers, "like I don't know you were worried you'd pass out when you met Leonard Nimoy--now let's rewind and start the show again. You want me to--"

Kris shrugs, turning from the mirror reluctantly. "What? It might be interesting. You know, to try it sometimes, whatever."

Adam cocks his head, trying to wrap his mind around what Kris is saying, text and subtext both. "You really did like it."

"It was okay," Kris answers warily at Adam's helpless smile. "Just different. I'm not opposed to knowing how to do that."

"I may not get a toaster," Adam answers seriously, "but this deserves like, measuring cups or something--"

Kris squeezes his eyes shut briefly, hot color sweeping over his cheeks. "Should have asked Leah," he mutters, turning back to the counter to pick up his wallet and shove it into the back of his jeans, shirt pulling up for a glimpse of pale golden skin and the dark oval smear at the hollow of his hip to match the tiny row of purpling smudges trailing down into the low rise of his jeans. Stepping up behind him, Adam watches as the collar of Kris' shirt slides enough to reveal a hint of near-black at the join of shoulder and neck before Kris turns around.

"I'll show you," Adam says, dragging his gaze away before Kris notices but not quite able to stop himself from reaching to fit his fingers over each tiny bruise from body memory. Kris looks up at him curiously. "What time is your flight tomorrow?"

"Noon, I think?" Kris grins, leaning into the counter. "Somehow, I doubt you'll be awake."

"For this? Not a problem. Now hurry up. We have gambling to do. And maybe eating. And some drinking. But mostly gambling."

Stepping back, Adam waits for Kris to precede him, watching as he picks up his shoes and sits down, giving Adam a suspicious look. "Okay, what?"

"Nothing," Adam says, leaning against the wall to watch. "You just look really good tonight."




Like all good intentions, they don't get back to the room until nearly three, because they're in Vegas and it's a goddamn universe of casinos. Kris had stuck to water the entire night, making him de facto responsible for seeing everyone to their rooms--or at least, someone's room, Adam's not judging anyone or anything--murmuring to Adam, "So you know, my turn to see you home safely."

Adam's about a third of the way to sober when Kris returns from dropping off the last of Adam's band, grinning as he shuts the door. "That took a while," Adam observes, trying to motivate himself to move.

"Tommy's girlfriend knows I'm here. She apparently wants a complete collection and isn't putting out until he's made out with everyone here. He showed me the pictures to try and convince me."

Adam snaps his gaze from the laces of his boots to Kris. "Did you?"

Locking the door, Kris grins. "He kind of passed out half-way through the recruitment speech. I forwarded you all the pictures on his phone, by the way."

"This is one of the many, many reasons I like you best." Reluctantly, Adam reaches for his boots again. They were not this hard to get on. Why the fuck did he think he wanted to deal with laces anyway? "I need scissors," he says, poking a finger at one hopeless tangle. "Or a knife?"

"Yeah, maybe not?" Toeing off his ridiculously easy to remove footwear, Kris crosses the room, batting Adam's fingers from the laces. "Just stop, you're making it worse." Before Adam can reply, Kris kneels between his feet, picking at the first knot carefully. "Wow, that's an impressive knot considering they were fine when we got here."

"They fought me," Adam answers absently, attention focused on Kris' bent head and wondering when the room had gotten so warm. "Is it just me or are they fucking with the air conditioner again?"

"Not just you," Kris says, looking up with a quick smile. "Tommy's room was like a furnace." Like the power of suggestion is very much in effect, Kris reaches one handed, opening two more buttons on his shirt with a sigh. "I called from his room to report it, so eventually it'll get fixed, I guess. And there." Pulling the laces loose nearly to his ankle, Kris eases the boot off and turns to the other one, finishing that one faster since Adam hadn't had time to make a snarl of it as well. "And we're done."

"Three cheers for sobriety," Adam murmurs distractedly as Kris braces a hand on his knee in preparation to stand up. "Though I admit your shot technique is impressive when you're not. As is your aim when faced with a toilet."

Kris rests his chin on his hand, looking rueful. "Fine, not my finest moment. But now I know my idea of bodyshots is really lame. So we all learned something new."

"I'm sure it's racy for straight boys from Arkansas," Adam tells him sincerely. "I was impressed! Really!"

Rolling his eyes, Kris gets to his feet, grabbing his shoes on the way to the bedroom. Adam toes off his socks before he follows, not willing to expend more effort than he has to, still a little lightheaded. "I was expressing my appreciation for your state not conforming to stereotypes."

"I so am not listening," Kris answers with a yawn. Catching him by the belt loops, Adam pulls him toward the bed. "Stereotypes, whatever," Kris mutters, settling on the balls of his feet, like Adam makes life way too difficult to deal with rationally.

"I said I was impressed." Sitting on the edge of the bed, Adam frowns at Kris' belt buckle, picking it open with careful, deliberate movements and sliding it out before reaching for the few tiny buttons still buttoned, which are gratifyingly few. Easing the collar down off Kris' shoulders, Adam watches his shirt puddle on the floor and gives it a vague kick toward the other side of the bedside table in a nod to neatness. The jeans are slightly more complicated, being ones Adam picked out and therefore fit distractingly well. Entertaining himself with each button, Adam grins at Kris' sigh. "Be still," he says when Kris shifts, tightening his hold on Kris' hip warningly. Kris stills. "Don't spoil my fun."

"Wouldn't dream of it." Adam glances up at the unfamiliar edge in Kris' voice; Kris is watching him, eyes dark, fingertips twitching against the denim over this thighs. Bemused, Adam flicks the next button open and Kris leans almost incrementally into it, like he doesn't even know he's doing it.

Alcohol makes pretty much anything a good idea; that was Adam eighteen to, well, now apparently. "Though," he murmurs, stroking the sharp jut of Kris' hip with his thumb, "I'll show you sometime how I do it."

Kris nods a little hazily, edging closer. "Yeah," he murmurs, "you should." Almost as if he can't quite help it, Kris touches his face, skidding along his cheek before coming to a tentative rest against his temple. It's so easy to lean forward, barely even that, press a soft kiss against Kris' skin, drag slowly up until he can brush his tongue against the soft skin below the sternum, easing to his feet when Kris thumb strokes against his cheek, encouraging. Almost dreamily, Adam pauses, mouthing up from the hollow of his throat and then straightening, stretching Kris up on his toes to lick into his mouth, make him work for it just a little.

Reaching up, Adam guides Kris' hand down, turning to tongue the center of his palm before easing his arm behind his back; Kris sways, balance now entirely resting on Adam's hand on his hip. Without being told, Kris moves his other arm so Adam can catch both wrists; squeezing once in approval, Adam steps back to look at the long stretch of Kris body, balanced on his toes and head tipped back, flush extending down his throat. He's incredible.

Letting go of his hip, Adam watches him sway briefly, shifting his balance back and using Adam's hold on his wrists to center himself. "Good boy," Adam breathes, pleased. "Hold that."

Kris eyes flicker half open, slits of swallowing black. Kris nods incrementally, adding, "Okay," husky-dark, when he realizes Adam wants a verbal answer. Adam leans down to kiss him, drawing back as Kris leans into it.

"Hold. Still."

Squeezing his eyes shut, Kris balances himself again. Sliding a hand into Kris' hair, he tilts his head back, kissing him again, biting at his lips, enjoying the tension he can feel the length of Kris' body, fighting not to move until Adam lets him. "Perfect," Adam says in his ear, touching his shoulder. "Down now."

Slowly, Kris lowers himself onto his heels, breath coming in quick starts. Adam reaches down, opening the two remaining buttons and lets go of Kris' wrists to ease his jeans slowly down and off before kicking them away.

Kris opens his eyes slowly, pupils blown wide. Tongue wetting his lips, he takes a breath, then bites his lip. "Go ahead," Adam asks, curious; the part of his mind wondering what the fuck he's doing has been quiet for way too long and Kris may provide substitute commentary.

"Oh." Blinking, Kris looks up, then back down, fixing on Adam's belt intently. "You could--you can't sleep like that."

"I could." Not comfortably, though. This particular belt is barely meant to be worn at all, much less slept in. Reaching behind Kris, he slides his fingers along the back of Kris' right hand, then draws it around, pressing a kiss against the palm. "Go ahead."

With another flickering glance up, Kris touches the buckle with unsteady fingers before he seems to remember how they work. Slowly, Kris gets the buckle open, pulling the belt free, tipping his head back for Adam to kiss him when it hits the floor. Shirt next, fumbling along the hem as he pulls it up, watching the reveal of skin intently until Adam finishes pulling it over his head, Kris kissing him almost as soon as he clears the soft material, mouth wet and hungry.

Kris works open the jeans with both hands, impatient, fingers working beneath the waist and peeling them down by increments, brushing the bare skin to the edge of his boxers before murmuring breathlessly, "Wouldn't have guessed you could fit underwear under those," making Adam giggle into his shoulder for a few long seconds, tonguing the still-dark bruise before straightening, watching a little dazedly as Kris drops to his knees to pull them the rest of the way off.

Getting to his feet, Kris stretches up again for Adam to kiss him; it's so much easier to reach down and pick him up, taste Kris' startled moan, legs closing instantly around Adam's hips and leaning into it, wrapping his arms around Adam's neck and sucking on his tongue, cock hard and hot against the bare skin of Adam's stomach through the soft, thin cotton of his boxer-briefs.

"Adam," Kris breathes, pulling back, mouth swollen red, sleepy-eyed, making Adam remember what he'd thought once about Kris and understanding intent, the fine line that separates when you're playing and when you mean it and mean to have it. He might just be getting there. It's probably luck that Adam's too tired to do anything with that, since his judgment doesn't give a flying fuck, but that doesn't mean he has to like it.

"Shh, baby," Adam says, kissing him quiet and kneeling on the bed to ease Kris down, warm and clinging. "That's it, shh, there we go," managing to get the blankets back somehow and under them, shoving a knee between Kris' legs and relaxing into the comfort of the mattress, both of them falling asleep between slow, sleepy kisses, Kris' hands tangled in his hair and ankle locked behind his knee, holding on.

Somewhere in there, Kris whispers, soft and bruised and bruising in turn, I don't want to go, breathed helplessly against his throat, and Adam tells him Neither do I, with his hands sliding up his back, with his tongue in his mouth, with his teeth against his skin. It's okay to say that, to want that; it won't change the fact that Kris will leave anyway.




He can still feel the ghosts of those sleepy touches when he wakes up, strangely vivid even through the vague beginnings of a headache as Kris says, "Hey, Cale just called from the lobby, I gotta go."

"Um." Reaching out blindly, Adam finds flannel and almost sighs, squinting up at Kris in Arkansas drag, hair still wet. Kris smiles uncertainly, twitchy in a way that crosses between sleep deprivation and something else entirely. "What time is it?"

"Nine thirty." Kris nods at Adam's wince. "Yeah, going straight to bed when I get home. I have a flight to Arkansas tomorrow, so not a lot of time to sleep. Kind of guessing I won't be showing up at the studio for a few days. Those days don't count on the schedule."

Sitting up, Adam tries to think, frowning at the clock, then reluctantly forcing himself to shove back the blankets. "Yeah, okay, just--" Getting to his feet, Adam shakes himself and then sees room service and coffee, because Kris is just that fucking awesome. "Coffee, give me two minutes. And wait--Arkansas?"

"Yeah." Kris shrugs without looking up, playing with his phone. "See my parents, pick up some boxes from the house, a couple of things to clear up. At least a week of meals to bring home with me if I'm very lucky and look very, very hungry."

Conway. Fuck. Adam blinks away the remainder of his exhaustion and ignores the headache with flagrante do not have time for this. "Tell Cale you'll meet him at the airport," Adam says as he pours. "I'll call a taxi when we're done." With half his attention, he listens to Kris call Cale as he goes to the bathroom, sorting automatically through his entire collection until Kris comes to the bathroom door. "Come here."

"Don't think we have time now for makeup tips," Kris says, gamely tucking away his phone and looking in curiosity at Adam's favorite MAC concealer. "What--"

"Quick lesson," Adam says, stepping back and gesturing pointedly. "Face the mirror and watch what I'm doing. You'll need to--tomorrow? How long?"

"Um, a couple of days…" Kris breaks off as Adam strips off the flannel, tilting Kris' head until he sees exactly why he's about to get a crash course in the art of concealer. "Oh."

"Five days for that to fade, give or take," Adam says, pushing down the collar of the t-shirt so Kris gets the entire effect. He hadn't been at all careful last night, and abruptly, Adam remembers hours in the casino and the open collar of Kris' shirt, wondering what exactly Tommy and Cale might have seen. He's never had to do this before, had to think like this; coverage because it's kind of tacky to wander around with hickeys feels entirely different. Maybe because it is. Reaching down, Adam waits until Kris lifts his arms, then pulls off the t-shirt.

Kris' eyes are fixed on it, watching as Adam dabs with one finger. "Luckily, you haven't been in the sun much," Adam says as lightly as he can, tilting Kris' head. Touching the center of the bruise, Adam sees a tiny line appear in the center of Kris' forehead. "Does it hurt?"

"Not--exactly." Kris wets his lips self-consciously, flushing. "Just feel it whenever I move."

Adam hesitates as that penetrates, then makes himself continue. "Watch. You don't need much." Carefully, Adam smears it over the darkest bruising. It's still a little too light, but not enough that anyone would notice unless Kris was under direct sunlight and someone was really looking for it. Blending the edges, Adam watches Kris in the mirror. The slight frown hasn't gone away. "Can you do this? It's this or really careful wardrobe choices for the next few days. Choose your poison, baby."

After a moment, Kris nods. "I can do it."

Closing the container, Adam puts it in his hand, trying to smile normally. "It's a great responsibility. Use it wisely."

"Thanks." Kris smiles back, equally unconvincing, and Adam gets his shirt, easing it back on so the collar won't smear it, then the flannel shirt over that. "Adam--"

"I'll have to replace that, you know," Adam says, pushing him toward the door and turning off the light, both uneasy and suddenly angry in a way he can't quite make himself think about too much, not while Kris is standing there, looking a little lost. "Hey, hey, it's Vegas. I can find more."

Kris nods, smile fading. Adam goes back to the cart for a second cup of coffee so he doesn’t have to look at Kris' face. "So tell your parents--"

"You didn't have to do that."

"Because your mother wouldn't notice? Or ask?" And that came out not at all calm or rational. Taking a breath, Adam turns around. "Don't worry about it. Want me to call you a cab?"

Kris hesitates, fingers absently picking at his belt. "Nah, there's always some around." Back straightening, he smiles quickly and without even the pretense of believability. "See you soon, okay?"

It sounds so much more like a question than it should be. Putting down his cup, Adam catches his hand and pulls him into a hug, feeling the tension running through him like a guitar string drawn far too tight. "A month," he murmurs into Kris' ear. "I want you to make me dinner and I want a movie and I want an announcement that Jared's joined the Peace Corps."

"Two out of three?" Kris answers, just a little wavery.

"I could live without the movie," Adam answers, pulling back so he can see Kris' face. Adam brushes a quick kiss against his forehead, like he actually thinks he can limit himself to that, which he doesn't, because this is something they do now. Pulling back an unknown amount of time later, Adam makes himself look away from Kris' reddened mouth and hazy eyes, because there's a plane that won't wait no matter how much Adam tries to will it to. "Tell your parents hi for me. And tell your mom I'm losing weight and you're terribly worried."

Kris smiles hopefully, the tight grip of his fingers easing a hair from frantic. "Chocolate chip, right?"

Adam nods seriously. "Of course."




In four weeks and fourteen of twenty working days (excluding weekends that Leah swears the studio is padlocked or something) that Kris keeps to his schedule, Adam sends Kris: one (1) set of measuring cups; one (1) set of measuring spoons; one (1) blender; a package of eight (8) postcards from Papua New Guinea that Adam thought were incredibly profound at three in the morning and bought from a street vendor after two clubs and a bar; one (1) beginner's origami kit that he has no excuse for other than the hilarity factor of imagining Kris' face when he opens the package; one (1) lamp made entirely of sea shells from San Diego; five (5) separate quirky hats, one of which is a beret made entirely of hemp; three (3) hermit crabs with hand painted shells (one escaped in the bus; Adam sees it every so often in flashes of red-gold under his bed); eight (8) linen napkins and one (1) tablecloth for a dining room table that does not yet exist, which he blames entirely on acid and the too-convenient location of Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and because Tommy didn't say no when he thought it was a great idea to go, possibly also due to acid.

(Also acquired: a paraffin foot wax kit for Tommy; a set of silver candlesticks from the clearance aisle, because no one passes up a clearance aisle; one set of red plaid flannel sheets, which even while high Adam has to admit is a little questionable but ungodly warm; a Wii organizer that can hold up to four controllers, a Wii, sixteen games and a Wii guitar; twenty-two scented candles; and a suede blanket backed with fleece that comes with a fleece-lined suede teddy bear. Adam admits nothing.)

In four weeks, Kris sends him: a picture of every origami shape he masters, culminating in a Fed-Ex delivery of a box containing three (3) boats, four (4) swans, two (2) bears, six (6) boxes, nine (9) esoteric but recognizable hats (one that could be a very bad beret), ten (10) cranes (out of a thousand to gain a wish, which would be that Adam reconsider his idea to put the sea shell lamp in a place where anyone, ever, would see it), and an impromptu and carefully folded shape which Adam realizes after baffled consideration and consultation with no less than five (5) random strangers at 7-Eleven could be a single finger sticking up from something not unlike a badly misshapen fist; the prerelease of the OPI Christmas collection in limited edition holiday colors; three dozen (36) chocolate chip cookies, one (1) rum cake, and a dozen (12) cupcakes from Kim, along with a worried two (2) page letter from her regarding nutrition, stress, and eating healthy while on tour; a picture of the seashell lamp hidden beneath what appears to be Kris' bed; a tiny cactus that can survive five days in a box; an a capella recording of Leah and Kris singing Good Girls Gone Bad as made famous by Cobra Starship featuring Leighton Meester, with Kris singing the part of Leighton; twenty links to RedTube with no warnings and associated trauma after viewing (he could just not click, but well. He clicks); and Mario Kart II, which leads to a twenty-four hour tournament that Adam wins on the strength of excellent reflexes and sabotaging everyone else's wiimotes when they were stupid enough to leave them unattended.

(Also: twenty-two phone calls, one hundred and sixty-five text messages, seventy-four email, one long-running argument over Beatles versus Elvis (optional addition versus Michael Jackson), because like Superman versus Batman, it's something you have to do; and five playlists, the mix tape of the digital age.)

Adam hasn't been a teenager in a long time, but giggling insanely through Kris' tres inspiring "Songs To Die in the Street in the Rain To" before each show, he's really beginning to see a resemblance these days. He's a decade too old to be in love like this, crazy and manic and shocked, effervescent like a headrush from too much champagne drank far too fast, as glittering bright as any stage he's ever owned, ridiculously cute, awed and amused at himself by turn. He doesn't think he can (doesn't want to) forget how this feels. Not ever again.




Early Saturday mornings are Kris' kryptonite; Adam's learned from experience that Kris is not only unfiltered but pretty unwary when he's in that nebulous state post-sleep but pre-coffee, since he always, always forgets to program the coffee maker the night before.

It's not like Adam's any better, but it's for a good cause, that being Adam's entertainment; hitting the alarm at eight, grateful for the time zone difference, he forces down two cups and tries to remember why he ever thought this was a good idea.

Picking up the phone and clutching his third cup (from Starbucks, because if he has to be up, he sees no reason not to torture someone who can also go get him a latte), Adam waits as it rings and rings and finally, Kris coming on, sounding very, very Arkansas.

Abruptly, Adam feels much more awake. "Morning, baby. Sleep well?"

"Um." From the other side of the phone, he hears Kris yawning, the sound of the sheets being moved this way and that. "Adam?"

"Kris, are you entertaining other gentleman callers at dawn?" Settling back, Adam sips his latte.

"What?" There's a heavy noise that sounds a great deal like Kris just hit his head on his still-unattached headboard and a muffled sentence that sounds pretty profane. Biting his lip against a giggle, Adam waits. "No?"

"You're not sure?"

"Um, wait. Adam? It's--" Kris pauses. "It's seven. What did I do to you recently?"

"I should tell Brad about your morning voice," Adam says thoughtfully, taking another sip.

This early, even blatant sexual innuendo would take a while to penetrate, and that was pretty subtle, for Adam, anyway. "Okay? Adam, it's seven--"

"So it is." Adam glances out the window at the quickly-moving landscape, biting his lip against a giggle at the pained sound of Kris' voice. "So, you never told me you were the kind of boy who got drunk and performed in random Austin clubs."

There's a much less muffled sound this time; Adam winces, making a note to mention padding that headboard or something. It's a few long seconds before Kris comes back on the line, sounding marginally more awake. "How did you--"

"Jared and I bonded," Adam answers seriously. "Or he just wanted to show off he knew something I didn't. Now I know, so that wasn't a clever plan, no. Tell me about it."

"Um." Kris hesitates. "I went to Austin. Jared and Leah plied me with margaritas and made me sing." Adam can almost see Kris' little frown of concentration. "Jared was just out of rehab and kind of--not enthusiastic. I think that was what he considered an audition for the privilege of having him tell me I'm a creative sellout for months on end."

"Charming boy. I see why you like him so much."

The other side of the phone remains silent; Adam had expected embarrassment, but not this level of thought from Kris, especially at fucking seven in the morning. "Kris?"

"Um." Kris hesitates. "It was interesting?"

"It was a good performance," Adam says, relenting enough to be generous. It's early.

"I guess?" Kris sounds slightly more certain; from the sound of things, he's shifting toward the edge of the bed, maybe with the goal of getting up to pursue caffeine. "No one threw anything and--"

"And Jared became less artistic after that."

"Not really." Kris' voice reflects rueful amusement. "But by the time I agreed, he was getting pretty frustrated with how the album was going, so he restrained himself."

Adam starts to answer, then pauses, sidetracked from early-morning mockery; this is new and weirdly contradictory information. "Huh. I thought you said you met Leah at SXSW?"

"Yeah, I did." Kris yawns as he pads toward the kitchen. "But it was--" Kris yawns again, almost covering the sound of the tap being turned on. "God, I didn't have time. Couldn't be in LA that much."

Adam watches the passing landscape, a city growing slowly larger in the distance, wondering how he'd missed this. "By the time they started recording, you were in LA a lot more, though," Adam says lightly. "That was convenient."

In the background, Adam hears the coffeemaker start to brew and knows he can mark the time he has left in minutes. "Really wasn't a reason not to then, yeah," Kris murmurs sleepily. Adam can picture him, slumped against the island, watching the coffee as if that would somehow speed it up.

"I suppose I can't complain about them too much, then," Adam adds carefully. "It was pretty convenient for me, too." From the other side of the phone, Adam can almost feel Kris straightening, mind coming online as the smell of coffee permeates the haze of sleep. "Whatever, so do you and Leah takes requests? I would so kill for that Aaron Neville/Linda Rhonstadt duet. You'd do a very pretty Linda."

"…how do you even know who they are?"

"Like my mother doesn't have all her albums," Adam answers absently, leaning his head against the window and shutting his eyes. "I Don't Know Much. Come on, for me?"

He lets Kris go back to sleep after another twenty minutes; even coffee can't compete with a late dinner meeting the night before. Hanging up, Adam stares at the phone for a while, sipping his now-cold latte and trying to convince himself this isn't a decision, just an acknowledgement of something that's already true.

Dialing, Adam curls up more comfortably on the couch and waits for Alex to answer.




Adam won't say he's counting the hours until he's free to take a flight to LA exactly; he loves touring, and he loves performing, and God does he love fans, manic and frenzied and brilliant, the explosive energy that builds from the moment he steps on stage and the adrenaline-crashing wind-down after. There's nothing, nothing like it. But it's nice to have something to look forward to after that, too.

Barely bothering to do more than change into jeans and a t-shirt, Adam's still a little strung out on the dressing room floor, ipod playing Kris' aptly named "The Tour Post-Coital Mix".

Tommy materializes above him, looking indulgent. Reaching up, Adam lazily slips an earbud free, smiling hazily. "Hey, baby."

"Hey yourself." Sitting cross-legged by his shoulder, Tommy bends down and picks up the earbud, listening for a second, then shakes his head, reaching to ruffle Adam's hair. "I don't even need to ask how you're doing, hmm?"

Adam wrinkles his nose and sighs happily.

"Jim's outside," Tommy says, apropos of nothing. "He asked me to check with you on a visitor. You up for it?"

Adam hums his complete and utter peace with the universe. The only thing that could be better would be making out with someone now, feel this hum against someone else's skin; grinning at Tommy, he cocks his head. Tommy blinks slowly, leaning down, then stops himself abruptly. "Christ, baby," Tommy breathes, biting his lip. "Trust me when I say, I'm tempted. But I'm betting in five seconds you won't even remember that I'm here."

"I don't mind watching," someone says from the door, amused. Blinking, Adam turns his head and sees Kris leaning against the doorway, eyebrows raised. Holding up his phone, Kris cocks his head. "Shea and I would appreciate the new material."

"Kris," Adam breathes, pushing up on one arm, ignoring Tommy giggling semi-hysterically against his shoulder. "What are you--?"

"I'm not allowed in the studio after seven," Kris says, mouth curving in a grin as he comes inside. "With all that free time you've scheduled me, I had some time to kill. Thought I'd fly back with you tomorrow morning. Cale and the guys are laying some new tracks until noon and don't need me." Kris thinks about it. "Not sure I'd care if they did, really."

Adam nods, unable to stop smiling, watching Kris unzipping the hoodie he'd stolen from Adam in Vegas and still hasn't bothered to return. He looks rumpled and a little tired, fair enough after a few hours on a plane, hair sticking up a little and damp from the intermittent rain that's been standard for the last two days, but mostly something else, lit up inside in a way that Adam doesn't think he's ever seen in Kris off a stage, and maybe not even then. It's impossible to look away even if he wanted to; he doesn't.

"I think," Tommy says, bringing himself under control with a visible effort, "that I'm going to go find something to do that's not here." Getting up, he pulls Kris into a one-armed hug before he shuts the door with exaggerated care behind him.

Kris flips the lock, brown eyes dancing as he crosses the room, planting a foot on either side of Adam's hips, nearly bouncing on the balls of his feet. "Hey," he murmurs, softer. "Someone had very a good time on stage tonight."

"I did." Adam offers the free earbud, stretching back out on the floor. "I like this one."

"Hmm." Dropping to his knees, Kris braces a hand over his shoulder and takes it, head tilting a little, then pulls it out, mouth against Adam's ear. "Bet I can help you relax." Tucking the bud back into place, he lifts his head, pressing a soft kiss against Adam's mouth.

Groping a little, Adam flips off the ipod and pulls out the earbuds, then curls a hand around Kris' neck, opening his mouth lazily at the first gentle press of Kris' tongue, sweet and slow and impossibly good. Kris brushes his knuckles along his cheek, trailing down his neck, and for a second, Adam's thinks there's something different, but Kris is pressing soft, quick kisses against his mouth, the tip of his nose, just below his ear, coming back for another deep, drugging kiss whenever Adam catches his breath.

Adam doesn't even realize he's pushing up the back of Kris' t-shirt beneath the hoodie until Kris says, "Yeah, hold on," and sits up, pulling the hoodie off before bending down again, warm and pliant when Adam touches him, sucking kisses down the side of his throat and pulling down the collar of his shirt to lick at the hollow of his throat. Sliding his fingers through Kris' hair, Adam feels his breath catch when Kris scrapes his teeth along his collarbone.

"I watched tonight from the audience," Kris says, elbows resting on either side of Adam's head. "Somehow, I always forget how amazing you are on stage."

Adam thinks of the crowd with a faint stir of alarm, stroking up the length of Kris' spine, skin soft and a little damp from sweat. "Hmm. You're not doing that again--"

"Jim already told me I'm not allowed to do that anymore," Kris whispers, pressing his forehead against Adam's. "Totally worth it to see you like that, though. I thought I'd take you to dinner and maybe we could go out for a few hours if you want." Reaching down, Kris catches Adam's hand, bringing it to his lips, mouthing over the knuckles. "Whatever you want."

Adam hesitates, watching Kris' tongue slip almost accidentally against his rings, and abruptly recognizes what he's looking at. Sitting up, Adam turns Kris' hand, running his thumb over the bare finger, the ring of too-pale skin, then looks at Kris.

"This is a statement," Kris says slowly, eyes fixed on Adam's thumb stroking over the bare skin. "Just so you know.

Adam takes a deep breath, dizzy, wondering. "Just so you know," he answers unsteadily, "so is this."

Wrapping an arm around Kris' waist, Adam eases him back against the floor, pushing a knee between Kris' legs and swallowing Kris' startled gasp, working his mouth open and pliant. Kris' hands settle against his back, hot through the thin t-shirt, closing impatiently over the cotton before pulling it up, fingertips skidding across bare skin.

Shoving Kris' shirt up, Adam ducks his head, mouthing down the center of his chest, warm skin, faintly salty, the smooth, flat belly and light trail of hair he follows with his tongue. Kris fingers brush against his face uncertainly, threading through his hair, hips arching a little helplessly, hard beneath the soft denim.

"I--had a plan," Kris says breathlessly, one sneaker pressing against the back of Adam's thigh impatiently. Adam buries a giggle against Kris's stomach, nipping the soft skin. "God, Adam, the answer is yes, please. Want me to beg?" Kris voice drops, husky-soft. "I will, you know."

Fuck. Pushing up, Adam shoves Kris' thigh over, kneeling between his legs, catching Kris' mouth in a kiss before he can say anything else, or this will be over so much faster than it already is going to be. "A plan," he says when he finally has to breathe. "This, I have to hear."

Kris smirks, reaching down, nails skidding against Adam's stomach before his fingertips slide under the waist of his jeans, thumb pressing against the button. Biting back a groan, Adam nods shakily, and Kris works it open, murmuring, "Could these be any tighter?"

Adam starts to answer, but Kris wins his fight with the zipper, both hands pushing the denim down and holy fuck, fingers trailing the length of his cock.

"Now these jeans couldn't fit underwear underneath them," Kris says breathlessly, cheeks pink. Not tentatively at all, Kris wraps his hand around him, guitar-callused fingers catching on the sensitive skin. "Tell me if I'm doing it wrong," he says almost seriously, but the effect's ruined by the quick breathes that break the sentence three times, the way Kris' hips push up helplessly. Adam bites his lip, licking the captured skin greedily and then flicks open Kris' jeans and pushes them down, dragging his fingers up the length of his cock once as Kris' hand tightens convulsively. "God," Kris breathes. "Adam, please--"

"I want to hear," Adam stops, squeezing his eyes shut as Kris gets more comfortable, thumb brushing curiously over the head, obviously adapting what he does to himself to a new angle and that's beyond hot. "About. The plan." Stroking gently over Kris' forehead, he slips his fingers into Kris hair and pulls, bending to suck a kiss into the arch of his throat. "Now."

"Ohh." Kris shivers, relaxing beneath Adam. "Adam. This. Dinner, maybe go out for a while, but this. In your bed on the bus. Or the couch. Or--"

"I like your plans," Adam murmurs in his ear, lifting Kris' knee until he gets the idea and the long thighs wrap around his waist. Brushing Kris' hand off his cock with an effort, he shifts his hips, pressing them together, and Kris arches, making a sound Adam's never heard anyone make before. "When did you decide this?" he says; he's about five seconds from losing words altogether and he wants these to count.

"Before I left Vegas."

God. "Kris," Adam breathes, cupping his face, feeling Kris start to shake. Kissing him softly, Adam reaches for his hip and twists, groaning at the drag against his cock, the way Kris goes still, thighs tightening before he comes; Adam swallows every sound Kris makes, kissing him through the aftershocks before pulling away and burying his mouth against Kris shoulder, mouthing helplessly along the skin and nosing the collar of his shirt aside, shuddering as the first hot shock crawls down his spine, biting the thick muscle, almost there, fuck….

Kris presses his lips against his ear. "I won't hide that one," drawled thick like poured honey, and Adam's done, coming against Kris' slick belly and wrung-out completely. Kris drapes a lazy arm around his shoulders, still panting, locking his ankles behind Adam's back with the clear message not to move, like maybe ever.

After a while, Adam pushes himself up, brushing the sweaty hair from Kris' face, poking his nose lightly so he'll open his eyes. Which he does, glazed over and utterly content. "Don't let go."

Adam kisses his soft mouth a little helplessly. "I'm not."




Adam finally finds a shirt that won't look ludicrously large in what he brought over with him, having to settle with "definitely borrowed from Adam" a soft hand-painted cotton he'd picked up in India. His objection to Kris' inability to judge appropriate clothing size is, in this case, not so much a problem. "I told Tommy we'd meet them in thirty minutes," Kris says, pulling it over his head, words muffled. "That was over an hour ago."

"Pretty sure he ignored you," Adam says, waiting for Kris to hold out a resigned hand and pulling him off the couch; it's habit and so ingrained that Adam hadn't thought anything of it, really, except now he does. There's a lot, he suspects, that he does and Kris lets him that he hasn't noticed.

After Kris picks up the hoodie of late-night anonymity, Adam turns him to check the collar, the reddened edge just visible if you know where to look. Kris tilts his head back, rolling his eyes like Adam is just that annoying.

They're down to minimal staff who pretend not to look at them, and Jim, who gives Kris a narrow-eyed look of warning about going out alone in overly excited, large concert crowds alone, which Adam supports entirely. "So I'm feeling take out eventually," he says thoughtfully, draping an arm around Kris' shoulders. "Later. Objections?"

Kris thinks about it. "Not really, no."




Adam's not sure there's any point in significant amounts of sleep when they're only a few hours away from an eternity at airport security; it's not like he's anywhere near being able to sleep anyway. Brushing a kiss against the back of Kris' neck, he eases the sheet down enough to mouth the curve of his spine, stroking over the skin of his bare hip. Adam very much approves of clothing-optional sleeping.

"Mmmph." Kris turns his head on the pillow, eyes half-closed. "So you insist I work on your schedule for the sake of my sleep, and yet--"

"That's different," Adam breathes, pleased when Kris shivers. Dragging his teeth between Kris' shoulder blades up to his shoulders, he presses his lips against Kris' ear. "It wasn't me keeping you awake."

"That's--" Kris smiles, arching into Adam's hands at every touch, "--yeah. Okay."

Adam thinks distantly of the questions he probably needs to ask--that Kris doubtless expects him to ask at some point, for clarification if not reassurance--but right now, it's so much less important than this. It's surprising to realize how much he's been holding back, even with Kris, who never drew a line for Adam to cross, indulging himself with the freedom to touch Kris however he wants, as long as he wants, aware of how badly Kris wants that too, skin hunger like an unslakable craving Adam can feel every time Kris shifts into his hands, against his mouth, his body, still for it the way he isn't anywhere else.

Easing Kris back against his chest, warm, naked skin, Adam hooks his chin over his shoulder, sliding his fingers along Kris' thigh in a slow tease, skipping the half-hard cock to skim up his chest, flick a pink nipple hard between his nails. Kris starts, arching back against him, ass pressing back against Adam's cock. Picking up Kris' hand, Adam kisses the palm before licking, slow and careful, feeling Kris watching him with wide eyes, getting it wet.

"I want to watch," he murmurs against Kris' ear, guiding his hand down until Kris wraps it around his own cock, breath catching in a whine in the back of his throat. Watching Kris' hand start to move, a little awkward and uncertain at first, Adam tries to remember where the lube is and why he hadn't found that first. "Keep going," he murmurs, watching the flushed head push out between Kris' fingers, dark red against the golden skin, sucking an approving kiss into Kris' shoulder before groping beneath the pillow as subtly as he can, fingers closing over the tiny bottle and pulling it out.

"Adam," Kris breathes, tilting his head back, throat stretched long and perfect. Slicking his fingers, he eases a knee between Kris', opening him up. It's a fucking amazing view. "Oh," Kris breathes, free hand closing around the edge of the pillow when Adam urges his thighs farther apart, trailing wet fingers down his side and leaving shiny streaks against his inner thigh, stroking gently just behind his balls to get the startled shiver.

"Keep going," Adam breathes against his ear when Kris' hand falters, stroking back toward the tiny hole incrementally, getting him comfortable with being touched. Hesitantly, Kris starts again, eyes squeezed shut in concentration, and Adam smiles, kissing the corner of his mouth in approval before his fingertips trace a slow circle around the supersensitive skin around his hole.

"God," Kris breathes, jerking a little as Adam eases his legs open more, tracing tiny, distracting circles as Kris' breath comes quicker, almost shocked. "Adam--"

"You're doing fine," Adam murmurs, pressing just a little, feeling Kris' reaction all along every inch of his body. "Don't come yet. I want to suck you off."

Kris cock jerks in his fingers, head slicking more with every slide of Kris' hand. There's a little give, enough for Adam to slide his fingertip in, slick and smooth and impossibly tight.

"I'm going to watch you," Adam says softly, pleased Kris shivers at the sound of his voice, pushes down against his finger almost by accident, "and when you can take two fingers, I'll let you come in my mouth."

Kris stills all over, hand tightening around his cock for a second like he can't remember what he was doing. Adam nuzzles his neck before easing in to the first knuckle, nipping Kris' neck when he doesn't move. "Don't stop until I tell you to," Adam says against his skin. "Do it."

Kris starts again, jerky and nervous; Adam mouths along his jaw for a few seconds until the rhythm picks back up, licking between the parted lips in reward; Kris jerks a little when Adam slides his finger in the rest of the way, unmoving, letting him get used to the feeling of having something in his ass when he's this turned on. "How does that feel?"

Kris hesitates, biting his lip. "Weird," he manages after a second, voice high and a little uncertain. Easing it halfway out before sliding it back in, Adam eases his other arm under Kris' head and watches Kris face start to flush, skin breaking out in a light sweat. "Not bad," he adds, eyes clouding over a little, hips jerking up into his fist now with every thrust.

"Good boy." Pulling out, Adam pulls his hand away from his cock to lick it slow and slick and wet before wrapping it back around him. "That's it," he says, chin pressing into Kris' shoulder as he slicks his fingers and pushes one back in without waiting. Kris arches, startled, but Adam doesn't stop, matching the rhythm of Kris' fist for a few seconds, concentrating on letting Kris get used to it, the impossible tightness easing around him before starting to work in a second finger. Kris' breath catches hard in his throat, but his hand doesn't stop this time. "Shh, baby, you're doing fine."

Kris nods, shuddering every time Adam moves his fingers. Grinning, Adam kisses the side of his face and waits until Kris moves easily with him, matching the rhythm Adam set with his fingers, then twists, a tiny stretch before brushing his fingertip against the sensitive spot that make Kris gasp helplessly, cock jerking between his fingers and shaking all over. "Adam," he chokes out, eyes screwed closed, hand tight around the head of his dick. "Adam, please, please--"

"Almost there, baby." Adam twists his fingers again, stretching him even more and keeping pressure on that spot until Kris is twisting against him, attention split between his hand on his cock and Adam's fingers in his ass, desperate, leaking over his own fingers and about to fall apart. Adam won't push him that hard the first time; kissing his slack mouth, Adam rolls him onto his back and mouths down his chest, pushing his hand away and taking him into his mouth, curling his fingers one more time and holding Kris down when he arches off the bed, coming shocked silent and shaking, clenching almost painfully tight around his fingers.

Easing them out, Adam wraps his slick fingers around his cock, kissing Kris' soft mouth and rutting against his belly, letting Kris taste himself. It doesn't take too much; just remembering Kris around his fingers, Kris moving under his direction, is more than enough.

Shifting back to the bed beside him, Adam wipes his fingers through the come slicking Kris' belly, drawing wet circles around each hard nipple before licking them clean, tilting Kris head up, eyes glazed over and wiping two fingers through what remains before feeding them between Kris' swollen pink lips, watching him suck, tongue slipping between his fingers. Pulling them out, Adam bends for another kiss, licking the taste of both of them from Kris' tongue before drawing back. "Good for you, baby?" he says, grinning at Kris' incredulous look and pulling him into his arms, skin sticking to skin. "I'll take that as a yes."




They get back to LA just after noon the next day; Kris calls Cale from Adam's bed to tell him he won't be in, sounding husky and strung out and ridiculously hot, watching Adam dress, pack, and do a bare minimum of clean-up so intently that Adam loses track of what he's doing to crawl back on the bed and push him down into the mess of flannel sheets and pillows. They make it to the airport and through security just as boarding begins, which may be lucky, because Adam can't imagine sitting with him in the first class lounge without touching him no matter who is watching.

Kris falls asleep an hour into the flight, seat tilted back and head resting on Adam's shoulder; beneath the blanket, his hand covers Adam's on his thigh, fingers threaded between his, as Adam strokes a soothing path from hip to knee. It's probably weird and not a little creepy to watch someone sleeping, but Adam does it anyway, memorizing the warmth of Kris body against his, face softened in sleep, trying to make this feel as real as it has to be.

Adam calls for a driver as they get off the plane, finding Kris' sunglasses and straightening his hoodie when Kris shows a disinclination to pay any attention to his surroundings. It's not even residual sleepiness; Adam's been front and center of what sometimes felt like every camera in the known world, performed on stages for live audiences that numbered in the ten thousands and television audiences in the millions, but it's nothing like being the entire focus of Kris Allen's attention to the exclusion of everyone and everything else.

Adam had never had any partners who had ever expressed any kind of sexual identity crisis (with or near him, in any case), which in retrospect was something of an advantage, since by the time it occurred to him he should worry, Kris was trying to unbutton his jeans after pushing him onto the couch and kneeling between his feet, looking some startlingly hot cross between really turned on and a little clinical, like he's looking at a score with notation he's not sure works with the melody line.

"…so you'll have to tell me," Kris says seriously, tugging at the waist of his jeans until Adam belatedly lifts his hips and lets him pull down denim and boxer-briefs at once, callused fingers sliding over his belly before wrapping around the base of his cock. Adam opens his mouth to answer--with what, he has no idea--before Kris fits his mouth over the head of his cock and all bets are off.

A few white-hot moments later, Kris pulls off, thumb wiping along his lower lip. "That okay so far?"

Adam opens his mouth to answer, torn between staring at Kris' wet, wet mouth and the hand sliding casually up and down his cock; the question takes a few long seconds to penetrate and even longer before Adam realizes Kris is waiting for an answer. "Um." Licking his lips, he tries again. "Yes?"

"You're not sure?" Kris widens his eyes. "You entertain a lot of blowjobs recently--?" Kris twists his wrist, reminding Adam of the way Kris plays a guitar, then smiles, all teeth and a little mean, like he's remembering when someone woke him up with a phone call at seven in the morning. Torn between a laugh and a groan, Adam watches Kris go back down, a little clumsy but not at all unsure, which argues he's either thought about this pretty carefully--an impossibly hot thought that Adam has to push away before this ends like, now--or that he's been paying close attention to the people who do this for him.

"Not…really--" Adam catches his breath when Kris' lips slide lower, taking another inch in his mouth, tongue working around the head with a kind of slow thoroughness that just might kill him. "--fuck, Kris…."

Kris tightens his grip around the base and then pulls off with a wet, sucking sound. "Tell me if I'm doing anything wrong," he says, still smiling, but he means it, too. Vaguely, Adam gropes for words.

"Kris," he manages as Kris twists his wrist again, realizing his fingers are digging painfully into the leather of the couch, "short of requiring a visit to the ER for stitches," God, a handjob shouldn't be this good, "there's no possible way you can do this wrong."

Kris raises his eyebrows in polite disbelief instead of putting his mouth back where it obviously needs to be like, now. "Is that supposed to be reassuring?"

"It's supposed to be embarrassing," Adam breathes, squeezing his eyes shut when Kris bends his head to lick up the length curiously, "for me. Kris--"

Without another word, Kris takes the head back in his mouth, wet and messy and with the occasional uncomfortable scrape of teeth, which should be so much more irritating than it is, but when Adam manages to make himself look, it just doesn't matter. Kris, head bent, mouth stretched wet-shiny around his cock is visual enough; reaching down, Adam tries to get him to move, silky hair sliding between his fingers, but Kris just pushes his head up against his hand and Adam assumes permission and shudders his way through orgasm.

After a few long seconds, Adam manages to pry his eyes open, still tingling with tiny aftershocks, to see Kris wiping his face on his discarded shirt, looking up with pleased eyes and a glossy-lipped smile. With a little pet to Adam's cock that makes him shiver, Kris crawls onto the couch, smile widening when Adam pulls him into a kiss, tasting himself in Kris' mouth and reaching down to unbutton Kris' jeans and slide his hand inside. Kris catches his breath, wrapping an arm around Adam's shoulders and leaning into it. "Next time," Kris says, breath hitching when Adam works the jeans down around his hips, "you should tell me what you like when I do that."

Adam nods a little blindly, shoving Kris back on the couch to get a good angle and finish undressing him before the tone penetrates along with the words. Drawing back, Adam watches as Kris arches into his hand, eyes half-closed and lip caught between his teeth; he's gorgeous.

"You like that," Adam breathes. Reaching for Kris' hand, he eases it to the soft leather over his head, watching as Kris raises his other arm, lacing his fingers together, both wrists sliding willingly beneath Adam's hand.

Kris lets his eyes open enough for him to see the hot flare of arousal when Adam tightens his grip, just enough so Kris can feel it. "Yeah," he whispers, head tilting back into the cushions, exposing the length of his bare throat. "I really do."




"Okay, yeah," Adam says, throwing his boots into the closet with a sense of finality as Kris half looks up from his sprawl across the mattress, staring at Adam drowsily as the headboard sags against the wall, "we're getting a new bed."




tenth part

ho shiiiii...

i don't know where to start with this. seriously. i keep saying the same things over again, but there's so many little things you've written that i enjoy and can relate back to both of them and they all just makes this all the more fantastic and beautiful to read. the way you've constructed their relationship, all these subtle nuances and this certain give and take between them... god, just amazing. your adam is just brilliant. and i still have one more part to read.

also, this?

...an a capella recording of Leah and Kris singing Good Girls Gone Bad as made famous by Cobra Starship featuring Leighton Meester, with Kris singing the part of Leighton...

ffffuuuu. now this is gonna be stuck in my brain forever. totally doesn't help that recently kris sang a little a capella of alicia keys' part in empire state of mind and he's done some britney spears and adele in the past. this is exactly the kind of thing i was talking about when i mentioned little details, hahaha.

*bounces* I love your feedback. It alwasy makes me want to write more.