AIRPS, Adam/Kris, Kris/Other, various, NC-17
Summary: In which Kris finds a puppy and the laws of probability change dramatically.
Notes 1: for astolat in Yuletide coding and mailing list hell. And because she kind got me into this mess and tweeted my comment not-porn and for the life of me, I could not figure out how people were finding it.
Notes 2: AU. I'd add crack, but um, you know, the crack standards here are kind of insanely high and last night I re-read a fic about a unicorn. I really can't compete with that. This is more crack lite.
There is no actual contractual obligation to go shopping with Adam, but at that point, Kris' publicist was willing to lie through her teeth, which is how the entire mess started. Looking back, there's a fatalistic sort of veneer on the entire day--a sepia-toned rose, if you squint--that turned one quest for the perfect pair of leather jeans into--
"Hey, is that a puppy?"
Adam turns around to watch as Kris trots back one quarter of a block to pick up a bundle of dirty yellowish fur that Adam had honestly thought was an unfortunate wig best left to die on the streets. What the hell? "What the hell?"
"I think she was following us." Heaving the--thing--into one arm, Kris runs his fingers through the matted hair--God, Adam thinks blankly, how do I cover for Kris going crazy? He's going to have to up the ante on stage in a serious way to deflect from this--before a tiny black button--oh, a nose--pushes out to nudge Kris' hand and tiny black eyes follow, staring up at Kris with a depressingly familiar look. "Aww, hey girl. Where's your family, huh?"
"Kris--" Adam starts, already uneasy at where this little melodrama is going, and when Kris looks up, there we go, are you going to say something about the new love of my life that's going to take us right back to the last endlessly depressing month of misery, cheap beer, and football reruns? which fine, Adam's projecting, but that doesn't make it less true. "Nice dog?"
"Someone needs to clean her up," Kris says, with a faint hint of disapproval toward the masses who abandon tiny wig-like dogs in the middle of otherwise normal Midwestern streets. "Come on, we can give her a bath on the bus."
Kris looks at him, and Adam honestly cannot understand how it is that Kris isn't already the benevolent dictator of some small, musically inclined country somewhere in the vague Pacific. Adam would do a lot more for that look that raise a fabulously coordinated army in his name. "Let me see what I brought with me?" Adam looks at the wig--dog--and wonders if a good platinum toner might help with the color.
Three washes, two rinses, and a deep conditioning later (Adam didn't even argue), Kris and Allison held it still while Adam pretended he knew how to use scissors in a meaningful way on a canine (being the token gay guy does mean you learn to fake it, because sometimes, that shit is funny, but then you end up barbering a goddamn dog and wonder what the fuck you were thinking), and as it turns out, hey, it's a dog after all, and what do you know--
"It's a boy!" Allison says gleefully, scratching behind the tiny ears. "Aww, here, boy! Come here!"
A skinny dog, not unlike a rat, with tiny black eyes, a tiny black nose, and surprisingly sharp tiny teeth that bare themselves at pretty much anyone but Kris, Allison, and the driver. With the worst of the matted fur cut away, he's an improbable, almost creepily perfect white, and somehow makes Adam's inexpert trim look like a deliberate retro-canine fashion choice.
Rubbing his injured ("He just nipped you! The scissors scared him!") injured fingers against his jeans, Adam tries to figure out how to put the words animal shelter into a sentence that won't end with his body being found several years from now stuffed in the back of the bus. Because yeah, this is going there. Kris strokes down the length of the dog's back, frowning at the bones pushing through the fragile skin, and their driver (what the hell?) comes back with three overstuffed bags with the words Petco printed on the plastic and already saying, "So what's his name?" like people on Idol tours adopt dogs all the time.
"Um, Kris?" Adam starts warily as Allison wrestles open the dry puppy food and the puppy curls up into Kris arms to stare at Adam as Kris says, "I don't know--how about Buddy?"
Adam stares at him incredulously; this could not be more Lifetime movie if they tried. "What about Spot?"
"But he has no--" Allison stops, staring at the dog thoughtfully. "Spot. For the irony?"
No, Adam thinks, appalled, no, no, no--
"I like it," Kris says, almost smiling, and the puppy rolls over in his lap, showing his belly. "Let's go with Spot."
So it could be more Lifetime movie if they tried.
It was the almost smile that did it; that's the first expression not associated with post-marital misery that Adam's gotten out of Kris since the divorce papers showed up. The night after that is still kind of a blur, but Adam has uncomfortable memories of drunk-dialing Katy and both of them crying together over the winds of love and fortune--they used those words, he's never touching anything Anoop mixes ever again--and waking up with notes written on both arms with a sharpie that chronicled How to Get Kris Through This.
Tonight, while Kris and Allison curl up in the front while the puppy trains them to coo on command, Adam retreats to his bunk and makes a desperate phone call.
"He has a puppy."
"Is that a euphemism?" Katy asks suspiciously; from the background beat, Katy's clubbing in LA. Adam doesn't even know how to deal with that.
"No! It's not--who have you been hanging out with?" Adam demands, leaning out of the curtain to make sure Kris and Allison are still watching Spot--oh God, Adam thinks, it's name is actually Spot--roll over with infatuated expressions. Allison will never leave this bus. "It's not a euphemism--if it is, okay, I don't want to know what it means, either--he's found an actual puppy."
"Wait," Katy says, "I need to--" The noise drops dramatically. "Bathroom. Okay, let me guess--he turns around, and suddenly something that you thought was like a wig turns out to be an actual dog? And--"
Adam drops the phone. "Oh my God." Warily, Adam picks up the phone again. "Tell me he called you. But I have his phone to avoid that drunk-dialing thing, so how--"
"Adam, are you there?" Katy sounds vaguely worried.
Maybe. "Katy," Adam starts slowly. "How did you--"
"Yeah, I should have said something," she says, sipping her drink loudly; Adam can hear the ice. "Just go with it."
"Just--okay, we're both sober, and this conversation isn't. What do you mean, go with it?"
Katy sighs, and from the sound, she's closed a bathroom stall. For privacy, Adam hopes; they do not have the kind of relationship where anyone uses the facilities while talking. Frankly, Adam never wants that kind of relationship with anyone. "So I'm going to go out on a limb and say he and the puppy are currently bonding with someone out by the couch? And it's kind of nauseatingly cute?"
"Allison may never leave," Adam says, stretching out on the bunk and picking at his nail polish despondently. It is nauseatingly cute; Adam's worried about his blood sugar.
"Allison? He found a puppy with Allison?" Katy says, horrified. "She's--oh my God--"
"What? No, she wasn't even there. Not until we got back, anyway," Adam says, wondering if there's a single illicit substance in this entire bus. LSD could only improve this conversation, which isn't something he'd ever thought he'd be able to say. "We were just walking along and then Kris is suddenly holding a puppy and next thing I know I'm gay hairdresser to the canine world, and hey, clichés are only funny when they don't involve dogs."
Not helpful. "Katy?"
"No, no, I was thinking that when I called you a homewrecker, I really felt bad later, and now I don't."
Adam rolls on his back, staring at the top of the bunk. "I did not steal your husband. I can do this categorically, baby, and I won't use euphemisms. Want it in alphabetical order? I did not--"
Katy giggles, shaking her glass, making Adam grin, too. "Okay," she says, sounding like she's standing up, "don't worry about the puppy. If it's making him happy--and I bet it is--the puppy is your best friend. Seriously, remember this part, okay? The puppy--"
"Spot," Adam says fatalistically.
That throws her. "You're kidding."
Katy's silent for a moment. "He named it Spot?"
"In the interests of full disclosure," Adam makes himself say, "I did. I didn't know you destroying his soul meant he lost the ability to recognize sarcasm."
"Ooh, big words from the man who named a dog Spot--Spot? Really?" Adam hears the stall door open. "Okay, so I want to be sure I understand--Kris found a puppy with you and you named it Spot. And now you are talking to me why?"
Adam frowns at the phone. "What does that have to do with--"
"Wow," Katy says, sounding shocked, "I now believe you didn't steal my husband."
"Are you high? Who's there with you? Do I need to call someone?"
"But I still think you wanted to, because come on, a puppy? Really, Adam. Look, I have to talk to some people--"
Adam wrinkles his nose. "Is that code for heterosexual sexcapades? I am so not listening to this."
"You want it categorical and alphabetical? I can do that. I will be--"
"Fuck and no. Go have fun. Don't worry about your husband crying himself to sleep every night in my lap or anything."
"Oh," Katy says confidently and crazily, "I definitely won't anymore. And by the way--do not say the words animal shelter. Just trust me on this one." She clicks off, and Adam stares down at the phone before Kris suddenly says, "Adam, he's rolling over! Check this out!"
With a final worried look at the phone--maybe he should call someone to check on Katy?--Adam crawls down from his bunk to blink at the sight of Allison passed out on the couch and Kris with a puppy in his lap. It's so meltingly adorable that Adam almost forgets Kris' ex-wife is insane, but it also reminds him she was maybe a little right; he didn't steal her husband, sure, but it wasn't from any lack of wanting to. Or possibly trying, but he obviously isn't very good at it, because while Katy does not have Kris, neither does he.
"Come here," Kris says, not looking up, and God help gay men trapped on buses with their drug of choice in human form, Kris looks almost happy. Helplessly, Adam joins them, watching incredulously as Spot turns his tiny head and bares his teeth when Adam tentatively reaches to rub the smooth, silky fur of his belly. "I think he likes you."
Before Adam can dispute the obvious lie, Kris jerks his hand down, trapping Adam between warm belly fur and warm human hand. Spot--Spot--makes a happy barking sound and looks at Kris with wide, adoring eyes. Adam scratches Spot's fur in understanding.
"I need to--" Kris gestures in the vague direction of the bathroom, and before Adam can stop him, Spot is transferred to his lap. Spot keeps up the ruse of love and affection until they both hear the door close, then looks down at Adam's hand on his belly, then at Adam.
"Okay, so. I won't say animal shelter." Spot tilts his head back and shuts his eyes in satisfaction. Which really, this isn't the most insane thing that Adam's ever done; he lives in LA. Negotiating with a dog is pretty normal, comparatively speaking. Rubbing beneath his chin, Adam continues, "You pretend you like me. And Kris is happy. Any questions?"
Spot squirms around enough to push his head beneath Adam's hand; that's a shake if Adam's ever seen one. Rubbing the tiny ears, Adam glances up in time to see Kris looking down at them pensively. "So I guess--" Kris starts haltingly, kneeling to hide his face as Spot uses his tiny, surprisingly sharp claws to scrabble into his lap, "we need to--find someone to take him?"
Spot scrunches himself into a tiny miserable ball of fur, looking daggers at Adam as Kris strokes his ears; Adam thinks When did I become this person? and then lets it go. "He's fine here," he says as Kris looks up with a dawning smile. Holy God, this is how it happens; the only thing that is missing is a Disney trademark, because Adam now lives in a romantic comedy. Vaguely, he wonders when he agreed to be cast as the awesome gay best friend. "Just leave it to me."
So that's how it started, but that's not how it ended.