AIRPS, Adam, Kris
Notes: Okay, so starandrea used this as the title for the bookmark to this on delicious, and who am I to change that? Also, I liked it a lot. Can I just post things and other people can pick the titles after they read it? Seriously, I like that. Thanks to transtempts for checking this.
first part, second part, third part, fourth part, fifth part, sixth part, seventh part, eighth part, ninth part, tenth part
This time, Adam doesn't take any chances with his schedule and has his PA write in Kris where there's space and even when there's not. It's too easy to fall back into bad habits, and Adam knows better than anyone that there's never enough time for everything; you just have to take it.
("You collected all of this?" Kris says, shocked, when Adam drops the entire paper-clipped mess of paper scraps on the guest bed. "You know what, I'm not even going to ask. This isn't even one song.")
Adam doesn't break up with Alex so much as practice terrible time management skills; a break up would also imply there was something to be broken. Adam's every relationship for the last five years has played out in the media like a cross between a make-or-break for gay rights public service announcement and a reality TV soap opera with a limited episode run per season. It's compelling TV, Adam has to admit; he does serial monogamy performance art like he's expecting an Academy Award. At this point, he kind of thinks he deserves it.
The problem with living your life like episodic television is that it's easy to forget some people are supposed to be regular recurring characters, which is where Adam has to stop the metaphor and nearly drops his drink, because Kris is laughing so hard he falls off the couch.
"You are such a bitch," Adam says, hanging over the edge to stare Kris into silence, which works about as well as expected. "Are you having an asthma attack? What the hell was that about?"
"No," Kris wheezes, sitting up, arm wrapped gingerly over his stomach. "Just. I was worried you were heading toward Survivor as a life plan. Is this last twink standing or something? Will there be a vote?"
"Fuck you." Sitting up, Adam waits as Kris crawls back on the couch, choking off stray giggles as he picks up his guitar. "This is what I get for opening up and shit?"
"Adam," Kris says incredulously. "You're not bad at relationships when you have them with people you actually like. It doesn't count if you only like their sexual skillset and photogenic qualities, either."
Adam curls up in the corner of the couch to try and sulk away the truth.
"I mean, there's a reason you had to stop introducing Brad to your boyfriends--"
Adam stares at Kris. "How would you know--? Tell me you and my ex do not talk about my personal life. I don't even know how to deal with that."
"I would, but it would be a lie." Kris strums a few bars and stops with a frown, glancing down at his scribbled chords and pulling the pencil from behind his ear. "He ran out of people in LA to complain to about you and not see Perez blogging it twenty-four hours later, and he says he likes to jerk off to my twang when I'm tired."
Adam raises an eyebrow, but it's not like he doesn't get the attraction. There was a period of time Adam would pretend to forget time zones to listen to Kris at two in the morning. "Does he?"
"I've been pretty careful not to ask." Making a notation, Kris ghosts his fingers through the chords again and nods to himself. "Anyway, my point stands."
The point does stand. Brad is not one to avoid imparting an opinion at length, usually with the subject right in front of him, and Adam can't lie to him on his best day. "I didn't know you talked to Brad," Adam says, deciding the point needs to be changed.
"It's a professional Lambert groupie thing," Kris says absently, making another notation. "Secret society, vow of silence, that sort of thing. I'm not supposed to talk about it."
"Does the initiation require spanking?"
Kris looks up, eyes dancing. "That," he says, "would be telling. Okay, listen to this and tell me what you think."
Adam pushes his foot against Kris' knee hopefully. "Game on, baby."
Two strangely surreal nights at a variety of LA clubs turn out to be the most mellow Adam's been under the lens in years. Alex has no idea what to do with that; it's hard to start a fight when Adam's still with the musician in his basement studio practicing his craft no matter where he actually goes.
It's a slow week in the Adam Lambert drama; all the pictures show him vanishing long before dawn, barely there at all. He's at home, waking Kris with takeout and shuffling him reluctantly to bed, the remembered beat of Kris' music trembling in his fingertips and playing in his head as he falls asleep.
It takes four days to finish a rough cut of the song (strategically forgotten: three meetings, Alex, a new club opening, and a PA that wont' speak to him except through text message), but somehow, it wasn't until after he'd dropped Kris off at the airport that he realized whose voice it had actually been written for.
"Okay," Adam tells voicemail while Kris is somewhere over Idaho, "that was a fucking statement, Allen."
"It's more a Lambert exes club for those I didn't hate," Brad says later that night, sounding hazy and not quite post-coital; there's the sound of at least one other individual in the background. It's not like Brad is above answering the phone while fucking or anything; it's one of the many things Adam loves about him. "Which in recent years is pretty fucking small, by the way. I had to relax membership requirements."
"To straight boys I never dated? How does that work again?"
"Busy now, bye." Adam listens for a few minutes before hanging up; that had been the point, after all.
Alex shows up at five separate clubs with increasingly hotter (and younger) guys, there are six separate tour-related issues that are explained at a length Tchaikovsky would envy, and Kris shows up in New York for label-related purposes, type unknown. Adam's PA gets a raise when she mentions he should do an interview there; he's on the plane before he remembers he didn't ask with whom, and he's halfway to the hotel before he admits that at no point did he actually care.
"You came to New York for a phone interview less than two weeks before your tour starts." Kris says without pretending it's an actual question that Adam was supposed to answer. "So, you're stuck in weird still?"
"Pretty much, yeah," Adam confirms, trying Kris' coffee warily. Four syrups were involved, because Kris likes his caffeine dangerous. "It's a thing. What did you put in this? I can't even tell what this is."
"It's delicious, that's what it is," Kris says, taking his coffee back and rebuttoning his coat before looking at Adam hesitantly. "You get you don't have to take up a grand gesture lifestyle so I feel secure in your affections, right? I feel pretty secure."
"You know, I might be here so you can tell me how much Alex sucks, did you think of that?" Adam says, opening the door to herd Kris back into the crisp New York fall. "I may need reassurance. It's not always about you."
Kris sips his coffee and stares down the sidewalk in resignation. "Translation: we're going shopping."
"Leather always eases my pain," Adam agrees, sliding an arm around Kris's slumped shoulders before he thinks there's a chance to escape. "And some new jeans," he adds speculatively.
"Why am I needed for this?"
"Oh," Adam says, curling gloved fingers in the wool covering Kris' shoulder, "they're not for me."
Adam is used to his life being a documentary and still life reality tv all at once; there's nothing new in the pictures of that week in New York, shopping and clubbing and living his life in front of an audience that never seems to tire. It's Kris' presence that makes it new, and as it turns out, Adam can still be surprised. Among dozens of high-resolution pictures saturated with everything Adam's learned he's supposed to be, there are three that are something else entirely. Just three, two pages deep, barely noticed, but they're the only ones that matter.
It's not a media-ready rockstar who has never met a stage he didn't own wandering through Central Park; it's a stolen moment that feels too intimate for a camera to capture, and he wouldn't trade for the world, to see a guy who tackles his best friend to steal his coffee and who likes to make Kris Allen laugh.
Kris is back in Arkansas by the time Adam is staring at the next year and a half of his life. It's not that it is not an awesome bus, but the strangely surreal realization that he'll be the only one on it, as if he's never done this before. Taking out his phone, Adam takes a picture, wondering uneasily if this is how it had happened before, because he kind of thinks it is. Tours were crazy and no one could blame him for losing touch, forgetting to call, forgetting that there's a world outside it that wouldn't stop just because he decided not to pay attention.
He can blame himself, though, for knowing he could get away with it. Attaching the picture and a tour schedule to a text, he types in a message that's a promise to them both:
see you soon.