Title: If You Really Fell (6/9)
Summary: Kris and Adam write a song together and it changes how they see each other forever.
Disclaimer: They're real, this isn't.
Before Kris opened his eyes the morning of the Cleveland show, he relished the fact that he was about to awaken with Adam’s arms around him, the way they had fallen asleep together, soft and close and sweet. But his smile faded as he realized he could feel only sheets sliding around his body, the pillow clenched in his hand, the empty space beside him...
Before Kris opened his eyes the morning of the Cleveland show, he relished the fact that he was about to awaken with Adam’s arms around him, the way they had fallen asleep together, soft and close and sweet. But his smile faded as he realized he could feel only sheets sliding around his body, the pillow clenched in his hand, the empty space beside him.
He rubbed his eyes with his fists and a blurry Adam came into focus a few yards away in the hotel armchair. His chin was resting on his hands, he was fully-clothed, and he was staring at the rug. He appeared deeply troubled.
“Is it too much to ask for you to stay in the goddamn bed?” mumbled Kris sleepily, to which Adam looked up and made a face.
“I was about to wake you up. We have to leave in twenty minutes.”
Kris had nothing to say, suddenly aware that he was completely naked. He didn’t know if he should bring up what had happened, and yet the evidence surrounded them.
“I need to pee,” he ended up saying. “You maybe want to uh... look away for a second?”
Adam laughed hollowly, but obliged. While Kris showered, Adam popped in to do his makeup, and something about the makeup must have prompted him, as he said somewhat unexpectedly, “So are you gay or what?”
It wasn’t sarcasm, it was almost forcibly flippant. “I... I don’t know,” Kris said, his voice echoing against the tile, sounding meaningless.
“You still love Katy,” Adam stated, and Kris could almost picture him turning his head to check out his eyeliner in the mirror, as though what he was saying was no big deal.
Kris turned off the shower to avoid responding. It was a question that had been prying at the back of his mind for days that he kept pushing away, afraid of his own answer. He grabbed a towel and threw it around his waist, exiting the bathroom. Adam followed him.
“So... do you feel guilty?”
Kris stopped in his tracks, kept his back to Adam. “Of course I fucking feel guilty, Adam, what the hell kind of person do you think I am?”
“Don’t know, just thought I should ask.”
Kris wheeled around. “Are we really going to talk about this right now or do you want to dance around it? Because I’m fucking sick and tired of pretending everything’s fine when it’s so obvious it isn’t.”
Adam’s eyes widened. “No, Kris. We’ll talk. That’s what I’m trying to do, here.”
Kris melted. “Sorry. I know. I just... I guess that’s what I like about you so much.”
Adam looked like his heart had about broken and he rushed forward to cup Kris’ face in his hands. “What are we going to do, Kris?”
Kris stared into Adam’s eyes, trying to read them, to see if his own turbulent emotion was reflected there. He decided he should say exactly what he was thinking.
“Adam, I really, really like you. I don’t want this to be a one time thing. I don’t think we can go back to how it was before.”
Adam dropped his hands and sank into the chair again, looking miserable. He didn’t say anything.
Kris couldn’t hide the devastation in his voice. “That wasn’t what you wanted to hear, was it?”
“I don’t know, Kris. I don’t know. I guess I just don’t know how to deal with this.”
“What?” he said desperately, kneeling before the chair and placing his hands carefully atop Adam’s knees. “Deal with what?”
“You’re not ready to have a relationship with another man. Think of your wife. Think of your career. Sometimes being gay comes with a bigger picture. You’ve gotta think about it logically.”
Kris swallowed. “I don’t care about any of that. I’m not being logical, I know, but I’m following my heart. What I want is you.”
He let a couple rapid heartbeats pass before he continued, with great hesitation, “Don’t you want me, too?”
He could feel Adam tense under his palms, could see how his expression went blank, froze over, hid something. “That’s not what’s important,” said Adam slowly. “We can’t do this again.”
Anger flared up inside Kris. How could Adam say that, after everything that had happened? After Kris had told him how he felt so many times, worn his heart on his sleeve? And after last night, when Adam had burst through the door, really let go, gone with his impulses, hadn’t thought about it... Where was that Adam, the spontaneous, wild Adam who went to gay clubs with teenagers he had just met? Was he trying to hurt Kris?
Adam seemed to see this all pass through Kris’ mind, as he said after a moment, “I’m sorry.”
“Sorry for what,” said Kris harshly, releasing his hands and striding across the room and tossing his things carelessly into his shoulder-bag.
Adam stood up as well to follow him, face anxious. “I just don’t think you’ve thought this all the way through - ”
Kris couldn’t keep his anger back any longer. “You have no idea how much I’ve thought about this since that night on the bus,” he spat. “I think about it every second of the day. I’ve never been more sure in my life. Are you afraid to believe me, or do you just not want me after all and are too scared shitless to say it?”
And then Adam said in a small voice, quickly, as though he hoped Kris wouldn’t hear, “I don’t want to be used.”
A whole minute passed as they stared at each other, and Kris finally got what Adam was trying to say.
“I just mean,” added Adam, anguished, as Kris breathed heavily, “I don’t want to invest myself in you, really be with you, if you’re going to change your mind. It’s kind of a pattern... with straight boys.”
Kris let his eyes close, and said, “Am I just any other straight boy to you?”
“No,” said Adam softly. “You’re not. And that’s kind of the problem.”
It was strange, but Kris almost felt a little better. “Would it help if I told you I was planning on separating from Katy?”
Adam watched him carefully but said nothing. On their way out the door, Kris asked, “Did you have a good sleep, anyway?”
Adam grinned at the hotel carpet and said, “Best sleep of my life.”
They spent the entire day off in Columbus, Ohio together, wandering the town, surprising each other with kisses, getting lunch, laying around in bed. It was like new love.
When they met up with the other idols for dinner that night, everything seemed to be back to normal but for the slow and secretive way Adam stroked Kris’ hand under the table. He smiled at the warm pressure. Back at the hotel, Adam taught Kris how to give head to a man, and Kris learned quickly that Adam’s frequent exclamations of “We can’t do this again,” that preceded any alone time together were essentially empty words. No matter how much Adam protested or mentioned Kris’ wife pointedly, he would always give in once Kris leaned in for a kiss, muttering something along the lines of, “I must really enjoy torturing myself,” while reaching for Kris’ shirt.
It was weird, but everything kind of seemed okay for a few days, like their lives were at a standstill. And yet there was always this odd undercurrent of imminent doom, like they were in the eye of the storm. If Kris forced himself to think about it realistically, there was no way this could work out, no way there could be a happy ending. He hated himself for giving in to his desires but part of him also wanted to live a little, to understand what it was like to go after what you wanted without any thought to the consequences. But always there was that nag at the back of his mind, insisting that it couldn’t last, that what he was doing was wrong.
After the show in St. Louis, Kris talked to Katy for over an hour on the phone in the Kansas City hotel room while Adam lay next to him on the bed, twiddling his thumbs.
“Yeah everything’s fine. You haven’t been to a show in a while... Yeah I know. Yeah. Your work. I understand,” Kris shifted and rubbed his eyes. “Okay. Well when will I see you next? Before the audition? After the audition? Alright then. Yeah, I said everything’s fine. There’s nothing to worry about. I’ll see you in a couple of days then. Okay. Break a leg. Love you.”
Kris pressed end and fell back against the pillows, arm slung over his face.
After a moment, Adam said haltingly, “How can you just lie to her like that?”
Kris threw his arm down. “Are we going to go over this again?”
Adam turned toward him. “I just. I don’t know. It’s really hard...”
Something in Adam’s voice made Kris turn his head to look over, and he realized tears were pooling in the corners of his eyes, his cheeks were trembling. Kris felt his insides crumble and his heart stretch as he instinctively reached to wipe the wetness away, smudging Adam’s makeup as he went.
“God,” said Adam, voice breaking. “I mean, it’s hard to hear you talk to her like that. Say you love her. It just... reminds me of what we’re doing here.”
“I know,” said Kris comfortingly, draping his arm over Adam’s bare chest and tucking his head in at his neck, mapping out the freckles there. He so badly wanted it to be okay for Adam, wanted to make him feel safe.
“I think you still love her. I really do.”
Kris just continued gripping Adam’s body, holding on to what was real, the tangible representation of what he wanted most.
“Tell me honestly, Kris,” said Adam, looking down into his eyes, tears still streaming. “If it weren’t for me, would you still be thinking of divorcing her?”
Kris blinked up at him and hesitated.
“Actually don’t answer that,” Adam said, sighing shakily. “I don’t want to know.”
Kris felt like he should say something but Adam reached over and turned out the light, seemingly not expecting a response. They snuggled in together and Kris had the odd thought that this was a moment to be treasured, a moment unlike any he had had before... a moment of complete honesty and trust.
And so Kris said into the dark, “I know how selfish I’m being. Really, I do. But all I know is what I want.”
“But you love Katy,” said Adam sleepily, running his nails along Kris’ scalp, playing with his hair.
“What if I told you I love you too?”
Kris listened to Adam’s heart beat, felt his huge, powerful breath making Kris’ cheek rise and fall against his warm, broad chest, and somehow knew that Adam wouldn’t respond, couldn’t respond, and maybe that was a good thing.
Just as Kris slipped into dreams, he felt Adam’s lips press against his forehead and as absurd and twisted as it was, he had never been more at peace.
CONTINUE TO CHAPTER SEVEN
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