Title: If You Really Fell (7/9)
Summary: Kris and Adam write a song together and it changes how they see each other forever.
Disclaimer: They're real, this isn't.
if Kris allowed himself to acknowledge it, the last few weeks had been the best of his life, complicated and happy at once. The most peaceful times he could think of had all taken place lying in bed with Adam, talking to him about unimportant things.
Kris hated himself. He really, truly, did.
He had been thinking this for several weeks, but the fact of it hit him full force as he lay on his hotel bed the day before the show in Madison, Wisconsin. It was the first time he had some real time to think, away from Adam who was on his way back from recording in New York, away from the constant distraction, the source of his entire corruption.
For Kris had always been the good guy; it was the reason he had won American Idol. He was squeaky clean, he was vanilla, he was selfless, he was humble. And people loved that. Last year, Katy had stated it as one of the reasons why she married him.
At the time he had pushed that to the back of his mind, ignored it, but if he was honest with himself he kind of resented it. He didn’t want it to be a reason why someone loved him.
And Adam was the opposite of that, really. He made Kris feel sexy, rebellious, wild. Everything that Adam was, but in Kris’ own understated style.
Come to think of it, Kris wasn’t sure why Adam liked him - he had only ever heard comments like “sweet,” “talented,” or “down-to-earth,” but those were interview answers and Kris was too shy to ask Adam for real ones, or to find out if there even were any.
Despite everything Kris had told Adam, despite the feelings he had laid out on the table so openly, Adam had never once returned them, not even during sex. It felt like they had traded in their old relationship for something different and far more risky, and they were still testing the waters to find out if it was going to be worth it in the end. Adam didn’t seem to think it would be.
Any yet if Kris allowed himself to acknowledge it, the last few weeks had been the best of his life, complicated and happy at once. The most peaceful times he could think of had all taken place lying in bed with Adam, talking to him about unimportant things. Sharing philosophies with him, hearing about his life, occasionally trading music.
Kris remembered the first time he really knew that they were going to be good friends. They had been sitting on each other’s respective beds, lights out, fiddling with their laptops, when Kris had accidentally un-muted his computer and played some Kings of Leon on shuffle. Adam had instantly looked up, excitedly saying, “Sex on Fire? One of my all-time favorite songs.” And within ten minutes, Kris had crawled in next to Adam on his bed and they had ended up playing each other music for the next three hours. Kris could recall agreeing with him that there was no greater pleasure than playing someone something they had never heard before and then watching them grow to love it.
In only a few short weeks following that moment, Kris had been pretty close to positive that he and Adam were going to be friends forever. Now, however, that certainty was lost.
Kris’ surly thoughts were interrupted by his phone vibrating against his leg. Two buzzes, two texts.
The first was from someone at 19E, letting him know which demos had been approved for recording. If You Really Fell was not one of them.
Kris had thought that that piece of news was soul-crushing, but the second text, from Adam, was a tougher blow: “You have to tell her” was all it said, no embellishments, no emoticons... a sign of the seriousness of that statement.
Kris could barely entertain the idea without hyperventilating. Telling Katy would officially end the dream world they had been living in, cut off the nerve to their beating hearts. Furthermore, it would mean revealing a side of himself his wife had never seen before, baring the part of him that was selfish, reckless, and stubborn.
It was impossible - he could never do it.
Before he had even thought through what he was going to say, Kris was speed-dialing the only person who might understand, who knew half of what went through his mind.
The exasperated tone of Adam’s greeting was accompanied with a sigh, as though he had been expecting Kris’ call.
“Adam, our song wasn’t picked. It won’t make it to the studio.”
There was a static as Adam breathed into the phone for a couple of seconds.
“And,” continued Kris, as calm as he could make himself, “I can’t tell her.”
Once again, Adam seemed to be refusing to respond.
Then Kris said in a small, shy voice, “Can you talk for a while?”
“I don’t know, Kris.”
“That seems to be your answer to every question I ask lately.”
“Maybe you ask too many questions I can’t answer.”
“Or won’t answer.”
There was a pause. Adam seemed to give in. “Yeah, I can talk.”
“Can’t we put off telling her for a few more days?” Kris begged.
“No, Kris. I honestly can’t take this any longer. I love you, but you’re being childish.”
Adam’s voice was completely casual, but Kris froze, heart pounding. “What did you just say?” he said slowly after a moment.
“I didn’t mean that,” said Adam quickly and Kris could almost taste the beads of sweat that must be running down Adam’s face now. Kris was terrified and nervous and stupidly happy all at once.
“Which part didn’t you mean?”
“The... I love you part,” said Adam, shaky and halting.
And just like that the air was blown out of Kris’ emotions and he could hardly even be sad about it when he hadn’t even had anything in the first place. “Okay,” he said tentatively. “You sure?”
“Yeah,” said Adam more forcefully. “I’m sure.”
Kris didn’t know what to think. He knew what he felt for Adam - a ridiculous, fairy-tale, deep infatuation, admiration, and regard, cared about him more than anyone, considered him truly important to him and to the world as a whole, in addition to loving him through and through, and Adam wasn’t even giving him that?
“Okay,” said Kris again slowly. “I’m gonna go.”
As Kris lowered the phone, he heard a hoarse shout of “Wait!” But it was cut off as he pressed end methodically, heartlessly.
All of a sudden, the idea of telling Katy about his thing with Adam wasn’t so impossible anymore.
The next day he called her as he sat on the couch waiting to go on for his set. No one was around, and Kris felt it was kind of appropriate to deliver this news when Adam was so close, close enough to walk by the door and hear the conversation. A rush of spite and anger rushed through Kris as the phone rang, once, twice, and then the sweet voice of his wife was present on the other line.
“Hey honey, what’s up? You about to do a show?”
It was kind of devastating to hear her casual, unsuspecting tone. “Yeah, but I gotta tell you something first. It might be... hard to hear.”
She seemed to immediately sense that something was very, very wrong. “Kris, what’s going on?”
“Me and Adam...” he stopped - it was too difficult.
But her muffled sob was enough to confirm that that was all he needed to say. “Have you been... with him? Are you cheating on me, Kris?”
Kris felt himself choke on something like tears, or vomit.
There were a few horrible seconds where Kris was sure he was about to hear her freak out, scream, swear at him, something.
“Kris, I love you so much,” she began in a way that told him that this conversation was about to go very differently than he had thought it would. “But I had a thing a while ago, too. With someone else.”
“Fuck,” he said, letting his upper-body fall into the couch, his face press into the cushion. Their mutual talent of ignoring things had suddenly collided, spun out of control. He was pretty sure he heard someone open and close the door hastily but was too wrapped up in the utter chaos of his marriage and his life to care.
“I’m so sorry,” he found himself saying. “I’m so, so sorry.”
“What are we going to do?” she asked, and it struck Kris that they still had options, that this may not be a one way ticket to failure.
“I’m willing to try to make this work,” she said. “It’s been over, the thing I had, and I’ve thought about it a long time, and you’ve always been in my life. I can’t imagine you not being there. Do you feel the same way?”
“Yes,” said Kris automatically. “Yes.”
“Are you and Adam still... I mean, are you gay?” she said softly, as though it weren’t allowed, as though she were horrified by the idea. “Do you have real feelings for him?”
Kris had to stop for a minute and decide what he was going to say. There was no denying that his feelings for Adam were all-encompassing, life-altering. But, he reminded himself, it clearly wasn’t mutual. No matter how many times Kris had tried to pull Adam’s emotions out of him, professed his own affection, Adam had pushed him away, changed the subject and even been downright unkind. Was it worth destroying a marriage with someone he still loved to try and bring something out of a man whose feelings were solidly hesitant?
“I don’t think I’m gay,” he said, “And Adam and I are over.”
His words were like an iron gate clamping down on his deep-seated desire. He couldn’t take them back. He could only move forward and attempt to suppress everything he had been heading toward in favor of something sensible, and probably the right thing to do. He was back to being selfless, humble... to being the man America had fallen in love with.
He just wasn’t sure if he had even been that Kris Allen in the first place.
CONTINUE TO CHAPTER EIGHT