Title: If You Really Fell (8/9)
Summary: Kris and Adam write a song together and it changes how they see each other forever.
Disclaimer: They're real, this isn't.
Being with you has been the sweetest torture...
In a few short hours following his phone call with Katy, Kris passed Adam under the stage on the way up to his set.
“I told her,” he said, and Adam stopped in his tracks, watching Kris climb onto the lift.
It was strange, having such an interaction with Adam when he was still decked out in his costume, full of glitter and sweat, exuding his stage persona when his eyes were wide and scared and anything but confident. And yet he didn’t look surprised.
“I think you’re right,” continued Kris as the crowd chanted his name and the lift set into motion. “We can’t do this anymore.”
He only had a few seconds to witness Adam’s reaction, and the utter devastation on his face didn’t compute for Kris until he was halfway through Heartless, and had the odd thought that he was singing about himself.
If Kris had known that would be the last time he would speak directly to Adam for nearly a week, he would have said something else.
That night they had a five hour bus ride, and Kris climbed into his bunk after Adam had already rushed in. Kris had kept throwing Adam significant glances across the room at the after-party, but he always seemed to be decidedly looking another way. Kris couldn’t blame him. Perhaps their friendship was completely ruined after all.
It worried him how truly terrifying that thought was. Losing Adam for good was incomprehensible, and worst of all, it would be entirely his fault. If he had never kissed Adam that first night on the bus, if they had simply written the song and gotten on with it, would everything have stayed normal, or would Kris’ feelings have developed anyway?
He listened to the familiar deep breathing of Adam lying above him, and couldn’t help but think yes. When he thought about the way they had always interacted, from that first moment of connection as they sat in bed on their computers to the bone-crushing hugs and constant casual touches, he should have known this was coming. Kris had always seen himself as the one who set the boundaries, but soon enough it had gone beyond his conscious control; the boundaries had set themselves, had disappeared by themselves, and all Kris had done was follow his instincts.
They didn’t speak to each other at all the day of the Indianapolis show. In Grand Rapids, Michigan, Kris bumped into Adam and said “Sorry,” but they both kept walking, avoiding each other’s eyes. At dinners they grew accustomed to eating at opposite ends of the room and speaking only to whomever happened to join them.
In Reading, Pennsylvania, Allison tried to talk to Kris about what was going on but he shrugged her off. He could assume that Adam was keeping his mouth shut as well, as no one but the two of them seemed to know the truth behind their actions. But maybe Allison had guessed.
It was becoming clear that Adam was deliberately avoiding him, but either Kris didn’t have the energy or he just didn’t see the point, as he did nothing to combat it. It was as though all the fight had gone out of him, and all he could do was sit back and watch their relationship crumble bit by bit. After all, this was the path he had chosen. He had chosen Katy.
His only solace was at night on the bus, when they had no option but to be near each other, when Kris could hear Adam’s disturbed movements and delayed sleep and know that he was not the only one hurting... even if Adam hadn’t loved him, this mutual suffering was a small comfort, twisted as that was.
And at the same time it was always extremely difficult to be so close to him and do nothing about it. His feelings weren’t going away, and the more time he spent around Adam, even when not speaking, the worse the longing got. Every time Kris caught a glimpse of Adam’s hair, all he wanted to do was run his hand through it. He found himself hoping for chances to bump into Adam, in need of any kind of physical contact. As time passed and the tour began to draw to a close, Kris grew desperate, not even for a sexual interaction, but a normal, friendly one: he just wanted to make eye contact with him, or talk about the weather, anything. And every time he even saw Adam out of the corner of his eye, or heard his name mentioned, that desperation increased.
It was absolute torture.
One hour into the drive to Portland, Maine, Kris was wide awake, actively trying to stop himself from saying something, for begging Adam to come down to his bunk.
But then, something unexpected happened. There was a hitch in Adam’s breathing, and then the unmistakable surge of a sob drifted down to Kris’ ears. He realized that Adam was crying, actually crying, above him.
“Adam,” he said suddenly. A couple of seconds of ringing silence flew by during which Kris was almost positive Adam wouldn’t respond, would go back to pretending to be asleep.
But as usual, he surprised him. “Yeah?” Adam said, choked up, as though hoping Kris wouldn’t hear.
“Come down here,” he said.
For a second, he thought Adam was going to protest, but a sigh and the sound of covers ruffling let Kris know that he had won out. Within a minute, Adam had appeared at his bedside, kneeling. It reminded him spookily of the time this had happened many weeks before, when Adam had told him he was “too cute to stay mad at,” and Kris had reached forward to brush away a few strands of soft black hair.
“Well, get in.”
Adam shot him an exasperated look, but obeyed, sitting cross-legged on the other side of the bed. Kris emulated him. It was so formal, Kris almost laughed.
“I’m sorry,” said Adam, wiping his eyes. “For bursting into tears on you. I was hoping you’d be asleep.”
Even though the conversation was grim and the situation was dire, Kris couldn’t help but be comforted at the sound of Adam’s voice speaking to him and him alone. “Please. I haven’t slept in a week.”
They looked at each other for a moment and Kris decided to say exactly what was on his mind.
“I miss you.”
Adam looked at him. “I know. I miss you, too.”
“Is that why you were crying?”
“That, and...” Adam buried his face in his hands and spoke in a muffled voice, “I don’t think we can see each other anymore... after the tour is over.”
Kris swallowed. “I kind of knew you were going to say that.”
Adam raised his eyes, revealing fresh tears. “But don’t you agree? I mean, this past week, it’s been awful, being around you and not being able to... be with you. I knew I couldn’t touch you, couldn’t even talk to you without losing control. We wouldn’t be able to do it, Kris,” he said, shaking his head. “There’s just something there. Between us. It’s all or nothing.”
Kris could feel himself smiling before he understood why. All of Adam’s cryptic actions finally made sense - he couldn’t go half way because... because Kris meant too much, had meant as much to Adam as Adam had meant to Kris.
But then the reality of Adam’s selflessness, of everything he had done to keep things the way they should be, fell down upon Kris. Adam had tried so hard, had been logical, had thought of the future, had tried to push him away, but Kris had ruined everything by following his damn heart. And now he was realizing that your heart doesn’t always illuminate the best path. Sometimes it leads you to a dead end.
The weight of everything that had happened was just too much; he utterly broke down, let tears fall, felt his body tremble. But within seconds Adam was there, arms around him, chin resting on top of Kris’ head, rocking him slowly, and whispering, “Shhh,” over and over.
“You really hurt me when you told me you didn’t love me,” said Kris eventually, calming down.
“I know. I’m so sorry, Kris,” he said, running his hands comfortingly all over Kris’ body, down his arms, up his chest, across his cheek. “It hurt me too... because it was a lie.”
Kris grabbed one of Adam’s hands without warning. “Then tell me now.”
“Do you love me? Tell me honestly.”
Kris felt Adam’s body sag beside him. “Kris, please don’t. You’re just making this harder.”
“I want to know.”
“I don’t want you to go back on your decision.”
“I won’t,” Kris took a deep breath. “Thanks to you, I know what I’m doing is the right thing to do, for right now. Getting a divorce and coming out with you publicly would be the worst possible thing for my career, especially with the album coming out. It would ruin everything. But I don’t want to hide either, live a lie and ask Katy to cover for me while sneaking around with you. My only option is to continue things as the way they were and hope they work out. The only thing wrong with that picture is it doesn’t include you, and... I don’t know if I can handle that,” said Kris shakily, turning toward Adam. “You’re more important to me than you’ll ever know.”
Adam smiled a watery smile and placed a hand on Kris’ cheek. “Of course I love you. I’m sorry I never said. You’re the biggest thing in my life.”
Kris craned his neck and dropped a kiss on Adam’s shoulder, and then they just lay like that for a while, watching the lights of the bus reflecting in a passing body of water, shimmery and neon and bright.
Five days later, as they signed at the barricades after their final tour stop at the Verizon Wireless Arena, Kris got a call from 19E letting him know that his car was ready and it was time to leave. Yes, they could wait ten minutes, they said.
He had already said goodbye to the other idols, whose cars were long gone by now, but Adam was still signing, likely trying to make up for his lack of face-time due to sickness. But this was it for the two of them, and Kris needed him now.
He sent a text which Adam received within seconds, shooting him a significant glance and immediately announcing his departure to the fans. They screamed and screamed, but Adam just waved and approached Kris, and together they walked to his limo.
They stood and stared at each other for a few seconds, and Kris hoped Adam could read his mind as there were too many people around to say what he really wanted to say.
“So, this is for the best,” he said, grin wobbling as he tried to keep it together.
“Yeah,” said Adam, letting his hand rest tentatively on Kris’ shoulder, as though afraid to make more contact.
“Listen, if you’re ever, you know, around or anything, give me a call.”
“I will,” said Adam, but his face told a different story. They both knew that that wasn’t possible.
And then they were hugging, close and tight, like they always had, Kris’ face pressed into Adam’s chest, blinding him to everything but the feeling of closeness, security, and love. He tried to savor it, to memorize it.
Just as Kris was about to pull away, Adam held on and said softly in his ear, “Being with you has been the sweetest torture.”
Kris would have broken down again had a handler not forced him into the car.
Even after the limo was far down the block, Adam remained standing there, and Kris watched his figure fade into darkness, disappear behind a building.
When he finally wrenched away his gaze from where Adam had stood, he thought about going home to Katy and his family and wondered how different it would be... wondered if he would learn to be happy with that life.
And the answers to those questions (no, nothing would be the same, and yes, he would grow to be okay after a little while), as important as they should have been, would never matter as much as those last words Adam Lambert had spoken to him... the sweetest torture...
He would have to pick up his guitar and write when he got home.
A/N: Just so you all aren't killing yourselves with depression, I'll let you know that the next chapter takes place two years later...
CONTINUE TO CHAPTER NINE