"Look at him." Katy had her hands on her waist. "He's glittering."
Kris looked. Yeah, something was up. Adam, as much as all of them, had hated Wednesday nights, but, being Adam, he did his best to make everyone else feel better - just being positive about everyone's future. He'd even done that for Sarver and they couldn't stand each other. Adam loved Matt - he'd led the cry for him to be saved two weeks earlier, and, yes, he was hugging him and giving him phone numbers because he knew everyone one in Hollywood, and he was smiling.
But there was something fake about that smile, and something hard, bright and cold in his eyes. He let Matt go to Anoop, who touched Adam's shoulder first. Kris watched as Adam's fingers curled for just a moment before he smiled again, and nodded his head, even gesturing with his hands. The nail polish was already half chipped off.
And then Anoop was replaced by Allison. Who put her hand on his shoulder as if she were trying to reasure him - clearly she'd picked up on his emotions, too. And Adam had to restrain himself from shrugging her hand off. Adam would never reject anyone, and certainly not Allison, their little sister, but he clearly wanted make her go away. And she did - and he clenched his jaw instead of relaxing. Then he squared his shoulders and went back to his seat to play with his food, occasionally looking at his drink - but not drinking it. Which was also odd. He'd only seen Adam this upset a couple of times - when the pictures came to light, and that time with Gokey.
"Seen enough, babe?" Katy put her hand on the back of Kris's neck.
"Oh, yeah. He's brittle as glass, and I'm worried if he breaks here. Adam - you know him. He hates losing control, and he really hates losing it in public. He's darn close, too." Kris could feel his stomach clench at that. It would kill Adam if it happened, and that would kill Kris.
"Think he'll let us help him out?" She moved so she stood in front of him, and looked him in the eyes. "Because nothing's happening unless he says 'yes.'"
"I don't know. I mean. Would he even believe…?" Kris tried to work out even what he'd do.
"If he turns us down, he turns us down. At least you'll be there to pick up the pieces."
"If I can. Honestly, babe, this scares me."
"Me, too, but I have faith in you." She stood up straigher. "We'll take him outside and ask him. I'll start, but baby, you'll have to finish. I'm not going to work at all."
"I can do that." Kris nodded. I can watch a fantasy turn into a nightmare. No problem.
"I know." She kissed him, which made Allison squeal and everyone else laugh. Even Adam worked up a smile before he pushed away his plate and stood up. Without even looking at each other, he and Katy walked up to him.
"Adam? Sweetie, can we talk to you? Outside?" Katy framed it as a question, but her tone and her look implied more. Kris held his breath.
Adam froze. He looked at Katy, who wasn't posing or anything, but everything screamed "Obey me, mister." "Sure, if you want. I'm not great company tonight. In fact, I can tell you that pretty much anyone in that room is better company than I am."
"We noticed. Let's go." Adam obeyed, which made Kris smile to himself.
The May night was surprisingly chillyl, and the parking lot was pretty much empty of people, other than their drivers, who were out of earshot. "Look, you two. I love you both, but I'm not in a good mood right now. I've been in a worse one, but this is pretty bad." He brushed back his bangs as if annoyed even at his hair. Kris leaned against the building while Katy manuevered Adam away from the door.
"That's why we're here. We have something we want to offer you." She looked at Kris, who smiled.
"You're about to fall apart, bro." He kept his smile lazy. "I can help you with that."
"Help me to not fall apart? Can you do that?" Adam clenched and unclenched his hands, now almost naked of nail polish.
Kris shook his head. "Yeah, that's not going to happen. Not the way you are. But I can help you when you fall.. And I'll try to make it good, too." He stroked his belt.
Adam stared at his hand. "You…it's really not a good idea to play around with me right now. I left my sense of humor at the Kodak, okay?"
"We're not playing, sweetie." Katy touched Adam's shoulder. "Look, it's not just an LA thing. Kris and I have been doing this since I was in college. Really." Adam looked at her, and then he looked down, recognizing what she was.
"You…I am not having this conversation. This is totally not real. I am NOT being offered a kink scene by…by Polly Purebred and…and…"
"Shoeshine Boy?" He rolled his eyes, while Katy giggled.
"Well, you are humble and lovable."
"Also Underdog, if you believe the judges." The two of them grinned at each other. Adam looked at them in disbelief for a moment, and then it got scary. Really scary - Adam started laughing and crying at the same time, and it looked like he wanted to stop but he couldn't. The only thing Kris could do was put his arms around him - and Adam was strong. He held Kris tightly enough that Kris could barely breath. But that did seem to help.
"This is not good." Kris managed to turn his face to look at Katy.
"Yeah. I'll get your coats." She motioned to one of the drivers and disappeared inside the restaurant. In a few minutes, Kris got Adam calmed down and seated in the door to the back seat of the limo, and Katy came out with their coats and bags, and Matt.
"I heard Adam wasn't feeling well. And, gotta say, dude, you don't look good." Adam actually looked terrible - his mascara and eyeliner had run, and his make-up was smeared - half of it on Kris's shoulder. "Hell of a night for both of us."
"Mostly for you, though. I can't believe you're actually going this time." Of course Adam was smiling, but it had never looked so fake.
Matt smiled back, after shooting Kris and Katy a look. "Third time's a charm, bro. Look, I have some stuff lined up for after the tour, and I'll be back in a couple of weeks for the finale anyway. Which will totally be you two, and I won't know who to vote for."
"We'll see, Matty." Adam stood up. "Come here." Matt grinned and there was a typical awesome Adam hug, and even a kiss on Matt's cheek. Kris watched Adam sit back down, his mask as tattered as his make-up, as Matt got a hug and kiss from Katy.
Then it was Kris's turn. "Better kiss me, too, bro, or I'll be totally hurt."
"Don't be jealous, Matty." He brushed his lips against Matt's jaw. "Take care of yourself."
"And call those people!" Adam yelled after him, before Matt went back into the restaurant. He buried his face in his hands when Matt was gone.
Katy kissed them both. "Adam, no matter what, we love you, okay?" Adam only nodded. "Kris, take care of him any way he'll let you. ANY way." She walked to her car, blew a kiss and drove away.
"I feel ridiculous. I should be happy - I'm top four - we're top four, and Alli's still with us, and…all I feel is negative,and you know how I avoid negative energy." He rubbed at his tattoo as if to remind it why he'd gotten it in the first place. "Yes. If you can help get me back to normal - normal for me - yes."
"I can't promise." Kris moved the bangs away from his face, feeling possessive and protective. "But I'll do what I can. And…we'll do it. Get in the car already." Adam swung his legs into the car, and Kris got in the other side. The driver took off for the mansion, which wasn't far. They rode in silence, Kris lacing his hand in Adam's. Adam gripped hard, but not hard enough to hurt - always careful of Kris's hands.
They walked through the empty house to their suite and then the door of Kris's room. "Okay. Safeword is…Paula, okay?" Adam grinned. "Say it, please."
"Safeword is Paula." Adam blinked - and then looked down.
"Look at me, please." His bright blue eyes seared into Kris's. "What can't I do?"
"I don't like blood, and I'm not really into pain."
"A little, if I need to?"
Adam nodded. "But I can tell you right now - I'll be shouting every name in the judges panel if it's worse than a papercut."
"I know. You're a wuss. I don't know how you managed the tattoo and the plugs."
"Neither do I." He licked his lips and looked at his hands.
"Okay. When we go in my room, you'll obey everything I say. And if it gets one bit past your limits, safeword."
"I will do as you say, and safeword when my limits are reached." He didn't sound happy. Good.
Kris closed the door behind him, and leaned against it, his arms folded. He looked at Adam - smeared make-up, pinstriped suit and black t-shirt. That had to go. "Take off your clothes. All of them." Adam began rolling his shoulders as he slipped the jacket off. "None of that. I don't want a show. You're sexy enough just being Adam. Just strip down." Kris kept his voice lazy and slow. In what seemed like seconds later, Adam stood before him naked. Kris smiled to himself - he'd seen Adam's quick change act before. The theater had made him more than a singer.
This was the first time he'd ever gotten to really look at Adam - always before it was quick glances as they got ready for bed when they'd shared a room, or a glimpse in the bathroom after Kris had moved. And Kris was 75% straight, with a definite preference for Katy, but Adam was, well. Adam. He was tall and elegant, with freckles everywhere - thicker on his shoulders, arms and calves, and lighter on the rest of his body - or they were covered with an light, even layer of fine red hairs, slightly thicker on his chest and down his stomach, which Adam was trying to cover with his hands, to his cock. Which…Kris knew Adam was big. Adam liked skin-tight pants, and boxer-briefs, after all, even if he never actually walked around naked. But there it was, hanging flaccid between his thighs, and about as big as Kris was hard. Which Kris was.
"Put those hands down, please." Adam bit his lip but obeyed. His stomach was a bit soft, maybe, but the way they've been eating and not exercising other than dance practice, everyone had that problem. He moved his hands to his waist. "No posing, either. No masks, no…kneel, please."
Adam got down on his knees on the bare floor. He shivered a bit, but Kris didn't want to give him anything to hide behind. That included make-up. He ducked into their bathroom and grabbed what he needed. He cleaned off Adam's face, as gently as he could, revealing more freckles and his pale eyelashes. He stepped back. Adam looked more naked than ever. He stepped back.
"Now, you're going to let me speak. You're not going to say anything." Adam nodded. His eyes were wide and there were goosebumps - Kris didn't know if it were cold or nerves. The nerves Adam pretended not to have, in fact. "And I am going to talk about tonight. And last night."
"Did you expect to make it through without being on the bottom at least once? Do you think you're that hot that no one hates you?" Adam shook his head. "No? You sure? Because you're acting like America has insulted you. And take it from me - all that counts is that you survive it." He rolled his eyes at Kris. "Okay, you know that. In your head. But you - you're the … what are they calling you? The dark unicorn prince, right?"
He walked over to Adam and started caressing his head, stroking his rough cheek. "And you bought into it, didn't you? Simon's superstar and Paula's darling. And you could do no wrong, could you? And you were smug last night, too, after that performance." He slapped Adam's face lightly - just enough to sting. Adam reared back. "You were smug - you sang Muse and you were so very different than the rest of us - we were all smooth and boring. And you had no competition - it would have Anoop's night, but you're so good you can do better than him. Right? You're better than all of us, right?" He hit Adam a bit harder. Adam flinched again, but dropped his head. Kris stroked that cheek.
"You're damn good - you were blessed - yes I will use that word - with that voice. And you work hard enough - you make the rest of us look lazy. But are you the best? Are you the one destined to win?" In his heart, Kris thought that Adam would. It would be him and Gokey or him and Allison, and that would be it. "You know better now, and it burns, doesn't it? I have no chance. If Simon … well, he wanted me gone way early. But you - you never doubted."
"NO!" Adam clapped his mouth shut. Kris hit the back of his head.
"No? You doubted? Hah. You stride onto that stage and you own it, and you know you own it. How dare they not vote for you - how dare they vote for me or Allison or even Danny. Oh, don't roll those eyes. The judges love him, and he has to have fans - he's NEVER been bottom three. And you know that - you picked that group, didn't you? When they made you pick, you picked Danny and Allison because you knew Matt and me - we're cannon fodder but Danny isn't. And you aren't."
Adam grabbed Kris's hand and kissed it, staring at him.
"Oh, don't apologize, baby." Kris frowned. Adam looked like he was bursting to say something, but not an apology, and…"You are who you are - you know you're the best. I wouldn't expect you to choose the losers." He gave another light slap. "Like me." Adam shook his head wildly. Kris bent to kiss the cheek he'd reddened. "You doubt the almighty judges?" He tasted salt on his lips. "Hey, no masks, Adam. No lies. You were called a loser, and Simon made a special plea for you because he can't save you next week - they're starting to doubt you, aren't they?"
More head shakes, this time more violent, and the tears were running freely.
Kris frowned. This was getting somewhere, but he didn't know where. He needed to call Katy, but he knew there was no service in his room. Think, Kristopher. You put him into this state, you've exposed a normally private man and he's one step from being humiliated, and you need to know...
He knelt down next to Adam, and wrapped his cold, naked body in his arms. Adam was shaking hard, in a way he never did before a show. "Adam. It's the choosing, isn't it? It's what the producers made you do."
Adam nodded, resting his head on Kris's shoulder. "Why? You seemed okay on stage - you didn't hesitate or anything. Tell me." He sat back on his heels, still keeping his hands on Adam's shoulders.
"They knew what I was going to do. They knew I'd choose the top group. The one who chooses when they do this manuver is always in the top group, so why would I assume anything else? They fucking knew it and they knew that Ryan was going to *pull* me to the others. So now I look like an egomaniac who betrayed his best friend - oh, God, Kris, I'm sorry about that. But Danny was actually good last night - not that you weren't - and Allison was sick as usual, and Matt's been better. It was so humiliating, and so unnecessary and I could have died up there. And then to be physically taken to you two - like I was Scott. I am so SICK of Ryan's fakeouts and tricks - he got you a couple times yourself. And I died for you when he did that. You know he apologized to me before the show? 'We're going to do a choosing thing tonight, and you're choosing. I'm sorry.' I was angry throughout that group song - I couldn't keep it in. No one should be required to do that, and then the extra helping at the end? I was fucking embarrassed and nothing embarrasses me. And I had to smile and be gracious - the only thing that saved it was that YOU were safe. Even if I went home, YOU were safe and you'd win it all." Adam poured these words out between wrenching sobs, barely stopping for breath. He was hoarse before they were over - and Adam took such care of his throat.
"You know that next week, everyone's going to vote for you, right?" He held Adam close and stroked his back. "You know that you're going to rock the Kodak, right? You and Alli are going to tear it up and everyone will vote for you because you'll be great." Adam just cried harder. "Doesn't matter. You're awesome. Everyone loves you." He grabbed Adam's chin and pulled his face so he could looking into Adam's eyes. "And if some people think otherwise - they probably wouldn't have voted for you anyway. Which means they're deaf. Everyone else loves you. Adam. I love you. I love you like I love Katy. Which makes no sense since I met Katy in high school and I've known you months, but it's true." And he kissed Adam's mouth. In a very few moments, Adam responded slowly, hesitantly and then fully, following Kris's lead.
Together, they pulled off Kris's clothing and climbed on the bed. Adam was even more impressive hard, but Kris had enough confidence in his own abilities that didn't matter. He laid Adam down on the bed and climbed on top, fixing their mouths together as he brought their bodies into alignment, while pinning Adam's arms to the mattress. Adam sobbed his orgasm into Kris's mouth, and Kris followed him, kissing as he came down from the heights.
Adam held on, still sobbing, for a few minutes and then grew quiet. Kris let go long enough to grab a t-shirt to clean them off, and then gathered his long body in his arms again. "Better?"
"Yeah. I believe the worst is over. And the best." He kissed Kris on his lips, lightly. "I love you, too. I needed this."
"Good. Because I'm tired of sleeping alone." And, resting his head on Adam's broad chest, he fell asleep.