The first time it happens, they're in Vancouver, in some little shop that sells tourist-y things like tiny snowglobes and ashtrays with Vancouver written on them. They're wearing hats and sunglasses, and even though Adam still gets noticed – though not necessarily recognized – Kris usually only gets a cursory glance and then written off (sometimes someone will say to him, anyone ever tell you you look like that guy? and Kris will nod and say he gets it all the time, isn't that weird?).
Adam finds stupid shotglasses and beckons Kris over to look at them. The shop is cluttered and small and they're used to sharing a space, so Adam wrapping an arm around Kris as they laugh about the ridiculous souvenirs is only natural. Before they leave, when Kris goes to the counter with his postcards, the clerk smiles at him and blushing a little she says, "You and your boyfriend are really cute together."
Kris blinks and looks at Adam, who walks over and wraps an arm around Kris' shoulders, looking at the cards Kris picked out ("I like this one; are you sending it to your mom?"). Kris really would say something to the girl, to correct her, but she seems nice and polite and smiles prettily as she gives him the little plastic bag with his cards in it, and Kris thinks it's probably not big enough a deal to embarrass her over.
When they're outside, Kris tells Adam what she said, and Adam throws his head back and laughs, delighted. Kris kind of wishes he could see Adam's eyes behind his sunglasses.
After the first time it seems to start happening all the time. Kris doesn't notice, he's not really paying attention, but of all people, Danny seems to be keeping some sort of a tally. He keeps pulling Kris aside and telling him in hushed concerned tones about all the times when someone has come up to him to ask if Kris and Adam are more than friends. Kris mostly wonders why they're asking Danny – he's certainly not an authority when it comes to him and Adam.
After a while Kris asks Danny to stop, because really, who cares if people think that? Kris doesn't. During Idol, Adam became one of his best friends, and Kris is affectionate with all his friends. He's not going to stop hugging Adam, or looping an arm around his waist, or whatever, just because some people think there's something else going on. Kris has a big honking wedding ring that says he and Adam aren't anything more than friends, and that has to be good enough for everybody else, too.
It doesn't really occur to Kris to start worrying about the rumors after he and Katy file for divorce mid-August, either. He's not really in a mood to think of anyone in a way that's more than friendship – no matter how hard they tried, his marriage fell apart and there was nothing he could do about it.
Honestly, it's really depressing, and the guys on the bus tiptoe around him like he's somehow breakable. Kris constantly catches Michael looking at him pityingly, and Kris kind of wants to snap at him. He knows losing his family is Michael's worst nightmare, though, so he can kind of understand and bites his tongue instead. Matt and Anoop on the other hand try to make him laugh all the time, and while Kris appreciates the gesture, he doesn't really feel like laughing all the time.
Adam, somehow, manages to do the right things. He stays up late with Kris and lets him talk when he needs to talk and lets him shut up when opening his mouth would just end up in tears, covering for Kris' silence by making Kris paint his toenails for him while he talks about everything and anything, and Kris is so grateful for his friendship.
The tour is a lot of hurry-up-and-wait, and Kris, along with the rest of them, has learned to take naps whenever he gets the chance. In Cleveland, he finds a quiet, cool little corner at the venue. He tucks his bag under his head and curls up for a blessed nap. When he wakes up an hour later, Adam's tour jacket is spread over him like a blanket. Kris finds himself feeling oddly touched, considering he could've lost an eye on those damn spikes.
Before he can think about it, still half asleep, he takes off his wedding ring and shoves it in the jacket pocket.
If Adam finds it that night, he doesn't say anything. Kris is glad. He's not sure he could've explained it.
Kris calls his mama every few days, because she worries and Kris doesn't like his mama to worry about him. He's maybe not completely okay right now, but he will be, at some point.
She sounds a little hesitant when she says, "Kristopher, you know you can tell me anything, don't you?"
Kris is a little confused. Of course he knows that. The only thing he can think of is… "Mama, have you been Googling me again?" The silence on the other end is answer enough. "It's all just rumors online, you know that. What was it?"
"It's not that, I was just looking for some videos on YouTube and I found this- you know what, honey, I'll e-mail you the link so you can see for yourself." Kris can hear her clicking away on the other end. He holds the phone between his shoulder and his ear and opens up his laptop. Soon there's new e-mail in his inbox, with just a link to YouTube. Kris clicks it.
"Honey, I have to go, I have a call waiting," his mama says, and Kris hums an agreement. "Remember what I said. Anything you want to tell me, your father and I will love you no matter what." Kris blinks, confused, and opens his mouth to say something, but she's already hung up. On screen, the video loads and he's watching himself talk about the headphone splitters, followed by video and pictures of him and Adam, edited together.
Kris isn't stupid, he knows there's Kradam and then there's Kradam - if Danny's tally of People Who Think Kris Is Gay For Adam hadn't made it clear, the fan fiction Daniel e-mailed him once as a joke would have done the trick. He just didn't realize his mama also seems to not only know about that now, but also believe in it. Kris wants to call her back and laugh it off, but his fingers stall, hovering above her number.
On screen, he looks happy.
Kris is up, eating his toast when Adam climbs out of his bunk. His hair is a mess and there's some glitter stuck to his face, remnants from the show the night before. He grabs hold of the edge of a top bunk and leans forward, stretching. Adam does that every morning when they're on the bus, and every morning he makes the same pleased little sounds as he relaxes, shrugging his shoulders. They're not new, so there's no reason for Kris to take note of them now, but he does.
Adam sits across from Kris and wordlessly helps himself to the crusts Kris cuts off. Adam does that every morning, too. Katy doesn't like the crust, the same as Kris, so at home they always had a pile of extra toast crust. Kris used to think it was great he and Katy had little things like that in common, but now he thinks it was just a waste.
"What?" Adam mumbles, chewing.
Kris realizes he's staring, so he blinks and smiles. "Nothing. Sorry. Brain freeze. I think I need more sleep."
"Don't we all," Matt says, making his way to the back. "The driver says it'll be at least two more hours in this traffic. Scoot, Allen," he says and sits next to Kris. "You guys wanna play cards?"
When Kris wasn't paying attention before, he's paying attention now. Without fail there is always a Kradam sign when he goes out to meet the fans, someone yelling that they love Kradam, someone giving him something to give to Adam. Inside the venue the speculative glances of the local staff are almost like a tingle on his skin when Adam brings him a plate of vegetables to snack on – only Kris' favorite ones, and Adam never has to ask.
Before the show in Wilkes Barre, Kris watches Adam get ready, and they grin at each other through the mirror, the thrill of performing stirring in their guts. It's still something they both love, even though the tour is nearing its end and Kris knows Adam is itching for variety.
Kris is jittery tonight, and when Adam asks, he's happy to help with his hair. Kris hops up on the counter, surrounded by bottles of hairspray, eyeliner pencils and make-up brushes. They've done this many times before, but Kris never noticed how he spreads his legs before, Adam coming to stand between them as Kris follows his instructions of what to do with his hair.
Kris knows he's staring again, and he knows Adam knows it too, but Adam doesn't ask. He just looks at Kris like he's trying to figure him out, and Kris kind of wants to tell him that if he manages to do that, to let Kris know, too. Instead, Kris keeps staring, and the moment stretches, and suddenly Adam's eyes widen and he takes a step back. Kris doesn't get a chance to say anything then, either, because Adam gets called to the stage.
When they get to the bus, Adam goes straight to his bunk and draws the curtain.
It doesn't get weird between them, though, and Kris is grateful. It doesn't get weird, but it doesn't stay the same, either. Things have shifted, and Kris knows they both know it. Adam still eats Kris' toast crust the next morning, but they sit next to each other now, Adam's thigh warm and solid pressed up against Kris'. When Kris gets up to get coffee, he brings Adam some, too, and their fingers linger longer around the mug than they really need to.
Adam steals Kris' iPhone and goes through his music, finally settling on a song. Kris tries very much not to read into Lover, You Should've Come Over. There's a thud and then Anoop yells at them to shut up because it's ass o'clock in the morning. Adam laughs and Kris goes get the headphone splitter. He steals his iPhone back and chooses Imogen Heap, risking the wrath of Anoop and singing along softly to the chorus. Adam's eyes are unreadable by it's bad enough we get along so well.
By the time the last night of the tour rolls around and Kris sings Don't Stop Believing for the final time, drowning in Adam's jacket, eyes locked with Adam's, Kris knows one thing for certain.
His mama is always right.
Outside, the September night is cool, but not unpleasantly so, and they're all outside the busses, saying their goodbyes before they go separate ways. Kris knows this isn't exactly the last time he will see Adam in the next few days – they have interviews and they will both be working on their albums, he knows it's stupid to feel like this is his last chance.
Knowing something has never helped Kris feel anything more or less, and it's not doing the trick tonight, either.
It's Adam who finds him, though. "Hey. Are you sulking?" Adam asks, sidling up next to him where he's leaning against the bus, hidden in the shadows. Kris wraps an arm around Adam's waist and snuggles up next to him, burrowing his head against Adam's neck.
"I'm an idiot," he says with conviction.
Adam laughs, surprised and kind of delighted, even. "No you're not," he says. His hand curls against the back of Kris' neck.
"Did you know everybody thinks we're a couple?" Kris asks, looking up at Adam. Adam's eyes look soft and dark in the low light and he chuckles a little, resting his forehead against Kris'. Their noses nearly brush.
"Yeah," Adam admits.
"See? I'm an idiot. I didn't know. I mean, I knew, but I didn't know."
Adam frowns, looking confused. Kris figures he's probably not making a whole lot of sense.
"I never cared, because I thought they were wrong," Kris says quietly. "But I don't think they are."
Adam stiffens. "We're not a couple, Kris," he says, pulling back.
"We might as well be," Kris says. "We're always together, we-"
"You're not gay, Kris," Adam snaps. "I know this whole Adam has a crush on Kris thing is hilarious, but it's not-" Adam stops talking when Kris' hands cup his face and he pulls Adam into a kiss.
Kris isn't going to lie. It's weird kissing Adam, weird because Adam is taller, weird because he's a he. Weird, because Kris gets a surge of exhilaration he hasn't felt in a long time. Weird, because after a while it doesn't feel weird at all. It feels right, it feels good, and when Adam relaxes into it, his arm wrapping around Kris' waist to pull him closer, it feels perfect.
"It's not a joke to me," Kris mumbles against Adam's lips. "I swear. Give me a chance, Adam."
"If you break my heart, I swear I will sic the Glamberts on you," Adam says after being quiet for a moment and surprises a laugh out of Kris.
"If you break mine, I'll sic Allison on you," he says.
Adam grins hugely. "Deal."