Adam gets a lot of things at shows and meet and greets—it all goes through security, and most of the time the notes attached to each gift are just a name or a forum username or a phone number, so he can't even give them back. Besides, that would be rude.
He usually only picks out jewelry and outer clothing to keep, but after one show, he grabs something thinking it's a hair accessory or an earring or maybe a pendant, and keeps it.
It turns out to be a quill. A quill that looks expensive and pretty and can't really be worn, though Adam's sure he could find a way to make it wearable. It's still the kind of thing that takes up space and isn't actually useful that he's been trying not to collect, but it's just kind of cool. Old-school. So he makes an exception for it.
To make sure it works, he buys a little pot of black ink and writes a short note with it about what he's doing—he's writing about writing about writing, basically, which is actually always a good creative device; he should see if he can incorporate it into the tour—and then he mails it to Kris.
Kris knows what it's like to get random shit, after all, and was there when they both started receiving it, so he knows Adam's not trying to boast or insult his fans or anything. Besides, they haven't seen each other in a while, or even talked on the phone in a few days, and Adam's dealing with the long distance surprisingly well, for given meanings of the word "well," but he misses Kris, and he gets a lot more out of sharing random things like this than he would out of catching up via text messages.
Once he knows it's not a dead quill, he makes it into a jacket brooch. And it's not planned, but when Kris finally has an opportunity to come to one of Adam's shows, Adam's wearing it.
He's still wearing it when he backs Kris into an out of service bathroom at the venue and kisses him hello, and he's still wearing it when they go out to dinner with the band. Kris stares a lot, which isn't that unusual after he's had a couple glasses of wine, but what he keeps staring at is the fucking quill, and Adam's starting to feel—well, not jealous of the quill, because that would be stupid, but he's starting to feel ignored in favor of the quill, and that's both annoying, for obvious reasons, and exciting, because there's no way Kris can stare at an accessory that much if he's not considering doing something with it.
The balance of the universe is restored when they get to Adam's hotel room and Kris doesn't even glance at the quill's spot on Adam's nightstand while Adam has his way with him, nor when Adam has his way with him again.
It's later, in the middle of the night, that the quill makes its way back into Adam's radar.
He wakes up because the mattress is shifting all wrong, like Kris isn't lying down but kneeling somewhere in the middle of the bed. As he regains consciousness, Adam feels something thin and sharp and wet trail down his lower back.
Kris is writing on him.
Adam stills and tries to pay attention to the shapes Kris is tracing—they feel like letters, words, and if he pays enough attention, or looks himself in the mirror—later, in the morning; he's too tired and too comfortable to move right now—, he thinks he'll find a lyric on two scrawled in Kris's poor attempt at italics somewhere between his ribs and his ass.
"So," Adam says, softly, "marking," and tries to fake surprise, but it doesn't really work. He almost wants to ask if Kris is jealous of someone, but it dawns on him it's not about that—it's about the distance, the having no good excuses to see each other that won't spawn a tabloid war Kris isn't ready to deal with.
"Shut up," says Kris, lying down again, "it's pretty," and burrows his face in the pillows, next to Adam's arm.
Adam isn't sure what writing on his body is about for Kris, but the ink feels good either way. Reassuring.