Sometimes Kris gets tired of the way people think they have him all figured out--as if twenty-five, recently out, favors plaid, and comes from Arkansas is the entire sum of his personality--which is how he ends up going to work on Halloween dressed as a fairy.
He knows that his co-workers are expecting him to show up as something lame--there's probably even a betting pool about it--and for once he just wants to rise above the expectations. He's got depth, damn it, and what better way to show it than wearing a frilly dress, strap on wings, and a tiara. (The tiara isn't actually a part of the costume, but Kris found it at the toy store and it's cute, okay?)
He even got a sparkly magic wand (the plastic kind, thank you very much) and light green clingy tights to finish off the outfit. He looks a bit like Tinkerbelle on crack and it turns out to be a surprisingly good look for him. (Especially after Katy takes pity on him and sprays his hair into spikes, adds a touch of mascara to his lashes and a lot of pink gloss to his lips.)
It's totally worth the absolute humiliation of braving public transport wearing wings and Converse for the way Adam's jaw hits the floor when Kris walks into the bar.
"Holy shit," Adam says, blinking as if he can't quite believe his eyes.
"Don't tell me you've never seen a fairy before," Kris retorts, hiding his pleased grin at Adam's disbelieving laugh.
Yeah, so maybe it was more about Adam than anyone else.
Adam was the first person Kris got to know when moved to LA six months ago (aside from Katy, but he knew her from before so she doesn't count even if she's his roommate). He's the one that set Kris up with the job at Lil's, showed him all the sights, and taught him which open mike nights would be worth his time. He's hot, and nice, and funny, and sweet, and Kris might be a little bit in love with him. (Okay, a lot.)
The thing is though, Adam doesn't front. If he's interested, he says so, but despite all of Kris's fumbled attempts at asking for more, Adam has never picked up on it. It might mean he's just not interested, but seriously, he made Kris chicken soup from scratch when Kris caught the flu, and Katy wouldn't even come near his room in fear of catching it. If he gets coffee he always brings a cup back for Kris and they've been on so many "dates" that Kris lost count by now.
Adam isn't half as sweet or attentive with the people he's actually dating and if that doesn't mean something Kris doesn't know what does. He just has to make Adam notice him and if it takes a tiara and a sparkly wand, Kris is willing to go all in.
"You shaved your legs." Adam makes it sound like an accusation, glaring at Kris as if he compromised his fundamental values or something.
"Yeah," Kris confirms, putting the finishing touches to yet another Bloody Mary before sliding it across the counter. "The tights looked funny otherwise."
Adam huffs, serving up a row of beers and accepting the card to pay for them. "It's like I don't even know you," he says, and he still sounds angry, as if Kris has somehow disappointed him. That wasn't really supposed to happen.
Adam's a glampire (like a vampire, but sparklier). It's apparently his go-to Halloween outfit and sneaking glances at him, Kris understands why. Adam's hot with his sparkly hair, subtle fangs, top hat, three piece suit and generously applied makeup. It suits him as if he was made to be a creature of the night, and he's clearly lapping up the attention he gets, flirting with everyone.
Over the last few months Kris has gotten used to the way Adam flirts, and he's learned to swallow his disappointment when Adam shows up with someone new because it never lasts long, but this is different. This is Adam flirting with intent. As the night goes one it becomes obvious that Adam's determined to kiss all the frogs until he finds himself a prince and Kris just doesn’t know how to deal with it.
"You know, that dress really brings out your eyes."
Nathan is a regular, cute with tousled brown hair and hazel eyes, and he always flirts outrageously.
"Well thank you, my lord," Kris says, with a curtsey, reaching out to take the credit card Nathan's holding between his fingertips.
Nathan doesn't let go, using Kris's hold on the card to pull him closer. "How about you let me tip you with a kiss?" he asks, the corners of his mouth quirking up in a smile.
Kris glances towards the other end of the bar, where Adam was lost in conversation with a twinky young thing just seconds ago, only to find Adam glowering at him from half a foot away.
"I'll take that," Adam says icily, snatching the card out of Kris and Nathan's joint hold. "You have customers waiting."
Kris blinks, because so does Adam. He can see at least ten hands waving from Adam's end of the bar.
Nathan laughs, rocking back on his heels. "Sorry man," he says. "Didn't know you were taken."
Kris opens his mouth to protest, but Adam chooses that moment to return the card and the receipt, and he slides to the side taking his next order instead. It's not a conversation he wants to have with Adam hanging over his shoulder, or at all, really.
Around 2 a.m. people are well into their drinks, loud and rowdy, and Kris makes the rounds, picking up empty glasses and wiping down the tables, turn into an endless game of dodge. Usually people are pretty good at keeping their hands to themselves, but it seems like the dress is just too tempting - everyone wants to know what he's wearing underneath it. (Not a whole lot aside from the tights and he'd really appreciate if not everyone knew about that.)
The third time Kris is about to head out there he takes a deep breath for courage when the washcloth and the tray are suddenly picked from his hands.
"I'll take it," Adam says, brushing past him to join in the fray and Kris is left blinking at his retreating back.
"You know," Megan says, coming up behind him. "If you're ever going to put that boy out of his misery tonight would be a good night… If you catch my drift."
Kris turns around to face her. "Huh?" he asks, trying to not look too closely at her face. She made things for it with silly putty that make his stomach ache even if he knows it isn't real.
"Oh come on." She rolls her eyes (or well one eye, the other is seemingly about to fall out of its socket). "You know what I mean."
"…there's a betting pool, isn't there," he says tiredly.
She grins. "Of course there is and you…" She pokes him in the chest just above the drooping neckline of the dress. "Already cost me a fortune today. It's only fair I get to win it back."
Kris would be affronted but it's kind of hard to claim the higher ground when he's got money on Megan picking Anoop over Matt, Matt getting laid before December (he's so going to lose that bet), and Adam being the first one to get signed to a label.
"So you think I have a chance then?" he asks, scanning the crowd for Adam's familiar shape.
Megan snorts. "If you asked him for the moon he'd start building a rocket. You know that."
Kris does know that and he realizes that maybe Adam's been waiting for him just as long as he's been waiting for Adam.
Thirty minutes later Kris watches Adam lean over the bar to let a cute zombie doing tequila shots lick salt from his lips and promptly decides he's had enough. He knows Adam likes kissing and he knows Adam doesn't necessarily mean anything by it, but he'll be damned if he'll let some rotten zombie steal his man… glampire… whatever. He's got a magic wand and he's not afraid to use it to poke someone's fake eyeballs out.
He stomps over just in time to snatch the slice of lemon from between Adam's lips and stuff into the zombie's mouth, grabbing a hold of Adam's ridiculous bowtie in case he get ideas. It's hard to tell who's more surprised, Adam or the zombie spitting out pieces of lemon peel.
"Megan, we're taking fifteen," Kris shouts, getting a grin and a furtive thumb up for his trouble.
Anoop slides over to take Adam's spot, giving Kris a wounded look in the progress. Kris couldn't care less as he leads Adam by the bowtie towards the back. This is his life, not some stupid bet.
Kris's momentum lasts him all the way out into the alley behind the bar at which point it deserts him completely and he's left trying to straighten Adam's tie with a flush rising in his cheeks. The night air creeps up under the dress, reminding him that he's really not wearing a lot underneath it, and if there was one thing he really didn't need to think about right now it's his lack of underwear.
"So," he starts, dragging the word out in the vain hope that some kind of divine inspiration will arrive and save him from the fact that he doesn't have a clue as to how to go on. It doesn't and he fiddles nervously with Adam's lapels, flattening them out against his chest. "I… uh… I don't like it when you kiss other people."
It's not really what Kris was planning to say, but it's true, so whatever. "And… uhm… I hate all of your boyfriends… except Brad, but he's… uh… yeah."
Kris moves his fingers to play with the tiny buttons on Adam's vest. "And I think that if I asked you to bring me to moon, you would. I mean, not really, because that would be impossible but… uh… you'd try, or get me a cardboard cutout, or something, and uhm… you're always giving me rides and like… you bring me coffee and you tried to find me a church and uhm… my mom really likes you."
Kris makes a face, because he's really not making sense here and this is important. "So uh…" He forces himself to look up, meeting the amused look in Adam's eyes. "I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm… uhm… in love with you and I was kind of wondering if maybe you're… uhm…"
Adam's face is very expressive and usually about as subtle as a flashing neon light, but right now it doesn't tell Kris anything and whatever momentum he managed procure deserts him completely. He lets his hands fall from Adam's chest, wishing really hard for his dress to suddenly develop pockets so that he'll have something to do with them that isn't fiddling with the frilly part of his skirt.
Adam still doesn't say anything and Kris is starting to feel as if he's one of those dreams where you suddenly realize you're naked and everyone starts laughing at you but there's nothing to hide behind because everything you touch turns to dust and you're humiliated. Then Adam reaches out to touch his face, cupping it in his hands and gently tilting his chin up.
"Hey," he says, smiling.
"Hey," Kris echoes, worrying at his lower lip.
"If you asked for the moon I'd try my hardest to pull it out of the sky for you," Adam says earnestly. "But you're asking for my heart…"
It hurts, quite a lot more than Kris expected it to, and he tries to pull away from Adam's touch. Adam doesn't let him, instead he pulls Kris closer, bending down so that his mouth is almost touching Kris's.
"But if you're asking for my heart," he repeats, breath fanning across Kris's lips. "I'm afraid I can't give it to you because you already have it."
It's either the cheesiest or the most romantic thing anyone has ever said to Kris, but before he has the time to make up his mind Adam kisses him which makes rational thought VERY difficult to manage. Adam kisses like he does everything else determinedly and within seconds (Minutes? Hours?) Kris is trying to climb him like a tree, which turns out to be a Bad Idea when the door behind them is pushed open.
"Your fifteen minutes are up," Anoop says, apparently unfazed by the fact that he just caught them making out. "And Kris… you really should have worn underwear."
Adam puts Kris down so fast he gets dizzy with it. "You're naked under there?" he asks, eyes huge.
"I'm wearing tights," Kris defends himself, pulling the dress down to cover his ass.
"They're see-through," Anoop adds, very unhelpfully. He's probably bitter he didn't win the bet.
"Okay," Adam says, nodding as if agreeing with himself. "You're behind the bar for the rest of the night."
Kris frowns. "But…"
"No arguments," Adam says sternly, ushering Kris inside with a hand on his lower back. "You're like catnip cut with crack, okay? People can't help themselves. Also…"
Adam pulls Kris to a sudden stop and makes him turn around.
"What now?" Kris asks, half expecting Adam to have found underwear somewhere along the way.
"This," Adam says and kisses him.
Kris winds his arms around Adam's neck and very carefully refrains from climbing him even though he wants to.
"Yeah," Adam says when they pull apart. "That's better."
"What's better?" Kris asks, smiling.
Adam grins. "Everything."
The following morning Kris makes the two block walk of shame in the dress, a pair of Adam's boxers and a hoodie he found on a hook by the door because Katy locked herself out of the apartment. Fifteen minutes later he runs back in the same get-up because waking up to an empty bed made Adam somewhat cranky.
"Don't ever do that to me again," Adam says dramatically as he flings the door open to let Kris inside. Then he pauses and tilts his head to the side, staring at Kris's bare legs. "Tell me you're wearing something underneath."
Kris steps closer, winding his arms around Adam's neck to pull him down. "Your boxers," he whispers into Adam's ear.
Round four is just as awesome as one and two and three.
Four weeks later Kris gets into work to find a gift box taped to his locker. Inside it there's a necklace with a moon shaped pendant, and the inscription as long as you hold my heart.
"Happy anniversary," Adam says from the door to the locker room.
Kris climbs him like a tree.