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Candy Striped Hell

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                                                                                 ~*Basking in the Warmth that is Adam Fucking Lambert*~

 

In the conference room, Tommy finds everyone, and he wasn’t expecting that. He pauses in the doorway, and looks around the room but it’s real, what he’s seeing - the whole troupe is there; Sasha, Brooke, Terrance and Taylor, Cam and Monte, Isaac and Neil. He and Sutan make up almost all the missing elements. But someone’s not there, and it takes him a full fifteen seconds to work out who.


Adam.

He rubs a thumb over the phone in his pocket, wonders where the singer is if he hasn’t texted him, and is so in his own head that he nearly makes a repeat performance of jumping out his skin when Sutan nudges his shoulder to push him further into the room.

“Jumpy…” Sutan mutters in his ear, and Tommy growls as he is propelled across the room to go and stand next to the fern in the corner, Sutan still hovering close by. Lane comes over, shoves a white box into his hands and gives him her patented ‘don’t you dare object’ look, and he knows exactly what’s in it. His pepper spray and stuff which he doesn’t want but has to have. Lane makes stapling motions with her hands until he actually takes the box from her, and she powerwalks off somewhere to terrorise some other poor musician or dancer. Sutan leans in close. “What’s in the package?”


“Pepper spray.” He sighs. “And other shit.” He’ll open it later, where there aren’t other people around. “Where’s Adam?”

“Check your phone,” Sutan says unhelpfully, continuing to primp at his hair. “God, Tommy…. Next time you wanna dye your hair, come speak to me. Or Adam. Or anyone…”


He tunes Sutan out, choosing to ignore the commentary on his incompetence with a bottle of bleach and the continued threats of dismemberment if he does it again. There’s only so many times he can bothered to listen to it. Tommy yanks the blackberry out of his pocket, unlocks it with his passcode, and goes straight to his text messages, hoping for something from Adam. There’s nothing there, and he turns to tell Sutan who is still coming his hair with his fingers, but Taylor is waving the other man over and he regretfully leaves Tommy’s side, with a hug and a last ruffle of his hair.

Tommy shifts from leg to leg, wondering whether he’s just not getting his messages again since that happens sometimes – oh wait. He goes out of his text inbox, goes into his private email. Sure enough, there’s a quick message from Adam, “gonna b late – some asshle had road rageeee, went safter some other ficker with a baseball bat and the police r dealin with it. Gotta love LA. Adn im hot – not in a sexiiii way.”

He laughs, shows it to Brooke who hands him a Starbucks cup and kisses him on the cheek. It’s been ages since he spoke to her, and she says “We’ll talk later,” in his ear while she wraps her arms around him and squeezes so tight he can barely breathe. She snickers at Adam’s whining and then pushes Tommy into a seat at the table, and his body guard goes and stands by the door, his sunglasses and suit out of place with everyone in jeans, t-shirts, and hoodies. His phone vibrates again on the black glass table top. Adam’s sent another email. “*fucker. Goddamnit, need a new boner.”

Tommy wheezes with laughter, bangs a hand on the table, and Neil looks over at him from where he’s talking with Monte, confused. He waves him off, turning back to his phone, almost missing the next email: “Me n Apple gonna have some issues. *P. H. O. N. E. h8 autocorrect!” He doesn’t show Sutan yet because the man is off talking with the dancers, but he gets a look which says, ‘I’ll get you later,’. He texts back, “Seen your phone nd your boner. u dont need a new one. Hows the glam_bulge.”

Three minutes later, “Boner doing great, thx for askin. Will need new phone ater I throw dius one out of the window.” Adam’s brand new top of the range iPhone has caused no end of hilarity amongst the group – Adam remains convinced the device is haunted by a demon of epic proportion and distaste for letting Adam say what he wants to say, and every week threatens to get a new one. The fact that this one was a free gift from Apple in exchange for a super exclusive single deal five days ahead of normal release meant nothing except the fact that he couldn’t throw it away like he wanted to. So he just bitches about it, day in, day out, but doesn’t actually get rid of the fucking thing and Tommy gets some hilarious text messages just when he needs them.


Everyone starts moving towards the table, and Sutan scoots the chair on his left a little closer. “Adam having phone trouble again?” Tommy shows him the email and Sutan laughs long and loud, a deep belly laugh without restraint. “He’s never going to live that one down, is he?”

“Nope.” Tommy saves it to the memory disc, so he can have it to lord over Adam whenever he gets too confident with his phone, and leans back into the plush chair. He can feel Sutan’s eyes on the side of his head, and he wishes he put on make-up this morning. He feels very exposed under that knowing gaze. “You can stop looking at me like I’m going to break…” He says, “I’m fine.”

“You’ll forgive me if I don’t believe that, honey.” Sutan’s voice is calm, but the words are Raja’s – the softest of emphasis of the nickname, the flap of the wrist, the roll of the shoulder. “You tell him what you told me about the girl, you hear? Cause if you don’t…”

“Yeah.” He knows that Sutan will make him tell – that he shouldn’t hold something like that back from Adam because if he finds out from someone else he’ll be disappointed with Tommy. He likes to know everyone is safe, likes to be all up in everyone else’s business, likes to be in control with everything. There are no secrets in the glam troupe, that’s rule number three of the list that Adam pinned to the noticeboard on the bus for the last tour. No secrets, no lies, no dishonesty, no hiding. Truth is golden, and Adam holds everyone to it.

Everyone else starts moving to the table, fighting over who gets the plush execs chairs and who has to perch on the arms because there aren’t enough chairs for everyone. The chair to Tommy’s right, at the head of the table is still empty though – that’s Adam’s even without anyone saying so. Monte turfs Neil out of the chair opposite with just a look and a finger, and sits down with a sigh. He looks up and cocks his head at Tommy. Tommy nods back – the unspoken question of “Are you okay?” answered without a word between them. Monte looks satisfied with his answer, however brusque it was, and drinks from his coffee cup, frowning at the taste.

Fifteen minutes, Adam rolls in. “Honey, I’m home!” he says as he pushes both doors open and strikes a pose in the entry way. Far from being the meltdown he had bitched about in his last email, he actually looked way too perky and happy for this time of the god-for-fucking-saken time of the morning. He’s not dressed up today though, Tommy notes – his casual shirt and jeans mean that he’s content, and happy with himself, and whatever he’s going to announce now. It’s a good look for him, minimal make-up and his freckles not loud and proud but not hidden away under layer upon layer of makeup that he normally uses to protect himself from the paps. Adam only lets himself be seen like this when he’s at peace with himself, not needing to hide away from the rest of the world behind glitter and leather.

Reassured that today is not going to be as bad as yesterday, and that Adam isn’t going to drop a complete bombshell on him, Tommy flicks back to his phone, responding to various tweets and twats of people who wanna know when he’s going to team up again with Ravi again (whenever he wants~ haha lol), when Adam is going on tour again – (shhh, its a secret. can’t tell anything yet!) to what he had for breakfast (coffee. whole Lotta coffee~ :DD). Adam makes his way around the room, hugging people, gushing over Brooke’s new hair, poking fun at Neil’s new shirt which he has been smoothing down for the last fifteen minutes, admiring Sutan’s nail polish before a quiet, “And Tommy?” from Adam.

When Tommy hears that, his head snaps up so fast he thinks he might give himself whiplash, because Sutan points a very neatly manicured nail his direction and says, “Tommy Joe has something to tell you. Something very important….” And he really really wants to raise his middle finger at Sutan but he knows that the other man is just doing it because if Tommy is left to his own devices, they’ll have to pry it out of him with crowbars and booze and it’s far too fucking early to be breaking out the amount of Jack he’d need to drink to be drunk. Drink to …. Yeah. Drink to be drunk.

“Oh?” Adam’s oh is far too calm but Tommy can feel the steely blue gaze burning into the shaved side of his head. “We’ll talk. Later…” It’s a promise, Tommy knows it, and as much as he wants to hate it he knows that Adam is only doing it for his own good – secrets like this are no good for anyone – but it’s really difficult for him to start talking about his feelings and talking about last night is bound to bring up so many of them. About the girl, about the situation that he now finds himself in, about the fact that there’s now two people trying to get him into the crosshairs. Adam’s gaze rakes over him one last time before Terrance grabs Adam in a bear hug, and Tommy is safe from releasing his feelings for another few minutes.

Not forever, though.

After a few more minutes of meeting and re-greeting everyone, Adam claps his hands, moves around to his seat at the head of the table and everyone goes to sit back down again, starting fresh squabbles over the chairs, and Neil tries to take Monte’s who still isn’t having any of it, and it only takes one threat of dumping his coffee over that brand new shirt before Neil wises up and goes off to drag Taylor out of his chair. Being the baby of the group means you don’t get a chair is the last thing Tommy hears before Terrance leans on Taylor’s behalf and starts a tickle fight that Neil ,amazingly enough for the self-proclaimed King of Tickle Fights, loses.

Adam clears his throat. Once. Twice. A third time. “NEIL!” Lane barks down the end of the table, and Neil drops Taylor’s arm like it’s red hot.

“Wasn’t me!”

“Spoken like a true younger sibling…” Monte stage whispers from across the table, and Lane’s lips twitch suspiciously before she orders Neil to sit on the arm of Taylor’s chair and stop pissing around.

“We good?” Adam asks, and everyone nods. It’s the first time they’ve all been back together since the last party of Glam Nation, and it’s fucking awesome to be back. “Alright then – good news first.” Adam leans forward. “The album is finished!”

Everybody whoops, applauding loudly. Adam’s been working flat out to produce this album hot on the heels of the last tour – every song has been picked over, dissected and reset until Adam is content with it, but it’s finally finished. Fourteen songs, four music videos, and two different photos shoots in four and a half months; it’s been hell on everyone – nobody in the same place at the same time, everybody having five am starts and midnight finishes for days on end, far too many hours crammed in a sound booth for all the band but finally… finally…. Everything is done; Adam has given his final go ahead, and soon…. Tommy’s favourite part, the bit he’s been missing since that last night together in the Club Nokia in the middle of the City of Angels.

“So,” Adam opens his arms wide, “guess what that means?” He waggles his fingers, playing up the theatrics.

“Hmmm…” Sasha and Cam give long drawn sighs, over exaggerating their thinking faces, until one of them cracks – “Is it… a tour, Adam?”  Sasha pouts prettily, her hands raised in the air in an air of innocence while Cam has one finger against the side of her head, her face screwed up like one of Monte’s daughter confronted with especially difficult homework as she speaks.

“Five points to the keyboardist!” Adam points to Cam with both hands who whoops quietly. “It means another tour – and I want all of you back. Again. Lane?”

Lane reaches under the table, draws out a whole pile of paperwork – neatly stapled, freshly printed contracts for them all. “Hot off the presses,” she says as she splits the stack in half and hands one to Neil. “There you go…” They go around the table distributing the personalised contracts to each of them, and Lane drops Tommy’s on his head when it’s his turn for a fresh stack of paper to sign. “Enjoy!” she says, before moving on for the next person. Tommy sticks out his tongue at her and turns to the paper in his hands. It’s at least twenty pages long (thirty actually, when he checks the back page), and everything is outlined there in black and white. There are no tour dates, just spaces for where they’ll be filled in later, but there’s his pay (and he’s pleased to note a very nice increase from last time) and his health insurance benefits defined in the fucking legalese again, and the health and safety declaration that his doctor will have to sign when he gives him a final say so after a physical.


“What’s going to happen now?” He asks because Lane is handing him another pile of paper. “What the hell?” He flicks through the second, smaller batch but he doesn’t get it. “Why did I get two?”

Adam leans over. “Main tour.” He says, tapping the first set of papers, “Promo tour.” He grins as he taps the second batch. No way…

“Really?” Tommy’s as pleased as fucking punch right now – he gets both tours with Adam? Fucking A, man. He says as much to the singer who gives him that special, open smile he so rarely has when he’s in the office like this. It steals away Tommy’s breath every time; the naked truth of Adam’s face is so very pure when he does that. Nothing like his own, crooked smile when he looks in the mirror.

“Of course, Tommy. Whole band goes on the promo – that means you as well.” Adam’s running one of his fingers over Tommy’s knuckles as they loosely grip the edges of the promo tour papers.

“I can’t be expected to do bass all the time…” Cam chips in, her smile wider than wide.

Tommy can’t speak, can’t say anything, but he hopes the gratitude is showing in his eyes because he is so completely happy right now. He’s going to be spending the next ten months with the people he loves the best, doing what he’s always dreamed of doing, and this time he’s getting not just the main tour, but all the build-up to it at the same time. This is what he wanted, and once again, it’s Adam who’s making it come true. He gives one of his patented half smiles, and Adam grins back.

“This is going to be awesome.” Tommy declares, and he means it. Sutan coos quietly behind him at his excitement, and Tommy looks down the papers in his hands in embarrassment. He might actually cry, and wouldn’t that just be adding insult to injury after this morning’s meltdown? He focuses on Adam’s hand on his knuckles until Lane clears her throat, and Adam regretfully pulls back his hand, but Tommy notes that a booted foot swings his way, staying tucked next to his leg. Touchy feely Adam won’t give him up, it seems. “When does it all kick off?” he asks, changing the subject, and Monte coughs. Not subtle there, Tommy - is the implied hint but Tommy shoves a middle finger up at him. He’s doing that a lot lately – maybe he should get a new comeback or something….

Lane stands beside Adam, puts her hands on her hips and Tommy stifles a groan because there in her left hand is a remote control. There’s a whirr from the projector overhead, and from the curtains being pulled shut, and everyone else groans as well. Slideshow time. Monte and Isaac across from him roll their eyes theatrically at him – Lane likes slideshows. Everyone else? Not so much… Still, it’s the price they put up with for her amazing management skills.

She starts by pointing out the dates on the screen with the handy dandy little laser thing, and they all settle in to take notes and pay actual attention because they’ll be living what she’s laying down right now, so if they have a problem, this is their chance to speak up.

Tommy doesn’t have a problem – not with the dates, not with the fact that he’ll be living on a tour bus with everybody again, that he’ll be back to existing out of a suitcase for the next ten months and being on and off planes and flying half way around the world one day and back again the same night. He’s going to be doing what he’s dreamed of doing since he was thirteen and imagining his second hand guitar from his uncle was a brand new red and white Fender and he was playing for someone whose face he couldn’t picture but he knew they had to be bigger than the Beatles. He’s going on tour again, and all is right with the world.

Underneath the table, he feels Adam’s leg pressing against his own, and the heat is reassuring him that this is real, that it’s not another dream, and Tommy can’t think straight  - not when Adam is giving him that smile again.

So he doesn’t think. He just grins and basks in the warmth that is Adam fucking Lambert.

And it feels good.

 

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For your viewing pleasure - unmade up Adam.