Adam knows Kris enjoys being a fox more than a human. This doesn’t mean he understands, but he tries. However, his attempts to understand the differences between his stoic wolf and Kris’ feisty fox utterly fail when Kris acts on his frustrations in his alter-form. Priceless wardrobe pieces feel the wrath of claws and one-of-kind designer shoes become chew toys for a fox who otherwise claims to not enjoy chew toys. Adam longs for the day that he leaves for tour and his life isn’t imploding from negative energy.
“Adam, I’m so sorry,” Kris says feebly as he kneels on the bedroom floor. Signs of guilt wrack his features while his antsy fingers dance on the towel he’s hastily thrown over the fox’s handiwork. “Don’t even look. I’ll take ‘em out after you leave.”
The remorseful look in those kind, brown eyes kills Adam, but his fury at the situation makes him spin in his early grave. Adam sets his jaw and bites back his words. He’s determined to not say something stupid before he leaves for Japan in less than ten hours, which is why he takes a deep and calming nasal breath. After a three count, he leaves the room and exhales.
“Adam!” Kris calls to him following a startled yelp. “Adam, don’t!”
Adam turns at the edge of the stairs and directs a dark scowl over his shoulder, which halts Kris. “Don’t what exactly?” Adam demands.
Fidgeting, Kris thinks over his response and shrugs. “I don’t want you to go…” he quietly supplies.
“I am aware of your feelings,” Adam enunciates in a deliberate and even tone, “and I know how little time we have remaining.” Putting his hands together, Adam pushes a cynical plea through his tension wrought features. “But you need to let me walk this off. I can’t leave in a bad mood this time. It’s not healthy.”
Defeat looks glum on Kris as he droops and slowly nods. “I’ll go clean up stuff,” he mumbles as he gestures back over his shoulder. Kris then lumbers back into the bedroom with a half-hearted self-hug.
Adam’s ache and rage clashes with the earnest disconnection that he knows Kris feels, which makes Adam nearly trample the dog in his effort to find fresh air. Stepping outside and into the bed of shrubs around the pool, Adam tosses back his head and closes his eyes as he pulls on his deltoids. He wiggles his bare toes into the damp earth and breathes.
“Not mad about clothes. Everything important is on the top shelf or packed for Japan,” are his silent words beneath the twilit sky.
Minutes pass as Adam massages his shoulders and seeks out a more stable mindset. The immediate anger passes and what’s left is more tolerable than tepid bath water.
Letting out a sigh, Adam lets his arms fall to his sides as he stretches his neck. There’s a mat by the door where he gently wipes the loose dirt from his feet. He apologizes to the golden retriever with a head rub while making his way back inside. His slow ascent of the stairs becomes frantic when there’s a heavy thud followed by a cacophony of noise from the next floor.
“Kris?” Adam prompts, loud and sharp as he hits the top landing.
“Ow, oh crap,” Kris moans in the bedroom and Adam sprints.
Kris is crawling out of a heap in Adam’s spacious but cluttered personal closet when Adam reaches him. Seeing the caved shelving and a dazed Kris is enough to make Adam shrill.
“Are you hurt? Did you break yourself? Are you hurt? Do I need to call 9-1-1? Are you hurt?!”
Fretting Kris’ muttering response, Adam drags a mostly limp Kris away from the closet disaster as more items tumble. He digs out his phone and swears at it when the screen doesn’t properly unlock underneath his messy thumb twitches.
“I’m okay,” Kris feebly manages and pulls on Adam to upright himself. “Adam, I’m alright. It just knocked the snot out of me. No big.”
Adam struggles to help Kris to his feet. Phone still in-hand, Adam pulls Kris to rest against him for support. “Are you hurt?” Adam repeats in concern. “Did you break anything?”
“Everything but me,” Kris replies with a self-loathing grunt.
“You are the only one that I can’t replace,” Adam says in exasperation before hugging Kris and resolutely smearing a kiss to the side of his flush face. “I don’t even care what you were doing—”
“Yeah, you do,” Kris interrupts with a tight smile and sideways glance. “You forgot to pack your ice spats.”
Frowning, Adam eyes Kris dubiously. “I forgot to pack my ice spats,” he echoes as he tries to process the words.
“The ones with diamonds!”
Taken aback, Adam tilts his head. “Those are on the top shelf,” he says slowly.
“Were!” Kris corrects with a laugh. “I thought if I jumped from the step stool, I could reach them.”
“You are the only person over the age of nine who would think that,” Adam points out with a grimace. “Are you sure you’re okay? Nothing hurts?”
Kris rolls his eyes. “Well, dang, if I knew there was gonna be an inspection, I’d be naked,” he drawls and leans into Adam with a waggle of his brow.
Smirking, Adam fumbles with his phone and sets it to a silent ringer before stuffing it back into his pocket. “Inspection?” he choruses with a thoughtful pause. “No, no naked inspections. This is the naked exhibition of the Kris Allen condition for people who can smell bruises,” Adam gave Kris a stern look before lightheartedly adding, “and those who make love to naughty foxes.”
Kris’ eyes crinkle when he grins. “That’s population: you…plus Furries.”
“Hush,” Adam coos as he tenderly cups Kris’ face and kisses the corner of Kris’ mouth. “Exhibit your condition to me,” Adam loftily commands with a wave of his hand.
Kris closes his eyes as they roll and he scoffs. “Yeah. Next time,” he begins as he pushes away and yanks off his t-shirt with a chuckle, “just say, ‘Show me your boobs.’”