"Kris, you can't go to a high-school reunion just like that," Adam says, because someone has to and why hasn't Kris's agent or publicist or whomever else there is to take care of Kris told him so?
Because now, of course, Adam is the one getting the 'kicked puppy' look. "Why not?" Kris asks.
Adam loves Kris, he really does - more than he should, definitely - but sometimes, Kris makes Adam want to kiss him a little more violently than usual. "You're the American Idol!"
"I was the American Idol." Kris is beginning to look stubborn. It's better than the 'kicked puppy' look, but it doesn't make Adam any more hopeful he's going to be able to make Kris see things from his point of view. "Now I'm just a regular guy who writes music sometimes and plays the guitar. I mean, come on, Adam. It's not like I'm some kind of famous superstar." The way he looks at Adam suggests the same cannot be said of Adam, which is -
"Record sales aren't everything," Adam says. He's not going to argue about numbers; he knows Kris's records haven't sold as well as his own. Kris is good, though; the fact that there aren't as many people buying his albums doesn't make them any less perfect. "That's just publicity." Adam should know; he's been getting a lot of it - as much as he could possibly want and then a little bit more.
Kris shakes his head. "It's not just about publicity. It's about wanting it, too. I see you on TV, or on stage, and it's - you want all that. Me, I simply like making music."
"I kind of like that part of being me, too." Adam knows it wouldn't be the same for him without an audience though; he gets a rush out of recording a song and hearing it played back, but it's nothing compared to the rush he feels when he's performing live.
"The point is: I'm going to my high-school reunion," Kris says.
"What does Katy have to say about that?" Adam doesn't like bringing up Kris's wife, but if anyone can change Kris's mind, it's her.
Kris looks a little uncomfortable. "We haven't really talked about it." Adam opens his mouth to suggest that maybe they should - because who else is Kris going to go with if not Katy - when Kris adds: "Or about anything else, really."
"Oh. I didn't know." It's stupid, Adam tells himself, to feel as if he should have known.
"See?" Kris says. "If I'd been famous, you'd have heard or read about it somewhere."
Adam decides he can't win this argument. "Fine. You're not famous, and you're going to go to your high-school reunion."
"Yes, I am." Kris bobs his head. "Um. Would you like to come, too?"
Adam's not sure why he is at all surprised his publicist does not approve of his going to Kris's highschool reunion - except that he is, a little. It's not like he's going to waltz in there and start singing For Your Entertainment or Memory or Too Hot To Handle after all; he'll just be there as Kris's 'plus one' - and if Adam thinks of it as a date, that's between him and himself.
"I'll wear sunglasses," he says, when she's taking a breathing pause.
"Right." She snorts. "Because nobody's ever seen any pictures of you wearing sunglasses."
"I'll wear ordinary glasses that make me look slightly geeky?" Contrary to some people's insinuations, Adam's not an idiot; he's going to have to get someone's okay for this - and maybe a discrete bodyguard-slash-crowd-controller or two, just in case.
"Adam, honey, you're not Clark Kent. Or Superman."
"I really, really want to go so please tell me that I can?" The public image of a rockstar does not go particularly well with puppy-eyes, but Adam's not on stage now, and he's not with anyone he wants to impress with how sexy he is. He can beg if he needs to.
She sighs. "Well, I guess maybe if you changed your hair color ... "
"I love you." Pushing it, probably, but she should be used to that from him by now.
"Tell that to Kris, maybe?"
Adam manages a weak chuckle. "You of all people should know better than to believe everything you read on the Internet. I mean, it's just a high-school reunion."
She gives him two raised eyebrows.
"How am I supposed to impress him with how smart and sexy and funny I am, anyway, if I can't even look like myself?" Adam asks. "Let's face it: this isn't going to be any kind of date."
"Wow," Kris says - and Adam would be gratified, except that he's pretty sure it's a 'wow, you look so different from the way you usually look tonight' instead of a 'wow, you look absolutely stunning and why don't we just forget about going out?'.
"You look nice, too." Better than nice, actually.
"Um." Kris holds up a small Tupperware box. "I got you a corsage?"
"I thought this was a reunion, not prom night," Adam says, because he's not stupid enough to ask: 'I thought this wasn't a date'. Kris is probably just trying to be a good friend or something like that.
"Well, I'd have gotten one for Katy, so I thought ... " Kris's voice trails off. "You don't have to wear it if you think it's weird or anything."
Adam takes a deep breath and reminds himself that this is Kris. Not completely oblivious, perhaps, but also hardly as aware as he should be of where the lines are drawn between being friendly and being what might be interpreted as being a flirt - except that it's not really flirting when Kris does it. Adam knows that. Adam knows that.
"I think your former classmates might kind of take it the wrong way if you showed up with another guy who's wearing a corsage," he says carefully. Kris showing up with a guy at all might give some people ideas already, too, but there's not a lot Adam can do about that - except not going, and that's not an option. Kris has asked him to come, and Adam's selflessness only goes so far.
"Oh." Kris stares at the corsage. "I got a matching one. I guess I shouldn't wear mine either, then, huh?"
"It's your reunion - you should wear whatever you want," Adam says quickly.
Kris shrugs. "Not like there's much of a point if you're not wearing yours, is there?"
The reunion is a little - well, there's a picture of Kris as a teenager, and that's sort of nice to look at for maybe ten seconds or so. Adam's got the real-life, flesh-and-blood version right there with him after all, and Kris turns out to not be one of those people who are embarrassed about what they looked like when they were younger, so that rather reduces the amusement factor to zero.
Nobody seems to recognize him, not even the first dozen people or so Kris introduces him to, before Adam drags him over to a corner that's not exactly quiet but at least it's empty.
"What'd I do?" Kris asks, somehow managing to look put-upon and clueless in a cute way at the same time.
"You can't introduce me to these people by my real name!" Adam tries to keep his voice down, but the DJ's playing some so-cheesy-it's-kind-of-not hit from the eighties and it's sort of loud.
"Hey, I only said you were Adam. There's plenty of people called Adam." Which is true enough, Adam supposes, except that the number of Adams that might be friends with Kris is rather small, not to say limited to one - as far as Adam knows, anyway. Could be Kris has got dozens of friends and a cousin or three named Adam. "Besides," Kris adds, "if you want me to call you by some undercover name, you could have said something before we got here."
"Fine." Adam sighs. "Just don't use my last name, all right? And if anyone asks any questions, I'm tonedeaf and the only place where I do any singing is in the shower."
Kris rolls his eyes, then grins. "Fine. And what do I say when someone asks how I know what you do in the shower?"
"One-night stand," Adam says, before he can really think about it. Claiming he's family would probably be easier, only it would be even more of a lie than the ones he's already asked Kris to tell for him, to have this evening remain something between just the two of them.
Besides, Adam reasons there might be dancing at some point (not this lame kind of shuffling about a few people are doing right now) and he figures Kris at least owes him a slow-dance or two for the fifteen minutes of his life Adam's never going to get back spent listening to one of Kris's former classmates go on and on and on about his wife who isn't here because her job's too important.
Adam is vaguely aware there was some plan to Not Make Kris Look Gay at some point, but he's here; he's been introduced to people, and nobody's broken out the pitchforks yet or so much as looked at him funnily, so Adam figures that maybe he's worried for nothing.
"Yeah, I don't think so." Kris is still grinning. Adam wonders if he's really been this obvious, this blunt before, for Kris to be able to brush off a suggestion like that so easily and then smile about it like it's just Adam being Adam - and what does Kris think Adam is, anyway?
"Ashamed of me?" As long as Kris is looking happy and carefree, Adam figures he can keep pushing this. Kris isn't exactly hard to read; he's not one of those people who keep everything bottled up inside and then remind you of that thing you said three weeks ago when you've finally managed to land with both feet on their big red button. It's one of those things that make Kris such a cool guy.
It's one of those things that should make Adam give up on Kris already, because if Kris wanted to give him more than hugs and a bit of harmless flirting, Adam would have picked up on it by now.
"Hey, you're the one who didn't want me to introduce you to people," Kris says. "Sounds more like you are the one who doesn't want be seen with me."
Adam moves forwards a little, within 'hugging range' (as he mentally calls it). Kris gets the hint.
"Never," Adam whispers fiercely. "Never, ever."
"I love you, too," Kris murmurs back. He sounds like he's smiling.
"We could go back to your house and have sex?" Adam asks, mostly because he's beginning to enjoy the hug a bit too much and dropping the s-word usually works to get Kris to back off a little.
It works this time, too. "You haven't met all my old friends yet," Kris says.
"My idea sounds more fun?" Adam offers, because Kris will expect that from him.
Kris's grin is slightly evil. "Whoever said you were here to have fun? This is a highschool reunion, may I remind you? I simply don't want to suffer through it all by myself."
"You could just not have come," Adam points out a bit sulkily.
"Naw," Kris says. "I mean, maybe if I'd been in Tokyo or something. Maybe."
Adam nods, because he understands. "You need a shoulder to cry on, I'm right here."
"I was thinking more of someone I can, you know, hide behind when I see someone I really don't want to meet again."
"Right. You just wanted me for my body." If only. Adam keeps smiling though, and Kris chuckles and drags him along to meet another dozen people whose names he won't remember tomorrow.
Adams runs into Katy when he's getting a drink for Kris. Of course Adam runs into Katy when he's getting a drink for Kris. It wouldn't be Adam's life if things would be easy, after all, or if his hopeless crush's ex-wife showed up when he was actually with said crush so that he could go for a drink.
"Kris actually brought you here?" She doesn't sound angry or even particularly surprised.
"Just as a friend," Adam says. He sounds defensive, he thinks, like he's protesting too much, trying to hide the truth even from himself. "It's not a date or anything."
"Of course it's a date," she says. "Bet he got you a corsage."
"Yes," Adam admits.
"But you're not wearing it. Huh. And here I thought you'd do just about anything for him." Katy shakes her head. Adam wonders if there's some local tradition about corsages he's not familiar with. "So anyway, would you like to meet my girlfriend? She's a fan."
"I'm incognito," Adam says on auto-pilot, and then: "Girlfriend?"
"What, you thought Kris was the only person to whom things like that could happen? It's not at all uncommon, or so I've heard," Katy says cheerfully, obviously enjoying this.
"I'm happy for you?" Adam hates how it almost comes out as a question. Aside from the part where she used to be Kris's wife (still is Kris's wife?), he quite likes Katy.
"Just for your information though, I don't think Kris is anything other than straight."
Katy looks at him. "Just for your information, I don't think you were the reason Kris and me didn't work out. But if you don't get back over there and make him your boyfriend right now, I'm very much going to kick your ass, because he deserves better from you."
"Um," Adam says.
"I mean, he got you a corsage. That didn't clue you in? Men."
"He said it didn't mean anything!" Adam protests. "He keeps touching me and hugging me and telling me he loves me and then I propose we go have sex and he laughs at me like it's funny." He thinks he might want to talk a little less loudly, but Katy simply doesn't understand, really she doesn't, and it's so frustrating to be around Kris sometimes, so full of love and yet untouchable, out of reach. "Okay, maybe sometimes, sex can be funny, but I love him and he just acts like it's all a joke."
Katy's expression turns peculiar, as if -
"Tell me he's not standing right behind me," Adam says.
"I don't think denial's going to do you any good," Katy replies. "In this case, or in any other case."
Adam turns around, because he can't not turn around, knowing Kris is standing there.
"I can explain everything?" Adam tries.
Kris looks a little shocked and a little hurt and a little like maybe he'd have run for the exit if there hadn't been a lot of people in the way. "You - " he says. "You idiot."
Of course, that's when someone finally puts one and one together.
"My fans are pretty scary, huh?" Adam says, because if he doesn't say it, Kris will.
Since Adam's said it though, Kris just sort of chuckles. "I'm sure you've got some fans who are perfectly normal and nice, too?" he offers. "I mean, hey, I'm a fan, and I don't feel the slightest urge to try and rip your clothes off or something like that."
"Not even the slightest, tiniest little urge?" Adam smiles in what he hopes to be a friendly, just-kidding sort of way.
Kris hesitates for a moment, then doesn't smile back. "No."
"You just want to hug me sometimes," Adam says. Kris has heard him back there; Kris knows.
Then again, if Kris wants to pretend he didn't, Adam supposes he can live with that - especially if that means Kris'll keep on being his friend-with-hug-shaped-benefits.
"You need a hug sometimes," Kris says. "And I guess that, you know, maybe I need someone to give a hug to sometimes."
"Our friendship is purely based on our compatible hugging needs?"
Kris gives him a serious look. "You never said you wanted more than hugs from me."
"You never said you wanted to give me more than hugs," Adam replies, and then: "Do you?" since if he doesn't ask now, he might never again work up the courage, and he's come this far anyway.
"Maybe," Kris says, but he's grinning.
"Hey now, who's always talking about wanting to ravish me and then never actually follows through? If anyone's being a tease here, it's you. Well," Kris amends, "either that, or you're just that oblivious, and I thought you'd like being a tease better than you'd like being oblivious. Even if you are that, too."
Adam considers arguing about that. "Okay, so I'm oblivious." It'd be easier to agree though - they've gotten away from the reunion and it's unlikely they're going to go back there, so Adam figures there are better things to do with their evening than argue about whether or not he's an oblivious tease (which, for the record, he isn't, only he reasons this may be one of those cases where actions speak louder and more convincingly than words). "I'd really like to kiss you."
Kris sighs and shakes his head. "So close."
"Excuse me?" Adam asks incredulously.
"You almost got it right," Kris says. "Almost. Feel free to try again though; we've got plenty of time."
"Tell me you are kidding me."
"I'm kidding you," Kris says, easy as you please. "Except not really. Come on, Adam - it's not that difficult to figure out - unless you're completely oblivious, so I guess it might be a problem for you after all."
"You - " Adam starts, and then he gets it. Kind of. "You'd really like me to kiss you?"
"Ding-dong. Give the man a prize." Kris smiles. "Well?"
"Well," Adam says slowly, "I guess I'd have to think about it. I mean, this is such a surprise. How can I just decide to - "
They haven't really talked about Kris kissing Adam, but Adam decides there's no use in pointing that out, even if his lips weren't otherwise occupied.
("Your bodyguards are watching us," Kris says, about ten minutes later, just when Adam's almost worked out how to get his shirt off without ripping anything.
Adam wonders if this is really going where he thinks this is going. "Watching me is kind of their job?" Kris has never had a problem flirting with him in public before; Adam's got the YouTube videos to prove how very much Kris is okay with other people seeing him get up, close and kind of personal with Adam.
On the other hand, they're kind of moving beyond flirting now, and privacy aside, Adam can see how a room might come in handy - one with a large bed, preferably, although he supposes they can cuddle if they have to. (Okay, so maybe he'd actually prefer a small-ish bed.)
"My place or uh my place?" Kris asks. "Or do you have a place here, too?"
"I've got places everywhere," Adam says. "Besides, if you're going with 'home is where the heart is' - "
" - which we're not because it's terribly cheesy and there's no way you're picking me up with a line like that."
Adam rolls his eyes. Kris grins.
"If you're going with 'home is where the heart is'," Adam continues, "we'd still end up at your place. Which is where all my stuff is anyway - and I'm going to need some of it."
"Yeah." Kris turns slightly pink. "All right."
"I was talking about my toothbrush," Adam says pointedly. "Clean underwear, hair products, that sort of stuff."
"Of course," Kris says, a little too quickly.)