When Adam hears the door to the shuttle bay click shut behind him, his first thought is not that he just locked himself into a tiny, tiny room with the hottest boy he can't touch.
No, his first thought is that the best boy's shout of "Oh, shit, don't shut that!" is going to ruin the first take they've had all night where he's managed to get through his incredibly technical, what-the-fuck-even-is-that fake medical jargon.
That he's locked into a tiny, tiny room with Kris Allen two inches away is his second thought.
"Okay, the good news," Matt, said tech's voice a muted echo through the Plexiglas window of the door to their fake space shuttle, obviously trying to be reassuring. It would be more reassuring coming from a grizzled handyman-type than from a twenty-something guy whose life model is Justin Timberlake. "Is that you have plenty of air."
Adam raises an eyebrow at Kris, who smiles wryly and says, "Thanks, Matty. It hadn't occurred to us yet that that might be the bad news, so that's one less thing to panic about. What’s the problem?”
The problem, Adam thinks, is that they’re trapped in what’s basically a closet - and a fucking small closet at that. It’s built with perspective, so that on camera it looks deeper than it is, so all they were meant to do was walk in before the shot would cut to a different set. The capsule is only about three feet wide, and five feet or so deep. They’re both crowded by the doorway now, looking out the round porthole, and they’re standing so close that Adam can smell Kris’s shampoo. Not that he’s smelling Kris on purpose. He’s... he wouldn’t... ugh. He shifts away, the centimeter or two that space will allow.
“That’s the bad news. We, uh...” Matt pales a little, and throws a shaky glance over one shoulder to where the 1st AD is currently having a hissy fit at the props manager. Adam can’t hear them, but judging by the shade of crimson they’re both turning, it must be epic. “We made the door on the new set, and we knew it was sticking a bit, but uh. It seems to have wedged? And we can’t get it open?”
Adam had kind of noticed that when four grown men couldn’t pull it open, but he lets it pass. “So what are we looking at here?”
“We have a plan!” Matt looks excited. Adam feels this does not bode well for his future. Like maybe he should be texting his friends and cancelling his dinner plans. If, you know, he had his cell phone, which he doesn’t. No pockets in his onesie, his GalaxyFleet uniform. Matt goes on. “We’re getting the Jaws of Life!”
With that, he bounces away, leaving Adam staring slack-jawed after him. It slowly dawns on him. “Oh my god, we’re going to die in here, aren’t we?”
He squeezes past Adam, through the tiny foyer, into the slightly-less tiny interior of the shuttle. It’s a brightly lit room, with what is basically a painting of a console with real buttons that do nothing but fall off at inopportune times, with a mural of a fake “Space” view. It’s basically a box. A small box with no chairs. Kris flops down on the floor, Indian-style, and pats the space next to him. “Sit. Take a load off. Be as one with the floor.”
Adam slides down the wall slowly, warily, as far away from Kris as he can manage. He pulls his knees up to his chest, his arms wrapped around his knees. As careful as he is not to touch, the toes of his boots are just inches from Kris’s jumpsuit-clad knee. He stares at the space, trying to imagine that there’s a tiny version of the Grand Canyon between them.
“So how’ve you been?” Kris breaks the silence between them, and Adam looks up. “Did you have a good break? I feel like I haven’t even talked to you since we got back.”
He hasn’t. Adam’s been pretty careful to not be where Kris is. It’s involved some pretty Houdini-like maneuvers, the assistance of some carefully-selected PAs and Brad in Makeup, and at one point, a reasonably painful dive into a janitor’s closet. It’s a big difference from last season - he and Kris were pretty inseparable toward the end of filming, as the storyline for Adam’s recurring character got bigger and they had more scenes together. Their chemistry was pretty hard to miss, on screen and off, although just as friends. Or at least, Kris was Adam’s friend. Adam will admit, he flirted. A lot. But it was never a big deal, they always laughed about it, and anyway, Adam would be leaving when his role was finished in the season finale.
So that’s why he’d... he doesn’t even want to think about that. But now he's been made a regular cast member - he got the call the Monday after the season finale aired, ratings through the roof, the fans love you and Kris, blah blah blah. And he needs this job. This could be his breakthrough role and the writers are starting to put subtle hints in the script that his doctor is openly gay, and he's excited, okay. But if it comes down between his role and Kris's, he's not stupid. Kris is the lead. Kris is the beloved space cowboy who fights for justice and plays by his own rules. If Kris wants him gone, he'll be out the door before the ink on his pink slip dries and they'll have another guy in here playing the doctor, his doctor, without blinking.
So yeah, he's been avoiding Kris. It's actually been pretty easy. Or well, it was til last week when they starting filming the new season, and Adam had to learn how hard it is to avoid someone you are contractually obligated to be around four or five days a week. And when the universe sees fit to screw with the props and lock you in a room with that someone. He runs a hand over the back of his neck, still unused to the shorter, more military cut he’d gotten when filming began, as he says cautiously, “It was good. I went on a trip with my friend Danielle to Fiji, hung out with friends-”
“Avoided me,” Kris finishes, his voice calm but his eyes sad.
Adam is so fucked.
Yeah, that didn’t sound lame.
“Adam, the last time I called you to hang out, you said you couldn’t because you were mourning Sylvester,” Kris scoffs.
“Your GOLDFISH, Adam? That you’d only had for a week?”
“We bonded,” Adam mutters, wrapping his arms under his knees. “It was a rough day.”
“I’m terribly sorry for your loss,” Kris says, and the shit of it all is that Adam can tell he is, even though he’s still mad. Adam is a bad person. And coincidentally, a bad pet owner. And also apparently not as good at lying to Kris-shaped people as he thought he was. “But we could have gone out for a beer. Had a fishy funeral. Something.”
Kris looks down at his shoes, scuffing the sides of his uniform boots together as he continues quietly, “I mean, I get it. You got what you wanted.”
“Look, it’s fine,” Kris shrugs, hunching his shoulders in. “It happens all the time, or so I’m told. It’s a rough town, you needed a break. But you know, if you don’t want to... hang out or whatever, that’s fine. Just say it. I’m a big boy, I can take it.”
Kris falls silent, and they both just sit there. Adam’s parsing the words in his head, over and over, trying to make them mean something else. Something that doesn’t mean...
“You think I was using you?”
Kris’s lips twist into the weird half-smile Adam’s learned means that he wants to lie, but can’t bring himself to do so. He’s also looking at a spot somewhere above Adam’s head. Adam has officially sunk so low that Kris Allen, the nicest guy in Hollywood, can’t look him in the eye. He can’t have that.
“Look, I know... I know I didn’t call you back. Lots. And I get that it seemed weird, and all, but I swear, it wasn’t about getting the part.” And that’s not entirely true, and Adam doesn’t want to lie, not to Kris. “I mean it was, but it wasn’t, not like you’re thinking. I wasn’t being nice to you so they’d give me the part. You were amazing, you were so friendly to me, you didn’t make me feel like an outsider on set and you had the best sense of humor. You remember everyone’s name, and their life, and just when I’d think, ugh oh no, he’s going to be one of those guys - the perfectly bland - something bitchy and hilarious would just pop out of your mouth and I-”
Adam’s voice falters for a second, and he bangs his head lightly against the back of the wall. Oh god, he’s officially a Lifetime movie. He should just shut up, but he can’t. “I loved hanging out with you.”
Kris is looking at him now, and Adam kind of wishes that he wasn’t. Kris looks worried and hurt and at the same time hopeful, and Adam knows what’s coming next, knows he isn’t going to get off so easy.
“So why’d you stop?”
“Adam?” Kris interjects into the lengthening silence. “Come on, man, don’t leave me hanging! If I like you, and you like me,” he grins as his tone goes a little sing-song, like a kid, “then why the cold shoulder?”
“I just...” Adam sighs, and fuck it, might as well clear the air and then at least he’ll know and maybe they won’t have to spend the rest of the season with this weird tension between them. He looks up, looks Kris in the eye. “I didn’t want to lose my job.”
Kris looks back at him without reaction for a full pause, and then shakes his head and looks confused. “What? What does that have to do with you and me?’
Adam throws a hand in the air, exasperated. Clearly, Kris wants him to say it outright, and maybe he’s right, Adam should make full amends. “I know that I shouldn’t have acted the way I did, that it wasn’t professional. That I made you... uncomfortable, that I overstepped the bounds of our friendship. And I am sorry for that. So I was just trying to give you space, I just...”
He sighs, and just goes for it and says a sentence he never thought he’d have to say outside of the horribly cheesy HR films he did when he was starting out. “I am very sorry I sexually harassed you in your workplace. It won’t happen again.”
Kris bites his lower lip, and breathes in. And then the fucker starts laughing.
“You- you-” Kris chokes out, breaking off in what can now only be described as fucking giggles. He gets himself under control eventually, albeit with visible effort. “What are you even talking about? Just so I can remember for when they ask me to point out on the doll where the bad man touched me.”
Adam does the only mature thing he can think of; he flips Kris the bird. Kris starts giggling again. Adam kicks one foot out and lands a blow to Kris’s shin; he’s pouring his heart out here, the least Kris could do is stop laughing like a lunatic. “You know what I’m talking about.”
“Ow,” Kris rubs at his shin, but he’s still smiling at Adam. Nothing about this is going the way Adam thought it would, when he thought about how this would go. It’s unsettling. Kris tilts his head to one side, still not mad the way Adam thought he would be, and says, “The wrap party?”
“The wrap party,” Adam confirms with a decisive nod. He draws his leg back in, wrapping his arms around both knees.
Kris looks down at his hands, toying with the leather bracelet on his wrist - the one Adam gave him for his birthday right before filming ended last season - with a small, private smile on his face. And then he meets Adam’s gaze. “What exactly do you remember about that night? I mean, really remember.”
“Well...” Adam thinks about it hard. It’s all a little fuzzy, he’ll admit. “I remember being at the restaurant, the toasts. I remember being sad about having to leave.”
Worried that Kris would forget him is more like it, but Adam’s dignity is hanging on by a very thin shred right now, and he’s going to cling to it with all his might. He keeps going. “We were all dancing. And I was drinking.”
“Drunk,” Kris corrects with a smile. “You were very, very drunk. It might have been the tequila shots. Or the ‘Weirdest Shot Name’ contest.”
“And then something happened-”
“Danny knocked into you and you spilled ‘Brain Hemorrhage’ on your fancy white shirt-”
“That’s what happened to my Dior shirt!” Mystery of the Pink Stain solved! Adam picks up the thread of recollection. “And then we were alone.”
“In the bathroom,” Kris supplies. “I was helping you clean up the stain.”
Well, that explains why the stain set then. What Kris knows about fabric care would fit on the head of a pin. But Adam can’t call him on it, because he knows what happened next. He swallows hard, because he remembers looking down at Kris, who was laughing up at Adam with one hand under the white fabric of Adam’s shirt. He remembers thinking he was never gonna get another chance, that he would go away and Kris would forget all about him, and that it wasn’t fair of the Universe to put someone so perfect but so unattainable in his path. And then...
“The next thing-” Adam runs both hands over his face. Part of him hates even remembering this part. “I had you backed up against the wall-” And part of him still remembers the taste of Kris on his tongue. “And you were pushing me away and saying no.”
He looks up at Kris then, somber. “I am so, so sorry. I don’t know what came over me.”
Kris looks at him with bright, clear eyes, and a hint of a smile. “I do.”
“What the hell... you’re crazy,” Adam breathes out as he stands up. “What are you talking about?”
“That night, it didn’t happen the way you remember it,” Kris explains. “Or, well, you’re not remembering everything that happened. And they always say you should retrace your steps when you’ve forgotten something important.”
“You are not my lost car keys,” Adam grumbles.
“Play along,” Kris laughs. “I promise, it’ll be worth it. So we’re in the bathroom, and I’m helping you clean your shirt.”
And with that Kris steps right into Adam’s personal space, his hands brushing the fabric of Adam’s uniform tunic. Adam is suddenly on board with the re-enactment plan. Kris keeps going. “You said something about me wearing your bracelet, and then you put your hand on my wrist, like this.”
Kris wraps Adam’s fingers around his wrist, and Adam can feel the smooth leather bands and the warm skin underneath as Kris looks up at him, sways in just a fraction, leans up just a bit, as he continues. “And then I looked up at you, kind of like this. And you looked down at me, kind of... well, actually a whole lot like that. And I just thought, well, you were done filming and I didn’t know if I’d ever see you again, and I just wanted...”
And he stretches up, his free hand guiding on Adam down to him as he brushes their lips together. Adam lets him, lets his eyes drift shut as Kris deepens the kiss, and there it is, that taste that even through the haze of hangover he still remembers. There’s kissing, and more kissing, and Adam’s not embarrassed to acknowledge the moan that escapes his lips when Kris finally pulls back.
Kris’s lips are red, and now Adam knows what they feel like, what they taste like, and it’s hard to pay attention to what they’re actually saying now that he knows kissing is on the menu. But Kris is intent, tips Adam’s chin up to look him in the eyes. “I wanted that, and it seemed like you did too. That night, I mean.”
It would be pretty hard to deny that Adam wants it now. His uniform leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination on a good day, to the apparent delight of his fans according to his fanmail, and he has no illusions that it’s betraying him now. He rasps out, “I did... I do.”
The smile Kris gives him is wide, open, beatific, and he slips his hand in Adam’s. “I know that now. And I was pretty sure that night too, given your... reaction.”
“My reaction?” Adam wrinkles his brow, because there’s invitation in Kris’s tone, something he should know, something he’s missing, and... oh. He remembers that part, Kris underneath him, the feel of Kris’s thighs under his hands as he lifted him up, pressed him against the wall, and it’s oh, so easy to recreate. Kris wraps around him willingly, as Adam presses him against the back wall, swooping back in to reclaim those lips, to touch and be touched, realizing his tortured fantasies from the last few months, and he lets himself get lost in Kris.
Until a hasty movement knocks loose one of the dials on the fake console and the plastic plinks loudly as it bounces off the floor. Adam pulls back, his senses clearing for a moment, and he looks at Kris, flushed, flustered, and wanting him, and Adam just needs to know one last thing. “But you said no.”
Kris groans, obviously frustrated that Adam’s stopped, and tries to pull him back, but Adam resists. Kris fists his hands in Adam’s tunic and pulls him closer. “You... there was someone banging on the door. We were making out in a men’s restroom in Weho. I wasn’t saying ‘no, stop.’ I was saying, ‘no, not here.’”
Oh. That is sensible, Adam has to admit. Not that it would have been Adam’s first bathroom tryst, but Kris is a nice boy.
“So we were going to leave, go back to my place,” Kris blushes a little, and it makes Adam want to start kissing him again. Possibly naked. Naked kissing would be awesome. “But in the time I left you at our booth to get my jacket from coatcheck, you, Mr. Worst-Timing-in-the-World, had passed out.”
Adam laughs, the embarrassed giggle slipping out before he can stop it, and he leans his forehead against Kris’s for a moment before he straightens. “Oops?”
“Total epic fail,” Kris confirms with a nod. “By the time I got back, Brad and Cassidy were hauling your mostly unconscious ass up and making noises about dragging you home. I couldn’t exactly say, ‘Excuse me, I was about to hit that.’ It’s bad form.”
Adam laughs outright at that, and wraps his arms tighter around Kris. “I am so, so sorry.”
“And then-” Kris’s mouth is pressed into the crook of Adam’s neck, and the sound is muffled. “The next day, I tried to call this really hot guy that I let grope me in a bathroom, and he didn’t answer my calls.”
“What a dick,” Adam deadpans, and presses his lips to Kris’s temple. “I’m sorry, I’m an asshole, I thought-”
“I know,” Kris mumbles, and then raises his head to look at Adam. “I get it now. I just... I hate that we wasted all this time. Time when we could have been...”
His eyes drop down to where their bodies are joined, and Adam can’t stop the grin, lascivious and as lewd as the plans he has for Kris. “We’ll just have to make up for lost time.”
Ten minutes and one electric screwdriver later, she has the hinges off and the crowbar in place. A little bit of leverage, applied in a few strategic places and really, it’s just like taking the lid off a paint can as the door comes loose with a resounding pop. She catches it before it falls, a smile in her voice as she sets it aside. “Free at last, you guys-”
Her voice trails off as she actually looks inside, and shit, that image is going to be burned on her brain forever. She didn’t know Allen was that bendy, and Lambert- “Wardrobe is going to fucking kill you.”