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To be fair, it's nearly Thursday by the time Kris finally gets The Call.

He considers letting it go to voicemail or, better yet, pitching the shiny iMonster out a window, but, "Allen."

"Oh, thank fuckin' God."

Kris signs. Calls like this are familiar, and typical, and never ever signal good news. Or tolerable news. Or—well. He eyes the window with renewed interest. "Hey, Megan. How's Asia?"

"I wish for every inch of this continent to wither and sink, and for no soul to ever speak its name again lest their heads be beaten in with lead shovels. On fire." A pause during which Kris ponders the whereabouts of his slippers. "The soup's awesome. How are you?"

"Awake," Kris admits. Under the bed? Too easy. Bathroom or hallway, maybe? "Managed to finish a book yesterday. It was a novel experience," he adds hopefully.

Her eye roll is audible and deeply, deeply satisfying. "...Cook stopped by?"

"Yeah, we shot pool." The slippers are under the bed. Fancy that. Kris swings his legs down and into the beaten cotton-elastic-whatever. "It was nice, we talked about Archie doing the release party in Chicago. You know they got Trotter's to host?"

"Super." Her cheer is manic. "You have to come back now."

"Actually," Kris says, "I don't. I really, really don't."

"You really, really, really do."

"Look, do we have to go through the long version?" Kris stands up, rubbing drowsy kinks out of his neck, and wondering how to curtail this conversation in a way that he hasn't fifty-five times before. Inspiration is lacking. "I promise whatever stunt he's pulling, whoever he's threatening to sue or murder, just get them on line with the lawyers and dump him near a shoe store until he gets bored." He sighs, and doesn't add again.

"We can't find him."

Kris sits back down. "When's my flight?"


Kris has been fired forty-nine times to date. It wouldn't be so bad (probably) if not for the fact that forty-five of those occurred in the past year. Twelve occurred in the same month. He once got fired twice in an hour, and, really, that sort of thing is crap for anybody's ego.

The past year has also taught Kris to deal very, very well with taking crap.

It still wouldn't be so—ridiculous, if not for the fact that Kris has been fired forty-nine times, twelve in the same month, twice in an hour, by the same person every single Goddamn time.

Kris has quit twice.

The math speaks eloquently of the difference between Kris Allen and Adam Lambert.

Then again, so does the therapy bill.