Adam can barely remember how he gets back to the hotel. At one point he is so freaking lost he wants to sit down and cry and curse because of course, of course his phone dies on him when he really, really needs it. He sits down in front of a shop and looks ready to jump from one of the pretty bridges.
The fact is when he wakes up he feels like he forgot something important. His head is strangely clear, but so heavy. He blinks at the ceiling as his phone rings and he forgets about it all. He gets up, showers, does his make-up and hair and goes to that radio interview. He answers questions. He does some sightseeing with his band. Because sometimes he does learn his lessons. He puts on a concert, then they're on the plane to another country and leave Asia behind.
It tumbles out as Adam unpacks his favourite t-shirt, that one that's been washed so often the colour is unrecognisable and worn even more and loved beyond sense or reason. That one that no one gets to see, except maybe Tommy, because he doesn't mock.
It tumbles onto Adam's bed with a soft noise. Adam stares at it for a few seconds, minutes, he has no idea. He just doesn't know how he even got it or how airport security didn't arrest his ass for possession of a weapon and- he picks it up. Carefully, because it looks sharp. The blade is curved, it reminds Adam of a wave, water – moving and changing and forceful. It's roughly the size of a large kitchen knife.
A dagger, Adam thinks. He's got himself a dagger. Somehow. And not one of the cheap things. He just knows it's not a thing made for tourists, not a copy of something old and real. This here is real. Almost alive even. He runs his finger along the blade and it makes him shiver. Maybe he is just too fucking tired, but he could swear the blade sings. The handle is made of some stone Adam has never seen before. It's light brown: a bit like amber, but not as clear. And wood. He should maybe let someone check that thing out, but then again. It's his now even though he has no idea, no freaking glimpse of one, where he got it or how.
The figure that graces the handle is small, features obviously male, but beyond that Adam can't make out anything else. It's worn smooth. All edges are soft curves now.
He puts the knife or dagger on his pillow and grabs his laptop. Google is his friend (not always mind you, but often enough. He just needs to stay away from his own name – and Tommy's). It'll help him find out something about the knife. If it is some kind of cultural heritage or ancient antiquity and Adam's gonna go to jail for even touching it. Or if he could just give it back. Something sad and dark settles in his stomach thinking about giving it back. Giving it away. It found him, or he found it. Or whatever.
He spends the next hour reading up on Asian art on wikipedia and still has only a vague clue about what this knife is. A warrior knife. Well, Adam thinks, he is no warrior – at least in the traditional sense, but then Adam isn't exactly the traditional type. Period.
Adam believes in all kinds of things, vampires included (he doesn't think they sparkle, though), but a possessed knife/dagger is really a bit out there. He risks a glance at the knife on his pillow and thinks, well, it doesn't look or feel cursed. He switches the laptop off.
He's going to keep it.
Kris has been sleeping for years, decades, centuries. Everything is different when he wakes up. He has no idea why he's up though. The endless sleep had been welcomed with open arms when he felt his owner die. He has been content in a state of not feeling or caring. So what the hell has just happened? He can feel soft sheets and they smell really good. They're fresh and crisp to the touch. He opens his eyes to a dark room. He isn't home anymore. Home has been an old shop in Kyoto for the last few decades. Collecting dust in a corner. These aren't the times for warriors anymore. Not the kind his blade has been made for. He turns slightly, careful to not disturb the person lying next to him. He's big and his face looks soft in sleep. He doesn't look like any kind of warrior Kris has ever seen and Kris has seen his fair share. Male, female, teenage kids with a rage that fuelled his own. Only once has Kris shown his true form in all these centuries to a human being. Kris banishes that particular memory and thinks. There must be a reason he's here. There must. There is always a reason for Kris to find someone or for someone to find Kris. But maybe the magic is fading, maybe – Kris has no idea. The guy reaches out then and makes contact with Kris arm. His fingers are sleep warm. Kris hasn't been touched in this form for a long time. He hasn't missed it – much. As Kris watches the man opens his eyes, even in the dark Kris can see how blue they are. He blinks and runs his finger softly over Kris' skin. “You,” he says, his voice rough and deep, and then he's asleep again.
Well, Kris thinks. Maybe warriors look different these days. He'll have to just wait and see how this thing will play out. After all there's no other option for him. He is what he is and there's only one way to make Kris a human being and Kris had given up on that a long time ago. The older he gets the more valuable he is. People rarely give up something extremely valuable. They'll find reasons. Humans are big on reasons, brain over heart. Kris has been bitter about it for more than a few decades, but he just doesn't care anymore. He's a blade spirit. He does what he can to help his warrior to make the world a better place – or what they think counts as a better place.
Maybe Adam is a bit freaked out when he wakes up with the dagger in his hand. He turns onto his back and tries to remember the dream he had.
He can’t. It’s this nagging feeling at the back of his mind that he forgot something very important. He turns his head on the pillow to look at the dagger again. It’s a miracle he didn’t cut his fingers off. Why did he even take it with him into bed? That was an insane thing to do.
He sits up, takes the dagger in hand and places it carefully on the night stand before he gets up and goes to the bathroom.
He really wants to leave it there, but he can’t. He just can’t. He is thinking about that thing all the time and feels uneasy when it’s not anywhere where he can see it. Or touch it.
Suddenly possession seems like a real possibility.
At least he doesn't have the urge to stab someone, so he figures it's safe enough to carry it around.
“Don't touch it!” he yells and Tommy gives him a look.
“What the fuck?”
“I, it's- I don't even know. Just don't,” he answers.
“Is this like the faded t-shirt?” Tommy asks.
And the universe be blessed for Tommy and his band being awesome that way. “Yes,” Adam answers, but worse he adds in his head.
“I don't think it's very safe to carry it around.”
“It's not. I wrap it in the t-shirt when I get on a plane or put it in my bag or-”
“You're making plans for this?” Tommy asks.
“Yeah? I mean, we'll go on tour again, eventually.”
“Yes, but-” Tommy makes a gesture that could mean anything from I need a big cup of coffee to why are you insane?
“I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.”
“You're already making plans for crossing that bridge, Adam. Where did you even get it anyway?”
“I can't remember. I was probably drunk.” He says and doesn't look at Tommy.
Tommy's going to call bullshit on it anyway. Adam has never been so drunk that he couldn't remember what he did the night before, especially not on tour.
“Fine,” Tommy says, “don't tell me. Maybe it's better if you don't. If you go to jail for stealing a heirloom I can always say I didn't know a fucking thing.”
Adam nods. That is a sound plan.
”You're not going to jail for stealing it. You found it, you found me. You can keep the dagger,” Kris says. He isn't sure Adam gets it all, but then, it doesn't really matter. Kris will stay as long as
Adam needs him. Needs the power, the guidance of the dagger.
“This is a really strange dream,” Adam answers and he's tracing the soft skin on Kris' underarm again. It’s like he can't help himself.
“It's not,” Kris says.
“Yes, yes, it is very strange,” Adam mumbles into the pillow. He looks like he'll fall asleep any second now. Kris really wants him to stay awake a bit longer. Kris misses talking with people, he misses being touched. He misses eating too and tea and walking barefoot.
“It's not a dream, Adam,” Kris answers gently.
Adam blinks and then his eyes go wide. “It must, it must,” he says. “You are -” he stops, bites his lip and Kris stares. He hadn't felt any attraction for his warriors in centuries. He liked them all well enough, but he never wanted to run a finger over the soft skin on their shoulder or press his lips to theirs. Or grab a pen and play connect the dots on their skin.
“What do you want?” Kris asks, because he needs to get to the bottom of this. What is Adam fighting for? What does he need Kris for?
“New boots, saving the whales and world peace,” Adam answers.
“I see you have your priorities straight.”
Adam smiles. “Mostly I just want people to fuck off and let me be and I don't want to be the gay icon or whatever, I-” he stops again. “I have no idea. World peace would be nice, although.”
“You can never have world peace,” Kris answers. It's not because he doesn't believe in it, it's more about how humanity just isn't there yet. Won't be for a million years, probably. You just have to look around. People are discriminated against for gender, religions, money, sexual orientation, the colour of their skin. As far as Kris is concerned nothing really changed during the time he has been sleeping.
“I bet you don't believe in unicorns either,” Adam says grumpy.
Kris laughs. He can't help himself. “I don't, but that's only because I know they exist. You don't need to believe in something if you know it's real.”
Adam's fingers tighten around Kris' wrist. “You're the most perfect thing, I wish I hadn't made you up,” Adam says. He yawns and Kris pries Adam's fingers from his arm gently.
“Go to sleep, Adam.”
“I am,” Adam mumbles, but closes his eyes.
Kris stays awake and listens to Adam's breathing until he can't take it anymore.
Adam has a million emails from some guy who collects knives in his inbox a week later. He deletes them all. He has no idea how this guy got his email in the first place or how he knows that Adam is in possession of a warrior knife, but there is no way in hell he is giving Kris up. Cursed or not, Kris is his.
He is very aware how very insane that sounds. Thank you very much. He doesn't care.
He puts Kris on the kitchen table and makes coffee, nearly pours another mug for Kris too, before he remembers that Kris isn't a real person, possessed dagger or not. Adam really should stop thinking of the dagger as Kris too, but whatever. Thoughts are free. He can do in his head whatever the hell he wants.
He grabs Kris on his way to the living room without really thinking about it.
“Mister Lambert,” the man says and Adam looks up from his lunch.
“Yes?” The man doesn't look like a fan or crazy stalker, but then you can never know with crazy stalkers. They always seem so normal at first.
“My name is Mister Morris, may I sit?”
Adam really just wants to have lunch in peace from time to time, but Mister Morris doesn't look like someone who will just go quietly. And if he does, he'll probably be back. Adam’s lunch is interrupted anyway now.
“If you don't mind me eating while we talk,” Adam answers eventually.
“Not at all. I am sorry to disturb you, but you didn't reply to my emails and I wasn't sure if you didn't get them or -”
“Ah, you're the guy with the knives?” Adam says. Something heavy settles in his stomach. He doesn’t want to talk to this person. He doesn't want Kris anywhere near that guy either. He's glad he left Kris at home, even if he really wanted to take him out.
“Yes, I see you got my emails after all.”
“I am sorry I didn't reply, but you see, people usually don't just get my private email. And everything I don't recognise is handled as spam.”
“That's very sensible of you, however it's unfortunate for me,” he smiles and Adam smiles back, because he doesn't want to be an asshole about it. “About the knife-”
“I have to cut in, Mister Morris, I don't know how you know about the knife,I bet you are a man of very good resources and have your means and ways, but I am not selling the knife.”
“Mister Lambert I can give you whatever you want for it. I really need it in my possession.”
Something about the way he speaks about the knife, Adam thinks, sounds like he's trying to buy a slave, which makes all kinds of alarm bells ring in Adam's head. He's beginning to dislike this guy and fast.
“It's not for sale,” Adam repeats.
“Mister Lambert, I come all the way from Romania for this knife. I've been looking for it for years. I am sure you can part with it, as you've only had it for a few weeks and-”
“Mister Morris, I am sure you didn't mean to imply that I don't deserve to have it, but you did. And I am saying this for the last time. I am not selling the knife. I understand that this is a difficult situation for you and that you've set your hopes on it, but I'm not getting rid of it. There is nothing you could offer me,” Adam says and he means it. Even if he were broke and had nothing left except the knife, he would never ever be able to part with it, which is insane. But there they have it. Kris isn't going anywhere until Adam dies, and maybe even then he will want to be buried with it.
“I understand,” Mister Morris says and stands, nodding. “I'm sorry for disturbing you.”
“I'm sorry you came all this way for nothing,” Adam replies, but he doesn't mean it. He has just a bad feeling about this guy. He watches Mister Morris leave and then shoves his lunch away. He isn't hungry anymore and he wants to go home. It's stupid, but he needs to make sure Kris is still where he left him.
Adam looks frantic even in sleep. Like he has bad dreams. Kris wonders what happened while he was out. Adam came home in a hurry and he took two steps at once to get to the bedroom. He looked relieved when he saw Kris lying on the pillow. But really were else would Kris be than where Adam left him? He's bonded to Adam, it doesn't matter that Adam has no idea. Kris will be bonded to Adam until Adam dies.
He touches Adam’s arm and Adam turns around, his eyelids flutter open.
“You,” Adam says, he’s still groggy.
“Sorry for waking you. It seemed like you had a nightmare or something,” Kris answers.
“This is such an Inception moment,”Adam says smiling at Kris.
Kris has no idea what Adam is talking about, he really needs to do some more research on that time. You can only catch so much when you're lying around in a dusty shop in Kyoto.
“What?” he asks.
“A dream in a dream. You're way better than the stuff I was dreaming about before.”
“I'm not a dream, Adam.”
“You're randomly appearing in my bed. People don't do that – I mean not like that, I have to invite them in first.”
Kris bites his lip. “Should I get up and sit over there?” he asks, pointing to the chair in the corner. He thought, well, to be honest, he didn't think at all. Adam sleeps with the knife on the pillow, so that is where Kris transforms into human form: on the other side of Adam's big bed.
“Don't be stupid, I'm not complaining. At all. I like having you here,” Adam answers. “And besides the chair may look comfortable, but it really isn't. I only throw clothes on it. It's clearly not been made for sitting.”
“Why did you get it then?”
“It looked really shiny?” Adam answers. He seems a bit more awake tonight than on all the nights before.
“You don't get rid of things easily, do you?” Kris asks.
“No, not if I formed some kind of attachment to them, even if it's an insane kind of obsession. I have a knife and I want to carry it around all the time,” Adam says.
“I know,” Kris answers.
“I sleep with it. It's usually on the pillow your head is lying on now,” Adam rambles on.
“I know,” Kris says, smiling at him.
“Someone wanted to buy it today, but I said he can shove it, you know? I don't need anything. I have everything,” Adam goes on.
Kris looks at him. “Someone wanted to buy it?”
“Yeah,” Adam says, yawning, fighting the sleep. But it's three in the morning, the dead hour or something and Kris doesn't blame Adam for being tired as hell.
“You are not giving it away?” he asks, just to make sure.
“I'm not, I'm not. I'll keep it until I die and then I'll make them bury me with it,” Adam answers, his eyes fluttering closed. “There is nothing anyone could offer me for it...” he trails off and Kris knows he just fell asleep. There must be something, Kris thinks, there must be something Adam would fight for. Something he wants, if it weren't Kris wouldn't be here. He wonders who would want to buy him and how they know he's with Adam in the first place.
The boy is barely legal, Adam thinks, just before the boy sits down next to him. He's breathtakingly beautiful. Pretty as a girl is not Adam's usual type, he likes boys who look like boys, but he is so gorgeous preferences are just thrown aside. If he were a girl, he could be a supermodel, Adam thinks.
The boy gets a water and Adam waits for him to turn around. There aren't many people who don't know who Adam is. Sometimes a blessing, sometimes a curse.
“I'm Adam,” Adam says nevertheless.
The boy smiles. “I know,” he answers. He says 'I know' like no one Adam has met before. It lacks all the excitement and awe he usually gets. It's intriguing. “I'm Andrej,” he adds.
“I thought you were a girl for a few seconds,” Adam says.
“I get that a lot,” Andrej answers.
Adam and Andrej hit it off like a house on fire. Adam is seriously thinking about just asking him if he wants to come home with Adam. Adam doesn't have many one-night-stands anymore. Not since he got famous and pictures of his naked ass could land on the internet or some magazine-cover – for everyone to see.
Adam is cautious, but something about Andrej lets him forget all his good intentions. He isn't even really flirty. He is just him, whatever that means, Adam thinks.
He moves like a dancer on the floor and outside. He sidesteps people like it's ballet or a game. And he is very graceful playing it. He would probably look graceful whatever he's doing.
Adam is really trying not to go there, but he's only human and his last relationship has been over for five months now.
Andrej nudges him and gestures to the exit, holding up a pack of smokes. Adam nods. He could use a bit fresh air. He gulps down the rest of his water on the way out.
Andrej leans against the wall, neck long and pale and inviting as he blows out smoke slowly. He doesn't smell like a smoker, Adam thinks. He couldn’t tell at all. When he thinks about it, Andrej doesn't smell like anything specific at all. No cologne, no smoke, no sweat either. Adam can't even remember if Andrej's pale hair smells like shampoo or not.
“You're staring,” Andrej says, there is a hint of amusement in his voice, so Adam isn't concerned.
“You are really beautiful,” Adam states the obvious and Andrej laughs.
“You should ask me out,” he says, crushing the cigarette butt under his heel.
I should take you home right the fuck now, Adam thinks, but he asks Andrej out instead.
Kris wakes Adam roughly three hours after he fell asleep. He was home late. Kris got bored and he is bored now too. He knows that Adam's meeting people and has friends and thinks Kris is a dream, something he made up, maybe someone he made up, but he gets jealous anyway. And nothing is happening. Nothing at all. Usually three days in his blade would have been splattered with blood. Not that Kris is out for blood, but he is not good at waiting for something to happen either, at least not when he has an owner. Collecting dust in a shop doesn't count because he wasn't awake then.
“You,” Adam says.
“Kris,” Kris answers, because one of these days Adam will need to make the connection. Kris doesn't want to have to wait for Adam to leave the house so he can get a mug of coffee.
“My knife is called Kris,” Adam says, sleepily.
“I know,” Kris answers. “You were home late.”
“I was out dancing and I met the most beautiful boy,” Adam says softly, dreamy.
Jealousy sparks inside Kris. He was never called beautiful by Adam, or anyone else, really. But it didn't bother him with other people, other owners, who weren't Adam.
“Most beautiful, hmm?” Kris says.
“Are you jealous??” Adam asks. He looks at Kris: eyes all soft and tired and concerned. Kris feels like a dick for waking him up. Adam grabs his arm and pulls a bit. Kris inches closer. “You don't need to be. You are perfect and you're mine and mine alone,” Adam whispers.
Kris wants to kiss him. It's really fucking stupid. He shouldn't fall for someone like Adam, for someone human and flawed. Kris isn't even the same species, he is a thing, all things considered, a thing with a human form and his own mind and heart, but still just something a human being made and imprisoned. He doesn't age and he can't die. Adam will.
Kris takes a deep breath. “You should go out with him.”
“I will, but it doesn't mean you mean less to me,” Adam answers.
Kris isn't sure what to answer to that. Adam shouldn't fall for him either, or whatever is happening there. Maybe part of Adam is protecting him (them) from it by insisting that Kris is just a dream, just a part of Adam's very vivid imagination.
“I know,” Kris says eventually, because he knows that. He's here after all and Adam holds on to him with nail and tooth, against all reasons. He even took Kris to the bathroom this morning as he was showering. He realised what he was doing and put the knife back on the night-stand, but it says a lot about Adam and his relationship with the knife, with Kris.
“Hey, Kris,” Adam says, his eyes are closed now and his grip is loosening around Kris' wrist too.
“I call my knife Kris, you know?” Adam says again.
Kris smiles. “Yes, I know. Go to sleep Adam.”
“Sometimes I like to wear dresses, too,” Andrej says. He's sipping on a iced-coffee, straw between perfect pale lips. Adam is hiding in the shadows. It's way too hot and sunny. Hated freckles are being a pain in the ass again.
“I bet guys who see you in a dress get their hopes crushed real fast,” Adam answers.
“You would be surprised how many really don't care,” Andrej says smiling.
To be honest, Adam thinks, he wouldn't. Thing is that Andrej isn't Adam’s type either, but here he is nevertheless. And enjoying the hell out of a summer afternoon.
“I would like to see you in a dress,” Adam says.
“Yeah,” Adam answers and gets a really beautiful and happy smile in return. Adam didn't look feminine at all in a dress, but Andrej will.
“I could maybe just try something on in a store?” He looks hopeful.
Adam nods. Like there was a snowflake's chance in hell he would say no.
Andrej grabs his hand and drags him into an expensive looking store. Adam doesn't even want to know what the paparazzi will make out of this. He can see it in his mind: Adam Lambert not so queer after all?! It would probably be done in some very dramatic font.
Adam looks around while Andrej is pulling dresses out with the assistance of some shop-girl. It's a store designed for women, he won't find anything in his size here, so he sits down to wait like a boyfriend. Wow, he thinks that's how it feels then. Not so much fun from this side.
Adam doesn't know what to expect, but seeing Andrej coming out in a yellow dress with bicycles on it, that goes perfectly with the sneakers he's wearing does all kinds of things to Adam's guts.
“You should get it,” Adam says.
“I can't,” Andrej answers.
“I buy it for you.”
“I-, no, you shouldn't. It's really expensive.”
“I can afford it. I bet I've spent more on shoes,” he answers. It's probably true too.
“But it's not why I -”
“I know. I want you to have it,” Adam interrupts.
Andrej's fingers play with the hem of the dress, letting it slip through. He wants it, Adam can see it in his body language. But he needs to make his own decision. “No,” he says eventually. “But thank you for offering to buy it for me.”
“Any time,” Adam answers and he means it.
The first time they kiss is on their fifth date and Andrej tastes like the strawberry milkshake he just had. It's under a tree in some kind of small park or public garden or something. Adam doesn't care. The only thing he cares about is that somehow they didn't encounter a single paparazzo and of course how good, how perfect Andrej's lips feel against his own.
From there it's a slow slide into intimacy.
”You can't be here,” Kris says.
The boy blinks up at him. What was his name again? Andrej? Yes, Kris thinks. Andrej. Adam is right he is beautiful and he is something else too: deadly and Adam is clueless like a baby-seal during hunting season. It makes Kris angry. Andrej turns and sits up carefully, so he doesn't disturb Adam sleeping on the other side of the bed. Kris has been banned to the night-stand. It had been better if Adam had put him away somewhere, so he wouldn’t have been even tempted to watch.
“You,” Andrej says.
“You really can't be here. He's mine. He found me. He's mine-”
“I know,” Andrej answers. “I know and I'm sorry.”
Kris takes a deep breath. He needs to calm down. There are rules. Something is completely fucked up here. “How are you here?”
“My Ma-,” he bites his lip and something angry flashes behind his eyes, “Mister Morris wants you. I'm here to get you.”
“You can't, doesn't he know that? You can only have one warrior knife, it needs to find you, you need to find him-”
“You think I want this?” Andrej interrupts.
“How should I know?”
“I don't. I have no choice. He looked for you and then he found you and Adam and he wants you-”
“What does this guy want with 2 warrior knives?”
“Three, he wants three,” Andrej answers.
“Oh no, not that again. That's stupid! That doesn't even work!”
Andrej shrugs. His pale, slim shoulder is luminous in the dark. How Adam didn't see Andrej isn't human is really beyond Kris.
“It must work to some extent, or something else. He's had me for nearly ninety years now, Kris.”
Why, Kris thinks, why do humans want immortality? Immortality isn't fun, it's painful and lonely.
“The rules still apply.”
“Partly. I guess. He has to get the knives the old fashioned way. There is no loophole for that.”
“And he sent you. To seduce Adam so he will hand me over. Freely.”
“Yes,” Andrej answers. “That was Morris' plan, but I don't think he will.” Andrej smiles at him. Kris is very aware that this is the first time he sees another knife-spirit and that spirit is beautiful and naked in the bed he shares with Adam night after night.
“He won't,” Kris says, but it's more of a question. Humans are fickle.
“He won't. He left you on the night-stand while we fucked,” he looks at Kris, reaching out with long fingers, brushing them against Kris' collarbone. “Did you watch?”
“Don't you know?” Kris gives back.
Andrej smiles. “I should, shouldn’t I?” He looks over his shoulder at Adam. “He's different.”
“They all are,” Kris answers.
Andrej grabs his neck and pulls him closer, his looks are so very deceiving, Kris thinks, but then Kris himself is rather small and harmless looking himself. “Morris won't give up. He wants you, you are the perfect knife, you are the human knife, Kris. If I fail -and I will,” he says with a smile, “he will challenge Adam.”
“Adam isn't that kind of person,” Kris whispers into the small space between their lips.
“I know. But if he cares enough he will become that person.”
Kris thinks that it would destroy Adam. “He can't. Maybe it's better-”
“It isn't your choice anymore,” Andrej interrupts. Kris knows that and it makes him angry too. He can't ever choose for himself once he's bound to someone. “I think I can give you a few weeks. Morris knows things like that take time.”
“You charmed another knife out of someone?”
Andrej nods. “I did, it's better than killing the owner.”
“How good is Morris?”
“What does it matter? He has two warrior knives bound to him already.”
Kris nods. Yeah, it really doesn't matter how good that guy is. He has two knives and some kind of magic on his side. Kris and Adam just need to be better when the time comes. “Will you be okay with this?” Andrej asks.
“You like him,” Kris answers.
“Yeah, I do.”
Kris won't say it won't be hard to watch Adam and Andrej together, but at least Andrej cares. “Yeah.”
“Maybe I can ask him to put you in the drawer or something-”
“No,” Kris says too hastily and just knows he blushes.
“I would want to watch too,” Andrej whispers and then he kisses Kris.
“You're dating a girl now, really?” Tommy asks, holding up his phone. Adam hates paparazzi.
“No, he's not a girl.”
Tommy lets that sink in. “Oh, you're dating a hot cross-dresser. I didn't think that was your thing.”
“It's not, usually that is, it's not, but Andrej -” Adam waves his hand helplessly and Tommy grins.
“For all your 'I don't want to be a role-model' speeches, you sure as hell test the boundaries all the time.”
“You mean push, don't you?” Adam answers.
“Yeah, I do. It's a good thing. People need to get over themselves, but aren't you concerned that the media will jump the 'when he's dating a boy who looks like a girl, will he date girls soon' wagon?”
“I don't even want to think about that shit Tommy. I have no clue how they haven't already figured out his name and shit.”
“Just your luck,” Tommy answers.
“Maybe,” Adam allows, but maybe there is something else going on here. It's just a nagging feeling at the back of Adam's mind.
“So, is it something serious now?”
“You want details?” Adam wants to know.
Tommy makes a face, but he doesn't mean it and Adam knows. “That means you already fucked.”
Adam nods. Just last night and it had been – different. Andrej had been fluid in bed, like it was a dance too, graceful and – and this is really fucking insane, Adam thinks, but the word he thought last night was 'deadly'. He is sure if Andrej had wanted to, he could've held him down with ease. He didn't.
At one point Adam had the dream about Kris again and Andrej had been there too. He can't really remember it, but the image makes heat pool in Adam's stomach. Which what does that even say about him? Andrej rocks the very foundations of what Adam had thought he is, wants, stands for.
“Adam? You still with me?” Tommy interrupts his thoughts.
“Yeah, and yeah, I think it's something serious.”
“If I wanted it, would you give it to me?” Andrej asks, holding the knife up. Holding Kris up. Adam's mind flashes to that dream about them kissing. He reaches out and Andrej hands it over. It feels warm in Adam's hand.
“No,” Adam replies.
Andrej smiles like he knew already and like Adam just said something important and good.
“It's beautiful,” he says.
“It's perfect,” Adam says and he isn't sure if he means the knife (and it is perfect) or if he means the boy from his dreams. They start to blur together. Are becoming one and the same.
“A boy could get jealous. You look at it as if it were alive,” Andrej answers.
“It feels that way,” Adam says without really thinking about it.
When he looks up from the blade Andrej smiles at him and his eyes are soft. “You,” he says kind of helplessly.
Adam laughs. “I'm a freak-”
“No. You're different and that's a good thing,” Andrej cuts in.
”I missed you,” Adam says, blinking.
Kris has been thinking for the last three days and didn't want Adam to get in the way. Adam was, is, will always be a distraction. Besides Andrej had been there the last few days too. Every single night.
“Can't have me missed too much,” Kris bites out. He isn't really angry, but the jealousy is eating at him.
“You told me to date him,” Adam answers, he turns so he can look at Kris properly and reaches out too, so he can wrap his fingers around Kris' wrist. Kris missed that.
“I know, but when I said that I thought he was human-”
“He is not a human being. He is what I am-”
“He is real,” Adam cuts in.
“I am real, Adam. I am,” Kris says frustration showing as he shoves Adam to his back and pins him down with his weight in a smooth move.
“Wow...” Adam sounds a bit shocked and a bit turned on, which isn't helping them right now. He runs a hand over Kris' shoulder and up to his jaw. Kris shakes it off.
“We need to talk, Adam.”
“I hate when people say that. It never ends in anything good.” Kris bites his lip. “Oh god my dream guy is breaking up with me!”
“We aren't together and if we were you would've been a two-timing jerk the last few weeks.”
Adam closes his eyes, takes a deep breath. “I'm sorry.”
“It doesn't matter Adam. This is not about that. This is serious,” he lets up and sits down farther away from Adam. It's not good to be that close to Adam and his body heat and his lips and hands and- yeah, no, Kris thinks.
“You're awfully demanding for a dream.”
Kris kicks him. Hard. “I am not a dream. I am, in fact, a knife-spirit, warrior-spirit, blade-spirit, whatever you want to call it. I am the knife, the knife is me. That will leave a bruise, by the way.” He points to Adam's shin that Adam is messaging now.
“Thanks for that. So, let's say I believe this-”
“Oh please you believe in vampires and unicorns. It's not that far fetched,” Kris interrupts.
“You said unicorns are real.”
“They are,” Kris answers with a smile.
“I like when you smile,” Adam says.
“Don't try to change the subject,” Kris chides gently. “You're in danger, Adam. This Mister Morris that wanted to buy the knife? That wanted to buy me? He's not going to give up.”
“I said I won't give the knife up. I won't give you up,” Adam says earnestly.
“I know. You can get a warrior knife three ways. One: you find it, or it finds you. Some kind of connection that pulls you together. That is what happened to you.”
“Oh, that explains so much.”
“A bond is formed then. For life. Two: you have to give it away of your own free will or three: you'll have to win it in a fair fight. It can't be just taken away,” Kris explains.
“So, what if he kills me? Runs me over or stabs me in the back?” Adam asks.
“It seems like the easy way, doesn't it?” Kris answers. “It doesn't work, if you kill the owner in any way that isn't a fair fight, the knife is lost to you. Forever. Some kind of magic prevents it from bonding with the killer of a previous owner.”
“Clever,” Adam says.
Kris shrugs. “Warrior knifes, the real thing, the ones with a spirit, a soul, are rare, Adam.”
“So all kinds of rules are in place to make sure they are used wisely and only by people who deserve them.”
“You think I deserve to have such power?”
“Someone, something does. You found me, so I am yours to protect and help you as best as I can.”
“And that Morris guy?” Adam asks.
“He is buying the whole immortality myth.”
“Didn't read anything about that on wikipedia,” Adam says.
Kris gives him a look. “It's not something you find on the internet. It's an old and sacred tale-”
“You would be surprised what you can find on the internet, Kris.”
Kris sighs. “You didn't find it on wikipedia, so I just assume that it's still secret knowledge.”
And thank god for that, Kris thinks.
“Okay, I'm listening.”
“I'll make it short. The legend says that you can achieve immortality when you are able to bond three warrior-spirits, knives to you. Morris has two already. Andrej is one of them. And he wants me. I'm guessing it's some magic that helps him, and that you'll have to have the right warrior-spirits to do it. Knives that are compatible.”
“Wait! Andrej is a real. He lives in the real world. There are pictures on Perez of him!”
“We are real, Adam. That's what I've been saying all the time. He is bound to Morris, he's doing his work-”
“He tricked me!”
“It's complicated. He likes you, he cares about you. He warned me. He doesn't like Morris.”
“That guy is seriously fishy,” Adam agrees.
“Point is, Adam. You can just hand me over to him. Freely. Or you'll have to fight him.”
“What kind of fight are we talking here?”
Kris looks him in the eyes. He needs to. “To the death. You win, you win his knives, you lose, you lose everything.”
The sane thing to do would be to hand Kris over to Morris and be done with it. Adam isn't a fighter, not a warrior, at least not the 'kill em all' kind.
“Are you okay?” Kris asks. He is sitting in Adam's kitchen and Adam is wide awake and this is real. Kris hands him a cup of coffee.
“No,” Adam answers. He is not. These kinds of things are really awesome and entertaining in books and movies, but not in real life. He doesn't want to be the hero in a fantasy novel.
“I understand that-”
“No, I don't think so, Kris. I'm not that person. I'm not someone who grabs a knife to kill with it. I use knives for buttering my toast!”
“You slice vegetables too,” Kris says.
Adam glares at him. “Not the point.”
“Fine, give me away then,” Kris says, his voice flat.
“No way in hell!” It's out before Adam can even think about it. But he didn't want to hand Kris over when he thought Kris had been a knife, so there is no way he will hand him over now hat he knows Kris is a real being with feelings and opinions and a great smile.
Kris tries to hide his smile behind the mug, but Adam sees it anyway.
“So what then?” he asks.
“I don't know. Even if I start training now, how high are the chances that I'll survive this and win Morris' knives?”
“You really thinking about winning them? You could always run away-”
“That is not an option, I have a life here. I can't just disappear and be on the run from that guy until I die. And you said yourself, he has some kind of magic on his side.”
“Yeah. So what are we going to do?”
“Fight I guess, if there really isn't another option.”
“So if I just wish you free, I wouldn't be bound to you anymore? And Morris could kiss my ass.” Adam asks.
“This isn't the Disney version of Aladdin!,” Kris says, irritated. He must have read up on all kinds of things while Adam was away, Adam thinks. It would also explain why his DVDs are a mess.
“So what then?” Adam wants to know.
“There is nothing like that-”
“There is a way to free a blade-spirit,” Andrej throws in.
Kris gives him a look. “That's never happened before.”
“How would you know? I'm the first blade-spirit you've ever met,” Andrej gives back.
Kris sets his jaw. “I know.”
“Oh,” Andrej says, unfolding from the couch and walking over to Kris. He reaches out tentatively and brushes his fingers against Kris' neck and then he drags him closer so he can kiss Kris' temple.
“I'm sorry,” he says and hugs Kris.
It seems for a second like Kris is going to push him away, but he doesn't. Adam is sure he missed a big part of the conversation.
“How?” Adam asks.
Andrej looks at him over Kris' head buried against his chest. “You destroy the knife.”
Oh, Adam thinks. Yeah, he can see how that never happened before. The knives are freaking rare, they are expensive beyond belief and national heirlooms. No way in hell would any sane human being destroy a hundreds of years old warrior-knife. And then there is of course that they help you achieve your goals.
“And then what?” Adam asks, “You destroy the knife and you become a homeless spirit? You just stop to exist?”
“No,” Kris says, his voice muffled. “The spirit becomes human.”
“Yes, no powers, no magic, no immortality. In one word: useless. To the owner.”
Andrej's arms tighten around Kris. He kisses Kris' head. He looks like he wants to gut someone. Adam would take a step back if he didn't know it wasn't directed at him.
“And you want that?” Adam asks. He could work with that. He and Kris could just live their lives and be happy – or even together.
“To be human?” Kris answers.
“Yeah,” Adam says.
“No, not human-”
“Free,” Andrej cuts in.
And there it goes, Adam's nice dream of just freeing Kris and be done with it. No way can he leave Andrej in Morris' clutches. God only knows what goes on behind closed doors. After all Morris told Andrej to seduce Adam. That isn't something Adam can stand for.
“I would destroy that thing in a heartbeat, but I can't,” Adam says.
Kris turns to look at him. Hard. “Of course not.”
“It's not that. I can't leave Andrej with Morris.”
Kris eyes go soft. “Fight it is then.”
Adam finds some Japanese master somewhere and trains in martial arts every day. Kris and Andrej are reading up on, well, themselves. Trying to find a loophole. Something that would allow Adam to back out of all this.
“So, how much longer do we have?” Kris asks, pushing a book away. He doesn't think they will find a loophole. Morris spent decades to find and use them. Why should they be so lucky?
“A few weeks, maybe. I don't know. He is starting to get impatient. But he did read up on Adam. He knows Adam takes his relationships seriously and that he's cautious.”
“You didn't tell Morris that you already had sex.”
Andrej gives him a look. “I try to keep shit to myself. It's hard, but he's not all-knowing. I'm still my own person under all this bond and magic-stuff.” He leans his head against the back of the couch and closes his eyes. Kris wants to run a finger down his throat. It looks just that inviting.
“Does he-” Kris stops, he has no idea how to ask that with any kind of tact.
Andrej turns his head to look at him. His hair obscuring half his face. “He doesn't care for men, he doesn't really care for women either. He only wants to live forever and have power beyond any other human being.”
“So he didn't-”
“Rape me?” Andrej cuts in.
Kris nods. There are things that are so evil Kris can't even say them. He knows he should say them, but every time he tries he wants to kill something. Painfully and slowly.
“No, but he likes to watch,” Andrej answers.
“He shouldn't be able to do that to you,” Kris says.
“He shouldn't be, but he cheats. He's an evil man. And I think it's mostly because he doesn't care for people. It's like they don't even register as people to him. They're all a means to an end.”
“It's not as horrible as you're thinking,” Andrej answers with a smile. “It's just in your nature to assume the worst of people and the best. It's a very human trait. Your maker must have had a tender heart.”
“And yours?” Kris asks.
“I bet he was an artist. In love with all things beautiful and possibly mad, because I am a deadly weapon.”
“You like it.”
“Morris is bonded to me. Something about him called to me. He used to be different in the beginning. Before he read up on that whole immortality stuff.”
“Did you like him?”
“No,” Andrej admits. “But he was exciting. I get easily bored.”
“Will you get bored with Adam?”
“He loves you, he's obsessed with you-”
“That's not what I mean.”
“Oh,” Andrej slides closer to Kris on the couch and grabs his shirt. “You think I will break his heart-”
“I think you'll break mine too,” Kris whispers.
“I might, you know?”
“But I'll try not to,” Andrej interrupts and Kris kisses him. He has no idea what they are doing. Has no idea if they'll make it out alive. If Adam will make it out alive, but if not, Kris wants to take as much as he can with him before everything starts to fall apart.
Adam doesn't feel ready. Not at all. This is madness. He's bruised and his body aches like hell and he's tired. Of waiting and of being bruised and feeling like all the training could never help him anyway. His Japanese trainer, whom Adam calls Mister Miyagi in his head, is telling him to take it easier, but Adam won't. He can't. His life is on the line here. His and Kris' and Andrej's. This isn't just some kind of sport for him. This is the real deal.
Tommy's wondering what the hell Adam is doing. To his body and in general and Adam can't even muster up the energy to lie convincingly.
“This has to do with your new boyfriend,” Tommy says.
Adam nods, even he has no idea if Andrej and he are boyfriends still, or if they have been at all. They aren't doing much that could be called boyfriend-activities lately. And Andrej and Kris: a whole other can of worms.
“Is he trouble?” Tommy asks.
Adam laughs. “Oh hell yes,” he answers.
“Are you okay?” Tommy sounds concerned.
Adam is concerned. About his sanity on some days. “Can I lie?”
“You know I'm here for you, if you should want to come out,” Tommy says.
Adam nods. He doesn't think he will.
“You're getting better,” Kris says.
Adam is panting and nearly on his knees. Kris didn't even break out into a light sweat. Adam knows they sweat. He remembers Andrej in his bed all too well. “You're distracted, Adam,” Kris adds sweeping his legs from under him. He stares down at Adam lying on his back on the living room floor.
“I'm done,” Adam says.
“For today,” Adam clarifies. “I am done for today. We both know I can't -” he stops, he has no idea how to follow that up. Win? I can't win against him? Maybe. But that won't help them.
“You can,” Andrej throws in from his spot on the couch. He comes over to stand beside Kris on bare feet. His toenails are a light green. Adam had forgotten he even has that nail-polish.
“How?” Adam asks not looking away from his shiny nails.
“You need to want it. Kris is the perfect blade and he's the perfect blade-spirit for you.”
It sounds like some bonding magic shit to Adam. Which it probably is. Not that Adam can't believe in all that – there are two supernatural beings standing above him right now – but somehow he just, he doesn't know. It is all too much at times.
“I do want it,” he settles on and reaches out to stroke a finger over Andrej's toe and then runs his hand over his smooth calf and as high as he can from his position on the floor.
“Adam,” Andrej says.
Adam doesn't pull his hand away. “I wonder are we still boyfriends? Were we ever?” he asks looking up at Andrej.
Andrej crouches beside him. Adam can feel the hem of Andrej's dress brushing his arm.
“I don't know. Do you want us to be boyfriends?”
Adam does, is the thing. “Yeah.”
Kris makes a noise and Adam looks at him. “I-” Kris says and then shuts his mouth. His lips are a thin hard line.
But you are mine, Kris thinks. You are mine. You found me and you are mine. It's stupid, it is stupid to feel that possessive and obsessing about it. He had kissed Andrej too. He has no idea what the heck is going on. He had never felt that way about a human before. He never before thought he had rights to someone. Never wanted to slit people's throats for touching someone who he was bonded to. This here is completely new to Kris and he's grateful that Andrej is who he is. What he is.
Andrej looks at him, hard, and gets up. He steps away from Adam, his bare feet making soft sounds on the floor. Kris watches him and knows Adam is watching him too. Adam sits up and Kris nearly pushes him down again. Andrej smiles like he knows what Kris wanted to do, what he's feeling. He probably does.
“You okay?” Adam asks.
He's not. He is not. “No,” Kris says.
“Yes, you are,” Andrej answers. “You are.”
“This is not, this-” Kris points at Adam and at the house and then at Andrej. “This is not how things are supposed to be.”
“It is, I think this is how it should always be,” Andrej answers. “At least for you. You're different-”
“Everyone is!” Kris cuts in.
“Yes. But this is it for you Kris. This here. He is it for you,” Andrej says. He's convinced of that fact. Kris can hear it in his voice and see it in his eyes.
“If you're going to say some nonsense about true love I will stab you,” Kris warns. He had been in love before and he had his hopes smashed to pieces. He isn't going to do it again. He just plain isn't.
“How can you even think you can win that way?” Andrej asks.
“You don't even want to face it. How can you be one with Adam, how can you fight for him? How can you fight for yourself, if you don't acknowledge what is happening here? When you're fighting it? You can't win when you're fighting on two battlefields. And this one is so obviously lost already. It only takes away your strength. And by doing that, it takes away Adam's too. Look at him! He is trying. He has more bruises than freckles!”
Adam chokes on a laugh. “Thanks,” he says.
Andrej smiles at him. It's a gentle smile. Andrej cares. He cares deeply, but he said it himself: he gets bored easily. Suddenly Kris knows that Andrej will leave. Some day, tomorrow. When this is over. He can't tell and the kicker is, Kris thinks, neither can Andrej. Kris doesn't want to lose him. But there's no way to keep him. There is no way to keep Adam either. They are people, they are free to do what they want – at least once Kris and Andrej are free.
“Just give yourself over,” Andrej says.
What does that even mean? “To what?” he asks.
Andrej sighs. “To the feeling.”
“You know what I feel? I want to slit your throat. That is what I feel and I want to kiss you and lick your skin and make you scream my name. That is what I feel. I want to shackle you, because I know you'll leave!” Kris says. “And that is only what I feel about you.”
“What about Adam?” Andrej asks.
Kris can hear Adam's breathing. Harsher than before. He shakes his head. There aren't even words for what he wants to do to Adam. For the feelings he has. Love isn't cutting it. Not at all. Love and desire that's what he's feeling for Andrej, but Adam.
Kris looks at Adam. He wants to fight for Adam. He wants to fight with Adam. He wants to posses Adam and he wants for Adam to posses him in return. It's scary as fuck.
Kris takes a deep breath. “Everything,” he says and hopes Andrej gets it, that Adam will understand it too.
Apparently Kris gets his shit together, because he feels stronger and in return Adam feels stronger. He can't even describe it. It's just there in his stomach and his blood and his brain. Everything is sharper. He makes Kris sweat when they're training. Kris grins all the time while they're practising.
He enjoys it and Adam enjoys it too. Something is changing and fast. For the better too.
He lies down on the floor next to Kris, who's breathing hard, his skin glistening and Adam turns to look at him. Perfect, he thinks. He will probably always think that looking at Kris. While he isn't as beautiful as Andrej, he isn't as damaged either. There's something crazy about Andrej. And Adam likes it, but he knows that people like Andrej aren't meant to be tied down. The best he can hope for is that Andrej will come and go when Adam leaves the door open. Adam will.
“Thinking big thoughts?” Kris asks. His eyes are closed. His practice knife lying loosely in his hand.
“About?” Kris prompts.
“About Andrej,” Adam says. “He's going to leave.”
“And he won't say goodbye,” Adam says.
“Probably. But he'll come back, if we make it clear he can.”
“I would like that,” Adam answers and he reaches out to touch Kris' face, turns it so that they would look at each other. Kris lets him. “Would you like that?”
“Yeah. I would,” Kris says. His eyes are huge and sincere and Adam wants to kiss him. Always wanted to kiss him.
“What about after?” Adam asks.
“After we win the knives. After you're freed. What about that?”
“You believe we can do it?” Kris asks.
Adam does. They are one being at times. Adam can feel Kris inside his head, not like a thought, more like empathy. “Yes. We are perfect. You are perfect,” Adam says.
Kris rolls over in a smooth move and pins him down under his weight. “You said that before.”
“I mean it every time,” Adam answers sincerely.
Kris looks at him hard. “What do you want then when this is over?”
“Therapy?” Adam jokes. Kris looks sad. Haunted, worried. “Hey,” Adam says, “I didn't mean it.”
“Yes, you did. You think this will change you and it will.”
“I still think you're worth it,” Adam answers, stroking a finger over Kris' cheek.
“Spilling blood? Murder?”
“It's not murder. It would be self-defence,” Adam answers. It's his modus operandi now to think of it that way. He knows Morris will kill him. Andrej told them as much. Morris is obsessed with the knives, with immortality. He won't stop until someone stops him. And by faith or design that task fell into Adam's lap.
“It will change you,” Kris says again.
“I know,” Adam answers.
Adam is tired of waiting. He's getting restless. Andrej isn't there as often anymore as in the beginning and Adam itches for something. He itches to get naked and dirty, is the thing. At least Andrej had been a distraction. A pleasant distraction after a hard day of training, knife combat practice and strategy talk with Kris. Andrej's never there for those. He doesn't want to know.
Andrej's loyalties are shifting. Adam wonders how that will interact with Morris' fighting skill.
But then it doesn't really matter. Morris has another knife. One they don't know anything about.
“We should just confront him,” Adam says. He's drinking a glass of water greedily. Practice with Kris is equal parts fun and hell.
“What?” Kris asks.
“We're as ready as we can be. I just want it to be over.”
“Are you insane? Every day we get extra is a good day.”
“I'm feeling restless. I miss Andrej-”
“You miss fucking him,” Kris answers sharply.
Adam looks at him. He's a tight compact body of suppressed desire and energy and Adam does miss fucking Andrej and having Kris so close is making him insane. But it's also insulting that Kris would think Adam only misses Andrej because he misses regular sex.
“What the heck is your problem? It can't be Andrej, it can't be that I like to fuck guys,” Adam says. “Maybe it's because I don't fuck you.”
Kris looks stubborn. Adam has no idea what the hell he's doing here. He has no idea why Kris is holding back. Everything else just clicked into place, but Kris jealousy is getting ridiculous and it's counter productive too.
“Fine,” Kris says. “Call him then.”
Adam wants to smash something into tiny pieces.
There are only a few things Kris is scared off. Being with Adam is one of them. Losing Adam is more accurate, he thinks. Adam is human, will always be human and Kris is not and maybe never will be. To top that off: Adam could die soon. Time is running out for them, can't Adam see that? Every day is a gift and he wants to give it away. Kris doesn't want to lose Adam. He doesn't want to be alone, he doesn't want to belong to someone else. He doesn't want to be bonded.
Adam is trembling with actual anger. Kris can see it, can feel it too.
“This has to stop,” he says.
Kris thinks that too. This has to stop. It's messing with Kris. He feels like he's invested too much, but maybe, maybe he invested so much because Adam is it for Kris.
“I know,” Kris answers. “You should call him. We're ready.”
Adam grabs his hand and Kris twists away and has Adam pinned to the surface of the kitchen-counter in seconds. “Okay...,” Adam says to the counter-top. “I'll remember not to make hasty moves the next time.”
“Sorry. It's a reflex,” Kris replies, letting up a bit. He likes this, he likes to have Adam so close.
Adam straightens and looks at him. “Too much pent-up energy?”
“He was watching,” Andrej says from the kitchen-door.
Kris didn't hear him coming in. “You're back.”
“Watching what?” Adam asks.
“You and me,” Andrej answers and to Kris: “Yes, I am. He is getting inpatient.”
“We can't wait any longer then if we want to do this on our own terms,” Kris says.
“We can't,” Andrej answers.
“Like in watching us fuck?” Adam asks.
Kris looks at him. “Not the time or place, Adam.”
“Maybe not the place, but sure as hell the time. I might be dead tomorrow and you might be enslaved or whatever. The time is now.”
Andrej laughs. “I'm gonna go for a walk. A really long walk.”
That bastard, Kris thinks.
Adam still has the card Morris gave him, because he never throws anything away. In this case it's a good thing. He takes a deep breath and calls the number.
“Mister Lambert,” Morris says and he doesn't sound very surprised at all. “Are you finally considering to sell the warrior knife?”
“No, I am however calling to challenge you.”
There is silence on the other line of the line. Adam waits. It doesn't take long for Morris to get his shit together. Adam doesn't think that's good for him and Kris.
“Well, a bit. Enough to want your knife-spirit,” Adam answers. He doesn't think it would be a good idea to give everything away. By the way Kris looks at him, he doesn't think that either.
“Very well. You choose the location, date and time,” Mister Morris answers.
Adam is glad he's talked this over with Kris and Andrej, he wouldn't have the slightest clue otherwise. A fight for your life isn't something you can just do anywhere – or in your back-garden. Adam gives Morris the place, date and time and hangs up after Morris confirms it.
He looks at Kris. “What are we going to do now?”
“Why are we even waiting for another three days?” Adam asks.
“Because the stars will be in our favour then,” Kris answers.
Adam doesn't really believe him. Not that he doesn't believe in the universe, because he does. It's just that somehow he can smell the ulterior motive on Kris.
“If I'm going to die-”
“You're not. Didn't Mister Miyagi teach you anything?” Kris interrupts. Adam really shouldn't have lied about his Japanese trainer's name, but well. It is too late now. “You just don't go into a battle thinking you're going to lose. You're going in with every intention to win. Don't you want to win, Adam?” Kris asks.
Adam does. He really does want to win. Not only for himself, but for Kris too. “I do, but if these are the last three days on this planet for me, you should show me the unicorns,” Adam answers.
“They are not and I'm not.” Kris bites his lip and looks away.
“Did you lie?” Adam asks.
“No,” Kris answers.
“What is it then, because I know it's something.”
“It's nothing,” Kris answers. Adam doesn't believe him.
“After this is over I should buy you a bed,” Adam says.
“Why? Don't you want me here anymore?” Kris asks.
“I-” Adam looks at him, lying on the other side of his bed. Like he used to since Adam brought him home. Adam didn't know it back then, but this is how it always has been. Kris on the other side of the too big bed. “I do want you here.”
“Then you don't need to buy another bed,” Kris answers softly.
Adam wonders if Kris will stay afterwards or if he'll leave to see the world and find someone to love who isn't Adam. What did Andrej mean with 'he is it for you'? Adam wishes it would mean what he thinks it means. That Adam is it for Kris, but maybe Adam is Kris' only chance at a human life.
“This is not how friendships between humans work,” Adam says.
“Adam,” Kris says and it sounds soft and bitter and encompassing in a way Adam can't even begin to understand. “We are so much more than what you humans call friends.”
Kris reaches out and runs his fingers over Adam's arm. His fingertips dancing over Adam's skin, jumping from one freckle to the next. Adam is afraid to ask what they are, so he doesn't.
Last night on earth, Kris thinks looking at Adam, feeling Adam's skin, Adam's flesh give under his fingertips. Last night on earth and what will Kris do?
“I always hated my freckles,” Adam says quietly.
“I love them,” Kris answers. “Somehow they make you look so much more human.”
Adam laughs. It sounds a bit shaky to Kris' ears. He pulls Adam closer and kisses him, catching a laugh in the process. Adam reaches out, his fingers tangling in Kris' shirt, pushing closer. The kiss is hot and desperate and kind of messy but still amazing until Adam pulls away and scoots over to leave way too much space between them.
“What?” Kris asks.
“This is not going to be 'we will maybe die' sex,” Adam says, but his breathing is still too hard. His hands are holding a pillow, so they won't reach out again.
Kris looks at him. “You want to wait?”
“Yes, after we-,” he takes a breath. “After we beat Morris, we can have all the amazing sex in the world.”
“Is this some twisted way to stay alive? To have a goal? You win you get to fuck me?” Kris asks, he is angry again. It happens all the time when he's around Adam.
“I watched you! I slept beside you every night, you took me with you into the freaking shower! Do you have any idea how long it has been for me?”
“Wow, so you're only sexually frustrated.”
“Don't be stupid Adam!” Kris is sexually frustrated and frustrated in general, but that has nothing to do with him wanting Adam. With wanting to stay with Adam, to sleep with him, to wake up with him, to share coffee and to fight for him. Adam should know that.
Adam closes his eyes briefly. “Why wait then? Why wait until now?” he asks.
“Don't give me that,” Adam cuts in.
Kris bites his lip. Last night on earth, he thinks again. “I was afraid, because you are it for me. And it's scary to want to be with someone so much.”
“Yes, it is,” Adam says and grabs his hand, links their fingers.
This is like some twisted Highlander episode.
Adam is not prepared for this. He feels like laughing, but that wouldn't be the appropriate response to a life and death duel. He supposes, as this is his first and if he survives he will make sure it will be his last too. This is just too much stress.
Morris appears with Andrej and a girl, woman, whatever that looks deadly. It's in the way she moves. Like a dancer or an acrobat.
“He is not allowed to use both,” Kris says.
“That should be reassuring, right?” Adam answers.
“Yes,” Kris says, squeezing his hand. Morris raises an eyebrow. Fuck him, Adam thinks. Kris is Adam's. Adam can grab his hand and hold it if he wants to. It's his right as long as Kris is okay with it. Kris squeezes back, so Adam thinks he is okay with it.
“Mister Lambert,” Morris says.
Adam has no rule-book for this. “Mister Morris.”
“I see you and your-” he hesitates for a second, “your knife,” he settles on, “are involved.” Involved sounds from Morris' mouth like a dirty word. Not even fun-dirty, just dirty-dirty. But then Adam thinks, of course Morris wouldn't get it.
“I see you and my boyfriend aren't,” Adam gives back.
Morris smiles. It seems genuinely amused. “I tend to keep my private life and everything else separated.”
Adam wonders how the hell that works. Something always bleeds through. Adam couldn't keep his hands to himself since the first time he saw Kris. They were clearly meant for each other.
He turns around, grabs Kris by his neck and kisses him. Kris lets him. He’s totally relaxed.
“For luck?” Kris asks after Adam gives his lips free.
“Handkerchiefs or gingerbread are the traditional token-”
“I am not the traditional warrior,” Adam interrupts.
“You are not,” Kris answers kissing him again.
Morris makes an inpatient noise. Morris, Adam decides, can go and fuck himself.
Adam's never really feared for his life before. He does now, but there is just so much more at stake here.
He's exhausted and he is bleeding from several cuts, but Morris is too, so Adam has still hope. He and Kris are going to slay this because they are the good guys and unicorns exist, Adam decides and charges forward with recklessness. Sometimes you have to put everything out there. Sometimes you just have to have faith in the universe being on your side. And if Adam just got himself killed, well-not his problem in a bit.
Kris is not looking at the body. He is looking at Adam and Adam is only looking at Kris, drenched in blood.
“You need to shower,” Adam says.
“Are you alright?” Kris asks, but he doesn't try to touch Adam.
“No,” Adam says. “I know he was evil and way too old and evil,” he repeats, “but he was human-”
“Not really anymore,” Andrej throws in. Adam's eyes snap to him.
“What happens with him?”
“Me and Emilie are going to bury him somewhere where no one will find him and we won't tell
you,” Andrej answers.
“And then?” Adam asks.
“And then we're going to live somewhere where no one knows us.”
“Separately,” the woman, Emilie, says. She is drenched in blood too. Adam's blood.
“You need to shower first,” Adam says. “You should just get in the car and use my shower and my
home and -” he stops and looks at Kris again. “Are you coming home with me?”
There is no way in hell there could be another answer than 'yes' to that question. “Yes,” Kris says.
“We will figure this out. I am going to-”
“You won't. You've done enough, Adam,” Emilie says. She doesn't look away, or ashamed that she had been the one to cut Adam. Kris isn't ashamed either he killed Morris. This is what he does. Did. This is who he was. A knife's purpose is to cut and slice. Kris did just that with Adam's help. He wonders how many years of therapy Adam will need to get over it.
“Adam?” Kris says, touching his arm gently.
Adam's body flinches, but he stands his ground. “Yes?”
“Take me home,” Kris answers.
Adam nods and Kris links their fingers together. He tugs a bit to get Adam going and knows that Emilie and Andrej will follow.
For the first time ever Kris is human. He is vulnerable and he is very aware of it, but he is also an ancient being. All the things he's seen and all the things he's done. He has no idea what he will do with the rest of his life, but it will be meaningful and it will be with Adam.