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yekoc ([personal profile] yekoc) wrote2009-12-07 06:37 pm

fic: I've Got Your Number

Not too long ago, I wrote about 2000 words of holiday fluff for this prompt at [ profile] aianonlovefest, and called it "Of Squash Casserole and X-Men Sheets." I then doubled the length, changed the title, and failed to get it posted by Thanksgiving, of course. So--a late Thanksgiving present? I don't even know, at this point, but here it is!

I've Got Your Number
~5200 words, NC-17, AU

beta by the absolutely amazing [ profile] cynnet3490 and title from the song by Passion Pit.

Adam hates Thanksgiving. "There aren't even presents!" he grumbles, just like he has every year since he was five. "The best holidays have presents. We never even got to celebrate Christmas growing up, so I'm present deprived."

"Hanukkah has eight nights of presents, douche," says Neil. "You're so greedy."

Last Thanksgiving, Adam had punched Neil in the face by the end of the meal. This year, he doesn't know if he'll make it that far.

"Adam, you're twenty-six years old," Leila says, wiping her hands on an old stained apron as she comes out of the kitchen. "This is getting a little ridiculous, honey. And if you're not even going to help with the cooking, you certainly don't have any right to whine about a lack of presents on a holiday that's supposed to be all about thankfulness, anyway."

"Yeah, Adam," says Neil. "Appreciate what you have. Douche."

Adam is so not in the mood to appreciate what he has, especially because this year what he has no longer includes Brad, and if he thinks too much about that, he's guaranteed to punch something—Neil—in the face before the turkey even comes out of the oven.

He's just about to announce that he's forgoing the turkey this year anyway, ostensibly as part of a new diet but mainly just so he can piss everyone off even more, when Leila opens her mouth again.

"Oh, I invited someone else, too. Do you boys remember my old college roommate Kim?"

No, Adam thinks, just as Neil says, "Who?"

"Kim Allen!" Leila says, brightly. "She used to babysit you boys when you were tiny, before she moved to Arkansas, of all places."

"She's coming?" asks Adam. This is just what he needs to make the day even more unbearable—some random friend of his mom who's going to coo over him and tell him that he's just as freckly now as he was when he was three.

"No, honey," Leila says absently, as the oven timer dings out a one-minute warning. "Her son, Kris—do you remember him? You boys used to play naked in the backyard pool together, I have pictures—anyway, he just moved to L.A. a week ago, and he doesn't know anyone out here yet, so of course I insisted he spend the day with us."

Kris, when he arrives, turns out to be worse than anything Adam could have imagined. He's wearing horrible khakis and a baggy dress shirt with a tie, wire-frame glasses and a buzz cut that's even more depressing than Adam's ninth-grade attempt at bleaching his own strawberry-red hair. Adam had been hoping this random interloper would at least be cute, but if there's any potential there at all, it's hopelessly hidden behind a thick layer of geek.

He calls Leila "ma'am" and offers to help set the table, which is just great. As if Adam didn't already look like the worst son in the world. Even Neil shoots a death-stare at Kris's back when he presents the casserole he brought, which looks bright orange and gross. The Lambert boys do not cook, and Adam starts feeling a little warmer towards Neil, who can barely even heat water without burning the house down.

"Oh no, dear, you're a guest," Leila says, taking the silverware out of Kris's hands when he tries to make good on his table-setting offer. "Adam, sweetie, why don't you show Kris the living room? You boys talk, and Neil can help with the table."

Neil's positively glaring at Kris now, and Adam smirks a little on the inside as he leads the way into the living room.

"So," he asks, trying to keep the boredom out of his voice, "you just moved to L.A.?"

Kris looks down, shy. "I'm doing the whole pursuing-my-musical-dreams thing," he says. "You probably think that's totally lame."

Adam does, kind of, except for the part where that's exactly what he's doing, so it would be more than a little hypocritical to laugh at Kris for it. "Me too, actually," he says instead, and Kris looks up, surprised.

"Is it as impossible as everyone keeps telling me?" he asks, smiling a little.

"Honestly, yeah," Adam says, and the smile slips off Kris's face. For some reason, Adam wants to put it back there. "It's worth it, though," he says hurriedly. "At least I'm not wasting my life doing something I hate, you know? And I've met a lot of really cool people."

"I dropped out of college," says Kris, and Adam laughs. "Me too. After, like, a month."

"I lasted almost four years," Kris smiles back, then sobers up again. "And I left Ka—my girlfriend. That's the weirdest part of this whole thing—we were together since middle school."

"Jesus, that's depressing," Adam says before he can stop himself. He claps a hand over his mouth, horrified, but Kris is laughing. "Kind of, yeah," he admits. "I don't regret it, though, or anything. I loved her, for a long time, but then it wasn't enough anymore."

It's just not enough anymore, Adam, is exactly what Brad said to him three months ago, but for some reason hearing Kris say it makes Adam feel better instead of worse.

"Yeah," he says, softly, "I think I get that."

Kris opens his mouth, but before he can say anything they hear Leila shout "Turkey's ready!" from the kitchen, and Neil pokes his head through the doorframe.

"Get your asses up, I'm starving," he whines, and Adam remembers that he's supposed to be in a bad mood today.

It's hard to stay pissed off at the world, though, when his mom makes probably the best stuffing ever and Neil actually splurged on a bottle of nice wine—not to mention that a tipsy Kris is criminally adorable. His cheeks are bright red and the stupid glasses keep slipping down his nose when he laughs too hard at another one of Neil's jokes. Adam is generally of the opinion that Neil's jokes are totally lame, but Kris clearly thinks otherwise.

"I've got another one," Neil says, thrilled at the prospect of a receptive audience. "Adam owes me for this, too, it's brilliant. I thought of it the other day—dude, you need to do an album of classic rock covers and call it—"

Neil starts sniggering, then recovers. "Call it—Doin' Hella Dudes. Get it? Because he's covering songs by famous guys? But he also loves doing it. With dudes!" He can barely hold it together, shaking with the laughter he's trying to suppress. "Adam Lambert: Doin' Hella Dudes! Oh man, I'm a fucking genius!"

Leila rolls her eyes indulgently, but Adam's kind of angry. He's not anything close to ashamed, but he does not want this to become a topic of conversation with Mr. Arkansas sitting there. Plus, it's probably the worst joke Neil has ever come up with, and that's saying something.

Kris looks confused for like half a second before he bursts out laughing, chortling so hard that he starts snorting and then looks aghast at his own lack of table manners. His eyes fly wide open and he starts apologizing, and it's kind of the cutest thing Adam has ever seen. He smiles into his stuffing, a strange warmth building inside him.

"Kris, honey, your mother told me something about a trip you went on last year?" Leila asks, mercifully changing the subject, and Kris catches his breath, then launches into some story about a missionary trip of all things. Apparently he got really sick and almost died, and that's what inspired him to drop out of college and start taking his music really seriously. It's totally sappy and ridiculous and also kind of inspiring, if Adam's being completely honest.

"But there are less than no opportunities in Arkansas," Kris finishes, "so I had to move here."

"Your poor mother," Leila says. "At least Adam only moved two hours away, even though he never visits enough."

"Mom, you know I have to work," Adam complains. "I'm in this play—Wicked?" he explains to Kris. "I'm just an understudy, though."

"Wow," Kris says. He sounds genuinely impressed. "I'd love to—I mean, could I see it? I want to hear you sing."

"I could get you tickets," Adam kind of mumbles. For some reason he's not sure if he wants Kris seeing him perform, which is just stupid. Kris probably isn't even that great himself, just some hick kid with a guitar and stupid glasses. Kris smiles brightly at him, looking sincerely grateful, and Adam feels bad, just like that. Jesus, what is wrong with him today?

"Oh! If you want to hear Adam sing, you don't have to wait to see him perform," says Leila. Oh shit. "Sweetie, can't you do that song you and Neil did last Passover? Crazy World, right? It was so lovely, you boys performing together like that."

"'Mad World,' mom, not 'Crazy World.'" Neil shakes his head. "I haven't played it in like a year, but I can try. It could be fun. As long as Adam doesn't mess up half the lyrics, like last time." God, Neil is such an asshole.

"I will sing the lyrics impeccably, as long as you don't accidentally skip a sheet of music halfway through," he shoots back, and Neil gives him the finger. Kris looks slightly uncomfortable, but it could just be because he's trying not to burst out laughing again.

By the time they finish dinner, including every last bit of Kris's surprisingly delicious squash casserole, Adam's almost too full to sing.

"Come on, you promised!" Kris demands.

"If I sing, you have to sing too," he says, and Kris blushes. "I don't have my guitar—" he starts, but "Fair is fair," says Adam, and Kris nods. "Okay," he says, like he's taking on a challenge. "You go first, though."

Adam's a little nervous as he stands up next to the piano, which is strange, because he hasn't been nervous about performing outside of auditions for at least five years. He swallows down the small thrill of uncertainty, though, and by the time Neil gently starts in on the first few chords he's able to lose himself in the music, just like always.

He looks right at Kris while he sings, and he can barely hear his own voice over what he sees in Kris's eyes. It's—it sounds so self-absorbed to call it awe, but there's really not another name for it, and it makes the small warmth in Adam's stomach bloom until it fills his whole body, head to toe, and pours out into the notes he's singing.

Kris closes his eyes, towards the end, and the look on his face is like—it's like what he's hearing is too much, in the same way that Adam used to feel too much when he looked at Brad, in the beginning, and when he sees that on Kris's face—because of him, because of his music—his voice catches and warbles, and he just loses the last note completely.

"Wow," says Kris, so soft that Adam barely hears him over Leila's loud, motherly applause.

"Your turn," he says to Kris, trying to smirk, and Kris swallows. "I don't think I can follow that," he grins shakily, but Adam just smiles back, the warmth still tingling over every inch of his skin. "You promised."

Kris sits down at the piano, and Adam would already be pleasantly surprised, just by his ability to play an instrument, but then he starts singing and "pleasant surprise" becomes holy fucking shit.

Adam's never heard "Ain't No Sunshine" sung like this before, with longing filling up every corner of Kris's voice, until it becomes this tangible thing, surrounding him and pressing a hard lump into his throat. Kris's jaw juts out to the side when he reaches for the higher notes, and he squirms around excitedly on the piano bench, and Adam can't even breathe by the time he finishes.

"Holy fuck!" Neil exclaims, and Leila's applauding again, on her feet, and Adam just sits there blankly because shit, he hasn't been this overwhelmed by anyone since—since Brad, again, and that is not a good thing, because Kris is geeky and straight and has stupid glasses, and is southern and small and brunette and criminally adorable, says an evil voice in his head.

Adam shuts that voice down hard, though, because he's so not going to do this right now—crush on fucking Kris Allen, or any straight boy, really. He's totally used up his allotment of relationship fuck-ups for the year, thank you very much, so instead he says "nice job" in a strangled voice and goes upstairs to get himself under control.

Adam's sitting on his old bed, idly tracing the figures on the X-men sheets he won't let his mom throw away, when he hears a tentative knock on the door.

"Come in," he mumbles, not really looking forward to the lecture he knows he's about to get from his mom, but instead Kris's short form peeks around the doorframe.

"Hey," he says, quiet. "It's okay if you didn't like my music, you know. You didn't have to run away—anyway, your mom's serving the pie, so she sent me to get you."

He starts to close the door behind him.

"Wait!" Adam says, sudden. "Don't go. And don't—I didn't not like your music. It was incredible, actually. You have to know that—you have to know how good you are."

"I'm not as good as you, though," Kris says, stepping back into the room. He sits down on the edge of the bed, tentative, and starts tracing Storm. Adam smiles.

"You're amazing," he says sincerely, and Kris blushes.

"Why'd you leave, then?" he asks. "I didn't—I wanted to keep talking to you. No offense, but Neil's not always as funny as he thinks he is."

"I left because you're too amazing," Adam says honestly. Fuck it—it doesn't matter, he'll probably never see this guy again, anyway.

"What are you talking about?" Kris sounds confused. Like everything else about him, it's adorable, and Adam groans internally. He moves from tracing the outline of Magneto over to Kris's Storm, watching the way their fingers dance carefully around each other.

"You're too amazing for a straight guy I'll probably never see again." Adam's voice is quiet. "You're cute and funny and such a brilliant singer that I can't even believe it, and,"—and he just gives up, because it's not like he has any dignity left, anyways, now that Kris has seen the fucking sheets—"and anyway, all that stuff makes you totally my type, as if being southern and tiny weren't enough, and lately I've been kind of—stupid about stuff like that, I guess. Bad habit. So I left, for my sake. It was rude, though, I'm sorry."

Kris is silent, but his fingers move softly over the worn sheet until they tangle with Adam's larger ones. Adam's breath catches and he stills, feeling his heart pound painfully inside his chest.

Kris twines their fingers together more firmly until they're holding hands for real, and then he speaks. "You know how I said almost dying made me realize I wanted to pursue my music?" he asks softly, and Adam nods. "It also made me realize that loving Katy wasn't enough, anymore, because it wasn't making all the thoughts I had about guys go away."

His voice is trembling just slightly, and Adam wonders if he's ever told anyone that before.

"You really think all those things? About me?" Kris asks, and Adam's "yes" is a little too sincere for comfort, kind of scary with how he means it.

"Can I kiss you?" he asks, because he feels like he needs permission, after what Kris has just entrusted to him.

"Yes, please," says Kris, with a tiny breathless laugh, and Adam captures his soft lips, licks gently into his smiling mouth and thinks thank you, thank you, thank you as Kris's hands come up to tangle in his hair.

Kris's mouth is warm against his and he's breathing heavily, gasping a little, and Adam pulls back to catch his own breath. A lost little whine escapes from Kris and Adam reaches up, strokes across his jaw and kisses the dip right beneath his ear, licks slowly down the side of his neck. Kris is panting, now, and Adam's more turned on than he thought he would be by the thought that Kris has almost certainly never done this before, with a guy, that even if it's just kissing, he gets to be the first.

"C'mon," says Kris, impatient, and pulls Adam's mouth back down to his. He starts fumbling at Adam's shirt, tugging it out from where it's tucked into his jeans, and wow, maybe they aren't just going to be kissing, after all.

"Woah, hang on," Adam says, because honestly he's starting to feel a little out of his depth, what with pie downstairs and being in his old bedroom and kissing this guy he thought was straight up until, like, two seconds ago.

Kris's hands fall away, back down to the worn old sheets, and he looks—almost ashamed, embarrassed, and no, that's not right, that's not what Adam meant at all.

"Hey," he says, grabbing Kris's hands and putting them back around his neck, "I just want to make sure—that you're sure. You're sure, right?" He really fucking hopes Kris is sure, because his stupid hair is mussed and his glasses are threatening to slip sideways off his face and his lips are red and bitten and Adam wants him as much as he's wanted anything in a very long time.

"I'm very sure," Kris smiles, and suddenly Adam can't even deal, has to get his hands on Kris's skin right this second, and he pushes Kris back down against the too-small twin bed and kisses the surprised noise out of his mouth. He sucks kisses down Kris's jaw, more frantic than gentle, at this point, and his hands fumble with the frustrating buttons of Kris's annoyingly large shirt.

Kris is tugging at his own tie, and finally their combined efforts are successful and Adam runs his hands across warm, bare skin, spreads Kris's shirt over his shoulders and off and pulls back for a second, just to look. His chest is slender, muscular, and the golden skin is rising and falling rapidly with his panting breaths. There's a small scar, just at the bottom of his rib cage, and Kris sucks in a breath when Adam runs his fingers gently along it.

"Damn," Adam says, sounding a little strangled, "it's kind of criminal that you're hiding this body under those terrible clothes. We're gonna have to go shopping, you know." Kris frowns slightly, like it never occurred to him that there might be anything wrong with his clothing, and Adam lifts his glasses off and kisses him slow and soft, heat building between them until Kris is scrabbling at his shirt again, hard in his jeans and biting at Adam's bottom lip.

Kris splays his fingers out over Adam's stomach when his shirt finally comes off, examines his freckly pale skin critically and then smiles, looking positively delighted. "So many," he laughs, and Adam makes a show of grabbing his hands away but inside he feels like he's buzzing, overly bright and happy. The feeling's too big, sort of, and he has to do something other than think about it, so he holds Kris's hands down on the bed above his head and sucks kisses down the center of his chest, biting gently at the smooth skin and savoring the way Kris wriggles and twitches beneath him.

When he gets to the scar he licks it slowly, broad swipes of his tongue against the slight raised line, and Kris gasps and jerks his hips up helplessly, twisting in Adam's grip.

"Fuck," says Adam, "okay, okay," and he lets go of Kris's hands, runs his own palms down either side of Kris's torso until he's gripping his slender hips. Kris's hands are back in Adam's hair, flexing and pulling just slightly, and Adam can barely get his jeans down fast enough—thank god they're so baggy, honestly.

"Can I?" he asks again, looking up, because as into this as Kris seems to be, things are still moving scary-fast and Adam needs to be sure they're still on the same page. He really doesn't want to fuck this one up.

"Is that—would you? Oh god," Kris gets out, and Adam's impatient enough to take that for the definitive yes he hopes it is. Kris is wearing white briefs, which is really not surprising at all, and Adam mouths over his hard cock through the cotton for a few seconds, getting the soft material wet enough that some of Kris's taste starts to seep through against his tongue.

"Please, please, yes," Kris moans, and okay, that's more than good enough. Adam pulls the briefs down gently, takes a second to run his hands over Kris's hard, hot length before he swallows him down almost all the way, breathing through his nose and pressing with his tongue until Kris shakes and cries out, so quickly that it would be embarrassing if it weren't the hottest fucking thing that Adam's experienced in a while.

He slides up to lay next to Kris, who just looks at him, that hint of awe back in his eyes, and reaches out to brush Adam's sweaty hair off his forehead. "Hey," Kris says, hoarse. His fingers are light as they flicker over Adam's brow, and Adam tucks his face into the hollow of Kris's collarbone, slippery-slick with perspiration, and breathes deep and slow. Kris's heart is still pounding, a mile-a-minute beat that Adam can feel so clearly where their chests are pressed up against one another.

"Hey," he mumbles back. Kris smells like sweat and detergent and the squash casserole he must have made earlier that day, and Adam scrapes his teeth gently along the skin over his shoulder, smiling to himself when Kris shivers, oversensitive.

Kris's hand plays with the light hairs on Adam's stomach, starts to slip down below his waistband, which seems like the best idea in the entire world until Adam hears pounding footsteps coming up the stairs just outside the door. "Shit," he bites out, sitting up in a flash and looking around frantically for his shirt.

Kris only has half the buttons done on his shirt when the door handle starts to turn. Adam feels like he's fourteen, again, hiding his secondhand porn beneath the pillow just in time and flipping facedown on the mattress so whichever parent it is this time won't see his hard-on.

Neil does what's actually a pretty hilarious double take when he gets the door open, but Adam's not all that amused because, seriously? He was about to get a handjob and his stupid little brother interrupted.

"Don’t you knock?" he asks, and Neil just opens his mouth wordlessly. He can't remember the last time he saw Neil speechless.

"Just—pie, downstairs. We're waiting," Neil manages, then looks slowly from Kris to Adam one last time before shaking his head, still utterly stunned, and closing the door behind him.

"Oh God," says Kris, looking kind of sick. "He totally knew, didn't he. Oh my god, is he going to tell your mom?"

It's exactly the kind of stupid high school scenario Adam never got the chance to experience, and the thought that he's living through it now, at twenty-six, is kind of ironically, bitterly beautiful.

"Who cares?" he asks, because Kris is all squinty without his glasses on, and he's having trouble tying his awful tie, and Adam doesn't really give a shit about whether or not his mother knows that they just engaged in oral sex while she set out the apple pie and made Neil get the dessert plates from the basement.

Even for all of that, the awkwardness is pretty hard to avoid when they reach the bottom of the stairs and Leila just raises her eyebrows at him, disapproval and resignation warring on her face. If Adam's feeling mildly embarrassed, Kris is absolutely mortified — he fiddles awkwardly with his tie, red heat creeping down below his collar, and he chews his bottom lip in a way that is positively distracting.

"Kris, honey," Leila asks in a kind attempt to save him from his obvious misery, "do you want pumpkin, or apple? Ever since they were little, Neil's loved pumpkin and hated apple, and Adam's exactly the opposite, of course, so I always have to make both."

"Don't lie," Neil says, starting to stuff pie into his mouth, "you just love pie. I know where all those leftovers go every year, mom, and it's definitely not into the compost."

Kris blushes again, as if just being spoken to reminds him all over again of everything that's going on, and makes an uncertain noise. "I like apple, but—"

"Adam's apple," sniggers Neil, and Adam shoots him a look that's the equivalent of two middle fingers and a kick in the balls. Neil quails, just slightly.

Kris chokes a little but does his best to recover. "Could I — is there a bathroom on this floor?" he asks.

"Right down the hall and to the left, sweetie," Leila answers, and as soon as he's safely out of sight she whirls on Adam and shakes her head with as much motherly disappointment as he's seen since he actually showed up drunk to his aunt's birthday party five years ago.

"What?" he asks, defensive. "We're adults. He's — shit, are we really even having this conversation?"

Neil's off before Leila can even open her mouth. "I can't believe you just banged the geeky straight kid from Arkansas during Thanksgiving dinner! Damn, Adam, I expected shit like this when you were dating Brad, but this is an impressive level of uber-slut, even for you."

Adam punches him in the shoulder. Hard.

"Shit, Adam, that fucking hurt!"

"Hon, you know you deserved that," Leila says when he turns to her for sympathy.
"Adam, though — I'm just worried. About Kris. You haven't been the most… pleasant person to be around, the past few months, and that's understandable, honey, of course. But Kim's told me a lot about Kris, and he's just gotten here, he's so young. I know you're starting to enjoy being single again, and I'm happy about that, but I don't know if Kris was the right person to —move on — with."

Adam's torn between absolute mortification and a strange feeling of guilt.

"It's so far beyond none of your business, mom," he says, but his attempt at disdainful superiority is pretty weak. The thing is that maybe she's right. Kris is sweet and wears glasses and goes on church missions. Adam is kind of an asshole, at least right now, and he wears fake eyelashes and believes strongly in the gospel of the Sunday morning wake-and-bake.

Leila looks like she's about to say something else, but then Kris walks tentatively back through the doorway, still flushed around the ears and collar, and an awkward silence falls over the kitchen.

"Are you okay?" he asks Neil, who's still rubbing at his shoulder and grimacing.

Neil gives him a resigned smirk. "Adam may wear shit like that," he says, nodding at the rhinestone-covered Bowie tee that was Adam's sartorial middle finger to the idea of dressing up — or really, dressing like Kris — for the meal, "but he's so fucking far from a pussy, which is something I really need to remember. He's also apparently kind of protective of your reputation, if not your virtue."

Kris's blush is back again, in full force, and Adam wants to feel the flush on his cheeks, follow the rising traces of heat with his fingers and tongue, unbutton that wrinkled collar and map the spread of pink over—


Leila's looking at him pointedly, and Adam clears his throat, feeling his own cheeks flare with warmth. By the time he and Kris have each taken a slice of apple, though, some of the awkwardness is starting to seep from the room—Neil's moved on to ranting about Bush, which is always enough to distract him for at least a good fifteen minutes, and the pie is warm and sweet and taking all of Adam's concentration.

"S'good," Kris mumbles though a mouthful. His eyes widen in comic shock when he realizes that he's just talked with food in his mouth, and Adam laughs. Fuck it, the boy is adorable. Kris closes his mouth and quirks a grin from across the table.

"So, Kris," Leila says when Neil pauses his angry monologue to shovel some pie into his mouth, "I know you moved here for your music, but tell me what else you've been up to around the city."

"I don't—I haven't had that much time to explore, yet. It's a little confusing," Kris says, but it's clear that he means confusing in the best way possible, exciting and wide-open and possible.

"I could show you around, some," Adam offers suddenly. Kris is a stupidly geeky actual real-life missionary, yes, but he's not exactly boring. He might not want to dress up crazy, he's probably never met a drag queen for fuck's sake, but he loves music. There are places Adam could take him. Maybe Kris wants to see those places, the stuff he never could have found back in Arkansas.

"I'd like that," and Kris is barely even blushing this time. Adam concentrates fiercely on his pie, and Neil picks up enthusiastically where he left off.

"I'll walk you to the door," Adam says when Kris finally overcomes Leila's insistence that he stay another hour, at least. The four of them have been around that fucking table for so long that everything that happened in Adam's bedroom seems like it might have been some tryptophan-induced hallucination, at least until Kris pushes Adam up against the wall in the narrow hallway and kisses him, hard.

"So you're actually going to—show me around, right?" Kris asks when he pulls away. He's a little breathless, adrenaline and nerves lacing his voice, and Adam thinks maybe Kris actually would want to get dressed up some day, who knows. Maybe in return, he'd go to a soup kitchen or whatever it is that Kris does for fun.

"Tell you what," Adam says. "You give me your number, right now, and when I get home tomorrow I'll give you a call, take you out or something."

"Take me out, like on a date?"

"Take you out, like to my friend Cass's runway show and Alisan's open mike and then a club and then back to my apartment."

It's dark in the hallway, but Adam knows enough to imagine Kris's growing blush, and he holds his breath, because he thinks he might really want this, with Kris, but. This is what his life is, and that isn't just going to change.

"Can I buy you dinner the next night, then?" Kris asks, and Adam presses his sudden grin to Kris's ear.

"You don't know any good restaurants, though," he answers, and Kris laughs. "You'll show me," he says, and Adam kisses him until Kris has to leave for real.

He walks back towards the kitchen with Kris's number in his phone like a tangible weight in his pocket, some digital key to happiness and growth and all that amazing bullshit he really does try to believe in when he isn't feeling too self-hating and mean.

He can have all those things without Kris, he knows. It might be easier to get them with him, though, and he's pretty sure he's going to try.


now with a tiny sequel!