"What are you doing?"
Kris jumps when he hears Adam's voice behind him and tries to minimize the browser window, but it's too late; Adam's already peeking over his shoulder, cheek nearly pressed to his own.
He squints at the screen. "ONTD_AI? What is this?"
"Matt told me about it," Kris says with a sheepish shrug. "I dunno, he said they're all crazy and it was good for a laugh. And I was bored, so..."
"'Kristopher Allen Appreciation Post.'" Adam lets out a breathy laugh and looks at him with one eyebrow raised. "A little navel-gazing, huh?"
"It's so weird," Kris laughs back. He points to the screen at a series of images. "Like this one girl? She's, like, obsessed with my feet. I don't get it."
"Oh, I totally do. Your feet are adorable."
Kris looks at Adam to see if he's kidding, but his expression is completely serious. Something about that makes Kris's face heat up.
"And two of them are having this conversation," he continues, tearing his eyes away from Adam. "Something about cloning me as a baby? Or turning babies into me? But not their babies, because then it'd be incest? It involves time travel, I don't know, I can't really follow their logic."
"Fans are crazy about you," Adam says, one hand on Kris's shoulder. "And trust me. I can see why. But you should know by now, the internet is for one thing, and that's--"
"--porn," Kris finishes with a good-natured eyeroll. "Yeah, yeah, I know."
Adam flashes him a wicked grin. "That's also what our bunks are for. Care to join me?"
He’s completely kidding, of course, and Kris laughs him off, but when Adam disappears back to bed, Kris’s stomach feels weird and fluttery. The feeling doesn’t go away, even when he crawls into his bottom bunk, staring up at the ceiling, thinking about Adam above him.
Kris knows he shouldn't, but sometimes when he has a spare minute, he checks back at the community Matt had told him about. Matt was right; they are kind of crazy. It's surreal that so many people spend hours a day discussing him and Adam and the others, dissecting every photo or Twitter posting or concert performance.
Sometimes he likes to tweet something totally ridiculous and then look at their response. Like when he wrote about the plums. He figured they'd have nothing to say about that; instead when he refreshed the page two minutes later, lo and behold, there were already over a hundred comments freaking out about it. It is beyond bizarre to him that inspires that kind of reaction in people.
Adam says the internet is for porn, and ONTD_AI has that too. People write stories, mostly about him and Adam, and they're always having sex. In hotel rooms. Backstage. In the Idol mansion. On the beach. Sometimes Matt is featured in these stories, and he's almost always crying or plotting revenge against Adam. That whole "scorned Matt" thing seems to be a running theme for the community-- no wonder Matt kind of hates them.
It should be repulsive, or make him feel like all kinds of lines have been crossed-- but mostly he's amused. And, okay. Maybe a tiny bit turned on.
Fictional Kris usually swears more than actual Kris does, and always begs Adam to do dirty things to him that make Kris blush just reading. Sometimes fictional Kris has really witty banter or meaningful dialogue that make Kris feel a little sad about his life, that he's not actually clever or insightful enough to speak any of those things.
Those are the times he realizes he really needs to step away from the computer and go for a jog, or listen to some music, or go track down Adam and see what he's doing.
Kris has been lurking on and off for a few weeks before he decides to make his own account. He does it while they're on the road one night, and he's squished between Anoop and Adam in front of the bus, slyly checking the community on his phone while the two of them watch Jeopardy on tv. Adam keeps getting annoyed because Anoop knows all of the answers off the top of his head, but then there's a category for Broadway shows that Adam totally owns, so it works out okay.
While the two of them trade banter about the trivia, Kris signs himself up for a Livejournal account. The only time he'd ever commented to the community before was during one of their weekly anonymous posts. Since they all seemed to go crazy over "Kradam," he thought it'd be nice to anonymously throw out a tidbit their way-- he left a comment about a moment that had happened a few days ago, when he and Adam actually did use the headphone splitters and listened to Adam's favorite Muse album during Gokey's sound check.
To his surprise, though, no one believed him. People responded with things like, "PICS OR IT DIDN'T HAPPEN," or "OBVIOUS TROLL IS OBVIOUS," or "lol yeah right i fucking wish" or "Did the stylist tell you this?". Whatever that meant.
He makes his account name totally unrelated to who he is, doesn't bother to get an icon, and the first few comments he leaves are innocuous. Neutral comments on liking Adam's outfit in one post, or saying that Allison's YouTube video of Cry Baby sounded amazing, that kind of thing. Sometimes he tries to be funny, like after a photo of him and Adam touching during Don't Stop Believing is posted, and he comments with a joke about how Matt was curled up in a corner crying, since they all believe Matt is secretly in love with him or something. He gets a few "LOLs" in response and feels weirdly excited and proud for the validation.
And then he thinks in his head, LOL MY LIFE, and turns his attention back to the game show, and the comfortable warmth of Adam's weight pressed against his side.
"People on the internet think-" Kris pauses to swallow, tries to make his voice sound light, "--that we're actually. Like. You know."
"Having sex?" Adam supplies. He doesn't look up from what he's doing-- which is applying eyeliner in the tiny bus bathroom.
Kris is positioned awkwardly in the doorway, hanging off the frame, watching Adam's practiced, careful movements as he traces the black under his eyes, pretty puckered mouth gaping open slightly.
He can’t stop staring at Adam’s lips without his mind going to the gutter. Stupid fanfiction.
Obviously he needs to spend less time online. He’s just glad that he thought to password-protect his laptop, because otherwise Adam might have found the secret picture he made in MS Paint of him and Katy, with text talking about how they have an open marriage, the one he submitted to the weekly secrets thing on ONTD_AI. He knew none of them would believe it, and they didn't, but he still felt almost... liberated, knowing that the idea was out there.
The open marriage thing is true, but Adam has nothing to do with that, though. Or. Well. He hasn't factored into it. Yet.
"But I mean they seriously believe it," he tells Adam. "There are these people called tinhatters. They make these blog posts analyzing our pictures and recruit, like, body language experts to discuss the way we look at each other. And somehow that proves we're in love with each other."
Adam sets down the pencil and turns to him.
"It's not exactly like you're discouraging them," he points out. "Joking about how you have a crush on me. Repeatedly."
Kris ducks his head, unable to hide a smile. "That... is true."
Except for the part about the joking. Since he isn't, really. But Adam doesn't know that.
"They also do tarot card readings," he blurts out. "And compare our astrology signs."
This catches Adam's attention, just like Kris knew it would. His eyes light up. "Really?" he says, and when Kris nods, he breaks into a smile. "I kind of want to see that now."
And I kind of want to see you naked, Kris thinks, but of course he doesn't say it.
ONTD_AI becomes sort of addictive. Like, he doesn’t have the time to sit around on Twitter all day like Danny and Sarver and Matt do, but he gets downtime between rehearsals and sound checks and being on the road and waiting around in airports when he’s flying back and forth to L.A. for recording. It starts to get where he only uses the internet to check three things: His email, Twitter, and ONTD_AI.
He even makes a folder on his Macbook for the stuff he finds there. He hides it deep within his music collection, with like three subfolders, because he’s still paranoid that one day he’ll accidentally forget to close his laptop and someone will find it. In the ONTD_AI folder he saves his favorite photos (mostly of him, Adam, and Allison), the funny macros people make, and a Word document where he copies and pastes his favorite responses to the kink and drabble memes.
Yeah, he still reads the stories, sometimes. Some of them are really good. And hot. Almost all of the ones he saves are pairing him and Adam together.
Fanfic makes it look easy. In fanfic, Adam is always up for anything, or they’re already in an established relationship, or Adam chases after Kris. Fictional Adam also calls people “honey” a lot, which is weird, because in real life he doesn’t think he’s heard Adam use the word “honey” ever.
Real Life Adam also does not chase after Kris. And would never to think to chase after him. Because Real Life Kris is 100% straight and happily married.
One night when he hasn’t seen Katy in weeks, and he’s aching and lonely and alone in his hotel room, he opens the Word document and scrolls down to one of the fics with him and Adam. It’s one where they’re in an alley somewhere, Adam is on his knees in front of Kris, Kris’s cock in his mouth.
And then Kris slides one hand underneath the waistband of his flannel pajama pants, balancing the laptop awkwardly on his stomach. He thinks about what it would be like, as the fanfic describes: his back against a dirty brick wall, Adam below him, looking up with glittering wet eyes, his mouth around Kris.
The image alone is… well. It’s enough.
He feels a little bad that he never sees a specific post on ONTD_AI dedicated to appreciating Adam, so one day he makes one. It goes better than the other time he tried to make a brief introduction post and everyone replied with, DO YOU EVEN GO HERE? and spammed him with animations and mocked his typos and tagged it with things like “you dumb bitch” and “i actually have an high iq.srsly” and “wtf is this shit”.
The time he did that, he didn’t know how to turn off comment notifications, and everyone on the bus kept staring at him when his phone buzzed every two seconds as it exploded with email alerts.
“Look who’s Mr. Popular,” Gokey had joked, laughing a little too loud and looking at his own phone a little forlornly.
Now Kris knows to turn the notifications off, and a few hours later he refreshes the post and sees thousands of comments. A few people replied with “Every post is an Adam Lambert appreciation post!!”, but most commended him for making it and posted their favorite Adam photos and quotes and performances.
He figures making an Adam post is the least he could do. None of the commenters on ONTD_AI get to appreciate Adam in person, every day, the way Kris does.
Too bad for them.
One time in the dressing room, he’s messing around with Adam and yanks on Adam’s trademark snakeskin boots. They’re way too big for him, but he struts around the room in them anyway in his best Adam imitation, striking poses and rubbing his crotch until Adam falls out of his chair from laughing so hard.
Kris snaps a picture of his feet in the boots with his phone. He posts it to Twitter along with a message: Check out mah boots. Pretty fly for a white guy, right?
He thinks about the ONTD_AI girl with the Kris Allen foot fetish and smiles to himself. She’ll be thanking him for this. And so will the Kradam tinhatters, once they recognize the boots as Adam’s.
Two birds, one stone. Fangirls are easy.
It’s toward the end of the tour dates, during the overnight drive to Pennsylvania, when Kris walks from the bathroom to his bunk and finds Adam sprawled out stomach-down in his, Kris’s Macbook in front of him.
Kris’s stomach drops to his knees. Oh, God. “Adam?” he croaks out.
Adam snaps his head up fast and moves the laptop away from him.
“Sorry,” he says quickly, “I wasn’t trying to pry. I just saw you had a video open.”
Oh, right. The birthday video ONTD_AI had put together. The one with Trugs. Some fan had given him a DVD copy of it awhile ago, and he’d randomly found it tonight, stuck in his suitcase while he was searching for new socks, and decided to watch it for kicks. If that’s all Adam saw, then that’s not so bad.
He crawls into the bunk next to Adam, stretching out on his stomach and looking at the screen. There’s not enough room for personal space here; he’s pressed up right against Adam, a warm line from where their shoulders and sides and legs touch.
Adam reaches up and rubs a sleeve across his eyes.
Kris stares at him. “Adam, are you… are you crying?”
“No!” he protests, and then sniffles a little. “Okay, fine, a tiny bit. It’s sweet, okay?”
“It’s No Boundaries,” Kris reminds him dryly. He is so glad he was able to convince the producers to let him drop it from his set list. If he never has to sing that song again, it’ll be too soon.
“Yeah, but I like the way you sing it,” Adam says, glancing at him sidelong with a small, soft smile.
If this was fanfic, this would be the part where Kris leans over and kisses Adam. But it isn’t, it’s real life, and he loves Adam way too much to ever risk that. To make things even more complicated.
He settles for resting his head on Adam’s shoulder. “You’re my best friend, you know,” he mumbles. He looks up at Adam. “Not just, like, on the tour. I mean. You’re my best friend. Period.”
A note of surprise flashes across Adam’s face, and then he smiles, warm and wide, in a way that makes Kris’s heart feel too big for his chest.
“You’re my best friend, too,” he says, and presses a kiss against Kris’s temple. He pulls the laptop in closer and cues the video to the beginning. “Now, I wanna see this one more time.”
It has been two months since the tour ended, and Kris has seen Adam exactly two times since then. He hates that it’s like this—that there’s no time for anything except recording and press and being shoved into countless business meetings, where he shakes the hands of decrepit white-haired business men who think they know what’s relevant in the music industry and has to keep a straight face while they discuss his marketability.
He never thought he’d see the day where he’d miss that damn tour bus, the cramped bunks and constant motion of eating up miles on the interstate and endless parade of meet-and-greets and sound checks and singing the same handful of songs over and over again.
But it’s not really the tour he misses. It’s the people. Specifically, person. Singular.
He doesn’t expect an answer when he calls in the middle of the night, but he gets one anyway.
“Hello?” Adam mumbles groggily.
“Uh, hey man.” Kris glances at the kitchen clock—two thirty-four. Crap. “Sorry, didn’t mean to wake you.”
“It’s fine,” Adam says, and Kris hears the rustling of bed sheets, imagines Adam in his new house, the one with the spacious master bedroom, sitting up on his mattress. “What’s up? Everything okay?” he asks.
Kris’s heart actually aches at hearing Adam’s voice. He tells himself he’s just tired. Lonely. It hasn’t been the best of days. The ones with business meetings never are.
“Yeah, totally, I just—” After expecting to be speaking to Adam’s voicemail, he’s now entirely unsure of what to say. “Just wanted to check in with you, I guess.”
There’s a heavy pause on the other end of the line. “At three in the morning?”
“It’s two thirty-six.”
“Semantics.” Another pause. “Kris. You’re sure everything’s okay?”
Kris rubs his eyes with one hand and leans back into the counter on an elbow. “Yeah, I’m sure,” he says quietly. “I don’t even know why I’m calling. It’s stupid.”
“I’m fine, I swear,” he insists, even though he knows being defensive will just make Adam worry more. He drops his voice a few notches. “I just couldn’t sleep. Late night cappuccinos are the devil.” He tries to make his tone light, turn it into a joke.
That gets a huff of laughter from Adam, and he can practically hear him smiling through the phone.
“Adam. With the tour… Do you ever—” he starts, and the cuts himself off, not sure if he wants to finish the question.
But he doesn’t even have to ask.
“Miss it? Not really.”
His heart sinks. “Oh.”
“But I miss you,” Adam adds pointedly, and something warm spreads through Kris’s chest at the words.
“Yeah. I miss you too,” he mumbles, cradling the phone between his ear and shoulder.
“You free tomorrow?” Adam asks. “We can lunch at the Ivy. My treat.”
“Are you asking me out on a date?” Kris teases.
“Are you saying yes?”
“Only if you promise to hold my hand in front of the paps. You keep stealing my media thunder, Lambert. Guy’s gotta get attention somehow.”
“It’s a deal.”
After they hang up, Kris stands there, staring at his phone for a minute with a stupid grin on his face he can’t shake. Doesn’t want to shake. And when he goes to bed that night, and when he wakes up the next morning, it’s still there.
It’s fucking hot as balls somewhere between Cali and Utah when the bus breaks down, and it’s been broken down for almost an hour, but Adam hasn’t taken off his jacket, and Matt thinks it’s starting to get a little weird.
When Matt pointed the strangeness of this out to Anoop, Anoop said, “Dude, stop being such a freak,” and threw a hacky sack at his face. Which, okay, seriously, the nineties are over, man, who the fuck still plays with a hacky sack? What, is Anoop going to bust out Ace of Base next? Try and rope Matt into a game of Pogs? What the actual fuck?
The thing with Adam-- it’s weird. It’s just weird, and no one is going to convince Matt otherwise. Adam may be in love with his jackets—ohh, Skingraft this, Skingraft that, Matt is so fucking sick of hearing about fucking Skingraft all the time—but it’s like eighty-five degrees outside, and there’s no one around but them to admire his questionable fashion sense, so really: What the fuck is wrong with him?
Even Kris lets go of the beanie he’s been wearing non-stop since Portland, tucks it into his back jeans pocket as he attempts to style his fluffy hair with one hand. Adam is next to him, and he reaches over and ruffles a hand over Kris’s scalp, until Kris swats his him away and they’re both laughing.
How fucking perfect. The fucking bus is broken down and it’s fucking hot as fuck and Adam and Kris are having the goddamn time of their lives. It really fucking figures. The two of them had been the last to come out and stand on the side of the road with everyone else. Probably too fucking busy braiding each other’s hair and trading best friend bracelets or something.
He scowls at them. Fucking Kris and Adam, man. Peas in a fucking pod. Whenever he sees them together, there’s this, like, prickling sensation crawling up his skull. He kicks a stray pebble their way and walks over because Kris is his friend, too, okay, he can hang out with Kris whenever he feels like it, it’s not like he needs Adam’s permission or something.
“Heeeeeeeeeeey,” he says to Kris, pitching his voice high, in the way that makes Gokey laugh every time—except Kris and Adam are not Gokey, and Kris just smiles a little and Adam stares at him like he’s trying not to laugh. Except he’s pretty sure Adam wouldn’t be laughing with him.
“Hey, man,” Kris says, slipping on his sunglasses. Up close, there’s something weird about Kris’s mouth. Like. Not that Matt notices Kris’s mouth a lot or anything, but it’s kind of. Swollen. He’s not sure, maybe the heat is just making him see things, like people having mirages in the desert.
Kris and Matt make small talk for awhile while Adam plays on his phone—yeah, this sucks, man, dress rehearsal’s gonna be rushed, hope the mechanic finishes soon, et cetera et cetera.
And then Matt says, “It’s so hot out here, man,” and shoots a look at Adam. Adam does that thing where lifts one eyebrow, and that annoys Matt, because Matt totally can’t pull that off and it does look cool. He cocks his head to one side and says, “Hey, Adam, can I try on your jacket?”
“My jacket?” Adam echoes.
“Yeah, man, it’s fly as hell,” Matt says. “I’d love to see how that puppy feels.”
Adam and Kris trade a look he can’t read, but Adam shrugs off the jacket and hands it over, and then Matt looks at him in his black tank and. Wow. There are these weird marks on his chest. Like scratches. Or maybe bite marks? What the hell?
Before he can think on it too long, though, something hits him on the back of the head. He turns and looks down, sees a hacky sack near his feet, and looks up and sees Anoop, striding toward him.
“Come on, loser, they’re done. Get on the bus,” he calls.
Adam takes the jacket back from him and says, “Maybe next time,” with a smile that looks more like a dog baring its teeth.
Matt chucks the hacky sack back at Anoop—who catches it easily, the fucker—and watches Kris and Adam walk back to the bus, bumping shoulders. He thinks about Kris’s mouth and Adam’s chest and suddenly his stomach hurts.
Must be the heat.
Nothing brilliant, but I like having everything on my journal anyway, for posterity's sake.