Kris wasn't brand-new at the substitute gig, but it was still a little unsettling to walk into the office his first day at the new school, and have the secretary look him up and down and say, "Oh, you are going to be eaten alive."
Kris smiled, polite; it got a little old. "Trust me, I can take a bunch of teenagers."
"Who said anything about the teenagers?" the secretary said, and handed him his attendance sheets.
He'd figured first period was going to be the easy part: it was the actual orchestra, and yeah, the kids were all getting out their instruments and their sheet music on their own even before he walked into the room. He put his guitar and viola cases down at the front and looked around. It was an interesting group of kids—mostly the typical buttoned-up overachievers, but there were a handful of goths with punky hair and piercings, some electric guitars; he wondered how Mrs. Oliver had managed to lure them in. None of them looked like real troublemakers, though.
"Hey guys," he said, writing his name on the board. "I'm covering for Mrs. Oliver's maternity leave, so we'll be together the rest of the year. You can call me Kris or Mr. Allen, either's fine. Any of you want to tell me what you're working on? With the understanding I'll find out in about thirty seconds if you're bullshitting me."
The curse got a little laugh out of a few of them, though not as much as it usually did. Before Kris got an answer, the big door next to the blackboard swung open, and another of the goth guys walked in—six feet and more if you counted his hair, dyed blue-black and green, with six other kids trailing him with sheet music.
"Oh, hel-lo," the guy said, looking at Kris. "You're in for Renata?"
"Uh, yeah," Kris said.
"Well, I have clearly earned some very good karma somewhere," the guy said, beaming at him, while the class all giggled quietly, and that was how Kris met Adam Lambert.
The orchestra was rehearsing with the drama department for the musical—Jesus Christ Superstar, which Adam had somehow gotten past the administration? Kris was split whether he was more impressed with the guy's politicking or his music: the kids were all way better than they had any right to be in a school this small.
"They sound awesome," Kris said to Adam, after first period let out, and it was just the two of them. "How long have you guys been rehearsing?"
"Three weeks," Adam said, staring at Kris in a weirdly intent, thoughtful way. "Mind if I—" he said, and Kris had a second to wonder, mind what? before Adam was reaching out to him, and then sliding his thumb down the side of Kris's neck, from just behind his ear to his collarbone.
A shiver went straight back up, and Kris's mouth went dry. Adam smiled at him again, slow and pleased, like something had just been confirmed for him, and then he leaned in and kissed Kris.
It should've been a what-the-hell moment, because seriously, what the hell, they were in a high school classroom with thirty kids scheduled to walk in on them, and meanwhile Adam's tongue was licking wet into his mouth, and Adam's hand was curled around his head, and they'd met less than an hour ago, and none of that mattered fuck-all apparently, because according to Kris's hindbrain this was the best thing ever, and it could go on for however long Adam felt like.
Adam broke it off at some point, which could've been six years later as far as Kris could tell, and sighed with satisfaction. "I'd better get to class," Adam said, and he rubbed his thumb across Kris's wet bottom lip before he stepped away, just as the brass-section students came in the door.
Kris walked into his apartment at five and dumped his bag and his coat on the floor, and yanked off the tie. His phone started ringing as he came back from the fridge with a beer, and he picked it up on autopilot.
"Hi, honey," his mom said. "So how did the first day go?"
Kris sat down on the couch with his head tipped back, staring at the ceiling and trying it out in his head: the drama teacher kissed me, and he maybe turned me gay?
"It went fine," Kris said.
He polished off the beer, afterwards, and instead of the second one he kind of wanted, he got up and poked around restlessly, straightening up. He got his clothes off the floor and his books back on the shelves and even broke out the broom. At which point, sitting back on his heels after getting dust from under the couch, he figured he needed to get himself the hell out of the apartment.
Theo and Richard were up for shooting some pool, so Kris drove out to Little Rock and spent the night listening to them tell him bullshit stories about stunts the frat had pulled lately, the fantastically hot girls they'd scored, the classes they were failing. Kris nodded along and mostly watched the game the bartender had on, taking a few shots whenever it was his turn, letting it all blend into white noise.
Richard hit the men's room after a couple of hours, and Theo came to lean against the side of the table with him. "You feel like telling me what's up, man?" he said. "You talk more than this in your sleep."
"Just—kind of a weird day," Kris said. Saying it out loud would've made it real. Saying it to somebody real, in his real life, not the pay-the-bills bubble where he wore a tie and spent the day with sixteen-year-olds treating him like a grownup. Not that he'd been doing shit in his so-called real life, lately: a month since he'd hustled for a gig, longer than that since he'd written anything new.
He flushed out his beer and chaser with a plate of cheese fries and a coke, and drove home at midnight through the empty streets, too late. When the alarm went off at six-thirty the next morning, he flailed himself out of bed groggy in a daze that lasted until he walked into his classroom, and Adam looked up and smiled. It cleared in a hurry, then; maybe something to do with the crazy adrenaline rush that started his heart pounding, almost like he was getting ready for a fight.
The kids were already filing into the room, so there was nowhere for it to go. Kris jammed it all down inside his belly and put on his professional face for the rehearsal. It was violin and violas after, too, which meant five students weren't going anywhere. Kris took a deep breath and said to Adam, "I'll see you tomorrow, I guess."
"I've got fifth period free on Tuesdays and Thursdays," Adam said, his mouth curving. "I'll come get you for lunch."
Kris had done lunch yesterday in the teachers' lounge, meeting a couple of the others, but Adam showed up in a leather jacket and wrap-around sunglasses and took him outside to the baseball field bleachers instead. "Way too nice to sit indoors," he said, stretching his long legs out to the next tier, and offered Kris some of his carrot sticks.
A bunch of the kids were outside eating there, too, some of the gothy kids Kris recognized from rehearsal. "Lyra, if I even see you think about taking a drag on that, I will come down there and kick your ass," Adam said, without even looking around. "You have way too good a voice to fuck up like that."
"What, and I don't?" one of the guys said.
"Honey, you're a guitarist with a six-note range. You can smoke all you want. Unless you mind getting lung cancer in thirty years and dying horribly, but I realize that feels like a long way off," Adam said.
They all rolled their eyes, but Kris noticed that was the last cigarette that got lit, anyway; and as they got up to go back indoors, one of them said, "We'll see you at Sticky Fingerz tonight, man."
"Hello, plausible deniability? Please do not be telling me about your fake-ID escapades on school grounds," Adam said.
"Sticky Fingerz on a Tuesday night?" Kris said, after they'd gone.
"Anytime they'll pay me to sing, baby," Adam said, tilting his head back to smile at Kris. "And we've got about five minutes before we have to head back in, so slide over here."
Kris swallowed hard, except why the fuck had he come out here, otherwise; so he slid along the bleacher and bent down and tasted Adam's mouth, sweet with honey tea, while his heart picked up again and worked on hammering his ribs into pieces.
Adam hummed into the kiss, and then he was sitting up and swinging a leg over Kris's thighs, heavy, and his hands were sliding into Kris's hair, and he was murmuring between kisses, "Shh, yes, like that, baby." His t-shirt was sliding easily out of his jeans where Kris's hands were bunched up in the small of his back, and his skin was smooth and a little damp with sweat.
"Jesus," Kris panted, leaning back and trying to suck in his breath, because his dick was aching against his fly. "Adam—"
"Oh, this was such a bad idea," Adam said, happily, nosing at Kris's neck and swiping his tongue over the skin in quick, tiny licks. "I really want to drag you under the bleachers and blow you right now."
Kris whimpered like a dog and shut his eyes and with a superhuman effort said, "I am not getting my ass fired on the second goddamn day."
"Yeah," Adam said regretfully, "also I really shouldn't give blowjobs before a show. I'm free after, though," he added.
Which was how Kris wound up spending his second school night in a row in a bar, drinking way too much, and that was before Adam even came out on the stage in skintight pants and a black glitter pirate shirt that opened to the navel, looking like he belonged in the drag show at Discovery, instead. Kris actually had a minute of wondering if Adam was out of his mind, pulling this in front of a crowd of mostly truckers and serious drinkers, and then Adam opened his mouth and blew the roof off with a Stones cover.
After that, Kris wasn't wondering about anything except how fucking soon the show was going to end, and whether he was going to be able to make it that long without drinking himself useless. Adam stepped down off the stage and joined him during the set break, sitting down with a mug of tea he picked up at the bar, and beamed. "So?" he said.
"Great," Kris said, forcing it out from somewhereabouts in the pit of his stomach. It sounded flat and stupid and totally inadequate for what Adam was doing on stage, but somehow it made Adam's face go hard and intent, and Kris put his hands flat on his thighs to keep them from shaking as Adam leaned in towards him.
Then Adam paused, right there, right the fuck there, so close Kris felt it on his lips as Adam murmured, "Okay, no; we're saving this for after," and sat back deep into his chair, his legs spread wide and his eyes fixed on Kris's face as he drank.
Adam got three encore calls at the end of the show, each of them like some kind of special, custom-designed torture, and then he was back down from the stage, grabbing Kris by the wrist and barely slowing down to let him get up and throw some money on the table. It had gotten cool outside, air rushing crisp into Kris's lungs as they came out, and he rolled down the window in Adam's car for more of it in his face. His voice sounded weirdly normal as he gave Adam directions to his apartment, and he had to choke down a laugh, a little, as he realized he'd even cleaned the place up.
"You want anything," he started saying, walking into the apartment, and then Adam's hands were sliding onto his waist, and his mouth was hot on Kris's throat, and Kris started frantically scrabbling at his own jeans.
Adam pulled Kris's t-shirt up over his head, still behind him, and steered him into the bedroom. Kris didn't turn on the light, didn't turn around; this didn't have to be real if he didn't look, even with his jeans sliding down his hips, his boxers with them, and Adam smelling of cigarettes and smoke, pressing in hard behind him. "I want you," Adam whispered, low and brutal against his throat, biting at him. "I want to fuck you."
"Yeah," Kris managed, because that felt like the only thing that could maybe take care of this; just coming wasn't going to be enough. He wanted to be wrecked, he wanted to be taken apart, and when Adam pushed him down onto the bed and climbed on top of him, Kris went easy, spreading his legs for Adam to kneel between and burying his face in his arms.
Adam did everything to him—everything Kris had ever heard stupid jokes about, sitting around with guys drinking. Adam opened him up with his tongue and his fingers, slick and pressing into him with Adam's other hand tugging Kris up onto his knees, holding him there for it. And then Adam tipped him on his side and curled up behind him and fucked him, steady and irresistible, his cock slipping out and back in, over and over, until it felt like it was going to go on forever, or maybe like it had been going on forever; like being in bed all day with a fever, sweating it out slow.
Kris woke up early the next morning: he hadn't pulled the curtains shut, and the sun was coming in over the building next door, hitting him in the face, orange-yellow glow on the other side of his eyelids and his cheekbones and forehead a little warm. He put an arm up over his face for shade and lay there a little while longer, breathing in and out, feeling the weight of his arms and legs; the sweet, sore ache; the warmth along his side.
Then he ran a hand over his face and sat up and did it, opened his eyes and looked, like taking in a series of snapshots: Adam lying in his bed, tangled in the dark blue sheets his mom had picked out; closeup on the sunlight spilling across his pale, thickly-freckled shoulder; his arms reaching up to the headboard as he rolled on his back and stretched, yawning and pink with pillow creases printed on his cheek. His hair was all canted off to one side, stuck like a cartoon character's, and the eyeliner he'd been wearing was smudged to the sides of his face.
"Time'sit?" Adam said muzzily.
"Quarter past six," Kris said.
"Mm," Adam said, and curled back into the pillow, tugging it in and burying his head deeper. It already looked like he belonged.
Kris got up and went to the kitchen to make coffee, picking up their clothes off the floor and tossing them over the back of the couch. There was a message on the answering machine he hadn't seen last night; his mom, probably. He thought he'd call her at lunchtime; tell her he'd met somebody. He hummed a couple of lines of a song to himself under his breath while he got out the coffee jar, trying to remember where he'd heard it; then he realized it was something brand new.
= End =
With many ♥ to Merry for beta!
All feedback much appreciated!