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Written for the Idol Gives Back drive, for bubby_wubby: Kradam in the park/chance meeting; attraction/hook-up; then good-byes (I fudged a bit?) and for the kradingo prompt "Randoms: park bench" and for at least five kink bingo prompts but specifically "food".

Paying the Rent

by astolat

It was long since dark, and Kris was having to stop playing every fifteen minutes or so to blow on his hands and warm them back up. There hadn't been more than a handful of people pausing by the bench any time all day, shoulders hunched up and heads barely turning to glance at him. Even the last trickle was dying off now, but he hadn't made enough for a place to sleep, and playing kept him awake, at least. He'd tried the subway, but the cops had chased him out because he didn't have a permit.

"Oh, honey. What are you doing still out here?"

Kris stared up, not too cold to be fascinated: black hair and blue eyes in eyeliner and six feet of shearling coat with an explosion of purple fur at the wrists and collar and a matching hat that looked like it had been time-warped straight out of Imperial Russia. The buttons were covered in rhinestones. So were the three-inch boot heels. "Playing," Kris said. "Got a request?"

"You were here this morning and you were distinctly less blue," the guy said. "I request that you go inside somewhere and avoid freezing to death."

Kris grinned. "Soon as I make enough for a bed?"

"What does that take these days, forty dollars or something?"

"About," Kris said. "A little more if you want to eat, too. I'm pretty close."

One eyebrow raised, and glitter caught the streetlamp light. "How close?"

"I'm only short—twenty-seven?" Kris said.

"Uh huh," the guy said. He stood looking at Kris, and then he pulled out his wallet and tossed two twenties in the guitar case.

There were a few fat snowflakes drifting down, melting on the lining of his guitar case, and it was hard to do, but Kris reached down to hold the money back out to him. "Hey," he said awkwardly, "it's okay, in an hour or so I'll quit and go hang out in a diner. I'm not looking for handouts."

"I hate to tell you this, but you are really not cut out for this line of work," the guy said.

"That's kind of what my mom's been telling me," Kris said ruefully.

"Well, if you desperately want to preserve the quid pro quo, my plan for tonight was to go home and pay a very nice professional five hundred dollars to come over and give me a massage and a blowjob, and I'm prepared to trade experience for adorableness if you want the job instead," the guy said. "Or just keep that, and you can call it a down payment on your playing some Rolling Stones tomorrow."

"That's, uh," Kris said. Sure, some people had made passes at him over the last few weeks, but none of them had offered him money. Also, jesus, five hundred dollars? This was like some crazy cliché movie of the innocent country boy being led astray in the big city. A porn movie. "Are you just saying that so I'll keep the money?" All in all, that seemed more likely, actually; Kris had a hard time believing this guy had to pay people to have sex with him.

"I'm nice, but I'm not nice enough to stand here freezing my ass off to argue with you over keeping forty dollars of my money," the guy said. "I'm mostly thinking the whole seducing the innocent country boy thing would be really hot."

"I'm not that innocent," Kris said.

The guy grinned at him, slow and wicked. "Baby, if I can't take you places you've never been in fifteen minutes or less, I'll tear up my Equity card in shame," he said, and Kris swallowed, because okay, yeah, he believed it, and then he started laughing as he tried to imagine telling his mom how he'd done for the day.

"Not that I'm not tempted—" he said.

"Hm," the guy said. "Is it more tempting if I take the five hundred dollars off the table?"

Kris was too cold to really blush, but—that did make it just a regular pickup. Okay, a regular pickup by a crazy rich dude who at least partly was doing it out of the impulse to rescue Kris like a stray kitten, but being fed and petted didn't actually sound half bad right now.

"You are unreal," the guy said, his voice warm all the way down, and he held out a hand. "Pack up that guitar, I'm taking you home."

Kris wavered just a little more, and then he thought about Browder saying, "Dude, forget not making it, New York is going to be like, totally wasted on you. You're not going to have a single freaking adventure out there. You'll get a part-time job working at a church or something and a vegan roommate and spend your free time bowling."

"Dude, you like bowling," Kris had said.

"That's why I'm not fucking moving to New York to pretend to be a rock star," Browder said.

"What the hell," Kris said, and stuffed his guitar into the case.

"Night, Ron," Adam said, sweeping into the building, his hand warm in the small of Kris's back.

"Night, Mr. Lambert," the doorman said, and Kris belatedly noticed they were walking into a lobby full of marble and art deco, Adam's heels thumping solidly on red carpet all the way to the elevator, and then twenty-six stories up to a penthouse apartment with a wall of windows that looked out on a million city lights sparkling through the snow.

"Seriously, man, are you a drug dealer?" Kris said blankly, putting down his guitar case in the foyer and taking off his shoes so he wouldn't track wet dirt on the floors. Then he realized the photo on the wall was of Adam, sprawled messily over a bed, mostly naked except for a feather mask, body paint, and a pair of black satin briefs, and the last time he'd seen it had been in Times Square over the Winter Garden theater marquee. "Oh, shit," he said, and started laughing, because, right. Adam Lambert. Browder was going to have to suck it, seriously.

Adam waved a hand, shedding his coat and bag onto the couch in a heap, and sitting down to pull his own boots off. "I hear it pays better than Broadway, but the karma is awful," he said. "Come on, let's see what Carla left me."

There was a giant bowl of salad and plates of homemade pasta waiting to be heated up in the fridge, a loaf of fresh bread wrapped in a towel on the counter still warm. The inevitable awkward moment never came; they went straight from talking about the local club scene and mopping up fantastic garlicky sauce to Adam licking Kris's fingers clean, and then a chair got knocked over, and just like that they were naked and rolling around on Adam's amazing gigantic bed.

In the cab, Kris had planned out a whole careful negotiation about stopping at blowjobs, but they'd barely gotten started and Adam's mouth was already sliding down around his cock and Adam's fingers were pressing into him, and it was just so good. "Jesus," Kris said helplessly, almost a whine, his hips trying to arch up, and Adam purred around him and held him down, which Kris hadn't known was going to make things even better. He quit even trying to do his fair share of the work and just let Adam go, and at some point Kris caught a look at himself in the full-length mirror on Adam's closet doors with his legs spread shamelessly and Adam's tongue sliding up his throat and Adam's fingers working deeper inside him.

Kris blushed like an idiot, he couldn't help it; something this amazingly sleazy wasn't supposed to happen to him, he really was a good boy. "Oh, you are," Adam said, murmuring into his hair, nuzzling. "You're such a good boy, aren't you, Kris? You're going to be so good, you're going to let me do everything I want to you," and hey, that was a whole new and special meaning.

Then Adam tilted Kris's legs back some more, and Kris had a minute to feel the whole thick head pressing at him and then he was opening up around Adam's cock, and wow, he was going to be a good boy for Adam, he was going to be the best, he really really was. "I believe you, baby," Adam purred, settling into him, and Kris would have thought that was getting close to the endgame, but not really, as it turned out; and half an hour later he was on his knees bent over a giant stack of pillows groaning before he finally came, almost unexpectedly, sore and his thighs slick and Adam's hands sure and deliberate on his hips.

Adam sighed, happily, and then he turned Kris over easily and slid back in to finish up, bending over to kiss him slow and sweet while his cock pulsed away; Kris was so tender he could feel it going, and he opened his mouth to Adam's tongue and licked back at him, almost groggy with how good he felt.

He woke up sticky and still good, Adam nuzzling at the back of his neck saying gleefully, "Snow day!" Kris managed to lever his head up off the pillow and saw that the window outside was solid whirling white, and there was about a foot of snow piled up against the picture window glass outside.

"Come on, baby," Adam said, biting his shoulder. "I want to fuck you in the shower."

That sounded pretty awesome to Kris, and after that they ended up on the couch under a pile of blankets watching old movies and making out lazily, eating ice cream. Kris got out his guitar and they messed around jamming together until Adam got revved up again and dragged him back to bed for another round.

It all added up to the best date ever, which lowered Kris's powers of resistance a whole lot, so when Adam suggested that maybe Kris could crash for a few more days, he gave in. That turned into a week, and then he had a section of Adam's closet, and then Adam took him shopping and tried to buy an outfit to take him out to an art gallery in, and Kris said in dawning alarm, backing away from the nine hundred dollar suit, "Great, I'm a freaking rent boy now?"

"Ohhh," Adam said, getting that slow heavy-lidded look in his eyes, which was a problem since they were in the middle of the Barneys dressing room. Kris backed away even more, except that put him inside the changing stall and Adam was pulling the door shut behind them and pinning Kris up against the mirror and going for his jeans. "You are," Adam said hungrily, "you're my rent boy."

"Man, that's not hot," Kris said, except his dick was jumping up in Adam's hand and calling him a liar, because Adam was sucking on his ear and saying things like, "Mine, say it, you're mine," pleading. Kris hadn't thought about it that way: like being one of the beautiful things Adam adored ridiculously, his treasures, whether they were $10 earrings he'd bought on the street or the $150,000 Chagall in his bedroom, things he was jealous of and smug about and loved to show off or just curl up with. Being one of those was hot, enough to make his knees buckle, and the noise Adam made when Kris slid down to his knees and opened his pants finished the job.

"So, uh," Kris said, "I'm kind of seeing someone."

"Oh, sweetheart, really?" his mom said, enthusiastically. "What's her name?"

"Well," Kris said. He'd come out to his parents before he'd left, but theoretical bisexuality wasn't the same as I'm dating a boy now, which Kris was profoundly grateful for, since that conversation helped save him from the significantly more complicated conversation about how he was living with the boy, and the boy was rich and famous and liked to buy Kris presents and whined like a kicked puppy every time Kris tried to get a job.

"You want to keep me barefoot and pregnant or something," Kris said, exasperated.

"I want to give you a joint checking account and a platinum Amex!" Adam said.

"Close enough," Kris said.

"Okay, and a collar," Adam said, "but that is strictly for kinky bedroom purposes."

"I am not wearing a collar!" Kris said, except he was already thinking about Adam's hand curled inside the leather, holding the collar taut against Kris's throat while Adam's hips fucked steadily into him, riding him—Kris blushed.

Adam's mouth curved like molasses.

"You are a seriously bad influence," Kris groaned, and let Adam buy the collar.

Afterwards Adam snuggled him and said wistfully, "...just a small account?"

Kris sighed and gave up filling out applications at Banana Republic and resigned himself to spending his days hustling for gigs and working on Adam's super-powered Mac, recording songs and messing with them in Garage Band, his nights getting dragged around to the best clubs and restaurants and parties in the city, and getting fantastically screwed after. The winter kept dumping even more snow on the city, and watching people trudge around like giant lumps in their puffy coats with their heads down was good for making it clear just how complete a failure his busking-for-a-living plan had been, anyway.

"Dude," Browder said, "so where are you even staying? The Michaelsons just got back from the city for Thanksgiving and they said the whole place is like a freaking snow globe."

"Uh," Kris said.

"Are you shacked up with your boyfriend or something?" Browder sounded gleeful. He'd taken the whole thing okay, if by okay you meant leaping onto it as an excuse for teasing Kris in whole new obnoxious ways. Which yeah, was about right for him. "Aw, I bet you're crammed into his twin bed in a closet somewhere."

"Uh," Kris said.

That was a mistake. Browder paused and said suspiciously, "Dude, you're seriously moved in with him?"

"Well," Kris said feebly.

"Okay, you're going to text me a picture of where you sleep, right now, or I'm calling the cavalry," Browder said, by which he meant Kris's mom.

Kris looked over at the giant rumpled king-size bed with the purple satin coverlet and the pile of zebra and leopard faux-fur pillows and the window on the other side like a postcard of skyline. The other angles weren't a lot better, but Kris settled on the one that got the painting over the bed instead; Browder wouldn't know a Chagall from a Looney Tunes cartoon.

It didn't help. Thirty seconds after Kris hit send, Browder was exploding in his ear, "Jesus Christ, Allen, you're dating a drug dealer?" Then he paused and said in horror, "Holy shit, wait, is he a pimp? Is he pimping you out for—"

"There's something seriously wrong with you, you know that," Kris said.

"What was his name?" Browder said, "Adam what?" and after he dragged it out of Kris again, this time he fed it into Google, and then was totally silent for almost a full minute. "Dude," he said finally, "tell me you don't let him stick that thing in you."

Kris sighed; Browder was probably looking at the Calvin Klein photoshoot. Adam hadn't been wearing a lot for it, and what he'd been wearing had been pretty wet. Also their quickie in the dressing room at lunchtime had gotten interrupted. "This is why I don't talk to you."

After a solid minute of silence, Browder said, "Hey. Hey, you're screwing a supermodel," doing a 180 and going the other way.

"Please shut up?" Kris said, dropping his head to the desk.

Browder promised not to blow his cover. The problem was, his parents had gotten over the initial shock and were now determined to be officially awesome, so about a week later his mom said, "You know, honey, we'd love it if you brought him for Christmas," and when Kris made feeble noises about Adam maybe having plans, said they would take New Year's instead. "We'll send you both plane tickets," she said.

"Oh, how sweet! I can do Christmas," Adam said. "I mean, I wasn't going to fly to San Diego for Chinese Food and Movies Day, anyway. I'll see if Leon can let me have the private jet!"

"...private jet?" Kris said.

"My manager has one, he lets us buy time shares in it," Adam said.

"Right, great," Kris said, resigning himself to his fate, which was to pull up in front of his parents' house in the Lexus Adam had rented and watch his parents stare blankly at Adam at the door.

"Dude," Daniel said to him, behind Adam's back.

"Don't even start," Kris said.

But dinner went okay. Adam had a million hilarious theater stories to tell, accented with him bursting into song every once in a while, which was impressive even if you'd heard him in the shower every morning for, uh—two months. He'd been living with Adam for two months.

Kris was still trying to wrap his head around that when they moved to the living room to sit around the tree near the fire. Adam put an arm around him on the couch, and Kris snuggled in automatically. Adam's fingers were stroking through the fine hair on the back of his neck, and Kris leaned up for the kiss without really thinking about it, Adam licking at him and nibbling in until Daniel said, "Dude! Get a room!" with a slightly frantic note, and Kris realized how it looked, Adam's hand gripping him tight and his own head tipped back, yielding.

His mom managed to recover like a champ, and offered Adam some eggnog in an only slightly wavery voice, but his dad stayed wild-eyed the rest of the night while Adam innocently told a story about Paris Hilton's last party and how he couldn't wait to take Kris to Florence in the spring.

After Adam had gone upstairs to wash his face, his dad cornered Kris quietly in the kitchen. "Son, if you're—you know if you ever needed—maybe your mom and I weren't that supportive of—"

Kris cringed and escaped. Adam was in Kris's bedroom upstairs instead of the guest room, sprawled on the old twin-size looking at the high school yearbook with an enchanted expression. "Mmm, baseball pants," he said, tugging Kris down for a kiss. "I'm guessing squeezing in is not an option?"

"My dad's got a weak heart," Kris said. "Let's cut him a break."

Adam sighed and nuzzled at Kris's neck. "I didn't mean to freak them out. Was it the kissing, or Paris Hilton?"

"I think it was more the, uh, the general—"

"Was I a little toppy?" Adam said. He was sliding his hand into Kris's pants, so he didn't really seem that apologetic about it.

"I don't think it's so much about you being toppy," Kris said. "Adam, we can't, they're going to hear." He was sinking back while he said it, helplessly.

"Shh, I'm just going to play with you a little," Adam said. "Here, I'll put you face down."

Kris groaned quietly and buried his face in the pillows and spread his legs for Adam's hands and mouth.

The thing was, he really liked being Adam's, well, rent boy. Not because of the actual rent or any of the other stuff; Kris still couldn't see a huge difference between the suit his mom had got him for graduation at Marshall's and the ones Adam got him, they all went in the fancy and uncomfortable box. And if he'd really worried about where he crashed at night, he wouldn't have moved to New York in the first place. What did get him was the way Adam went all possessive over him, like Kris was something he desperately wanted in his sparkly magical mystery tour of a life.

Kris didn't see how he was supposed to help getting off on that. And, yeah, okay, he also got off on how toppy Adam was, what the hell. He didn't care about owning the suit, but he loved the way Adam tugged on the lapels and slid his hands into the pockets and nuzzled all over him in it; he didn't wear the rings out a lot, but he loved the way Adam put jewelry on him and then held him down with their fingers entwined and clinking against each other while Adam fucked him in the bed that was theirs now.

Some of his pals had used to make fun of him for being too laid-back, taking whatever came, and Kris had listened enough to pack himself up and go after the brass ring, but this was like fireworks every night without getting eaten by mosquitoes, never even having to ask for anything because Adam had already gleefully piled it into his lap. Yeah, he liked it, even if he felt like he had to be kind of defiant about it.

Adam's mom came to visit them in the city in February. Kris was braced for interrogation: she had plenty of cause to wonder what the hell Adam was doing taking in stray buskers off the street. Except Leila got there an hour before Adam got home, and as soon as Kris opened the door she looked at him in the suit—they were taking her out to dinner and a show—and said, "Oh, honey, you let Adam dress you."

Kris said, "Uh, well," and Leila laughed and said, "No wonder he thinks you're perfect," and spent the next hour showing Kris childhood photos of an adorable freckled redheaded Adam, mostly with his mouth wide open in some musical or another, until Adam got home and yelped in protest.

"Baby," Adam said later that night, after he'd talked Kris out of not-having-sex just because his mom was in the guest bedroom, "eight years ago I was in a cockroach-infested apartment and working at Starbucks, what makes you think she'd freak out over you?"

"You weren't living off—" Kris said, and stopped.

"No, I was living off her, and my dad," Adam said. "My mom would have been a huge fan of my finding a hot rich boyfriend who adored me and wanted to take me to Italy and have me cut a CD."

He made it sound deeply wounded. Kris glared at him. "Don't think you just slipped that by me there or anything."

"You're ready!" Adam said. "You've got at least twelve songs worth recording—"

Kris pulled one of the pillows over his head. Adam curled over him and started placing kisses all down his back. "You can pay me back when you get a recording contract," he wheedled, rubbing his cheek against the curve of Kris's hip. "Or, you know, by coming to Florence and letting me eat gelato off your stomach."

"Yeah, that's a real sacrifice on my part," Kris said.

"Well, I might want fudge caramel!"

Adam didn't leave it there, either; he started to introduce Kris to producers at the parties they went to, saying he was looking for one, so Kris couldn't be all, "No, I'm not," without looking like an asshole, and Kris couldn't help having the crazy fantasy that maybe he would get the contract, and then he could pay Adam back, even though he knew real life didn't work like that. He was getting decent gigs now and then in the city, and that was good, but no one was going to hand him a giant sack of money to make an album.

"You know?" he said wryly to a guy named Ray Burke at the latest party, when he'd escaped onto the balcony from Adam's less-than-subtle attempt to hook him up with Rob Cavallo, which Kris felt was like trying to introduce a junior-high baseball player to Joe Torre.

"Let's hear it," Burke said, holding out his hand for Kris's ipod, and it turned out he was the co-founder of an indie studio that was looking to manage the mid-list artists that the majors were dropping. Three days later Kris had a contract offer for a twenty thousand dollar advance to record an album.

And a nine-month, fifteen-state tour in the midwest and the south, opening for the Midwest Kings.

Kris stared at the contract: it meant money, independence, a shot at the big time; everything he'd come to New York to get, everything he was supposed to want. He wasn't scared of the work, or the long days, or months in a van with a bunch of rockers. Touring was how you built a following, how you sold albums and merch; if he was ever going to be a rock star, this was how he was going to have to do it.

It also meant no more sleeping late in Adam's arms, or lazy making out in the mornings—no more leather collars and silk ties or Adam's hands putting them on him, Adam's mouth traveling slow and possessively down the curve of his back. No more being—owned, except in his head it sounded a lot like loved.

Adam came in singing something from an opera, la-la-la-ing his way through the words he didn't know. "Hey, baby, good day?" he said, bending down to kiss the back of Kris's neck. "What is that?"

Kris let him take the contract and read it, and watched the first gleeful joy on Adam's face slowly slide away. "Oh," Adam said, and then he put a smile back on his face like he was taking the stage. "Kris, that's amazing—I'm so happy for you."

"Yeah, so," Kris said, "it's a pretty good deal, but I, uh. I hear Italy's really nice this time of year? And—"

He didn't get to finish, because Adam was dragging him off to the bedroom. "And I am getting you that platinum Amex," he said, pushing Kris down onto the bed.

"I guess I can live with that," Kris said, and tugged Adam down to kiss him.

= End =

With heaps of thanks to Terri and Merry and Ces for beta! <3

All feedback much appreciated!

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