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In The Same Place At The Same Time

Title:  In The Same Place At The Same Time
Author:  GwenCarmichael
Pairing:  Adam/Kris
Rating:  NC-17
Word Count:  8574
Disclaimer: In the words of Gru from Despicable Me… "Any relation to persons living or dead is completely coincidental."
Summary:  Kris and Adam are reunited as judges on American Idol Season Sixteen and realize that they're completely different people than they were before.   
Author's Note:  This was written for the beautiful, wonderful, amazing Caris, for always being willing to lend me an ear, for encouraging me when no one else notices, and for being absolutely beautiful. 
 
 
In The Same Place At The Same Time
 
Prologue
Hollywood, CA
 
Randy Jackson decided to leave American Idol after fifteen years.  He'd outlasted half a dozen judges and guest judges, but after fifteen years, he decided it was time to quit.  Instead of cancelling the show like almost everyone in the world expected—honestly, they'd been waiting for cancellation to be announced since Simon left the show—the producers pulled out one final stunt to keep the show afloat. 
 
That was how Kris Allen and Adam Lambert, two thirds of the Kradison hit of season eight, found themselves as judges on American Idol, Season 16.  A lot had changed for the two men since their run on the show had ended seven years before and they hadn't really spoken since. 
 
Kris and Katy had divorced a few years back.  His first record wasn't the success it was expected to be and he toured on and off opening for bands younger than he was.  He had trouble finding a producer for the second record and then spent long months in the studio trying to please the producer he'd found.  The record had been a hit—but his marriage had tanked.  When Katy filed for divorce, he cancelled his tour, breaking his contract, to try to fix things.  He failed at that, too, and his wife left him.  He was at an all new low with no wife and no contract and no prospect of getting either back. 
 
Adam, on the other hand, was huge.  His first album had been a success, but the second had been phenomenal.  World tours went on and on with new legs being added every few months.  His third album was just as big and just as successful.  He was on top of the world, having just come off his third world tour and about to get back in the studio to record album number four. 
 
They had thought they were in separate worlds when they'd been on Idol together, but this time around, they were in completely different galaxies. 
 
Auditions: Week 1
Phoenix, AZ
 
When Adam arrived—a little late, but nothing detrimental—at the first week of American Idol auditions and saw Kris Allen waiting, it was like he was back seven years before.  Kris had always looked young and the seven years had only done good to make him look closer to his age, though he still looked more like a young man than any other 33-year-old Adam knew.  Kris didn't notice him right away, which gave Adam a minute to look him over.  His worn jeans and blue plaid shirt over a black t-shirt were just as casual as ever, his floppy hair just as sexy, his dark eyes just as beautiful, his smile just as infectious. 
 
Adam knew that he himself had changed.  Seven years of regular touring had toned his body well, and there was no longer any part of it that he wasn't a hundred and ten percent comfortable with.  The hair on the sides of his head was cropped tight, and his black coif was sprayed quite high with layers of black and red extensions dangling down his back.  His leather pants were tight and black, as were his boots, and the loose black shirt he wore was torn to reveal slits of red.  He was cocky now—cockier, at least—and even more confident than ever before.  He was on top of the world, and American Idol could only further his dreams this time around—not destroy them, like it could have done seven years ago. 
 
"Hey."  He smiled at Kris as he walked up to him, watched the light in Kris's eyes change when he saw Adam. 
 
"Adam."  He got to his feet, eyes wide as he took in all of Adam, and then he gave an easy smile.  He hugged Adam when Adam reached out to him and then looked him over. 
 
"You look…" He considered for a moment.  "Even more overwhelming in person."
 
Adam grinned at him.  "You're still my sweet southern boy." 
 
Kris smiled and his eyes slid away for a moment.  When he looked back at Adam, he asked, "Isn't 109 degrees a little too hot for leather pants?"
 
Adam laughed.  "Honey, I wore leather pants in Australia—with no underwear."
 
Kris winced.  "Masochist."
 
"In the right situation."
 
The first day of auditions was eye-opening.  It wasn't as dreadful as Simon has always made it out to be, but it wasn't Adam's favorite way to spend his time, either.  Having been on the other side of the judges' table before, Adam tried to be constructive but realistic.  Kris, on the other hand, was very supportive, encouraging everyone to chase their dreams while they had the chance.  It was different from the down-to-earth Kris Adam remembered. 
 
"Do you want to do dinner?" Adam asked as Kris rolled out his shoulders at the end of the day. 
 
"Uhh, sure."  Kris nodded.  "That'd be nice." 
 
Adam grinned.  "You want to call your people and let them know you'll be with me for a couple hours, they can pick you up later?"
 
For a minute, Kris blushed ever so slightly.  "I—I don't have people anymore, Adam."
 
Adam blinked at him, taken aback.  He didn't take advantage of his people, but he took them for granted, just a little.  Mostly, he just knew they'd always be there.  They were just more constant people in his life, like his band or his brother.  Kris didn't— "Oh.  Okay.  You want to ride with me then?"
 
Kris glanced away and put his hands in his pockets.  "Yeah, that'd be nice, yeah." 
 
Adam smiled at him, trying to relieve his embarrassment but not really sure how.  Kris had never needed—or wanted, really—any of the fame attached to being a musician, and it was strange to see him self-conscious of not having it. 
 
Adam—Adam's people—drove them to a quiet out of the way place with dark mood lighting and high-up fancy-to-do people.  He thought he saw Kris flinch at the prices on the menu and quickly added, as casually as he could, "My treat tonight, huh?"
 
It was awkward talking to Kris.  That was the first thing Adam realized over the course of dinner.  Their initial greeting had been comfortable, and Kris had been everything he'd been seven years before—sweet, innocent, hopeful, shy.  This Kris was different.  He was uncomfortable and out of his element; he was self-conscious and tired.  He was worn down and completely unlike the boy Adam had known before. 
 
"I still write," Kris said, a touch of reluctance and defensiveness in his voice, like he'd answered this question one too many times before.  "I've written songs for a lot of musicians, and they've all seemed to like them just fine."
 
"But why aren't you the one singing them?" Adam asked, certain he was missing something. 
 
Kris shrugged.  "I don't have a label.  I barely have a manager—he's more of a liaison between me and artists who want my songs.  Besides, no one wants to hear me anymore.  I'm a has-been, if I ever was anything to start with."
 
The casual way that Kris said this, like he was stating a fact not looking for pity, caught Adam completely off-guard.  He was used to Kris being unsure of his skills, of being too modest, but this was absurd.  He didn't know what to say to that.  Adam surrounded himself with people who were self-confident, with people who knew what they wanted out of life and worked themselves to death to get it.  They were the best kind of people and the only kind that Adam wanted to associate himself with.  He wanted their drive and passion to rub off on him and encourage him; he didn't want self-deprecation and a lack of care in his life. 
 
Adam's people dropped Kris off at the hotel he was staying at, a hotel that was much smaller and less impressive than Adam's. 
 
"Goodnight," Adam said with what he hoped was a promising smile. 
 
"Night, Adam.  See you tomorrow." 
 
The way Kris said it made Adam think they were co-workers at a shitty job that Kris wouldn't stay at if he had anywhere else to go.  
 
Auditions: Week 2
Kansas City, MO
 
Sitting next to Kris for hours a day made Adam very aware of one thing:  he still wanted him.  It had been no secret that Adam had wanted Kris back in their day on Idol; he'd even said it in an interview, joking that it had been just his luck to be paired with the cutest guy in the house.  And Kris had had a good time with it, too, saying he had a crush on Adam.  It had been perfectly innocent—they'd said that in an interview, too—and perfectly casual.  Nothing came from it but a deep friendship, a friendship that had somehow been forgotten as soon as the Idol Tour had ended that summer, and they had both gone their separate ways. 
 
The attraction was still there, and it was still strong.  Kris was still beautiful, and funny, and sweet.  He still had puppy dog eyes that made Adam melt inside; he still had that beautiful carefree smile.  Sitting beside him in the judges' booth, Adam found himself making up reasons to lean close and whisper something to him or to inconspicuously sprawl in Kris's space—anything to get closer to him. 
 
Adam had had his fair share of beautiful men over the past years.  Most of them were high profile love affairs or flirtations, and they'd all been exciting, glamorous, and sexy.  It was no secret that Adam had a type and that he liked his boys young, pretty, tiny, and glam. 
 
Kris wasn't any of these things.  He wasn't a boy anymore; he was a man.  He was beautiful and handsome, not pretty.  He was shorter than Adam, but he wasn't tiny and pliant.  He certainly wasn't glam.  He wasn't even southern boy chic.  He was just Kris—just perfect, beautiful, wonderful, heart-stopping Kris. 
 
And Adam couldn't believe that he'd let Kris go seven years before. 
 
Auditions: Week 3
Los Angeles, CA
 
Kris was tired.  He was worn out, worn down, and just plain tired.  He'd tried reaching for his dreams, he'd worked hard, and he'd lost everything.  He'd lost his record label, his chance at a music career, and his wife.  He had absolutely nothing. 
 
This bit on Idol was a desperate attempt he no longer believed in.  The publicity was great for judges.  Hadn't J Lo and Steven Tyler milked it for all it was worth, using it as an opportunity to market albums and singles that weren't even very good?  It had been a miracle, almost like a dream, when the producers had reached out to him and asked him to be a judge.  Here it was, his last chance to make it or break it before it was all over.  He had jumped at the chance, reached out towards that long-abandoned dream. 
 
Now… now he just wanted to let it go.   
 
He'd had his chance, and he hadn't made it.  He was going down with Taylor Hicks as the two greatest failures to ever win American Idol.  At least Taylor was still making albums.  What did Kris have?  He used to live, breathe, and dream music.  Not anymore.  He was tired of trying, tired of failing, tired of having everything blow up in his face. 
 
This was it—his last public appearance.  After American Idol, he was going home.  Maybe he'd teach.  Maybe he'd work construction.  Maybe he'd just disappear and sell paint again. 
 
Honestly, he didn't even care anymore. 

Auditions: Week 4
Chicago, IL
 
"I'm done, Adam," Kris said tiredly.  Everything about him was tired:  his eyes, his voice, his body, his mind.  He was just done, with everything.  "It was a nice dream, but now it's over."
 
"How can you say that?" 
 
They were at dinner together after a two very long days of auditions in Chicago—days full of kids who couldn't sing to save their lives but thought they could, kids who would do anything to reach their dreams but it still wouldn't be enough, kids who needed music to save their lives but couldn't express it.  It broke Kris down. 
 
"It's the truth, Adam.  I had my chance, but I couldn’t make it.  Now I'm done."
 
Adam shook his head.  "You have to fight; you have to work for it."
 
Finally, a light burned in Kris's eyes.  "I have to work for it?  You think I haven't been working my ass off for years to get to where I am now?  You think I didn't sing at shitty empty bars until two in the morning every weekend in college while you were in touring musicals?  You think I didn't smile and play nice while opening for bands younger than me while you were touring the world?  You think I didn't throw myself at any producer who would take me while producers were lined up outside your door for the chance to work on your second album?  You think—" His voice and he swallowed hard before brokenly adding, "You think I didn't give up everything I had for the woman I loved, just so she could leave me anyway, while you were surrounded by beautiful men who would have done anything for you?"  Kris looked away and when he looked back, his eyes were wet.  "Don't you dare say that I didn't work, Adam, because I worked my ass off.  It just wasn't enough, for anyone."

Auditions: Week 5
Orlando, FL
 
In Orlando, things were tense between them.  Kris was still bitter that Adam had presumed to think he could make assumptions about how hard Kris was working and how much fight Kris had within him, and Adam was still sure that Kris was giving up and that he had more in him than he was letting on. 
 
After one young man sang a snippet of a country song Kris had grown up loving, Kris was the tie-breaking vote between Adam's 'no' and Kelly's 'yes.'  Kris looked at the young man and he saw himself standing before the judges seven years before with nothing but his dreams to his name.  "Yes."
 
Once the boy left, Adam turned to him.  "You have to be realistic about his chances of making it, Kris.  Telling him he's got a great voice and a lot of confidence isn't going to help his shitty voice."
 
"Oh, his voice is shitty?" Kris challenged.  "What about the last kid who came out here in glitter and did that Gaga medley?  You just liked him 'cause he was a flaming homo."
 
Adam's eyes widened like Kris had slapped him.  Shit.  Kris hadn't meant to say that, hadn't meant to sound like the homophobic assholes Adam had had to put up with his whole life, but he couldn't take it back.  It was the truth, even if it wasn't polite or even decent to say it out loud. 
 
The emotion flooded out of Adam eyes then, leaving them hard and empty.  "So that's how it is.  Fine."  He turned away and didn't speak to Kris for the rest of auditions.
 
Auditions: Week 6
Las Vegas, NV
 
"What are you talking about?  He sounds like Bowie.  Bowie is a legend.  Definitely a yes." 
 
"Beautiful.  You're beautiful, you have a beautiful voice, and you have beautiful dreams.  I loved it."
 
"I just don't think you can break out of the shy southern boy mold."
 
"I think you have too much self-confidence and nothing to back it up." 
 
In Vegas, Kris and Adam bickered incessantly.  If Adam liked someone, by default, Kris hated them.  They started using the contestants as outlets to vent their frustrations at each other, leading to comments about someone being "too camp" or someone seeming like a "quitter."  Kelly, a one-name songwriter/producer who was the season's third judge, tried to keep things under control and give everyone a fair shot, but she was fighting a losing battle.  Adam and Kris were out of control, and she could only hope they wore out their fight before the next big thing walked in and they kicked it out on its ass.  They both felt a bit guilty about crushing kids' dreams just to get back at each other—a lot guilty—but they couldn't stop.  They were in their own private war, and anyone who came into contact with them became a casualty.
 
Auditions: Week 7
New York, NY
 
In an interview in New York, they were named the new Simon and Paula, only with more sexual tension and no cute down time. 
 
"Adam's had everything in life that he could possible want," Kris said in response to questions about Adam's judging style.  "He's part of a glam scene where the clothes you wear are more important that what you're singing about, where being able to make the audience spontaneously orgasm is the main goal.  He's lost sight of real music, when it's just about someone's heart and voice." 
 
"Kris just isn't willing to go after what he wants," Adam answered in another question.  "It's good for kids coming on the show to see a has-been who could've been more.  It encourages them to keep being individual, to keep going after their dreams, and to never give up or you become miserable."  The 'like Kris' was heavily implied, but not said. 
 
Adam laughed.  "I guess we'll have to wait until moving in day to see who the prettiest boy in the house is, but I doubt it'll be Kris this time around.  I've seen a lot of pretty and talented boys this round through on Idol and there's going to be some serious competition."
 
"I think the girls are really bringing it this year," Kris said.  "There are a lot of very beautiful, very sweet, and very talented girls on the show, and I'm really excited to see more of them." 
 
The magazine went so far as to call season sixteen the 'most provocative and sexually driven' season of Idol so far, due to what they called the 'high risk of Kris and Adam either strangling each other or fucking each other on live television, center stage.' 
 
The show's producers had never seen this coming.  They had expected to get all the season eight fans back into Idol, because for some reason, Kris and Adam had always been popular, for absolutely no reason that the producers could see.  However, they certainly weren't complaining about the media coverage Kris and Adam were bringing in with this unforeseen tactic.  All publicity was good publicity, after all. 
 
Hollywood Week
Hollywood, CA
 
There were a couple weeks before the auditions and Hollywood week, and during this time, Kris really took a moment to breathe and refocus.  Adam was right, in a way.  If music was what he loved, if music was all he wanted out of life, shouldn’t he die fighting for it?  Wasn't that what he was always telling everyone?  Maybe it was time to start listening to his own advice. 
 
Apart from that, he didn't want to fight with Adam anymore.  Adam had been a rock for him back during their time on Idol—the one to reassure him when he got worked up over a show, the one to take away a bit of the judges' criticism when it got to be too much, the one to talk to Kris until he fell asleep.  Adam had meant the world to him and just because they had gone their separate ways didn't mean that he wanted to spend the rest of his life fighting with him. 
 
Before they were due at the judges' table, Kris walked up to Adam.  "Adam?"
 
Adam looked at him warily, his eyes guarded for whatever poison Kris might throw at him. 
 
"Can we start again?  I don't like the person I've been lately." 
 
Adam's eyes widened, but Kris had always been the first of them to admit he was wrong.  Adam nodded.  "Yeah.  Yeah, I've been an ass." 
 
Kris smiled.  "Good."
 
"Good that I've been an ass?"  Adam was biting back a smile. 
 
"Well, no, but you know how I feel about your ass." 
 
"I thought that was just me."
 
"We both know you love your ass, Adam."
 
Adam laughed, and so did Kris.  It felt good to laugh again; it felt even better to be laughing with Adam. 
 
Semi-Finals
Hollywood, CA
 
Sitting in the Kodak Theatre to judge the semi-finals was the first time Kris had been on Idol in almost seven years.  He'd had one come-back performance on Idol the year after he'd won, but Adam had been back multiple times, both as a performer and as a mentor.  It was just another reminder of how different their lives were, how their two paths that started in the same place had veered so far apart. 
 
"It's Derek for me," Adam announced after the Top 13 were announced. 
 
"What?"
 
"Derek," Adam repeated.  "I'm putting my money on Derek winning.  I like him, a lot."  Derek was a little older than the other contestants and a seasoned performer, someone who commanded attention as he owned the stage and his voice.  He impressed Adam and not just because of his rock edge.  "How about you?"
 
"Uhh…"
 
"C'mon.  There's only thirteen of them.  You don't have a favorite?"
 
"Sarah," Kris said softly, and Adam smiled knowingly.  Sarah was young, pretty, and amber-haired with a voice like an angel.  She was sweet mannered, soft-spoken, but loved life, if her performances were anything to go by. 
 
"Of course."
 
"What?"
 
"She's not your type at all."
 
Kris raised an eyebrow.  "What about Derek?  There hasn't been a contestant more like you since James Durbin." 
 
Adam laughed.  "True.  Very true.  Even if James was metal and—"
 
"—and you're glam, I know, I know," Kris finished with a sigh and a smile. 
 
They went out to dinner together, and for Kris, that was the pivotal moment.  That was when Kris found himself staring into Adam's eyes and picking out the random shapes in all that blue, found himself wondering what the short hair on the sides of Adam's skull would feel like under his fingers.  He wondered just how much of Adam was soft and how much was firm muscle.  Sitting across from Adam, he felt like he was in orbit of a sun and there was nothing else in the world.  Adam was breathtaking, life-altering, mesmerizing. 
 
Holy shit, Kris thought to himself.  Holy shit.
 
Top 13
Hollywood, CA
 
To celebrate neither Derek nor Sarah being kicked off, Adam brought Kris over to his house.  It was less a celebration and more a casual hang out, Kris quickly realized when he and Adam were sprawled on the couch barefoot with their show clothes reduced to pants and a single shirt instead of Kris's sweater/tie combo and Adam's vest/jacket ensemble.  There was a movie playing that they were both only half watching—a remake of The Shining—while they ate junk food; Kris was digging into a pan of fudge brownies while Adam emptied a the remains of a half-gallon of ice cream. 
 
It was causal and relaxed, but Kris was still hyper-aware of just how close he was to Adam and exactly how much space was between them.  Adam's feet were on the coffee table and his right foot was very close to Kris's left.  When he stretched almost in half to reach the remote control, Kris saw Adam's shirt ride up, revealing an inch of pale skin across his lower back. 
 
It was so easy with Adam, and Kris had missed that.  He'd missed just feeling at home with someone else, like there was nothing demanded of him, like he was only a means to an end.  There was an uncomfortable feeling with Adam, too, a feeling of being pushed and encouraged to reach farther than he thought he could, but it was a good feeling, a reassuring feeling because somehow he knew that even if he fell, Adam would never desert him; Adam would be the net to catch him.  It was a good feeling. 
 
"Oh, shit, I forgot to tell you!" Kris exclaimed suddenly. 
 
"What?"
 
He had Adam's full attention, and for a moment, his breath caught.  "I—I'm getting a record deal again."
 
"Seriously?"
 
Kris nodded.  "My manager's talking with some labels, working things out.  I'm going to start writing again—writing for me, not for someone else—and then it's back to the studio."
 
Adam grinned his big beautiful smile that was like a breath of fresh air into Kris's lungs, and Kris smiled back.  Adam wrapped him in a hug—a real hug full of love and warmth and strength, none of the phony Hollywood hugs that had filled Kris's life up to that point.  "I'm so proud of you," he heard Adam say into his neck, and Kris felt proud of himself for the first time in a long time. 
 
Top 12
Hollywood, CA
 
From the minute he got into Adam's house after the Top 12 were cut to eleven, Kris could feel that something was about to change.  He didn't know what it was, but as the night went on, the feeling got stronger and stronger.  He and Adam crashed on the couch as they talked about music, talked about their families, watched some bad reality TV—
 
— and then Adam's mouth was on his, firm but gentle and oh so soft.  When Adam pulled back, his breath was shallow and Kris's eyes were wide, his lips parted.  Adam leaned in again, but Kris turned away.  "No."
 
Adam looked at him and evenly said, "I want you."
 
"I do too.  We just—we can't."
 
Adam's eyes were hard, like he'd been told that line one too many times.  "Why is wrong to want what we want?"
 
"It's not!  It's just—this—we can't."
 
"Why, Kris?  We've waited seven years to both be in the same place—isn't that long enough?"
 
Kris hung his head, and when he spoke, his voice was pained.  "Adam."
 
"No, Kris!"  Adam stood up then and moved away, pushing a hand through his hair and then turning back to Kris.  "I want you.  You want me.  It's that simple.  This isn't wrong, Kris."
 
Kris got to his feet as well.  "I know it isn't wrong, but it's not simple, either."
 
"Yes, it is!"
 
"No, it isn't.  We have our careers to think about, and our friendship—"
 
"Don't give me that crap. 'Your friendship is too good to lose—'"
 
"It is!  Adam, tell me about Brad.  Tell me about Sauli.  Tell me about Patrick or Anthony or Gabriel or Alexander or Jason.  Things didn't last for you, they didn't work out, and everything was a huge mess when it ended!"
 
"Oh, that's real rich, pointing out every boy I've loved over the past ten years.  At least I wasn't married.  I knew I didn't want to spend the rest of my life with any of them."
 
"I did want to spend the rest of my life with her!  She just didn't want to spend it with me." 
 
Adam looked at him evenly, not saying anything because there really wasn't anything for him to say. 
 
"Adam," Kris said finally, "I want my music back.  For the first time in a long time, I have a chance of getting it, and I don't want to lose it.  I can't."
 
Adam seemed to deflate them, and even though he didn't look particularly happy about it, he nodded.  "Alright."
 
"Yeah?"
 
"Yeah.  I bugged you to death about following your dreams; it'd be pretty hypocritical of me to say the opposite now."
 
Top 11
Hollywood, CA
 
"Adam!" 
 
The shriek caught Kris's attention and his head swung up just in time to see a black blur topped with red flames throw itself at Adam.  Allison had arrived. 
 
Kris stood back as Adam swung her around in a circle and as soon as she was set down, Allison launched herself at Kris.  He laughed and hugged her back. 
 
"It's so good to see you!" she cried out, standing back to take them both in.  "How are you guys?"
 
As Adam answered her, Kris looked her over.  He could still see the funny young girl he had met eight years before, but she was only part of the beautiful woman standing in front of him.  Allison was taller, wearing shredded jeans and a black shirt, and her hair was red again. 
 
"Your hair looks great," Kris said. 
 
"Oh, thanks!"  Allison smiled at him.  "I think the red fits me right now."
 
Kris nodded.  "Everything fits you."
 
She grinned again, showing all her straight white teeth. 
 
The three of them spent the night at Adam's, something that was quickly becoming a regular event.  Allison told stories from the road and about recording her new album.  The first single was doing extremely well, and she was scheduled to perform on Idol before leaving for the tour.  There was talk about singing with Kris and Adam too, if they had time to put something together. 
 
"And when Jared and I hooked up, I thought things would be weird with the band and all."  Jared was Allison's lead guitarist.  "But it's totally not!  And it's great having him around all the time when I'm on tour.  I remember when I was dating Braden and being a country away from him for months at a time was awful.  Not this time around!" 
 
Kris smiled at her and ignored the pointed look from Adam.  Kris wasn't concerned about destroying his friendship with Adam or ruining their professional relationship.  Honestly, he figured that dating Adam would destroy any chance he had of a comeback in his career, and he couldn't risk it when everything was still so fragile.  Adam would just have to deal with it. 
 
Top 10
Hollywood, CA
 
As he waited in the rafters above the stage listening to the opening synths of "Sing," Kris was having serious second thoughts.  A My Chemical Romance song?  Who was he kidding?  Allison was punk; this song was right in her range.  And Adam was glam rock, he could adapt to anything.  But Kris… What was Kris?  He was going to be a lame sidekick taking up space on stage while Adam and Allison battled it out. 
 
It started with Allison and Adam alone on a fog covered stage, looking beautiful and individual.  Kris adjusted his harness, wondering how he had been talked into this, and as the drums got heavy, he jumped off the rigging.  As soon as his toes touched the stage, it exploded in flames and he burst into the chorus with Adam and Allison. 
 
It was absolutely amazing.  He never thought he had it in him, never thought he could hold a candle to Allison or Adam except for 'in his own way.'  But this… This was something else entirely. 
 
For the bridge, the three of them battled their way through the lyrics, fighting each other, and then erupted into the final chorus.  It was phenomenal, and Kris had never known anything like it.
 
Allison and Adam were both hugging each other when Kris got off the stage, and he walked straight up to Adam, grabbed his shoulder, spun him around, and kissed him long and hard on the mouth. 
 
He went home alone with Adam that night, promising to spend the next day with Allison before she caught her flight out, and within minute, he was facedown on Adam's bed, Adam's long fingers pushing in and out of his ass. 
 
"Oh, God, Adam.  Fuck.  Adam."
 
"Yeah, I know.  I know."
 
Kris smiled into the pillow, but an instant later, he was shuddering as he felt Adam's tongue hot and wet in his hole.  "Jesus, fuck, Adam!" he shouted, his back arching for more.  Adam took hold of his cheeks, spreading him further, and continued to assault his senses until Kris didn't think he could take any more.  "Please, Adam, please.  Please, please, Adam, please!"
 
Adam turned him over then, slicking up and sliding into Kris's body, locking eyes with him the whole time.  Kris tried to keep his eyes open as Adam thrust into him, but the sensation was too much.  He felt full, whole, completed, like he was part of something more.  How had sex never felt like this before?  "Adam," he sighed, and pulled Adam down for a kiss. 
 
The kissed messily as Adam continued pushing into him, and Kris hitched his legs as high as he could around Adam's back, rocking to meet him.
 
"Yes, Adam, yes, yes, yes!  Jesus, fuck Adam!"  Kris screamed as he came, Adam coming seconds later.  He'd never been a screamer, ever, but with Adam…
 
"Holy shit, Adam," he gasped as Adam pulled out and dropped down next to him. 
 
"Yeah."  Adam smiled at him, sweat covered, his hair a mess, and Kris had never seen anything so beautiful.  "Couldn't have said it better myself." 
 
Kris smiled and wrapped his arms around Adam, snuggling against him as he fell asleep. 
 
Top 9
Hollywood, CA
 
Adam's band got together to record a couple demos with Kris, and it felt like he'd been reborn.  The music was flowing through him, running in his blood and circling in his head, but it was a new song that he'd never thought belonged to him before.  It was beautiful and passionate and alive; it was a song of creation and recognition.  Song after song had a new beat Kris had thought he'd lost, lyrics more personal than the ones he'd sold out with for his 'hit' second album.  It was exciting, with a bit of a soul punk edge, and it was the most exhilarating Kris had ever felt. 
 
Adam's band members were cool too.  Kris had never spent any time with them, but he recognized them on sight.  First off, they were Adam's band, so Kris was fairly familiar with their faces from their time on TV and YouTube.  There was Tommy, who everyone in the world recognized as one half of the gay kiss that rocked MTV.  Monte had toured with Madonna, for goodness sake.  Cam was quiet but impressive, and Isaac was amazing at the drums and just as wild in real life.  Kris took to them quickly and enjoyed the time he spent joking around with them or swapping stories. 
 
Kris went home with Adam every night, spending long hours making sweet lazy love or wild crazy sex.  Everything inside Kris was new and alive, and he never wanted the feeling to go away.  He felt like a livewire, and it had been a long time coming. 
 
Top 8
Hollywood, CA
 
Kris set down the phone, his eyes burning, and Adam came up behind him.  Adam wrapped his arms around Kris's waist, thrusting shallowly against his ass and sucking on the side of his neck.  When Kris didn't respond, even after Adam reached down to cup Kris's dick, Adam pulled back and turned Kris to face him.  "What is it?"
 
Kris shook his head, not daring to look Adam in the eye. 
 
"Kris, tell me what's wrong."
 
Kris looked away as he hoarsely whispered, "The record deal fell through.  They don't want me.  It's over." 
 
Adam immediately shook his head.  "It's not over.  You've only just started.  We're going to make this work, we will.  If I have to march into my own label and demand they sign you—"
 
"Your label rejected me."
 
Adam was nonplussed.  "Fine.  I'll sign you myself."
 
Kris pulled away.  "I don't want that.  I want to know that someone believed in me enough to sign me, not just that someone did it out of pity."
 
"I don't pity you."
 
"Of course you don't!  You're on top of the world and keep trying to push me to get there myself.  Well, maybe I'm not going to get there, Adam.  Maybe this is what I was meant to do, write songs for other artists for the rest of my life just get a taste of what I want but can't have."
 
Adam took hold of Kris's shoulders, hard.  "Don't you say that.  Now you listen to me.  We are going back to the studio.  We're going to keep recording your demos and we will bring them to every label in the country, a dozen times over if we have to.  We'll make them see what I see in you."
 
Kris hung his head.  "I felt special, Adam.  I finally felt like I was good enough."
 
"You are good enough."
 
"Make me believe it, Adam.  Show it to me."
 
In his bedroom, Adam went down on Kris, deepthroating him as Kris moaned above him, his fingers in Adam's hair.  Adam went still until Kris fucked his throat like he wanted to and swallowed him down as he came.  He played with Kris then, exploring every inch of his body and torturing every sweet spot he found.  When Kris was hard again, Adam slicked him up and pushed inside, fucking Kris long and slow with steady hard thrusts directly to his prostate.  He held Kris to him as he buried himself in Kris's body, pushing hard and filling Kris so completely.  Kris cried with Adam inside him, overwhelmed with all the sensations coursing through him, not knowing what to do with all the emotion except to let it out. 
 
Later that night, he cried again as Adam spooned him, fucking into him slowly from behind and holding Kris tightly against his chest.   
 
Top 7
Hollywood, CA
 
"Have you thought about how you want to do it?"
 
"Do what?" Kris looked up at Adam from the other side of the table.  There they were, eating dinner together; they were so domestic. 
 
"Come out."
 
Kris gagged, choking on his parmigiani.  "What?" he gasped out.  "Why?"
 
Adam gave him a peculiar look.  "You need to come out eventually.  If not to the public, then to your family.  And you really should think about coming out to the fans, too.  The community always needs more role models to look up to."
 
"I think you, Elton, and Gaga have that down, thanks."
 
Adam made a face.  "As much as it kills me to say this, but the kids could use someone a bit more—well, someone normal to look up to.  It's all well and good for them to be creative and express themselves, but they're not all going to grow up and make a living wearing latex.  They're going to be normal people with normal lives.  You know.  Careers, families, friends.  They're going to be happy, and you can have all that, without—"
 
"Without wearing purple suits or rubber bras?"
 
Adam smiled.  "I wouldn't stop you if you wanted to." 
 
Kris burst out laughing, but the thought of coming out stayed heavy in his mind. 
 
Top 6
Hollywood, CA
 
Kris praised Sarah for her performance during the Top 6, commenting on her beautiful voice and charming smile.  That night, though, when he went out alone to walk through the city, he had second thoughts.  Maybe he wasn't doing the right thing to encourage her.  She was beautiful, she had a lovely voice, and she had a sweet personality, but these things weren't enough to make her into anything.  Hadn't people said the same about Kris?  He was handsome, he was sweet, he had a nice voice.  America was looking for a freak with quirks.  They wanted someone who demanded attention, someone who caused a riot, someone who rubbed against the grain. 
 
Sarah wasn't anything special, and neither was Kris. 
 
He wasn't Adam.  He didn't have a gay agenda to propagate.  His presence didn't turn heads and make people stop whatever they were doing and pay attention.  His voice didn't give people chills or cause millions of people to fantasize about him. 
 
Kris had a beautiful voice, but it didn't stand out.  He was just another good-looking guy singing about the girl he loved.  He was just one of a million others, all doing the same thing and getting nowhere with it. 
 
Kris had to face the reality that he was nothing special, and his dreams of living his music and sharing it with the world were unrealistic and unattainable.  It was over for him, if it had ever started to begin with. 
 
Top 5
Hollywood, CA
 
Kris pushed through the crowd outside the Idol theater.  They were haters waiting for Adam; they always were.  Dozens of them with signs and shirts and slogans, all proclaiming how Adam was going to burn in hell, how he was sinful and disgusting, how he should be ashamed of himself, and wishing him dead.  Kris shoved through them all, ignoring their shouts but unable to ignore the fact that if he kept going down his current path, one day there would be crowds of his own shouting slander against him.  One day, sooner rather than later if he kept things up with Adam, he wouldn't be able to go to work, he wouldn't even be able to leave his house, without a throng of torches and pitchforks waiting for him, egging him on to his demise, encouraging him to give in to their demands, degrading him and breaking him down, reiterating every painful truth he hoped to avoid.  It was hard enough to deal with the voices in his own head, much less giving them faces and banners as well.
 
"I'm just so fucking sick of it!" Kris burst out as he slammed open the door of the makeup room. 
 
Adam was already there, lining his eyes in cobalt and ebony, and he glanced up at Kris.  "Sick of what?"
 
"Your fucking hazers everywhere, saying nasty shit."
 
"My hazers?  They're your hazers too—or they will be."
 
"Maybe I don't want them to be."
 
Adam froze.  "What are you saying?"
 
"Maybe I don't want this."
 
"It's not something you pick, Kris." 
 
"This isn't my life, Adam.  I don't want it."
 
Adam just stared at him for a moment, then exploded, getting up in Kris's face as he shouted, "Fuck, Kris.  Fuck you!  They all told me I was crazy.  You can bend a straight boy but you can't make him gay—he'll go back to straight in the end and dump you on your ass."
 
"Oh, fuck you, Adam!"
 
"No!  Because I was right.  This was just a fling for you.  You just wanted some of my fame, some of my success, some of my happiness, because you couldn't get any for yourself, because you threw all yours away."
 
Kris gaped at him.  "Fuck you, you fucking asshole!  You don't know shit about me and you never did.  Get the fuck out of my life."  Kris shoved him and stalked out of the room.
 
Top 4
Hollywood, CA
 
The next few week was miserable.  Adam and Kris didn't speak and there was obvious tension between them behind the judges' table.  Derek was in the bottom too, and Kris was afraid that if he was sent home, Adam might explode.  Not that he cared anyway.  If Sarah beat Adam's pet, then all the better for Kris.  Maybe then Adam would see that you didn't have to shove your lifestyle down other people's throats. 
 
Kris made plans with his agent to get him in the studio with a few other artists.  He was going to write songs and sell them to other people; his singing days were over.  His manager agreed that this was the best possible route for him and all he could hope for now. 
 
Adam called up his manager as well and scheduled some studio time.  He had a successful album to write and record and didn't have a moment to waste.  He'd show Kris that sitting around on his ass wouldn't get him anywhere in life and that Adam was going to be happy and successful without him.  He wasn't going to let Kris jerk him around on a leash anymore. 
 
Derek was safe, as was Sarah, and both were headed into the Top 3.  Only two more weeks, and Kris and Adam would never have to see each other again; wisely, they had both only signed up to judge Idol for one season.  They didn't want to spend another minute together if not necessary by contract. 
 
Top 3
Hollywood, CA
 
Kris and Adam were to open the Top 3 show with a duet, if they could get their act together and work on it.  Kris let Adam do all the work—picking the song, working the arrangement.  He just took his music and left to work on his part alone. 
 
He and Adam were scheduled to do a run through with the techs Tuesday morning, as were the other Idol contestants, and on his way down the hallway, Kris pulled up short at a shocking sigh.  Derek and Sarah were sitting on the floor together, Sarah between Derek's legs and leaning back against his chest, their fingers intertwined in Sarah's lap. 
 
"No fucking way."
 
They both glanced up at him, taken by surprise, and began to pull apart.  He waved a hand at them.  "Don't mind me.  Jesus Christ."  He walked out on the stage and finished the run through as quickly as possible. 
 
The duet sucked.  It sucked in practice, and it sucked on live TV.  Adam was pissed and hurt, and Kris didn't care.  He wanted to get as far away from music as he possible could.  He wasn't a singer and he wasn't a musician, not anymore.  He was going to write songs for other artists and never sing again.  This was it for him. 
 
Later in the show, he watched the videos of the contestants returning to their hometowns and was surprised to see Derek and Sarah wearing matching bracelets with each other's names on them.  "I wanted her to have something to remember me by," Derek answered when Ryan asked about it, and Sarah smiled at him.  On live TV, Sarah leaned over and kissed him. 
 
Kris remembered his own time on Idol when he'd returned home with a blue-painted thumbnail—to remember Adam by.  Here, these two crazy kids, even more different than he and Adam, were following in their footsteps.  The two kids seemed to be doing a hell of a lot better job than he and Adam had done and certainly much better than he and Adam were doing still. 
 
He glanced over at Adam who was running the pad of a finger over his thumbnail, and knew Adam was remembering the same. 
 
That night, when Kris pushed through the hazers, their shouts moved him to take action, not to run and hide. 
 
Finale
Hollywood, CA
 
Kris kept busy for the following week.  He fired his manager and got a new one, one who could do what Kris wanted him to do.  He made plans and took action.  And once things were in order, or some semblance thereof, he went to talk to Adam. 
 
"No, let me say this," Kris said when Adam tried to shut the door in his face. 
 
Adam sighed and let him in. 
 
"I signed with an idie label.  I've got full control of my music and full control of my image and any publicity I want.  And I'm going to keep writing for other artists.  I'm taking control of my life, Adam, and I want you in it."
 
Adam just looked at him, processing, so Kris repeated, "I want you in my life."
 
Adam shook his head slowly.  "I don't—that's great for you, Kris.  I'm happy for you; I think this is going to be really good for you.  But all the reasons you didn't want this—being gay in the media, the fans reaction, the hazers—those things aren't going away.  They're all still there, and no matter where we go or what we do, they always will be.  I can't change that."
 
Kris shrugged.  "I don't need you to.  Whether I'm out or not, those are my hazers too, and for the first time in my life, they inspired me instead of making me feel afraid.  I'm going to write music that means something; I'm going to stand for something.  I'm going to be who I am, and I won't let the hazers make me run away or turn me into a rubber wearing diva.  I know who I am and who I want."
 
"And you want me?" Adam asked softly.
 
"Always." When Kris saw the acceptance in Adam's eyes, he reached up to hug him.  He didn't feel like he needed to complete him anymore.  He was his own person; he was whole.  He wasn't half of a whole, but he was a whole that could create something even more with the whole person that Adam was and had always been. 
 
"I want to change our duet song," Kris said.  "I want to come out."
 
Adam's eyes widened.  "On stage, in front of the entire world, before you've even told your family?"
 
Kris shook his head.  "I flew home four days ago and told my family.  They're good with it.  And the rest of the world will be too, or they suck my dick—or not, you know, whatever."
 
Adam shook his head.  "Coming out on stage?  You keep this up and you'll be a feather wearing freak in no time."
 
Kris grinned.  "Don't hold your breath."
 
Kris and Adam debuted a Kris Allen original the next night on the American Idol finale, shocking the world not unlike Adam had done when he had kissed Tommy years before—just without the graphic sexuality that Adam brought with him everywhere.  It was a beautiful heartfelt love song that expressed everything inside Kris, showing himself to the world for the first time. 
 
Sarah and Derek were the final two, just like Kris and Adam had been, but this time around, the edgy rocker won—only to propose to his girlfriend on live TV as the confetti fell around them. 
 
Epilogue
 
"I'm sorry, the traffic was terrible."
 
Adam smiled at Kris's lack of a hello and kissed him anyway.  "It's okay.  How was your day?" 
 
Kris grinned.  "Amazing."  He stretched out his shoulders.  "Tour practice is brutal, but I'm excited to ship out in two weeks."
 
"Are you sure you don’t need me to lend you my dancers?  What about my top hat?"
 
Kris laughed and kissed Adam gently.  "No thanks, hun.  You can wear the hat yourself if you want to.  I'll watch for you in the crowd."
 
"The crowd?  What kind of groupie do you think I am?  I'll be waiting sidestage so I can ravage you the minute your set is over."
 
"Oh yeah?" Kris cocked an eyebrow.  "What kind of ravaging did you have in mind?"
 
Adam showed him, repeatedly, in several rooms of the house and on multiple surfaces, and Kris had to agree—he certainly preferred a boyfriend who would ravage him.  A groupie just couldn't show him the unquestionable love Adam could.  It was strange to think that he had started this road eight years before when he had first seen Adam smile at him during an early round of American Idol.  In the end, his journey after Idol might have been rougher than the glamorous paths of other winners, but he wouldn't have had it any other way.
 
 
 
 

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Comments

( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
chelseafrew
Sep. 29th, 2011 02:07 pm (UTC)
So. Much. Love. That's what I have for this story! I have been craving a story just like this, one that's future fic that takes into account some of where the boys have actually been. I loved the push me-pull you nature of their relationship, and I had fun imagining this happening! Bring on Season 16! *g*

I especially loved the scenes of them judging and the casual easiness of them hanging out at Adam's. And the sex was hot!

Thanks so much for sharing your work!
gwencarmichael
Sep. 29th, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I was secretly waiting for a fic like this too; Kris and Adam's time together can't have ended with Idol! :( Your comments mean the world to me, thank you so much! :D
pinkeurogirl
Sep. 29th, 2011 04:02 pm (UTC)
Amazing fic! Loved their journey through each idol week and a happy ending :-)
gwencarmichael
Sep. 29th, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much! :D
kira_dark_wing
Sep. 29th, 2011 05:34 pm (UTC)
I can't even put the proper words together that can possibly express how much I love this story!
gwencarmichael
Sep. 29th, 2011 06:47 pm (UTC)
That's so sweet, thank you! (btw, your icon is ADORABLE!)
youkeyh
Sep. 29th, 2011 07:47 pm (UTC)
I have mix feelings about this fic. Maybe because I read it just a few minutes after I woke up. But I really love this. I love that somehow this could be one of those scenarios that would be as close to reality when it comes to future fics.

So much love for this :)
<3xo
gwencarmichael
Sep. 29th, 2011 08:37 pm (UTC)
Well, thank you! :D
fictionfreak15
Sep. 29th, 2011 10:32 pm (UTC)
XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX
I'M ACTUALLY HATING THIS COMMENT BOX RIGHT NOW CUZ I CAN'T REACH THRU IT AND HUG YOU AS HARD AS I CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH KAYLA! I LOVED THIS SO MUCH! IT FELT SO REAL! SO WONDERFUL AND TERRIBLE AND BEAUTIFUL AND EDGY! OMG!!!!!! FLAILING FLAILING FLAILING FLAILING I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW FUCKING AWESOME THIS WAS SO YOU'RE JUST GONNA HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE CAPS BB ;P

SO MANY UPS AND DOWNS! THIS WAS WRITTEN SO WONDERFULLY. I JUST CAN'T BELIEVE WE LIKE, KNOW EACH OTHER LOL!! YOU'RE SO COOL. THE POWERFUL ELEMENTS YOU'VE USED, NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THAT I'VE SORT OF TAKEN THIS PERSONALLY CUZ I FEEL LIKE KRIS SO MUCH IT'S NOT EVEN FUNNY! JESUS BB, YOU'VE MADE ME FEEL SO SPECIAL FOR WRITING THIS. I LOVE YOU SO FUCKING MUCH. ARE YOU READY? HERE IT COMES!!!! GGGGGGGGGGGGGGLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMPPPPPPPPPPPPPSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*hands you a back brace* THAT'LL TEACH YOU TO WRITE SO PERFECTLY AND BE SO TALENTED AND FUCKING KICKASS!!! I'M NOT DONE WITH YOU YET BB. EXPECT A FLAILY EMAIL POST HASTE ;) LOVE YOU! MMMMMMMMMUUUUUUUUAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

caris
gwencarmichael
Sep. 30th, 2011 02:22 am (UTC)
Re: XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX
:D I don't know how to make my smile any bigger... THANK YOU SO MUCH, I LOVE YOU! :D You made my crappy night all better! Now to read your email...
janshawaii
Sep. 29th, 2011 11:34 pm (UTC)
THANK YOU!
It's so wonderful to read a KRADAM fic that although filled with angst, has a wonderful, happy ending! I agree, Kris and Adam must have found a way to continue their relationship after Idol. . . we could all see the spark lying just beneath the surface!!

lotsa love! <3
gwencarmichael
Sep. 30th, 2011 02:23 am (UTC)
Re: THANK YOU!
I'm glad you think so too! Thanks for reading and leaving such a sweet comment :D
sparklesdani
Sep. 30th, 2011 12:58 am (UTC)
A request
Hi sweetie! I've seen your fics on my flist a lot and I just had a request. I understand that this is your own personal journal and you're allowed to do what you want. But I was wondering if you could use an lj-cut on your fics. It's just that they're very long and hard to scroll past.

I hope I haven't bothered you with this. <3
gwencarmichael
Sep. 30th, 2011 02:26 am (UTC)
Re: A request
No worries. I know what you mean, I've had a similar experience with one or two of the people on my list as well.
imnotskerrd
Sep. 30th, 2011 09:19 am (UTC)
oh wow! that was just wonderful. I can't even... beautiful, just beautiful :)
gwencarmichael
Oct. 2nd, 2011 02:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! :D
revontulet_iam
Sep. 30th, 2011 10:11 am (UTC)
I don't think I can fully express how much I loved reading this fic. It was beautiful and somewhat heartbreaking, but so realistic.
gwencarmichael
Oct. 2nd, 2011 03:00 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you found it realistic! Thank you so much :)
ally4
Sep. 30th, 2011 12:15 pm (UTC)
Beautifully written! So much angst, omg, I was about to cry at times for how badly Kris had begun to think of himself! So, glad it ended with on happy note *and with Kradam* :D
gwencarmichael
Oct. 2nd, 2011 03:01 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you liked the angsting and felt so strongly about Kris's self-deprecation. Thanks for reading and commenting :)
elizareeves
Sep. 30th, 2011 04:58 pm (UTC)
Perfect characterization of Adam! Always the supporting and encouraging friend/lover/colleague to Kris! *sigh* I also love the way you wrote Kris. I felt so bad for him and could really empathize with him. I was right there with him, feeling his pain and insecurities and doubts.

And...OMG! I was listening to Sing this morning and I couldn't help but think of Kradison covering it! I LOVE that song and they would definitely do it justice! Thanks for that MCR tidbit in there. LOVE those boys!! Just saw them live on Monday for the very first time!! AWESOME doesn't even begin to describe it!

Anyway...back to the story: Great, great writing!! Thanks for sharing!
gwencarmichael
Oct. 2nd, 2011 03:03 pm (UTC)
It means so much to me that you connected with this story! And I'm a total MCR nut (they're what most of my stories are about) so that was fun for me to insert :) Thanks for reading and leaving such a sweet comment :D
robin1961
Sep. 30th, 2011 07:31 pm (UTC)
wonderful story oh and your writing rocks ... loved the whole concept of this fic !!!1
gwencarmichael
Oct. 2nd, 2011 03:03 pm (UTC)
I'm glad! I thought it was time for a future set Kradam... their time can't be over yet. Thanks for reading :)
crybaby4u
Sep. 30th, 2011 11:04 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed your story very much and glad I saw the rec for this :)
gwencarmichael
Oct. 2nd, 2011 03:03 pm (UTC)
Yay! Thanks for reading :D
takema
Oct. 4th, 2011 07:13 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this. I really loved that Kris finally went for what he wanted and that Adam wouldn't let him give up on himself.
gwencarmichael
Oct. 4th, 2011 07:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! :D
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )