Title: The Mirror's Eye
Kradam. R. From the Metaphors and Dinosaurs universe.
Disclaimer: Don't know these people. Never happened.
"Kris, are you ever coming out of there? Our reservations are ten."
Kris had snapped his head up abruptly at the sudden knock on the door of his study, then looked guiltily down at his guitar when he'd heard the words that Adam had called to him through the door, realizing that time had run away from him again, as it always did when he was composing.
However when he set his guitar down in its stand and opened the door at last, he couldn't help but smile a little when he saw that Adam was dressed to kill (natch): black jeans, shiny black boots, and a leather jacket Kris seemed to recall seeing Adam wear on one of the episodes of the show last spring, way back before Adam Lambert had even known that a person named Kris Allen even existed.
"Yeah, sure, I'm ready," Kris said now, stepping through the door and sort of running his hands over his rather crumpled plaid shirt.
"Really Kris? Really?" Adam replied with a frown as his eyes went over Kris's shirt, his worn jeans, his ancient Converse. "This isn't Chick-Fil-A we're going to, you know."
"Oh," Kris mumbled, staring down at his offending couture. "Well I guess I could change then."
"Come on," Adam said now, tugging on Kris's arm as his eyes began to sparkle a merry blue. "Let me dress you up tonight, make you look siiiiick."
"Well it's not like I'm gonna be able to fit into anything of yours," Kris reasoned as Adam dragged him down the hall toward the stairs.
"Nobody's saying anything about you wearing any of my things," Adam replied logically as he pushed Kris ahead of him up the staircase. "I have a surprise."
"Huh?" Kris said to this, turning around a little to look at Adam's face, but Adam only gently shoved him on the shoulders in response, and said "Will you just get your ass up the stairs please, or we're going to be late."
The "surprise" turned out to be far less specious than Kris had expected, amounting merely to a plain black button-up shirt made of some fine material that Adam had purchased somewhere on one of his shopping trips and that Adam had known would look "bangin" on Kris when he saw it "Size small," Kris said as though to himself with a crooked smile as he glanced at the label of the shirt that Adam held out for him.
"Never mind that, look at who the designer is!" Adam replied eagerly.
"Oh, yeah," Kris shrugged as he took the shirt from Adam's hands and lay it on the bed, though the truth was that Kris didn't know one designer from another and so if Adam had said it was from Target it would have made no difference to Kris at all.
"But first," Adam said as watched Kris unbutton his old plaid shirt and pull it off, "we're going to do something about that hair of yours."
"What's wrong with my hair?" Kris replied uneasily as Adam dragged Kris into the bathroom and sat him down on the toilet seat: his hair was a slightly touchy subject for Kris, though he would never in a million years admit that to anybody.
"It's all over the place, that's what's wrong," Adam muttered, teasing his fingers through Kris's hair and sort of tilting his head as he studied Kris contemplatively. "Maybe I'll just....Oh, I know," Adam said brightly now, reaching for one of the million bottles on the sink and squirting a dollop of something into his silver-ringed hands.
"Ugh, that stuff stinks," Kris said, wrinkling his nose as Adam ran the goop through Kris's hair and then maneuvered it this way and that.
"Shut up, it's gonna look fantastic," Adam replied absently, his eyes focused in concentration while he made Kris's strands do his bidding, before at last stepping away and smiling to himself in satisfaction as he observed his handiwork, then pointed to the bathroom mirror as he said to Kris "Well go on, check it out."
"Huh," Kris said when he peered into the mirror and saw not the scary fright he'd been expecting, but rather just him, with his hair neatened up and sort of sticking up a little but nothing too outrageous or absurd.
"Yeah, I guess that's okay," Kris shrugged after a moment, then turned to walk back out of the bathroom but not before Adam mimicked in exasperation "'I guess that's okay'? God, you're impossible, aren't you."
To this Kris merely waved his hand at Adam as he walked toward the bed and reached for the new shirt, only to be interrupted again by Adam saying behind him "Well you're not going to wear those jeans, are you? Don't you have some, like, nice pants or something?"
But whatever Adam was about to add was cut short when Kris turned to him and silently pointed his finger at Adam, then pointed to the bedroom door as he quirked his eyebrows at Adam meaningfully.
"Fine," Adam muttered at last, stomping toward the door. "But hurry up, I'm fucking starved."
Sheesh, Kris thought to himself as he kicked off his shoes and wriggled out of his jeans, then stepped toward the dresser to try to fish out a pair of pants that were "nice" or whatever the hell that was supposed to mean. However all Kris could find was a pair of black jeans he'd maybe worn only twice because they were somewhat too tight, but then he shrugged, figuring that if Adam didn't like it he could just kiss Kris's ass.
After having yanked and squeezed his way into the too-tight jeans, he then reached for the black shirt on the bed and drew it on, where to his surprise he found it fit perfectly--usually the sleeves of Size Small men's shirts were a bit too long for him, and the shoulders a bit too tight, but for some reason it was as though this particular garment had been made for him, as though somebody had known Kris's measurements exactly and had the shirt tailored to suit him.
"Oh," Kris said to himself then, looking down at the shirt after he'd buttoned it up and adjusted the cuffs. And then, as an afterthought, he unbuttoned the top few buttons again so that the shirt gaped somewhat alarmingly (at least to him) over his chest, before he went to the closet to dig out the black sneakers he'd gotten sometime within the last year but which he rarely wore, since he was somewhat attached to the beat-up white Converse that had made the journey with him from Arkansas a lifetime ago.
Peering into the full-length mirror that stood opposite to the bed in their room (yeah Kris knew exactly why Adam had had that mirror placed there, he thought to himself with a faint blush) he adjusted the collar of his shirt, fussed with his hair so that it had a bit more of a rakish aspect, and, once deciding that it was about the best he could do, he stepped toward the door at last and opened it, where he found Adam standing there with arms folded across his chest, his foot tapping impatiently on the floor as he muttered "So are you finally....Oh."
Whatever Adam had been about to say however seemed all forgot about when his gaze took in Kris's form, and there was a moment where Adam just stood there staring at Kris with an expression that made Kris reach uncertainly toward his hair before Adam suddenly closed his eyes, drew a deep breath, then released it very slowly as he opened his eyes again, and gazed down at Kris with that light-saber blue that had first drawn and quartered Kris on the initial night of their meeting.
"Fuck," Adam said under his breath after some moments passed, glancing away and licking his lips before turning that laser-beam gaze to Kris again. "If I had half a mind I'd take you out to the clubs in WeHo after dinner, just so that I show off to all those fucks what kind of gorgeous little twink I fucking caught in my hot little hands."
And before Kris could even utter a reply Adam reached out, grasped Kris by the back of the neck, and bent down to kiss Kris hard on the mouth, once, twice, three times before he drew away again and licked his lips with a catlike smile as he said "That's right. Let's go, so that I can make everybody at the restaurant pass out and die with jealousy when they get a look at you."
As though anybody would even notice me when you're around, Kris thought wryly to himself as Adam stepped aside to let Kris lead them down the stairs. All the same, Kris experienced a strange gratification in knowing that someone like Adam--that someone like Adam Lambert--would feel a sense of pride in being seen with a relative nobody like him.
It was a rainy night that night, and the drops on the windshield of Adam's Mustang caught the lights of the traffic like morning sun on the dew of a spiderweb as Adam drove them to the restaurant, Adam now and again singing quietly to himself some slower song that Kris had never heard before, or, as they sat at a red light, leaning over to kiss Kris on the neck, his black-nailed hand pressing warmly against Kris's thigh in almost but not-quite invitation till Adam drew back again when the light turned green, and stared straight ahead of him as though lost in reverie. They barely spoke.
A similar silence ensued between them even after they arrived at the restaurant at last and the valet took the keys from Adam, though to Kris's surprise Adam reached for Kris's hand as the paparazzi's cameras snapped away at the pair, Adam's big warm paw enfolding Kris's fingers tightly as though they were not in public and Kris tried not to let his astonishment show on his face even though Adam had never, till now, demonstrated any PDA with him, at least where anybody could see. But the bright look of defiance in Adam's eyes and the sort of wry half-smile on his face as he led Kris into the restaurant told Kris that Adam knew exactly what he was doing, and also knew the sort of reaction this display of affection would garner from any and all observers.
It had been all Adam's idea, of course, to go to some fancy restaurant for dinner on a Saturday night; however, the place itself was far more quiet and sober than anything Kris would have predicted Adam would have chosen, so that he found himself relaxing a little when he looked around at the hushed dark booths and candle-lit tables as the maitre-d' lead them to a private corner of the room--though of course, even the relatively staid patrons of the place still turned round to stare at the tall, leather-clad rake who by now was familiar to just about everyone in the country who was semi-conscious, before they adjusted their vision to observe Kris with curiosity, and yeah, Kris would have to admit, even a bit of admiration.
The restaurant turned out to be one of those places whose menus did not list the prices and whose offerings were indecipherable, and so Kris was content to let Adam order something for him, as well as some bottle of wine all of what sounded like fancy French words and which Kris immediately understood would cost at least a Ben Franklin if it was a dollar, though he permitted his uneasiness at this to drift away once the waiter departed at last and Adam leaned over the table with a small, almost shy smile to take Kris's hand in his, and squeeze it gently.
"You like?" Adam asked after a moment as he watched Kris look round the place once more, though Adam's own eyes seemed never to leave Kris's, as though he were searching for something within Kris's face that he needed to know the answer to.
"Sure," Kris shrugged, then smiled a little as his other hand reached for the--what was it? Bread?--on the small plate between them. "Don't know what half those things were on the menu, but I'm sure it won't be too bad."
"You little redneck," Adam replied with an indulgent smile as he watched Kris take a small bite from the bread or whatever it was--was bread supposed to have little green bits on it?--and chew on it cautiously. "I bet you'd be happy just eating Chick-Fil-A and wearing grungy old shirts forever, wouldn't you."
"Maybe," Kris answered with a smirk, broadening his drawl through the bite of bread in his mouth--was actually not too bad, green bits or not--then swallowing and wiping his lips on the back of his hand. "But there's more to life than fried chicken and plaid, you know," he added, squeezing Adam's hand briefly before he pressed his lips together, looked away.
At this Kris felt Adam's hand release his own, though before Kris could look up to try to understand what was wrong he found Adam bringing Kris's hand to his face, then pressing his warm open mouth in the hollow of Kris's palm as he closed his eyes.
"Adam," Kris heard himself whisper helplessly when Adam held Kris's palm against his cheek for a moment, his eyes opening now and gazing at Kris with a strange blue that was almost green in the shimmer of the candlelight from their table.
However they drew apart rather abruptly when the waiter returned with their drinks and a platter of something that Kris could hardly identify but which smelled even better than fried chicken, and for a time they were silent as they nibbled on their first course and sipped their drinks (vodka for Adam, a Budweiser for Kris "Ugh you gotta be kidding me," Adam had said with a face when Kris had ordered his drink), though now and again they would glance up at each other and sort of smile to each other over their food, and once or twice Kris felt Adam's toe press gently against his own beneath the table as though they shared a secret that the rest of the world was not privy to, or could possibly understand.
It continued that way for the rest of the meal, as the waiter poured the wine into Kris's glass and Kris got to have his first sample of something that wasn't Winn-Dixie Gallo or whatever, and after their main courses arrived at last and Kris was forced to admit that, yeah, there were some things that could be said to rival even Chick-Fil-A in tastiness.
And strange: for it seemed to Kris that the silence between them that evening was in no way awkward, but rather held within it a language of its own that seemed to express more than what their usual banter did, or even their rare declarations; and Kris had to wonder how a tall, dark, enigmatic superstar like Adam Lambert--how a man so enamored of spectacle and drama, a man who wore rings on every finger and whose miraculous eyes were lined like a midnight cat's, could all the same be as still as a summer night in Conway, and imbued with just as much longing.
Kris had almost forgotten that there was a time in the not-so-distant past that he'd sit out on his parents' back porch of an evening and dream of getting away from Conway: of escaping into a life where music came first rather than shoved in the corner so that he could work or go to school--a life much broader than the confines of what he knew in Arkansas but which he understood had to be out there, where he could be more than what the people in his life saw him as: where he might, maybe, at last be able to spread the wings that he kept folded so carefully around him, though where he thought he would fly to he at the time had no idea.
So it was rather strange to find that, when it came down to it, his destination turned out to be made of the very same night sky that had held his boyhood dreams--that the man who, once they'd gotten home at last and had climbed the stairs to their room, had undressed Kris carefully in front of the mirror, then sunk down on the floor before him to take Kris into his mouth while Kris was helpless to avert his eyes from the vision in the mirror's faithful reflection--that this man, this Adam Lambert, was the tall dark shadow that had lived in the most hidden part of Kris's midnight fantasies back home, and yet had the very flavor of the Arkansas moonlight that Kris had thought he'd left behind him, forever.
And maybe that's why when, after Adam had brought Kris to the brink, then over it, Kris knelt before Adam likewise in front of the very same mirror that Kris heretofore had scorned, so that Adam too might get to witness just what devotion, and contentment, and gratitude looked like, within the mirror's all-seeing but uncritical, unjudging eye.
- The Mirror's Eye
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