Pairing: kris/adam, kris/katy.
Warning: character death.
adam kisses kris on a tuesday.
it's raining, they're stuck inside, and the other idols are amusing themselves with a rousing round of rock band in the living room. adam and kris are sprawled out in their bedroom, laying flat on the carpet, hands pillowing their heads while they talk in quiet voices. adam's body is tilted towards kris's, but it's not intentional. more like a gravitational pull, the same one that ensures their seats at the breakfast table are side-by-side, the same one that inconspicuously inched their beds a tiny bit closer all the way back in march.
adam drags a finger across the floor, traces the outline of kris's hand. he likes that it's smaller than his, but still masculine, too. his fingers dance across kris's wrist, over blue veins and solid bones and his guitar-callused palm, and then they linger on his ring finger, the wedding band that's just barely glinting in the dim light.
"are you a happily married man, kris allen?" he asks, completely serious. it's not the first time he's asked. but it's the first time he's meant it.
kris lulls his head to the side and considers, for a moment, the vibrations from the game downstairs washing through the floorboard. he'd stopped lying to adam, long ago, and he doesn't plan on starting again. "yeah," he finally concedes, and then, "mostly."
"mostly?" adam repeats. he's asking, but he's not pushing. that's one of kris's favorite things about him.
"i love katy. i do." he props himself up on his elbows and allows a quick glance into adam's eyes, the depth of that blue still surprising to him even today. "but. you know. being away from her. it's hard. and there's..."
he trails off, drops his gaze. adam's hand creeps higher and then encloses over his, fingers intertwining, warm, reassuring. comfortable. kris takes a slow breath and finishes. "there's more that i want, sometimes. more than that. you know?"
there's a long silence, broken up only by the intermittent sound of danny wailing hungry like the wolf on the game system downstairs, and matt pounding away at the fake drumset, thrashing wildly to the beat.
adam clears his throat. "i know," he says finally, the tension melting from the air, and the space between their bodies is dissipating, slowly, and kris is reeling forward, gripping at shoulders and arms and hands that don't belong to him, but he doesn't care, doesn't stop to reconsider.
adam kisses him, hard, pinning him against the carpet, and he thinks this, this is what i've been missing, and then he stops thinking at all.
katy delivers the news on a saturday.
they're at a cafe in los angeles, months after the tour ended, a quiet buzz in the air that has both everything and nothing to do with kris allen (and wife). he's learned to tune it out by now, to plaster a permanent smile on his face, without even thinking about it, to always be ready for the flash of a random camera. to check his teeth when he's done eating, to take small sips of whatever drink's in hand. mostly they're things he's learned by experience, but a lot of them are thanks to adam.
(adam's better at this, at being a celebrity. he promises kris will get there, someday, and he always speaks in we, not you, like when our second albums drop or when we buy that house in california-- and it's unlikely but he loves it, loves picturing it. loves pretending it could be true.)
katy looks nice, like she always does, a pretty dress, hair curled, her nails done perfectly. (adam lets his go, all the time, chips at the paint when he's restless, no matter how many times kris playfully slaps his hands away.)
it's been three nights since they've been together, because he's been so busy with recording and writing (and staying over at adam's house, but she doesn't know that, he could never tell her) and she called him down, early this morning, because she has "news." a feeling of dread sits in his stomach, heavy, because even though she looks nice, she doesn't look happy, isn't as bubbly and giddy as she almost always is, and that can't mean anything good.
(does she know? kris thinks desperately, and then, no, she can't, there's no way.)
the acting thing has really taken off lately, so he thinks maybe it's about that; maybe she lost the role in that new movie. maybe they cut her contract in half. maybe she--
"kris," katy says. "i'm pregnant."
he stares at her, for a long time. she stares back. it's the last thing he'd expected and yet -- yet it made sense. (he vaguely remembers, now, adam asking him if they used protection, when they -- "you know," he'd said, because he didn't like to think about it -- and kris making a vague shrugging motion, and the way adam had bitched him out, had asked him if he was stupid, because kris promised it would be the two of them, soon, and how exactly would that be feasible if a kid entered the picture?)
kris falters, sees everything he's worked at for the last year crumbling before him. adam, and the tour -- how could he go on tour with a newborn? -- and adam, and oh god, this isn't good.
"kris," katy says again. "did you hear me?" and then -- the corner of her mouth is turning up, a smile, a hopeful one. she's waiting for kris to react, waiting for him to make the first move. and he knows what he has to do, what he'd promised to do the night he married her, what's he failed at for a long time now.
he jumps up from his seat, pulls her into his arms. "that's amazing," he says into her hair, pressing a kiss against her temple. his heart is beating wildly, but he's good at pretending, now, good at making things true, even when they weren't. "we're gonna be parents, katy. that's so amazing."
katy squeals, because that is what she wanted to hear, even if they've been sleeping alone more often than not lately. "i love you, kris," she tells him quietly, and the last time he heard that was -- was this morning, actually, before he left, from adam as he slipped out the door.
but he doesn't miss a beat. "i love you too," he says, and kisses her, and it feels like it's the truth.
kris tries to break up with adam on a wednesday.
"no," adam says, before the words are even out, and he's shaking his head and trembling and he looks so close to tears, and god, kris hates himself so much. "no. you promised me, kris. you said it'd be forever."
he hasn't mentioned the baby yet. all he's said, all he's been able to say, were phrases like katy and i and working things out and adam winces every time, like it physically hurts him to hear that. "i have to do this, adam," he says, rubbing at his eyes with one hand, because they sting with the threat of his own tears spilling over. "trust me, i just -- i have to."
"no," adam repeats, voice firm, arms crossed. "i'm not letting you. unless you have a good reason, i --" he breaks, swallows the lump in his throat. "you made me this way. i didn't want to -- to screw things up, but you said you wanted it, you said you'd pick me. you can't throw that away, okay? you can't."
kris can't hold it in any longer; he draws in a shaky breath and then he's launching himself forward, towards adam, grabbing on and holding tight. "i love you, kris," adam murmurs, burying his head in the crook of kris's neck, breathing in, fitting so perfectly, so comfortably.
"i love you too," kris says, and kisses him, and he knows that it's the truth.
kris tries to break up with adam again on a thursday, but this time he doesn't even get past the phrase "i think we should--" before they end up in bed, unclothed, together, a profession of love that doesn't need to be spoken out loud, couldn't be put into words if they tried.
katy goes into labor on a monday.
kris immediately leaves adam's house, and adam offers to go with him, for support, but he can't, that'd be too much -- although the guilty feeling disappeared somewhere along the fifth month, when he'd finally told adam, and he hates that it's gone but he's not exactly made any strides to make this better, so the only person he can blame is himself. (adam had tried to end things, on his own terms, when he found out, but kris couldn't do it, promised that after the baby was born, they'd work things out, they'd find a way to be together. when the baby was born, he said, it'll be you and me, just us, i promise. and adam believes him, of course he does. he always has.)
it's a long, hard night and he absolutely hates seeing katy in pain, despite the shit he's done to her for the past year and a half, despite how completely broken she'd be if she actually knew the truth, but eleven hours later, everything changes. she gives birth to eight pounds, five ounces of the most beautiful little girl kris has ever seen in his entire life.
he's totally in love.
katy cries, and kris cries, and he holds her tight to his chest and says things that he never knew he had inside of him (i'm your daddy, beautiful and i love you more than anything in the world) and he forgets about everything, forgets about the cheating, the lies, the secrets, and just stares into her deep blue eyes for as long as he's allowed. (he knows the depth of those blue eyes. he's seen them many times before.)
"what should we name her?" katy asks, and kris says ryan, as in seacrest and even though he's kidding, katy laughs and says she loves it. and then, kimberly, for your mama, and kris happily agrees, and it's settled.
kris is the father to ryann kimberly allen, and he can't help but think he's the proudest fucking father in the world.
adam stops by on a sunday.
kris has officially moved back into the house, even though he never technically left it. he's there around the clock, at least, which is more than he could say about himself over the course of the last two years. ryann's almost four weeks old now, somehow, however that happened. adam still hasn't seen her.
(there was a file in his email, about three weeks after she was born, but he'd froze, completely, because it was marked sender: katy allen, and the subject was i thought you'd like to see our little girl! and how could he open it and not be wracked with guilt, not hate himself for screwing that up?)
kris answers the door, a baby monitor tucked into his front pocket. he looks tired but happy, heavy dark circles under his eyes but a smile on his face. "oh," he says, looking legitimately surprised to see adam, even though they'd arranged this, even though adam had sent the text that said when can i see you? and kris had replied katy's gone until noon.
"hi," adam says.
"hi," kris replies.
adam goes in for a hug that kris clearly isn't expecting; he fumbles, clumsy, pulls away after a fraction of a second. adam releases him and studies his expression. he gets it. really, he does. "i just wanted to see you," he says, burying his hands in his pockets, rocking back and forth on his heels. "and... and the baby."
"ryann," kris tells him.
adam smiles. "as in seacrest?"
kris leads him through the unfamiliar house -- they'd stayed at adam's, almost always, because it was safer there, or at least it felt like it was -- and into the nursery, where a crib is set up in the corner, his little girl fast asleep.
"she's beautiful," adam tells him honestly, reaching down and stroking her tiny cheek with one finger. "she looks exactly like you."
kris shakes his head. "she has blue eyes," he points out, and for a second adam thinks -- but no, kris just smiles, and says, "she got those from katy."
it gets easier, from there, because a thousand years could pass and they'd still be them, they'd still be kris and adam, and kris and adam are physically incapable of being awkward around each other. they just are. their visit concludes a quarter after eleven, just to be sure, and kris walks him to the door.
"i miss you," adam confesses, and he brushes his fingers against kris's cheek, just like he'd done with ryann. "i know you're busy. and -- i can see how happy you are. and i'm glad that you're happy. i'm glad that you love being a dad. but you have to be honest with me, kris. did you mean what you said? before she was born? is there still -- are we still... us?"
kris has to think about it, really think about it, but the answer is easy to him. he loves katy. he loves katy -- she's the mother of his child -- but he doesn't love her the way he should.
he doesn't love her the way he loves adam.
"yes," he says, and he folds into adam's arms, easy, like it always is. presses a kiss against his collarbone. "thursday. i'm gonna tell her thursday. okay?"
adam smiles, holds him tight. "okay," he says, muffled against kris's neck. there's no uncertainty there, no doubt. he knows kris is telling the truth.
ryann gets sick on thursday.
and it's not over-the-top, it's not anything terrible, but it's still the scariest thing kris has ever experienced in his life. she's got a high fever and it's not coming down, no matter what he tries, and katy's at her sister's house, and he doesn't know what to do, so he straps her in her carseat and drives her to the emergency room. he's frantic, practically in tears, as he explains to the doctor exactly what's wrong, and the doctor just gives him a knowing smile and says calm down, son, she's going to be just fine.
kris does eventually calm down, but not until katy gets there. he halfway collapses in her arms and they cry and laugh and say well, at least we got the first hospital visit out of the way, first time's the worst.
when it's time to take her home, katy offers to drive her, because kris has had no sleep at all and doesn't want to get behind the wheel that way. he'll take her car, meet her back at the house. she kisses him before she goes, on the cheek, and he strolls out into the parking lot alone.
his cell phone buzzes in his pocket along the way, surprising the hell out of him, because he forgot it was there. it's a text from adam, and he knows what it'll say before he even flips it open. he reads it anyway. did you do it? i love you. call me.
his fingers are tingling as he types out a response, clears the screen a grand total of 14 times before he's finally satisfied with his response, and he sends back, had a scare with ryann. doing it as soon as i get home. promise. love you too. and then he stuffs the phone back in his pocket, situates himself behind the wheel, and turns the key in the ignition.
the funeral is on a saturday.
it's a closed casket, because of the damage, though it's nothing compared to katy's little pink impala. completely totaled, bashed into nothing but rubble and shattered glass, sharp metal on the highway. the headlines since then have varied, from three-car pileup takes celebrity's life to former american idol falls asleep at the wheel, but that's just a rumor, and adam hates that he can't disprove it.
he's standing in the back, unnoticed, because he wants to be. he doesn't want attention. he doesn't want another fucking person asking how he feels, or someone telling him sorry about his friend.
he wasn't my friend, he wants to scream at every single one of them, every last person here. he was my everything. but he can't, he won't. he couldn't do that to her.
she approaches him, at the end, when most of the people have filed out, paid their condolences and left. her cheeks are wet, eyes puffy. she looks like she hasn't slept or eaten in days. she looks exactly how adam feels. she's carrying ryann in her arms, and it hurts to look at her, hurts to look at her and see him.
they don't speak, at first, because words aren't necessary. katy leans up against him and he lets her, drapes his arm over her shoulders, pulls her close. he wants to apologize for everything he's done to her, because somehow, this is all his fault, all his fault and she doesn't even know.
ryann babbles and reaches for adam. gingerly, he takes her from katy's arms, cradles her to his chest, rests his cheek against her head. katy watches them, a fresh stream of tears pouring down her face. she swallows a sob and wipes at them ineffectively. "he wanted to tell me something," she says finally, her words broken and jagged, and adam's stomach turns over. "that -- that day. he was coming home to t-tell me something. do you know... do you know what?"
adam doesn't know what to say. they're silent, for a long time, except for ryann's soft cooing. katy's waiting, expectantly. she has no idea.
"yeah," adam says at last. he hands ryann back over, touches katy lightly on the shoulder. she relaxes into his hand, like she needs it, needs to be comforted. "he was going to tell you how much he loved you both. that's all."
katy sobs again, and adam pulls her to his chest, rubs her back with one hand, soft, reassuring, and holds on tight. it wasn't a lie, he thinks. despite everything, all of it, it really was the truth.
he can give her that. and he knows how much it means.