Bright Night, Chapter 11/15
Rating: PG-13/Possibly R
Pairing: Adam/OMC, mentions of Kris/OMC, mentions of Kraty, eventual Kradam
Warnings: Language, some violence & mentions of past abuse
Summary: AU taking place in summer 2013. Neil Lambert decides to attend his ten-year high school reunion, and drags his newly-engaged brother, Adam, along. Also attending the reunion is the recently-divorced Kris Allen, who was in love with Adam in high school, and who is confused about his feelings for him now. Adam and Kris quickly connect, but feel guilty doing so with Adam's fiancé in the picture. Before long, though, they both discover something that makes their advances feel right, and it takes them on a night-long adventure that they will never forget.
Author's Note: Extra warning- brief description of sex with a minor, but nothing graphic. Also, there's a bit of a cliffhanger at the end! Hope it surprises you!! ;)
Oh God, I can’t tell him that, Kris thought, racking his brain for what he could possibly tell Adam. He’d done so many bad things, he had so many dark secrets, but he’d told them all. He’d given them all away to either Katy or Jay or even his parents. But Adam specifically asked for something Kris had never told anyone else. Probably just to measure up to the fact that Adam had just spilled his guts to Kris, whom he hadn’t had any contact with in over a decade.
I could just make up something. Or tell him something really stupid, like how I can’t watch Finding Nemo without crying. But Kris knew in his heart that simply wouldn’t suffice. Adam deserved more than that; he’d just confessed a terrible, terrifying secret, for the first time in his life. He had let Kris in, when he hadn’t let anyone else in. Kris knew something about Adam that no one else knew. And Adam wanted to know about Kris now. He wanted Kris to let him in, too.
Suddenly, Kris knew exactly what to tell him. The event had been on his mind since Adam had mentioned losing his virginity minutes earlier. He had tried to tell Katy the story while they were married, but she’d run away screaming before he could finish. So it met Adam’s requirement that nobody else would know.
Kris took a deep, steely breath as he continued to fluff his fingers through the tufts of Adam’s dark hair. Adam was staring up at him with an expectant shimmer in those red-rimmed, bright blue eyes, a tiny, polite smile settled on his tear-streaked face. Okay. I’m gonna tell him. Kris felt something tighten in his chest. This story was big. Huge. Disastrous. Technically, it was the reason that Katy wanted to get a divorce. This monster of a story was enough to break up a marriage, and Kris suddenly felt terrified about what Adam’s reaction would be. Adam didn’t love him like Katy had claimed she did. Who knows how freaked out he would be?
Letting out a huff of air, along with some of the worry and doubt mingling inside him, Kris spoke in a strained, quiet voice. Adam’s face remained open, as he listened to the words coming out of Kris’s mouth. “Okay, well… Something I’ve never told anybody. Okay. Back in middle school- I was in seventh grade- there was this really cute teacher. Mr. Conner. You probably don’t remember him because it was his first year teaching when I had him, but anyway, he was really cute. I had a major crush on him.” Kris found it challenging to talk about his teacher like that, knowing what happened with him.
Kris swallowed around the lump in his throat, and just tried to focus on Adam’s face- Adam’s bright, attentive, beautiful face. “And I always thought he was kinda into me, too. Like, it was little, stupid stuff I noticed, like I would look up from reading and he’d just be staring at me. Or when I’d miss a few on my test or something, he wouldn’t mark it off even though it was blatantly wrong.” I was never creeped out by him. I should have been creeped out!
“But one day, I left my book in his room accidentally. It was a Friday, and I didn’t want to go without reading it all weekend, so I went back to get it.” Kris left out the most important part, knowing Adam would definitely get freaked out by it. The book that Kris had left in Mr. Conner’s room- he’d already finished it, and he couldn’t have cared less about going back for it. He was making his way out the front door of the school to walk home. And behind the trunk of a tall oak tree were Sean and Adam making out. It hurt a bit to remember them being so close, knowing now that their history was so dark. Kris had been so jealous and pained at the sight of his crush kissing someone else. That’s why he went back to Mr. Conner’s room. He was feeling confused and vulnerable, and he knew there was just something more to Mr. Conner. And even if there wasn’t, at least he wouldn’t be watching the infuriatingly steamy makeout session.
Kris’s eyes started to brim with tears at the memory- the hurt and rejection he’d faced, but it hurt more as he recalled what happened next. It was the worst decision he’d ever made, and it left him with more shame than he’d ever felt. Kris gulped, and forced himself to go on. Adam’s story was worse, and he was able to tell it, he reminded himself. You owe him your story. “So, I went back to get my book, and I walked in the classroom, and he was just sitting there at his desk grading papers. Nothing unusual. When he saw me though, he grinned really wickedly. I remember smiling back at him and locking the door behind me. And next thing you know… We do it. We have sex, right on his desk.”
Kris paused. That’s it. I said it. Adam’s face was softened and creased with pity, with grief, with all the sadness and sympathy in the world, but he remained silent. Kris’s voice was hushed, broken, and trembling with tears as he said, “I was twelve.” The tears finally began streaking down his face, but he was quick to wipe them away before they fell down and landed on Adam. Adam’s face was already wet enough from his own tears. “And the rest of the year, he didn’t call on me. He didn’t talk to me, he didn’t even look my way.”
He couldn’t talk anymore. There was nothing more to say, really, but he was unable to from all the crying he was doing. He wasn’t bawling or sobbing, just weeping gently. But suddenly, he found Adam sitting up and curling around him, enveloping him in a comforting, protective embrace. Adam was comforting him in the exact same way Kris had comforted Adam- holding him tightly, swaying gently, running his fingers through Kris’s hair soothingly.
Kris was so overcome with grief, but also felt relief seeping into him. His secret no longer bound him anymore. It hadn’t destroyed like it had with Katy. Instead of running away, Adam was holding him close. Katy had loved me and she still ran away. Does that mean Adam loves me? Kris knew it was a shot in the dark- For the millionth time, Adam has a fiancé- but regardless, he felt closer to Adam in that moment than he’d felt to anyone his entire life.
This night was so not going as planned. Instead of attending Neil’s high school reunion and getting so hammered he passed out, he was sitting in a park with a guy he hadn’t seen in thirteen years, both of them recovering from emotional breakdowns that had followed their shockingly deep confessions. But although the night was not going as Adam had planned, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t happening exactly as it was supposed to.
Adam had certainly not ever thought that he could tell anyone about Sean, much less Kris. But somehow, it felt right. It felt good that Kris was the person he told. Lying there with Kris in the empty park, staring up at the moon in the peaceful silence- Adam felt extremely close to Kris, and it definitely wasn’t just the position they were in, with Kris’s head resting on Adam’s chest. In fact, Adam felt closer to Kris in that moment than he ever had with Josh, as unsettling as that was to think. They both knew things about each other that no one else knew. How much closer could they get?
Despite the frightening situation earlier that had left him shaken and still a tad scared, Adam felt so safe there with Kris. Just lying vulnerably in a vacant park in the dead of night, Adam should feel terrified. But he hadn’t felt so relaxed all night. Kris made him feel so safe. Perhaps it was just the way that he was perfect at comforting Adam after everything fell apart. But Adam didn’t really give it much thought. Too much thinking would cloud his stress-less, carefree state of mind.
They just lay there in the peace a while, listening to each other’s heart beats and breathing. Adam knew they couldn’t sleep like that there- What a scandal that would be!- but he just wished they could spend the rest of time there. Oh shit! What about Josh? Adam thought, not knowing whether or not to freak out that his fiancé hadn’t crossed his mind even once, all night. Suddenly, he wanted to talk to Kris, just to break the silence, which had become almost intimate.
Adam cleared his throat. He hadn’t spoken since telling his own story almost an hour before, and his throat was raw from his crying. “Uh, Kris?” Adam said. He would have to improvise- he had no idea what he was planning to ask. And when Kris emitted a lazy “Hmm?”, Adam continued. “Was the teacher- was he the only man you’ve been with?” It was merely out of curiosity. He was actually kind of confused about Kris’s sexuality. He’d been with the teacher, and clearly had a major crush on Adam during high school. Yet he’d been in a relationship with Katy for several years, even married her. Normally it wouldn’t be important and Adam wouldn’t give two shits about someone’s sexuality- but when you’re practically cuddling with someone who was drunk and vulnerable while you’re engaged to someone else, it suddenly became an important topic.
Kris let out a hollow, sad laugh. Oh boy… “Katy divorced me after I tried to tell her about me and the teacher. She didn’t even let me finish, though. As soon as she heard that I’d had sex with a man, and that it was consensual, she interrupted me with the news that she wanted a divorce.”
Kris’s voice sounded so disconnected while he was talking. Fuck, fuck, fuck, how do I even have tears left?! Adam thought with despair as his eyes welled up, and Kris went on. “After that, though, I met this guy named Jay. We dated and slept together for months, and I thought it was finally getting serious. He worked at this recording studio, where I was trying to score a deal. It turned out his father was the head of the record company. He found out about our relationship, and expressed his disapproval by completely dropping me and refusing to even look at me as a musician.”
Hmm, Adam thought, realizing that Kris’s story had a bit of familiarity to it. Josh works at a recording studio, too. And his dad is the head of the company. His dad’s a homophobic asshole, too. Wait… Josh… Jay… Recording studio. Brad and Cassidy’s alarming reactions to Adam’s engagement. Josh had been working late a lot over the past few months. Or had he? Recording studio… Josh. Jay.
The realization hit him like a ton of bricks. What?! What the actual fuck? Goddamn shit! “Holy fuck!” Adam exclaimed, just as Kris said the name of the record company, confirming Adam’s niggling suspicion. No no no no. But, but- what the fuck?!
“What?” Kris questioned, concern thick in his tone. “What’re you ‘holy fuck’ing about?”
Kris’s voice was so innocent, unsuspecting, and so angering to Adam. Adam couldn’t help but scream out his words, as much as he hated them coming out of his mouth at all. “Jay is my fiancé!”