Word Count: ~13,000
Song: Boys Keep Swinging from Lodger
Disclaimer: This is why AUs are great! Seriously, nothing in this story is not a totally lie.
Summary: In which the author hits every high school movie cliche ever - Adam is slutty and conniving, Kris is adorable and amazing, Brad is snarky and brilliant, and the Jonas Brothers have cameos. An all-boys boarding school AU.
"My, my, my," Brad drawls from his spot on the quad, perched on his elbows and squinting against the sun. Adam has the sense to wear his aviators on days like this - the last halcyon days of summer which always cruelly overlap with the first days back at school. He doesn't bother looking up until Brad adds, "Fresh meat, ten o'clock." When Adam looks over, he sees the baseball team filing by, heading to practice, and he can spot Efron and Jonas and Cook straight away, little Archie following behind like a shadow. Cook's got his arm around a new kid though, compact and sun-kissed in all the right ways, and Brad chuckles when Adam pushes his sunglasses up to get a better look.
"Doesn't look like a freshman," Adam murmurs and Brad kicks at his shin with one shiny black Berluti loafer.
"Is that a bout of wishful thinking I detect?"
"Whatever, he's pretty," Adam smiles and slides his glasses back into place. "Just hoping for more of a challenge; fourteen-year-olds don't really float my boat these days. This year is going to blow."
"Ah, the wise, old senior, looking forward to greener collegiate pastures. Not my fault you fucked your way through most of the last two years and left a trail of broken hearts and destruction in your wake. If you'd learned to pace yourself, you wouldn't be in this predicament."
Adam snorts. "I refuse to take lectures from you on curbing my sexual indiscretions."
"I'm just saying, if you weren't such a slut -"
"Whore. And by the way, you're on KP tonight."
Adam sighs. Rooming with your ex can be a really bad plan, but he and Brad have been making it work since their disastrous two month courtship sophomore year. Neither one of them wanted to break in anyone new, so they've been together ever since - Adam mostly pretending he's over Brad by sleeping with a dozen trust fund closet cases a year, Brad ignoring the student body entirely and going after visiting professors and well-hung coaches in his quest for "a person who will never want me to call them my boyfriend".
They're heading into their senior year at Cowell's with the kind of 'fuck the world' attitude that their parents would hate, but Adam keeps his grades up well enough to satisfy their forty thousand dollars a year, and he's almost guaranteed a slot in an Ivy come next fall. He wants NYU, though - even after the shine came off from years of sneaking in to New York for shopping or shows, Adam still wants to give theater a shot, and NYU is his best bet at a compromise. The New York theater scene is why he pushed his parent's to let him go to Cowell's, an old-school all-boys boarding school in the ass-end of north Jersey, with dorms that feel elegant if you don't think about the peeling paint on the molding and big maple trees in the quad with roots so old and huge they make the sidewalks uneven as the years go by. It's as far from the sandy beaches of Adam's childhood as he can imagine, but he loves it here now. He knows all the good nooks in the library for hiding bottles of booze, knows all the faculty and how much effort he needs to put in for an A, knows just by looking out the window if it's time for a scarf when the leaves start falling. He's learned to navigate his way through new-money jocks and trust fund kids and the hard working boys who keep the curve up to keep from losing their scholarships. Adam's more on the new money scale, but he asked for a weekend in Rome for his sixteenth birthday instead of a car, and the trust fund kids - like Brad, and his family oil fields in Texas - tend to be impressed by that kind of class.
Adam likes to believe he does class as well as camp, and that is what makes him the top of the social ladder.
Cook and Adam get along surprisingly well, probably because they approach their 'friendship' like a weekly re-enactment of the Israeli-Palestinian peace accords. Adam heads up the arty types and Cook is the unanimous vote for 'most beloved jock' on campus, and together they broker the social rankings of The Cowell School. It's a delicate process - seven hundred boys and zero girls means a shitload of testosterone and a towering case of blue balls. Not for Adam, of course - and he's not going to say he hasn't used that sexual frustration to push more than one bi-curious classmate over the edge into homoville. But Adam and Cook keep the rankings even and fair at Cowell, and Adam even mostly likes the guy.
"Desai's overstepping his bounds," Cook says with a sigh, and Adam nods. "Cricket is great, but no matter what our national rankings, it's just not basketball. Tell him to dial it back."
"Done," Adam agrees. Anoop is one of his, usually - part science nerd, part a capella crooner. But the cricket team is doing well, or, as well as a cricket team can do in a country where the queen's face isn't on the money, and Anoop is taking his captaining duties very seriously. Including infringing on gym time for their regionally ranked basketball team. "Now, on my end, Matt's been very vocal...," he trails off as the new guy walks into the student lounge, plaid shirt open just wide enough to tease Adam with potential nipple sightings, jeans tight across his incredible ass. Adam loves the weekend 'no uniform' rule, both for allowing him to wear fitted leather pants, and for this guy, whose sense of fashion leaves a lot to be desired, but whose assets would be sorely hidden in a Cowell blazer and khaki slacks. His face is lovely too, when Adam manages to get his eyes to lift that high, bright eyes that crinkle in the corners under a mass of messy spikes that look more bedhead than coiffed.
Cook clears his throat. "He's not on the agenda, Lambert," he says, eyes shining with amusement.
"Not yet," Adam grins at him and Cook laughs outright.
"Trust me, this one is not going to fall for your charm."
"You're still just pissed about the whole Johns incident," Adam scoffs, because really. Everyone falls for Adam's charms. The new guy looks over and sees them, raising his cup of coffee in salute. Cook nods at him and cuts his eyes to Adam.
"Seriously, if you think you can get in this guy's pants --"
"Oh, I don't think," Adam says, lounging back and letting his legs sprawl open.
"Care to make a wager?" Cook says, eyes gleaming, and... fuck it. Why not? Adam's already acing his English lit course, and he has Anoop for help with chemistry, and this year was looking really, really boring, what with the Fall musical being Damn Fucking Yankees (and no, Adam is not bitter that he wasn't allowed to try out for Lola), so why the fuck not?
"Absolutely," Adam says.
"Three grand says you can't do it."
"Five grand says I have him screaming my name by Christmas," Adam counters.
They shake on it, a gentleman's agreement, and then, suddenly, the new guy is walking over.
Adam's already lucking out.
"Hey Kris, this is Adam Lambert," Cook says, and if Kris wonders why Cook sounds like he's gloating (the neanderthal asshole), he doesn't let it show on his face.
"Hey," Kris says as he shakes Adam's hand, warm brown eyes still doing that crinkly thing. Adam can't help but grin back.
"Adam, this is Kris Allen. He's here on the Seacrest scholarship."
Adam's face freezes on his face. "That's. Wow, great," Adam says with as much enthusiasm as he can muster. Kris spends a quick minute conferring with Cook about their practice schedule before leaving with a wave. "You son of a bitch," he hisses at Cook when Kris is out of earshot. "He's a Seacrest kid? Those kids are glued together at the knee!" Unlike the majority of Cowell's scholarships, Seacrest scholars aren't picked for their academic achievements or their stellar athletics. They're picked for being inhumanly perfect and morally unswayable.
"Doubting your abilities now, Lambert?" Cook leans back, looking smug. "That five grand will come in mighty handy for my Spring Break in Ibiza."
Adam crosses his legs and arches an eyebrow. "Nothing ventured, nothing gained," he says. "Besides, I was looking for a challenge."
Cook laughs again and they get back to the business at hand. Adam can't help but keep his mind from wandering back to Kris's smile, his confident handshake, the curve of his ass. Being a Seacrest kid means he's probably pure as the driven snow, even at seventeen, but if there's anything Adam Lambert is good at, it's helping good little boys go bad.
By Christmas, Kris Allen will have a whole new world view, and Adam Lambert will be five grand richer.
He has no social life that Adam can pinpoint, but somehow by the end of September, Kris has more friends than Adam ever had at Cowell's. Adam chalks it up to a combination of crushes (Matt, Kevin) and curiosity (Sarver, Johns - Adam happens to know for a fact that Kris isn't his type), and tries to just be grateful that he has a wealth of sources to pump for information and not annoyed that it's next to impossible to be alone in a room with the guy. Alone in a room is key to Adam's plans.
As it turns out, there isn't much to learn. Kris Allen's life reads like a chapter of Dick and Jane, only with fewer obvious sex jokes. See Kris. See Kris go to church. See Kris study. See Kris run bases. Run, Kris, run!
He calls his momma every two days, he has an ex-girlfriend in backwater wherever-the-fuck who he still talks to via email, he does well enough on every exam to maintain his scholarship, he volunteers at a fucking soup kitchen once a week, and he has an unnatural attachment to The Killers.
The last one is the only thing that gives Adam a ray of hope.
"You're doomed," Brad says, not looking up from a repeat of Gossip Girl. Adam hated this episode - Chuck's no-socks look is just disgusting.
"If he likes Brandon Flowers, he's up for a little glam in his life," Adam says with more confidence than he feels. It's been three weeks since the student lounge, and he still hasn't spoken more than ten words to Kris. He has a folder of information (that is not a creepy stalker handbook, no matter what Brad says), and he looks at it more than he'd care to admit.
"You, my darling, are way more than a little glam," Brad says sweetly and Adam huffs. "You could always try the direct approach, you know. Get him somewhere dark and smoky, stick your hand down his pants, see what happens."
Adam crosses his arms and flips his hair out of his eyes. "Don't be crass."
Brad laughs. "Whatever, it's your money. I'm just saying that there is no way he's going to show any of the skeletons in his closet to your team of Keystone Cops. You want a job done right, you do it yourself." He tosses Adam a flier for a party the soccer team is throwing in the woods behind the athletic fields. "Johns will be there, so I bet your little choir boy will be there too. And a little social lubricant can't hurt. There's a keg," he adds, grimacing at the idea.
Adam hates when Brad is right. "Fine," he says. "But I'm bringing your flask."
Hard times call for Boodles - there is no boy alive who has yet been able to resist the combination of Adam, darkness and pricey gin.
Adam finds Kris at the party, laughing with some friends, red cup in hand, and thinks finally. He hangs back a bit, chats with Anoop and Matt, ignoring the latter's big puppydog eyes and the former's incredulous looks. He ends up with a small circle of friendly faces, all talking about some team somewhere that did some thing with some sort of ball. Adam hasn't been at a party in any sort of wooded area since sophomore year and now he remembers why. He takes a long, soothing pull from Brad's flask. Then another. God, jocks are boring. Cook catches his eye across the field and gives him a salute. Adam flips him off.
He finally bites the bullet and plops himself on the ground next to Kris, wincing when he feels the cool dampness of the grass seeping into the ass of his favorite jeans. "Little wet," Kris says with a sly grin, and Adam shakes his head.
"A gentleman would have given me a heads up," he says, and Kris shrugs.
"A lady would have asked if this seat was taken." Adam isn't prepared for it; that's the only reason he can give for laughing way too loudly.
"Touche," he grins. He mentally crosses 'shy' off his list and stretches his legs out in front of him, crosses them at the ankles. "I was going to say 'penny for your thoughts', but that seems a little trite."
"'S okay," Kris says. "My thoughts were pretty trite."
"Share," Adam says, poking Kris in the leg with his foot.
"Just wondering if plants can absorb beer through their roots. If they can, I bet this field is usually overrun by alcoholic deer."
Adam blinks at him. This is not the conversation starter he would have imagined. "Are you high?" he asks.
Kris laughs lightly. "Sadly, no."
"That's a very interesting theory. I like to think deer would have better taste than to frequent a field full of grass that taste like Bud Light. Want something a little stronger?" He asks, pulling the flask from his jacket.
Kris shakes his head and holds up his cup. "I'm good."
"Suit yourself," Adam replies and takes another long pull. When he puts his head down, Kris is watching him. "What?"
"You're interesting," Kris says cryptically, and Adam just smiles enigmatically and tilts his head.
"So are you."
Kris raises his eyebrows. "Most folks don't seem to think so," he grins.
"Most people aren't me," Adam says, and Kris holds out his cup for a toast.
"To being interesting to all the right people," he says and Adam can't help his grin as he drinks. This is going very, very well.
The next morning Adam wakes up on the couch in his common room, still in his clothes from the night before, with a POUNDING headache.
"Ugh, wha," he manages as Brad stomps around the room in his combat boots. Brad loves when Adam has a hangover.
"Oh, he's awake," Brad coos, and Adam groans. "You should make sure your gentleman friends know you're alright."
"My gentleman--," Adam starts and then he's remembering flashes of the night - leaning into Kris's side, drinking more gin, attempting to bounce a soccer ball on his knee, drinking more gin, putting his head in Kris's lap and ordering Kris to pet his hair, drinking more gin. "Fuuuuck," Adam says into the cushions. Brad snickers. "How did I get home?"
"Anoop and your new beau brought you by around 2am. He's adorable, by the way. He made you drink water and was scandalized that the only painkillers I have are Vicodin."
"Oh, excellent," Adam groans. "I'm sure I made a fabulous first impression."
"He seemed to like you," Brad says with a shrug. "Or at least not want you to die of exposure in the woods, so."
"That might have been better," Adam says, pushing himself to an upright position and immediately regretting it. He doesn't drink much over his summers at home, and he always forgets he has to rebuild his fucking tolerance.
"Go get something in your stomach before you miss the good brunch food. I have to use the common room for my project group at one."
"I don't care," Adam says. Brad crosses his arms and pins him with a look. "Fine, fuck, I'm going."
Adam barely makes it to brunch, wearing his most broken-in jeans, three layers of black and his sunglasses, and he stands in the food line for a long time. His body says 'eggs' but his stomach says 'go to hell'. "Toast is the traditional hangover food, so I'm told," comes a voice from his elbow and Adam looks down to see Kris, bright-eyed and bushy tailed and dressed in his practice uniform. Adam clears his throat and forces himself not to blush.
"Mind telling me how you're not hungover?" Adam asks, dropping some wheat slices in the toaster. Kris had that damn cup in his hand all night.
"Ahhh, I was drinking ginger ale," Kris says with a smirk, and Adam closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. "Not much of a drinker."
"God loves wine," Adam says with a grin, and then mentally kicks himself.
"Yeah, but I love my liver," Kris replies.
"You know, I'm not a bio whiz, but I'm pretty sure you're a little young for cirrhosis brought on by warm beer."
"Oh, but I'm special," Kris says sagely, and then someone is calling his name from the entrance hall. "Gotta go! Catch you at dinner."
Kris's ass is especially fine in his baseball uniform and Adam watches him walk away, fuzzy memories of strong fingers stroking the back of his neck. "Yes, you are," he murmurs to himself.
"Africa," Adam says again, because seriously. Kris just takes another bite of his meatloaf. Anoop and Joe lean in closer, waiting for more of the story.
"It was only for six weeks last summer. We were building a school," he says, mouth full, and Adam runs his hands over his face to hide his groan. "The hepatitis was an unexpected and exciting side effect. But it means my kegging days are over, I'm afraid."
"That's just. Jesus," Adam says, because the way Kris talks about it, it was like getting a papercut.
"Could have been much worse," he shrugs. "Some people get way sicker than I did. I mostly felt like I had the flu for a month. It was pretty gross." Adam puts his napkin over his plate. Dining hall fare isn't all that appetizing on a good day.
"Man, I bet you wish you'd just stayed home and practiced your swing," Matt says with a laugh.
"Nah, it was still totally worth it," Kris smiles, "bringing a little light to the darkness. Those kids, man. All we did was slap some plywood and bricks around, and it was like Christmas to them."
Adam feels kind of like a loser douchebag. He spent last summer partying with the cast of Spring Awakening and perfecting a dry martini.
"So, was it, like, a church thing?" Anoop asks.
"A mission, yeah," Kris says, and he must catch Adam's veiled look of annoyance because he puts his fork down and adds, "Some of the greatest scholars in history were also theologians, Lambert. You can be a smart guy and a Christian, man."
"Hasn't been my experience," he bites out. "'Love the sinner, hate the sin' hasn't really worked out in my favor."
The rest of the table shifts awkwardly, and Kris just nods. "Yeah, I know. I'm more of a 'do unto others, judge not lest ye be judged' sort of guy. A little more Gospel, a little less Leviticus."
Adam's honestly not sure what the difference is, but the way Kris is smiling at him across the table, eyes crinkling to show he's sincere, Adam figures it's probably a pretty important distinction. He can feel his pulse speed up a fraction, and he wonders if this complete openness and lack of self-loathing will make Kris that much harder to crack.
The guy is pure as the driven snow, but hardly naive. It's driving Adam totally insane.
"I can't believe I let you talk me into this," Brad grits out, rolling up his cashmere scarf and stuffing it under his ass in an effort to keep from bruising his tailbone on the metal bleachers. "I have made it a point of personal pride to have avoided all sporting activities for three years, and now you've ruined me."
"Wouldn't be the first time," Adam says casually and then points to the infield where Kris is standing in his white and green uniform, bent over with his hands resting on his knees as he watches the play. "God, what I wouldn't give to have a view from the other side of that," Adam sighs.
Brad snorts. "Looking's about as far as you're going to get, gorgeous, so get in all the creepy staring while you can."
"He's just," Adam huffs, frustrated. He's spent the last three weeks getting to know Kris, looking for some signal as to what his reaction would be to Adam throwing him against something and ravaging him, and he's come up totally empty-handed. He's also started to think he might not even be able to wait for a signal. On Thursday, Kris busted out an acoustic guitar and started playing a Kelly Clarkson song, and Adam almost dropped to his knees right there.
They've only missed the first few innings, and the afternoon sun casts a warming glow over the bleachers. Cowell's isn't a particularly big school, but they take their athletics pretty seriously, and Adam isn't surprised to find the stands pretty full. He is surprised to see a few folks rooting for Kris in particular, enthusiastic yells whenever he's up at bat. Kris is the new kid, but he's apparently good enough to have a fan base. Adam notices Johns in the stands, yelling Kris's name as he hits a ground ball, and frowns when Kris waves at him.
"Stop being a baby," Brad sighs at him. "Here, there's popcorn! Eat popcorn, cheer on your team, ogle the second baseman. It's the American dream."
"Shut up," Adam says, but he has to admit, the popcorn is pretty fantastic.
"Hey, Lambert," Cook calls from the fence, and Adam waves. "Enjoying the view?" Adam gives him a thumbs up, and Cook just shakes his head. "Don't see you out at these things much, man. You must be getting a little desperate."
Adam's cheeks color as Brad laughs. "I'm doing just fine, Cook," Adam calls back. "Just getting into the school spirit."
"And that's all you're getting into," Brad sing-songs next to him and Adam pinches his thigh.
"Good luck with that," Cook laughs from the fence.
Three innings later, Adam is surprisingly not bored. Kris scored off a long fly ball and Adam actually stood up to cheer. Brad, meanwhile, seems preoccupied with the boys in the dugout. "They're not going to burst into song," Adam points out. Brad nods, but doesn't look away. Archie is lining up bats and Cook is watching him, arms folded over the fence, eyes shaded.
"Mmm, but it's just fascinating to watch."
"Whatever," Adam says, distracted by the way Kris is stretching along the sidelines. Adam's never been much of a school spirit type, but he's a sucker for a boy in uniform.
They're in the library common room late one evening, cramming for the one class Adam and Kris have together. This is Adam's idea of multitasking - crib some notes off the one guy he knows who actually pays attention in AP Psych and get in some quality flirting time while he's at it. He's been keeping the flirting on a low simmer so far, but Kris blushes so adorably every time Adam calls him cute that it's taking all his energy not to push just a little further.
"You're saying that personality tests aren't indicative of success in certain fields," Adam says, and Kris half-shrugs.
"Not really? I mean, it used to be a big factor in hiring, still is in some places, but correlation is not causation, you know?" Kris flips to the right chapter of their textbook and Adam leans in a little too close to read over his shoulder. Kris is warm and smells of coffee and shampoo, and Adam wonders if he could play it off if he propped his head on Kris's shoulder.
A kid Adam barely knows - David something - gets a phone call and Adam glares at him over his shoulder when he picks it up. Phones are strictly off limits in the library; Adam's had his taken away more than once. David's kind of a dick, for what Adam knows about him, and he's not above turning the guy in if he keeps talking. A few other kids make noises too, an David gets up to go outside. Kris frowns too, but tilts his head a little, like he's listening, and when David walks by with the phone pressed to his ear, he waves and gives him a weird sort of thumbs up, like it has a question mark attached. David waves him off with a smile and Kris nods and grins back. Adam leans back and crosses his arms.
"What was that?"
"What was what?" Kris says, confused.
"That secret mime conversation you just had with what's-his-name," Adam grins, one eyebrow raised. He wouldn't count that guy as competition, but it's still good to know all the angles.
"Oh, I was just making sure it wasn't about his mom," Kris says matter-of-factly.
"What about his mom?" Adam asks, avoiding the obvious joke with great effort.
"She's been fighting off breast cancer since last summer," Kris explains. "This week was her last round of chemo."
Adam doesn't even know what to say to that. He's seen this kid around for two years and barely knows his name. Kris somehow knows his whole family medical history. Kris just leans over his notes and looks at Adam, eyebrows raised. "You want to tackle cognition next?"
"Kris is too fucking good, Bradley. I need a thing," Adam says mournfully and Brad looks up from his design layout for art class long enough to shoot him a withering look.
"I don't really have time for your gay romcom shenanigans right now," he snaps. "Be more specific."
"I need a thing I do that makes me look like a good person," Adam clarifies. "Something... churchy."
"Well, all you do is wear black and seduce underage boys. So unless you're planning on joining the priesthood, I'm not sure a life in the church is for you."
Adam groans. "He's so nice, Brad. How can one person be that nice?"
"He's not that nice. He's kind of a snarky bitch, actually." Brad is still impressed by a hilarious comment Kris made about Dr. Tedder's ability to make every lecture sound exactly the same. Adam sighs piteously.
"I know. He's perfect."
Brad puts his exacto knife down and sits back in his chair. "Look, I might know a guy," he says.
"You read books for the blind?" Kris asks dubiously.
"Yeah, I record books on tape as part of a project a friend is doing. It's good practice for my voice work. I'm thinking of trying accents next!"
"That is very cool, man. Way to combine outreach with your love of theater!" Kris is looking at him with that wide, open smile that Adam is beginning to adore.
Adam nods and takes a bite of his apple. He can't spend long at lunch - he has three issues of Penthouse Letters and a new MacBook microphone waiting in his room. Scott better really fucking appreciate this.
Adam has spent the last three hours in the city looking for exactly the right vest to complete his Liza-in-Cabaret Halloween costume, and he's frazzled and needs at least three hours to pull this shit together, and so he's completely unprepared to find Kris Allen in his common room, in chaps. Granted, he's also in jeans, but still. He's pretty sure this is what a heart attack feels like.
"Is this heaven?" he asks the ceiling, and Kris laughs, delighted.
"No, I was looking for decent boots to complete my cowboy look and Anoop said your roommate was from Texas, so--"
"So," Brad continues, coming out of his room in a Catholic school girl outfit skimpy enough to make even Britney blush, "he came by here, and lucky boy, I happened to have boots, chaps, and this killer hat." He drops the hat on Kris's head and steps back, appraising. "What do you think, Adam? He look like a cattle man to you?"
Kris looks up at him from under the brim of the hat, and Adam's heart skitters a little. "Y-yeah, that's. Wow."
Kris grins at him, and doesn't flinch when Brad wraps his arms around Kris from behind, dropping his chin on Kris's shoulder. "Isn't it adorable?" he says, batting his long eyelashes. "We're the same size!"
Adam's pretty sure if he doesn't shake that mental image as soon as possible, he might actually explode. "Totally adorable," he chokes out. "I have to," he flails his shopping bags in the air and retreats into his room as fast as he can. He leans on the inside of the door, breathing through his nose for a few long seconds. He can hear Brad and Kris laughing on the other side of the door, and doesn't move until Brad thumps on the door from the other side and says, "We're off to pre-game with Nick and Joe. Meet us there."
It takes Adam three tries at his false eyelashes before he gives in and lays down on his bed, jerking himself off in hard, steady strokes. All he can think about is Kris's ass, getting Kris on his knees on Adam's bed in nothing but those chaps, spreading his cheeks, what Kris would sound like as Adam takes him apart.
He's an hour late for the party, and Brad's already dancing on a table. Adam let's himself admire the view for a minute before looking around to see who else may be worth talking to. He's not looking for Kris per se, but he spots him almost immediately, standing with his hands in his pockets in the corner, leaning close to Johns to hear him over the music. Johns puts his hand on Kris's shoulder and Adam bristles, his hand balling into a fist. He stops, blinks at his hand for a second, totally taken aback by his own reaction. Kris Allen might be a very cute, very nice, very charming boy, but Adam doesn't do jealous boyfriend over mostly-straight Christians, especially mostly-straight boys he hasn't even kissed yet. He grabs two jello shots from the table and downs them quickly, looking everywhere but Kris, and tries to figure out what the hell is going on inside his head.
It was the stupid jerk off fantasy, that has to be it. Adam hasn't gotten laid since school started back up - too wrapped up in Kris, in this stupid bet that is seeming stupider by the minute. Five grand isn't nothing, but Adam doesn't really need it. What he needs is a decent buzz and a willing mouth.
Castro's never hard to find at parties - he transforms from the guy everyone laughs at to the guy everyone's looking for as soon as the sun goes down. "Hey, Lambert," he says when Adam slips a hand over his shoulder. "Haven't seen you in a while, man, you good?"
Adam smiles, because Jason really is a fucking nice guy. He figures it comes with the stoner territory. "I'm good. Midterms kicked my ass, though. I could use a little R&R." He slides a fifty dollar bill into Jason's shirt pocket and Jason laughs.
"Always ready to help out a friend in need." He hands Adam a dime bag with a wink, then says, "Hey, hold on, c'mere." He takes a nice toke from his pipe and tilts his head, and Adam grins wider. He wasn't actually thinking he could find the buzz and the mouth in one place, but Jason seems all too willing to let Adam slip his fingers in his beltloops while he shotguns the hit. "You wanna get out of here?" Jason rasps through a haze of smoke, and yeah. Adam is totally up for this.
There's a balcony off the top floor that leads to a little widow's walk, and the party is raging enough that the only people outside are a gaggle of freshmen who scatter quickly at Adam's pointed look. Jason laughs. "You're not so scary," he says, pushing Adam down onto an old bench and straddling his thighs.
"I know," Adam says, hands sliding down Jason's back. "Totally undeserved reputation. I'm a pussy cat."
"Uh-huh, that is so not what I remember," Jason murmurs, teasing open the first few buttons on Adam's vest and slipping his fingers inside. Adam laughs for a second before Jason's words sink in.
Remember?, he thinks, and oh, fuck, has he hooked up with Jason before? He can't remember doing that, but Jason seems pretty comfortable in his lap right now, mouth hot on Adam's neck. Adam's drunk and a little stoned, and he's wearing ripped stockings and false eyelashes and is making out with his dealer who he has apparently slept with before, and it's not that Adam hasn't known he was kind of turning into this guy for a while; he just hasn't really cared. And it's not even that he cares, so much as he thinks that if Kris knew about this, he wouldn't really like Adam all that much anymore. And that's. Less than okay.
"Hey," Adam says, tugs at Jason's shirt to pull him back. "We should. This is maybe not the best idea."
Jason tilts his head, eyes narrowed, but he's still smiling. "This is a fabulous idea."
"No, I just...," and Adam doesn't really know how to finish that. He came to this party to have fun, and until about thirty seconds ago, this would have been his textbook definition of fun. "I'm sorry," is all he can think of, and Jason sighs.
"It's cool. Guess you're not really one to break your one-time-per-guy rule, huh?" He's still smiling a little, but Adam takes his words like a punch to the gut. And, okay, he's not been the paragon of decency since he and Brad broke up, but Adam's had a broken heart exactly once, and he hasn't really been interested in getting that invested in anyone else. He didn't really have a one-time-per-guy rule, it's just... that's how it seemed to work out.
"Guess not," he manages, and Jason kisses him on the cheek before climbing out of his lap and heading back for the party.
He stays outside for a long time, elbows resting on his knees. It's chilly out, but he can't bring himself to go back inside. He finally just bails on the whole thing and slips down the side stairs and back to his room where he peels off his eyelashes and scrubs his face clean, staring at his dripping face in the mirror for a long time.
Adam would like to have a more-than-one-time guy. He would totally be okay with that. It just. He doesn't want it to hurt like it did the last time. Like it still does when he looks at Brad sometimes and thinks, what if.