Word Count: ~3,150
Song: "Fashion" from Scary Monsters.... And Super Creeps
Summary: A brand new dance.
Cassidy sees the cameras before he sees Adam, but that's par for the course, lately.
No warehouse, no matter how upscale, is designed for a tabloid appearance. Nor are they, apparently, made for subtle back entrances: there's a flurry of activity just beyond the doors, and the walls just aren't thick enough to block out the cat-called questions, about Adam's last break-up. Adam's always been able to end things on a positive note, but Cassidy can't imagine he'll want to salvage this one.
Did he ask you before he sold it? Do you know what he said? What do you think he'll talk about?
Cassidy hears Adam, voice strained and oh, still too-polite: guys, can you please just let it go? I'm sure it'll all be out this week, anyway.
Draped over a mannequin with a spool of leather binding, Katie makes a sympathetic noise; someone's assistant goes running past and Cassidy gives up on the rivets, stands and brushes off the legs of his pants. "Don't they have somebody else to bother?"
Katie shrugs, tossing Cassidy a measuring tape. "I hear Rihanna's in later. Doesn't sell as many magazines, though."
"We're in New York now, hon."
Inside is more private; security was feeling generous. The back room is cluttered with the casualties of an off-the-cuff runway show: it's more narcissism than event, but there's an audience, and models, and the sharp camera-pop of indie-fucks and fashion editors. If this shit ends up in Nylon, Cassidy is giving up on the city entirely. Adam's already there when Cassidy comes to find him, folded into a stool surrounded by leather scraps and binding like he rose out of their couture ashes. His elbows are on his knees and his eyes are closed; his head snaps up when the door opens, though, fast enough that Cassidy raises his hands in mock-surrender.
"Oh. Hey, you." Adam stands up and crosses the room to fold Cassidy into a tight hug; he smells like cologne and feels tense and exhausted, and Cassidy rubs the back of his neck and lets him sag into his chest. When they pull apart it gives Cassidy a chance to look him over. "I look awful, I know." Adam rubs at his eyes, hiding a yawn in his palm. "It's been kind of a crazy week."
That is an understatement. Cassidy does pay attention to tabloids - not enough to buy the crazy things, but it's hard to resist poking through them sometimes, and he does have a Twitter feed. Maybe a subscription to Perez Hilton, but no one should ever have to admit that. By Hollywood standards, the "tell-all" Adam's latest ex is selling isn't even all that bad: there's some sexy TMI and a whiff of diva bullshit, but the whole thing reads like Derek thought he was being a gentleman. In some ways it's worse than if it were done with ill intention: at least when there's malice, everyone knows a line was crossed.
"I'm so sorry, babe," says Cassidy instead, brushing the hair out of Adam's eyes. "You find out who bit?"
"Star, I guess. It's running next week. It's just--it's not even bad, really. But I don't want to be that guy. 'Baby, can I buy you a drink? Can you sign this non-disclosure form?'" Adam's face falls, just for a moment. "I think it's time to give up for a while."
Cassidy hates that look. Adam's always the hopeful one; it's painful to see it when it's wrung out of him. "You'll be making a lot of LA boys very unhappy."
"Maybe not so much." Adam glances down at himself, and Cassidy bites the inside of his cheek. Eight months on tour will screw with anyone's self-help schedule -- Adam's gained a bit of weight, maybe, but his measurements look about the same, and he certainly doesn't deserve those (two? Oh lord, there are two of them) ugly vests he's covered himself up in. Something is going to have to change. Cassidy doesn't believe in letting beautiful people think they're anything less.
"Stop that. You're perfect." Cassidy grabs him by the wrist, pulling him to his feet. "Now come on, if you're going to be here I want to use you." It makes Adam raise an eyebrow, and Cassidy make a twirling turn around motion with one finger, stands back to let Adam oblige. Corsetry, maybe. He'd look amazing in a ready to wear, and there's a headpiece backstage that could have been made for him. "You gonna let me dress you up?"
"Seriously? When have I ever said no to that?"
Cassidy reaches out and runs a palm over Adam's cheek, not missing the way he leans into it. He really does look exhausted, like an entire month of jet-lag has just landed on his shoulders. "Well then let's get you in something as pretty as you are."
"Damn boy. Look at you."
There's no way anyone couldn't. In black lipstick and reptile-leather Adam looks incredible: Cassidy found him a corset and headpiece, put him in all black and sent him out with the models. In dark lipstick and reptile-leather Adam looks incredible, exactly the image the collection is selling. Almost unrecognizable, and in some other life he'd probably be meant to walk runways much bigger than this one -- if Adam weren't so damn talented, he'd still be beautiful, all high cheekbones and sharp features and all the hurt he's still got in his expression coming off as a challenge: fuck me, I dare you.
"I feel good." Adam ducks back behind the curtain between the other models, lets Cassidy sling an arm around him and leans his head against Cassidy's shoulder. "You're incredible."
"Isn't me, babe. You're fucking gorgeous." Cassidy kisses his cheek. "You and me could rule the world, if it weren't for that voice of yours."
Adam ducks his head. "I think maybe I needed this. Just to get out of my head for a while, be someone else, you know? Thank you."
"Don't thank me yet, gorgeous - there's a gauntlet out there with cameras, now that you're here. You're the most exciting thing to happen here all day."
Adam laughs, rubbing at his eyes; it smears eyeshadow across his face, pigment shadows that leave him stage-wrecked and tarnished. "Sometimes I wish I wasn't," he says, softly, but the emotion's gone before Cassidy can even really read it, lost in a shake of Adam's head and a deliberate mussing of his slicked-back hair. "Okay, I need to clean this stuff off, seriously." He smiles, and it's amazing how he looks like a kid playing dress-up -- a beautiful kid, but still one just playing the role he's been given. Cassidy needs to get his own outfit together, because damned if he's going to pass up any afterparty with an open bar.
The bar does not disappoint. Nor does the crowd: Cassidy forgets how fucking crazy New York is, always thinks of it as a little like LA until he gets back here and realizes, no, really. The people come in peacock colors, makeup and clothing and spark, all of it. It's alive, and it's breathing, and Cassidy can't help but lose track of the evening. It takes him a while, to find Adam again, and the fact that he can even lose someone like Adam is a sure sign of just how fucking enormous it all can be.
...wasn't planned, Cassidy hears a familiar voice say, and he spins to follow the sound. Adam's surrounded by a small throng. It's not the push-shove of the celebrity cameras that followed him into the show, though -- indie-fuck groupies, Cassidy thinks with a smile, watching a boy with iron-straight blonde hair write something down in a notebook like Adam speaking it makes it so. Damn cute bunch, though, and Cassidy imagines Adam won't last long in his promise to stay out of the market.
Then again. As soon as he spots Cassidy, Adam's eyes go wide and happy; he rocks back on his heels, waving him in closer. "I owe him," he says, and Cassidy wraps an arm around Adam's waist on instinct. "He did everything on my tour." Somewhere left of them, cameras flash, and Cassidy wonders what the captions are going to say.
"There's a conspicuous absence of a leash-yanker tonight," Cassidy notes as they both slide back over against the bar, Adam flagging down the bartender with a wave of his empty glass.
"Mmm." Adam turns to lean against the bar, tips his head back to stare up at the blinking strobe-light fixtures. "They have the night off?"
Cassidy strongly suspects that should not have been posed in the form of a question. He bites back the urge to laugh, face carefully neutral when he asks, "do they know they have the night off?"
Adam laughs. "Maybe not so much. I think I'm supposed to be in a hotel in Manhattan right now, actually." Two new drinks slide onto the bar and Adam reaches back to scoop his up, long, graceful motion that plays the muscles in his arm. "I told them--just, give me twenty-four hours. I get to sleep off jet-lag, and then they can come play when I feel human and no one's getting fired."
"They're gonna know you're here a lot sooner than twenty-four hours, hon."
Adam makes a face, waving his free hand dismissively. "And in forty-eight hours they're also going to know how big my dick is." He looks down at the surface of his cocktail like he could read tea-leaves in it, and Cassidy reaches out, squeezes his shoulder briefly. His skin is hot from the lights and the liquor and Adam sighs and leans into it, lets his eyes lid and slides just a little bit closer. "Maybe it's for the best, you know?"
Cassidy doesn't, but he can't argue with anything that has Adam not having to be so damn good for once. Adam's second drink is gone; Cassidy waves over two new ones, and thanks karma and fashion week for open bars.
"God, you can only be so fucking good," Adam says. "I didn't sign up to be a poster boy. If I piss someone off? Fuck it." He grabs his fresh drink off the table and pushes off the bar, turning to wave at Cassidy with a little smile. "Let's see if I can get in more trouble than a tell-all."
Cassidy doesn't doubt it. He wiggles his fingers back at Adam, and then picks up his own glass and heads back into the crowd.
Cocktails, Cassidy decides somewhere farther from midnight than he'll honestly admit to, are pointless endeavors. If he wasn't sure he had to wake up in the morning like a reasonable person, he'd probably flirt his way into a night with the entire bottle of Jack -- but he's got a fitting at some awful time like eleven, and studio time he finagled off of a friend, and somewhere in there, he thinks he might have to pour Adam Lambert back into his five-star hotel room. Right now though, he's draped backwards across a plush sofa, watching upside-down as two of the models he recognizes get to second base against the deconstructed brick wall.
"Can I share the show?" Cassidy doesn't bother looking up, just chuckles and waves for Adam to move into his line of vision. He sees slick leather pants first; the blue-black fringe and steel eyes come after.
"Aren't you supposed to be doing something horrifically debauched?" Cassidy lifts his (empty again - should've gone for the bottle) tumbler at Adam, gesturing back out into the writhing clot of bodies. It's not just that New York is the city that doesn't sleep -- it's also always moving, and if Cassidy closes his eyes he can feel the hum of it, vibrating through the furniture and like electricity into his skin. It's sexy, the kind of slick seductive that everything good should be: music, fashion, bodies. Life. It's that thing Adam's harnessed that famous-Hollywood still isn't quite sure what to do with. There's a reason all the best shit happens underground.
Adam leans forward, bracing himself on the arm rest on either side of Cassidy's head. "Who says I haven't?" His eyes are huge and glittery with alcohol, maybe more, and he looks happier, brighter than Cassidy's seen him in weeks. He grins and it's all teeth, and Cassidy wants to touch him. "I think that guy in the corner got a picture of me kissing one of the models," he says with a laugh that's more giggle than contrived. "She was gorgeous though. Amazing clothes."
Cassidy laughs. "You know somebody does have to run PR on you tomorrow. What will they think?" Adam laughs again, head ducking lower, leaning in close. "Adam Lambert on the straight and narrow."
"Oh, I know, right?" Adam grins, nose wrinkling. "That would definitely sell better than the other crap, wouldn't it?" He looks back down at Cassidy, and his smile turns darker, more intent than before. There's that look. Cassidy knows that one.
"You don't need that," he says, and Adam laughs, the shadows in his face fading away like nervous ghosts.
"You really believe that." He sounds happy, genuinely surprised, and Cassidy reaches up to tap his cheek playfully. Of fucking course I do, he thinks, but he doesn't say it because then Adam's talking again. "That's why I came here, I guess. I mean, this thing with Derek is so stupid, but it's scary. I guess I'd thought I'd see it coming, if it ever came to that."
Starfuckers are a sneaky bunch. Cassidy doesn't know from experience, but you can't live in WeHo and not recognize the type. "Stupid shit in love," he says. That's experience, right there.
"Not even that -- lust, maybe. I should never have started, but I just thought...it felt good, you know? The energy was wrong but it was big." Adam's face scrunches briefly, like he's embarrassed, or nervous. "I feel so stupid."
Cassidy reaches up to pet Adam's hair, and Adam closes his eyes, leaning down into it. His face is so close -- Cassidy can see the flecks of gold in his bronzer, the rhinestones he's layered like diamonds on his eyelids. Beautiful, delicate things.
Adam's face scrunches briefly, like he's embarrassed, or nervous. When his eyes open they're determined, sharp under the alcohol haze. "Can I kiss you? Please say yes."
"Like you've ever had to ask permission." It's easy as hell to reach up and twist a hand through Adam's hair, pulling him in. He tastes like vodka-burn and clove cigarettes and Cassidy swears at how damn inconvenient the angle is, this way -- Adam's an amazing kisser, and it's being completely wasted in this direction. He breaks it off so he can twist up, kneel on the couch and tug him back in. "There we go." This time when he tugs, Adam comes down easy, climbing over the arm-rest and onto the couch with him. "Is this the scandal you wanted for the night?"
Adam laughs into Cassidy's mouth, sliding down easy to bite lines across his collar. "I think this is the opposite." He sucks down hard, and oh, that's going to leave a mark tomorrow -- Cassidy hopes foggily he brought a scoop-neck t-shirt with him, because it's too damn good to cover up. "I'd be so lucky," Adam adds, kind of dreamy, into the skin of Cassidy's neck; he doesn't finish the sentence though, and Cassidy is almost curious enough to ask him to do so except then that mouth is moving again. Cassidy forgets what the hell he was going to say.
Adam kisses like it means something -- he always has, and Cassidy thinks maybe that's the reason Adam's hook-ups are usually friends, rather than strangers. It's hard to imagine Adam as one of the writhing bodies against the walls, paired (or tripled) up but narcissistic, inward-focused. Adam's a fun fuck, though God knows it's been a while. And maybe Cassidy thought Adam would be different, with all that time between them: harder maybe, more reserved or careful, but he's just the same boy he's always been, all happy noises and honest, eager mouth. He giggles when Cassidy pushes him backwards, when he crawls onto his lap and takes over the kiss. Adam's mouth opens easily when Cassidy licks into it, like being led was what he'd wanted this entire time. Against Cassidy's thigh, Adam is half-hard in his jeans; Cassidy rocks forward and down deliberately, just to listen to Adam sigh.
"We're both gonna end up on Perez tomorrow," Cassidy says when they pull apart. "Guess we should make it worth his while."
Adam laughs again, fingers skating Cassidy's zipper. "God, let's not." He brings his leg up, blocking any view of what he's doing; Cassidy's zipper slides down easily, and Cassidy lets his head fall back.
Adam palms Cassidy's cock, leaning back in to catch his mouth again. The kiss is bossier, more controlling: Adam's in his element, likes the control, and Cassidy's more than willing to give it up if he just keeps doing that. He'll blame the alcohol for how fast it gets him revved up, like this -- he's on edge in minutes, fingers scrabbling in soft cotton and sliding along the warm sweat-damp skin of Adam's arms. "Still goddamn amazing," he breathes into Adam's neck once he's come, sticky pants and the thought of having to move again not enough to take away from the warm, floating feeling, the combination of music and sex and the buzz that comes from doing something that doesn't belong in a crowd.
"I think I need a bed before I pass out." Adam nuzzles Cassidy's ear and wipes his hand on his own jeans, breathing out a giggle like he didn't just give a quick and dirty hand job on a pretty public sofa. It's....cute, in the strangest way, something honest and bright in all the slick black and fashion polish. Cassidy catches his face in both hands, rubs his thumb over Adam's cheekbone.
"I'm coming back with you. Something tells me you're not looking to be alone tonight?" He says it gently, mouth curving in a smile, but Adam ducks his head. His expression says busted, and Cassidy pets his hair. "No shame in that. Wanting isn't a bad thing, hon."
Adam huffs, and his hand comes up to wrap around Cassidy's wrist, stilling his movement and holding him close. "Not if the person's right," he says softly, and now it's Cassidy's turn to smile.
"So I hear you have a hotel to crash in."
Adam laughs again, and Cassidy will take that as a yes.