Title: Inconvenient Crush or, How Kris Allen Tried to Get Over his Roommate and Failed Like Geraldo at Capone's Vault
Word Count: ~2500
Summary: College AU. Kris keeps finding notes signed "A Secret Admirer" and has no idea who they are from. And as much as he hopes it's his best friend Adam, he knows there is no possible way it is.
Author’s Notes: Thank you to goseaward
Kris rolled out of bed at ten to nine. He blinked at his clock a few times before his situation sunk in--he had class on the other side of campus in fifteen minutes, the room was a mess, and he smelled like ass. He tripped over his feet getting out of bed and landed face first in Adam's underwear.
Underwear was like hair--it was lovely on a person, but had a high gross factor anywhere else. Kris had admired this pair very much when Adam had been kneeling over him the night before. Using one hand to balance himself on Kris's single-sized bed, Adam had struggled to get them off as Kris stroked himself, already prepared, and waiting for Adam to get his act together.
"Ugh." Kris batted it across the floor, sending it sliding under Adam's bed along with about a hundred pairs of white socks. He struggled to his feet. His muscles weren't cooperating.
Adam was a funny one. Kris didn't think he ever did laundry. He just bought new clothes all the time and let the old ones grow moldy in random piles around the room. He was never around, not in the room and not in class. Kris had no idea how he was even still in school.
But, he was nice when he was around. He had this weird way of knowing when Kris was upset and getting Kris to talk about it. Kris liked him.
He didn't like him like him.
Well, maybe he did. But Adam didn't like him like him back.
They were fucking, not handing love notes to each other.
Kris was eighteen, and before he'd left for college, he'd heard stories that went both ways--cautionary tales about not "going wild" once he was away from home and triumphant ones about "breaking away from the apron strings". Kris figured he was doing a little of both, what with keeping his GPA up, not partying much (except when the football team did well, so almost never), and figuring out that swallowing Adam's dick was like the best thing ever.
He kicked his underwear off and grabbed a clean pair. Adam snuffled from his own bed, but Kris didn't bother being quiet. Nothing short of a brass band would rouse him. Kris wouldn't mind if Adam stuck around a bit after fucking him, but Adam never did. Maybe Kris needed a few extra moments running his fingers through Adam's hair. They didn't talk about it--any of it--and it would be difficult to keep that up if they woke up in each other's arms.
God, he sounded overwrought. It wasn't like that. It was just handjobs, and sometimes sucking. Kris didn't even have a crush. The fact that his daydreams all involved Adam pulling some kind of John Cusack Say Anything or, hell, Seth Cohen from The O.C. standing on a table in front of his school making a declaration of undying love had nothing to do with anything.
He tugged his socks on.
But man, Adam always knew how to make him feel better. Like, one time Kris hadn't seen him for three days, but then the day Kris gets the worst grade ever on his stupid computer test, Adam turned up with a box of Chik-Fil-A (they don't even have Chik-Fil-A in this town!), a carton of root beer, and the dvd set of the original Star Wars.
Kris didn't find out until later, when Brad's eyes almost popped out of his head, that Adam hated Star Wars, in any incarnation.
Reaching for his jeans, which he had flung across his desk chair--fourth day in a row wearing them, his own brand of hygienic slacking--he upended a stack of mail. It scattered across the floor, magazines and catalogs and a letter that he'd 'hidden' at the bottom. Checking to make sure Adam truly was asleep, Kris snatched it up. He didn't have time to look at it again, but that was all right. Touching it was enough.
I've had a crush on you from the moment I first laid eyes on you, but I'm scared to tell you. Until I track down the wonderful wizard of Oz and ask him for courage, know that someone thinks you are perfect exactly as you are.
He had the whole thing memorized. Now here was a person who understood romance. Kris slipped it back into the reassembled mail pile. Later, when Adam was gone, he would hide it inside his safe deposit box that he kept under his bed. There were five letters in there, each in different colored envelopes, and all written in the same loopy hand. He hadn't known what to make of it at first. He spent his class periods looking around, first at the girls and, when they hadn't seemed any different, at the boys.
The only person he didn't look at was Adam. He told himself that this was because he was being logical, and not because he wanted it to be Adam. He knew how ridiculous that sounded. He and Adam had nothing in common at the outset. Aside from Adam's slobbishness--seriously, did he even know what shelves were for?--there were his friends, who Kris was pretty sure had been summoned to life out of a children's book about wizards and warlocks and who were like no one he'd ever met in Conway, that was for sure. Plus, Adam drank pink alcohol, which Kris also hadn't known existed. But he was nice, and he could talk about anything and never acted bored, even when Kris was putting himself to sleep. But those were things Adam did in general. They weren't exclusive to Kris.
For Kris, Adam stayed up all night and rubbed his back when he was sick with the flu. He made soup with the electric stove top that violated dorm regs, but like with everything else Adam did, the R.A.s turned blind eyes. Then, he proved that he couldn't cook for shit and sweet-talked one of his friends into going out in sub-zero weather to buy Kris soup so Adam "wouldn't have to leave him alone; he's going to hurl and what if he chokes on it?" He was always right there whenever Kris had bad luck with relationships with his listening face on, so Kris couldn't help but tell him all the horrible things that had happened and about his fears for never having love, ever. Meanwhile, Kris had no idea if Adam even had a boyfriend. He was the most tight-lipped person Kris had ever known. He had his suspicions because some nights Adam came stumbling in and landed face down on his bed without even saying "good night". Adam was such an open person that Kris couldn't imagine anything except heartbreak shutting him down like that. He'd gone to Adam's bed on those nights to see if Adam would let Kris hold him. He'd turned away, though, made his name sound like a warning, and Kris had returned to his own mattress, wishing.
Shoes. He found one at the bottom of his closet. The other was a few inches away, under the bed. He sat on the end of it to pull them on and tie them. The first letter had been about his hands. "I could watch your fingers all day. You make movement beautiful." That had freaked him out some. He was used to being called cute or adorable, and everyone he'd ever met, given enough to drink, confessed that they wanted to run their fingers through his hair. But he'd never had anyone focus specifically on his hands. There was something else that he didn't know how to parse, though, and this was that his hands were his favorite part of himself. He held his guitar with them, made music. Did this person know how Kris valued them, too, or was it a sign of fate that the letter-writer favored them enough to mention them first?
He glanced at the clock. Ten minutes. Still doing good; speed-walking across campus would get him to class in time. It was chilly. They always ran the heat too cold in the mornings. He rubbed his goose-pimpled arms, felt the soft cotton sleeves and realized he was still wearing his sleeping shirt. Yanking it off, he hissed against the sudden freeze and crossed his arms over his nipples as he spun around to search for a clean shirt. His closet greeted him with a pile of laundry up to his waist.
Adam's closet looked clean, welcoming, and overflowing with untouched shirts. Adam's closet always looked perfect, mainly because his laundry was everywhere else in the room. "Adam?" Kris said.
Adam didn't move. Kris called him again, louder. Finally, he heard what sounded like a "what" muffled into the pillow.
"Can I borrow a shirt?"
The groan sounded like "yes", so Kris stuck his hand into the closet and grabbed the first thing he touched. It was a different kind of Russian Roulette. Instead of "Is there a bullet in this chamber?", it was "Is this shirt going to have glitter and sequins, or colors that only occur on tropical birds?". Getting it off the hanger took some tugging. He ended up going on his tiptoes and sticking his other hand in, too, to jostle it better. There was a four-drawer dresser in the closet and the shirts hung above it. As Kris pulled one free, he stepped backwards. The shirt dragged along the dresser-top, knocking a few bottles of hair product to the floor. Adam had more hair product than anyone Kris had ever known, including women. Sometimes coming back to the room was like entering a chemical test lab. It was a good thing that Kris didn't smoke. Otherwise, he'd probably cause an explosion by lighting up while residual fumes were still in the air.
Kris pulled the shirt on. It was too long because Adam was long-torsoed and taller than him anyway, but he wore his shirts small, so it fit fine otherwise. It felt like silk and slid interestingly over his nipples, which were still perked up from the cold. It was more sheer than glittery, but Kris could put his jacket over it. He'd be fine. Too late to change now, anyway. He bent to pick up the bottles. He found two at his feet and chased the third under the dresser. As he grabbed it, his fingers nudged a piece of paper, so he dragged it out too in case it was something Adam needed.
It was an orange envelope. Kris set the bottles down and stared at it. In his lockbox, he had a green, red, black, and purple envelope. The one in his mail stack was brown. No orange ones, so it didn't mean that Adam was the one sending the letters. Sure, it was the same stationery brand, but the university bookstore sold it; lots of students had it. He was about to bend down again to see if Adam had a stash too when he glanced over at Adam and his question disappeared.
Adam was staring at him, wide-eyed. Kris knew guilt when he saw it, so he held the envelope up and saw Adam's jaw start to shake as if he was trying to remember how to speak.
Kris stared back. He felt the envelope slip out of his fingers, and distantly it occurred to him that if he hadn't found it now, he'd be seeing it in his mailbox later. Adam started to get up, but Kris took the single step he needed to reach the foot of his bed in this ridiculously tiny room--"The unibomber had a bigger cabin," his mother had said when she first saw it--and launched himself onto Adam. He dragged Adam back down and hooked his leg over Adam's thigh.
"It was you?" he asked.
Adam looked like he wanted to struggle, but Kris held him down. He could be strong when he needed to be. "Pretend I'm the wizard," Kris said. He pushed a hand up Adam's T-shirt and pressed it over Adam's heart. "All the courage you need. Right here." Touching Adam's chin, he forced Adam to raise his head so Kris could see his eyes.
"You weren't supposed to know." Adam was still trying to crawl away, so Kris planted himself on him more firmly, grabbed his face with both hands, and kissed him.
"I have to go to class now, but we're going to talk about this later, and we're going to do a lot more of this." He kissed Adam again. This time Adam kissed back, albeit weakly, as if he was still stuck in a coma over it. "Promise you'll be here."
"I promise," Adam said.
"O.K." Kris backed off the bed feet first, taking care to walk his hands down Adam's legs as he went. He wanted to keep touching him forever and ever, but Kris didn't have the magic that Adam did. Whatever Adam did that kept him in good academic standing at this college, where he never went to classes and yet was on first-name basis with all the professors, wasn't going to help Kris. He grabbed his jacket and keys, then his bag, doing everything backwards so he wouldn't have to take his eyes off Adam for one second. Adam lay there watching him. His astonishment had finally given way to a smile. Kris didn't care for swearing, but Adam looked fucking thrilled. Kris almost couldn't breathe as he stared at that gorgeous smile. He'd seen a hundred kinds of smile from Adam, but none like this, none so exclusively his.
Class. Must not fail class. The thought, plus the clock telling him that he was at wind-sprint pacing if he was going to make it, drove him out of the room before he gave into his own desires and dove back into bed. This was good, he thought as he closed the door. They both needed space to think about what this was going to mean. As Kris sprinted down the stairs, he had already decided on one thing: Adam would be getting his own letter tonight in which his secret admirer would tell him how long he'd wanted him.
Kris would hand deliver it. And then they'd wake up in the same bed for the first time.
Kris raced out the dorm onto the quad. He started running as soon as his feet hit the sidewalk. The sky was filled with gray clouds, there was slush on the ground, not a hint of the sun. It was a beautiful day.