[personal profile] something_rare
Title: After All (Sequel to Can't Let You Go) - Chapter Three
Rating: R
Pairings: Adam Lambert/Kris Allen
Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction. The characters and events portrayed are fictitious, and any resemblance to real people or events is purely coincidental.
Note: A huge thank you to [livejournal.com profile] bigj52. Thank you for being an amazing beta. I feel guilty for the amount of work I put you through with each story.




Chapter Three

In Katy’s voiced opinion, the entire evening flew by at an amazing speed. It was wonderful, romantic and everything that she had wanted. It wasn’t too big and it wasn’t too small. It was just right. It was perfect.

Kris’s stomach turned every damn time he heard the word perfect come out of his friend’s mouth.

Perfect was not exactly the word he would use to describe the evening, or anything at this point in his life. He actually found it to be one of the most uncomfortable evenings he’d ever had to endure. Seeing Adam had been totally unexpected since Katy said herself that Adam probably wasn’t coming.

Kris wasn’t prepared.

And he really wasn’t prepared to deal with the feelings that came along with seeing Adam again.

He knew he loved Adam. He knew he never stopped loving Adam. He knew he would probably always love Adam; he just didn’t know how to come to terms with knowing what he knew. Loving Adam wasn’t something he was allowed to feel anymore. What they had was over. He knew that. He really did. He just didn’t know how to stop loving him.

And God, he missed Adam. He just hadn’t realized how much he missed him until he had to actually see him. And jealousy? Wow, that feeling snuck right up on him. He had no idea how jealous he would feel seeing him with someone else. Deep down, he knew Adam would eventually find someone. He just wasn’t prepared to actually see it with his own eyes.

Kris’s whole body shook every time he looked Adam’s way throughout the rest of the evening. Adam didn’t stay long after their encounter outside, but it felt like forever. He watched Kris continuously, never letting up. Kris felt it. He noticed it and worst of all, he kind of liked it. He liked that despite the fact Adam had a date, he watched him, not his date.

“So,” Brian moaned, rubbing Kris’s back. “Did the dick ever say why he hasn’t signed the divorce papers yet? I see he took off out of here pretty damn fast.”

Hearing Brian call him a dick was disheartening. “Would you stop calling him names?” Kris’s head swung around as he jerked his body away from Brian. “I’m getting pretty tired of it. He doesn’t deserve that.”

“God, Kris,” Katy spat from across the table where she and Cale sat. “Why do you insist on defending him and his actions?”

“Because he’s a good guy,” Kris replied honestly. “And just because he didn’t handle things the way you thought he should have, doesn’t make him a dick or any other name you guys always insist on calling him.” He looked at Cale and noticed the sadness on his face. “At one time, we were all friends.”

Cale nodded his head. “He’s right, guys,” he said casually. “Adam is a good guy and quite honestly, I’m getting pretty sick and tired of all the name-calling too.”

Katy rolled her eyes and peered at Kris. She jumped up from her seat and made her way over to the gift table.

There were only a handful of people left at the reception, and the majority of them were on the dance floor.

Everyone watched Katy rummage through the gifts. She was going through them at breakneck speed until she finally had a package in her hand. She made her way back, taking a seat and throwing the gift to Cale. “Open it up and let’s see what Mr. Good Guy Lambert gave us.”

“What’s your problem, Katy?” Kris questioned, disgusted with the whole situation. “You can’t wait until you get home to open your gifts?”

“Not at all,” she replied, leaning over Cale’s shoulder. “I just want to see how much time and effort Adam actually put into getting us a gift. After all, he didn’t RSVP so he must have just grabbed whatever he could to make it look good.”

Kris pointed at Cale, shaking his head. “Haven’t you told her that Adam called you a couple weeks ago and RSVP’d?”

“Yeah,” Cale replied, tearing open the paper. “I did.” Once the paper was torn off, he handed his wife the small box. “And I agree with Kris. We shouldn’t be doing this here.”

“Whatever,” Katy huffed, tearing the lid off the box. She pulled out an envelope and checked it over thoroughly before reading the note that was attached.

Everyone, except Cale, watched as she read the note in its entirety in silence. Tearing the note from the envelope, she sat it down on the table and opened the envelope. There were a few moments of silence before she turned to Cale. With trembling hands, she handed him the envelope. “Oh my God,” she whispered. “He gave us a gift certificate for an all expenses paid two-week vacation back to Cozumel, including air fare and two thousand dollars spending money.”

Cale’s eyes widened as he glanced down at the certificate. “He thought of everything too,” he said quietly. “It doesn’t even expire until 2015. That’s four years from now.”

Kris’s gaze dropped to the table upon hearing the news. Obviously Adam cared for these people a lot more than he even realized.

“He probably did that because he knew we would have to plan it around getting someone to watch the kids,” Cale said. He put the envelope back in the box and turned to his wife. “Do you feel better now?” he shot a little sarcastically. “Apparently, he did take the time, Katy.”

Kris jumped up from his seat. Disgusted, he just stood there and shook his head for a few moments, watching his friend struggle for words. “And to think you treated him the way you did tonight, Katy,” he snarled through his teeth. “All he ever wanted from you was friendship. You should be ashamed of yourself.” He turned on his heels. “Brian, I’m gonna head home. I’ll talk to you in the morning.”

“I thought you agreed that we were gonna head out together.”

“I’ve changed my mind,” he replied, standing tall. “I’ve got my own car here so I’m just gonna head out now.”

Brian pushed back his chair. “I’m coming, hang on.”

Kris reached out, placing his hand on Brian’s shoulder. “Don’t bother. I don’t feel like company tonight. I’ll call you in the morning.”

**********

After Adam dropped William off at the hotel, he headed straight for his house. The hotel room left a little to be desired and in all seriousness, he just wanted to be able to relax in the comfort of his own home. He hadn’t been back in over a year now and suddenly he was feeling that it was time.

Time to go home.

He told William that he was going to check on the house and assess the situation before checking them out of the hotel. His explanation to him was that he wanted to make sure things were in working order. His real reason behind heading there himself wasn’t anything of the sort.

He knew everything was in working order. Because if it hadn’t been, he would’ve heard about it from the Frank, the president of the company he’d hired to look after it.

He simply wanted to be alone the first time back. It was that simple. If he was going to break down and cry, he wanted to do it alone and in private. Seeing Kris at the reception brought back too many untouched feelings. Seeing Brian with Kris just confirmed the fact that he’d made the right choice.

Kris was finally able to move on with his life.

Adam pulled into the driveway and did a double take when he realized that there was another car parked there as well.

His first gut reaction was to call the police. He quickly grabbed his cell phone, clutching it tightly to his chest as he jumped out of the car. Slowly, he made his way to the unfamiliar car, inspecting it along the way. It didn’t look familiar, but he couldn’t be sure. Without caution, he tried the passenger side door and was surprised to find it unlocked.

He bent down and stuck his head in, hoping to find something to give him a clue as to whose car it was.

The one and only clue he needed hit him instantly. The aroma of Kris’ cologne was something he’d never forget.

Adam shut the door quietly and made his way to the front door where he let himself in. If it really was Kris’s car, what was he doing here? He’d never had the locks changed, so it wouldn’t be entirely impossible for Kris to be inside. The real question was…why?

“Kris?” he said softly, shutting the door behind him.

He took his shoes off, turned on the foyer light and took a look around. From where he stood and what he could see, everything looked the same. Not a single thing had changed.

He stepped in further and headed toward the master bedroom. He stopped when their wedding photo caught his eye. Slowly, he brought his hand up and traced the oak frame. They looked so happy. They were very happy then. What happened?

Adam brought his free hand up and quickly removed the picture from the wall. He didn’t want to, he had to. If William was going to be spending the weekend here, the last thing he’d want to see would be “their” wedding photo.

He made his way to the bedroom, pushing open the door. “Kris?” he said again.

No response still.

He made his way in through the darkness, heading straight to the walk-in closet where he placed the picture up against the wall, behind some clothes. He turned on the light and looked around. Kris’s clothes were nowhere in sight. Why he expected anything different was beyond him.

Baffled, he stood there for a while, wondering why Kris’s car was in his driveway. Of course, it wasn’t the same car he had when they were together, but evidently, he’d gotten another car. Or maybe it wasn’t his car after all.

As that realization washed over him, he began to get nervous. Would it be possible that a fan had found their way into his secured home? The security alarm hadn’t gone off when he came in. Why? He gave specific orders to the man who was in charge of watching over his house to always set the alarm before leaving.

Adam’s heart started pounding rapidly against his chest. For the first time in a long time, he felt vulnerable. What if someone was actually in his house? Waiting? Snooping? Stealing?

Quickly, he grabbed his cell phone and hit the speed dial. He didn’t care that it was after two in the morning. When he paid someone to do a job, he expected them to do the job. Period.

“Frank?”

“Yeah,” a groggy voice answered in return.

“It’s Adam Lambert.” He waited for a few moments to let Frank’s brain register who it actually was that was calling him. “I’m in town for the weekend and I stopped by my house to check things out.”

Frank cleared his throat. “Is something wrong, Mr. Lambert?”

“Not sure,” Adam replied, lowering his voice and shutting himself into the closet. “The alarm wasn’t set, so I’m a little rattled, to say the least.”

“I always set the alarm, Mr. Lambert. Always.”

“Well, it wasn’t set tonight.” There was a long pause of silence that had Adam increasingly becoming more nervous. “When was the last time you were here?”

“Just yesterday.”

“Could it be possible that you forgot?”

Frank blew out a loud breath. “No, but perhaps your husband forgot. He’s usually there on Fridays.”

The words startled Adam, causing him to break out in a cold sweat. He wiped his forehead and sank down to the floor. “I don’t have a husband, Frank.” He thought long and hard about the declaration. “Well, I mean…I do but we’ve been separated for well over a year now.”

“Shit.”

“Frank…what’s going on?”

“He showed me his license, Mr. Lambert and I recognized him from your wedding portrait that’s hanging on the wall in the hallway. He told me that it was okay.”

Adam brought his knees up and dropped his head between them. “That what was okay?”

Frank took in a deep breath before clearing his throat again. “Well, he usually stops by the house at least once a week to water the hanging plants in the bay window and he told me that you knew about it.”

Plants?

“Don’t you think that I would’ve told you about it? Furthermore, if I had him stopping by then I wouldn’t need to pay someone to do it.”

“Well,” Frank said hesitantly, “I did think it was somewhat strange, but he kept reassuring me that you knew.”

Adam lifted his head and dropped it back until it hit the wall hard. “I didn’t know.”

“I’m sorry, Mr. Lambert, but he had a set of keys so I just assumed it’d be all right.”

Adam stood up, turned off the light, opened the door to the closet and made his way over to the window seat where he sat down. “What else does he do when he’s here?”

Frank remained silent for a few moments and then sighed heavily. “As far as I know, nothing. He waters the plants and then usually locks up and leaves.”

Adam let out a frustrated breath. His brain couldn’t comprehend what Frank was telling him. It didn’t make sense. No sense at all. Why would Kris be coming to an empty house?

“Wait…” Frank trailed. “He always sits on that tree swing that’s in the backyard too. And sometimes, it’s for quite a long time.”

“What?” Adam said, slowly standing to his feet. “Tree swing? He didn’t take his tree swing with him?” Pressing his face to the window, he sighed. “I’m gonna let you go…sorry to bother you, Frank.”

“Let me know what you want to do, Mr. Lambert. I can have the locks changed if you’d like.”

“I’ll give you a call,” he simply replied, placing his cell phone down and standing to his feet.

Kris was swinging in his tree swing.

Adam made his way out the front door and quietly to the backyard. He was hoping that Kris wouldn’t notice him right away. If possible, he wanted to watch Kris for a few moments, take him all in and let himself remember what having Kris all to himself was once like.

As it was so late and there wasn’t a hint of light in the sky whatsoever, he nearly fell on his behind alongside of the house, when his ankle gave way from stepping on something. “Shit,” he mumbled under his breath, bending down to see what he’d stepped on.

The feeling of something slimy startled him. He let go of the object and stepped back, fearing it was some type of snake. His eyes settled on the object, trailing the long length. There was no way a snake could be that long. At least he sure as hell hoped not. Once his eyes grew accustomed to the darkness, they led to the house.

It wasn’t a snake. Not unless a very long snake had somehow become attached to the sprocket on the house. He shook his head and bent down to gather up the hose that someone had left on the grass. He tossed it closer to the house before continuing his way to the backyard.

Stepping around the house, he stood close to the brick and admired Kris, who was still barely swinging. He had his back turned away from him and the house; his head was down and his feet slowly kicked beneath him. It was his usual position; only this time, Adam wasn’t going to take it for granted. There wouldn’t be other times to savor. This was it and deep down he knew that.

Adam took baby steps the entire way to Kris, not wanting to draw any attention to his presence. By the time he reached Kris, he was quite pleased with his ability to go unnoticed. It was one of his many talents that he’d acquired over the years while being famous. It was a required talent for celebrities. Make yourself invisible.

He stood directly behind Kris, resisting the urge to grab him every time he slowly swung back towards him. But he could only hold out for so long. Less than a couple minutes to be exact. Slowly, he reached out and grabbed the ropes with both hands, holding Kris in place.

Kris shrieked loudly as he jerked his head around.

“Shhh…” Adam whispered. “You’re gonna wake up the living dead if you keep that up.”

Kris firmly planted his feet on the ground and let go of the ropes, bringing his hand to his chest. Silence hung heavy in the night as words failed them both.

“Hey,” he softly said, moments later, dropping his intense gaze from Adam’s even more intense gaze.

“Hey,” Adam copied, making his way around the swing to face Kris. He stepped back and leaned up against the old tree that held Kris’s beloved swing. His eyes finally grew accustomed to the darkness, allowing him to see that he was still in his suit, still looking just as beautiful as he had hours earlier when he couldn’t help but watch him endlessly. “What’re you doing here?”

“What’re you doing here?” Kris asked, slowly bringing his head up to look at Adam.

His voice cracked with each word, making Adam’s heart pound even harder. “Have you been crying?”

“No,” he whispered.

“You sure? You sound like it.”

“Positive,” he said with authority, dropping his head down.

The tone in his voice changed drastically and Adam knew that he’d better just drop it or Kris could very well leave without asking him why, and he didn’t want that to happen. Not yet at least. “To answer your question…I live here, that’s why I’m here.”

“You haven’t lived here in over a year now,” he whispered.

Kris had him there.

“Are you mad that I’m here?” Kris kept his head down, kicking the worn grass beneath his feet. “I can leave.”

“I’m not mad,” Adam replied, folding his arms in front of his chest. “Just curious as to why you’re here and what your swing is still doing here.”

Slowly Kris lifted his head up. “Would you believe me if I told you that I just happened to be in the neighborhood?”

Adam let out a little laugh, cocking his head to the side, looking at Kris through eyes that could barely hide the way he felt by just looking at him. “Not a chance…but it was a nice try.”

Kris gave him a small smile. “Where’s your date?”

Adam knew what Kris was up to. It was obvious. He decided right then and there that he’d play this game for as long as Kris wanted to, but when it was done…he wanted answers. “Will’s back at the hotel still.”

“Will,” Kris whispered, sounding dejected.

“I just came by to check on things.” He looked towards the house and sighed. “I haven’t been back since…”

Kris interrupted him. “I know.”

He nodded, turning his attention back to Kris. Kris lifted up his feet and slowly started to swing again, letting his head fall back.

“Where’s Brian?”

Kris shrugged. “Home, I suppose…I don’t know.”

Adam swallowed back the lump in his throat. Adam really didn’t want to know the answer to the question he was about to ask, but he was going to ask it anyway. His curiosity was going to win out, no matter how hard he tried to fight it. “Aren’t you guys living together now?”

Kris straightened out his legs and stopped himself from swinging when he dug his bare feet into the grass. “No, we’re not.”

Did he actually hear Kris right? Surprised, Adam whipped his head around. “Really?”

“Really,” Kris repeated after him. “I’m not by any means ready to do that yet. So, I’m back at my old place with Daniel and Brian’s still home with his parents.”

Adam tried to act unaffected by Kris’s honesty. “And he’s okay with that?”

Kris kept his stance and continued to stare right at him. “No, he’s not but I’ve been seeing a therapist since you left,” he whispered, quickly adding, “not the same one that I was seeing before but a different one and it’s been doing wonders for me.”

Adam stood there in silence; taking in the few bits and pieces of vital information Kris was giving him. They may have been small bits and pieces, but it was a still a glimpse into his current life. A life that no longer included him but a life that still held his interest.

“You would be proud of me,” Kris said softly, smiling brightly. “You really would, because I finally stopped letting him play the guilt card on me and have started looking out for myself.” He lifted his legs up and let himself glide back and forth.

Adam smiled back at him. “I am proud of you,” he said truthfully. “I’m just sorry that it wasn’t sooner.”

“Yeah,” he mumbled. “Me too.”

Silence lingered in the air again. Neither one said anything for a good couple of minutes as Adam just continued to watch Kris glide back and forth on his swing. It felt like a surreal moment to him. Mainly because he never thought he’d see Kris in person again, face to face, much less sitting on his tree swing that was still in their – his – backyard.

Kris stopped and looked up at him. “I miss you, Adam,” he said carefully, his voice sounding like it was on the verge of tears. “There have been so many times that I’ve wanted to pick up the phone and call you…just to hear your voice.”

“Then why didn’t you?”

“Because I was afraid that you’d hang up on me after everything that has happened.” His voice cracked with every word and while he lingered on his last words, the sobs became evident. “You t-told me that no matter what happened between us…that you would always be t-there for me.”

Adam took a few steps towards him and crouched down in front of him. Placing his hands on the ropes to steady himself, he looked directly at Kris. “And I meant that.”

“More than anything,” he trailed, looking Adam squarely in the eyes. “I wanted to be your friend. I didn’t want to l-lose that, b-but I did.”

Adam had to fight back his feelings. Having Kris within arm’s reach, when he knew damn well that he couldn’t, and shouldn’t touch him was nothing short of hell. “I don’t know if I’m capable of that.”

Kris nodded. “I understand.”

“I don’t think I could handle coming over to your house with my boyfriend and sitting down to play a game of Taboo with you and Brian,” Adam said honestly.

“Boyfriend?” Kris choked, not really questioning Adam but rather repeating after him.

Adam should’ve chosen his words more carefully. He could hear how much the word affected Kris. But at the same time, couldn’t he see that there wasn’t a difference between what he had and what Kris had? He had a boyfriend and Kris obviously had a boyfriend, if Brian could even be called that. He was Kris’s husband at one time, an ex-husband, maybe now, because of the marriage license that still bound the two of them. But Brian was the exact same thing to Kris that William was to him. The significant other.

He took a moment to think his thought through before speaking. “I can’t be a friend like that, but I can be someone that will be there for you when you need to talk.”

“Isn’t t-that one and the s-same?”

Adam shrugged. Honestly, he didn’t know. He’d never been faced with that type of situation before.

He let go of the ropes and sat down on the grass. “We could always try and see what happens. If it isn’t something I’m capable of…I can let you know.” He did his best to remain calm, letting his hands play with the grass beside him. Yanking out blade after blade, he sighed. “I don’t know if I necessarily want to hear about your sex life or anything, but I could probably handle just about everything else.”

Kris slightly laughed. “Same goes for you. I don’t want to hear about your sex life either.”

Adam looked up at him and smiled. “Agreed.”

Kris smiled back at him. “I’m working again. I went back to the school and they gave me my old job back.”

The sadness in his voice was apparent, as he weakly attempted to bring up a subject that was near and dear to his heart. “I bet you were thrilled.”

“I was,” Kris stated, nodding his head. “That was one of the times that I wanted to call you. I knew you’d be happy for me.”

Adam couldn’t answer him. It was breaking his heart to sit so close to Kris without being able to reach out and hold him. Kris was still his husband. He still loved him and despite everything, he still wanted him. And he seriously doubted that would ever change, even though he knew, without a doubt, that their situation would never change.

They were over. Done. Finished.

“I’m sorry,” Kris mumbled, standing to his feet. “Sorry for everything.”

Adam jumped to his feet and grabbed his hands. Squeezing them, he fought to keep his voice in check. “I am too.”

Inching his way towards Adam, Kris stood on his tiptoes and kissed him on the cheek. “I should probably go,” he said, pulling back.

“Can I ask you something?”

“Sure.”

Adam looked at the house and then back to him again. “Why have you been coming over here during the week to water my plants? I pay someone to do that. And why are some of your things still here?” He dropped one of his hands and pointed to the swing. “And why is your swing still here?”

Even through the darkness, he could tell that Kris’s eyes widened with his question. “Because…because…”

“Because why?” he asked, taking his hand and lifting Kris’s chin up. “Just be honest.”

Adam distinctly saw him swallow. Kris closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “Because I’m not ready to give this up yet.” His eyes flew open. “I know that this is over but it’s been really hard for me to accept that.”

Adam was speechless.

“And before you ask,” he continued on, staring directly at him. “Brian doesn’t know that I come here after work. If he did, he’d be livid, so I’ve haven’t told him and I don’t intend telling him.” He withdrew his hand from Adam’s and turned away to leave. Stopping, he turned back around. “Do you want me to stop?”

Adam remained still.

“Because the therapist said that it’s been good for my healing process, but if it bothers you, I understand.”

Adam shook his head. “No,” he whispered, still shell-shocked over what’d he just heard. “If it’s helping you, then by all means, feel free to continue what you’re doing.” He took a few steps towards Kris and slowly began walking towards the front of the house. “Just to warn you though…I was thinking about putting this place up for sale pretty soon.”

Kris stopped dead in his tracks. “Why?”

“I’m never here anymore, so there really isn’t a reason to keep it.”

Adam noticed when Kris hesitated for a moment as he started to walk again. Turning back to look at Kris, he shrugged.

“I see,” Kris mumbled, following Adam’s lead until they were at his car. “Well…I guess this is it.” He opened the driver’s side door and quickly sat down in the seat. Looking up at Adam, he smiled. “It was great to see you again.”

He smiled back. “Give me a call sometime when you want to talk.”

“Sure.”

Adam nodded, slamming Kris’s door shut. He knew damn well that Kris wouldn’t. It was obvious.

When the car finally started, the driver’s side window slowly lowered. “I usually stop by the house after work on Monday afternoon and I just wanted to check to see if you were still going to be around.”

“Actually,” Adam trailed, placing a hand on the hood of the car. “I’ll be here until Wednesday night. Will’s flight out is Monday night.”

“So, you’ll both be here on Monday?”

“Yeah,” he admitted, unwillingly.

“Okay, I’ll make sure not to stop by until after Wednesday then.”

Adam leaned down. “You’re more than welcome to stop by…just make it after Monday.”

“But you’ll be here.”

“So?” Adam threw at him, frowning. “I thought you said we were gonna be friends.” He shrugged his shoulders and smiled. “We’re friends, right? Friends visit each other. They have dinner together and talk. We could have dinner,” he suggested, pausing only briefly so Kris couldn’t answer either way. He stepped away from the car. “Goodnight, Kris.”

Resisting the urge to watch him drive away, Adam headed back into the house. He needed to do a ‘once-over’ and set the alarm. Making his way through the house, he was satisfied that everything was in order for him to bring William back to the house.

He set the alarm and headed towards the front door again when his cell phone started ringing. “Shit,” he mumbled, certain that it was William, wondering where the hell he was and what the hell was taking him so long. He immediately answered it, not bothering to check and see who it was. “Yeah?”

“Just friends, right?”

Hearing Kris’s voice, Adam laughed. “Right.”

Kris slightly laughed. “Okay then…maybe I’ll see you on Tuesday.”


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