furorscribiendi: guitar playing (Default)
[personal profile] furorscribiendi

Three thirty in the morning had never been a kind time to Adam. Exhaustion was starting to creep through his body. He shouldered his bag, heels dangling from his fingers. The show tonight had been nothing but a pure adrenaline rush, those lights dazzling his eyes, the audience in front of him… a shiver went through him as he headed for the front door. He hoped Lee and Scarlett could put on another show soon. He’d gladly come back.

He saluted the security guard at the door before he stepped outside. Los Angeles was almost like an entirely different place at this time. It was quieter, as if the city was taking a breather before getting back to the usual mad rush.

His route was the same, practically straight down, no deviating. He might pop into the nearby twenty-four hour convenience store, see if he could scrounge up something to cook. Then he could head home, have a bath and curl up in bed. He didn’t have a studio session until about three-thirty and he could cram in plenty of sleep and rest up.

So when he passed an alley and heard the clatter of a bottle. He thought nothing of it. But then there was a strange sound and then a muffled voice hissing out, ‘Get him over here.’ Adam froze for a moment, entirely unsure of what exactly he should do. There was another odd sound and then came the sound of something being punched.

The dull, ‘thwock’ sat like a lead weight in Adam’s mind and then he heard a voice.

“Shut the fag up.”

It was probably one of the few times Adam saw red in his life. He was hurrying into the alleyway, grip tightening on his shoes. The sounds grew louder and when he approached a dumpster, he cautiously peered around it.

Some guy was holding someone else down while the other two pummeled at him with their feet and fists. Adam gripped his shoes tighter, a dense ball of anger forming in his gut as he stood up straight. There was a voice in his head that screamed this was a bad idea, and did he really want to get shanked and put his family through that? Getting the news that one of their sons had been knifed in a Los Angeles alleyway while trying to stop a gay bashing?

He stood beside the dumpster and banged the heels against the metal side. Three pairs of drunken eyes snapped right to him. And before he could even really stop to think about what he was really doing,

“You want to take me the fuck on?”

The man holding the person dropped him like a hot coal and bolted. One man just stood there, foot drawn back and looking indecisive. But the man with a hand balled into a fist, he took one look at Adam and made his decision. He came charging in and Adam barely had time to take a step back, swiping with his own hand.

He’d forgotten about the shoes though.

A howl of pain echoed through the alley as the heel caught on the man’s face, tearing a gash open. The man swore, snarling something incoherent before he tried again. Adam socked him solidly in the nose. When the man looked up at him there was anger and hatred in those eyes and Adam was seriously starting to wonder if –

“Fucking fag, you ripped my face open!”

The man charged again and Adam stepped forward, grabbing the man’s shoulders. He looked surprised and then shocked as Adam brought his knee up hard and caught the man right in the groin. He stepped back, letting go as he went. When the man gasped, whimpered and then crumpled to the dirty ground, Adam looked over. The other man was still there, slowly edging away as if he could escape Adam’s notice.

“Take your friend,” Adam said after a deep breath. “And beat it. I don’t want to see you around here again, got it?”

The other man nodded his head mutely and scrambled forward. Adam watched as they hurried towards the other end of the alley before he looked over. The person was still hunched over, their back moving shallowly with their breathing. Which sounded like it was gurgling. Adam swore to himself as he knelt beside the man, dumping his shoes on the ground.

“Shit are you okay?” He thought about turning him over but didn’t know if that would make it worse. “I’ll get you somewhere, call 911 –”

That got a response and the person forced themselves up on shaky arms. “No, no, I don’t ne–”

When they broke off coughing, with ribbons of blood flying from their mouth, Adam felt panic race through him. The man’s mouth looked like it had been cut up against his teeth. Adam was no doctor, but from the gurgling sound, the wheezy breathing and the arm around a midsection, he’d hazard a guess and say that some ribs were broken.

“You need medical attent–”

Adam started but abruptly stopped and stared as the man heaved himself up to rest his back against the wall. Some of his hair was wet, matted down by who knew what. His glasses were broken and his face was a vivid motley of bruises, along with a split lip and eyebrow.

“I’m fine,” The man wheezed while waving a hand. “Just need... to get home.”

Never in his life had Adam heard such macho bullshit. “Are you shitting me?” He didn’t think he could have yelled if he tried. “Listen to yourself, you could fucking die. Fuck you, I’m calling 911.”

Adam scrabbled for his phone and when the man didn’t say anything, he paused and looked up. Those eyes were closed and he was still breathing shallowly. Great, he’d passed out. This was getting worse by the second. He flipped his phone open only to have it smacked out of his hands. His gaze snapped up to find the man glaring at him with a scary intensity in those green irises.

“Take. Me. Home.” Each word sounded painful and laboured.

Shit, this man was determined to not get to a hospital. “I don’t know where your home is.” Adam sniped. He was going to end up as an accessory to... accidental homicide or something else stupid because of this idiot.


All Adam muttered was ‘Jesus Christ’ as he reached for the pocket the man was fumbling with. The leather square was in there along with a set of keys. A hand gripped his wrist, the touch a bit cold.

“Parking lot across the street,” the man was wheezing. “Got jumped. Lost my wand.”

“Lost your...” Adam trailed off as he stared, wondering just how drunk, high, or possibly both, this man was. “Shit, no wonder you got jumped. Drunk idiots probably thought you were a drug dealer or something.”

The man shook his head. “ ‘m not. Just... get me...”


That was all Adam said as those green eyes rolled back and the man passed out. This idiot didn’t want to go a hospital, fine. He would drive him home and then call 911. End of the matter. That would be his Good Samaritan act for the day. He jammed his phone and shoes into his bag before stuffing the wallet in his pants pocket and looping the keys onto a finger.

When he carefully picked up the man and stood back up there wasn’t a single sound. It was a little like lifting a wet sack of something. He walked to the mouth of the alley, looking around. Sure enough, half a block up, there was the entrance to the parking lot. The street was deserted and the entire walk over Adam just prayed that no one popped out of anywhere.

But the street remained empty and he could have sung in relief when he saw it was an automatic lot. No nosy attendant to ask what was going on. He walked through the rows, managing to press the unlock button every dozen paces. Nothing responded until he got to the top of the five story lot. All the way in the middle row there was the flash of lights and the brief honk of the horn.

He walked quickly over, struggling to free a hand to open the door. Getting the man in wasn’t easy, butt Adam did, reclining the seat back a little. The seatbelt was done up and Adam ran over to the driver’s side. He paused long enough to throw his things in the back before he sat down and buckled up as well.

And promptly started swearing once again.

“A stick, are you fucking kidding me?” Adam stared at the gear stick as if it could morph into an automatic.

Shit, he hadn’t driven one of these since driving school. And it wasn’t like he had much chance to practice. Still swearing, he looked around the car and spied the GPS unit on the dashboard. He turned it on, scrolling through pre-entered addresses before he came across one labelled ‘Home.’ Shaking his head, he started the car and, jerkily, got it to the barricade in the lot. He grabbed the ticket slip from the dashboard, fed it into the slot and fumbled through the man’s wallet. Spying the gold glint of a credit card, he pulled it out and swiped it.

“Harry Potter, huh?” he mumbled, eyeing the name as the reciept printed. He slipped it back into the wallet and then his pants, saying, “If you don’t die, you so fucking owe me for this.”

For one of the few times in his life, Harry wasn’t entirely sure what was going on. He was lying on a bed somewhere dim. Everything ached and his face and torso felt so incredibly sore, he was sure he didn’t want to move an inch. He turned his head, hazily making out the shapes of empty bottles on the night stand.

A memory flashed through his mind, of fists and feet pummeling him. And then someone had come and...

“Hey,” his head was cradled and lifted up. “Drink this.”

A bottle mouth was pressed against his lips and tipped. He swallowed the bitter liquid that came and blinked. There was a man beside his bedside and as he slipped back into sleep, Harry vaguely thought that the man was really tall and the nicest thing he’d ever hallucinated while recuperating.

Time slipped by in odd bursts, punctuated by the strange man making him drink things. Harry kept trying to figure out why he wasn’t in glittery, obscenely tight pants. And where were those insanely high stilettos he had been wearing? And why was he wearing a shirt? That was simply a criminal act.

When he awoke again the room was bright with sunlight. He blinked and tried to sit up slowly. It was something he instantly regretted. Everything felt sore, though it was nothing compared to the pain that he remembered.

“Ugh, what happened?” he muttered as he stared at the ceiling.

Even as he said it, the night came trickling back to him. He’d gone out looking for something to kill the evening and found somebody scalping a ticket to something called The Zodiac Show. Buying the ticket had been a whim, nothing more.

He hadn’t been expecting the dazzling barrage on his senses. The glitz, the lights, the smart-fast paced show based around the zodiac sign of Leo. And the man who prowled and dominated the stage, Harry hadn’t been able to keep his eyes off him.

And in the interludes had been Hugh, who had clearly read Harry’s attempts at being friendly in entirely the wrong way. Why else had the jerk decided that ganging on up on him was the thing to do?

“Right...” Harry groaned as a particularly sharp throb started at the base of his neck.

Hugh had jumped him when he was heading back to the parking lot. And before he could even cast a spell, he was held down and the beating started. He had tried to draw his wand, but it had skittered from his grasp with a vicious kick. He could recall the slurs and –

The door creaked softly and Harry glanced over to find a shock of black hair and concerned blue eyes fixed right on him. He paused, unsure of what to say before he settled on, “You’re the man from last night. At the theatre.”

There was a head nod and then, “I’m Adam, Mr Potter. Um, Adam Lambert.”

“Pleasure. Wish it was under better circumstances.” Harry looked back at the ceiling and closed his eyes.

“Hang on,” Adam’s head vanished and came back a few seconds later. “I’ll get you something.”

Adam crouched down beside the bed, small bottle and glass of water in hand. Harry took the pill and a gulp of water, but he nearly sputtered it back out when Adam spoke.

“I couldn’t find any of this Ache-Be-Gone stuff at any pharmacy within walking distance. Called around, no one ever heard of it. Couldn’t even find it online,”

Harry swallowed, wondering what to say precisely as Adam continued.

“You kept asking for your wand and seemed quite insistent that I only treat you with stuff from your medicine cabinet. And you, practically on the verge of dying, when I got you here, scrawled out some fucking illegilble thing on paper that looked like chicken scratch –”

Anxiety and panic, there it was. Because it was starting to look more and more like...

“And does such weird shit always happen around you?”

“Weird shit?” Harry finally said weakly.

“Lights flickering on and off. Stuff moving... doors opening and closing. It was all very Poltergeist. But it stopped after the first day,” Adam was eyeing the door. “...How are you feeling Mr Potter?”

“Call me Harry,” that was all Harry said for a moment, feeling like he was dealing with junior Aurors again. “And I’ve felt worse.”

“After getting the shit beat out of you,” Adam stood up before sitting on the side of the bed. “You were really insistent I didn’t take you to a hospital. Are you here in the country illegally or something?”

Harry wished that was the case. “You’re kind of stubborn.”

“And?” That was all Adam acknowledged with. “You don’t want Immigration to find you?”

“No, I’m here legally,” Harry started picking at the blanket.

American wizards weren’t as strict with the Statue of Secrecy as far as Harry knew. But things were vastly different here than they were back home. It was almost as if it was flaunted and no one batted much of an eyelash. At least, at the surface stuff. The truly intense Wizarding things were kept hidden away, known only by magical folk.

There was a pronounced silence from Adam and then, “Fuck, you are a drug lord or something, aren’t you?”

Harry couldn’t hep but laugh at that, even though it left him feeling like he’d been through the wringer. Adam had gotten up from the side of the bed, his arms crossed now. For a brief moment, Harry considered taking the chance and wandlessly wiping Adam’s memory of this. He had things upcoming in a week’s time and he didn’t have time for this. He really didn’t have to justify himself to a complete stranger.

But even as he looked at Adam, he knew he wouldn’t do it. Hell, couldn’t. This complete stranger had driven him home and stayed for...

“What day is it?”

Adam looked perplexed for a moment as he answered, “Saturday morning.”

Two days. Adam Lamnbert, a complete stranger, had stayed for two days to make sure he didn’t do something like choke to death on his own blood. So what if he just outright said the truth for once in his life? Chances were that Adam would snort, figure he had a concussion and that would probably be the end of it.

Or, even crazier, Adam might believe it.

Harry was strongly leaning towards the truth. It wasn’t everyday that he found himself rescued. And rescued by a six foot Adonis with gelled, teased hair wielding five inch stilettos as a weapon.

Also crazy, but very true. Though now Adam was looking decidedly all-American boy, without make-up and in jeans and a tshirt, and nothing like the glittery creature prowling a stage.

“Okay. I swear, I’m not here illegally, not a drug lord or anything like that. I’m a wizard and I’m here as a favour to a friend in the spirit of international co-operation and all that rot. Just figured I’d live like a normal person for awhile.”

Silence followed on the heels of his words. He simply watch Harry, as if he were minutely dissecting apart that sentence and any possible meaning behind it. When he spoke, his voice was undeniably curious.

“What do you mean, ‘live like a normal person’?”

Right, Adam was a Muggle. “No magic. Just get by without it. I mean, it’s how I grew up. And as much as I love magic, it seems to have far too many downsides for me.”

“So you’re telling me that you’re a wizard,” Adam said after a moment. “As in, ‘Hey there, I’m Merlin, stuck the sword in the stone, crowned King Arthur and shit’ kind of wizard.”

“I am. People have compared me...” Harry trailed off as he waved a hand irritably about. “Look, it’s like I said, I’m here on international co-operation and figured, a change of scenery, change of pace would be good for me. Didn’t anticipate getting the shit beat out of me.”

Adam’s expression shifted, softened. “And that stuff I gave you?”

“A compromise. They wanted me to have a security detail while I’m here,” Harry snorted. “I flat out refused. So they demanded I keep the medicine cabinet stocked with restoratives. They help heal major damage. Can’t take too much though, they’re mildly addictive.”

“I see,” Adam’s voice sounded mild and if Harry hadn’t been watching, he would have missed the momentary narrowing of eyes. “Can you do magic?”

“I can. Probably shouldn’t as I’m wandless at the moment,” he watched Adam for a moment. “Why?”

“Because,” Adam inhaled deeply. “I’m thinking you’ve still got one hell of a concussion. But if you had a concussion, you’d be disoriented and confused still. Not giving me ridiculously precise answers. Or waving a hand around while sounding pissed off.”

That made Harry blink and then chuckle. “Are you studying medicine?”

“No, I have a brother. We got into scuffles,” a momentary grin came to Adam’s face as he sat back down on the side of the bed. “Forget I asked. Just get better. Because I think I’m way too invested now to just walk away. And I’m going to need to pull some serious overtime at work to make up this month’s rent.”

A slight flush crept down Adam’s face and Harry frowned. “Dear Merlin, just go. I’m not about to keel over.”

Adam raised both eyebrows before he snorted. “Two days ago, you were on the verge of puking up your lungs and guts. And bleeding on the inside. Then, after reading your crappy instructions, I make you swallow something you claim is mildly addictive. No offence, but fuck you, Harry,”

“But –” Harry tried.

“I’ll see if I can get someone to cover my studio work. We’re all a dime a dozen, but I’m pretty good.”

“Don’t do that for me. How would you get to work?”

“From here? The bus.”

Harry remembered the drive in and it was nearly half an hour by car. Bussing it would not be fun he’d imagine. “Look, I don’t want you to miss work on account of me. Take my car for a bit. At least until I’m better. It’s the very least I can do.”

“Your car’s a stick,” Adam mused, but there was a look of longing on his face. “I’ll just –”

“Take my car,” Harry interrupted firmly. “I don’t have to go anywhere and have a stupid speech to prepare. I’m not going anywhere. Besides, if you’re so worried, it’ll get you back here faster, right?”

Adam nodded and said, “So, just to clarify, you’re letting me drive your Maserati around.”

“It has a name?” Harry blinked. “Got stuck with that one. Had no idea it was so poncy.”

“...That I can drive it, can I get that in writing?”

Adam looked fairly ecstatic and Harry couldn’t help but laugh again. “Sure. Do you think you’d make a shift if you left now?”

“I have a session scheduled at eleven. I said I’d call if I couldn’t make it –”

A quick glance at the clock, “It’s quarter after ten. If you leave now, you’ll make it.”

Indecision flittered over Adam’s face for a moment before he was up. He grabbed the memo pad on the nightstand and marker, scrawling something down.

“Okay, since you seem to like being a lone wolf, here’s my number. If you don’t want to call those other people that tried to cram security down your throat,” Adam’s derision said it all. “I’ll have my phone so yeah. Ah, there’s –”

“Go!” Harry exclaimed.

Adam jumped off the bed like a shot. “Call if you need anything at all, okay?”

Harry grinned as Adam paused in the door long enough to smile and wink at him before disappearing. He was glad Adam hadn’t stuck around, because he would have seen the blush slowly colouring Harry’s cheeks. He rested back against the pillows, hearing the front door open and slam shut. A few seconds later, the rev of the car sounded dimly and Harry vaguely thought that getting jumped might actually be one of the better things to happen to him.

Truth be told, Adam knew he had rung in the New Year in better ways. Keeping vigil at a bedside hadn’t been in the plan. He’d been surprised when Harry gained consciousness at the house. Those scrawled instructions had left him feeling more panicked than anything else.

But he had followed them and now, almost a week later, Harry was better. Granted, he was simply walking around the house and doing little things, but...

Adam was still rather doubtful on the wizard thing, but there was a nagging suspicion still working at him. Harry hadn’t brought it up again and Adam wasn’t sure how to best broach the subject again. He sighed and shook his head as he signalled for the highway turnoff. The upside was that he got to drive this sick Maserati around for a couple of days.

Now he was pretty sure he had another day with Harry. Two pushing it, if Adam played obstinate and demanded to make sure that Harry was back to full health.

A frown came to his face as he navigated the streets to Harry’s house. When he pulled up into the driveway, he killed the engine and sat there for a moment. In all honesty, maybe it was a good thing that this… episode, was drawing to a close. Because Harry was really very attractive.

It was about a week since the attack and now Adam felt like he was at the breaking point where he had to do something, anything.But asking out someone he’d probably saved from death… there was a moral grey area here, he was sure of it. The kind that would have Neil giving him incredulous looks and wondering what was wrong with him.

Or, it was entirely possible he was overanalysing things and acting arbitrarily. Harry might have a say in this. Adam was sure he felt Harry’s gaze on him multiple times. Whenever he looked, Harry was focused on his book or scribbling something on paper in that godawful writing of his.

“Vicious circle,” he grumbled to himself as he got out. “It’s a vicious fucking circle.”

The door was slammed shut, the lock activted and Adam stepped into the house. His jaw just about hit the floor as he slowly closed the front door behind himself.

Dim globes of light hung in the air, scattered along the hallway through to the living room. Adam just stood there for a moment, wondering if this was real or if the exhaustion of a nearly thirteen hour session had finally gotten to him. He slowly made his way down the hallway into the living room, where the glow was brighter.


Adam’s whispered word seemed to echo in the room. There were bigger globes in here, pulsing slowly and washing the room in gentle waves of light. A blanket was spread out on the living room floor, two plates and cutlery and wine glasses sitting there. The bottle of wine was open and there was something in a covered dish and… and…


He turned at the sound of Harry’s voice. He was standing behind Adam, where the kitchen met the living room. Adam did try to keep his gaze focused on Harry’s face, but it flicked over his body. Bare feet, jeans, a tshirt that seemed a touch too tight and looking like he’d just rolled out of bed. Adam felt an itch literally make his fingers twitch and desire curled low in his belly.

This really wasn’t good. If this wasn’t what it obviously looked like…

“I know you’re still wondering about me,” Harry looked resolute as he began. “So this is… if we’re… you need to believe that I’m a wizard. So… um…”

Harry trailed off and didn’t say anything else as he held up a hand, palm turned upwards. Adam remained silent as Harry murmured something unintelligible. And then, as if by magic – and what the hell else could it have been – a dim glow started in the air above Harry’s hand. An intent look came to Harry’s face and the glow brightened, forming a sphere. When Harry’s face relaxed, it stopped growing.

“You are a wizard.” Adam choked out as Harry started walking towards him.

“I am,” Harry stopped in front of him. “You can hold it if you like. It’s just warm.”

Dumbly, Adam held out his hands, cupped them together. He was starting to feel a bit light headed and watched as Harry deposited a sphere of light into his hands. Something created out of nothing from words and intent. It was warm, just like Harry said, pleasantly so. It didn’t help that from here, Adam could smell the shampoo in Harry’s hair and the faint whiff of Irish Spring soap that was probably on his skin. He stared at the light and next thing he knew, Harry was talking.

“It’s a variation of a Lumos spell. Basically it conjures light to see by.”

Adam nodded, wondering when he’d even asked a question. “This is freakin’ unreal.”

A stiffness came to Harry’s face. “I understand if you don’t want –”

“What? No no, it’s just,” Adam paused for a moment as he gently pushed the sphere up. It floated away towards the ceiling as he said, “I found you getting beaten up in an alleyway and nursed you back to health. I’m not too sure how ethical this is. Er... and saying that I realise how incredibly stupid it sounds but kind of important and –”

Adam felt mildly horrified that he was rambling. Surely he was a bit more suave than that. But Harry had tilted his head, chuckled and then interrupted him with,

“You’re worried about the ethics of dating me?” An amused smile curved that mouth. “I didn’t know you were planning on entering the medical field.”

“I’m not,” Adam started again, wondering how this suddenly felt like it was working so well and failing so horribly at the same time. “It’s just –”

“You helped me when I needed it the most. Trust me, there are few enough in my life that would do that. And through the haze of it all, I remembered you. In tight pants, covered in glitter doing indecent things to the stage amp,”

Sudden heat from his face made Adam realised he was blushing fiercely.

“And I remember you sitting beside my bed, just being there and making sure that I was okay. I appreciate it so much, you can’t even begin to realise how. Plus you’re easy on the eyes,”

The wolfish grin that came to Harry’s face left Adam sure he was blushing down to his stupid freakin’ toes.

“I can’t say that this is the way I would have wanted us to first meet. I was hoping to meet you after you finished up offstage. But you didn’t come. I was going to try and track you down.”

A stunned sounding ‘Oh’ was all Adam managed. This self-assured man standing before him was planning on finding him?

“My plan was to invite you out for drinks and dinner. So,” the grin softened into a smile and Harry gestured to the blanket. “Would you like to have dinner with me, Adam?”

That itch felt like it had spread all over and Adam just stepped forward. He took Harry’s hands in his for a moment before he skimmed his hands up to cup Harry’s jaw, fingers splaying against the sides of his neck. When he leaned in and down slightly, he pressed a soft kiss to Harry’s lips. They felt a bit dry and chapped. Adam didn’t think he could have stopped his own smile as he answered,

“I’d love to, Harry.”

As of ten that night, Harry counted his evening a complete success. He counted it an initial success when he finally convinced Adam he was a wizard and Adam hadn’t run for the front door. Dinner had been something he whipped up quick. Though, he was vaguely surprised that there was anything viable in the fridge. The chicken and rice stir-fry had vanished along with the first bottle of wine. The second one was brought out with dessert and they had settled back on the blanket.

Harry hadn’t thought he’d ever talked so much in his life. About Adam, about life in general, even about himself. There was a certain sense of relief that came with Adam knowing what he was right from the start. There wouldn’t be awkward explanations, covering tracks and generally being subvertive.

And now, sprawled together on the couch, Harry didn’t think he could be any happier. Adam was tracing his fingertips over the back of one of Harry’s hands. The light touch moved down the length of his fingers, then followed a vein down to his wrist. As the touch circled the knob of wristbone, Harry smiled lazily and shifted a bit.

“Hm?” Adam pulled his head back to look at him.

“Feel up to going outside?”

Adam’s hand stilled and he raised an eyebrow. Harry sat up, resting on an elbow as he looked at Adam. All he did was raise an eyebrow back and a smile came to Adam’s face.

“Kinda chilly out, but okay,” Adam studied Harry for a moment. “What are we doing?”

All Harry did was grin and jump up from the couch. “C’mon.”

He took Adam’s hand in his and tugged him up from the couch. Adam laughed as Harry dragged him upstairs and towards a door. When he opened it and revealed the master bedroom, there was a distinct silence from Adam that Harry simply ignored. He headed right for the balcony doors and opened them up. He let go of Adam’s hand and whipped the duvet off from the bed before he came back over and ushered Adam outside.

“Okay, this is new.” Adam sounded amused and confused as Harry sat down.

“Stargazing. It’s a really clear night and you can see plenty,” Harry tugged Adam down and settled the duvet over them. “Not as much as back home, but still…”

“Back at Hogwarts, right?” Adam pulled the blanket up to their arms.

Harry nodded. “I wasn’t the best at Divination,” he paused as Adam snorted softly. “But this part, I liked. Was crap at Astronomy, but I was really good at finding the constellations.”

“Okay,” Adam tilted his head up to look as he moved in closer. “What’s up there?”

Maybe it was shameless of him, but he snuggled in right against Adam and pointed upwards. “See those three stars there really close and curving a bit? Two sets on the other side? That’s Orion, the Hunter.”

“And that blob over there?” Adam gestured down to the right a bit.

“Just a blob. But above it, see that pointed shape, like a triangle? That’s Taurus. It sort of spreads out a bit further. And above it, above those two bright stars that make the horns? That’s Perseus, though I always thought he looked a bit squashed.”

Adam choked on a laugh and then said, “Like he fell off Pegasus?”

“Maybe?” Harry shrugged. “Or some sort of incident because wielding a sword on the back of a flying horse isn’t as easy as one might think. Or as cool.”

“You would know that.” Adam turned to look at him.

Harry shrugged and cleared his throat a bit. “There was an incident when I went to Greece. And yeah…”

Adam’s chuckle was low, still amused. They fell into silence for a moment, gazing up at the sky. Harry felt like he could barely breathe pressed in this close to Adam. His heart was racing even as he managed to keep his gaze focused upwards.

“And then,” Harry was surprised his voice sounded steady as he pointed to the left of Orion. “Are the twins, Gemini. I always thought –”


That was all Adam said and Harry dropped his gaze. And with Adam’s gaze fixed on his, those blue irises seeming to glow unnaturally in the star and moonlight, Harry lost any other words that were on his mind. That subcurrent that had been crackling all night was thrown right to the front and there was no ignoring it now.

When Adam turned and leaned in closer, Harry did the same. He slid a hand on Adam’s leg and moved the other over his shoulders. One of Adam’s hands settled on his waist and gripped gently. The other went to his hair, running through it. Harry closed his eyes, just letting the sensation run through him, making him feel electrified. And then Adam nuzzled in, lips ghosting over his cheekbones and up to his forehead.

It wasn’t what Harry was expecting in the slightest. It was something far too tender and intimate and it dragged a shuddering breath from him. Adam’s lips curved into a smile against his forehead before kissing his scar gently. Harry moved, stretching himself upwards and pressing in closer to Adam. The grip on his waist tightened a bit as Harry nipped softly at Adam’s lower lip.

“Kiss me,” Harry murmured. “Or else…”

Adam’s chuckle was a gust of hot air. “Or else what?”

“Oh, you bloody tease.”

That was all Harry said before he pounced. He moved a hand up to Adam’s head and dragged it down. The smile on Adam’s lips vanished as Harry kissed him. Those lips parted and suddenly there was a tongue moving in and flicking at his lips. With a soft groan, Harry tightened his hold on Adam’s leg and dragged it against him. Adam’s other hand slid to Harry’s waist, finger digging in. A thrill shot through Harry and he pushed at Adam’s leg before letting it go. He could feel Adam relax his grip and pull back, ready to ask what was wrong. Harry simply shoved at his waist, making him roll onto his back against the wall.

Surprise flickered into Adam’s eyes as Harry slid onto his lap, the duvet falling to their waists. Before Adam could even get a word out, Harry was kissing him again and rocking his hips up. There wasa sharp inhale from Adam and then those fingers were holding on tight. Harry was sure he’d have bruises but didn’t care one bit. Adam tilted his head back, kissing like he intended to show Harry just precisely what else he could do.

Adam knew precisely what he was doing with his tongue, moving it in little flicks here and there. An arm had slid around Harry’s waist pulling him in tight before he started moving his hips, upwards in slow steady rolls.

“Fuck,” the word was dragged from Harry throat, hoarse sounding and needy.

“That’s the idea.” Adam drove his point home with a hard roll of his hips.

What Harry responded with was a sharp thrust of his hips, tightening his hold on Adam’s hair. It dragged a whine out of Adam and Harry completely lost it at that. He nipped now, continually rolling his hips. Adam still held him close matching his rhythm and kissing him just as hard. But then Adam’s arm slid away from his waist and for a moment Harry was confused.

But then Adam’s hand was at his groin palming his cock through the layer of denim. Harry hissed and the steady rhythm of his hips faltered before he pressed against Adam’s hand.


That was all Adam rasped out before those fingers were scrabbling at the button and fly of Harry’s jeans. It took a few moments for Harry to realise what Adam was doing and the next thing he knew, that big hand was sliding in against skin, past the layers of denim and cotton boxers. Those fingers wrapped around his cock, pulling it out gently before stroking slowly.

“Oh bloody hell,” Harry felt slow and unable to properly work through the haze of want that descended over him. “Get your cock out, get your goddamn cock out now.”

His fingers felt too big and slow as he fumbled with Adam’s zipper. But somehow, against all the laws of logic, he managed to do the same. Adam clenched his jaw and let his head roll back once Harry took his cock in hand. He started moving his hand and the steady motion of Adam’s hand stuttered a bit.

“Look at you,” Harry stared at Adam. “Just look at you.”

“Can’t look at myself.” Adam’s voice was strained and hoarse as he continued to work Harry’s cock.

Harry ran his fingers over the head rubbing along just underneath the head. Adam gasped, thrusting up into Harry’s hand. Harry leaned in and kissed him before he pulled back a bit, mouth still against Adam’s.

“Look at you, your cock in my hand,” Harry stroked it a few times. “You’re just about ready to come. Are you going to do that? Let me see how beautiful you are as you go to pieces on me?”

Adam’s breathing increased and started to sound erratic. Harry kissed him again, tongue swiping into Adam’s mouth. Then Adam brought his other hand up to Harry’s head, deepening the kiss. When he bit hard at Harry’s lip, Harry was gone. He started moving into Adam’s hand, fucking it as if he were fucking Adam. Adam’s grip tightened a bit, fingers stopping at the head and runnning over it. Harry gasped into the kiss as his orgasm suddenly stole through him. His grip in Adam’s hair tightened, probably to the point of painful but there was no helping it. Everything in him was focused on the feeling of Adam’s fingers against the head of his cock as he came.

It felt like he was unravelling and as he slouched against Adam, slowly coming back down he could feel Adam arch against him. Almost lazily, Harry raised his head and kissed him, relaxing his grip. Adam’s cock was pulsing in his hand and warm dribbles of come were sliding over the knuckles of his fingers. There was a rumble coming from Adam, Harry could feel the vibrations of it and he felt a felt a sense of satisfaction that he got some kind of verbal reaction. Probably a loud one from the sound of it.

When Adam’s body relaxed, Harry settled for light kisses against his lips. For a few moments all Adam did was breathe heavily before saying,

“You should know, I don’t make it habit of putting out on the first date.”

Harry laughed. “Duly noted. Neither do I. I did not have any intention of getting in your pants.”

“You wine me, dine me, take me stargazing, I don’t know,” Adam smiled lazily as he scratched at the nape of Harry’s neck. “Sounds like that might have been your goal.”

“Did you miss the confession part?” Harry snorted as he kissed at Adam’s temple.

“No, got that,” Adam turned his head towards Harry. “This was…”

Harry nodded his head. There was no way he could think of to describe tonight. But he settled on nodding his head and kissing Adam again. He inhaled slowly and deeply, just savouring the moment.

“Do you want to spend the night? Or rather, can you?”

There was silence for a moment and then, “I can’t. I haven’t really been home in nearly two weeks. Things need to be taken care of.”

“Good point,” Harry could concede that but he was reluctant to let this night end. “I’ll drive you home. Or do you want another spin at the Maserati?”

Excitement flashed in Adam’s eyes. “What kind of question is that?”

“Obviously a silly one. And there is a definite upside to magic.” Harry couldn’t have stopped his grin if he tried.

“Oh, what’s that?”

The look of curiosity on Adam’s face disappeared along with the come as Harry murmured, ‘Evanesco.’ Adam stared down at their flaccid cocks before he looked back up. Surprise was written all over his face and then he blurted out,

“Okay that’s just fucking awesome.”

Harry chuckled as he tucked Adam away and did up his pants before doing the same to himself. “All right then, let’s get you home.”

Getting downstairs took a lot longer than Harry anticipated, since Adam seemed to take any chance he could to sneak in little kisses. Getting the duvet back on the bed nearly resulted in another make-out session. And in retrospect, just bending over to tie his shoes mightn’t have been one of Harry’s brightest ideas. But once Adam was driving, it seemed to give him something else to focus his attention on.

And it was rather nice to see Adam driving the car. He seemed so much more at ease with it. There was a look of sheer pleasure on his face as he steered and switched gears. When he finally stopped in front of an apartment complex, Harry was almost sad to see him put the car in park. He got out, getting Adam’s bag from the small trunk. As he slammed the trunk shut, he watched as Adam got out.

There was something in seeing that tall frame stretch out from the driver’s seat that brought a smile to Harry’s face.

“What?” Adam asked as he came over.

“Nothing.” Harry held out Adam’s bag. “So, ready to do battle?”

A grimace came to Adam’s face. “I didn’t leave the place in the best of shape that night. …It’s entirely possible something could be growing out of the sink.”

“Ew,” Harry shook his head. “Better go make sure your place isn’t biohazardous then.”

“It’s not that bad,” Adam fell silent for a moment and then, “So, I’m free next week Tuesday and Wednesday. Would you like to come over?”

“Love to,” Harry paused. “I’m free any time after three in the afternoon. What did you have in mind?”

“Movie marathon. Maybe order some pizza. Just relax and spend time together. Maybe you can tell me more about this crazy castle you went to school at.”

Harry nodded. “Deal. Only if you tell me more about all that stage stuff you did. I mean, did they really string you up and spin you around so you could fly like Peter Pan?”

All Adam did was grin and lean in. “Not gonna say yet.”

“You are far too much of a tease,” Harry tugged down on his shirt and kissed him. When they broke apart, he murmured, “I’ll see you next week then.”

“Next week.”

Adam licked his lips and smiled as he started towards the entrance doors of the building. Harry leaned against the car, watching as he opened the door and vanished into the lobby. He stood there for a few more minutes and smiled when he saw a light flick on in an apartment. He got into the car and slowly headed back for his house.

Next week already seemed too far away.

Three delirious weeks had passed. Adam felt like he’d stumbled into something wonderful and amazing. Because even with all the shitty hours he worked and days when he would be unavailable, Harry was still there. He didn’t throw a tantrum, didn’t cause drama. It was usually text messages consisting of, ‘Need anything dropped off’, ‘Don’t take the bus, I’ll drive you home’ or ‘I’m feeding you tonight, don’t complain.’

But more often than not it was simply a text message containing nothing but, ‘<3.’

And it was ridiculous how just seeing that cheered Adam up when he was having a really rough day. His phone would vibrate, he’d flip it open and just smile.

But the one little thing that was kind of starting to drive Adam nuts, he had no idea of how to actually approach with any degree of tact.

Harry had the damned annoying habit of paying for every little thing.

It wasn’t as if Adam was flat broke. He did studio gigs, took what side jobs he could and he was in decent shape. Some months were tight, but he was steadily keeping himself afloat.

So Adam was failing to understand why Harry felt that he had to pay for all the dinners out. Or insist on buying everything if they went out shopping together. At this point, Adam was sure he could say something inane, like mention how he needed a car and one would appear at his apartment complex. It was just –

Something hit him on the cheek, bounced and then sailed off past his eyes. He turned his head to look at Danielle. She was slowly slipping the yellow popcorn into her mouth, chewing slowly. Her facial expression was mild but her eys glinted.

“Now that I have your attention,” She said pointedly after swallowing. “I asked how are things going?”

“Good,” Adam grinned momentarily and flicked some of his own popcorn at her. “Had today off and Harry’s off doing some consult work.”

Danielle made an appreciative sound before asking, “So when am I going to meet this mysterious ‘Harry’ you keep talking about, hm? Three and a half weeks so far. That’s almost a month you know.”

“Yeah, I know.” Adam nodded as he absently ate some popcorn and stared blankly at the previews.

Danielle was silent for a moment. “Adam, that’s a big fucking deal. This is the longest you’ve dated someone. Ever.”

Adam bobbed his head in agreement while adding on, “Yep.”

“Fuck,” Danielle swore. “So what the hell is wrong with you then?”

“Nothing, it’s just –” Adam started.

“Don’t you dare feed me that bullshit line Adam Mitchel Lambert. You think I don’t know you?” She had twisted in her seat to face and stare at him. “And if you think –”

“He never lets me pay for anything!” Adam snapped. “Not a single damned thing since we started going out.”

Danielle stared at Adam for a moment and then, “So… you’re pissed that he’s a gentleman?”

“No.” Adam sank back into the cushioned chair mororsely. “That’s not it. It’s more…” he paused for a moment. “Okay, say a guy takes you out to dinner. Like, four times in a week,” her eyebrows raised up but Adam kept on. “Do you expect him to pay every single time?”

“Not necessarily. Depends on if he asked, if I asked… if I could be sneaky and leave my credit card with the waiter when I’m coming back from the bathroom.”

“Tried that. Harry beat me to it,” Adam grumbled.

She didn’t say anything for a moment. “Has it occurred to you that maybe he doesn’t mind paying for everything? I know you do,” she didn’t look disturbed at the thunderous expression on Adam’s face. “You’re all about balance and shit. But Adam, I really don’t think Harry cares.”

Danielle’s implied message was clear enough. Maybe this time he should leave well enough alone. But the idea of Harry continuing to pay for everything, it rankled. Adam Lambert wasn’t a kept man by any means. He huffed and slouched down further in his seat. Danielle made an annoyed sound.

“Besides, as I haven’t met him yet, how am I supposed to give you my highly educated opinion?”

There was no missing that point either and Adam was glad the theatre lights had dimmed. He knew Danielle would have to meet Harry at some point. And then they’d probably get along like a house on fire. The entire movie passed by almost like a blank and when they left, heading down the street for an early dinner, Adam couldn’t quite shake Danielle’s words from his mind.

Maybe he shouldn’t let it bother him too much. It could be just like Danielle said and he didn’t mind. However, Adam was sure that he –

“Quit it!” Danielle nudged him with his shoulder. “Just drop it for today because you’re certainly not going to make it any better working yourself up about it.”

“I know, I know,” Adam let loose a heavy sigh as he scrubbed at his head. “Okay, so! Dinner. Then…?”

“Dunno. Let’s see where the night takes us, pretty boy.”

Danielle grinned and waggled her eyebrows. Adam couldn’t help but laugh and the rest of the evening became better. Dinner was burittos and, somehow during the course of eating, they decided that they needed to go out to Bardot’s. Adam more suspected it was Danielle attempting to cheer him up. Though the second she said that Eve should come out, well there was no going back.

And so when Harry had called him in the middle of him applying fake eyelashes, he had to ignore the call. The damned things were trick to apply. And he could always call Harry back later. There was no way he was seeing Harry tonight, but he could pop by tomorrow if Harry wasn’t busy.

The mad rush to try and get there early enough to stake out a good spot was delayed by Adam trying to find his misplaced phone and Danielle attempting to artfully mess up her hair. An admitted upside to starting to do drag shows was when they got to Bardot’s, they walked passed the line and were admitted by the bouncer, who grinned and asked when Eve Starlight would be putting on her second show.

Truth be told, Adam was trying to figure that one out himself before everything with Harry happened. Shit, speaking of Harry…

“What are you doing?” Danielle yelled when she dragged him close enough to hear.

“Texting!” Adam held up his phone and waggled it.

Danielle’s response was to pull a face and snatch his phone right from his hands. For a moment, Adam just stared as she slipped through the press of people to the bar. He moved after her, but was constantly stopped by people wanting to talk and catch up. Or dance. Adam lost track of time, but he caught glimpses of Danielle in the packed bar.

When he finally found himself free, he got himself a martini from the bar, surveying the room. There, off in a corner couch, he saw the familiar top of Danielle’s head… now with some small, feathered hat on. He grabbed his drink, leaving a tip for the bartender before making a beeline for Danielle.

It was a bit quieter here, so he sniped with, “Really, could you be any more of a bitch tonight?” as he downed half his martini.

“I was just catching up with my new friend here,” Danielle beamed up at him as she reached over and tucked his phone right into his bra. “Save my spot, I’m going to go get myself another Fiesta. And another martini for you and a beer for him.”

Danielle wiggled her glass as she sashayed off to the bar, with the beat of the music. Adam watched her go before he looked down at the person who caught her attention.

“Harry,” he strangled out.

“Adam. No, sorry, Eve,” Harry scrambled to his feet. “I hope you don’t mind. Danielle called and wouldn’t take no for an answer.”

Adam opened and closed his mouth for a moment before he settled for, “How did she get your number?”

“She called from your phone actually,” Harry gave a shy grin, looking at his feet for a moment. “I definitely should have worn something else.”

“You look scrumptious,” Adam walked in closer, taking in Harry’s black slacks and immaculate white, button down shirt. “You didn’t notice all the sneaky looks you’ve been getting?”

“Those are all for you I think. You’re bloody gorgeous,” Harry slid his hands on Adam’s waist and pulled him down.

With a huff, Adam kissed Harry gently on the mouth. But he felt a wash of relief course through him. He had told Harry he did drag, but didn’t go into it completely. So all of this, Harry had pretty much been thrown right into the deep end. Maybe that was what Danielle wanted, but Adam felt that was a damned shitty thing for her to do to Harry. However, Danielle would grill him about the reaction. Adam couldn’t wait to tell her that Harry passed with flying colours.

“So why are you going to stick around with a boring twat like me?”

“Oh, we can fix that baby,” Adam purred.

Harry smiled, though Adam noticed that he still looked around a bit nervously. He was really out of his comfort zone on this one. Thankfully, there wasn’t a show on tonight, so Adam steered Harry into the backstage make-up area, rather than to one of the little, discreet stations set up for patrons. He sat Harry down on the swivel stool in front of the mirror and flicked on the lights.

“So,” Adam studied Harry’s face for a long moment. “Do you have any idea of what you might like?”

“Not a clue,” Harry swallowed hard and shrugged. “But I’m going to be with you, so it had better be bold and brash as well.”

That made Adam frown. He toed at the stool, turning it so Harry was facing him. “I’m not going to do this if it makes you uncomfortable. You don’t have to stay.”

“No, it doesn’t make me uncomfortable it’s just… I’m not a prude, but does there really have to be so many nearly naked people prancing about?”

Adam blinked and then laughed. “That’s what bothering you? A little skin?”

“I have no problem with skin,” Harry slid his hands along Adam’s fishnetted thighs. “In fact, I whole heartedly endorse it in certain settings. This isn’t one of those settings. I mean, there’s someone walking around out there with their arse just… just hanging out! And people are grabbing it!”

“That would be Mr Black,” Adam rubbed at one of Harry’s hands, before moving up to his shoulder and then cupping the side of his face. “You can still go home if you like.”

“I wasn’t a Gryffindor for nothing,” Harry gave him a brilliant grin. “Bold and brash please.”

“You might want bold and brash, but…” Adam trailed off, studying Harry’s face for a few minutes before he reached for a drawer. He took out the small, locked make-up case with his name stenciled on it. “You need something else tonight. It’s your first time and all.”

Harry looked at the box on the counter-top before he gently squeezed Adam’s thighs. “I’m in your capable hands.”

It was a bit of a thrill to open his make-up box and pull out his things. The brushes, the pencils, liners, he never in a million years thought he would be doing this to… damn, after a month, was it right to call Harry his boyfriend? He forcibly pushed the thought aside and concentrated on making Harry’s eyes pop with a dark smoky look. When he leaned back and asked Harry to open his eyes, he felt like he’d been sucker punched. Hell, he hadn’t done anything else and those green irises looked like they were burning.

He quickly finished off Harry’s eyes, smoothed on a bit of tinted gloss before he undid the first few buttons of Harry’s shirt, rumpling it a bit. Then he dug out a small tube of styling putty. The sides of Harry’s hair were smoothed down flat and the top flared up. He put the styling putty away and locked up the case.

“Can I look?” Harry asked, his eyes still closed.

“Yeah, you can look,” Adam said as he put the box away.

He swallowed hard as he glanced up to find Harry gawking at himself in the mirror. He looked so utterly surprised, but with the hair and the eyeshadow, it was like looking at some borderline dangerous rebel version of Harry.

“This is amazing!” Harry beamed at him.

“I think I shot myself in the foot on this one,” Adam mused as he watched him.

“What? Why?” Harry looked concerned now.

Adam gave a smile. “If I had it my way, we wouldn’t leave back here. And I worked too hard on my make-up tonight.”

“Oh. Well, if I look that good, I’m sticking by you tonight. I don’t want to deal with nearly naked sharks.” Harry stood up and smiled. “You can protect me tonight.”

It was so hard to not let his smile turn into a grin. But it did when Harry offered his arm and they strolled out from the backstage area. Adam was glad that Harry stuck by him, because once people got an eyeful of Harry, they came over to find out who the new face was escorting the new drag star of Eve Starlight around. Danielle came and went, flitting around like the social butterfly that she was.

But the entire night, Adam felt almost hyper-aware of Harry’s hand on his back, or the press of his body to Adam’s when they were on the dance floor. And not once did Adam hear a single complaint about the near foot Adam had on him with the shoes.

The rest of the night was lost in a haze of alcohol, bodies pressed close on the dance floor and people coming by to say hello when they could. When the announcement for last call came, Harry tilted his head to the exit.

Adam was ready to leave by now. He fumbled for his phone, texting Danielle to see if she wanted to catch a cab with them. She texted back she was hitching a ride with someone named Bradley after they and some other people got something to eat. All he knew was that he was buzzed and as he and Harry got into a cab they flagged down, it felt like it took all his willpower to not actually touch Harry.

Thankfully, the cab ride was short, only twenty minutes. Adam was fumbling with his clutch before Harry dug out some crumpled bills and told the driver to keep the change. As Adam pulled off his heels, he huffed.

“I had that.”

“I know,” Harry said. “But I really think you need to have a sit down. And possibly sleep.”

Adam pulled a face as they headed for the front door. He had his key out and ready and they silently walked into the elevator. Adam glanced over to find a completely serene expression on Harry’s face and damn… that was just plain infuriating. When the elevator stopped at his floor, and they got out, Adam lingered by the door as it closed. Harry glanced back at him before coming towards him.

“Something wrong?”

Adam shook his head. “Do you just not want me tonight? Is it because of the dress?”

“Huh?” Harry looked confused. “What’s prompting this?”

“You’ve been perfectly well-behaved all night,” Adam frowned. “And really… look at me.”

“I see you,” and for the first time all night, Adam caught a full look of the desire that lurked in Harry’s eyes. That amount of self-control was damned scary. “With your heels, your fishnets, your tattered pink dress…”

He didn’t mean to make a startled sound, but really when had the hallway wall hit his back? Harry’s hands slid in over his waist and then up against his back. Yes, this is what Adam wanted. That electric feel of Harry’s hands on him, those green eyes focused on him and him alone. He groaned, leaning in to kiss Harry hard and opened-mouthed, tangling a hand in his hair. Whatever composure Harry had was crumbling. He shoved Adam back against the wall, a hand moving to grab a leg and wrap it around his waist.

Then when Harry rutted up against him, Adam groaned and writhed against Harry. His hands grasped at anywhere he could grab a hold of. He vaguely thought it was a shoulder and hip, but he wasn’t too sure. And then all of a sudden, Harry was gone.


Dazed, Adam opened his eyes to find Harry had taken a step back. But he was looking at him, with plain desire, unhidden this time. Harry had barely grasped control again.

“Your apartment. Now.”

Adam didn’t need to be told twice. He ran for the door, managing to jam the key into the lock in the first time. As he opened the door, he vaguely heard Harry’s bare feet slapping against the floor. But then Harry was in his apartment, slamming the door shut and locking it. Adam barely had time to throw his shoes somewhere before Harry was on him.

This felt like he was swept up into an inferno. Somehow all their clothes were off and they’d made it to the tiny living room, were on the couch. Adam found it hard to care when Harry’s hands felt like they were everywhere and his mouth was making sure any thought was virtually impossible. When precisely he was taken for the ride, Adam didn’t know, but when he came, yelling and screaming himself hoarse from Harry’s mouth on his cock and slick fingers in his ass, he really wasn’t complaining.

And when they finally got to the bedroom, Adam didn’t give Harry a chance to take over again. Not that Harry didn’t try, and Adam had to tie his hands together with a pillowcase. And when he dragged Harry up and rimmed him, there had been a shocked, ragged inhale. And then not even ten minutes later, Harry was all but begging to be fucked.

Adam lost complete track after that, but when he finally came to sunlight was streaming in through the slats on his bedroom window. Harry was sprawled against him, snoring gently. He glanced down at his chest, seeing it peppered with faint red tracks from scratches and semi-circles from bites. God, no wonder everything ached.

They’d been rough with each other, but it had been incendiary.

After a few moments he worked up the willpower to move. The upside was that he didn’t have anything scheduled for today. But damn, he needed a hot shower or something for sore muscles or –

There was a vague muttering from Harry as he moved and then, “‘on’t go, love.”

The snoring started up again, and Adam froze for a moment before he continued to slip from the bed. Once he was free, he grabbed a pair of pants and quietly crept to the bathroom. He turned the shower on and could have moaned in relief when the hot spray hit. He stood there, letting the hot water do its job and turned it off when he was sure he was bright pink from heat.

When he stepped out of the bathroom, he heard the soft murmur of a voice. No… voices. Frowning, he walked to the living room and found Harry standing there… talking to a piece of paper.

“Mr Potter, we expected your report –” the voice didn’t sound pleased.

“As of forty eight hours ago? I know. And I also know you didn’t take any of my recommendations into account. I went back to the site and found it precisely the same. Do me a favour. Don’t waste my time and when you’ve done what you should have done, as per your governmental regulations, get back to me and I’ll provide you with a secondary review.”

And at that, Harry folded the sheet and tore it a few times. He crumpled it into a ball in a hand as he headed for the kitchen. Adam followed, lingering in the doorway as Harry dumped the wad of paper in the trash. When Harry shook his head and sighed heavily, Adam pushed aside the thought of having that discussion with Harry.

“Hey,” Adam walked forward, rubbing at the back of his neck. “Everything okay?”

“Okay as it’s going to be,” Harry frowned. “I think I might have to go and take care of this.”

“That person you were talking to? In the letter?” Adam felt a bit silly saying the words.

“Yeah, Peter Edgar. If there was ever a bigger bureaucratic asshole…” Harry rubbed at his brow as he took in the towel around Adam’s waist. “At least I didn’t wake you up.”

Adam shook his head. “Do you absolutely have to go?”

“Probably. There’s a conference coming up soon. Some big international thing and they wanted me to come and provide reviews, say what could be improved. So I did, and I’ve been fighting this… douchebag, every step of the way.”

“Know what you should do?” Adam said after a moment. “Let him stew. He’s gotta answer to someone else and how much more can you do?”

“I could go above his head…” Harry mused.

“So, don’t fret about it today. Give him a chance and if he’s still fucking things up…”

Adam trailed off, watching indecision flit across Harry’s face. Then Harry gave a nod of his head.

“It’s the most sensible thing to do. Besides, I was thinking we could go and do something today.”

“Yeah? Like?”

Harry moved in closer to him and Adam pushed aside the apprehensive feeling that creeped over him. Harry’s hands settled on his bare chest, fingers splaying out a bit before running down to tickle lightly at Adam’s belly. With a smile, Adam ducked his head in, catching Harry’s hands in his.

“You’ve got something nefarious planned. Spill.”

Harry’s face was bright red and he shrugged loosely. “Just go and grab some breakfast. Wander around a bit. Maybe catch a movie. Nothing nefarious. Just something nice and normal.”

“Oh,” Adam feigned disappointment. “That’s not nefarious at all. Not close to debauched, even.”

That got a laugh from Harry. He freed one of his hands and tugged gently at the waist of Adam’s towel. “Maybe afterwards, yeah?”

“Or maybe…”

Adam leaned in to kiss Harry. When Harry pressed in against him, Adam figured they’d eventually leave the apartment. Eventually.

Harry was exhausted. This upcoming conference was sucking up more and more of his time. Security meetings, meeting with venue directors, conference directors, more security… it felt like he was either on site or crashing at his rented house. And to make matters worse Adam had been… well, Adam wasn’t seeming like himself lately. Or maybe it was just him. Adam was working some crazy hours between the studio, rehearsals and auditioning for things.

“Ugh,” Harry stopped at the red light and scrubbed at his face. “This day has been too damned long.”

All he really wanted was to just relax, unwind and spend some time with Adam. Though, Harry was feeling like lately he’s just falling asleep on Adam. He tapped his fingers idly on the steering wheel, contemplating it. The blast of a horn behind him made him look up to see the light had changed. He hit the gas, deciding to swing by Adam’s. It wasn’t too far away and it was certainly a sight closer that his house. Especially since he was spacing out at traffic lights. He was pretty sure Adam was off today.

At the next light, he fumbled for his phone and dialled before turning on speakerphone. He threw it on the seat as the light changed again. It rang a few times and then a sleepy sounding, ‘Hello?’ came.

“Shit, sorry, did I wake you?” Harry apologised as he turned left with the advance.

“Just napping,” Adam yawned and Harry could practically see those long limbs stretching. “You’re all done for the day?”

“As done as I’m going to be. Implemented some more security guards, did some blind tests, implemented more spells. That much spellcasting is exhausting.”

“Sounds rough. You’re close?”

“About ten minutes away from your place.”

“Hm,” Adam made a contemplative sound. “I can pop by the corner store and grab something for dinner.”

“I’m already out. I can grab something.”

There was silence from Adam and then, “Look, just get here and we’ll decide on what to get. Pizza or something. I dunno.”

“Okay.” Harry frowned, unsure of what to make of the clipped tone to Adam’s voice. That was clipped wasn’t it? Dear Merlin, he was tired. “I’ll be there in a few.”

“‘kay, see you then.”

Harry blinked, feeling vaguely confused. Well, what was the point in waiting? Adam almost always went with the first thing that popped out of his mouth. And Harry knew he’d be passing by at least three pizza places before he even got to Adam’s. It was ridiculous, he told himself as he pulled into a plaza with the bright ‘Papa John’s’ sign, to go to Adam’s and then order food. Hell, he was hungry now and Adam would probably be hungry in a bit.

So when he placed the order and was waiting, he was half expecting his phone to ring. But Adam didn’t call or even text. When he got to Adam’s place and buzzed up, an uneasy feeling settled in his gut. Honestly, he must have been more tired that he realised. Or maybe he was getting sick and the smell of pizza was putting him off. Damned if he really knew, but sitting down and not having to move again for the next eight hours seemed like a good idea.

When he knocked on the door and Adam opened, he smiled. There was a smile on Adam’s face, but it went from happy to strained for a few seconds before Adam wrapped an arm around his shoulder and pulled him in. The kiss to the forehead felt almost obligatory and unease twisted Harry’s stomach again.

“Really, it seemed kinda stupid to order when I got here,” Harry paused, unsure of why he suddenly felt the need to explain himself. “I passed by two pizza places before I popped into Papa John’s. And I figured if I was hungry, you had to be as well…”

All Adam did was make a sound of agreement as he pulled away and headed to the kitchen. Harry followed after him, resting the pizza box on the counter. There was a stiffness to Adam shoulders that said he was pissed. He placed the bag with the sides and pop beside the box.

“Rough day?”

Adam shrugged a shoulder. “Same old.”

The silence that fell was thick and Harry frowned. “Then what’s wrong?”

“You know there’s a reason why I asked you to wait to order the pizza until you got here.”

That clipped voice was back in his voice. Harry really wished he was awake for this, because he was really failing to see what the problem was. “Um… it’s kinda too late for me to take it back. Did you not want green peppers? I can pick them off for you.”

“It’s not the toppings,” Adam pulled down two plates from the cabinet. “Just… just once I would have liked to pay for something, you know.”

All Harry did was stand there and blink before uttering a very confused, “Huh?”

That seemed to set Adam off. He turned around and Harry found himself facing a seething Adam. Wait, this evening was not supposed to go like this. They were supposed to eat pizza, relax on the couch, maybe make out and –

“I like being with you, but fuck, since we’ve started dating, you haven’t let me pay for a single thing. Not a single goddamned thing. How the fuck do you think that makes me feel, Harry?”

Okay, Harry was confused, but he’d been around danger enough to know that he had to tread carefully here. “I didn’t think –”

Adam ripped into him with, “Apparently not. I’m not rich, but I can afford things too you know! Did you ever think that maybe I wanted to buy you that book, or maybe that jacket?”

Even through his exhaustion, Harry felt a spur of annoyance flare up. “Adam, I don’t want you to have to worry about things. I just… I just want to take care of you, okay. Is that really so bad?”

The look on Adam’s face now… Merlin, Harry would have thought he’d been slapped. “I don’t fucking need you to,” he hissed. “I’m not a boy toy, got it?”

Harry blinked, wishing he had a translator handy because, “A what now?”

“A boy toy. A kept man. Usually for sex.”

“I never once thought that!” Harry felt mildly horrified that Adam even thought that.

“Well that’s what it damned well fucking felt like, okay?”

Adam had crossed his arms and suddenly the distance between them felt like a chasm. Because there was a distinctly miserable look to Adam’s face, but there was a stubborn set to his jaw. Harry had seen enough of Adam’s determination to know that this had been on his mind for a while. Maybe it would have come out later, but Harry was feeling mildly surprised it hadn’t come out sooner.

“Look, I’m not going to lie: I like buying you things. I see how happy they make you and… it’s not a crime to show you that I care.”

Adam raised a hand, rubbing at his forehead with a pained look. “You need to stop it. I can pay for my own shit. And some of yours too, believe it or not.”

That was a low dig and Harry scowled. This was feeling more and more like Adam had just stabbed him with a knife and was digging it in, twisting it hard.

“And why should I? What’s so terrible about expressing my love for you by buying you things that clearly make you happy?”

It was strange to see Adam’s entire body go completely still. And then he said quietly, “Your what for me?”

Panic slammed through Harry and oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck, why had he gone and said that word? And even as he thought that, a small little voice in his mind rebutted with, ‘Because it’s the damned truth.’ Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit. But it was out there and it was said and he felt nauseaous even as he said,

“I love you, okay?”

Adam’s face was pale as he brought his hand down, rubbing at his mouth with the palm of his hand. The silence in the kitchen was so tense, Harry half expected something to spontaneously combust. With the way his luck was going tonight, it would be the damned pizza.

“You love me? Fucking hell, Harry, it’s been two months. How the fuck can you even be –”

“Would you rather I lied to you?” Harry snapped.

“This is insane, fucking insane!” Adam’s hand went up to his hair, fingers clutching at the strands tightly. “You don’t go declaring you love someone after just two months!”

There was a panicked tone to Adam’s voice and it matched the look in his eyes. But his face was still pale, still almost unreadable. The unease in Harry’s stomach morphed into the bitter, bubbling sensation of dread. It clawed it’s way back up his throat and when he spoke, it burned.

“What do you want from me?”

“What do I want from you… fuck… have you even been…” Adam lapsed into silence for a moment before he whispered, “Harry, this isn’t working.”

Adam might as well have screamed the words out at the top of his damned impressive voice. He just stared at Adam for a long moment. He supposed he should have said something in response to that. But what the hell could he say that would leave him with a shred of dignity intact? It felt like there was a dull roar in his ears as he managed to choke out,


But Adam was shaking his head. “If you even have to ask me what I want from you… really, I can’t.”

That felt like the deathblow. Harry took in Adam’s pale, set face and even though he’d just heard it all, it felt like it hit him with the weight and force of a rampaging dragon.

“Did we just…” Harry didn’t even want to bring himself to say the words.

For a moment, the only sounds in the kitchen were shuddering breaths from Adam. And then a confirmation with a soft, “Yeah.”

Harry just stood there, trying to think of anything that could undo this moment. He had a vaguely crazy notion of telling Adam that his contract here was almost up and that he could stay, that they could and would work this out. But seeing the expression on Adam’s face… Harry knew that Adam wasn’t going to be changing his mind any time soon.

So he simply nodded his head and turned around. Somehow, one foot went in front of the other and he was vaguely aware of heading to the front door. He pulled the door shut behind him and slowly walked down the hallway. His sight kept blurring and he constantly wiped at his eyes. He jabbed at the down button viciously, and fumbled for his car keys. He gripped them tightly in his hand and when the elevator arrived with a ‘ding’ he glanced back at the hallway.

When he stepped into the elevator, the hallway was just as empty as it was when he looked.

Part II


furorscribiendi: guitar playing (Default)

August 2012

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