Fandom: American Idol S8
Pairing: Kris Allen/Adam Lambert
Genre: Romance, AU
Word Count: 2,200
Disclaimer: No infringement on the rights of real people intended. Not profiting in any way.
Notes: Written for kradam_kiss. Beta by cinaea. Based on a prompt by blue_icy_rose: "AU where the boys are criminals…and after they get away with committing their crime, there's kissing. Celebratory, or maybe they're just high on adrenaline, whatever!"
Summary: Kris doesn't like surprises. Adam is impulsive. It's a complicated partnership.
Kris doesn't like surprises.
That's one of the first things Adam learns about Kris…although not the very first. The very first is how good Kris looks in a tailor-made, Valenti linen suit, with the Miami sun beating down on his cheekbones and tanned skin. The second is the easy laugh he uses on his marks, luring them in with Southern charm and a smile flashing brighter than the sun off the water. The third is that Kris is a conman—the only logical conclusion after Adam asks three different people who Kris is, and gets three wildly different answers.
The fourth is that Kris doesn't like surprises.
Adam knows he's started things off on the wrong foot when Kris turns abruptly, pulls off his sunglasses, and snaps at Adam, "Excuse me?"
"What's the con?" Adam repeats, jerking his thumb at the mark Kris was chatting with earlier. "I can help."
The sunglasses slip back on, hiding Kris's eyes, but the shoulders stay deceptively loose under the cream-colored linen. "I don't know what you're talking about, pal," Kris says, his voice as unconcerned as his body. "Excuse me." And he drifts off into the regatta crowd of cocktails and highballs, not giving Adam a second glance.
Adam is impulsive.
He's known this about himself for years. He likes to say it's what keeps him from getting caught—nobody can guess your next move if you haven't planned it yet. But it has its disadvantages, like not being able to pull off the really big heists; the ones that take weeks of planning and infiltration.
For those jobs, you need a conman.
He tracks Kris down after the regatta reception—nine time zones and three international flights later—and knocks on his hotel door.
Kris is just as surprised as last time, his eyes flicking quickly down the hall as though looking for escape routes. Or gendarmes. And Adam stands in the hallway and beams, because Kris is just as pretty as he'd remembered, and absolutely delicious in jeans and nothing else.
"Who the hell are you?" Kris demands.
"I'm Adam," Adam says, his eyes fixed on all that skin and hard muscle, the cuts over the hipbones just peeking above his waistband. "I need your help on a job."
"Listen, I don't know what kind of business you're in, but I—"
Adam recites from his resume: "The Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Ball, and the Petite Palace. And that was just February."
Kris falls back a step, his mouth opening in surprise and—Adam fancies—awe.
Adam happily advances, slipping past Kris into the moderately-luxurious suite. "Cozy," he says, sticking his head through the doorway to the bedroom. There's a suit laid out on the bed—a moderately-luxurious wool-blend with a classic double breast, designed to be perfectly forgettable.
"You're a thief," Kris says behind him.
"Yup!" Adam says, making himself at home on one of the couches and smiling up at Kris, who is still distractingly shirtless.
"I don't trust thieves."
Kris doesn't trust anyone, really.
Adam isn't surprised, because how could a conman, who makes his living lying to people convincingly, possibly be expected to trust anything anyone says to him? It isn't until weeks later, when he's finally seduced Kris into sleeping with him, that Adam realizes just how pervasive this character flaw really is.
They stumble into Adam's hotel room—nothing moderate about this one—with Adam's tongue in Kris's mouth, and his hand down the back of Kris's pants, but instead of heading for the bedroom, Kris backs them toward the desk in the living room and reaches out to turn off the light. Since Kris seems to want to stay in the living room, Adam tries to press Kris down onto the couch. But Kris keeps backing up, this time to the window overlooking the neon pulse of Piccadilly Circus, so he can pull the heavy curtains.
"No one's gonna see us," Adam points out, his erection hard and throbbing, anxious to get to the main event.
"You'll see," Kris says, and Adam doesn't know what that means. He doesn't care though, because Kris takes Adam's hand, threads their fingers together, and tugs Adam into the bedroom.
Where he proceeds to reach for the bedside lamp.
"Leave it on," Adam says, using the deeper voice that makes Kris shiver.
"No," Kris says, and switches it off.
Adam lets go of Kris's hand, disapproving. He says, "I wanna see you," insistent.
Kris drifts toward the windows, a dark silhouette against the sheer drapes before he draws the cord and plunges the room into black. "No," his voice comes again, a whisper.
Adam looks his fill over breakfast, sitting opposite Kris in a gentleman's club a few blocks west. Kris is wearing pinstriped trousers and a soft wool sweater—very weekend-in-the-country—his face perfectly composed, aloof. Adam savors the imperfections, the marks on Kris's skin: the hint of razor burn under one ear; the faint bruise under the other, where Adam's teeth had bit. Kris watches him watching and doesn't blush or look away, seeming unfazed by Adam's lecherous grin.
Unable to rile Kris, Adam surrenders the staring contest, settling for watching Kris's hands as they tap open the shell of a hard-boiled egg. They've known each other for barely a month, and Kris's hands are already Adam's second favorite set of hands in the world. Graceful fingers, tanned and strong—Adam's wearing bruises of his own, under the cashmere blend. He wishes he were licking those fingers right now.
They're stepping out onto Regent Street when Adam grabs Kris's left hand, pressing their palms together for a moment.
"What's this?" Kris says, opening his hand curiously.
Adam buries his hands in his jacket pockets, bouncing on his toes, and says, "Do you like it?"
"Whose is this?" Kris asks, sharp.
"Some guy I met at the buffet line. Old guy, wrinkly hands." He shudders at the sense memory of loose, flaking skin, and the disconcertingly long handshake the lift had required.
Kris scowls at Adam and holds the heavy, emerald pinky ring out, like he thinks Adam wants it back. "This isn't the time to be showing off. The embassy job's in three days—"
"I'm not showing off," Adam protests. "It's a present."
"Yeah. It's for you. I saw it, and I wanted you to have it." 'Want' wasn't the right word, though. It was stronger than an impulse, a sudden compulsion. Kris's fingers didn't have any rings on them. And they should have rings—that ring—the biggest, most expensive one in the room. Kris deserves nothing less.
Kris grabs his elbow. "It's too fucking dangerous to be lifting trinkets when we're about to land the score of the decade. Use your head, Adam."
Kris drops the ring and marches off, away from the scene of the crime. Adam watches his ass for a few seconds, a stupid, besotted smile on his face, and then picks the ring up off the sidewalk. Green isn't really Kris's best color, he thinks. Now, something red….
It's a week before Kris caves to Adam's demands and agrees to leave one light on—lets Adam see what Kris has been trying so desperately to hide. The way his guard comes down and the truth spills out of him, his face unable to lie when Adam touches him.
Adam used to see the world as dollar signs and adrenaline rushes. Now, all he sees is Kris.
Kris almost pushes Adam off the back of their getaway motorcycle when Adam lifts Kris's old watch and slides the new one around Kris's wrist.
"What the hell," Kris says, decelerating fast and pulling off onto a dark, dirt path.
"It's a present," Adam says innocently, trying to fasten the alligator-leather strap one-handed.
Kris stops the motorcycle and slaps Adam's hand away. He shakes the watch and says, "The agreement was for the statue. 50/50. Nothing less, and nothing else. If you think you can con me into trading my cut—"
"It's just a present," Adam says again, wrapping his arms around Kris's waist and squeezing, tugging the smaller man back against his chest. "That Italian actor was wearing it, and I just…." He had to take it. It was as simple as that—an impulse. All Adam could see was how pretty the white-gold casing and sapphire-crystal face would look against Kris's skin. All he could think was how much he wanted Kris to have it.
If Kris wants to throw the watch away, Adam won't stop him. He didn't stop Kris when he threw away the pinky ring, the ambassador's diamond tie tack, or the gold-embroidered kimono robes. But he really hopes, as he bites his lip, that Kris will like it, will finally accept one thing that Adam wants to give him.
Kris holds the watch closer, peering at it in the moonlight, and then says, "Shit, is this a Patek Philippe?"
Adam nods, his cheek brushing against Kris's ear. "The Reference 5270. Came out last month."
"Shit," Kris says again, drawling the word over two syllables.
"Let me put it on you," Adam whispers, his heart beating faster than it had an hour ago, when he was hanging from the ceiling just above the camera's sight-lines; faster even than a few minutes ago, when he'd been clinging to the back of a speeding motorcycle, a heavily-armed private security team not far behind.
Kris hesitates, his face obscured by the darkness.
Adam wishes he could turn on a light.
Adam smirks his way through the corporate IPO party, kissing cheeks as necessary, shaking hands when possible. Kris is down the east corridor of the mansion, behind the third door on the right, sealing the deal with Blaisdale. Adam listens on his ear bud as Kris compliments the design of the concealed in-wall safe under the wet bar, and the cleverness of the trigger mechanism hidden behind the MacCallan bottle on the top shelf. Paperwork rustles as it changes hands, Kris's bogus deeds are filed in the safe on top of a large stack of unregistered bearer bonds, and Adam imagines the handshake, the smiles, as they share a celebratory drink.
Five minutes later, Kris drifts past Adam to mingle with the other guests in the grand foyer. He looks carefully unmemorable, subdued colors and mid-range designer suit—it had made Adam itch, watching Kris get ready that afternoon, disguising his perfection with forgettable, unassuming fabric.
"He should be right behind me," Kris says softly, sipping champagne to cover his moving lips.
Adam catches a glimpse of the Patek Philippe watch on Kris's wrist and he licks his lips, getting turned on just knowing Kris is wearing it—wearing his watch under that innocuous armor.
On cue, Blaisdale emerges from his office to slap backs and laugh too loudly with his guests in the foyer. Adam melts into the shadows of the east corridor.
The bearer bonds are neatly tucked away in his suitcase, and Adam's about to close the safe and shimmy down the brick wall to the rear gardens, when he spots a set of keys half buried under birth certificates and letters of incorporation.
"Change of plans," he says.
"What's wrong?" Kris asks urgently, the voice in Adam's ear so close he can almost feel Kris next to him.
"Nothing, just…new exit strategy. Meet me out front in twenty."
"Hush, baby, gotta go."
When Adam pulls around the circular drive, Kris is waiting on the front steps, arms wrapped around his body against the chilly Pacific wind. He seems distracted, not even examining the car Adam parks right in front of him. Adam has to push the button to retract the roof before Kris realizes it's him, and then his face contorts with fury.
"I hate it when you get distracted!" he reminds Adam, storming down the steps.
Adam slides over into the passenger seat. "I know," he laughs.
Kris stands at the passenger door and glares down at him before taking in the car itself. His eyes widen. "No," he breathes.
"I got her for you. You like fast things," Adam reminds Kris proudly.
"But the GPS tracking—"
"Killed 'em; primary and secondary. She's all yours."
Kris stares at the Fiorano 599—red, just like Adam had hoped it would be—and rubs his hands on his thighs.
"Hurry, baby," Adam says.
And Kris hurries, running around the convertible like Blaisdale's security is already onto them, jumping the door and hopping feet-first into the driver's seat. "Oh my god," he says, sinking deep into the buttery leather.
"Only the best for you," Adam purrs.
Kris looks at him, his face open and honest like it only is when they're making love, all his emotions laid bare for Adam to see. He leans over and kisses Adam hard, one hand fisting in Adam's hair, the other squeezing the gearshift possessively. When Kris finally pulls back, he looks dazed.
Adam is breathless and buzzed, euphoria pumping through his veins. "I got the bonds, too," he says, kicking at the briefcase wedged under the seat.
Kris takes a deep breath and seems to find some focus. "Then we have everything we need," he says, hands caressing the steering wheel. He shoots Adam the softest smile and shifts the car into gear.
★ Sequel fic That's Money, Honey (The Confident Man Remix) written by moirariordan