carleton97: (Default)
Title: But This Hour
Author: carleton97
Fandom: bandslash/AI8
Rating: NC17
Wordcount: ~15K
Summary: When Adam needs a new sound engineer in the middle of his tour, events conspire to bring Bob Bryar to his door.

Disclaimer: Not mine, never were. Also? DON'T GOOGLE YOURSELF.

Notes: Um, random pairing is random? This is the result of the interview Adam did with... Parade (I think) forever ago taking about running into MCR in the studio and how much he loved them. That spurred the thought in me about Bob being a secret fan since he has been known to love him some pop music. Since there isn't necessarily a lot of crossover between fandoms, I've got a little information and a couple of links for your perusal.

Adam for bandslashers: What do you mean, you don't know who Adam Lambert is? El Glamberto was the runner-up in the 8th season of American Idol. He is a tall, fabulous drink of water with sparkles to spare. Here is a primer that's about a year old, but pretty comprehensive up to his tour shenanigans from the past year: http://bexless.livejournal.com/814227.html

Bob for Idol slashers: Bob Bryar was the drummer for My Chemical Romance from 2005 - 2010. Prior to that he was a sound engineer. He is hella hot and a little goofy. His departure from the band earlier this year created bad feelings in some fans who believe the bulk of MCR handled it poorly and disingenuously, but that is neither here nor there. Here is a bit of a pictorial primer showing the many faces of Bob: http://beachsidebingo.livejournal.com/144698.html



Adam had a pretty specific type.

He knew it, his friends knew it, and, thanks to Rolling Stone and his own big mouth, the entire world knew it. So it really wasn't much of a surprise when he walked into the video shoot for "Voodoo" and his eyes were immediately drawn to the tiny guy covered in tattoos and half-wearing the bodysuit all the stunt people wandering around the set were squeezed into.

Adam kept one eye on the guy as he made his way through the laborious process of getting into his own costume and makeup. The guy seemed to be well-liked by the other stunt people who were stretching out and practicing the various flips and jumps the shoot was going to need. There was something familiar about him, though, and Adam was half considering trying his luck when Tommy ducked around the girl working on his hair and dropped down into his lap. "Stop perving on my stunt double."

"Jealous, baby?" He shifted Tommy around until he was curled up under his chin and scrabbled at the various layers of his shirts until he could reach skin.

Tommy laughed and blew a raspberry on the side of his neck. "Just saving you from the inevitable heartache of unrequited pining after a straight guy. I heard him on the phone with his wife earlier and they're revoltingly cute."

Adam made a face, both at the completely unavailable hotass taunting him with his existence and the farting noises Tommy kept making on his neck and chest. "Oh my god, stop!"

A sullen honk of fake flatulence broke off into squealed giggles as Adam dug his fingers into Tommy's ribs. Tommy poked at his waist in retaliation, but the leather of his costume was too thick to have much give to it. They mock struggled for a minute before the stylist whacked them both on the shoulder with the flat side of a paddle brush until they settled down. Tommy stayed on Adam's lap, shifting just enough to watch the stunt guy without obviously staring.

Across the sound stage, the stunt guy laughed loudly at something the stunt coordinator said and let the mountain of a man pick him up and toss him towards a section of scaffolding. He caught one of the support braces, swung around, bounced off the wall, and somersaulted to land in a three-point stance back in front of the coordinator.

"Okay, yeah. He's really hot."

Adam gave a whimpering sigh at the display and Tommy pressed his face into the curve of his neck, making quiet shushing sounds. He squirreled his arms between Adam and the back of the chair, hugging him as tightly as he could. "Don't worry, baby, you'll find someone."

***

The building manager had let Adam set up a mobile office in one of the back rooms so that David could finish coordinating the next leg of the tour with the outside world while still being on hand for the video shoot. It wasn't exactly David's job and Adam wasn't sure he still needed that level of handholding, but whatever. He didn't mind and it seemed to make all levels of management happy, so he could deal. It did, however, give him a front row seat to the truly epic smackdown his tour manager was giving someone over the phone during the lunch break.

" -- and I don't give a shit if I have to run sound for the rest of the tour, you are done. Your contract is terminated and don't even think about suing for breach. You know exactly where that will go. I'll have whatever crap you left on the bus sent to you. You are never going to work on anything I'm connected with again, do you hear me? ... Yeah, fuck you, too."

The door to the makeshift office slammed shut and everyone slowly drifted back to their conversations, except for hotass stunt guy, who Adam now knew was Brian. Brian hadn't even bothered to look up at the shouting, he'd just kept steadily texting whomever he was talking to that made him shake his head and huff out little bursts of laughter.

Stupid, married straight guys.

Adam pulled his attention from Brian and squinted at the closed door, but made a conscious effort not to march in and demand to know every detail of what was going on. He'd hear about it later, he was sure, and, besides, he needed to concentrate on finishing up the video.

Fifteen minutes later, he was wrapped around Tommy, trying to steal tiny bites of his cookie, when the office door slammed open again and David stuck his head out to survey the gathered cast and crew finishing up lunch. He did a barely noticeable double take when he saw hotass Brian, but just narrowed his eyes a little before shaking his head and disappearing back into the office.

Curiouser and curiouser.

It wasn't until after the shoot was done - before dawn for once - that Adam even had a chance to breathe, let alone try to weasel information out of David about that had happened that afternoon. Luckily, it was just the two of them in the car as they left the sound stage, so Adam could pry to his heart's content. "You want to tell me what all the yelling was about earlier?"

David barely glanced up from where he was doing something or another on his phone. "I had to fire Craig the sound guy."

Adam rolled his eyes and made a face. "Yeah, I gathered that from the shouting. The question is, why?"

"His drug test came back dirty again and the last venue we played is missing some equipment." David rubbed at his eyes, obviously sick of dealing with the whole situation. "I can't prove anything, but I'm pretty sure the last thing he wants is any sort of police investigation."

"Well, shit." Adam could have probably convinced David to keep Craig around if it were just the drugs, but stealing from the venue wasn't something he could look past.

"Yeah, exactly."

All the logistical nightmares of bringing someone new on to the tour at this point started whizzing around Adam's head. It was going to be a hassle, no matter how poorly Craig had gotten along with the rest of the crew. "Are we going to have a problem finding a new sound guy on such short notice?"

David smirked and ducked back down to poke at his phone. "Nope, it's all taken care of."

Adam was immediately suspicious. "What? What's that look for? Who is it?"

"What look?" David pulled his face into a relatively neutral expression.

"You were all ... smug." He squinted, trying to figure out what was going on. "You know something about the new sound guy that you're not sharing. I don't like it."

"You don't have to like it." David went back to smirking. "I’m meeting with him tomorrow to start going over everything."

Adam sat back and crossed his arms over his chest. "What does this have to do with the stuntman?"

"Which stuntman?" David clicked away at his phone, but Adam was pretty sure he was playing BeJeweled at this point.

"Don't even. I saw the way you looked at Brian the hotass when you poked your head out of the office."

"I don't know what you're talking about." David's voice had taken on the particular sing-song quality he knew drove Adam right up the wall.

"You are a lying whore." The car pulled up to Adam's house and he knew he wouldn't be getting any more information tonight.

"Glass houses, bitchcakes. Now get the hell out of here; I've still got work to do tonight."

Adam laughed and blew David an extravagant kiss as he got out of the car. "Are you sure you don't want to tell me anything about the new sound guy?"

"If you’re so curious, sit in on our meeting at two. Now, go get your beauty sleep so you can keep shaking that moneymaker, Lambert."

"Fine." Adam half-heartedly shook his ass before he closed the car door and headed up the stairs to his front door. He knew he was missing something really obvious, but no matter what sort of mental gymnastics he went through, he couldn't figure it out. He was ninety-nine percent sure it had something to do with stuntman Brian, but that was all he had.

As he wandered through his house getting ready for bed, Adam felt unsettled. He felt as if he’d left his keys somewhere, but they were sitting on the dining room table where they always were. He figured it was because he kept trying to remember where he might have seen Brian before, but his mind remained frustratingly blank.

The next day -- mysterious sound guy meeting day -- was supposed to be his day off, so Adam slept until his room was too bright and warm to stay in bed any longer. When he stumbled down to the kitchen, he ate his way through the strawberries and grapes artistically arranged in the fruit bowl someone left on his counter. He puttered through his morning routine, jerking off lazily in the shower and only doing enough hair- and make-up wise to ensure he wouldn't look puffy and unfinished if the paparazzi caught up to him.

They were scheduled to meet at David's office at two, but Adam wanted a chance to harass his tour manager a little more, so he left early and settled himself on the couch in David's office by quarter to.

"Are you sure you don't want to tell me about the new sound guy?"

"You are like a dog with a bone, Jesus Christ." David shook his head at Adam. "I already told you I'm not saying anything."

"Come on!" Adam injected as much whine into his voice as he could.

"Don't you have anything better to be doing on your day off?" David didn't bother looking up from whatever he was working on.

"Nope." Adam stretched his arms up over his head and wiggled a little deeper into the cushions. It was a surprisingly comfortable couch despite looking like David had rescued it from the side of the road.

In Detroit.

Before David could do anything drastic like give Adam some work to do -- there was always work to be done -- a quick one-two knock sounded on the door and David's assistant stuck in head into the room. "Your two o'clock is here. Do you want me to entertain Mr. Rock Star here for awhile?"

Adam stuck his tongue out at Emily while David laughed. "No, he's going to sit in. Send him in."

David stood up and moved to lean on the front of his desk, a genuine smile on his face as Emily pushed the door open and let the new sound guy in.

"David, man, it's good to see you again."

Holy shit. Adam blinked rapidly a couple of times, knowing he looked like an idiot, and really glad his seat on the couch was out of immediate sight of the door. That was Bob motherfucking --

"Bryar, you are a damn life saver yet again." David used his grip on Bob's hand to pull him into a dudebro, back-thumping half-hug.

Bob motherfucking Bryar just shrugged and turned a little pink around the ears. Adam tried for a second not to be hopelessly charmed, but gave it up for a loss pretty quickly. Who still blushed like that? Adam bit back a giggle and tried to shake off his distraction. Bob Bryar was going to do sound for the rest of the tour? Bob Bryar knew how to do sound? What the fuck?

Adam tipped his head as a vague memory stirred of him doing sound for... someone... before his own stint behind the kit. That had been a long time ago though and he had no idea what Bob had been doing since My Chemical Romance had made the line-up change the year before.

"So who am I maybe going out with? Brian just said to give you a call, that you might need a sound guy on short notice."

David smirked and gestured behind Bob with his head. "Bob Bryar, Adam Lambert."

***

Bob was going to kill that tiny, interfering motherfucker.

Possible sound job call David was all Brian's text had said yesterday. Nothing about tall, gorgeous, freckled musical juggernauts with presence to spare. Nothing about the kind of personal magnetism that was guaranteed to make every hidden part of Bob roll over and beg for mercy, for anything. Jesus, Bob had always thought Gerard on stage was the height of charisma, but this kid was shining like a beacon just standing in David's office.

Bob was so fucked.

He was a professional, though, so he smiled and shook the man's hand, fighting the urge to drop his eyes. He couldn't do anything about the blotchy red he could feel creeping up the back of his neck, but he was pretty sure his hoodie and cap covered up the worst of the flush. He sat down in one of David's guest chairs and angled it so he could see both David sitting behind his desk and Adam -- Adam Lambert! -- in the other guest chair.

"So what's on the table?"

David pulled out a tour schedule and handed it to Bob. "Last leg of the Glam Nation tour before Adam gets a break and goes back to record again. Six weeks starting next Saturday. Twenty-four shows, nearly all sold out. All of the venues seat between 2500 and 5000."

Bob felt his eyes widen as he glanced at the schedule. This sort of pace reminded him of being on the road with My Chem. "You've been out how long already on this album?"

Adam sprawled back in his chair as if it weren't an uncomfortable, seventies style upholstered thing. "Nearly a year."

"And your voice is holding up?" Bob had been around enough bands to know a voice, even one as well-trained as Adam's, was usually the weak link. Guitars could be restrung and drums could get new heads, but there was no quick fix for vocal fatigue.

"I can't say I'm not excited for a break, but I haven't had any issues." Adam raised his eyebrows as if he'd met Bob's challenge, but Bob hadn't been challenging him, just curious.

"Sweet." He smiled at Adam. "Trying to adjust a weak vocal is a pain in my ass."

Adam deflated a little, as if he were expecting more of a fight than that. Bob scratched at his beard to hide his little grin and turned his attention back to David. "What am I looking at?"

"Have you seen the show?"

Bob shook his head. He'd managed to score his mom tickets for her birthday, but she'd refused to let him attend the show with her. She said she'd have more fun with her best friend.

"There's a lot of movement, a lot of dancing; that's the main challenge. The band is solid and this one isn't too much of a diva." David jerked his thumb and Adam. "It's a pretty good gig, all told."

It really sounded too good to be true, so Bob forced himself to ask, "So why do you need me this late in the game?

David grimaced and Bob could see Adam shifting out of the corner of his eye. "Dirty drug test."

Bob made his own face. He knew drugs were usually part and parcel of the whole rock 'n roll experience, but years of touring with Gerard and Brian had left him with little patience for people who couldn't keep their shit together. "Yeah, okay."

"So, what do you think?"

Bob shifted his eyes back to Adam and really thought about it. It was a sweet gig for a shit ton of money. He sort of missed being on the road when his only responsibility was his board and making sure everything sounded as good as he could make it. The only problem he could foresee was his overwhelming urge to throw himself at Adam and do all sorts of filthy things with him, but he could totally repress that.

"Where do I sign?"

***

Bob waited until he was in his car and a half mile away from David's office before calling Brian. "You are such a dickface."

And hello to you, Robert.

"Don't even start with me, Schechter. I walked into a meeting with Adam Lambert with absolutely no warning at all."

He was there? Weird, but nice eyecandy for you, I guess.

Bob could only make a frustrated noise. Brian was pretty much the only person who knew about Bob's little (giant) crush on his new sort-of boss. Bob could only thank whatever higher power ruled his life that Brian hadn’t actually been witness to their meeting this afternoon. "I hate you so much."

Man up, Bob. We both know you're a giant pussy and aren’t going to make a move on him. I'm more his type than you are, so you also don't have to worry about him coming on to you and turning you into a twelve year old girl watching those Twilight fucks.

"Haaaaaate."

On the other hand, he's had pretty shitty luck with twinks lately, so maybe you should go for it and let him boss you around and pull your hair, or whatever other kinky shit you're into.

"If I weren't so afraid of your wife, I'd kill you in your sleep."

She's great, isn't she?

Bob hung up on Brian without saying goodbye and most assuredly did not think about big, soft hands holding him down. It wasn’t a way he shared himself very often; it took a lot of trust and that was something he’d found sorely lacking in his life lately. He shook the image out of his head and concentrated on getting back to his apartment without killing himself or someone else in the stupid, middle of the day traffic.

He moved on autopilot once he got home, exchanging his shoes for slippers, stripping off his outer hoodie layer, and turning on his iPod dock before he was more than five steps inside. He didn't know why he was surprised when "For Your Entertainment" came blasting out of his speakers since that's what he was listening to when he left, but he was. For a second, he felt oddly embarrassed about listening to the album -- about how many times he'd listened to the album -- but did his best to ignore it.

It wasn't like anyone else could see the four digit play count in his iTunes.

He dropped down into his chair and grabbed his laptop from the table, but hesitated before bringing up YouTube. Though he'd been tempted to look when the concert reviews had started trickling in, Bob hadn't watched any of the tour video fans had posted online. To him, it just wasn't the same as being in the crowd and feeling like you were a part of something bigger than watching some guy in lace-up leather pants sing some songs.

Of course, he'd watched the AMA performance but between the horrible mix and his own irrational, grinding jealousy of the tiny, bleached blond keyboardist/bassist, the whole thing had left a bad taste in his mouth. From everything he'd heard, the Glam Nation performances had alleviated the former and would probably exacerbate the latter, but Bob was a professional and he'd rather not be caught unaware of any shenanigans.

A quick YouTube search later and he could only shake his head at the obsessively organized concert footage he’d found. There was an embarrassment of riches to choose from, but he didn’t want to spoil himself for the whole experience, just make sure he was comfortable with the whole situation before walking into it. He picked a video of “Fever” because it always made him want to dance around his living room Risky Business style and he wanted to see how Adam chose to stage it.

And, whoa, that was...a lot of tongue Adam got from his supposedly straight bassist.

Bob was tempted to open up Google and see what would come up about him -- he thought his name was something like Billy Bob or Bobby Jack or something else completely inappropriate for someone who looked like a Patrick Stump sized glam rocker. He was fairly certain that would fall under one of the sub-clauses of the “Don’t Google Yourself” edict. Bob scrubbed his hands over his face and reminded himself that neither did he have any right to be jealous nor did fanservice ever actually make anyone gay.

It didn’t matter anyway because Brian had been right. Adam would never want someone like Bob.

***

After their meeting had broken up, Adam badgered David into sending him a copy of the resume Bob had emailed to him. He wasn’t quite sure why he wanted it, but he was unaccountably fascinated by the other man. His resume didn't really tell Adam anything he hadn't already known, but reading it made him feel oddly guilty.

Part of it, he knew, was Bob’s history with My Chemical Romance. They were one of Adam’s favorite bands and it gave him a giddy little thrill to be working with Bob is any capacity. He was also completely charmed by the other man’s soft-spoken, quiet demeanor compared to his rough and ready appearance. There was something about the apparent contradiction that made him want to see what made Bob tick.

There was also a strangely intense sexual attraction that played a part of his desire to take Bob apart and put him back together, but he was doing his best to ignore that part of it all. He knew his gaydar was not the most trustworthy, and even though Bob was three or four inches shorter than he was, Adam was a lover not a fighter and he didn’t want to have his ass handed to him. It wasn’t that he thought Bob would necessarily react poorly to getting hit on, he just knew from experience that very few guys reacted well to the “Hi, I’d like to tie you up and maybe spank you” sort of come-on.

Which was a fucking tragedy in Adam’s opinion.

There was something about the way Bob reacted around him that made Adam want to give it a try, though. He couldn’t decide if he was actually getting a vibe from Bob or if the fact he hadn’t had a chance to do anything remotely involved since Brad was clouding his judgment. Drake hadn’t really been into it beyond a little bondage, and there was no way he was going to play with someone he picked up at a club in the middle of nowhere.

It would be...different with Bob, Adam thought. It had been a long time since he’d slept with someone who didn’t fit the same sort of mold that fit Brad or Drake, but what little of Bob’s skin he saw made it seem like it was made to show marks. He thought the beard would be interesting, too. He normally wasn’t a big fan of facial hair, but it worked for Bob. He sort of wanted to see what it would feel like against his skin.

Adam collapsed back onto his couch and pulled a velvety pillow over his face. He couldn’t believe he was even fantasizing about seducing his ostensibly straight sound guy. That was so not on in so many different and varied ways that he was tempted to give himself the inevitable lecture that was coming once Lanie caught on.

He resisted the urge to scream into the pillow, knowing his voice wouldn’t thank him for the abuse. He huffed instead, then coughed when something got caught in his throat. He dropped the pillow onto the floor and flopped over onto his side until he quit coughing.

Stupid pillow fuzz.

Adam wasn’t sure why he was so twisted up by this. He supposed he could ignore the whole thing, but it had been a long time since he’d felt that sort of instant connection with someone and he was reluctant to just let it go without even trying to see if there could be something there. The thought left him strangely discomfited. They were having a rehearsal tomorrow to give Bob a chance to get to know the band and crew before they got out on the road and Adam decided to give it a shot.

The worst that could happen is that they’d need to find another replacement.

***

Adam really hoped they weren't going to have to find another replacement.

An hour of Bob tweaking the board had the entire band sounding just like they did on those rare nights of complete perfection. Everything was just that much crisper and his own voice rang out over the PA to every row.

They wrapped up "Ring of Fire" and Adam could see Tommy bouncing on his heels, obviously pleased with the changes. Monte, LP, and Cam were less physical about it, but they were all grinning back towards the sound booth.

"How is that working for everyone?" Bob was barely visible behind his board.

Adam blew a kiss toward the booth. "You are a wizard, Bob, an absolute lifesaver. I don't know how to thank you for saving us from the horror of muddy sound mixes. Would you like a kidney? I have two"

Silence was his only answer and he grinned, imagining the shade of pink that Bob had just turned.

Monte coughed pointedly. "What Adam is trying to say is that the mix sounds awesome."

“Should we try it with the dancers now?”

Adam looked at his watch. “They should be here in a few minutes. Let’s all take a quick break then get back to it once they’re here.”

He stayed where he was on the platform while the band stowed their instruments and took off for the green room or wherever. He kept his eyes on Bob the whole time, watching as he made notes about the various levels and muttered to himself.

Once he was sure everyone else was distracted, he levered himself to his feet and made his way back towards the booth. He tried to keep his demeanor as neutral as possible, not wanting to give himself away prematurely. It was time to put Plan Seduce Bob Bryar into action.

It wasn’t a terribly complex plan, but Adam thought its beauty lay in its simplicity. Step one was a little gentle, yet pointed flirting to discover if Bob would even be receptive to a walk on the gay side of the tracks. Depending on how that turned out, steps two through infinity involved the two of them in various naked and non-naked scenarios. Adam frowned slightly at some of the non-naked scenarios. He was, perhaps, a little more invested in all this than he should be considering how little he and Bob knew each other.

No matter, though. Adam was totally willing to go with the flow on this one. He was pretty sure he’d be happy to just be Bob’s friend even if his stupid subconscious had decided it wanted them to get married in Vermont, adopt a tiny, dark haired child, and have kinky sex for the rest of their lives.

Adam danced the last few steps up to the booth, laughing at himself when Bob just raised an eyebrow. “I’m serious, Bob. You are like magic behind the board. I want to wrap you up and keep you with me always.”

Bob ducked his head, looking up at Adam through his eyelashes for a second before seeming to realize what he was doing and meeting his eyes head on. “That might make going about my daily business a little awkward.”

“I’m sure we could work something out.” Adam smiled and let his eyes drift, just a bit, over the breadth of Bob’s shoulders.

“Uh.” Bob’s eyes widened and Adam decided he really liked how blue they were. He seemed more shocked than insulted at the flirting and that gave him enough of a confidence boost to keep going.

Adam stepped past the invisible line into the booth itself and glanced around before encroaching just a little bit into Bob’s personal space. Whenever he’d been forced to visit Craig in the booth, he’d nearly gone crazy due to the disorganized mess of cables and beer cans and beef jerky wrappers. Bob apparently believed in the same level of OCD workplace neatness that Adam preferred because everything was neatly tucked away and the only thing out of place was a sweating can of Red Bull.

Bob stilled but didn’t step back, tilting his head to keeps his eyes on Adam. “What are you doing?”

Adam shrugged. “Seeing if you’re interested.”

Bob made a scoffing noise and rolled his eyes. “Is this the best you can do for hazing? That is weak, man.”

“Hazing?” This was not going according to plan. Adam wasn’t sure if this fictional hazing was supposed to be sending Bob into a heterosexual panic or leading the closeted guy on then rejecting him. Neither one spoke well of him and he couldn’t say he was happy about that.

Bob opened his mouth, but closed it again right away after catching the look on Adam’s face. “Not hazing?”

“No.”

“Seriously?” Bob looked like he hadn’t meant to say that at all and closed his eyes. A pink flush bloomed across his cheeks and Adam couldn’t help but brush the back of his fingers against the warm skin. It was only because they were touching that Adam could feel the tiny shiver that worked its way through Bob.

“I am completely serious. Have dinner with me tonight.” Adam was surprised just how much he meant his words.

Bob was silent for several moments, obviously gauging his sincerity. He blew out a hard breath before relaxing. “Yeah, okay. Why the fuck not?”

It wasn’t exactly the overwhelming ‘yes’ Adam had been hoping for, but now that he had a foot in the door, he was confident he could at least get Bob to make out with him a little.

***

“Oh, god. Please.” Bob reached up, trying to find the headboard, the wall, anything to get leverage to push back against the fingers Adam had pressed inside of him.

This really was not how Bob had expected his evening to go when he’d accepted Adam’s dinner invitation. Though his reaction had reassured Bob that there wasn’t going to be any sort of ridiculous posturing happening (and shown, yet again, Bob needed a better class of friends), he hadn’t been sure exactly what the night was going to hold for him.

Since neither had wanted to brave the constant harassment of the paparazzi that seemed to breed on the streets in Los Angeles, Adam had volunteered to cook something for the two of them. Working against his own instinct to cancel and hibernate in his house, Bob had gone home after the rehearsal to shower and change.

He’d stood in front of his closet, trying to imagine what the fuck he was going to wear to dinner with Adam Lambert. Somehow, he knew ratty jeans and his large array of black band tees and hoodies were not going to impress anyone.

Not that he wanted to impress -- okay, Bob hadn't even been able to make himself believe that. He desperately wanted Adam to like him. He'd rolled his eyes at himself in the mirror, fully aware that he sounded like a sad, insecure teenage girl.

Pitiful, Bobert. Truly pitiful.

He'd managed to shake off his mood and dug into the back of his closet for the blue shirt his mom had picked out for him to wear to her goddaughter’s wedding earlier in the year. The black pants he'd worn to the wedding would have been overkill so he’d just pulled on his favorite pair of jeans instead.

It had been a struggle not to pull a hoodie on over his shirt, but somehow Bob had managed to get out of the house wearing half his normal layers. It had left him feeling strangely vulnerable, so he'd used the expected, yet annoying, traffic to remind himself that he was a grown man and to act accordingly.

Adam hadn't told him to bring anything, but Bob hadn't been raised in a barn so he picked up a couple of bottles of wine on his way. Before he knew it, he checked in at the security gate and was ringing Adam's doorbell.

"Bob! Hi! Welcome! Come in, come in." Adam had seemed genuinely happy to see Bob and hustled him into the house. "Sorry about the security. Lane made me move here after TMZ started sleeping on my lawn."

"They were actually sleeping on your lawn?"

"Well, nearly." Adam waved off the particulars and made grabby hands at the wine Bob was still holding. "Oooh, good choice. This should work perfectly with dinner tonight."

With nothing to keep his hands busy once Adam claimed the wine, Bob let them twitch against his thighs for a second before tucking them into his pockets. His restless movements caught Adam’s attention and sharp eyes focused on him, flicking over him in a blatant once-over. He transferred the bottles to one arm and reached out to catch the collar of Bob’s shirt between his fingers. “Very nice.”

“Thanks.” Bob shrugged and resisted the urge to tell Adam his mother had bought it for him. He was pretty sure that was not the way to convince anyone he wasn’t completely unable to dress himself. He blinked then, realizing the other man had also changed after rehearsal.

Adam was now wearing a plain black t-shirt and jeans with raggedy cuffs. His socks were polka dotted. Bob relaxed a little at the casual outfit, feeling like he wasn’t the only one going without his regular armor tonight. It also left an unfair amount of freckled skin on display and Bob let himself lean into the hand still resting against his collarbone.

Adam visibly shook himself and stepped back out of Bob’s space. “Dinner should be just about ready. Join me in the kitchen?”

Bob kicked off his shoes and followed him down the hallway. They managed an only slightly awkward dinner of baked chicken and roasted vegetables before moving to Adam’s sinfully comfortable couch to talk about music and high school and their families for hours. Bob was surprised when he glanced at the clock on the mantel and it was after midnight. Adam’s fingers on his arm brought his attention back around to the other man.

“Sorry. I didn’t realize it was so late.”

Adam didn't answered, just shifted closer on the couch, his eyes never leaving Bob’s face as he hooked his hand around his neck and pulled him closer. Bob could feel the warmth of his breath across his mouth when he asked, “Can I kiss you, Bob?”

Bob nodded without even thinking and Adam dropped his head the last couple of inches to brush their lips together. There was a testing quality to the kiss, as if Adam wasn't sure of his reception even though Bob had agreed to the kiss. Whatever reservations he had, though, had obviously disappeared when Bob wasn't able to stop the tiny, greedy noise from escaping when Adam’s mouth opened hesitantly over his.

Adam pushed his hand into Bob’s hair then, pulling his head back and taking complete control of the kiss. There was a blur of heat and skin and movement and kisses before Bob found himself naked in Adam’s bed.

“Shhh.” Adam’s voice whispered over the damp, bruised spots on Bob’s neck, raising a new set of goosebumps across his shoulders and chest as he rubbed the hot length of his dick against the outside of his thigh.

Bob stifled a whimper and resisted the urge to twist impatiently. He was going to come way before he was ready to but the luxury of skin on skin was too good, too rare for him to let it be over so quickly. Besides, there was so much of Adam he hadn’t touched enough yet.

He shook a hand loose from the pillow he was strangling and pushed it into Adam’s thick hair, pulling his head up for another kiss. Bob loved the way Adam responded instantly, as if he’d just been waiting for Bob to want kisses. Adam planted his elbow next to Bob’s ear and shifted up, teasing his damp mouth over the corner of Bob’s. The quick, darting touch of Adam’s tongue was hot and frustrating and after a few minutes of it, Bob gave up trying to chase it and tightened his hand in his hair to keep him in one place.

That seemed to be some sort of signal for Adam to pick up the pace. He began kissing Bob in earnest, the heavy slide of his tongue into his mouth mimicking the renewed press of fingers into his body. It had been years since Bob had been wound up enough to come without something touching his dick, but he was riding that edge tonight.

He didn’t want to come alone, but the way Adam was leaning against him made it almost impossible to get his hand on Adam’s cock. He squirmed and twisted until he managed it, though. He wasn’t sure if the impulse was a selfish one or not, but he wanted to share this pleasure with Adam. He must have underestimated something, though, because it only took the barest brush of his hand for Adam to choke out several hard syllables ending with his name before his entire body started shaking its way through an orgasm.

The hot splash of semen against his hip and thigh was enough to push Bob over the edge, clenching his jaw closed against the spill of nonsensical sounds that wanted to escape. He floated on the pleasure of it all, vaguely aware of Adam collapsing half on top of him for long minutes before rolling away gently and leaning over the side of the bed. The soft brush of fabric cleaning him up wasn’t enough to disturb his haze and neither were the careful movements working him under the bedding.

Bob thought maybe he should get up and go home because sleeping with your sort-of boss was one thing, but sleeping with him was quite another. When he moved restlessly and made a questioning noise though, Adam just rubbed at his back and pressed soft kisses all over his face before curling up around him.

This is nice was the last conscious thought Bob had before drifting off to sleep.

***

If pressed, Bob would have admitted he had no idea what was going to happen when he woke up in Adam’s bed after that first night. He was almost positive he wouldn’t be rushed out the door, cold with the knowledge that working together for the next several weeks was going to be awkward at best. He was equally sure that whole wheat pancakes, fresh fruit, and the promise of a call later were just as unlikely an outcome, but that was exactly what he got.

And Adam actually did call him later that afternoon. They talked for nearly an hour, about what exactly Bob wasn’t sure once he hung up, but the contact was nice. It was still nice the next day when Adam called again and the next when their dinner date was repeated and the day after when Bob manned up and called Adam to tell him about the truly epic drag queen he’d met at the dog park that morning.

It was sort of embarrassing that Bob didn’t realize what was going on until Brian looked at him incredulously over the remains of their brunch and said, “You’re dating Adam Lambert?”

“What? No.” Bob’s denial was automatic. “We’re just -”

“Having dinner and sex and talking on the phone like junior high girls.” Brian poked through his plate, looking for the little bits of mushroom left from his omelet.

Bob tried to come up with a response to that, but his phone chose that moment to sound out the twinkly little chime Adam had assigned to himself when he’d swiped Bob’s phone earlier in the week. Brian grabbed the phone before Bob could, knowing Bob almost never changed the default ring, and tapped at the screen until he could read the text message that had just appeared.

“Jesus Christ, Bob.” Brian tossed the phone back down onto the table and Bob had a terrible moment of imagining all the filthy things Adam could have fit into 160 characters, but when he picked up his phone, the message was completely innocent.

Project Runway & thai 2nite??? <3

He sighed in relief and sent back a quick yes before pocketing his phone. He flipped Brian off behind the carafe of coffee. “We’re not dating. We’re just... I’m not even sure we’re going to keep doing this once the tour starts up next week..”

Brian only shook his head. “Just remember to invite me to your big, gay wedding.”

***

It turned out being on the road didn't change much.

The touring schedule was hectic and Adam's press obligations only made it worse. There weren't a whole lot of opportunities for the two of them to have time alone together, and when Adam was pretty quickly put on partial vocal rest and had to quit their nightly phone calls Bob had been sure that was it for the two of them. Somehow, though, Adam managed to make time for Bob each day, even if it was just a series of text messages as their respective buses rumbled across the country. It was frankly more than Bob had expected and everything he wanted.

It sucked being on a different bus than Adam, but Bob really liked the other techs and dancers. It was strange living with women full time, but the bus stayed cleaner and smelled way better than any other bus he’d ever been stuck on, so he wasn’t going to complain about spangled bras everywhere and renegade tampons in the aisle. It wasn’t even close to the worst thing he’d ever had to get used to. He’d lived with Bert on a bus, for fuck’s sake. After that, sealed tampons were child’s play.

It did make jerking off in his bunk more awkward for some reason, though. Other guys hearing him wasn't a big deal since he was used to it, but the thought of the girls hearing him made him distinctly uncomfortable. It did help that Bob had spent a good portion of his adult life on tour in one capacity or another and was well-versed in both the art of silently jerking off in his bunk and, as he was currently helping Adam demonstrate, the surreptitious backstage blow job.

"No, I'm sorry, this just isn't working for me." Adam pulled away, looking seriously distressed. Bob's stomach plummeted and he felt queasy. He should have known what they had couldn't last. He should have known - he did know - he would inevitably be dumped for some tiny, fey creature matching the rest of Adam’s exes.

He just hadn't expected it to happen when he was in the middle of getting head.

Adam heaved a deep sigh and continued, "I'm sorry, baby, but I just can't give a blowjob to a man who wears cut-off manpris and striped socks."

The tight little ball of panic that had started to form when Adam had moved away from him dissolved all in a rush, leaving Bob weak with relief. "What the fuck, Adam?"

"I'm sorry!" Adam leaned forwards and pressed a kiss to the thin skin covering his hip bone. "I know it's stupid and has nothing to do with you - internal self you - but sometimes it physically pains me when I see what you're wearing. Like, I think I nearly had a stroke yesterday."

Bob rolled his eyes, not really believing they were discussing this again. He was all set to argue that he was a tech again and his uniform of jeans and hoodies was not only comfortable but logical, when Adam ducked his head back down and slid his mouth over his dick again. Before Bob could do much more than clutch at his shoulders, though, he pulled back again and absentmindedly brought his hand up to lazily jerk Bob off.

"I actually picked up my phone this morning to see if I could get you on What Not to Wear." Adam's voice was completely matter-of-fact and Bob had a moment of cold, pure terror when he realized Adam could probably make that happen and guilt him into participating. "Then I decided I didn't want Clinton Kelly's tarty hands anywhere near you."

Adam's oddly serious eyes were the last thing Bob saw before he came in a white rush.

***

"Bob." Tommy slid into the seat across from Bob as soon as Adam left for his interview and began picking at the bacon he'd left on his plate.

"Tommy Joe." Bob wasn't exactly jealous of the other man since he knew he actually was pretty much straight, but he wasn't exactly comfortable with the person who ended up making out with his -- with Adam most nights.

"I have been entrusted with a very important mission."

"Okay?" Bob didn't want to know, he really didn't.

Tommy cleared his throat and pulled a folded up piece of paper out of his pocket. "Adam's brother Neil gave me permission to act as his proxy in this matter and question you as to your intentions towards our Adam."

"My intentions?" Bob froze in the process of pouring himself more coffee, feeling the hot flush of embarrassment chase across his face. Tommy couldn't honestly be giving him The Talk, could he?

Tommy nodded and glanced at his paper. "Yes. Neil wants to be sure you are 'sufficiently careful of Adam's delicate feelings.'"

"Are you reading that word for word?"

"Neil was very clear about the phrasing he wanted used." Tommy tucked the long fringe of his bangs behind his ear. "So, intentions?"

"Um." Oh, god, Bob hated this sort of thing more than anything in the world. How was he supposed to tell Tommy and Neil how he felt about Adam when he hadn't even told Adam yet? "My intentions are...good?"

"Jesus, you're lucky Neil isn't actually here."

Bob curled into himself a little. He hadn't met any of Adam's family yet and, from what he knew of them, the possibility of it was daunting. "Sorry?"

"No, just - " Tommy shoved the paper back in his pocket. "We're worried about him. You're so different from his normal type and he's sort of crazy about you."

"Really?" Bob absolutely hadn't meant to say that.

Dammit.

"Well, that answers that, doesn't it?" Tommy smiled and pushed back from the table after helping himself to the last of Bob's bacon too.

Little bastard.

***

"Are you nervous? Why are you so nervous?" Adam bumped shoulders with Bob and pressed their legs together under the picnic table.

"I'm not nervous." Bob would kill someone for a cigarette at this point.

"It's just Kris and Katy. They're the least threatening people in the world!" Adam bounced up again to see if he could spot them heading their way yet.

Bob did not say he's your friend or I know how much you care about him or come on, I did actually watch Idol. Bob said, "I'm not nervous."

Adam gave him a skeptical look, but any further interrogation was interrupted by the two tiny, adorable people who appeared like magic behind Adam and draped themselves over his shoulders. Bob found himself getting nudged down the bench as the Allens swarmed over Adam in greeting. When they were done, though, they moved back far enough to push Bob back next to Adam and budged in on either side of them.

"So this is the famous 'Bob' we've been hearing so much about." Katy leaned across Adam and offered Bob her hand.

Bob shook her hand, but cut his eyes to Adam. "You been talking about me, Lambert?"

"You know it." Adam wrapped his arm around Katy's shoulders. "If just to commiserate with someone who understands my sartorial frustrations."

Bob automatically looked down at what he was wearing and saw out of the corner of his eye that Kris was doing the same thing. Bob huffed and slouched down even further. "I told you. I'm not wearing makeup or a fucking corset no matter what you promise."

"I'm just trying to glam you up, baby."

"I'm the glam black hole." Bob gestured down at his Ninja Turtles hoodie.

"You really are." Katy shook her head. "Adam sent me a picture of what you were wearing the other day. What the heck, Bob? Seriously?"

Kris laughed next to him. "Katy showed me. You looked like what happens when a lumberjack gets Nessarose pregnant."

"Nessarose? What the fuck?"

"I told you those socks had Wicked Witch of the East feel to them. And nice Wicked reference, by the way." Adam held his hand up and got a fist bump from Kris.

"I hate all of you."

Kris patted him on the back. "Just wait until he spikes all of your shampoo and stuff with glitter."

"I will cut you." Bob narrowed his eyes and pointed at Adam. "Isn't this why you have Tommy, anyway? To be your little dress-up doll?"

"I'm going to tell him you said that."

Bob waved Adam off. "Whatever. I saw the two of you working on your Tommy Joe paper dolls the other night."

There was a moment of profound silence as Katy and Kris processed that and Adam slowly turned bright red. "Bob! That is an eyes-only project!"

That was apparently enough to send Kris over the edge. He couldn't catch his breath for laughing and ended up scrabbling at Bob's arm to keep himself from falling off the back of the bench. Bob hauled the smaller man back into his seat and left him sprawled over the table, still laughing and weakly pounding on the steel mesh.

"Oops?"

Adam was still flushed red, but he leaned forward to kiss the curve of Bob's smile anyway. "You're a jerk."

Kris let out another whoop of laughter and Katy reached around behind everyone to poke him in the side. "I'd quit laughing if I were you, Kristopher. I'm pretty sure you're the only one at the table wearing underwear his momma bought him."

"Katy!" Kris' horrified face was enough to be absolutely hilarious to Bob and Adam obviously felt the same way because their laughter drowned out the irritated bitching Kris was sending towards his wife. Katy was too busy laughing to do much more than make talky hands at him and eventually Kris subsided with a huff.

Katy was still giggling when she hugged Adam's arm to her chest and rested her chin on his bicep, focusing on Bob. She gave a girly little sigh that Bob knew usually prefaced someone saying something that would make him fiercely uncomfortable. Katy didn't say anything, though. She just smiled softly at him until he leaned in and ducked his head under Adam's chin.

***

Not for the first time, Adam was glad his touring staff and entourage had grown big enough to warrant just renting out an entire floor of whatever hotel they were staying at for the night. It meant that he didn't have to care who saw Bob leading his exhausted ass to their room. Officially, Bob was bunking in with Al, who ran the lights and lasers, but that was on paper only and had been since the first hotel night.

Adam hadn't been terribly happy about having to go fetch Bob from his assigned room that first night, but had understood the other man had been attempting to be discreet and give him some space in the middle of the whirlwind. What Bob never seemed to grasp was that his presence was welcome, always, and if he could, Adam would give Perez Hilton the scoop of his sad, desperate little career.

As long has he promised not to draw come all over either one of them.

Honestly, that was just rude.

Bob shoved his keycard into the door, bitching under his breath about "soulless PR bastards" as he prodded Adam into the room and made sure to lock the door behind them. "You are going to get in the shower and stay there until you're relaxed, then you're going to eat whatever I order you without a word about your diet, and then we're going to sleep for the next twelve to fourteen hours."

Adam wanted to protest the high-handed treatment, but Bob's plan sounded like exactly what he needed after five weeks and twenty-one shows. He knew he was in the final stretch and the prospect of going home with Bob was all that was keeping him sane at this point. He shrugged out of his leather jacket and tossed it over one of the chairs in the room. "Yes, dear."

Bob was not amused, if the look he shot Adam over the edge of the room service menu was anything to go by, so Adam blew him a kiss before grabbing his train case and shutting himself in the bathroom for the longest, hottest shower he could stand.

Two hours later, squeaky clean and pleasantly full of pancakes and hash browns, Adam sprawled out naked on the enormous bed. He stretched out as far as he could in every direction, pushing the bedding down to the foot of the bed and relaxing back to watch Bob finish drying off after his own shower. Bob seemed to be ignoring him as he threw his towel back into the bathroom and rummaged in his duffel for something clean to wear to bed, but Adam knew the flush of pink across his shoulders and chest wasn't from the heat of the shower.

It didn't take a genius to figure out Bob was sometimes uncomfortable in his own skin. Everything from the way he dressed to how he held himself in public spoke to the sort of self-consciousness Adam knew all too well. It was why he let Bob pull on a pair of boxers and a t-shirt, then putter around for a few minutes before he rolled to the edge of the bed and hooked an arm around his waist to pull him on to the mattress.

"Ooof." Bob bounced a couple of times before settling in a heap next to Adam.

Adam used his toes to pull the covers up high enough to grab them and pull them up over their shoulders. He reached up and hit the light switch then snuggled down into the soft sheets, tucking his head into the curve of Bob's shoulder. "We have nine hours to sleep in a bed that isn't moving or the size of a coffin. We are going to make the most of it."

Bob's laugh ruffled Adam's hair and he began rubbing soothing circles on the bare skin of his back. "Bus call isn't until two. We've got more than eleven hours to sleep."

"If you think I'm wasting all my time in this bed just sleeping, you are sadly mistaken." Adam dug his teeth into the meat of Bob's shoulder through his t-shirt just to see how he'd react. They hadn't really had the time or opportunity to explore anything on the less-than-vanilla end of the spectrum, but from some of his comments and behaviors, Adam was pretty sure Bob would be receptive to a little play.

Bob shuddered hard under him and his hand clenched on the long muscles of Adam's back. Adam tightened his jaw by degrees until Bob whimpered in the back of his throat and dissolved into a little puddle of sound engineer under him. Adam released his hold on Bob's skin, but kept his mouth there, breathing warm, damp air over the spot until Bob shifted.

"Okay?" Adam kissed Bob's neck and ran his fingers over the soft skin on the inside of his arm.

"Holy shit." Bob's voice was shaky in the quiet room, but he didn't sound scared or unsure to Adam, just overwhelmed.

"Bob?"

"Yeah. That was - " Bob cleared his throat. "That was fine."

Adam smiled into the soft cotton of Bob's shirt. It was more than 'fine' if the burgeoning erection he could feel against the inside of his leg was to be believed. Adam had a few dozen questions for Bob about what he wanted and what he'd done in the past, but a giant yawn disrupted his train of thought. "We're going to have to have a conversation about this before we go any further."

He could feel Bob nod as through his own yawn. "But later."

"Yeah, later. Night, Bob."

"Night."

***

Waking up to the careful pull of Bob's mouth on his dick was pretty much Adam's favorite way to start the day. He groaned and rolled his hips up against the pressure of Bob's hands holding him down. Bright blue eyes caught his for a second before Bob lowered his eyelids to concentrate on what he was doing.

Adam loved the way Bob gave head -- like it was a pleasure instead of a chore -- but now that he was awake he wanted something different this morning. He scrubbed his fingers through Bob's hair in appreciation, though, tugging on the ends just enough for it to sting. Bob moaned in response and let Adam pull him off his cock and push him onto his back.

He rolled over onto Bob and mouthed a crooked path over his shoulder and up to his mouth. He kissed Bob, licking delicately at the soft inside of his lips. He knew his mouth was stale and sour from sleep, but Bob had just had his mouth on his dick, so he wasn't in any place to complain. He tucked his face into Bob's neck, pressing his face into the reddish stubble on his throat as he ran a hand over his side and around the curve of his ass. "Can I?"

"Please." Bob's voice was ragged.

Adam brushed his mouth over the bright blue bruise blooming on his shoulder, not even bothering to hide his grin when he shuddered and tried to press up against his slick teeth.

It was times like this that Adam had a hard time believing how damn lucky he was sometimes. Bob wasn't perfect by any means, but he seemed to be perfect for Adam. He knew Bob still had to meet his family and friends to get the final approval, but he couldn't imagine his parents not being charmed by him. His friends might be a tougher sell -- they'd all become pretty protective since Idol -- but he wasn't really worried since Tommy and Monte hadn't voiced any concerns.

Bob draped his arms over his shoulders and tried to stretch, but Adam just took the opportunity to situate himself more comfortably on top of him and reach for the supplies he'd dumped on the nightstand in a fit of optimism last night.

He was still too sleepy and uncoordinated to do much more than get the condom on and push two fingers, sloppy with lube, into Bob. He wasn't concerned about the lack of prep; he knew exactly how much Bob could handle and exactly how much he liked the tiniest bit of pain mixed in with his pleasure.

It was an easy push to get inside Bob, and Adam swallowed the breathy moan he knew Bob would deny making. He stayed still for a long moment, loving the way Bob was shivering under him and pulling at his hips to get him moving.

"Shhh." He kissed across the bridge of his nose, not in the mood for the sort of frantic pace Bob sometimes demanded. He could feel Bob trying to settle himself, could feel the way he tried to curb his restless movements, but he was too wound up to be successful.

"I can't, I can't. Sorry." Bob shook his head and squirmed, obviously looking for any sort of friction.

Adam propped himself up on his elbows and carefully reached around to peel Bob's hands off his skin. He kissed both of his palms before winding their fingers together and pressing his hands gently into the bedding.

Bob immediately went boneless under him, his legs falling open and his head dropping back to leave the long line of his neck bared to Adam. His immediate and complete surrender sent a thrill through Adam and he cursed himself for missing something so obvious about Bob for as long as he had. He brushed aside the self-recrimination, knowing now was not exactly the time to ponder trust and the nature of kink in a relationship. Instead, he took Bob up on his unspoken invitation and feathered a soft kiss over the swell of his throat before starting a lazy, rolling motion with his hips.

Bob's breath hitched on each exhale, but he started moving with Adam as much as he could from his position, turning his head to drop kisses on the crown of his head. Adam abandoned his campaign to see how many marks he could fit onto Bob's throat to kiss him again. It was a slow push of tongue to match the rhythm of his hips and he could feel the noises Bob was making vibrate through him. Even though he'd had sex with Bob too many times to count in the past couple of months, this slow, lush meeting of their bodies felt different. It was intimate in a way he couldn't put into words.

The strangeness of it didn't seem to be having any sort of effect on his arousal because he was already fighting for his control. He broke his kiss with Bob, breathing heavily for a second before rubbing his mouth over the bruise on his shoulder. He didn't bite him again, but apparently he didn't need to. Bob froze at the first touch of his mouth to the bruise, every muscle in his body locking tight for a second before he came with a noise Adam had never heard him make before. Adam's orgasm swept over him, as inexorable as the tide, and he muffled his shout in Bob's shoulder. He shook his way through the aftershocks, not realizing how tightly he had gripped Bob's hands until he released them to take care of the condom and grab something to wipe at the mess all over the two of them.

When he was done, he collapsed back into bed and tugged at Bob's limp body until he was spread out over Adam. "Are you okay?"

A vague mumble was his only answer before Bob tucked his head more comfortably into the curve of his neck and fell asleep between one breath and the next. Adam laughed and made sure Bob was covered by the bedding before letting himself drift off too.

***

In the four days since the tour ended, Bob had aired out his apartment, done a dozen loads of laundry, gone grocery shopping, and waited for Adam's promised phone call.

And waited.

They were pressed tight together in Adam's bunk, only a couple of hours out of Los Angeles, and Adam was an exhausted lump against him.

"I'm going to sleep for eighteen hours," Adam said. "I'm going to sleep for eighteen hours, and then I'm going to call you and you're going to come to my house where I can tie you to my bed and do wonderful things to you for days."


So they'd had a plan. A plan Bob was really quite excited about, especially after having to endure the necessary but horrifying 'show me yours and I'll show you mine' kink discussion they'd had in a venue bathroom when technical difficulties had them starting nearly an hour late one night.

Bob knew he could just call Adam, that the other man was probably still exhausted or had been bullied into doing something or another for his record company, but a small, petulant part of him just kept repeating, "But he promised."

He managed to avoid the subject when Brian called for a tour post-mortem, but Bob knew he wouldn't be able to keep him in the dark for much longer. So, when an unknown number started blinking up at him from his caller-ID in the middle of one of Brian's increasingly pointed questions, Bob brushed him off without a second thought.

"Hey, I've really got to take this call, Brian. I'll talk to you later, okay?"

Yeah, you let me know if I need to send the wife on a popstar ass-kicking mission.

Bob was still laughing when he picked up the other line. "Hello?"

Hi, may I please speak to Bob? The woman didn't sound like a young reporter trying to dig up dirt on the past or a creep stalker, so Bob decided to throw caution to the wind and answer.

Bob, this is Adam's mom, Leila. I needed to let you know --

Panic swelled in him and he barely managed to stop himself from peppering her with a thousand questions even when he could still hear her speaking.

-- pretty sick the past couple of days, delirious with fever, really, but he refused to go to the doctor. Anyway, when he realized it was Thursday, he asked me to call you and let you know he was under the weather.

Bob slumped down into the corner of his couch and had to clear his throat to beat back the embarrassment of just how relieved he was that Adam was just sick. "Did he want me to stop by or do you need me to bring anything to you?"

Oh, no, dear, but thank you. If you haven't been sick yourself, you should probably stay away for another couple of days. I know Adam would kick himself if he got you sick at this point.

He wanted to protest, to drive over to Adam's house to feed him soup and rub his back and do all manner of humiliatingly domestic things, but if he did get sick, it would just increase the amount of time they'd have to spend apart. "If you think that's for the best."

It is, trust me. Her voice was wry and Bob tried to remember if there were any incriminating text messages she might have found on Adam's phone while looking for his number.

"Can you tell him to feel better for me and ask him to call me when he's up to it?"

Of course, dear.

"Thanks. And thank you for calling."

It wasn't a problem at all. Oh, and Bob? You're also both invited to dinner when Adam is fully recovered. He'll let you know the date, okay?

Oh crap.

"Oh. Um. Yeah, that'd be great."

She snorted. Don't lie. Bye, Bob.

"Goodbye."

Bob sat there for a second before grabbing his laptop and arranging delivery of the most extravagant bouquet he could find with a sidecar of a citrus based fruit basket. After a few minutes of thought, he also sent a bouquet care of Leila.

It was never too early to start hedging your bets.

***

So, it turned out Adam did actually have a pretty specific type.

What he was never going to tell Rolling Stone, though, was that he'd discovered it wasn't tiny, elfin boys that really did it for him. It was this, Bob spread out under him, his hands clenched in fists around the chains that were attached to the cuffs Adam had buckled around his wrists. It was the red teethmarks that were slowly turning purple all over Bob's chest, the underside of his arms, and the curve of his waist.

It was Bob's pretty blue eyes, dark with wanting, watching him trace constellations across the freckles on his abdomen with his tongue, giving him a little break, before twisting just enough to catch the head of his dick in his mouth again. Bob pushed back against the pile of pillows beneath him and started mumbling, "Fuck, fuck, fuck," under his breath.

Adam traced a line down the crease of his thigh, just hard enough not to tickle, then carefully slid two fingers back inside him. Bob made a high, whining noise in the back of his throat that thrilled Adam every time he heard it. He twisted his fingers each time he pushed back in, riding out the choppy thrusts Bob couldn't help himself from making as he brushed against his prostate. After several minutes of this, he felt Bob tense up, obviously fighting back his orgasm by sheer force of will just like Adam asked him to, and he backed off again to give him a chance to catch his breath, pressing kisses to the peak of his hip bone.

There was something intoxicating about the way Bob melted into the bed, the way he just gave exactly the right way every time.

He rubbed at Bob's stomach to calm him down a little and then reached for the ornate wooden box he'd set next to the bed at the beginning of the night. They hadn't had much of a chance to play with any toys on tour; Adam had decided to leave most of his favorites back at home for safe keeping, so Bob hadn't really seen the breadth of his collection until tonight. His breathing had hitched a little when Adam had shown him and Adam made sure to pay special attention to where his eyes returned again and again.

Adam was sure Bob thought he was being subtle, so his full body shudder when Adam pulled the little purple vibrator out of the box was especially gratifying. "Did you think I wouldn't notice, Bob?"

Bob didn't answer, but the flush across his face brightened considerably. Adam laughed and turned the little toy on, its quiet buzzing nearly drowning out the harsh sound of Bob breathing in the room. He paused above Bob's body for a long moment, wavering back and forth between touching it to his inner thigh or the tight skin at the base of his dick. He finally decided to go easy on the other man and gently pressed it against the top of his leg. He held it there for a second to let him get used to its vibrations before sliding it down to his inner thigh.

He knew Bob would deny it until the day he died, but as he let his hand drift upwards, Bob squeaked. Adam muffled his laugh in Bob's other leg and rubbed the vibrator all around his dick and balls, never quite touching Bob where he so obviously wanted him to. To tease him a bit more, he traced the cradle of his pelvis with the toy, shocking a guttural noise of want from him. Bob's legs fell open, splaying out around Adam's body, and he nearly dislocated his shoulder trying to sit up.

Adam pulled back immediately, letting the vibrator drop to the bed, and helped Bob rearrange himself. "Shit, shit. Are you okay?"

Bob blew out a hard breath and relaxed into Adam's hands. "Yeah, god. That was weird."

"Ticklish?" Adam slid his hands under Bob and rubbed at his back and shoulders.

"Not ticklish." Bob shook his head. "It almost felt like you were touching my balls. You should do it again."

Adam felt his eyebrow go up, a warm feeling bubbling around his chest. It was times like this, the rare moments when Bob was absolutely shameless in his skin, that Adam realized exactly how much Bob trusted him. He leaned forward to kiss Bob, cradling his face in his hands. In spite of the situation -- Bob tied to the headboard, nearly everything slick with lube, the abandoned vibrator buzzing merrily against his knee -- it was the sweetest kiss he could remember sharing with anyone.

Mouths open just enough to share heat and the lightest brush of tongue, they nuzzled against each other until their breath ran out. They were both smiling when Adam sat back and rooted around in the messy bedding until he found the vibrator.

"Ready?"

Bob nodded and settled back into his pillow nest, obviously steeling himself for the jolt of sensation. Adam touched the toy to the center of his chest, following a random pattern over his skin as he worked his way down past his stomach to his abdomen.

The lightest touch to the trail of hair under his belly button had Bob yanking at the restraints and gritting his teeth against the incomprehensible noises he couldn't help making. Adam increased the pressure slowly as slid the toy down the last few inches, keeping his eyes on Bob's face to see if the stimulation was getting to be too much.

Bob shook under his hands, nearly in resonance with the movements of the vibrator. His back arched and his heels scrabbled against the sheets as he tried to get enough traction to push up for more. Adam looped small figure eights on his skin to give him everything he could, but when it became obvious he couldn't stop moving Adam pinned his hips down and blew a cool stream of air over the wet head of his cock. Bob's leg spasmed at the change in sensation and Adam oofed when it connected with his ribs. "Hey, watch it."

"Sorry, sorry." Bob shuddered under him and squeezed his eyes closed, trying to regain some small measure of composure. After a few seconds, he gently knocked his knee into Adam's side again. "Don't stop."

In response to his bossy tone, Adam slid the vibrator around to the back of Bob's knee and held it there until he was squirming and crying with laughter. When he finally relented, Bob's eyes were shiny with tears and what Adam hoped was happiness. He leaned forward and brushed his nose against Bob's, knowing his own smile was too big for any sort of traditional kissing to be successful.

Bob wrinkled his nose and angled his head up to kiss Adam's neck. "Stop being a cocktease."

Oh, he did not. Adam sat back on his heels in a rush and the sly little smile on Bob's face told him that, yes, yes he did. Adam wasn't sure what his own smile looked like, but it couldn't have been anything good if the expression on Bob's face was anything to go by. "Oh, Bob. Bob, Bob, Bob. You are just asking for it tonight."

He didn't answer verbally, but his face said, well, duh just as clearly as if he had. It was a remarkably snotty, immature look, but for some reason it went straight to Adam's cock and he could feel himself twitching against his thigh. It was distracting and he still wanted to concentrate on Bob so he ignored it the best he could, but he knew he was approaching the limits of his endurance.

Adam bit at Bob's kneecap and ran the vibrator up the inside of his leg. He did a quick pass over his pelvis again before sliding it down and around, pushing and rubbing around his asshole just enough to tease him with the pleasure of it. Bob's body seized up almost immediately, tiny tremors chasing under his skin every time Adam brushed the toy against his perineum or massaged the sensitive rim of skin at the entrance to his body.

He used his mouth and his other hand to gently touch Bob's dick, petting him with careful touches and alternating licks that were never quite enough to push him too far. The tendons running from his hip to his thigh stood out in sharp relief as Bob strained towards Adam, obviously wanting -- needing -- more. Adam sucked a hickey onto the thin skin there, echoing the hurt-sounding noise Bob made between his panting breaths.

It took Adam a second to realize the nonsense noises Bob had been making were actually words, but knowing Bob was unconsciously chanting 'get in me' under his breath did nothing to help his composure. Hearing it twisted something inside his chest and he had to reach down to touch himself. Adam didn't like to brag about his dick -- that was tacky and, besides, the internet sort of took care of that for him -- but his erection was more or less epic by this point. He knew it wasn't physically possible, but he would have sworn that his hard-on felt bigger than normal in his hand.

He wasn't trying to get himself off so much as reassure his dick that at some point it would get to come, but Bob must have had some sort of masturbation radar because his head shot up and his hazy eyes focused on where Adam was touching himself. Bob was a mess; his hair was a complete wreck, his cheeks were flushed bright red, and his mouth was bitten raw.

Adam wanted him so much -- wanted to jerk off all over his pink face then lick it off, wanted to hold him down and see how much of his hand he could take, wanted to fuck him unconscious and back again -- he had to close his eyes against it and tighten his grip on his dick to stop himself from coming too soon.

Bob must have seen it, seen some of his thoughts writ large on his face because he growled under his breath, "Yeah, do it. Come on me."

Adam's eyes shot open and it took every bit of will power he had to stop his body from automatically obeying Bob's unexpected and totally hot request. Once he had himself back under control, he had to kiss Bob's stupid, beautiful, dirty mouth for that. He stretched over him to reach and Bob strained up to meet him. His lips were a little chapped, but it didn't matter to Adam. He could kiss Bob for hours. He had kissed him for hours, but he was too far gone to think about that tonight.

He kissed Bob until he could feel his own mouth bruising from the pressure. When he pulled back, he panted out four hard breaths before shaking his head and muttering, "We'll try that next time."

Bob nodded absently, craning his head over to lick at Adam's shoulder. "I love your mouth, love kissing you." To prove his point, he nuzzled into the curve of Adam's shoulder before moving up for another kiss, his beard scratching lightly at Adam's skin and catching on his own stubble.

Bob was definitely the most bearded man Adam had ever dated. Even the most fey of his partners had ended up with stubble at some point, of course, but kissing Bob with a full beard had been strange at first. By the end of the tour, though, Tommy's smooth face felt alien to him. Adam rubbed his cheek against Bob's, then brushed a kiss over the hot skin above his beard. He could feel the tremors in the muscles underneath his lips and decided he'd tortured Bob and himself enough for the night.

He flipped off the vibrator and pulled it back from where it had been pressed against Bob. He tossed it off the end of the bed, making a mental note to find it for cleaning in the morning, and reached for the strip of condoms he'd put on the nightstand. His hands were slick enough to make opening the package a bit of a challenge, but he refused to be defeated by foil and latex and carefully rolled the protection on when he had it open.

A quick rearranging of limbs and Adam was pressed tight against Bob, the head of his dick already nudging at the entrance to his body. All it took was the twist of his hips and he was inside Bob, slowly stretching him open around the bulk of his cock. Bob's eyes were closed, but he lifted his chin when Adam leaned forward on his elbows to catch his mouth. Adam dug his fingers into Bob's hair, massaging his scalp, as he carefully worked his way deeper into him.

His hips were flush with Bob's ass before Bob broke the kiss and opened eyes gone dark with excitement. It was a good look on him and Adam knew he was lucky to be the one seeing it on a regular basis. He smoothed back the tangled mess of blond hair from his forehead and ran gentle fingers over his temples before rolling his hips and forcing a low moan out of Bob.

Adam wanted to go slow, to let this build and grow gradually, but Bob was hot and tight around him and it already felt like he'd been waiting days to come. Bob tipped his hips up, trying to get closer, and that tiny motion was enough to splinter the last of Adam's control. He anchored his hands on Bob's shoulder, buried his face in the curve of his shoulder, and thrust into him again and again.

He could feel the vibrations of Bob's moans where his mouth was pressed to his throat. The pure submission of it made him want to bite and mark and show the world that Bob was his. He opened his mouth against Bob's neck, but resisted the urge to do anything more than kiss the freckled skin. Bob's dick was hard against his stomach -- he could feel the wet tip every time he moved -- and Adam knew he should reach down and jerk him off before he left him behind, but he couldn't uncurl his fingers from around Bob's shoulder.

He tried to make up for it. He pressed himself as tightly to Bob as he could, touching as much of his skin as humanly possible. He dug his knees into the mattress and twisted his hips to rub against all of the sensitive places inside of Bob.

Bob's whole body tightened under Adam and he tipped his head just enough to ask, "Can you come just from this?"

Bob shook his head but every time Adam pushed inside him, he gasped and whined under his breath like he did when he was close to coming. Adam screwed his eyes shut against the desire to just let go and let the sharp edge of his teeth brush the side of Bob's throat.

"God, yes." Bob tipped his head to the side and hitched his leg higher on Adam's waist.

Adam opened his mouth a little more and set his teeth in the thick muscle of his shoulder. Bob jerked under him and made a completely inelegant noise before his entire body jerked in an orgasm that seemed almost painful.

Adam fucked him through it as best as he could, but the rhythmic pulsing of Bob's body around him was too much for him to resist, so he gave in with one last thrust and came hard enough to make him see spots.

Bob was still twitching and shuddering underneath him when Adam blinked his vision clear. He was still hard inside Bob and he gently rolled his hips even though the sensation was nearly too much for his overtaxed nervous system. Bob moaned softly and turned his face into Adam's hair even as he flinched back from the stimulation.

Adam kissed the bite mark he left, grabbed the edge of the condom, and pulled out slowly. Bob blew out a shaky breath and squeezed Adam's hips with his legs before letting them drop back down to the bed as his body started going limp. Adam chucked the condom into the wastebasket and unhooked the chain holding the leather cuffs to the bed with clumsy hands. He fumbled unsuccessfully with the cuff buckles until Bob batted weakly at him.

"Leave it. They're fine."

Adam collapsed onto the bed next to him and Bob immediately tucked himself into the curve of his body. He slung one arm around his waist and cuddled unashamedly, uncaring of the slick mess still smeared over both their stomachs.

"Okay?"

Bob nodded against his chest and mouthed sloppy kisses over whatever skin he was touching. Adam hugged him closer and brought up one hand to start carefully untangling the knotted mess on the back of his head as he came down. The bed was a disaster area and they both needed a shower in the worst way, but as Bob's breathing slowed into a sleepy rhythm, all Adam did was pull the destroyed bedding over them and press his cheek against the top of Bob's head.

They had all the time in the world.


THE END.


EPILOGUE:

"Are you sure you want to do this?"

Bob looked up at Brian from where he was trying to get an even knot in his tie. "It's a little late to back out now."

Brian made a face. "I know. It's just that you hate publicity and photographers and pretty much everything about tonight."

Bob made his own face at the thought of what he'd chosen to do tonight. He knew his opinion on the paparazzi and pretty much any sort of publicity was well-known, but he also knew he wanted Adam in his life for as long as possible and for that to happen, he needed to man up and face the press.

He and Adam had been together for over a year and had, by some sort of magic, managed to keep their relationship out of the press. All of their friends and family knew of course, but Bob lived a quiet life, working sound at various clubs around town, and volunteering at the Humane Society. Adam had either gone stag or taken Tommy to every public appearance and red carpet event and never once had he pressured Bob to come out, literally or figuratively.

Tonight was different, though.

Tonight was the Grammys and Adam was nominated for Record of the Year for the third single off his second album. After the nominations had been announced and they'd had celebratory couch sex, Adam hadn't said a word about the ceremony -- hadn't even looked at Bob -- he'd just started making arrangements with his band and production team to attend en masse.

There hadn't been a hint of recrimination in him, either that night or since, but that just made Bob feel even more like he was failing Adam in several important ways. He'd thought about simply telling Adam he wanted to accompany him, be with him in public, but he was so well entrenched in his twenty year-long preference for privacy and quiet that he found bringing it up in conversation pretty much impossible.

So here he was, dressed in a ridiculously expensive suit that coordinated with, but did not match, the outfit Adam had spent weeks designing. He had his stealthily acquired ticket for the seat next to Adam's tucked into his pocket and a seat in the second limo that Tommy had arranged for him.

He was ready.

E!News ticker: Dark horse Grammy nominee Adam Lambert was joined on the red carpet tonight by his boyfriend Bob Bryar, former drummer for emo rock band My Chemical Romance. Lambert told Ryan Seacrest he and Bryar had been together for over a year and were "happily ever after, completely."

THE END. AGAIN.

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