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Even Dragons Have Their Ending

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Current mood:
excited
Entry tags:
adam lambert, au, big bang, fan fiction, kris allen

Even Dragons Have Their Ending I

PROLOGUE

The prince looks out at the barren landscape. It is flat and dreary and he misses the rolling hills of home. He misses the man he loves. He rests his head on his hand, staring out the window.

His captors give him food, but he doesn't eat. He has a comfortable bed, but he doesn't sleep. They have provided him with clothing, but he clings to his own garments.

All he wants is to go home and be with those he loves. The man with glasses, the one he knows, Daniel, tells him that he is free to go once his father pays his ransom. It has been a week with no news.

David thinks he might never go home. That the ransom will never be paid. He heaves a sigh. Home feels a million light years away.

I Met This Guy in a Bar

Kris looks around and smiles to himself. The bar is busy tonight. Five years is all it has taken to turn it around. The Bear and Unicorn Pub and Grill had been an institution here in New Orleans for more than fifty years. Hurricane Katrina had nearly forced it to close its doors but thanks to a small inheritance from his grandparents, Kris had been able to buy it for a song.

"Hey bro." Matt lurches against the bar counter and grins blearily at him. His friend and employee appears well on the way to being seriously drunk.

Kris passes him two beers and a glass of wine. "Hey yourself. This is for table four." he points at the suited men and woman in the corner of the bar. Matt nods, grabs the drinks in expert hands and wobbles over to the table Kris has indicated with a grin.

Kris shakes his head in wonderment. Despite the copious amounts of alcohol he consumes, Matt is still the best waiter in the city.

The sound of someone tapping a microphone gets his attention and he looks over at the small stage at the other end of the bar. Allison waves to him and he waves back. He motions to Cook to take over for him and goes to his place on the stage behind the piano. The first husky notes of "Blue Moon" send the crowd cheering and then there is silence as Alli reigns over her little kingdom for half an hour.

It's about one am when Kris spots him. He can't have been there long. He isn't the sort of guy who goes unnoticed. Tall with spiky black hair that shines with blue lights in the muted glow of the bar light, Kris wanders over to him.

"What can I get you?" he asks and feels a moment of shock when he finds himself the intense focus of heaven bright eyes.

"What would you recommend?" The second shock is his voice. Light and soft and resonating somewhere deep inside Kris, like the sounding of a bell.

"Um, beer? Beer is good here," he stutters. Shock number three comes in the form of a smile so radiant it lights up the entire pub.

"Not really a beer drinker," the stranger confides, eyes alight with laughter.

Kris mumbles warningly, "I don't make any frou-frou chick drinks," and those blue eyes mock him gently.

"Surprise me then." Suddenly Kris wants to spend the rest of his life being laughed at by this man he hasn't even officially met yet.

He sticks out his hand. "Kris Allen. I own the bar."

The stranger clasps his hand and the skin to skin contact gives Kris his fourth shock. "Adam Lambert."

Kris pulls his fingers away reluctantly. "One non-beer, non-frou-frou drink coming up," he promises with a tight smile.

He goes behind the bar into the store room and pulls out a bottle of fifteen year old Glen Fiddich. He notes idly that his hands are trembling.

Back out in the bar, he pours two tots of Scotch and hands one to Adam. "Cheers."

Adam touches his glass to Kris'. "To new friends," he replies with a smile and Kris can actually feel that smile stroking at something inside him.

"New friends," he repeats and they both drink, never taking their eyes off one another.

Suddenly it's last call and Kris is swamped with orders. By the time the dust clears, Adam is gone.

Kris doesn't want to think about why he feels as though the air has been sucked out of the world.

He closes up the bar as normal and trudges upstairs. The convenience of living above his workplace counter-balances the fact that even on the nights he gets off he doesn't get to sleep early.

Adam is sleeping on his sofa.

Kris stares down at him. He's taken off his shoes and pulled a throw over himself, and Kris thinks idly that he looks as though he belongs there.

He clears his throat and watches as Adam opens his eyes. They are blurry with sleep for a moment and then bright with alertness.

He sits up. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to fall asleep like that, I just…" He stops when Kris raises his hand.

"Don't worry about it. Just wasn't expecting company at…" he looks at his watch, "two in the morning."

Adam looks at him ruefully. "I wanted to talk to you, away from everything and then I fell asleep." His smile flashes briefly again, apologetic this time. "Your door was open," he offers.

Kris goes into the kitchen to grab a couple of bottles of water and hands one to Adam when he comes back out. He is waiting for his internal freak-out to start because there's a really strange guy in his apartment, but all he feels is a sense of right. "What was it you wanted to talk to me about?" he asks instead.

He watches the long, lovely line of Adam's throat as he tips his head back to drink. It's a strange thing, this fascination with a man, something new and unusual and important. He's going to have to think about that later, when he's alone.

Adam focuses on him again. "I need your help." He puts the half-empty bottle down and clasps his hands loosely together between his knees, leaning forward. "Before I say anything more, let me just state for the record that the next few sentences are going to be extremely difficult to believe but I'm asking you to believe me anyway."

Those eyes watch him closely and Kris thinks he might be missing something. "Okay. I'll listen."

Adam seems to deflate a little, as though the tension he's been bottling up has suddenly oozed out of him like helium. "Okay." He straightens and looks dead on at Kris. "I'm not from here."

Kris chokes on the sip of water he's just taken. "Yeah? I could have guessed that." Adam's unusual, even for NOLA.

Adam shakes his head. "No, I mean, I'm really not from here." He waves his hands around the room and Kris frowns.

"Are you from, like Europe or something?" he asks, confused.

Adam huffs a frustrated sigh. "No, I'm not from Europe. I'm from further away than that."

Kris squints a little. "You don't sound like you're Australian."

Adam throws himself back on the cushions and laughs, a slightly hysterical edge to his voice. "Maybe I'm going about this the wrong way." He's almost murmuring to himself and Kris just waits. "Okay. I'm what you might call an agent."

Kris chuckles. "What? Like a spy?"

Adam nods eagerly. "Yes, exactly like a spy, only I'm not here to spy, I'm here to find someone. Someone who is very important to my people."

Kris stares at him. "Your people?" The conversation has just taken a left turn into woo-woo land territory.

"I am an alien." Adam tells him.

"You're Mexican?" Kris asks and then rolls his eyes at himself for being an ass. "Sorry. Ignore that."

Adam is laughing again, this time genuine humour in the tone. "Yeah, I'm Mexican." Kris snorts and starts laughing as well.

Finally, Kris asks, "So where are you from then?"

Adam sobers and replies, "I don't know if you'll believe me, but you're the one I was led to, so I suppose I'll have to show you." He holds out his hands and Kris sees a pattern tattooed into the palms of his hands and twining up his wrists, disappearing into his sleeves.

He peers closely and asks, "What am I supposed to be looking a…shit! Fuck!" He leaps back, bolting to the other side of the room. "Your fucking tattoos moved!" He hears himself from a distance and thinks he sounds crazy, even to himself.

Adam stands as well and slowly pushes his jacket off his shoulders. He's only got a t-shirt on underneath and Kris sees the tattoos writhing in coils up his arms. He finds himself walking closer again until he's pressed up against Adam's side, with one of his arms held in his hands. The artwork looks like giant scales.

Adam just stays still, allowing Kris to rub a calloused thumb across the moving art on his palm. Kris can feel the shudder that runs through Adam's body. "Do you feel something when I do that?" he asks and looks up.

Adam's eyes are silver bright, hazy with lust and his mouth is slightly open. He's breathing quickly and Kris rubs the tattoo again, the weird sensation of the moving skin almost like a cat arching into his thumb.

Adam swallows and whispers, "If you don't stop that, I'm going to come." And Kris suddenly wants that more than anything. It's surreal and bizarre but he wants Adam screaming beneath him.

So he brings Adam's hand to his mouth and presses his mouth to the tattoo. Adam's skin reacts like it's been electrocuted. It's the fifth shock Kris has received since he's met Adam. Long fingers curl and tighten around his face but Kris doesn't pull away. He opens his lips and tastes Adam's skin with his tongue.

And Adam shouting in release is the last thing he remembers.

When he opens his eyes again, he's horizontal, looking up at the ceiling in his bedroom. His body is throbbing, muscles tight and tense, and his mouth is dry.

"Are you okay?" That light voices comes from somewhere to the right of him and he slowly turns his neck, aching head protesting all the way. Adam is sitting on the bed next to him, eyes worried.

"Yeah." His voice sounds rusty, like he hasn't used it for years. He tries again, "What happened?"

Adam's cheeks are tinged faintly with pink as he answers, "I'm not quite sure, but I think you and I are connected in some way. I think maybe it has to do with the fact that I was led to you. That you are meant to help me."

Kris struggles to sit up and Adam is quick to assist. The first touch of his hands on Adam's shoulders sends a shudder through Kris. It feels as though an electrical charge is running through him. Adam pulls away quickly.

"Sorry." His mouth is tight as he watches Kris pushing himself up against the headboard.

Kris waves a hand. "Don't worry about it. Must be a lot of static electricity in the air." He hopes. He looks at Adam's hand and the tattoos are moving restlessly across the back of his hand. "Does it hurt?" he asks curiously

Adam shrugs. "It isn't pleasant. For some reason, around you, they're acting up more than usual."

Kris unconsciously reaches out with a finger tip towards a piece of the tattoo on the back of Adam's hand that is pushing at his skin as though it wants to burst through. The moment his fingertip touches the ink, Kris feels that now familiar shock running through him but amazingly, the scales beneath his hand seem to subside. He takes a quick breath.

"That is very strange." Adam says, looking down with puzzled eyes. "My mark seems to recognize your touch." He turns his hand over, palm up and Kris allows his own palm to fall flat against it. He shudders as his body pulses in response, but he can see that this small touch eases Adam's discomfort.

"Maybe you should just hold on to me then," he suggests and curls his fingers around Adam's. "I can handle it if you can." He sees the nervousness in Adam's face as he wraps his hand around Kris'.

And the tattoos calm and ease and settle. Everything in Kris does the same.

He smiles and looks at Adam enquiringly. "So tell me about the person you are looking for. And tell me about where you're really from."

He Told me his Story

Kris can see Adam wondering how much he should tell him. He wants to tell Adam that he can take care of himself, that he can be trusted. The warmth of Adam's hand is now like a comforting blanket and he feels like stretching like a cat.

"I want to tell you everything but am not sure where to begin." Kris suspects that it isn't in Adam's nature to be uncertain.

He smiles slowly and it seems to help Adam decide something when Kris tells him, "Start at the beginning. It's usually the easiest thing."

Adam takes a breath. "Okay then. It starts with the kidnapping of my prince." He looks at Kris who doesn't move. So he carries on. "He's a special young man. He holds the hope of our people in his blood."

Kris asks, "Who are your people?" He's fascinated by the movement of Adam's mouth and needs to force himself to concentrate on what Adam is saying.

Adam smiles grimly. "That is perhaps the easiest question to answer but the hardest for you to believe." He holds up his other arm and the tattoo is making lazy coils around his wrist. Kris stares as though hypnotised. "I am Drakkin." He pauses and waits for Kris to speak.

He doesn't though, he just waits and Adam shakes his head. Kris rubs his thumb across the centre of Adam's palm, almost absently and notices that Adam shivers. "So what's a Drakkin?"

He focuses those blue eyes on Kris once more. "You would call us aliens or extra-terrestrials. We are not original inhabitants of your world, although, we have been here long enough to be considered naturalised citizens." Kris' eyes widen but he thinks he should rather listen to what Adam has to say and enjoy a private freak-out later.

He might have to change his name to Alice though or come to terms with the fact that beautiful Adam is an escapee from a mental institution.

"The young man who has been taken is our Prince. His name is David and he is the last of us to be born. Only one of royal blood can procreate. If he is killed, all hope for our race dies with him." Kris opens his mouth and closes it again when no sound emerges.

"There is a legend among our people. The last prince will be the renewal of the Drakkin." Adam sighs and his shoulders slump. "Our king does not wish to pay his ransom. He's jealous of David. He wanted to be the salvation of the Drakkin. But he wasn't the child of prophecy, David is, and we all saw it when he was born."

Kris holds up a hand. "Wait. Let me get this all straight. You're like ET and you have a kidnapped prince that you need to find or else your race is gonna become extinct?"

Adam snorts inelegantly. "Well, that sounds so much less crazy when you put it like that."

Kris starts laughing and lies back on the pillows. "Dude! That could be the story for like the most epic film ever!" He's wheezing a little but sobers up when he sees Adam staring at him. "You're serious?"

The grim nod assures him that Adam believes every word he's just said. "Um."

Adam scoots closer, hand tightening around Kris' and the tattoo makes a rolling movement against Kris' palm that is a combination of nauseating and stimulating. "I need you to help me find my prince." His eyes are earnest, pleading and Kris tries to think of the about a million reasons why helping the pretty lunatic is a very bad idea.

"Your story is a little bit nuts, you must know that." Kris looks at Adam and says, "I'd be just as crazy if I believed you."

Adam's shoulders slump and his expression is defeated. "If you don't help me, then my kin are as good as dead."

Kris rolls his eyes. "Honestly, are you this much of a drama queen about everything?"

He sees the flash of humour in his eyes as Adam nods. "Yeah, pretty much." He smiles. "It helps sometimes."

Kris laughs. "Prove to me that you're not human and I'll help you." He thinks that this will be the easiest way to help the mad man on his bed.

Adam tilts his head to one side, a considering expression on his face. "So, if I can somehow prove that I am not like you, then you'll believe me?" He looks down at his hands, the tattoos lying close to his skin, calm and ready.

Kris nods, it should be easy. "Yeah." He thinks about the tattoos but reckons they're some kind of illusion.

Adam pulls slowly away from Kris and stands up, moving away from the bed. Kris feels his skin trying to inch closer, just wanting to be by Adam. He watches the art on Adam's skin start moving again. "Just remember, you asked for this," Adam warns and a flash of lightning blinds Kris.

Smoke fills the bedroom and Kris flaps his hands in front of his face, trying not to inhale the cloud. When it clears, Adam is gone.

Yes, Kristopher, Dragons are Real

Kris has always thought of himself as a reasonable man. But there is no reasonable explanation for the dragon hovering about five feet in the air in his bedroom, black scales gleaming, wings tipped in blue iridescence.

He sits there for a moment, considering his options. There aren't many. Either he's had a lot more to drink than he thought and someone slipped some acid in his last beer or Adam has been eaten by a dragon. Or else Adam is a dragon. And that's just not possible. Right?

do you believe me now? The rough voice talking in his head startles him and he looks up at the …fuck…it's real…the dragon.

"Um." Kris isn't a verbal maestro at the best of times, but right now, in this space, he has nothing. "You're a dragon?" he asks uncertainly, because seriously, Adam can't be a dragon.

no, I told you, I am Drakkin! the dragon (Drakkin?) grunts in his head. Kris climbs off the bed and walks over to his hallucination. He wants to poke at it to make sure it's real.

"Okay, that's really creepy, dragon!" Kris reckons he'll eventually wake up. This is what happens when you let strange men fall asleep on your couch and don't throw them out when you find them.

Then the air shimmers smoke again and Adam is standing in front of him. He's not wearing much, just his jeans and Kris wonders idly if shape-shifting eats your clothes.

"Um." Kris says again. He's looking around for the camera guys to jump out and tell him he's on some sort of reality show for magicians. But it's just him and Adam.

Adam is looking increasingly miserable and somehow that is the worst thing that's happened in the past few minutes. Adam being unhappy is a state of being that Kris thinks he won't be able to tolerate. Ever. Oh.

"So, I hope that's proof enough for you?" Adam asks but all Kris is hearing is 'blah blah blah kiss me' so he steps forward, steps into Adam's space and takes.

Kissing a dragon, sorry Drakkin, is like stepping into a bush fire, Kris thinks. The moment his lips meet Adam's the world is engulfed by flame and heat and wind and want. He puts his arms around Adam's waist and just holds on.

When Adam finally pulls away, he has to steady Kris with firm hands on his shoulders. "I'm sorry. That shouldn't have happened."

Kris' eyes fly open and he stares at Adam. "Are you fucking insane? That's about the only thing in this entire situation that is remotely an okay thing!" he stops, rephrases that because, "I wanted to kiss you, you're insane, but you're gorgeous and I want to go on kissing you. Like. Forever," his voice trails off because Adam is just standing there, beaming. He could possibly light up a city with the wattage of that smile.

Adam steps forward, flush up against Kris. "That is the most fucking amazing thing anyone has ever said to me." Kris wants Adam to keep smiling like that. A lot. "If it were up to me, right now, I would strip you and lay you down on the floor and fuck you until you couldn't remember your own name." Kris kind of wants that to happen too, but then Adam says, "But I can't. I have to find Prince David."

"So where do we start?" Kris asks and his mouth has committed him before his brain has agreed. It's how he ended up buying the Bear and Unicorn so it hopefully can't be a bad thing.

Adam's answering smile is reward enough. "We start by talking to someone called D. Cook."

Kris stares at Adam. "D. Cook? Do you have a first name?"

Adam takes an i-Phone out of his pocket and taps the screen a few times. He nods and looks up, "David Roland Cook. He has the same name as the prince."

Kris flops down on the bed again. "Fuck," he says with feeling.

Adam sits down next to him, bumps his shoulder. "What's wrong?"

Kris looks at him bleakly. "Cook is my best friend. Plus he's part share-holder in the bar. He can't have anything to do with your prince's disappearance."

The expression on Adam's face suddenly makes his claim of being a spy more believable. Kris never wants Adam to look at him like that. It's fucking terrifying. "Your Cook is the man that David ran away with. He's the reason the prince was out in the world, unprotected. He may not have kidnapped my prince, but he's responsible for him disappearing."

Kris sighs and pulls his phone out of his pocket, dials Cook and is unsurprised when it goes to voicemail. "Hey man, sorry to call you at ass o' clock, but when you get this message, just call me back right away. Okay? It's important." He ends the call and looks at Adam, one eyebrow raised. "That good enough for you?"

Adam nods, his face soft again. "Thank you."

Kris gets up and heads to the bathroom. "I don't know about you, but I'm tired and I want to sleep. Cook won't call back until the morning, so you should try to get some shut-eye as well." He showers quickly, brushes his teeth and pulls on a pair of boxers.

When he steps out of the bathroom, he sees Adam stretched out on his bed, fast asleep. It's easy, ridiculously easy in fact, to climb up onto the bed and curl up next to him. Adam moves to accommodate him, then a long arm snakes around his waist and arranges him so that they are spooned together.

Kris smiles to himself and strokes the arm banded around his waist. The scales ripple and push against his fingers and the sound Adam makes is almost a purr. The low rumble soothes Kris to sleep.

Chapter Text










Current mood:
excited
Entry tags:
adam lambert, au, big bang, kradam, kris allen

Even Dragons Have Their Ending II

The Course of True Love

Cook calls him at nine am and wakes them both up. The instant awareness that leaps into Adam's eyes tells Kris that Adam is used to waking up ready.

"Hey Kris. What's up?" Cook's voice is rough with sleep and Kris takes a moment to get his thoughts together.

He doesn't want to accuse Cook of anything because, well, Cook's his friend and right hand and Adam is a stranger really, so he has to give Cook the benefit of the doubt. "I need to know about David. Who is he? What is he to you?" Straight out usually works best for Kris.

There's a silence on the other side of the phone that suggests Cook is trying to decide what to say. "Cook?" Kris asks.

Cook sighs. "David is…was my boyfriend." Kris' eyebrows wander up to the top of his forehead because, all these years, and he'd never known that Cook was gay.

"Huh," is all he can come up with which is obviously useless but apparently enough for Cook.

He continues, "We were together for about three months and then about a week ago, he left. No note, no explanation, nothing." Cook sighs, "I don't understand it, I thought we were doing pretty well together."

Adam is listening to the conversation, ear pressed against the phone on the other side. He glances over at Kris, an eyebrow raised in question, who shrugs. "Cook, I've got someone here who really wants to talk to you about him. He's kind of a private detective or something." Adam makes a gesture that Kris can't understand and then he motions to Kris' face and then his. "Face to face."

Cook grumbles, "Shit, it's Sunday, man. Only day of the week I get to sleep in." Kris stays silent. He's used to Dave's whining. "Fine. I'll come over in about an hour. Okay?"

Kris looks over at Adam who appears impatient but nods reluctantly. "Thanks, man. See you in a bit." He turns off his phone and turned to Adam. "Okay, so I'm gonna go out and get some coffee if you want to…" he waves at the bathroom vaguely and Adam grins.

"Thank you." He smiles at Kris. "I don't know if it's possible, but is there anything here that I could borrow to change into?" He lets his eyes wander down Kris' torso and Kris swears he can feel a lick of fire following the gaze. "I mean, I'll put on my old stuff, but I don't have a shirt so…" he trails off with a smirk.

Yeah, like Kris hasn't been totally checking him out as well. He stands up and goes to his closet. Daniel has left gear here before and it should fit Adam way better than any of his stuff. He rummages around and finds a couple of t-shirts, some sweatpants and he doesn't even want to know how those ladies panties got in there. It wasn't him.

He gives Adam the selection. "There are towels in the bathroom and shampoo and shit."

Adam raises an eyebrow and fakes an astonished gasp. "You mean you actually have product?"

Kris resists the urge to stick out his tongue. It would be childish and somehow he thinks any tongue-sticking-out should be followed by kissing and he's so not ready to deal with that yet.

"Asshole," he mutters instead.

"I heard that." Adam tells him, smile still in his voice. Of course he did. He is a freaking dragon. Kris thinks he might need to sit down for a while.

So he leaves instead and wanders down to the corner Starbucks. Normally he'd be making his own coffee but a few minutes away from the heat and intensity that is Adam is not a bad thing.

He orders two large, regular coffees and a couple of Danishes and muffins. He reckons food would be a fair distraction. Eating. That reminds him of Adam's mouth and Adam's tongue and then there's Adam's tail. Yeah. He's not going to think too much about Adam's tail.

When he gets back to his apartment, Adam is scrubbed clean, eyes unlined, mouth freckled and gorgeous. Kris feels his heart stop. There's something so spectacular about him, just him, forget about the fact that he changes into something with scales and teeth.

"Hi." Adam looks at him, smile ready and slightly predatory.

"Hey." Kris replies and offers the coffee. Adam takes it with a smile and thanks.

Kris settles back against a counter. "So, um, can you tell me more about the Drakkin?" Kris reckons he needs to know as much as he can about Adam so that he can decide if getting into this situation is going to involve more than just his head, although he thinks it might be too late for his heart already. His stupid-ass heart is already going all pitty-pat at the sight of dragon-boy.

Adam boosts himself up on a kitchen counter, long legs dangling as he sips at his coffee. "What do you want to know?"

Kris shrugs. "Whatever. How many of you are there?"

Adam thinks about it for a moment. "There are about five thousand Drakkin spread throughout the world."

Kris gapes at him. "Five thousand dragons? How the fuck do you keep that a secret?"

Adam laughs. "Not all of the Drakkin are dragons. Some are smaller reptiles, snakes, lizards, even alligators and crocodiles in some parts of the world. We have settled where our natural form blends in the easiest with your planet."

Kris looks at him sceptically. "Dragons don't exist on earth. How the hell do you hide?"

Adam's eyes turn wistful for a moment. "We live in the mountains part of the year. In places where humans seldom come. It is difficult for us in your cities of concrete and steel and smoke."

"And David, your prince, what is he?" Kris is curious about the man his best friend has fallen for and never even hinted about.

Adam smiles, such a proud, secret smile, it makes Kris feel envious. He wants Adam to smile at him like that. "Ah, David is special. He is neither reptile nor mammal, he is avian." He laughs at Kris' puzzled frown. "David is a phoenix. Unique to our kind. He is precious and remarkable and wonderful."

Yeah, Kris really doesn't like Adam talking about anyone like that. Huh. Wonder what his sub-conscious is trying to yell at him?

Cook lets himself in then and looks from Kris to Adam. His eyes narrow. "You're Adam." It's a statement not a question and Adam nods, jumping down from the counter.

"I am. I have come to take David home." His voice is gentle but his eyes are hard.

Cook folds his arms across his chest. "Even if I knew where he was, I wouldn't tell you. He left for a reason. You didn't protect him well enough."

The tight line of Adam's mouth tells Kris that Cook has hit home. Then he realises that Cook knows way more about the situation than he does. "Cook? You know about Adam? What he is?" He can't believe Cook has kept this a secret.

Cook glances over at him. "Yeah, I know what the asshole is. I know what he does and why he's here as well." He glares back at Adam. "I don't know where Archie is."

"Archie?" Adam raises an eyebrow. "That's a very disrespectful way to address the prince of my people."

Cook snorts, "He's my lover. I can call him Betty if I want to."

Kris starts laughing. He is Alice and he's fallen right through the looking glass.

Adam looks over at him, face still and haughty. "Is something funny?"

Kris shakes his head, still laughing. "Nah. I just discovered that my best friend is gay and has been sleeping with a phoenix and that dragons are real." He hears the laugh moving up the scale to hysteria. "Just another day in the life of Kris Allen."

Adam comes over to him, blue eyes bright with concern. "Are you okay?"

And Kris can't stop laughing. And laughing. And laughing. Adam wraps him in warm arms and Kris burrows in and hiccoughs against the hot skin at the base of Adam's throat.

"Oh, baby, I'm sorry. This is all too much too soon for you. I just…" he trails off, rubbing his hands in big, soothing circles on Kris' back. "I'm sorry," he repeats and Kris shakes his head against Adam's neck.

He can feel the heat of Adam seeping into him through his pores and he pushes nearer. "I'm okay." And strangely he is, held in a dragon's arms.

Kris keeps his face burrowed against Adam's neck, listens when he asks David, "What did you mean 'even if you knew where David was'. You don't know?" The rumble against Kris' cheek is comforting but he can feel the tension in Adam's body.

David is slow to reply. "Yes. I mean, no, I don't know where he is."

Adam's voice is sharp. "When you saw him last, was he well?" Kris lifts his head and looks at Cook who is nodding.

"He was fine. We were planning on getting dinner together after my afternoon shift last Sunday and when I got home, Archie was gone." Cook sounds bewildered. "I called him on his mobile but it just went to voice mail. He never called me back."

Adam pulls away from Kris and he immediately feels the loss. He can't understand himself, this need after only a few hours acquaintance and he bites back a protest.

"Do you have David's, Archie's number?" Adam's voice is urgent and obviously conveys the urgency to Cook who fumbles out his phone and rattles off a number to Adam. He has some sort of device in his hand, a strange cross between a mobile and a GPS device and Adam is punching in the numbers. The display lights up and Adam's face turns feral. For the first time he looks like a beast, a hunter and Kris feels himself shiver

Adam turns to him. "I must go. If this is the last known location of the Prince, then I must carry on my search from there." He focuses on Kris. "I will come back to you." It's both a threat and a promise and even Cook looks startled.

"Okay." Kris mumbles, face hot and he wants to just sink into the floor because it's so fucking obvious how much he wants Adam. Suddenly Adam is back in his space, pressed up against him, arms wrapped tight and Kris lifts his head to ask and…

Adam kisses him. Once more it sweeps Kris into a wildfire and he breathes heat and flame and want and when Adam lets him go they're both panting.

"I will come back for you." Adam repeats firmly and Kris believes him. He's gone then, from one moment to the next and Kris is left reeling.

David looks at him, eyes hooded and considering. "Didn't know you played for the home team," he says dryly.

Kris stares back at him. "Didn't know you did either," he responds, just as dry.

His friend grins. "I think it's a case of, I found the right person, and it just happened to be a guy."

Kris feels his lips tip up in a reluctant smile. "Yeah, I know exactly what you mean." They share another grin and Kris asks, "Wanna watch the game?"

Cook nods. "Sure. I'm awake anyway. Not like I've got anything better to do." They sit down on the sofa and Kris puts the television on, hoping to distract themselves from the worry for the dragon and his prince.

Stepping into the Fire

Kris throws himself back into work the following day. The irony of his pub's name after the past day or so doesn't escape him but he tries to focus on work and keeping busy.

A week goes by, he and Cook don't talk about Adam or Archie or dragons and Kris starts to think he might actually have imagined it all. Because, seriously, dragons aren't real and maybe he'd just had one too many drinks that night, even though he knows he doesn't drink on the job.

Friday nights are always busy at The Bear and Unicorn and Kris is not in the mood for his usual set with Allison. He's restless and his skin feels like it wants to be somewhere else, somewhere that's not on his body. But her pathetic eyes and that wobbly lip convince him to take up his position behind the piano and they're soon jamming out to "Alone" and "Crazy" and Kris thinks that maybe he's not been as good at hiding his shit as he thinks he is.

"You okay, dude?" Alli asks him between songs, tipping her head back and swallowing a shot of Jack. Kris nods, still not used to her being old enough to drink.

"It's been a hell of a week," he tells her with a grimace and she nods, walks back to the mic.

"Okay, ya'll, last song for tonight, the boss is cranky and I'm tired of picking up his slack," she slants a wicked look at him as the crowd boos, "We're gonna close with a little Annie Lennox!" and she segues into "Sweet Dreams are Made of This," husky voice altering the bliss of the lyrics into something nasty and raunchy and she whips the crowd into a howling mess.

Kris just shakes his head and hopes that one day, some smart record executive listens to her demo and makes her a superstar, because if ever anyone was born to be one, it's Allison.

Near the end of the anthem, Kris looks over at the bar and his fingers stumble over the keys. Adam and Cook are talking earnestly, heads together and Kris remembers instantly everything that Adam makes him feel, simply by existing.

The discordant notes capture Adam's attention and he lifts his head up and turns to the stage, eyes like lasers finding Kris and it's as though there is no air in the world. Kris feels his chest close and lungs suck in the last remnants of oxygen and then Adam smiles, nods and looks away and Kris can breathe again.

Alli finishes with a flourish, but her eyes are knowing as she leans down and whispers, "He's gorgeous. I didn't know you bent that way."

Kris blushes and confides, "I think actually, it might be just him."

She laughs low and pats his cheek. "Go get him, sugar," her accent thicker than syrup and he's up and moving before he's even aware of it. Her giggle follows him as he pushes his way through the crowd to the bar.

It's like Adam has some sort of Kris-radar. Before he can say a word or touch him, Adam's arm is around him and tucking him in tight against him. Kris wonders if he should protest, but he's warm for the first time in days, so he stays where he is, turns his body into Adam's and fits himself against him.

"Hey," he mumbles into Adam's neck and he feels the press of lips on his forehead.

"Hey yourself," comes the soft reply and then Kris relaxes into Adam, tension he didn't know he was carrying seeping out of him.

"Did you find him?" Kris asks and looks up hopefully.

Adam shakes his head with a sigh. "I haven't seen the Prince yet but I'm close. I know where they're holding him." He looks over at David, whose mouth is tight and eyes are worried. "I'm back because I think I'm going to need some help."

Kris raises his eyebrows. "From us?" He doesn't mean to sound surprised, but he's not sure what sort of help he or Cook could offer.

Adam nods. "I need an extra set of eyes and some help in setting up a distraction. I can't think of anyone more distracting than you." His mouth quirks up in a sly grin and Kris can feel his traitorous skin flushing.

"What do you want from me?" he asks, committing instantly and David is nodding too.

Adam's smile is delighted then and he says, "I need you both to come with me. Can you spare a couple of days?"

Kris nods. "Sure, I can get my brother to run the bar for me and Cassidy or Brad are always keen to earn extra money keeping bar." He looks at Cook. "You okay with that?"

David agrees, "I just want to find Archie. I'm worried now. I need him to be okay."

Adam leans forward and says softly, "His father, our king, got a ransom note three days ago. It would appear that our Prince has been kidnapped and held by enemies of the king."

"So why doesn't he just pay it?" Kris asks curiously and Adam grimaces.

"Because it would make things much easier for King Simon if David never came home again. Then he wouldn't have to worry about the Drakkin deposing him and crowning the Prince as our ruler." He sighs, "Politics are not only found in your society, my friends, they are with us too and have placed a true innocent in grave danger."

"When do we leave?" Kris asks and is rewarded with a beaming smile from Adam.

"First thing in the morning," he tells them and rubs his eyes.

"You're tired," Kris notes and says, "Go upstairs to my place and get some sleep. I'll shut up here and arrange for Daniel to come and open up tomorrow and then I can join you." He manages to say this all without blushing, much, and Cook is grinning at him from behind the bar.

Adam's mouth is tight and his eyes are shadowed with weariness. "A few hours rest will not be amiss," he admits and nods, "Thank you, I will happily accept." Without thought he bends down and kisses Kris, briefly but it's as though Kris' entire body has been plugged into an electrical outlet. He gasps into Adam's mouth and wants to cling, but he forces himself to step back and watches as Adam heads up the stairs.

"You're as gone as I am," Cook tells him with a grin and Kris sort of agrees with him, only he's only known Adam for about a minute so surely what he feels is lust? And then there's the dragon thing and why's he's not more freaked out about that, well, that's a mystery all on its own.

"Maybe," Kris admits and pulls out his phone, eager to set the wheels in motion so that he can be with Adam. That's all he can think of right now. Be with Adam.

Daniel agrees with pleasure, classes are through for this semester and Cassidy and Brad tell David that they'll take turns behind the bar. With nothing left to plan, Kris wonders how soon he can chase everyone out of there so that he can head upstairs.

"Go," David tells him, "I'll close up tonight. You're worse than useless right now. Your body is here but your brain has checked out. Get out of here and I'll meet you here tomorrow morning." Kris flashes a grateful smile and leaves before Cook changes his mind.

This time, he enters his apartment knowing that Adam will be there, but it's still a shock to see the length of him sprawled out on his bed, wearing a t-shirt and boxers. He's on his stomach and Kris quickly pulls off his own clothes, leaves just his boxers on, and crawls in next to him.

Carefully, he lies down, slots his body up against Adam's, and he fits, like a key and Adam rolls over onto his side, arm snaking out to haul Kris close. "'Bout time," he mutters and he covers Kris mouth with his and he's over him and pushing him down onto the mattress until all Kris feels is skin and sweat and heat.

"Fuck!" he opens his mouth to tell Adam to slow down, he's not done this before, but Adam is a force of nature, wild and desperate and his hands are everywhere. Kris feels the press of fingertips on his neck, the dig of nails against his hips, the sweep of palms over his waist and then, God, the twist and pull and rub and clasp of those long, slender fingers around his cock.

He hears the desperate whine escape him and then Adam is shimmying down to his stomach, pressing soft kisses over his chest, over his belly and then hot, hot, hot mouth and lips and tongue and … he flinches… teeth on his cock and he can't stop the scream.

He comes back into his skin to see Adam looking down at him, a bottle of lube in his hand, eyes pleased and smoky and aroused. "Well, that was a very nice way to begin proceedings," Adam tells him, "I hope you're not too tired, because I have big plans for you tonight, love." Adam sits back on his haunches and drizzles lube onto his cock and slicks himself up. Kris can't help following the movement with fascinated eyes.

Kris' hands flap weakly but he still can't speak, his body is pulsing and burning and then suddenly Adam lifts his legs and wraps them around his waist. "Hold on baby, this is going to hurt a little, but I promise you, the pleasure is so worth the pain." And Adam is there, cock pressing in, pushing and Kris can't help squirming uncomfortably. Adam is not a small man.

Adam's fingers dig into Kris' hips and his face is taut, eyes like blue fire as he tells Kris, "Take my hand." Kris reaches out blindly, wraps his fingers around Adam's and clenches, feels the tattoos pulse against his palm digs his nails in as Adam pushes forward. Kris feels his body resist and then suddenly open and Adam's in him, sliding smooth all the way like butter and the noise he makes is not human.

Kris looks up and his eyes meet Adam's and he's falling into forever as Adam's hips start moving in a slow, agonizing dance that wrings sobs from him. Adam shunts forward, hand still holding Kris' and Kris fits his legs more firmly around Adam's waist as he starts lifting his hips to meet the thrusts.

Adam's cock is a burning thing, its fire and iron and Kris thinks that he might be split apart if Adam pushes once more, but each time his body takes it, accepts it, absorbs it until he can't think anymore and he turns into a creature of flame and insanity.

He's hard again, leaking and throbbing and Adam's other hand wraps around him and he whispers, "Come for me." His voice is low, ragged, frantic and it shatters Kris. He's suddenly coming and begging and groaning and Adam drops forward, head tucked into Kris' neck as he comes too, in a mess of sweat and tears and come and he moans long and low and it rips from his throat like a song.

Kris doesn't think he'll ever be able to move again.

Adam has other ideas. The night moves on as Kris is bent and shaped and plundered and Adam is relentless. By the time the dawn is breaking, Kris is a nerveless pile of muscle, spent and curled close against Adam's side.

"I think we should actually use the bed for sleep for a few hours," Kris suggests in a voice turned hoarse with begging and screaming.

Adam hums into his neck and his breath scorches across Kris' throat. "Couple hours," he agrees and they're both gone almost before he finishes his words.

James Bond was never Like This

Kris is woken by the sound of his front door opening and he lunges for the bedroom door before Cook walks in on them. Adam is up and out of the bed before he can say anything, crouched down into a fighting stance.

"It's okay, don't panic, it's just Cook," Kris tells him and watches the muscles relaxing back into his skin. They fascinate him. He's spent most of the past few hours examining those muscles in minute detail and it still amazes him to see them move like liquid beneath smooth, freckled skin.

The tattoos are living, moving wildly and Kris just automatically reaches out and takes Adam's hand. It feels as though the tattoos are rubbing up against his palm like a cat.

"Kris?" David calls and Adam kisses him quickly before heading to the shower. Kris pulls on his boxers, wrinkling his nose in distaste at the state of his body. He would prefer to be a little cleaner before he faces other people, but Adam is the guest so he heads out of the bedroom.

Cook's face is a picture of surprise and amusement. "Well, at least one of us got very lucky last night." Kris flips him the bird as he heads for the kitchen. "Dude, you stink."

Kris ignores him and puts on the coffee maker and the scent soon fills the apartment. He leans back against a counter and asks David, "You okay?"

His friend nods. "Yeah, freaking out a little because, shit, Archie's been kidnapped, but feeling okay now because your Adam seems to have his shit together." Kris wants to tell Cook that Adam isn't his Adam but that's not the truth anymore, not after last night, this morning, earlier.

Adam appears at the kitchen doorway, in his boxers and t-shirt, hair damp and skin clean. "All yours," he tells Kris who walks past him to the bathroom. Adam stops him with a hand on his shoulder. Kris feels the heat all the way to his bones and leans up to receive the kiss. It's natural, easy, like they've been doing this forever and Kris really thinks he should be freaking out more about the whole situation.

But he's calm and mellow and his body is owned by the man he's kissing.

"Morning, baby," Adam whispers into his mouth and Kris sighs. He hears Cook make animal noises behind him, Cook tends to snort like a pig when he's laughing, but he ignores him. "Morning," he replies and lets himself sink into Adam's mouth.

He heads for the bathroom in a daze and only wakes up properly under the hot water biting into his skin. His entire life now revolves around the stranger in his kitchen. It should terrify him but he's filled with an energy, an anticipation that he's not felt before.

He finishes up quickly and pulls on clean jeans and t-shirt and heads back to the kitchen where Adam and David are chatting quietly.

"Hey," he says and Adam reaches out and tugs him down onto his lap without skipping a beat in his conversation. David waggles his eyebrows at him and Kris feels his face heat up. This could get embarrassing quickly.

"We're going to have to go in at night. Get a lay of the land first and then hole up for the day, extract the Prince the second night." Adam has a map out on the kitchen table of an area just outside of New Orleans. It looks like its all swamp and wide open. Perfect for someone to set up camp and not have anyone sneaking up on them. Kris is reluctantly impressed at the careful planning of the kidnapping.

"I know this place, Jean Lafitte Preserve," Cook tells them, pointing at the swampland, "It's near where my uncle stays on Lake Cataouatche. We should be able to get to his place pretty easy and then take a dugout from there." David grins, his eyes bright, teeth wolfish. "I feel very sorry for the fucker who took Archie from me."

Adam looks at him, eyes hard. "You need to curb that enthusiasm my friend, we need stealth, not a gung ho mentality." He touches Kris' shoulder. "You okay?"

Kris nods. "Yeah, just starting to worry about the prince. I mean, are you sure he's safe?"

Adam's mouth pulls down as he admits, "I know he's alive, that's all, not his condition. It is of concern to me."

Kris rubs his hand over the tight muscles at the base of Adam's spine. "We'll get him out okay." He's trying to be reassuring but he can't help worrying. He looks over at David whose face is dark with anger. "Cook?"

Cook shakes his head. "We need to get going. Now." He pulls out his mobile and places a call. "Cody? It's Dave, how are you? Good. I need a favour. A couple of friends and I are on the way to you now. It's a recon and rescue mission. You in?"

And apparently he is. Which scares Kris more than a little.

Cook turns a little manic after that and Adam leaves Kris to calm him down as he makes a few calls of his own. Kris hears mention of weapons and fire and others but he's too busy trying to keep David in his skin to pay too much attention.

"I can't believe I didn't think about something being wrong." Cook is berating himself. "I mean, things were good, no, they were great and I just automatically assumed that he'd left me."

Kris isn't sure what he's supposed to say, so he lets David pace and berate himself for a while and then asks, "So, tell me about your Archie. What's he like?"

The light that brightens David's eyes tells Kris that whatever his friend feels for this prince, it's real and powerful. "He's amazing. He's like this little powerhouse of energy and charm. He smiles and all you want to do is protect him from every bad thing in the world. I mean, he's so innocent." David's smile drops a little, "I don't want to think about what he's been going through the past two weeks. He must be so scared."

Kris pats his shoulder awkwardly. It's weird to hear Cook gushing like this about another person, let alone a guy, but if he's happy, then Kris is completely on board with that. "We're gonna find him. We have a dragon on our side."

Adam comes back at that moment, tucking his phone back into his pocket. He brushes a hand down Kris' cheek and the tattoos pulse against his skin. It makes Kris shiver and lean in and he's only brought back to awareness when he hears Cook laughing.

Adam is smiling in delight at him and Kris basks in his approval, ignoring his asinine friend. "Ready?" Adam asks and Kris nods.

"Set." David assures him with another of those scary toothy grins that bode ill for someone.

"Let's go then," Kris says and they head out.

Adam has a black SUV, and they climb inside and Adam sets the GPS system for Lake Cataouatche. He looks over at Kris, "You sure about this?"

Kris smiles at him. "Completely. I want to meet the guy who makes my best friend smile like that."

Adam looks back at David, who is humming to something on his i-Pod. "He seems like a good man."

Kris nods. "The best. He's the one who came through for me when I wanted to buy The Bear and Unicorn. He's family."

Adam stares ahead at the road and asks softly, "But is he worthy of a prince?"

Kris doesn't hesitate in replying, "I think for me, the question is, is your prince worthy of him? His heart is a marshmallow, soft and easily squeezed."

Adam chuckles, "And your heart?"

Kris takes a deep breath and plunges, "Whatever my heart is, it's yours."

Adam's eyes widen briefly and Kris watches in fascination as the tattoos swirl around his arms in spirals. He reaches out and puts a hand on Adam's thigh and is rewarded with the slight tensing of the muscles beneath his palm. The tattoos roll in undulations around Adam's arms, slithering around and down until Kris can feel them pushing eagerly up against his hand on Adam's thigh.

"This is very strange for me," Adam confesses softly, "It appears that my dragon has already claimed you."

"What about your heart?" Kris asks hopefully and Adam sighs.

"My dragon has always seemed to have known what is best for me. It is half of who and what I am, but it thinks like an animal does. It prioritises, food, water, shelter, mate. It would seem that my dragon has selected you." Adam sounds rueful but not upset.

Kris takes courage at this and asks, "Do you usually follow the lead of your dragon?" He can hear himself say the ridiculous words and he knows that he's seen the beast, but it is still not quite real to him.

The sound emerging from Adam's throat is somewhere between a purr and a growl. "The dragon wants you, I want you," he shrugs, "must it be more complicated than that?"

Kris isn't sure he's okay with the fact that Adam is only accepting him because the beast within has, but he's prepared to take what he can get. It's a bit frightening for him at how much he's willing to compromise just to be around Adam.

He doesn't say anything though and Adam slants a look at him. "You okay?"

Kris nods, but he pulls his hand away from Adam's thigh and settles his back against the car door, closing his eyes.

"Kris?" The question in Adam's voice is almost too much to ignore, but Kris thinks that maybe he'd better start protecting himself from being hurt because Adam obviously won't stay once they've rescued his prince.

"I think I'm going to try a get a little sleep," he tells Adam instead, "It was a long night." He doesn't want to think about the past night, the skin and sweat and blood of their …fucking. That's all it was really, two animals fucking, with no emotional investment at all. He's going to keep reminding himself of that.

"Alright then," Adam says, doubt in his voice, "I'll wake you when we get to Lake Cataouatche."

Kris is claimed by sleep almost instantly, despite the whirling thoughts in his brain.

Chapter Text










Current mood:
excited
Entry tags:
adam lambert, au, big bang, kradam, kris allen

Even Dragons Have Their Ending III

Into the Swamps, Livingstone

Lake Cataouatche is pretty as lakes go, Kris thinks when Cook pokes him awake from behind.

"I just want to tell you guys, Cody is a bit strange," David warns, "He's been on his own, in the bayous for a long time, he's not really a sociable person."

Kris turns his whole body to look at Cook. "Just how strange are we talking?" He fixes a stern eye on David who squirms a little.

"Well, he's sort of a throwback," he says, "to way back."

Kris groans, "You mean we've got a crazy marsh man leading us on this?"

Cook grimaces and shrugs. "He's not crazy, just a little odd." He looks over at Adam. "He's not gonna lose his shit if he sees a dragon, let's just put it that way."

The ramshackle house they pull up to doesn't make Kris feel any better. He glares at Cook. "I hope you know what you're doing," he tells him.

Cook's face is like stone as he replies, "I am prepared to bring Satan on as a partner if it means we can rescue Archie." Kris can't argue with that so he climbs down and watches the front door warily.

When it opens, Adam moves casually in front of him, protecting him without thought. It makes Kris feel a bit better about everything. The man who comes out of the house doesn't though.

Cook's uncle looks like he's dressed for combat, in camouflage and boots and a hat with a peculiar sort of bush hanging off it.

"Bonjour, mon ami," he calls from the porch and David waves.

"Bonjour Cody, ca va?" Kris finds himself surprised yet again when he hears Cook speaking Cajun.

"Tres bien, bien sur. Et vous?" Cody looks somewhere between thirty and sixty and Kris isn't anxious to get close enough to find out.

"My friends don't speak Cajun, Cody," Cook tells him and he nods.

"Welcome to de bayou," he says, nodding to Kris and Adam, "I'm Cody Curole." He steps forward, offering his hand.

Adam moves to return the greeting. "I'm Adam Lambert and this is Kris Allen," he says, motioning to Kris who holds his hand out.

"You're de man dat Davy be in business with," Cody announces and Kris nods.

"Yeah, we've been partners for a while now. He's a good friend." He smiles at Cook who is still watching his uncle carefully.

"You good, Cody?" he asks warily

"Mais weh, Davy. Laissez les bon temps rouler. We be heading out now if you want to get into de bayou and Jean Lafitte 'fore night fall. It not be an easy route and we'll best be taking de pirogue so we not alert dis bon rien." The Cajun roll in Cody's voice seems to fascinate Adam who is hanging on each word.

"Okay, let's get going now." David is impatient and Kris can understand his feelings. The person he loves is in danger and he just wants to get to him as quickly as possible.

Cody guides them down to a small jetty and the pirogue moored at the end doesn't look nearly stable enough to Kris' doubtful eyes.

"That's going to hold all of us?" he asks and Cody grins.

Kris can see where Cook gets his smile from. "Don't you worry none, shâ, we be good." He motions and Cook leads the way, climbing in and moving to the back of the pirogue, sitting in front of the small outboard motor.

Adam waves at Kris, who follows Cook into the boat. "I won't be joining you in the pirogue. Water isn't really my favourite element." Adam looks at Cook and asks, "Do I need to worry about freaking your uncle out if I change?"

Cook shakes his head. "He's lived on the bayous all his life, there's not much that will surprise him."

Adam turns back to Cody. "I'll follow you all in the air if you don't mind."

Cody shrugs and curls his lip, "Dôn matta how you be travellin' but I don't got no airplane."

Adam tips his head to one side and tells him, all teeth, "I have my own wings."

Cody just nods. "Dat be okay den, you say you can fly?" He doesn't seem particularly surprised when Adam pulls off his jacket and t-shirt, hands them to Kris, and the tattoos start bulging out and the air fills with lightning. The loud sound makes them all clamp their hands over their ears and their eyes burn with the smell of the smoke.

Then the dragon is there, crouching on the ground, blue-black scales catching the sunlight and rippling with rainbows.

"Choooh! Dat be a most interestin' sight," Cody states in fascination. "I don' believe I ever seen a dragon on de bayou."

Cook asks dryly, "You ever seen a dragon at all, Cody?"

His uncle looks down at him and nods, "But de caimon is de master monster in de bayou. He be family of de dragon." He looks at Adam consideringly and asks, "Be some of your kin on dis bayou, dragon man?" Kris envies the ease with which Cody accepts that a dragon is sitting on the ground in front of him.

yes Adam hisses in his mind, my family are here, ready to help when we need them

Cody looks up and says doubtfully, "I don't know, dragon man, but it be hard to hide a beast, even in dis bayou."

Adam bares his teeth and says, I will be high enough not to be seen. Dragon eyes are very sharp.

Cody nods in agreement. "Dragon eyes be like eagle eyes den?"

The dragon's voice purrs softly in Kris' head, don't worry about how easily he accepts me, Cody is an unusual man. He is open to the strangeness of the world around him.

Kris isn't comforted by the fact that it appears as though Adam can read his mind. only in dragon form Adam assures him and then he leaps up into the air with a push of legs and a sweep of wings and he's going up, up, up until he vanishes into the clouds.

"Choooh, dat be a wondrous sight indeed." Cody remarks as they watch him disappear and then he climbs down into the pirogue, taking his spot at the front. "My life here, it be quiet, but I am much grateful to you for bringin' de dragon man here."

Cook nods, pulls at the motor cord and they chug out into the swamp.

They're on the water for a while when Kris decides that he needs more information, so he asks Cook to tell him about Archie.

"What do you want to know?" Cook asks suspiciously.

"Everything, especially how you discovered that he wasn't human." Kris needs to understand Adam from a human standpoint and Cook is his only point of reference.

Cook sighs, "I only found out about what he really was, about two weeks after we started seeing each other. By that time I was crazy about the kid."

"Tell me how you met him," Kris asks and Cook smiles, remembering.

"He was lost on Bourbon Street and looked like such a tourist with his map and the panic in his eyes. I was coming in to work and asked him if he needed help. He was so grateful and I couldn't just leave him out there on his own."

Kris thinks back and remembers that Cook had taken a lot of time off over the past few months. "Instant?" he asks and the grin is his reply.

"Totally. I never expected to fall in love with someone that quickly, but it was like something inside me recognized him immediately." Cook looks over at Kris with a smirk, "Kinda like you right?"

Kris grimaces, but persists without answering, "What about him being a Drakkin? How did you feel about that? When did you find out about Adam? Come on man, I'm shooting blind here!"

Cook sends him a grim smile. "The Drakkin need to change form every couple of days, to preserve the essence of the beast apparently, according to Archie. They're animals and need to hunt and feed. The change requires a lot of energy and most Drakkin live outside of cities because of this but some of them, like Adam, are sentinels. They watch over the Drakkin all over the world, making sure that they don't break human law."

Kris can feel his brain imploding with all the information. "Did you know that Archie was a prince?"

Cook concentrates on steering the pirogue into the dense swamp for a moment before he replies, "Yeah, he told me that the same day he showed me his Drakkin form." He looks out at the deep green of the swamp and says, "He's young and he's probably scared and I'm worried for him. He's not prepared to be a political statement."

Kris tips his head up and back, trying to spot his own personal dragon in the sky. "We'll get him out. Adam seems pretty ruthless."

Cook takes a breath and says, "Archie was nervous of Adam. He always talked about him like he was some kind of superhero to his kind." His mouth quirks up in a rueful smile. "Honestly, it made me a little jealous to see the hero worship there, but I think Adam is Archie's only hope right now."

"Dat dragon man, he be cray, shâ," Cody drawls from the front of the pirogue. "Dere be darkness in dat man."

Kris sighs, "I think that I'm already in so deep, it doesn't matter." He looks back at Cook again and asks, "What does a phoenix look like?"

Cook's smile is sunshine bright. "Man, he's so beautiful! He's this bright red bird, about the size of a peacock and his tail feathers are every color of the spectrum and then some that I don't think I'd even be able to name." He shakes his head. "He's this thing that just takes my breath away and the fact that he's not human doesn't matter to me at all." He sounds amazed and Kris silently agrees with him, although he thinks he's maybe having a little more of a freak out now that Adam isn't with him.

I am right here the soft hiss in his mind reminds him and he flinches. you are afraid?

"Not exactly," he doesn't realize that he's said it out loud until he sees Cody looking back at him in question. "Sorry, Adam's talking to me." The bayou native nods and turns back to the water. "How do I talk to you?"

your thoughts are like words to me the dragon tells him softly. think and I will hear

what are you planning to do once we've rescued the prince? Kris is afraid of the answer.

it is not something I have considered Adam admits, I wish to complete this mission before I plan anything else

well consider it then Kris thinks resentfully and hears the deep chuckle like a stroke across his mind.

I will, but please let that wait until after we get Prince David safely out of danger It's not a question but Kris is prepared to accept this as the olive branch it's meant to be.

The day is turning into twilight when they reach the outskirts of the area in Jean Lafitte which Adam had pinpointed. Cody motions to a thick cluster of mangrove trees and Cook guides the pirogue there. Kris looks up, trying to spot Adam but the sky is deep indigo and the stars seem to blind him.

I am here Adam tells him and Kris sees the smoke and lightning from the trees and then Adam's tall frame. The pirogue bumps up against a fallen tree and Cook throws the mooring line to Adam who catches it and ties it firmly to a tree.

"Do you have my shirt and jacket?" Adam asks Kris as he clambers out. Kris opens the duffle they've brought with them and hands him his clothes. Adam pulls them on quickly and then holds out his hand to Kris. "My mark is burning. Please?"

Kris flushes at Cook's snorted laugh but he steps up close to Adam and entwines their fingers. The press and pulse of the tattoos make him shiver a little and then he feels them settle.

"Thank you," Adam whispers, squeezing his hand and Kris nods.

Cody looks between the two of them. "You be de dragon man's mate?" he asks.

"Yes," Adam says.

"No," Kris replies at the same time. Cody just nods as though he understands and Cook makes another piggy sound from behind them. Kris flashes a glare at him and he just shakes his head.

"Yes," Adam insists firmly and Kris looks at him, but Adam's eyes are intent and certain. "Yes."

"Dôn matta," Cody assures them blithely, "Just wan' to be sure of de lay of de land," and he's off into the darkening grove of trees, Cook close on his heels.

Adam gives Kris a look and says, "No matter what, we are mates. It may not be a permanent thing, yet, but for now, this moment, this time, you are mine."

Kris narrows his eyes and pins his gaze on Adam. "Whatever, man. We'll discuss that later." He's being deliberately off-hand but he's not happy with Adam's autocratic attitude. He's not going to let himself be walked over.

He hears the tattoos hiss before he feels them roll beneath his palm. "Stop pissing me off," Adam warns him, "You won't like me when I'm angry."

"You and Jack Nicholson," Kris snarks back and Adam laughs softly, pulls him along and they follow Cook and Cody into the bayou.

It's about two hours of hard trekking by the time they reach the edge of the mangrove and see the rundown cottage sitting in the middle of a wide open part of the bayou.

"Dis be de place," Cody tells them quietly, "De caimon like dis place, it be good for huntin'." He points to the swamp and Kris sees hundreds of eyes reflecting the moonlight. He feels his skin crawl and then realizes that it's the dragon's mark that's moving again, restless and hot.

"My kin," Adam breathes and gives a low groan that ends in a hiss and the water moves and ripples and Kris watches as scores of alligators start making their way towards them.

"Uh, Adam?" he asks nervously as the reptiles move in closer. He backs up against the solid warmth of Adam's body and Adam slips his arm around his waist.

"Don't worry, we are perfectly safe here," Adam tells him. Cook moves nearer to his uncle, alert and careful.

Cody watches the alligators cautiously, rifle held at the ready, but they stop before they reach the bank and are obviously waiting for something. Adam lets Kris go and crouches down, hand outstretched over the water. The sounds he makes aren't human and Kris is reminded once more that his lover isn't from this world.

Adam stands back up and looks over at them. "We are in luck. The chief Drakkin in this bayou, Michael, has been keeping watch over the prince and he says that the boy is well."

Kris notes absently that Cook's shoulders slump in relief and then he says sharply, "He's not a boy. He's a man."

Adam inclines his head. "I am just thankful that he is unharmed."

Kris asks, "Why haven't the Drakkin gone in already? Why haven't they rescued him?"

Adam's mouth is set when he replies, "They know that if something went wrong that they would answer to me. I am the sentinel, it is my responsibility."

Kris is getting a better idea of what Adam is to his people. "So you're the one who has to get him out?"

Adam nods. "Yes, I am the only one who can do so. It is our way." He looks out over the bayou to the cottage in the distance. "Michael says that the prince is guarded by two others. He has only been able to identify one of them." His shoulders are tense and Kris finds himself rubbing his back gently between his shoulder blades.

"Thank you," Adam smiles in gratitude and then his eyes harden, "Daniel is one of our King's most trusted advisors. I can only think that he must have betrayed everything he holds dear in order to do this. There is no other explanation." He sounds confused, "I do not understand why he would commit such treason."

Kris knows that the human mind works in far less honorable ways and can think of a few reasons, the worst of which he voices, "What if the king put him up to it? I mean, you said that your king is jealous of David."

Adam looks at him in shock. "That could not be. That sort of deviousness is not the Drakkin way." He turns back to stare at the cabin and says almost to himself, "Our King would not do such a thing. He could not."

Kris keeps his hand warm and steady on Adam's back and lets him figure things out for himself.

Cody says suddenly, "Dere be movement by dat place." He jerks his head towards the cabin and Kris looks over to see a man coming out of the door. They all drop to the ground and Kris watches in amazement as the stranger leaps into the air, transforming into a large yellow dragon as he jumps.

"Daniel," Adam hisses and Kris feels his muscles jump as he presses up against him.

They keep low in the reeds as they move closer to the cabin and Kris absently notes the cold of the swamp water seeping up his legs and into his belly. He ignores the discomfort as they make slow steady progress onward.

"There must be someone else there then," Cook whispers, "They wouldn't leave Archie unguarded." Kris looks over at Adam whose eyes are blue flames in the dull light.

"Yes," he agrees and then his eyes meet Kris', "I must go after Daniel, keep him busy. I need you to go and find my prince."

Kris wonders how the hell he's going to do this when he hears Cook, "Of course. What do you want us to do?" It's as easy as that for Cook. He just wants to get his boy back.

Adam nods at Cook approvingly. "Once I'm in the air and keeping Daniel occupied, you, Kris and Cody must follow Michael to the cabin." He looks down at the largest alligator below them. "If there is another Drakkin there, Michael and his kin will take care of him. You must get to Prince David and get him out."

Kris isn't happy about the part of the plan involving Adam distracting Daniel and sets his mouth firmly. "I don't like it, you being separated from us." He feels his jaw jutting out and then jumps when Adam's arm settles around his waist and he's pulled up close against him.

"I will be fine. I am much stronger than Daniel. I'll be worried about you though. If there is another Drakkin in the cabin…" he trails off and Kris hears a whisper in his head.

stop fretting, Sentinel, your mortal pet will be well protected Kris reckons that the voice is Michael's and frowns.

"I am not a pet," he grumbles in annoyance and is even more irritated at the flash of white teeth when Adam grins.

"Perhaps not, but you are in need of protection, you're so little." Kris scowls and Cook sniggers behind him.

Adam cuddles him close and whispers, "I could not bear it if anything were to happen to you," he confesses and Kris feels slightly mollified. He's really going to have to talk to Adam about this whole 'me protector, you weak little rabbit' attitude he's got going on though when they get back to New Orleans. Kris has been taking care of himself for a long time.

"That's how I feel about you going off into the air to fight against your king's enemy," he mutters against Adam's throat. He's rewarded with a brief, but passionate kiss and then he's getting cold again because Adam's moved away and he's looking up at the sky.

"Stay safe," he instructs Kris firmly and jumps, the air shocked with lightning and smoke and then he's bulleting up into the sky. The scream that echoes across the night sounds something like a cross between an eagle and a stallion and Kris shivers in fear. His lover is heading straight for the sound.

"Come on," Cook tells him, tugs on his shoulder and Kris turns to see Cody already a little ahead, picking his way carefully between the reeds, the large alligator swimming silently in the dark water alongside him.

"Let's go and save your prince charming," Kris smiles cautiously and they head out after Cody across the swamp.

The Fairytale Prince needs Rescuing

The night sky suddenly explodes in screaming and lightning. Kris looks up and sees a large object plummeting down towards the ground. The object seems to split apart and Kris sees the yellow gold of Daniel's dragon and the blue light of Adam's catch the fire light of the moon.

"Holy fuck!" Cook exclaims, staring at the sight of two dragons locked in battle.

Cody clucks at them, "Best move faster, de others, dey be comin' out to check on dis noise."

Kris follows after Cody, Cook takes up the rear and they see the cabin door open and two men spill out onto the choppy grass in front of the place. They're both looking up and pointing, completely unaware of the ambush and then the huge alligator, Michael, is hurling himself up out of the swamp towards them, jaws snapping at them, and the men are both shrieking and running in opposite directions.

Kris would laugh if it wasn't for the adrenaline pumping through his blood. He's torn between looking up to see what's happening with the clash above them and the accomplishing of their mission.

Cook has no such dilemma. He's running towards the cabin, Cody at his heels and is up the stairs and inside before Kris is even halfway there.

"Archie! Archie! Are you there? It's me, Cook!" He's yelling and Cody is shouting at him to 'shut de fuck up you motier foux, you get us all killed' and then they're inside and Cook's banging on every door and putting his shoulder against anything that blocks his way.

"Stop yelling, you fucking moron!" Kris shouts at Cook and Cody grabs hold of Cook and smacks him against the back of his head. Cook is panting and sweating and crying and Kris wants to help his friend but he stays back while Cody shakes him.

"You must be quiet, shâ, or we not be hearing de boy." His voice is soft, intent and Cook stares at him, eyes wild and afraid.

"Cody…"

"Hush, Davy," Cody tells him and Cook nods and drops his head.

Kris hears a sound and spins and one of the men who had come out of the cabin is standing there, holding a gun in his hand and grinning. "Big mistake, fellas," he tells them and then drops to the floor like a stone.

The tall blond man standing behind him smiles at them, all teeth and glee. "Time to get the prince," he says and Kris nods. Cook and Cody are still staring at the stranger. He's built like a wall and sopping wet and Kris thinks briefly that he's really glad that Michael is on their side.

He spins around and tries to think of where they could be holding the prince. He spots a ladder going up to the ceiling and runs toward it, Michael close behind him. He's frustratingly not tall enough to reach it, but Michael is and he reaches up and tugs it down. Kris scrambles up and shoves at the trapdoor.

He pokes his head through the opening and tries to see through the gloom. The mound of clothes in the corner of the attic moves slightly and he's up and next to the prince before he can even think about it.

"Archie?" he asks, it's how he's come to think of the boy. Huge hazel eyes open slowly and Kris can see the pain burning deep inside.

"Do I know you?" he asks, voice rasping. Kris thinks that he'd probably do just about anything to have this boy never sound like that again.

Kris shakes his head, realises that pretty much everything else is shaking as he tries to help him sit up. "No," he says softly, "But I'm a friend of Cook's."

The fever bright eyes widen as he stares at Kris. "Cook?" he asks, struggling to look around and then Cook is there, grabbing him away from Kris and pulling him into his arms.

"Archie, Archie," Cook mumbles into the soft skin of the boy's throat. Slim arms go around Cook's neck and they're clinging to each other and Kris looks away, feeling like an intruder on this moment.

"My prince," Michael is half in, half out of the attic and Archie lifts his head, face wet with tears, "Are you well?" Kris can see that Archie is ill but can't tell what's wrong with him.

"I have not been able to change into my Drakkin form these past days," Archie admits huskily and Michael's eyes are shocked.

"Why not?" he asks and the prince shakes his head.

"I could not. My body is too weak." Cook's face is set and raging and he must be squeezing him because Archie gives a pained squeak and is immediately gathered close again.

"What can I do?" Cook asks and Archie's smile is beautiful and tragic.

"Nothing," he whispers, "I would not survive the change now anyway." Kris gets a horrible nausea in his gut and thinks that it would be criminal for this beautiful boy to not live through the night.

"The Sentinel," Michael exclaims suddenly and he vanishes through the trapdoor. Kris hears him running and shouting and he stands up and goes to the small window of the attic. He sees Michael standing outside, looking up at the sky.

The dull roar that rumbles through his head makes him feel dizzy and all he can hear is the rolling sound of the frantic Drakkin on the grass below calling for his kin. The alligators all come out of the swamp, some of them changing to human form, most remaining in reptile form and they join in the chant. Kris thinks that his brain is going to explode. It feels like the Drakkin call is embedded in his head, pounding against his skull trying to get out.

The scream from the air makes him look up and he sees the yellow dragon falling, falling, falling, tail over head over tail towards the ground. It hits the bayou water with a dull plop and a few of the alligators plunge back into the water and race towards the stricken dragon.

Kris sees the big black dragon landing softly on the grass in front of the cabin, lightning flashes and Adam is kneeling on the ground, coughing and groaning and Michael runs up to him.

"Sentinel!" He puts his arm on Adam's shoulder and Kris wants to rip him away because he's touching his…Adam.

"Adam!" Kris calls and Adam looks up. Kris waves, "We have him up here but he's not doing too good." Adam nods and gets to his feet.

"Bring him down here," he yells roughly and Kris nods. He turns to look at Cook and the prince.

"Cook, David," he says urgently, "Adam needs us to take Archie downstairs." Cook's eyes are dazed and watery and Kris has to hold swallow against the lump in his throat. He can see the terror in Cook's face and the fear that Archie is dying.

"What?" Cook asks and Kris puts a hand on his shoulder.

"We need to get him down to Adam." His voice is urgent and Cook seems to register it. He gathers Archie up and heads for the trapdoor. He lets Kris hold Archie for a brief moment while he negotiates the stairs and then motions for Kris to hand him down.

Kris doesn't bother arguing; he just passes the boy into Cook's waiting arms and then follows him down the stairs.

He and Cook walk out into the bayou night and it's suddenly silent apart from the sound of cicadas screaming at the moon. Adam and Michael are standing in the centre of a circle of huge alligators and Kris stumbles to a halt. David doesn't seem to feel the same hesitation and just strides to Adam and Michael, Archie cradled in his arms, without pause.

Adam motions to Cook to put Archie down, but the stubborn set of Cook's mouth tells Kris that he will not let the boy go.

"David, you must let me tend to the prince," Adam says quietly and is answered with a short, sharp shake of Cook's head.

"I am not leaving him alone," Cook growls, voice rough and determined. Adam looks into Cook's eyes and something there seems to help him make his decision.

"Very well," Adam says, the sigh audible in his voice, "but I am warning you, you must not let him go, no matter the pain or the fear." Kris is shaking, even though that heavy tone is not directed at him.

"I won't," Cook assures him and pulls Archie in tight.

"Cook," the low whisper stops them all and they look down at the prince, "You can't do this, you mustn't." Kris wants to go and join Cook, he feels as protective of the boy as if he's known him since birth.

Cook lowers his head, "I am not letting you go, Archie, never again." Kris has to bite back the protest, because he wants them all to be safe.

"I won't live through this night," Archie says rawly and Kris wants to shout a denial. "You must let me go."

Cook's face sets in the stubborn way that Kris knows all too well. "Don't you fucking try to tell me what to do, David James Archuleta." The choked giggle tells Kris that this is a familiar argument.

"We need to act now," Adam says suddenly, big hand on Cook's shoulder. "You must hold on, and not let go, no matter what."

Kris wants to ask Adam to explain what he means but suddenly about ten of the alligators are changing, transforming into human form and he just stares as they make a circle around Adam, Archie and Cook.

The low, rhythmic hum coming from the group makes a shudder run through Kris' body. It feels like the sound is rippling right through him and it's like music and it talks to his soul. He steps closer to the circle, looks through the arms and hands shielding Adam from his sight.

He almost slams right through them when he sees the agony in Adam's face as he rests his hands on Archie's chest. The boy is bowed up and mouth open in a scream, but silent and agonized and Cook's face is tucked into his neck. Michael's big hands are holding onto Adam's shoulders as Adam leans back, eyes closed and blood streaming out of his nose.

Kris looks over at Cody who is watching the scene with impassive fascination. "What should I do?" he asks and Cody shrugs.

"Dis be outta my depth, shâ, you best be makin' your own choice here." His smile is huge and Kris has the sneaking suspicion that this is far too much fun for the swamp man.

"Thanks," Kris tells him with a grimace and he ducks under the big arms of the two Drakkin men closest to him and he's in the centre of the circle and looking into Michael's shocked eyes.

"You should not be able to break the chain," Michael gasps and then Adam opens his eyes and Kris falls into ice blue eternity. He feels as though his strength is being sucked out of him and he falls to his knees on the grass, hand outstretched towards Adam.

Adam reaches out and their hands connect, grab and hold on. Kris feels the world fall away.

His memories flicker through his mind like the scratchy film of an old movie. Adam's eyes, Cook's face, Archie's mouth, all run into each other in a reel of emotion and pain and he is grounded only by the grasp of Adam's hand in his.

Happily Ever After?

When he opens his eyes again, he looks over at Adam and sees that he's drenched with sweat and blood.

"Adam?" he says softly and Adam falls back into him and it's all Kris can do to keep hold of him as they go down. He makes sure that he's underneath Adam, though, protecting his head against his chest. The wind is knocked out of him for a moment and he eventually starts breathing again, Adam a heavy weight on top of him. He pushes against Adam, who rolls off him with a grunt and Kris still keeps a careful hold on his skull as he leans over him. The bright blue eyes are closed and his skin is ice white and clammy.

"Adam," he says again, urgently, breath puffing against Adam's face. There is no response and Kris looks around for someone to help him.

He sees that the rest of the Drakkin are also lying unconscious on the grass and Cody is walking between them, touching them, whispering and encouraging.

He turns his head to look over at Cook and Archie. He panics when he can't see the boy. Cook is huddled over, breathing heavily and then he groans and falls back and Kris sees a flash of gold and red and rainbow moving away from him. Kris stares in amazement as the bird spreads its wings.

The phoenix is huge, bigger than a bald eagle and its wingspan looks to be about the length of a grown man. He finds that he can't stare too long at the iridescent wings before his eyes start to burn and water. It's like looking into the sun.

The phoenix turns its head and looks directly at him and Kris feels himself falling into hazel oceans when the soft, sweet voice in his head says, Take care of him.

It's not a question, but Kris nods anyway and then gapes as the phoenix launches itself into the air with a scream. He hears the triumphant roars of the swamp Drakkin and looks around to see that they have all transformed again. The huge reptiles make for the water, leaving Kris with Cook, Cody and Adam, who is the only one who hasn't changed back into his Drakkin form.

Kris motions to Cody, who walks over to Cook and helps him to his feet. "Cook," he croaks and he lifts his head. "You okay?"

David is swaying and groggy but the first thing he asks is, "Archie?"

Cody pats his shoulder and says, "De prince boy be tres bien, shâ. He be in de air at dis time." Cook looks up and the flash of color in the sky draws a weak smile.

"He's okay," he whispers shakily, "that's all that matters." He lets Cody help him over to the stairs in front of the cabin and lower him to sit there.

Kris turns back to Adam, lifts his head and rests it on his thighs. He stares out at the bayou and sees the faint blush of morning touching the horizon.

"We best be gettin' back to Lake Cataouatche, Kris. Dere is nothin' we can do for de dragon man here." Cody's drawl pulls Kris' attention back to him and he nods.

"Adam," he strokes the damp hair away from Adam's forehead and pats his check lightly, "Babe, we need to get out of here." Adam makes a soft, pained noise and Kris tries to see where he's been hurt, but the light is still not bright enough.

"Kris, here, let me help." David and Cody are there and between the three of them they get Adam to his feet and walk-stagger to the small rubber duck pulled up onto the bank. They lower him in and push the boat into the water.

The boat ride back is silent and they stop briefly to collect Cody's pirogue. The sun is bright in the sky by the time they reach Cody's ramshackle cabin. Adam is still out, colour now running high on his cheeks and Kris just wants to get him into a bed and sleep for about a hundred years.

Cook and Cody help him manoeuvre Adam into the back seat of the SUV and then they look at each other.

Cook rubs the back of his neck, he's still pale. "Merci, Cody, mille merci."

Cody pulls him into a rough hug and mutters something in Cajun that Kris can't hear. Cook nods and rubs his face against his uncle's shirt. "We'd better go." He looks at Kris and asks, "You want me to drive?"

Kris nods and then holds his hand out to Cody. "Thank you, for everything."

Cody grins and indicates the car with his head, "You introduced me to a dragon man, shâ. I be thankin' you!" Kris laughs and lets Cody hug him briefly as well. "You be comin' back whenever you want, y'hear? I won't bring out de guns to chase you away." Kris laughs again and clambers up into the back, propping Adam's head on his thighs once more.

"Ready?" Cook turns to look at them and Kris nods, resting a protective hand against Adam's heart.

"So ready," he sighs and leans his head back. Cook starts the car and heads back to New Orleans.

It's late afternoon by the time Cook pulls up in front of the bar. Brad comes out and his eyes get bright at the sight of Adam. "Hello there, who is this hunk of gorgeous man flesh?"

Kris scowls and wants to plant his fist in Brad's pretty face. "Mine," is what he says though and Brad's face drops.

"You always get the hottest boys," he whines but helps Kris muscle Adam out of the car. Kris watches Brad's hands carefully; he's the type who'll grope if he gets the chance.

"Who is he?" Cass asks when they stumble inside.

Cook and Kris exchange glances and Kris mutters, "He's my boyfriend. His name is Adam and he was knocked out so I just need to get him into bed so that I can call a doctor or something." He's going for the simplest explanation.

Brad tells Cass, "Call Anoop, he's a fourth year med student and he won't ask stupid questions." Cassidy nods and is dialing before they reach the stairs.

Adam is dead weight as the three of them struggle to get him upstairs. They're all huffing and out of breath when they finally wrangle him onto Kris' bed.

"Thanks." Kris says to Brad and looks pointedly at the door. He narrows his eyes at the stubborn set of Brad's jaw and only relaxes once Brad flounces out of the apartment, banging the door on his way.

"You okay?" he looks over at Cook who collapses on the sofa.

"Yeah," Cook grunts and opens his eyes, "Worried about Archie though."

Kris shrugs and says, "I think he'll be okay. Maybe that was some kind of energy transference thing that they did. The others all looked wiped when it was over and Archie was …" he trails off and he can feel his face drawing open in wonder, "he's beautiful."

Cook smiles and nods, "Yeah, he's pretty spectacular, isn't he?" He sounds proud and fond and stupidly in love and Kris grins back at him. "What's wrong with Adam though?"

Kris looks back down at Adam, his skin isn't so pale anymore and the damp stickiness has dried. "Don't know. He's just tired, I hope."

They sit there for a while, thinking about everything they've seen and Kris eventually dozes off, sliding sideways on the bed to curl up next to Adam.

He's woken by the sound of voices and the tall man standing next to his bed smiles at him, brown eyes warm. "I'm Anoop Desai," he says, holding out his hand, "Want to tell me about what happened?"

Kris hesitates, not sure how much he should say, when he hears Adam say rawly, "Got a bit of a hit on my head, they were worried about concussion."

Kris' head turns so quickly he feels like it almost spins right off. "Adam!"

Those ridiculous eyes are open, dull with pain, but open and Adam is smiling at him. "Hey baby," he reaches out and Kris grabs his hand, clutching it hard.

"I thought…" Kris can't express his fears but Adam it seems, can read him like a book.

"I'm okay," he tells him, "Just tired." Anoop checks Adam's pupils and then the bump on the back of his head.

He steps back and looks at him. "You look okay and I don't think you've got a concussion, your pupils are responding." He looks over at Kris and suggests, "I would still keep an eye on him though, maybe wake him up every couple of hours, just to make sure."

Cook walks him out, thanking him, and then comes back into the room. "I'm going to head home," he tells Kris, "Maybe Archie's gone there."

Kris nods, careful not to jostle Adam, who has gone back to sleep against his shoulder. "Yeah, okay. Let me know that he's safe, okay?"

Cook nods back and looks down at Adam, brow furrowed. "He put his life in danger for Archie." He sounds thoughtful and a little surprised. "He's one of the good guys I guess."

Kris runs his free hand over Adam's face gently and says, "Yeah, I really think he is." Cook leaves with a wave and Kris cuddles in close to Adam. Adam wraps his long arms around him, still fast asleep and Kris just lets himself slide into oblivion.

He's woken by a hot mouth and busy hands and he thinks that his dick might be on fire but when he opens his eyes and looks down, he sees Adam, eyes dancing, sucking him in and smiling around him.

"Fuck me!" he gasps and Adam lets him go with an audible pop.

"If you insist," he grins, teeth white and sharp and then Kris is lifted up and spread and he is shouting as Adam lowers him onto his already lubed cock.

"You shit!" he yells, pounding on Adam's shoulder and is rewarded with a bite against his collar bone. Kris feels stretched and aching and he's burning up as Adam moves and moves and moves. He's coming before he can stop himself, hot and powerful and all over Adam's stomach as Adam thrusts up once more, groaning into his ear.

Kris feels Adam lower him carefully back onto the bed, he pulls out and then pads to the bathroom. Kris lies sprawled and wrecked and tries to think of when the fuck his life lost all control. His answer comes in the form of the tall man with the warm wash cloth coming out of the bathroom and wiping him clean carefully.

"I am sorry for that," Adam says quietly and Kris sees the slight flush on his cheeks.

He hates that Adam is feeling uncomfortable and scrambles up to hug him. "Don't," he mumbles into Adam's warm neck, "You don't have to be sorry about anything. That was fucking amazing." He feels Adam's arms go around him and pull him in tight.

"Cook called," Adam says and Kris looks at him sharply, "The prince is with him. He is well." His mouth is grim. "We are going to have to discuss what to do next. Prince David says that Daniel mentioned the King had set everything up. He was not supposed to live. We are just lucky that Daniel became greedy and wanted more out of the arrangement."

Kris says, "At least Archie is safe."

Adam nods and sighs, "But not for long. This is going to cause much tension with my people. David and I will have to go to the King and confront him. This jealousy has nearly resulted in the death of our chosen."

Kris can feel the rage radiating from Adam and he starts petting him, stroking him as though he is some huge cat and Adam sighs again and leans into him, arching and purring into his touch, the tattoos rolling and undulating under his hands.

"What you did…" Adam begins and then pulls away, arranges them both on the bed, under a sheet. He doesn't let go of Kris though. "What you did, coming into the circle like that last night," he looks confused, "You shouldn't have been able to do that."

Kris tucks his head into the curve of Adam's neck and asks, "So why could I then?"

Adam puts a hand under Kris' chin. "You were able to come into the circle because your mate was in danger." His voice is low, grave and Kris realizes that he's being told something important.

"You?" he asks, high and nervous and Adam chuckles, the sound reverberating in his chest.

"Me," he confirms and leans down to kiss Kris softly. The kiss turns wild about a second later and Kris tries to remember his name.

He puts a hand on Adam's face. "So what now?" Somehow, he's ended up as the mate of a dragon. He's not sure what it says about him that he's not running screaming for the hills.

Adam smiles and asks, "Do we need to decide everything right now?" He rolls his shoulders. "The next few days, weeks perhaps, are going to be insane. I just need to know that at the end of it all, I can come back to you."

Kris watches him, sees the uncertainty and wants to wipe it away. "I'm not going anywhere," he drawls, deliberately elongating the vowels until the words are a caress. "But, if you're planning on staying here, I'm going to have to start charging you rent."

Adam grins at him, the shadows in his eyes chased away by pure joy. "But I don't have any money," he whines a little and the dragon mark wriggles happily against Kris, sending shivers through him.

Kris grins back, he's not sure what tomorrow will bring, but he knows that he'll be sharing it with Adam, and that's enough for now. "We'll work something out," he tells Adam and then leans down to kiss him.