Disclaimer: This portrayal is entirely fictional. Not for profit, just for our entertainment.
Betas: The deliciouslire_casander, jerakeen and forsweatervests. They're goddesses, and I worship them.
Notes: The title is a quote from the film The Wedding Planner, though the fic is not based on it. Mostly because I've never watched the movie.
Summary: Yeah, Adam's gay, and has an extensive knowledge of flowers and fabrics and he makes fantastic color palettes for weddings, but…does that mean that he has to be the walking stereotype of a wedding planner?
The double take the family members of the future brides and grooms make when they see him for the first time never ceases to be funny. Adam knows that after talking with him on the phone they all expect some little twink: all hyper and dressed in pastels. Yeah, he's gay, and has an extensive knowledge of flowers and fabrics and he makes fantastic color palettes for weddings, but…does that mean that he has to be the walking stereotype of a wedding planner?
The way the bride’s mother looks at him when she lets him into the suite proves it indeed does. The poor woman appears to be a little confused about Adam's role in this whole thing. ‘Wedding planner or exotic dancer?’ her eyes seem to say after a quick once-over. If his costumers only knew how hard working has been for him in the past few weeks, they would be grateful he appeared at all. Creating perfect weddings for lovesick couples when your own heart is broken is not funny at all. Everything looks clichéd, feels corny and sounds syrupy. If another couple chooses “You look wonderful tonight” as their wedding song, he will be forced to pierce his eardrums with a screwdriver. His totally black ensemble is the perfect reflection of his mood, so the clients would have to deal with it. He wears his clothes the way a warrior wears his armor. He uses his charm instead of weapons. It works every time.
Anyway, the lovely bride, Katy, doesn’t mind what he looks like. She’s petite, blonde and delicious in all the right ways. She talks a lot and has a sweet southern accent. She also looks stunning in white, and he's happy to confirm with his own eyes that her bridal gown suits her perfectly. Katy’s so small that a wrong choice could have made her look like a figurine of the cake topper, so Adam took special care with the design.
“I’m so excited!” she says smiling, kissing him on the cheek. “I can’t believe you arranged this in such short notice; we’re so lucky you had a spot free. It’s like fate or something!"
“I’m booked until next January. Had it not been for the Jacksons cancelling…” He gives her a fond look. “And I’m the lucky one, sweetie. I like you better than I liked the other bride.”
“You charmer, you.” She giggles, and Adam smiles with her. He's not lying. The other bride was a nightmare. It’s no wonder the poor groom escaped as soon as possible.
They’re alone in the suite. The bridesmaids are twittering in the bathroom, Katy’s mother talking with somebody on the terrace, and it’s very quiet, peaceful. Adam takes a step back and makes her twirl so he can admire the gown.
“Tell me, gorgeous, any regrets? Anything you forgot to tell me that's vital for your perfect wedding?” He makes a show of taking out a pen and opening his Moleskine. She laughs and turns to look at herself in the huge mirror.
“Well, it’s not going to be the wedding we dreamed of, because we wanted it to be in Arkansas, and that's not possible now. We wanted our lake at sunset, our cupcakes and our barbecued chicken." She smiles sadly at him as he fusses with her bridal veil.
The two of them, in the mirror, make a striking couple. She’s tiny and perfect, dressed in all white and glowing with an almost palpable aura of wholesomeness. He’s her exact opposite, tall and dark, clad head to toe in artificial, glittering black leather and eyeliner. Okay, maybe not the most traditional couple, but still. Very striking.
"But I'm sure this wedding you prepared for us is going to be awesome."
"That I can promise you, sweetie" he assures her, putting a reassuring hand on her shoulder. She smiles and turns around to face him.
"I want to thank you for being here. I know you don't usually come to the actual ceremony and it means a lot to me that you made an exception this time."
"I wouldn't have missed it for the world." And it's true for more reasons than one. Sure, he likes her a lot, but Katy O'Connell is also the star of the new soap opera that's blowing off the charts. The publicity is going to be huge. Heartbroken or not, he has to be sure that everything is up to his standards, because the eyes of the whole country are set on the wedding of the rising actress and the American Idol. It's the stuff dreams are made of. A modern fairy tale: the plaid-wearing singer and the southern belle who fell in love at first sight.
"And I have to meet that gorgeous groom of yours. I'm starting to think that he's imaginary. “ She snorts, very un-ladylike, and he’s compelled to add “It wouldn't be the first time I prepared a wedding for a boyfriend that never existed."
Her eyes open wide with shock and she puts a hand to her mouth. "You're lying!"
"I swear I'm not. And what's more, I know for a fact that you've met the bride," he deadpans.
"Oh, mister, now you have to tell me that story!" She's pointing a finger at him pseudo-threateningly, but laughs when he mimics biting it.
"I like to pretend I'm a gentleman, honey. I don't kiss and tell." There's a knock on the door, so Adam runs to open it, saying, "Saved by the bell!"
There's a man on the threshold, dressed in beige, his suit a little too big, his hair a little too messy. Adam's heart makes a somersault when the guy raises his head and pierces him with his brown eyes. Kris Allen. In the flesh.
Adam freezes, gaping. Oh,shit. This is not good. This wasn't in the plan. He can’t believe he forgot to check who’s the photographer. Of all the stupid mistakes…but, what are the odds, honestly? How many photographers are in LA? He wants to raise his eyes to the heavens and ask, “No, seriously? Does it has to be my ex-boyfriend? Is this necessary?” This is payback for not taking the Maisel wedding, obviously. God is sending him a message, loud and clear: More Jewish weddings, Adam, less fake-engagement parties for the Hilton sisters.
"Kris!" Katy calls, breaking the spell, and Adam turns his back on them so he doesn't have to watch them hug. He busies himself with the centerpiece on the table, his pièce de résistance. It's going to look gorgeous in the pictures; it's made out of old glass bottles found at antique shops, bleached peacock feathers, white roses and anemones. It's already perfect and it doesn't need Adam's nervous hands shuffling things around, but Adam needs a little time to collect himself, so it’s just going to have to deal with being toyed with. Cool competence, I'm a professional, I can do this, Adam tells himself, and turns in time to see Katy and Kris break their embrace.
"You look amazing." The drawl gives Adam goosebumps; he's suddenly grateful for his jacket’s long sleeves.
Katy laughs and struts a little, showing off. "Do you like it? Adam helped me design it. I wanted something more... Disney princess-like, Adam called it? Well, he put me on the right path. He has such amazing taste..."
She's laughing and Adam laughs with her, praying his smile isn't as tense as he thinks it is. She's hanging from Kris's arm, happy, when she says, "Oh, where are my manners? Have you two met? Kris, this is Adam Lambert, the incredible man who made this wedding possible. Without him, this whole thing would have been a disaster. Adam, this is Kris Allen and..."
"We’ve met," Kris interrupts, and at Katy's look of surprise, he continues, "This is not the first wedding we've been in together."
Adam feels his jaw twitch, but he's determined not to make a scene. So that's how Kris sees their relationship? Eight months together reduced to this dismissive comment? Eight months waiting for one “I love you” that never came. So that's why Kris never said it, probably because he never felt it. It shouldn't hurt; the piercing pain in his chest surprises Adam big time.
"Oh! Clearly you've met before; you two are the best in the business!" she beams.
"Should we start, then?" Kris asks, taking out his camera. "Your American Idol is downstairs, and he’s pretty nervous. He's pacing the hall, driving his groomsmen crazy."
"Don't call him that! He has a name, you know?" She's smiling, her face glowing in the morning sun, and the flash of the camera barely intrudes the sincerity of the moment as Kris starts taking pictures.
Adam can’t help but stare at him as he works.
Adam had heard about Kris long before they actually got to meet. The wedding market in LA is big, but it’s not that big. They just kept missing each other, because Adam never has any reason to interact with the photographers and even though he loved Kris’s work from the start, Kris was always booked solid and unavailable.
Kris creates images that are fresh, honest, and full of life with a unique style, modern and distinctive, always striving to give each wedding its own feel. During the months they were together, Adam got a chance to watch him work closely. He loved the simplicity and originality Kris always managed to bring to each and every photo, while still allowing the day to unfold naturally, never forcing the couple to act any differently than they normally would.
He does the same thing with this one. Katy looks at herself at the mirror, laughs with her mother, talks on the phone, and Kris just happens to be there, blending in, unobtrusive, but capturing every instant and every little detail. When the bridesmaids pick up their bouquets, when Katy puts her blue Louboutin sandals on, when the best man, Katy's father, comes in and cries...Kris captures each moment, whether private or joyful. The light in the room is perfect, and Adam knows, he knows, that the pictures are going to be amazing.
"Adam!" Katy calls, beckoning him to her side. "Would you please help me with my corsage?"
Katy's not holding a bouquet. They both decided that a wrist corsage would suit her petite frame better. The blue orchid is very beautiful, but very delicate, so Adam has to help her put it on without damaging it.
She looks up at him and he's surprised to see her eyes shining, full of tears. "Aww, what's the matter, doll?" he says, touching her face with the tips of his fingers, trying to contain the tears.
"I'm so happy right now, I could cry."
"Well, don't, mascara is a bitch to clean up," he says, sensibly, making her laugh. His cell rings, the ridiculous tone his assistant set as his own ringtone interrupting her laughter and she raises an eyebrow at him. He wordlessly shakes his head at her. It’s a long story.
He answers the phone quickly. "Tommy, tell me."
"We have a balloon emergency."
"I'll be there in five." He tucks the phone back in his pocket, and when he turns around to leave, he sees Kris watching him, his eyes severe. Adam looks away. He so doesn’t have time for this right now.
"Sweetie, I have to go,” he tells Katy apologetically. “I'll see you downstairs, okay? Remember, just be happy and enjoy the day. We'll take care of everything. You just have to be your gorgeous self, and everything will be fantastic." He kisses her on the cheek before he leaves, and keeps his eyes very pointedly away from Kris as he closes the suite's door.
The gardens look terrific. The sunset is amazing and it paints everything a lovely shade of orange. The ceremony was perfect, and now the groom's band is playing, Mr. David Cook and his new wife slowly dancing to the tune. The few guests who still remain watch the newlyweds dance indulgently and with more than a little envy. Tommy catches his eye from the other side of the dance floor, and nods, signaling everything is okay, and Adam finally relaxes. Avoiding Kris during the whole day had added another layer of stress to the already demanding situation. Blending in is Kris’s specialty, inserting himself into an environment so completely that you almost forget there had been a time when he wasn’t there. It’s a gift, really. It sucks big-time when you come home and find a Kris-shaped hole in your life, but it works wonders in his line of business. People relax around him, Kris makes them feel comfortable, and it shows in the pictures. Adam guesses that’s one of the factors that make him so requested. People can’t help but love Kris.
Now that his work is done, Adam allows himself to sit on an abandoned chair, closing his eyes and letting his head fall back. Although he trusts Tommy completely - he came with impeccable references, and after a month of training, he’s the perfect assistant - Adam still goes over his mental list. Only one last time, just to make sure that he’s not forgetting anything. but no, everything seems to have been covered. Adam only raises his head when he hears the ohhs and ahhs of the guests as the Chinese sky lanterns rise slowly in the dusk. They clap and cheer, and Adam has to admit that even though one hundred lanterns had seemed excessive at first, the image they make against the darkening sky is striking.
He's very happy with this wedding. There were a lot of VIPs in the guest list, and some of them actually came over to congratulate him. He knows he has a flair for the dramatic – "theatrical" was his review in the latest Martha Stewart Weddings – but with this celebration he’s surprised a lot of people.
Sure, he can do campy and playful and extravagant, but he can also do tender, and soft, and polished. He thinks he proved that today. People’s tendency to pigeonhole him as a flamboyant gay planner instead of the serious businessman he truly is bothers him. He's been in this business for a long time; he’s done it all, from flower boy to tailor’s assistant. He knows everything there is to know in his line of work. So what if he likes to wear leather and paint his eyes black? It doesn't mean that he's not a solid professional, versatile and surprising.
A waiter comes by with a tray full of vodka cocktails, and Adam takes a green one, winking at the cute waiter. It's his first drink today; now that the work is over, he definitely deserves one.
"He's cute," someone says from behind him, and Adam doesn't need to turn around to know who's talking. The drawl is unmistakable. "Totally your type."
Adam ponders that for a while, sipping his drink. "Yeah, he is." He hopes he’s projecting an air of nonchalance. He promised himself that if, when, he met Kris again, he would act totally blasé. Their meeting at the suite earlier doesn’t count. It was kind of an ambush.
Kris takes the chair next to his, leaving his bag on the table, amidst the glass jars full of candles and plates of fruit. Adam gives him a surreptitious glance. The candlelight is kind to him, caressing his profile, smoothing out all faults—not that he has much— but light always loves Kris anyway. Why wouldn’t it; he's gorgeous. They’re so close right now, Adam can smell him, bubblegum and wood; the scent makes his stomach twist with longing.
"Long time no see," Kris says.
Since you ran out of my apartment in a fit, Adam thinks, but he doesn't say it. "How have you been?" he asks instead, politely. He can do polite. He's a pro at fake politeness.
"Busy. Tired. Angry." Kris answers. "Sad."
Don't do this to me, Adam wants to beg, I'm not ready for this. I'm too raw for this right now. I need more time.
So much for confronting Kris. Well, a strategic retreat is also a win. Adam finishes his drink and puts the empty glass on the table.
"Well, it's been a pleasure, but I have to..." he tries to rise but Kris places a hand on his arm to stop him.
"Wait, I... I need to talk to you."
"That’a a first, then. If I remember correctly, talking is not your thing."
"Adam, listen, I..."
"No, Kris, you listen. You were the one who disappeared. You were the one who left and didn’t even say why. I may not have understood what that was all about, but I got the message.” He's not shouting yet, but he's raising his voice, so he takes a calming breath and starts over.
"I obviously did something wrong—something so bad that you’d leave me without even bothering to explain. I still don’t know what the fuck that was. Three weeks ago, I would have killed to find out. But now, I don't even care anymore. So you can spare me the bullshit and save your breath."
Kris's head is down, he’s staring at his shoes, but his hand is still on Adam's arm, his touch burning him through two layers of clothes. He doesn’t seem to want to talk, so Adam continues. He prepared this rant during the anger phase of the breakup, and he's happy to finally be able to deliver it.
"Don't worry. We can have a professional relationship. Our paths don't cross often. It's not like we have to see each other all the time. I prepare the weddings, and you take the pictures. We don't even have to chat."
He waits for a moment, expecting Kris to say something, anything, but Kris is still quiet. Time for the big finale, then. He wants to do it well; it must convey the perfect combination of indifference and disdain. He practiced a couple of times in front of the mirror.
"I'm leaving now. I'm really glad you're back, I’m sure I’ll see you around," he says, voice sweet and dripping with insincerity, and he tries once more to rise from the chair, only to fall back on it when Kris finally decides to open his mouth.
"You kissed him," he says, barely a whisper.
"You kissed Tommy, I saw you. At the AWAs, when you won."
"At the American Wedding Awards?"
"Yes! They announced your name, you reached for Tommy and kissed him, and then you went onstage like it was nothing!"
What the… Adam is astonished. "All this bullshit was because you were jealous? You're fucking kidding me!" he shouts, and then looks around. Nobody's paying them any attention, but he lowers his voice, anyway. "It didn't mean anything. I kiss my friends all the time!"
"Yes, and that's the problem!" Kris's eyes are shining. He's hot when he's angry; the sight of him makes Adam shiver. "Maybe it's nothing to you, but I don't like the idea of my boyfriend kissing random people whenever. Kissing means something to me, and I don't want to share that with everybody. Maybe I wanted you to kiss me exclusively, okay? Maybe I didn't want anybody else touching you, Adam. Did you ever stop to think about it?"
"You never said a thing," Adam mutters after a pause.
"Why did you need me to? You knew I hated the way you acted around Brad and Drake, around all your open-minded and gorgeous friends,“ he spits, with rage.Then he breathes and says ”I thought I could do it, but I...I couldn't help not wanting to share you. I love you. Love's pretty exclusive for me."
This time, Kris is the one to rise. "I could have handled it better, but it was too much for me. I'm sorry."
He walks away, leaving Adam behind, wanting to shout and kick something. This hasn’t been his first break up. He has perfected a method for recovering from this kind of situations. It involves booze, manicure, shopping like a maniac and always, always, a friendly shoulder to cry on, so he doesn’t fall into his usual habit of self-recrimination and doubts. Adam had thought knowing what actually happened would be better than torturing himself wondering where it went wrong or what he’d done to drive Kris away. But now that he knows, it doesn’t help at all. It just sucks. Because now that he knows, he can't console himself thinking that it wasn't his fault, or that Kris didn’t love him enough. It was his fault. He lost Kris over such a stupid thing...Why didn’t Kris say anything if it meant so much to him? And how could Adam not notice something so important to Kris? It makes no sense.
Kris may be quiet, but it doesn’t mean he doesn’t express himself. It’s just that the biggest part of Kris’ communication belongs to the nonverbal variety. He speaks with his eyes; with the way he tilts his head, with the movement of his hands. He shares his mood with a smirk, the raising of his eyebrows or biting his bottom lip. He speaks by bumping his shoulders against somebody, or by rubing his nape and looking up through his lashes. He makes himself understood with a just a comforting murmur, by humming a song. He’s always at ease in long silences, and he can fill them with a smile and half a glance. That glance speaks volumes about love, commitment and forever. And Adam had been an idiot for not realizing it before.
"Errr.." Kris says, and Adams jumps, startled. Kris is back. What does it mean? Is Kris giving him another chance? His heart starts beating so fast that it feels like it's going to escape from his chest. Please, please, please, he thinks, tell me we can work this out. I'm sorry, I missed you so much...Kris clears his throat. "I...Would you hand me my camera bag, please?"
Oh, he came back for the bag. Right. Adam blushes, feeling stupid, and hands him the bag. They stare at each other for a long moment, Kris's gaze pinning him down. And leaving him mute, apparently, because Adam has a lot of things to say but can't seem to find his voice.
Kris fidgets where he stands, and after a while, he sighs, defeated. "Goodbye, then."
Adam is watching him go, for the second time, and can’t even make a move to stop him. He can't believe how stupid he is. ‘Are you letting him go?’ his conscience says in disbelief, and that gets his body moving at last, at last, and before he knows it, Adam is there, stopping Kris with a firm hand on his shoulder.
"I didn't...No one...ever..." He sounds stupid, he knows it, but Kris is looking at him, his brown eyes full of hope and he has to try, has to talk, however inarticulate. Adam knows Kris is the one. He knew it the moment they met. They just connected, like they were made for each other.
The last few weeks without Kris have been hell, his apartment empty, his nights cold, his life dull. Kris's presence kind of stayed behind when he left, teasing and taunting Adam, and Adam wants, needs him back. Fuck his pride. If he has to beg, then so be it.
"There was no one else for me since I met you. And I...yes, I kiss my friends, but it means nothing; it’s not the same as kissing you. Our kisses mean something. They mean love, and trust, and they mean forever... And—and if you still love me, if you still want—I promise I won't kiss anybody else."
He waits for Kris' answer, his heart beating madly. His pulse thunders in his ears, and Adam wonders if Kris can hear it, too. Finally, finally, Kris closes his eyes, leaning his head on Adam's chest, and Adam embraces him. They fit together easily, perfectly, as they always have, since the beginning. He's so relieved he wants to shout it from the rooftops. He feels like crying and his legs are trembling, so he hides his face in Kris's hair and holds on tight. He’s getting another chance, and Adam promises himself that he's not going to waste it.
He loses track of time, doesn't know for how long they've been there, embracing, detached from the music and the people. Eventually, Kris breaks the silence.
"You have to fire Tommy," he says, his voice muffled by Adam's jacket.
"I will do no such thing."
"I hate him," Kris says bluntly.
"That's good, because he hates you, too. His new girlfriend, though, you'll love. She's fierce."
Kris laughs and gazes up at Adam. His smile is unsteady as he speaks. "I know I don't talk about—my feelings a lot, and even when I do, I'm not very...articulate. I’ll try to be clear if something bothers me. I promise."
It looks like Adam isn't the only one who had a speech prepared. And for Kris, that’s a really long speech. Adam is touched. The whole conversation about his feelings must have been like pulling teeth out for him.
Kris looks so earnest that Adam can't help but caress his fingers along Kris’ jaw.
"Kris, we’re men. We’re doomed to fail at communication. And now we really need to get on with the makeup sex, so shut up and let me kiss you."
Kris lets him.
Three months later, on the cover of "Southern Weddings," there’s a picture of Katy's smiling face with a big male hand, nails painted black, wiping her tears away.