Fiona (ruafair) wrote,
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ruafair

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Fic: Reality (Shows) Bite

Title: Reality (Shows) Bite
Author: ruafair
Artist: wildcat92
Beta: fairfax_verde
Disclaimer: Real people, but this story is fiction, and written for fun.

The next few of days were great. Adam had managed to settle the record people down and the producers of The Bachelor were delighted with the ratings and reviews for the show. A couple of days after the premiere, Adam had invited his band to the house for their rehearsal--much to the delight of Tommy who once again got to jam on bass with the band as Adam was between bassists again.

Brad, Lane, Sutan and Neil were the audience as Adam ran through his own songs and a few cover versions.

“Sounds tight,” commented Neil when they had finished. “You’re very good,” he directed at Tommy.

“Oh honey, you were excellent,” grinned Brad. “You were pretty good as well Adam,” he added with a wink.

“Thank you,” replied Adam dryly.

“It sounds great Adam,” smiled Lane. “He is very good.”

“Yes he is,” agreed Adam as he watched Tommy and Isaac talking.

“There’s some press work you need to do,” she said, her voice apologetic.

“I know. When do I have to leave?”

“I can give you an hour,” she offered.

“I’ll take it. Thanks Lane.” Adam headed back over to his band.

------

When Adam got back to the house after his press engagements it was well after midnight. He went to his room, cleaned off is makeup, brushed his teeth and changed into his sleeping pants before padding through the house to Tommy and Brad’s room.

He knocked gently on their door, and after a few minutes of no answer he gently opened it and stepped inside. He smiled at the sight of Tommy and Brad asleep in the same bed. He moved slightly across the room to Tommy’s side and gently shook the other man.

“Hey… what?” he muttered sleepily a minute later.

“Sorry,” whispered Adam, “got room for one more?”

Tommy smiled, all warm and full of sleep as he moved closer to Brad and lifted up the covers. “Come on,” he whispered.

Adam quickly slipped in behind him and curled up against Tommy’s back, wrapping his arms around his waist.

“Kinda ménage a trois,” Adam sang low into Tommy ear, causing the other man to laugh before he snuggled against Adam.

*******

“Well isn’t this a pretty picture,” Neil said, earning a ‘fuck off Neil’ from all three occupants of the bed. “No I mean it, in fact I can’t wait for conservative America to see this picture. Can you imagine the fallout? It will be amazing. I can almost picture the headlines, ‘Bachelor Threesome! Think of the Children’ etc, etc. Please let me send the picture I may have just taken to certain networks.”

“Fuck off Neil,” came the response again, closely followed by three pillows being thrown at his head.

“I’m taking that as a yes,” he called out as he ran out of the room.

“Will he actually do it?” asked Tommy.

“He might,” replied Adam. “Does that bother you?”

“Actually, no it doesn’t,” he replied.

“I am so proud,” said Brad, hugging Tommy tightly. “Welcome to a more corrupted but totally fun life. Next thing you know, it will be scandal pants!”

Both Adam and Tommy started laughing.

“Brad, sweetie,” said Tommy a moment later, “I adore you, but I will never, ever, be ready for scandal pants.”

*******

Neil ended up not sending the picture to the networks, but he did--with Adam, Tommy and Brad’s permission--post it on Twitter, just to see the reaction. Needless to say Twitter spent the best part of the day after it was tweeted displaying its ‘Fail Whale’ page, much to Neil’s amusement.

The next day Adam was alone in his room working on some music while Brad and Tommy were off somewhere around the house. He was determined to get these lyrics finished before looking at the gossip magazines and printouts from the celebrity gossip websites that Lane had got for him. He hadn’t had a chance to see what the reaction was to bringing Tommy as his date to the premier.

Smiling to himself, Adam managed to get the lyrics out of his head and onto the paper in front of him. They weren’t one hundred percent complete, but he was happy to have something down.

Pushing the paper away he grabbed the first batch of printouts and settled back in his chair to read.

The first couple were fine, and Just Jared was actually quite complimentary about Tommy. TMZ picked up a little on the Tommy/paparazzi moment and wondered if ‘the little blond,’ as they described him, could survive in the glare of the public eye as Adam Lambert’s boyfriend.

“Fuckers,” muttered Adam as he moved to the next—Perez. God, a part of him did not want look at this, did not want to see what he’d written. ‘Maybe it’s all right,’ a tiny voice in his head piped up. “Not fucking likely,” said Adam. “OK, here we go.” He picked up the page from Perez’s site and began reading.

It was the usual tripe at first… “Adam Lambert takes Bachelor finalist favorite to premiere. Tommy Ratliff is very much the singer’s type: small and pretty…” Of course Perez had added his own touch to the photos, with Perez’s own thoughts on Tommy’s appeal--which Adam skinned through very quickly, because really, Perez’s thoughts on Tommy where bound to be eew and creepy.

But further on in the article was the news Adam had been kind of expecting and dreading. Perez, of course, had brought up the whole mini-paparazzi moment, mostly because the pap in question had told him. Perez had gone on about Tommy not being able to handle the glare of the public eye and would therefore not last long as ‘Adam Lambert’s arm-candy’--Perez’s words of course. But then he had to deal the killer blow: he brought up Drake and his reluctance to live in the public eye and their messy break-up etc. Then he compared Tommy and Drake and announced that in his--frankly unwanted in Adam’s mind—opinion, Tommy wouldn’t last five minutes and Adam Lambert could do much better.

“Fucking asshole,” spat out Adam as he ripped up the pages and threw them on the floor before standing up and pacing around. “It’s just one asshole’s opinion, it doesn’t mean anything,” he said to himself. “Tommy, Tommy is perfect,” he smiled.

He bent to pick up the papers when his phone rang, grabbing and answering it before checking the caller ID. Adam dropped the papers he had picked up when he heard the voice on the other end.

“Adam,” it said, softly.

“Drake.”

*******

Tommy hummed to himself as he made his way along the corridor to Adam’s room. He hadn’t seen the other man all day and was hoping to persuade him to come to dinner. Reaching the door he knocked softly, and then a little louder when there was no answer.

“Adam, are you in there?” he called out.

A couple of moments later Adam opened the door. “Tommy, what are you doing here?” he said, and then winced at how that sounded.

“Are you OK?” Tommy asked. “You seem a little out of it.”

Adam waved his hand, “I’m fine, sorry, just got caught up in a few things.”

“OK. I was wondering if you wanted to grab dinner. I know the cameras will be on us, but it could still be fun.”

Adam smiled and kissed Tommy softly, “I’d love to join you,” he said.

Hand in hand they headed out, but Adam couldn’t get phone conversation or Perez’s comments out of his mind.

*******

Tommy was worried about Adam. He’d been kind of distant the last couple of days--actually if Tommy were honest it had started the night of the premiere. In hindsight Tommy knew that he shouldn’t have let the pap get to him, but at the time he had just wanted to punch the guy. He just couldn’t understand how Adam just smiled and ignored them.

‘Probably because he’s used to them and also knows it comes with having a successful music career,’ an internal voice said.

“God knows what he must have thought of me,” he muttered, “letting them get to me the very first moment they acted like assholes. Really smart Tommy.”

The finale was only a few days away, and everyone was kind of out of it, so that could be a contributor to Adam’s mood as well. Tonight he and Brad where going out to dinner, a last date for them, while Tommy would have his the following night. Maybe he could find out what was going on then and if it was something he had done. The whole finale business was nerve wracking enough without him worrying if he’d managed to piss Adam off.

He decided to give Mia and Chantala a call; he kind of needed one of their ‘get your head out of your ass’ conversations.

*******

The following day Brad tried to get some alone time with Adam. There was something going on. Adam was being incredibly tight-lipped about it, and Brad had a bad feeling. Adam had been very weird during their dinner last night. He had also been ultra-careful about what he said around the cameras. Brad was worried his friend had decided to do something very, very stupid, and he had full intentions of telling him if only he could find the man. But for some reason, Adam was staying out of everyone’s way.

Swearing softly to himself as he made his way back to the dining room, Brad wished for about the thousandth time that he could talk to Tommy about all this, confess everything to him. He really liked Tommy and thought him perfect for Adam. He also thought that Adam thought Tommy perfect for him as well.

Giving up on his search for Adam for the moment, Brad diverted from his path to the dining room and decided to call Terrance instead to see if he had any thoughts on what was going on. Maybe he’d picked up on something through the live broadcasts.

*******

Dinner was a quiet affair, and while Tommy had no problem with silence, this was starting to border on the uncomfortable. Usually he and Adam had no problem talking; they had similar interests in a lot of things.

By the time dessert had come around Tommy had decided enough was enough.

“OK, what’s going on?” he asked.

“What do you mean? Nothing’s going on,” replied Adam.

“Adam,” Tommy reached his hand across the table and covered Adam’s with it. “You’ve been kind of distant the last few days, plus you’re so quiet tonight. Is everything ok?”

Adam pulled his hand from beneath Tommy’s and took Tommy’s hand in his. “Everything is OK, I’ve just a lot on my mind,” he squeezed Tommy’s hand gently before letting go.

Tommy frowned, “have I… have I done something?” he asked softly, inwardly cursing that he’d actually asked.

“Oh sweetie, no,” exclaimed Adam, reaching across the table and cupping Tommy’s cheek. “Believe me Tommy, it’s nothing you’ve done, OK?”

“It’s just that things have seemed a bit weird between us and I was wondering if what had happened the night of the premiere…” He didn’t get a chance to finished as Adam was out of his chair and pulling Tommy to his feet, kissing him deeply.

“Tommy, Tommy,” he murmured against his lips, “not you, OK?”

“OK Adam, OK,” replied Tommy, his voice sounding a little desperate before pulling him in for another kiss.

------

Dessert was forgotten and they hurriedly made their way back to the house where Adam locked them two of them in his room. A single flickering candle was the only light in the room as Adam took control of everything. It was all Tommy could do to hold on.

He undressed Tommy slowly and gently, covering every inch of skin exposed with his lips and tongue. And about an hour later and only when Tommy was lying panting and sweating on the bed did Adam strip off his own clothes.

Tommy made to reach for him but Adam grabbed both his wrists in one hand and held them over Tommy’s head. “No, let me, please Tommy, let me,” he kissed a path down Tommy’s face, neck and chest.

Tommy moaned in acceptance, arching slightly off the bed as Adam pushed his thighs further apart and rubbed two lube coated fingers around his hole. Again Adam moved slowly and gently, driving Tommy crazy as he prepared him. By the time Adam covered Tommy’s body with his and slowly pushed himself in, a sobbing Tommy practically cried out in relief.

Once again the pace was maddening slow. He’d build it up till Tommy was on the edge and then Adam would slow it down again. It was amazing, and perfect and just made Tommy fall a little more in love with Adam.

They came together and Adam buried his face in Tommy’s neck as he rode out his climax... hoping the tears spilling from his eyes would stop before he had to look Tommy in the face again.

A blissed out Tommy held Adam tightly as he caught his breath. But despite the perfection of everything, there was an ache in Tommy’s heart that he couldn’t or perhaps wouldn’t put a name to.

*******

The day before the finale neither Brad nor Tommy saw Adam. For Tommy it wasn’t a bad thing. He was still trying to figure why he thought it felt like Adam was saying goodbye the night before. For Brad it wasn’t a good thing. He really needed to talk to Adam about what was going to happen tomorrow, but so far no word. Not even Neil or Lane had an idea.

So Tommy and Brad spent the day doing pretty much nothing. They lounged around and made plans for meeting up with the others when The Bachelor was all done and dusted.

“I can’t wait to see Terrance again,” said Tommy. “I’ve really missed him; well I’ve missed everyone, but especially Terrance.”

“It will be fun meeting up,” agreed Brad. “We can hit a fabulous club and getting fabulously drunk!”

“An excellent plan my friend,” said Tommy, clinking his beer bottle against Brad’s glass.

------

“So,” said an impatient Neil.

“So what?” said Adam vaguely as he scrolled through messages on his phone.

“What the fuck is happening tomorrow?” exclaimed a now exasperated Neil. “You do realize the finale is tomorrow, and that you have to choose? Is any of this sinking in? Or has all that shit in your hair finally damaged your brain?”

“I know what is happening tomorrow Neil,” replied Adam, rolling his eyes. “Stop being such a drama queen.”

“Well stop being a fucking vague douche then and tell me,” snapped Neil. “We need to tell Brad.”

“Just leave me alone Neil,” sighed Adam. “I’m sure there is someone else you could be annoying right now.”

“No just you. Adam, what is wrong? You were all sunshine and happiness, it was downright fucking nauseating, and now it’s all emo-Adam, which is just as nauseating.”

“What is it with everyone asking me what is wrong?” Adam stood up, his arms flailing. “This is a big deal for me, OK?”

“Now who’s being a drama queen?” Neil rolled his eyes, “it’s not that big, just tell me you’re picking Tommy and I’ll go.”

“Who says I’m picking Tommy?”

“You’re not picking Tommy? When did you decide this?”

“I didn’t say I wasn’t picking Tommy,” replied Adam, “I just said, who says I’m picking Tommy?”

“Well, pretty much everyone who’s watching the show says. In fact I think even mom and dad have said it.”

“Look Neil, everything will be fine, just go away, please.” Adam turned away from his brother and looked at his phone again.

Neil threw his hands in the air before leaving the room, muttering about ‘diva’ brothers and why the fuck was he even getting involved in this.

Adam gave a small smile to his brother’s ranting before frowning again. He scrolled through his contact names, stopping on one. His finger hovered over the call button, and after taking a deep breath he tapped it.

It rang twice before being answered. “Adam?”

“I’ve been thinking about what you said Drake…”

“About you and I,” replied Drake.

“Yes… and you’re right…”

*******

On the day of the finale Tommy found himself in a state of nervous energy. Everything seemed weird around the house. Even Brad seemed to be quieter than usual. “Big night nerves,” he had said when Tommy asked.

There were extra cameras around the place; the producers of the show could be spotted around the house. Lane was running around alternating between giving out orders to people and shouting out orders into her phone.

Chris was also wandering around with his microphone, and whenever he caught up with Tommy or Brad he started asking them questions about the show, the finale, Adam, and each other. It had gotten to the stage than whenever either of them saw Chris they ran as far away from him as possible. And through the whole day there had been no sign of Adam.

Adam, for his part, was holed up in his room, admitting only Sutan, and only then after the make-up artist had promised not to ask him about the finale.

He stood in front of his closet trying to decide what to wear. A suit definitely; but what color?

“Go for the silver one with the black embellishment on the shoulder, black shirt and those gorgeous black boots you picked up in Berlin,” said Sutan without looking up from the magazine he was reading.

“I knew I kept you around for a reason,” said Adam with a small smile as he took the items out of his closet.

“Are you ready for all this tonight?” asked Sutan.

“Not in the slightest,” replied Adam honestly.

*******

Later that evening the audience were settled in their seats. Tommy and Brad were dressed up in their tuxedos, and Sutan had done their make-up for them. They stood just off to the side, cameras on them of course, but thankfully no microphones around. Both looked nervous.

------

Neil and Lane stood to the side of the room watching off-camera.

“Have you any idea what’s he going to do?” asked Lane.

“Not a clue,” replied Neil, “Four days ago he was certain, and all was good. Now he’s all dithering again. What happened?”

“No idea,” said Lane, shaking her head, “but either way, it should be interesting.”

------

Mia and Chantala sat side by side in Mia’s living room watching. Tommy’s roommates Dave and Mike were also there, a table full of alcohol in front of them.

“Tommy looks nervous,” commented Mia, and Chantala nodded in agreement.

“He looks like he gonna hurl,” added Dave.

“Poor Tommy,” murmured Chantala. She was worried about him. Everything had been great, and then Tommy had called saying Adam had been very distant with him. He’d also confessed that they’d had sex the night of their final dinner date, and Tommy had felt like Adam was, almost saying goodbye to him. She’d reassured him saying it was just nerves about the finale. ‘God I hope Adam hasn’t decided to do something stupid,’ she thought.

------

“I think I’m going to be sick,” muttered Tommy.

“It’s OK Tommy, just breathe,” said Brad.

“I can’t believe this is it, the big finale.”

“I know, and I hope regardless of which one of us is picked, we’re still going to be friends, right?” asked Brad.

“Oh of course we are,” gasped Tommy, grabbing Brad’s hand. “We still have to have that night out with Terrance, Cassidy, Lucas and Jason.”

“Good, cause I adore you Tommy Joe Ratliff.”

“Good, cause I kind of adore you as well Brad Bell.”

“Well of course you do, I am utterly fabulous.”

“And modest to a fault,” laughed Tommy, starting to feel better.

------

“I’m going to be sick,” muttered Adam as he looked at himself in the mirror of the dressing room.

“What did you say honey?” Sutan looked up from where he was packing up his make-up.

“Nothing, just talking to myself,” sighed Adam.

Sutan narrowed his eyes at him. “Put it out of your mind Adam.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Whatever you-know-who said to you the other day on the phone. You’ve been distant and, well, generally not very nice to be around. I don’t know why you still let him--”

“Please, just leave it Sutan.”

“Fine, fine,” Sutan finished packing up and snapped his make-up case closed. “Just be 150% sure of what you’re going to do Adam, otherwise people are going to get hurt. I’ll see you later,” and he left the room.

“I’m fucked,” whispered Adam to his reflection.

*******

“Well here we are ladies and gentlemen,” said Chris, “the finale of this incredible season of The Bachelor. Eight young men originally entered this house and now we are down to the final two. Let’s have a round of applause for Brad Bell and Tommy Joe Ratliff.”

The crowd erupted as the two men walked across the stage. Both waved and smiled at the audience. They shook hands with Chris and then went to take their places at the side.

“And now for the man himself, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Adam Lambert…”

Adam came out waving and smiling.

“Well Adam, this is it,” smiled Chris when the cheering had quietened down.

“It is Chris, and it has been an incredibly amazing time. I have met and gotten to know wonderful people.”

“You and the contestants have certainly entertained us,” Chris added with a wink causing the audience to cheer and clap again. Even Tommy and Brad smiled at this.

“But now the serious stuff. Adam, the floor’s all yours.”

“This has been a very difficult decision,” he said, addressing Tommy and Brad, “and I’d love to keep both of you,” he added with a nervous laugh. “But there has to be a winner, so… I choose…”

------

Mia and Chantala grabbed each other’s hand, barely able to breathe.

------

Terrance, Cassidy, Lucas, Jason, and Josh sat in Cassidy’s apartment, eyes glued to the TV.

------

“God I can barely watch or listen,” muttered Lane, and Neil nodded in agreement.

------

“… I choose… BRAD!”

------

Tommy couldn’t breathe… literally couldn’t breathe. Brad was in front of him, an apologetic look in his eyes as he grabbed Tommy into a hug. “Oh honey, I’m sorry, I was so sure…”

Tommy just patted his back and pulled away, hoping to convey he was OK to Brad with his eyes, but he just couldn’t get his mouth to work.

------

“I don’t fucking believe it!” cried Chantala.

“Oh Adam, you’ve fucked it all up now,” muttered Mia.

------

“Oh Adam, you fucking idiot,” murmured Neil.

------

“He’s out of his mind!” exclaimed Terrance.

------

“Oh honey, what have you done?” whispered Sutan as he watched on the TV in his make-up room. “You silly, silly boy…” and he hurried out of the room.

------

And, of course, the Internet fucking exploded...

------

Adam approached Tommy. The crowd was going nuts--equal parts cheers and boos.
“Tommy,” he said softly and his heart broke at the look in his eyes.

“Good choice,” Tommy said, his voice slightly cracking.

“Tommy,” Adam said again, “please I need…”

“No it’s OK. You don’t have to explain,” and that was a lie. Inwardly Tommy was screaming for an explanation. “I have… I have to get out of here.” He gave Adam an awkward hug and quickly left.

Cameramen and reporters crowded him for a reaction. “I couldn’t have lost out to a nicer man,” was all he said as he hurried away from them before he actually started crying.

An arm grabbed him and pulled him into a room. Sutan smiled softly at him and locked the door. “Come on honey,” he said holding his arms out, and Tommy fell into them and let the tears fall. “Oh Tommy,” he said softy.

*******

“What the fuck Adam?” exclaimed Brad as soon as they were away from the cameras and alone.

“What? This is what was planned,” Adam replied. “You were always going to be the winner.”

“Bullshit, that’s fucking bullshit. At the start yes, but that was before… before… Jesus Adam, you broke his heart.” Brad slumped into a seat and looked up at Adam.

“I know, fuck it I know. I broke my own in the process, but Brad, it was the best…”

“Best for whom? Come on Adam explain it to me, I’m dying to hear this.”

Adam slumped into his own seat and dropped his head into his hands. “Oh god Brad, his face, I didn’t think I could ever hurt someone like that... like I’d been hurt… like…”

“Like Drake.” supplied Brad. Adam lifted his head and Brad’s own heart clenched at the tears on his friend’s face. “Oh sweetie,” he knelt in front of Adam and hugged him tightly.

*******

After his breakdown with Sutan, Tommy headed straight for his room and started packing. He’d been afraid to turn on his phone, knowing there would be hundreds of missed calls and texts. He just wanted to pack and get out as quick as possible.

He pulled all his clothes from the closets and drawers and began dumping them into his suitcases. Thankfully none of the cameramen were bothering with him, they were all following Brad and Adam around. He paused for a minute as an image of Brad and Adam together appeared in his head, and damn it hurt… a lot.

“Fuck this,” he muttered, “you’re not some teenage girl. Get over it Tommy. He made his choice and it wasn’t you.”

“But he so wanted it to be…”

Tommy spun around, dropping an armful of clothes when he saw Adam standing there. “I don’t… I can’t speak to you Adam, please, please go.” Tommy turned his back again and took a deep breath.

“Just, just listen to me Tommy, please,” begged Adam.

‘NO,’ his mind screamed as he whispered “OK.”

“This whole show was all organized at the very start,” began Adam. “I didn’t want to do it, but my mom said it was a great opportunity and that the network needed me more than I needed them so I could demand control of everything before agreeing. That control included using four of my friends as contestants, Brad, John, Cassidy and Terrance, and that Brad would be the eventual winner.”

Tommy turned around again to look at him, a look of shock on his face. “What the fuck? So all…” he gestured between himself and Adam, “wasn't ever anything… serious,” he choked out the last word.

“Oh baby,” Adam stepped forward but stopped when Tommy took a step back. “You and I were so very serious. What we have is so amazing, I want it to continue and I had changed my mind, Brad wasn’t going to be chosen, you were.”

“But why Adam, why change your mind again?” he asked, his voice broken.

“I split up with my boyfriend, Drake, not long before I was approached about the show. There were a number of things that caused the break-up, but his not being able to handle the crazy world I live in with paparazzi and everything was the main factor. The night I took you to the movie premiere kind of showed me that the same thing would happen if you couldn’t handle it, and then a phone call from Drake reinforced that.”

“I’m sorry,” Tommy shook his head, a look of anger and confusion on his face. “Let me see if I have this correctly. You were going to pick me, but because I nearly lost it with a photographer at a premiere and a phone call from your ex you decided that you and I weren’t worth it, weren’t worth a go.”

“No, no it’s not that,” said Adam, shaking his head. “I didn’t want to put you in a position where every moment of your life was record and talked about and that you’d end up hating me. I did what was best for you.”

“Fuck you Adam Lambert, fuck you,” spat out Tommy. “You had no right to make that decision for me. None.” Tommy shook his head, “you know, I think I’d have preferred you deciding that hey, you’d already fucked me so there was no need to pick me as a reason than this... this bullshit. That was a fucking cowardly thing to do. I thought you and I… I was falling in love with you Adam…” Tommy turned away again as he felt tears once again prick his eyes. “If, if you didn’t want me, you could have had the balls to tell me. Please just go Adam.”

“Tommy…” Adam’s voice was choked with pain and tears.

“Just… go,” he shouted, and when he heard the door open and close Tommy took a deep shuddering breath and with tears in his eyes finished his packing. The sooner he got out of this place the sooner he could start getting his life back.

*******

Adam ran to his room and once he’d locked the door he sank to the floor and cried. “Tommy hates me,” he said between sobs.

“Adam, Adam, come on let me in,” Neil voiced sounded the other side of the door. “Adam.”

“Go away,” he cried.

“I’m going to break the door down if you don’t let me in, I mean it.”

He unlocked the door but stayed on the floor, not looking up when the door opened and his brother slipped in.

With a deep sigh Neil sat on the floor beside him and put his arm around his shoulders.

“I fucked up Neil, like really fucked it up,” he said softly, tears and mascara streaming down his face. “You all warned me, and I ignored you.”

“Well you’ve never been the sharpest where your heart’s concerned,” said Neil, “and we never mention me saying that ever again.”

Adam laughed with a hiccup. “You should have seen his face, I hurt him so bad. He hates me Neil.”

“No he doesn’t,” Neil pulled Adam against him and Adam rested his head on his younger brother’s shoulder. “He’s just really, really pissed at you. Give him some time.”

“I hope you’re right.”

“Of course I am. I’m the smart one, remember?” Neil replied softly.

*******

Tommy headed to his mom’s place rather than go home. She just met him at the door with a hug, saying nothing.

An hour later he’d finally turned on his phone and deleted all the text and voicemail messages, barely listening to any of them. He fired off a quick text to Mia, Chantala and Dave telling them he was OK and that he’d talk to them in a couple of days. He then turned off his phone again and curled up in the bed, pulling the sheet over his head.

*******

Over the next few days Adam and Brad went through the motions of their contracted appearances and dates as part of the show. Adam had managed to successfully avoid having to answer any questions about Tommy. He’d heard from Terrance that Tommy was back in his own place and that they were hoping to meet up very soon.

After his little moment with his brother, Adam had taken Neil’s words to heart. He would give Tommy time, and hopefully, Tommy would forgive him and they could at least start being friends again.

So for the moment he was going through with his personal appearances before locking himself away with his band to record a new album.

------

When Tommy got back to his own place he was so glad to see Mike and Dave acting as if nothing had happened. Mia and Chantala, on the other hand, fawned and mothered and coddled and, in Mia’s case, threatened to ‘take care’ of Adam for him. But after a long conversation with both where he promised he was fine, and told Mia that she was to leave Adam alone, they settled back into their usual routine--which of course included Chantala trying to set him up with cute men.

It was about a week after the finale when Tommy finally agreed to meet up with some of the others. It was just going to be a few drinks and dinner with Terrance and Jason, and Tommy found himself looking forward to seeing both of them again.

When he arrived at the restaurant Terrance was waiting for him, looking at little nervous. But he lit up when he saw Tommy and pulled the smaller man into a hug. “Tommy Joe, missed you bro,” he said.

“That was bad man,” laughed Tommy when he released him and took his seat. “Is Jason running late?”

“Yeah, he’ll be here in about 15,” replied Terrance. “I didn’t think you’d want to see me again.”

“What? Why? Why wouldn’t I?”

“Because of the whole ‘fix’ thing on the show and that I’m a friend of Adam’s.”

Tommy sighed. “Was being friends with me part of this ‘fix’?”

“Shit Tommy, no, no way,” Terrance grabbed Tommy’s hand.

“Well then we have nothing to worry about,” he smiled, squeezing Terrance’s hand.

“Oh thank goodness,” said a very relieved Terrance.

“OH MY GOD… TOMMY JOE,” a loud voice reverberated through the restaurant.

Tommy and Terrance shared a look, “Jason’s here,” they both said as the exuberant blond bounded across the restaurant and grabbed Tommy, kissing him and hugging him.

“Think he’s happy to see you,” quipped Terrance.

Tommy just laughed and held Jason tightly, so very, very glad he’d come out to see them.

*******

An uncharacteristically nervous Brad knocked on the door. He took a deep breath as he heard someone opening it.

“Hello.”

“Hi, I was wondering if Tommy was in,” asked Brad with a smile.

“Yeah, he is. Come on in,” Dave stood back and let the other man in. He led him to a living room where Tommy was stretched out on the couch, a horror movie playing on the TV.

“Visitor for you,” said Dave, “I’m going to head out for a while.” And he left the room.

Tommy looked up, and then jumped to his feet when he saw Brad. “Brad, wow, what are you doing here?” He pulled him into a hug.

“I just thought with everything that had happened you’d be a little reluctant to see me,” replied Brad as he hugged Tommy tightly.

Tommy pulled back and rolled his eyes, “you’re as bad as Terrance. Did we or did we not promise that regardless of… what happened, we’d still be friends?”

“Yes we did.”

“OK, then we are still friends,” smiled Tommy.

Brad smiled back and kissed Tommy’s cheek.

“Do you want something to drink? Tea, coffee, maybe something a bit stronger? I think there is a bottle of whiskey around.”

“Ooh definitely something stronger. A large whiskey and soda, if you have it, please,” said Brad.

Tommy disappeared from the room, and Brad hit pause on the DVD player.

“Right, two very large whiskeys and soda,” Tommy announced, coming back into the room and handing Brad his drink before taking his seat beside him.

“Cheers,” grinned Brad, holding out his glass.

“Cheers,” said Tommy as they clinked glasses.

“So how are things with you?” asked Brad after taking a large sip.

“Pretty good. I have a couple of auditions coming up so hopefully something will come of one of them,” grinned Tommy. “What about you?”

“Me, well Tommy, little ole me may be getting my own TV show…” exclaimed Brad.

“No fucking way.”

Brad nodded vigorously, “some producers and TV execs saw me on The Bachelor and what can I say, they were impressed. It’s all in the very early development stage but fingers crossed!”

“Wow that sounds amazing. Congratulations Brad,” said Tommy.

Brad just grinned happily before taking another sip of his drink.

“So everyone is good?” asked Tommy, and Brad nodded. “And… and, ehm, Adam, how is he?”

“He’s,” began Brad, “he’s not good Tommy. He’s depressed and moping around, and downright way too emo for me to handle.” Brad bit his lip as he inwardly debated whether or not to continue. “He misses you, so much.”

Tommy rubbed a hand over his face, “I miss him too Brad.”

“He knows what he did was wrong, but, honey, you have to realise it wasn’t to hurt you. He did believe it was for the best.”

“It was a completely fucked-up idea,” said Tommy. “How the hell did he think it was the best solution for me?”

Brad sighed. “I’ve known Adam a long time, and he’s funny, warm and generous, he’s also very smart but does have a habit of following the worst advice when it comes to men, especially concerning ones he really likes. Yes what he did was stupid, but he just wanted to protect you. He told me about your moment at the premiere…”

“Fuck, that was nothing,”

“I know, I know, but look at it from Adam’s perspective. His life is lived in the glare of paparazzi and anyone who is going to be with him, full time, is going to have to get use to it. That was your first incident and, well, you did lose it--a little anyway. And it just got Adam thinking.”

Tommy knocked back a third of his drink, wincing at the burn of the whiskey.

“Then there was Perez, the fucking douche, mentioning it and bringing up Drake, topped off by a call from the man himself. Drake is a good guy and he and Adam were good together at the start, but Drake hated the limelight, hated seeing pictures of himself and Adam together. He didn’t want to be in it, and that need to be private was greater than his need for Adam. The break-up was messy and Adam wasn’t himself for a while after it. And then you came along and he was hooked again.” He gave Tommy soft smile, “he really thought he was protecting you, and a misguided as his methods were you have to know the last thing he wanted to do was hurt you.”

“I know now,” sighed Tommy leaning his head back and closing his eyes, “but god, at the time I thought my heart was breaking. And I miss him, I really miss him.”

“I know sweetie,” said Brad, his voice full of sympathy. “It was so incredibly fucking stupid what he did, but his heart was in the right, albeit misguided, place.”

Tommy just nodded and then changed the subject, talking about his dinner with Terrance and Jason. When Brad left a few hours later Tommy crawled into his bed, and went over and over Brad’s words.

*******

“Well Adam, he still likes me and we’re friends,” grinned Brad.

“Oh goody, cause yes it’s all about you,” said Adam dryly.

Brad rolled his eyes. “He did ask about you, and I told him you were miserable, which you are no matter how much you deny it. We talked about what happened and I explained as best I could. And his misses you baby, really misses you.”

“Have I fucked it up completely?”

“No, I don’t think so… just give it time.”

------

That night, despite what Brad said about giving it time, Adam sent Tommy a text, just a ‘Hi, hope you are OK’ text.

He bit his lip as the minutes ticked by with no response. And then just when he thought there would be nothing a reply came back. ‘Hi back, I’m good :)’

And Adam fell asleep with a small smile on his face.

*******

A few weeks after The Bachelor ended, Tommy had settled back into his old routine of auditions, a few beers with his friends, and horror movies--sprinkled with attempts from Chantala and Mia to set him up on dates.

He also made time to meet up with Terrance and Brad and the others. He’d even managed to grab lunch with Sutan and drinks with Neil. But even though time had passed he still missed Adam just as much.

There were the odd texts here and there and a couple of phone calls, but things were still a little awkward between them. Tommy was beginning to think he might have to make the first move to righting things.

He was in the living room strumming on his guitar when Dave came in with an envelope. “Hey man, this has your name on it,” he said as he handed it to Tommy. “Looks like someone just put it through the letter box. There’s no stamp or address on it.”

“Thanks Dave,” he said, taking it.

“Oooh Tommy Joe getting fan mail,” teased Dave, laughing as he left the room.

Rolling his eyes and laughing, Tommy put down his guitar and opened the envelope. “Fuck,” he exclaimed when he’d finishing reading the contents.

*******

“Please tell me this torture is nearly over,” groaned Adam, laying his head on his arms.

“Nearly,” chuckled Monte. “Come on, look alive.”

“No, I’ve had enough,” Adam’s voice came out muffled.

Monte just rolled his eyes. “OK,” he said, turning away from Adam, “and you are?”

“Tommy Joe Ratliff.”

Adam sat up so quickly that the chair almost toppled back, and probably would have had Sutan not steadied it.

His eyes grew wide and his jaw dropped open as he took in the gorgeous sight of a freshly bleached, fully made-up Tommy standing in front of him, a bass guitar slung around his neck.

“Who? What? But?” Adam couldn’t speak.

“He’s usually a lot more eloquent,” said Monte with a grin. “So Tommy, why don’t you show us what you can do?”

Tommy smiled, then closed his eyes and nodded his head in time with a beat and started playing the bass line from Another One Bites the Dust, followed by Down the Rabbit Hole.

“Anything else?” he asked when he was finished.

“No, I’m very happy,” said Monte. “Adam, have you anything to add?”

“Why?” was all he could get out.

“You need a bassist, and I’m a fucking damn good bassist,” replied Tommy with a grin, although inwardly he was nervous. When he had received the letter from Monte and Sutan with the details about the audition and a list of reasons on why he should go for it he hadn’t known what to do. He’d spent two days pacing around his house and generally annoying the crap out of his roommates and friends. Finally he locked himself in his room and thought about it, rationally--well as rational as he could be after a third of a bottle of Jack Daniels. Basically what it all boiled down to was, did he want to be with Adam? And the answer was ‘yes’, no hesitation, no second guessing, just yes.

So with that decided he called Sutan and told him he’d be there.

And now here he was, kind of amused at the look of disbelief on Adam’s face.

Monte chuckling and left his seat, followed by Sutan. “The job is yours,” he said to Tommy, “and it will be official when Adam’s brain kicks back into gear. I’ll be in touch soon with details etc. Welcome aboard Tommy.”

Tommy grinned and shook Monte’s hand. Part one completed, get the job in the band!

Sutan came up to him. “Well you’ve made my lifetime ambition, to see Adam Lambert speechless. Good luck honey, we’ll talk soon.” He kissed Tommy’s cheek and followed Monte out the door, closing it after him.

Tommy turned back to face Adam who had now left his seat and was standing about two feet from him. Tommy took off his bass, and gently placed it on the floor. “Hi,” he said softly.

“Hi,” replied Adam. “Why are you here Tommy?”

“Well, Monte told me about the audition and I thought I’d give it try,” he replied.

“Is…” Adam cleared his throat, “is that the only reason?”

Tommy shook his head, “I also thought it would be a good first move.”

“A first move?” repeated Adam, a slow smile appearing on his face, “as in,” he gestured between the two of them, “a first move?”

Tommy nodded, and a full smile appeared on Adam’s face.

“But why now?”

“Because I miss you Adam, and yes--what you did was stupid and ridiculous and it totally hurt me, but I still care for and want you. Plus while Brad and Terrance and Sutan and everyone else have agreed that you were stupid, they all still adore you and me and want us both happy. And I’m not happy with you not being in my life.”

That was all Adam needed to hear. He closed the small distance between them and pulled Tommy into his arms, kissing him.

“I’m sorry Tommy, I’m so sorry,” said Adam between kisses, “the last thing I wanted to do was hurt you and then I did, badly as well. God the pain on your face, I’m sorry baby, so very, very sorry…”

Tommy clung onto Adam, “it’s OK, now,” he said, and they kissed long and deep.

Their mouths parted moments later but they refused to let go of each other.

“I did it with your best interests at heart Tommy, you have to believe that. It was never about getting rid of you, or being tired of you, I just wanted to protect you.”

“I know, I know,” said Tommy softly.

“God, I can’t believe you came here…”

“Monte said the job was mine, you just have to make it official,” grinned Tommy.

“Are you OK with being part of a band where you’re dating the lead singer?” asked Adam with a smirk, running his hands up and down Tommy’s back.

“Oh I don’t know, never thought about that--there could be a serious conflict of interest,” said Tommy with a grin. “Maybe I should turn down the job, or better still not date the lead singer…”

“They are both very stupid suggestions,” smiled Adam. “It will work out. You and I will work out.”

“Yeah, I think you’re right,” agreed Tommy, and they kissed again.

*******

6 Months Later

“First night of the Glam Nation tour! I’m so excited baby,” exclaimed Adam, practically bouncing on his feet.

“Me too, I can’t believe we’re kicking off a world tour,” grinned Tommy.

Monte, Cam, Isaac all stood around them, along with the dancers Adam had brought in for the tour--dancers that included Terrance, who was grinning wildly at him.

Sutan hovered about checking Adam and Tommy’s make up, while Lane was nearby and Neil stood at the side scowling, having been forced to join the Glam Nation tour by Adam and his parents in another attempt for him to bond with his brother.

Tommy also knew Brad, Jason, Lucas, Josh and Cassidy were in the audience along with Dave, Mike, Mia and Chantala.

“OK, show time people,” Warren called out.

Adam and Tommy shared a quick kiss before making their way to their places. And as the music and lights started and Adam made his way down the steps, the crowd was screaming and Tommy couldn’t imagine his life being anymore perfect.

*******

END
Tags: adam_lambert, fic, lbb, rps, tommy_ratliff
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