On Beginnings

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On Beginnings
by templemarker

Notes: This was the first AI story I ever started writing! For a long time this languished under a text file called “wtf polar bear airps.txt.” It didn’t get picked up until I read summerstorm’s prompt at the Fall Fandom Free For All. It’s not really a PWP, but I hope you enjoy it anyway! With a loving spoonful to marcolette for services rendered and the canonically helpful wynterwolf47.


As soon as the hotel room door clicks shut on the faces of the happy, nervous survivors of the other groups and the more blank ones of busy PAs, Adam moves his stuff to the far bed, turns to Kris, and says, “I like cock.”

Kris blinks.

Adam’s mouth quirks up slightly, and he looks like he’s either trying not to laugh or really constipated. “I just figured I’d put it out there in case it’s a problem. I’m not much for subtlety.”

“I feel like there are so many ways I could respond to those two sentences,” Kris says, pushing his suitcase against the bed closest to the bathroom, “but let’s just go with, okay. Congratulations.”

Adam laughs then, transforming his entire face. “Good. I, you know, I didn’t want it to be awkward or whatever.”

Kris scrunches up his face and shrugs. “Just ’cause I’m from Arkansas doesn’t mean I’m intolerant,” he complains. “I’ve met a gay person before.”

There go Adam’s damn lips again. Kris thinks that might become a thing. “‘A’ gay person? One single gay person. Wow. How worldly you are.”

“Well, now it’s two,” he points out. “So there.”

Watching these smiles on Adam’s face is becoming quickly addictive. “Okay, a point for that. I’m going to go take a shower. And as much as I’d love to know everything about our lovely remaining competitors, I think I’m going to stay in tonight and take stock of the day.”

As Adam moves past Kris into the bathroom, Kris gets a scent of hair spray and something else more complex. “Do you mind if I hang out here too?” he asks. “I think I need to wind down after everything.”

Adam shakes his head. “Not at all,” he says, closing the door.

Kris thinks about unpacking his suitcase, hems and haws while kicking his shoes off and digging his toes into the plush pile of the carpet. In the end, he decides against it, smiling a little when he hears Adam singing full throttle after the shower has turned on. He’s good. He’s really good. It’s funny how this is a competition but doesn’t really feel like it.

He sits on the bed for a second, looking around the room, which is probably the most nicely furnished place he’s ever been in for all that it’s quiet and understated. Right now it seems very far from Arkansas, from its muddy rivers and low green hills. His guitar is resting in a corner, plain and humble in its black softcover. It was the best he could afford at the time, and it has a pretty good sound. Not as sweet as he’d like, but for an Ibanez acoustic it gives a nice noise.

Kris stands, unzipping his guitar and pulling it out. He goes back to the bed and sits, tuning against the warbling Adam is doing under the rush of the shower. He starts with the low E and moves his way up, humming a little as he works it through, sometimes meeting the song Adam is singing. It’s one Kris doesn’t know, and he can’t make out the words, but what he can hear of it sounds nice. The chordal structure is easy enough to follow.

When the shower shuts off, he strums a couple chords but quiets his voice, looking up when the door opens. Adam is smiling, still, towel slung loosely on his hips, freckles mapping his skin. He looks younger with all the stuff off him, no makeup or hair junk, just this guy Kris is hoping he can call a friend.

“Hey, you should show me how to do that,” Adam says, entirely comfortable in himself learning in the doorway.

Kris’s fingers slide up the fret, transitioning into C Major and then down into E minor just to hear the awkwardness of it. “Sure,” Kris says. “Maybe after you put some pants on, though.”

Adam laughs; Kris hopes he does that a lot. It’d be nice to get through this experience laughing. “Your second gay person and already living up to cliches,” Adam muses. “Oh well, at least I do it with flair.”

“My second gay person,” Kris echoes, and plays B flat minor. “Guess I better come up with some straight people cliches, too.”

“Aw, honey, don’t put yourself in a box,” Adam says, disappearing into the bathroom and returning wearing black pyjama pants and a black tank. “Boxes are only fun if you’re jumping out of them onto a stage.” He sits next to Kris and sets his eyes on Kris’s fingers, watching as Kris moves through one chord after another. “That’s pretty cool,” he observes.

“It’s not too hard. I’ll show you how,” Kris says, and this time, when Adam smiles again, Kris thinks getting through this whole American Idol thing is going to be fun and trouble.

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