[Around Town: Kyle V and Adam S] Who: Kyle V and Adam S What: Bumping into one another after all this time Where: near the laundromat When: yesterday, evening Warnings/Rating: n/a
It had seemed to Kyle that it would be romantic - to take a vacation by leaving Repose the same way he originally arrived. On a bus with no real knowledge of where he was going or what he was doing. Several weeks later, as he heaved his luggage onto the cold street at dusk, the temperature dropping quickly, he really wished he'd taken the car instead of parking it in a nearby lot. Far too often Kyle let things get in the way of his view of reality. Now he was tired and a little achy and just wanted to get home. He'd had a message yesterday from his head contractor to say that the work at his property had been completed, and he'd sent a text to Ethan letting the guy know he'd be home soon, but being a little vague on exactly when. It meant that he'd be able to surprise Ethan at work tomorrow - something that he didn't get to do often enough.
Wrapping his scarf more firmly round his neck, his cheeks pink against the cold and breath visible in the air, Kyle hitched his bag further up on his shoulder and headed down the street, case trundling behind him on little wheels. It was good to be home and he smiled at the thought - that he now so firmly thought of Repose as home.
Adam had left his trailer with its new inhabitant and done his usual loads of laundry, then stopped by a second hand shop to grab a few things for Wren. The job working for Eris was going surprisingly well, catering to the hookers not nearly as terrifying as he thought. Mostly they wanted someone to pick up things, and when he pointed out that he was adept at laundry, his loads increased, only now with lingerie that required extra care and didn’t belong to him. The laundry was in baskets in the backseat of his car, but the bag of clothes and a pair of shoes that would fit his guest were still in his hand when he heard the suitcase rolling across the sidewalk. He looked up, eyes going wide at the sight and feet frozen in place.
He’d known Kyle had left town. That was easy to pick up on when he realized his car was missing from outside the old house and replaced by workers going in and out. Ethan had been active on the forums too, flirting with everyone, which Adam thought was pretty dick of a boyfriend move, but what could he even say about it? It all just boiled down to him being creepy. And standing, frozen, in a jacket that wasn’t warm enough staring at Kyle, unable to even open his mouth and say something.
It took Kyle's brain a moment or two to catch up with what his eyes were seeing and in that time his feet took another couple of steps, bringing him closer to the face that was imprinted on his memory. Kyle blinked, his gaze dropping to the bag that Adam was holding, taking in the seeming incongruity of the shoes. For a moment, Kyle thought that maybe Adam had just arrived, but Kyle knew he hadn't been on the bus into town and anyway, that wasn't the look of someone who was in a new place for the first time. Yet, it was definitely, unavoidably Adam. "What are you doing here?" he blurted out, his mind frozen by the attempt of trying and failing to figure this one out.
Adam forgot how to breathe. Right there, so close, his Kyle. He’d told himself after the train, after that conversation with the arrogant stranger, that he needed better. He needed to move on, to care about something else. Seeing Kyle reminded him that he’d failed miserably at that. “Ky.” It was all he could say, it wasn’t answering the question, at least not specifically. Kyle was why he was here, Kyle was what mattered. He didn’t even realize he was moving until he’d made it closer, one hand out to Kyle as if everything would be back to normal, their normal.
Kyle watched the hand come closer, frozen as though a statue until a hairbreadth before Adam touched him and then he flinched, backward and away, his eyes flying back up to Adam's face. The face he'd cried over. The face that had broken his heart. The face that had been missing from his life for over a year. "What are you doing here?" he asked again, hating the waver in his voice and the fact that they were doing this in the middle of a public street. He didn't want to make a scene. He wanted Ethan to stand behind him and stop him from feeling like he was going to collapse where he stood. To help him be strong and tell him what he should say to make this all work out in some way or another and stop it feeling like the world was ending like he had done before, when he was an emotional mess over the loss of Adam in the first place. He wanted Ethan nowhere near Adam ever. He wanted to never think of the two men in the same moment ever again.
Adam caught that, pulling his hand back and shrugging. "Looking for you?" His tone sounded incredibly unsure even if that was why he was there. And it sounded much better in his head than it did out loud that was also for sure. "I..." How did he even start to explain? He hadn't had anywhere else to go. He'd been alone, lost and Kyle had left him. Trying to find Kyle had been the best idea he'd come up with.
Kyle glanced from side of side, as though the answer would just be standing there on the street. “Looking for me?” he asked, a bite to his tone. After all, Adam had left him, had never turned up so they could run away together. Had never gotten in contact after that. Kyle had called, and the phone had just run and run - until finally it had just been turned off. There was no clearer message than that. Still, the edge to his tone was more hurt than angry. Kyle had never been very good at being angry at Adam.
Adam nodded, shifting the bag from one hand to another and trying hard not to look in his car at the laundry. He looked homeless. Which he supposed in a way, he half was, but the trailer was much better than it could be, he knew that now. "You left town remember? So I sort of tracked you down and you're here and..." And a lot of things that just sounded weirder and weirder as he said them.
“I remember,” Kyle said, fighting against his voice and the way it was beginning to crack. It was a fight he was going to lose. “I remember standing all day at the bus station. I remember waiting for you. I remember getting on the last bus because I realised that you weren’t coming and if I stayed - if I stayed in town another day longer than I was going to cave. I was going to go home and apologise to my parents and give it all up because I remember thinking that I wasn’t strong enough to be there without you. So I came here. Without you. And I’ve been here. For a year, Adam. Why - why are you here?”
"I know," Adam dumped the bag on the roof of his car, well Jeff's car, but he'd taken it and moved closer to Kyle. "I know. I was supposed to be there. I wanted to be there. I couldn't. And when I could, I tried to find you. And I've been here. For...months. I kept waiting for the right time, I don't know, but you have a boyfriend and then I didn't want to leave."
I don’t have a boyfriend. The denial was right there, on the artist’s lips. He even opened his mouth to say it. Only, he didn’t. He tucked that piece of information away, kept it from Adam. For now. The vindictive part of him felt as if Adam deserved that. “Months?” he echoed, emptily, as he swayed back, keeping just out of Adam’s reach. “You’ve been here for months? And you - I didn’t know. Why - why? I--” Kyle broke off.
“The cat. That was you. And the notes.” Kyle stared at him as the pieces started to fall into place. His stalker was his ex-boyfriend. He was a walking cliche. His ex was - what? A psychopath in the making? Kyle had seen those Lifetime TV movies. He knew how this ended. The men that wouldn’t let their girlfriends leave. Who followed them wherever they went, say how they couldn’t live without them. Then ended up killing them in a fit of anger. Not that Adam seemed the type. He’d always been so gentle. But, wasn’t that the MO of that ilk? Kyle’s expression turned guarded, if growing pale and he looked from side to side again, only this time it was for an escape.
"I thought we'd run into each other or I'd come up with something amazing and in reality I just...didn't. And you've got this guy and he's good looking, way better than me, so..." Adam ached when Kyle didn't say no, didn't deny it, but he knew better. Ethan was with him. They were a thing. He shrugged again, feeling hopeless. "You wanted a cat. And I found you one. He was perfect. If you don't want him I'll take him back, He can stay at my place or whatever, I don't mind." He shook his head then ran his fingers through his hair, pulling at it before speaking again. He could see Kyle was panicking, he knew that face. He knew everything about Kyle, even after all this time, he knew him in and out and that was a look of fear. "I'm sorry," he said, backing off, feeling more like he was talking to Jeffrey than his ex. He took two step back, reaching for the bag on his car which dumped half the contents on the ground because he wasn't looking. Swearing he ducked to pick them up, shoes, clothes, and a spare toothbrush. "I can go."
On the edge of panic or not, Kyle stooped without even thinking, to help Adam gather up his fallen things. It was an automatic reaction and it wasn’t until he handed Adam some underwear and their fingers brushed that he even really thought about what he was doing. They were so close he could smell the other man and all he could think was that Adam was using a different brand of deodorant these days. It was such a stupid, inconsequential thing, but he made his heart ache all the same.
Adam grabbed what Kyle handed him, flushing pink and hoping that he didn't notice what he was helping Adam cleanup, or worse that he didn't ask. "Kyle," he said, voice soft, breaking a little despite the fact that he was trying so hard to be strong. "I'm sorry. I should have been there."
Kyle could see it play out in his head. In his head he was a strong, confident, independent guy who didn’t need anyone. In his head he stood and looked down at Adam with a perfect look of haughty disdain. In his head he said ‘Yes, you should have been’. And in his head he walked away with just the right bounce in his step to remind Adam of exactly what he was missing and would never have again, but not enough so that he encouraged those stalker tendencies.
It was perfect. Unfortunately, Kyle had never been very good at translating the images in his head into reality, outside of the canvas. So in reality he bit his lip and whispered, “Why weren’t you?”
That face broke Adam's heart all over again, as much as trying the number he'd had for Kyle and finding it disconnected. As much as trying his house and finding out he was gone. "Same reason it always was," he said. "Jeff. Only that time it was Jeff plus the police." He sighed, shifting so he was leaning against the car, holding on to the bag still. "I got arrested."
Kyle swore - a rarity for him - as he looked Adam up and down, as though bruises were going to blossom on his skin just at that news. “What - are you okay? You didn’t… do anything. You wouldn’t.” He said that with a forceful belief. Despite what he may have been thinking earlier, he knew Adam. He knew the man was no saint. He knew that he’d done things that he wasn’t proud of, but the whole plan had been to get out of there. Get out of that life. Get away from Jeffrey, who was poison, in Kyle’s opinion.
"I'm fine," Adam said, waving it off. He wasn't, those few months in prison had been awful, either beat up or spent in isolation, but Kyle didn't need to worry about that now. "I didn't. But when your best friend is there crying saying you kidnapped, raped, and killed a girl it doesn't go away quickly." No, instead it took months, and Adam had been out of touch until they'd sorted out who actually had done it.
Kyle went quiet, then sank down to sit on the sidewalk by Adam’s side, is back against the car, unusually careless of the dirty street against his clothes. He pulled his legs up, abandoning his arms on his knees as he stared at nothing. “I should never have left.” His family had money, connections. An attorney on retainer. He could have done something. Instead, he’d run away. Decided Adam had deserted him and thrown his phone down the stairs in a fit of pique, then decided to change his number when he bought a new handset. Meanwhile, they’d probably set Adam’s bail at an insanely unaffordable amount and instead of having a rich boyfriend who could have stumped up the money, Adam had been left to rot. “This is all my fault,” he whispered, mostly to himself. If there had always been one thing that Kyle excelled at it was the ability to load the blame for almost anything onto his own shoulders.
"You couldn't stay," Adam said, turning to look at Kyle. He knew he couldn't. "You were miserable, you deserved better. You couldn't stay." He shook his head, looking at his hands. "It's Jeff's fault. He did it. He killed that girl." Her face was still imprinted on his memory, from the party where he'd seen her, where he'd talked to her, but more than that, the images of her death, her at the crime scene, her on an autopsy table. The police had shown him all of them, trying to get a reaction, but all they got was his stomach turning over and what little he'd eaten being emptied on the floor of an interrogation room.
"And it's my fault long before it's yours." Adam sighed, feeling like he should have known. He should have gotten away sooner.
“I could have helped,” Kyle said, not buying that for a second. “None of this is your fault, A. Your best friend pointed the finger at you for something he’d done.” He’d always known that Jeff was no good, right from the first moment he’d met the guy. They’d never liked each other. Kyle had seen something nasty in him and Jeff had responded by trying to break him and Adam up time and again. Nothing had worked. Yet not even Kyle could imagine that Jeff had gone so far as to kill someone just to stop Adam from running away.
"How? You didn't need to see that." Adam didn't say it, but he was sure that Kyle would have left anyway. "It feels like my fault. Like if I'd left sooner, not waited until the next day. Or if I'd kept an eye on him that night, not been so focused on running away she might still be alive." He pressed the palms of his hands into his eyes and tried to breathe, but it was harder than it should have been.
“See what? My boyfriend behind bars? Needing my support? Needing me there, like I said I always would be? How could I have helped? I could have gotten you out of there, A. I could have hired you the best damn lawyer money could buy and waited while he walked you out the door with a formal apology for wasting your time.” He knew it would have meant telling his parents about Adam and about the life away from them he’d been planning. He knew that it would have more than likely meant that they would have shackled him into the future they’d wanted for him, in exchange for access to more of his trust fund than he would have been allowed at that age, but it would have been worth it. “None of this is your fault, Adam.” Kyle put his hand on Adam’s forearm, soft and comforting - or so he hoped. “Not one bit of it.”
"You would have been sucked right back in, down into that mess and we'd be nowhere. Your life is so much better here." Adam sighed and looked over at Kyle when he touched him, wanting to lean more into it, find that solace in that touch. "You were right to leave. I wasn't worth waiting for." Even if it wasn't his fault, Kyle staying for him would have been. That would have made all of it so much worse.
“That was never your decision to make,” Kyle snapped - not the first time that they looked set to disagree what Adam was or wasn’t worth.
Adam narrowed his eyes at Kyle and shook his head. "That time it was. It wasn't worth getting sucked in. It wasn't worth giving everything up." Because hiring a lawyer would have cost money and money was what kept Kyle tied to his parents, to his old life. "I survived Ky. You got out. It worked in the end."
Survival wasn’t enough. Kyle wanted to tell Adam that. He wanted to press home that Adam deserved more - that he’d always deserved more. But he knew Adam and he knew that tone of voice and that expression on his face. It didn’t matter what he said right now: he wouldn’t be believed. “Are things better now?” he asked, instead.
"Are you asking about the last five minutes or the last five months?" Because it was two drastically different answers. If he meant since he'd been released with an apology and the keys to Jeffrey's house, along with knowledge of where all the paperwork was and the freedom to sell his shit? Then it was slightly better. If he meant since Kyle had touched him, it was infinitely better.
“Five months?” Kyle echoed. “Is that how long you’ve been in town?”
"There was some pretty solid evidence against me. And the court systems, they move slowly. Even slower when there are other suspects." He'd been arraigned, and spent months awaiting a trial start, something that kept getting held up by hearings and new evidence being found. Things just didn't move quickly. "They thought I did it," he said again, looking at Kyle. "What could I do?" He forced a smile, reaching out to touch Kyle again. "I'm fine. Promise."
What else could he reasonably do? Kyle nodded and accepted the statement. “I’m… happy for you. That things are better now.” God, but it felt like a platitude, but he wasn’t sure what else to do, or to say. “Where are you staying in town?” he asked, knowing as he did so that he’d slipped into that polite society voice, so useful when you were feeling as if you were no longer on solid ground.
Adam cringed, because he hated fake Kyle and he knew Kyle knew it. Getting up from where he'd been he opened the car door, tossing the things for Wren inside and shaking his head. "A shitty trailer over in the park. It's nothing fancy, but it's better than the car right?" Why did he feel pushed away? Why did it hurt so much? Seeing Kyle again, speaking to him again, it was supposed to make things better, to make them easier, but it wasn't.
“You lived out of your car?” Kyle asked, dropping the voice as soon as he’d caught himself using it as he pushed himself up off the floor, abandoning his bags behind as he hovered by Adam’s side. He hated that idea and the idea that Adam hadn’t even had enough for the motel that Kyle had lived out of for so long before he’d closed on the house. There was a huge part of him that wanted to insist that Adam immediately came to live with him, that a trailer wasn’t good enough. But, for once, his brain actually won out. Nobody reasonably asked their stalker-ex to move in, regardless of what shit they’d been through and regardless of the fact that Kyle still wasn’t getting any kind of ‘danger’ vibe from Adam. Not at all.
Adam shook his head. "Just a few nights," he said softly. "Nothing to worry about. It was nice out and I didn't know where to go when I got here." He'd thought he'd just find Kyle, show up and stay with him, but that hadn't worked out the way he'd dreamed. He didn't need Kyle that close, not if he wasn't allowed to touch him. He couldn't resist reaching out, touching his arm like he always had when Kyle got worried over something that Adam didn't think was worth the concern.
“The town’s not that big,” Kyle said, hoping that Adam would read into the rest. Kyle wasn’t exactly a rising star here, but he had classes at the rec and posters up advertising that and he wasn’t hiding away either. He wasn’t a man who was hard to find. He didn’t understand why Adam hadn’t just come to him. Sure, he’d heard the words, the excuses, but that didn’t mean he understood.
Adam sighed, running his hand through his hair. "I went by. But I saw him and...I knew better." He looked at the car, aching all over. "I can go though. Back," he waved off like that explained something. "I just need to take care of a few things here before I do. I won't get in your way."
Ethan. Kyle swallowed and glanced at the floor. He wondered how he could even begin to explain Ethan. He’d been happy, for months, with their non-relationship. Knowing that they weren’t exclusive - even if Kyle had never so much accepted a drink from another guy since they’d started sleeping together. Ethan didn’t hold to the same concepts. Kyle knew the score and until this moment, he’d been relatively happy about that.
Until he had Adam looking at him as though Kyle had found a new love and all the things that Kyle had been burying deep - that knowledge that he knew Ethan meant more to him than could ever be returned. That he’d been lying to himself that it would ever be enough. That he didn’t feel cheap and discarded whenever Ethan was elsewhere. It was as if Adam’s gaze was a magnifying glass and all of the little itches that had never bothered him before were suddenly huge issues when held up against what he’d once had with the man in front of him. When he’d had love and monogamy and all the things he’d ever wanted.
“Ethan’s… a friend,” Kyle said, sounding hopeless.
Adam shook his head. "You don't have to lie." Kyle didn't do friends with benefits and he'd seen it. Now Kyle was just fudging the answer to preserve Adam's feelings. "It was a long time. I shouldn't have expected you to wait." He looked at the car, wondering if he could convince Wren to go with him when he left, or if that was taking advantage of Wren's willingness to please.
“I’m not lying!” Kyle shot back, the issues that had surfaced coalescing into a flash of anger that disappeared as soon as it arrived. “E and I - we’re not like that. Not really. And you’ve been in town for months! Months, A. You gave me a fucking cat. You scared me half to death with damn messages. Making me think someone was watching me. You scared me! I left town because I thought some fucking psycho was going to break into my house and murder me in my bed and it was you! Because you were waiting for some kind of ‘right time’ that never came and now you’re just going to run away again - so I can spend the next year crying over you. Again.”
Adam knew he should take more away from that than the nickname, but 'E' made him sick to his stomach. How close was that to 'A'? Too close. He shook his head slowly, reaching for Kyle to pull him back against him, the feeling too natural. "I was going to stay with the cat. I was. But he was there. Every time I tried he was just there. And it seemed like that." He might have seen it wrong. Maybe it explained why Ethan was the way he was. "Shh," he added, voice going lower when what Kyle said hit him. "I'm not going, Not if you don't want me to." He reached up to touch Kyle's cheek. "I'll stay right here, as long as you want. I don't want anything else, and I never want to make you cry again."
Kyle leaned into the touch, his eyes fluttering closed for a moment, before he caught himself and pulled back. His heart was hammering and it took all he had to pull away. “I don’t know what I want,” he said, determinedly. “You can’t just… Just come back into my life and say things like that! Like I have to make a choice, right now. You can’t just say that you’re going to leave unless I stop you. I need… time to think.”
Adam shook his head. "You don't have to decide right now. Take as long as you want. There's no one else for me but you, Ky. If you need time, I can wait." He knew Kyle had pulled away, but that didn't stop him from pushing the closeness again. Everything felt better when they were close. "Whatever you need."
Kyle thought for a second, then said, “I need your number - and I need you not to ask for mine. I need you to stop sending me things. Or leaving me messages. I know you know where I live and that’s fine, but if you come round, you need to come up to the door and buzz. And if I don’t want to see you, you need to leave. You need to not come after dark, for now. I - I promise I’m not going to string you along, but I need to make sure I’m making the right choices. I don’t want to promise you anything, but there’s one thing that I can promise you, A. I’m not going to run you out of town. I don’t expect you to leave, if you want to stay, no matter what happens, okay?” He felt adult as he said that. Reasonable. As if, for once, he’d made the sensible, rational choice.
Adam's hand clenched on the car door, but he nodded. "You can have my number, and I'll give you your space. I'm not going to hurt you. I wouldn't dream of it. I didn't do what they put me in prison for Kyle." He paused, biting at his lip before he spoke again. "And don't call me that. I can't..I can't hear it knowing you call him the same thing." He held out his hand for Kyle's phone to give over his number, but didn't make eye contact with him.
Kyle didn’t hand the phone over. Instead, he shifted so he was totally facing Adam, and he wrapped his hands around the other man’s biceps, craning until he could look him in the eye. “Never. Not for one second. Did I ever think that you could have done those things,” Kyle said, firmly. “I just need to not come to associate you with the person I’ve been thinking is maybe stalking me, okay? I need to do that for me. I’m trying to be good about this, A-dam.” He corrected from the pet name belatedly, feeling guilty as he did so. Like he’d just lost something. And knowing already that despite everything, the moment he left here, Ethan would be the first person he’d call. With that thought, Kyle handed his phone over, very aware that the wallpaper was still that of the picnic he’d taken Adam on for their second date. The first date Kyle had organised. Neither of them were in it, not really. Instead it was an image of their intertwined hands against a blue sky dotted with fluffy white clouds. Kyle had never been able to bring himself to get rid of an image so perfect.
Adam fought the urge to flinch away, too ingrained in him after those seven months. "I promise, I'd never hurt you." He frowned when Kyle struggled with the nickname, but honestly it was easier than hearing otherwise. He was anxious for the briefest of moments when he took the phone, expecting it to be Ethan or something else, but it was them, still them, after all this time. He stared at it for a long moment before unlocking it to add his number. He put it in then handed it back to Kyle. "If you use it, just tell me who you are. I get a lot of random numbers for work now," he said.
Kyle took the phone back and cradled it in his hands for a moment. He wanted to ask about what Adam was doing, yet at the same time, he didn't want to encourage him. His head was spinning so that he was having a hard time knowing which way was up and he had no idea what to do about anything. He could ask, maybe next time. Or when he rang. That he would speak to Adam again was a forgone conclusion. Kyle couldn't imagine a world where he simply walked away. He was just trying to make things on his own terms, give himself space to sort out his head. Not fuck this up in any possible number of ways. "I will do," he promised.
Adam nodded again, then tucked his hands into his armpits to keep from touching Kyle again. He rocked on his feet, not sure what to say. "I did miss you," he wound up blurting into the silence, regretting it, but unable to keep it to himself.
Kyle stared at Adam, the unspoken words showing in the hurt in his eyes. Adam might have missed him, but not enough to tell him that he was in town. Not for months. Even if there was Ethan, he-- "I know," Kyle said, quietly, forgiving Adam for that move. No matter how much it hurt.
Adam saw the hurt, but damn it hurt just as much to not hear that Kyle missed him too. He nodded, wanting to do more, but knowing he hadn't earned it. Maybe if he'd said something sooner and not just waited for the perfect moment. "I should go...The girls'll want their laundry and I don't want Wren to try and cook if I don't get back and do it myself and then I might not have a trailer left," he babbled, not wanting to leave, not with things feeling so wrong between them.
"Who's Wren?" Kyle asked, breaking into the line as much to derail Adam's babbling as anything. "Room mate?" He figured that made sense, if Adam was living somewhere without much money. A fact that, by the way, Kyle hated. When he could have afforded to house them both and then some.
"Err. Sort of?" Adam kicked at the ground and shrugged. "He didn't have anywhere else go and I couldn't just let him back out into the world with nothing." He knew it was the right thing to do, but trying to explain to Kyle how he and Wren functioned in such a small space would be suspect.
"Of course not," Kyle said, a hopeless smile blossoming on his face as he took the explanation as proof of the kind of guy he had always determined Adam was. "If there's anything I can do - to help. If he needs help getting back on his feet, I mean."
"I think he needs help finding his feet," Adam said, shaking his head. "But thanks. I'm working the best I can. He's just...got a really warped way of looking at the world, worse than mine."
Kyle reached out and pushed Adam lightly on his upper arm, smiling even as he trapped his bottom lip between his teeth. "Worse than you? Not possible," he joked. "But... If he is, I'm glad he found you. Someone who can relate. Someone who can help." And maybe it would do Adam some good, to have a mirror held up to his life. Heaven only knew, he never bought it when Kyle tried to tell him things. If Adam could learn his own worth someway, value himself for more than what he was to his best friend or significant other, that could only mean good things.
Adam knew Kyle was joking, but that face was killing him, and it took everything in Adam not to step forward and kiss him. He would have if they were together. But they weren't. "I hope I can. I want to." He smiled, but it was shaky at best.
Catching the look on Adam's face and knowing what that meant, Kyle eased backward, running a hand through his hair. "You can," he said with confidence. "If anyone can, it's you - I believe in you." Another thing that would never change. "But - I should probably get back. Pick Amee - the kitten - up from the sitter."
Adam had to laugh, shaking his head. "Only you would pick a name no one can spell for a cat." He loved that about Kyle though, that he saw things so differently than anyone else. "Call me whenever. Or text."
Kyle smiled wryly. "It has been mentioned it's a dumb name, but you know me - can't follow the herd for the life of me. I'll - I'll be in touch, Adam. I promise. It's... Good to see you. I'm - I'm glad you're all right. Now."
"I didn't say dumb," Adam corrected. "Just different. You're always going with different." But creative. Adam liked that. He probably would have named the cat Bruce or something because he couldn't come up with something better. "It's good to see you too. I was fine then too, don't worry." He wasn't, but he didn't need Kyle staying up at night wondering what could have been.
Kyle's smile was wide and honest at the way Adam complimented him - or, at least, that was how he took it. "You weren't fine," he corrected, but he couldn't stop the smile, or the way his look softened. "You always were a terrible liar. Always."
Adam shrugged more with his eyebrows than his shoulders. "Yeah, pretty much. Even worse at lying to you." Habit had him leaning in, like he might kiss Kyle goodbye, but he managed to catch himself before he got too far. "Be safe getting home," he settled on, pulling back awkwardly.
Kyle stepped back at almost the same moment, having caught the movement as well. For a moment he'd been tempted, but no - it was a bad idea and he was trying so hard to be good. "I'll - I'll call you," he said, stooping to pick up his bags.
"Yeah," Adam said, shoving his hands in his pockets and heading off the sidewalk towards the driver's side of his car. "Sounds good." And he wouldn't be waiting by his phone. No way.