Title: Extra Special Good
Pairing: Adam Lambert/Kris Allen
Notes/warnings: Frisky elves. Fluff and schmoop in excelsis. Title is from the Christmas song The Man With the Bag. Love and thanks to Susy, who gets the special edition purple fringe model. Wishing light and love to all in this magical season!
Summary: Elf Kris designs a wondrous new toy.
Kris Allen was a pretty good elf.
He certainly looked the part. He was affable and industrious, and he honestly cared about making children happy. He believed.
Sure, it had taken him a while to find his niche. He’d started out in Reindeer Games before he was transferred to Stocking Stuffers, and there was that brief period when he was third assistant in charge of snuggling Christmas kittens. Now he was assigned to the Katy Doll™ section, and he was...content. It was pleasant making the dolls that so many little girls longed to find under the tree on Christmas morning, and there were certainly worse things to look at than the hundreds of Katy Dolls with their shiny blond hair and plastic smiles. Mostly he enjoyed working with Allison. Kris liked her energy, and it was interesting to hear her stories about Tommy Joe, the elf she was dating. He worked in Weapons and Creepy Toys, and Kris found him edgy and exciting.
All in all, it was a good life. It should have been enough. And it would have been, maybe, if it weren’t for the day the mold machine went haywire and spit out a model most unkatylike.
“Huh.” Allison considered it for a moment. “Well, that one won’t work at all. Too tall, too flat,” she giggled. “Better toss it. Time for lunch anyway.”
“I guess you’re right,” Kris said, but he held it for a moment, contemplating the long legs and broad shoulders of the figure. And then he did something unexpected. He stuffed it in his locker instead of the trash can, and then he went to lunch.
Kris was absentminded for the rest of the workday. He was painting faces that afternoon, and some of the Katy Dolls ended up looking a bit grumpy or bored. He fixed them as best he could, then carried them over to Allison for the finishing touches. After she dressed them, she slipped a tiny cell phone into each little curved hand before packing the dolls in cellophane boxes.
“Time to meet Tommy!” Allison crowed when the cuckoo clock chimed five.
“Oh, sure. You go on, I’ll clean up. Have a good time.”
“You’re such a sweetheart. Are you sure you don’t wanna come with?”
She genuinely meant it, too, but Kris said, “No, you go on. I have something I want to work on,” and with a quick hug she was gone.
Kris pulled the misfit doll from the bag in his locker and laid it on the worktable. Hmmm. Definitely not Katy material, but maybe.... He pulled out his paint box and got to work. He started with the eyes, dabbing blue and green and grey paint until they were quite striking. Next he worked on the lips, painting outside the plastic shape to make them fuller, lusher than the standard Katy lip. He finished with a frosty pink. As an afterthought, he shaped the lips into a subtle little smirk.
He surveyed his work thoughtfully, then on impulse he rimmed each vivid eye with a smudge of black paint. Yes, perfect!
And then he was an elf possessed. Hair. He grabbed a Katy wig and a pair of scissors and started snipping, but he could never quite get the sides even. Finally he settled for a shaggy, asymmetrical cut. Still, the color was all wrong. He rummaged through the drawers and cabinets until he came across just the thing: a bottle of black dye. Thirty minutes later, he was gluing the wig on, fluffing the black hair just so, and adding a touch of purple glitter.
But what for clothes? The Katy doll had an impressive line of sensible apparel and accessories, but they were much too small. His eye fell on a bolt of white satin, left over from the year that Katy bride dolls were in high demand. Just the thing! He settled in behind the sewing machine and cut and stitched and trimmed until he had a little white satin suit. The pants were awfully tight (perhaps he had mismeasured there) but he decided he rather liked the effect, and he stood back to admire his work with great satisfaction.
The cuckoo struck eight. Kris tidied up the work area, turned out the light, and headed off to find something to eat, the doll tucked neatly in his bag.
The next morning, Kris woke up early, buzzing with plans for his creation. During lunch, he fashioned a small guitar and hung it around the doll’s neck, but it just didn’t look natural. A tiny microphone proved a much better fit, especially after Kris glued on a few Swarovski crystals. He was carefully drilling holes in the doll’s earlobes when he heard Allison whistling on her way back from lunch. He scrambled to cover his work and began busily installing doorknobs on a Katy Fantasy House.
Allison walked straight to the table and pulled off the cloth. “Oooh, pretty!” Kris flushed with pride and a little embarrassment. “Can I help?” There was a reason everyone loved Allison.
She enthusiastically dabbed midnight blue paint on the tiny fingertips while Kris prepared the last of the Katy dolls for delivery. “I’m going to make him some sparkly necklaces,” she cooed. ”So, what’s this little guy’s name?”
“Well, I was sort of thinking of Adam.” He had always liked the name. It sounded strong and solid.
Not everyone took to the doll as quickly as Allison. Danny, for example, was clearly confused by it. ““What is that?” He frowned. “That’s not a Katy. Is it?”
“Of course it’s not a Katy,” snapped Allison. “He’s an Adam. Kris designed him.” She turned to Kris. “You should totally show him to the boss! Kids would love an Adam doll for Christmas!”
Kris turned pink. “Oh, I couldn’t.”
Danny laughed. “Don’t worry, Kris. I’m sure she’s joking. No offense, but I don’t think kids would know what to make of, er, all that.” He tweaked Adam’s boa.
Allison glared at him.
“I think it’s cool,” Tommy offered. “I mean, I’ve never really thought about having a doll like that, but now that I’ve seen one, I’d definitely play with it.”
Everyone seemed to have a strong opinion about the Adam doll. Charles snickered that Kris should have named it Eve instead. Neil just rolled his eyes and said, “Oh, brother.” On the other hand, notoriously cranky senior-elf Simon sincerely pronounced it “brilliant.” And Brad, who worked in Lights and Decorating, could not seem to keep his hands off the doll, which actually annoyed Kris probably more than it should have.
Kris didn’t respond directly to any of the negative comments, but he did install a programmable voice chip in Adam. A silky smooth voice delivered a variety of mantras, such as “Never apologize for who you are!” and, “Don’t be afraid of what’s inside!” In addition to being a handy comeback, Kris found the words encouraging on a personal level.
The doll became his sidekick. He took Adam to the workshop with him every morning, and he propped him up on the piano when he was working on songs. There was just something so reassuring about his expression. At night, he tucked Adam in beside him before he drifted off to sleep.
The Adam doll made Kris something of a minor celebrity at the workshop, because love it or hate it, everyone was talking about it. The attention made Kris blush and stammer a lot at first, but he soon became accustomed to it and learned to ignore the funny looks and whispers and to graciously accept the compliments and little tokens that were showered upon Adam. Before long, Adam had a tiny purple top hat, peacock-feather hair extensions, and an impressive array of impractical but decorative fingerless gloves.
Even beloved Mrs. Claus, known to all simply as Paula, was an Adam fan. She was inclined to get teary and hold him close whenever she happened across him, especially when she had been sampling the eggnog in her big red cup.
Along with the confidence boost, the exposure broadened Kris’s social circle considerably. Oh, he had always been well-liked enough. But now, people were looking at him with new eyes. They were beginning to see him as an elf who made things happen, an elf with potential. After years of quietly playing around with his guitar in his room, Kris finally got up the nerve to approach Cale and some of the other elves about starting up a band; they called themselves the Misfit Toys.
Happy weeks passed, and then Christmas Eve was upon them once more. Everyone loved the excitement of this busy night. This was the grand finale of a year of planning and preparation, and everyone was on call, making sure that the sleigh was packed with everything on the list.
As Kris was making his way to the workshop with a stack of empty boxes, he nearly ran into Paula. She was dressed in her fur-trimmed red velvet robes for the occasion, but she looked far from merry. She was holding a ball of snow and gazing into it with a troubled expression.
“Ma’am? Is there anything I can do for you?” Kris offered.
Paula smiled sadly. “I don’t think so, dear. I was just checking in on one of the children.” As Kris drew closer, he could see images on the snowball. A young boy was crying into a pillow as a girl tried to console him. “Johnny takes ice skating lessons with his sister. He’s wonderfully talented. But the other boys have been teasing him about the skating and making fun of his costumes. They’ve been calling him names. I’m afraid he’s going to give it up and try to be more like the others.” Paula sniffled. “I wish I knew how to help him understand that he’s fabulous just the way he is.” With a sigh, Paula let the snowball crumble back to the ground. “I didn’t mean to worry you, dear.” She hugged Kris and handed him a cookie before she went inside.
Kris stood in the snow for a long moment, then he turned and strode purposefully toward the sled. No one was around; they were all gathered in the reindeer barn for the pep rally. “Johnny,” he said to the magic toybag, and a large blue box appeared at the top. Kris lifted the lid. Inside was a magnificent pair of skates with shiny silver blades. With a deep breath, Kris took the Adam doll from his backpack and hugged it fiercely for a long moment. He whispered something into its little ear, kissed it tenderly on the head, and packed it alongside the skates in the big blue box. As he stumbled back in the direction of the barn, he was too busy brushing away his tears to notice Paula beaming at him from the shadows.
Kris did not sleep late on Christmas morning. It had been a busy night, and the Misfit Toys had played late at the company party, so he had every reason to sleep in. But something woke him just before dawn. It was a noise. He lay awake in the dark for a moment, trying to place it, and then it hit him. It was the sound of breathing, slow and even. His eyes widened in the dark. He tentatively put out a hand and patted a warm lump next to him. Oh, dear. Sitting up, he reached for a match.
Illuminated by candlelight, the face on the other pillow was peaceful in sleep. Angelic, really. Soft black hair curled against creamy skin. Full pink lips, elegant eyebrows, a perfectly sculpted nose. And beneath the quilt, a broad chest that rose and fell. It was definitely Adam. His Adam, only life sized, and breathing, and warm in the bed next to him. He raised the candle and saw a large, empty cellophane box next to the bed. A tag read: Especially for Kris, with love from Paula.
On the table by the bed, a white satin suit lay neatly folded. Oh. Kris turned his attention back to Adam, and this time he noticed bare shoulders at the top of the blanket.
“I tried to be patient.” Kris looked up from the shoulders and saw clear, shining eyes. “Really, I did. I meant to stay in the box all night and do a big reveal in the morning, you know?” It was the same light, silky voice. “But you looked so warm and snuggly, and the bed was really tempting...and I didn’t want to wrinkle my suit. I hope you don’t mind.” He smiled, blindingly sweet.
“No. No, I don’t mind,” Kris stammered. He put the candle down on the bedside table. “I...are you real?” His voice was husky.
Adam laughed and rolled over on top of Kris, balancing on his elbows. “I am! Isn’t this great? Now I can kiss you.” And he did, slow and sweet, until the sun was peeking through the window.
In the early-morning light, Kris examined the tiny freckles scattered all over Adam’s body. “Huh.”
Adam bit his lip. “I hope you like them. Paula added a few things.”
“I like them a lot,” Kris answered honestly.
“I also have this.” Adam pulled down the quilt, and whoa.
“Anatomically correct,” breathed Kris.
“And there’s also this switch...” Adam reached around to the small of his back, “but I’m not sure what it does. I hope it’s not a power switch,” he said sadly. “I want to stay on.”
Adam turned so Kris could examine the tiny switch. There were words tattooed on either side: naughty and nice.
The switch was pointing to nice.
“I don’t think it’s a power switch.” With a trembling finger, Kris moved the switch to naughty then gently turned Adam to face him. The transformation was astonishing. Adam’s eyes were now dark and blazing, and he rolled his hips against Kris’s leg as he ripped open the front of Kris’s plaid nightshirt, buttons flying everywhere, and began teasing Kris’s nipple with his tongue and teeth.
Gasping, Kris fumbled at Adam’s back for the switch, sliding it back to the original position. Instantly, Adam’s released him, eyes soft and sweet again. He pressed a gentle kiss to Kris’s forehead and said, “I’m happy just cuddling, if that’s what you’d rather do.”
Kris slipped from the bed and hurried to the door. He opened it, hung a Do Not Disturb sign on the knob, and checked the deadbolt twice. He ran to the window to close the curtains, then he leaped back into the bed and Adam’s waiting arms. With one last deep breath and a heart overflowing, he flipped the switch.
It was a very merry Christmas.
In spite of his height, Adam was a natural fit at the workshop. In addition to being a crack music director, he soon bedazzled everything from the reindeer harnesses to the suit of the big man himself. Adam was coaxed into joining the Misfit Toys, and Kris was never happier than when Adam brought life to a song that Kris had written especially for him.
He took care that no one else found out about Adam’s switch, although he had some explaining to do the time that Adam accidentally flipped his switch in the shower and arrived dripping wet in the middle of Kris’s meeting to carry him off to their room.
With Paula’s encouragement and support, a full line of Adam dolls was launched, and future generations of children were delighted to find the glam doll of their dreams waiting for them underneath tinsel-covered trees. There is no way to measure the impact he had on the lives of these children. However, little Johnny Weir grew up to skate in the Olympics, and it is safe to say that many others found it a bit easier to forge their own paths with Adam dolls by their sides.
Kris certainly did.