Storia facente parte del Leoverse.
Genere: Introspettivo, Romantico.
Pairing: Blaine/OC, OC/OC.
Rating: PG-13.
AVVERTIMENTI: Slash, Het, OC, Fluff.
- Annie has been selected for a mission on Mars, and this means she's going to be away a year and a half. This also means Adam will soon fall into a pit of drama, loneliness and desperation, if his best doesn't do something to help him snap out of it. And Leo does his best.
Note: Questa fic è principalmente il regalo di compleanno per la mia Tab, che l'ha praticamente richiesta qualche settimana fa XD Ma visto che sono una persona opportunista e prima di valori morali, utilizzo questa storia anche per il settimo turno della Fandom League, che prevedeva che infilassimo nella storia un campo e (la) Madonna. L'ho tirata via, ma ci sta XD
All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. Original characters and plots are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any previously copyrighted material. No copyright infringement is intended.

Adam opens his eyes to the strong, hot mid-morning sunlight, bathing the hotel room in yellow and white, and to the distant echo of water flowing, and someone singing an old Madonna song.

“Come on, vogue!” Blaine sings from the bathroom, while he clearly has a shower, “Let your body move to the music, mooove to the muuusic!”

Must be a nightmare.

“Ah, there you go, you woke him up,” Leo chuckles, speaking to Blaine, despite him being obviously unable to hear him. He’s too close for comfort, especially at such an ungodly hour (whatever time it is, if he’s just been woken up, it’s an ungodly hour), and Adam instantly retreats, backing away a few inches, even though Leo doesn’t even seem to notice. “You were sleeping so peacefully. Were you dreaming about Annie?” he asks with an evil grin curling his full lips upwards.

Obviously he was.

Lifting a hand and pressing it against his face to move him away as he turns on his side and hides his head under the pillow, Adam groans loudly. “Leave me be,” he says, “I don’t even know where I am. This was a terrible, terrible idea.”

“But you’re here, now,” Leo says cheerfully, as he grabs him by the collar of his t-shirt and tries to drag him out from his hiding place, “Come on, be sociable. Blaine ordered a proper English breakfast and they’re gonna deliver it in ten. If you’re not up by then, I’ll eat your share too.”

“Whatever,” he mutters, “I’m not hungry. I wanna go back home. She might call.”

“Yep, I’m sure that’s exactly what she’s thinking about as she walks the surface of Mars,” Leo nods, “Calling you.”

“She thinks about me!” Adam instantly snaps, coming out from underneath the pillow to glare at him.

He finds Leo already smiling. “You came out,” he notices with clear and unbearable satisfaction.

Adam groans, lying back down on the bed. “I hate you.”

“I can live with that,” Leo lies without so much as a flinch, “What matters is that you don’t get under that pillow again.” As an answer to that, Adam grabs said pillow and pulls it over his head, but Leo stops him quickly. “Ah!” he laughs, “Nope. Don’t be ridiculous, now. Come on, get out of bed.”

“I don’t want to,” Adam pouts, “I hate England. I hate you. I hate your boyfriend. I don’t wanna be here. I wanna go home.”

“Yeah, we all want what we can’t have. Think of me, I wanted to have sex, yesterday night, but Blaine wouldn’t let me.”

“You did have sex!” Adam protests vehemently, “I heard you! You pigs!”

“Adam,” Leo blinks, “I know your girlfriend’s been away six months already, and you must have forgotten what sex looks and sounds like, but I can assure you that was just smooching and cuddling.”

“Why were you moaning, then?!”

Leo tilts his head to the side, pensively. “Blaine’s a great kisser,” he answers in a shrug, as if that could ever be enough of an explanation.

Adam groans again, covering his face with both his hands. “Whatever,” he says. He knows it’s no use.

“Come on…” Leo tugs at his t-shirt again, “You need to get out of bed.”


“Oh, you know how Blaine is,” he answers vaguely, “Whenever he sees a boy lying down on a bed, he needs to put his hands on him.”

Adam lowers his hands and then turns to look at Leo with a mechanical movement, his eyes wide in sheer terror. “What?”

“Yeah, it’s starting to become a problem,” Leo sighs dramatically, “I can’t even lie down to read a book, back at home. He’s constantly all over me. Whenever I’m on the bed, bam!, there he is trying to get in my pants. I can’t stop him, it’s a disaster, a catastrophe. My life as I knew it has been destroyed completely. I have to lock myself in the bedroom whenever I want to work, he can’t even respect that.”

Adam slowly sits up, staring at him. “You can’t be serious.”

Leo simply shrugs. “Why take the chance?”

Adam counts his options. He wisely decides to get out of bed, stand up straight and wear his clothes before Blaine even comes out of the bathroom, just to be safe. Had he brought the spare space suit Annie keeps at home for show, to boast with their friends when they come visit, he’d put that on too.

When Blaine finally does come out of the bathroom, fresh out the shower and with his hair still a little damp, Adam jumps away from him so quickly and suddenly one would think Blaine threatened him with a fiery stick or something.

He turns to look at Leo, puzzled. “What’s his problem?”

Leo chuckles, walking closer to kiss him on his lips. “He didn’t wanna get out of bed,” he answers, “I told him you’d have raped him if he didn’t.”

Blaine raises an eyebrow, not amused at all. “Excuse me?”

“Oh, don’t worry,” Leo reassures him, “I told him it’s a condition of yours.”

“How is that any better?”

Leo waves his hand mid-air, ignoring the issue. “I had to get him out of bed.”

“So you used me as the boogeyman.”

“What was I supposed to do?!”

Blaine sighs theatrically, casting a look to the ceiling, pleading for mercy from whatever deity might want to take charge of his prayer. “Remind me why did we even invite him on this trip,” he says.

Leo smiles tenderly, and kisses him again.


Adam always starts having a very hard time every time Annie’s away for more than a couple full months. He’s not ever completely alright when she leaves, but if it’s within two months’ time he soldiers on. He counts the days, waits for her, distracts himself a great deal, basically takes camp inside Leo’s house and compensates with the warmth of his full home the lack thereof in his empty one, and he makes do.

But when it’s longer than that, none of those measures really works anymore. He starts thinking about her too much, starts worrying for her, especially if she’s traveling, and though he’s always Adam, never refusing to go out, never locking himself in obsessively watching the news, always keeping the house clean and always dedicating himself to his art and job, there’s something dark in him, something that grows.

Leo doesn’t remember ever witnessing such a thing when they were children, mostly because back then he was Adam’s other half, and they were never apart. Adam never had to miss him, and that dark thing doesn’t grow if he doesn’t have to miss the person he loves most.

In time, though, his affections shifted. Both their affections did, as they were bound to do sooner or later. A bond such as theirs, bigger than romantic love, even, is always bound to make room for what it cannot be. They couldn’t love each other as partners (they tried, they gave it a shot, then they wisely decided it was safer to stop it before it turned into something bad for them both, something that would’ve destroyed what they were for one another forever), so when the person they could actually love that way finally came along, everything changed, even that.

And suddenly the person not to miss wasn’t Leo anymore, it was Annie, and Annie was dangerous. She was lovely, but she was dangerous.

That’s because she’s as much as a free spirit as Leo’s a clingy one. Adam never really had to worry about Leo leaving him alone until Blaine came into the picture. But Annie? Adam had to worry about her leaving him behind even before they were a thing. Because that’s what Annie is: she’s boundless, unlimited, like the sky, and like the sky she can’t be captured, can’t be held in a box, kept in a drawer to make sure she won’t ever run away.

The only way he could try and keep her with him all the time was to paint her. And so he used to put her in all his drawings. She was always his model. Whenever he was free to use one, her picture was the one he always put in all the characters, all the paintings he felt like working on. Again and again he trapped her on canvas, hoping that’d be enough to make him feel safe about her. It never was: the only way for him to make sure she’s with him, is when she actually is. When he can feel her, touch her, kiss her, breathe in her scent in the morning, catch a glimpse of her smile as they walk around the house cleaning out together.

So when she’s not there, the dark thing grows.

And Leo’s scared of it.

He knows enough about dark things growing to know at some point they grow too much, and you can’t handle that anymore.

So, when Annie told them she had been scheduled for a mission on Mars, and that she’d have to be away one year and a half to complete it, Leo already knew at some point he’d have to do something to stop the dark thing growing. And when, a few weeks ago, he went to visit Adam at home and saw a shadow of it in his eyes, he knew right then he had to act sooner rather than later.

And so, since Blaine and him were already planning a little trip to old, beautiful Europe, het set out to convince him to tag along.

Hasn’t been easy to convince him, of course. There’s nothing Adam dreads more in the world, Leo suspects, except being apart from Annie, than to spend time alone with Leo and Blaine. When the kids are with them, and so he can distract himself playing uncle, sharing funny stories with Timmy and making the twins bounce in the air, he works perfectly. But when he has to interact with the two of them alone he closes up, becomes pouty and stubborn, and there’s no way to make him smile. It’s not jealousy and it’s not hate, not even disapproval of their relationship, not anymore, at this point. It’s just a habit that stuck with him, feeling uncomfortable when it’s just the three of them. Leo tried to talk it out with him, once, but he found out Adam puts a wall up when it comes to discuss things that make him feel bad at such a deep level he can’t even explain how it works. He’s a practical man, and so whatever he can’t practically describe feels to much like a threat to be carelessly analyzed. And if Adam can’t analyze something, he can’t understand how it works, and if he can’t understand it, he can’t explain it to people, and if he can’t explain it, then he won’t talk about it, won’t utter a word. That one time Leo had tried to push him in that sense, Adam had fallen into the deepest, most stubborn ad resentful silence ever, and after a monologue of a few minutes Leo had decided it was best to let it go.

So convincing him to come with them had been hard enough even without having to share the same room at the hotel, but when they had called to include Adam in their reservation the hotel staff had answered they didn’t have another room at their disposal, and staying in two different places would have defeated the purpose of the trip entirely, being it trying to spend as much time as possible with Adam so he didn’t have to feel alone. So they had decided to ask the staff to put a second bed in their room.

That hadn’t been a problem.

Convincing Adam to sleep in it, though, that had been one.

But they had managed, just as they always manage to do whatever it is they set out to do. It’s their strength, the one they rely upon the most: they went to hell and back, they both did, and they survived. There is no task, no matter how hard it seems, that’s really impossible for them to accomplish.

So they took Adam out to dinner, then they took him out some more, to drink, this time, had him swallow a few pints of good German beer and by the time he had done whining and complaining about his woman being on a different fucking planet than he was he was so drunk and tired they basically had to drag him to the room and put him to bed like a little kid. He even whispered “thank you”, as Leo tenderly tucked him in.

He must’ve woken up at some point during the night, if he somehow managed to hear them kiss in the bed on the other side of the room. Which makes things more complex, now, because if Adam has learned how to live with the idea of Blaine and him being together, he’s still trying to get there when it comes to live with the living proof of it, which means them kissing, touching, holding hands and so on. He knows it’s childish, he admitted it a hundred times, but there’s nothing he can do about it, or so he says, and Leo tends to believe him, because his looks like the immediate, impossible to conceal reaction children usually display when they see their parents kissing.

He knows because he has seen Timmy when he was younger and the twins now react the very same way when they kiss. They made a face, they averted their eyes, sometimes they even spat out a loud, disapproving “yuck!”, and that’s exactly what Adam does, with less theatrics, perhaps, but following the same principle: he looks away, he grimaces lightly, he falls silent. He can’t stand them being too cuddly with one another when he’s in the room, and so they tend to tone the public displays of affection down whenever they know he’s looking.

They didn’t know last night, they didn’t think of it. Now it’s gonna be trouble to even get him out the room, moody and disappointed as he is.

“Come on, Adam, I promise you there’s a place,” Leo pleads, trying to convince him to part ways with the slice of toasted bread he’s been buttering up for the past five minutes, “Come with us, I’ll show you. You’ll love it.”

“No, I won’t,” Adam shakes his head, “England is boring and ugly. There are no places. We’re in the middle of London, anyway! I’ve been here already, I know it. I didn’t like it the first time either.”

“Funny,” Blaine says, “I’ve got a friend. He’s a photographer. He had his first international showcase here in London, and he told me it was quite the perfect setting for his works.”

“Yeah, well, I’m not a photographer, I’m an artist, and I don’t produce works, I make art, and I’m telling you now London is a gray, chaotic, rainy, damp, smelly, trafficked, polluted old city, and it didn’t make up for a perfect setting for my shit at all,” Adam snaps, putting the bread down in a nervous movement.

“Whoa, whoa,” Blaine backs off, raising his hands in surrender, “Calm down. I’m not attacking you.”

“Aren’t you?” Adam frowns, “You kidnapped me.”

“Oh, come on,” Leo groans, “Don’t be absurd, now. We didn’t kidnap you. You agreed to come with us.”

“I must’ve been drunk.”

“Nonetheless,” Leo sighs, “You’re here now. Please. I’m telling you, there is a place. You’re gonna be happy about it. Can you please come with us? We’ll show you.”

“I don’t trust you and I think you only wanna drag me out of the hotel because you think that’s the solution to all my problems, but it’s not,” Adam looks down, annoyed, “It’s not.”

Leo and Blaine both sigh, looking at one another. Blaine clears his throat, pressing a little kiss on Leo’s cheek. “I’ll be downstairs, calling for a cab,” he says, before disappearing behind the door.

Adam looks up and frowns. “He could’ve called the reception and ask them to do it,” he says angrily, “If he thought that you can convince me just because now we’re alone in the room and you can try and have some useless, ridiculous heart-to-heart with me, then I’ll—“

“Shut up, Adam!” Leo finally snaps, interrupting him and raising his voice, “For fuck’s sake! Are you done?!”

Adam instantly falls silent, biting at his bottom lip. Leo knows he knows he’s being unbearable. He knows Adam feels like shit because of that. He knows he can’t help it. But he also knows he’s not even trying.

“I take you are,” he goes on, sternly, “Good. Now you’re gonna stand up, put your jacket on and come downstairs with me. We’ll grab the cab Blaine is kindly calling for, and we’ll go to the fucking place which is the very reason why we brought you here with us to begin with. Once we’re there, I can assure you you’ll feel so much like an idiot you won’t be even able to find enough words to beg for forgiveness, and then I’ll be satisfied, I’ll kick your ass and then forgive you anyway, ‘cause that’s what I’m here for. In the meantime, though, you’ll do me the favor to shut the fuck up and come with me, or I swear I’ll drag you down the stairs on a leash.”

Adam holds his breath, his lips trembling lightly. When he’s about to answer, Leo precedes him.

“And, for your information,” he says, “Yes. Blaine could’ve asked the reception to call for a cab in his stead from here, but he still respects you enough not to want to be around when I’m about to scold you like a five year old kid. God knows how he manages. So be sure to thank him, one way or another, when you see him downstairs.”

Adam instantly frowns. “Don’t push your luck,” he says.

“I was aiming high to try and reach something in between!” Leo finishes, yelling in frustration. Then he sighs and calms down. “So?”

Adam sighs too, standing up. “I’m coming with,” he says, “Will that be enough for now?”

Leo’s lips part into a sweet, understanding smile. “It will,” he answers, “For now.”


That whole “place” thing had actually started months before, when Annie was still around. She was preparing for departure, true, so she was in Washington, mostly, but she came around often, especially over weekends, and, well, at least she wasn’t on Mars yet, so Adam knew that, no matter how far she went, she was at least still on the same planet he was walking on.

He was starting to get used to the thought of her not being around for an incredibly long time, which meant he needed to find something absorbing, something he could keep himself occupied with for longer than just a few weeks.

So he had started painting the house’s back wall.

He had a general idea, some sort of landscape – something evocative but not unrealistic, something beautiful, of course, pleasing to the eye, and a few human figures scattered around, inspired by the people that had changed him, that had had a weight in his life, a place in his heart, one way or another –, but he didn’t want to start from scratch and go by just his imagination alone, he wanted reference, a real place to paint on that wall. “If the people are to have the faces of people I know and love, the place must be something real too, something concrete. I wanna go to that place, see it, take a picture and then use it for my art. It cannot be done differently,” he had told Leo.

Naturally, Leo didn’t understand the concept behind it. As a fantasy writer he did literally nothing but picture people he knew in never-seen-before worlds he could have no practical references for whatsoever, he did it all the time, every day, and he thought it worked perfectly. Besides, he had seen countless times Adam do exactly the same, take Annie’s picture – no reference whatsoever involved, he drew it out of his own mind – and transfer it over a fantasy landscape, or an imaginary one, or something he couldn’t have seen before anyway.

In the beginning, he had simply thought that maybe Adam just wanted to try something new. “Artists!” he had thought with a little contempt, before remembering technically he qualified for the title too.

But when, after more than five months, the perfect landscape was still nowhere to be found, and every place Adam saw never seemed enough to be the background Adam was searching for, Leo had finally understood the problem behind it.

It wasn’t that Adam couldn’t think of a landscape on his own, and it wasn’t that he was trying a different technique, and it wasn’t that nothing he had around was beautiful enough either.

He didn’t want to start the painting. Simple as that.

He had conceived it to be the one thing that would’ve pulled him through that eternal year and a half without Annie, but once in front of the empty wall, once facing the practical issues, a background to be found, people to be selected to appear in the painting, colors and nuances to be chosen for it, he had backed off. Putting the brush to the wall and paint seemed too much of a definitive action, it was too real to be done. Putting the brush to the wall and paint meant acknowledging Annie had gone, and she wouldn’t be back for the longest time she had ever spent far from home – far from him.

Adam didn’t want that. He didn’t want that mainly because he knew that, no matter how slow he could’ve taken the whole process, there was no way that painting could be done on the very same day Annie’d be back. It was simply impossible: no painting could’ve ever taken him one year and a half to be finished. No painting, not even the biggest he had ever done, had ever taken him more than a couple months tops.

He had suddenly realized at some point down the road the painting would be finished. But Annie would still be away. And he had found himself unable to bear the thought.

Leo had talked about it with Blaine, who had smiled and kissed him, and had agreed with him that that was probably the problem. He had asked for counsel, and Blaine had told him it wasn’t much, at this point, that Adam needed to find the perfect place, he also needed to be pushed towards it. He needed something so stunning that would rekindle his need to paint before anything else, and he needed to be dragged there, forcefully if it was needed, because what he mainly needed was to snap out of it, and in his personal experience no one ever snaps out of anything if they’re not forced to do so.

Leo had looked at him and they had shared a deep, warm, understanding smile.

“Then Adam’s coming to the UK with us,” he had said cheerfully.

Blaine’s jaw had instantly dropped. “Wait, what?”

Leo chuckles as he thinks back to it now, to the effort it took him to convince Blaine to turn their long-time planned and long-awaited romantic trip to England into an intervention, but as he stands next to Adam on the field one hour and a half away from London, he knows it was worth it.

Adam’s looking at it with wide eyes, his lips parted, his breath low and silent. He’s stunned. The sun’s shining high above their heads and every single crop looks like it’s made out of pure gold. They swing gently in the wind, bending over and then straightening up once again, and they go on forever, forever, up to the horizon, where they meet with the bluest sky in a vaguely grayish mist that looks painted in watercolors. If warmth had a color, that’d be it. If beauty could be smelled, they’d find it in the scent of the wind. If happiness could be touched, it’d feel rough like the long stem of the crops, if it could be linked to a picture, it’d be the picture of this field. Open, enormous, bright and without borders to be seen anywhere. Wild, and yet manmade.

Leo offers Adam his phone. He takes it in his own hand, brings is up and takes a picture.

“How did you know of this place?” he asks. He’s already selecting shades of colors in his head.

“Blaine and I came here when he took me on our World Tour,” Leo says. He speaks softly, he doesn’t want to distract Adam from the sight. He’s thankful to Blaine for having wandered off. He’s taking a walk between the crops, now, several feet from them, singing that old Madonna song softly under his breath again. He seems to be in the general direction Adam’s eyes are looking to, but Adam doesn’t seem bothered by him being in the picture. Good enough. “We stumbled across it, really, we were never planning to come here. We didn’t even know this place existed. But I was moody because we had had a fight the night before, about something I can’t even remember now, and I didn’t wanna go out the next morning, so Blaine grabbed me by the collar and dragged me out. I asked him where were we going and he said he didn’t know, just around, exploring the wilderness.” He laughs, shaking his head. “That’s exactly what he said. That he wanted to explore the wilderness. In London.”

Adam smiles vaguely, closing his eyes to the caress of the wind. “Sounds like him.”

“Yes,” Leo nods. “Anyway. He rented a car, we left the city and we got here. It was beautiful, so we stopped. You know I’m not much of a country guy, but this seemed unreal. Completely different from our fields back in the USA. It looks too beautiful to be true, like a painting, and we decided to spend the day here. I don’t need to tell you doing what,” he chuckles.

“Thanks,” Adam chuckles too. Then he breathes in the pungent scent of the crops, and opens his eyes again to look at the landscape. “So what’s your point?” he asks.

“Do I have to have one?”

“Yes,” he nods, “Gimme something. Link this to a thought, a sentence, I don’t know. Give it a meaning for me.”

“Can’t you find a meaning for it on your own?”

“I could,” Adam shrugs, “But you dragged me out here, so I want you to do it. It’s the least you can do.”

Leo giggles and reaches out for him, holding his hand. Adam squeezes his right back. “Fair enough,” he says. “I’ll go with this one: your friends love you even if you’re a dickhead, so don’t be a douche and when you put them into your painting back at home don’t give horns and moustaches to Blaine, thanks.”

Adam bursts into laughing, shaking his head. He’s happier than Leo’s seen him in the last six months. Even if nothing else but this laughter came out of this trip, it was totally worth it. “Fine,” he says, “But how did you know I was gonna put him in the painting too?”

“I just knew,” Leo smiles tenderly, leaning in to kiss him on his cheek.

“What did I miss?” Blaine asks, walking back towards them with a smirk on his face, “What’s with all the kissing? Do I have to abandon you here as a punishment? Remember who’s paying for the trip.”

“Shut up and kiss me, idiot,” Leo laughs, letting go of Adam’s hand to grab Blaine’s face and pull him in for a kiss.

Adam looks at them for a few seconds, before turning back to the field. He’s still smiling. He takes another picture, with Leo and Blaine in it, this time. Just to be sure he gets the landscape right.
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