I've been trying to finish this story for weeks now, but I kept getting stuck on the ending. The ending...it's not how I originally planned for things to happen, but this is how things ended up playing out in my mind, and I went with it. Don't know yet, if that was a good idea or not. Kendall's a little OOC at the end, but it's 6:30 am and I haven't gone to bed yet, so I don't really care to fix it at the moment. And I know, another angsty James story, but oh how I love to torture him. I do have a story in the works at the moment, though, that contains no angst at all, and is hopefully humorous, but I don't know when it will be done.

I'm thinking this story needs a follow up too.

Rated M for rape, graphic descriptions of rape, m/m sex, slash, a few curse words, mentions of het, some minor violence and some minor fluff at the end. If any of that squicks you, as always, feel free to hit the back button. No one is forcing you to read this story. You also do not have to agree with me, or my opinions, all I ask it that you respect them as I respect yours.

Pairing: OC/James noncon, Kendall/James slash (but more pre-slash than anything else)

Disclaimer: I do not know or own Big Time Rush or any other affiliated character, nor is any money being made. The show belongs to Nickelodeon and the boys belong to themselves.

Bad Romance

James has a bad habit of terrible relationships.

He's not entirely sure why. He's dated or hooked up with too many people in his short life and every single time, it always ended miserably. He's never been in a relationship that lasted more than two months and he can't say he's really cared about any of them, or that they cared about him.

James can't even remember some of their names.

He's hoping this time things will be different, though.

Tyler Reed was the new hottest thing at the Palm Woods. He was tall, blonde and gorgeous with baby blue eyes, sculpted abs and a perfectly white smile. He was a god and James was in love.

So when Tyler asked him out to dinner, there was no way in hell James was going to deny the gorgeous creature a date.

After a week of dating, though, just like every other person James had ever dated, he quickly found out Tyler wasn't what he seemed.

He'd somehow been roped and manipulated into being handcuffed to the bed. He felt uneasy and unsettled about it, but he didn't say no as the furry, leopard printed handcuffs snapped around his wrists and looped around the headrest, trapping him to Tyler's bed.

In seconds he was naked, the blued eyed god practically tore the clothes from his body. James was growing more agitated and nervous. He feels trapped and helpless and those are feelings he never wanted to have ever again as he quickly realizes he doesn't want to do this.

"I change my mind, let me go," he demands, but Tyler ignores him. Instead the older boy presses a fierce kiss to his lips, their teeth clicking together, lips mashing almost painfully.

He watches as Tyler tugs his shirt off and throws it off the bed, landing in a heap on the messy floor. The older boy returns his lips to James', one hand teasing his nipples and the other reaching down to stroke James.

James tears his lips away from Tyler. "Stop," he demands and starts struggling. He bucks his hips and kicks his legs and starts pulling his bound arms.

Tyler flips James onto his stomach and sits on the back of his legs, cutting off any further protest. "You're going to enjoy this," he purrs into James' ear. "I promise."

"I don't want to do this anymore," he tells Tyler and tugs uselessly at the cuffs bound tightly around his wrists. "Let me go," he pleads.

"No," Tyler seductively whispers in his ear as the last article of clothing on either of them, Tyler's pants, is easily removed.

The head of Tyler's penis is pushing at his entrance, suddenly, and James tenses. Without warning the older boy forces himself in past the tight ring of muscles and it fucking hurts. Involuntarily, his muscles clench around the other boy, but it only makes this more painful.

James tries to relax so that the bolt of agony lancing up his backside eases. But he's so upset at what is happening and so ashamed and guilty and terrified and angry that he cannot control the twisted mess of emotions spinning dangerously behind his eyes, let alone his instinctive physical reactions to the forced intrusion.

It burns, it fucking burns in agony as Tyler slowly inches his way in. It feels like someone is holding a torch inside of him, the flame is licking at his skin, burning it and mutilating it into something sick and sinister.

"Stop," he begs and his voice breaks because it's that painful.

"I'm going to make you feel so good," Tyler promises, his voice thick and husky with lust and pleasure. "You're going to be begging for this soon. Just relax."

But James can't relax because he isn't enjoying this and he just wants this to end, he just wants Tyler to stop.

Tyler pulls out and despite the resistance thrusts back in past James' tight, clenching muscles and oh god, oh fuck it hurts even worse.

James always had a high tolerance for pain, but the ceaseless pressure and the skin grating against skin like cheese on a grater literally feels like he is being shredded and torn apart from the inside out and his eyes start to water.

"You're so tight," Tyler pants in his ear as he pulls out and thrusts back in at a faster pace. "So fucking good."

James is disgusted that Tyler could get so much pleasure from forcing himself on him. He pulls tightly at the thick, furry cuffs locked tightly around his wrists, but they don't budge.

He tries to throw Tyler off again, but his legs are pressed tightly together and pinned beneath the older boy's weight and two slender hands are clenched tightly around his shoulders, pressing his chest effectively to the bed. His attempt to dislodge Tyler, therefore, is very weak and is but a minor tremor in a major earthquake, it's barely felt at all.

It's just enough for Tyler to feel it though. "So you wanna play rough," he grinds out and tangles one hand in James's hair. He pulls his head back painfully. "I'll show you rough," his dark voice threatens.

Tyler's thrusts speed up as he doubles his efforts to get himself off. He snaps his hips viciously as his hips slap against skin in a bruising rhythm.

"Do you like that?" Tyler hisses into his ear, his head still pulled back painfully by the hand tugging viciously on his hair.

James doesn't answer. The hand pulls tighter on his hair in response to his silence and with a particularly cruel thrust, he can feel his skin tearing. James lets out an involuntary gasp of pain, a soft 'ngh' resonating in the back of his throat.

It is enough for Tyler though, who lets go of his hair and lets his head fall back to the bed.

His presses his hot, flustered cheek to the bed and clenches his hands into a fist. James can feel the blood start to trickle down his thighs. He tugs uselessly on the cuffs again and he knows, god he fucking knows they aren't coming off, but he has to do something.

The other boy presses his hot, sweaty chest against James' back and wraps his arms around James, while maintaining his steady, ceaseless thrusting.

He just wants this to end, but it doesn't. Skin slaps against skin, Tyler pants heavily in his ear, groaning over and over about how tight James is, and god, doesn't this feel so good?

When James does not agree, the other boy bites down hard on his shoulder, until he draws blood and James is groaning in pain.

Tyler snaps his hips a few more times before he's coming with an obscenely loud moan.

He can't help the wince that flickers across his face when Tyler pulls out. His wrists are freed and he immediately sits up, despite the pain that spikes up his spine, and pushes Tyler away.

He hastily stands up and starts digging through the mess on the floor for his clothes with trembling hands. As soon as he finds what belongs to him, he throws it on and for once he doesn't even give a shit if he looks good. He just wants so badly to get out of this apartment.

He can feel Tyler's eyes on him and James feels so dirty and disgusting and used.

A hand snatches out and grabs his wrist, pulling James tightly to a muscular chest. "I'll call you tomorrow, baby," Tyler whispers into his ear, before pressing a demanding kiss to his protesting lips.

James snaps. He pushes Tyler so hard the other boy trips over his feet and lands on his ass on the floor.

"Don't fucking bother," he angrily retorts to the glaring teen as he finishes pulling on his pants.

He quickly flees as soon as his clothes are on and he doesn't even bother to grab his shoes on the way out because he's just needs to get out that apartment, he can't be in there anymore.

His chest is heaving and he doesn't know how to feel.

He feels like such an idiot, like he has no one to blame, but himself for this. This is all his fault this happened.

He feels so…angry. Tyler had no right to do that to him, he had no right to…This is as much Tyler's fault as his own.

But mostly, mostly James feels so alone. It was another person on a long list of people that didn't care about him, that just wanted to use him.

He just wants someone to wake up to in the morning and ask how he is feeling, he wants someone to call him because they miss him. He wants someone to want him, to need him.

James just wants to be loved.

Logan's parents call every night, Carlos' father even came to visit.

James hasn't heard from his mother at all, and his father has only called once. Somehow he knows no one would answer the phone if he dared to call either of them.

And he's never had a real relationship. He's dated plenty of people, though he's not entirely sure how many, but he's never been in a caring relationship with any of them. He has only made it past three weeks with two of them.

James is starting to believe he is unlovable, that it is utterly impossible for someone to care for him. Is he that horrible of a person?

Is he that tainted?

He's starting to think the answer is yes.

He's just so…numb. His thoughts, his feelings are a twisted, tangled mess like a gnarled vine wrapped threateningly around a tree, squeezing the life out of it.

He can't pick just one thing to feel, just one poisonous thought from the twisted mess. There is a cloud of emotion settling across his mind like a thick blanket and it's smothering him under a layer of burning heat.

He doesn't notice when he reaches the front door of 2J, is barely aware of Carlos' eyes staring intently through him when he staggers into their room, barefoot and shivering.

"Are you okay, dude?" Carlos questions him. His voice sounds muffled and distant. Carlos really shouldn't mumble like that, James thinks because he can barely hear the words his roommate is speaking.

James doesn't have an answer to his question and he's not sure he could answer anyway without his voice breaking and the words getting stuck in his throat. His chest feels tight, suddenly, with the thick and heavy emotions lodged in his brain.

He settles on giving Carlos a quick nod, before hurrying into the bathroom. He clicks the lock in place and collapses to his knees on the cold tile floor.

His clothes feel so dirty and his skin is crawling with invisible filth and grime. He has to get clean. He has to scrub it all away until there is nothing left of Tyler, nothing left of himself, nothing left of the memories.

His hands are shaking so bad, he can't get his pants off, and it's so frustrating, he decides not to even bother taking them off. He turns on the tap, settles in the bathtub, clothes and all, and just starts scrubbing at his clothes and skin.

James knows if he could, he would scrub his mind clean with soap and water.

He just sits there as the water rushes over him, incessantly scrubbing his skin, but it doesn't feel clean and he can't wash away the grime inside of him, in his heart and mind, and chest and…

He keeps trying, keeps letting the water and soap run over him as he scrapes and scrubs at his skin.

His chest tightens, though, and the ache doesn't go away and somehow James knows, he will never be clean again.


"Have you seen James today?" Logan suddenly asks breaking the thick tension lingering in the air of their room.

"We saw him at lunch, remember?" Kendall sarcastically replied. "He's on a date with Tyler," he mockingly drew out the despicable boy's name.

It is painfully obvious to everyone, but James, that Kendall has the biggest crush on the tallest member of Big Time Rush.

It is also glaringly obvious that Kendall is horribly jealous of James' recent fling, Tyler Reed.

Logan glared at him. "Have you seen him recently?"

"No, why?"

"I'm worried. You know James."

"Yeah," Kendal sighed, he did know James and that was the problem. The troubled teen possessed a long list of failed, and disastrous, relationships that often left his friends cleaning up his messes.

Even the ones James never told them about.

James doesn't understand why his relationships never work, but Kendall knows. It's because James is fervently willing to soak up any attention from anyone who expresses even the tiniest bit of interest. All it takes is one look and one kind word and James is always hooked.

Those kind of people, the kind of people who spare James a passing glance, are usually the worlds biggest assholes.

James doesn't know that, though. He is so eager for approval that James doesn't know how to say no, or when to say 'enough is enough.' James doesn't know what he's really worth because he is so insecure, because he has so little self confidence. And so he says yes to anyone, even the people who are far below his standards. As a result almost all of his relationships end with James getting hurt, emotionally and sometimes physically. Kendall is fairly certain James doesn't even know he's doing it. It pisses him off to know James is so ignorant of the truth. Those assholes don't deserve James and the only person who doesn't know that is James.

Kendall knows he's partly to blame, though.

He's had the biggest crush on the taller boy for nearly two years now, but he's never said anything to the older boy. He hasn't even given the barest hint at all that he's even remotely interested.

He knows James swings that way. James swings both ways, and would pretty much see anyone that bothered to even look at him (which is the problem). Kendall knows he isn't a coward, but he's never been able to muster up the courage to tell one of his best friends that he kind of, sort of, maybe, definitely likes him more than just a friend.

He doesn't want to be just another boyfriend on an extensive list of people James has dated. But that's just an excuse to hide his pathetic cowardice at being unable to express his feelings.

He's so paranoid that James is going to say no, or that they'll date for a while until James grows bored and breaks up with him, or worse, James will be so mad at Kendall that he'll never want to speak to him ever again.

Kendall couldn't handle that, couldn't handle destroying eleven years of friendship over a silly crush. But he can't take watching James destroy himself either, dating asshole after asshole that doesn't treat him nearly as well as he deserves.

He's never been this confused before. Kendall is so jealous of Tyler Reed that he can't even say the name in his head without every syllable dripping with bitter sarcasm. That dirty bastard treats his friend like shit, and Kendall despises him for it. He loathes that jackass and wants to ring his neck for daring to treat James as if he was worthless. And James always just sits there and takes it.

He's not sure why he hasn't strangled Tyler yet, or the guy before that, or the girl before that, or the girl before that, or the 16 others before that. Not that Kendall is keeping count or anything.

James doesn't deserve this. It's bad enough that he has two terrible parents that never stop arguing long enough to notice anything else, a shitty, pretentious stepmother that cares more for her nails and her damn poodle than her stepson, and a slew of horrible, sometimes abusive, men that his alcoholic mother dated. James doesn't need anymore drama in his life, or anymore people that treat him like a paper towel, used to pick up after their messes only to be thrown out after they're done with it.

Kendall knows he could try harder to stop it, but he hasn't and he's a terrible friend. He wants to tell James what he's really worth, he wants to tell him so bad. But every time the right moments comes, Kendall can't find the right words to say and he always ends up letting the moment slip by, hoping he gets another chance.

"You should tell him," Logan softly says and Kendall's head snaps up violently to stare awkwardly at his roommate.

"What?" he half squeaks, half stutters.

"You should tell James how much he really means to you," Logan calmly continues, though Kendall is clearly flustered. A light blush colors his cheeks a soft pink as a slight trembles posses his hands.

Kendall blessedly does not get a chance to reply. There's a soft knock on the door before it opens and Carlos shyly peaks in.

"Hey guys," he apprehensively begins, "I think we might have a problem."


When Carlos Garcia states 'we might have a problem' it could mean anything from 'I shattered your grandmother's urn,' to 'I put a tree branch through the window,' or 'there's a bobcat and its three kittens in your living room,' and of courseKendall's personal favorite, 'the kitchen is on fire and the stove is gone, I repeat the stove is gone.'

This was one he'd heard many times before, though.

"I think there's something wrong with James," Carlos tells Logan and him as they stand before the bathroom door. Water is spilling underneath the door and soaking through the carpet.

"What happened?" Kendall asks a little too quickly, anything to distract Logan from their previous conversation.

"He came home almost two hours ago, and he was really upset, but I didn't want to push it and he hid in the bathroom, but he's been in there almost two hours and I've been trying to get him to respond for the last half hour, but he hasn't said anything and I'm really worried cuz we all know he's been on a lot of really bad dates, but I've never seen him react like this before," Carlos rapidly rambles without stopping to breathe. Carlos' lower lip is caught between his teeth as he anxiously chews on it, his eyebrows are knitted together and one hand fiddles with the strap of his helmet.

"James?" Kendall asks as he knocks calmly on the door. He's anything, but calm, though. His heart is racing in panic and his hands are still trembling. He can feel the acid burning the back of his throat as a cold, dread settles in his stomach. "Can you open the door, please? We just want to make sure you're okay."

There is no response to his query. He can hear water still running in the bathroom and the puddle of water at his feet is steadily growing.

What if he drowned? What if he fell and hit his head and is unconscious right now? What if he's dying, slowly suffocating in the water and waiting for us to rescue him, his thoughts become increasingly panicked. Kendall grows more frantic every second that James does not answer.

He knows what he has to do. His mother warned them not to break anything else in the house, but Kendall's pretty sure she'll make an exception this time.

"Stand back," he tells Logan and Carlos and they look at him in confusion, but follow his orders. He is going to break the door down. Kendall has never done this before, but he's seen it done enough times in movies and he's that panicked, that's he is fairly certain he can pull it off.

Kendall braces himself and kicks down the door with as much strength as he can muster on his shaky legs. The door easily splinters and forcefully swings open to smack loudly off the wall.

"Oh God," Logan gasps.

"Shit," Carlos mutters, but it is Kendall that rushes into the bathroom first.

"God James," Kendall whispers in horror as he kneels next to the tub and quickly shuts the tap off. Water is soaking through his pants, but he hardly notices and frankly doesn't give a shit. James needs him now, and he needs to be there for him.

The other boy is sitting completely clothed in the bathtub, the water spilling over the edges and flooding the entire floor. His knees are drawn to his chest and his arms are wrapped tightly around them as he stares blankly forward at nothing.

As he plunges his arm into the bath to pull the plug, he is immediately assaulted by ice cold water. James is violently shivering, his lips already turning blue and he's probably hypothermic.

"JJ," he calls softly using the nickname he gave the other boy, one that always calms him, and touches a gentle hand to James' shoulder.

James flinches away from him, but pale, pained brown eyes finally turn to look at him.

"K-Kendall?" James stutters through chattering teeth and looks at Kendall in confusion. "I'm s-s-sorry. I-I didn't h-hear you k-knock." His eyes are knitted much like Carlos' were, as if he is confused as to why Kendall is there.

He's not entirely sure why James is sorry, but he smiles reassuringly, despite his panic, and brushes James' wet hair from his eyes. "It's okay," he says and rubs a comforting hand across his shoulders, trying to bring warmth to the chilled skin.

James looks like he wants to say more, but the effort to speak requires far more energy than he has, so he gives the barest hint of a nod.

A towel is suddenly pressed into his hands and Kendall locks eyes briefly with Logan before he turns back to James.

He wraps the towel tightly around James' shoulders. "Let's get you out of here, okay?" he asks as if he was talking to a frightened child.

The shivering teen nods and Kendall places James' arm over his shoulders and lifts the taller boy with a grunt. Logan and Carlos are immediately by his side, steadying the both of them as James steps out of the tub on unsteady limbs.

It takes nearly ten minutes to stumble the short distance down the hallway to Carlos and James' room and the brunette is stubbornly uncooperative as they pat him dry and strip him of his wet clothes.

Kendall tries not to look at the bruises, how his skin is rubbed raw on his wrists or the hand shaped welts on his hips and thighs. He desperately tries to keep his imagination from running wild. He can't help, though, but think of all the terrible ways those scrapes and bruises could have been acquired. It makes him nauseous thinking about it.

They struggle James into pjs and he lies down willingly when Logan gently presses on his shoulders. The three of them wrap him tightly in any blankets they have handy.

The tears start then, slipping down tan cheeks quietly, softly and almost unnoticeably. Kendall's heart breaks. Though he's seen James heartbroken and miserable before, he's never quite seen the older boy act like this.

And he can't help the thoughts that fester and pool in the back of his mind, wondering, begging to know what happened.

Kendall wants to comfort the distraught teen anyway he can, so he climbs into the bed, sneaks an arm under the pile of blankets and pulls James tightly to his chest. Logan settles on the opposite side of James, and Carlos more or less lies across all three of them.

There's barely enough room for two people, let alone four but none of them are about to complain.

They wrap their arms tightly around their distraught friend and once more try to fend off the demons within.


The first thing Kendall notices when he drags himself towards consciousness early the next morning is that James isn't there.

The second thing he notices is that Logan is spooned against him.

He has a brief second to wonder where the hell James wondered off to before the door to the bathroom opens and James emerges, dressed for the day in a long sleeve, button down, shirt and bandanas tied around his wrists, with his hair freshly styled and enough man spray that Kendall can smell it all the way across the room.

Sometime during the morning, James managed to extricate himself from the awkward pile of arms and legs belonging to who knows who, shower and get himself ready for the day without anyone noticing.

James, Kendall thinks, must secretly be a ninja or something because Logan's arm is thrown over his chest, his arm is trapped under the other boy and he knows James was between them last night. He's not entirely sure which legs are his and which are Logan and Carlos'. Carlos is still sprawled out on top of both of them and the only thing that is missing is James from the bed.

He knows James was there last night, but James is giving them a look as if this is the first time he's seen this and he has no idea why the three of them are piled on his bed.

He crosses to his dresser, completely aware that Kendall's eyes are following his every movement.

James says nothing and neither does Kendall as the older boy pulls out a pair of socks.

Kendall feels the bed shift and he briefly glances away from James to notice Logan and Carlos are both awake and starring at James as well.

"What?" James finally asks, annoyed and a little unsettled because three pairs of eyes are intensely starring at him in eerie silence.

"Are…are you okay?" Logan boldly ventures as he tries to raise himself to get a better view of the taller boy.

"I'm fine," James snaps.

Carlos, who had been struggling to free himself, quickly halts his movements when he hears James' resolution which only results in him falling off the bed in surprise.

He's on his feet as quickly as he fell. "Fine?" he scoffs. "You are not fine. You are so far from fine, you couldn't find fine on a map!" Carlos yells at him.

James rolls his eyes at him. "I don't know what you're talking about."

Kendall doesn't want to play this game. He knows James too well. He's let things like this slide in the past, but he's not going to let it happen again.

"You can't pretend it didn't happen, JJ," he speaks up for the first time, rather calmly despite the anger and confusion boiling inside of him. "You were crying last night." He finishes and he knows the other three boys in the room understand exactly what he is saying.

It is a little known fact that James Jacob Diamond does not cry. He didn't cry when his mother almost killed herself while drunk driving and James was the only one at the hospital to comfort her. He didn't cry when he snapped the bone in his forearm in half, in fact he looked amused and fascinated. And James did not cry when Jack the Jackass, one of his mother's lovely ex-boyfriends, beat the shit out of him and his mother cared more about her boyfriend going to jail than her son who was in the hospital.

In fact, Kendall is not sure he has ever seen James cry.

James freezes, one hand tightens around the socks in his hand, while the other falters while closing his dresser drawer.

"Its - It's nothing," he hastily replies, deflated of his previous anger.

Kendall doesn't buy it. What he saw last night, that was not nothing. That was James lost, confused, angry and terribly upset. Something made him feel that way and Kendall's fairly certain he knows who's responsible.

He catches Logan's attention and subtly jerks his head towards the door. He knows James well enough to know that James isn't going to open up, not with the three of them bearing down on him like this and cornering him as if he was a skunk in a record studio.

Carlos is still standing in the center of the room, legs spread in a fighting stance and his hands curled in tight fists. The shorter boy is fuming at the brunette who can be such an idiot sometimes, but he lets Logan lead him out of the room despite his melting fury.

Kendall slowly gets up as he hears the door click behind Logan. Cautiously, he approaches James who is still staring intently at his open drawer, back facing Kendall.

He lets a hand settle on James' shoulder and he feels the taller boy's shoulder sag slightly. He doesn't shrug his hand off, encouraging Kendall to press forward.

"What happened?" he softly questions and turns the other boy to face him.

James refuses to look at him, but instead his eyes are firmly fixated on the black socks clenched tightly in his hands.

"We broke up, that's all," James mumbles. Doesn't matter how softly he says it, though, because Kendall instantly knows he is lying anyways.

"How long have we known each other?" Kendall quietly asks.

"Eleven years," James immediately replies.

"And how many times have you lied to me?"

"Not once," James responds with a slight huff of laughter.

"Then why start now," Kendall reasons. "What really happened, JJ?" he asks again and this time he knows he will get the truth.

James takes a deep breath, eyes lingering shut a second longer than normal. "Tyler and I had sex last night," the older boy finally says and briefly looks up at Kendall.

And, Kendall silently urges when James hesitates to continue, because he knows there has to be more to it than that.

"And," James continues, and drops his eyes to the ground once more, "and I didn't want to. He, uh, he forced himself on me."

Shock splays across his face, and Kendall tries to responds. He really does, but his mouth just kind of hangs open in surprise, and he can't think of a single appropriate response. This is his best friend for eleven years and he can't think of a single thing to say to him in this moment, besides I love you, James. I love you so damn much.

But Kendall doesn't deserve James if he can't even find the right words to say to him.

James shrugs his hands off his shoulders and walks away. "It was my first time, too," he softly says before exiting the room, leaving Kendall standing alone wondering what the hell just happened.


James does a pretty damn good job of pretending that night never happened. Kendall's not sure if it's because he's just that good at acting, or if he is just too used to this. Too used to hiding the pain.

That does not sit well with Kendall. Kendall's the kind of person that likes to fix everything, including his best friends' problems. That often results in Kendall sticking his nose where it doesn't belong, but James' dating issue was one problem he tried not to get involved with.

And it's the one predicament he should have stuck his giant nose in. And his overly large eyebrows too!

He can't change the fact that he didn't, though, so he'll stick to his current plan. And that is avoiding James and everything about him because he doesn't know what to say still, and he's still not quite sure how to handle this. It's not a very good plan, but no one ever complimented him on being particularly bright, especially when it came to love.

After two weeks of his not so subtle avoidance tactics, Kendall doesn't know who he's hurting more, James or himself.

It's dinner time when it all blows up in his face. An awkward silence has settled over the table. Logan is more interested in staring at his food, then making eye contact with anyone else. James is more or less playing with the pizza on his plate, poking and prodding it, but not quite eating eat. Kendall hasn't really seen him eat much at all since that night.

Carlos is glaring daggers at him from across the table.

Kendall glances up and for a brief second his eyes meet James, before he quickly looks away.

Suddenly, James angrily pushes his plate away, stands up and stalks away, without even asking to be excused.

It's only then he starts to realize maybe this wasn't a good idea after all.

His mother says nothing, just watches James go with grief in her eyes.

"You're an idiot," Carlos snaps at him, pushing his plate away and storming out the room. Kendall can only flinch in response when the front door slams shut behind Carlos.

Mrs. Knight and Katie quickly make their excuses and flee the dinner table, but Kendall finds he can't move at all. So he sits there quietly and stares at his plate forlornly.

"I told you to tell him how much you cared about him, not avoid him like he's a walking lethal disease," Logan tells him, and though his voice is calm, there is a hint of anger there too. "What is wrong with you, dude?"

"I'm scared, okay," Kendall lashes out. He doesn't mean to yell at Logan, and he hadn't meant to say that at all, but he's just so frustrated and tired and confused and he hates it.

"You're afraid that James might reject you?" Logan asks incredulously, surprised over Kendall's outburst.

"No, yes, kind of," Kendall stutters in reply.

"You're not making any sense, man," and if it was any other situation, Logan might have laughed at how insecure and unsure Kendall sounded.

"You know how James is. He says yes to everyone that asks him out. I'm just afraid that…"

"He'll say yes to you because you're interested, but you'll never really know if he really means it," Logan guesses.

"Yeah, kind of," Kendall shrugs. "How would I ever know if he really feels the same way too?" He's just so unsure of everything, and he's not used to feeling this way. He's used to being confident, and this sudden lack of self confidence terrifies him.

"Carlos is right, you are an idiot," Logan scoffs.

Kendall has the dignity to look slightly offended, but he wants to hear what Logan has to tell him, so he says nothing in response.

"How long have you known James?" Logan asks and it sounds eerily familiar to his conversation with James the other day.

"Eleven years," Kendall says with a slight chuckle.

"And how many times has James said no to you?" Logan questions and rests his chin atop his hands, staring intently at Kendall.

"Too many to count," Kendall instantly replies.

"Then that's how you'll know," he states as if it is the most obvious thing in the universe, and really, it is.

Kendall really is an idiot. James couldn't say no to other people, but he would never lie to Kendall like that.

"I'm so stupid," Kendall says and buries his face in his hands.

"I'm glad we both agree," Logan replies, dead serious.

"But, but what if he says no."

"That's a chance you're going to have to take. If you don't you'll never know."

"What if he says yes, though? I'm not good enough for James!" he continues his self deprecating rant. The other boy told him he was raped, and what did Kendall do? He didn't comfort him, or help him get past it; he ignored him because Kendall couldn't handle his own feelings and his own insecurities. He didn't deserve James.

"That's ridiculous, Kendall," Logan tells him in a low, flat voice that clearly implies don't argue with me, I'm right. "Kendall, hun, do us all a favor. Pull your head out of your ass, and ask James out already. You may be an idiot, but you two deserve each other, you deserve to be happy together." Logan stands from the table, giving Kendall a pointed look. "Now stop being such a baby, figure out what you want, and go for it," Logan angrily retorts before he follows Carlos out the front door.

He sits there in stunned silence, Logan's words ringing through him, before he finally makes a decision and pushes himself to his feet.


Kendall stands outside of the door to James' and Carlos' door ten whole minutes before he works up enough courage to knock on the door.

Even then, he never does get the chance to knock, for the door swings wide open, angry brown eyes glaring at him.

"Will you come in already," James growls, "you've been standing out here for like ten minutes."

Kendall slowly follows him in. James rolls his eyes at him, before quietly closing the door behind Kendall and plopping down on his bed.

He hovers awkwardly at the door. "I'm sorry," he blurts out in a hurried rush of words.

James eyes soften, and he almost smiles. "I know," he sighs and pats the space next to him on the bed. Kendall eagerly accepts his offer and slumps down on the sheets next to James. The taller boy snuggles up next to him, head resting on his shoulder, and Kendall cannot resist wrapping an arm around slim shoulders, pulling his best friend closer to him.

"I should have been there for you," Kendall continues after they get comfortable. "I'm sorry, I've been a terrible friend. Do you forgive me?" He tries to not let his vulnerability show, but he's fairly certain it's pretty damn obvious.

"Of course," James immediately responds anyway. Doesn't matter how big of an ass Kendall was, James would always forgive him.

"I know it was selfish of me, but…I was scared," Kendall hesitantly tells James.

The other boy shifts in his arms so that he can look up at him. Kendall evenly meets his gaze.

"Scared of what?"

"Scared to admit my feelings for you," Kendall answers and looks away, breaking eye contact with the teen, but not before he catches a glimpse of surprise flashing across James' face. "I…I like you James, a lot, and I've been such a coward. It's just, you say yes to every jackass that comes along, and they never treat you right. They don't deserve, Tyler didn't deserve you. And I, I didn't think I deserved you either."

"That's stupid, Kendall," James says, his gaze returned to the bed, head still nestled on his shoulder.

Kendall tries to laugh, but it ends up more of a strangle moan. "I know," he grimaces. "I should have told you this a long time ago, but I care about you, a lot. I think you are a beautiful, amazing person and I would love if you would go out with me, on a date, tomorrow night."

James doesn't immediately respond, but Kendall swears he can feel James' lips curve into a smile. The older boy lifts his head, lips so close to Kendall's ear he can feel his hot breath ghosting across his skin.

"I would love to," James finally answers.

A huge grin breaks out across his face. "Really?" he hesitantly asks, worried for a brief second that James was just fucking with him, or maybe he heard wrong, or that he was just day dreaming.

He doesn't have to see James' face to know he's rolling his eyes again. "Really," James retorts in exasperation. The taller boy wraps an arm around Kendall's chest and snuggles as close as he can to the blonde.

They stay wrapped up in each others' arms for a long time, soaking up the other's warmth. Kendall is smiling so much, his face hurts, but he can't help himself. He hasn't been this happy in a long time.

"Does this mean I can call you my boyfriend," James sleepily murmurs into his chest.

"You can call me whatever you want," Kendall replies and presses a soft kiss into James' brown hair.

"So, I can call you babe?" James asks.


"What about stud muffin?"

"Umm, okay?"

"KK?" James chuckles, his laughter vibrating in his chest.

"No," Kendall immediately responds, because it doesn't matter how much he loves James, he is not letting the other boy call him that, never again, not after that whole incident at summer camp six years ago.

James just laughs, his joy and happiness resonating through him.

And Kendall realizes, the cycle is finally broken. It took Kendall a long time, but James finally has someone that is going to treat him right, that is never going to hurt him.

Because Kendall could never break James' heart.

The sun sets, a beautiful red sun dipping below the horizon in a violent explosion of color. Beyond the hazy glow of the LA lights, the stars shine just for them: two star crossed lovers that finally said 'fuck the world,' and found it all.