Sorry for the super long delay. Life's been a very stressful, chaotic mess.
If anyone reads Wishful Thinking as well, I will try to have an update on that story by this weekend.
As with Part I, Part II just kept getting away from me. It didn't want to go where I wanted it to go, so I picked a new spot that I'm not unhappy about, but I'm not entirely pleased about it either. I hope it's not terrible.
The last line belongs to the Beatles because it couldn't have been said better.
James can't bring himself to care anymore, about anything.
He gets up, goes to work with his two friends and…Kendall, performs halfheartedly, comes home, pretends to eat and goes to bed.
Carlos tries to get him to play with their chicken nuggets, but he just doesn't feel like it. Logan asked him for styling advice. James threw a magazine at him and told to figure it out himself.
Even the dream seems like a waste of time.
It's all because of Kendall. James doesn't understand why Kendall is avoiding him. Is Kendall disgusted by James? Is Kendall mad at him for letting Tyler…rape him? Does Kendall hate him?
James doesn't think he could handle it if Kendall hated him. He's always sort of had a crush on the blonde, but he's never acted on his fantasies.
Kendall doesn't want used product like him.
He wants to fix things with Kendall, but the blonde won't even talk to him. He has no idea how to make things right. The whole situation is depressing him and now, even getting up to go to the studio is a chore.
James hates himself so much for letting things become like this. And a tiny part of his heart hates Kendall for not being there for him.
Hands in his pockets, hood pulled over his pale face, James drags his feet all the way to his room. Face first, he falls into his bed, and refuses to get up.
The door slams shut and he can feel a pair of eyes glaring at him, setting his skin ablaze with the fire burning in them.
"What do you want, Carlos?" he asks, his voice muffled through the pillow. Begrudgingly he sits up to face his fierce roommate.
Carlos had been gently trying to prod James for answers since the night they found him shivering in a bathtub full of cold water. But James tactfully shot him down every time. He could tell the latino was starting to get annoyed and frustrated with him.
He doesn't want Carlos to know because he doesn't want another friend to abandon him. He's starting to feel lonely, though, and his silence is starting to tear him apart. He can't deal with this alone, and pretending it isn't happening wasn't working anymore.
"What is wrong with you, dude?" Carlos hisses and he sounds a little pissed.
James sits on his bed with a dejected huff and starts kicking his feet like a child across the floor, gaze intently fixed on the carpet. "Tyler raped me," he finally admits and shrugs as if it is no big deal, because really, he doesn't want Carlos making a big fuss over this. It happened, it's over, it's never happening again. There's not much else about it and nothing Carlos can do will change what happened.
Carlos looks surprised for half a second before his face twists in rage. James hates it. Anger is one emotion that should never be on his friends' face. It just doesn't fit his personality. He's feels guilty for making Carlos feel that way.
"I'm gonna kill that sick son of a bitch!"
"Carlos, please don't go looking for trouble, or Tyler. Just leave it alone," he glances up at his irate roommate, before returning his gaze to the floor.
"I make no promises," Carlos angrily spits out. "Why didn't you tell me sooner?"
James just shrugs again and it must have looked pathetic, for the anger immediately drains from Carlos' face. Timidly he sits next to James. "Because ever since I told Kendall, he hasn't talked to me once. He can't even look at me." His voice breaks and he's so close to falling apart again. James has destroyed the one relationship that meant most to him.
Kendall was always there from him, from the day his parents split to the day he ended up in the hospital after his mother's trashy boyfriend drunkenly beat the shit out of him. He ruined their friendship because of this whole thing with Tyler.
"What?" Carlos angrily growls. "Kendall really needs his ass kicked too."
"Just drop it," James pushes Carlos away from him and lies back down on his bed, face buried into the bedspread. "It's not that important," he mumbles into the blanket.
"James, you can't really think that. This is important."
James just nonchalantly shrugs once more, brushing off the topic.
Carlos doesn't understand why James is being so calm about this. He was raped, shouldn't he feel something?
"Why aren't you more, I don't know, upset about this?" Carlos asks and he sounds honestly confused.
James has no answer for that, so he just shrugs his shoulders in response, the only answer he can seem to come up with. He should be angry, he should be pissed. He should hate Tyler.
But he doesn't. He doesn't feel anything at all. And maybe that should worry him, but he can't bring himself to care.
"How are you feeling?" Logan asks him and sits next to him on his bed. He hasn't moved since Carlos left the room in a huff, muttering under his breath how he had to find Logan. James can only roll his eyes. You couldn't tell Carlos anything, unless you wanted Logan to know too.
"Carlos told you, didn't he?" James resignedly sighs. He doesn't really want to have this conversation with Logan, not now, not ever.
"Yes," Logan grimaces, expecting James to be angry, but the younger boy just sighs. "You didn't answer my question," Logan continues when he realizes James isn't about to snap at him.
"It doesn't matter."
"It matters to me," Logan firmly tells him. He reaches out and runs his fingers' through James' hair. He sighs in content and closes his eyes, relaxing under the gentle fingers and guiltily wishing the hand in his hair belonged to someone else. Someone blonde and handsome and well, Kendall.
"But it doesn't matter to me," James evenly responds. He doesn't get it. Why are Logan and Carlos so worked up about this? He was raped by Tyler, end of story. There was nothing anyone could do about it, but move on.
"You can't keep everything bottled up," Logan insists, his fingers still comfortingly running through James' hair.
"I'm not. I know you all want me to break down crying again, but I just can't," he mutters, face still partially hidden in the blanket. "What Tyler did doesn't bother me, not anymore." He's not exactly lying to Logan, but he can't tell Logan what he's really thinking, he doesn't even want to admit it to himself.
"What about Kendall?"
James tenses. He sits up and pulls away from Logan, dislodging his hand from his hair.
"He hates me," James darkly whispers and wraps his arms around his knees. It's been two weeks since the shit hit the fan. Kendall hasn't spoken to him once, hasn't even glanced in his direction.
He still remembers the look in those green eyes when he told the blonde, the horror, the anger, the disgust. Kendall hates who he is, hates James.
And that's not something he's sure he can live with.
"He doesn't hate you," Logan consoles, trying to move closer to the distraught teen, but James backs away from him. "He's just confused."
"Yeah, confused about whether or not he wants to beat me up," James cynically responds.
"That's not true. James," Logan plants his hands on either side of his face and forces their brown eyes to meet, "trust me when I say that Kendall loves you."
Sincerity shines in Logan's eyes, as if they're trying to tell James a well known secret, but he shakes the thought away.
"Then why can't he even stand to be in the same room as me?" he whispers so the crack in his voice from the pain in his chest can't be heard. It hurts, it hurts more than being forced upon by Tyler, that Kendall refuses to be there for him.
He doesn't believe Logan. There's no way the younger boy still loves him, he doesn't even love himself anymore.
"I…I don't know," Logan hesitantly answers. James just shakes his head and tries to hold back his tears.
Because James Diamond does not cry.
"It's time for dinner," the brainiac sighs and looks forlornly at the clock, "We'll talk about this after dinner, okay?"
James nods in acceptance. But they both know that conversation will never happen, later will never come. Because when James wants to, he can avoid people too.
He knows he isn't going to eat, but like a kicked puppy he follows Logan to the dinner table.
The object of his affection shows up to dinner ten minutes late. He flops into his seat with a huff and stares at his cold plate.
For a moment, they lock eyes, for a moment James sees the same hard look Kendall gave him the day after the Tyler incident as it has been so poorly named in his mind. Kendall quickly looks away, though.
James can't help it anymore. He hates himself more than anything else for causing this tension between them. The tension in the air is so thick, he's suffocating on the bitter feelings and awkward silence. There's a foul taste in his mouth and it tastes like regret.
He pushes his plate away and flees from the table before anyone can stop him.
But he never thought Kendall Knight would follow him.
He never thought that hard look in those bright green eyes was really…love.
James emerged from the water, his perfect, tan body gleaming in the sun, drops of water tantalizingly sliding down his gorgeous muscles. His wet swim trunks clung to his skin.
Kendall stared unashamed at his boyfriend, mouth slightly agape, and eyes racking over the tall muscular teen.
He's still the world's biggest idiot for letting James slip through his fingers for so long, but Kendall's hoping he has the rest of his life to make it up to the tall beauty.
Snagging his boyfriend's wrist, he pulls James towards him and plants a possessive kiss to pliant lips. He doesn't care that they're at the Palm Woods Pool and that everyone, even Bitters, is watching.
A catcall rings out, and he's fairly certain that's Camille who is clapping and whistling, but he hardly notices any of it, as he ravishes James' mouth, tongue teasingly sliding into the brunette's mouth.
His hand snakes into the back of James' hair. As warm arms wrap around his waist, his cock stirs to life.
He pulls back, panting heavily.
"Let's take this to your room," his husky voice pants. James can only nod.
Kendall starts dragging the insanely sexy teen towards his bedroom, when he realizes, in his horniness they left all their things at the pool.
"Fish on a stick!" Kendall suddenly says and stops walking.
"Fish on a stick?"
"It just comes to me," the blonde shrugs. "Don't judge me."
"Oh I'm judging," James laughs. "What's got your panties in a knot, darling?" his boyfriend teases.
Kendall can only scowl at him. "We left our stuff at the pool. I'm gonna go get it. Wait for me here."
Kendall dashes off before James can reply, leaving the taller boy standing alone, awkwardly in the hotel lobby.
He grabs their things from the chair and calmly walks back into the lobby, not expecting a commotion to stir in the few seconds he had been gone.
The scene unfolding is painted like a picture before him. Tyler's hand is wrapped around James' wrist in a bruising grip. He's pulled the younger boy tightly to his chest, his free arm wrapped around the brunette's waist threateningly.
"You're a fucking whore," he hears Tyler whisper into his shaking lover's ear as he calmly approaches.
"It's over between us," James hisses in reply as he struggles to free his wrist from the tight grasp. "Let me go!"
"Why? So you can fuck your skanky new boy toy?"
"He's not skanky, and he's not my boy toy. You wouldn't understand," James shakes his head sadly as if he feels bad for the blue eyed demon, "you're just an emotionless, pathetic, worthless piece of trash and you couldn't understand what a relationship is," James scathingly and angrily replies.
But Kendall can hear a tremor of fear in his boyfriend's voice, and though he can't explain it, that makes him angrier than the harsh words escaping past Tyler's lips. James is afraid of this guy who deserves to get his ass kicked for what he did.
Kendall's willing to open that can of whoop ass.
"Let go of my boyfriend," his voice is dangerously low in a dark warning to back off now, or regret it later.
Tyler regarded Kendall cautiously, dark blue irises staring intensely at a pair of angry green eyes. The spoiled teen half expected Kendall to cower in fear, but he did not expect the heat emanating from the dark glare and the vicious rage ready to tear him apart if he made the wrong move.
"Fine," Tyler snottily conceded and released James' arm with a wave of his hand. "Take the worthless whore. He wasn't any good in bed anyways."
Kendall doesn't remember ever being this mad before, being so mad his vision was literally tainted red, fists shaking in rage, judgement clouded by hatred.
Before Kendall was even aware of what he was doing, he punched Tyler across the face. The narcissistic asshole fell to ground with the force of the punch.
Shaking hands wrapped around his fist and lowered it. Kendall could only stare at his hand in shock. He hadn't meant to do that, violence was a tactic he rarely resorted to.
But damn if it hadn't felt good! And it's not like the bastard didn't deserve it.
"Let's just go, please," James begged and started dragging him towards the elevator without waiting for a reply from Kendall.
Tyler sneered at them as he picked himself off the floor. "Enjoy your sloppy seconds," Tyler snarled and gave a mocking wave. Kendall almost launched himself at the rotten piece of filth, but James' tight grip on his hand stopped him as the older boy dragged him into the elevator and repeatedly jabbed the button for their floor until the doors closed and Tyler's smirking face disappeared behind the metal barrier.
"Don't, just please don't," James begged. The color had drained from his face and his eyes were wide in shock. Kendall could feel how bad he was shaking and he could only nod, dumfounded at James' reaction.
"You should have let me kick his ass!" Kendall hissed only after James shut the door behind them. The taller teen had dragged him all the way to his room, the slight click of a lock sliding in place was James' only response. His boyfriend dropped to his bed and buried his head in his hands. "That asshole – " Kendall continued to angrily rant, but was suddenly cut off.
"It was my fault," James whispered in a hurried jumble of words.
"What?" Kendall arched an eyebrow as he stared incredulously at the slumped shoulders of his lover.
"It was my fault," James repeated more confidently.
"No!" his boyfriend forcefully interrupts as brown eyes stare imploringly at Kendall, "I didn't say no at first. I led him on. I let him tie me up. If I wasn't such an idiot, none of this would have happened!"
Kendall has heard enough.
Gently he grabs James' chin and forces the beauty king to look at him. "It's not your fault," he tells James, voice low and serious. This is a subject that is not up for debate.
"I let him put those handcuffs on me, Kendall. I didn't say no at first when he asked me to sleep with him." Tears shimmer in his brown eyes, but the teen doesn't let them fall as he unsteadily meets Kendall's gaze.
"Did you tell him to stop?" he asks his boyfriend and stares him dead in the eyes. James doesn't dare to look away.
"I…I…" he stutters nervously, "Yes, but—"
"Did he stop?" Kendall quickly interrupts before James can offer any more self deprecating excuses. The answer is quite obvious, but this is something Kendall thinks his boyfriend needs to hear.
"No," James whispers so softly he barely caught the quiet words.
"Then how is it your fault?"
"I," he begins, but falls silent.
"James, baby, listen to me. Yeah, you let him tie you up, but you never gave him permission. If he was a decent human being, which he's not, he would have, he should have, stopped when you asked him to. But he didn't. Tyler is a worthless, pathetic excuse for a human being and he is at fault, not you. Tyler is the idiot, okay? Please believe me when I say that you are not to blame. Do you trust me?"
One lone tear falls helplessly from a pained brown eye. Kendall wipes it away with his thumb. He releases his hold on his boyfriend's chin, before opting to sit next to him on the bed. He wraps and arm around trembling shoulders and holds James close to his heart.
"I trust you."
The front door slams open with a 'bang' and a short, pissed off, latino teen stomps through it followed calmly by Logan.
"Jeez, Carlos, give someone a heart attack why don't ya." Kendall rolls his eyes and turns back to the television. "And keep it down, James is sleeping."
Carlos angrily huffs at him, thuds over to the couch, snatches the remote from Kendall and jabs at the power button until the television clicks off. Just in case Kendall didn't get the message, the short menace throws the remote on the ground for good measure.
Kendall raises one eyebrow, and tries not to laugh at Carlos' outburst. "Seriously?"
The older boy crosses his arms and glares at Kendall. "What I'd do this time?" Kendall sighs and prepares for another lecture.
"What happened!" Carlos demands.
Kendall furrows his brow. "When?"
Logan groans in annoyance. "Stop it Carlos," the genius commands before pushing Carlos over. "We just talked to Camille," Logan sensibly continues.
"And?" Kendall is still confused because he's not quite sure what Camille has to do with him.
"And, she told us what happened in the lobby with James…and Tyler." Logan shrugs nervously and looks away. "She also said she saw you make out with James at the pool, and that it was insanely hot."
"Oh," he pauses, and then, "I see. So, why is Carlos pissed at me?"
"He's not, he's just mad."
"I cannot believe Tyler said those things!" the angry teen shouts as he jumps to his feet next to Logan. "As least you decked him, though. Must have felt good."
"Surprisingly yes. I probably would have kept going if James hadn't pulled me away," he adds, though he's kind of ashamed about that. Beating Tyler up wasn't going to change the way Tyler was, or their situation. All he would get was a brief sense of satisfaction and not enough justice for James. "It's not going to change anything." Kendall bites the inside of his cheek and turns to look out the window wishing there was some way to just make Tyler disappear.
As long as that blue eyed demon was still haunting the Palm Woods, incidents like the one in the lobby were going to keep happening. And he couldn't always be there to protect James.
"What are we going to do?" Logan dejectedly states and plops down on the couch next to Kendall who just lamely shrugs in response.
"We could press charges," Carlos suggests.
"What good would that do us?" Kendall bitterly replies. "James washed away all the evidence when he jumped in that bathtub. It would be Tyler's word against his, and without any proof, Tyler would still get away with it."
They sit in silence before Carlos perks up with "Violence!"
"No, Carlos, violence is never the correct answer," Logan turns to glare at Carlos.
"How about a prank war then!" the enthusiastic teen suggests.
"I don't think that would be enough to scare Tyler away," Logan says and casts his gaze to the floor. "I say we just drive him out to the middle of nowhere and leave him there," he mumbles.
Kendall's eyes light up, a small sadistic smile spreads across his face. "That's not a bad idea," he smirks. Two pairs of eyes turn to look at him curiously. "I've got an idea."
The Palm Woods residents let out a collective sigh of relief.
Tyler Reed, the stuck up, self absorbed, ill tempered, rapist, was gone. That's what everyone assumed when he disappeared, vanished under the cover of darkness, and never came back.
Young hopefuls left the Palm Woods all the time, their dreams crushed under the heavy hand of Hollywood. Tyler was no different from the rest. So no one thought of his disappearance as anything other than ordinary.
But the boys of Big Time Rush, except for James, knew better.
Afraid of upsetting James, they hadn't told him what really happened to Tyler. They're beginning to rethink that decision.
In the blue eyed demon's absence, James began to grow more paranoid. He could not relax, expecting Tyler to be there at every turn. Before making every turn, he peaked carefully around the corner to make sure no one was there. He tensed whenever Kendall tried to wrap his arms around him, cringed whenever someone got too close, refused to be alone outside of the apartment. Wild fantasies plagued the teen's mind. Maybe Tyler got a part, but he's coming back, or maybe he just wants me to think he's gone, or maybe he's in hiding and plotting to kill you for hitting him…and the list of scenarios just kept getting crazier.
It was making Kendall wish he had beaten Tyler to a bloody pulp.
Because when did looking over your shoulder every second of every day, praying, hoping there's no one there to harm you, become normal for James? Kendall hated that his boyfriend was so afraid, so damaged by one careless action. No matter how hard James tried to hide it, lingering behind his brown eyes after every touch, every intimate moment, was a fear and pain that should never have been there. Kendall hated Tyler for putting those emotions in those eyes.
"Tyler's not coming back, James, trust me," he implores. Kendall had given Carlos twenty bucks, pushed him out the front door, and told him not to come back to the room he shared with James for a while. It was clear that not telling James about Tyler was a terrible idea and he deeply regretted it now. But he was going to set things straight now.
He pushed the paranoid boy until he was sitting on his bed and sat next to him, slightly turned to face the older boy.
"How do you know?" a wild look settled in his gaze and James almost, almost looked crazy.
"Cuz we may have, sort a, maybe got rid of him…" he mumbled.
"OMG! You killed Tyler!" James panicked and jumped to his feet in a flash.
"James!" he yelled, before grabbing the distraught teen's wrist and yanking him back down to the bed. "Calm down, we didn't kill Tyler. That was just a poor choice of words on my part."
James took a deep shaky breath. "Then what happened?" He looked to Kendall fearfully. Brown eyes still wide and terrified, but the paranoia was starting to fade.
"It was a very elaborate, complicated plan, which may or may not have involved Camille and may or may not have resulted in Tyler going to Juvie for a crime he may or may not have committed. But he belongs there anyway, so it doesn't matter."
"Why didn't you tell me? I could have helped," he protests. The pout on his face is so adorable that Kendall has to force himself not to lean over and kiss his frown away.
"We didn't want to upset you," he says, and bites his lip.
"I probably would have freaked out," James admits and sighs, looking away from Kendall. His boyfriend falls silent. Kendall watches as his bottom lip trembles every so slightly, fear, hurt, acceptance flash across his face, as his eyes wonder helplessly before finally settling on Kendall. He grabs a quivering hand and interlaces their fingers, dragging the compliant hand into his lap.
"It's not going to change anything," James quietly concedes. "Every time you touch me, I'm still going to flinch. Every time we get intimate, I'm, I'm going to remember how much it hurt, how…how much he hurt me," his voice breaks. "I'll probably freak out, and," his breathe hitches with suppressed emotions.
Kendall leans forward, slowly, deliberately, and interrupts him with a chaste kiss. The gentle touch of lips soothes the violent tide of emotions for both boys.
"I know, and I don't care about all that," Kendall tells James when he pulls away. "We will take as much time as it needs to get past this okay? I promise to be patient, but you're going to have to trust me when I say I won't leave you, just like I'll trust you to let me know when you are uncomfortable. Okay?"
"I promise," James nods in response.
They will get through this, because they believe they will. They jumped headfirst into a storm. Pain, fear, anger, memories of hands that shouldn't be there and blue eyes that haunt his dreams, rises with the waves of the raging storm. But they'll ride in the eye as long as it takes, they'll weather the storm as long as they have to.
Because they love each other.
And love is all you need.