Disclaimer: I don't own BTR or anything else you may recognize in this story.
A/N: Back to Kames! It appears I like making Kendall all grief-stricken and James all soothing and whatnot…Luckily, the next plot bunny I have in mind is basically a complete 180 from this. Anyway. Written for the 100-theme challenge: Theme 34 – Stars.
It is June 22nd. It's been years – it's been seven years, actually, and Kendall would know. Because on this day, seven years ago, his heart was ripped out of his nine-year-old chest and stomped upon. He knows this date and the grief that accompanies it, and he knows it well, because this is the seventh time he's grieved about it.
Unfortunately, he isn't home in Minnesota to celebrate the anniversary of his dad's death. He's in LA, and currently? He's on a rooftop.
This year, the date happens to fall upon a Tuesday. The boys have an established routine on Tuesdays when school isn't in session: wake up at six, rehearsal at seven. Three hours of harmonies, two hours of recording, four hours of dance. They retire at three, where they go back to the Palm Woods to rest by the pool, talk to their friends, and eat. They socialize until curfew, and then they retreat to 2J where they watch TV, eat more, play dome hockey, and then go to bed. This Tuesday had started out the same for the three boys who treated it as just another Tuesday; for the one who woke up and knew immediately the date, the day had started out bleakly, and there was no one to comfort him.
Indeed the day had been bleak, Kendall recalls as he stares at the star-filled night sky on the roof of the Palm Woods. His game had been off all throughout rehearsal, and Gustavo's yelling affected him more than it should have, and more than it usually did. He was just about ready to scream at the heavyset man when Kelly quickly noticed the tension and sent them out for a break, which Kendall gladly accepted.
And it's not like the date is memorable to the guys, either – well, Logan and Carlos. James knows the day, because James had been the one Kendall called when it had originally happened. For a couple years after, the date was marked on James' calendar, because he would come over to Kendall's house and Kendall would be solemn all day and James would have to soothe him when he finally broke down. However, this practice is discontinued as they have gotten older. James still knows the date, and James is still careful to remind the other guys to be a little more cautious (without being obvious) around Kendall, and he keeps a watchful eye on his best friend and boyfriend throughout the day.
However, James had forgotten today to inform Kelly that Kendall would most likely be off or distant, and he was kicking himself about it by the end of their time at the studio. And when Gustavo started to yell, James was ready to yell back, though he refrained.
Kendall smiles as he looks at the sky and thinks of James. The three boys are in 2J right now, of course, as it is way past curfew (he doesn't know the time; he left his phone in his room, but it was about midnight when he left). Carlos is probably keeping Logan awake with his antics, and James is probably sleeping. Mrs. Knight and Katie had taken an overnight trip to San Diego for their off-time – an offer they extended to Kendall, but which Kendall had declined. He almost wishes now that he hadn't done so.
The sky is clearer than it is most nights here, and it's perfect for some reminiscence. He remembers all of the stories his dad told him, all of the laughs they shared. All the dreams they had, the places they wanted to go – all of which are now obsolete. His dad still appears to Kendall in his dreams sometimes, alongside everyone else he cares about.
Nighttime in Los Angeles is actually chilly, which surprises Kendall on occasions such as this, and he finds himself shivering. There is something cathartic about being here without any sense of time, with no cars or loud noises around, and Kendall feels his stress draining away.
But he then remembers why he is up there, on the rooftop, and he remembers he is without a father. He remembers that he is there, that he harbors the stress that was draining away but is now flowing back into his veins, all because of the coming down of an illness, because of some large hand that swooped down and had decided to take away his father from him. All of those little dreams and plans they had made for each other now mean next to nothing because they will never come true and will never happen – a reality which although Kendall has known for years, never quite sits with him completely. He is nearly restless and he rubs his eyes, wishing for the millionth time as a teenager that he had the guidance he needs from a fatherly figure, which he will never truly gain.
As he finishes this thought, the small sound of a door opening comes within his ear range, and he flips his head so fast towards the sound that he hears his neck crack. The silhouette from far away is still distinguishable as James, though the silhouette seems to be carrying something. As it comes closer to Kendall's view, he figures that it is indeed James, and James is carrying a blanket.
"Hey," he says quietly, still standing.
Without responding verbally, Kendall outreaches his hand to James' and pulls him down gently so he is sitting criss-crossed next to the lying Kendall. James puts the blanket over Kendall without effort, though doesn't look him in the eye.
"I thought you'd be cold," he explains. "So…"
Kendall speaks then, his voice sounding raw and foreign to himself. "Get under this with me."
He can see in his peripheral vision the smile that spreads across the brunette's face as he obliges, and slips under the large blanket with his boyfriend.
Kendall trails a hand down James' forearm, and intertwines their fingers. They lay in silence, and Kendall is reminded that everything's truly okay. Not perfect, but certainly good, because he has James. And he can make everything bearable; he can make Kendall smile on his worst days (the most predictable one being June 22nd). James is running his thumb idly over the back of Kendall's hand, and he feels more at peace than he has since before coming to this town.
They are both staring at the stars. "My dad once told me that every star represents the soul of a person who's passed," Kendall says, his voice even and thoughtful. "I wish I knew which one he was."
The two of them are content with lying like that for a while. James doesn't say anything, so when Kendall says his name questioningly, it's not really a surprise that he turns his head to kiss Kendall passionately instead of saying something in return. Their kiss depicts the tears Kendall refuses to shed in front of anyone, the sympathy James feels but cannot express in words, and everything the day was in Kendall's mind. The feeling of peace overflows Kendall, but the feeling of love reigns prime.
One single star above, right next to the moon, winks happily and rests once again.
A/N: Reviews are love. Thank you for reading.