Disclaimer: I don't own BTR, but with every fanfiction I write about them, I wish I did more and more…

A/N: Why do I keep doing this? I tell myself to start my plot bunnies at 2 in the morning, thinking that I'll just start and finish tomorrow, and I just decide screw it, I'll finish tonight. I hope I'm beginning to get recognized by some people around here. *crosses fingers* This is for theme 15 – Silence. The quote inspired the fic. Enjoy.

"For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love." – John Donne, "The Canonization"

Hollywood is loud.

Kendall can't understand it. Their home in Minnesota was such a quiet little town, and coming here was like turning up the volume on the sounds of their lives. His friends don't seem to mind – well, Logan still likes quiet time occasionally to read, but other than that, they all seem unphased by it. Even Logan can manage to tune out all the sounds of this town – and by a book.

Kendall, however, is not that fortunate. He can't escape the sounds anywhere he goes. Even on the rink – and he would deny it if anyone were to ask him (because the rink is the closest thing he can get to silence around here) – he can still hear everything. The cars, the cell phones, the televisions, the cameras flashing, the paparazzi screaming, the people squawking about who-knows-what.

Actually, Kendall knows what they're squawking about. He gets the picture – that everything in this town is about image, and that he and his friends have to be perfect, and think like robots, and be fake, and what-the-hell-ever. But he can't ignore the thoughts he's been constantly thinking, the thoughts that are bound to bubble over in his mind eventually, no matter how much he has to try to do so…

Because they're all telling him – in their own indirect, indiscreet way – the same thing; that what he's feeling is wrong. That he shouldn't love his best friend. That the thoughts and dreams he ever so frequently has about tan skin and sandy brown hair and hazel eyes are supposed to be repulsive and he should push them away and forget about them. That he should pretend to be something he's not, go after some girl he doesn't like, because that's what the record company and Gustavo and the media wants.

It's almost painful – well, it is painful, Kendall can admit – that after these months in Hollywood, and all the time they've spent together, and all the challenges they've overcome, he's basically gone back on the promise the four of them made to each other: that they wouldn't let this town get to them, or change them. Because that, unfortunately, is exactly what has happened to Kendall. The media has officially gotten to him, has poisoned his mind. The town got to the other three in the form of Logan becoming a hippie, Carlos becoming a Jennifer, and his beloved James becoming an orange freak, but they got over that. Plus, Kendall is still the same on the outside – just…more conflicted internally. And it's gone on much, much longer than a day.

And no one knows. He can't tell anyone; the consequences of such a thing could be disastrous, and Kendall doesn't want to think about them. It's that friend-zone problem: if he brings it up, it could ruin the friendship and the band. And Kendall would rather have a friendship with James and secretly be agonizing over it than have nothing at all.

Actually, that is a lie. That's not even remotely close to the reason Kendall won't tell anyone – it's because he's still trying to deny that he has feelings for his best friend. Because he doesn't want to disappoint the media (and in turn, everyone else), by saying it. The media is a fickle thing, he knows. Don't fall for him, because look at all the other boy bands out there that all became gay. You don't want to be like them. And now you're in the spotlight and that's exactly what you're becoming…Go and chase after some girl, because you know that's what's right. Perhaps Jo.

And the argument with the fake media inside his head suddenly escalates until he is so furious with himself that he nearly screams out loud. Who has the right to tell him who he can and cannot love? Who has the damn right? It doesn't matter where he is, and it sure as hell doesn't matter if he's in the spotlight. He doesn't love Jo; he loves James, and there is no one who can tell him that it's wrong or that he can not love him, because he does. And no one can stop him and he can't ignore it anymore, as much as the media wants him to.

Hollywood is loud. And the voices that Kendall is making up to express the concerns he's feeling depict not only the thoughts of the media, but excuses he's made up to keep from telling James the truth. But not anymore, Kendall swears.

So he leaves his spot on a bench in the Palm Woods Park and walks determinedly back to the Palm Woods, and consequently back to 2J, without looking at anyone in the lobby. The apartment room is deserted, it seems, until he opens the door to his shared bedroom – his shared bedroom with James. The boy, who is lounging on his bed in sweatpants and a tank top, with hair still perfectly styled, is reading a magazine and listening to John Mayer from his iHome. When Kendall comes in, the music shuts off and the magazine gets put down, and the still perfectly white smile shines at him.

"James," Kendall says, with a smile of his own. "I need to talk you."

A/N: I'm not planning on making this a twoshot, so. I kind of liked ending it this way, but I'm not quite sure if I like this story after all…Reviews are love. Thank you for reading.