A/N: So a reviewer mentioned the idea for this story to me in a review, and I thought it would go so well with some of my ambiguously vague bromance and innuendo stories. It's set after "Big Time Reality." Plus, it's a nice change given what I did in Chapter 6 of "No Way Out," but we won't speak of that…
Disclaimer: I own one share of Big Time Rush. But that's it. Note how it's not even plural. So, in the grand scheme of things, it's essentially as though I own nothing…
All By Himself
James and Carlos were sitting on the orange sofa in the living room. Mrs. Knight was standing before them. She had a scowl on her face that if she didn't get rid of soon, it would become a permanent fixture. James and Carlos both knew that they were in trouble. James stared at the floor. Carlos stared up at the ceiling.
"What was that earlier?" Mrs. Knight demanded.
"What do you mean?" Carlos asked innocently though he refused to meet her gaze.
"You know exactly what I'm talking about, Carlos Garcia!" Mrs. Knight exclaimed.
James nudged Carlos with his elbow, and snickered. Carlos gave James a puzzled look. He didn't understand what James thought was so amusing.
"Uh-oh, dude. She used your full name. Now you're in trouble," James commented.
Carlos clamped a hand over his mouth in a desperate attempt to muffle his laughter, but it was too little too late. The two boys were both cracking up. That is until Mrs. Knight put her hands on her hips and gave them a Medusa-like glare.
"You know exactly what I'm talking about! The fighting! I will not tolerate that kind of behavior under my roof!" Mrs. Knight said with authority, laying down the law.
James shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly.
"We were only doing it for the cameras," James responded.
"Oh. Really?" Mrs. Knight asked.
James and Carlos nodded their heads so hard that it was a surprise they didn't end up with whiplash.
"Wait a second. That sounded so wrong, didn't it?" James commented.
Carlos smacked James in the shoulder.
"James, don't give her any ideas!" Carlos said in a hushed whisper.
Comprehension dawned on Mrs. Knight's face as she realized what the double entendre had been. She now had an appalled look on her face.
"That does it! The two of you aren't sharing rooms anymore! James, you'll now be rooming with…" Mrs. Knight trailed off.
Honestly, she was having a difficulty deciding who would be a more suitable roommate for James. She had her suspicions about James. First, she walked in on him and Logan jumping up and down while holding hands. Then, she walked in on them hugging. Then, she walked in on them rolling around the floor together. Now today, James was rolling around the floor with Carlos.
Mrs. Knight supposed that James could share a room with Logan, but was that really a good idea? There was also the matter of that magazine cover. She used to think that Logan was the one she needed to be worried about. There was that "role playing" incident with Carlos. Then, apparently, something had transpired between Kendall and Logan while Kendall was sick. She hadn't been there at the time, so that part was a bit foggy. However, the more she thought about it, the more she came to the conclusion that James was the one she should keep an eye on. James was the one who didn't have a girlfriend. James was the one who was single.
Mrs. Knight didn't much care for the idea of James sharing a room with her son though. What James did during his "Me Time" was his business, but the last thing she wanted was a hormone crazy teenage boy with an ambiguous sexuality to be roommates with her baby boy.
"Who am I rooming with? The suspense is killing me," James said mockingly.
Mrs. Knight let out a deep sigh. She didn't want to encourage anything, but after much consideration, she had made up her mind. One way was clearly more preferable than the other.
"Logan," Mrs. Knight answered.
"Aww! I wanted to room with Logan!" Carlos whined.
Mrs. Knight raised an eyebrow at Carlos. It took a few moments for Carlos to realize why she was doing that, but when he did, he held his hands up innocently in front of him. He shook his head vigorously.
"No, no, no! I don't mean it like that!" Carlos exclaimed, blushing fiercely.
"Sure you don't," Mrs. Knight said, sounding rather unconvinced. "Is there something you boys want to tell me?"
James and Carlos turned towards one another and had matching expressions of horror on their faces.
"No!" they exclaimed in unison.
Mrs. Knight was going through everything in her mind trying to see what the connection was. There had to be some sort of connection, right? They couldn't all be isolated incidents, could they? It was like she had all the pieces of the puzzle laying out in front of her. All that was left was for her to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
"I think I got it!" Mrs. Knight said having a Eureka moment. "The two of you like Logan. You know, like him, like him. That is what, or should I say who, you two were fighting over earlier today."
"What? No!" Carlos replied in disbelief.
"Not even close!" James exclaimed.
Both boys' cheeks had turned a deep scarlet color; not out of embarrassment, but out of humiliation. How could Mrs. Knight even think along those lines? Didn't she know them better than that?
"It's okay. You don't have to deny it. I understand completely. Logan's a good looking guy, and…" Mrs. Knight said before she was cut off.
"Let me stop you right there," James interrupted.
"Yeah, before I barf," Carlos chimed in.
The boys were pretty adamant about their not having those kind of feelings towards Logan. It's all in the eye of the beholder though. To Mrs. Knight, she saw James and Carlos' behavior as them getting defensive. They wouldn't get defensive unless they had something to hide.
"But the fighting…" Mrs. Knight trailed off.
"I told you! It was for the cameras!" James replied, exasperated.
"Yeah! We're guys! It's what we do!" Carlos added.
James didn't understand Mrs. Knight. Sure, he was good at talking to the ladies, but maybe he just didn't get them…at all. What? Did Mrs. Knight secretly want him or Carlos to hook up with Logan or something? It almost sounded that way…
"I see the way you look at one another; the glances you steal when you think no one is looking. Don't even get me started on all the touching…" Mrs. Knight began.
"We're not gay! We like girls!" James screamed.
"Ah, but you didn't say love…"
"We love girls!" Carlos corrected.
"Well then maybe you're bi?"
James closed his eyes and massaged his temples. He tried to take deep cleansing breaths to calm himself down. He didn't enjoy the fact that he was yelling at his best friend's mother, but she left James no choice. She was being ridiculous!
Carlos stood up in a hurry. He had had about all he could take of Mrs. Knight's delusions and wild accusations.
"Can we go now?" Carlos whined.
"Look boys, all I'm saying is that even if you do…play for the other team…I'm okay with it. I won't think any less of you," Mrs. Knight explained.
James walked over and put a hand on her shoulder.
"That's really sweet of you Mama Knight, but Carlos and I don't play for the other team," James replied.
He spoke with such conviction that Mrs. Knight almost believed him. She wouldn't be surprised if deep down, James and Carlos were scared. After all, homosexuality isn't something that is readily accepted in today's society. Plus, coming out of the closet is never easy.
"Now then, am I moving my stuff into Logan's room, or is he moving his stuff into my room?" James asked.
"I think you should move your stuff into Logan's room. Given how messy Carlos' side of the room is, it would probably take him all night to move all of his stuff. I think it would be much quicker for Kendall to move his stuff out than for Carlos to move his stuff out, don't you?" Mrs. Knight replied.
"Hey!" Carlos said, offended. "My room isn't that messy! You can still see the floor!"
"Really? Where?" James retorted.
"Shut up!" Carlos responded, shoving a chuckling James.
James couldn't help but notice that Mrs. Knight was giving him a knowing look after Carlos had just shoved him. James resisted an incredible urge to roll his eyes and let out a frustrated sigh.
"What do you want from us? A no touching rule?" James asked.
"Ha! Good luck with that! I bet you twenty bucks the two of you can't go one hour without touching one another, Logan, or Kendall," Katie remarked.
James and Carlos both nearly jumped out of their sneakers because Katie had startled them so. She practically popped up out of nowhere.
"Katie!" Mrs. Knight yelled none too pleased with her little entrepreneur.
"What? These economic times are rough. You have to do whatever you can to make a quick buck," Katie said.
"You're on!" Carlos stated, shaking hands with Katie to seal the deal.
James smacked his forehead. Maybe if it had just been him, he would be able to win the bet. But Carlos was really…affectionate. There was no way he could go a whole hour without making some sort of physical contact with him, Kendall, or Logan.
It didn't take long for James to pack up all of his things. The really sad part was that he could fit all his belongings in one suitcase. Plus, while his side of the room wasn't as immaculate as Logan's, it wasn't that messy, especially compared to Carlos' side of the room. One thing James made extra sure to keep neat were his clothes. They were neatly folded inside his luggage.
Carlos was sitting on his bed with his knees pulled up to his chest. James wasn't sure, but it kind of looked like Carlos was pouting. Upon further inspection, he saw that Carlos' eyes were glistening with unshed tears.
"Carlos, don't cry. I'm just going to be right down the hall," James said.
James made like he was going to hug Carlos because it seemed like the right thing to do at the time, but then he remembered the bet they had made with Katie. To help resist temptation, James shoved his hands in his pockets.
"Yeah, well this still sucks," Carlos grumbled.
Carlos usually wasn't one to complain, but the truth of the matter was that pretty much the whole time they've lived at The Palm Woods, Carlos and James shared a room together.
"It's okay, buddy. You're still going to see me," James commented.
Unfortunately, James had to take one of his hands out of his pocket so that he could grab his suitcase. He was worried that if he didn't leave the room soon, he and Carlos would end up hugging or something and thus lose the bet. As a result, he gripped the handle of his suitcase so tightly that his knuckles turned white.
James felt bad leaving Carlos in his current state, but he had something comparable to restless leg syndrome, which could only by remedied by him not standing still. More specifically, him getting the heck out of dodge.
It wasn't long before James was standing just outside the door to the room that Kendall and Logan shared. Well…not anymore. Now, it would soon be the room that he and Logan shared. Throughout their stay at The Palm Woods, the only other person James had shared a room with was Logan. Having said that, he hadn't shared a room with Logan for nearly as long as he had shared a room with Carlos.
James stood frozen with his hand on the doorknob. He stood there awkwardly unsure whether he should just walk right in or knock first. Did he really have to knock at all? After all, it was now his room too. Of course, Logan didn't know that, but he soon would.
James twisted the doorknob and pushed the door open, entering the threshold. He had only managed to take a couple of steps into the room before he stopped in his tracks. Kendall was nowhere to be seen, but Logan was in the room.
He must have just gotten out of the shower because he only had a white terrycloth towel wrapped around his slender waist. His hair was slightly damp even though it looked like it had been towel-dried; it was all in disarray. James had seen Logan change before in the locker room, but he had never seen him this…exposed before. Little droplets of water were rolling down Logan's milky-white skin. James seemed particularly fascinated by some beads of water that were traveling down Logan's deceptively toned chest. James followed the beads of water as they rolled down the crook of Logan's surprising washboard abs. Since when did Logan have abs?
"What are you doing?" Logan inquired.
James shook himself from his thoughts, and forced himself to look at Logan's face. Logan's face was tomato red as he covered his nipples with his hands and stared at James in disbelief.
"Hmm? What?" James replied, tripping over his words.
"What do you want?" Logan demanded, his voice growing louder.
James tried to think. Why did he come? What was it that he had wanted? He sputtered nervously. His eyes darted around the bedroom wildly as he tried to look anywhere but at a half-naked, very wet Logan.
"You…" James started to say. Logan coughed violently. "…seen Kendall?"
Logan made no bones about breathing a huge sigh of relief. James was slightly offended.
"What am I? His babysitter?" Logan said with attitude.
The next thing James knew, Logan had a firm grasp on both of his shoulders as he was practically ushering him out of the door. James found himself suddenly incapable of verbal communication.
There was a collision as Kendall went to enter the room at the same time as Logan was ushering James out of it. James felt himself in free fall. Logan let out an 'Oomph!' as James landed on top of him. James' face was practically smashed into Logan's. James' body was pretty much parallel to Logan's.
"Ha! I knew you couldn't make it an hour! Though I thought Carlos would be the one to fail first. At any rate, you owe me twenty bucks!" Katie remarked, poking her head in the doorway.
"What are you talking about, baby sister?" Kendall asked, arching his prominent eyebrows.
"I made a bet with James and Carlos that they couldn't keep their hands to themselves for one hour," Katie explained.
"Get off me!" Logan exclaimed, shoving James roughly.
James scrambled to his feet. His face was red with humiliation. Today had not been a good day for him…at all. Why did it seem like he had a penchant for getting into compromising positions with his guy friends?
Once again, Mrs. Knight had to have a talk with James, but this time, only James. Katie wasted no time reporting to her mother, and relaying what had just transpired between James and Logan.
"What am I going to do with you?" Mrs. Knight asked.
"Don't listen to what Katie said! She exaggerates! She just likes to see us squirm!" James exclaimed.
"I'll ask you one more time; is there anything you want to tell me?"
James was sure that his cheeks being beet red certainly didn't help his case any. His heart was racing. His breathing was rapid. He just wanted to bury himself under a fortress of pillows and never come out.
"Then why are you so flustered?" Mrs. Knight asked.
"I'm not flustered!" James replied in a high-pitched voice.
Mrs. Knight sighed deeply while slumping her shoulders in defeat. Did James really think that his…preferences…would change how she felt about him? Like that would make her care about him any less. Didn't James know her better than that? Didn't James know that she would accept him no matter what?
"You leave me no choice," Mrs. Knight said.
"W-what are you talking about?" James replied, slightly scared.
"You're not going to be rooming with Carlos or Logan."
"But then who am I rooming with? Kendall?"
"Absolutely no one. You're going to be sleeping out here on the couch from now on."
James couldn't believe his ears. Was she for real? He was completely beside himself. Mrs. Knight was obviously overreacting! She was overreacting, wasn't she? What was he talking about? Of course she was!
"But what about my things? I left them in Logan's room. I need to go get them," James said.
Mrs. Knight placed her hands on James' chest and shoved him down onto the couch.
"No! You just stay here. I'll get your suitcase," Mrs. Knight practically shouted.