Title: Of Fire and Brimstone

Summary: "How 'bout this? If you help me successfully get a date with Kendall, I'll buy you a new iPod," Logan smirked. Between his defective iPod, construction workers that just won't allow him a full night of sleep, little black threads, and Logan, James is pretty sure he's going to go insane.

Warnings: Quite a bit of language and a healthy douse of violence. Really, it's all very mild, for the most part.

Disclaimer: I do not own Big Time Rush, nor any of the characters involved. No copyright infringement intended.

It was a week after they'd fought and they still hadn't said a single word to each other. James was too angry to acknowledge Logan's existence, and Logan was too confused about why James reacted so drastically to really address the issue.

James slept with Carlos; Logan slept with Kendall.

There was a tension that constantly filled the atmosphere, no matter where any of them were. Carlos and Kendall avoid it completely, deciding that it wasn't their place to intervene, hoping that it would work itself out as time passed. James, however, just avoided Logan.

Rather than talking about it, James pretended that the problem—and Logan—didn't exist. It was disconcerting, and Logan felt the guilt and disappointment straight through to the very core of his being. He honestly hadn't meant to upset James so much; he was used to the two of them fighting often about trivial things such as being too loud or whose turn it was to choose the movie they would watch. Most of the time, it started with them arguing and either ended with them laughing or rolling around on the floor in a mess of kicks and punches.

Even if their fights escalated to levels where they were physically attacking one another, they never really hurt each other—with words or otherwise. Logan saw that he had hurt James, but he just didn't understand how. In fact, their fight had been mild compared to some of their previous ones, so he was absolutely lost on what had happened.

And, really, he was too afraid to approach the problem—not that he was ever given the opportunity in the first place. James was avoiding him in such a painfully obvious way that Logan could feel a twinge in the pit of his stomach every time James turned away from him.

He wished he knew what he'd done wrong. The guilt was nearly crippling and he didn't even know what he was feeling guilty about. And, really, he wished James would just punch him or something, because he was pretty sure that he deserved it.

He sighed softly and leaned back in his chair.

It was then that Kendall walked into the room with two jackets in his hand, one for him and one for Logan. "C'mon," he said, handing Logan one of the jackets. "Let's go get something to eat, okay?"

Logan simply released another sigh and nodded. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he realized that this was the perfect opportunity to get closer to Kendall, but he didn't really pay much notice. He was too concerned about James.

They ended up picking up take-out from some fast food place a few block down, and driving out a little ways out into the country. It was nice out, blue skies with a few white clouds, and a decent temperature. The light breeze made it seem a little colder than it really was, especially out in the country where there were no tall building or overly large trees to block it. They walked for a while in silence before Kendall paused, turning to face Logan.

"What's going on with you and James?" he asked quietly, carefully, as though anxious about breaching the subject.

"Nothing." Logan scowled and tilted his head up to look at the sky.

"Right. Okay," Kendall said sarcastically, clearly growing more agitated as time continued to pass. "Knock it off and tell me what happened."

Logan released a deep sigh and abruptly sat down on the grassy hill that they had been walking on. He knew suddenly that he was going to tell Kendall about everything, despite the fact that it would include admitting his feelings. However, Kendall was one of his best friends, who he could trust with his life, and really? Logan was pretty sure that he didn't have any feelings whatsoever for Kendall anymore—he wasn't really sure he ever did in the first place. "Fine. Sit down then, because this is going to take awhile."

Kendall did as he was told, sitting directly in front of Logan with his legs crossed.

"Okay, so I was interested in someone, and asked James to help me, right? That's where it all started."

"Okay?" Kendall drew the word out into a question, raising a single eyebrow. "Who were you interested?"

Logan sighed in exasperation and stared up at the sky. He couldn't even find it within himself to be embarrassed about admitting it anymore. He couldn't figure out what had changed, but the mere idea of him being interested in Kendall seemed almost a little odd now. It was inexplicable, but the more he thought about it, the more platonic his feelings were.

"You," Logan said in an uninterested tone, waving his hand dismissively. It was almost a little ironic that he had spend so many hours worrying about this moment, afraid of how it would play out, trying to think of the best way to the present it, and now he couldn't care less.

Kendall raised his eyebrows and watched Logan for a moment with an uncertain expression. "Really, now?" he finally said after several long moments. Logan just continued to look bored.

"Yeah," he said, smirking. "Not anymore though—no offense or anything. I don't even know if I was ever actually interested, y'know? I don't really understand it," he paused for a moment, thinking. "I thought I was, but then James got mad at me, and now all I can think about is— " Logan broke off, glancing out towards east to avoid Kendall's curious gaze. "He was the one helping me figure everything out, y'know? He was always right there."

"You're so fucking complicated," Kendall said flatly, chuckling.

Logan laughed. "Yeah, basically...but this? I don't know how to handle this. I don't understand any of it. And I don't even know what I did to piss him off so much." Logan's brown eyes gleamed as they focused on Kendall. "Who knows, maybe after I figure everything out with him, I'll go back to being interested in you, or whatever the hell I thought I was, and I'll be back at the beginning of this entire mess all over again," Logan joked, with a short laugh.

"Yeah, you know, I really doubt that," Kendall paused, grinning. "You know I'm not gay, right? And even if I was, I would never date you."

At first, Logan thought he was kidding about that last part, but then he realized that Kendall's grin had faded—that he was completely serious. It only took a moment for Logan to bristle slightly and scowl at his friend. "What the hell is that suppose to mean? Why not?"

Kendall shook his head. "Because I wouldn't do that to James."

It took several moments for Logan to process the words, and he could feel himself frowning involuntarily. He certainly hadn't expected that response, and he deflated slightly under the uncertainty that it instilled within him. He wasn't sure what to make of it, and the tone of Kendall's voice was filled with blatant remorse and sympathy.

"Do what to James, exactly?" Logan found himself asking, his eyebrows drawn together in confusion as he studied his friend. It felt as though he was about to hear something big, and Logan couldn't control the anticipation that was coiling through his body.

Kendall looked up at him, met his gaze and held it for several long moments. The weight of the something unknown was bearing down on Logan suddenly, and Kendall's gaze was absolutely fierce with solemnity. "Take you away from him."

It took a while for the words to actually penetrate his thoughts and connect, and Logan could actually imagine himself staring at Kendall with a completely blank expression. Because surely Kendall couldn't actually be serious. He couldn't possibly be implying that James was...it was unbelievable. It was implausible. And it made so much fucking sense now that Logan really thought about it.

It explained James' initial reluctance that Logan had witnessed the first moment that he had asked for help. It explained all of his childish behavior and the way that he never really knew what to say. More importantly, it explained why James was so angry.

With a slight gasp, images from the past nine months swept into Logan's mind. The way James would watch him occasionally when he thought that Logan wouldn't notice, or the way that James would provoke him into a fight that ended with both of them rolling around on the floor, shoving and hitting. Or how when they were fighting, James would sometimes tense up and falter for a moment, his gaze catching on Logan's eyes, almost as though he was realizing how close they really were.

Logan swallowed hard and blinked, trying to subdue that blood-rush to his head and tame the images that assaulted him so unrelentingly.

And then, almost as involuntary as the onslaught of memories, the cogs in Logan's mind started twisting and turning, and he just couldn't stop thinking. Because now everything made so much more sense. Why there seemed to be so much more heat when he wrestled with James than when he wrestled with Kendall or Carlos. Instead of hitting and throwing punches with the motivation of hurting the other person, it had always been about the sheer contact and gaining dominance. Never about hurting. And, if for one second, either of them genuinely thought they had hurt the other...the fighting would cease.

So, somehow, it was never about fighting. It was about contact and heat and indulgence and James.

It wasn't just with fighting either—it was with everything either of them ever did. Constantly touching, arms or knuckles brushing against each other, an innocuous arm thrown over a shoulder, one leg pressed against another. Or one of them curling up against the other as they slept. It all made so much fucking sense.

He thought his head might actually explode from the intensity of his realization, that it was always—always—about James. He had never been interested in Kendall. No, he had just been looking for some fucking excuse to spend time with the one person he actually did want. For someone so smart, Logan thought he could be pretty oblivious at times.

Logan blinked, desperately trying to clear his thoughts. It took him a moment to realize that he was still sitting on the side of a grassy hill with Kendall watching him thoughtfully. "Oh," he said blankly, still trying to grasp hold of reality. "Oh."

Kendall blinked and continued to study him. "You kind of look a little disoriented."

Logan shook his head and focused his gaze on Kendall for the first time in several moments. His eyes narrowed and he found himself scowling at his friend. "Well, what the fuck do you expect? You just told me that James...James—"

"—loves you?" Kendall offered helpfully, grinning as Logan's glare darkened. He paused a moment before continuing, "I told you that you weren't interested in me."

"You definitely never said that."

"Well, you said that you might change you mind again, and I said it was unlikely. You're about as transparent as they come, and you're clearly in love—"

"Hey. Asshole. Who said that I reciprocated James' feelings?" Logan's eyes narrowed further, as though challenging Kendall. He vaguely wondered whether Kendall would take the bait. He knew that James would have if he were here—if he was the one that Logan was talking to, right now. James would demand that he was right and that Logan was wrong, and it would probably end with them fighting. Logan grinned at the thought.

Kendall faltered, glancing at Logan as though studying him once more and expecting to find all the answers hidden within his brown eyes. "Well, do you?"

Logan laughed. Yeah, James was definitely a better match for him. Kendall backed down way too easy.

"Well?" Kendall prompted once more.

"Hey, I'm not about to profess my sudden and undying love for James, okay? No more chick flick moments," Logan said with a smirk.

Kendall simply grinned and threw a handful of grass at him. "Well, fuck you very much. See when I get for inciting life-altering revelations? No thanks whatsoever."

The rest of their afternoon was spent laughing and joking, with Logan thinking incessantly about his short-tempered best friend with the broken iPod and a warm smile.

Deep down, Logan knew exactly how this was going to play out. When he was driving home that afternoon with Kendall, his emotions had grown and developed into something fierce and untamed. By the time they got home, the pupils of his eyes were dilated with fervor, his heart was beating rapidly with anticipation, and adrenaline was spiking through his bloodstream at steady intervals.

When he finally walked through the door of apartment 2J, he thought he was on the verge of exploding.

And as he slammed into Carlos and Kendall's bedroom to find James sitting atop one of the beds, Logan could feel every nerve-ending in his body sizzle.

He wasn't angry, although he was quite sure that that was how it appeared to everyone who saw him storm through the apartment looking for James. He was simply being burned from the inside out by emotions that colored every end of the spectrum, a steady strum of heat coiling its way though his body. It was the sensation that had often ignited fights with James in the past.

Only before, it had been a nameless provocation. Now, however, he could identify it for what it was worth: pure, unadulterated want.

James glanced up from where he had been staring at his iPod, only now his eyes darkened with emotion, becoming fierce and unbridled. He didn't say a single word, just stared at Logan as though daring him to say something and trying to convey what a mistake that would actually be. This was how they played; this was familiar.

"You fucking love me," Logan said, grinning condescendingly as the spark in his eyes exploded.

James appeared to falter for a moment, his eyes widening and uncertainty filling his hazel irises. It was gone in a flash, and James' expression was guarded once more, but Logan had caught the hesitation—he had seen the chink in James' armor. He grinned wider.

"What?" James hissed, actually speaking to Logan for the first time in over a week, and really, the action itself spoke volumes. Suddenly, however, James relaxed, adopting a calm and composed expression.

Logan leaned against the wooden panel that lined the doorway, folding his arms across his chest. "You heard me."

At that, James raised an eyebrow, appearing more than a little amused with the slight crook of his grin. Logan's stance threatened to break, uncertainty creeping in as James matched his disposition impeccably. However, this wasn't the first time they'd sparred (obviously), and Logan knew exactly what made James tick. And he knew that James was good at lying, but he wasn't infallible.

"And you were jealous," Logan said, continuing his conversation as though he had never stopped. He walked further into the room, pausing after a few steps. "You were jealous because I wanted Kendall and not you, and you hate to lose, don't you, James?"

The vulnerability was returning to James' eyes, and he opened his mouth as though he was going to deny the accusation; it snapped shut just as quickly.

Logan was aware of how challenging his tone was; he sounded so sure of himself, and he knew that James would be unable to argue. He walked further towards him, stopping at the end of the bed.

"And that's why you've been avoided me all week, isn't it? You're not mad because I was fighting with you. That wouldn't make any sense at all...because we fight all the time," Logan said, leaning over the edge of the bed toward James, using his hands to brace himself up. "You were avoiding me because of something else.

"So then I spent the day with Kendall," Logan broke off, chuckling as James dropped all pretenses and actually growled at the name being mentioned. "And he said that he would never date me even if he was gay, not that I was ever really interested in him in the first place, apparently."

At that, James blinked, eyes going wide.

"You know why, though? Because—and get this—because you love me." As he spoke, Logan crawled closer on the bed, until he was directly in front of James, staring directly into wide eyes.

In a moment, those hazel eyes flashed angrily, every ounce of defiance returning just as quickly as it had left. "What the fu—"

Logan cut him off by roughly grasping his jaw and pulling him closer, pressing their lips together with ruthless force. He moved against him slowly, biting at James' bottom lip and trying to elicit some sort of response because, suddenly, James seemed to be frozen in place. And after a moment, he pulled back slightly, nudging James' cheek with his own in a gesture of affection.

"I win," Logan whispered, his lips right next to James' ear.

As he pulled back, Logan reached into his pocket and pulled out a small white box, taking James' hand and placing it there. It was almost amusing how glazed over James' eyes were, how out of focus he seemed. It took him several long moments before he even realized what had been placed in his hand.

Logan casually left the room, leaving James with a new iPod and a heart that was pounding viciously against his ribcage.

Music blared from iPod docking station that was carefully placed on the black, wooden shelf beneath the flat screen television. It filled the entire apartment with a noise so unrelenting that it couldn't be escaped—it shook the walls, caused the surrounding shelves to tremble, and dvds to fall from where they were perched on said shelves.

And there James stood, in the middle of the living room, with the remote controller to the iPod clutched carefully within his hand. He grinned crookedly, pointing the remote at the docking station once more, and pressing the button to amp up the volume even further.

He had started out with the volume high enough to be heard down the hallway toward the bedrooms, but low enough that he wouldn't disturb their neighbors. As the minutes passed, he gradually pressed the volume higher and higher, not really bothering to care about anything other than his goal. The bass and treble raised right along with it, until it was positively shaking the entire apartment room, and probably several surrounding rooms, as well.

He pressed the volume button once more, realizing that he'd finally reached the highest possible level. Despite the fact that it seemed to have finally reached maximum capacity, James pushed the button a few more times just to be sure. He frowned when it refused to get louder—maybe he should invest in a newer, more effective docking station.

Just as he was considering hooking the iPod dock up to the the stereo—because, yeah, James was pretty sure that would work quite wonderfully—Kendall slammed through the apartment door. He stood staring at James for a moment, eyes wide and disbelieving as he gasped for breath.

He had been in the lobby. James smiled brightly, realizing that it meant his music could be heard all the way down on the first floor.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" Kendall shouted.

James sighed and turned the volume down just enough so that it wouldn't be blaring all the way down the corridors toward the lobby. Oh, it was still quite obnoxious—definitely loud enough to disturb anyone who might be trying to study in their bedrooms.

"What are you talking about?" James screamed back over the music, acting as though what he was doing was completely and totally normal.

Kendall simply closed his eyes for a moment and took a deep breath, as though to calm himself. He lifted a hand and gently rubbed at his temple. "James, what in the world...why?" he asked, "just...tell me why." He gestured wildly toward the music dock to show what he was referring to, almost falling over as he walked further into the room and stumbled upon nothing but thin air. Pausing for a moment, he took another deep breath.

It was in that exact moment that the reason for why James was blasting his music was revealed.

One of the doors down the hallway slammed open, the sound of the door colliding with the wall just barely heard over the music that was still thrumming through the apartment. A text book flew from the door, slamming against the wall and causing several papers that were hidden within it to fly out and fall to the floor.

Kendall's eyes widened and he took an unconscious step away from James, trying to separate himself what was sure to be a target for destruction. He groaned softly, rubbing at his temple once more. So that was why James was blaring music.

Logan stepped out from the bedroom with an expression of pure, unadulterated rage. His eyes were narrowed into a glare, and he almost seemed to be radiating heat and frustration, every muscle coiled and ready to lunge.

"James," he said, his tone drawn out and quiet and dripping venom.

James smiled, impervious to the death glare that was being directed at him. If it were anyone else, they might have felt the pressure of Logan's gaze all the way through to their core. Kendall could actually imagine someone cowering beneath that expression.

Logan took a step closer to James, and Kendall took another step back. He knew when to cut in, and when to let well enough alone.

"Turn it down," Logan said, and Kendall marveled at the way he seemed to whisper and could still be heard over the music.

"What's the matter?" James asked, feigning confusion. "Too loud? Can't concentrate? Hm?"

"Turn it down, James."


"I'm trying to study." Logan took another step closer, his glare darkening.

James sighed and waved his hand dismissively before turning his attention to the docking station once more. Turning it up a little louder wouldn't hurt anyone, he thought.

Kendall cringed and took another step closer to the door, desperately wishing he wouldn't have even come up here in the first place. He had been perfectly content hanging out with Carlos in the lobby when he'd heard the quiet rumble of music coming from upstairs. The glare he received from Bitters had been incentive enough at the time. "Bitters is gonna kill us," he whispered to himself, rubbing at his eyes.

"Turn it off," Logan growled, a little louder now.

"No," James said. "You study somewhere else."

"Where the fuck else am I suppose to go!"

Kendall knew this wasn't about James wanting to play his music, and honestly, he doubted that Logan cared too much about studying at this point. This was how they played. And, really? Despite how hard he tried, Kendall just couldn't figure either of them out.

"Oh, for the love of—" Logan said. "I'm going to kill you. I'm serious. I'm going to take that iPod right there—yes, that one I bought you three months ago—and shove it down your pretty little throat."

James smirked and raised the remote over his head, knowing what would come next.

Kendall continued stepping backwards, not even aware he was moving until his back was pressed up against the door he just walked through. It wasn't that he was afraid of what Logan would do, because really, he knew that neither of them would ever intentionally hurt one another. Regardless, he didn't want to get caught in the middle. This was their game, not his, and he didn't want anything to do with it.

He found himself vaguely wondering why Logan just didn't go up and grab the iPod off from the dock. He knew that his friend was fast enough, he could probably grab the iPod, run into his room, and lock the door before James was even aware of what was happening. But then Kendall remembered that this wasn't about the iPod or the music or studying at all. It was about them. Always about them.

Before he could even blink, Logan lunged forward, practically tackling James backwards onto the orange couch and struggling to reach for the remote. James held the small black device above his head, squirming beneath the other boy to stop him from reaching it.

James laughed easily, not even slightly deterred by the fact that Logan was glaring and scratching at him in attempt to get the remote. They were lying in a slightly awkward position, James' knees bent over the arm rest of the couch, his arms stretched high above his head. Logan's hips were adjacent to James' legs, lower down and making it almost impossible to even consider reaching the remote from where he currently was.

James laughed harder, burying the hand that held the remote beneath one of the couch cushions as though that would help put more distance between it and Logan.

Kendall considered whether or not he would be able to sneak over to the docking station unnoticed and retrieve the still blaring iPod. His apprehension was growing by the minute, and he wasn't quite sure how long it would take before Bitters finally came up there to intervene himself. The idea was almost a bit amusing as he thought about how he could explain the situation. Well, you see, sir...Logan and James...they've got issues with each other. Not so much that they like to fight, just, they like to push each other into reacting. But don't worry. They love each other.

Kendall groaned and tried, unsuccessfully, to stifle his chuckles.

Just as he was about to dart across the room, his attention was directed to the two of them fighting on couch. Logan had crawled forward just a bit, his legs now twining with James' and their chests pressed closely together. He was still stretching across James' torso, one hand reaching up for the remote while the other was pressed against the other boy's chest.

And, suddenly, it was silent. James had pressed the 'power' button on the black remote, and allowed it to fall from his grasp onto the floor. He seemed to stop struggling beneath Logan and simply smiled up at him, eyes warm and soft and bright with something that Kendall couldn't quite identify.

It was almost as though Logan immediately understood, and he returned James' smile without even a moment of hesitation. His gaze softened and he stopped trying to crawl up James' torso to reach for the remote, seeming rather content to stay right where he was on top of the other boy.

Kendall sighed softly in relief, his tightly wound up muscles releasing the tension that had been gradually building within them. With out so much as another glance at either James or Logan, he turned around, opened the door he had been pressed against, and exited into the hallway.

James and Logan couldn't have been less aware.

James awoke abruptly to the crack of thunder outside his bedroom window, white light flashing across his surroundings for only a millisecond before it was dark once more. He could hear the light patter of the rain against the glass window pane, and he sighed soft, burying his head beneath his pillow.

It was cool beneath the pillow, he thought as he opened his eyes and peeked out from beneath the edge of the fabric. A faint light was streaming in through his bedroom window, all though not much considering the clouds that presumably hid the moon from sight.

With another sigh, he pulled the pillow off from his head and crawled out of the bed. Despite the fact that it was 4:15 in the morning, he walked casually over toward the glass window pane, staring out as another flash of lightning lit up his bedroom. He loved storms.

Only a moment later the thunder sounded loudly, slightly shaking the foundation and James couldn't help but grin. He raised a finger to the glass and gently traced a trail of water that was on the opposite side; he liked to pretend that each drop was racing to get to the bottom. It was almost like a game for him and his friends—they liked to bet on which one would win.

He smiled as a specific memory invaded his thoughts.

He was in preschool and the clouds that ominously rolled through the skies, admittedly, scared him quite a bit. As it was, he was terrified about being at a new school with people he'd never met before, so the anxiety was already present. This, however, was making it exponentially worse. James hated storms.

That was before a small boy with big, brown eyes approached him. A smile lit his face as he finally reached James, who was staring out the window of their preschool classroom with a growing sense of dread.

"Hello," the boy said. "Do you like storms, too?"

James frowned. "No."

"Well, why not? My name's Logan, by the way...and this," he raised the teddy bear in his hands with a wide grin, "is Charlie."

"I'm scared of storms," James said, scowling at the window. He wasn't quite sure he liked this boy with his lack of fear and his wide smile and cute teddy bear. James unconsciously tugged at a strand of hair that had fallen in his eyes.

"Charlie's not 'fraid of storms, he says they're fun...wanna hold'im? Might make you feel better," Logan prompted, reaching out and offering James the bear with both hands. "And you never told me what your names was."

James stared at the bear that was being offered to him with a quiet expression on his face. He wasn't used to being approached this way, so...effortlessly. As though they had been friends for a long time.

"I'm James," he finally said, still staring at the teddy bear but making no move to grasp it.

"James," Logan said, looking thoughtful. "Jamie!" And he beamed, eyes sparkling as he flashed another wide smile which revealed a missing tooth off to the side.

"Just James—"

"Do you want to play?" Logan asked, turning his head to the side and completely ignoring James' statement. "Charlie and I will help you forget the storm, okay?"


"'Cause that's what mom did when I used to be scared of storms, y'know. We'd play a game 'til it was over, and it wasn't as scary. Let's play blocks, okay?"

With that, he grabbed James' wrist and pulled him toward the blocks.

And James didn't think about the storm at all. Instead, he thought about Logan and how he was probably his new best friend, since James didn't really have any friends in the first place. He didn't even mind so much when Logan kept calling him 'Jamie', because James just figured that Logan did that to everyone's name. Maybe Charlie had been named Charles before Logan found him.

The memory caused warmth to pool beneath James' ribcage as he continued to stare out his bedroom window. It hadn't taken him long to grow attached to the enthusiastic six-year-old with bright, brown eyes and a crooked smile. James figured it couldn't be helped, because Logan had always had a contagious sort of enthusiasm and compassion, even in preschool when James had been just an unsuspecting victim at the time.

It was in that moment that James heard the sound of fabric rustling behind him, and he turned around to find those same brown eyes watching him sleepily.

"What're you doin'?" Logan mumbled as he braced himself up slightly on his elbows. His hair was standing up in odd directions and James couldn't help but smile.

He walked towards the bed once more and crawled in, reveling in the warmth that immediately clung to his skin. "Do you remember, in like...preschool? On the first day of class?"

"What?" Logan asked and watched James with an odd expression. He flipped over onto his stomach and rested his head on his folded hands.

"You know, it was the first day of school and it was storming, remember? And you had," James paused to laugh, "that fucking bear...Charlie? Remember?"

Logan's expression immediately softened and some of the sleep that had been clouding his eyes cleared. "Oh, right. Charlie. And you used to talk to him, ask him if his name was Charles before he met me," Logan laughed. "I never understood that."

"You always called me Jamie!" James accused, still chuckling. "No matter how many times I corrected you, until I finally gave up. I just figured you did that to everyone's names."

Logan shook his head but didn't offer any other response, simply closed his eyes, a soft smile falling across his features.

So James let the conversation taper off as he just watched Logan with something almost like affection flooding through his bloodstream. It was in that moment that the little black thread from so many months ago caught his eye once more. It was longer now, the blanket shredding slightly in the corner, probably from both him and Logan tugging on it.

He grasped it gently where it was attached to the blanket and pulled it right out from the seam. And, yeah, it made ripples in his blanket, and would probably cause it to tear, but James couldn't be bothered by that at the moment.

Without any real thought behind the action, James gently held the tiny thread and tied it around Logan's wrist. It fit perfectly against the palette of pale skin, and James felt exceedingly pleased with himself.

Logan released a soft sigh and lazily opened his eyes to study the thread that was suddenly wrapped around his wrist. James watched as Logan smiled once more, eyes suddenly a little lighter despite the exhaustion that still hid in the shadows of his brown irises.

A flash of lightening lit up the room, but James couldn't have been less aware of anything going on around him. He carefully wrapped his arm around Logan's back, pulling him closer and burying his face into his friend's brunette hair.

It had been five months since this had started and, even still, neither of them quite knew what exactly this was. They had been friends for entirely too long for anything to drastically change, so the shift was barely perceptible at the best of times, so subtle when they were in public that it was almost nonexistent. However, when they were alone, everything would change. Their sharp repertoire would be brought down several notches, exchanged for something more gentle, and the usual fire was replaced by a quiet little flame that added just the perfect amount of warmth. It was something that very few ever witnessed.

James gently brushed his lips against Logan's temple, his lips lingering against the warm skin as he closed his eyes. "Where's Charlie?"

"He's at home in a box labeled 'Jamie and Logie'," Logan whispered in a tone that was so quiet and breathless that, had it not been for the near perfect silence, James might have missed it.

The small smile that settled on James' expression was completely instinctive, and he very gently buried his face further into the brunette hair. He pulled Logan closer, unaware that the other boy had already fallen back asleep, and he found himself thinking about iPods, construction workers, old teddy bears, and little black pieces of thread that fit perfectly around pale wrists.

The red LED numbers on the alarm clock flashed briefly, the minutes passing, and within moments, James was asleep.

Author's Note: I apologize that it took me so long to get this final chapter posted. It took me forever to finish that final scene, because nothing seemed to fit right, and the conclusion just never seemed complete, and then it felt as though I was dragging it on too long...I digress. Essentially, it was a bit more challenging than I had anticipated, and I still don't know if I'm completely satisfied with it. Regardless, I had a lot of fun with this story, and I'm currently planning another story that's slightly similar on the humor aspect but takes an entirely different route. We'll see where that goes, I suppose.

Also, there's a small Supernatural reference hidden within there somewhere, simply because I couldn't help myself. It's the one fandom that truly holds my heart, so I figure it's unavoidable.

Thank you so much to everyone who has read and reviewed this story or added it to their favorites and alerts! I really appreciate all of the feedback and support. :) Also, I would absolutely love to hear what you guys think! Thoughts and opinions, perhaps?