It was dark in the room, the air filled with silence. Even though it was night, well past midnight when it should be quiet, the silence disturbed James. He tried to shrug it off with one of his defined shoulders, but it was impossible.
He knew Kendall wasn't asleep yet, the blonde's breathing too shallow and uneven to pass as unconscious. Maybe that was why it bothered him; when his band mate didn't get enough sleep, he was cranky and irritable the next day.
James didn't like it when Kendall was grouchy.
James liked it when Kendall was happy, smiling, laughing, just being his plain o' amazing self. He liked it when Kendall selflessly sacrificed himself for others, when he stood up for his friends, when he came up with genius plans that always saved the day.
James liked Kendall.
The brunette boy frowned as he heard a choked noise from the other side of the room. Was something wrong with him? He thought Kendall would be completely ecstatic since the cameras were gone, he was happy enough as it happened.
Again, he tried to forget it. Kendall was as stubborn as a mule and if he didn't want James to know what was up with him, then the pretty boy wouldn't know. Sometimes, there was just no reasoning with the blonde.
But he couldn't help himself. Before he even knew it, he found himself whispering, "Kendall," into the darkness.
It was as if the whole world suddenly turned off. The crickets stopped cricking, the world stopped turning, the air stopped moving. James thought it was quiet before, but it was nothing compared to the room now. It was deathly still and he didn't even dare to let himself breath. It was several moments before he took in a needed gasp of air, his body shuddering as the oxygen hit his lungs.
"Yeah, James?" Kendall answered soon after, his own breath labored and rough. It seemed Kendall had been holding his breath, too.
James struggled to find the right words. "What's wrong?" he eventually asked, unable to think of anything else.
"Wrong? Nothing's wrong. How could anything thing be wrong? All the cameras are gone, no one's getting voted off, and we're all together. Everything's peachy!" Kendall said, his voice growing as he continued. By the time he finished, his tone was just short of a yell.
Call James an idiot, but he was pretty sure everything was not peachy. So James got up from bed, clad in only pajama pants, walked over to Kendall's bed, and laid down next to the blonde, staring up at the ceiling. "Tell me what's wrong, please," he whispered.
Kendall sighed heavily, kicking the covers off his body to lie on his back like James. After a moment of just breathing, he answered, "I thought we were best friends."
"We are—" James tried to say automatically, but Kendall cut him off.
"No, James, just let me finish. I thought we were best friends, but as soon as those cameras came around, all you cared about was fame. You didn't care about the band anymore and you didn't care about me. You punched me, stood by as Carlos put a garbage can on my head, and were willing to vote me out of the band for a million dollars. Nice to see how much I mean to you."
James just stared up at the ceiling, at a loss of words. Hearing that from Kendall's mouth made him hate himself—made the most self-centered, vain guy in the world hate himself! "Kendall… I did that stuff because I care about you." Even to himself, his words seemed small, flimsy.
"Oh yeah?" Kendall challenged, something like bitterness rising in his words. "How does that show you care?"
It was hard for James to answer. Answering meant telling Kendall the truth, breaking down the walls he carefully constructed to protect himself and his secret, meant the possibility of Kendall hating James forever. It was hard, but Kendall deserved to know why, so James manned up and said it. "I was trying to give you the sympathy vote… Everyone loves the bullied kid, so if I made you the victim you would get people to love you… You wouldn't get voted out of the band." He took in a deep breath. "I know I did it in a stupid way, but I'm not that clever. It's all I could think of."
Kendall said nothing. It made James increasingly nervous. Maybe the blonde boy already hated James even without knowing the full truth, but the pretty boy was a man and he was going to finish. "You are my best friend, even more than Carlos or Logan. …In fact, you're even more than that…" His voice broke a bit; very manly.
At the words, Kendall blushed, his pale skin turning red, almost glowing in the dark. "More?" he asked after a pause.
James smoothed the bangs of his long chestnut hair with long, twitching fingers. "Well, yeah…" he whispered, "'best friends' doesn't even start to define us…"
Kendall turned on his side to face James, propping his head up on one arm. "No," he agreed, and James could hear the smile in his voice, the relief rushing through his veins immediately following. "You're right."
It was only then he dared look at the blonde. He was smiling that confident smirk, his dimples prominent against his skin, green eyes staring at him. It brought not only a smile to his own full lips, but also sent his heart into overdrive.
But it was time to relax—it was just after one in the morning, after all. "Goodnight, Jamie," Kendall murmured. James took it as his cue to go, but Kendall laid his head on his muscular shoulder, snuggling into him and stopping any plans of leaving.
James, of course, was perfectly fine with that. Leaning his head on Kendall's, he covered both of them with the sheets and Kendall's flannel blanket. "Goodnight, Kenny."
The brunette waited until Kendall's breathing evened, his chest rising and falling in a slow, constant pattern against his side before even bothering to close his eyes. If Kendall was still upset, he'd stay up the whole night to make him feel better.
But that wasn't needed, so he slowly let his eyelids flutter shut and let his arm wrap around the warm body next to him.
Before he surrendered himself to the darkness of sleep, he could have sworn he heard Kendall's hushed voice caressing his ear with a warm breath, but he could barely make out the words.
"Best friends don't love each other like I love you."
The soft lips pressed against his skin in a sweet, lingering kiss after, though, was something unmistakable.
As soon as I saw Big Time Reality, this popped in my head-I started writing it right after, but got distracted, got busy, and only got around to finishing it now. First story on here and first time writing the wonders of Kames. Hope you all liked. :)