A/N: So, just a little background for this one-shot. I'm going to be the best man at my brother's wedding this coming September. That's basically what this one-shot is inspired by. I really need to stop writing so many one-shots.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
At only seventeen years of age, Kendall and Jo were engaged to get married. Both were still living at The Palm Woods. Everyone who knew and loved the lovebirds were happy for them. Even though Mrs. Knight questioned whether seventeen was an appropriate age for her son to get married, she knew that Jo was good for him. She liked Jo.
Kendall had planned on telling his best friends who he wanted to be his best man, but disguising it as an "emergency band meeting." Ideally, he would have all three of them be his best man. However, traditionally, there was only one best man. After giving it a lot of thought, after debating it for weeks, Kendall had finally reached a decision.
Carlos, James, and Logan were sitting on the orange couch. None of them had a clue what this "emergency band meeting" was even about. All of them wore matching confused looks on their faces. Kendall stood in front of them, pacing back and forth. He had practiced this next part a billion times in front of a mirror, why was it so difficult now?
Should he be direct and straightforward? Or should he dip a toe in to kind of test the waters first? Kendall didn't much like the idea of prolonging this any more than was necessary, but he was just concerned how the two he didn't pick to be his best man would take the news. They had all been friends for twelve years, so surely a little thing like this wouldn't come between them, would it?
A lump had formed in Kendall's throat. His breathing was uneven. His mouth felt like it had been stuffed with wads of cotton. His eyes darted back and forth between his three best friends surveying what they were thinking and feeling. Kendall was coming up empty. The four of them were good at finishing each other's sentences, and usually came up with the same idea around the same time, but Kendall was becoming increasingly frustrated because for once, he couldn't really tell what his three best friends were thinking or feeling.
"Uh…so you all know how Jo and I are getting married in a little over four months, right?" Kendall asked, immediately feeling lame.
Logan had a teasing smirk on his face. "Huh. You don't say," he sarcastically remarked.
Under normal circumstances, Kendall would have found Logan's sarcasm amusing, but this hardly qualified as a normal circumstance. Green eyes met brown as he held Logan's gaze a second longer than he probably should have. Kendall sighed deeply as he tried his best to keep a frown from forming on his face. He subtly broke eye contact with Logan, and instead stared at a stain on the carpet.
"Is that what this 'emergency band meeting' is about?" Carlos asked, using air quotes.
"Yes, and no," Kendall answered.
James, Carlos, and Logan traded baffled expressions with one another.
"Okay. That wasn't vague or anything," Logan commented.
"Dude, out with it already!" James said.
"Fine, but first you have to all promise me that you won't get mad," Kendall responded.
Carlos gave a small chuckle. "That would never happen. We're all best friends!"
For now. This was it. This was the moment Kendall had been dreading. His three best friends in the whole wide world were sitting in front of him waiting to hear his news. A part of him very much wanted to just spill the beans and get it over with. Most of him wanted to never say what he had to say. Kendall took another deep breath.
"After thinking about it long and hard, I've decided that I would like Carlos to be my best man," Kendall said. An awkward silence fell upon the four boys. "Well, what do you say, Carlos?"
"Sure. Okay," Carlos replied.
James put his hands together in a time out gesture.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold the phone. Him? Are you serious?" James asked, completely beside himself.
"Hey!" Carlos protested.
"If it were up to me, all three of you would be my best man. However, there can only be one. I want it to be Carlos. Even though all four of us are best friends, I was friends with Carlos before I even met you two," Kendall explained.
James rolled his eyes and scoffed. He folded his arms over his chest. He looked none too pleased. Kendall wasn't the least bit surprised; he expected things to go horribly; this was just par for the course.
"That is the stupidest excuse ever! So, basically you're punishing me and Logan for not becoming your friend before Carlos? Does that sound about right?" James questioned.
Kendall let out a frustrated sigh as he threw his hands up in the air. He looked up at James, and immediately regretted doing so when he saw the hurt, disappointment, frustration, anger, and betrayal in James' hazel eyes.
"James, I'm not trying to punish anyone!" Kendall retorted.
"Funny you should say that because it sure feels that way," James said.
What hurt the most wasn't James' reaction, but Logan's reaction; or rather lack of reaction. He hadn't said a single word since Kendall dropped the bombshell. Kendall tried to get a sense for what Logan was thinking or feeling, but it was virtually impossible because Logan kept his face carefully blank.
Without so much as a word, Logan stood up from the couch, and leisurely strolled out of Apartment 2J. He didn't leave in a huff. He didn't glare daggers at Kendall as he passed him. He didn't even slam the door shut. For all intents and purposes, Logan didn't appear upset. However, Kendall knew better.
"I should probably go talk to him," Kendall stated.
James roughly grabbed Kendall's arm, effectively stopping him in his tracks. He fiercely shook his head.
"I'll go talk to Logan. You've already done more than enough!" James said, his voice dripping with venom.
James and Logan were camped out in the elevator somewhere between the second floor and the lobby. Logan had pushed the emergency stop button after the elevator began its steady descent. James desperately wanted to hug Logan, knowing that he needed a hug right now. However, Logan still hadn't broke down yet, much to James' surprise.
"Are you okay?" James asked tentatively.
Logan looked up at James. The taller boy was bothered by the fact that the smaller boy's face was still carefully guarded. "Huh? Oh yeah. I'm fine. It was Kendall's call to make, and I respect his decision," Logan said.
James had long since forgotten about his own selfish desire to be Kendall's best man at his and Jo's wedding. Now that he was thinking clearer, he realized that Logan should have been the obvious choice. Aside from Kendall, Logan was the most responsible one. Heck, he was even more responsible than Kendall, and Kendall was their leader.
"Why are you defending him?" James asked.
"Because," Logan replied, his bottom lip trembling. James saw a solitary tear trickle down Logan's cheek. "The alternative hurts too much!"
It was at that moment that Logan completely lost his composure. The floodgates behind his tear ducts came bursting down. His small frame was overcome by numerous powerful sobs. His knees gave out on him, but James was right there to catch him before he fell. The two sat on the floor of the elevator together; James holding Logan in his arms as he cried.
"Kendall's an idiot!" James said out loud despite the fact that he only meant to think it to himself.
It didn't take long for James' black v-neck to become completely saturated with Logan's salty tears. Logan had his face buried in James' chest. James was stroking the back of Logan's head while making gentle shushing noises. The smaller boy was shaking so much and non-stop that it almost seemed like he was shivering.
Logan pulled back from James, and looked at him, eyes glistening with tears. His body still shook with sobs periodically. It was nowhere near as bad as it was at first though.
"You…know…what…I…did…the…night…Kendall…and…Jo…told…us…they…were…going…to…get…married?" Logan asked, his question broken up by his sobs.
James shook his head.
"I…stayed…up…all…night…writing…my…best…man…speech. It's…five…pages…front…and…back…handwritten," Logan explained.
"Oh Logan," James said.
James pulled Logan closer to him. The smaller boy's head rested on the taller boy's shoulders. James honestly wasn't sure what exactly the best man had to do. However, Logan, no doubt knew.
"I…guess…I…won't…be…needing…that…now…huh?" Logan asked.
James was at a loss for words. Kendall and Jo had been engaged for six months. That meant that Logan had written his best man speech six months ago as well. He didn't know what he was supposed to say to Logan right about now? What could he say?
"Why…didn't…Kendall…pick…me? Did…I…do…something…wrong?" Logan inquired.
"Of course not!" James immediately responded.
"I don't know, Logie. I don't know."
Logan's body started to succumb to exhaustion due to the toll all the sobbing had taken. James had one arm draped over Logan's shoulder, and the other arm he had wrapped around Logan's torso as he held him close. Both boys sat there like that, each absorbed in his own thoughts.
Kendall flopped down on the orange sofa next to Carlos. The smaller boy turned his body towards Kendall.
"Why did you pick me? Logan would have made a better best man than me," Carlos said, frowning.
"It's like I told you guys; you and I were friends first. I didn't meet James and Logan until later when we played peewee hockey together. As for you being my best man, I don't think you give yourself enough credit, Carlitos; I think you'll make a great best man," Kendall said, giving a small smile.
Carlos wasn't sure how to act right now. It was no lie that he was jumping for joy on the inside. However, after seeing how upset James was, and after Logan got up and left without even saying anything, Carlos didn't dare be happy around them. After all, he didn't want to rub it in their faces or anything.
"I really wish you would stop doing that," Carlos said.
"Doing what?" Kendall replied.
"Acting like everything will be okay. It might not be. You don't know!"
"You're right, Carlos. I'm sorry."
An awkward silence fell upon the two best friends. This wasn't the reaction Kendall expected from Carlos. He thought for sure he would be in a celebratory mood, especially since he didn't have to worry about James and Logan being around at the moment to witness it.
Carlos undid his helmet. It slipped from his fingers and fell to the floor below. His shoulders slumped, and he had a glum expression written all over his face. Kendall couldn't help but notice that Carlos for some reason wouldn't even look at him. He wondered what that was all about.
"James and Logan probably hate me," Carlos said.
"No. Me on the other hand? That's another story," Kendall said, trying and failing to crack a joke.
"What if this ruins our friendship? What if we can't get past this?"
Those were both questions Kendall had been asking himself. He wanted to believe that because they had been friends so long, twelve years, they could make it through anything. Honestly though, Kendall was starting to have serious doubts.
"What would you have me do then?" Kendall snapped.
He instantly regretted his outburst when he saw the deer-in-headlights look on Carlos' face. Kendall's younger friend bit his lip to keep himself from crying. Kendall hated that he snapped at Carlos like that, almost making him cry.
"I'm sorry, Carlos. It's just…"
"It's fine," Carlos said, cutting Kendall off.
Carlos turned his body so that he wasn't facing Kendall any longer. The so-called leader wanted to shove his fist in his mouth so that he wouldn't scream. Why couldn't he do anything right anymore? About the only thing he could do was make people mad at him.
"Great. Now you're mad at me too," Kendall commented.
"I'm not mad," Carlos responded.
"You seem kinda mad."
"Quit telling me how I feel! You don't know! I know how I'm feeling, thank you very much!"
Kendall would kill for a time machine right about now; that way he could go back and have a do-over. At this rate, he wouldn't have any friends left on his wedding day. Heck, he might not even have a best man if this kept up.
James carried a slumbering Logan in his arms back to Apartment 2J. As soon as he entered the apartment, and Kendall and Carlos saw him, they immediately thought the worst; Logan was sick or something bad had happened to him.
"What happened?" Kendall demanded.
"Is he okay?" Carlos asked.
James ignored both of them. His only priority was Logan. He set Logan down on his bed, tucking him in. James softly shut the door behind him. Then, he went back out to face Kendall and Carlos.
"No, he's not okay! What happened? He cried himself to sleep! That's what happened!" James all but shouted back.
"For what it's worth, I really am sorry," Kendall said.
"That's just it. Your apology isn't worth anything. Besides, it's not me you should be apologizing to; it's Logan."
Kendall was so incredibly frustrated. He wanted to pull all his hair out. What was he supposed to have done? There could only be one best man! If he picked Logan, James and Carlos would be mad at him. If he picked James, Logan and Carlos would be mad at him. He picked Carlos, and James and Logan are mad at him. He just couldn't catch a break either way.
"However, you won't get a chance to apologize to Logan because I want you to stay away from him. I want you both to stay away from him. As a matter of fact, I want you to pack up your things, Kendall, because I am going to be Logan's roommate from now on. You can go and room with your best man there," James said.
Kendall could hardly believe his ears. Even Carlos was shocked when James told him to stay away from Logan. Carlos could understand James wanting Kendall to stay away from Logan, but what did he do?
"Was this Logan's idea?" Kendall asked.
"No. He's far too nice to want to kick you out. You know that. I know that. Everyone knows that. That's why I'm doing this for him," James answered.
Kendall and James were alike in a lot of ways. Both got fiercely protective of their friends. This was just a reminder that just like Kendall and Carlos were friends before they met James and Logan, James and Logan were friends before they met Kendall and Carlos. They had all been friends since Pre-Kindergarten, so it was easy to forget that.
"Hold up. Why do I have to stay away from Logan?" Carlos asked.
"Because Logan's jealous of you. That's saying something too because you and I both know he's not the jealous type. He had his heart set on being best man. He even told me that he pulled an all-nighter writing his best man speech the night Kendall told us he was engaged," James answered.
"He's jealous of me?"
"That's what I said. Are you deaf? Of course with Logan being Logan, he'll never admit it though."
"Don't talk to Carlos like that!" Kendall remarked.
"I'll talk to Carlos however I want to! Have you forgotten that Logan was my friend first? I was friends with him before I ever met you and Carlos. If I remember correctly, it took Logan getting kicked in the face with the blade of a skate for you to start actually caring about him!" James retorted.
Kendall didn't understand why James was bringing this up all of a sudden. This happened ages ago. He thought they had long since gotten past this. Apparently not. Apparently, there was still a rift between the four of them. Had it always been there this whole time? Just nobody noticed?
"What are you saying? That I don't care about Logan?" Kendall inquired.
"That's exactly what I'm saying. If you did care, you wouldn't have hurt him the way you did!" James exclaimed.
"That's funny coming from the person who kissed his girlfriend while he was still dating her!"
To James, that was a low blow. Before he could make Kendall pay, Carlos positioned himself between the two feuding friends, placing a hand on each of their chests, and pushing them back from one another.
"Guys, come on. Stop it," Carlos pleaded.
"No! Do you hear him, Carlos? He actually thinks he's a better friend to Logan than me! Now that I think about it, it's not really a surprise that you didn't pick Logan to be your best man, Kendall. What, with the way you've been ignoring him lately. Let me ask you something. When's the last time you and Logan did something, just the two of you? If you ask me, the only person you really care about is Jo. Everyone else you just don't have time for anymore," James stated
"Knock it off, James!" Carlos exclaimed. "If you want to talk about who is a better friend to Logan, it's not you, James. It's not you either, Kendall. It's me. Both of you have hurt Logan. This isn't even about that though. We can spend all day arguing about this, but what's the point? All that matters is that we don't let this ruin our friendship."
Kendall and James both knew that Carlos was right. Their tense bodies relaxed. They were no longer vipers poised to strike. However, they still refused to look at one another. The wounds that their harsh words had caused one another were still raw.
Logan woke up to find himself face-to-face with Carlos, who was staring at him curiously. He had pulled up a chair, and was sitting at Logan's bedside.
"Uh…hi," Logan greeted.
"Are you mad at me?" Carlos asked, not beating around the bush.
Logan was stunned by how straightforward Carlos was being. He wasn't used to that. A frown crossed Carlos' face as he took Logan's silence to mean something different entirely.
"No," Logan answered, placing a hand on Carlos' leg. "I won't lie though. I was at first."
"But it's not my fault. I didn't tell Kendall to pick me to be his best man," Carlos replied.
"I know that. Now. Like I said, I'm not mad at you anymore."
Carlos lifted his head up, his eyes lighting up. His frown was turned upside down as he had an excited, boyish grin on his face. In the blink of an eye, he suddenly had a sobering thought, his smile vanishing without a trace.
"Maybe you should be best man. I don't have a clue what I'm even supposed to do as best man," Carlos said.
"No way. Don't worry. I'll help you with whatever you need," Logan responded.
Logan sat up in his bed as the two best friends shared a hug. For Carlos, it was a hug of gratitude. For Logan, it was a hug of apology. The two embraced each other perhaps a bit longer than necessary; neither wanted to be the one to break up the hug. They both pulled back at the same time. Logan rubbed the back of his neck. Carlos was suddenly fascinated by the comforter on Logan's bed.
"So…" Carlos said awkwardly. "What exactly does the best man do anyways?"
"Well, he holds onto the rings until the wedding ceremony. He makes a toast and gives a speech at the wedding reception. He's the one who plans the bachelor party. See, I know you'll be good at that part. After all, you are one of the 'Hollywood Super Party Kings of Hollywood,'" Logan teased, nudging Carlos with his elbow. "But most importantly, he's there for the groom on his wedding day, helping him with whatever he needs. Often, the groom gets so nervous that he forgets things. That's where you come in."
Logan left out the part where he had been talking to Jo over the past couple of months about the wedding. Kendall didn't want to know, but anytime a decision was made, Jo told Logan. She had been under the impression that Logan was going to be Kendall's best man too.
Logan kicked off the comforter and sheets. He dangled his feet over the side of the bed before getting up and walking over to his dresser. He opened up the top drawer, and was looking for something.
"Oh yeah, and if you're worried about the speech, you can use mine. You might have to change a few things, but probably not much. We've all been friends practically since forever," Logan said.
After finding his stapled best man speech on notebook paper, Logan walked over to where Carlos was sitting, and held it out in front of him.
"Logie, I can't take this," Carlos stated.
"It's okay, Carlitos. I really don't mind. I said I'd help you with whatever you need. Remember?" Logan responded.
Carlos gave Logan a small, appreciative smile as he took the packet of paper. He started to read through it. Logan watched and waited patiently. Carlos started laughing when he got to certain parts of the speech. When it came to other parts, he started to tear up. Once he was finished, he looked at Logan, his eyes shimmering in tears.
"Logan, this is amazing!" Carlos commented. "Thank you! Thank you so much!"
Logan was startled when Carlos threw his arms around him in an embrace. Once he recovered from his shock, he smiled as he returned the gesture.
"Kendall, can I talk to you for a second?" Logan asked.
Kendall was stunned. He couldn't believe that Logan was actually talking to him. It didn't even sound like Logan was even mad at him.
"Yeah, sure," Kendall replied.
The two teenagers sat on the orange couch. Kendall wanted to sit next to Logan, but he wasn't sure if Logan wanted him to sit next to him. He didn't sound angry, but that could all just be an act. There was no telling how Logan really felt. He didn't wear his heart on his sleeve. He wasn't an open book. When something bothered him, he usually just bottled it up rather than deal with it.
"You can sit next to me, you know. I won't bite," Logan said.
Kendall didn't need to be told twice. He quickly closed the distance between them, draping an arm over Logan's shoulder. The smaller boy rested his head on Kendall's shoulder.
"I'm sorry that I hurt you. You have to know that was never my intention," Kendall stated.
"I do. I'm sorry I overreacted," Logan responded.
"Please don't do that, Logie. Quit trying to shoulder all the blame. You were upset, and honestly, I don't blame you. I just want you to know that just because I asked Carlos to be my best man doesn't mean I think any less of you. Plus, it's not like you won't be in the wedding; you're still a groomsman."
"But it is my fault. I could have handled the news…better."
"Hey," Kendall said. "Look at me."
Logan rotated his body so that he was looking into Kendall's green eyes.
"Stop. Okay? You know I hate it when you beat yourself up like this. I'm just glad that you don't hate me," Kendall said.
"I could never hate you, Kendall." Logan replied.
Kendall pulled Logan closer to him, and Logan laid his head back down on Kendall's shoulder. He may be their leader, but he was far from fearless. His eyes prickled with unshed tears. He was so scared that he might have lost Logan forever. He had no idea what he would do if that ever happened.
"Do I really have to move out of our room?" Kendall asked.
"What? Who said you had to do that?" Logan replied, sitting up, eyebrows arched in confusion.
"Oh. We can still be roomies if you want. Don't worry about James. He'll come around once he sees that I'm okay."
When Kendall really thought about it, he couldn't blame James. If the two of them were to switch places, Kendall was sure he'd react exactly as James had. Both were fiercely protective of their friends. Both were fiercely protective of Logan.
"Well, are you?" Kendall asked.
"Am I what?" Logan replied.
"If I wasn't, do you think I'd let you sit so close to me?"
Kendall placed his hand on the side of Logan's face, and gently guided his head so that he was lying on his shoulder again. Kendall couldn't help but think how he and Jo might not even be together right now if it wasn't for Logan. He recalled how it was Logan who convinced Jo not to give up on him when she was convinced that there was something going on between him and Jordin Sparks.
"Thank you, Logie," Kendall said.
"For what?" Logan asked.
"For being so good to me. For being such a great friend. I don't know what I did to deserve you."
"You're wrong, Kendall. I'm the lucky one to have you in my life."
James was hidden behind the wall listening in. He was ready to swoop in to Logan's aid if need be, but from the way things sounded, that wouldn't be necessary. For the first time that day, James smiled a genuine smile. It looked doubtful for awhile, but now he knew that this wouldn't break them. He wouldn't have it any other way.
A/N: Ugh! So this was one of those better-in-my-head-but-horrible-on-paper stories. Sorry about that. Oh, and Laura, remember that we agreed we could write one-shots so long as neither one of us started a new multi-chapter story? I'm holding up my end of the agreement, and I'm still watching you like a hawk. I was originally going to have Kendall be Character A and Logan be Character B, but now that I've written it, there are four main characters. No two characters were really in the spotlight. Just out of curiosity, who do you think the Green-Eyed monster was? Kendall or Logan?