A/N: Rated T for suggestive content. Teenage boys, after all.
THIS IS AN OT4 FIC. Which means, it actively ships Kendall/Logan/Carlos/James. All four of them. Together. Not your cup of tea? Completely understandable. Please do not read.
Out of the four boys, Kendall and Logan got together first.
It hadn't been a my type-not my type thing, or that the two got along better than any other combination of Big Time Rush. It had simply been the first thing that happened.
Looking back, Logan thought that perhaps it had been fate, meant to be, whatever people called it, because it was the only way things could have progressed the way they had, and if things hadn't... Well, let's just say none of the boys wanted to think about that particularly much. Logan and Kendall together was, at the same time, sensible, coincidental, and purely wonderful.
This was how it happened.
I. Mothers Prefer Doctors and Lawyers (or How Kendall Knight and Logan Mitchell Got Together and How Logan Finally Beats Kendall at Something)
It happened over a thumb war challenge issued by a bored Kendall during a commercial break on the history channel. Enthralled in a documentary about the crazy random happenstance that was World War I, Logan had been reluctant to accept the challenge. But of course, when the magic S-word slipped from Kendall's lips, Logan was immediately at attention, eyes flashing and thumb poised for vanquishing the enemy.
"I am not scared!"
"You are too," Kendall replied childishly, even though Logan's hand was already in his, his thumb twiddling away the silent pre-game chant.
"I am doing something productive with my time," Logan corrected as he moved his thumb around, Kendall's much-longer one chasing after it. Stupid guitar player. He had probably been planning this the whole time, learning to play guitar just to train his inhuman thumbs to beat Logan at thumb war. Well, Logan wasn't about to let his evil plan succeed, even if he lost the function of his remote-pressing thumb in the process. It was just a sacrifice he'd have to make.
"I thought you said thumb wars were immature and a waste of time," Kendall replied smugly, revelling in the way Logan was glaring intensely at their joined hands, his hand clenched into a fist by his thigh. Discreetly, Kendall reached for the remote on the coffee table and turned the TV on mute. Now there was nothing to distract Logan from properly entertaining him.
"They are," Logan grunted, wrenching his thumb out from under Kendall's. "I was talking about my World War I documentary."
"What's so interesting about that anyways?" Kendall was surprised that he was a bit winded. Logan was getting better at this, a new fire lit beneath him and his metacarpals as he fought Kendall tooth-and-nail for victory. Or maybe just nail, even though both keep theirs short just to be practical. Neither could understand how James could roughhouse with them and still keep his shiny new manicures perfect. Kendall could feel himself drawing up to lean over their hands, staring, watching Logan's thumb's next move like Logan was doing, to keep his winning streak his winning streak (if he won, their score would be 1,221–0 to Kendall since he began keeping score in fifth grade).
"It's history," Logan replied like that explained everything. Surprisingly, it did. Not the two simple words, but the way Logan said them, like they were glittery things in shop windows Carlos and James always ogled because, so they claimed, they were sustaining the human nature that is the general affinity for shiny things ("How else would man have discovered fire?" Carlos would ask in rhetoric, the triumphant air he tried to embody diminished by the way he drooled over the rhinestone-studded helmet). Kendall laughed, not because Logan was a geek, but because he was such a cool geek, and Kendall was reminded again why they were best friends.
"What?" Logan asked suspiciously, straining his thumb to get out of Kendall's range. Kendall decided to stay put, wait for Logan to come after him, and then ambush in the middle. Unfortunately, Logan seemed to have the same idea, and for a beat, their two thumbs were still, standing tall over their respective sides of the arena. They looked up at the same time, glowering at each other, silently daring each other to make the first move.
"Nothing," Kendall answered sweetly, smiling nonchalantly for effect. "Just that I think you're cute."
Logan squinted. "How so?"
"You actually think you can beat me."
Kendall pounced, throwing his entire weight behind a flick of his wrist as his thumb stretched to reach Logan's. Logan reacted quickly, thanks to his years of hockey playing, pulling his hand back along with his entire body to get away from Kendall. This, along with a couple of laws of motion, potential and kinetic energy changes that quickly ran through Logan's mind, of course led to the awkward moment where Kendall loses his balance and crashes into Logan, quickly sending them both down onto the sofa, pressed chest-to-chest, the tips of their noses barely touching. Their hands, Kendall noticed, were still clutched together, pressed between their stomachs. They met each other's eyes, and neither spoke.
Kendall leaned down and pressed their lips together.
The clock on the wall sounded absurdly loud, even distorted through the rush of blood in Logan's ears, and Logan counted five, six, seven, until Kendall pulled away. They stared, frowning at each other, for two more ticks.
"Well?" Kendall asked eventually, sounding demanding and not at all like he had just kissed his best friend. Then again, neither of them knew what you were supposed to sound like after kissing your best friend. Considering that was the plot of numerous teen dramas, they were surprised they didn't know, but figured it didn't apply to them, since they were two members of the band Big Time Rush, not characters in some teen dramedy series. They'd deal with situations as they saw fit.
Logan was still frowning.
"You turned my TV on mute," he accused.
"I just kissed you, and you're worried about your documentary?" Kendall asked incredulously. Logan looked like he didn't think there was anything blatantly wrong with that. Logan was obviously wrong. Grumbling a little, Kendall began to straighten, pulling himself off his best friend, when Logan sat up with him and pressed their lips together again. This time, he counted to ten and pulled back, grinning stupidly.
"I win," he laughed, holding up their entwined hands, Kendall's thumb pressed firmly beneath Logan's. Kendall groaned.
"1,220–1," he grudgingly announced, and kissed Logan to wipe the smirk off his face.
Carlos was the next to join. Again, it wasn't for any particular reason, except that it was just supposed to happen. Kendall and Logan together was good, but add Carlos to the picture? They were good. A bit unconventional, admittedly, and the three spent a while working out the physics of the whole thing (chemistry-wise, they were perfectly fine), but once they had started, there was no stopping. Objects in motion liked to stay in motion, after all, and Carlos, through numerous trials and errors, was damn good at physics.
This was how it happened.
II. I'm Not Inclined to Resign to Maturity (or How Carlos Found Out About Kendall and Logan and There Was Panic Over Ice Cream)
It happened when Carlos, in the middle of the Most Intense Hide-and-Seek Ever (MIHASE, as Katie called it; short a, long e), got stuck in a closet (everybody but him would grow to appreciate the irony of this later). He had sprinted in, not even with the intention to use the cramped space as a hiding spot, only to get the necessary tools to get to the Best Hiding Spot the World Has Ever Seen (BHSWHES, accent on the first syllable, thank you very much). The door, however, had other plans; it caught on the edge of the hockey stick Carlos had been holding (all part of the BHSWHES), slammed shut and locked itself from the outside. He tried calling for help, but no one was at home, and Katie was probably down by the pool looking for Carlos's BHSWHES. Carlos was panicking. He could not let Katie find his BHSWHES– his reign as MIHASE champion depended on it.
Then he heard the door outside slam, and two pairs of shoes made their squeaky ways across the hall, and Carlos, overjoyed, was about to call out to his friends for help, when–
"–that I care anybody sees–"
"–better as a secret, y'know?"
Carlos bit down on his knuckle to hide the horrified gasp that threatened to escape his mouth. He recognized those voices, he would recognize them anywhere. Kendall and Logan, they were keeping secrets from the rest of the band? Why, James would be so hurt and angry, if he had been stuck in a closet like Carlos, he would be eavesdropping on the door instead of banging on it, demanding to be let out and be given a straight answer, which is definitely what Carlos would do, except once he thought about how angryJames would be, Carlos felt compelled to eavesdrop on Kendall and Logan for the sake of his good friend that doesn't keep secrets from him. Of course. It was all for James.
"...Logan, I love... tastes good..." Carlos could barely heard Kendall, but thought he sounded a little... breathless.
"...Jesus... I– don't stop..." Logan's voice was muffled too, and Carlos was more curious than grumpy at this point. What exactly were they doing that warranted a conversation like this?
"Don't plan... Off... bedroom..."
"No time... Hide... Quick, I– Kendall!"
The last piece fell into place, and Carlos, overwhelmed by anger, kicked the closet door wide open, lock be damned (Kendall would later tell him the doorknob didn't work from the inside, and all you had to do was shove the door a little to get it open).
"How dare you guys try the new Quadruple Chocolate Chip and Marshmallows ice cream without me and James!" Carlos thundered. Kendall looked up from where his mouth had been latched onto Logan's neck, and Logan's hands flew up in surrender from where they had been tucked into Kendall's jeans. The three boys stared at each other for one long moment.
"What?" Kendall exclaimed indignantly to cover up his embarrassment. As Logan scurried around behind him to grab and yank on his t-shirt, Carlos realized something. The piece that fell into place had been a completely wrong piece. No, it was a completely wrong puzzle. Actually, it was more like where Carlos had been looking at jigsaws, Kendall and Logan were figuring out a sudoku on a completely different planet. That was how wrong Carlos was, he realized.
"Ooh," he responded accordingly. He grimaced, and started moving discreetly sideways towards the apartment door. "Sorry to interrupt you guys, didn't mean to... Just thought you guys were eating ice cream, y'know? Didn't want James to feel left out..."
"Wait, Carlos," Kendall called, nudging Logan with his shoulder because Logan was really bad under pressure. "You're not... surprised?"
"That you're not eating the new Quadruple Chocolate Chip and Marshmallows ice cream? Of course not! I had complete faith in you guys, you know! It's not like James and I had ever snuck around behind your backs and ate things we swore to eat together–"
"No," Kendall interrupted, nudging Logan again. This time, Logan snapped out of his panic mode, looked at Kendall, looked at Carlos, then plopped down on the couch with a defeated sigh. Kendall sat down next to him, shoulder to shoulder. "I meant, you're not surprised that Logan and I are... together?"
Carlos blinked. "Huh? Of course not. Why would I be?"
"Why wouldn't you not be not surprised?" Logan suddenly blurted out, and Kendall and Carlos took a moment to figure that out. When Carlos finally understood the triple negative (that was really a double negative with a negative left so it's really a negative and Carlos was just getting confused again so whatever), he gave the guys a weird look.
"Dudes," he said carefully. "Everybody knows."
"Everybody?" Logan squeaked, because while it was true they didn't think it was important to keep their relationship a secret, this kind of news would still surprise a guy. Kendall too, looked a bit freaked out. Carlos felt like he owed it to them to calm them down, for the whole ice cream misunderstanding and all.
"James and I know," he corrected himself, but Logan just looked more freaked out, like the order and flow of his own personal universe had been destroyed by Carlos's words.
"James knows?" His voice was also terrifyingly high-pitched. "And he hasn't teased us yet?" Panicky, Logan turned to Kendall. "Kendall, please tell me he's teased you about us please."
Kendall shook his head slowly, also visibly shaken. Carlos nodded in sympathy.
"It's because of the new girl," he mourned. "The one in 3A."
The three boys shared a look. Nothing more had to be said about James and the new girl.
"But how did you guys know?" Kendall asked, more relaxed now, rebuttoning his shirt up to the collar, where Carlos could see a dark red hickey. Carlos shrugged.
"Just did. Made sense, y'know?"
While it didn't make any sense, it actually did, and Kendall and Logan nodded in agreement, their hands reaching out and fingers entwining with each other. Carlos grinned.
"And you're always all... touchy with each other. You might as well be duct taped together." Kendall and Logan looked skeptical of the power of duct tape, so Carlos decided the only course of action was to demonstrate said power. Conveniently, there was a roll of duct tape on the coffee table, so Carlos picked it up and immediately wrapped it around Kendall and Logan's hands.
"See?" Carlos looked on his handiwork proudly, absentmindedly tossing Kendall the roll of tape when he held out his hand for it. Kendall gripped the roll with his free hand, gave the other end to Logan to hold, and grabbed Carlos's hand. Before Carlos knew what was going on, Logan had taped his and Kendall's hands together.
"Well?" Kendall prompted after a surprised silence from Carlos.
"We'll have you back by six," Logan added with a grin. With that, Carlos was grinning too, enthusiastically grabbing Logan's hand. Perhaps a bit too enthusiastically, and Kendall laughed at Logan's exaggerated cringe. Carlos just continued looking happy.
"Duct tape solves everything," he cheered, and led the way into the bedroom. "Maybe we can go out and get some of that ice cream at the mall later..."
James was the last to join his friends.
Through a series of unfortunate coincidences, James managed to miss every chance he had to have gotten together with Kendall, Logan, and Carlos, and it was a long week before everything righted itself. Carlos knew that catching Kendall and Logan in the act and the misunderstanding that followed was a huge prelude to what was going to happen with James, thus knew it was inevitable that the four of them would end up together. So, with this knowledge at his disposal, Carlos got Kendall and Logan on board with the "Make James Realize What's Going On With the Rest of His Band Members" plan, which they not-so-secretly called the "Make James Get Over the New Girl In 3A and Get Over to Our Beds" plan.
James was too pretty for the new girl anyways.
This was how it happened.
III. One More Time With Feeling (or How the Rest of Big Time Rush Got James to Join Their Ménage à Trois and Turned It into a Ménage un Quatuor)
It happened after the new girl in 3A stood James up on their first date. When Carlos was on his way to the vending machine on the evening of James's date, he managed to overhear, via the new helmet Ms. Knight got him for his birthday and a well-placed fern, the new girl in 3A talk to her ex-boyfriend on her cell phone and get back with him. Looking excited, she had ran out, of the lobby, leaving James behind on one of the armchairs, still waiting for her. Carlos knew there was only one thing to do.
"Guys," he whispered-yelled into his phone the moment the dial tone stopped. "It's time to put the Make James Get Over the New Girl In 3A and Get Over to Our Beds plan in action!"
There was a pause, then a sigh over the phone.
"I'll get Kendall," Katie replied. Carlos blinked.
"...Right. You do that."
He snuck around to the elevator, and the moment Carlos heard Kendall breathe over the line, he yelled the same thing, and, within moments, Kendall and Logan were down in the lobby with him.
"What happened?" Logan wheezed.
"The new girl from 3A stood James up," Carlos explained, pacing. "And now he's looking at the clock every five seconds."
"Why would she– Why would she stand him up?" Kendall panted, stumbling around. Carlos made a mental note to suggest the wiggly-legs thing Kendall just did as a possible dance move to Mr. X on their next rehearsal.
"She got back together with her ex, and now, James will sit here for a couple of hours because he won't believe a date stood him up, then go back to our room and pout for three days!" Carlos sort of-yelled, because the situation was serious, dammit. Dramatic background music would not be unfitting at this moment.
Kendall, Logan, and Carlos turned at the same time to see James glance at the lobby clock for the tenth time that minute. The confident smile he usually wore on a date was crumbling at the edges, and the three boys could tell from the passersby's expressions that James was now giving off I'm-a-sad-puppy-pet-me vibes. It was the kind of vibe that sent chills through the soul and made Logan wonder what terribleness in humanity could possibly result in James giving off such a vibe. Even that World War I documentary hadn't been this horrible.
"We have to do something," he said, and Kendall and Carlos nodded in agreement.
"Carlos was right," Kendall said, slow-turning to the other two. "I think it's time that we put Operation Make James Get–"
"Wait!" Carlos suddenly exclaimed. "We're missing something!"
Kendall facepalmed at his own forgetfulness, and pulled a pair of sunglasses from his pockets, sliding them on and slow-turning to the cloudy gray sky outside. Logan and Carlos followed suit.
"Guys," Kendall announced. "It's time to put Operation Make James Get Over the New Girl In 3A and Get Over to Our Beds in motion."
"Move out!" Logan called, and the boys dispersed in a series of well-timed cartwheels and back flips. A couple of feet away, James sighed one last heavy time, and stood up to make his dejected way upstairs.
It was time for the execution of their perfect plan.
James opened the door to the apartment, and Carlos, in an attempt to lean casually against the couch, fell off the side. Logan facepalmed.
"Hey buddy!" Carlos called, scrambling to get off the floor. "What's going on? What, us? Nah, we're not doing anything, much less executing some secret plan to get you to slee–"
Kendall sent a fist to his stomach to shut him up. It worked.
"James! Saw you at the pool with that girl today!" Kendall said, draping his arm over the back of the couch, right over where Logan sat. "The new one from 3A?"
"Didn't you two have a date?" Logan's voice was shrill, and Kendall was very glad James was too distracted by his date dilemma to notice his two best friends' odd behaviours. James finally looked up at them, eyes wide and hurt, mouth not-quite-pouting. Logan wanted to swaddle him up in blankets and feed him chicken soup.
"She stood me up."
The plan had been to react calmly, demonstrate that it didn't matter, girls didn't matter, because they've got each other, and then proceed to move things along once James got the message. Kendall, Logan, and Carlos had never once doubted they would be able to pull this off, because they were good at confidence, and believed quite truly that James belonged with them not just in the band. Logan had ran the probability of success through his super genius brain in a carefully controlled, zero pressure environment, and came out with 99.89 percent chance. It had been a good plan.
When they heard James's voice, however, it all changed.
James didn't sound like he usually did when something with a date goes wrong, which was hurt that she would leave me, James Diamond, of all people, who does she think she is, as much as guilty that she would leave, what did I do? Kendall never expected James to feel personally responsible for this stood-up, and was sent into momentary shock. He was supposed to be the calm one under pressure, and Kendall couldn't think of anything to say.
"You want to talk about it?" Carlos asked softly, surprising everyone, even himself, as his fingers tapped rapidly at his helmet, clutched in his hands. This had not been their plan. If James talked about the new girl in 3A, he'd fall into a deep bout of depression the rest of the boys had only seen once in their lives, and it was not the kind of experience they planned on having again. But Carlos couldn't help himself, and to be frank, neither Kendall nor Logan blamed him. Before either of them could lead the conversation in a new direction, though, James nodded hesitantly, and headed for the couches. After sharing one long look, Kendall, Logan, and Carlos followed suit, sitting themselves around James.
"I really liked her," James murmured, staring down at his hands. "It's not just that she was cute, she was just... There was something about her."
"Like what?" Kendall asked from beside him, more out of duty than of curiosity. If their plan was doomed to fail, he could still at least be James's best friend. James shook his head.
"I don't know. Just..." He looked up at Kendall, a thoughtful tilt to his chin. "She plays guitar, and this one time I was carrying her stuff to her room for her she was singing some '90s song while unpacking."
Kendall grinned unabashedly, remembering the one time he almost got fired from his job at the convenient mart because James knocked over and stepped on a couple of aisles' worth of produce when he chased Kendall around, who was taunting him by singing Whitney Houston at the top of his lungs. Luckily, James's dad had been around to pay for the damage, and even afterwards, when they were grounded at their own houses for a week, they would randomly text each other lines from I Will Always Love You.
"She's modeling to pay for college," James continued, staring up at Logan now, who sat on the arm of the sofa to his other side. "She wants to work at NASA, and has all these models of planets and moons in her room."
Logan was suddenly brought back to fourth grade, the first time James had stepped foot inside his room. James had only been visiting for an English project, after Kendall ditched Logan to be another kid's partner, and was, frankly, terrifying to Logan since James had always been the cool one, with his singing and dancing and nice hair, while Logan had physics books and encyclopedia sets. It wasn't that Logan had been ashamed– he just didn't think James would be accepting of his "geekiness." He thought he was right, when James, about ten minutes after he arrived, ran out of the house without a word when Logan was getting them cookies. When Logan went back to his room, a bit disappointed, Logan had found his favorite t-shirt with the periodic table printed on it stained with the dark purple ink of James's pen, and spent five minutes crying into his mom's chest, not because his shirt was ruined, but because it was James who ruined it. The doorbell rang after his mom gave him cookies to calm him down, and when Logan answered it, James stood on the other side, sweaty and flushed like he had been running, holding something behind his back.
I didn't do it on purpose it was in my pocket and fell out and broke I guess and your shirt was there and the ink spurted out and got all over– James had blabbered, wheezing and out of breath. Logan, still mad but a little curious, had asked what he was holding. James had immediately thrust into his arms a jar of bleach.
Blech, James answered earnestly, and Logan was too stunned to tell him he pronounced it wrong. My dad says it's a secret and I'm not allowed to touch it but Logan you're smart so that's okay and I should give it to you since I ruined your shirt.
James had then received warm hugs and cookies from both Logan and his mom, before returning upstairs to continue their homework (James only sat after making sure there was nothing in his back pockets). Logan had called Kendall that night and told him Yeah, James waspretty cool. Kendall had said I told you so, and James's friend Carlos is really awesome, too...
"She has a helmet!" James exclaimed, looking mournfully at Carlos sitting by his feet, who nodded in sympathy, donning his hockey helmet and giving it his two customary pats, albeit with less energy. James's shoulders slumped. "She was perfect, everything I want in a girl."
Kendall stared at James. Logan stared at James. Carlos stared at James.
Carlos rose to his knees and kissed James.
"You mean, we're perfect," Kendall said smugly as Logan turned James's head his way and took his turn. "We're everything you look for in a girl."
"Kendall, no one likes a Know-It-All," James said, giving him an exasperated look. Kendall laughed and leaned forward for a kiss of his own. There was no hesitation between them, just the same synchronicity the band shared on the rink, in the studio.
"I take offense to that," Logan claimed from behind James, and Carlos laughed, dragging him down for a noogie and a kiss. Kendall could feel James laughing against his lips, and pulled back with a smirk.
"What's so funny?"
"Aw, guys," James said, suddenly pressing down on Kendall's shoulders so that he had the other boy flat on his back on the sofa beneath them. He grinned over his shoulder at the other two. "If you wanted me that bad, you should've just asked."
Carlos and Logan simultaneously tackled him, squishing James flat against Kendall and sending them tumbling over the side of the couch, all of them laughing as they wrestled each other on the floor. Nothing had changed, because it all made sense– Kendall with his thumb wars, Logan with his documentaries, Carlos with his duct tape, and James with his girls. Hockey players made sense, Big Time Rush made sense, and now, of course Big Time Rush was going to make sense.
This was just how it happened.
A/N: My first Big Time Rush fic, but I am utterly smitten with these boys. Please review, tell me what you think? I'm kind of nervous about this, heh...