They were on the floor of the bedroom tonight, a wrestling match over a bag of fruit snackers having turned dirty almost as soon as it had begun. They were naked, kissing and grinding slowly, Logan on top, James with one long arm down to press his spit-slick fingers teasingly against Logan's hole. They both groaned and bit out grunts occasionally, but it wasn't yet about the race to orgasm; they were just letting off steam and enjoying feeling good.
And then the door opened.
As luck would have it, they were in the perfect position for the light from the hallway to wash over them and their extraordinarily compromising position, and the first thought in Logan's mind was that they should really get that lock fixed. They both froze, deer-in-the-headlights fashion.
"What the hell?" hissed Kendall.
And then he was gone, his hurried footsteps echoing down the hall through the still-open doorway. Logan jolted off James, spitting out a litany of fucks under his breath as he fumbled for his sweats. He looked at James once before he dashed through the door after Kendall, and saw that the other boy was white faced and wide eyed, breathing hard.
He bit his lip and hesitated, but ultimately took off in the direction Kendall had gone. He found Kendall in the kitchen with a glass of water, staring into the cup. He didn't look up when Logan stopped several feet from him.
"What the fuck, Logan," he said.
"Look, it wasn't what it l—"
"Wasn't what it looked like? I'm pretty sure it was exactly what it looked like." Logan said nothing, could say nothing. "So, what, you're gay now or something?"
Logan shrunk back. This was not how he'd expected his coming out to go. "Yes," he said in a small voice.
"And James? He's gay too?" Kendall was still refusing to look at him, and his voice was harsh.
"That's…for James to answer, not me." Even in this situation, he wouldn't out James.
"And you're fucking?" Logan wished he could unsee the face Kendall made into his water glass, like he'd tasted something disgusting. "How long?"
"That's really none of your business," Logan said, beginning to find his voice again. "If you've got a problem with gays, just say it, Kendall."
Kendall finally looked at him, and he didn't look happy. "I don't have a…problem…with homos, but it's just fucking weird when it's your bandmates, okay? It's just…" He broke off and shuddered lightly, making that face again.
Logan narrowed his eyes. "So what are you gonna do about it? You clearly think we're…unclean, or something."
Kendall didn't disagree. "Look, Logan, you're still my friend, and I support you and whatever, but you've gotta admit this is kind of wrong. You and James? Screwing in the next room?"
"That's right. James and I, screwing in the next room. Fuck you, Kendall."
Logan turned tail and walked with as much dignity as he could back to his room, passing James, who had found some clothes, listening in around the corner. James wordlessly got up and followed him, and this time Logan made sure the door was well and truly locked before curling up on his bed and crying like little girl. James came over to sit gingerly on the edge of the mattress, clearly poised to get out if Logan didn't want him there, but Logan found that he really wanted nothing more than to have James close to him. He fisted his hand in James' shirt and tugged, and James seemed to get the message. He tucked himself around Logan and held him while Logan's heart broke and he cried for the boy he'd loved half his life.
It took only about an hour for him to run out of tears. He blew his nose, wiped the snot and water off his face, and buried his face in James' chest. James rubbed his back and said nothing, which was for the best. Logan slept fitfully and was intensely glad the next day was Saturday.
He slept through breakfast and woke up to James bringing him a glass of orange juice and some toast. "I told them you were sick," James said.
"Thank you," said Logan, and didn't mean for the food. James seemed to understand. "Do the rest of them know anything?" Logan asked, and then, even though it hurt, "How was Kendall to you?"
James' mouth tightened. "No one knows anything. Kendall was…distant. Polite, though. Give him time. I think he'll come around."
Logan thunked his head back onto his pillow and ignored the pressure in his bladder. He didn't want to leave the room. "I can't believe he saw us," he murmured. His voice was hoarse from crying.
"Are you…ashamed?" James asked, shuffling his feet.
"Huh? No," Logan said, and found that it was true. "Embarrassed, though. Humiliated. That was private. And what he…the way he looked at me…" Logan couldn't go on.
"I heard. He'll come around," James repeated, and spent the rest of the day fending off Carlos, who kept trying to come in to dispense medical advice.
"Coming around" apparently took a very long time indeed. Kendall was never quite cold to either of them, but there was a definite distance in the way he now interacted with them. There was none of his previous camaraderie or the easy friendship they'd had since they could barely walk.
At first Logan was distraught, then the swirling grief turned into a base-line depression, which eventually gave way to anger. Who the fuck was Kendall to shun him now, after he'd known him all his life? What could he possibly be afraid of? He knew James was receiving similar treatment, but Kendall's wariness felt personal, like a knife to his heart, despite James' various promises to send Bandana Man after him.
Objectively, he had always known that he and Kendall would never be more than just friends. Fantasies and dreams were rarely based on objective thinking, though, and he was feeling the death of these dreams keenly.
At night he no longer went to James' bed, and James no longer asked him to.
He was still around, though, James was. Still as present in Logan's life as always, and even more so now. He seemed determined to stick by Logan whether Logan wanted it or not, and wherever Logan was, James was there too, tweaking his hair in a mirror or bookmarking pages in GQ or struggling in vain to get through a Jane Austen novel for class without falling asleep. Carlos, true to form, hadn't noticed anything amiss, and sometimes he joined them when he wasn't following Kendall around, who always had other places to be than wherever James and Logan were.
James was there, and Logan was grateful.
One night Logan lay on his back and scrolled through the songs on his ipod in an effort to battle insomnia, stopping when he came across one labeled "Practical Astrophysics: A Dissertation." He stared at the title for a long time, realizing that it had been over four months since he'd last listened to those songs he'd edited. He thought of the night when James had caught him and he had caught James, and felt nothing but warmth. He uncertainly pressed play, and Kendall's voice filled his ears. The song was one of their early pop hits, and he listened to the song all the way through, staring at the ceiling, then found a couple more of the edited songs to listen to in silence.
Four months ago he'd have been hard and panting from listening to Kendall and Kendall alone telling him he wanted to be his "boy-boy-boyfriend," but now he felt…nothing. The place inside him where all the Kendall-feelings had been before was now cold. Empty. He pondered this impassively, idly contemplating where something that had been so much a part of him for so many years had gone, wondering if it had decayed like a radioactive isotope with a speedy half-life.
What did he want from Kendall now? Friendship, he decided, and nothing more. What he wanted most was for Kendall to get over himself and come back to being his friend again. He longed for the easy brotherhood that had existed between them before this mess had started.
And what did he want from sweet, thoughtful James? James, who had most emphatically "gotten over himself" to be there totally and absolutely for Logan when Logan needed him most. He pictured him with his pretty face and his perfect body and the way he had nearly fought Kendall to give Logan that solo, and he felt heat bloom in his chest.
Then he contemplated James falling apart in orgasm from just Logan's fingers inside him and felt heat bloom in lower regions as well.
Logan got out of bed and strode to the door, making sure it was completely locked before moving to stand a few feet from James' bed.
"James," he said. James lifted his head, a little blearily. "Can I…get in?"
"What? Oh, yeah, God. Fuck, please." James scooted over and threw back the covers for Logan, who wormed his way in until he was nose-to-nose with James.
They stared at each other for a moment, James clearly waiting for Logan to speak first. "I think it's safe to say," Logan began, "that I'm over Kendall."
"Yeah?" James breathed.
"It took awhile, but I came around," Logan said, throwing back the phrase James always used whenever Logan was looking down about Kendall. James said nothing, but the hope in his eyes was breaking Logan's heart. "Kendall and I will never happen, and I don't care about that anymore. But what about…what about you and me?"
"Am I…Kendall's replacement?" asked James, looking as if it killed him to voice the words.
"No," said Logan. "You're James."
Logan crossed the few inches of space between them and kissed James gently, and it took barely a heartbeat for James to wrap his arms around Logan and haul him close.
Their handjobs later that night were slow and achingly sweet, and it seemed that James couldn't stop kissing him, whining into his mouth when he came at last. James pressed his face into Logan's shoulder as they lay in their afterglow and said, "I love you, Logan."
Logan's hand stopped where it had been rubbing circles on James' back. "What?" he asked, sure he must have misheard.
"I have for years." He was quiet for a second, then, "I've always been watching you, wanting you. I guess you were too busy doing the same thing to Kendall to notice."
Logan's arms tightened around James. "I'm sorry," he said, "for not noticing. And—"
James cut him off. "Don't feel like you have to say it if you don't mean it. I can wait, honestly."
"Well then, I like you. I like like you," Logan said, laughing a little at how much he sounded like a middle schooler, but pleased at how it made James laugh too.
"Good enough for me," James said, and moved his head to tongue over a nipple, knowing how much Logan liked it.
James had beautifully feathered eyelashes, as Logan had been noticing all through English rather than paying attention to the teacher's deconstruction of Sense and Sensibility. James himself was doodling little spirals all over his notebook, but when he finally looked up and caught Logan staring, he winked and flashed Logan his patented James Diamond grin, the one he used to woo girls without even opening his mouth.
Had used to woo girls. Logan realized with a shock that he hadn't seen James make a pass at a female in months, and he knew why. It warmed him to the tip of his toes, and he jerked his chin at the door, hoping that James got the message to follow him. He walked out of the room, confident that the teacher would just think he was headed for the bathroom, which, to be fair, he was. When James joined him a moment later, he whispered, "Come on!" and led the way to the nearest single-stall handicapped bathroom.
He dragged James inside and pushed him up against the door, clicking the lock and fastening their mouths together. He was acutely aware that this was the first time they had done anything of the sort outside the confines of their bedroom at night. James responded enthusiastically and slid his hands up the back of Logan's shirt. They kissed eagerly for a few moments before James drew back.
"Thanks for that. I was so bored. That book makes my head hurt."
"English is a drag," Logan agreed. "You're a lot more interesting than Austen."
"I thought you loved school," James said teasingly, reaching up to stroke a thumb across Logan's cheek, and Logan found he didn't mind the intimate gesture.
"Math and science guy," Logan reminded him, and James laughed.
"I guess we don't have enough time for a quickie," James said, and Logan shook his head before pulling him down for another kiss.
Logan sat on the edge of James' bed shyly that night. From behind him James licked up the side of his neck before fastening his lips over Logan's pulse and starting to suck, trying to give Logan the ghost of a hickey. Logan shivered a little.
"James…do you want to have sex?" he asked quietly, staring at the opposite wall.
"Thought that was what we were doing," James mumbled into his skin, tilting to nip his earlobe.
"I mean sex-sex."
James stilled. "You mean—"
"Don't say it," Logan muttered in embarrassment.
"Are you sure?" James asked, excitement in his voice.
"Yeah," Logan breathed, and James pulled him back to kiss him.
"I have condoms," James said, after they were both red-faced and breathing a little harder. "Um, which position do you want? I'm fine with either."
"I think…top…tonight. If that's okay." Logan could feel himself flushing, which was insane, considering all he'd done with James, but this just felt more intimate than anything they'd tried.
"Fuck, yeah, that's more than okay. Hang on," James said, and reached down to retrieve the lube from where it was wedged under his mattress. James quickly kicked off his boxers while Logan shimmied out of his sweats, and soon they were sprawled on the bed, touching and kissing. James pressed the lube into his hands and said, "There's a strip of condoms where the lube was," and it took only a few seconds of feeling for Logan to find them and place them on the bedside table.
"I looked some stuff up," began Logan, and James snorted, "but I'm not really sure…"
"It's fine," said James. "Just focus on stretching me when you're fingering." Logan nodded and dribbled lube over his fingers. James spread his legs. He pushed one finger inside and curled it just so with the ease of practice, gratified when James arched and let out a shaky breath. He rubbed over James' prostate with the pad of his finger just to see James buck. "No teasing," James said breathlessly, "I'll come."
James held up his hand and demonstrated the motions Logan should follow, and it wasn't long before Logan had three fingers in James, scissoring them apart as wide as he could to open him up. He kneeled between James' legs as he did so, wanting to kiss James but also wanting to do this perfectly. James shuddered whenever he accidentally brushed his prostate and was breathing hard, precome leaking from the tip of his dick. "You've done this before," Logan said, and it wasn't a question.
"Yes—ohhhh," James said, the word turned into a moan. "Fourth finger now," James said. "You're kind of thick." Logan pushed in his pinky with the others, amazed at how wide James was stretched around them. It was only a moment longer before James said he was ready, and Logan pulled out and fumbled with a condom wrapper. He managed to get it on correctly, feeling the heat of James' gaze on him. He slicked his dick with probably too much lube and crawled on top of James, who pulled him down for a kiss. "Just guide it in slow," he said, and Logan did.
The heat was incredible, but not as incredible as the tightness. It felt as if his cock were in a vice, and he couldn't help the choking moans he let out as he inched his way in. James was biting his lip with his eyes squeezed shut beneath him, and his hands smoothed down to grip Logan's hips. He held Logan still once Logan was fully seated within him. Logan braced himself on his forearms and looked at him in concern.
"Are you okay?" he asked.
James still hadn't opened his eyes. "Mmm-hmm. Just gimme a minute." Logan waited, pressing a light kiss to the corner of James' mouth, struggling against the twin urges to thrust and to come right there as James' inner walls shuddered around him. "Okay," James finally said. "But slow."
With every ounce of his self-control Logan forced himself to move as slowly as possible as he drew out and pushed back in. It felt fantastic, and he could only hope James was getting the same amount of pleasure. On the fourth thrust James began to respond, pushing back slightly to meet him, and on the fifth his eyes flew open and his hips bucked. "Right—there," James gritted out, and Logan tried to copy his last thrust with relief. He succeeded. "Mmmm," James moaned, and Logan reached a hand down to work his dick. "Faster."
Logan complied, aware that the pleasure was almost too much and that he wouldn't be lasting much longer. He pumped his hips and James dragged his face down to fuck Logan's mouth with his tongue. Logan finally came so hard he felt as if his orgasm were being wrung from his bones, and he suddenly his limbs wouldn't hold him up anymore and he collapsed onto James.
James let him catch his breath for a moment before twisting beneath him. "Logan," he whined, trying to rub his dick against Logan's stomach. Logan pulled out with a wince—oversensitive—and carefully pulled off the full condom. He wrapped it in a tissue before sliding down James' body to suck his cock into his mouth. He pushed two fingers into James' still-open hole and quickly found his prostate, rubbing hard and sucking the head of his cock in tandem. James came with a howl and Logan tried not to choke as he bucked into his mouth. He swallowed James' come and crawled up to flop beside him.
James panted, pulling an arm around bonelessly to grip Logan's shoulder. "Was it good?" Logan asked anxiously. James could only nod. Finally he found his voice, though he sounded a little hoarse.
Logan smiled and fitted himself around James, pillowing his head on James' chest. Sex was exhausting, he had discovered, and found himself ready to sleep. James brought a hand up to stroke Logan's hair and he wasn't conscious for much longer.
Logan was, as it turned out, the biggest bottom ever. James had him on his hands and knees for his first time ("it makes things easier," he'd said), and Logan knew that as far as first times went, his was pretty spectacular. Even James was surprised at how much Logan loved it, and told him that hearing Logan moan his name while he fucked him was the hottest thing he'd ever experienced.
Logan was sore for a bit after, but that didn't stop him from asking for it again two nights later.
Anal took effort, though, and time and preparation, so they didn't do it nearly as often as they just tumbled around in the sheets together. Logan wondered how he'd ever lived without getting off with someone nearly every night, and hoped to hell there would be some kind of privacy on the bus during their next tour. He and James weren't boyfriends, not in so many words, but he could feel how well they fit together, could feel James' commitment to him every time they were together. They didn't need labels to know they were a couple, at least in secret. Secrecy was actually fine with Logan. He had never felt any kind of burning desire to hold James' hand in public when shoulder bumps would do just fine, or to stake his claim through excessive PDA. There was always a private corner to drag James into if he needed to touch or kiss, and it was easy and uncomplicated and right.
In fact, the only thing that wasn't right with his life was Kendall. Things were still most assuredly not okay between them, and Logan was beginning to wonder if they would ever be. He would never have expected that Kendall was this uncomfortable with homosexuality, but homophobe or not, he just wanted his friend back.
He said as much to James one night as they murmured together about the day and the upcoming tour. James bit his lip and glanced away. "I've been thinking about that," he said.
"I think we have to tell Carlos."
"What?" Logan asked, too loudly.
"No, hear me out," James said, finding Logan's hand and interlacing their fingers. "Carlos is oblivious, right? But I don't think he's narrow-minded. I don't think he'd really care that we were…uh…"
"Together," Logan supplied, and watched James' face fill with surprise and love.
"Together," James agreed. "Anyway, once Carlos accepts it, Kendall will have no choice but to get over it. It's foolproof."
"Foolproof," Logan echoed, getting that terrible sinking sensation he always got when one of them cooked up another ridiculous plan doomed to failure. "You really want to tell him?"
"Yes," James said confidently, and Logan had no choice but to go along.
"You're doing all the talking, though," he warned, and James laughed and kissed him.
They cornered Carlos the next day, while Kendall was off doing whatever it was Kendall did to get away from them. "Hey guys, what's up?" Carlos asked, looking up from his game of Castle Smashers to give them his usual infectious grin.
James glanced at Logan, who just raised his eyebrows. They had briefly discussed what James would say beforehand, but who knew if James would stick to it. "Carlos, can you keep a secret?"
Carlos' eyes lit up. "Absolutely! What is it? What is it?"
James looked at Logan again helplessly, and Logan could see all their strategies go out the window. "Logan's gay, I'm queer, and Logan and I are together." Logan closed his eyes and waited for the shitstorm.
Carlos stared at them, then started to cackle. "Ha! You had me going for a minute, there, James. Good one."
"It's true," Logan said quietly, and then Carlos got a look at his face and sobered up.
"Oh, man, are you serious? Wow." He was silent for a moment before opening his mouth again. "More girls for me! And wait, isn't this a good thing? Why are you two so gloomy? Shouldn't you be happy? Congratulations!" And then Carlos was just Carlos, jumping around and shaking their hands like they'd just won an award, babbling about love and how they should throw a party with cake and did gays eat cake? and no, that was silly, everyone ate cake, and oh, what about rainbow cake! and on and on and Logan had to love him for it.
"It's a secret, remember?" James said, cutting into his rambling, looking pleased and maybe a little smug.
"My lips are sealed! Can I tell Kendall?"
James grinned. "Yes, absolutely tell Kendall. Be sure to mention to him how happy you are for us. Why don't you go find him now?"
Carlos agreed readily and scampered off to find Kendall with one final "Congratulations!" thrown back over his shoulder. When he was gone and the apartment was empty, Logan sank down onto the sofa.
"I cannot believe it went that well," he said, passing a hand over his face.
"What'd I tell you?" James sounded like he was smirking. He straddled Logan on the couch, sitting in his lap and holding his face between his hands. They kissed deeply, and Logan could feel James' relief just as surely as he knew James could feel his own. He pushed him off when James started to grind his hips in little circles, though.
"Not on the couch," he whined, and James laughed, not at all put out.
Dinner that night was awkward but wonderful. Carlos sat himself across from Kendall and kept making odd faces in his direction, and when Kendall finally asked Logan what he thought about the city listings for the upcoming tour and could he please pass the salad, Logan knew Kendall and Carlos had talked. James smiled at him from his place next to Katie, and Logan knew things would be all right.
It was Sunday, and Logan had snuck into the recording studio again. He fed their collection of songs through the editing software and methodically deleted Carlos' voice from every one. His own voice was the next to go, and then Kendall's, until all that was left was James' voice, sharp and soaring, against the music. Satisfied, he leaned back in the swivel chair, grinned to himself, and pressed play.
Complete! Thanks everyone for reading, and if you haven't already, I'd love it if you'd drop me a review. I had so much fun with this fic. The story was originally supposed to be Kendall/Logan, but then James tapped me on the shoulder and told me he had something to say about that. I'm trying to get back into writing—Lord knows I need the practice, so hopefully I'll start in on something new soon!