A/N: This story was written for Big Time Rush One Shot Day on February 6, 2012.
Happy February 6th! Isn't this awesome guys? I love BTR One-shot day! A HUGE thanks goes out to JaylaHeart for starting it. You rock, girl (girl? If not, I'm so sorry), way to take the initiative! :D
Oh, I don't own BTR. Though wouldn't it be seriously bomb if I did?
"It's starting. You're growing apart."
The words had bounced around Kendall Knight's head a hundred times in the past twenty-four hours. Big Time Rush had found out about the upcoming World Tour and celebrated all night. For Kendall, the excitement had worn off, and morphed into worry. The other boys were back to normal, and for that Kendall was grateful: no more cabana or cardboard box or stolen retirement apartment, no more awkward manipulation lunches, and (most importantly) no more fighting. They had all promised each other they would never fight like that again. They had also promised, Kendall reflected, that they wouldn't let this town change them. Kendall wasn't sure how much longer he could keep believing that.
That was why he was currently driving to the ice rink. He needed to blow of some steam and relax and nothing helped him do that better than hockey.
Kendall turned into the parking lot and parked the BTR mobile. He got out and lugged his duffel bag over his shoulder. Katie's voice attacked him again, as he walked through the quiet lot alone: "You're growing apart."
The words had torn and torn at him, biting and nagging him apart.
Because what if they were true?
It could be true. It totally could be true. They were so different. Kendall doubted whether he could think of four people more different if he tried.
He could imagine their future, for the rest of their lives, if it were true that they were growing apart. It was too easy. He could painfully imagine Logan becoming a doctor, a brilliant surgeon, who never saw the light of day and who never had time for three barely-high-school-graduates. James was obviously on his way to superstardom. Kendall was terrified that the flashing paparazzi lights and glamorous lifestyle would completely change James, skew his decisions and destroy everything he once believed in. Carlos… Kendall was so scared that his youngest friend, in his trusting, naïve nature, would believe and go along with any lie he was told.
Kendall wasn't strong enough to hold all that together! He wasn't! Heck, who was? What was it that Katie said? "Most adolescent friendships eventually decay." What made Big Time Rush any different?
Kendall slammed his feet into his skates and hopped onto the ice. By some stroke of sheer luck, the rink was empty. He supposed being here on a Tuesday morning helped a bit. It was early, but it was the only time he had to himself, without Gustavo's intense pre-tour rehearsals or school at the Palm Woods. He'd scrawled out a note to his family and dropped it on the counter before he left. He'd thought about asking the guys to come with him, but strangely they were all missing from apartment 2J when he got up.
The ice was amazingly clean and smooth and new and slick, in perfect condition, and Kendall loved it. He loved tearing it up with his frustration, ripping back and forth, cutting patterns into the glassy sheet, challenging himself to go faster. It left almost no room for thoughts, but the back of his mind was still spinning fretfully.
They had been friends forever. It was a fact. Well, not a literal fact, but still. They had been friends for so long. Why should anything change that now? Kendall reassured himself with this.
But, he realized, things had already changed. Everything had. Kendall knew that even he was not the same person he had been in Minnesota. And neither were his friends.
It made him want to cry.
Instead, he slammed his stick against the puck and sent it flying into the goal. He skated up the rink and retrieve it, juggled it back, and shot it again. Back up. Back down. Shoot. Again.
But what if they were growing apart? After all, the four boys had virtually nothing in common. In fact, Kendall realized, practically the only thing they all loved was the thing they had been fighting about in the first place. Kendall may have been exaggerating a tiny bit, but really, what if the fighting started again? If a video game was all it took, what else could be laying in their future that would ruin their friendship permanently?
He thought of what his mother had said- "Love fixes lots of things." Did he… love James, Carlos, and Logan? He decided yes. Of course he did. Obviously he did, they were closer to him than brothers. That was surely why he worked so hard to keep them together, to keep them close to him. That was why he would always stand by them, even if they changed into completely different people. He never said it, he never thought of it in those terms, but it was true. He loved them.
Kendall's pace slowed as he pushed the puck around the rink, tapping it back and forth in front of thim with his stick, not really paying attention.
But did they love him?
Kendall skidded to a stop and stood silently on the empty, still ice, the puck sliding to a halt a few feet in front of him. That was it, wasn't it? Did they or didn't they? Didn't they? Was he the only one putting anything into this friendship? Sometimes it seemed like it. Most of the time, it was Kendall convincing the guys to stick together, Kendall keeping them from bailing or changing or giving up or doing something stupid. It wasn't because he was the smart one either; Logan would attest to that. It was because he loved them. He needed them together. He needed all three of them.
Kendall forcefully shot the puck into the goal and cut to the net to retrieve it.
Gosh, what if they didn't? What if they didn't love him at all? The thought made him want to throw up. What if this was one of those adolescent friendships that Katie was talking about? What if they were growing apart?
This time, Kendall missed. He hadn't missed a direct shot like that in years. He blamed it on having hit the puck with every ounce of his strength.
Kendall sat on the ice with his aching head in his hands until a hockey team came in for practice and yelled him out of the rink. He skated off the ice and drove home, feeling worse than when he came.
When he got home, he sat in the car for a minute.
He spoke in a small, meek voice, to only the unused windshield wipers and the figure of Buddha Bob loading trash in a dumpster forty feet away: "What if they don't?"
Kendall trudged through the lobby sweaty and tired, his sport bag over his shoulder, and was instantly approached by Camille.
"No audition rehearsals or slapping today, Camille, please?" he implored, holding up a hand. "I'm not in the mood."
"Oh I wasn't!" she said. "I'm standing guard for the guys, because apparently I have nothing better to do. They told me not to let you up."
He smiled, though he was extremely confused. "Oh. Okay. Thanks, I guess."
He tried to walk past her, but she wouldn't have it. "Nuh-uh, I'm not gonna have them think I told on them." She whipped out her cell phone. "Can you pretend to be making a grand escape from me?"
Kendall laughed. "Sure."
Camille pressed Logan's name in her contacts, and turned on her acting skills. "Logan!" she yelled dramatically. "Kendall's here, I can't keep him any longer!"
She held out the phone for Kendall's part. "Ugh, Camille, what are you doing? Let me go up to my apartment!"
"No Kendall, wait!"
"Ahaha, I'm free!"
Camille put the phone back against her ear. "Well, sorry, Logan," she said brightly. "He'll be up in a sec, bye!"
She snapped the phone shut and grinned at Kendall. "See ya later."
"Wait Camille, what are they doing?"
The brunette smiled sweetly. "You'll see." With that, she was gone, off to torture some poor, unsuspecting soul with her next role rehearsal.
Kendall sighed and began climbing the stairs, deciding to give the boys a chance to hide whatever secret they were keeping from him. He was a little wary of going in, to be honest. He'd had enough troubling revelations for the day.
The blonde could hear loud, frantic arguing through the walls of 2J. Half grimacing, half laughing, he shook his head and pushed the door open, to immediately be attacked by what he could tell was a very energetic Carlos. A disturbingly sticky hand was slapped over his eyes and hastily adjusted to block his sight.
"Don't look Kenny, we're almost done!" the Latino's voice squealed.
"We have a surprise for you Kendall!" James sang, and Kendall could feel the pretty-boy walk behind him. James gripped him by the shoulders and Kendall felt himself being guided toward his room. A sudden jolt indicated they had run into a wall.
He heard Logan's bright laugh. "Guys, be careful with him!"
"Carlos! Watch out, will you!"
"Hey, I'm walking backwards, James! Watch out yourself."
"Watch out yourself!"
"Watch out your mom!"
"GUYS! Shut up!" Logan yelled as Kendall laughed.
Someone pushed Kendall gently on a bed. Carlos moved his hand, and the blonde blinked his eyes open, to see two widely grinning faces in front of him.
"We'll be right back."
"Then you can see."
"But not until then!"
"So stay here and don't look!" James and Carlos ran out of the room, slamming the door closed behind them.
The door finally opened, and the three boys walked in the room, all beaming hugely and hiding something behind their backs.
"Guys will you PLEASE tell me what's going on?" Kendall demanded.
"Yes," Logan said. He looked at the others and then back at Kendall. "After the little spat over Biohazard Blast Five that you corrected, the boys and I were thinking. With all the amended friendships and all, we were in a very... deep mood and we started talking about everything that you have done for us over the years. So we wanted to do something for you to show our appreciation."
"That's why we woke up really early this morning," James continued. "And we've been working on it all day."
"We really hope you like it," Carlos said, almost shyly.
With that, the three boys pulled their gift out from behind them and stepped forward in unison to present it to Kendall.
Kendall stared at it, trying in vain to figure out exactly what it was. It was... vaguely in the shape of a hockey stick, only much thicker and less defined. The whole thing appeared to be made out of duct tape, with sharpie printing all over it. The flat part at the bottom of the stick was a burst of random colors, which Kendall realized were pictures.
The leader glanced up at them, a little confused.
Carlos came to his aid. "Wanna know how we did it? We just duct taped four hockey sticks together, just cheap-o ones from Wal-mart, because Logie said that they were symbiotic-
"Yeah, symbolic of us. And the duct tape is you because-"
James clapped a hand over Carlos' mouth and smiled. "He'll figure it out."
Kendall gently took his present in his hands and examined it closer. Upon reading the words, in Logan's trademark neat handwriting, he felt his throat tighten and his face widen into a smile.
"Who kept us from becoming reality freaks?
Who protected Logan from bullies and made sure he was okay when he couldn't?
Who cured our Hollywood fever?
Who told James that the world doesn't revolve around him, and who told him that he can be anything he dreams, as long as it's himself?
Who pushed us in hockey until we made it to state?
Who invited Carlos to play in first grade when no one else would?
Who was the only one that could get James through his parents' divorce?
Who made Logan take risks and believe in himself?
Who understands what we're thinking before we do?
Who got us to L.A. and has encouraged us ever since?
Who makes sure Carlos knows he's never forgotten?
Who forgot his broken heart to heal ours?
Who cares enough to forgive us a hundred times before we learn to stick together?"
Kendall looked up halfway through reading them because his eyes were stinging and he couldn't read anymore. He was so touched. He looked up at them. "Guys...!"
"Do you like it?" Logan asked quietly, hesitantly. James was peering at Kendall through his bangs; Carlos was watching his with extremely wide brown eyes. They all looked suddenly uncertain, self-concious.
Kendall stood up, setting his precious gift on the bed tenderly.
"Guys, yes. I'm speechless," he said earnestly. He was so moved, so amazed that they would to this for him. How could they know it was exactly what he needed? How could they know when he didn't know himself? "Thank you. So much."
Kendall stepped forward and carefully wrapped his arms around Carlos, then Logan, then James, and he loved watching their expressions turn to happiness.
Everyone was asleep, but Kendall couldn't stop looking at his present. He had read all of the "Who's" and was now examining the pictures. They were so wonderful, and so full of memories.
He turned it over to look at the other side and saw something that he hadn't seen there before.
He read it. Kendall closed his eyes and smiled. His mom was right.
It read simply:
"We love you, Kendall.
Thanks for all the duct tape.
-James, Logan, and Carlos"
Kendall wondered how it had been so exactly perfect, and how he deserved such perfect brothers. He supposed his part in it had earned a little of their friendship. But really, they were a four-part system. It didn't work with less than that. It probably wouldn't work with more. There were glitches in the system, yes, little rips and tears in the fabric. But duct tape fixes lots of things.
And they weren't running out anytime soon.
A/N: Yay, got it out before midnight! Whew! :) Sorry for any errors or anything, guys, I only checked through it once, and barely that.
Haha, can you tell I have no hockey-term vocabulary? "The flat part at the bottom of the stick..." Lol. :D
I absolutely LOVED this episode, didn't you? It was wonderful. Except the end. These are my thoughts (spoiler alert, lol). Logan and Camille: okay, I like them, but did I miss something? Carlos and Jennifer: um, YOU DO NOT DESERVE HIM. PERIOD. Kendall and Lucy: BLECHHHH, I HATE THEM TOGETHER! Anyway thank you so much for reading! And thanks again to JaylaHeart; I love reading all these new wonderful amazing stories as a result of One-shot Day. Seriously, go check them out. :)