A/N: Okay, this is obviously a sequel, meaning you should read my oneshot "Sing Me Anything" in order to understand this. This will be a full-length, multi-chaptered fic, not another oneshot, because I have too many ideas and scenes in my head for it to just be one chapter.
Shout-out to everyone who reviewed "Sing Me Anything". You guys seriously made my life with your words. Hopefully this fic lives up to your expectations.
Not entirely sure where it's going, but it's rated M for language and adult themes, for now.
Not sure when/how often this will get updated. Pretty much just whenever I have something written and I feel it's perfect enough to share.
Oh, and story title from "Turn the Page" by Metallica, because it's amazing. Please don't sue!
Anyway, enjoy "Echoes of the Amplifiers"! Lemme know whatcha think of it :)
Kendall Knight had a problem.
It started a month ago when he was dragged to a James Diamond concert by his best friend, Carlos Garcia. It wouldn't have been that big a deal really, shouldn't have been a big deal. It wasn't his thing. He hated pop music. He hated top 40. He was more into metal, into hardcore, into bands like Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold, Atreyu, Killswitch Engage and the like. He spent more time making fun of James Diamond than actually listening to his music.
But it changed with one look.
His eyes had met the pop star's across the way, when James had gone into the crowd during one of his songs. His hand had touched the singer's, feeling a spark, a warmth going up his arm and throughout his body. Shit only got worse when James chose Kendall to join him onstage, when the pop star serenaded the teenager, their eyes locked and their hands clasped. The world had melted away, Kendall feeling like it was just the two of them, nothing else mattering but that moment with that male.
Worst part, was that Kendall was convinced James had felt the same way during that song. Five minutes, maybe even less, of the two having a connection so intense the blond couldn't even begin to understand it, much less explain it. But he didn't care.
Until he stepped off stage and headed back to his seat.
Sure, the rest of the concert was amazing, James putting on one hell of a show. But Kendall wasn't the same. He felt saddened, felt like he was missing something that he didn't even know he had before. And he felt like a huge fucking jackass.
He spent the drive home spacing out, ignoring Carlos' rambles, lost in his head. He kept telling himself he was a moron, that the singer did that all the time. It was a nightly occurrence for the pop star to bring a fan up on stage, to personally serenade them, to probably have that same connection with those other fans. Kendall wasn't anything special. He was just another face in the crowd.
But that didn't stop the obsession from starting.
He'd googled the singer the next day, checking out fansites, learning all he could. He told himself that he was trying to find a reason to hate him, that he was looking for something that pissed him off, that turned him off, that would be a justification for shoving away the previous night and everything that had to do with James Diamond.
He found nothing.
Everything he came across made him like the other male more, especially when he found shit they had in common. Which, in all honesty, pissed Kendall off. He didn't want similarities, he didn't want them to have those common interests that could lead to conversation, or even more.
He sure as fuck ignored links and stories about the first male fan James Diamond brought on stage. He didn't need to see pics of it.
Next step was downloading his music. In secret, of course.
Day after that, he checked out the singer's twitter. Huge mistake, especially when he came across one about the St. Paul concert.
"Best show ever! Had so much fun, can't even believe it. STP will always hold a special place in my heart now. Can't wait to get back there."
Kendall felt his heart pound, his stomach flutter at that, unable to prevent the hope that had risen inside of him that maybe it was because of him, that maybe James had enjoyed himself, had enjoyed the show because of the blond, because of the connection they shared. He started thinking once more that maybe it wasn't one sided, that maybe it wasn't just him who had felt all those things.
He started a second Twitter just to follow James and related fan feeds. He felt like a moron, felt like an idiot, felt like he was overreacting, not to mention he felt like a fraud. He was still poking fun at the singer, still making the same jokes, still calling him a fairy, a pussy, a lameass, when secretly, he was listening to that stupid fucking love song every night when he went to sleep.
A week later, he joined a fansite messageboard. Then another. Then Tumblr. That's when he knew he was in deep, when he could no longer claim he was looking for reasons to hate the guy, when he finally accepted that he was an actual fan. Not that he told anyone. Carlos and Katie still had no clue, and everyone on those sites knew him as Kenny from somewhere in Minnesota.
He was asked if he was at the show in St. Paul, if he saw the guy that was brought onstage, if he knew the guy. He never denied that he was there, but he lied his fucking ass off about knowing the male fan. He didn't need people treating him different, prying into his shit, trying to figure out what was going on there, if anything. He knew the female fans who were brought onstage and who shared their stories were constantly asked about it, bugged to the point where Kendall knew if it were him, he'd flip a shit and bitch someone out. But none of these fans online knew the real him, knew he was actually some metal head high school senior. He never reblogged anything else, only James Diamond related shit.
Including pics of himself onstage.
Okay, he didn't reblog those, but every time they showed up on his dash, every time he stumbled upon them in the tags, he had that same fucking reaction that he had when he was actually on the stage. And as he stared at those photos, blew them up, zoomed in, analyzed every little thing about them, he started seeing new things, seeing shit that helped convince himself that he hadn't imagined shit, that there had been a connection, and that James had felt it, too.
The fact that he never brought another male up on stage spoke volumes about that.
But then the more negative side of him would take over, that inner-voice telling him that he really is imagining all of it, that he's only seeing shit there because he wants to, that it's all wishful thinking. He'd start believing that he was overreacting, overanalyzing, creating things that weren't there just to make himself feel better, feel like he wasn't a freak. He was just feeding his denial that he was just another fan to James, giving in to the fantasy that he was something special, that while millions of girls—and possibly some guys—were out there idolizing him, the only one James cared about was Kendall.
Guy could dream, right?
And dream he did. He dreamt about those moments on stage, of feeling James' hand on more than just his palm or fingers, of finally being able to get to know the real James—both literally and biblically—of having everything he wanted right in front of him and knowing that he wasn't just making shit up in his head.
He'd wake up cold and empty, something easily remedied by pulling out his iPhone and rewatching the video of him onstage with James during that concert, a video he totally just happened to stumble upon and totally didn't go researching for. Totally.
But no matter what, Kendall knew he was in too deep. He could no longer deny that he was a fan, that he had a crush on the pop star. He could definitely deny how deep his feelings went, refusing to believe he was one of those delusional nitwits that seriously thought they had a chance at a happily ever after with the celeb.
But just because he didn't believe it, didn't mean it wasn't true.
So he spent his days torn between elation and depression, smiling at those remembered moments, then frowning at the fact that they were over, never to happen again.
Until dates were released for a fall tour. Ones that included another show in St. Paul. Ones that included a special meet and greet package.
Kendall knew he had to go. It was a need, not a want. He needed to see if it was possible to have those moments again, that it wasn't just a one-time thing, that it wasn't a combination of the adrenaline, the song lyrics, the atmosphere, the situation creating something that wasn't real. He needed to know that he wasn't fucking crazy.
Okay, maybe he was a little bit crazy, because he was seriously buying VIP tickets to a fucking pop artist's concert, spending a couple hundred dollars, two whole paychecks, for a two minute meeting and a hour and a half show full of music that wasn't even his fucking style. But he needed answers that fucking badly.
Plus he had the perfect fucking excuse so why not use it?
He kept telling himself that as he stared at the open email on his laptop screen confirming his order, kept repeating that excuse in his head. It wasn't about him. It wasn't for himself or because he was actually a fan—which he was still denying that he was—but because of that excuse he was gonna use.
Right. Yeah. Totally believable.
He was fucked.
"Kendall! Dinner!" His mom's voice snapped him out of it, brought him back to that moment.
He yelled back a quick "coming!" before re-reading that email for the fifth time in a row. He took a deep breath, puffing his cheeks before blowing the air out, closing his laptop as he stood up. He had his arguments in place, knew exactly what he was gonna say, had a comeback for every comment his mom would make. And while he felt like a total lunatic for talking to himself alone in his bedroom, he'd long since accepted that he was slowly going insane anyway. This was just further pushing him towards the Nut Hut.
Dinner wasn't anything too special, just chicken, green beans, and mashed potatoes. His younger sister Katie was already sitting at the table when Kendall walked into the dining room, his mom dishing the food out. She gave him a smile as she put a full plate in front of his usual seat, greeting him with a "hey, sweetie" as he hitched up his pants and sat, wallet chains rattling against the wood chair.
He poured himself a glass of lemonade, complimenting on how good everything smelled, letting out an "mmm" when he finally took a bite.
Which made his mom suspicious as hell.
She looked at him with a manicure eyebrow raised, skepticism clearly written on her face. And all right, he could admit, he was never all this complimentary, never said anything about the meal other than "thanks". So him saying something now clearly meant he was up to something.
Which he totally wasn't.
"Okay," she started, putting the dishing spoon back in the bowl of green beans, serious expression on her face as she looked at her son. "What are you after?"
"What?" he feigned offense, acting like he was unable to believe she'd accuse him of such a thing. Even though it wasn't the first time this had happened and like the other couple dozen times it happened, he truly was after something. "Nothing."
"Uh huh." The disbelief was still there as she unfolded her napkin and placed it in her lap. "And why should I believe you?"
"You shouldn't," Katie butted in, Kendall narrowing his eyes at the eleven year old. "Oh come on, Kendall. You play this game every time you want something you know Mom will say 'no' to."
"Well, I was hoping to ask her about something," he started, only to get interrupted with his mom's "Oh, here we go again". He turned to her, innocent expression on his face. "But it's actually something for Katie."
Now both Knight females were in disbelief, letting out a synchronized "What?"
"Well, her birthday is in a month or so, right?" Simultaneous nods from the females. "And she was upset about missing the last James Diamond concert..." He trailed off.
Katie's eyes widened, face lighting up as she sat up straight in the chair, obviously getting the hint. Her head snapped to their mom, loosely curled brown hair swinging with the movement. "Mom, can I go?"
Their mom looked nervous, hand smoothing back her red hair, a sigh leaving her and slumping her shoulders. "I dunno, guys."
"I'll be with her the entire time," Kendall promised. "We'll go straight there and straight home, I'll keep an eye on her at all moments, make sure she's safe and hydrated."
The mother's lips twisted in thought, clearly seeming to be considering it.
"I already bought the tickets. They come with meet and greet passes and are non-"
"Wait a second," Katie interrupted, skepticism back on her face. "You bought the VIP package? For me?"
"Well, you are my baby sister," he replied with a smile.
"Right, and you don't love me nearly enough to spend that kinda cash on me," she argued. "Just admit it, you wanna meet the guy, too."
Kendall didn't bother telling her that he'd already met "the guy". So far he'd managed to keep it from her that he was picked to go onstage—thank god she wasn't allowed online all that much—and he wasn't about to change that. Mostly outta fear of personal injury.
So instead, he just rolled his eyes, playing it off, acting like his little sister was out of her mind with the insinuation that he'd want anything to do with James Diamond.
"I hear you singing in the shower, Kendall," she pointed out, scooping up a forkful of mashed potatoes. "It used to be all that screaming crap you like. Now it's James Diamond song's. And I also saw your background on your laptop."
Oh fuck. He knew putting that live pic of James from the St. Paul show as his desktop was a bad fucking idea, no matter how fucking hot and boner inducing he was covered in sweat, collarbone showing through that v-neck, hair shoved back, face full of emotion as he belted out a song. Really fucking stupid.
Wait, what the fuck? Why was Katie using his laptop?
"When were you using my laptop?"
"Ha! So you don't deny the singing in the shower or having that picture?"
He sat back in his seat, stabbing at his chicken with his fork, feeling defeated. Until he figured something out.
A smirk came to his face as he looked down at his plate. "Look, if you have an issue with me wanting to go, I could always just invite Carlos to come with me instead."
"What?" Her cry came out as a squeal, one of those rare moments where he was reminded that she was actually eleven and not thirty-three.
Kendall shrugged, lips turned down, playing it all off and acting like it was no big deal as he cut into his chicken breast. "You just don't seem to be overly enthused with this. Plus I don't think Mom's on board with the plan either."
Katie's head whipped to the elder Knight female, a high pitched whiny "Mom!" leaving her lips.
"All right, enough!" their mother called out, hands out to the side. She took a deep breath, smoothing down her red hair once more before turning to her son. "You promise to keep an eye on your sister the entire night?"
Kendall resisted the urge to roll his eyes, knowing it wouldn't do him any favors. He wasn't the best son in the world. He talked back, swore too much, got drunk on weekends, was busted with pot in his room, played his music too loud, got in trouble at school—the list went on. And while he picked on his li'l sister, called her names, and made fun of the things she liked, he still liked to think he was a responsible older brother that always looked out for his baby sister, took care of her, made sure nothing happened to her.
"Yeah, I promise."
Another sigh as she looked back and forth between Kendall's expectant look, his eyebrows raised, and Katie's puppy dog face with her eyes wide. "All right, fine. But you go straight there and straight home. No screwing around, no going anywhere else, no hanging out with anyone after, okay?"
Kendall felt his heart start pounding, his stomach fill with huge ass Jurassic Park type butterflies, chest tightening. The excitement was overwhelming, the anticipation of not only a concert, but meeting back up with the male who'd been plaguing his mind for the past month. In a few weeks, he'd finally get answers to all the questions that had been driving him crazy, finally resolve all those issues and close the James Diamond chapter of his life.
Katie let out a squeal as she hopped out her seat and practically bounced over to their mom, hugging the elder female tight, something which took their mother by surprise. Kendall turned his head away, looking down at his plate and putting a piece of chicken in his mouth, trying to hide the huge smile that was threatening to break out over his features.