Birthday fic for The Brat Prince. A million thanks to my fantastic beta Aranelle. She read this like 50 times and fixed it all up, so it wouldn't suck. I don't know what I would do without you.
Title from a Hot Chelle Rae song, Unstoppable. All their songs remind me of Kames.
Kendall Knight was more excited than he ever had been before, even more than when he was told he was going to be a big brother. James Diamond was coming over to spend the night; James Diamond. At the age of seven James Diamond was just about the coolest kid that Kendall knew. He was the fastest runner in Kendall's first grade class, he could get across the monkey bars without falling, and he owned sneakers that lit up, which no one else in their grade had yet.
He came home every day talking about James; what James did at recess, what he said in class, everything James did Kendall talked about. Finally, his mother called Mrs. Diamond to set up a play date for both boys, half hoping it would curb Kendall's enthusiasm for talking about James nonstop.
Kendall made sure his mom got the coolest snacks for when James came over; Doritos and Gushers, and even fish sticks for dinner. Kendall knew that by the end of the night he was going to be James's best friend.
They had a blast. They stuffed themselves on junk food and played video games until Kendall's mom shooed them off to bed, where they spent an hour playing with Kendall's Power Rangers (Kendall even let James play with the Red one, which was his favorite).
"You should join the hockey team with me!" James said, beaming at his new friend from his sleeping bag. "You like hockey right?"
Kendall nodded his head vigorously. "I love hockey! I'm going to be a famous hockey player one day, just like Wayne Gretsky."
James grinned at him and Kendall could see where James was missing his front tooth. "Awesome, you should come skating with me tomorrow, my dad promised he'd take me."
Kendall hesitated. The truth was no matter how much Kendall loved hockey he'd only ever been skating once, a year ago, the day before he watched his dad drive down the street and out of his life. He'd promised to teach Kendall, and now every time Kendall thought of skating he thought of his dad's truck backing out of the driveway, as Kendall watched, ice skates in hand.
He had briefly considered asking his mom for lessons but he knew she couldn't afford it.
"I'll have to ask my mom," Kendall told him, knowing he had no intention of actually doing it.
Kendall spent the entire next week at James's side. They were practically attached at the hip, and when asked James would proudly tell anyone who would listen that Kendall Knight was his best friend.
The weeks continued like that; between school and play dates their mothers couldn't remember a time when the two boys weren't friends. The only time Kendall wasn't with James was when James was at the ice rink, even though James asked him repeatedly to come with. Kendall always had an excuse ready; he had to visit his grandma, or he had to do his chores before his mom would let him out, anything he could think of.
He didn't want to admit to James he didn't know how to ice skate, he was afraid that James would laugh at him and tell him they couldn't be friends anymore. It would be embarrassing and Kendall hated being embarrassed.
After a month of dodging the skating issue James finally cornered him on the playground.
"Why won't you go skating with me?" he demanded, crossing his arms over his chest and giving Kendall his already famous pout.
Kendall didn't think it was fair that his best friend's pout could get him to do anything. "I can't," Kendall said lamely, since he'd run out of excuses.
"You're lying," James told him. "My mom asked your mom why you can never come and she said you've never asked to go. Do you not want to be my friend?"
"What?" Kendall asked, shocked.
"Well it's not because you don't like skating, you have all those hockey posters in your room," James barreled on. "So do you just not like me?" The look on James' face made Kendall reach out and touch James' arm. He looked so sad, like not being Kendall's friend would be the end of the world. Kendall thought James meant much more to him than he did to James.
"Of course I want to be your friend," Kendall told him before looking down at his sneakers, they still didn't light up. "I don't know how to ice skate."
"What?" James asked, clearly not understanding Kendall's mumbled words.
"I don't know how to ice skate," Kendall said again, looking up at James and feeling his cheeks heat up in embarrassment. "And my mom can't afford lessons."
"Well why didn't you tell me that?" James said, rolling his eyes. "I can teach you!"
"You can?" Kendall asked in surprise.
"Of course I can! I'm a great skater and it's really not that hard. Besides, you're Kendall, you're good at everything," James said like it was the most obvious thing in the world. Kendall felt himself blush.
"So tomorrow afternoon, you'll come with me?" James asked. "You can even borrow my extra pair of skates."
"But why would you want to spend your whole Saturday teaching me how to skate?" Kendall asked, still unsure.
"Because you're my best friend and I'd do anything for you," James said simply. "Now stop asking stupid questions and say you'll come."
Kendall smiled at his friend, happier that James was his friend than he could express. "I'll be there," he promised.
The next day came too quickly in Kendall's opinion. As much as he was looking forward to James teaching him how to skate he was also dreading the embarrassment he knew it was going to cause.
Everything went fine until it was time to actually step onto the ice.
"Kendall, you can't hold onto the ledge forever," James told him as he skated next to him. Kendall was pulling himself along using the wall, hanging onto it for dear life every time he lost his footing.
"The wall is safer," Kendall told him as he lost his footing again.
"Yeah, but you won't learn," James said patiently. Kendall didn't think he'd ever seen James act so patient with someone and it made him feel warm all over to know it was just for him.
"Okay, I'll let go," Kendall said, slowly releasing one hand from the wall. "But you can't laugh when I fall."
"We all fall," James said, grabbing Kendall's hand and pulling him further out onto the ice.
"See, this isn't so bad," he grinned, grabbing Kendall's other hand so he was skating backwards to help keep Kendall steady.
Kendall nodded, grinning at his best friend. "It's not," he agreed, enjoying it until James let go of his hands and he immediately lost his balance and fell on his ass.
"You said you wouldn't laugh," Kendall grumbled as he tried to get back up.
"I'm not laughing," James said, reaching down to help Kendall up, clearly covering up a laugh.
"Yeah, yeah," Kendall said, making a face at James which caused him to laugh harder.
"Just go slowly," James instructed him, skating to his side and putting a steady hand on his back. "And don't be scared to fall, if you focus on that you'll just end up on your butt."
"How do you know all this?" Kendall asked, glancing at his friend.
"That's what the instructor always said to me," James shrugged.
They spent the next hour on the ice, Kendall spending more time on his butt than on his feet but he found he didn't mind if he had James there to help him up, even if his friend kept laughing at him.
Kendall went home that night bruised but happy, all thoughts of his dad replaced by James' laughter.
It took Kendall about two weeks before he was skating circles around James, a smug smile on his face as his best friend chased after him complaining that Kendall was better and that wasn't fair.
He still fell sometimes, but James was always there to help him up with a laugh, and Kendall never minded.
A month later both boys joined the peewee hockey team. Kendall knew he owed James for teaching him how to skate, and getting him that much closer to his dream.
Years later Kendall is offered an opportunity to make James's dreams come true. The only thing that flashes through his mind is all the time James spent on the ice with him, everything he did to make Kendall's dream of becoming a hockey player a reality.
He doesn't even hesitate.
And one night as they're laying in Kendall's bed, his breath labored from their previous activities, James asks Kendall why he did it. Kendall's answer is simple.
"Because you're my best friend, and I'd do anything for you."