Author's Note: I'm unofficially calling this bit "When the Music Starts". See how corny I am? Ha. Shh, you know you wanted this. And if you didn't, just don't read it and pretend the epilogue was actually the final part. Huge thanks to Ash, Becca and Renee on tumblr for encouragement and hand-holding, and thanks to Cithariza for answering some medical questions. I'm lucky to have so much help.
So this is it, guys, the real actual last part of this story. It's self-indulgent and cheesy and smutty but I just had to. I hope you enjoy it. I have uncontrollable feels for all of you. xoxo
Logan is thirty-three years old and hasn't heard a real sound for twenty-five years when it happens.
He's going to meet Kendall at the studio, record some track music for one of Gustavo's up and coming boybands. They don't really record new music for Big Time Rush anymore, but still play the occasional show for nostalgia.
Logan was running late, so Kendall left before him, taking their two-year-old son to Camille while they work. She's not always available, but Logan prefers leaving their son, J.P. (after John Philip Sousa, of course), with her since she can sign to him. The kid can definitely be understood much clearer with his hands than his tiny, toddler mouth.
It was because Logan was running late he decided to take his motorcycle. It's not often he gets to ride it anymore (there just isn't a place for a carseat and a husband). Kendall doesn't like Logan riding it regardless, even before J.P., but he doesn't put up too much of a fuss because it was the one indulgence Logan allowed himself throughout their time as Big Time Rush.
Logan wears his helmet; he always does. He's suffered traumatic head injury before and has no desire to suffer it again. So, of course, he's wearing it, but he's thinking about Kendall and how he makes his signs small when speaking to J.P., under-exaggerating the movement of his hands so it all stays in the toddler's line of vision, and Logan doesn't thoroughly fasten the chin strap.
And it's because he's running late and thinking about how goddamn happy he is that he doesn't look before crossing through an intersection when the light turns green.
And it's because he's running late Logan gets hit sideways by a minivan, his last thought before his helmet goes flying along with his body that he should've really traded in for one of those.
Kendall wants to be so fucking mad at Logan, and he's ready to scream at him although he'll never hear it. He paces the waiting room, wondering how the fuck everybody seems so calm when he's absolutely furious. He refuses to think about how bad this could be, how hurt Logan is; he was hit by a fucking minivan for fucksake. Kendall knows Logan was aware of how much he absolutely loathed that stupid motorcycle. Sure, it was fun once or twice, but. Now. Kendall is furious.
Furious, until he sees Logan broken and bruised in ICU.
Kendall's anger melts away and is replaced with worry and pain and life-changing fear. He can't lose Logan now, not after everything, not after the years they've shared, the vows they've exchanged, the little boy they are supposed to raise together.
Logan is unconscious, lost to the world, and the doctor tells Kendall they're "observing" Logan, that he's suffered severe head trauma and probably won't wake up for awhile; there could be complications. There's not a whole hell of a lot to observe, just Kendall's unresponsive husband hooked up to so many machines he could be a cyborg. Kendall is afraid to even touch Logan, afraid of knocking something loose, afraid his bumbling might break Logan even further. Finally settling at the edge of Logan's bed, Kendall gingerly slides a hand under the blanket and places it on Logan's ankle, the one not swaddled in a cast. He stares at his fingers against the pale flesh of Logan's leg for who knows how long, and it's when he vaguely picks up on the pulse thrumming through that Kendall starts to cry, because he's scared shitless.
He holds his breath as nurses make their rounds, holds in the stupid sobs he's dying to release, until he decides it doesn't fucking matter if these people see him a mess. They're used to it anyway.
He eventually rests his head on the bed, still clinging to Logan's ankle and closes his eyes.
There's a hand lightly placed on his shoulder, but Kendall jumps anyway, lets go of Logan as though he's been caught doing something wrong, straightens the blanket at the sudden worry Logan's foot might be cold. He looks over his shoulder, his face angry red and blotchy, blinking to clear his vision.
"How long have you been sitting there, Son?" Mark, Logan's dad, asks, squeezing Kendall's shoulder where his hand still rests.
"I don't know. A few hours? How'd you get here so fast?" Kendall asks in reply.
"You called me at least eight hours ago."
Kendall's eyebrows pull together in confusion. He looks to Logan, eyes closed and his face barely visible through all the bandages and tubes, before he moves his gaze back to Logan's dad. The older man looks so concerned, but Kendall feels like it's directed to the wrong person. Kendall can't help but notice how Logan thoroughly got his father's eyes, the shape and color, and he starts to cry again. Because he really, really needs to see Logan, alert and eyes wide open or maybe crinkling at the corners with a smile.
"Get up, come on," Mark says, helping Kendall to his feet, pulling him into an embrace before he's even fully gained his balance. Kendall fists his hands into the back of Mark's travel jacket and squeezes him so tightly he wonders how the old man doesn't break, but Mark returns with a firm hug of his own.
"Aren't you w-worried?" Kendall splutters, trying not to gasp the words.
"No," Mark says, whispering into Kendall's shoulder. "My son has a hard head."
Kendall chuckles, desperate and breathless, because it's undeniably true.
"Thank you," Kendall replies, hiding his face in the crook of Dr. Mitchell's neck. In the fourteen years Kendall has known Mark, he's been more of a dad than Kendall's own father ever was, and it makes Kendall feel like a child now, urgently searching comfort, needing to hear how everything will be okay.
"It'll be okay, Son." Mark backs away, turns his attention to Logan in the hospital bed. His brow furrows ever so slightly before he looks at Kendall again. "Where's my grandson?"
"Shit," Kendall hisses, having the sense to look immediately abashed about cursing in front of his father-in-law. "Sorry." He begins patting his pockets, retrieving his phone and seeing all the missed calls and texts. "He was with Camille. I called and told her what happened. She's probably freaking out."
One text is from James, We came by and you were asleep, so we didn't want to wake you. Please keep us posted. Love you guys, bro. Kendall assumes James means he and Carlos were here. How fucking out of it was he?
The rest of the messages are Camille freaking out.
"God, I need to call her. Would you excuse me for a—"
"Why don't you go get him and go on home for awhile, huh? I'll stay here." Kendall is about to protest, go into a speech about how he needs to be here for his husband and how Mark is too old at seventy to be standing vigil by someone's bedside all night. But Mark says, "You've got more than just yourself and Logan to watch out for now. And I want to find out what's going on anyway." Mark can tell Kendall still wants to protest. "I'll call you if anything changes."
Kendall takes a long look at Logan, holds still without speaking until he can make out the rise and fall of Logan's chest, and there's this ache so deeply rooted inside Kendall he's not sure how he can ever begin to draw it out. What if he never sees Logan again? He doesn't think he could keep from losing it.
There's something else he hadn't thought about until this moment. "What do I tell J.P.?" Kendall asks, gaze firmly locked on Logan as though the question were being voiced to his motionless form.
"Well, if Camille hasn't told him, just be honest about it. In a way a child can understand, anyway," Mark answers.
"But Logan always tucks him in with me," Kendall replies, his bottom lip quivering when he thinks of home without Logan.
"You'll just have to do it on your own for now."
Kendall nods, slowly, a strange numbness overtaking him now that he's cried himself out. Finally, he looks at Mark. "Call me if anything changes. I'll be back soon."
Kendall doesn't sleep anymore that night and wonders how he slept the few hours he did at the hospital. J.P. doesn't ask too many questions, for which Kendall is grateful, but he debates on whether or not to take the kid with him to the hospital. He decides against it, and winds up calling Carlos at five a.m. to come over and stay with J.P. so Kendall can go back on his own. He doesn't feel too horrible about it; Carlos had offered.
When he gets to the hospital and he's let into the ICU, he starts to panic when Logan isn't there. That is, until the nurse assures him Logan has only been taken for more scans and tests. Kendall sits and waits, tries to call Logan's dad but it keeps going straight to voicemail.
Logan is finally wheeled back in, still unconscious, but Mark is nowhere to be found. So Kendall just scoots in close to Logan, feeling brave enough to lift Logan's hand, run fingers across his palm. When Kendall notices some dried blood underneath Logan's fingernails, he begins to feel sick, but he swallows down the urge to heave. He is as hollow and lifeless as Logan's body, as pained as Logan's split lips and blackened eyes.
It's at least an hour later, if not more, when Mark finally shows up along with one of the doctors. He introduces the doctor and they begin spouting off details on Logan's condition in medical jargon Kendall's overwrought brain has no hope of deciphering.
"Wait. What?" Kendall interrupts.
"Kendall," Mark starts, "Dr. Maxwell here did one of Logan's surgeries when he was a kid." He pauses to laugh. "I guess everyone relocates to Los Angeles. Maybe I need to take the hint."
"We could always use you here," Dr. Maxwell says.
"Hell no," Mark says, rubbing his back and adding, "I'm retiring next year. Should've retired years ago."
"Okay, so," Kendall interrupts, not too interested in the current conversation, "what's going on?"
The doctor's expression turns from jovial to serious, and Kendall has that horrible plummeting sensation envelop his whole body.
"Logan's MRI shows he's suffered from an epidural hematoma, which means he's got blood clotting underneath his skull from the fracture."
Kendall starts to freak out a little, because he really doesn't like where this is going. Logan's dad interjects, "Let him finish, Kendall. It's okay."
Kendall nods as Dr. Maxwell continues, "Now there doesn't appear to be much, if any, damage to his brain, because the clotting is happening on top of the dura – that's the covering of the brain, the brain's skin, if you will – so I think if we act aggressively, with surgery, his outlook is good."
"Oh." Kendall glances at Logan, quiet and still. He's going to be really upset about getting his head shaved. But hopefully this means he'll be alive to be upset. "Okay, yeah. When?"
"As soon as possible."
"Okay, what do I need to do? Do I have to sign some stuff? I really don't know how all this—"
"There's more, Kendall," Mark interrupts.
"More?" Kendall asks Dr. Maxwell.
Now, the doctor smiles, just the smallest one, enough to where Kendall thinks maybe he knows where this is heading, or maybe his wildest dreams and lack of sleep are making him crazy and hopeful.
"It's not standard," Dr. Maxwell begins, "but Mark and I have been talking about trying to repair some old damage."
"B-but Logan said he'd already had the cochlear implant and it didn't wo—"
"That was over twenty years ago, Mr. Knight," Dr. Maxwell interrupts. "Things have changed, significantly."
Kendall takes a step back and lets out a loud, long breath. This is almost too much to handle in a twenty-four hour period. He crosses his arms over his chest, squeezes himself tight. "Could you try to explain it to me?" Kendall doesn't think he'll understand, even if Dr. Maxwell uses nothing but three-letter words. His knees are shaking, but he tries to act calm.
"Of course. The surgeries Logan had as a child failed because he has what – at the time was – irreparable damage to his cochlea. The attempts that were made to repair it failed. The cochlea is small and spiraled and virtually impossible to repair by human means. Now, we have robotics which can—"
"So a machine is going to cut on Logan?"
"Well, yes," Dr. Maxwell says. "But I'll be operating it. It's actually safer. Recovery time after a surgery performed robotically is generally twice as quick as one performed by hand. It's hygienic and accurate. There's honestly less to be worried about."
"I-I don't know what to say. Logan didn't want to go through all that again. I don't know how he'd feel about this." Kendall is trying his best to think of Logan, trying to decide what Logan would want out of all this. If only he would wake up, so this kind of thing wouldn't be left up to Kendall. This is not something he can fuck up.
"Kendall," Mark says, cutting off the wild stream of Kendall's thoughts. "Logan didn't want to have any more surgeries, that's true. But this has to be done, regardless. Logan could hear again." He smiles, lips moved apart wide, laughing eyes. "Can you imagine?"
Kendall can imagine it. Logan listening to their song for the first time, hearing the crunch of hard-packed snow at Christmas in Minnesota. He can imagine the look on Logan's face when he hears J.P. laugh for the first time. He can imagine taking a full day to sing Logan every single song he's ever written about him, strumming along on the guitar to the cadence of a crackling fire. He could whisper a secret in Logan's ear and be rewarded with a breathy laugh. Kendall can see it all too well.
"Couldn't his hearing be repaired later? I mean, if we explain to him—"
Dr. Maxwell, shaking his head, says, "I wouldn't recommend it. Logan has suffered multiple severe head traumas now and the use of anesthetic is always a risk. Not only that, but the scar tissue once he's healed will make things even mor—"
"How long do I have to think about this?" Kendall interrupts.
"No more than an hour. We have to get all the necessities together and this needs to happen today," Dr. Maxwell replies.
Kendall and Mark sit in silence for several moments after Dr. Maxwell leaves, both staring at Logan in the low lit room. Kendall tries to put himself in Logan's shoes, tries to breathe quietly and make little noise. He's spent years trying to feel what Logan feels, know the silence in which Logan lives daily. He imagines coming out of it, being thrust into a noisy, chaotic world.
It's a very scary thing.
But then there are the few times Logan admitted to wishing he could hear, the frown on his face when they attended an acoustic set by Kendall's favorite band, the sad smile when J.P. said his first word. He recalls how, over time, Kendall had begun stopping himself from getting excited about some new melody he'd heard on the radio. He thinks of all the things they've missed that he's never lamented until now, now that there's a possibility things don't have to be missed anymore.
"Did Logan ever tell you about the time right after his accident?" Mark asks. Kendall nearly jumps in his seat, so lost he is in his thoughts.
"He's mentioned it, yeah," Kendall replies.
"His mom was always so worried about him. There was a day, probably about a year after Logan lost his hearing, she walked into his room because he had his TV turned up so loud. He had his eyes closed with his face pressed against the side of the television set, and he was crying. Logan never cried in front of us. He just never wanted anybody to feel—"
"Sorry for him," Kendall finishes. "That's something I know."
"She came to me after. She didn't let him know she saw him like that. He was prone to getting really angry in those days. She was a mess. Sobbing into my shoulder, saying how her little boy was hurt and he wasn't ever going to be the same, how he didn't want her help with anything."
Kendall wonders why Logan's dad is sharing this now. All it's doing is causing more hurt to stir in Kendall, an old, angry ache of helplessness to haunt the already troubled thoughts in his head.
"I told her I knew it was hard, but to stop thinking about herself. I told her he wouldn't ever be the same, but he would come out of it. I told her he'd be better. I told her he was adaptable. That he'd make his own way and be stronger and braver because of what happened to him. She still treated him as something breakable." Mark pauses, a faraway look on his face. "But I always knew I'd be right. And I was."
"You were," Kendall agrees. "I've never met anyone as good as Logan." Kendall thinks of how lucky he is and wonders how someone as extraordinary as Logan could love someone so ordinary.
"You know," Mark says, "he told me once he never wanted to hear anything so much as he wanted to hear you."
Kendall snaps his attention from Logan to his dad. "Really?"
"Like you don't know that," Mark laughs. "I don't think I've ever seen two people who fit together as well as you two."
"What does all this mean?" Kendall asks.
"It means, my son can handle anything. And he would never say no to the chance of listening to you, no matter the sound. Now there's J.P., and do you think Logan wants to miss out on hearing another I love you from either one of you?"
Kendall shakes his head.
"I think it's only right this is your decision, Kendall. You made him feel things, rhythm and vibration, in a new way. Why not do that again?"
Kendall looks at Mark a long time. Long enough to get lost in the brown of his eyes. Long enough to miss Logan so profoundly, he takes a ragged gasp.
As good as Kendall and Logan have been together, Kendall realizes the rest of their lives could be even greater. Logan's life could be greater. He could have sound and music and ocean waves and birds singing and bells ringing and children laughing. He could have the swell of an orchestra during a crescendo, wind chimes in summer. Everything would sound better to Kendall, as well, if he knew Logan could hear with him.
"Let's try this," Kendall says.
Logan dreams of Kendall, of his hands. He sees Kendall's hands at the piano, flying up the keyboard as he plays warm up chords, Kendall's hands throwing J.P. in the air and catching him, Kendall's hands knotted in his hair when he's frustrated. Logan dreams of Kendall's hands reaching out, touching Logan's naked hips, sweeping across the bareness of his stomach and chest. After awhile, Logan starts to hear music playing in the dream, and it's so disconcerting he almost wants to hide. He hasn't dreamed with sound since he was a teenager. It's like he knows he should know the song though, so after a few moments, once he gets a little more used to it, he decides he doesn't ever want to go back to the quiet. Maybe he'll stay right here and listen to this song forever.
He begins to dream of voices too, and since he doesn't remember or know what anyone sounds like, he doesn't recognize any of them. But, like with the song, there's something beautiful about the voices, something comforting like a well-worn sweater. One is deep, like the humming of a jet engine. One is playful and happy like the staccato snare. He hears one that sounds assured and caring like a constant bass drum. There's a female voice he hears from time to time, murmuring his name, soft and lilting. There's a child too, and he wonders if that's him, because Logan doesn't recall his own voice as anything but childlike. The voice he loves most of all sings to him, whispers words of affection and Logan knows it has to be what Kendall would sound like, because it's always there, in every dream he has. His voice, even when speaking, is musical and Logan doesn't ever want to know the disappointment of silence ever again.
He really thinks he'll just stay asleep for awhile.
Logan dreams of his mother. It's strange because she's been dead three years. When she moves her mouth, Logan can't hear her. So, they use their hands.
You're a father now, she signs, smiling like she has a secret.
Yes, Logan signs in return, his name is J.P., and he's almost three. He already signs better than you ever did.
Her smile grows and she laughs, Logan only just realizing how young she looks, younger than he ever remembers her being. He hates that he never saw how beautiful she was, face fresh as an autumn morning.
A sadness overtakes him - the first he's experienced since being in this strange, long sleep.
I wish you could meet him.
So do I, she replies. He misses you.
What do you mean? Logan asks.
Kendall misses you, too, is her reply. Can you hear him now?
Logan looks around him, trying to figure out his surroundings and getting nowhere. There is a quiet voice filling the space, a ghostly voice full of longing disturbing the slight fog. Logan concentrates, closes his eyes and listens.
Wake up, the beautiful voice says, but it's so sad. Logan, please, wake up.
Who is that? Logan asks his mom. She continues to smile at him.
I think you know.
Why can't I hear you? This is my dream, Logan says.
You don't remember the sound of my voice, Logie Bear, she signs, and I'm not there anymore for you to hear.
What? Logan is confused, reeling, and his mother is rapidly disappearing.
It'll be a little scary, baby, but it'll be worth it.
Mom, Logan says, panicking because he can see right through her and he can't quite figure out what she means. His head is starting to hurt. Can't you stay with me?
You haven't needed me since you were small. I love you, always, she says, fading away into nothing.
The pain in Logan's head doubles, and he understands that he's waking up. It happens slowly at first, and he tries to fight it, wants his mom to hold him while he listens to the voices and the music. He's afraid of quiet, for the first time in a long time. All at once, he's awake, light filtering through and making the inside of his eyelids orange. He takes a deep breath and hears the rush of air through his lungs. Logan doesn't want to open his eyes because maybe he's still dreaming.
There's a low murmuring, and Logan slits open his eyes, sees Kendall talking to someone in a doctor's coat.
Logan thinks he catches words like "overwhelmed" and "takes time", but that's impossible. He's having trouble reconciling the words with the sound; it's been a long time.
"Papa's awake," says a tiny voice, and Logan jerks his head in the direction of the sound. He blinks and blinks and blinks, because this feels like being awake. His head is pounding and his body aches and he feels like shit. But J.P. sits there, wiggling his chubby fingers and waving.
"Logan?" says the lovely voice, the one from his dream. Logan's eyes move back to Kendall, meeting the comforting, familiar, warm greenyellowbrown of Kendall's eyes, jade and citrine, and Logan realizes the voice belongs to Kendall.
Yes, Logan's head is aching and everything hurts and the sounds are a little muted, but he can hear.
"I can hear you," Logan says, and it's so much that he's crying, gasping before he can say anything else. He's hearing his son and Kendall murmuring love and joy and they're both wrapping arms around him and his muscles protest when he hugs them back but he does it anyway. Logan asks them both to keep talking, to pinch him, remind him a million times that he's awake and this isn't a dream.
"I-I sound like a grown-up," Logan stutters, shaking fingers touching his throat and mouth. "I never thought about how I would sound." And he's laughing as tears stream down his face, having completely forgotten – maybe never realized – how remarkable it is just to be able to hear a loved one's voice, smiles evident in the pitch of speech. It's a miracle and completely overwhelming. "I hate my voice."
Kendall is laughing too, sniffling and pressing kisses to the trails of tears on Logan's cheeks, doing nothing but adding to the moisture there. "I love your voice," Kendall says.
"Say it again," Logan requests.
"I love your voice and I love you," Kendall replies.
J.P. seems confused, but excited because his parents are. Does this mean I don't have to talk with my hands anymore? J.P. signs. "Since Papa hears now," he says out loud.
You should still sign, Logan replies. "But don't ever stop talking." He wants to pull J.P. in his lap, beg the child to sing the alphabet, say Papa over and over and over. Logan tries to pull his little boy into his lap despite his injuries and winds up nearly falling out of bed, Kendall catching him. For his bumbling, he's rewarded with bright laughter from J.P., the sound echoing through the room, filling Logan's ears and bringing more tears to his eyes.
"H-how is this possible? What's going on? How long have I been out?" Logan asks. Kendall opens his mouth to answer, but the doctor clears his throat.
"I'm sorry to interrupt," the doctor says, "but there's a lot to discuss, Logan."
Logan finds out he'd been asleep for eight days. He finds out about the surgery he had, and he's only a little upset about his hair, because he can fucking hear. Hair grows back. Broken bones heal. He'll be able to hear longer than Kendall now.
"This is so bizarre," Logan says, over and over, each new revelation a shock to his system. Dr. Maxwell warned him not to overwhelm himself, but Logan can't stop. The six weeks it takes for his cast to come off and his head to heal are marked by Kendall squeezing every minute of his free time full of music and sound Logan has missed. Every song Big Time Rush ever recorded, except for one, they play together (sometimes with James and Carlos), repeating the ones Logan loves over and over. At first, Logan has to put something over his ears, because with so much sound in the room he has a hard time finding the rhythm, the cacophony of the instruments making him dizzy. It's frustrating, but he works through it.
Kendall plays his guitar, sings Logan to sleep just as he does J.P. He wakes Logan up the same way, with a goofy grin and a song. Logan touches Kendall's throat and lips, matches the vibration with the voice, and J.P. and Kendall talk just so Logan can hear them, sometimes running out of things to talk about. It's those moments they tell ridiculous jokes, speak in funny accents or sing lullabies over and over until their mouths are dry, but even when J.P. falls asleep, Kendall just drinks some water and keeps talking.
Mark stays for a week after Logan wakes up, the sound of his voice like déjà vu, the authoritative timbre of it pulling long-forgotten memories to the forefront of his mind: games of catch, building forts and countless medical terms sounded out into Logan's ear. He'd let it slip from his mind (or maybe he forgot on purpose) how comforting his dad's voice is, and hearing it again reminds him of how much his parents love him. He had forgotten there was a time he needed them.
Kendall buys Logan a music player and while he's recovering he downloads and listens to hundreds of songs, if not thousands. He listens to the dictionary too, because there are many words he's never heard and he wants to hear them all. He spends the time he's not with Kendall blaring out sound, touching, feeling, listening and trying to make up for lost time. He lives loudly, slamming cabinet doors and clanking dishes, banging on drums, tabletops, his thighs. J.P. thinks it's funny when Logan taps out a rhythm on the child's tiny tummy. And when Logan can walk on his own two feet again, once he's free of the cast and his headaches ease, he goes shopping and gets a record player and old vinyl, closing his eyes and fighting off the urge to weep at the cracks and pops of the warm sound.
J.P. and Kendall laugh and laugh at him, not mocking him in any way, but the happy, perfect joy Logan exudes is infectious. Logan doesn't mind how they laugh at him, as long as they never stop. Logan spends his days chuckling and crying and shouting out the joy of being able to listen. Kendall wraps his arms around Logan from behind, tells him how amazing he is, tells him all the wonderful things they'll share, and Logan hears each and every word, each breathless declaration and Kendall's hands never have to leave Logan's.
The only problem is, Kendall is treating Logan too delicately for his liking. Logan has never wanted Kendall so much, never felt himself so overcome by desire as when Kendall talks and laughs, but above all when Kendall sings. When Kendall sings Logan feels nailed to the floor and launched into the sky. When Kendall sings, Logan is a melody, a collection of treble staff notes flying without lines or borders. Music, when played, has never been something a person could see, but Logan swears he can now, in the love on Kendall's face when he tells Logan these lyrics were written for him.
All in all, Logan really just feels like a horny teenager.
Kendall kisses him, delivers light touches across Logan's face, runs a finger up Logan's spine as they settle in for the night, but that's it. To beat it all, Kendall thinks it's funny. He chuckles when Logan's kisses turn desperate, when he tries to reach into Kendall's boxers, when Logan tries to peel off Kendall's clothes. It's fucking frustrating, because as much as Logan loves to hear Kendall speak softly or trill like a bird, he has yet to hear one thing he really wants.
Logan wants to hear his lover moan.
Kendall takes Logan out on a date, not just their first since Logan got his hearing back, but honestly, it's probably their first time alone since J.P. There's this restaurant by the beach where the tables and dance floor are out under the stars, a quartet plays and couples dance to smooth sounds of strings and waves.
When their food arrives, Logan doesn't start eating right away, although Kendall does. He hears the movement of the ocean, the crashing of the water to shore, the high and low pitch of the instruments, the chatter of the people surrounding them, the metallic clang of silverware on plates. There's a beat in all of it, an underlying counted measure orchestrating his life and he matches it to the flex of Kendall's jaw as he chews, the movement of his throat as he swallows. It's lovely, everything coming together, sound and color and vibration and Logan has one of those moments where he can't breathe because everything is just so right and good.
"Aren't you hungry?" Kendall says in that beautiful voice of his, laced with humor and adoration. Logan only thought he knew Kendall loved him before. But now that he's heard Kendall's voice and every octave of it has imprinted in Logan's heart, he doesn't know how he truly understood before. It's enough to leave Logan aching for Kendall, even though he's merely feet away.
Logan smiles, a half-curve, and replies, "Not really."
"Then I'm done," Kendall says, taking a long drink of water and wiping his mouth. He seems to make eye-contact with someone on the other side of the dance floor, and he nods.
"What did you do, Kendall?" Logan asks, the half-curve of his mouth moving to a full smile.
Kendall only smirks and asks Logan to dance.
There's this play of moonlight on Kendall's hair, making his golden locks silver in places, and Logan can't stop looking at him. Logan knows all of Kendall's expressions; he's studied the blond's face for ages now. He never tires of it though, expressive brows, sharp chin and soft eyes. He doesn't look away as Kendall pulls him to the dance floor, because he knows Kendall will lead him, always.
"They've stopped the music," Logan says, wrapping his arms around Kendall's waist, snuggling into more of an embrace than a dance pose.
"Just wait," Kendall murmurs against Logan's temple, the sound and vibration of Kendall's voice felt all the way to Logan's toes.
Then the quartet begins to play, close to where the two hold each other, but Logan still doesn't look away from Kendall. They begin to sway gently to the notes permeating the air.
"This sounds familiar," Logan says.
Kendall hums the tune, the sound rumbling through his chest and moving into Logan.
"I've heard this," Logan says.
"Only when you were sleeping," Kendall replies. He begins to whispersing into Logan's ear, words heated and drawing a shiver from Logan, because now they can exchange secrets with words instead of hands.
Because where's my heart without a beat? Kendall breathes to Logan, We've lost some time among other things, But I'd happily drown in the sound of you.
The strings swell and Logan pulls back to look into Kendall's eyes. They're glinting with tears like starlight, emotion-drowned green staring straight into Logan and silencing everything else but Kendall's voice. "Do you remember this, Logan?"
"Of course, I do. Why did you wait so long to let me hear this?" Logan asks, his words quiet, whispered like a harp.
"Because I never want you to forget the first song I ever wrote you," Kendall answers, reaching out and tracing the shell of Logan's ear with his index finger.
"How could I?" Logan laughs, short and disbelieving.
"Do you remember you said…" He lets go of Logan to sign, Take me home, before his hands go straight back to Logan's hips. "And then you never left me again?"
"The first of hundreds of best days of my life," Logan replies.
"That makes no sense. There's only one best, Logan. I thought you were a genius." Kendall smiles, and Logan thinks if Kendall's grin were a sound it would be J.P.'s laugh, a playful piccolo and resounding cymbal.
"I guess I'm just so lucky that my life defies logic," Logan replies, and he really means it, believes in it. Kendall is constant like the rustling of a breeze through palm trees, the pulse of his heart, sure footsteps in the dark. If Kendall hadn't seen fit to fight for Logan, he would be stuck, alone in a world without sound. The very thought of it has Logan squeezing Kendall closer to him, burying his face in the crook of Kendall's neck, searching out that comforting pulse with his lips.
Then Kendall kisses him, the night sounds coming back, the music reaching its highest point. Their lips move together like something choreographed, something composed yet chaotic and their mouths don't separate until the music stops.
"Thank you," whispers Logan, peppering kisses across Kendall's jaw, "for wanting me."
"Take me home," Kendall says in reply.
Logan hears him, loud and clear.
Logan tries like hell to entice some noise from Kendall on the way home, runs hands across his chest and boldly palms the bulge between his legs. It isn't hard to tell Kendall enjoys it, but all he gives Logan is a silent smirk, maybe a panted breath between parted lips.
When they finally make it home, as soon as the door is closed, Logan slams Kendall against it, the sound of his back on the wood loud enough to make Logan jump in the quiet. It doesn't stop him from fisting Kendall's collar, forcefully bringing their mouths together. Kendall hums against Logan's lips, but it's still nowhere near enough to begin satisfying the need Logan has to hear pleasured sounds from Kendall.
"Tell me you need me," Logan demands, taking Kendall's lower lip between his teeth, biting down harder than he's ever dared.
Kendall doesn't say a word.
"Goddamnit, Kendall," Logan growls, nearly shaking Kendall where he still holds his husband by the collar. He's overcome, trembling with want and frustration, and he lets go of Kendall's collar to untuck Kendall's shirt from his pants, unfasten his belt with a metallic clang. Logan begins to lower Kendall's zipper, each of the teeth ringing out and echoing and committing the sound to Logan's memory. He doesn't break away from Kendall's gaze, even as he roughly pushes Kendall's pants and boxers to his thighs, and Logan closes his fingers around Kendall's cock.
Biting his lower lip, Kendall's eyes go wide, his head thudding against the door. His breathing is growing ragged, his nostrils flaring, and Logan thinks he's about to get what he wants. Leaning forward, Logan licks a stripe up his husband's throat, ending with Kendall's earlobe between his teeth. Logan can feel the rapid thud of Kendall's heart resonating in his own chest, and he breathes out, hot and heavy against the slickened spots on Kendall's flesh.
Logan is tugging Kendall's dick in just the right way, the way Logan knows makes Kendall's knees weak. "Fuck, let me hear you." Pressing against Kendall harder, Logan uses his free hand to undo his own belt, his smart fingers moving rapidly with a ferocity that only comes with uninhibited need. In seconds, his erection is freed, and he's rising to tiptoes to press himself against Kendall, fisting both of their cocks, bucking upward and moaning.
Arms still limp at his sides and lips bitten cherry red, Kendall is cracking. His eyes are closed and these short, tuneful, rhythmic gasps accidentally slip through his mouth. "Come on, come on, come on," Logan chants, very nearly sings.
Finding one of Kendall's hands, Logan twines their fingers, braces himself with both their hands against the wall. He kisses Kendall deeply, pushing his tongue into Kendall's mouth, drinking in and stealing Kendall's breath, trying to leave him no choice but to groan.
Logan is rewarded with the quietest of whispered curses.
"Louder than that," Logan says, dragging Kendall to the bedroom by their joined hands.
If this is a game, Logan is going to win.
There's nothing gentle about the way Logan pushes Kendall onto the bed, nothing tender about the way Logan doesn't take the time to unbutton Kendall's shirt, the noise of buttons snapping, flying and hitting the floor only making Logan feel more hurried. He makes quick work of Kendall's pants, the blond still remaining unnaturally mute.
At least Logan was able to wipe that smirk off Kendall's face.
Logan fucks Kendall with his eyes, slowly, tracing a line from Kendall's ankles to thighs, from his eager dick to the rigid slopes of his taut stomach and chest. Finally, he gets to Kendall's face and Logan feels like he's burning, like he's winded, like a heavy-hand on the piano forte.
There's the flush of red from Kendall's chest up to his neck and face, his cheeks rosy with lust, but still, he remains silent. He's the first to break the stillness though, leaning forward and reaching for the hem of Logan's shirt, tries to push Logan's pants off the rest of the way.
"No," Logan protests, moving from Kendall's grasp and falling to his knees at the edge of the bed. His hands slide up Kendall's thighs before he fills his palms with the flesh of Kendall's ass. Logan unsympathetically pulls Kendall forward until he perches on the edge of the bed, the promise of the headboard banging into the wall rattling the frame.
And Logan doesn't get right to it like Kendall wants. He presses open-mouthed kisses against Kendall's knees and inner thighs, two sets of lips parted and throbbing, Logan watching as Kendall's pale skin erupts into chills. His ears are keen and he's listening for the tiniest sounds from Kendall, his own heavy breathing alternating with Kendall's until they are a rhythm, in and out, out and in. Logan chuckles – dark, lustful, wicked – the deepness strange in his ears, and he tongues Kendall's cock from base to tip.
Kendall's hips thrust upward, a movement he can't stop, and a tiny gasp lets loose into the atmosphere.
It's not much, but it's enough to send a shock of pride through Logan and he stops teasing and takes Kendall between his lips, humming around his cock. Logan works his tongue on the sensitive underside of Kendall's stiffness, allowing the blond to buck and writhe into Logan's mouth. Kendall tries to control his breathing, a long, slow rush of air expelled amongst small vibrations of satisfaction.
Suddenly, Logan stops.
"Do you want to fuck me, Kendall?" Logan asks, returning to his prior strategy of teasing, rubbing Kendall's dick against his lips, the tip of his tongue sneaking past. "You have to tell me, or I won't know." He is playing wide-eyed innocence, like he doesn't know how it feels to have Kendall canting into him, fucking him into a million shards like thirty-second notes.
Kendall stays quiet and that fucking smirk is back.
"Guess I'll just have to do it myself," Logan chimes, rising to his feet, leisurely removing his clothes and going to the nightstand, returning to Kendall with slick fingers. He pushes Kendall, urges him to scoot backward with one hand, and Logan straddles his husband's thighs. Logan hovers over Kendall, just enough so they aren't touching in the places that count, and he presses a single finger inside himself. The moan he has been attempting to draw from Kendall flies from him, but he doesn't close his eyes because the way Kendall looks at him – feral, untamed – has him awestruck.
Another finger joins the first, and Logan groans, "Feels good."
Logan fucks back on his fingers until he is loose and trying to hamper the sounds he makes, because he's not used to hearing himself this way, desperate and needy. Kendall notices, unable to keep his hands to himself anymore, fingertips finally tracing Logan's ribs, traversing the planes of his chest and abdomen before grasping his leaking cock.
"Fuck, Logan," Kendall pants, "don't stop making those noises." And it's like once Kendall's silence is broken, a whole new level of sound is created and he's fucking begging Logan to whisper, moan, scream out how this feels, how it feels to have Kendall's fingers around his cock, if he likes to fingerfuck himself so Kendall can watch.
Then Kendall is growling, "Come on, come on, come on," and urging Logan forward by the hips, guiding him, lowering him until Kendall is sliding into Logan's body and they're both hissing and cursing and fitting together like they'll fall apart by waiting any longer.
And Logan is swirling his hips, rising up on his haunches and slamming back down onto Kendall, the throb of Kendall's cock and the sound of skin on skin causing Logan to shout, "Yes, yes, yes, fuck. Goddamnit, keep talking to me."
There's nothing smooth about Kendall's movements as he thoughtlessly thrusts upward, no rhythm, no groove, just a burning want to make this love with as much sound as possible, remind Logan of what he never has to miss again with skin and high-pitched whimpers and the thump of the headboard against the wall.
"God, nnnn, you feel so good. Always, always, you feel too good, fuck," Kendall whispermoans, stroking Logan's cock until his hand is almost a blur.
"Come on, fuck me hard," Logan gasps. "I won't break."
Logan is digging fingernails into Kendall's chest, dragging them down until there are angry, red trails on Kendall's chest, but it only makes the blond's shouts louder, only makes his thrusting more chaotic. Without warning, Kendall firmly grips Logan's hips and flips them over so that he's on top. He's throwing one of Logan's legs over his shoulder and fucking him so hard Logan can't see straight, tries to focus in on Kendall's furrowed brow, the sweat rolling down his face and nose. His vision might be blurred, but he still hears every single fucking thing, from Kendall groaning I fucking love you so much to his own voice, pleading for Kendall it say it again and again and again.
It only takes a few well-aimed thrusts, a few well-played words and Logan is on the verge of coming to the sound of Kendall's urging, beckoning Logan's release as though he'd never wanted anything more in his life. Kendall is muttering, "Yes, god, yes," and Logan is shouting out the elation of it, because he's never been this fucking overloaded in his life. His senses assault him and it's too much, but the kind of too much he can never get enough of. It feels like he's standing forever on the edge, the edge of unfathomable love and lust and pleasure before he's plummeting like a falling chorus.
Kendall comes seconds after Logan, and seeing his lover completely unhinged draws out Logan's orgasm. Kendall's brow furrows and he tries so hard to keep his eyes open but he can't. His face contorts into an expression bordering on pain, and he hisses unintelligible words between his teeth before he is moaning, long and loud, the sound intensifying to the point it's like the feedback of an electric guitar, the hollowed out sound of a gong. He thrusts into Logan a final time, burying himself deep and grinding, his thighs pressed against Logan's ass. He leans down, desperately presses his open lips against Logan's, pants the final notes of his release into Logan's eager mouth.
Kendall collapses on Logan, apologizes and asks if he's been hurt in any way. Logan only laughs as Kendall burrows his hands under Logan's back, snuggles down into Logan's chest. It seems like hours they lie there, trying to steady their breathing.
"Hey," Kendall says, breaking the quiet, "we can have pillow talk like this now."
Logan chuckles – warm, bright and happy – squeezing Kendall's shoulders and kissing his hair.
"Yeah, we can. Until you get too old to hear, anyway."
Kendall scoffs in mock indignation. "We'll always have a way to communicate though, won't we?"
Holding a hand in the air above Logan's face, Kendall signs, I love you.
Logan pushes Kendall onto his back, stares into the shine of Kendall's eyes in the barely-there light before he kisses him again, humming out the pleasure a simple press of lips can bring. He places his ear against Kendall's chest, finding the same beat he's used to compose everything from a basic drum roll to entire symphonies. He smiles against Kendall's ribs.
"Like what you hear?" Kendall asks, a soft chuckle tickling Logan's cheek.
"Yes," Logan answers.
The next day when they go get J.P. from Camille's, James is there, and, of course, he can't resist the urge to be crude.
"You finally get some, Logan?" James asks, to which Logan immediately shushes him.
"Shut up, James. There's a k-i-d in the room," Logan says, gesturing with his eyes to J.P.
As if on cue, J.P. asks Kendall, "What does 'get some' mean, Daddy?"
"Uncle James is only talking about ice cream, baby," Kendall answers, shooting James a death glare before ushering J.P. to the hallway.
"Why do you even have him over, Camille?" Logan asks, giving his friend a warm smile.
He's hot, Camille signs, passing a private smirk that hasn't changed a bit in the years they've all aged. Logan reaches out to hug Camille, thanking her for keeping J.P. all night.
"I hate sign language," James says. "I feel like you're always talking about me."
"Don't be so paranoid, James," Camille soothes.
Logan just snorts, because when James is in the room, it usually is about him. He's preparing to leave, waving as a final goodbye when he remembers something.
As he's walking to the door, he pauses, leans in to whisper in James' ear.
"Kendall is way louder than me."
The shocked expression on James' face is more than enough to bring a self-satisfied smirk to Logan's face as he walks into the hall, the smirk turning to an expression more genuine when he sees his family waiting on him.
J.P. holds out his hand to Logan, which he takes. All three walk outside, J.P. urging Kendall and Logan to swing him as he clings to their hands.
The day is sunny (a common occurrence) with a few fluffy clouds moving through the sky. There's a slight breeze, the smallest sound of tinny music floating on the wind.
J.P. yanks on Logan's arm until he looks down at the little boy. "Can you hear that, Papa?" he asks.
Logan picks him up, runs fingers through his wild brown hair, touches the tip of his nose. J.P. giggles, touching Logan's nose in return. Logan listens to the faraway music, traffic rolling through the streets, the wind whistling around the buildings, the quiet chuckle from Kendall as he slings an arm around Logan's shoulder, reaching in to tickle J.P. under his chin. It's music, all of it, and Logan is overwhelmed with thankfulness, even for the simplicity of city noises, the daily rhythm of his husband and child.
"I hear everything," Logan answers.