KT (rensahannou) wrote,
KT
rensahannou

[fic, BTR] Too Far From the Start (a.k.a. James & Logan are NOT Dating) - Part 6

Title: Too Far From the Start [Part 6/?] (a.k.a. James & Logan are NOT Dating)
Disclaimer: Still not my boys, although I kind of love them like they were.
Pairings/Characters: James/Logan
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: ~8400 for this part
Warnings: A really silly audition scene script ;)

Summary: James and Logan rehearse for James's audition.

Previous chapters: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Author's Notes: A big thanks to shisou_eimin for looking over this chapter for me, and for being so encouraging of this fic overall ♥



-----
Part 6: The Rehearsal


James watched Logan for his reaction, sure he was about to start sputtering or flailing or something equally entertaining. As long as he didn't try to leave.

"Is it—well it's—I don't know, I mean…" Logan stopped, closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "No, James," he said finally. "It's no problem at all."

Well that was slightly disappointing.

"Are you sure?" James prompted, eyebrows raised.

"Yep," he answered with a smile that didn't seem entirely forced, at least. "Although you're aware if you get this part it's going to make people ask you outright if you're gay?"

James shrugged. "That's going to happen sooner or later anyway. We had that band meeting about it, remember?"

"Yeah. I am kinda surprised they're having a gay spy character in the movie, though." Logan flipped back to the front of the script and seemed to be reading it again.

"Camille said she was all excited when she found out about it," James told him. "It is pretty cool, don't you think? And she kept going on about how they're not even being subtle about it. I mean, I don't know how far in the movie this scene is, but it's about him breaking up with his boyfriend because the life of a spy is just too dangerous."

It was a good thing James was still watching Logan, because it meant he caught Logan's shudder at those words. And now James was intrigued, because combined with Logan's space-out earlier and the way he had been acting around Camille before it seemed…it really seemed like maybe Logan kind of had a thing for spies.

Which, if true, would just be all kinds of awesome.

James really did want to rehearse his own role, but he was determined now that by the end of the day he'd be taking Logan up on his offer and switching parts. Logan might be the smart, science-y one, but never let it be said that James Diamond can't get behind an interesting experiment every once in a while.

"So, um," Logan said, eyes still glued to his script, "I noticed there's a kiss in this scene."

"Which Camille was also really excited about," James said off-hand. "But it's not like we have to practice it over and over. We can run through the lines a few times first."

"Or we could just not practice it at all."

James stuck out his bottom lip. He knew Logan was going to try and fight him on this, so he was prepared for it. "But I have to, Logan. It's part of the scene. It's important. And you said you would help me."

A pause, followed by a resigned sigh meant James was one step closer to victory. "We'll worry about that later. Okay, so, the setting for this scene is a park, right?"

"Right," James confirmed, looking down at his own script for the details. "An empty park. At daybreak. Felix—that's you—has just returned from some secret mission, and he's asked Oliver to meet him there."

"Okay. Got it. I think." Logan nodded, but he sounded nervous.

"Relax," James told him soothingly, reaching out to pat Logan's knee. "It'll be fun."

"If you say so." Logan took a deep breath.

"Okay, are you ready?"

"No," he answered with a smile. "But I'm never going to be, so let's do this."

James smiled back. He wanted to touch Logan's cheek again, that had felt nice before, but he couldn't let himself get distracted. This really was important. "Well, it's your line first. Just read it naturally, we'll get through the whole thing once before we worry about any of the action."

Logan nodded again, and James could see him swallow hard before he cleared his throat. He was nervous and cute and putting himself through this for James, and it made James feel sort of warm and fuzzy. He almost didn't notice when Logan actually started reading.

"…You're here," Logan said, voice way too tentative for the character, but he glanced up at James like he was waiting for approval and James wasn't about to deny him. So he grinned a little and nodded encouragingly, then looked down to read his own line.

"I got your message," he said, trying to sound worried and a little breathless, like he'd just run all the way to the park. "Where were you last night? I waited at the restaurant—" Logan was supposed to interrupt him there, but James figured it would take a few run-throughs to get the timing right.

"I know, I'm sorry," Logan said a second later, making a funny face at the script. "I couldn't make it, I…there's something I have to tell you, Oliver. I'm…a spy."

And then Logan dissolved into giggles.

James narrowed his eyes. "Okay, that is not very spy-like behavior, Mitchell."

"I know, I'm sorry," Logan said, but that just made him laugh twice as hard.

"Logan!"

"I can't help it, James, I just—I feel really really silly reading this."

"Look, man, we are professionals—"

"Yeah, professional singers. And you want to be an actor, I don't know the first thing about any of this."

James sighed, but he was not letting Logan ruin this with his ridiculous use of logic. "Yeah, well, half of Kendall's plans involve some sort of acting, did you ever think about that? You've had plenty of experience."

"But I'm always bad at it. That's my point."

"You don't have to be good, Logan, you just have to read the script without having any laughing fits. It's not that hard."

"Okay, okay, I'll try again." He sat up straight and cleared his throat again. "Are you ready?"

But James wasn't ready. He was thinking. Maybe a dry read wasn't the best way to start this off, and…maybe they should try a little harder to at least act like professionals.

"You know what we need?" James said, looking at Logan with what he hoped was a sly grin.

"…What?" Logan asked, maybe a little apprehensive.

"A trip to wardrobe."

"Wardrobe? What are you—"

"Come on!" James said, excited now. He pulled Logan off of the couch and dragged him into the hallway, ignoring the protests along the way.

"James, where are we—your room? We're going to your room? Your room is wardrobe? Since when?"

"Since forever," James answered matter-of-factly. He paused outside the room to wipe off whatever nonsense was on the dry erase board (an old gift from Kendall, in an attempt to make James and Carlos more aware of the things they needed to do…they preferred to use it to leave silly messages for each other) and wrote 'WARDROBE' on it instead. "See?" he asked, pointing.

Logan rolled his eyes as James grinned at him. "Yes, James, how could I have missed that."

"No idea," James answered, opening the door and tugging Logan inside.

"I'm not going to let you dress me, James," Logan said once James let go of him.

"Oh yes you are."

"Most of your clothes won't even fit me."

"Some of them will. The tops at least. And we can check what Carlos has, and I'll go raid your closet too. Maybe even Kendall's, although…" He shook his head, rethinking that. "No, not Kendall's."

"I don't think any of us have any 'spy-appropriate' clothing," Logan tried instead.

James was already pulling clothes out of his closet and dresser. "Anything can be spy clothes, Logan. You just need to loosen up, have some fun with the character. Here," he said, throwing a shirt at Logan. "Put this on. I'm going downstairs. Don't leave!" he added, pointing a finger.

"I won't, fine, whatever," Logan said, rolling his eyes again. But James could tell he was trying not to smile.

————

An hour later they were both collapsed on the floor in James's room, laughing uncontrollably, surrounded by piles of clothing. They had been through the full scene several times, each time bringing a new change in wardrobe and new ridiculous interpretations of their characters.

Things had gotten out of hand pretty quickly.

"Wouldn't it make more sense for Bandanna Man to be the spy, though?" Logan asked, breathing heavily as he tried to stop laughing.

"Maybe he is," James said, shaking with giggles as he pulled the bandanna off of his head. "Maybe Oliver is really a spy too, but he's just more dedicated to the work so he won't admit it."

"Hey now," Logan said, pointing a finger at James. Except this time Felix had been a surfer-spy, so Logan was wearing a blond wig they'd found in the hall closet and some crazy Hawaiian shirt they'd found in a bottom corner of Logan's closet (he swore it wasn't his, and knowing Kendall James was inclined to believe him), making his attempts at a stern look not very effective.

"What?" James challenged, still peeling away at his costume. "Oliver could totally be a spy."

"Not that. You're saying Felix doesn't care about his work! What you mean, though, is that Oliver just doesn't care enough about Felix to tell him the truth."

"That is so not fair!" James threw a bandanna at Logan. "Oliver totally loves Felix. That's probably it. He loves him too much to tell him the truth."

"Oh, so now you're saying that Felix doesn't care about Oliver!" Logan tugged off the wig and tossed it at James. "Oooh, what now, Mr. Professional?" he said, wagging his eyebrows at James.

James just laughed, now free of purple bandannas, and fell back on the floor. He was having a great time. It hadn't been his plan for them to be this silly, but it was fun and had been good for something at least—getting Logan to relax. Not so much stop laughing, though, since that was pretty much all they'd been doing for the past hour.

They had done grand overly-dramatic readings of the parts, gone through at least three different accents each, and managed to fill in entire backstories for their characters that of course changed with each reading. And as it turned out, once he was allowed to treat it as a joke Logan wasn't all that bad at the whole acting thing. He hadn't gotten too embarrassed to continue even once.

The problem was, James wasn't sure at this point they'd be able to get serious enough to actually run through the scene properly. Which, okay, this was an awesome day whether they did or not, but James did need some real practice. Plus, getting to kiss Logan again would only make the day better.

Their laughter had finally quieted down, and they both lounged in easy silence until Logan spoke again. "Okay, I guess it's time to find me some real undercover-spy clothes."

"Really?" James asked, propping himself up on his elbows to look at Logan.

Logan nodded, smiling. "Yeah, I think I can handle it now. I'll try to do it right this time. And it's getting late; we don't know when Gustavo's gonna want us at the studio."

"Okay," James said eagerly. He rolled back to jump straight up and land on his feet in what he knew was a most impressive manner. Logan had seen him do it before—hell, Logan could do it himself—but he still raised an eyebrow as James stepped over to help him up.

"Show-off," Logan said with a smile, taking James's outstretched hand and letting himself be pulled to his feet.

"I don't know what you're talking about," James said back, fighting a grin and losing. He held on to Logan after he got to his feet, and looked down at him curiously.

"What?" Logan said, visibly tense but not trying to get away.

"You're not freaking out anymore," James pointed out.

Logan gave a half-smile and looked away. "Yeah well. It wasn't making you stop, and it was making me crazy, so. I'm giving acceptance a try. …Are you disappointed?"

"No." James shook his head. "Do you…do you want me to stop?" he asked, hesitantly. He had been too preoccupied all day to think about what Kendall had said that morning, but…maybe James had been doing something wrong. Maybe what he was doing now, holding Logan's hand, not letting him go, maybe that was wrong, too.

Heart beating rapidly, James held his breath as he waited for Logan to answer. There was no answer, though, at least not at first, and James felt his arm lift all on its own, his hand releasing Logan's to reach up and stroke the side of his face gently. Logan's eyes fell closed, and there was that tremor again, the lightest shiver that James could just barely feel.

The urge to kiss him was so strong. James had been wanting to since that first kiss, and it was one of the two main goals of his plans for that day. But would it be okay to do it now? Logan wasn't moving away, and he was letting James touch his face. Again. What if he just leaned in, and—

"We have a scene to do," Logan said, his voice seeming louder than it was. He stepped back and James let him go.

"Right," James said, feeling like Logan had taken all the air in the room with him. He shook himself, not even caring how dumb he looked. "Clothes. You need clothes." He tried taking a deep breath but it wasn't that easy.

"Yeah, I don't think I can try to be serious in this shirt," Logan said with a chuckle.

"Well you could just take it off," James said before he could stop himself.

Logan just laughed again. It was weird, this 'acceptance' thing Logan was trying. James might have to up his game if he wanted to get a decent reaction out of Logan again, but that could wait until later. For now he was kind of enjoying getting to touch and be close without Logan having a stroke over it, and of course there was also the kiss to worry about. James was getting his kiss, dammit, so it was probably a good idea to keep Logan calm for now.

James had already figured out what Logan should wear for the real scene. When rifling through Logan's clothes he first found Logan's 'swagger jeans,' which would probably have worked but James was a little too afraid of them to try. Instead James went with some pants he had picked out himself for Logan during a shopping trip a while back, after James insisted they all get new clothes for a performance they were doing. They were dark grey jeans, fitted but not too tight, casually stylish with some manufactured rips and tears that Logan had complained about at the time. But it was totally something a teenage spy would wear, especially one who had just returned from a dangerous mission.

As for the rest, well. James was dipping into two categories of his own clothing for that: the extra-special-occasion stash, and the done-for-but-can't-part-with-yet pile. He searched through the latter and found the smallest plain shirt he could, an old white T-shirt that had been a little too tight and ripped when James tried to wear it the first time. That had been a sad day.

After saying a silent thank-you to the shirt for sacrificing its life in this noble manner, James gritted his teeth and ripped another tear, and then a third.

"What are you doing?" Logan asked from behind him, sounding shocked.

"Felix was out all night on a mission," James explained, heading for his closet to look through the few pieces of clothing that hadn't been pulled out because they were just too precious. "He was on his way to dinner with his boyfriend, and got pulled into a high-stakes international incident. Or whatever. He was dressed up for his date, but he made sure to take off his nice shirt before getting into any scuffles." It didn't take James long to find what he was looking for, and he picked up the hanger carefully. When he turned around, Logan was giving him an amused look.

"You've decided that Felix is the type of spy to care about whether he gets his shirt messed up?"

"When it was a gift from his boyfriend, yeah." James nodded.

"…Oh." Now Logan's expression was unreadable, and something about it made James self-conscious. He shifted a little before stepping forward to hand Logan the clothes.

"Here. Oh, and these jeans," he added, turning to the pile of Logan's clothes on the bottom bunk bed.

"This is…a really nice shirt, wow James," Logan said, sounding appropriately in awe.

"Yeah," James agreed, pleased that Logan realized it. He held the jeans out and Logan took them. "Be careful with it, okay?"

"Yeah, of course…are you sure it's okay for me to wear it?"

James nodded and smiled. "I trust you."

Logan blushed a little, and this time when James felt like ruffling his hair he didn't stop himself. After a second Logan ducked away. "Well, I'm gonna go change in my room…I'll meet you downstairs in a little while?"

"Are we doing the scene in the living room?"

"Well, you can't rehearse a serious scene in wardrobe, can you?" Logan said with an expression that was somewhere between sly and flirty, and suddenly James couldn't remember how to speak. So he just shook his head.

"So I'll see you down there, then?" Logan asked, and James nodded. Logan smiled slightly in confusion, but he didn't press the issue. "Okay then." He turned and started walking away. "Maybe I'll just leave this Hawaiian shirt out on Kendall's bed…" James heard him say with a chuckle as he closed the door on his way out.

The sound of the closing door seemed to bring James back to his senses. Or maybe it was just because Logan was out of the room? Either way James bounded to the door, flung it open and called out "Hey, don't button that shirt!"

Logan paused on his way down the steps to turn and look back at James, eyebrow raised. "Why? Are you afraid I'm going to pop a button?" He said it teasingly, but there was real worry in his eyes.

"No, no," James said. That hadn't even occurred to him…and he wasn't going to let the possibility bother him now. "But I ripped up that undershirt just so you could look like you'd been in a fight, don't you dare cover it up."

Logan laughed. "Okay, I won't." He started back down the stairs.

When James thought for a second longer, though, he changed his mind. "One button," he said, making Logan turn around again.

"You're going to make me fall down the stairs if you keep this up," Logan chided.

"Sorry. But yeah, do one button. Just one," he warned. "We'll see how that looks."

"Roger, Mr. Costume Designer, sir." Logan started to salute him with the hand holding the shirt hanger, but seemed to think better of it on the way.

"You're going to make yourself fall down the stairs," James pointed out. "Be careful."

"Yeah, I got it, can't mess up the shirt by tumbling down the steps."

"Well, not just the shirt. I can't exactly do this scene without my spy." He grinned down at Logan.

"I'm going now," Logan said, shaking his head but grinning back all the same.

James stepped back into his room, closed the door and turned his attention at last to his own outfit.

————

When he made it downstairs some time later he found Logan sitting on a stool at the kitchen counter, chatting and laughing with Mrs. Knight. James felt another vague sense of disappointment like he had early that morning, but this one wasn't mysterious—he wanted to be alone with Logan for this rehearsal. There was no way Logan would kiss him otherwise.

"Oh, and James is all dressed up too!" Mrs. Knight was looking at James and smiling. "You boys are taking this rehearsal thing pretty seriously."

"I filled her in on the audition," Logan explained, turning to James with a smile before quirking an eyebrow. "I had to explain this outfit, and all…" He trailed off, but James didn't really notice because he was too busy staring.

With Logan sitting down James knew he wasn't getting the full effect, but it was still…ridiculous how good Logan looked. The guys all had their own personal styles so they rarely swapped clothes, and for the first time in his life James was glad Logan didn't know how to dress himself. Because he couldn't handle Logan looking like that all the time.

To be fair, he was wearing one of the best shirts James owned, a blue dress shirt that struck just the right balance between dressy-hot and casual-sexy. But…Logan was hot anyway, had been for a while now, whether he was wearing some silly sweater-vest or a decent outfit picked out for a photo shoot. So while James might have been tempted to blame it entirely on the shirt, he knew better.

And the shirt fit. James had been sure it would be a bit too big but it didn't look that way to him. The sleeves were rolled up so you couldn't even tell if they were too long and it looked perfect. Logan looked perfect. That torn undershirt definitely gave the intended effect, and had he even tried to muss up his hair?

"…Boys?"

James blinked at the sound of Mrs. Knight's voice, and realized he and Logan had both been silently studying each other. Logan coughed, embarrassed. "So that's what you think Oliver would be wearing?" he asked, not quite looking at James.

"Yeah," James said, switching gears immediately as he strode up to lean on the counter. "I figure, you know, he'd been worried all night, so he probably didn't get much sleep, and just threw on whatever he could find when he finally heard from Felix and then rushed out the door." So James was just wearing a pair of older jeans, one of the black tanks he liked to sleep in and a lightweight jacket he couldn't remember touching in the entire time they'd been in L.A. For all he knew it belonged to Carlos.

In other words, James wasn't 'dressed up' by any means. But he was dressed for his character, and he was proud of that. "See?" he asked Logan, pointing at his own head. "My hair's not even perfect. How professional am I?"

Logan laughed. "Very. I'm impressed."

"Me too," James admitted. "You totally look like a spy. I knew those clothes would work, although I'm surprised the shirt fits so well."

"Oh, that," Logan said, beaming but somehow looking a little unsure at the same time. "That's all Mrs. Knight," he said, nodding in her direction.

"What? How?" James asked, turning his head to look at her. She was leaning back against another counter with a mug in her hand, watching them with a smile.

"Oh, it's nothing. Actually I probably should have asked you first, James, since that's such a nice shirt, but when Logan walked out here and told me what you guys were up to I wanted to help. He was afraid to even roll the sleeves up, but I promised him it wouldn't hurt the fabric."

"…You were afraid to roll up the sleeves?" James asked Logan, raising an eyebrow at him.

"Well I didn't want to mess anything up!" he answered, looking sheepish. "But anyway, she said it needed to look more fitted, but obviously we couldn't use safety pins, so she went and found this, like, weird magnet thing and…well, just look." He turned halfway around in the seat and pointed to his back.

James leaned in a little to get a better look, then his eyes widened. The fabric was gathered in the back, and held together by…well, a 'weird magnet thing,' apparently. "That's amazing!" James exclaimed, turning to Mrs. Knight excitedly before being struck by a horrific thought. "Wait, it's not going to pull it or tear it or put weird ripples in it or anything, right?"

Mrs. Knight stepped forward and patted James on the shoulder. "No, it should be perfectly safe. Logan's afraid to move in the shirt now, but like I told him I've used that tons of times and never had a problem before. Good luck with your scene, guys."

"Where are you going?" James asked, hoping that sounded like an innocently curious question and not like he was making sure she wasn't going to be back anytime soon.

"To drink my tea, read, nap. Logan said you wanted to rehearse without an audience, so I'll leave you to it. Then we'll all have lunch before you boys have to head to the studio."

"Thanks, Mrs. Knight," Logan said as she headed towards the hallway.

"Yeah, thanks!" James called after her as well.

When she was gone James resumed staring at Logan, until Logan raised an eyebrow at him. "What? Is it my hair? It was already a mess from that wig but I was trying for…I don't know, sort of a 'rough-and-tumble' look, I guess. But my hair's impossible."

"No, it's not that. Well, not just that. You look really really good, Logan. My clothes suit you," he added with a wink, unable to resist that opportunity.

Logan blushed. "Um, thanks. You look…different."

"That's because I'm not James Diamond, I'm Oliver…um, well I guess he doesn't have a last name. But come on, stand up, I want to admire my handiwork." He scooted around the edge of the counter and held out his hand, both surprised and a bit delighted when Logan took it, letting James pull him up again.

Once again James didn't let go right away. But he kept Logan at arms' length this time, scanning him from head to toe. "Damn, Logan, you even put nice shoes on. I was so right about the one-button thing, too. And I did a fantastic job with that undershirt." James shook his head. "If I thought you were actually capable of wiping that smile off your face I'd say you should be trying out for this part."

Logan laughed, and James let his hand fall. "Yeah, the best costume designer in the world can't make me a decent actor."

James grinned, not sure if that was intended as a compliment but taking it as one anyway. "Oh hey, I brought you something else," he said, suddenly remembering. "Not that you seem to need it, you look perfect as it is, but…" He reached into the pocket of his jacket and pulled out a narrow, steel-grey tie, unrolled it and handed it to Logan.

"I just bought it last night, so I forgot I even had it," James explained. "And…well, I'm not sure how it would even work, since you are not buttoning that shirt up anymore, but…" He shrugged. "Maybe Felix wasn't wearing a tie."

"It's nice," Logan said, his voice a little quiet as he looked at the tie in his hands. "And it really goes with the outfit, huh?"

"Of course, I wouldn't have brought it down here if it didn't. Hmm…" He looked at Logan carefully, considering. "Let's try something." He stepped towards Logan and took the tie back from him, not wanting to give up on it quite yet.

"Hey," Logan said, holding surprisingly still as James acted every bit the costume designer, draping the tie around his neck and stepping back to reexamine, then moving in again to try it a different way. "I'm glad you had fun last night. I told you you didn't need to be nervous."

"Yeah, and you were right as usual," James said, tying the tie loosely around Logan's neck and then debating whether that looked really cool or just silly.

He caught Logan's smile, and then James's hand was acting on its own again. His thumb pressed against the corner of that smile, his other fingers splayed lightly across Logan's cheek, and he tilted Logan's face until their eyes met.

"I kind of hate that you're missing out on that sort of fun, you know," James said. "I mean, the whole point of the pact was for us to be in this together, and now I don't even get to help you ask out a guy or force you on double dates that you'd gripe about but thank me for afterward. It sucks."

Logan's eyes were soft, and James could feel the movement under his thumb when Logan spoke. "I know, I'm sorry," he said, voice quiet and serious.

Then he blinked twice before cracking up laughing.

It took James a second to realize what had just happened and then he was laughing too. He swatted Logan's cheek playfully. "Dude, you have got to stop doing that!"

"I know!" Logan said, backing up to lean against the counter, face red from laughter. "…I'm sorry!"

"You are hopeless," James said, shaking his head and still grinning in spite of himself. "And you even said it perfect that time, too!"

"…I did?" Logan asked, his tone and expression changed in an instant.

James nodded. "You can do this, Logan, you just have to…forget you're you, for a few minutes. Connect with your inner super-spy." He grinned, then added, "Or your inner heartbreaker."

Logan looked like he was considering that for a second, before pushing away from the counter. "Come on, we don't want Kendall or Carlos walking in on the middle of this scene, we'll never hear the end of it. Oh hey, so what about the tie? Is it okay?"

"No," James said, shaking his head. "It looks good, but…it looks staged. It wouldn't make any sense for someone to take that shirt off but leave the tie on for a fight, and it wouldn't make any sense to put the tie back on without buttoning the shirt all the way. So stick it in your pocket instead, so the audience knows you were wearing it before the night went to hell."

"Wow," Logan said, blinking. His hands went up to undo the tie. "You really are taking all of this seriously."

James grinned. "Well, that's what happens when you have Camille as an acting coach. Everything I know I've learned from her and those magazines she's letting me borrow."

"Well I am impressed," Logan said, carefully stuffing the tie in his pocket so it hung out a little. "Okay. Are you ready to do this, Oliver?"

"Ready when you are, Felix." James grabbed his script off of the counter; he hoped he wouldn't need it, but this was the first time they were rehearsing seriously.

"Oh hey," Logan said as he reached for his own script, "I was thinking maybe I should wear sunglasses? You know, spies wear them all the time."

"Um, no, not a good idea," James said immediately, shaking his head. "I mean, you know, you shouldn't hide your eyes when you're breaking up with someone, it's just insensitive."

"…You're still afraid of my swagger, aren't you?" Logan asked, clearly amused.

"I just…don't want to take any chances, that's all."

"Yeah, sure. Go sit on the couch, Oliver."

"What?" James asked, confused. "Why?"

"Well, I was thinking," Logan started off, voice a little hesitant. "You're…really tall."

"Why yes I am, thank you for noticing."

"Shut it," Logan said, apparently thinking James had been teasing. He wasn't. "I mean, with the way that this scene plays out…you remember the run-through earlier where you were zen-master-Oliver and you insisted on sitting on a pile of my clothes on the bed the whole time?"

"Those weren't clothes, it was my oasis of meditation."

"Right, whatever that means. So you remember it?"

"I remember you refused to do the scene until I put a shirt on."

Logan rolled his eyes and let out an exasperated sigh. James grinned, satisfied that he could still get some sort of a reaction out of Logan. "My point is, it seemed to me that certain parts of the scene flow a little better when I'm taller than you."

"Oh." James thought about that for a second. "You think I'm too tall for the role?"

"No, it's not that at all. I just feel like Felix is the one 'in charge,' more or less, in this scene and…" Logan shrugged. "Maybe I'm just not a good enough actor to pull that off with you looming over me."

"…Do I intimidate you, Logan?" James asked, voice going deep and cocky.

"You wish. Forget it, stand up. You're the actor here."

"Well, it's just that I can't imagine Oliver sitting still while Felix says these things to him. You know?"

"Yeah, I guess you have a point. Okay, forget I said anything. Now seriously, we need to hurry."

"So bossy. Where do you want me, Mr. Director?"

"Stand there," Logan said, pointing at a spot right in front of the couch. "And shut up." James raised an eyebrow but didn't say anything, watching as Logan walked over to the doorway that led to the hall.

"Oh, and James?" Logan asked as he turned around in place.

"Yeah?"

"…Don't laugh at me, okay?"

James smiled reassuringly. "I won't. As long as you don't, at least."

"Right," Logan said, returning the smile. "Okay. Here goes."


* * * * * *


Logan took a deep breath. He really wasn't ready for this, but messing around with the scene and the characters for an hour had helped take the edge off of his nerves and made him more comfortable with the lines. If he could manage not to start giggling again he was pretty sure he could at least get through most of it.

Not the kiss, though. James was going to pout and whine and try to guilt Logan into it when he skipped it, but there was no way Logan was kissing James again. It had 'Bad Idea' written all over it, and Logan was trying to pay attention to those glaring warning signs now.

…Which didn't exactly explain why he'd been letting James touch his face over and over that morning, but he really was trying to just accept James's…okay, flirtations, without freaking out over them. And anyway it wasn't like James being touchy was something new in the last few weeks, which made it hard for Logan to remember what was supposed to be 'allowed' touching and what wasn't. Before their kiss, would Logan have minded James touching his face? …Did he really mind it now?

Logan should probably know the answer to those.

Eyes closed, Logan let out his breath slowly. He could do this. He could be Felix the Spy. For James.

When he opened his eyes Logan saw James, standing in front of the couch where he'd left him. Except now James wasn't looking at him, he was looking down at his phone and then glancing left and right, worried expression on his face.

He was in character, and it was just about the cutest thing Logan had ever seen.

Inner spy, Logan, he tried to remind himself. Inner heartbreaker. That's Oliver over there, that's your boyfriend, he's been worried sick about you all night and now you have to go tell him he can't be a part of your life anymore.

It made Logan feel bad, and then he realized that was sort of exactly how he needed to feel. Maybe he was ready now.

He strode forward, fighting down the butterflies in his stomach and trying to resist the urge to hold his script in front of his face. He didn't need it for this part.

"You're here," he said, and his voice didn't sound right but he didn't have time to focus on that, because James was turning to him and wow, scratch that, Oliver was turning to him.

"I got your message," James said, relief and panic mixed in his voice. He was clutching his phone like it was the only thing keeping him standing. "Where were you last night? I waited at the restaurant—"

"I know, I'm sorry," Logan cut in, and with James looking at him like that the line just wasn't so funny anymore. "I couldn't make it, I…" He took a breath. This part was hard to say because it was ridiculous, but he tried to play it off as being hard to say for another reason. "There's something I have to tell you, Oliver. I'm…a spy."

Confusion crept into James's eyes. "What do you mean, Felix, I don't understand…"

Logan remembered to look around furtively like it said in the script. "I know you don't. You can't, and I can't explain it to you. Not all of it. I shouldn't even be telling you this much, but I thought, after everything…I owe you an explanation."

"An explanation? For why you missed our date?" James's eyes were searching, roving over Logan, and suddenly they went wide. Logan was about to ask him what was wrong when he remembered oh right, James wasn't James right now. "Felix, you look like you've been in a fight! Are you hurt?"

And then James's hands were on Logan, feeling his arms, his chest. That was not in the script, but James had done it a couple times in their fake rehearsals. Except then Logan had just laughed and swatted him away, which he couldn't do right now.

"I'm alright, I'm not hurt," Logan said, trying to sound soothing. He grabbed James's hands and held them still, the script now tucked under one arm. Hopefully he wouldn't need it for the next few lines. "Look, we don't have much time, and I need to tell you some things before I leave."

"Leave?" James overdid it a little on that one, he sounded just a little too sad and desperate, but Logan felt a pain in his chest at the word anyway. Like it was really his fault James sounded that way.

"Listen to me, Oliver," Logan said, and when he did he realized two things: one, he couldn't remember the next part, and two, looking up at James was just not going to cut it anymore. He let go of James's hands and settled his own on James's shoulders, then walked James backward half a step and gently pushed him into sitting on the couch.

James seemed a little surprised but even that could have been the character. He looked up at Logan with sad, confused eyes and Logan found he was glad to turn away and glance at his script for a second.

"I'm a covert operative," Logan said, looking back at James after refreshing his memory. "I have been since before I ever met you. I knew I shouldn't have gotten involved with you, there is too much uncertainty in my life and I just can't put civilians at risk, but…" He allowed himself a small smile, though his gaze had drifted downward so he wasn't looking James in the eyes anymore. This line was also a little ridiculous. "From the moment I saw you I knew I was going to have to break a few rules. It was—no, I won't say it was a mistake. I'll never think of you that way."

He looked up again, and the expression on James's face was different now. Less sad, no less confused, with worry thrown in, and…something else Logan couldn't name.

Logan felt James's cheek under his hand before he even realized his hand had moved. "But I have to go now," he whispered. He brushed his fingertips lightly against James's skin. "Last night showed me. If I can't even keep a dinner date…if I keep you waiting and worrying while I have a job to do…" Logan turned his hand around to run his knuckles along James's face, from his temple to his chin and back again. "Then I don't deserve to be a part of your life. I know you probably don't believe any of this…"

"I believe you," James breathed, reaching up to hold Logan's hand against his cheek. "I just don't care. I…I don't like the idea of you being in danger," he said, shutting his eyes and squeezing Logan's hand, and was that feeling Logan's heart breaking? "But I don't care if you miss a date sometimes. Don't leave, Felix. Please."

James's eyes were open again, pleading, and Logan had no idea where his next line went because he certainly couldn't find it in his brain. Another quick look at his script—and quick break from James's expression—and he continued, though his voice was not exactly full of the confidence and suaveness expected from a super spy.

"It's more than that. More than just missing dinner. If something ever happened to me you could never know. And…if something ever happened to you, and if it was my fault…" Logan shook his head. Which was in the script, but he probably would have done it anyway. "That's not a chance I can take. I have to leave, now, before…before I start making stupid decisions and putting us both at risk. Please try to understand at least that."

James was still pressing Logan's hand against his face. "I'm never going to see you again, am I?" he said, voice soft, sad, and resigned. And Logan had been wrong before because no, that would be his heart breaking, right now. He was really ready for this whole rehearsal thing to be done so he could see James smile again.

Logan took a deep breath, which wasn't exactly in character but it was the only way he'd be able to get through this. "If you do, you won't know it's me," he said, trying to give a half-smile but failing spectacularly. "But I promise you…I will never forget you. Ever."

"Me either," James said, finally letting go of Logan's hand. "Felix, I wish…"

"I know," Logan said, and while James was done with his hand apparently his hand wasn't done with James, because now it was running fingers through James's hair. "I do, too."

Logan didn't have to look at his script to know what came next. Something told him—maybe it was a flash in James's eyes, maybe it was a slight tensing-up that Logan could feel through his fingertips, he wasn't sure—that James had every intention of making this kiss happen, if that meant he had to grab hold of Logan and break character entirely until he had whittled down his resistance. But Logan couldn't let that happen.

No, scratch that. Felix couldn't let it happen. This was Felix's moment, and James wasn't about to steal it from him.

Logan's hand slid back down to James's chin, and with the light touch of two fingers tilted it upward. He put his other hand on James's shoulder for balance, then leaned over and kissed James.

It was supposed to last a few seconds. It was supposed to be poignant, a brief but meaningful goodbye kiss, and then Logan was supposed to say his final line and turn and walk away.

But now Logan was kissing James, and his brain no longer recognized silly phrases like 'supposed to.' Or 'terrible idea.'

To James's credit, it was entirely Logan's fault the kiss didn't end when it should have. James wasn't pulling or tugging or holding him there; he wasn't touching Logan at all except with his lips. But that was enough—or maybe not enough, because Logan definitely wanted more.

Ten seconds into the kiss Logan pushed his lips hard against James's, opening his mouth and waiting for James's tongue to find its way in. James got the idea right away and—oh yes, this felt just as good this time as it had before, Logan wasn't misremembering it at all. There was a hand on Logan's face now, fingertips running lightly down his cheek, his jawline, his neck, and was James undoing the button on the shirt?

That question was answered a second later as two warm hands gripped Logan's sides through his t-shirt, sending a shudder throughout his body. And that noise must have been Logan too, because James was smiling against his mouth now, like this was exactly what he wanted and for whatever reason that made Logan feel like he had something to prove.

The hand that started off at James's chin had fallen to his chest by now, and Logan flattened it out and pushed. James broke the kiss for just a second, maybe thinking Logan was trying to push him away but Logan followed, not even opening his eyes as he pressed their mouths together again hard. And he kept pushing against James's chest, insistently, until finally it clicked and James leaned back against the couch, his grip on Logan's sides tightening as he went.

Logan almost lost his balance then, now needing both arms out to support his weight against the back of the couch. That made his angle all kinds of awkward and he knew James thought so too, could tell James wanted him closer, much closer. James wanted to pull Logan down on top of him, Logan could feel that clearly through the restrained pressure on his sides, and why James wasn't trying was anyone's guess. Maybe he thought that would be too much, would make Logan stop kissing him.

But Logan's arms were getting tired, and he wasn't ready to stop kissing yet so he brought his left knee up on the couch, taking some of the weight off of his arms. He settled his right leg in-between James's knees and then long arms were wrapping around Logan's waist, trying to pull him in even closer.

And all the while, their lips were moving together like this wasn't only their second kiss, like this was something practiced but not yet perfected. Logan had shared dozens of kisses with Camille, but with James he felt like he knew what he was doing in a way he never had with her. Maybe it was because James was a guy, maybe it was just because he was James—these were familiar questions, but Logan was no nearer to finding answers for them than he'd ever been.

He was, however, a little nearer to giving in and pulling his other leg up to straddle James's lap. "Logan," James whined softly, muffled against Logan's mouth, and Logan smirked because yeah, he definitely knew what he was doing here. James was still tugging at his waist, still wanting him closer, so much closer, but Logan wasn't going to give him what he was asking for just yet. Instead he turned his head and kissed the corner of James's mouth, then down along his jawline till he reached his neck, lips brushing lightly against the skin above James's collarbone.

And now James was the one shuddering, the one making little noises and he was lifting and twisting his chin, stretching his neck to give Logan better access. Logan took his time, ignoring the strain on his arms as he held himself up and instead focusing on the hands grabbing at his t-shirt—James's t-shirt, really—and the way James was whining, nearly whimpering impatiently at him. But Logan didn't want to leave a mark, somewhere in his James-addled brain that thought still stuck; so he wasn't biting or sucking or even kissing hard, mostly just trailing his lips and tongue lightly across sensitive skin, and apparently driving James crazy.

"Logan," James said again, his impatience coming across as a warning now but Logan wasn't letting James dictate this, no way. He moved back up, his hands each sliding under James's jacket in turn to pin his shoulders against the couch as Logan kissed him again, lips pressing hard and tongue taking over James's mouth. Hands ran up Logan's sides and chest to grasp either side of his neck, holding him in place as James pushed back forcefully with his own lips and tongue, and maybe things were starting to get a little sloppy but Logan didn't care, this was so much fun, this whole morning had been amazing, and why weren't he and James doing this sort of thing more often?

A hand worked its way back down to the hemline of Logan's t-shirt, and Logan had just enough time to wonder what James was planning before he felt a sharp tug on his belt loop jerking him forward slightly. Logan grinned, impressed that James would be so brave with his own bottom lip currently caught in Logan's teeth. He let go, kissing James fully on the mouth as Logan shifted his weight a bit until he could work his right leg out around James's left. James let out a moan that sounded more like a whimper, obviously aware he was finally getting what he wanted while tugging insistently on Logan's belt loop to try and speed along the process.

And then two conveniently forgotten answers to Logan's question walked in the door.

"Carlos, I am telling you, there is no way that's even possi—WHOA what the hell is this?!"

Logan's right leg was halfway up on the couch when he froze at Kendall's shout. A familiar, sickening sort of horrific embarrassment shot through him, consuming him entirely and he and James shared matching 'oh shit' looks before Logan was launching himself backwards, flailing and stumbling before tripping against the coffee table and falling hard on the floor.

----

End-of-chapter Notes: Just in case anyone's curious, when I was researching whether people actually use magnets to customize clothing fits or whatever, I found this: http://tandbclip.com/ I don't know if what Mrs. Knight has is exactly that, but something similar maybe? It gives you the idea at least :)

---

Part 7


Tags: big time rush, fic, james/logan
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