Disclaimer: Not my boys, although I kind of love them like they were.
Word Count: ~4,800 this part (in total over 25,000)
Warnings (overall): language, crossdressing, slight angst
Summary: Logan likes doctors and scientists and smart people, but what he really likes is girls—so that's what James is going to give him.
Previous chapters: Part 1
Author's Notes: Written for the palmwoods Harvestfest. This...kind of got away from me. I wanted to post it all at once but there is still a bit of adding/editing left to do; the full fic should be posted by the end of the week.
Also after I wrote this and re-read the prompt I realized I may have taken it in a different direction than desired? But I'm still really happy with how it's turned out. Oh, and I'll also be writing a side-story to show what Kendall & Carlos were up to the whole time. :)
The title, of course, comes from "Time of Our Life," which became the official theme for this story after the first time I paid attention to the lyrics. So thanks for that, Logan ;)
And forever thanks to shisou_eimin for her help with this ♥♥♥
Prompt: (#25) "James/Logan: Halloween. James sets out to seduce Logan. He dresses up as a girl with some sort of costume that includes a mask and a way to hide his masculinity (i.e. gorgeous muscles). He plays the part perfectly and wins Logan over, discovering in the process that it's not just his looks that make him amazing--he has a lot to offer personality-wise, too, when he lets down his diva wall. What happens when Logan realizes it's James is up to you, it doesn't even have to be a happy ending (though that would be nice). Bonus points for James trying to sound smart and dancing with Logan (and not awkwardly like in BTProm), and Logan feeling bad for James for being such a "tall" girl."
Halloween was not Logan's favorite holiday, especially since hitting high school and growing out of trick-or-treating. He didn't have anything against it, per se, but the whole ghouls-and-goblins thing had never been something he could really get into.
He did like the candy, though. He kinda missed that part.
The dressing up wasn't such a big deal; he and his friends donned costumes on a semi-regular basis. But those costumes were mostly Kendall's idea, so Halloween was actually kind of stressful because Logan had to come up with something on his own, and with no context for it. He wasn't participating in some crazy plan, he was just going to a party or whatever and so the options were limitless.
Carlos and James always gave him suggestions and sometimes those were helpful, but this year Carlos kept asking Kendall and Logan for ideas because he wanted to impress a girl, or…impress every girl, or something. And James…hadn't really been around much? He would disappear when they got back from the studio and then reappear later in the night, and usually he would say he'd been working out but this seemed a little excessive even for James.
If it were anyone else Logan might have thought he was secretly dating someone, but James wasn't the type to keep anything like that a secret. He also wasn't the type to date someone continuously for so long. Maybe they were different someones? But again, he would be bragging, not hiding that.
Unless he was dating a guy? A guy who didn't want anyone to know about it?
Logan didn't want to consider that possibility, though. It was easy sometimes to forget James was even into guys because he hardly mentioned it and spent 99% of his time chasing girls, and it was hard for Logan to think about anyway because of his own unresolved issues in the areas of sexuality and, well, James.
But whatever, the real issue was that apparently Logan was being left to fend for himself this Halloween. A week before the party he still had no ideas so he caved and went to Camille for advice. He hadn't seen her much around lately either, but she was probably off rehearsing or auditioning or doing other Camille-things.
"Hmm," she said when he asked, and cocked her head at him for a moment. "I think James said something about being a pirate. That's a simple costume, and you'd look hot. Then you two could match, wouldn't that be cute!"
Logan felt himself blush and hoped she would just assume it was because she had called him "hot" and "cute" all in the same breath. Part of it was.
"You think I could pull off a pirate?" He didn't really have any other ideas anyway. He also kind of wondered how Camille knew what James was going as for Halloween, when he hadn't breathed a word of it to Logan, or the other guys as far as he knew.
"Oh totally," Camille said, waving a hand. "Or—wait, hey, I've got something even better! My cousin's going to be here for the party, and we're going for sort of a Wild West theme, so you could do that too. Like…a sheriff." Her face got all animated when she said it, and Logan didn't know if he should be scared or not. "Yeah, definitely a sheriff. Or a pirate. You pick. I'll send you some links to costume idea sites, okay?"
"Okay, thanks," he told her with a smile.
Logan diligently read through the links Camille sent him and ended up finding most of the stuff he needed for either costume in his own clothes. The thought of him and James having matching outfits was…compelling, so Logan tried to ask James if he wanted to go get the finishing touches for their costumes one day after they left the studio, but James just brushed him off saying he had "somewhere to be."
So Logan decided he'd be a sheriff.
It was unusual for the guys to not tell each other what they were going as for Halloween, but somehow this year it never came up. Carlos seemed to be undecided up till the last minute, and then didn't want to say anything because it would ruin the costume's coolness factor, or something. Kendall spent a lot of time helping Carlos, and Logan wondered more than once if he even had a clue what he'd be wearing himself. And no one knew what the hell was up with James.
Gustavo was letting them have the party at the studio and Kelly had even said she'd find them a DJ, on the condition that they take care of everything else themselves. So on the morning of the party they headed over to the studio not long after breakfast to get things set up. Lucy came with them to help, which surprised Logan a little. Camille had said she would like to, but she needed to go pick her cousin up from the airport.
"I wonder if Camille's cousin is as pretty as she is," Carlos mused while they were hanging up decorations. "Did you ever see a picture, Logan?"
"Dunno," Logan told him. "I've seen some pictures of her family but I don't know who all of them were. And she didn't tell me her cousin's name or anything. Actually, I don't even know if the cousin's a girl."
"I know a little about her," James said. Logan spun around to see him and Kendall carrying in chairs. How the hell did James know anything about Camille's cousin?
"Really?!" Carlos spun too, nearly falling off of the stepladder he was on. "Is she pretty?"
James shrugged. "I haven't seen any pictures either. I just know she's in college or something, and she's into acting, like Camille."
"Oh great," Kendall said, dropping down into one of the chairs he'd brought in. "So that means we're going to be dodging slaps from some crazy new chick all night?"
"'Crazy new chick'?"
They all turned at the sound of Lucy's voice. She had just walked into the room carrying more decorations, but now she was giving Kendall a funny look.
"Oh, not you," he told her with a smirk.
"Camille's cousin," Logan explained.
"Oh, you mean Jade?" Lucy asked. "Why do you guys think she's crazy?"
"You know about her?!" Carlos hopped down from his ladder and rushed over to Lucy. "What does she look like? What does she like? Does she like puppies?"
Kendall flung a hand out in exasperation. "You are not dressing like a puppy, Carlos!"
"I know that, Kendall, but I still wanna know. If she likes puppies she can't be too crazy, right?"
"I…have no idea if she likes puppies," Lucy said, giving Carlos an even funnier look. "Camille just told me her name and that she's going to pick her up from the airport today, and that they're wearing matching costumes."
"Is she moving out here?" Kendall asked, looking daunted by the idea.
"No, she's just here for the weekend."
"But is she hot?" That was James, distracted for the moment from his task of setting up the chairs, and looking at Lucy expectantly. Carlos nodded at the question.
"How am I supposed to know?" Lucy looked from one of them to the other. "And it's not like you guys won't be seeing her in a few hours anyway. Learn some patience."
"Yeah, good luck with that," Logan muttered, then went back to work. Everyone else soon followed suit.
Except, when they decided to take a break for lunch, they noticed they were short one person.
"Where's James?" Kendall asked, looking around.
"Didn't he go to get tape or something?" Lucy said.
Logan furrowed his eyebrows. "Yeah, but that was like 20 minutes ago."
"I bet he went to meet Camille's cousin!" Carlos said suddenly, punching his palm and looking towards the door like it had personally offended him.
Lucy rolled her eyes. "Whatever, let's get some food."
Kendall managed to convince Carlos that lunch was more important than storming off to confront James, and as the three of them left the room Logan pulled out his cell phone to text their responsibility-shirker of a friend.
'Not cool of you to run off like that, J. We're all supposed to be helping with this, remember?'
He hit the 'Send' button with a scowl, and headed out to follow the others. Logan's phone didn't beep until they were halfway through their meal, and he read the text with a frown.
'hey were mostly done already. I had things 2 do. c you at the party just look for the hottest 1 there ;)'
"That James?" Kendall asked.
"Yeah." Logan didn't bother to send a reply before he shoved his phone back in his pocket. "I don't think we can expect any more help out of him."
"We're almost done anyway," Kendall said with a shrug.
"That's not the point," Logan and Carlos both told him.
The rest of the afternoon was filled with the two of them complaining about James's absence, until finally Lucy said she'd had enough and she needed to get ready anyway so she took off. Not long after that Kendall declared the room complete, and they all headed back to the Palm Woods to get into their costumes.
When they got there, James was nowhere to be found.
"Where the hell are you?"
"Hello to you too, Logan."
Logan rolled his eyes. He was standing in the living room, fully dressed in his costume, waiting for Kendall and Carlos to finish getting ready. James still hadn't shown up.
And okay, it didn't really matter where James was. Logan was just pissed.
"Carlos thinks you ran off to meet Camille's cousin. Whatever, I get that, but you better not skip out on this party and don't even think about skipping out on the clean-up like you did for the set-up today."
James huffed into the phone. "What makes you think I'd ever skip out on a party? Especially one of my own? What kind of a Party King do you think I am?"
"The kind that lets other people do all the work while he spends time with hot girls." That might have sounded a little harsher than intended.
"I'm getting ready for the party right now, okay? I'll be there."
"What do you mean you're getting ready? You're not even at the apartment!"
"I had…things to do…somewhere else," James said. "But I will be at the party. Man. Like I'd let you guys have all the fun."
"No, you just let us put up decorations by ourselves and buy party snacks by ourselves and get stuff for our costumes by ourselves."
…Logan hadn't actually meant for that last one to be out loud.
He could practically hear James working it out in his head. Then: "Really, Logan? That's what this is about? You're upset I wouldn't go shopping with you?"
"Of course I'm not upset!" Logan tried to think of something to say, but before he could come up with a decent lie he heard the truth coming out instead. "Why would I care that you've been all mysteriously busy lately and never hang out with us anymore? Why would I care you're obviously lying when you say you've been working out all the time? Why should it matter I had to go to Camille for help with a Halloween costume because my best friend had better things to do?" Logan was yelling by the end of it and clamped his hand over his mouth when he realized.
There was a pause on the other end of the phone. "Logan…you could have asked me for help."
"When?" Logan asked, caught between anger and embarrassment and feeling ridiculous for both. "We hardly see you anymore. And I did ask you and you blew me off."
James sputtered and stuttered before saying "Well, that's—I mean, I didn't—"
"Whatever, James," Logan said with a sigh. "It's not a big deal, okay? But if you try to weasel out of helping us clean up after this stupid party we're going to drag your ass to the studio and make you do it all yourself. Got it?"
"Yes, sir," James said, and there was an attempt at mocking in his tone but mostly he just sounded meek and subdued. It stunned Logan into silence as he looked around the empty room for witnesses to what had just happened.
Vaguely, Logan wondered if this tiny thrill was how Kendall felt when people did what he told them.
"Hey," James went on, his voice trying to reassert its normal levels of friendly smugness, "we'll hang out tonight, okay? I'll help you get a date, if you want."
Logan rolled his eyes. He hadn't needed James's help to get a date in over a year. "Won't you be too busy flirting shamelessly with Camille's cousin?"
James chuckled softly. "Nah, she's not really my type. Might be yours, though."
"Wait, so you did leave to go meet her?" Logan asked, eyes wide. Before James could answer there was the thundering of footsteps and Logan's phone was snatched out of his hand.
"James!" Carlos bellowed into the phone. "You do not get to call dibs on the New Girl just because you are a cheating cheater who ran out on his friends to go meet her first!"
Logan blinked at Carlos, at first too distracted by this sudden intrusion to pay any attention to what his friend was wearing. Then Kendall walked into the room, and Logan looked from one to the other as Carlos's tone changed and he finished up the conversation with "Oh okay, I'll tell him! Bye James!" and tried handing the phone to Logan.
"James says he's your wingman tonight and you should be ready to have the time of your life," Carlos told him with a grin.
"Weren't you just pissed at him?" Kendall asked with a sidelong glance at Carlos.
Carlos shrugged. "He said he's not into Camille's cousin like that. And that she's too tall for me anyway," he added with a frown.
"That's stupid," Kendall said. "No one is 'too tall' for anyone. Don't listen to him, Carlos."
"No, he's probably right," Carlos replied, still frowning. "James would know. Logan, dude, take your phone back!"
"You're pirates," Logan said instead, staring at both of them in disbelief. Then he started laughing.
"Why is that funny?" Kendall asked, and Logan could hear the eyebrow-raise in his voice.
"See Kendall! I knew pirates were lame! I should have just gotten the corn dog costume." Carlos sounded somewhere between frustrated and disappointed.
"No, no, it's not that," Logan said, trying to fight back more chuckles. The image of Carlos in a corn dog costume wasn't helping. "I'm just glad I decided not to be a pirate. Camille said James was going as one, and if we all matched…"
"Oh," Carlos said, but his face stopped midway to a smile and reverted back to the frown. "Wait. James is going to be a pirate? Kendall! No one's going to think my pirate costume is cool if James is wearing one too!"
"Yes they will, Carlos." Kendall was obviously trying to be reassuring and not completely exasperated. Logan commended him for the effort. "And look, I bought the corn dog costume for you, okay? So if you get to the party and decide you don't want to be a pirate you can change."
The news transformed Carlos's expression immediately. "You did?! And you're gonna bring it?"
Kendall smiled back at him. "Yes, and yes, but you have to give the pirate thing a try first, okay? After all, what's a captain without his first mate?"
Logan giggled a little at that. Kendall gave him a brief 'shut up' glance, but Carlos didn't seem to notice. "Yeah, you're right," he said, nodding, "we're a crew so we're cooler than James anyway. Don't let him join our crew, Kendall."
"No chance. Crew members don't bail out on party set-up."
"Exactly," Carlos agreed.
"Can we like…go, now, guys?" Logan asked, afraid if this went on any longer he'd be giggling again. Giggling was unbecoming of a sheriff.
"Yeah, let's go!" Carlos said with a grin. "Oh, and awesome cowboy costume, Logan."
Logan scoffed. "I'm not a cowboy, I'm a sheriff."
Carlos and Kendall both gave him scrutinizing looks. "Where's your star, then?" Kendall asked.
"My—" Logan's mouth dropped open. He didn't buy a stupid sheriff badge. "Dammit! I forgot."
Kendall laughed, but Carlos shrugged. "Oh well, you're still a cool cowboy. Okay come on!" He grabbed Logan and then Kendall and herded them both to the door.
Well, Logan thought, with the slightest hint of trepidation, Camille won't be upset that I forgot the badge, right?
They arrived back at the studio about a half-hour before the party was scheduled to start and found Lucy waiting for them. No James, but Logan wasn't really surprised.
"Took you guys long enough," Lucy said after they walked in the room.
"Hey, we're here in plenty of time," Kendall countered. "No one has shown up yet, right?"
Before she could answer, Carlos shouted out "Sailor Moon! Awesome!"
Logan and Kendall both looked at him, but Carlos didn't seem at all embarrassed about his knowledge of girly cartoon characters—or rather the admission of that knowledge, since it wasn't like Logan didn't recognize the costume himself—as he grinned in excitement at Lucy.
"Sailor Mars, actually," she said, with a hint of a smile at Carlos, before answering Kendall's question. "No, they haven't, but the DJ's already here and this is your party, not mine, so I shouldn't have to deal with her."
"Her?" Carlos asked, swiveling around to find this mysterious 'her.' "Ah! She looks close to our age, right?"
Kendall rolled his eyes and sighed a little but Logan knew better than to think he was annoyed. "Come on Carlos, let's go talk to her."
Logan crossed his arms as they left. "Okay, we'll set out the food and drinks…was there any other last-minute stuff we needed to do?"
"Again, not my party, cowboy. I'm just helping."
"I know that," Logan said, shooting a mild glare at Lucy. "I was just thinking out loud. Will you help me get the snacks ready?"
"Lead the way, partner," she said in a slight drawl.
"Yeah that's gonna get old fast."
Lucy chuckled as they left the room. "So who are you trying to impress with that costume anyway? Camille, or her cousin that no one's seen?"
"No one," Logan answered with a shrug. "Camille suggested a sheriff, and I just didn't have any better ideas."
"Don't sheriffs have those shiny star badges?"
"I forgot okay!"
"Camille also suggested a pirate," Lucy said, an undoubtedly-smug smile in her voice. "Is that where Kendall and Carlos got the idea, or were they going along with James?"
Logan wondered how and why this topic of conversation ever came up between the two girls, and how many other things they had discussed about Logan and his friends. That thought was a little…disconcerting.
"James hasn't told any of us anything about his costume," Logan said, trying not to sound bitter. "I heard about it from Camille, and no, I didn't say anything to the other guys. I don't know if they heard it from her themselves or just decided on their own. Does it really matter?"
"Nope, just curious. I find the four of you being so codependent mildly interesting."
"Actually," Logan began, before launching into an explanation of codependency and how he and his friends did so not fit the clinical definition.
Because okay, maybe the comment had been made before and maybe Logan had looked up the information to see if it was true. He had been relieved to discover it wasn't.
Well…it mostly wasn't.
Logan's psychology lecture lasted until they returned to the party room and it was ended by an abrupt "Okay Logan, I get it!" from Lucy before she hurried off to set up the refreshments table.
"You were the one who brought it up!" he called after her.
"Well I won't make that mistake again, believe me!" she yelled back over her shoulder.
Logan wasn't really looking, but as he followed Lucy to help out, he noticed James still wasn't there.
"Have you seen James yet?"
The party had been well underway for a good 20 minutes now, and Logan had been vacillating between ignoring the absence of 1/4 of their group in order to have a good time and letting himself get good and frustrated all over again.
James had said he would be there, and they were delving dangerously close to the area of broken promises now.
"Nope, I haven't," Kendall answered. Logan had caught him on a trip to the snack table; Kendall seemed to be having an excellent time so far. "Why don't you just text him?"
Logan's eyebrows scrunched up. "He said he would be here."
"Then I'm sure he'll be here," Kendall said in a way that wasn't at all as reassuring as it could have been. "Oh hey, Camille's here! And…I guess that's her cousin?"
Logan turned around to follow Kendall's gaze. For a second he was surprised Kendall had recognized Camille; but even with her face half-covered her hair gave her away. And her eyes, when Logan saw them. Her mouth and nose were covered with a bandana, giving her the appearance of some kind of bandit…except she was dressed like a saloon girl, or something. A maroon-and-black dress that was tight at the top with ruffles and frills below, fishnet tights and heels…
The oddness of the mask aside (Logan was sure she had some explanation for it as a carefully-constructed part of her character), Camille was stunning. Not that she wasn't always pretty, but when she went all-out like this—well, Logan just hoped she didn't decide to fixate on him that evening. He didn't need to get dragged into that mess again.
"She looks good," Logan said nonchalantly.
"They both do," Kendall added. "Although wow, Carlos was right about the cousin being tall. Still not 'too tall' for him, but…yeah, tall."
The girls were moving into the crowd a little now but Logan could still see them, especially since—woah, yeah, Camille's cousin—Jade, Lucy had said her name was—was really tall.
Maybe that's why James said she's not his type, Logan thought with a slight shake of his head. Shallow bastard.
Although considering James had said before that Camille wasn't his type and Camille was like, the prettiest girl Logan knew, James's 'type' was sort of suspect anyway.
Besides being tall, Jade seemed rather pretty herself. She was also wearing one of those bandana masks so it was hard to tell for sure, but she had long hair like Camille's, a little lighter and not as curly. And blue eyes, maybe? From this distance and angle all Logan knew was that they weren't brown. Logan's guess for her costume was a cowgirl, what with the tall boots and the skirt and the long overcoat. She also had on a vest that was about the same color as Camille's dress, which also matched both of their bandanas.
The whole bandana thing was tripping him up. He'd have to ask Camille about that. And while he was at it, he could ask if she'd seen James. She had earlier in the day, right?
"Hey, I'm gonna go—"
"Ask Camille where James is?" Kendall finished for him with a knowing glance.
"Someone has to have seen him," Logan muttered, hoping that was just heat from the party and not a blush creeping up his face. "If he doesn't show up to this thing I'm gonna kill 'im."
"Not if Camille kills you first for not having a badge. Better come up with an excuse before you head over there."
"Dammit!" Logan had forgotten about that again.
"Good luck, my friend—oh wait, I'm a pirate. Um…fare thee well, me matey!" Kendall gave an exaggerated eyebrow raise as he said it.
"Aye-aye, cap'n," Logan replied, tipping his hat.
Kendall's shoulders slumped. "Logan. That is not something an Old West sheriff would say."
"Oh." Logan thought about it for a second. "…Yeah I got nothin'."
"Me either." Kendall shrugged. "Oh shit, Carlos is probably trying to talk to girls like a pirate. I gotta go find him."
Kendall took off, Logan shaking his head in amusement before trying to relocate Camille. It was easier to find her cousin first; Camille was right next to her and—oh hey, they were talking to Carlos. Logan headed over, but before he reached them Kendall had swooped in and hauled Carlos off.
"Let me guess, he was talking like a pirate?" Logan asked with a smile as he got close.
"I think he was trying to, at least," Camille said, and he could tell from her eyes she was smiling back. "Hi Logan! You make quite a dashing sheriff, although you seem to have forgotten your star badge."
"I know," Logan groaned. "Everyone keeps pointing that out to me."
"Well, lucky for you someone came prepared." Camille winked at him, and Logan followed the movement of her hand as she lifted her skirt a bit revealing—a thigh holster. With a fake gun. And a little pouch that she took something out of.
"Is that a holster?" Logan asked in shock.
"Of course! What self-respecting outlaw wouldn't have one?"
"So you guys are outlaws," Logan said, glancing from Camille up to her cousin.
"Didn't the masks give it away?" Jade asked when Logan looked at her, and at hearing her voice he held the gaze for a moment. Greenish-blue eyes, he noticed. Pretty eyes. "And I have a gun, too." She moved her coat to show a hip holster.
"Oh my God, I'm so sorry!" Camille burst out, drawing Logan's attention again. "Logan, this is Jade, my cousin! She's in town for the weekend. Jade, this is Logan! One of the guys I was telling you about."
"Nice to meet you," Logan said with a smile, tipping his hat again unconsciously. He felt a little ridiculous when he realized he'd done it, but the smile in Jade's eyes made it more or less okay.
"You too," she said. "Camille's told me a lot about you, and your friends."
"Ha, well, I'd say don't believe it all, but no, it's probably all very true." He nodded.
"Oh no, there's no need to make up stories for you guys," Camille said with a wave of her hand. "Okay Sheriff Logan, here's your badge. I also have an eye patch, since I didn't know which costume you'd pick."
Logan laughed as Camille pinned his badge on his coat. "I don't have to wear that too, do I? Might impede my ability to catch bad guys. Or girls."
"Well, we are here strictly on reconnaissance," Camille said, tilting her head. "So you shouldn't have to worry about arresting us this evening."
Logan cocked an eyebrow at her. "And you expect me to trust the word of an outlaw?"
"We didn't choose this life, you know," Jade said. Logan grinned.
"Actually, we kind of did," Camille added in an accented whisper, and Logan laughed lightly. "Ranches and saloons just don't pay as well. Plus nothing beats the thrill of armed robbery, especially when you're stealin' from men who'd never expect it of you."
"I'll keep an eye on my wallet, then," Logan told them both, still grinning. "Oh hey, Camille, have you seen James? He ran out on us earlier, and I think he came to see you guys?"
"Oh. Yeah." Camille rolled her eyes. "He caught us right when we got to the Palm Woods, but he didn't stay long. But I think I've seen him since we've been here? There are a few pirates so I'm not really sure."
"Heh, James is hard to miss, though," Logan said, good humor mostly gone. "Damn him. If he's off with some girl instead of showing up here…" Logan shook his head and forced a smile. "Anyway. Thanks for coming to the party, you two; I hope you have fun."
Logan started to walk away, but was stopped after a few steps by Camille. "Hey Logan, you're gonna save a dance for me, right?"
He turned back, apprehensive but with a genuine smile. "Sure thing, Camille."
"And one for Jade, too?"
Jade looked down in apparent shock at her cousin. Camille seemed to be grinning.
"Only if she wants one," Logan said.
"Oh, she does," Camille assured him. "Right, Jade?"
"R-right," Jade said, nodding, before facing Logan again. "I do. It'll, um, have to be a slow one, though. I'm not good with the fast dancing."
"Works for me," Logan told her with an easy smile. He wasn't sure if the DJ was planning on any slow songs, but he could put in a request. "See you later, then."