Disclaimer: Not my boys, although I kind of love them like they were.
Word Count: ~3,100 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 | Part 2 | Part 3
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."
"You and Jade seem to be hitting it off," Camille said with a raised eyebrow as she and Logan danced. This song was a fast-paced party song, which Logan had been grateful for because he'd been afraid slow-dancing with Camille would be a little awkward.
Especially if she wanted to talk about Jade.
"I don't know, she's a cool girl," Logan said with a shrug. "I feel like I'm hogging her, though; I mean, she's your cousin and she's only in for the weekend, you probably want to spend time with her…"
"No, that's fine, but…okay, so you do realize she's leaving tomorrow, then?"
"Yes, I do." And dammit it had already started; Logan felt a slight pang at the admission. "What's your point?"
"Just that you probably shouldn't get too attached. Connecticut is a really long way from California."
"I appreciate your concern, Camille," Logan told her—and he really did. "But we're just having fun, just hanging out. I'm allowed to make friends with your cousin, aren't I?"
Camille rolled her eyes. "Logan, that wasn't what I meant and you know it. But okay, as long as you know what you're doing. Now c'mon, pop star, you've gotta have some better moves than that!"
Logan laughed and tried to up his dancing game, though without choreography he was pretty much hopeless.
"Thought you might not come back," Jade said when Logan found her again after his dance with Camille.
"Couldn't let you get away with my hat," Logan told her with a smirk.
"Hmm, in that case I might just keep it forever. You'd have to follow me back across the country if you really wanted it."
Logan laughed, though there was so much not at all funny about that statement. "But you just said you'll keep it forever, so what good would that do me?"
There was a pause where they just looked at each other. Then Jade said: "You might not get the hat, but you might get me instead."
It took a second for Logan to process that because it was so unbelievable. "Jade…" he said, and his voice sounded strange.
"I'm kidding again, Logan. Does being a genius affect your sense of humor?" She was trying to sound lighthearted but Logan wasn't wholly buying it.
Still, he could play along. "No, but pretty girls do." He wasn't even sure if that was true, but it sounded good and he wasn't going to take the time to do a mental fact-check. It had probably been true at some point, anyway.
Plus it got a great reaction; Jade's eyes went a little wide, and she was silent for a few seconds. Logan decided to keep going.
"Oh, do compliments affect your ability to speak?"
Logan could see a comeback forming, but it still surprised him. "Only if they're said by hot geniuses."
Grinning and blushing like an idiot, Logan caught movement and looked down to see Jade touching the edges of his star badge.
"Wanna dance with me again, lawman?" she asked.
"It would be my pleasure, lady bandit," he answered. And yes, yes this was all very silly but it was fucking Halloween so it was allowed, and Logan was feeling too giddy to care anyway.
"Awesome," Jade said, and even though he couldn't see her mouth Logan thought she was grinning. "Do you want me to request a song or will you?"
"I can," he told her, before adding with a wink: "I am, after all, an officer of the law."
"Plus you have a gun."
"That too," Logan agreed with a laugh. He pulled the right side of his coat back and tucked it behind his gun holster. "Just so she knows," he said to Jade.
"Good call," she agreed. "Also? That's really hot."
Logan turned quickly away as his eyes started to widen, walking briskly towards the DJ booth to try and escape his nerves and the blush heating up his cheeks. At this rate he wasn't sure he was even going to make it through the night.
…He also really didn't know what that thought even meant. 'Make it through'? Make it through how? What would not 'making it through' result in?
He stopped thinking about it when he got to the DJ. She was very nice about the whole thing, laughing at his 'This is an official request from the party sheriff' line. And she did agree to play his song next, so he headed back to Jade triumphantly.
"We're up next," he told her.
"My hero," she said, and he couldn't tell how much of it was mocking and how much was flirting. Strangely, he was happy either way.
"Careful, now," Logan said in a completely terrible accent. "Your partner hears you talk like that she might start to think you're switchin' sides on her."
"Well maybe if someone had told me the law looked like you I wouldn't have gone bad to begin with," Jade countered, once again stepping into Logan's space. They were as close now as they had been when they were dancing earlier. "Although," she went on, "maybe not. Kinda like the idea of you catching me doing something I shouldn't."
That sound, Logan realized distantly, was his heart about to beat out of his chest. The DJ's voice was on the speakers again but Logan had no idea what she was saying. He felt Jade grab his wrist and tug him back toward the dance floor and he went willingly, feeling sort of in a daze but wanting the opportunity to touch her again, to be close to her.
And they were close. Fuck, closer this time than before; Jade positioned Logan's hand on her waist under her coat, and slid her own under his coat, to rest on his shoulder. Not long into the song she dropped their hands that had been clasped together, to put Logan's other hand on her waist as well.
Was she trying to give him a hint? Taking a risk (seriously, Kendall would be so proud of him tonight if he only knew), he tightened his grip a little and tugged, and Jade moved even closer to him. That made all sorts of interesting feelings shoot through Logan, and it didn't help matters when Jade's fingertips grazed his cheek again. She was looking him in the eyes now, and yep, Logan definitely wanted to kiss her, but he'd have to move her bandana so he'd have to take a hand off her waist and did he really want to do that?
While he was debating—sort of; he was mostly just staring back at her and trying to remember to sway to the music—Jade moved her hand, lifted it to her head and took the hat off. She put it back on Logan, and he was confused for a second until she leaned down to rest her forehead on his shoulder.
And that had to be awkward for her, right? She was way taller than Logan, but he really really liked that she had done it, even if her hair was tickling his face now. He glanced around and saw that a few people were looking in their direction, and he wasn't surprised. He'd noticed people noticing Jade more than once that night, but no one had approached her while he was with her. Logan was just fine with that.
"People are watching us," he whispered. He didn't really know why; maybe he was just curious to see her reaction.
"Jealous," she whispered back.
Logan grinned, not bothering to clarify who she thought they were jealous of. It didn't really matter.
The song was nearly over—which sucked, Logan wanted to keep doing this all night; maybe he could convince Jade to try a faster song, although…then they couldn't be as close, so maybe they should just…find somewhere quiet to talk, or…whatever—when Logan felt a tap on his unoccupied shoulder.
Part of him, somewhere way back in the far recesses of his brain where such thoughts had been banished, wondered if this was James, finally showing up. But when he looked over he saw that just like with the text, it was Camille.
And she…didn't look happy. Not even a little, and an angry Camille was a scary Camille. "Hey, what's up?" he asked her nervously.
"Oh, I was just wondering if I could borrow my cousin for a moment," she said, and without waiting for a response grabbed Jade's arm and started dragging her away.
"Is everything okay?" Logan called after them, but there was no answer.
So Logan, in the time-honored tradition of all Big Time Rush boys when they wanted to know something and had to find out themselves, decided to spy.
* * * * *
If someone had asked James how he would describe the night of the party, he would have said something really cheesy like 'magical.' Because that's what it was. He had Logan all to himself; he could flirt with Logan and Logan was flirting back and Logan liked him, James could tell, and everything was just going perfectly.
Better than perfectly, actually. Was that possible? For something to be better than perfect? It felt that way, because as much as he'd wanted it James had never really known for sure if this would work. But Logan thought James—Jade—was awesome, and fun to talk to, and worth flirting with, even without seeing his—her—face. Or most of the rest of him, either, since James was pretty much covered from head to toe. That meant that Logan did like the imperfect-inside James after all, and once this night was over, once James had proven that inside-James could really be just as perfect for Logan as outside-James was for everyone who'd ever looked at him…then maybe that whole being-a-boy thing wouldn't matter so much.
After all, as far as boys went, Logan wasn't going to find anything better than outside-James.
So yeah, the night was magical. Their first dance, for instance, had been amazing. Even if James didn't get to do the fancy dancing he'd practiced with Camille it was okay, because he was dancing with Logan. He was making up for prom a hundred times over.
And then when Logan had suggested that tour James had nearly leapt for joy. Roaming around the deserted record studio, just the two of them? When they really weren't supposed to be there at all? Listening to Logan go on and on about music, one of James's favorite subjects in the world? It didn't get any better than that. Not without kissing, anyway.
There was that slight upset about the whole production thing, when James had seen just how pissed Logan was at him for ditching him that evening—which he totally didn't do, technically—and had realized Logan liked to assume things about him without actually asking for confirmation. That wasn't totally cool, but they could work on that.
Anyway, James had managed to turn it around. He'd gotten Logan to nearly kiss him, or at least to nearly want to. Then Camille had ruined the moment, but that might've been for the best because it was still too soon for Logan to know the whole truth.
Watching Logan dance with Camille hadn't even been bad. James loved Camille, tonight more than ever for giving him this chance, and if Logan had always supported their friendship James would have to do the same if the roles were reversed. He could do that.
There was more amazing flirting—seriously, Logan wasn’t bad at that at all when he tried; it was a little surprising and definitely something to add to James's list when he got back home—and James managed to snag himself a second dance, even better than the first one, if that was possible. Having Logan's hands on his waist like that was wonderful, and while leaning on Logan during the dance was a little uncomfortable the closeness was definitely worth it.
Except Camille ruined it again, and this time she ruined it for good.
Camille dragged James all the way into the girls' bathroom and shoved the door closed behind them.
"What are you doing, James?" she asked as soon as she let go of his arm.
"Camille!" he hissed, looking around to make sure no one else was in there. It was really really really weird to be in the girls' bathroom. Thankfully, though, it seemed like they were alone.
"You're lucky I brought you in here first instead of doing this in front of Logan! What are you doing with him?" Camille had a scary face on, and James didn't like it being directed at him.
"I'm not doing anything!" James was using his own voice now, and ripped off his bandana so he could argue his point better. Camille had already taken off hers.
"James Diamond do not give me that crap! Do you think I'm an idiot? Do you think I can't see how you've been hanging all over him tonight, how you've barely been out of each other's sights? Did you think I didn't notice you two sneak off together for so long? I wanted you to dance with Logan because I thought it would be easier for you, but you were with him even before that and you've been with him ever since. Was that what this whole thing has been about, James? You wanted my help so you could be a girl to screw with your best friend?"
"I'm not trying to screw with him!" James shouted back, upset at the suggestion.
"Or screw him, whichever!" Oh, Camille was nearly breathing fire now.
"It's not like that!"
"Then what is it like?"
"I like him!"
Camille's face lost only the tiniest edge of scariness. "What? What do you mean you like him? And why are you—I don't understand, James."
He tried to explain, he really did. He tried to tell her that Logan was the only person worth being with and James wanted that to be a mutual thing, so he had to give Logan the chance to think of him the same way. But Camille was still staring at him with that mean, angry face and he was having trouble getting the words out.
"And, and I know that he's your ex and so maybe I should have asked someone else for help but—"
"It's not even about that!" she shouted, cutting him off. "This has nothing to do with me and Logan, though you're right, it doesn't make it better. But no, this has to do with you and me, and you and Logan, and how you've been treating us both like, like…we're just here for your benefit! For your convenience! Is that all I am to you, just a stepping stone to getting what you want?!"
She was starting to cry now and he really couldn't handle that, making people cry was the worst and James was the worst but there had to be a way to fix this, right? Everything was finally going right with Logan and he couldn't let everything with Camille fall apart; she was too important to him for that.
"Camille I'm sorry!" he finally blurted out, loud enough to be heard over her continued ranting about how he'd 'used' her.
She stopped yelling, but fresh tears welled up in her eyes. "That's too little too late, James," she said, quietly, and oh fuck that was even worse than the yelling. "I can't believe that you would do this to me. That you would do this to Logan. Why couldn't you just tell me? If you like him or whatever why couldn't you just say so? I would have helped you, but not…not like this. Not with this lying, this deceit."
"There was no other way!" James was still being loud but he couldn't help it; the quiet was too scary. "Logan likes girls and I'm not a girl and I had to be a girl so he would like me but if he liked me enough as a girl then he would like me as me too, maybe, and I couldn't tell you, Camille! I couldn't tell you or Logan or anyone because I had to make him want me first, I had to make him see how perfect I was for him so that way I would know! I couldn't tell him if I didn't know."
James shook his head, involuntarily. No, he wouldn't lose his last little shred of dignity by admitting to that. By admitting he was afraid of being shot down by the one person he couldn't afford to be shot down by. That he was so afraid, in fact, that even now the weeks of prep-work, all of the time and effort that went into this disguise, still seemed like a far better alternative to simply telling Logan how he felt. Like such a safer alternative.
"I don't understand," he said instead, "why it was okay before for me to hide who I am tonight but suddenly it isn't, now that you know I want Logan."
"Because, James," Camille said, her voice shaking, "before it was about fun. About losing yourself in a character, about the freedom that comes from being someone else. But now it's about deception and manipulation and trying to trick a nice boy—one of your best friends, James!—into developing feelings for someone who doesn't exist. You're trying to break Logan's heart, and I can't stand for that, and I can't stand that you've made me a part of it."
Tears were still rolling down Camille's cheeks and it felt like tears were about to form in his own eyes as well. This wasn't supposed to happen. James wasn't playing 'gain a boyfriend, lose a friend.' He couldn't lose Camille.
"I can't lose you, Camille," he choked out.
He couldn't tell if her face was softening or if she was about to start seriously sobbing. "Honestly James, I think right now you should be more worried about losing Logan." Before he could even ask what that meant she had turned around and stormed out of the bathroom, leaving the door wide open behind her.
On the other side of that open door was Logan. Startled, worried, looking at Camille in concern, before turning to look straight at James.
James, who still wasn't wearing his bandana.
In the second that their eyes met James could feel it: the shock, the pain, the fear. He couldn't tell which were his own feelings and which were Logan's; he just knew he wanted, needed them all to stop. He needed everything to be okay. He needed Logan to tell him it would be.
James barely got out Logan's name before Logan ran away from him, too.
Originally posted at http://rensahannou.dreamwidth.org/95700.h