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Title: Changing Seasons
Disclaimer: Still not my boys, although I kind of love them like they were.
Pairings/Characters: all 4 boys, vague James/Logan pre-slash
Rating: PG(-13? for language)
Word Count: ~1,300
Warnings: language

Summary: The boys raking leaves. Or...mostly not. (MOST EXCITING SUMMARY EVER)

Author's Notes: Written for Trick Or Drabble 2011. [ profile] queenitsy wanted "something Minnesota-era, a year or two before they leave for LA. Either gen shenanigans or James/Logan pre-slash, but just general boys-being-boysness. Um. Prompt: changing seasons." I STOLE THE PROMPT FOR MY TITLE. ♥


"We're getting paid for this, right?"

Three pairs of hands stopped moving and three pairs of eyes looked at James in disbelief.

"You're kidding, right?" Logan asked.

"What, this is work," James countered.

"We're just raking some leaves, dude," Carlos said.

"Yeah, for my mom," Kendall added. "Who, you know, does stuff for us all the time."

Logan and Carlos shook their heads while Kendall glared for another second before they all went back to work, raking the early-falling leaves into two big piles.

James watched them all for a moment, rake motionless in his hand, before he spoke again. "So that means we're not getting paid?"

"James!" Kendall shouted, not even bothering to look up at him again.

"Fine!" he huffed, and went back to raking.

"It's not like you're even doing very much," Logan muttered, loud enough for all of them to hear.

"What is that supposed to mean?"

"Mine and Kendall's leaf pile is way bigger than yours and Carlos's," Logan said, gesturing at the piles in question.

"That's because Carlos keeps trying to play in the leaves!" James shot back. Then he turned to Carlos. "Carlos, go mess up their pile. Like Logan said, it's bigger than ours. Way more fun to play in."

"Carlos, don't you dare!" Logan blocked the leaf pile with his body but it was too late, Carlos had already gotten that look in his eyes and Logan's tiny frame didn't pose any sort of obstacle. Dropping his rake, Carlos ran at Logan with a grin, tackling him and landing them both in the pile of leaves.

Kendall laughed, watching as Logan tried to get away from Carlos, who was having none of that. James was just smirking in satisfaction until Logan started shouting "Carlos stop trying to shove leaves down my pants!" and then he was laughing too, before taking his rake and sweeping more leaves on top of the two of them.

After a second Kendall started to help him, and soon they had their two friends completely covered in leaves, while Carlos cackled and Logan shrieked. James and Kendall just kept laughing until there was a sudden "Ow! Fuck!" from Logan and everyone froze.

"Logan?" Carlos said, leaves falling away as he sat up.

"Logan," Kendall echoed, "are you—"

"Stupid rake!" Logan sat up as well, rubbing at his back, glaring at his discarded rake next to him.

"You okay?" James asked, not bothering to hide his chuckle.

"No, jerk," Logan said, turning the glare on James. "Now help me up."

Carlos reached over to brush leaves off of Logan's head and shoulders. "Sorry, buddy."

James took Logan's outstretched hand and pulled him to his feet, but on the way Logan's glare changed into a sneaky smile and a second later he was rubbing leaves into James's hair.

Leaves. Dirty, gross, slightly damp leaves. In his hair.

Logan's laugh was short-lived as James grabbed him and threw him back into the leaf pile, narrowly missing Carlos as he followed to enact his revenge. They wrestled for a little while but it was barely a contest; James had started working out that summer in preparation for high school and at this point he was pretty sure he could take any of his friends if it really came down to it. Not that it ever would, of course, but he still liked being stronger than them.

And it came in handy at times like this, when he could pin Logan to the ground and still have a hand free to grab those disgusting leaves and shove them under the collar of Logan's sweatshirt while he squirmed helplessly. "Asshole," Logan said with a glare that wasn't entirely believable.

"Hey, at least I'm not puttin' 'em down your pants," James shot back with a grin.

Logan stopped struggling and held still for a split-second while his expression changed, and then the hands that had been pushing at James were gone, only to be felt again at his waistband along with a cold dampness that could only be those damn leaves. James's eyes went wide in disbelief as Logan smirked up at him.

Using his free hand, James reached down and grabbed Logan's wrist as he was going for more leaves, feeling the fingers of Logan's other hand against the skin right above his jeans. Logan's expression changed again, almost like he was trapped, and now it was James's turn to look smug, except then he watched Logan's eyes flick from his captured hand to the other before confusion flashed across his face. And now James was starting to get weirdly warm in the cool autumn air, and he felt like he should probably jump up and maybe get back to raking or whatever but he also sort of really wanted to know what Logan would do if he just stayed here.

Logan looked up at him again finally, meeting his eyes with the confusion still there, like he was looking to James for answers but James really didn't even know what the question was. Then the fingers still on his skin moved, just the tiniest little bit, and James might have tightened his grip on Logan's wrist and might have even let out the tiniest little gasp before something barreled into him from the side and he found himself flat on his back next to Logan on the leaves.

"I rescued you, Logan," Carlos said triumphantly, sprawled half across James.

"Um, thanks," Logan replied after a second, sounding spacey. "Dude, Kendall, what happened to you?"

James shoved Carlos off of him and sat up, looking over at Kendall, who…looked sort of like a scarecrow, except instead of straw sticking out everywhere it was leaves. Everywhere.

"Carlos happened," Kendall said with a shrug. "Now come on guys, my mom's gonna be home soon and she's bringing us dinner so we should really have this done before she gets here. And now it kind of looks like we haven't even started yet." He waved an arm at the leaves that had been re-scattered over half the yard.

"Aww, it's okay Kendall, there's four of us so it won't take any time at all. Right Logan?" Carlos asked, looking across James to where Logan was standing up, brushing himself off.

Logan gave Carlos a look, but James knew as well as the rest of them it didn't mean anything. "As long as we can get the leaves bagged up before you decide to jump in them again, yeah."

Carlos grinned. "I'll be good." He held out a hand and Logan rolled his eyes before helping him to his feet.

James was still sitting on the ground as they walked away. "You okay?" Kendall asked him, reaching out to help James up as well.

"Yeah," James said, brushing the leaves out of his hair and then running his fingers through it. He was about to reach in his pocket for his lucky comb when he realized something and made a face. "Well, except for the leaves in my pants!" he said, louder than necessary so Logan would hear.

James started pulling the leaves out of his jeans as Kendall laughed, and Logan looked back to smirk again, his face tinged with pink. Whether it was a blush or just from the cool air and the raking James wasn't sure, but he liked the idea of it being at least partly the first one so that's what he told himself.
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February 2013


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