Logan paced on the front steps of the school as he waited for Kendall and the others to meet him there. He swung his umbrella a little by his side, bouncing it against his knees as he made sure not to hit any of the other students hanging around in the process. He stopped and squinted out into the rain. It was coming down harder than ever and he shivered subconsciously. He knew he was going to get wet no matter what, even with his umbrella and heavy jacket.
He was so busy staring out into the rain that he didn’t hear Carlos come at him from the side. The other boy wrapped his arms around him tightly, lifting his feet off the ground slightly to give him a rough shake. “It’s raining, Logan!!” He yelled excitedly into his ear, causing Logan to wince softly and drop his umbrella as a result.
“Carlos, put me down!” Logan said, struggling against the other boy’s hold until he was dropped onto his feet. He glanced at Carlos in annoyance as he fixed his jacket before he kneeled down to grab his umbrella off the ground. He sighed and ran his hands along his umbrella, wiping off the dirt and small rocks that had gotten stuck to it. He glanced at Carlos as he did it and noticed that the other boy was a little empty-handed, “Where’s your umbrella?”
“I didn’t bring it.”
Logan stopped rubbing his umbrella down at that, “What? Why not?”
Carlos shrugged, “It wasn’t raining this morning! How was I supposed to know to bring it?”
Logan brows furrowed and he frowned, “But I sent you a text this morning telling you that it was going to rain.”
Carlos laughed, “Really? Well, uh, I kinda busted my phone last night so I didn’t get it,” he said, with a sheepish grin.
Logan opened his mouth to ask what happened but shook his head instead and closed it. He probably didn’t want to know. Instead he sighed heavily and looked down at his black umbrella. He opened his mouth again to say that they could share his when James showed up.
“You guys, it’s raining,” he stated dismally. He looked so distraught over this fact, like it had just dawned on him and it hadn’t been raining for the past half hour.
Carlos laughed and Logan just shook his head, “Uh, yeah, we know, James.”
“Do you have any idea what rain does to my hair?” James hands came up to cup around his hair, not quite touching, but almost.
“Oh! It gets it wet!” Carlos answered excitedly, a grin on his face; he looked between the two boys as if waiting for some kind of confirmation.
“The same thing it does to everything else,” Logan couldn’t resist deadpanning. He watched the taller boy attempt to make some kind of shield of protection for his hair with his hands. “James…” he started reproachfully, as if talking to a small child, “Where’s your umbrella?”
James paused with his hands still hovering above his head, “What? Oh, I didn’t bring it.”
“Why not?” Logan asked sounding just a touch exasperated.
“I didn’t know it was going to be raining today.”
“Gah, don’t you watch the news? Besides I sent you a text this morning about it! I sent all of you a text. It said, ‘Guys. It’s going to rain this afternoon. Don’t forget your umbrellas!’
James blinked before he let his hands drop to his side and dug around in his pocket to pull his phone out. After pressing a few buttons, he grinned, “Oh, hey, you did.”
Logan closed his eyes and turned away from the other boy slightly to pinch the bridge of his nose. He took a deep breath and tried not to be as annoyed with James as he wanted to be.
“Sorry, Logan, I get a lot of texts! I sometimes miss a few!” James said defensively, like it wasn’t his fault he was so popular. He then reached for Logan’s umbrella. “You’re going to share with me, though, right?”
“I don’t know why I should.” He said, pulling the umbrella out of James’ range and looked up at James through narrowed eyes, watching his face fall with a small feeling of satisfaction. He wouldn’t really not share with him, but he didn’t want James to think he could get anything he wanted whenever he wanted from him.
“Hey! No way! I was here first! Logan’s sharing with me,” Carlos butted in. He nudged Logan in the side and nodded at him an encouraging grin on his face, “Right, Logan?”
“I don’t think I should share with either of you. I should make you walk in the rain. Teach you a thing or two about responsibility!”
James and Carlos shared a look and before Logan realized what was going on, his hands were empty. Carlos dashed a few feet away, laughing at the surprised expression on Logan’s face. “Give it back, Carlos!”
“Not until you promise to share!” Carlos called over his shoulder. He stopped a few yards away from the other boy and held the stolen artifact over his head tauntingly.
“It’s mine. I don’t have to share with you if I don’t want to.”
“Well, I guess you’re not getting it back then,” Carlos said with a shrug and twirled the umbrella in hand.
Logan growled in frustration and ran towards Carlos, intent on retrieving his umbrella from the other boy’s clutches. Carlos laughed and ran to the side, circling around Logan to pass it off to James shouting out, “Keep away!” as he did so.
Logan skidded to a stop when he did and turned towards them, shooting them both annoyed looks. “Come on, guys, quit being immature.”
“I don’t know. This is kinda fun,” James said, tossing it from hand to hand. He grinned down at Carlos who was grinning back.
Kendall walked out of the school to find James and Carlos practically dog-piling Logan. They were both crowded over him with Logan doubled over clutching something to his chest.
“Stop! You’re gonna break it!” He heard Logan yell, his words slightly muffled.
He stopped a few feet away from the three boys to watch the spectacle with a bemused expression on his face. “Uh, what are you guys doing?” he asked after a few moments.
All three boys stopped and looked up at Kendall, none of them even realizing that he was even there. James and Carlos backed up some allowing Logan enough space to jerk free.
“Logan won’t share his umbrella!” James and Carlos said at the same time that Logan said, “They’re being really childish!”
“Um, what?” Kendall asked, then laughed, looking at each boy in turn. They were all disheveled and flustered, especially Logan whose hair was sticking up in all different directions.
“They forgot to bring their umbrellas and now they expect me to share with them,” Logan explained sending both boys an annoyed and exasperated look.
Suddenly Logan brightened up and turned towards Kendall, “Duh, one of you guys can share with Kendall,” he said, relieved that all their problems were solved and James and Carlos would stop trying to squash him into submission.
Kendall suddenly looked away, “Uh, actually, I don’t have mine either,” he said, rubbing the back of his neck nervously.
Logan’s face fell, “Why not?” Logan was getting really tired of asking that.
“Well, like, I got your text this morning but then I couldn’t find it and my mom had already left to take Katie to school and I was already running late. But I figured you’d bring yours and we could just share…”
At this James and Carlos jumped in, pulling Logan back towards them. “No way!” they both yelled in unison, “If anything, Logan’s going to share with one of us,” Carlos said, “Yeah, we got here first,” James added. “I got here first,” Carlos corrected shooting James an annoyed look. “Whatever I’m prettier.”
Carlos pushed James causing him to stumble to the side a bit, “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means I’m prettier and should be the one to share with Logan,” he retorted, pushing Carlos back.
“Hey,” Logan interjected, “I’ll share with who I want to share with!”
Kendall saw both boys turn towards Logan and stepped up to the three boys before it could turn into a downright squabble. “You guys, the umbrella’s big enough. I’m sure we could all fit under it.” He saw Logan open his mouth to protest and Kendall gave him a sidelong look, tilting his head slightly and arching an eyebrow, “Right, Logie?”
All three boys look at Logan expectantly, waiting for his answer. “Ugh, I need new friends,” he muttered to himself, before sighing in frustration. “Fine, whatever,” he said, his shoulder sagging slightly in defeat, “But I’m in the middle! I’m not getting sick because you,” he pointed a finger at Carlos and James, “are irresponsible and can’t be bothered to check your messages!”
“Hey, my phone’s broke!” Carlos said defensively.
Kendall clapped his hands together, ignoring Carlos’ outburst and bringing them back to the point. “Alright. Logan and James in the middle then and Carlos and me on outside.” He pointed at Carlos with both hands, “That alright with you, Carlitos?”
Carlos nodded, shoving his helmet onto his head and slapping the top of it. “Yeah!”
“I wanna hold the umbrella!” Carlos exclaimed, reaching over Logan’s shoulder and snatching the umbrella from him.
Logan turned towards him, disgruntled at having his umbrella taken without any notice. “Uh, it’s my umbrella. I’m going to hold it,” he stated, snatching it back.
“You guys,” James butted in, “If anyone’s going to hold it it’s going to be me. I’m the tallest,” he finished, easily plucking the umbrella out of Logan’s hand.
“What does that have to do with anything,” Logan complained, lunging for the stolen artifact. But James held it above his head, leaning away to make it even further from his grasp.
Kendall walked over and snapped the umbrella out of James’ outstretched hand. “You guys. We can all hold the umbrella. Or take turns. Whichever’s easier,” he looked each one pointedly, “Okay?” He stared at Logan a little longer than the others because he was starting to look a little grumpy. Eventually the other boy sighed and threw his hands up in the air in defeat.
“Fine, whatever. Can we just go now?” This was getting ridiculous. Almost all the other students had already left to brave the weather and here they were still arguing over his umbrella. He just wanted to get home already, take a long hot shower and get started on his homework.
There was an elbow digging into Logan’s ribs. He was pretty sure it was Carlos’ and he was pretty sure he was doing it on purpose. They were packed in pretty tight under the umbrella. It was really only meant for maybe two people at a time, but they somehow managed to all fit in. For the most part. They were tucked under the umbrella pretty snugly with him in the middle. The umbrella handle was right in front of him, held by all four of them. James was behind him, pressed along his back, his arm snaking under his to hold the bottom of the handle. Logan could feel James heart beating against his back and feel his breath stir the hair against his neck. Carlos and Kendall were two solid barriers against the wind and rain to his side and if any of them was going to stay relatively dry it was going to be him. He turned to look up at Kendall, who seemed to turn at the same time because their eyes met at the same exact moment and smiled hesitantly. Someone rubbed his knuckles with their thumb and he assumed it was Kendall as the other boy smiled back before glancing behind him at James and then over at Carlos.