Spoilers for Big Time Wedding
Ignite The Light
Carlos lays on his back across the little platform where the slide starts to twist down towards the floor of their room at the Palm Woods. The sun set hours ago and he lays there in the darkness, the faint glow from the light over the stove casting shadows across the ceiling He curls his hands behind his head, his feet propped up on the edge. He barely looks up to the lofted area and simply smiles instead.
“Rough day?” he remarks.
“Who knew Kerplankistanie girls were so persistent.”
Carlos turns his head to the side and grins, “And you’re stupid,” he reminds. “I mean, really, a white rose? It’s corny in the first place without being a strange and accidental marriage proposal.
James just rolls his eyes. “It was a rose. Girls love roses. And I’m a guy, guys love girls.” He shrugged and Carlos let out a huff of amusement.
They lay in silence for a moment before Carlos whispers, “I’m glad you didn’t get married.”
“Me too,” James smirks nonchalantly. “I mean, why be tied down to a single girl so soon? Not that it won’t be nice for the future, but part of the glamour of this job is ladies swooning over you, am I right?” He elbows his friend in the ribs and Carlos bats him away with a hand.
“Yeah, ladies just love you, poster boy,” he says in return.
James rolls over onto his side and props himself up on an elbow, looking down at Carlos with a considering frown. “Did you hit your head when we were running away from the king’s daughters, or what? You’re kind of a grump today.”
Carlos just stares at him. “No, I used my helmet, remember?” He taps his knuckles against James’s forehead lightly and smiles when the other winces. “It’s just … It feels like you’re lately you’re one step from getting ripped away from the band. First your mom and now this.”
“Sorry,” James whispers apologetically.
“Sorry doesn’t mean you’ll stay.”
“What do you want me to say then?”
Carlos closes his eyes and sighs, “Nothing. It’s fine. That’s just how you are, how we all are. We always trip face first into trouble and have to fight our way out just to stay together.” He smirks, “But you could try not to propose to any Kerplankistanie girls in the future.”
“It. Was. A. Rose,” James grits out, “How was I supposed to know.”
“As Logan would say,” Carlos laughs, reaching up to squish James’s face between his hands, “Think before you do things. A rule which usually only applies to me and you.”
James shakes his head and pries Carlos’s hands from his cheeks, “As if that’s ever going to happen.”
“If wishes were dinosaur chicken nuggets …” Carlos mocks.
Sitting up James rests his chin in his hands, his elbows on his knees. “I promise not to leave, okay?”
“You better,” Carlos chuckles, “You’re no longer allowed within fifty feet of roses from now on.”
James laughs and tosses something over his shoulder at the other, “Then I better get rid of this then.” Carlos blinks as the thing falls and lands on his stomach, a slightly squished looking white rose with it’s thorns pulled off. “Wouldn’t want to make the same mistake twice.” He turns when Carlos remains silent and smiles at him, “Keep it.”
Carlos nods and stays where he is as James gets up and slides down the yellow swirly slide to the ground floor of the band’s room. He doesn’t move until he hears their bedroom door shut. Slowly, he picks up the beat up little rose between his forefinger and thumb, holding it up to be illuminated by the soft glow of the only light in the room. He laughs quietly and smiles to himself in the darkness.
The next morning the flower sits in a cup of water on the table, it’s squished petals carefully straightened. James picks at it when the four of them sit down for breakfast and kicks Carlos’s legs under the table when no one is watching.