big time rush; gender swap au
For the btrsecretsanta exchange, gift for folkloric_feel. ♥ ♥
→ New resident Jo Taylor gets a taste of what life’s to be like at the Palm Woods Hotel.
It’s a pretty fancy place. Not five stars perhaps, but Jo isn’t too picky. He was here for one reason, after all. Get an acting gig, gain experience and build success, become the next Leonardo DiCaprio.
His mother and father were a little concerned about him being all the way across the country without them, but the proposal Jo had written up concerning the pros and cons had convinced them to at least let him try.
So here he was, a clean-cut North Carolina boy with a mind full of personal expectations and plans to become the next rising Hollywood star. The only way he was leaving California was if he was forced onto a plane or sent away in a body bag.
As he walks through the lobby and wanders out to the pool are, he feels it. Eyes. Honing in on him. Like targets. And before he can even rotate his gaze to find the source, he makes a mental decision -- no girls.
Because girls always come with baggage. Emotions. Lip-gloss. Whiny best friends. Clingy, needy, hair flipping attitudes. And Jo wasn’t in any mood to deal with it. He had a career to make. Goals to accomplish.
Although, once he finally locates the gaggle of girls he’d instinctually felt eyeing him, he has to do a double take. He certainly wasn’t expecting to see girls like that in Hollywood.
Sure. Perhaps some super skinny, blond-haired, bronze-skinned, vegan-eating pseudo activists who breathed in TMZ and tweeted about Edward Cullen. But the four girls he finds not-so-subtly whispering from behind a row of shrubs -- well, they were definitely from out of town.
Jo likes that.
And just like that, Kendall is a little in love. It wouldn’t be the first time, but at least she wasn’t like Carla, who fell “in love” with everyone. Or like Jamie, who thought everyone was in love with her. Or even like Logan, who always said, “Love is a chemical imbalance in the brain.”
As she peeked from between the bundles of leaves and watched the mysterious new guy walk back into the lobby to follow his father toward the elevators, Kendall swore she would get to know him.
“He’s totally going to be my boyfriend.” Kendall swings her head around to find Jamie plucking her fingers through her hair.
“No way, James,” she shot at the other girl. “I saw him first.”
Logan sighs and crosses her arms. “That is completely ineffectual, due to the fact that I saw him first.”
“He will be mine!” Carla shouts, thrusting an elbow-padded arm into the air. Jamie starts yelling and Logan starts shoving and Kendall can’t help herself from growling before tackling the group hard enough for them all to tumble into the pool.
As she laughs and splashes waves of water into her friend’s faces, she internally declares this a civil war.
That boy would be hers. Even if she has to serenade him from beneath a balcony.
Which is pretty much what happens. Cameron saw it coming about a mile away. And it’s hilarious as hell, really.
But it’s not as hilarious as how he met Jo just fifteen minutes before. Which may’ve involved him walking up to Jo, throwing his arms around the surprised boy and fake crying hysterically.
“We did it Robby Jay! We won the big game! Your final touchdown saved us all and now my Pappy won’t have to send me to military school!”
Jo didn’t try to pull away, just gave Cameron a confused and slightly amused look.
“Uh, who are you and what are you doing?”
Cameron stepped back and grinned big and wide. “I’m auditioning for this CW show, hopefully to get the part of ‘testosterone-filled jock who has hidden emotions.’ But I’m really just Cameron Roberts, another one of the many aspiring actor who reside at the ever-popular Palm Woods.”
Jo nodded and extended a hand. “Well then. I’m Jo Taylor, and I’ll be joining the ranks of actors searching for a role. I’ve got a five-step goal plan that I hope to execute as soon as I settle into this place. Probably the day after tomorrow if things go the way I expect them to.”
As Cameron had taken the hand to shake, he snorted and ruffled Jo’s ear-length hair.
“You’re a bit too serious, but I can help you loosen up.”
So he followed Jo back to his room, and Jo didn’t object to the company. Which is how they ended up standing on the balcony and witnessing the disaster occurring below.
“That’s Carla,” Jo explains as he points to the shortest girl with curly hair. “She’s adorably sweet and silly, but she tends to depend too much on Jamie. That’s the one with the super-long shiny hair. Her talents are smiling, singing, and running flawlessly in high heels.”
Jo flinches as Jamie jams one of her heels into the foot of another girl. She howls in pain and pulls at Jamie’s hair.
“The girl with the plaid skirt who’s attacking Jamie is Logan, and she’s as smart as a whip but kind of socially awkward. I might have a thing for her, just saying.”
Cameron giggles to himself and points at the last girl, who was trying to push up onto Carla’s shoulders and attempting to sing between shouts of pain as Carla clawed at her arms.
“And that’s Kendall, the undeclared leader.” Jo’s eyes widened a little as he took in the sight of such a pretty girl in such a fierce situation. “She’s super nice, super clever, super persuasive, and pretty much the most stubborn and confident girl I’ve ever met. Plus, she’s got a mean hockey shot, so don’t ever piss her off.”
The girls continue to tumble and fight and warble a few notes in and out, and Jo has to admit it’s entertaining.
“That’s the Palm Wood’s girl group, and they’re trying to revive the whole Spice Girls thing, except they’re female hockey players from Minnesota instead of crazy British sexpots.”
The boys can barely decipher a line or two, and it sounds a little like any kind of girl you want boy. Accompanied with a few outbursts of ouch you jerk, you ripped my shirt and not the hair, you guys!
“As crazy as they are, though, they’re probably some of the most genuine and real people here,” Cameron continues with a smile. “I like them all, really. Midwestern girls. So sincere.”
“What about you,” Jo adds, tilting his head in Cameron’s direction. “Describe your place here.”
Snickering, Cameron stretches his arms and begins. “Well, I can be very diverse and complex. For example, I can play your All-American guy.” He flexes his right arm and Jo laughs.
“I can even play the douche whose job is to piss everybody off.” Cameron flips a lock of hair into his eyes and sneers. “And I can be the shy yet decisive boy-next-door.”
He reaches a hand to touch Jo’s forearm and lowers his voice. “So, I was thinking. Would you like to grab a plate of fries sometime? You know, as more than friends.” Cameron scoots closer until his face is inches away from Jo’s. The other boy stays still and expressionless until Cameron cracks a smile and pulls away.
“See? I’m just your versatile method actor. Not afraid to try anything.” He winks and Jo can’t help but let his mind wander to what kind of ‘other things’ Cameron could mean.
Shaking such thoughts out of his head, Jo lets his eyes slide back down to watch the girls’ battle for domination. He sneaks a glance at Cameron out the corner of his eyes and notes to himself that the other boy is quirky and cute with sparklingly mischievous eyes and a bubbling personality, and that he’s inexplicably drawn to it all.
Abruptly halting all and any thoughts, Jo revises his previously declared Number 1 rule.
No girls or boys, not while he’s working to achieve his dreams and become successful.
As he watches the way Cameron’s shoulders shake and his hair tickles his forehead when he laughs, Jo grits his teeth. Because he knows that’s only easier said than done.