I was honestly very surprised, but very pleased with all the positive feed back I got for The Way We Are, so I wrote this piece as a thank you to everyone who read, and to everyone who reviewed and/or favorited, my first Big Time Rush fanfic. Thank you! Disaster Follows is kind of (but not really) a sequel to The Way We Are. It falls in the same universe, but though this fic makes several references to that piece, it is not necessary to have read it to understand this one. I was going for humor again, but I couldn't help but throw a little angst into this one.
As a side note, as far as I know they have never given Mrs. Knight a name in the show, so I took the liberty to take the actress' real first name and decided to call her Challen Knight.
Rated T for mild coarse language and a hint of violence.
Disclaimer: I do not know or own Big Time Rush or any other affiliated character, nor is any money being made. The show belongs to Nickelodeon.
Mrs. Knight was not amused.
This was the third time in the last year alone the four boys managed to land themselves in the emergency room.
The doctors called the police who dared to ask her if she was abusing her son. No, her thirteen-year old son and his friends were just idiots, she wanted to, but wisely refrained from, telling the cops. She was forced, instead, to explain the decidedly destructive force that was Kendall and his gang of terrors.
It was painfully obvious that those little monsters cared little for their own safety.
Despite the headache they caused, though, and the stress and downright terror she felt every time the hospital called, Challen still loved all of them. James, Carlos and Logan were as much her sons as Kendall.
The cop laughed a little, apologized for the inconvenience and left the boys in her care. Before he left though, he pressed a business card into her hands.
"Just in case," he said.
She read the card over and placed it carefully in her front pocket.
Just in case, indeed.
Challen prayed to find her four boys waiting patiently outside as she stepped into the hallway of the hospital. Instead Kendall sped past her in a wheelchair, Carlos running not far behind him, laughing hysterically as he pushed the other boy down the hall.
She could do nothing but cringe as Kendall thudded into the wall and Carlos took off giggling down the next hallway.
"Kendall Joseph Knight!" Her voice echoed so loudly against the stark white walls that even the doctors and nurses lingering in the halls stopped and turned to look at her.
Her son jumped in surprise before freezing as he caught sight of her. His eyes widened briefly before smiling brightly at her.
Challen did not waste time on pleasantries. Instead she grabbed Kendall by his ear and dragged him down the hallway until they found Carlos at the snack machines. She promptly forced both of them to follow her.
She found Logan next. He had wandered into someone's room having followed a doctor in, asking a million questions and staring in fascination at everything the doctor did.
Someone had lent Logan a lab coat and he was proudly marching around in it, pretending to take notes like the Doctor.
It was positively adorable, but she would not let Logan's enthusiasm lessen her anger as she dragged the protesting teenager with her.
James she found at the nurses station, unsuccessfully chatting up a young, cute nurse. His cheeks turned a dark crimson as she towered behind him, her fury practically radiating off her.
He followed obediently behind as she marched them out of the hospital.
As soon as they shuffled into the house, her four boys stood sheepishly before her.
James, with a light blush still staining his cheeks a dark red, fixed his hair with shaking hands and his lucky comb. It was a nervous habit, Challen noted, that James had displayed as long as she had known him. A habit firmly rooted in his unhealthy obsession with perfection. A bandage was wrapped tightly around his head hiding five stitches above his right eyebrow and a nasty bump to the head. Road burn that resembled greasy cheese pizza extended from his right wrist to elbow.
Her gaze shifted to Carlos who smiled nervously at her. His left middle and index fingers were broken and wrapped together. The teenager had sprained his wrist as well, the offensive limb was still bruised and swollen and tightly bound in an ace bandage.
Logan's shoulders sagged as he stared at everyone and everything, but her. The boy suffered a broken rib and serious scrapes and bruises across his chest. A light scrape was visible on his trembling chin.
Kendall shuffled his feet restlessly, his hand rubbing at the back of his head anxiously. He had road burn as bad as James from ankle to knee and across his shoulders where the pavement had peeled off the layers of his skin. His arm was in sling due to a strained shoulder.
"What happened this time?" she asked, her exasperation clearly tinged in every syllable.
"We were playing extreme street hockey on Cow Hill," was Kendall's mumbled excuse for their injuries.
Cow Hill was the steepest hill in the neighborhood. It was so dangerous, most people didn't even dare ride their bikes or skates down the hill, let alone attempt 'extreme street hockey.' What foolishness had possessed them into thinking it was a good idea?
She sent them to bed, knowing she would never understand why they did it, or what made think they could and cursing her luck for being stuck with them all weekend.
She worried for them, for all of them. One day their thoughtless antics were going to get one of them seriously injured. What would they do then? Would they know what to do?
The business card burned in her pocket and she pulled it out, staring hard at the bold black phone number written across it. As she heard strange thumping noises coming from Kendall's room with what sounded like a strangled 'ow' she made up her mind.
With determination, Challen dialed the number on the card.
"Yes, Hello. I'd like to sign up four boys for your first aid and safety training course."
"Dude, this actually isn't that bad!" Carlos remarked excitedly.
"I think this is awesome!" Logan enthusiastically added.
Way to go mom, Kendall thought. His mother signed them up for a four hour first-aid and safety course. It was proving thus far to be mildly interesting.
The first thing they learned how to do was use a fire extinguisher. Considering Carlos, James, and Kendall were only in second grade when they accidentally started their first fire, and Carlos and Kendall nearly burned down their home ec classroom last year because they couldn't figure out how to use the fire extinguisher and their teacher mysteriously disappeared ten minutes earlier and never came back, learning how to use one was a fairly useful piece of information for the four of them.
They were also taught how to identify if, and what to do when, someone was in shock, how to perform the Heimlich maneuver, how to wrap sprains on wrists and ankles (which would be undeniably useful for hockey season), what to do if someone was drowning and how to treat minor wounds and injuries. Currently they were learning the basics of CPR.
They each had their own CPR Annie to practice on. Logan was eagerly absorbing everything their instructor told them with a wide-eyed expression of awe and amazement. James refused to put his lips on the doll because he "didn't know where those lips had been and he wasn't going to jeopardize his health," though the teacher ensured James multiple times that the area was sanitized properly. Carlos somehow managed to pop the head off his CPR Annie and was desperately trying to fix it with their instructor's help.
Kendall was fairly certain he was getting the hang of it. But for all he knew Annie had died six minutes ago and he was doing everything horrendously wrong.
When his mother picked them up at the end of the course, the four boys thanked her. Logan went as far as hugging Mrs. Knight in profuse appreciation.
But Kendall would be lying if he said he thought about this course much afterward. It went to the back of his mind with all the other pertinent information he learned at school.
It wasn't until over a year later when Kendall found himself sobbing in his mother's arms in the ER with blood over his hands that he realized just how important that course was.
There was on old church that stood ominously on the edge of their neighborhood. Rumor had it that about thirty years ago during a wedding, the best man went mad with jealousy. He was in love with the bride and when he realized he could not have her, he killed her, the groom, the Reverend and himself. It was a bloody massacre and the church had been abandoned since that day.
It was said the bitter bride still haunted the decrepit building. Every night, you could hear her wails of mourning for her fiancé and the wedding she never got to have.
It was a rite of passage amongst freshman boys at their school to spend the night in the haunted church searching for the destitute bride.
Kendall and his friends didn't believe in conforming to such idiocy. They didn't need to spend the night in a dirty, nasty, rundown and dangerous building looking for a ghost that didn't exist to prove their 'manliness' or 'coolness' or whatever other bullshit.
However, while eavesdropping on a conversation, Carlos found out Mark and his friends were planning on taking up that the challenge to prove how 'cool' they were. It was completely idiotic in Kendall's opinion.
Mark and his cronies, however, had recently taken to bullying Logan and Carlos.
So the plan was to terrify the shit out of those bastards using some special effects and a home made ghost and to tape the whole thing and show it the school the next day. Their plan, like they usually do, worked brilliantly.
Mark ran out of the school with his tail between his legs screaming like a little girl. And they got it all on camera!
Kendall's still not exactly sure what happened next, though. One minute they were celebrating and the next minute James was falling through the floor.
They knew they had to careful, Kendall knew how weak and dangerous rotting wood could be.
But the simple fact was, they weren't cautious enough. They never should have gone into that building and Kendall regretted that decision everyday of his life.
James could have died.
The wood cracked and splintered, the dust was forcefully kicked up around them and there was a heartbreaking moment of silence before James hit the ground with a loud crack and a sickening thud.
For a devastating moment, Kendall could hear nothing, for a moment he was so terrified and panicked he could do nothing, but stare at the spot where James used to be.
With a loud gasp, sound rushed back to him. His heart thudded loudly in his chest.
"Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god," Logan chanted in the corner.
"James?" Carlos freaked and ran to the edge of hole their friend just fell through. "James!" he nearly screamed when there was no response. A small amount of light filtered through the hole and they got a small glimpse of James lying on the basement floor, still and unmoving.
"Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god."
Kendall's brain violently jump-started.
He grabbed Carlos by the shoulders. "Find the first phone you can and call 911," he commanded. Carlos could only nod dumbfounded before he quickly sprinted out of the building.
Kendall clamped a hand on Logan's shoulder as much to steady himself as the hysterical boy. "We're going down there," he told Logan and the other boy could only nod, eyes wide in barely contained fear. "He's fine, he has to be."
By the time they found themselves down in the basement, James was beginning to stir. They could hear a low moan and a pained gasp and all Kendall could think was thank god he's not dead.
"What, what happened?" James slurred as Kendall dropped to a crouch next to him.
"You fell," Logan responded, relief evident in his voice.
Kendall took James' hand in his own, squeezing tightly. "You're gonna be okay." In the soft light of the flashlight he held, he could see a steadily bleeding cut on James temple. Ripping off a piece of his shirt, he held it lightly to the wound. He knew from the way James' eyes couldn't quite focus and the slur in his speech, that the injured boy had a serious concussion. Other than that, he seemed fine.
"Oh shit," he heard Logan hiss. "Give me the flashlight!"
"What is it?" he asked as he handed the object over. But he hadn't needed to ask. The flashlight glinted off a puddle of crimson blood that was steadily growing, seeping from a deep cut in James' side.
The flashlight dropped to the floor as Logan hurried out of his shirt and pressed it against the wound without hesitation.
James hissed in pain. "Kendall?"
"It's okay, James, you're gonna be fine," the lie slipped easily from his lips. His heart pounded painfully in his chest as he forced himself not to panic.
James' hand trembled in his grasp and when he reached over to brush James' bangs out of his eyes, he felt how cold and clammy his skin felt.
"He's going into shock," he told Logan, though he didn't quite know where the knowledge came from.
Logan nodded and bit his lip. With the flashlight, he searched around the dingy basement. "Grab that piece of wood, we'll use it to raise his feet." Logan easily took control. "Got anything we can use as a pillow for his head?"
Kendall raised James' feet and shuffled around until James' head was cradled in his lap. He stroked his friend's hair lightly.
"Stay awake, okay, James?" He patted James' cheek lightly when his eyes slipped shut. The injured teenager groaned in pain, but obeyed him.
He glanced at Logan. The other teen was trembling uncontrollably, the shirt in his hands quickly became soaked with blood, with James' blood, a voice in his head reminded him. Logan's eyes met his and he knew the same pain and fear he saw in Logan's eyes was reflected in his own.
It was several long, agonizing minutes of labored, pained breathing from James and terrified silence before the ambulance showed up. James' was carried away leaving behind three dirty, tired and terrified boys standing above a puddle of their best friends' blood.
Kendall found himself in the ER later that night, still in shock himself, sobbing hysterically.
He was crying 'thank you' over and over again into his mother's arms, so relieved and upset and terrified and thankful that the twisted mess of emotions swirling in his brain physically hurt.
James was going to be fine. Their quick thinking and first aid saved his life, the Doctor said.
Kendall, Carlos and Logan shakily stared at each other, knowing all too well exactly where they learned first-aid in the first place.
And Kendall knew he would never be able to express to his mother how grateful he was for her insight after the Cow Hill incident, for forcing them into that course. That class it…
It saved his best friend's life.
And nothing could ever repay that.
Kendall likes to think they all learned a lesson that day, but he can't say they really did.
Two months later when James could finally walk around without crutches and his wound was nearly healed, they celebrated with a well deserved prank.
Somehow the 15 foot statue outside the local diner ended up on the roof of their school. Everyone knew they did it, but no one could pin the blame on them, because no one could quite figure out how they did it.
And if Logan got a black eye from slipping and smacking his face off it, well falling had been the greatest excuse for black eyes in the history of lying.
Or when they stole their principal's dog, two months later which bit Carlos, Komodo dragons were a very good explanation for bite marks. Because Komodo dragons were so numerous in Minnesota these days and you know they didn't have a toxic bite or anything.
"You guys ready?" Kendall asked as pulled his black ski mask over his face.
"Ready!" Carlos, James and Logan responded. James tied a black bandana around his head as Carlos pulled his hood down over his helmet.
In Logan's hands was a case of red, angry fire ants.
When Mark found out they pranked him in the church and filmed it, he doubled his efforts at bullying and terrorizing Logan and Carlos.
He should have known better than to mess with the four of them, though.
And maybe Kendall smacked his forehead off a door as they were running away, and maybe he might have given himself a concussion. He's not really sure about that or not.
As they ran away laughing, though, listening to Mark shriek like the little girl he was, Kendall knew they hadn't learned their lesson at all.
But as long as he still had his three best friends, he was okay with that.
Because they would always be there to save each other.