A/N's Notes: So my midterms are tomorrow, but let's just ignore my grades for a few hours and focus on this little gem of prompt. I loved this, so I worked really hard on it. Not that I don't usually but…wait that came out wrong. Also I think it's hilarious this was too big for livejournal and that forced me to put it only on here. It's only 5,000 words or something Lj c'mon get with the times, lol.

-BTR-

It's two am on a Tuesday night, and three fourths of Big Time Rush are all sound asleep in their beds. And the other fourth, the most important, brilliant, perfect fourth of them is just getting home.

And he's limping through the door and trying very, very hard not to cry and wake up his family. James needs his beauty sleep. Logan and Carlos have the room closest to the door, and Kendall keeps this in mind when his side twinges and he doubles over in agony, he does so silently with his mouth wide open in a muted scream and his eyes clench shut at the throbbing. Tears now, tears mingle on his check with the blood from his nose and his split lip, and fuck, he hasn't been this beat up since Mike Lingoli in freshman year when the senior made fun of James and Kendall went after the guy for it. This…this is worse though. This hurts…deeper than his split lip and his aching ribs. This is a matter of his heart too, because, for some reason he's been a bad judge of character for the last month and too blinded by what he thought was love to see the mistake he made in dating Jack.

Kendall moved along the kitchen table by leaning on it like it was his cane. He catches a chair with his ankle, almost breaks his silence, and hisses and hops on one foot toward the direction of swirly.

Oh...kay. The pain ebbs back, but certainly doesn't go away, and the blonde stumbles to swirly, his heart plummeting in the realization that, yeah, no way he's got enough strength to drag himself up their prized slide. He can barely stand up straight.

No problem. Sleeping on the couch has its advantages, too, Kendall thinks to himself, before turning around.

And ending up going head over ass over the back of the orange couch in his misjudge of distance. He rolls up and knocks the table with his busted ankle, and letting out a cry that would put Gustavo's vocal levels to shame.

So much for silence, because it's not two minutes later Kendall hears a clatter upstairs, and even though Logan sleeps like the dead, some reason he's the first one peering over the balcony with the hall light framing him like an angel and calling out Kendall's name with the sort of voice you'd reserve for shouting matches.

"Holy shit! Kendall, what the hell-" The brunette clatters down the slide quickly, landing on his knees in his haste from the speed he'd picked up. "Happened to you!"

"Whatssa goin' on?" Carlos is behind Logan, falling out of swirly, his hockey stick up in the air and brandished like a weapon. James tumbles out behind them, but his Cuda spray isn't as threatening as Carlo's hockey stick, and the pretty boy hurriedly stows it away before taking in the scene before them. It shocks him to the core.

He breathes out a whisper. "Fuck…"

Because there, below them on the ground, illuminated by the pool's all night blue glow coming in through the windows and the hall light above them, is their best friend, is their leader and protector since pee-wee hockey, is Kendall fucking Knight, crumpled on the ground and trying to hold in his moans as he is bleeding on the ground and sprawled over the upturned couch.

Carlos loses his grip on his stick, and Logan's knees shake a little.

"Oh, Kennie…" Logan hisses. No. Not their leader, not on his watch.

None of them had ever been so glad with Logan's career choice at that moment, because the brunette suddenly moves into action, though clearly he's just as startled as his other friends. "Kendall, what happened?" Logan is looking for both a verbal and physical answer apparently, because he lowers next the taller boy and starts to gently assess the damage. But Kendall doesn't, can't, answer in between his ragged gasps and his retching body as it convulses around its awkward position on the floor. He's in too much pain to function properly.

"Kendall, just breathe for-for us, okay? In…and out…" Logan motions for Carlos and James to help, and they do, moving the couch from under Kendall's twisted legs, (he gasps in pain at this) and stretching the entirely flaccid blonde out to lie on the floor, arms eagle spread as he pants unevenly. Sure and confident, Logan recalls his studies, his self-lessons, while it's obvious Kendall's bleeding, his air way isn't obstructed, he just needs to slow his breathing. There's blood, in several spots, mottled all the way through to his second layer flannel short-sleeved shirt, around his chest, and Logan inspects those injuries first, all the while listening to the wheezing, and sobbing sounds coming from his best friend as he lies before them. He rests his outstretched palm on a place where isn't any sign of injury. Logan is careful to apply no pressure that would conflict with Kendall's heaving extensory muscles either. But for some reason the touch clams down Kendall a little bit, and in that respect everyone else calms down a little after he starts to.

When James kneels across from Logan, respectfully not as close as their doctor-in-training or leaning over him, Kendall senses more than sees this and pushes his hand into James' knee and rests it there. The gesture is so shaky and so feeble that James grits his teeth and tries to offer as much comfort as he can through a smile and hand holding and staying calm. On the inside though, he's freaking out.

Carlos, for his part, puts the couch back in place and picks up his hockey stick, standing at Logan's back and staring at the door as if expecting Kendall's attacker to come through it and try to finish the job. Carlos is ready for that, and to be frank, he wants it to happen, so he and James, and maybe even their pacifist Logie, can take turns in beating the living shit outta that asshole that did this to their leader.

Logan pauses in his ministrations long enough to jump up and get the first aid kit in the bathroom down the hall at break neck speed. Kendall's not hospital worthy, in fact, it's probably the last place he wants to go right now, so Logan respects the blonde's wishes and simply treats the wounds as to the best of his abilities.

He talks, partly to himself, partly to assure James and Carlos that everything's going to be fine and he vocalizes his actions as James watches his movements with a hawk-eye. "So far I think I'll just need a little peroxide…" Lifting Kendall's shirt and exposing the torn skin that isn't deep enough but could risk infection, Logan swabs quickly over the bloodied area.

Kendall hisses at the sting and Carlos edges closer between them and the door. Kendall releases a small sigh (and subconsciously, so does everyone else in the room) when Logan gently blows on it and dries it with a clean cotton ball, then the boy grabs another new one and dabs at the split lip Kendall bolsters.

When Logan pulls his hand away, Kendall tries to talk through his clenched throat, and he doesn't know if he's crying from the pain or the relief any more. "Guuyys,-" James cuts him off with a simple shushing noise.

Yeah, he's in a world of hurt right now. But he's also got his friends contradicting that pain, too. Already, Kendall feels just a little bit better as he starts to let his guard down.

A few hours later, in the dark night, they had a groggy Kendall laying supine on the couch, his head propped up on James' lap as Logan finishes his treatment with Kendall's sprained ankle. Carlos is still hovering before them, shifting from one foot to the other, to the point Kendall turns his head and grin reassuringly at the Latino, his eyes lidded. At this, Carlos grins back, pulling off his helmet and offering it to their blonde. By now, Kendall seems somewhat lucid, he's no longer hyperventilating or wheezing or heaving. And when Kendall shivers, it's Carlos' lips kissing his tears away, James' hand threaded in through his hair, cradling his head to him. "Kendall, we're sorry… You don't deserve to cry… I…we never wanna see you hurting…" Logan whispers in the broken blonde's ear. It must be the general census of the room, because Kendall has his best friends rallied around him, protecting him.

There's now where near enough room on the couch for all of them, and Kendall can't make it up swirly, so James carries Kendall to Mama Knight's room down the hall, which is pitch black and empty, the bed immaculately made. All three boys thank whoever is listening above them that Mrs. K and Katie were visiting relatives for the four day weekend, and weren't here to witness this break down, they didn't need to see the man of the house in this state.

Carlos rips off the top comforter with one hand, his helmet clasped securely over Kendall's skull now, because that helmet will, in his eyes, ward off evil spirits and falling rocks and any other danger you can imagine. His other hand is a fist with a hockey stick in it. Logan helps James maneuver their blonde under the covers, taking care with his ankle and elevating just enough to take off the pressure of the bruises.

Kendall only whimpers and lets his head flop back onto the pillow. His eyes are closed, so he doesn't know whose hands gently pry Carlo's helmet off him, but there's two of them, Logan is at his feet and Carlos still hasn't let go of that stick, so he has a pretty good idea.

"Shuush, Kennie, you're safe now. We won't let anything happen to ya," James' voice drops lower at the promise, a darkening threat in itself. James pulls back from Kendall head, slipping the helmet back to its owner, and after a pause Logan joins him and Carlos and they stand rather awkwardly around the gangly blonde.

"Don't go?" A rough voice, laced with pain and misery coughs. Kendall feels like he got full body tackled by Danny Grover, the biggest player on their old hockey team. God…god it hurt so much. He just wanted, he really needed…

Logan is the first to agree quickly, James and Carlos recovering right behind him and, with the same amount of skill they used to handle Katie when she got bronchitis three years ago, they maneuver so, so gently around Kendall until he's sandwiched between and they're all making contact with him in some way, shape or form. Kendall's lost his pillow to James, though it's been replaced with the pretty boy's strong, confident stomach, the gentle motions of James breathing is enough to lull anyone to sleep, and Carlos lays half over Logan and curls a leg around Kendall, still gripping his hockey stick. Logan is the one farthest away, so he can easily get up the fastest, but he's tucked next to Kendall and lays propped up under an elbow as he watches Kendall closely for any changes in his condition. At the first sign of something going south, Logan would know.

James stared down at the blonde in his arms. He didn't look like Kendall. Kendall was strong and opinionated and stable. This boy in his arms was weak and manipulated and fragile. This wasn't Kendall, and that scared him.

Carlos opened one e ye and took a quick peep at Kendall, too. After a few minutes he opened that same eye again to see if Kendall was still alright. He continued this action for a full hour before slipping back to sleep himself.

With the soft bed cradling his injuries, and his friends holding him, Kendall anchored himself to their grip and let consciousness completely slip from him. Now, now that they were here, he could relax.

But as they slept, Kendall dreamed dark murky dreams with purple tinted edges, felt his back being slammed into a wall, a large callused hand holding him up by the neck and there in front of him was the leering face of his Jack…but he couldn't do or say anything because those thick fingers were digging into his neck, squeezing his wind-pipe and cutting off his air supply. He could feel his eyes bugging out, feel his heart pounding, feel the panic surging up and engulfing him…

And then he woke up, roughly squirmed once, twice in James' grasps as the pretty boy held him and tried to soothe his uncontrollable shaking while Carlos twittered beside him and rubbed his sides.

The back of a hand slipped under his bangs, "He's got a fever," Logan mumbled above him.

James and Carlos groan sympathetically, following Logan's instructions as he ushered them to gather several things from the bathroom and the kitchen, including towels, a glass of cool water and a wash cloth and aspirin. They all notice Kendall continue to tremble when they leave the room, his soft plead when they leave his sight, so they hurry back as quickly as they can manage, spilling into the door way with the items and crowding around their leader like a pack to its alpha.

Both James and Carlos lift the rag-doll known as their leader back so he's sitting up on the head board. They pull away, and Kendall tries to curl around his protesting ribs, so they dive back under their blonde before he can topple clear off the bed. When Kendall tucks his head under James' chin and takes in a deep shuddering breath, no one says anything. All the hurt they feel for Kendall is in their eyes.

"Kendall, take these, please." Logan gently pries open Kendall's jaw and slips the pills into his mouth, Carlos is there in an instant, with a gentle hand Kendall's never seem him use. Carlos touches the rim of the glass of water to his lips, and Kendall finds himself greedily drinking the fresh liquid, downing the aspirin. When the water is all gone, Kendall is still hot and shivering, but most of all he's cold on the inside as his fever reaches its climax.

"I'm sorry, guys, I'm sorry," Kendall says, and three hearts break in unison.

"Don't be,"

"It's not your fault, it's not,"

"It's not, we promise."

Kendall somehow manages to clutch at all of them, desperate to be held and reassured and good god, they've never seen him like this. It's like everything decided to crash into to him all at once and all if left is a broken shell of their once cocky leader. Kendall was supposed to be the one doing the comforting and reassuring and loving. That's just how it always was, how they thought it always would be. But now. Now, Kendall is human and fragile. Whoever he is, he's not their Kendall.

Moving the blonde back down under the covers, they join him, James lifts his limp shoulders and wraps an arm around them. Carlos curls up behind him and Logan follows suit, taking care to drag the comfort over them all, and together they hide, against the world under the sheets, protecting Kendall like if they let him go he'll die. Kendall trembled. A tear leaked from his eye and shivered down his cheek.

The reflection of light from one of the lamps down by the pool shimmered against the water, blinking on the wall and waving shadows around the room. A light breeze passed through the open window to them, gentle apart from its sting against his bones.

James held him to his chest, with Kendall shaking… shaking… shaking…

His nose was running. He couldn't bring himself to wipe it. He tasted salt as one of his tears kissed the corner of his mouth. His back was aching from being hunched, his spine collapsing. The night was thin, and silent. The town slept around him, peaceful in its dreams. Kendall's throat was swollen. It was so twisted that he could barely swallow. His chest hitched with every breath he managed to snatch. His heart pounded. He clung desperately to his friends, relishing their combined body heat as he cocooned into their arms.

The first few days after are spent in a haze of pain due to being so sore and stiff that even getting out of bed takes his breath away let alone hobbling around 2J and sitting down at mealtimes. Kendall also seemed to exist in a shell-shocked state of denial, and anguish. He barely eats, and never winds down enough all the way to relax unless he's in contact with one of them. When Mama Knight and their baby sister get back the next day, they cover for Kendall and explain the situation, just to the point of his injuries. They don't tell the shocked girls about who hurt Kendall, simply because he doesn't want them too, so they boys respect their blonde's wishes.

Logan had said Kendall's new mannerisms was called post- traumatic memory loss due to a self-preservation strategy that his mind had subconsciously created in attempt to prevent any more mental damage to himself. He was clinging to them because he was so scared.

Carlos and James just stared at their doctor and waited for Logan to explain it in fourth-grade terms for them like usual. And when he does, they both take deep breaths and just try to breathe and vow to never let their blonde out of his sight again.

And when Kendall breaks down nearly every night when they're alone and in his bed, the rest of Rush prop him up and comfort him and sleep by him.

"Some people don't recover from this kind of thing, even with treatment," Logan says one night after Kendall has fallen asleep.

"Kendall just not some person though, he's Kendall, and he belongs to us." Carlos logic never fails, since he learned a lot of it from the Knight in the first place. So Logan, against better judgment, nods and lets it go. For now, all they can do is treat Kendall to the best of their abilities, and pray to anyone listening that he talks and eats and starts living again.

It's odd at first, because they don't notice that Kendall only talks to them until Katie points it out. And when she does they feel horrible, and at the same time, exalted, that he puts so much blind trust in them all.

It takes two whole weeks to get Kendall publicly ready. It's a slow process, him getting back into the swing of things, but the rest of the band has been doing their best, becoming fiercely protective of the broken blonde they follow. He doesn't leave their sight, something Kendall is grateful for, because without them he starts to freak out on the inside, until the tremors reach out his body.

Even Gustavo, once they'd explained the situation and had let him in the apartment, acknowledges something wrong with his lead dog.

When Kendall trips around a corner and falls, he never meets the ground because Gustavo and Kelly suddenly see three band mates fling themselves at Kendall and drag him back up and hold him until he stops shaking from his abused ribs. Gustavo watches the exchange with raised eyebrows, and decides.

"You dogs have five days." Four sets of eyes swivel up to stare at him. "Five days. You put that kid back together and get him better." He holds up an out spread palm. "Five. Days." He gestures to the digits like the boys have become retarded in the last three seconds, then leaves. Kelly stays behind a bit and asks if they need anything, anything at all, even if they want to borrow Freight Train to 'talk' to the jackass (Kelly's words verbatim) who hurt their blonde, they can do that too. No questions asked.

Kendall is relieved at the chance to rest without worrying about dancing and singing, Carlos, James and Logan are just plain grateful.

Maybe that's why they all thought it was okay to take Kendall down to the pool for the day and relax and enjoy the rays, James hasn't tanned in two days but he hasn't said a word about it. Carlos missed catapulting in the pool, but he was silent about that.

They get their blonde down and settled in a nondescript beach chair in the corner under an awning, where he arches comfortably to James's shoulder massage and Logan reads quietly next to him and Carlos runs around the place, all bottled up with energy and Kendall watches with an amused affectionate expression. They even go so far as to let Jo and Camille near Kendall, and both girls don't miss the stances the BTR boys have near their leader whenever Kendall startles at a loud noise. Secretly, the girls think it's just adorable how mama bear they've become and they eagerly help pamper the hurt blonde.

But because they have the worst luck ever, the kind of luck that gets fellow pop singers to fall down wells, and because this is exactly what Kendall didn't need at this moment in his life, Jack shows up. Out of no seemingly nowhere, which isn't entirely true, since he's apparently been shooting scenes for the show he's on, some public casting broadcast thing that none of the boys care about.

What they care about is the fact Kendall looks scared by the sight of him sauntering over. Nobody ever scares Kendall.

Jack doesn't get two words in; he doesn't even get within four feet before he's blocked by three bodies radiating anger.

When Jack tries to speak, James used his forearm and smashed Jack against the nearest wall.

"Whoa, James, what's with you?" Jack asked, clueless.

"You know what is with me, Jack," James replied through gritted teeth.

"Actually, no, I don't."

James lightened his hold a little. "I'm talking about Kendall."

Jack smirked; a side smile that Kendall used to think was beautiful. Now, it scared the shit out of him. "What do you mean?"

He put more pressure on Jack with his arm, full on snarling by now. "I'm talking about you beating him, Jack!"

Jack furrowed his brow in confusion, and then sneered "And so what if I did?"

"You're full of shit, Jack."

"I'm telling the truth. Who are you going to believe? Me or Kendall?"

"Kendall would never lie." Logan says.

"I just wanted to test where your loyalties lie."

"Loyalties?" Carlos edged back and forth angrily, helmet already strapped under his chin.

"You want to know what I think James? You're not mad because I beat him. You're mad because I got to him first."

"What the hell are you talking about?"

"The reason why you didn't want me to go out with Kendall wasn't because of the guys' code, it was because you wanted to hit tha-!"Jack goes down from a punch square to the nose.

James and Carlos stare at Logan, and he drops his fist back down to his side, looking sheepish. His gaze hardens when he stares down at Jack, though.

"You ruined Kendall." He tells the other teenager softly, anger radiating from him.

James says, "He is more scared than Logan during Scary-Movie-Thursday." ("Hey!" Logan spouts,) "He doesn't want to eat; he will only sleep if we're with him, since we're the only one that knows-"

"So here this, and hear it good." Carlos drags a bleeding Jack up by his shoulders and tugs him down to his height, spitting like a tom cat, "Kendall is ours, not yours, he doesn't belong to a piece of trash like you, man. So leave him the fuck alone ,"

Jack, the bastard, smiles cockily around the blood on his lips and stares at Kendall. "Is that what little Kennie wants?" He coos.

"DON'T EVER FUCKING CALL HIM THAT!" James roars, slamming Jack into the wall and right out of Carlos grip.

Kendall was avoiding eye contact, staring at the floor. "Please go away, Jack."

Jack pushed his way past James, towards Kendall. He grabbed hold of his skinny shoulders. "Kendall, I just want to talk to you."

"Get away!" He practically yelled at him.

Carlos stuck a hand between them and James pushed Jack back. He took a step towards him, challenging his best friend's former boyfriend. "Leave him alone."

"He can talk to whoever he wants."

"If you hadn't noticed, he doesn't want to talk to you." Logan states quietly. James pushed him, slamming Jack into the pool area's wall. "So get the fuck out of here." And no one argues with Logan's statement, because he's about ten feet tall and green at this point, and Logan Mitchell never gets mad.

"James, Carlos stop!" Kendall screamed at the top of his lungs, standing up too quickly and swaying. He watched in horror as his best friends beat-up his ex-boyfriend. Logan moved and Kendall gratefully leaned onto Logan's shoulder, relieving some of the pressure off his ribs.

James and Carlos both drew back on his command, leaving Jack to stand back up. "What's wrong, Kennie?" Carlos murmurs.

"He's not worth it, guys," he replied, softly.

James nodded and looked over to Jack. "You're right, Kendall. He's not. But you are." And in a split second, James had Jack pinned against the lockers.

"Listen to me, Jack," James threatened. "You leave him alone. You don't speak to him, don't acknowledge him in anyway. You see him in the hall; you turn around and walk the other way. Understand?"

"That's something you can't control," Jack hissed. "You may be able to follow him for most of the time, but one day, you'll leave him alone and I'll be there."

James growled. "That'll never happen. Friends don't turn their backs on each other. Friends don't leave each other behind. No matter what." Kendall had taught them that. James had no intention of letting Kendall out of his sight anymore, never again. Letting go of the asshole, James both moved to cover Kendall as they all turned their back on Jack and started to move away.

"Then maybe I'll just have to fuck him till-"

James, Carlos and Logan turned in unison and lunged at him, knocking him to the floor.

Over one hour later, James, Carlos and Logan all sat before Mrs. Knight, head down.

Kendall was tucked up in the couch and watching them from across the room with lidded eyes, half asleep as his head resting against Katie's thigh. With three quarters of BTR in his gaze, he let himself start to doze.

Mama Knight stared at her boys. There wasn't a mark on them. Not even Logan, who hated fighting. But they'd all joined in, and no one in Palm Woods questioned the teaming up on the other guy, because no one messed with someone as sweet as Kendall Knight, the guy never did anything bad. Jo and Camille had even cheered from the side lines. When the police had dragged them all off the boy, it was the same expression of intense hatred for the kid they all shared, sparks flying when they were separated. Jack went to the hospital. And, in the lawlessness that was Hollywood, the entire Palm Woods, (Bitters included) all testified against Jack and the boy was sent to the hospital under police supervision.

His attackers got a slap on the wrist and were put in the custody of their guardian.

"You broke his arm! His nose, his, something else, you beat the crap out of him! I've never raised you three to behave like this; I never once dropped you when I babysat you all, not once!"

Kendall heaved a sigh from the couch, getting everyone's attention. "Mom…that w-was Jack. He-He was…"

"He was the one who beat up Kendall in the first place." Carlos blurted out.

Oh. Oh. Mama Knight stared at them with something new in her eyes. "Katie." The youngest Knight snapped to attention, "Get my shotgun, sweetie." The voice was as sweet as syrup, and as deadly as nightshade.

Logan leaned back. "You have a gun!" He squeaked at the intensity of Mama K's gaze.

Katie smiled crookedly at her remaining brothers, suddenly a smaller Kendall before them. "Minnesota wasn't lawless, you know." Was all she offered.

As much as James secretly agreed to Mama K's methods… "Listen, Mrs. K, we got this. We," He glanced at Carlos and Logan, "We took care of it. That asshole isn't going to come around here any time soon." Confidently he stared into the woman's eyes, "We won't let this happen to Kendall. Ever again. I promise."

"Me too."

"Ditto."

Staring between the three of them, the oldest Knight saw only compassion and caring for her son, as well as a rugged mama bear mode that seemed to be brought out when Kendall was threatened.

Good.

"Alright. Okay. I…" She shook her head against the small tears in her eyes. Her babies were growing up… "At least, please go apologize to Mr. Bitters." They all looked confusedly at her.

"You broke three of his tables and one chair." She explained, eyebrows raised.

Oh.

The three boys grimaced at each other then glanced back at Kendall, who was dead asleep at this point. They had no problem with apologizing, it was just…

"Now boys, please. Oh, I need an aspirin...and a hot bath." She moved into her bedroom and shut the door. All three of the boys lunged around to Katie, who'd moved out from under her brother and was making herself a sandwich in the kitchen. "Don't leave him alone, okay?"

Katie smiled, "Couldn't pay me to," Her brother was fast sleep on the couch, but for some reason the boys all snuck out the door as quietly as humanly possible.

When James and Carlos and Logan shut the door behind them silently, Kendall started to wake up immediately in slight alarm as he gazed around and couldn't find his friends. "They'll be right back Kendall," Katie assured softly from the kitchen, seeing the wide-eyed stare on her big brother's face. This didn't seem to quell Kendall's sudden fright, because he stood up from the couch and stood at the kitchen counter, staring at the door and willing it to open. He was silent the whole time, even when Katie cut her sandwich in half and offered a half to him he took with a pleasant smile that mocked what his full on grin used to be. Suddenly, Katie hated the entire world except her brothers.

When they get back in less than fifteen minutes, he's only taken two and a half bites of his sandwich, (Katie's kept careful watch on him) Kendall sort of looks really relieved. Making the smallest of noises in recognition but his smile is a fraction larger and maybe more confident. It's not words it's a small 'hello' Kendall is using now to communicate. He follows them to the couch and they all collectively crash around him, and finally, Kendall relaxes, and continues his nap, leaning against Logan and resting his long legs over Carlo's lap. James is next to Logan, where's got an arm around the both of them. They're all content enough to watch tv with it quieter than normal, respect for their leader showing as he sleeps against them, healing in both sense of the word when he's near his friends.

And maybe this isn't how it's always supposed to be. Or how it's always going to be. Maybe Kendall had a moment of weakness and needed some help. In a life time of being a leader, he's earned it. He's earned every loving touch and kiss whisper Logan, Carlos and James give him, and they give it to him just as eagerly.

Because friends don't turn their backs on each other, or leave each other behind. Kendall taught them that. Kendall smiled to himself. He knew it would take some time to heal and it probably would be a hard road, but Kendall felt it would happen, because he had these guys, and honestly? He loved them. They were there and they were strong when he couldn't be. And he knew this would last for life, for his friends were nothing if not faithful.

He had taught them that, too.

This came out so bad, hope OP doesn't want to hit me with a brick. D8