This sort of just came out of my brain in math class…

Logan shuddered to life in James's arms. A wave of nausea passed over him, forcing him to roll over and vomit on the cold pavement.


The sudden voice startled the beaten boy. He looked into the eyes of his friend Carlos, terrified, and scooted away until he ran into the red, brick wall framing the alley. He opened his mouth, straining to form words, to ask how much they had seen, but his body refused the effort. A sudden panic attach claimed him. His friends rushed over to console his wracking figure. Logan flinched away from them, looking at the ground to avoid seeing the hurt in their eyes. "G-g-et away!" he stammered.

The boys felt a pang of pain pierce their hearts. The boys tried for him again, and got similar results. "Let us help you!" James begged, but when Logan didn't meet his eyes he said more forcefully, "You need us to help you!"

Logan curled up in the fetal position, clutching his head. "No," he said through clenched teeth, then, psychotically screamed, "NO!"

"Logie…" Carlos trailed off, unsure of what to say next. Luckily, the never fail nickname did it's job, and Logan timidly looked up at him. Carlos's eyes had a soft look to them. He offered a weak smile, "We just want you better." His voice shook.

Suddenly, Logan felt the freezing Minnesota air. He shivered, looking for any kind of warmth that his thin, shredded t-shirt could provide. James held out his jacket.

"No," Logan choked out, still refusing their help.

"Come on, man." It was an order, but James asked it like a plea. The effect was the same, and Logan shrugged the jacket on. The welcome feeling of relief rolled over his two friends. James pulled out his phone, cursing at his lousy cell phone service, and walked off to find bars and call an ambulance and the police. Carlos sat next to Logan, leaning his back against the wall.

Logan traced his finger in the dirt caked up against the brick. "How much did you see?" he asked after they had been alone for a while, forming his first real sentence since waking up.

Carlos looked at his tear stained cheeks, and lied his ass off. "Not much."

"You're lying," Logan muttered, horrified.

"Yeah," Carlos admitted guiltily. Logan could always tell when they were lying. He was incredibly intuitive, and it was one of the reasons the guys always went to him when they were upset because they wouldn't have to explain as much. Another reason they went to him was because he was a great secret keeper, as they all knew now.

The two sat in silence for a while, listening for the sound of James's sneakers tapping on the ground, echoing off the walls in the rare city silence. A thought dawned on Logan.

"What time is it?" he asked, staring at the shattered screen of his cell phone.

"3 AM," Carlos replied. There was a pause. "Why didn't you tell us?" he asked, confused. It was probably the last question Logan wanted to answer, but he was glad Carlos was the one to ask. He would try to understand, where James and Kendall would have just gotten angry.

"I-"he took a shaky breath, "I didn't want to bother you…" he murmured, almost inaudible. His pale face looked ghostly in the dimly lit alley. He looked even whiter than usual due to blood loss. The wound on his head was still leaking slowly through his matted hair, dripping over his forehead and down his neck. His eyes were drooping dangerously, but he couldn't sleep. Not with the risk of a concussion. He pressed his lips together, fighting off tears.

Carlos looked crest fallen. "You could never bother me, Logan. You couldn't bother any of us," he tried desperately. Logan just looked to his toes.

"But you're worried…" he trailed off.

Carlos nearly double-taked. "Worried and bothered are two very different things," he said, words magically flowing to him. "And as for being worried, I'm always worried about you. Even when I didn't know that satanic, sadistic, freaking Jimmy Nixon," he spat the name, "was doing this to you. I want you to be happy, Logan. Really happy, not the pretend happy you are when you're with us."

"Same here," James chimed in unexpectedly from behind.

Logan felt terrible. His friends looked so hurt and betrayed… his chest constricted, and the weight of his sobs was too much. "I'm sorry," his voice cracked, "I'm so sorry."

"Don't you dare be sorry, Logie." The boy's tears subside momentarily with the sound of his nickname. "Look man, worrying is how we love you. Actually, scratch that, it's one of the many ways we love you, okay?" Logan opened his mouth, but James kept talking. "And we want to love you. You can let us in," James's voice grew softer. "We're gonna be there for you always, alright? We're not your dad."

And with that final sentence, Logan broke down the wall he had been building since he met the guys. He finally stopped pretending. He struggled to breathe as he cried.

Carlos and James held him, being there like they promised, but shared a look. This was not going to be easy to explain to Kendall. They winced at the thought of it, but their attention was quickly refocused on the quaking boy in their arms.

Soon, the alley way was filled with the sound of sirens. Logan was loaded into an ambulance, and the boys' stomachs churned.

"Can we go with him?" Carlos asked a paramedic, panicking. He couldn't let Logan out of his sight. Not yet. The man gave a nod, and the boys stepped up into the vehicle. "He's gonna be okay, right?" he asked the man.

"I'm sure he'll be fine," he said earnestly.

The boys let go of a breath they didn't know they had been holding, but they fell back on a near equally terrifying thought. What were they going to say to Kendall?

Hmmm. I don't know. I could keep it short like this, or I could do a multi-chapter. OPINIONS?

Guys, I so recommend Blood Atonement if you all are James angst fans. I seriously loved it.