Chapter 17

Carlos woke up surrounded by blurry faces and bright lights. Am I dead? He asked himself. He knew he wasn't. Carlos blinked a few more times until his vision became clear again. He saw Kendall and James and Logan, and another person who still wasn't clear yet. Carlos blinked a few more times, and he realized that it was a doctor.

"Carlos! How ya feeling, buddy?" James asked, acting as if nothing had happened. Carlos bit his lip. What had happened? What happened? How did he get in the hospital? He felt a little cold, but otherwise, he didn't feel any pain at all.

Then, the memories suddenly came back to them, crashing into him like a wave at the beach. The cold, Clyde, and... that was all he remembered before he ended up at the hospital.

"Okay." Carlos found his voice to be softer than it had ever been. He had always been told to speak quieter at museums and stuff like that, but his voice would always be louder than expected. But now, his voice was kind of soft. It sounded close to a whisper.

"You remember what happened?" Logan asked, worried that his younger friend might have had a memory loss. Carlos nodded.

"You g-g-guys came to save me?" Carlos found that it hurt to talk, and that he couldn't make his voice louder anymore. Did he have a sore throat or something?

The three boys and the doctor smiled. The doctor quickly scurried out of the room, giving the four boys privacy. "Yeah... you had a really nasty cold, and you were out for a few days." Kendall informed him.

"Out where?" Carlos asked quietly, confused.

Logan and James laughed. Kendall joined them after a few seconds of hesitation. "You were out mean that you were unconscious for a few days." Logan chuckled and Carlos just nodded.

"It almost turned into hypothermia, but it didn't." James said, looking relieved. Carlos just smiled and snuggled into his hospital blanket.

"Thanks, guys. You're heroes." He whispered, and in a few minutes he was asleep. The other three smiled and shook their heads slowly.

"Carlos you're the hero." Kendall whispered as they quietly exited the room.

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The next day, Carlos returned home. The boys went out for corndogs, and they were glad that Carlos was almost back to normal. But they noticed that every little sudden movement scared their friend. His voice sounded so much softer and more cautious. He never screamed or yelled anymore. No one could tell why. His innocence had been ruined. Kind of.

He still had the enthusiasm for silly things, but this time, the guys were grateful for it. They would have died if Carlos had lost that, too.

One day, Carlos was sitting on their orange couch, thinking quietly to himself. He didn't know why so many things scared him now. He used to be practically fearless. But now, he was being a total wimp.

Carlos thought about everything that had happened. He wondered what Clyde was thinking about right at that moment. In jail, probably thinking about his daddy. Carlos kind of felt bad for Clyde. Sure, Clyde had bullied him and almost froze him to death, but he had feelings, too. And Carlos knew Clyde was saddened that dad was going to die. Carlos didn't want anyone to be sad. Not even Clyde.

Kendall walked out of the bathroom after taking a quick shower. He saw Carlos sitting alone by the couch, and sat down beside him. "Hey." Kendall said. Carlos just looked up and sighed.

"Kendall? I feel bad for Clyde." Carlos admitted softly. Kendall raised his eyebrows in surprise.

"Really? Why is that?" He asked quickly, not wanting to have Carlos think he was calling his idea stupid or anything. Carlos shrugged.

"Well... his dad's going to die probably, and then Clyde's gonna be all sad, and that makes me sad too." Carlos told him. Kendall just smiled and wrapped an arm around the Latino.

"Carlos, don't worry. What Clyde did to you was horrible. He deserves whatever he gets. It's karma getting back at him." Kendall explained, hoping Carlos wouldn't pout over Clyde anymore. Clyde was supposed to be out of his life now. Carlos wasn't supposed to be feeling bad for him.

"But... but I want to help him." Carlos argued weakly. He knew that no one could argue with Kendall, because Kendall was just so... stubborn. He stuck to his idea, and would never do anything else after he set his mind on something.

"Carlos. This guy put you in a freezing room and hit you with a metal baseball bat. And you're saying you feel bad for him?" Kendall asked, surprised. Carlos nodded. Kendall sighed.

"He's in jail now, and you can't get him out unless you pay money. And his dad has a lawyer who will defend Clyde's dad the best he or she can." Kendall assured him. Kendall didn't tell Carlos that there was no one left in Clyde's life to pay to get him out of jail. Also, the lawyer they got was probably the worst there was. But it didn't hurt to just keep that to himself, right?

Carlos seemed to relax after hearing these words, and he turned on the TV and watched SpongeBob Squarepants. Kendall smiled and watched the silly TV show with his best friend. Soon, James and Logan came back from wherever they were at. They sat in silence for about 10 minutes or so, until Carlos spoke up.

"Guys?" He whispered softly. It was as if he were afraid that his voice would break something in the room.

"What's up, buddy?" James asked, not sure if he wanted to hear the answer.

Carlos bit his lip and sighed. "I... I'm sorry I messed up everything." He admitted. It had been bothering him for some time now. He had ruined their dreams, and now they were all sad.

Logan's eyes softened. "Carlos. Listen to me. This was not your fault. I mean, I don't even care about the useless scholarship anymore. I would rather just stay in Big Time Rush forever, and then be a hockey player with you guys. I wouldn't want to do anything alone." He told Carlos. And it was 100 percent, completely true. Logan felt lonely without his best friends and their stupid yet harmless pranks and plans.

Carlos just looked down at his feet. "Really?"

"Yep. And I don't want to be some stupid model. I want to keep 'The Face' to myself. I don't want people looking at it all day. Then my face would lose its specialness." James assured him. And he wasn't lying, either. He didn't want to share his face with anyone, except on Big Time Rush posters and stuff. It was selfish, but a good kind of selfish.

"And Jo and I are back together anyways, so I didn't lose anything." Kendall pointed out quickly. Carlos just smiled and nodded.

"None of this is your fault, Carlos. We were wrong." Kendall said. It was hard sometimes to admit that he was wrong, but this time, it wasn't. Because he had been wrong. So wrong it had almost cost Carlos's life. That was too high a price to pay. Kendall Knight admitted that he was horribly wrong.

"I may have a pretty face, Carlos, but for the past few weeks, my heart wasn't pretty at all. My heart was ugly and black. I turned into a bully. A bully to my best friend since preschool. And I'm really sorry. So sorry I can't even express it in words." James told him. James pictured his black and ugly heart, and knew it would be a long time before the damage was completely gone.

"We are really sorry, Carlos. We don't know what came over us. We were just... not thinking at all. We weren't smart about it. Not even me. We didn't mean any of it." Logan finished. Logan had thought that he could get straight A's for the rest of his life, but he was sure he had gotten an F on the subject of friendship.

"I know." Carlos replied. He did know. His friends had forgiven him for whatever he had done. So Carlos forgave them, too.

As for Kendall, James, and Logan, they knew it would be a long time before they forgave themselves. They had shattered Carlos's precious innocence, and it would be a long time before they could earn it back. But they knew that when that innocence did come back, they would never shatter it again.

A/N- I think this is the end... Not kidding. It feels like I'm losing a huge part of my heart, but I know it's over. The story is over! I really hoped you enjoyed it, and I'm really sorry I gave you no hint to when it would end. Because... honestly? I didn't even know it would end! :)

And I'm going to start another story, probably! This is something like what the summary will be:

Truth or dare is a fun game. Until someone gets hurt. When the boys go on a camping trip, Logan faces a tragic accident that may change his life forever.

...So what do ya think? Good? Bad? I need to know your opinions! I'm going to start it soon if you all like it! Thanks a million!

Thank you to everyone who reviewed! Loved all the reviews! Now, please, can we get to 200 reviews? For the story's sake? For my sake? 200?

I love this story, but it's time for it's end... so say goodbye to this story, everyone! I mean, you can still read it, but there'll be no more updates! :) Love ya all! This has been a great experience of mine's!

-Anonymous Skrtle