Authors Note: Yay to new fandoms! I absolutely love Franklin and Bash and I can't wait for season two to start. I've been impatient with posting this fic so its currently un betaed so please forgive and point out any mistakes I might have made. I'd love to hear what you think about this story, any thoughts and critism would be most welcome. :D
Peter had lost sight of Jared within the first hour of the party. Celebrations at the Cave were larger than usual as the partners had just won a high profile case, proving the innocence of the young police woman accused of murder. Even Stanton had made an appearance, taking over the hot tub with a selection of pretty young women. Peter was positioned near their makeshift bar, nursing his beer and flirting whenever someone needed a refill. Jared had been at his side for the first couple of drinks, positioned comfortably on Peter's right as always. However after excusing himself to use the bathroom, Jared hadn't come back. At first Peter wasn't too worried, he knew how easily his partner got distracted by gorgeous women or found himself pulled into conversations. They may be FranklinandBash, spaces optional, but they were able to enjoy a party without the others constant presence.
Yet when he couldn't hear his best friends laugh through the crowd or his constant chatter, Peter was beginning to feel uneasy. Finishing his beer, Peter slid off his seat and scanned the crowd of partygoers for Jared. It wasn't always easy to find the smaller man among a crowd, but Peter had long ago developed an effective "Franklin Radar" that seemed to help him gravitate towards his partner. Tonight it took longer than usual before Peter spotted him across the room, in the dark alcove that led down to the garage. Frowning to himself Peter started to push through the crowd when he saw his best friend wasn't alone. Jared stood with his back pressed against the wall, while a second man with a bad crew-cut leant over him. The palm of one hand was flat against the wall as Crewcut pushed forward into the lawyer's personal space. Peter didn't recognise the man, their parties open to friends who brought friends who brought friends, but he had the heavy build of a football player and a smug smirk engraved on his face. Still dressed in his court-going shirt and waistcoat, Jared somehow looked smaller than usual even as he tried to stand to his full height. Anger building Peter tried to push faster through the crowds of drunken frat brothers and tipsy girls who tugged suggestively on his arm. Peter brushed them off, his gaze remaining on Jared as the stranger lent forward and whispered something in the lawyer's ear that made Jared frown and try and push Crewcut away. The attempted shove had little effect expect to make the taller man laugh and grab Jared's tie, yanking him forward in the cruel imitation of a leash. Peter held back a yell as Jared stumbled a few steps forward, his balance seeming to have vanished. When Crewcut pushed open the garage door and dragged a reluctant Jared after him and into the basement garage Peter abandoned any attempts to be subtle and ran after his friend, his heart in his throat. It was hard to believe that no one else had noticed what was going on, but in the midst of the party couples disappearing into dark corners was the norm.
The door to the basement garage slammed against the wall as Peter pushed his way through, taking the stairs quickly and fearing the worst. At first he thought that he'd missed them and they had vanished through the other door and onto the LA streets. About to run back up for help, a muffled yelp from the other end of the garage drew his attention. Running towards the noise Peter skidded around Carmen's car and froze. His best friend was pinned face down against the hood of Peter's car as Crewcut straddled him, one large hand had a fistful of the smaller mans waistcoat while the other fumbled with his belt buckle.
"Hey!" Peter's shout was loud in the empty garage as he closed the distance quickly between himself and his struggling friend.
Usually Peter would try and avoid a fight, especially with someone who was taller than he was and had the muscle mass to match. But this was Jared, hazel eyes wide with fear, and any sense or reason was gone and Peter's only though was to get to his best friends side.
"Leave him alone" The flare of anger lent Peter the confidence to reach forward and grab Crewcut by the wrist, loosening his grip on Jared's waistcoat.
The man stumbled back a step, seeming surprised at the appearance of someone else. He tried to growl "What the fuck you care" but the words slurred together. Gaze locked with the drunken football player, Peter reached out blinding and grabbed the first pact of Jared he could, fingers curling around the smaller mans belt as he pulled him gently to his side. Jared stumbled again but managed to catch himself, clinging onto Peter's jacket as a sob of relief caught in this throat.
Crewcut continued to back away, eyes glazed as he mumbled, "I can share 'im"
Snarling Peter held tighter, "Fuck off before I call the cops" he spat.
The threat of the police seemed to be the deciding factor as the drunk backed away and ran back up to the party, taking the stairs at a lumbering run.
Relief washed over Peter once he and Jared were alone. Heart pounding against his ribcage, he hesitated about taking his still shaking best friend back up to the house, despite the offered sanctuary of their bedrooms. Jared had yet to acknowledge him anymore then burrowing his head closer, sensing the comfort of his best friend. The smaller lawyer was one of the strongest people that Peter knew and the soft whimper Jared was unable to hold back tore at Peter's heart. It was unnerving to have his chatterbox partner so quiet and still holding him close, Peter manoeuvred them around his car and carefully let them sink to the ground. Two cars now stood between them and the party upstairs. It may only have been the facsimile of safety but it made Peter breath a little easier.
Gently rubbing circles onto Jared trembling back Peter began to murmur words of comfort, repeating the mantra "It's okay, we're okay" because it was always 'we' never 'you' as far as they were concerned.
Easing Jared away once the trembling slowed, he gave his partner a quick once over, the reassuring words stuck in his throat as he took in his best friends dilated pupils, the barest ring of hazel left in Jared's eyes. Peter's mind assaulted him with all the different drugs that Crewcut might have used and their effects, wishing for once he didn't know quite so much. Roofies came first to mind and Peter shivered as he thought about what might have happened if he hadn't gotten there in time.
Misreading the look on his friends face Jared dropped his gaze, "I didn't...'m sorry-"
"Don't you dare apologise" Peter said harshly, leaning forward until their foreheads touched and resting a hand in his partners sweat spiked hair. Seeking and offering comfort, simply breathing in each other's presence. Peter could feel the flutter of Jared's eyelashes as the smaller man fought to keep his eyes open. Roofies were designed to knock their victims unconscious, a battle Jared was slowly loosing as the adrenaline left his system. Deciding they might as well get comfortable Peter sat resting against the car and slung an arm around Jared's shoulders. The shorted lawyer moulded himself to his friend's side, resting his head back while his fingers picked idly at the fabric of his trousers. Or possibly Peter's trousers, it didn't matter to them either way.
"Knew you'd get me" Jared mumbled after a moment's silence, thanks affection and simple fact all wrapped up in the softly spoken words.
Peter let out a shuddered breath, suddenly speechless at the absolute faith and conviction in his best friend's voice. To have Jared belief in him so clearly expressed, knowing that he would lie, steal or kill for his best friend and that Jared would do the same without question.
"Of course buddy" he replied softly, hoping his own trust and love were heard in those three small words.