a/n: follow up to my one shot 'To Save a Life' written for my amazing big sissy Laura :) I hope it doesn't disappoint! I don't own anything.
When Logan opened his eyes, the first thing he was aware of was a pair of red-rimmed hazel eyes watching him intensely. He yawned, immediately recognizing who was in the room with him. "Please don't tell me you sat up all night watching me." Logan pleaded with him.
"I didn't sit up all night watching you." James parroted, rubbing his eyes.
Logan paused. "Seriously?"
"You told me to tell you that, not the truth." James mumbled in response, sitting upright and rubbing his neck. "How'd you sleep?" he asked Logan.
"Fine." Logan replied and started to push himself up so he was in a sitting position, but a throbbing jolt of pain that shot throughout his back caused him to wince and drop back down. He noticed how James' eyes filled with alarm and he quickly said, "I'm okay, I just need my pain medicine."
"I'll be right back!" Logan concluded that James got to his feet faster than he ever had playing hockey, and he was out of the room in seconds flat.
The shorter boy sighed to himself. Ever since the incident at the store a couple of weeks ago- as they were now calling it since nobody could flat out say "when Logan got shot a couple of weeks ago"- James had turned into a mother hen figure towards Logan. The brunette never let Logan out of his sight, he was always there to cater to his every need- even though Logan didn't have many needs, just to sleep and eat when necessary. If Logan even hinted he was in pain, James was by his side, asking what could be done for him.
Truth be told, Logan appreciated what James was doing but he couldn't take much more of it.
He understood that James was just afraid for his safety, and was probably still feeling a little guilty over what happened, but Logan couldn't get it through to James that he was fine and it wasn't his fault. James couldn't go the rest of his life blaming himself for what happened to his friend, and Logan was determined to make sure he didn't, but the way James was acting, one would think he owed Logan his soul or something. And to Logan, he didn't; he did what he did because his friend's life was in danger and he would do it all over again if he had the chance.
"I'm back!" James announced, snapping Logan out of his thoughts. He handed Logan two pills and a glass of water. "Here you go, buddy."
"Thanks." Logan said gratefully and took the medication, suddenly aware of the pain in his back. He swallowed the pills and waited for them to kick in, hoping it was soon.
"Are you feeling okay?" James asked him, wringing his hands together nervously. "Do you need anything? Do you want breakfast? Or to watch TV? Or-"
"James!" Logan interrupted the stream of questions and smiled at his friend. "I'm fine, I don't need anything except for you to get some rest." James opened his mouth to protest but Logan cut him off. "Those bags under your eyes are telling me that you aren't sleeping much lately, and that worries me James."
James stared at him, bewildered. "You're worried about me?" he asked. "You're the one who…" James suddenly stopped and swallowed, and it pained Logan to see how upset he got over the subject. He clearly wasn't going to get over it any time soon. "You're the one who just got out of the hospital." James finally said. "And you're worried about me?"
"Yeah, I am James." Logan replied simply. "You look a mess to put it bluntly."
James' mouth dropped. "I'm a mess?" he asked, clearly offended by the statement.
"Okay, maybe that was a little harsh." Logan reasoned. "But James, I can tell you're not okay and breaking your back taking care of me-"
"You make it sound like I'm in Shawshank." James interrupted, referencing the movie Shawshank Redemption, which he and Logan watched the night before. "Logan, I'm just taking care of you- you need to be taken care of!"
Logan rolled his eyes. "I'm not a child, James."
"No, but you're hurt!" his fried told him, as if he didn't already know. "And as your best friend I'm just looking out for you in your time of recovery."
"And as your best friend, I'm looking out for you because you just barely recovered from a traumatic incident!" Logan countered.
"I'm fine." he insisted, rolling his eyes, and that was the last he was saying about this topic. "Now, do you want any breakfast?"
Logan sighed, knowing that he wasn't going to get anywhere with James. At least not right now. "Sure James. Thank you."
The brunette's lips curled into a pleased smile. "Coming right up."
[later that night]
A second later, a shot rang out and two bodies crumpled to the floor.
James felt a sharp pain in the back of his head, exploding throughout his skull, and the wind was knocked out of him as something hard hit his stomach and chest. For a minute he couldn't breathe, he couldn't think, he couldn't move.
For a good minute, he thought he had actually died.
And then it hit him, there was something off about the way his chest was suddenly went and sticky, and the smell of blood was protruding the air. And then he remembered Logan, who was laying on his chest, eyes closed and a bullet wound in his back.
"No." he gasped, pushing himself up into a sitting position. He didn't know if the robber was still in the store, he didn't know if the police were on their way- all he knew was that Logan was hurt and it was all his fault. "No, no, Logan, NO." he shook the smaller boy gently and patted his cheeks, trying to wake him up, even if just for a minute.
"Logan, you can't be dead, please don't be dead!" he pleaded, tears sliding down his face.
Logan's eyes fluttered and for a second, James had a brink of hope that Logan was going to be okay. As soon as his eyes opened, his face contorted into a look of pain and he whimpered out, "It hurts Jay."
James never felt more horrible in his entire life. That should be him, not Logan. "I know bud." he said, even though he really didn't know. He didn't even know what to do to make sure Logan wasn't going to hurt anymore. All he could do was sit there, hold his friend, and cry. "You're going to be okay, Logan." he continued. "You're going to be okay." he repeated, mostly for himself because Logan really needed to be okay. He had to, or James wouldn't be able to live with himself.
Logan nodded, believing James' words, and his eyes started to shut again. "No, no, no, c'mon Logan, you have to keep your eyes open." James pleaded. "Logan, please!"
James kept repeating Logan's name as the boy's eyes fluttered shut, and as the ambulance came in and pulled Logan from his arms. He kept shouting, crying, "Logan! Logan!" desperate for his friend to answer him in some way, shape, or form, but he never did. A police officer held James back and he watched with tear filled eyes as Logan was loaded onto a stretcher, hooked up to a machine, and placed in the ambulance.
And the entire time, all he could think of was that it should be him.
James awoke with a small whimper, tears leaking out of his eyes. He furiously wiped his eyes, struggling to catch his breath.
"James? Are you okay?"
Hearing Logan's voice calmed him down a lot actually, and James scurried up from Kendall's bed, since he had switched rooms with the blonde boy for a while, and rushed over to Logan's side. "Hey," Logan said soothingly, who had completely awaken from his sleep when he heard the effects of James having a nightmare. "What happened? Did you have a bad dream?" he asked James, brushing his hair out of his face.
James sniffled, willing the rest of his tears to stay inside, and nodded. "It's okay though." he said. "Don't worry about it."
Logan sighed. "James, of course I'm going to worry about you." he told his friend, then patted his mattress. "C'mon, get up here." he said. James didn't hesitate to climb into bed, careful not to hurt Logan, and he laid down next to his friend. Logan turned to look at him. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine." James replied immediately. "What about you? Are you okay? Are your pills still working?"
"James for one second can you stop worrying about me, please?" Logan pleaded with him. "The only thing I'm even remotely concerned about is you. Not me, not my pain medicine- just you. James, you've been holding all your emotions back too much. You need to let them out." Logan insisted.
"Well, I'm sorry," James snapped, silencing Logan momentarily. "I'm sorry I was a little disturbed by the fact that you were shot and I was trying to wake you up and you wouldn't, and it reminded me of that scene from The Lion King when Simba's dad died." James' eyes welled up with tears. "I thought you died Logan, and I still can't deal with that."
"Oh Jay," Logan pulled James up from where he was laying and gave him a tight one armed hug. James wrapped his arms around Logan tightly and buried his face in his shoulder, finally crying. He cried for the pain he felt when Logan got shot. He cried for the guilt he felt. He cried for hating himself. He cried for Logan hurting. He just let it all out. And Logan sat there, murmuring comforting words to him and rubbing his back until he calmed down.
"I'm sorry." James muttered an apology, rubbing his eyes free of tears.
"You don't have anything to be sorry for." Logan reassured him. "I'm actually glad you let it all out."
James let out a shuddering sigh. "I just… I don't know, Logan. I can't forget about what happened, and every time I see you in pain I feel so guilty-"
"I'm gonna stop you right there," Logan interrupted gently. "Because you don't have anything to feel guilty for. Jay, I know you feel like it's your fault but it's not really. I promise you that."
James sniffled. "Y- you promise?" he whimpered.
"I do." Logan said truthfully. "I just did what any brother would do for his brother. And I know that you would do it for me, and you wouldn't let me blame myself, would you?"
"No." James admitted.
"So then I'm not going to let you blame yourself." Logan said simply.
James chewed on his bottom lip. "I wish it was that easy." he mumbled.
"I know it's not easy Jay." Logan told him. "But just remember, I don't blame you at all. Nobody does, and I'm okay now. That's all that matters. And you know what?"
"What?" James asked.
"The only reason I am okay is because you got me to the hospital." he said.
"The only reason you're hurt is because I made you go to the store with me though." James insisted, feeling a pang of hurt in his chest.
"That's not true Jay." Logan told him patiently.
"Logan, you can't honestly say that." James insisted.
"I can because it's true." his shorter friend said. "Look Jay, what happened at the store was inevitable. That guy was going to hurt someone and unfortunately, it was us. And even though I did get hurt, you were there for me and you took care of me until I got to the hopsital, and you're still taking care of me now. You're an amazing friend and an even better brother. And I love you."
James managed a small smile, despite the tears dripping down his cheeks. "I love you, too bro." he said softly.
Logan finally smiled, for the first time in what felt like forever. "C'mon, let's get some sleep." he gingerly moved over slightly in his bed and pulled the blanket up, covering James and himself. He laid there, watching James until his friend drifted off asleep, and Logan smiled slightly. He knew James wasn't going to stop blaming himself anytime soon, but for now, Logan was just content with the fact that his friend was finally going to get a good night's sleep- one where his conscious would leave him finally alone.