Author's note: Let's see; I have a Logan and Kendall one-shot, I have a Logan and James one-shot, I have a Logan and Katie one-shot, now who am I missing? Oh yeah, Logan and Carlos! :D
So, obviously this needed to happen, just to balance it out. And because I love Carlos just as much as them all of course. :) I've been trying to think of the right way to do it for a while, and finally, it came to me. I'm pretty proud of it. :)
Was up 'til 2 in the morning writing this one-shot. Finally had to go to bed and finish the ending when I could think straight and not give you something really cheesy/clichè/over-used. :P
This is actually my longest one-shot to date! I'm very impressed with myself. ^^
And yes, this is the spontaneous one-shot mentioned in Chapter 13 of 'Damaged' that kept me from proof-reading that when I had planned to. :P
I actually finished this the same day as I updated 'Damaged', but I wanted to get a good picture for it, so I waited until I finished the picture.
No slash, just friendship.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
Rise to The Occasion
"Carlos! Get back here!" Kendall shouted, his voice echoing down the mine entrance and into the darkness in front of them.
"Not so loud Kendall." Logan cautioned. "The walls aren't very stable. You could cause a cave-in."
James looked over at Logan. "All the more reason for,". Then he yelled into the mine. "Carlos to get his butt back here!"
"Yeah Carlos!" Kendall called. "We're already way off the trail! We're too far from the camp site!"
"Just a minute!" Carlos' voice called back. "I just want to look!"
"Carlos, it's dangerous in there!" Logan called. "The walls could give any minute, and us having to yell back and forth isn't helping anything! Get back here, so we can get back to camp and eat!"
"Yeah!" James yelled. "Don't you want the hotdogs and marshmellows we brought? You were just complaining about being hungry the whole hike!"
"That was before I saw this cool cave!" Carlos called back. "You should come and see! It's so cool in here!"
"Carlos, we're not even supposed to be up here!" Kendall yelled. "Come back before we get caught!"
"Just two more minutes!" Carlos called.
The boys at the entrance all let out a collective sigh in aggrivation as their shoulders slumped in annoyance.
Finally two minutes passed. "Alright, it's been two minutes!" Kendall yelled. "Hurry back here so we can go!"
"Yeah!" James yelled. "I'm hungry now!"
"Just five more minutes!" Carlos' voice echoed back to them, but it sounded further away than before.
"You better not be going deeper in, Carlos!" Kendall yelled.
Logan rolled his eyes with a sigh. "I'll go get him. He'll never come out otherwise."
"'Kay." Kendall said. "But hurry, and be careful."
Logan saluted. "You got it chief." Then he dropped his heavy pack on the ground and went into the mines.
Logan shone the flashlight around the mines, observing the walls and the ground. He could see why Carlos was so fascinated with it. Everytime the light bounced off the walls, the walls themselves seemed to glow, like they were made of some sort of reflective rock. Like diamonds. He walked further into the cave, an uneasiness creeping into his stomach at how far he was from the entrance.
Finally rounding a small corner, Logan saw Carlos observing one of the lower walls, waving his flashlight at the shining rock.
Logan sighed in exasperation. "There you are."
Carlos looked over at him. "Look at this. It looks like it's glowing!" He said as he waved the light on the rock back and forth.
"Yes, that's very interesting." Logan said dryly as he went to grab for Carlos. "Now come on. Kendall and James are waiting for us so we can eat. I thought you were hungry."
"Just wait." Carlos said, staring at the wall. "I want to take some back." Then he started using the back of the flashlight to hit the wall, trying to chip some of it off.
Logan's eyes widened. "Carlos don't do that! The walls are unstable!"
Carlos continued hammering until a large chunk broke off, resounding in a loud cracking sound. The crack from the lost piece got bigger, crawling up the wall and to the ceiling.
Carlos watched in growing apprehension and dread. "Uh, what's going on?" He asked as he slowly backed away from the wall.
The crack continued to snake all around the wall, separating and getting bigger. They looked like veins in an arm as they separated. The sounds of cracking rock resonated all around them and echoed all throughout the mines.
"Come on!" Logan yelled as he grabbed Carlos' arm. "We gotta get out of here now!"
Carlos finally obeyed Logan and followed him around the corner. They both ran as fast as they could to the light at the end.
"Carlos! Logan!" Kendall's voice echoed down the long tunnel. "Hurry, I think it's going to. . ." He stopped when he noticed a large crack snaking around the entrance ceiling.
Logan's eyes widened, and he looked back to see Kendall and James observing the same thing as he and Carlos ran for the entrance.
"Cave-in!" Logan yelled, and he yanked Carlos back just as the first large rock fell to the ground, almost crushing Carlos. They both fell to the ground.
Logan looked back to the entrance at James and Kendall. "Get back!" He yelled over the rumble of rocks falling to the ground around them.
"Logan! Carlos!" James yelled.
"James!" Carlos called, but his voice was cut short when the whole ceiling came down in front of them, barely missing them, and cutting James and Kendall from his view. Dread filled him as he realized the only thing left to do was cover his head and wait it out. Carlos rolled onto his stomach and threw his hands over his head, listening to the roaring of rocks falling everywhere.
A weight had pushed itself onto Carlos' back, and for a moment he thought it was a rock. But the weight wasn't sudden, nor was it heavy. Just, sitting on his back.
Finally everything calmed down, then it was quiet. Dead quiet.
Dust rose from the ground all around, filling Carlos' lungs and he coughed. Then finally, he tentatively uncovered his head, shaking the small debris off and peeking around.
Large and small rocks and boulders were littered everywhere about them. Carlos was shocked that he'd never been hit. Except for that weight still on his back.
Suddenly Carlos heard coughing above him, and realized immediately what that weight was.
"Logan?" Carlos asked as he tried to turn around to see him.
Logan slowly rose from on top of Carlos, coughing and swatting at the dust in front of them. He sat beside Carlos and looked over at him. "Are you okay 'Los?" He asked in between coughs.
Carlos slowly sat up, shaking more dust and debris from his body. "Yeah, I think so." He looked himself over, making sure. He found a few scrapes and scratches, but other than that, he was fine. He searched around for his dropped flashlight, realizing Logan's must've been crushed by the rocks. Finally finding it beside him, he grabbed it and looked over at Logan. "You?" He asked, but the question died in his throat at the sight.
Logan had a cut on his head. And it was bleeding all down his face. It wasn't a large cut, but big enough to worry Carlos. Smaller cuts just like Carlos' littered his face and arms.
"Logan! Your face!" Carlos scooted up to Logan and gently prodded at the cut. "It's bleeding." He whispered in horror.
Logan brought a hand to it and felt around it gently, wincing. Then he brought his hand back and observed his now bloodied fingers. Carlos followed it with his flashlight, the light seeming to make the red glow. "I think it's okay." Logan said, his voice raspy from the coughing.
"Okay?" Carlos repeated in disbelief. "Logan, it's bleeding! What if it's serious? What if you die-"
"Carlos, calm down." Logan said firmly, like he was scolding a small child. Carlos stopped talking immediately. "Even if it was serious,". Logan continued. "There's nothing we can do here. We need to get out of here."
Carlos ignored how Logan didn't confirm whether or not it was in fact, serious. "But how?" He asked. "The entrance just collapsed! I went further down that way,". He pointed with the flashlight deeper into the mines, where he was looking at before. "And it's all blocked off from other cave-ins. A dead end! There's no way out!"
"Well then,". Logan began. "We wait."
"Wait?" Carlos yelled incredulously. "Wait for what? For another cave-in? For us to starve to death? For the oxygen to run out?"
"There's less risk of another cave-in if you'd stop yelling." Logan interjected irritably. "It'd take us at least a month to starve to death. By that time the rescue workers could've found us ten times over. And again, we won't run out of oxygen if you'd stop yelling!" He pointed out.
Carlos stared at him for a bit, slightly dumfounded at Logan's small outburst, then relaxed in defeat.
"Look,". Logan began calmly. "We just gotta wait for Kendall and James to call the park rangers and dig us out. Remember the first thing we learned at summer camp? When in a dangerous situation, the first thing to do is to remain calm. Then you figure out what the best option is, and take it. If it's waiting for someone to get help, you wait patiently and quietly. Nothing is accomplished by panicking, and in some cases, it only makes things worse."
Carlos sighed. "You're right. As always."
Logan smirked. "And don't you forget it." He said, then shifted his position. But suddenly he cried out in pain and shot a hand to his leg.
"Logan?" Carlos was in panic mode again, observing his pained friend. He followed Logan's hand with his flashlight and his heart dropped, at the sight of a large boulder where Logan's left foot should be. "Oh my-"
"Don't, panic." Logan strained slowly, shooting his hand to grip Carlos' shirt, cutting him off. "What did I just say?" He looked over at Carlos, breathing heavily.
"B-but. . ." Carlos stammered, staring at the rock. The hand that held the flashlight locked on the rock trembled fiercely. "Th-there's a. . .It's. . ."
"Carlos, look at me." Logan demanded.
Finally Carlos tore his gaze from the rock and looked at Logan with fear-filled, teary, and worried eyes.
Logan sighed. "It's gonna be okay." He said softly. "Just take deep breaths. Everything's gonna be okay, but you gotta stay calm."
Carlos nodded, then closed his eyes and took deep, cleansing breaths. In and out. In and out.
"Better?" Logan asked as Carlos re-opened his eyes.
Carlos nodded. "Yeah. For now." He answered sourly.
"Good." Logan nodded. "'Cause I'm gonna need you to move it."
"What?" Carlos exclaimed. "But what if. . .How can I. . .Why would. . ."
"Carlos!" Logan raised his voice slightly, trying to get Carlos' attention while still being weary of the unstable walls around them. "We can't stay in the middle of the path. If there is another cave-in, we'd be sitting ducks. At least against the wall, we have a little cover."
"But. . ." Carlos said, gesturing to the rock. "How can I. . .I don't. . ." He stammered. "What if it hurts you?" He whispered sadly.
"Carlos." Logan said gently. "I know you can do this. I need you to do this."
"But. . ." Carlos said in a cracking and unsteady voice.
"Carlos, I won't lie,". Logan said. "It will hurt. But only for a moment. Once the rock is off, it'll be better. Then we can go over there,". He pointed to the wall. "And wait for Kendall and James. Everything will be fine. But I need your help. Please. I can't do it alone."
Carlos stared into Logan's pleading eyes and his heart ached. He looked back at the rock apprehensively, before finally nodding. "Okay." He whispered. Then crawled over to the rock, placing the flashlight down beside him and positioning himself. He looked to Logan, who had positioned his free leg against the rock, ready to push with Carlos. "Ready?" Carlos asked.
Logan nodded. "On three. One. . ."
"Two. . ." Carlos got ready.
"Three." Both Carlos and Logan pushed with all their might.
Logan cried out in pain as the rock slowly moved off his foot, and the sound brought tears to Carlos' eyes. But it also motivated him to push harder, faster. He gave it all his might and finally, the rock rolled away from them.
Logan breathed heavily as he blinked away the tears of pain. Carlos was by his side in a second. "Are you okay?" Carlos breathed.
Logan nodded as he panted. "Can you help me up?" He asked breathlessly.
Carlos nodded and slung Logan's arm around his shoulders. "You ready?"
Logan nodded. "Just. . .Not too fast." He breathed.
Carlos nodded and slowly raised Logan up. Logan grunted in pain, squeezing his eyes shut.
Finally they were standing and Carlos led Logan to the side of the cave, leaning him up against the wall. Then he gently lowered him down.
Carlos went back for the flashlight, placing it on the ground in front of them so it illuminated their spot, then sat down beside Logan and watched his panting friend in worry. "You good?" Carlos asked.
Logan nodded, trying to catch his breath. "Thanks Carlos." He breathed.
Carlos let a sad smile play on his lips. "You're welcome." He muttered. "So, what now?"
Logan sighed. "We wait."
Carlos sighed in frustration. "I hate waiting." He muttered, staring at the ground.
Logan chuckled weakly, lightly patting Carlos on the shoulder. "I know buddy, I know. But hey, even you have to admit, it's better than school."
Carlos smiled. "Well, that's true. Especially math." He shuddered. "I can never understand it. Stupid number stuff always makes me feel stupid." He muttered sourly.
"You just need practice." Logan assured. "You're not stupid, Carlos."
Carlos remained silent. He was thankful for the light conversation, distracting him from their terrifying reality. But it couldn't distract him long enough, and his eyes finally drifted up to Logan's foot. The sight was enough to make him gasp and immediately avert his gaze, tears in his eyes.
Logan's foot was bent in a weird, unnatural angle, and covered in blood. Obviously broken. Carlos couldn't even imagine how much it must hurt. Tears slowly tracked down his cheeks at the thought of Logan in that much pain.
"Carlos?" Logan asked softly.
Carlos sniffled and quickly wiped at his eyes.
Logan's face softened. "Hey." He said gently, coaxing Carlos to look at him. "It'll be alright, buddy. We're gonna be okay. Come on, look at me."
Carlos finally looked up at Logan. But instead of seeing Logan's gentle, comforting eyes, all Carlos saw was the gash on his head, just above his left eyebrow. All Carlos saw was the blood dripping down his face. All Carlos saw was the pain and exhaustion in Logan's increasingly glazing eyes.
Wait a minute. Carlos' heart sank in dread.
Carlos frowned, and gently brought a hand to Logan's head. Logan hissed and instinctively pulled away.
"Logan. . ." Carlos began, his worried eyes fixed on his face.
Logan looked at Carlos, his worried gaze burning into him. He knew what Carlos was thinking, and he hated it. But he couldn't lie to Carlos. Logan sighed. "Concussion." He said softly.
Carlos' eyes filled with tears of fear and dread. "How bad?"
"Don't know." Logan answered dreadingly. "Might be pretty bad."
Carlos let out a shaky breath, running a hand through his hair as he slumped up against the wall. "You know what that means right?"
Logan looked over to him in confusion.
Carlos smirked humorlessly. "I get to do whatever it takes to keep you awake."
Logan gave him a small smile. "Oh no. Now I'm stuck in a cave with a crazy Carlos that is actually allowed to be annoying to keep me awake this time. How will I survive?" He asked himself.
Carlos chuckled lightly. "Perfectly fine, if I can help it." He answered seriously.
Logan offered him a small smile, before leaning his head against the wall. "Yeah." He muttered softly. "Hopefully."
Carlos checked his watch. They'd been stuck in that mine for thirty minutes. It felt longer. Carlos observed Logan's injured foot. It seemed the same as it had ten minutes ago. Carlos had elevated it on his folded up jacket. He doubted it did much to help, but at least it looked more comfortable.
The whole mine was quiet, except for the incessant dripping of some unknown substance off in the distance-Why did caves have to be so stereotypical?-And Logan's ragged breathing. Carlos closed his eyes, trying to block out the sound. It sounded so pained, like it was so much effort just to manage those horrible breaths. Each gasp for air that echoed through the mine broke Carlos' heart. Logan was in pain, and there was nothing Carlos could do about it.
Carlos had felt stupid before. He'd felt lost, he'd felt sad and lonely, he'd felt confused, he'd felt useless. But all of those times combined, paled in comparison to that moment, when Logan was injured, hurt, in pain, possibly-
No. Carlos shook his head. He couldn't think like that. Logan wasn't going to die. He just wasn't. He was Logan! The smart one. The Big Time Brains. The voice of reason in their quartet. They were four, not three. Four. Logan was going to be fine. He had to be. Otherwise. . .Carlos wouldn't know what to do with himself.
Carlos sniffled, and looked over at Logan. Logan's face was pale, save for the blood all down the left side of his head. His chest slowly rose and fell unsteadily, and his eyelids fluttered every now and then, like he was fighting to stay awake. Which he was.
"Logan?" Carlos said softly. His voice cracked as he tried to hold his tears in.
Logan shifted slightly. He turned his head, letting it fall to the side weakly, and offered Carlos a small smile. "Yeah Carlos?"
Carlos winced at how raspy and weak Logan's voice was. It just heightened his worry. Carlos cleared his throat. "How long do you think it will take? Before they find us, I mean."
Logan frowned in thought. "I don't know. Kendall and James probably found the rangers by now, and brought them to the entrance." He turned his head to look at the pile of rock that used to be the ceiling over the mine's entrance. "It's a good thing, and a bad thing that we're so close to it."
Carlos frowned. "Why bad? We're close to where they'll start looking."
"True." Logan said. "But that's also where the first of the caves crumbled. That could mean that it's the weakest spot. It could gave away again."
"Oh." Carlos said in a small voice, dropping his gaze to his hands. "Do you think it will?"
"I hope not." Logan said softly as he stared at the ceiling. "I think if it was going to give away, it would've with the rest of the entrance."
Carlos nodded, clinging to the small optimism. He wrung his hands together nervously, trying to find something to distract him from the reality they were stuck in.
Then Carlos felt a hand on his own, and stopped his fidgeting to stare at it.
"It's okay to be scared, Carlos." Logan whispered.
Tears stung Carlos' eyes, and he looked up at Logan with a sniffle. "I'm scared." He whispered fearfully.
"I know buddy." Logan said softly, gently pulling Carlos against his chest, and rubbing soft circles on his back. "It's okay. Everything's gonna be okay."
Carlos sniffled into Logan's chest, trying not to full out cry. "What if it's not?" He whispered sadly. "What if they don't find us in time? What if. . ." He stopped himself.
Logan's circles on Carlos' back stopped, and he pulled Carlos away to look at him. "In time for what?" He asked. "What if what, Carlos?"
Carlos dropped his gaze to his hands in his lap, sniffling.
Logan softened. "It'll be okay." He said softly.
Carlos merely nodded as Logan led his head back to his chest, stroking his hair soothingly. He wasn't sure if he fully believed Logan or not, and that just scared him even more.
"How long do you think they'd search?" Carlos asked, still pressed against Logan's chest.
"Hmm?" Logan hummed.
"The rangers." Carlos answered. "And Kendall and James. How long do you think they'd search for us until they called it a night?"
Logan chuckled weakly. "Doubt Kendall an' James would let the rangers off 'til they found us. Work all night through." He mumbled.
Panic gripped Carlos' heart and he sat up and looked at Logan. Logan's speech was slacking more and more during the other half hour they were in there. When Carlos looked up at Logan he noticed how much paler he had gotten in the light of the flashlight sitting in front of them, and his eyes fluttered more frequently now.
Carlos gripped Logan's shoulders gently. "Come on Logan, you gotta stay awake."
"Tired." Logan croaked, his head falling to the side.
"I know." Carlos said sympathetically. "But you can't sleep yet. You know that. If you go to sleep with a bad concussion you could never wake up again!" He gently shook Logan, making his eyelids flutter open. "Please stay awake." Carlos croaked, tears in his eyes and his voice.
Logan's unfocused and weak eyes found Carlos. "I'll try." He said softly.
Finally a sob escaped Carlos' lips. I'll try. Logan didn't promise. He didn't reassure Carlos that he would stay awake. He didn't reassure him that he was going to be fine. Carlos had a sinking feeling that Logan didn't even believe he was going to be fine.
Carlos sat beside Logan and pulled him onto his own chest, stroking his head this time. "Try your very hardest." He whispered. "Please."
Logan found Carlos' other hand and held it as tightly as he could. "Promise." He said.
Carlos' hand gripped Logan's tightly, as if it was Logan's lifeline. Which it just very well might be. That thought finally broke Carlos, and he cried silently, his soft sobs echoing through the dark and lonely cave.
"Okay, now it's your turn to ask me a question." Carlos said, staring down at Logan laying in his lap.
"What's four times eight?" Logan asked.
Carlos groaned, rolling his head back in annoyance. "Did it have to be a math question?"
"How else are you gonna get your homework done?" Logan smirked.
Carlos scrunched up his nose in bitter disgust. "Touchè." He said bitterly, then looked up in thought. "Let's see, four times five is twenty, plus four, three times would be. . ." He brought both hands up and counted on his fingers. "Thirty-two?" He asked.
"Right." Logan smiled up at him. "Way to go, 'Litos." He said proudly.
Carlos sighed, placing his hands back down, re-fastening his grip on Logan's. "Yeah well, I had to use my fingers. That's not the smart way to do it."
"There's no smart, or right way to learn, Carlos." Logan said softly. "You learn however way that works best for you. Everyone learns differently 'Los. If seeing it on your fingers helps you remember, then it's the right way for you to learn."
Carlos sighed as he stared at Logan. "I wish I was smart like you. I wish I could think stuff like that on the spot, and do math in my head, and know what big words mean, and be able to do complicated stuff without having it explained to me a thousand times." He dropped his gaze to his hand in Logan's. "I wish I wasn't so stupid all the time." He muttered.
"You're not stupid, Carlos." Logan insisted. "There's different kinds of smart you know. Just because numbers don't come easily to you, does not mean you're not smart. You have you're own smart, just like everyone does. And you have common sense. That's pretty smart."
"But I do all those crazy and dangerous stunts that get me hurt!" Carlos pointed out. "How is that common sense?"
"But you know that they're dangerous." Logan said. "How do you know that?"
"I don't know." Carlos said a little annoyedly. "I just do. It's-"
"Common sense." Logan said as Carlos said it.
"Knowing the stunts are dangerous, is common sense. It's smart." Logan said. "Doing them anyways just means you're adventurous and aren't afraid to take a risk to have some fun."
A small smile crossed Carlos' face. "They are pretty fun. Even if I end up with a broken arm."
"See?" Logan pointed out with a weak smile. "You're really brave 'Los, and in no way are you stupid. Trust me."
"But Logan,". Carlos began. "I can't do anything. I don't know anything. And even when I actually do something, I do it wrong all the time! How is that not stupid?"
"Well for one, most of that isn't even your fault." Logan said. "People don't understand your learning style, so they don't teach you properly, the way you understand. You don't do it right because you don't know how, and you don't know how because the person didn't teach you how properly."
"But why do I have to have a different way of learning than everyone else?" Carlos asked. "Why can't I be normal and learn normal and fast and properly like everyone else?"
"Carlos, nothing's perfect." Logan said. "There's no one way of learning something. There's no perfect way to learn. Even I get confused sometimes and need someone to explain it to me a different way so I can understand it better."
"You?" Carlos asked incredulously. "But you're a genius. You know everything."
Logan smirked. "Even geniuses have their days." He joked, making Carlos barely stifle a chuckle. "And I don't know everything Carlos."
"Well, most things then." Carlos said bitterly. "You read all those big textbooks, and do all those big assignments so easily."
"That's just because that's what comes easy for me." Logan said. "My learning style is different from yours. Where I can just read a text and remember it fine, you need a different approach. You remember things better when you're having fun with it. And that's perfectly fine. If anything, it makes teaching you more fun." He smiled.
Finally, Carlos had a spark of belief in his eyes, and he smiled at Logan. "It helps when you're the one teaching me. You're fun." He muttered.
"That's 'cause I know you're style." Logan smirked.
"Thanks Logie." Carlos said softly.
"Anytime bud." Logan nodded slowly at him.
They were quiet for a while, in content silence.
"This will make for one heck of a story, hey?" Carlos asked with a smirk.
Logan chuckled. "It ain't too far from our normal days."
"'So, class,'". Carlos mimicked his teacher, Miss Collins' voice. "'What did you do this summer?'" Then he went back to his own voice. "'Oh, nothing much. Just went camping, saw a cool abandoned mine, got stuck in a dark, spooky cave-in and was almost lost forever. The usual.'"
Logan scoffed. "We're not lost, 'Los. The entrance is right there."
"Psshh. That wouldn't make a very fun story." Carlos pointed out like it was obvious. "'We were trapped in a cave-in, but we were near the door and only there for. . .'" He looked at his watch. "'An hour and a half. But it was scary!' Not very exciting."
"So you're gonna lie?" Logan asked weakly. "Jus' to make it more int'resting?"
"Please." Carlos said dryly. "Everyone does it. You think people wanna hear about the kid that sat on his sofa all summer watching cartoons?"
"At leas' people could. . .Relate." Logan slurred. "Doubt he'd be. . .The only one. . .Doin' it." His breaths became heavier. Slower.
"Logan?" Carlos asked worriedly. "Are you okay?" He looked down at his friend, noticing his eyes drooping. "No no no." Carlos said, grabbing Logan's shoulders and shaking gently. "Come on Logan, stay awake. You gotta stay awake!"
"Tired." Logan croaked. "Head hurts." He said softly.
Panic threatened to drown Carlos. "I know buddy. You have a concussion, remember? You can't sleep now! You gotta stay awake! Come on, please!"
"So. . .Sleepy." Logan groaned. "Leg. . .Hurts."
"Please Logan!" Carlos began to sob. "Stay awake! Don't leave me! Don't leave me here all alone! I can't do this alone! I need you!"
Logan's eyes fluttered, as his hand found Carlos'. "Carlos." Logan croaked. He squeezed Carlos' hand gently.
Carlos squeezed Logan's hand back, tears pooling down his cheeks. "Stay with me buddy." He cried softly. "Please. Don't leave me here alone."
"Carlos." Logan whispered weakly.
"I'm here." Carlos said, his voice cracking as he sobbed quietly. "I'm right here Logie." He rose Logan's head and lowered his own, so their foreheads touched. "Stay with me." Carlos whispered, closing his eyes. "Please." The only comfort he had was the weak pressure on his hand. Logan was still holding on as much as he could. He was still fighting.
A sob escaped Carlos. "Fight it Logie." He said softly. "Fight the darkness. I know you can do it." He whispered. "Please. Fight for me."
Carlos opened his eyes. He was still in the same position; His head against Logan's. He could still feel the small squeeze on his hand. He could still hear the labored and weakening breaths emitting from Logan.
Carlos squeezed Logan's hand. "I'm right here buddy." He said softly.
Carlos frowned. That wasn't Logan at all. That sounded further away.
Carlos finally raised his head. He thought he heard. . .Kendall?
"Carlos! Logan! You guys there?"
Carlos' gaze shot to the pile of rubble at the doorway. "James?" He called. "James? Kendall?" He called louder.
"Carlos?" Kendall yelled back. "Oh thank god!" His voice was muffled through the rock. "We've been trying to reach you guys for hours! Are you okay?"
"I am!" Carlos yelled back. "But Logan's not! His foot's broken and he has a bad concussion!"
There was silence for a while. Carlos could just imagine the devastation on Kendall's and James' faces.
"Guys?" Carlos called, worried he'd lost them. Or imagined them.
"Okay!" James yelled back. "We're coming to get you! Don't worry!"
"We've been digging out the entrance for about, four hours!" Kendall yelled. "Obviously we're getting close if you can hear us now! We have help here, so we'll be through pretty soon! Just hang tight okay?"
"Please hurry!" Carlos yelled back. "I don't know how much time Logan has left!"
There was silence again. Carlos could almost hear Kendall's and James' hearts drop to the bottom of their feet. He knew how hard it must be for them to hear all this.
"Okay!" Kendall yelled back. He voice cracked, like he was fighting tears. "We're gonna blow the entrance! Keep as far away from it as possible! It may take a little while to set up!"
"In the meantime,". James yelled. "Try to keep Logan awake! We'll be with you guys in a bit!"
"Okay!" Carlos yelled back, then looked back down at Logan's pale and exhausted face. "Logan?" He asked softly. "Did you hear that? Help is on the way. It's going to be okay."
"Mmm." Logan groaned weakly. Carlos wasn't entirely sure Logan even heard him, and that scared him. But he decided to focus on the sound. That sound meant that Logan was still alive.
"It's gonna be okay." Carlos said. Then he squeezed Logan tightly to him, and began shimmying along the ground, further away from the entrance, as per Kendall's instructions.
One more long drag across the ground, and Logan suddenly cried out weakly in pain, weakly grabbing his leg.
"I'm sorry!" Carlos said, stopping immediately. It was good enough distance. Though darker where they were, since the flashlight was left in their previous spot. "I'm sorry Logan." Carlos whispered. He squeezed Logan to his chest as he heard a small whimper from his hurt friend. Tears stung Carlos' eyes. "It's okay." He said softly. "Everything's gonna be okay. Just like you said Logan. They found us. We're getting out of here. We're going home." He pulled Logan away and looked down at him.
Logan's eyes were closed, his face contorted weakly in pain. "Hurts." He whispered.
A sob escaped Carlos. "I know buddy. But not for long. Help is one the way. Everything's gonna be okay. Just a little bit longer."
"Tired." Logan croaked, his face slowly relaxing.
"No no no." Carlos said shakily, lightly patting Logan's cheek to coax him awake. "Not yet buddy. You can't sleep yet."
"Want. . .Sleep." Logan mumbled.
"Soon." Carlos promised, like he was trying to satisfy a small child's nagging. "But not right now. Right now you have to stay awake. You have to fight to stay awake."
"Not. . .Strong. . .'Nough." Logan said weakly. "Can't. . .Fight."
"Yes you are strong enough." Carlos said firmly, but his voice cracked with emotion. "Come on Logan, you have to fight. You can't give up." He started to cry softly again. "You have to try. You promised you'd try!"
"'Los." Logan croaked.
"Just a little bit longer Logie, then we're out of here." Carlos cried. "It's going to be okay. You're going to be okay!"
"'Los." Logan said a little louder.
"We'll get out of here." Carlos said. "We'll get out and go to a hospital and get you all better, and we'll go back home to L.A. and go back to school and never come back here again." He rambled. "I promise I won't ever go into a cave or mine or whatever again."
"'Litos." Logan groaned.
"I'm so sorry Logan." Carlos cried. "This is all my fault. I should've never come into this stupid mine! I should've just stayed with you guys! I should've just listened to you and come back when you told me to! I'm so sorry! It's my fault we're stuck in here. It's my fault you're hurt like this!"
"Not. . .Your fault." Logan breathed. "Walls. . .Weren't stable. . .Didn't know."
"But I still should've listened to you!" Carlos cried. "I just wanted to look at those stupid glowing rocks! They weren't even that cool! Not worth all of this! I'm so st-"
"No." Logan breathed. "Not stupid. . .Helped me."
"How did I help you?" Carlos asked bitterly. "You're hurt, barely conscious! And you got that way helping me! This is all-"
"Not. . .Your fault." Logan panted. "Kept, me safe."
Carlos finally just let the tears fall down his cheeks. "Please stay with me Logan. I can't do this alone." He cried brokenly.
"Not. . .Alone." Logan breathed weakly. "Kendall. . .James."
"But I need you too." Carlos croaked. "And so do they. We all need each other. You know that!"
A small tear slid down Logan's face as he looked up at Carlos. "Carlos. . .'M sorry."
Carlos sniffled. "Stay with me Logan. You have to stay with me."
"Can you. . .Do something, for me?" Logan asked softly, his pained, glazing eyes filling with tears.
"What?" Carlos asked.
"Tell. . .Kendall and James. . .I'm sorry?" Logan asked. "And. . .I love them."
"No!" Carlos yelled. He squeezed Logan's hand. "Don't you dare! Don't you even think about giving up! Don't you dare try to say goodbye!"
"I love you, Carlos." Logan whispered. His eyes slowly drooped closed.
"Logan!" Carlos cried. "Don't you dare try to leave me! Logan!" Carlos felt Logan's hand slacken, then go limp in his own hand. "Logan!"
Just then the mine's entrance exploded, flooding the whole cavern with dust and light.
He frowned as his mind became more alert. He didn't know where he was. The last thing he remembered was being in that mine, and now. . .
He felt a soft material under him. Not the cave floor, but a bed. He also heard a faint, rhythmic beeping sound.
Heart monitor. He was in a hospital. But how'd he get there?
"I think he's waking up!" A familiar voice hissed, but his foggy mind couldn't quite place it.
He frowned again. He tried opening his eyes, but they felt so heavy. Why were they so heavy? A small panic started to take him. The beeping increased.
"Easy buddy." Another voice said. This one much closer. "Just take it slow. It's okay." Kendall. That was definitely Kendall.
"Come on bud,". That was James. Now he recognized him. "You can do it. Just open your eyes."
He tried prying his eyes open again. Halfway. . .Shut. He huffed. Why was this so hard?
"It's okay." Kendall said, laying a gentle hand on his shoulder. "Just take your time."
He felt someone grab his hand. "We're right here." James said.
He took a deep breath, and tried again. Finally, his eyes made it all the way, blurry shapes flooding his vision. He squinted, trying to focus.
The first thing he saw was James, shielding his sensitive eyes from the bright light. The second thing was Kendall hovering over him with a glass of water.
"Here." Kendall said, offering the cup. "To soothe your throat. Before you try to talk."
He nodded and allowed Kendall to help him sit up, then help him drink. Once he was done Kendall laid him back down.
"You sure scared us buddy." James breathed. "Been out for a whole day and a half."
He frowned, looking from Kendall to James, then his eyes widened in another thought.
Kendall held up a hand to stop him, then opened his mouth to speak, but the door opening cut him off.
He saw both Kendall and James look to the door and smile, but James' body was blocking his view of the door.
"He's awake." James said to whoever was at the door.
"And asking for you." Kendall added with a smirk.
James moved over slightly, revealing the new visitor.
The visitor breathed out a sigh of relief, his eyes seeming to have been lifted of a huge weight. "Hey Logan." He said softly.
Logan smiled. "Carlos." He croaked.
"Imagine the look on her face!" James chuckled.
"I doubt she'd be too surprised." Kendall said. "Miss Collins knows us well enough. She'll probably think cave-ins are a regular thing for us." He chuckled.
"Well she'd be wrong." Carlos said sourly. "I never want to do that again."
James wrapped his arm around Carlos, pulling him close where he sat in a chair beside him, at the side of the hospital bed. "We never want that to happen again either 'Los."
"When that wall came down,". Kendall began hauntedly, at the other side of the bed. "And I saw you two on the ground. . .I've never been so scared in my life."
"I thought you'd been crushed for sure." James said softly. "I thought we'd never see you guys again."
"I thought the same thing about you guys." Logan said in a groggy voice from the bed. "You were close to the entrance when it collapsed. I thought it would've buried you alive."
"I was so scared." Carlos whispered. "I thought we were gonna be trapped there forever. Then I saw Logan's head. . ." He looked up at Logan with teary eyes. "There was so much blood." He whispered hauntedly.
James squeezed Carlos tight and rubbed his arm. "It's okay now Carlos." He said softly. "You're okay. Logan's okay. We're all okay now. It's over."
Carlos nodded against James' chest. "Thank goodness." He whispered.
"I can't imagine what it must've been like for you, Carlos." Kendall said. "I'm so sorry you had to go through that. Both of you." He look to Logan. "You guys shouldn't have gone through that."
"You guys are just lucky all you came back with was,". James gestured to Carlos. "Some scratches and bruises,". Then to Logan. "And a broken leg and severe concussion."
Logan shrugged weakly. "It couldn't be helped." He rasped. "What matters is that it's over now, just like James said. We're all okay. For the most part."
"But you almost weren't." Carlos whispered. He pulled away from James to look at Logan. "Logan, you almost died." He whispered. "I was so scared. I was losing you. I couldn't get you to stay awake. You fell asleep! I thought you died in my arms Logan! I thought you died!" He cried.
Logan opened his arms and Carlos climbed onto the bed, laying his head on Logan's shoulder and crying into his shirt. Logan squeezed him and rubbed his arm.
"But I didn't." Logan said softly. "I'm still here Carlos. And it's all thanks to you."
Carlos sniffled, pulling away to look at Logan in confusion. "Me? I didn't do anything. You're the one who pushed me out of the way of the rocks. You protected me. It's why you got that." He gestured to Logan's bandaged foot.
"But you helped me out of that." Logan said. "And you helped me to a better position away from more falling rocks, and the explosion. And you kept me awake, Carlos. If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have been able to last in there. You saved my life Carlos."
Carlos smiled through his sniffles. "Yeah well, who else is gonna look out for you if you won't?" He joked.
Everyone chuckled. "He's got a point." Kendall said.
Logan ducked his head as his cheeks lit up in embarrassment. "Shut up." He muttered good-heartedly. "I need new friends."
James ruffled his hair. "Oh please. You love us and you know it." He said with a smile.
"Yeah, and you can't ditch us!" Kendall said. "We need our Big Time Brains! Who else is gonna teach James how to do history?"
"Or tell Kendall how lame his schemes are?" James asked.
Logan smiled. "Well, we've got another Big Time Brains right here." He ruffled Carlos' hair.
"Me?" Carlos asked as he pointed to himself in surprise and disbelief.
"You handled yourself really well in there Carlos." Logan said. "I'm so proud of you. You saved my life because of it."
Carlos smiled. "Well I learn from the best." He said as he wrapped an arm around Logan's neck and gently ruffled his hair in a 'nuggie'.
Everyone laughed. "Careful, 'Los." Kendall chuckled. "His head's still sensitive."
James sighed. "Why do you always have to get yourself into trouble?" He asked good-heartedly.
"Because I always have to bail you guys, out of trouble." Logan smirked as he removed Carlos' arm from around his neck.
"Oh come on." Kendall said defensively. "We aren't that bad. Trouble just always finds you."
"Trouble always finds us." Logan corrected. "You just don't notice because you're used to it. Now why would you be used to it?" He asked playfully.
Kendall ruffled his hair. "Alright, alright. We get into a lot of trouble. But it's not our fault. Trouble just stalks us!"
"Right, I'm sure." Logan said sarcastically. "You're the victims. You poor babies." He chuckled.
"Don't make me give you another concussion." James 'threatened' with a chuckle.
Carlos laughed at his friends. Logan was trying to fight off James, and Kendall was trying to pull James off, while trying to do the same to Logan as James was. Carlos shook his head at them. "Just a normal Summer for us."
And suddenly Logan yanked him into the tussle, all of them laughing loudly in the small hospital room, together.
Author's note: Yeeeaaah, remember how I said I tried not to give you a cheesy ending? Well I failed. :P
Anyways, hope you enjoyed that little Carlos/Logan fluff story. I wanted to do something that showed how mature Carlos could really be, if given the chance, so this happened. :P Hope you liked it!