Author's Note: This was written for the big time bang over on LJ. To see all the offerings, visit bigtimebang dot livejournal dot com

Thanks to dirtywerk for the beautiful artwork!

This fic isn't quite as crack-ish as you might think. Give it a shot. :)

The flickering fluorescent bulbs seem to suck all the juice from Logan's eyes as he fights panic. The walls are white and so is the floor, his two friends seated across from him offering the only color to the open area. And, really, couldn't a hospital afford to be a little bit more cheery? It's bad enough, the sitting, the waiting, the thinking. Why suck everything out of the equation that isn't black, white or gray?

Kendall has been in the emergency room somewhere in the unknown depths for the last four hours.

The whole situation is ridiculous and was embarrassing as hell to explain. Carlos had snickered when Logan blushed, despite the seemingly dire situation their best friend had been put in.

"Prank war?" the doctor had questioned, Logan admiring the shiny name badge on his coat. Well, maybe not so much admiring as avoiding the older man's gaze. When Logan finally rallied the courage to meet the doctor's stare, he had been surprised to find a twinkle of amusement underneath the strong disapproval.

How does a young man of seventeen explain to a professional who saves lives he used his own semen to apply slop and/or stink to Kendall in order to win a competition dreamed up when they were children?

"There wasn't anything else!" Logan had explained for what seemed like the hundredth time. "Time was running out and I was so close to winning."

"What I don't understand," James starts, pulling Logan from his musings, "is how you were able to..." James makes a crude gesture with his hand, "in the final moments of a prank war."

"Yeah!" Carlos chimes. "Lord Prankerton's never done it for me like that." Logan glares at Carlos across the ER waiting room. "But pranking is exciting!" he amends quickly after seeing Logan's expression.

"I've been doing some experimenting," Logan huffs. The other two guy's eyes widen. "Not that kind of experimenting." He shakes his head, runs a hand through his hair. "I had it already. You know..." Carlos and James obviously don't know and continue to stare at him expectantly. "Preserved."

James laughs. "Is little Logie trying to make super sperm?" Carlos joins in on the laughs, giggling like a preteen girl.

Logan's face flames a manly shade of vermillion. Since when should he have to defend his genius? "Maybe I am! And maybe I'll be the one laughing when I'm man of the year on the cover of Science Now! magazine."

"Wait, wait, wait," James starts, both hands in the air as he turns to shush Carlos, "they put actual people on the cover of those magazines?" Logan nods and James unconsciously begins smoothing down his hair.

"No offense, dude, but I don't think you're sm- emufffugifyurf." Logan keeps trying to insult James even as Carlos rises and slaps a hand over his mouth, an indignant index finger jabbing the air. Does James really think he needs to grace the cover of every magazine by the time he's twenty-five?

"Could you two stop for a minute?" Carlos asks, gesturing with his head to the double doors Mrs. Knight and Katie have just entered through. "Remember we're here because Kendall is hurt?"

They all stand and go quiet, turn towards Mrs. Knight awaiting news. She is completely still, arms crossed over her chest, stern 'Mom' face trying to mask any emotion that isn't disappointment. Logan has seen the face enough times to decipher the woman's tells. He sighs when he reads underneath the anger and realizes Kendall will be fine.

"You boys are going to be adults soon," Mrs. Knight begins, the shuddering breath she takes revealing the true tempest brewing underneath. Of course, she's furious. Her offspring had been compromised. "This pranking was cute when you were nine. Whoopie cushions and shaving cream and toilet paper."

Turning to Logan, her expression goes even harder, if that were a possible thing. Logan shrivels under her gaze, looking at his feet quickly, wondering how long it'll be before he can look anyone in the eye again. "And you, Logan, you know better." Yes, Logan knows he knows better. But years of juvenile development research conclude rebellion is expected and entirely normal in homosapien youths, more so in the male gender. What could she expect?

"I-I was just…" Logan starts, all his excuses and reasoning seeming just plain dumb under Mrs. Knight's reproachful gaze. He thinks back to the last moments before Kendall got hurt, Logan hiding underneath the table, his most recent experiments splayed on top. He remembers the desperation he felt, the need to impress, the need, for once, to win something Kendall had always monopolized in the past. And really, the sperm was the safest thing to throw. The least corrosive. It wouldn't burn or maim, and honestly, the pure protein would be good for Kendall's skin and hair. Logan was helping Kendall, truly. He'd seen Kendall's split ends.

"Logan!" Mrs. Knight shouts, knowing Logan is trying with all his intellect to come up with an excuse that isn't immature and silly. "You ruined your research, too, didn't you? Months of work. For what? A paper crown?"

"Dude, what you did was so sick," Katie interjects.

"Hush, Katie!" Mrs. Knight orders, Logan's face growing hotter when he realizes everyone knows.

Logan recalls with perfect clarity the sound of the door slamming, the click of the pump action water gun (filled with rotten milk, no doubt) as Kendall called for him in a singsong voice. "Logie? Come out, come out, wherever you are!" Kendall's quiet steps approached the table Logan hid under, and with stealth the shorter boy didn't know he had, he reached out and tied Kendall's shoelaces together.

Logan was proud his hands only shook a tiny amount.

"I just wanted to win something besides a science fair," Logan says, defeated and feeling three feet tall. He meets Mrs. Knight's eyes because the hole they're burning in his head is starting to itch. "I'm sorry."

He had thrown the container of (relatively) fresh jism just as Kendall took a step, the fluid running down his face, covering his chest, his stomach. It was then Kendall toppled onto Logan's meticulously set-up lab experiments, countless beakers, flasks and miscellaneous glassware shattering. In an instant, there was blood everywhere. Everywhere. Then Logan did what he did best. Freaked the fuck out.

Mrs. Knight sighs, rubbing her face as the anger deflates. "I know you're sorry, and I know you'd never hurt Kendall on purpose. Just use that brain of yours more appropriately, okay?" She pauses to shake her head. "Let's go home."

"What about Kendall?" Carlos prompts, eyes darting between Mrs. Knight and the doors she came through.

"Kendall is fine, despite you all being grounded for two months."

"Two months! That's not fair!" James whines. "It was Logan who hurt Kendall!"

"Yeah, thanks to this prank war all of you participated in." Mrs. Knight's tone leaves no room for argument. Neither does the furrow of her brow which reminds Logan of the many Klingons he's seen on Star Trek. He's not dumb enough to argue. James on the other hand…

"But, Mama Knight-"

"One more complaint and I'm breaking all your mirrors and hiding the lucky comb." The fear on James' face is abrupt enough to be comical.

"What about Kendall?" Logan urges, eager to hear about the other boy's condition. "Why isn't he coming home tonight?"

"Most of the cuts were superficial, but one big, nasty piece of glass went pretty deep into his stomach. They had to clean it out, sew him up, and give him a unit of blood. I think the doctors just want to keep an eye on him overnight. But he's fine, just tired and sore."

"Can't we go see him?" Carlos asks.

"He's asleep now. And you all need a night to think about growing up. Come on, and no talking on the way home."

The ride home is silent, as intended.

Logan's mind goes wild as he tries to sleep. Thinking of Kendall, all alone at the hospital, bled out, makes his stomach roil in an all new way. His friend's injuries have never been his fault. It's always Carlos or Kendall or even James who causes bodily harm, and it's usually Logan on the receiving end. A broken wrist from sliding off a plastic wrapped toilet seat when they were eleven. A sprained ankle from a hockey charge when they were thirteen. Twelve stitches in the chin from falling (see also: wrestled) from a tree at fourteen. Never something as serious as an overnight hospital stay.

Feeling ridiculous again, Logan blushes in the dark of his shared room with Kendall. Why had winning been so important? Why was impressing his friends still the cornerstone of his existence? There has always been this constant need to be the best, to win. But winning got him here now, a lonesome room with no Kendall to babble at until falling asleep mid-sentence. Maybe Logan can't win at hockey or pranking, but he decides at this moment he's going to win at life. He's smart, damn it, smarter than the others. Even he is not too modest to admit that to himself. Being entirely honest, Logan knows he's never been modest when it came to his brains. It's the one area that's his, shared by none of the others. Sure, Kendall is smart, cunning, quick on his feet. But Logan, Logan is a fucking genius.

Mrs. Knight wants him to start growing up? He's going to start right away, first thing in the morning. And being grown-up is something he's going to win at; Logan is determined.


The mess is disgusting and gross, disgustingly gross even. There are dried body fluids on the floor, wall and smattered on the swirly slide.

"Not swirly!" Carlos moans, petting the clean side of the bright yellow plastic. "Get the bleach, Logan."

Logan, being newly grown-up, doesn't roll his eyes, but approaches the slide with a bucket and sponge, begins cleaning his mess while Carlos and James "supervise". He scrubs, mops and sweeps amongst comments from the other boys: "Ooh, right there", "You missed a spot!", "Can't you get that a bit cleaner?" Seeing as how grown-ups bite their tongues and only complain to their best friends and mothers (two-thirds of his best friends being the ones to complain about), Logan keeps his mouth shut and cleans until everything shines like the many lakes of Minnesota.

He takes inventory as he goes, disheartened when he realizes there is nothing left of his research. Some of his samples were irreplaceable.

Mrs. Knight emerges from her room, a small smile on her face when she sees the mess gone. The expression is only present for a moment before she speaks. "I want you boys to give me that crown."

"No, we can't, Mrs. Knight," Carlos doesn't hesitate to protest. "Logan hasn't had his coronation yet, and—"

"I don't want it," Logan deadpans, face completely serious. His mind wanders and he thinks about purchasing a pipe and ascot to make himself more adult-ish. Crown-schmown. There's not even a little itty-bit of him wanting that silly thing, he's sure.

"How can you say that, Logan?" Carlos shouts, grabbing his friend by the shoulders and shaking him. "You've wanted it since forever! Since we were kids!"

"Yeah, but we're not kids anymore," Logan snaps, his voice harder than he'd intended. Carlos wilts and waves at James who goes to get the crown. Logan can tell James is reluctant, coming back from Carlos and his room with the crown placed over his closed fist, but Logan is certain he isn't about to risk any more beauty products.

Without warning, James runs to Logan, places the crown on the shorter boy's head and shouts, "By the power vested in me by Lord Prankerton I hereby crown you Sir Lord High King of the Pranks sohelpmeLordPrankerton!" Then it's over before Logan can even comprehend the silly pride he felt, and James snatches the crown off Logan's head, handing it to Mrs. Knight with a guilty expression. Maybe Logan feels a little bad for ever thinking mean things about James; James is not dumb. His focus is maybe just a little misplaced.

"James…" she starts, shaking her head.

"He's always wanted it, Mama Knight. You can break Lucky if you have to, but—"

"It's fine. That's the last one though, boys. The last time you do this." With that statement, Mrs. Knight forces the crown in the garbage disposal, and Logan won't admit to anyone how sad it makes him, how he feels another piece of himself severed from his childhood. The other boys wince, and Logan thinks they already know how he feels.

Too bad Kendall isn't here to see Logan crowned.

Logan shakes his head; it's a silly, childish want to have. Mrs. Knight looks at him for a long moment, as though she knows what he's feeling, and for that moment, she seems almost regretful, guilty. She straightens and turns off the disposal.

"Who's coming with me to get Kendall?" All three boys raise their hands. "Katie!' she shouts. "We're leaving in five minutes!"


"Are you sure you're comfortable?" Logan requests for the millionth time. Kendall rolls his eyes and leans forward as Logan fluffs his pillow.

"I told you, I'm fine." He appreciates Logan's concern, he honestly does, but this hovering is getting annoying. His friend's spastic nature has always been a source of amusement for him, but damn if he doesn't make a frustrating nursemaid. This kind of attention might be necessary if Kendall was missing an arm or leg, but Logan tried to follow him into the bathroom. The bathroom, by the Power of Grayskull. Kendall hasn't needed help wiping his ass since he was three, thank you very much.

"Geez, Kendall, I'm so sorry about this. I don't know what I was—"

"I already told you, I don't blame you, Logan." Kendall throws his hands in the air and leans back, groaning a bit at the pain in his lower abdomen.

"Ah, damn it, see? You're hurting. Do you need another pill?" Logan picks up the bottle on Kendall's bedside and shakes it.

"No, no, no. It's all good. Plus, I'm going to have some wicked scars. Scars are cool, right? Lucky you didn't do this to James. He never would've forgiven you." Kendall laughs at the thought of James, lying in bed, gazing at himself in a handheld mirror and openly weeping. It would be unbearable. The laughter makes the pain flare again. "Okay, hit me with a happy pill."

Logan smiles when Kendall accepts the offered medication, obviously happy he can be of some sort of use. Kendall knows this whole thing has Logan feeling just so helpless. Sure, he knows a bunch of bullshit medical info, but he's never known what it's like to hurt someone close to him. Kendall remembers that guilt, which is why he accepts Logan's mothering without much protest.

"So has anyone told Gustavo about what happened?" Kendall asks after taking a long drink of water to chase down the pill. Logan visibly winces.

"Yeah, your mom made me tell him myself. It was...unpleasant. He still wants all of us in the studio in three days to work on recording. No choreography, thank goodness. We don't have shows lined up for awhile so everything's okay, as far as that goes."

"You're braver than I am, man." Kendall settles in, anticipating the warm, dizzy sensation the pain killer is sure to bring.

"Brave? She stood over me for almost twenty minutes demanding I call while I begged the whole time for her to do it," Logan replies.

"That sounds more like the Logie we all know and love," Kendall drawls. Logan flinches at the comment, and Kendall tries to reword his statement. "I didn't mean it like it came out, Logan. Don't pay attention to me. I'm all kinds of fucked up, seven sheets to the wind."

"No, you're right. After all this, I've kind of resolved to be more grown up, so I failed at it that time. Although the Logan from a week ago would've probably refused to call Gustavo outright."

"Grown up? But why?" Kendall asks. "Speaking of, we need to have your coronation soon. Your first, Logie, you must be so-"

"Your mom destroyed the crown. No more pranks," Logan interrupts, shaking his head.

"This is ridiculous. We're seventeen! All this maturity crap is dumb," Kendall spits, mouth downturned in a sour expression. They spent, like, a week of summer vacation making that crown between third and fourth grade. Carlos had even accidentally (see also: Kendall is sneaky) had his finger glued to his nose. Where is all this stupid maturity talk coming from? Because he got hurt? The four friends getting injured is nothing new; in fact, it has become expected.

"You'll be eighteen in a few months, Kendall. Your mom is right. We need to stop acting like kids." Kendall turns sad in an instant. He doesn't know if it's that what Logan says might be right or if it's that his friend might grow up and grow away from him.

Kendall decides it's fucktarded to worry about either thing right now. Besides, the pill is kicking his ass, so he just closes his eyes, fake snoring until he hears Logan leave.


Almost six weeks pass, the four boy's boredom growing to huge proportions. Being grounded sucks almost as hard as eight straight hours of harmonies. Which, speaking of, they had to do on numerous occasions. When Mrs. Knight says grounded, she means completely grounded. They haven't been allowed to swim or skate, and Carlos got the stink eye and a swipe to the back of his head when he broke out a hacky sack.

Kendall is fully healed, and he couldn't be more grateful. He had never been so relieved as when the doctor removed the stitches. Logan cleaning his wound had been awkward, but the guy had insisted. Kendall never imagined Logan that close to his crotch. And, come on, Kendall is a teenage boy. It's impossible for him not to feel a bit squirmy when there's hot breath and a warm face inches from his dude parts. Talk about plain uncomfortable.

After the full two months are behind them, a span of time marked by nothing but bitching and moaning, the boys are finally free. Of course, the first place they visit is the Palm Woods pool. Kendall hopes to see Lucy. He won't admit it to any of the other boys, but he's still lamenting Jo's absence. And, truth be told, although Logan's hovering had been annoying at first, it almost felt like he had a girlfriend again: someone focused completely on him, concerned for his comfort. Now that Kendall is better Logan has backed off, though he still unquestioningly fetches things for Kendall when the proper pained expression crosses the blond's face.

So, Kendall has resolved to ask Lucy on a real date. They've gone back and forth, and he knows she likes him and it's silly to keep putting it off. Right? Right.

They've all had breakfast and separated into their respective rooms to get ready for the pool. Logan is grilling Kendall about sunscreen and spouting the importance of just the right amount of SPF when there's this rumbling both boys hear.

"Was that your stomach?" Logan asks, cocking his head to the side and eyeing Kendall's midsection as though he's expecting Kendall to split in two, give birth to an alien or try to eat Logan's face.

"Uh, yeah," Kendall laughs and shrugs. He's not hungry. Quite the opposite actually. His stomach rumbles again and, before he can make it to the toilet, he pukes his guts out in the garbage next to his bed.

There's a cool hand on his back before he hurls the second time, Logan's concern radiating through the touch. It doesn't help the projectile vomit to lessen though, and Kendall is pretty sure he heaves hard enough to expel his knee caps.

"Oh god, Kendall, do you need your mom? That's…not normal. Holy crap, gross." Logan moves back a bit as more (where can it all come from?) liquid comes from Kendall, the thinning bile spattering on Logan's bare legs.

Kendall stops and takes a few deep breaths. He feels better. Much better. But then again, he hadn't felt bad in the first place really. "No, I'm over it, I think." He stands straight again, wipes his mouth with the back of his hand. Logan darts into the bathroom and Kendall hears running water. When he comes back out he hands a wet washcloth to Kendall.

"Here," he says, "put that on the back of your neck." He gives Kendall a reassuring smile, and, really, Logan will be a great doctor if for nothing else but his bedside manner. Kendall has this crazy wave of emotion pour over him at the thought. He feels a stinging in his eyes, but not from the waste basket full of sick, and dammit what is wrong with him?

Kendall swallows, pushing down his stupid feelings about an abandonment that hasn't even happened yet.


And then he asks Logan to go on down to the pool and that he'll catch up because Kendall just really needs to cry right now. It's irrational and weird and Kendall goes to the bathroom and splashes some water on his face, pretending the water is all from the faucet and not from the wussy tears streaming down his face.

He does get really emotional when he's sick. This must've been coming on. Just the other day, he noticed how the top of Katie's head is almost level with his chest. It seems like a few months ago she was barely at his waist, and now she's all grown up. The thought just made Kendall hurt deep down inside because everyone is moving up and away and he's just himself, just Kendall and he never ever changes. And now he's feeling sick again, so he cups his hands under the flow of water and takes a few tentative sips.

Looking into the mirror, he straightens his hair and mutters, "Buck the fuck up, Knight." He cleans up his mess, grabs his things for the pool and makes his way downstairs.

Logan is already settled in a lounge chair, reading whatever new brainy book Logan reads, and Carlos and James are making too much noise in the pool. He's buoyed immediately by his boisterous friends, slips off his shirt and discards it poolside. Sliding into the water, he notices Lucy sitting on the far side, her feet in the water and notebook in her hands.

Lucy doesn't notice Kendall sidle up to her, headphones firmly over her ears, and he slaps her leg, not harshly. She jumps and looks up at him. The smile she gives him is warm and genuine.

He decides just to go for it.

"What's up?" Kendall gives—what he thinks is—his most charming smile.

"Oh, not much. Just, you know, writing." She holds up the notebook and shrugs. "I see you're feeling better. And no longer grounded."

"I'm glad you mentioned the 'no longer grounded'." Smooth, Knight. Real Smooth. "I was wondering if you might want to hang out later. Catch a movie or something."

She seems to ponder this for a moment, and Kendall half expects another bullshit excuse about a previous "bad relationship", but Lucy nods, albeit tentatively.

"So, would this be, like, a date?" she asks, trying to hamper a smile. Kendall resists the urge to throw his hands up in triumph, to woohoo loud enough for the entire palm woods to hear. He keeps it cool and nods.

"Cool," Lucy says. Kendall doesn't miss the way she looks him up and down, and he wonders if she's thinking about how badass his scars look.

"What?" he asks, noticing her eyebrows pull together.

"What's with your nipples?" She points to Kendall's chest and he resists the urge to cover himself up. He looks down.

"What about them?" They seem totally normal to him. There are two of them, and they're hard from being in the water and the nerves and junk, but beyond that he doesn't know what she's talking about.

"They just look really dark and a little puffy."

Kendall laughs and scrutinizes his nipples further. He's with his nipples every day, so why should he notice a difference? "Since when do you pay so much attention to my chest?"

Lucy blushes, actually blushes, and Kendall smirks when he realizes she's been staring before. Of course, he knew she'd been staring before, but now she knows that he knows she's been staring.

"Hey," she retaliates, "I'm just being a concerned friend. I thought maybe the guys had given you the old purple nurple. I know they've been bored." She gestures with her head, nodding towards the guys, their horseplay equivalent to that of a wild animal recently liberated.

"No purple nurples recently," he replies, squinting as a bemused expression crosses his face. There haven't been any purple nurples in months, if not more than a year, if Kendall remembers Kendall correctly. Not since James gave them all a speech on the "beauty of the nipple" and how they are to be revered and kept immaculate as other private parts. So no messing with nipples since a person never knows in California when they might wind up shirtless. He looks down at his chest again, gives his nipple a little poke. It kind of hurts.

That's new.


His date with Lucy doesn't go over very well. She wants to talk about music and that's it. Kendall loves music and all, truly, but he'd rather be talking to Logan about anything, even logarithms. Kendall is relieved when, at the end of the night, Lucy accentuates the word "friend" when referring to the two of them.

Kendall throws up again the next day, and the day after that. He starts taking naps in the afternoon. Then he throws up after that. He feels drained and disgusting and he hates everyone.

Except for Logan. He's pretty sure he grows a little fonder of Logan every day; if that were even possible. Kendall thinks of that very thing with his head over the toilet bowl—of how much he likes Logan—as he's pondering his life with each subsequent flush. He likes him more and more every day, except for yesterday. Logan was really fucking frustrating yesterday.

"You need to go see a doctor," Logan pointed out for the umpteenth time. Kendall had heard it from everyone and his patience was thinner than the chicken broth Logan tried to shove down his throat.

"There's nothing to be done about a stomach bug." Kendall opened his mouth to Logan in acquiescence, and the other guy spooned in some soup. Logan's eyebrows pulled together, a pinched look of concern, and Kendall felt like snapping.

"What the fuck are you grimacing over?" Kendall asked. Logan's expression only got tighter.

"Would you please not bite my head off? I'm just concerned, okay?" Kendall felt guilty immediately. Although he'd been having spurts of emotion, they generally changed as quickly as they came on.

"Sorry," Kendall apologized, and he had the decency to look abashed.

"Stomach bugs generally run their course in about twenty-four hours. This has been going on close to two weeks. Promise to at least think about seeing a doctor? What's it going to hurt anyway?"

Kendall just nodded at him and opened his mouth for more soup. The truth is, Kendall hates doctors. Doctors give bad news, bad news, bad news. Logan wants to be one, and Kendall is sort of glad about that, because there'll be a doctor he won't hate. Of course, Logan might have to look at him naked. Not that Logan hasn't seen Kendall naked before, but Logan wasn't, like, examining Kendall, scrutinizing his privates. Kendall gets this mental image of Logan asking him to turn his head and cough, and he giggles amongst the gags.

There's a light knock on the door and Kendall stands from his kneeling position by the bowl, flushes and goes to wash his face. "Come in," he says.

Mrs. Knight pokes her head in, the worry puckering her face as she looks Kendall up and down. "Still getting sick?"

Kendall gives a nod and says, "But it's no big deal, Mom." She walks the few feet separating them and puts a cool hand to his forehead.

"You don't feel like you have a fever, but you sure are flushed. You know, this could be a big deal. I'm going to have to insist you go to the doctor."


"No buts."

"We have to go to the studio today, Mom," Kendall whines.

"Then go after. Or tomorrow. Just go soon. Promise me, Kendall. Don't make me threaten you. I'm a good threatener."

Kendall fidgets, swings his arms around a moment, maybe even stomps his foot a little, but in the end, he agrees. No one says no to his mom.


The four boys have been at the studio almost two hours when Kendall feels that familiar lurch, the burn of bile rising up his throat. He's in the middle of singing when he can't keep it in anymore, the booth door firmly closed. He struggles with it, and it's Logan who reaches around him to help him push it open. Barely having time to give Logan an appreciative glance, Kendall is bolting through the studio, trying to get to the toilet or a garbage can. In the background, he hears Gustavo yelling.

He's proud when he makes it all the way to the bathroom sink before getting sick; one thing he's learned over the past weeks is how to control this involuntary body function. Kendall Knight, he thinks, the guy who can get anything under control.

As he's retching, the door swishes open. He's expecting Logan; it's always Logan who comes to check on him. Instead, it's Gustavo. Kendall starts running water to rinse out the sink and looks at Gustavo in the mirror.

"Let me have it," Kendall says.

"I'm not going to 'let you have it'," Gustavo answers, wiggling his fingers and drawling out Kendall's words. Kendall appreciates the mockery. It's normal and comfortable when everything else is just seeming downright odd.

"Then why are you here? Not to check on me."

"You're going to see a doctor. I can't have any of you dogs puking on fans."

"I'm fine!" Kendall shouts, repeating the same diatribe for the thousandth time. If it's not his mom or Logan, it's James or Carlos or Katie. Now Gustavo motherfucking Rocque is telling him to seek out some medical attention. It's fucking frustrating.

"Go to the damn doctor!" And there's the old anger Kendall looks for. Everyone has been walking on eggshells around him, his temper short and emotions strung high. He can always depend on Gustavo for a good shouting match.

"Buzz off," Kendall replies. Smoke rolls out of Gustavo's ears.

"You will go to the doctor, right now." Kendall doesn't move. "I said go now, and don't come back until you've had a check-up!"

Kendall gives Gustavo—what he thinks is—an impressive glare, but the big man is left unfazed. Kendall exits the bathroom, leaves the studio all together.

But he doesn't go see a doctor. He's feeling tired, arms and legs useless like wet noodles. So he goes home, snuggles into his bed. But he does make an appointment for the following morning. It's an off day, and this way Kendall gets a much needed nap now, the apartment quiet and cool in the middle of the afternoon.

As he drifts off, he wishes he had taken the time to eat a corn dog, maybe dipped in chocolate. "Mmmm," he hums before slipping to sleep.