Author's note: As requested by BookWorkKendall. I'm sorry this took sooo long. Lots is going on and I just couldn't find the time, or the motivation after a long, tiring day of school, to do it.
Also sorry it's like, extra long, but the ideas just kept flowing! My friend said that no one would read any one-shot if it was too long, so, I cut it into two parts. I didn't want to because the break kind of ruins the flow, but it had to be done I guess. :P Sorry if it's a bore. :\
Bromance and angst all around. I hope you like it BookWorkKendall!
This is the very first story request I've ever done, so I hope it's okay. :)
No slash, just friendship.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
Kendall let out a big yawn as he stretched his tired limbs, walking down the hall. Then he rounded the corner, where he saw Logan in the living room reading a book, with the TV on.
"Mordig." Kendall said through a yawn as he stretched again. He came around and plopped onto the couch beside Logan.
Logan smiled at him, setting his book down. "Morning to you too."
"Where's everybody?" Kendall asked as he sleepily observed the almost empty apartment.
"Your mom and Katie went shopping." Logan answered as he got up and went to the kitchen. "And Carlos and James are down by the pool." Logan lifted a pan lid off a plate by the stove and placed the plate on the counter as Kendall sat in one of the chairs. "Your mom made breakfast."
"Thanks." Kendall said as he stuffed a piece of pancake in his mouth. "So,". He began with a mouthful. "Why aren't you down there with the guys?"
"Someone had to give you that." Logan pointed out, gesturing to the plate of pancakes. "Plus I just felt like sitting in and reading today. It's a little too loud outside."
"Pool's full, huh?" Kendall asked as he mouthed another fork-full.
Logan shook his head. "Nah, just James and Carlos. But you know them. They're a whole big loud party all on their own." He smirked.
Kendall chuckled. "That's true." He finished his breakfast and pushed the plate aside, then crossed his arms on the counter and laid his head in them. "Soo tired." He croaked.
Logan chuckled. "Yeah well, that's what you get for arguing with Gustavo again yesterday at rehearsal. You're just lucky Kelly convinced him not to ruin our day off today for more work."
"It's not my fault he's a turd." Kendall muttered into his arms.
"Well it's your fault for pointing it out." Logan chuckled.
"Whatever." Kendall muttered. "I don't want to talk, or think about Gustavo on our day off."
Logan raised his hands in submission. "Subject dropped."
"Good." Kendall said, sitting up. "Then let's go find James and Carlos and have some fun." He said with a smile.
"Lead the way chief." Logan smiled.
"Carlos! Over here!" James yelled across the pool. "I'm open!"
"Catch it James!" Carlos cried from the other side of the pool as he tossed the football over. It went soaring through the air.
James jumped up in the pool, causing water to splash up over the edge, and caught the ball. "Got it!" James cheered, then slammed the ball into the water, causing more water to splash out. "Touchdown!" He cheered.
"We're the winners!" Carlos cheered.
James sighed. "Yeah, 'cause we're the only players." He said sourly. "Why does everybody have to be at auditions today? What is it, 'international audition day' or something?" He muttered.
Carlos swam over to James. "It is kinda weird that almost everyone in the Palm Woods got an audition on the same day."
"Either that or record deals." James added. "Man! This is no way to spend our day off!"
"I wish we had someone to pl-" Carlos started, when his phone in his jacket on the pool chair near the doors beeped. He lifted out of the pool and checked it.
"Who is it?" James asked.
"It's Logan!" Carlos said cheerfully. "Kendall finally woke up. They're coming down to play with us!"
"Sweet!" James cheered. "Now it'll be a real game!"
"They're in the elevator right now." Carlos said as he read the text. "They'll be down in a few minutes."
"And then we'll totally kick their butts!" James said confidently. "They don't stand a-" But he stopped, when he heard an odd sound. It sounded like, rumbling. "Hey, do you hear that?" James asked.
"Do you feel that?" Carlos asked worriedly as he observed the ground under his feet. He looked back to James still in the pool. "The ground's shaking."
"I don't feel it." James said, then went to lift himself out of the pool, but the second he touched the edge he stopped. "Whoa, okay I feel it now. What is that?"
"It's the apocalypse!" Carlos cried. "We're all gonna die!"
"Carlos, calm down." James said. "It's not the apocalypse. It's just a. . .Uuuh. . ."
"What?" Carlos asked. "What could it possibly be if not the apocal-" He was cut off when the rumbling made something break in the lobby. Carlos and James both shot their heads over to see the potted plants and front desk shaking apart.
James' eyes widened. "Earthquake!" He yelled. "It's an earthquake! We gotta get out of-" He stopped when he noticed an over-head balcony cracking and breaking, chunks of it falling around them. Then the whole balcony came apart from the building and raced down towards them. "Look out!" James yelled, then dived into the water, swimming away.
Carlos looked up and noticed just as the balcony was coming for him. He jumped back just as the balcony made contact with the ground and he fell backwards into the pool with a big splash.
James swam as far as he dared without knowing what happened to Carlos. He heard Carlos cry out and then a splash, but then the loud rumbling drowned everything else out.
A huge piece of wall landed mere inches from where James was swimming forward, forcing him to pull back and swim the other way, towards where the fallen balcony was sitting; Half in the water, half on the ground in front of the door. James swam right up against the balcony and used it as cover from the falling building slabs and debris. He pushed himself as far against the wall of the balcony as he could and closed his eyes, shielding his head.
The only sounds around James was the rumble of the ground, and the shattering of anything that the crumbling building crushed. James curled up as much as he could against the wall in the pool. Splashes sounded all around him. He squeezed his eyes shut, praying it would stop, that he'd be alright, that Carlos was alright, that everyone was alright. He'd never been so scared in his life.
"Get down!" Logan yelled over the rumble and creaking of the elevator. He grabbed Kendall's arm and led him to the ground, both laying flat on their stomachs and covering their heads.
Loud thumps sounded faintly in the background, while the frozen elevator creaked and groaned and rocked ominously, and the lights flickered before finally going out.
"It's gonna bre-" Kendall started to yell, but was cut off when the elevator suddenly plummeted downwards.
Kendall and Logan were thrown around in the small room, roughly banging into the walls and the railing.
Kendall slammed into the wall hard, then felt Logan roughly smack against him. Kendall quickly grabbed Logan's arms, holding him safe against his chest. At least, he hoped they'd be safe.
The elevator caught and stopped rapidly, giving both boys whip-lash. Kendall's head smacked hard against the wall, and he saw spots flashing in front of his vision. Dizziness overwhelmed him. He heard a loud clatter, before finally passing out.
The rumble slowed, the loud bangs and clangs and thumps of falling building pieces stopped, then, everything was still.
James tentatively peeked out from behind his arms, looking around the chaos. The whole Palm Woods was littered with debris of all sizes. Everything was in ruins.
"Carlos?" James called, slowly treading through the water as he looked about. "Carlos!" He looked around where he last saw him. Nothing.
A splash. James remembered Carlos cry out and then a splash. James quickly looked into the water, but it was too dusty on the surface from all the debris to see anything. He took a deep breath and dived under.
James swam under as fast as he could, looking for any sign of Carlos. He swam back to the balcony, trying to get around it to look.
Suddenly he caught sight of something at the bottom of the pool, right next to the balcony; Movement. He swam down as fast as he could.
A large slab of the building was laying at the bottom, and caught underneath it was a part of Carlos' shorts. Carlos tried desperately to pull the small snagged material from the slab. He pulled, trying to rip his shorts, but they were too stong. He tried lifting the slab, but it was too heavy. He tried taking them off completely, but too much of the slab covered his shorts, and he couldn't wriggle through them. His lungs burned with lack of oxygen and his leg hurt from rubbing up against the slab. He was just thankful it missed his leg.
Carlos was panicking. He couldn't free himself. He was stuck, and running out of air. Black spots danced in front of him, he was starting to give up.
Suddenly Carlos felt a hand on his shoulder and he jerked around to see James by his side. James immediately went to the slab and tried lifting it.
With the newfound determination, Carlos helped James in trying to lift the slab. With their combined strength, it slowly started to raise.
But Carlos' strength was fading as his lungs screamed for air. The black dots got bigger and bigger, and Carlos felt his eyelids drooping. Finally, he lost consciousness.
James panicked as he saw Carlos' eyes starting to droop. He lifted with all his might, trying to get the slab up enough for Carlos' snagged shorts to slip out. The slab got heavier as Carlos' body went limp.
James pulled himself to the very bottom of the pool, then stood on the floor, placing his hands better on the slab. Then he lifted as hard as he could with his legs and arms combined.
Finally the slab rose enough and Carlos floated out from under it. James quickly dropped it and grabbed Carlos, slinging one of his arms around his shoulders and swimming to the surface as fast as he could.
James emerged from the water coughing and sputtering. He swam to the edge of the pool and lifted Carlos onto solid ground, before climbing up as well.
"Carlos." James strained through his coughing. James bent over Carlos' unconscious body and laid his head against his chest, praying for a heartbeat. But his own heart dropped when he couldn't find one.
James wasted no time. He quickly lifted Carlos' chin and blew two breaths into his mouth, then positioned his hands on Carlos' chest, pushing down repeatedly. Just like Logan had taught him.
"One. Two. Three. Four. . ." James counted out loud as he compressed Carlos' chest. Thirty compressions. James blew two breaths into Carlos' mouth. "Come on Carlos." James said anxiously. Thirty compressions. "Come on!" Two breaths.
Suddenly water shot up out of Carlos' mouth and Carlos turned to the side, gagging and coughing.
James helped Carlos on his side and rubbed his back. "Carlos?" He asked hopefully.
"James?" Carlos croaked in between coughs. Finally he settled down and laid back on his back.
"Are you alright?" James asked frantically.
Carlos nodded through a cough. "I think so." He croaked.
James breathed out a sigh of relief. "Don't you ever scare me like that again." He said softly, then wrapped his arm around Carlos' back and waist and helped him sit up.
"No promises." Carlos joked, then coughed again.
Once Carlos' coughs settled, James immediately wrapped his arms around Carlos, pulling him into a tight hug.
Carlos hugged him back just as tight, tears in his eyes. "Thanks James." He whispered.
James sniffled before pulling away with a smile and a nod. He kept his hands on Carlos' shoulders and looked him over. "You sure you're okay?" He asked.
Carlos looked himself over, before nodding. "Positive." He promised with a small smile.
James nodded. "Good."
Carlos looked around the pool, devastation creeping into his heart. "Everything's broken." He said softly in a cracking voice.
James slung an arm gently around his shoulders. "I know." He whispered in despair, and he and Carlos both leaned their heads against each other. They looked around the pool, noticing all the rocks and broken building pieces, the glass shards everywhere, the dirt and dust everywhere.
"I hope everyone else is okay." Carlos said as they scanned the pool sadly.
"Me too." James said. "Luckily not a lot of people were here when it hit. There'd probably be. . ." But he stopped when he, and Carlos both rested their eyes on something on the ground; Carlos' cell phone, near the balcony, and their eyes widened in the same thought.
Kendall involuntarily groaned as he lifted his aching head. He pressed his hand against his temple in hopes of soothing the pain and stop the spinning. 'What happened?' His foggy mind couldn't form a complete thought. He stopped moving and took a deep breath, trying to clear his head. Then he observed his surroundings.
Everything was pitch-black. Kendall could barely see his hand in front of him. The only light he had was a dim glow from above him. He looked up to see a long narrow tunnel rising upwards that had lights all along it. Where was he?
Suddenly everything came back in a dizzying flash. The rumbling. The shaking. The rocking. The earthquake. The elevator falling.
Kendall was still in the elevator. The light above him was the shaft and it was exposed because the cover to the emergency exit came off. When did that happen?
Kendall's slow and foggy mind finally caught up and his breath accelerated. "Logan!" He called groggily. "Logan, are you okay?" He felt around, feeling soft material beside him. A jacket. Filled by an arm.
"Mmm." Logan groaned beside him.
Kendall scooted closer to him and tried to look him over. "Can you hear me?" He asked gently.
"Kendall?" Logan croaked. "What happened?" Kendall vaguely saw the silhouette of Logan's hand touch his head the same way Kendall had done when he woke up.
"The elevator fell." Kendall explained. "But I think the emergency break caught it in time. We didn't hit the bottom."
"Well that's good at least." Logan croaked groggily. "Are you okay? You're not hurt or anything?"
"I think I'm fine." Kendall said. "Got a little bump on my head,". He said as he reached to the back of his head and prodded at the bump tentatively, wincing and hissing slightly. "But I don't think it's too bad. No concussion or anything. You?"
There was silence for a bit.
Kendall frowned in the darkness, trying to see Logan's face. "Logan?" He asked in growing worry. What if he'd bumped his head too and did have a concussion? What if he fell asleep and never woke up again? What if-
"My phone broke from the fall." Logan said suddenly, cutting through Kendall's panic. "I landed on it and it got crushed. Do you have yours?"
Kendall felt around in his pocket. "Yes! I do." He yelled triumphantly, pulling it out. He pressed a random button and illuminated the screen, which in turn, lit up the room a bit more. Kendall could finally see Logan's fac-
Kendall gasped. "Oh my god." He whispered. His face paled and tears filled his eyes as his stomach churned. "Logan." Kendall whispered tearfully.
A small pipe from above, at least the size of a recorder instrument, must've fallen through the ceiling. That's why the cover came off. The small, short pipe had broken through the ceiling, broken through the cover and flung it off. The small pipe that had imbedded itself into Logan's left side, near the stomach.
Kendall had to cover his mouth with his hand to stop from throwing up. Blood soaked the elevator floor around Logan. Logan's blood. Kendall's vision swam, getting blurry from tears. He felt lightheaded.
"Just breath." Logan instructed. "Kendall, look away and breath!"
Kendall jerked his head to the wall, squeezing his eyes shut as he gasped for air. He gripped his shirt on his chest tightly, trying to calm down.
"Slow breaths." Logan soothed calmly. "In, out. In, out."
Finally Kendall's breathing slowed as he followed Logan's instructions. 'In and out. In and out.' He slowly opened his eyes, staring at the floor in front of him.
"You good?" Logan asked.
Kendall shook his head. "No." He muttered in a cracking voice. He slowly turned his head to face Logan, and looked at the piece of metal sticking out of his left side. Kendall looked away again, squeezing his eyes shut as tears ran down his cheeks. He covered his mouth to stifle a sob.
Logan managed to reach Kendall's hand and squeezed it lightly. "Easy Kendall." He soothed. "Try to stay calm."
Kendall sniffled and wiped his face, before huffing determinedly and looking back to face Logan. "Are you. . ." He trailed off.
Logan nodded slowly. "I'm okay, for now." He said. "But, you should call. . ."
Kendall was already dialing his phone as Logan spoke.
"Nine-one-one, what's your emergency?"
"M-my friend's hurt." Kendall said shakily through the phone. "He w-was stabbed by a falling piece of pipe. T-there's lots of b-blood and I d-don't-"
"Okay sir." The woman on the other end cut in. "Just calm down. Deep breaths. Is your friend conscious?"
"Yes." Kendall answered in a shaking voice. "He says he fine, for now."
"So he's coherent." The woman confirmed. "Alright. Where are you?"
"The Palm Woods hotel." Kendall answered. "We're stuck in the elevator. The earthquake cut the power."
There was shuffling on the other end. "Alright, someone will be there soon." The woman assured. "I have a medic here that's going to walk you through what you need to do next. Hang on."
"Wait, what I need to do next?" Kendall asked.
"Hello." A male voice said through the phone. "My name's David. I'm a medic here at the hospital. My team is already on the way to your location, and I'll be joining them shortly."
"That's great." Kendall said. "We'll be waiting for you."
"What's your name, lad?" David asked.
"Kendall." He answered.
"Alright Kendall." David said. "You say your friend was stabbed by a pipe?"
"Yes." Kendall confirmed shakily. "He's bleeding a lot."
"Where is the pipe?" David asked.
"In his left side." Kendall said, shooting a reluctant glance to Logan and the pipe. "Near his stomach."
"Okay." David said slowly. "I need you to do something for me. It's going to be hard for you, but you have to do it."
Kendall gulped. "What is it?" He asked in a cracking voice.
"You're going to have to pull it out." David said slowly.
"What?" Kendall exclaimed. "I can't do that! I'll just wait for you guys to get here. I can't do that!"
"Kendall." David said firmly. "If you don't, the wound could get infected. That'll be even worse for your friend."
"Worse than getting a pipe yanked out of his stomach?" Kendall asked bitterly. "I can't do it."
"If you want to help your friend, you have to." David said gently.
"But-" Kendall started shakily.
"It's okay Kendall." David said. "I know you're scared. But this will help your friend in the long run, trust me."
Kendall breathed hard as he processed everything. He tentatively looked over with teary eyes, to Logan.
Logan stared at him with pained eyes. "Please Kendall." He said softly. "You have to do this."
A few tears slipped down Kendall's cheeks. Logan hadn't even heard his conversation with David and he knew it had to be done. And he was counting on Kendall to do it.
Kendall closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "Okay." He said in a cracking voice. "What do I have to do?"
"Okay." David began. "First, do you have any gauze or a towel or anything with you?"
"No." Kendall cursed himself. The one time they weren't planning on swimming in the pool and it could've saved them right then. They were just planning on getting Carlos and James to play in the park with them.
"What about,". David continued. "A sweater, or a jacket? Even a thick shirt."
"I'm wearing a thick, suede Autumn jacket." Kendall said hopefully. "Would that work?"
"Perfectly." David said. "Okay, fold that up and keep it handy, you'll need to get to it fast."
Kendall quickly took his jacket off and folded it, setting it near Logan. "Okay. Now what?"
David sighed. "Now comes the tricky part. You need to pull it out the same angle it entered."
"It's straight up." Kendall said, barely resisting the urge to throw up as he stared at it.
Logan laid a gentle hand on Kendall's for comfort. Kendall offered a sad smile in return to him.
"Okay, that's good." David said. "It'll make it easier to pull out. Now position yourself right above your friend, the same angle the metal would've entered."
Kendall scooted right up beside Logan and leaned on his knees. "Okay."
"Now this is important." David said urgently. "When you pull it out, you need to be fast. One smooth motion. You need to yank it out as smoothly as you can, and as fast as you can. It'll be less painful for your friend."
"Right. Got it." Kendall said in a cracking voice.
"The second it's out,". David continued. "Immediately push the jacket over the wound with all your strength. The wound will bleed a lot once the metal's out, so you gotta slow it down. You don't want your friend to bleed to death."
A sob escaped Kendall's lips at the word death. This was too much for him. There was a possibility that Logan could die. There was a possibility that Logan could die because of Kendall! Because he didn't do what needed to be done right. Because he messed up.
Kendall couldn't mess up. Logan was counting on him. He wasn't going to let Logan down.
"Okay." Kendall said in a cracking voice. "Anything else?"
"That's everything." David said. "I'm afraid I can't help you anymore until I get there."
Kendall swallowed hard. "O-okay."
"I'll stay on the line until you've done it." David said. "In case something goes wrong, I'll tell you what you can do next."
"Thank you sir." Kendall said shakily.
"Just David." David said gently. "I know you can do this Kendall. Be strong. For your friend."
Kendall took a deep breath before setting the phone down on the ground beside him. Then he reluctantly looked to Logan.
Logan offered him a small smile. "It's gonna be okay Kendall." He said gently. "I know you'll do fine."
"It's gonna hurt you." Kendall whispered in horror.
"I know." Logan said solemnly. "But it has to be done. It'll be better once it's out."
Kendall ran a shaky hand through his hair. "I can't do this." He whispered.
"Yes you can Kendall." Logan said. "You're the strongest person I know. You can do this."
Kendall sighed, before nodding and positioning himself better, right above Logan and the pipe. He tentatively brought a shaky hand and touched the pipe.
Logan hissed in pain as the pipe was disturbed slightly, and Kendall immediately retracted his hand.
"I'm sorry!" Kendall said frantically. He gripped his hair in frustration. "I can't do this!"
Logan grabbed one of Kendall's hands. "Yes, you can." He strained. "Please." He whispered. "You have to."
Kendall stared into Logan's pleading and teary eyes. Finally he sniffled and straightened again.
Kendall slowly brought one hand to grip the pipe, and the other to press against Logan's side, desperately trying to ignore Logan's hisses of pain. He looked over to Logan. "You ready?"
Logan nodded, his breath quickening in anticipation. He squeezed his eyes shut and prepared himself.
"One,". Kendall began, his heart pounding out of his chest. "Two. . .Three!" One smooth motion.
Logan screamed harder than he'd ever screamed before. He'd tried hard to hold it, to stifle it, at least for Kendall's sake. But it ripped through his throat and echoed through the elevator and down the shaft above them. Tears leaked down his face as he tried to reel in his cries.
The second the pipe was out, Kendall was immediately pushing his jacket against the wound, just like David's instructions. But the harder he pushed, the more Logan cried out in pain. Tears tracked down Kendall's face. "I'm sorry." He said shakily.
Logan finally managed to dial his screams down to grunts as he squeezed his eyes shut. "D-don't be." He strained, then looked up at Kendall through teary eyes. "You did good." He offered a small, weak smile.
Kendall didn't return it this time. His heart ached too much. Instead he fumbled beside him for his phone. "David?" He asked in a cracking voice.
"I'm here." David said.
"It's out." Kendall said. "I have the jacket on it. Th-the blood. . .I-it's everywhere." He whispered hauntingly.
"How fast is it flowing?" David asked. "Is it like a sink tap? Maybe like when it is turned on half way?"
"No." Kendall said. "More like a quarter way. It's trickling fast, but not running steadily."
"Okay, that's good!" David breathed. "Ya did good Kendall, just like your friend said."
"You heard that?" Kendall asked.
"I heard everything." David said softly. "Sounds like a good friend you got there. And I'm proud of you kid. You're really strong and brave."
"I don't f-feel it." Kendall muttered brokenly.
"Well you are." David assured. "I'll be there soon. Just hang tight and keep lots of pressure on the wound."
"Okay." Kendall said. "Thank you."
"Of course kid." David said. "I'll see you soon. Stay strong." Then there was a click and the line went dead.
Kendall ended the call on his end and let the phone slip from his hand lazily. He felt emotionally drained.
"Kendall?" Logan croaked weakly.
Kendall turned to him in worry. "Are you okay Logan?"
"Been better." Logan croaked. "But I'm fine for now. What about you?"
"Me?" Kendall asked. "What about me? I already told you I'm fine. I don't have any injuries. I'm not hur-"
"Physically, isn't the only way to hurt you know." Logan cut him off. "Are you okay?" He asked.
Kendall stared at him for a bit, before dropping his gaze. "No." He muttered. "I'm not okay. I'm far from okay. This is nuts! We're stuck in an elevator that's hanging over who knows how many feet, and you could very well bleed to death! And I can't do anything about it!"
Logan found Kendall's hand and gave it a comforting squeeze. "Kendall." He said, gaining his attention. "I'm scared too." Logan whispered.
Kendall stared at him, then sighed. "I don't know what to do." He whispered brokenly. "I'm so scared."
"You don't have to do anything." Logan said gently. "I'm just glad I'm not alone in here." He offered a small smile.
Kendall smiled back and squeezed Logan's hand. "I'm glad I'm here with you too."
Logan smiled. "I'm glad you're okay." He said.
Kendall chuckled bitterly. "I wish I could say the same." He said, barely holding back a sob. "I wish it was me." He whispered tearfully. "I wish I was the one that was hurt instead of you."
"Don't say that." Logan said, squeezing his hand.
"It should be me." Kendall said. "I'm supposed to protect you! You should be perfectly fine! I wish I was in your place!"
"No." Logan said firmly. "I'm glad it's me instead of you. You can make it through this. I wouldn't have been able to do what you did. I wouldn't have been able to keep calm through all this if it was you that was hurt. You're stronger than me Kendall."
"That's not true." Kendall said in a cracking voice. "You're the strongest person I know. You're calm right now! You were calm even when you knew you were hurt. You were calm when you knew I had to pull out the pipe. You were strong when I did pull it out! I couldn't handle all that."
"I was only calm because I knew I was in good hands." Logan said. "I know I'm in good hands. You'll take care of me. 'Til the end." He smiled.
"Don't say that." Kendall said brokenly. "Don't say 'end'."
"Sorry." Logan muttered. "But it's true."
Kendall finally let a small smile cross his face. "Yeah, it is. Just like you'd do for me."
Logan smiled. "And we'd both do for-"
Then Kendall's phone started ringing.
Carlos and James scrambled across the pool for Carlos' phone. They only hoped it was still intact after Carlos had dropped it on the hard ground.
Carlos dived for the phone, sliding across the ground, and scooped it up. He quickly pressed the buttons.
James was crouching by his side in seconds. "Does it still work?"
Carlos hit a button and the screen lit up. "Yes!"
"Quick call Logan back!" James said. "See if they're alright."
Carlos quickly pressed the speed dial and waited anxiously as it rang. But it went to a dial tone. Carlos frowned. "Dial tone?"
James felt a worry start to crawl up his heart. "Something must've happened to his phone. Try Kendall."
Carlos nodded and hit Kendall's speed dial number. One ring. Two rings. Three ri-
"Carlos?" Kendall's frantic voice came through the phone. "Are you okay? Is James with you? Is he okay?"
"Kendall!" Carlos cheered. Then he quickly switched the phone to speaker. "I'm fine, James is here too. We're both fine."
"What about you?" James asked. "Are you okay? Is Logan with you?"
There was a silence for a bit. James and Carlos shared a worried glance.
"I'm fine." Kendall said. "Just a bump on the head. Nothing serious. We're stuck in the elevator. I've already called nine-one-one. They're coming to get us out."
"Okay." Carlos said. "We'll come and meet you. Maybe we can get you out before they come. Do you know what floor you're on?"
"No." Kendall said. "We fell pretty far. We may be on the first floor, or even somewhere in the basement for all I know."
"Okay." Carlos said. "We'll come and find you. Keep an ear out for us."
"Okay." Kendall said.
"Kendall." James cut in firmly. "Where's Logan?"
There was silence.
James huffed in frustration. "I know he's with you." He said in annoyance. "You kept saying 'we'. What's going on? How hurt is he?"
Silence again, until Kendall sighed. "It's pretty bad." He said softly. "H-he's. . .Th-there was a. . ."
"Kendall?" James asked worriedly.
Carlos looked up to James with fearful eyes. He'd never heard Kendall so. . .Broken. So. . .Scared.
There was a shuffling on the other end. "Hey guys." Logan said in a groggy voice.
"Logan?" Carlos asked worriedly. "What's going on? Are you alright? Where'd Kendall go?"
"He's still here." Logan said. "Just a little tired, and worried. You know how he gets."
"Logan,". James said firmly. "What's going on?"
"Are you hurt?" Carlos asked in dread and fear.
"Just a little gash." Logan said. "Don't worry about me."
"Lair." James said softly, tears rising to his eyes. "How bad is it?"
There was silence again.
"Look,". Logan finally began. "As long as the medics hurry, I'll be fine. There's nothing to worry about."
"And if they don't?" Carlos asked fearfully. "What then?"
"They will." Logan assured.
"Or we will." James said determinedly, then stood up, pulling Carlos up as well. "We're coming for you guys. Don't worry."
"We'll see you soon, okay Logie?" Carlos said. "Tell Kendall bye for us, and that he doesn't need to worry. We have everything covered."
"Okay." Logan said. "See you soon then. Bye. Love you guys."
"Bye Logie." Carlos said cheerfully.
"We'll see you real soon." James said determinedly, then hung up the phone and turned to Carlos. "Come on." He grabbed his arm and led him.
They turned around to walk through the lobby, but stopped in their tracks. The balcony had fallen in their way, blocking the path.
James huffed. "We'll have to go around."
Ten minutes later, too long for James' liking, they had found the front doors and were able to climb through the debris and into the Palm Woods. They walked fast, fear gripping their hearts.
They walked up to the elevator doors and stopped. They leaned their ears against the doors to listen for any signs of their friends.
"Kendall? Logan?" Carlos called. "Guys, are you in there?" Nothing.
"Must be lower down." James said. "We'll have to take the stairs."
Carlos nodded and followed James to the stair doors. James opened the door and they both stopped.
Debris; fallen ceiling slabs, some broken stairs and railings had littered all down the stairs. When they looked up they saw the same thing.
James tentatively reached a hand out to the railing. When he touched it, the whole thing teetered and creaked.
Carlos shot a hand to James' shoulder, stopping him. "Are you sure that's a good idea?" He asked worriedly.
"I never said it was." James said bitterly as he eyed the stairway. "But we don't have any other options."
James carefully and slowly continued down the stairs, Carlos right behind him. All they needed to do was reach the next level to check if the elevator was there. Then they'd check the next level, and so on.
Halfway down the stairs, and the rumbling started.
"Uh, James?" Carlos asked worriedly. "I think it's starting again!"
"We have to hurry!" James yelled. Throwing caution to the wind, they ran down the stairs as they vibrated and trembled.
Debris from higher levels started raining down, barely missing them as they zigzagged down the stairs, trying to dodge everything. A particularly large piece of the overhead staircase creaked and shook, before coming right off the wall.
James caught sight just in time and stopped dead in his tracks just as it came crashing down in front of him. The impact jostled the whole staircase, causing James and Carlos to lose their balance and fall back on the stairs.
The stairway under the fallen stairs in front of James creaked some more, before there was a cracking.
"It's gonna break apart!" James yelled. "Go back! Go back!"
They both scrambled to their feet and up the stairs, but were again, shaken to the ground as the bottom stairs broke off. The break climbed up the stairs, taking more with it.
Carlos watched helplessly as the stairs crumbled faster up to them. Right under James. The stairs beneath James broke apart from the rest, and they fell, taking James with them.
James' instincts kicked in and he grabbed the intact staircase just before he fell, hanging over the rest of the broken stairwell as it shook and rumbled.
Then, just like last time, the rumbling tremors suddenly stopped, and everything was still.
"James!" Carlos yelled, kneeling at the edge. He reached his hand out and grabbed James' wrist, pulling him up.
James quickly grabbed Carlos and climbed back onto safe ground, breathing heavily. "Thanks Carlos." He breathed.
Carlos patted James' shoulder in response, trying to catch his breath. "That was weird." He breathed. "That earthquake was shorter than last time."
"That's 'cause it wasn't an earthquake." James breathed. "What did Logan call it?"
"Aftershock." Logan breathed heavily. "It's like a smaller earthquake that happens after the big one. It's basically the earth trying to adjust to the devastation of the previous earthquake."
"Right." Kendall breathed, nodding. "Forgot." He looked down at Logan. "Are you okay?"
Logan nodded weakly. "You?"
"Yeah." Kendall breathed, then whiped out his phone.
"What do we do now?" Carlos asked desperately as he stared at the debris in front of him, blocking the stairs. He turned back to the broken stairs at the bottom. "We're stuck!"
Just then James' phone started ringing. James quickly pulled it out of his pocket. "Hello?" He asked frantically.
"James, are you guys okay?" Kendall asked worriedly.
"Yeah, you?" James asked.
"Yeah." Kendall breathed.
"Kendall,". James began dreadingly. "We're stuck in the stairwell. The bottom stairs broke off and the top is blocked off. We can't get out."
James heard a heavy sigh on the other end. "Okay." Kendall breathed. "Then we'll all just have to wait for the paramedics to get here. Just stay put. Don't move around too much. You don't want the rest of the stairs to fall."
"But what about you guys?" James asked. "You're still stuck in that elevator that could still give and fall! Plus Logan-"
"We'll be fine." Kendall said. "Just, don't let those stairs fall."
James sighed in submission. "Don't let that elevator fall." He said dryly.
Kendall chuckled lightly, then grew serious again. "We should save our phone minutes, just in case." He said with despair in his voice. "Say hi to Carlos for me. And take care of each other."
James scoffed. "You don't have to tell us that. We've been doing it without a thought since we met, you know that."
Kendall chuckled. "I know."
James chuckled softly. "But we will. And you too. Take extra good care of Logan. And say hi for me and Carlos."
"I will." Kendall said softly.
"I mean it." James said seriously. He shot a subtle side-glance at Carlos, who was staring at the debris, trying to find a way through. James turned away from him so he couldn't hear. "Don't take your eyes off of him." James said firmly. "Don't you let him say goodbye." He whispered tearfully.
James heard Kendall sniffle. "Promise." Kendall whispered.
"Okay." James said. "See you guys soon."
"Yeah." Kendall said. "See you soon."
Then James hung up the phone, sniffling and wiping his eyes.
"James?" Carlos asked softly.
James offered him a small smile. "Kendall says hi."