Author's note: Requested by swagUPwindowsDOWN. Ya ever see the movie 'All About Steve'? Well that's where the whole, 'weak ground collapsing into a mine in an open field' thing came from. Hope you like it Ms. Sarah! And I also hope everything goes okay with you and your sister!
This got pretty long, so I had to split it into three chapters. Like I did with 'Stranded', the chapters will be uploaded once a day.
So, hope you enjoy this three-shot! :)
No slash, just friendship.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
Falling Inside The Black
"Don't leave me here so cold. . .
Don't leave me here alone. . .
Falling in the black, slipping through the cracks.
Falling to the depths can I ever go back?
Falling inside the black." - 'Falling Inside The Black' by Skillet
"Ugh. Soooo tiiiiiired." James groaned.
"Me too." Kendall agreed. "But hey, it was a pretty good practice."
"I'll say." Logan said as he slung his duffle bag over his shoulder. "We've got a good strategy. It's gonna be hard to beat us." He smirked.
"Yeah,". Carlos agreed. "'Cause we're like, the best team ever!" The others chuckled and agreed.
Then Kendall glanced at the clock, his eyes widening. "Oh my gosh! When did it get so late?" He exclaimed in horror, then hurriedly finished packing his hockey gear. "Come on guys, we gotta go. Mom wanted us back by five, and it's already six-thirty!"
The others quickly hurried their packing and followed Kendall out of the hockey rink, into the darkening streets.
"Man, I can't wait to get back." Carlos said as they walked down the streets. "Your mom makes the best suppers ever!"
"Can't argue with that." James said with a smile. "And after that long practice, I'm starving!"
"Same here." Kendall said. "Let's cut through the field, it'll be quicker. Plus there's construction work down the street that I don't feel like walking through."
"You think your mom will be mad that we're late for dinner?" Logan asked worriedly as they turned the corner and walked through a fence to a large, wide-open field.
Kendall hesitated. "Let's hurry."
The others gulped and picked up their pace. They knew full well that no one survives, or dares even threatens Mrs. Knight's wrath.
Logan was slightly behind the others, when he nearly tripped on his shoelace. In their hurry from the rink, he didn't have the time to tie his shoes; but now that he was tripping over them, he had no other choice.
Logan stopped and bent down, trying to tie his shoes as quickly as he could to catch up with the guys. But there had already been a half-knot in it to begin with, and when he stepped on it, it only tightened, making it harder for him to untie. Logan fumbled with his laces, trying to be fast so as not to fall too far behind the others, since they hadn't noticed his absence and continued walking at a fast pace.
Finally pulling tight his laces, Logan stood and began jogging to catch up with the guys.
But Logan's next step crumbled beneath him.
"So what's your mom cooking tonight?" James asked as they walked through the field.
"Not quite sure." Kendall answered. "She mentioned a lot of meals, I don't know what she decided on. It might be spaghetti and meatballs."
"Woo hoo!" Carlos cheered. "I love Mama Knight's spaghetti and meatballs!"
"Don't we all?" James asked with a smile.
"Either way, we might not get anything if we're any more late." Kendall said. "Let's hurry up."
"Party-pooper." Carlos pouted. "We're already late, how much worse could it get?" He mumbled.
"Yeah." James agreed. "You're starting to act like Logan here." He gestured behind him to where he last saw Logan, but when he looked back, he frowned. "Logan?"
The others stopped, looking around. Logan wasn't there.
"Not funny Logan." Kendall called. "Quit playing around, we gotta get home!"
"Logan?" Carlos called. "Where did he go? He was right behind us a second ago."
Kendall retraced their steps with his eyes, looking down the field they'd just walked. Then, his eyes widened.
James and Carlos frowned in confusion at Kendall's sudden change in demeanor. But then they followed his gaze and understood, their hearts sinking.
Logan was momentarily confused as to what had just happened. He looked around and it was completely dark, save for the small amount of light above him. Dust and dirt rose up, making him cough and gag. It was also freezing, sending shivers through his body. He slowly sat up, but his whole body ached, and he grunted in pain.
Logan looked above him to see a large hole in the sky. He frowned, that's not right. No, wait. It was a large hole in the ground, which Logan had just fallen through.
Quickly fumbling for his phone, Logan lit up the screen so he could see where he was. He pointed the illuminated screen around the room, on the walls, the ground, the ceiling, everywhere.
A mine. An abandoned mine. That's where Logan fell into. His mind finally deduced that the ground had caved beneath him and he fell into the weak mine shaft.
It was a circular room, with tunnels all along the side, some dipping further down. But every tunnel was blocked off by past cave-ins.
Logan tried to get up, but an intense pain shot through his left leg, and he cried out, holding his leg. He brought the phone to light it. His jeans were damp, damp in red.
Logan sighed, leaning up against a nearby boulder. 'Broken.' How was he going to get out now?
Logan looked up through the hole at the call. A small relief fluttered through him. He wasn't alone. His friends were there. They could get help.
Then fear crept into Logan's heart. "Stop!" He cried.
"Logan?" Kendall called.
"The ground's weak!" Logan yelled. "Don't get t-too close!"
Tentatively, three heads peeked over the edge. "Logan!" James called.
"Are you okay?" Carlos asked.
"What happened?" Kendall asked.
"The g-ground crumbled when I stepped on it!" Logan yelled up, still shivering in the cold. "I fell int-to an old m-mine I think! It's hard to tell, it's p-pretty dark d-down here!"
"Are you hurt at all?" Kendall asked.
"M-my leg." Logan called. "I think it's b-broken."
"Okay, hold tight!" Kendall breathed. "We're gonna call for help! Just stay put!"
Logan nodded with a sigh and slumped up against the boulder. Then a shiver racked his body and he rubbed his arms for warmth.
"You okay Loges?" James called down. He couldn't see too well down the dark hole but could just make out his friend leaning against a large rock and shivering.
"J-just, cold down here." Logan answered.
James' face fell sympathetic. "Don't worry, help is coming soon! We'll get you out!" Then he moved from the hole and turned to Kendall worriedly. "We'll get him out right?"
Kendall hung up his phone and nodded. "Help is on the way now. They'll be here soon, don't worry."
"How soon?" Carlos asked worriedly.
Kendall sighed. "Soon." He said as he wrapped an arm around Carlos' shoulders. "In the mean time, let's just stay calm."
The others nodded uncertainly.
"Carlos,". Kendall said. "Why don't you keep Logan occupied? James and I will keep a look out for the ambulance."
Carlos saluted then carefully sat at the edge of the hole as Kendall and James walked a little near the street.
Carlos peeked into the hole down at Logan. "How ya doin' buddy?" He called.
Logan used all his will power not to roll his eyes with a sarcastic remark. "Fine, 'Los. Just cold, and dusty, and tired."
Carlos winced at Logan's tone. Despite Logan's efforts, annoyance still crept into his yell back up at Carlos. Carlos mentally slapped himself for asking such a stupid question. "You wanna play a game while we wait?" He asked nervously.
Logan sighed. He knew Carlos was just trying to help him take his mind off of their situation, to brighten the mood. Just like he always did. Still, a game was the last thing Logan was in the mood for. But nonetheless, he smiled lightly up at Carlos. "Sure, that sounds like fun."
"How long do you think they'll take?" James asked worriedly as he searched the empty streets.
"I don't know." Kendall said as he did the same.
"What if they don't get here for hours?" James asked anxiously. "What if they forget? What if-"
"James." Kendall said sternly. "Calm down. It's gonna be okay."
"How do you know that?" James asked. "Logan's hurt! His leg is broken, and he's stuck in a dark and cold mine! What if something else happens? What if more of the ground crumbles, or he runs out of oxygen, or he gets sick, or-"
"James! Enough!" Kendall yelled, then rubbed a hand over his eyes.
James sighed. "I'm sorry." He said quietly. "I'm just worried. But that's no excuse. I'm sorry."
Kendall sighed. "It's okay. I'm worried too. More than you know."
"How do you do it?" James asked. "How can you stay so calm? This is crazy! Anything could happen. And yet, you're not freaking out."
Kendall shrugged. "Practice I guess. I've spent my days with you guys long enough to learn how to keep my cool in these situations." He joked with a smirk. "Plus mom is really good at it. I guess I just picked it up from watching her all the time."
"Still." James said, shaking his head. "How are you not. . ." He trailed off.
Kendall looked to James with sympathy and understanding. He dropped his gaze with a sigh. "I am scared." He whispered.
James looked at Kendall with surprise, then sympathy. He was about to say something when the sound of approaching sirens captured their attention. They both breathed a sigh of relief.
"They're here." Kendall breathed.
"How's it looking?" The chief officer called.
Another worker carefully walked back to the chief. "Not so good. The ground's really unstable. We won't be able to get close enough."
The chief sighed. "Not what I wanted to hear." He breathed and rubbed a hand over his face. He subtly glanced at the boys watching anxiously behind the fenced barrier his men had set up upon arrival. They kept trying to see into the hole, their worried-beyond-belief looking faces lit up by the large tall lights the crew had set up around the site to see in the night.
The chief was not looking forward to this. "Call the crane." The chief told the worker. Then, taking a deep breath, he slowly trudged towards the boys.
"Well?" Kendall demanded as the chief neared him and his friends at the fence. "Are you getting him out? How long is it gonna take?"
The chief sighed. "The ground's unstable. We can't get close enough to reach your friend."
"What?" James exclaimed. "But, you have to get him out!"
"Is he gonna be stuck down there forever?" Carlos asked fearfully.
"We've already called for a crane." The chief explained. "It'll help us reach him without getting too close. But it'll be a little while before it gets here."
"How long?" Kendall asked.
"Don't know." The chief answered solemnly. "Could be ten minutes. Could be an hour."
"An hour?" James repeated in horror. "We can't wait an hour! Logan needs help now!"
"I'm sorry boys." The chief said. "There's nothing more I can do until it gets here. You'll just have to be patient."
The boys all sighed in defeat, slumping their shoulders in devastation.
"Well, how's he doing?" Kendall asked.
"Surprisingly well, actually." The chief said, impressed. "He's not freaking out. He's perfectly calm, he answers our questions on his condition thoroughly, which helps us immensely. He's a very brave and smart kid."
The boys smiled at that. "Can we please see him?" Carlos asked.
The chief sighed. "I already told you-"
"Yeah yeah, the ground's too weak for us to stand on,". James waved off. "It's a safety hazzard, blah blah. But that's our friend down there! He's cold and alone, we just want to make sure he's okay."
"We won't leave him there alone." Kendall said firmly. "Please Chief Nolan. Let us be with our friend."
Chief Nolan sighed. "Alright. You can see him. But you can't get too close to the hole. You can't try to go down and help him. You stay where we say it's safe, and when and if we need to pull you out of there, you listen and follow without question. Alright?"
"Yes sir!" The boys nodded.
Chief Nolan smirked and opened the gate, allowing the boys to come trampling through. "Be careful!" He called after them.
"Logan!" The boys yelled as they skidded to their knees by the hole.
The boys heard a sigh echo back up to them. "You convinced him to let you back here didn't you?" Logan called. Annoyance was clear in his voice but so was amusement, and delight at hearing his friends again.
"You know us Logie!" Kendall yelled down. "It's hard to separate us longer than ten minutes without us having a fit!"
"Oh I know!" Logan emphasized. "Our poor parents learned that the hard way! Multiple times!" He chuckled.
"What are you saying Loge?" James feigned offense. "Would you rather us go back and wait over there, leaving you here alone to listen to these workers chatter on about nothing?"
"Honesty? Yes!" Logan called. "At least you wouldn't be leaning on unstable ground that could break any minute, making you fall down here!"
"We'd rather be down there with you than up here with these stiffs any day!" Kendall called with a smile.
"Yeah!" Carlos yelled. "If anything, I want to be down in that cool abandoned mine! Why do you get all the fun?" He joked.
Logan chuckled. "Dunno! It just finds me! Guess I'm just lucky!"
They all chuckled, clinging to the happy moment, but then fell silent as the seriousness of the situation set in.
"So uh, how are you doin'?" Kendall asked.
"I'm fine Kendall!" Logan assured. "You don't have to worry!"
Kendall scoffed. "Easy for you to say! Your best friend isn't stuck in a cold hole in the ground with a broken leg!"
"And thank goodness for that!" Logan yelled without missing a beat.
"What,". James began in offense. "You don't think any of us could handle it?"
"I know none of you could handle it!" Logan retorted with a smirk.
"Oh yeah?" Carlos asked defensively. "And how do you know that?" Then some clatter above stole the boys' attention for a moment.
Logan sighed, dropping his gaze. "Because I'm barely handling it myself." He muttered to himself.
"Are we deep enough yet?" One construction worker asked.
"Nah." Another worker answered. "There's a hold up with the equipment truck. Ambulances and cranes. Apparently some kid got stuck in a hole and they're trying to get him out."
The first worker sighed. "Well, I guess we'll have to do it the old fashioned way. We can't let traffic slow us down from building this office building. Grab the pick-axes."
The two men ordered their co-workers to grab their axes and all started hacking away at the same spot, trying to get the dirt away faster.
One man, a particularly large man, swung his axe down with more force than the others, and the sharpened tip plunged into something hard. Something other than dirt. A 'clink' sound echoed to them. The sound of metal on metal.
"What was that?" The chief worker asked.
The strong man shrugged, then lifted his axe. The place it had hit suddenly started spewing water up to them.
"A water pipe!" One man yelled. "We hit a water pipe!"
The boss worker turned around and smacked his second-in-command worker on the shoulder. "I thought you checked this area to make sure we weren't near any pipes!"
"I did!" The man said, rubbing his shoulder. "The blueprints the owner gave me said it was clear!"
"Well clearly it's not!" The boss worker yelled. He sighed then looked back to where the men were trying to plug the hole and stop the water. "We need to get this water to stop, before it turns the whole place into mud."
At least twenty minutes later, the hole was all plugged with boards and any cloth they could gather, and the boss argued on the phone with the owner of the lot, about the outdated blueprints, any means to fix the now punctured water pipe, and who laid at fault for the damage.
No one noticed the pipe breaking with the gathered pressure.
Then it burst, spraying everyone in the lot.
"Get that water under control!" The boss yelled.
The men tried everything they could to stop the water from flowing; diverting the water down the burst pipe, where it streamed through the dirt.
"Any word yet?" Chief Nolan asked.
"Not yet." Another officer sighed as he hung up his phone. "They're still stuck in traffic."
Chief Nolan mimicked his sigh. "We need that crane soon." He said worriedly. "It's getting cold out. I don't know how much longer that kid will last with that broken leg, and in the cold mine." The chief and officer shared worried looks and sighs, before turning back to the boys at the hole.
Kendall caught their gaze. He subtly glanced at James and Carlos, both entertaining Logan with a game of 'I Spy'. Then Kendall slipped away to the chief. "Are they coming yet?" He asked quietly, so as not to let the others hear.
The chief shook his head solemnly. "Traffic's rough out there right now. They can't get through."
Kendall sighed, running a hand through his hair. "They gotta get here soon."
Chief Nolan laid a hand on his shoulder. "They will." He said gently. "Don't worry. We'll get your friend out."
Kendall sighed heavily. He wanted to believe the chief, but there was still an inkling of doubt, and that scared him even more.
"Is it, that rock?" Logan sighed unenthusiastically.
"You're right again!" Carlos exclaimed. "You're turn!"
Logan offered a small smile. "Why don't you skip me this time? There's not much I can see to use anyway!"
"Okay!" Carlos shrugged. "You're next James."
James smiled at Carlos, then sent Logan a look of sympathy. He knew Logan wasn't exactly enjoying their little game, nor was it helping take his mind off their dire situation. And James could tell by Logan's faint facial expression, it wasn't distracting him from the pain in his leg either.
"Why don't we do something else for a bit?" James suggested. "Like Logan said, he can't really use anything for the game anyways, so it's not really fair."
"Okay." Carlos shrugged. "What do you wanna do?"
"Hmm." James thought. "Why don't we sing some songs? That's always fun!"
"Cool!" Carlos exclaimed. He sucked in a breath to begin belting out the first song on his mind.
But James held his hands up suddenly to stop him. "Ah, not too loud though." He said. "Wouldn't want to wake anyone around here. It's pretty late." Truthfully, James feared too much noise would unsettle the walls in the mines, causing more problems for them, and especially Logan, but Carlos' innocent, fun-loving and naive mind didn't need to know that.
Carlos saluted to James' command and started singing softly. "Better with you. . ."
James and Logan smiled and joined in with Carlos softly. "Better with you, yeah. . ."
Halfway through the song, Logan stopped. Hearing a noise echo to him from the cave.
Carlos frowned. "Logie!" He stopped at a verse with a whine. "Why'd you stop singing?"
"Shhh!" Logan hushed as he stared down a dark tunnel. "I think I hear something!"
James and Carlos frowned and leaned a little closer into the hole, trying to hear what Logan heard. A small clicking sound echoed to them. It sounded like little pebbles hitting other rocks.
"What is that?" James asked.
Logan peered down the tunnel, trying to see anything. "I don't know."
Suddenly there was another sound. The sound of water. The sound traveled closer, and a light stream ran along the ground.
Logan's eyes widened. "Water! There's water down here!" A small shiver racked Logan's body as the freezing water snaked beneath him, quickly soaking his jeans. "Guys!"
"Oh no." James said softly as he stood urgently. He turned to where the chief and Kendall stood talking. "Hey! There's water down there! Running water!"
Chief Nolan and Kendall both shot towards James, eyes wide.
"What?" Chief Nolan exclaimed, then he and Kendall both ran to the hole, looking down into it. "Oh no." Chief Nolan breathed, then turned back to his men. "We need that crane now!" He ran off to his men.
Kendall turned back into the hole worriedly. "Are you okay Logan?"
"Yeah!" Logan called back up. "For now. It's n-not running too fast!"
"Is there any way you can get to higher ground?" James called down.
Logan tried lifting himself up but his leg spiked in pain and he cried out, stopping. "N-no!" He called. "It hurts t-to move!"
The boys all breathed rapidly in worry, trying to think of some way to help Logan.
"Okay!" Kendall said in a cracking voice. "Just don't move! We'll figure something out!"
Logan nodded. "Ok-kay!"
Carlos ran a shaky hand through his hair. "He's freezing." He said softly as he looked down the hole. "The water is making him cold." He turned back to Kendall and James with worried and tearful eyes. "What do we do?"
Kendall and James shared a worried look, before looking back to Carlos.
"I. . ." Kendall began shakily. "I don't know."
Author's note: Next chapter's comin' at ya tomorrow. :)