a/n: I KNOW YOU ALL PROBABLY WANT ME BOUND AND GAGGED BECAUSE I DIDN'T UPDATE SAVE ME, I AM SO SO SO SORRY BUT I PROMISE THE NEXT THING I POST WILL BE CHAPTER 26 OF SAVE ME AND IT'LL BE WORTH THE WAIT :) That being said, this little oneshot is something I wrote today for my good friend Laura! :) (Miss Fenway on here). This is inspired loosely around one of my favorite books in the world, Thirteen Reasons Why (which I recommend you read if you havne't, it'll change your life!). Also, since this was written for and dedicated to Laura, some of the references made in this story aren't completely original (same with one or two of the flashbacks - they were all her words and I don't claim to have written them; just incorporated them into this story :)). And while this is a tad dark and angsty, I hope you all enjoy it nonetheless! I don't own anything.
When James rolled over in his bed, he was awoken out of his sleep by a cold feeling sending shivers up his spine. And right away, he knew that something was… off. His bed shouldn't have been cold, it should be warm and above all, he should've felt a body next to his own. Logan's to be specific, as the younger boy was sleeping over his friend's house for the weekend. But when he felt the chilling sensation of half of an empty bed next to him, he started to wake up.
Blinking several times until his vision cleared and he could see, even in the darkness, just as he thought, he was alone in his bed. But he shouldn't have been, and James couldn't help but to feel a little bit of panic. Where was Logan?
"Logan?" he croaked out, tiredly. "Loges?" stiffly, James forced himself up into a sitting position and looked around his dark room. He tried to convince himself that he was just jumping to conclusions; maybe Logan was in the bathroom, or downstairs getting a drink. He had no reason to freak out… right?
Who was he kidding? Deep down, James knew he had many reasons to worry about Logan being alone, deep rooted nightmares that he couldn't get out of his mind, and he didn't want any of those nightmares to become a reality.
Forcing himself out of his bed, James quietly left his room and entered the hallway, looking around. He saw a light on at the end of the hall - the bathroom light - and swallowed thickly, making his way towards it.
James paused outside of the bathroom, leaning towards the door and listening in; it was eerily quiet. In fact, the only sound James could even hear was his heart pounding hard and loud in his chest. He noticed that his hands were shaking as he placed one on the door knob, his fingers curling around it and hesitantly, he pushed the door open. "Logie?"
What James saw next would probably scar him for life, a vision he wouldn't be able to get out of his mind no matter how hard he tried. Logan was seated on the edge of the bathtub, an open bottle of James' mom's sleeping pills in his hands and a bunch of pills in his open palm. A glass sat beside him, halfway filled with what James thought was water. In an instant, James knew what Logan was trying to do and his heart nearly stopped completely. "Oh god, no," James whispered, praying that Logan didn't do anything to hurt himself. Immediately, he dropped down to his knees in front of Logan and took the pills away from him. "God, Logan, please tell me you didn't," he whispered, cupping Logan's face in his hands, forcing the younger boy to meet his eyes. The usual friendly brown irises were dull and lifeless, red rimmed and tears filling up in them. "Logan, please," he whispered, near tears.
It took him a moment but Logan finally whispered to him, "I didn't." James relaxed, just slightly. "I… I wanted to." Logan admitted. "But I just… I couldn't."
James' chest ached painfully and he had absolutely no idea what to say right now. Tears streamed down his face but he didn't let himself break; no yet, he had to be strong. He had to be strong for Logan. His hands still trembled as he reached for Logan's glass of water, but he stilled instantly upon smelling it. It was too strong… not like water.
"Vodka," Logan offered quietly, raising a hand to wipe his eyes. "It's - it's vodka. I… I broke into your mom's liquor cabinet-"
"Oh my god," James whispered softly, nearly falling backwards at Logan's words. How was this happening - how could Logan be doing this?
"I'm sorry," Logan whispered. "I didn't… I didn't ask to sleepover because I knew there'd be things here that I could kill myself with," his words were harsh enough to cause James to flinch involuntarily, as if Logan had personally attacked him, though he probably didn't mean to. "It… it just happened," Logan finished meekly. "I'm sorry," he repeated, tears sliding down his face.
James reached out to wipe Logan' tears away, his hands gripping the younger boy's shoulders tightly. "Why?" he whispered. "Why would you want to do this to yourself?" James knew why though; Logan had been battling depressing for the better part of a few months. And while James didn't understand why he was so sad all of the time, he knew it wasn't something to take light of, and he didn't. When Logan first admitted to being depressed, James did some research into the subject and since then, he was instantly terrified of Logan trying to kill himself… like he was tonight.
James always made it his personal mission to ensure Logan would be safe. That was why he didn't like to leave him alone for too long, why he always kept a close eye on him, why he always watched what he said because he didn't want to trigger any sad feelings. But evidently, all of James' precautions hadn't done either of them any good because of where they were right now.
James looked at Logan once again, realizing that he never answered him, and repeated, "Why?"
Logan blinked back more tears, his shoulders rising and falling. "Why not?" he whispered back. "I could give you a whole list of reasons, James."
A whole list… Logan had a whole list of reasons to kill himself. But… why? James couldn't even fathom how that was possible; Logan was amazing. He was kind, and smart, and funny… why couldn't he see that? Why was Logan so blind to all of that, why could he only see the bad in him?
Logan sniffled. "I… I have a list of reasons why I would want to kill myself," he started, trying to ignore the way James was shaking right now. "But I have another list too," he paused to swallowed, biting his bottom lip. "It's a list of thirteen reasons… thirteen reasons why I shouldn't do it." he explained. "When I came in here, I started to remember that list and I couldn't do it." James couldn't even fathom was Logan was telling him; he didn't know what to think or feel. And none of those conflicting emotions went away when Logan added, "Because of you,"
James swore that his heart almost stopped hearing that. "Me?" he whispered.
Logan nodded, then stood up, an action so sudden that James rose to his feet almost immediately, watching Logan's every movement. "Come with me," he told him, extending his hand towards the taller boy. James took it immediately and the two of them left the bathroom, walking back down the hall to James' room. They shut off the bathroom light as they were leaving, but even though the room was smothered in darkness, the memory of Logan sitting on the edge of the tub, a glass of vodka by his side and a handful of pills ready to be swallowed, wouldn't leave James' mind.
James shut his bedroom door behind him and Logan, and the two of them took a seat on James' bed. It was silent between the two of them for a moment, James waiting for Logan to tell him… everything. Finally, after taking a moment to gather his thoughts, Logan started. "I've been having these kinds of thoughts of a long time now, a couple of months I guess. I'm just so…" Logan paused to exhale slowly. "Tired. Tired of trying, tired of living… I'm so tired of it all. Every once and a while, the thoughts got so bad that I would actually plan out how I would kill myself,"
James couldn't believe what he was hearing. Logan's words were turning his stomach, nauseating him to the point where he was al most positive he was going to throw up. He just couldn't handle much more of this; he couldn't believe Logan actually thought about how he would kill himself. The fact that he had those thoughts at all, just scared James. He had always been afraid of Logan killing himself, but hearing all of this made everything more… real.
"But, like I said," Logan continued, snapping James out of his thoughts. "I did have a list of reasons why I would want to kill myself. It wasn't like I wrote them down or anything, it was all mostly… a mental list. Things like, I'm not good enough and everyone would be so much better off without me. But then one day, I started thinking of reasons why I shouldn't do it… why I should live. And I managed to come up with thirteen of them, outnumbering the reasons why I should've killed myself, and… they all kind of centered around you,"
James choked on a sob, and Logan gave his hand a tight squeeze. "Don't cry, it's okay," he murmured to him, and James found it almost hilarious that Logan was the one comforting him, making him feel better. Logan wiped his own tears and repeated, "It's okay,"
James shook his head. "It's not okay," he insisted. "You… you almost killed yourself. Tonight. In my bathroom."
Logan winced. "I know," he whispered. "I should've thought, I shouldn't have been so selfish but…" James held his breath, fearful that Logan would start beating himself up again, but thankfully he didn't, as the raven haired boy continued, "I didn't. Because I remembered my thirteen reasons…" Logan hesitantly raised his head to meet James' eyes and he whispered, "Because of you James."
James could hardly see, or think, or breathe, he was crying so hard. But still, he tried to keep his strength for as long as he could. "Will…" he took a deep breath before he was able to ask, "Will you tell me them?"
Logan nodded, wiping his face free of tears once again, despite the fact that more kept streaming down his cheeks. "Okay," he replied, clearing his throat. "So… I thought about when we first me," he began. James was hanging onto every single word the other boy uttered. "We were five, almost six, I think. And Kendall, Carlos, and I were skating and Carlos knocked me over."
"I remember that," James whispered, his voice barely audible.
"Do you remember how you helped me up?" Logan asked. "How you told Carlos I might've hurt my face?" James nodded; he remembered all of that, he would never forget the day he met his best friends. But what was Logan's point? Why would that make him want to spare his life? "Well that's my first reason… how you've always protected me." Logan told him. "You've always had a knack for making me feel so safe, and secure. I've always figured that no matter what, you would protect me."
James was speechless at the moment, unsure as of what he should say in the first place. Wordlessly, he just took Logan's hand in his, silently encouraging him to continue.
"Reason number two was…" Logan paused to sigh softly, a shadow of a smile tugging at his lips.. "Remember that time when we were fourteen, and we went fishing, and you thought you were the fish whisperer, and you fell into the water?"
James let out a chuckle that sounded a little bit like a scoff; how could he forget the day Logan saved his life.
James took in huge lung fulls of air. His whole body was shaking violently whether from the cool temperature of the water or his near death experience he couldn't tell. Probably both. To his right, Logan brought himself to a sitting position. "Logan." He wheezed out. "You saved my life." Logan didn't respond and James frowned. He couldn't see Logan very well from his position. Slowly, he managed to sit up himself. Logan had his arms wrapped around his legs, his forehead resting on his knees. "Logan?"
Logan raised his head and stared across the lake. "You should lay back down." He advised so quietly that James could barely hear him.
"Logan, are you okay?" James scooted closer to his friend, and looked him over. He didn't appear to be hurt. But he was shaking even more than James and his face was a deathly pale color. "Logan, answer me." He pleaded when his friend didn't respond. He put his hand on Logan's shoulder and was even more frightened when Logan flinched like he had hit him. "Logan?"
Suddenly, Logan spun around to face James. His normally friendly brown eyes were dark with fear and rage. He pulled away from James and stood up on shaking legs. "I told you this was a bad idea, James. I told you that we shouldn't have come today. It was just the two of us. But no, you had to go fishing today. And when we got here, you had to be an idiot. I told you not to stand up. I knew we'd capsize. But you not only stood up, you danced!"
James could only watch his friend and he paced back and forth. His voice rose with every sentence until he was actually yelling at James. Logan never yelled.
"Why don't you guys ever listen to me? I just knew that something like this would happen one day. You're all so. . ."
"Stupid?" James guessed quietly.
"Yes! No! I don't know." Logan sighed and stopped his tirade. He let himself fall back on the ground. He looked at James. "I'm sorry, James." He said, quieter this time. "I just. . ." He ran a hand through his damp hair. "I was so scared, James. You could have died." He choked on the last word and brushed a tear from his cheek.
"Logan, you saved my life." James said, his voice shaking slightly. The full impact of what had just transpired hit him and he was suddenly close to tears himself. "I don't know how to thank you. I would have died if you weren't here."
Logan shuddered at the thought. He closed his eyes. "I almost didn't find you in time." He whispered. "And what if I didn't have your knife with me?"
"But you did find me in time. And you did have my knife." James said gently.
"Not anymore." Logan laughed weakly. He found it slightly ironic that James was comforting him and he struggled to regain his composure. He looked at James, who appeared to only be shaken up. "Are you okay? Or are you hurt?"
James shook his head quickly and stood up slowly. "See?" He forced a shaky smile to his face. "I'm good. What about you?" At Logan's nod of assurance, he stuck his hand out. Logan grasped it and he pulled his friend to his feet and then, into a quick hug. "Thanks, Logan."
Logan laughed shakily. "What are friends for?" He sobered then. "Just don't do it again, okay?"
"So how is that one of your reasons?" James asked him.
Logan smiled, almost shyly, at him, and it looked completely out of place with the tears streaking his cheeks. "Because even if you drive me insane and give me gray hairs, you and I always have the best time together. We have some pretty wild memories. I wouldn't want to give up those memories for anything, Jay."
James sniffled a little. "Anything?" he asked hesitantly.
Logan gave his hand a squeeze. "Anything." he confirmed, then took a moment to compose himself. "Reason number three is that you've never given up on my dream to be a doctor. You even got me a stethoscope for my birthday last year,"
James blushed faintly. "It was nothing," he mumbled.
"No it was something huge to me," Logan insisted. "It showed me that even if you think I can be a nerd, you still support me and my dream. And that honestly means the world to me James." Logan took a deep breath. "S-sometimes," he started softly. "I have… doubts as to whether or not I can do it. Whether or not I'm smart enough to go to go med school, whether or not I'm good enough to be a doctor. Those doubts kind of get to me sometimes and well…" Logan trailed off, not finishing that statement, but James knew where he was going with it. It sent chills up his spine and he gave Logan's hand a tight squeeze. "But you never gave up on me." Logan told him. "You never thought I wasn't good enough, or smart enough." he offered a shadow of a smile. "That means more to me than you probably know."
"Which brings me to reason number four," Logan told him after a moment's pause. "Your dream."
James cocked an eyebrow. "My dream?" he repeated, confused.
Logan nodded. "One day, you're going to make it out to LA and be a big pop star, and your posters are going to be the walls of girls everywhere, and you'll have dozens of hit singles - you've told me so yourself about thirty times." he added teasingly, and James chuckled lightly because he knew it was true. "And while it can get kind of annoying when you talk about it all of the time, it's… inspiring. Because I know you'll never give up until it happens. And you…" Logan cleared his throat, looking down at his lap and even in the darkness, James could see Logan's cheeks tinting pink. "You inspire me to keep going, Jay," he said shyly.
If James thought that he would be able to stop crying while Logan told him his thirteen reasons, he thought wrong; because with Logan's words came a fresh wave of tears sliding down his cheeks. He had no idea his friend felt this way about him. "I…" James wiped his eyes. "I don't even know what to say, Logie," he admitted.
Logan reached out and wiped his friends tears away, ignoring his own and told him, "You don't have t say anything."
James sniffled again. "Keep going," he encouraged him.
Logan nodded. "Well reason number five is that you're the only one who understands my insomnia," he replied. "That probably sounds silly to you, but you're the only person who I can stay up with for hours because you can't sleep either. You're the only person who's always there." the raven haired boy sighed. "The rest of these reasons are probably going to sound dumb, but they mean a lot to me."
"Then they're not dumb," James said quickly. "If they mean a lot to you, then they're just as important to me as they are to you."
Logan gave James' hand a tight squeeze. "Thank you," he uttered softly. "Um, number six is that you and I have been study buddies for as long as I can remember," he continued. "And I like helping you. It makes me feel… needed." he added sheepishly.
James couldn't hold out much longer; he extended his arms to Logan and pulled the smaller boy into a tight hug. "I need you Logan," he murmured softly. "I always need you." Logan tilted his head back to look at him, and James added, "Without you, I'd probably be a high school drop out."
Logan chuckled lightly, trying to blink back more tears. "We wouldn't want that, now would we?" he murmured, resting his head on James' chest. James leaned back against his headboard, not letting go of Logan for a second. "Reason number seven is those double dates you always organize for us," he continued after a moment. "I always sort of look forward to them, even if I am a nervous wreck. And when I am a nervous wreck, you're always there to make me feel better. You're always looking out for me, and I really appreciate that."
"Number eight is another thing we have in common; our night terrors," Logan told him. "I don't have them nearly as bad as you do, but it's still one of the few things that only we can understand about each other. When I wake up in the middle of the night screaming, you don't try and make me talk about you, you just… hold me. And comfort me, and make me feel better. And it's nice to have someone who doesn't force you to talk about everything that's wrong with you, someone who just wants to make you feel better. And you always do that Jay."
"So do you," James murmured to him. "You're just as good to me, as I am to you, Logie. And I don't want you to forget that."
"I'll try not to," Logan replied, and James squeezed Logan tightly, burying his face in the raven haired boy's hair. "Um, the next few reasons are kind of… hard for me to talk about." Logan admitted. "And they might be hard for you to hear," he warned.
James exhaled shakily, bracing himself for whatever Logan was about to say. "It's okay, I want to hear it," he told his friend.
"Okay," Logan sighed. "Well number ten is because of my dad," he started. "And I know that you know as well as I do that he isn't the best dad. Sure, he provided me with food and a home and clothes but… he was never really there. He might as well have just…" Logan paused for a moment, swallowing back more tears. "He might as well have just outright moved our or something because he just was never… there for me. It was like I didn't even have a dad half the time," Logan could feel the tears filling up in his eyes, but he paid no mind to them; he just got everything off of his chest. "And you… James, you were always there to make sure that I wasn't home alone for too long, to make sure that someone told me goodnight and good morning everyday. It was like you stepped in and tried to be my dad, you know? You took care of me in a way that no one did. And I'll never forget that, Jay. I'll never forget how you would just show up at my house unexpectedly with you mom's pot roast, like it was no big deal, and helped make dinner for me and my dad. I'll never forget the late nights we had, when you would stay up as late as you needed to until my dad came home from the office, or until I fell asleep. I'll never forget any of those things, Jay." Logan had to pause to recollect himself, wiping his teary eyes. "I'm just really glad to have you around." he choked out, and James gave him a tight hug, tears of his own streaming down his face.
"Number eleven is because of my mom," Logan continued. "I was only six when she died, but for the past ten years, I've blamed myself for her death. And because I know what it feels like to lose someone you love more than words can say, and I know what it feels like to blame yourself for someone dying, and I never wanted you to feel that way, James. I never wanted you to blame yourself if I killed myself, but deep down inside, something told me that you would. And I wouldn't want you to feel that way."
James' chest ached greatly. Logan wasn't kidding when he said the next few would be hard to hear.
"N-number twelve…" Logan started, his voice shaking. "Number twelve is…" the raven haired boy fell silent for a moment.
"It's okay, you can tell me," James encouraged him, gently.
Logan nodded. "Do you remember when you told me about your dad?" he asked, and James tensed up immediately. He definitely remembered that day.
James hissed in pain and his back arched slightly when Logan applied the rubbing alcohol to one of the marks on his back. Logan put a comforting hand on James' shoulder. "It's ok, I'm almost done." he said softly. The brunette boy bit down on his lower lip and nodded, willing himself to remain still and quiet while Logan tended his wounds.
True to his word, Logan was basically done fixing James up, nothing left to do but apply some Neosporin to the reddened cuts trailing down his back. Logan put some cream to his latex covered hand and started to rub it over James' back. The younger boy was quiet but slightly trembling as Logan worked on him, trying to repair the damage done. His hand lingered down to James' hip where a purplish bruise rested and he pressed on it lightly, eliciting a whimper from James. "I'm sorry." Logan apologized. "I'm all done now." he pulled James' shirt down and the brunette boy sat up, crossing his arms across his middle, his head bowed. "Do you want to tell me about it?" Logan asked gently, even though he probably wouldn't get a clear cut answer from James. A lot of nights, James would show up at Logan's house with a mysterious injury- a black eye, bruises everywhere, cuts, welts… The only explanation James would offer is that he and his dad got into a fight, or his dad got mad at him, but that's all he would say. Logan had a hunch about what was wrong but without James' confirmation he really didn't know. He never pressed the matter even though he was itching for answers. He just let James stay over when he needed it, even though most nights Logan was left to listen to James cry himself to sleep.
James' lower lip quivered and tears shone in his eyes, one falling down his cheek. Logan reached out to brush his hair to the side and James' resolve shattered completely, more tears sliding down his face. Logan's heart broke. "Oh, Jay." he took James in his arms, hugging him tightly and James buried his head in the crook of Logan's neck.
"He hates me." James sobbed, squeezing Logan tightly. "I always screw up and, he gets so mad at me, and h-he- Logan, it hurts."
"I know it does James." Logan murmured, even though he didn't have a clue. He couldn't fathom how a parent could lay a hand on their child. "It'll be okay Jay, we can tell Carlos' dad and-"
"No!" James tore away from Logan frantically, wiping his eyes. "Logan, you can't tell anyone, please!"
"Logan, please." James' eyes were pleading and desperate, still shining with tears. "Please. I'll- I'll deal with it like I have been, and I'll be okay, but please just don't tell anyone."
Logan sighed. Every fiber of his being was telling him to report this, as it was child abuse. The last thing he wanted was James to continue being hurt by his monster of a father, but seeing his friend so upset and vulnerable, he couldn't bring himself to do it. "Okay." he whispered. "I promise."
James relaxed slightly. "Thank you."
The raven haired boy chewed on his lip. "You want to stay over? My dad's working late and I'm sure he won't mind." he offered.
James looked nervous again. "I- I don't know, I don't want to get in trouble…"
"I'll cover for you." Logan reassured him. "Don't worry, I won't let him hurt you again."
This made James smile slightly. "Thanks, Logie." he extended his arms and pulled Logan into another hug. Tonight, a huge weight had been lifted off of his chest and he finally felt like he could breathe again. And it was all thanks to Logan Mitchell.
"I remember," James said tensely, shifting uncomfortably in bed.
Logan nodded. "I don't think I'll ever be able to forget that day," he said softly. "Have you ever told anyone else?" he inquired. James shook his head, feeling… he didn't know how he felt. Ashamed, embarrassed? Whatever it was, it wasn't a pleasant feeling. Nobody knew about his father's abusive ways towards him except for Logan. "That's why it's one of my reasons," Logan told him. "I'm the only one who knows and if I left you then…" Logan shuddered. "I don't even want to think about what would happen to you," he said quietly. James blinked, but nodded slowly in agreement. "I meant what I said, James." Logan added. "I won't let him hurt you." James couldn't help it; he let out a chuckle. "What?" Logan asked, raising an eyebrow.
"I just find it funny how you're the one telling me that you won't let anyone hurt me, when I can't even keep you from hurting yourself," James said, almost bitterly.
Logan sighed. "James, don't do this to yourself." he shifted himself around so he was kneeling in front of James. "Don't blame yourself because I'm so screwed up."
"You're not screwed up though," James insisted. "God, Logan, can't you see it? You're… perfect."
Logan shook his head. "I'm not-"
"You are," James insisted. "You're smart, and you're kind, and you're selfless, and you're so many amazing things that you can't even see."
"But you see them though," Logan replied softly. "That's why I'm still here. Can't you see that?" Logan reached for James' hands again. "You keep me going everyday James," he whispered to him.
James bit his lip, bowing his head feeling tears streaking down his face. "I… I need you just as you need me, Logan," he finally said. "Please don't forget that."
Logan choked on a sob, and James pulled him into a tight hug. "That's number thirteen," Logan whispered to him. James just squeezed him tightly, and listened to his words. "Sometimes I forget that someone needs me. Sometimes I just feel so useless and unwanted and stupid and irrelevant and… well, I'm sure you get the point. Sometimes all of those negative feelings just take over me, and I forget that someone needs me. I forget that there's someone who… who loves me." Logan paused, sniffling some. "And then I remember all twelve of those things I told you, and I remember you and I… I remember my thirteenth reason why; because you love me, James. And I love you too much to ever leave you." a harsh sob escaped James' lips and he squeezed Logan with all his might, sobbing into the other boy's shoulder. It took them both a few minutes to calm down, but when their tears lessened some, Logan buried his face in the crook of James' neck and told him," "I'm - I'm sorry I scared you tonight. But, I just… thank you."
"For what, Logie?" James asked him, his voice hoarse from crying.
"For saving my life." Logan replied instantly. "You may not have realized it but you have me thirteen reasons to keep living. I don't think I could thank you enough for that."
a/n 2: I'M TERRIBLE WITH ENDINGS LOL. But nonetheless, I hope you liked this! Spare for the break I took to reblog and sob over season 4 twitpics, and help my mom clean, I basically wrote this in one sitting and it kind of took almost all day lol. So I hope you enjoyed! And yes, I'll be getting back to Save Me right about now!