A/N Sometimes I have this yearning need in my heart for James whump, so this happened. Although it may seem like it at first, this story is not Carlos whump. So, enjoy?
James nestled himself into the warm nest of his twin sized bed, letting the red satin sheets slowly drape over his exhausted body. As soon as his cheek hit the soft confines of his pillow, he immediately felt more relaxed than he had in days or even weeks. He closed his heavy eyelids and waited patiently to succumb to the inevitable, peaceful pull of sleep.
It's been two weeks since the guys returned from their 2 month long world tour. It had been a fun adventure with amazing experiences that one could only hope and dream to live one day, but at the same time, it drained James more than he had ever expected it would. It was flight after flight, city after city, with no time to recover from jetlag and little time to sleep. Concerts were every night while radio and talk show appearances were every morning, and though James loved little more than to show off his awesomeness to the entire world, he couldn't help but to think about how relieved he was to finally be in his cozy, small home with just his bros and no roadies or screaming fans or Gustavo.
Gustavo had promised them plenty of time off after their tour; a two month break spanning over summer, in fact. But just two days after the tour had ended, they had yet to even so much as unpack their suitcases, and Gustavo had the boys come to the studio because an upcoming movie wanted Big Time Rush on their soundtrack. The song would be in the opening credits, and the opportunity was just too good to pass up, so for the past couple of weeks they had been hard at work in the studio yet again to write, rehearse and record a song fitting for the movie.
Today was really only the first day James had to rest since the world tour, so as soon as they left the studio that afternoon, instead of hanging out by the pool with the guys and his friends, he snuck up to his room, stripped off his sweaty tank top and jeans to replace them with just a pair of plaid pajama pants, and hopped right into bed for a long afternoon nap.
"James! Does it really take you this long to change into your bathing suit? Come on dude I've been waiting for you for 20 minutes!"
James let out a groan, his eyes snapping open. He rolled over onto his belly and shoved his arms beneath his pillow, clutching the soft fabric to his cheek. He was just starting to finally drift off to slumber, but Carlos decided to hop into his bedroom full of energy as usual and startle him awake.
"Carlos," James groaned, the words muffled by his pillow. "Do you really need me to go to the pool with you? I told you I was going to skip the pool today and get caught up on some stuff."
"I didn't think you weren't going to come down at all," Carlos said apologetically, to which James rolled his eyes. A few seconds of silence went by. "Were you sleeping?" Carlos finally asked, somewhat timidly. James turned his head so one eye peeked out from over the pillow to see his friend standing near his bed, watching him apprehensively.
"Obviously!" James said, a little annoyed now. "Look, go hang by the pool with the guys, ok?"
"But it's only 2 0' clock in the afternoon, why would you be sleeping? You said you were going to get caught up on 'stuff.'"
"And by 'stuff' I meant sleep!" James narrowed his light brown eyebrows into a scowl, forcing his tired, aching body to sit up. Carlos seemed a little perturbed that he had been trying to sleep. It was pretty unusual, James had to admit, for him to lie down in the middle of the day when all of his friends were waiting for him by the pool. He didn't want Carlos to think something was wrong. But naturally, the Latino's eyes filled with worry, and the question was asked,
"Are you okay?"
James rolled his eyes. He hated that question. It was a stupid, meaningless question because James Diamond was always okay, not to mention it made him kind of uncomfortable when his buds fretted over him. He was supposed to protect them, not the other way around.
"I'm just tired, Carlitos," James assured him gently. "We've been going at it nonstop for months. I just wanted a little nap before going to see my friends."
Carlos nodded with understanding. Truthfully, he had been a little tired too after the tour. He'd been coming home from the last few recording sessions with a tickle in his throat and a slight ache in his head. Maybe James had the right idea, to curl up early and go to sleep for a while. Logan had been bugging them to get more rest, even though the brunet was reunited with Camille recently after not seeing her for 2 months and had been spending every waking moment with her rather than resting like he said they should all do.
James sighed and relaxed back onto his bed, unable to keep his eyes open much longer. He had never felt this tired in his life before. But he blinked his eyes back open in shock when he saw Carlos crawling into his bed across the room, hiding beneath his comforter and snuggling up like a baby kitten.
"Carlos, aren't you going to the pool?" James wondered, his words stretching out with a loud yawn. He smacked his lips wearily and waited for Carlos to answer.
"You're right, we have 2 full months to chill with our friends and do nothing. They'll be there when we wake up. I'm tired too, now that I think about it. Naptime buds?"
James smiled a little with what little strength he had left, silently thankful he had a naptime buddy. James always preferred to have his friends with him at all times rather than being alone. It wasn't that he was scared of being alone or even minded it really, he just always had this need, this little empty, invisible hole inside of him that was only filled when Carlos, Kendall or Logan were around. He preferred to have that hole filled at all times.
"Naptime buds," James repeated after Carlos, his lips hardly moving at all as he finally fell into a much needed sleep.
Deep, hacking, painful sounding gags were what woke James up from his nap, pulling his mind away from the fog of sleep and back to reality.
But James wasn't the one who was coughing so harshly.
The sounds were so alarming, that even though James felt like he could go right back to sleep, he pried his eyes open and sat up with a dizzying start, his eyes finally landing on the small form of Carlos, who was wide awake beneath his blankets, cheeks blazing red and eyes glossed over with fever.
"Carlos?" James croaked, stumbling weakly out of bed. He barely made the short distance to Carlos' bed before collapsing on the animal safari-print bed sheets, sitting beside his friends trembling body.
"Did I wake you up?" Carlos asked between coughs. He sniffed thickly, clear fluid dripping down his cleft and onto his upper lip. James cringed. His best friend was obviously sick with a bad cold or something.
"It's ok, don't worry about it bud," James said softly, taking a tissue from Carlos' bedside table and wiping under his nose. He couldn't believe how quickly illness had set in. Carlos was fine before he went to sleep… Wasn't he?
"What hurts?" James swiped a hand through Carlos sweaty black bangs, wishing he could fix whatever was hurting the younger boy.
"Everything," Carlos whispered, wincing when even speaking softly hurt his throat. The symptoms he had felt earlier that afternoon were tenfold now. Terribly sore throat, drowsiness, and a pounding headache, not to mention he was starting to feel stuffed up in his chest and nose.
James placed a cool hand on Carlos' warm forehead. His eyes widened in alarm at the heat he found there. Carlos falling ill wasn't exactly unusual. The teenager was so careless about his health and constantly kept going with little to no rest that he was sick much more than any of the rest of them. But James still worried when his best friend's small body was overtaken with illness. He hated it when Carlos was sick enough for a fever. He should've known something was wrong the moment Carlos had lied down for a nap that afternoon.
"I don't feel good," Carlos told James, who removed his hand from his forehead to rub his back comfortingly.
"Let me go get Logan, he'll fix you up in no time," James promised. Carlos nodded and closed his eyes. "Get some sleep. I'll be back in a few minutes."
James quickly pulled on a pair of jeans and a striped t-shirt, glancing in the mirror on his dresser as he did so. He had to take a double look at what he saw in his reflection, not really believing it was him at first. Despite the fact that his short chestnut locks were standing straight up on end, he looked as tired as he felt. His skin was pale gray around his cheekbones, and the sensitive skin underneath his eyes was swollen purple. His usually bright honey colored eyes were dull and small looking, eyelids drooping. James' first instinct was to do his hair and conceal the bags under his eyes, but he saw Carlos in the mirror sleeping behind him, reminding him that he had more important things to do, so he tore his gaze away from his unpleasant reflection and darted down the stairs of the Palmwoods to find Logan.
It was 5 pm now, and the pool was almost empty since most of the kids were about to eat dinner with their families, but James found Logan and Camille inside one of the cabanas, sipping on limeade and staring into each other's eyes not so much lovingly but more like they wanted to ravenously attack each other with their lips, which is what they spent 90% of their relationship doing to each other anyway.
"Logan, Carlos is sick," James said urgently. Logan looked momentarily annoyed that his time with Camille was interrupted, but then James' words sank in. He scooted his chair back loudly from the little table and jumped to his feet.
"Is he alright?" Logan asked, giving Camille an apologetic glance. She only smiled at her boyfriend. After years of being best friends with the guys, she knew the strength of their bond by now. When one was sick or hurting, they were all there for him, no matter what, and had a habit of worrying a little bit more than what was necessary.
"He's running a fever. I think he's really sick," James said, sadness evident in his voice. He didn't want Carlos to be sick, even if it was just a cold. Camille gave him a sympathetic pout and patted his cheek.
"He'll be okay," she assured her worried friend, then turned to Logan and pecked his cheek.
"Sorry Camille," he offered, shrugging his shoulders. "Duty calls. We'll meet up later."
"Of course. Go take care of your friend."
"You're the best Camille," Logan said sweetly. He gave her a small wave and ran back up to the apartment behind James.
"Buddy! We're back!" James called, walking into his and Carlos' bedroom. The Latino was snoring softly, sprawled over his mattress, blankets half on the bed, half on the floor. Carlos must have kicked the blankets off his shivering body in a feverish fit.
"You need these buddy," James whispered, setting the warm fabric back over Carlos' body. He then shook his shoulder gently to wake him up. Long eyelashes fluttered open to reveal sick, dull brown eyes shining with innocence and pain.
"James?" Carlos whispered harshly. His hand immediately went straight to his throat. It really hurt. James hushed him and ran his fingers through his hair.
"Logan's here too. He's getting supplies to make you feel better."
As if on cue, Logan burst into the room with a frazzled look on his delicate features, carrying an arm load of items to get Carlos back to health. James grabbed a few things from his overloaded arms and set them on the nightstand.
"Okay, I got fever reducer, cold medicine, ice packs, a thermometer-" Logan paused for a moment to shove the small device into Carlos' mouth "- Vitamins, juice, a bottle of water, crackers, we are out of chicken noodle soup so hopefully this will do…" Logan set down a bowl of tomato soup, which Carlos stared distastefully at. "Honey and lemon, and extra blankets."
James set to work in wrapping Carlos up in a fleece blanket, while Logan removed the thermometer from his mouth.
"One-oh-one point seven," he read, and his dark eyebrows knotted together with concern. Carlos was one to run high fevers, one moment it would be normal and the next his body temperature would rise up dangerously high.
James sighed as Carlos looked up at him helplessly, silently begging for some relief from his symptoms. He rubbed circles on his back gently as Logan administered the right dosage of medication and vitamins for him to take.
"When did you start feeling bad, buddy?" Logan asked, handing him some pills, which Carlos swallowed down with a whimper when the action made his throat hurt worse.
"I don't know, I was okay today, just a little scratchy throat and then I took a nap and woke up feeling really sick," Carlos said. He coughed suddenly, and James patted his back through it. Through the coughing fit, Carlos smiled pitifully and waved at somebody in the doorway.
"Hey Kendall," Carlos said in a raspy voice.
"Hey, where did you guys want to go for dinner- what's going on here?" The fearless, green-eyed boy asked as he came in the room and assessed what everyone was doing. His stomach became knotted when he realized Carlos was sick.
"Carlos came down with something," Logan explained. "But he'll be fine after he gets some rest. I don't think we'll be able to go out to dinner like we planned."
"That's nonsense," James cut in. "I'll stay here and take care of the little dude. You guys go on ahead."
"You sure you don't mind?" Logan asked as his stomach grumbled. Neither of them had eaten much that day and they were looking forward to going to one of their favorite restaurants for dinner.
"Of course not. I'll make sure he gets plenty of rest and medicine," James assured the junior doctor, who looked skeptical at first. Although Logan didn't trust James with much, he knew he'd always take good care of Carlos. The younger boy was like a brother to James. But none of the guys in the house had much knowledge on how to treat a cold or flu and he didn't want to come home to Carlos with a high fever and a mess around the house. Kendall, however, thought it to be a fine idea, but then again he always put blind faith into James for some reason.
"James can handle a couple of hours without us around. Let's go eat. We'll be home by around 8 o' clock."
James grinned. He was looking forward to some quiet time alone with his best friend. Maybe they could watch a movie and go to sleep early. If Kendall and Logan stayed at home, they would ask James why he was sitting in bed all night rather than playing video game or practicing his modeling and singing. He didn't want his friends to worry over him when all he felt was super exhausted.
"Alright, we'll go," Logan agreed. James escorted Kendall and Logan to the door with his arms around each of their shoulders.
"You two lovebirds go have a nice time tonight," James cooed. Logan rolled his eyes and Kendall jabbed him in the gut.
"Keep your eye on Carlos. Don't let him out of bed and make sure he eats something," Logan said.
"Carlos will be fine," James said, pushing them through the door and closing it behind him.
"James, my head hurts," Carlos whined, rubbing his temples. James turned around and turned off all the lights except one table lamp.
"How's that buddy?" James asked. He sat on the edge of Carlos' bed and set the ice pack on his hot forehead.
"Better," Carlos said, closing his eyes.
"No, don't sleep yet. You need to eat some soup first."
"I don't wanna."
"But Logan said you have to eat something."
"Logan's not here."
"But you haven't eaten all day and it will help you feel better. Come on, do what James says and take a bite."
Carlos groaned into his pillow and pouted, but finally rolled over and ate a few bites of soup and drank some juice.
"Can we watch cartoons?" Carlos asked drowsily, his head falling listlessly to the pillows.
"I don't think you should get out of bed," James told him, flipping over and adjusting the icepack which was now warm on one side. "You're really burning up. I want you to get some sleep. I'll be right here all night, okay?"
"But James, I really want to watch 'Speed Racer,'" Carlos argued in a slow, slurred speech as James fluffed his pillows and tucked him in.
"I know you do buddy," James spoke softly. He knew it would be a matter of seconds before Carlos fell asleep, and his predictions were right. Carlos was out like a light. James smiled down fondly at the sick boy before finally crawling into his own bed and falling asleep as well.
A/N If you all like it, I'll have the next chapter up asap. Let me know what you think?