A/N So I wrote this for Pizzatop20, who really wanted some James whump. I'm sorry it took so long, and I know I am very past due updating! So sorry! I will be working on a new chapter of Silence soon! I hope everyone has had an amazing summer.

James tapped his fingertips on the steering wheel impatiently. The red light he was currently stopped at was taking ages to turn green and traffic was piling up more and more around him. Of course Gustavo would force him to come to the studio to lay down a few vocal tracks during freaking rush hour, in LA of all places.

"Come on, come on, change already," James whispered under his breath. He threw his head back in annoyance. He just wanted this day to be over already. Nothing had gone right so far. He'd much rather be at home resting with his friends then stuck in traffic on an extremely hot day to do tedious work.

And hot could probably be an understatement. The sun was blaring off the windows of all the standstill cars, reflecting into James' car. Even the A/C on full blast couldn't cool off the leather interior quick enough with the burning sunlight and vehicle exhausts combined. The brunet wiped his forehead to find a thick layer of sweat over his heated skin. He rolled down the window, desperate for some air as claustrophobia took over. The red light stretched on, and even when it finally turned green, the lines of bumper-to-bumper cars stayed unmoving.

"This is ridiculous," James whined to himself, fidgeting in his seat to get comfortable. With a sigh of frustration, he leaned forward and let his seatbelt slip down, tucking it behind his shoulder to hopefully relieve his claustrophobia.

Suddenly, the vehicle in front of James, a black SUV, started to roll forwards.

"Finally!" James cried, pressing his foot against the gas pedal and quickly gaining speed as traffic sped up again. He checked his rear view mirror like he was taught in drivers ED (driving was still fairly new to the teenager) and noticed his short brown locks were clumped against his forehead with sweat.

"Ew," James muttered, momentarily forgetting that he was driving in the middle of rush hour so that he could adjust his messy hair off of his pretty face. It only took a few seconds, but when James pulled his eyes away from his own appearance to look at the road, it was too late. The SUV in front of him had slammed on their brakes for another stop in the heavy traffic, and James hardly had time to register what was happening before he was barreling into the vehicle full force.

"Agh!" James screeched, attempting to slam on his brakes. He knew it would be no use. All he could do was shut his eyes and cover his head with his arms.

With a sickening crunch, the beloved BTR Mobile slammed into the SUV, throwing the teenager forwards violently into the steering wheel. The seatbelt locked into place and the airbags exploded around him.

For several moments, James was afraid to move. He didn't know if he was alright or not. He stayed huddled down, eyes pressed tightly shut as car doors slammed and urgent voices were heard from outside the car.

"…Kid! Kid, are you alright?"

"Somebody call an ambulance he's not responding."

"Come on kid, answer me!"

"Is he unconscious?"

James couldn't help the tears that sprung to his eyes, gathering the courage to look up into the blurry, concerned faces of random strangers. He shook his head, immediately feeling something wet begin to trickle from his nose and into his mouth. He recognized the tangy, sick taste of blood.

"No, no ambulance," James croaked. With much strength, he brought himself into a sitting position. Pain shot through his ribcage, and he grunted but kept in the cry of pain he wanted so badly to release. A million thoughts ran through his mind at once, and he didn't even answer the questions the strangers kept asking him. He remembered with a sick feeling inside his gut that he was not the only one involved in the accident.

"I-is everyone alright? Where's the person I hit?" James demanded, struggling to get out of his ruined car, but a man held him down easily.

"Son, you need to calm down! I was the one you hit," the man said, holding the scared teenager in place to keep him from injuring himself further. "I'm okay. You're the one we are worried about. I think you hit your head. You're bleeding, son. We need to call an ambulance."

"I'm sorry," James blabbered, wiping feebly at his eyes. His hands were shaking violently. It didn't take a doctor to know he was in shock. "I'm so sorry. It's my fault."

"Ssh. Where are your parents, kid? Is there somebody I can call? The authorities and the ambulance are on their way. Just sit tight, okay. What's your parent's phone numbers?"

"They're not here, they're in Minnesota."

"Is there anybody else you can call?"

James thought a moment before shaking his head. He pictured the guys and Mrs. Knight's reaction to finding out he totaled their car because he was too concerned with his looks to pay attention to the road. He would never live it down. They would be so mad at him.

"N-no. It's just me. I-I'll take care of it, everything. Tell me what I have to do."

The man looked skeptical, but the police had arrived along with an ambulance. James was questioned while the paramedics cleaned up his nosebleed and checked for a concussion, which thankfully he did not have. He told the police the truth; that he had not been paying attention to the road and took full blame for the accident. When the police man encouraged him to go to the hospital, James denied.

"I-I'm fine. I just want to go home," James said tiredly. He was sore and upset and didn't want to spend one more moment in this mess that he got himself in.

"Does anything else hurt?" A paramedic asked him.

"N-no," he answered, ignoring the throbbing in his abdomen. "Can I please go now?"

The paramedic sighed, knowing they could not force him to go to the hospital, and the police were finished with the scene. They offered to call him a cab, but James refused that, too. He sadly watched his car being towed away along with the SUV he had completely ruined. He muttered one last "sorry" to the innocent man he had hit before making the long trek to the studio. He had almost forgotten that Gustavo needed him to work.

By the time James arrived at Rocque Records he was nearly limping. The accident had left him sorer than he expected. It was now 7 PM, and Gustavo was irate when James slowly hobbled into the recording booth.

"Sorry I'm late," James mumbled, grabbing for his headphones.

"SORRY FOR BEING TWO HOURS LATE?" Gustavo bellowed, stomping into the tiny recording booth. James didn't say anything. He stared at the patterns on the rug below him. He already felt as low about himself as he possibly could. Gustavo's yelling didn't make him feel worse than he did because he felt like the scum of the earth about now. "What, no smart-aleck response James? Guess what buddy, the whole world does not revolve around you! There are other people on this earth that you need to start thinking about!"

James blinked away tears and nodded. "Yes, I know Gustavo. I said I was sorry. Can we please just record now?"

Gustavo just grunted. He was usually at a loss when one of his dogs refused to fight back. He didn't know what to say when any of them just took their punishment like James was doing right now.

"Fine but make it snappy."

James nodded once again and slipped his headphones on. Gustavo left the booth, and the brunet began to sing, but it didn't sound quite right. Gustavo and Kelly watched on as James seemed to struggle to get each breath in. It was obvious he was trying to hide something. They could practically hear tears in his voice.

"James, is everything alright?" Kelly asked over the mic, cutting the music.

"Yeah, fine," James muttered. "M-my head's just not in it today. Can I try again tomorrow?"

Gustavo tried to disagree, but Kelly shushed him. "Of course, James. Come back tomorrow afternoon, okay?"

"Thank you," James mouthed, hanging up his headphones and heading out of the studio. Kelly trailed behind him, watching his slow movements carefully.

"James," she called softly, before he could officially leave the building.

James froze in place, gripping the handle on the large glass entrance doors.

"What's really going on? I've known you for long enough to know when something's wrong. And right now I can tell this is a lot more than just you being dramatic. Something happened today, didn't it?"

When James stayed silent, Kelly went forward and took him into a hug in an attempt to comfort him and get him to open up, but the force of her arms around his battered abdomen caused him to yell out in pain.

Kelly gasped and quickly released him, standing back and looking him up and down. James had tears in his eyes now, and she could tell he was struggling to stand upright.

"James, you need to tell me right now what is going on. Are you hurt?" Kelly asked, trying to keep the panic away from her voice, and James knew he had to tell her. He couldn't stand seeing the worry in her eyes.

"I-I just got in a little accident today, Kelly. It's no big deal."

Kelly's voice raised in pitched and her eyebrows disappeared behind her blunt-cut bangs. "No big deal? You're in pain, James! Do you need a hospital?"

"No!" James shouted. When Kelly coiled back a bit, he softened his voice a bit. "I'm okay, just a bit jostled. I'm nervous to tell the guys though. I don't know what they'll think when they find out I messed up the car pretty badly. Please don't tell them."

Kelly looked doubtful. "Those boys care more about you then they do that car, James, and you know that. You need to tell somebody."

"I told you," James said hopefully, a small, impish smile spreading across his cherubic cheeks. Kelly rolled her eyes and smiled back. She figured if he was well enough to make jokes, then he would be okay.

"I mean you need to tell Mrs. Knight what happened and the guys as well. Promise me you will? And if you're still sore in a couple days, get checked out, please."

"I will, Kelly. Everything will be fine. I need to head home now. I'll see you later."

"Okay. Be careful, James. Good night."

James mumbled a "Good night" and headed out. It was dark now, and he knew the walk home would be long. He used that time to go over and over in his mind what he should say. Firstly, he didn't want his friends or Mrs. Knight to freak out. If he just came out and said he was in an accident, they would panic before he was able to get another word in. And he also didn't want the guys to think any less of him then they already did. It seemed like they always had something to pick on him for lately, how he was always in his own world and never giving any thought to anybody else because he was so tied up with himself. It wasn't true at all, of course. James just had his own way of doing things, but there wasn't a thing in his world that he loved more than his friends. He just wished they would give him a break and stop picking on him for every little thing, just because he was different than them.

Walking home was a slow process, because every step sent a jolt of pain thru James' aching bones and muscles. By the time he arrived back at the Palmwoods, he figured he ought to tell somebody. His body was really hurting, and he was starting to think that maybe he really wasn't okay.

"I'm home," James called out when he entered the warmth of his sweet-smelling, tiny apartment. His greeting back, however, wasn't so sweet.

Carlos, Logan, Kendall and Katie all looked up from where they were seated on the couch with a look of frustration mixed with relief in their eyes and their lips in tight frowns. Ms. Knight, who was in the kitchen, stormed up to James, and she did not look happy.

"James! Do you realize what time it is?"

James flinched at the loud, sharp tone of his surrogate mothers voice. Honestly, he didn't know what time it was, but it must have been late.

"I-I lost track of time," James stammered out, giving his friends an apologetic glance.

"You were supposed to be home hours ago, James," Kendall scolded, getting to his feet. James kind of shrugged helplessly, at a loss for words and kind of in shock. He hadn't been expecting to get yelled at as soon as he stepped foot in the house. "You haven't been answering your phone!"

"We were really worried," Carlos put in, his mouth forming a bit of a pout, but something between anger and annoyance evident in his eyes. James had a weird feeling in his stomach, fearing that he may have broken the last straw with his friend's patience.

"I-"

"No, don't even," Logan cut James short, not even giving him a chance to explain himself. "You need to start taking responsibility, dude. You're not a little high schooler anymore yet you keep acting like it!"

"Why are you yelling at me?" James asked, sounding quite pitiful, his gaze fixated on the floor and tears welling in the back of his eyes.

"Because you're always late, to any kind of engagement with the band or anything important," Logan continued. "You act like you're the only one in Big Time Rush and the only person who lives here. But there are other people in the world besides you, James! You need to start holding yourself accountable and stop breezing through life, careless to anybody else's feelings. But you don't care if your actions affect other people, do you James?"

"I'm sorry. I won't do it again," James said emotionlessly after a moment of silence.

"Just go on to bed," Mrs. Knight said tiredly, scrubbing a hand over her face. "We'll discuss a punishment in the morning."

James didn't need to be told twice to escape the heavy tension and humility in the living room. He hurried to his room, grabbed some boxers and a tank top from his drawers, and headed straight for the bathroom, keeping in his tears until he was able to turn on the shower full blast, the rushing sounds of water covering up his quiet sobs.

Gingerly, James undressed himself. He gasped when he caught a glimpse of his too-pale skin in the mirror, his abdomen already swollen and littered with purple markings that would surely turn into hideous bruises by morning. He moved his bangs to reveal a cut on his head from where he was thrown into the steering wheel, and another light bruise was already forming below his right eye from the bloody nose he had received from impact.

Shocked by what he saw, James felt a bit dizzy and sat down on the toilet seat, burying his face in his hands. His friend's angry voices buzzed in his head, which was starting to ache a bit. He struggled to take several steady breaths to slow his crying, but it didn't help any. The minutes ticked by, and soon there was a soft knock on the door, followed by Carlos' voice.

"James, are you still in there? You've been in the shower for a long time."

James cleared his throat, quickly wiping his tears away. He realized that he hadn't even been in the shower yet.

"Y-yeah, I'm fine! I'll be out soon!" James called out. He got to his feet and entered the shower, hissing in pain when the steamy water pounded against his bruised and aching body. After just standing under the shower for a long while until he finally calmed down a bit, he washed his hair and body halfheartedly, rinsed, and turned off the water before toweling off and dressing in the minimal pajamas he had picked out. To his surprise, Carlos was waiting for him when he emerged from the bathroom.

"Carlos! What are you doing here?" James asked. The apartment was quiet and dark, to his relief. He didn't want Carlos to see his red, tear streaked face or slowly forming black eye.

Carlos shrugged a little, looking a little guilty, like he felt bad for James getting yelled at. Of course sweet Carlos would be first to forgive him and make sure he was okay, but James didn't feel very deserving of forgiveness.

"Carlos, do you think I've been a butt head to the band lately?"

Carlos chewed on his mouth thoughtfully, as if he didn't want to admit that yes, James had been kind of selfish lately.

"Be honest. Please."

"Well, maybe a little," Carlos admitted. "You haven't been yourself lately, James. You're so concerned with solo side projects and modeling gigs and getting girls that it almost seems like BTR isn't important anymore. I mean it's no secret you're the favorite in the band and it's like getting to your head or something, I don't know. You know you missed Mrs. Knight's birthday a few days ago? And tonight, we were all going to go bowling as a family. But instead you were off doing who knows what while we waited and waited and waited here for you thinking you were seriously hurt or something. It's just kind of upsetting, is all."

James' eyes widened and guilt crept heavily into his heart. He had never missed family night before, it was a monthly tradition for them to all go out as a family and just hang together with nothing else in the way, and he had ruined it.

"Carlos I'm so sorry. I never meant to do anything of that. I've just been really busy…"

"Yeah, too busy for us," Carlos said sadly. James looked up at his best friend, or who he hoped was still his best friend, tears glistening in his eyes. Carlos just looked defeated, and James didn't know what to say. Carlos was very rarely mad at him, and when he was, it always seemed to be about silly things and they would make up hours or minutes later, but James knew he pushed the limits this time.

"You know that's not true," James whispered. "I'm so sorry. I'm sorry I'm such a screw-up." With that, James pushed past Carlos to go to their room. Carlos' mouthed dropped open in shock. He attempted to call James back, but the brunet was already in their bedroom.

James forced back another round of tears as he crawled into bed, wincing when the movement brought intense waves of pain through his ribcage. He felt like he was being stabbed over and over again in the gut. He couldn't get comfortable, but trying to find a position to sleep on that didn't hurt only worsened the stabbing feeling, so he settled on curling up on his side, clutching his pillow tightly. A few minutes later, he heard his door open and close again and could feel a pair of eyes studying him intently.

"James?" Carlos whispered. The boy in question squeezed his eyes shut tight and pretended to be sleeping. Carlos sighed and James heard rustling in the bed across from him, and soon soft snores.

James, however, was not as lucky to fall asleep right away. He lay awake for hours on end, waiting for the sun to come up. His mind was whirling, and every time he closed his eyes, the accident from earlier would replay itself over and over again. By the time the sun was just starting to peek through the curtains, James' heavy eyelids finally closed and darkness took over.

What felt like minutes later, but was really a few hours, Kendall was shaking James awake a bit roughly. The brunet groaned, nearly crying when his ribs screamed in protest.

"Stop!" James begged, burying his face in the pillow.

"Dude! Where'd you park the convertible last night?" Kendall asked. "I have a brunch date with Jo and I can't find it anywhere!"

James froze, his heart sinking to his stomach. This was the inevitable that he wanted so badly to avoid. Of course they would notice their car missing, how wouldn't they? James couldn't think of a lie to tell Kendall, so he just pretended to fall back asleep.

Kendall hit James upside the head.

"Ow!" James cried, reaching a hand up and rubbing the back of his head. "Leave me alone I'm trying to sleep."

"No! Where's my car?"

James stayed still and silent.

"James!" Kendall was whining now. He placed his hands beneath James' belly and lifted, rolling him onto his back.

"Aggh!" James whimpered, curling up with his arms around his stomach, but the action went unnoticed by Kendall, who was fed up at this point.

"Where's the car dude!"

Once again, James didn't answer, but that was because he was struggling to hold in sobs, tears rolling down his cheeks. That was all it took to get Kendall's attention, and any remnants of frustration from last night was gone.

"James? Are you okay?"

"I'm fine," James muttered, forcing himself to straighten out and not look so pathetic. He put a hand over his eyes, scrubbing away the tears. Kendall grabbed James' wrist and pulled his hand away, getting a closer look at his face.

"Oh my God, your eye," Kendall breathed out, ghosting his fingers over James' cheek. "What happened last night? Does this have anything to do with why you were so late?"

James nodded, looking into Kendall's regretful emerald eyes.

"Why didn't you say something, James?"

"You never gave me the chance!"

Kendall hung his head, realizing that James was right. They were so quick to accuse James that he hadn't even thought that maybe something was wrong with his friend.

"Who did this to you?" Kendall demanded, trying to keep his anger at bay. However, this time his anger was directed at whoever hurt his best friend.

"Nobody, I did."

"What do you mean? Will you stop being so cryptic and tell me?"

"I was in an accident last night, Kendall!" James blurted out, anxious to get everything off his chest. "It was my fault. Stupid, self-centered James caused a traffic accident, okay? That's why you can't find the car, it's a totaled mess. I screwed up."

Kendall stayed silent, trying to process the information while wondering why James would ever hide something like that from him. James turned onto his side so that his back was facing Kendall. With how quiet he was being, James began to think that Kendall may have left.

"A-are you hurt?" Kendall finally managed to choke out. "Was it really bad?"

"No. It looked worse than it really was. My face hit the steering wheel, that's why I have the black eye."

"Does anything else hurt?"

James shrugged. "My head a little bit, but the paramedics checked me out and gave me an all clear. I'm fine."

"Thank God," Kendall sighed. "I have to tell mom…"

Again, James shrugged emotionlessly. "I know. She can't be any madder at me than she already is. I'm sorry about last night, Kendall. I know I have been a pretty crappy friend lately, but I'm going to try and change that, okay?"

Kendall sighed, and James felt his fingertips lightly go up and down his spine. "It wasn't your fault, buddy. It was an accident."

James shook his head. "I was an idiot, Kendall. I could have really hurt somebody. It was all my fault." Suddenly, James rolled out of bed and grabbed some clothes from his dresser, slamming the drawer shut behind him.

"James…" Kendall started, reaching a hand out to catch his arm, but James avoided him.

"Tell Mama Knight I'll be down in a few minutes," James called over his shoulder, stomping to the bathroom and shutting the door a bit too loudly. He set his clothes on the sink and took off his tank, anxious to see how bad the bruising was now considering he was so sore. He hissed in pain when he gently touched one of the dark bruises littering his abdomen. Breathing hurt, moving hurt, everything just hurt so badly, he couldn't help but to cry for what seemed like the 5th time since last night.

Realizing that he would not be able to make it through the day like this without somebody noticing he was in pain, James reached into the medicine cabinet and searched around for some pills. They didn't really have anything strong, so he just settled on taking a triple dose of Tylenol, hoping that would hold him over for at least a couple of hours, before carefully getting dressed and heading to the kitchen. He sat down at the breakfast table, ignoring the way everyone was looking at him like he was broken.

"James," Mrs. Knight started to say. When she got no reaction from the boy in question, she continued. "Kendall told me why you were so late last night."

James nodded, shoving a spoonful of cereal into his mouth.

"James Diamond, something as serious as a car accident is not to be messed around with. I'm really disappointed that you tried to hide it from us. Why didn't you call us immediately?"

"I guess I was in shock or something," James said. He tried to take another bite of cereal, but an unpleasant feeling of nausea took place in his stomach whenever he tried to swallow anything down.

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah."

"Do you want some ice for your eye?"

James shook his head. Kendall and Logan exchanged a concerned glance. James was never a man of little words, and this morning he was hardly speaking at all. Kendall just figured he was still pouting from being yelled at last night.

"Well, Kelly called asking if you were doing alright earlier this morning. I told her you're not going in to record."

"What? Why?" James demanded, raising his voice.

"Don't use that tone with me, James. Kelly and I both feel that you need the day to rest and recover."

James tossed down his spoon on the table. "I'm fine! I need to finish those vocals! If my song isn't done in time, it won't make it on the new "Vampire Journals" soundtrack!"

Logan rolled his eyes. "And of course, the only thing important to James is his solo career as usual."

James sunk into his chair. "That's not true," he whispered, hating the way Logan's glare seemed to burn right through him. He glanced at Kendall, who was watching him sympathetically. Logan got up abruptly and left the apartment, slamming the door shut with a bang, startling James.

"Give him time, you know how Logan can be," Kendall said. "He blows everything out of proportion."

"I'm not worried about it," James lied. He turned to Mrs. Knight. "So under the circumstances, am I un-grounded Mama Knight?"

Mrs. Knight gave him a look, rolling her eyes. His lower lip jutted out into a pout and she reluctantly agreed. "Okay, okay, you're ungrounded. But you're not allowed to leave the Palmwoods property because you're supposed to be resting. And I need to see some better behavior on your part, James, or else you will be in trouble. This is your last straw, understand?"

"Got it Mama Knight," James agreed.

Mrs. Knight left to run errands, taking Katie with her and leaving Kendall, James and Carlos sitting awkwardly around the table, which was strange, because things were never awkward between the bunch.

"Well… Want to go down to the pool?" Kendall asked, breaking the silence. Carlos' head popped up and he nodded eagerly. It sounded like a good idea to James, too, until he remembered that swimming would probably be painful and it's not like he could take off his shirt in front of anybody without them seeing his bruises.

"James? Sound good?" Kendall prodded when James just stared into space with a worried expression across his features.

"I thought you had a date with Jo?"

"Enh, I would have been too late and she had to get back to filming, and I don't feel like sitting around all day so will you stop moping and go to the pool with me?"

"Yeah, fine," James said. "I could use a tan anyway." He gave him a fake smile and left to put on his swim trunks and a tank. At the pool, he laid out on a chair and watched Carlos and Kendall play Marco-Polo.

"You're not playing with them?"

James looked up to see Logan standing beside his chair with a towel.

"Nah, too tired," James said. He waited for Logan to say he was sorry for freaking out earlier, but instead he just jumped into the pool, joining in on the laughter and fun that Carlos and Kendall created.

"James, come on! Jump in!" Carlos yelled.

"Yeah, quit brooding and play with us," Kendall said.

"It's not as much fun without you," Logan put in, apparently forgiving him at least temporarily. James couldn't help but smile a little bit. He wished he could go in the pool and have fun and forget what happened, but his stomach was hurting too badly, churning as if he had a stomach flu but cramping as if somebody had punched him really hard right in the gut.

"Not right now guys," James said weakly. He closed his eyes to try to block out the pain, praying the feeling would go away soon. He figured he must have bruised a couple ribs, but he didn't think that bruised ribs hurt this terribly.

Suddenly, James was being hauled to his feet, and his eyes snapped open to find Carlos and Logan on either side of him with devilish grins on their faces. James screamed out in agony, but it was too late. He was tossed into the pool, all of his senses being flooded by water and chlorine, drowning out the sounds of Kendall, Carlos and Logan's laughter and washing the flow of tears off his face.

Seconds later James emerged and pulled himself up, with great difficulty, to the concrete surface next to the pool, where he collapsed with a shuddering breath.

It didn't take long for the guys to realize that something was really wrong with James, and that he was not laughing along with them but instead sobbing, curled up into a tiny, shaking ball.

"James?" Carlos put a hand on his buddy's side. Even the slight, gentle touch made his abdomen burn and twist.

"D-don't touch me," James pleaded as nausea crept up to his throat. Carlos retracted his hand as if he touched fire and glanced at Logan and Kendall for help, but they looked equally as panicked. James had never acted like this before.

"Whoa, buddy, what's wrong?" Kendall's voice was fuzzy in James' ears, and he wondered if he was beginning to lose consciousness, blacking out from all of the pain. "Tell me, James. You're scaring us."

"H-hurts," James choked out, unable to say anything else. The nausea intensified, and James was sure he'd never felt pain like this before. He tilted his head to the side and vomited, and the pain that shot through his stomach nearly knocked him out. He felt like he was dying, and he would welcome death with open arms if it meant escaping this agony.

"Logan! What's wrong with him?" Kendall asked frantically, reaching out to touch James, to hold and comfort him in some way, but only allowed his fingertips to ghost over his pale, cold skin, knowing that touching him could only make it worse. "Please tell me this is some messed up case of food poisoning!"

"I don't think it is," Logan pointed out softly. Amidst his panic, Kendall hadn't even noticed that Logan pulled up James' wet shirt up to his chest, revealing horrid, dark purple bruising all over his abdomen.

Kendall gasped, nearly throwing up in shock, and Carlos looked away, his face in his hands.

"What is that?" Kendall asked, studying the bruising. He'd never seen anything like it before, not even in all his days of dealing with hockey injuries.

"The car wreck; it wasn't just a little accident. He's hurt. We need to call an ambulance!"

Kendall whipped out his phone from his bag at lightning speed and dialed 911, all the while never taking his eyes off of James as he explained what was happening.

James was slowly slipping in and out of consciousness, his breathing shallow and his eyelids fluttering, hazel eyes becoming duller as he watched his friends flicker in and out of focus. Carlos was crying, and Logan let a curse word escape from under his breath without even realizing it.

"Okay, they're on their way! They said make sure he stays awake until they come."

"James, can you hear me, buddy?" Logan patted his cheek gently, but James was already in another world, his eyelids slipping closed for the final time.

"No, James, hold on!" Kendall cried, wrapping his nervous, shaking fingers around his cold hand and squeezing.

"He's out," Logan said when James didn't respond, not even a blink.

"God! Fuck!" Kendall yelled, placing his hands behind his head as he held in a scream, pulling at his own hair.

"Kendall, please," Logan said, sounding like a small child. Kendall drew in a deep breath and took both Logan and Carlos into his arms, guilt and anger and fear coursing through his body, making him sick. The trio looked down at the injured boy, wondering if they would ever see their best friend again as the faint screech of sirens became clearer and louder with each passing second.

-BTR-BTR-

Hours had passed since James' brutal and disturbing breakdown. After that was just a blur of tears and chaos and then waiting for long, painstaking hours for any kind of news.

James had worn his seatbelt wrong. That one little slip of the belt behind his shoulder had very nearly cost him his life, causing severe internal injuries and cracking several ribs. If he had gone to the hospital right away, they would have caught it in time and he'd be okay now. Instead, he was slowly bleeding to death from the inside and didn't tell anybody how much pain he was in.

"Did he know?" Carlos asked, the first to speak out of all of them. The boys were sat around James' hospital bed. After a life-or-death surgery, he was now hooked up to all kinds of machines for blood transfusions and it was the hardest sight that the young boys almost couldn't take it, but they refused to leave him when he needed them the most.

"Know what, 'Litos?" Kendall asked, using the Latino's pet name. The only time he ever called him that was when he was sick, or in dire situations like now.

"Did he know he was dying? Is that what he meant to do?"

"No," Kendall said, a bit too quickly. He wasn't sure what to believe.

"He hid it from us for as long as he could. Why would he do something like that?"

"I don't know, Carlos!" Kendall snapped. He didn't mean to act vicious towards innocent Carlos, who just wanted some answers. He was at his boiling point. When it came to things like fear, Kendall usually reacted with anger. It was just his way of doing things. "All I know is that my best friend nearly died right in front of me today and he didn't… He didn't even tell me he was hurting. We tell each other everything. Why didn't he tell me that he was in a car accident and needed help?"

"Uggh, this is all too messed up," Logan muttered, staring at James' perfect, unusually white complexion. He touched his cold cheek gently, savoring the feeling of his soft skin just in case he wouldn't be given the chance to touch him again.

Carlos and Kendall reached out and touched James also, running their fingers along his arms and face, as if beckoning him to come back to them.

"We're here for you, James. We aren't going to let you go. We'll never let you go again," Kendall vowed, tears rolling down his cheeks.

3 weeks passed by slowly. James became worse before he got better, and they had nearly lost him once. It had happened so suddenly. He woke up, he was aware of his surroundings. He even tried to smile at his friends and say hi, as if nothing ever happened. He was too weak to keep his eyes open for longer than a few minutes, but they all figured he would be okay, because waking up was a good sign, right?

The next day he had contracted an infection. The doctors said his body didn't take kindly to one if his transfusions, and blood poisoning quickly took over, sending him into cardiac arrest. But the doctors started him on a powerful mix of antibiotics and immediately he improved. They said he was a fighter.

Now he was home and in his own bed. He was still very weak, and relied on his wheelchair, and he couldn't eat anything. He was fed through an IV. Because of the transfusions, James' immune system was shot, so he was sick and frail and tired all of the time, but he was alive, and he was home.

For the first time in 3 weeks, James began to talk. The boys were all seated around his bed in a miniature powwow. They hadn't left James' side for longer than a few minutes at a time, and even then, they always made sure at least one of them was with him while the others were gone. The action hadn't gone unnoticed by James, who felt undeserving of the love that was being poured out to him. He didn't see why Kendall, Carlos and Logan cried every night since that fateful day at the pool, or why they refused to leave him, or why they prayed under their breaths constantly, thinking that he couldn't hear them.

"I'm sorry guys," James said, so softly that at first, they didn't hear him. Kendall scooted his chair closer to the bed.

"James, did you say something?" Kendall asked hopefully. His heart clenched when he saw that James was crying, and assumed something was hurting him. "What's wrong? Are you hurting? Do you need more medicine?"

James shook his head ever so slowly. He stared into Kendall's sweet, caring green eyes, the eyes he knew before he became too obsessed with himself to care to notice his friend's eye color anymore.

"I-I'm sorry," he repeated, and it was loud enough this time that Carlos and Logan heard it too.

"Don't be sorry," Kendall said. "It was an accident, okay?"

"No. I'm sorry for acting the way I have. I haven't been there for you guys much lately, and I regret it."

"James, no, it's okay," Logan soothed, feeling himself tear up at the sight of James getting so emotional. "We aren't mad, I promise."

"But you were mad," James continued. "You were. And I ignored it, instead of apologizing, until you were all at your breaking points. I pushed it. And if I had kept it up any longer, we probably wouldn't be friends any longer. I was so upset with myself, and so scared after the accident. I didn't want you to hate me. That's why I tried to hide it."

"But you knew we would figure it out soon," Kendall said. "You can't hide something that huge for that long. I just don't get why you pretended you were okay when you were obviously hurting so much."

"I was stupid. I thought I would be okay, nothing this serious. I didn't want to be a burden to you guys. I felt like I deserved the pain, for putting you all through so much over the past few months, like it was my own payback at myself. But then it just hurt so much. I never wanted to die. That was never my intention. But I was in so much pain, I wished death would just take me away right then and there, and that scared me." James was beginning to sob now, huge tears rolling quickly down his cheeks and onto his pillow. "I thought I was going to die. And then I thought about how I didn't want to leave you guys. You're everything to me. Not my solo career, or movie premiers, or modeling jobs. None of that matters. I feel like that accident happened for a reason, like it was a wake-up call, reminding me that I could be gone tomorrow, and you could be gone too. I don't ever want to lose you guys. No job offer or amount of fame can replace you."

James blinked away his tears to see 3 pairs of shiny, wet, beaming eyes staring back at him, and soon he was engulfed in a (gentle) bear hug. Kendall, Carlos and Logan held him for several moments, silently thankful that he was alive.

"It's okay, James. We were never that mad at you," Logan explained, his voice muffled because his face was hidden in James' chest. He lifted his head, and with great strength, James wiped Logan's crystal tears away. "We were just so afraid of losing you, too. We freaked out, thinking we weren't important to you anymore, when in reality I need you James. You've been there for me since I was a little nerdy baby."

"You still are," James said with a weak chuckle, and the other three laughed at the first joke said since the accident. "And I still am here for you."

"We love you how you are James," Carlos said. "Even when you spend too much time looking in the mirror. You're James Diamond, and you're the reason why we are here. It was your crazy dreams and ideas that put us in LA."

"But I wouldn't be here without you guys, either. And I wouldn't want to do it with anybody else. You're my brothers, and I don't ever want to be a part of anything else except Big Time Rush."

A/N Thanks for reading! I hope you all liked it! Reviews are always awesome! Also, I will start taking requests again! I posted about it in my profile. Have a lovely week, and follow me on twitter channy_girl20 love ya guys! xxx