hello everyone! i just finished watching outer banks for the first time, and oh my god, it's amazing. what a beautiful show. i especially love JJ. definitely my favorite character. anyway, i hope you enjoy this little ficlet. it implies jiara, but there isn't a lot of romance, mainly angst.

please, if you can, make sure to favorite and review. i would really appreciate the feedback. i'm hoping to write even more for this fandom, so stay tuned. thanks for all the love :)

-m


Chapter One:

Kiara had been on her way to JJ's, wanting to meet up with him before they joined John B. and Pope at the docks, when she heard yelling and crashing.

She immediately knew what was going on, and started running towards the dilapidated house, only to see poor JJ being thrown out the door and onto the porch. His father ran up to him and hit him, hard, causing the young man to cry out in pain and curl up into a ball to protect himself from the next few blows.

"JJ!" Kiara exclaimed, seeing her friend tense up at the sound of her voice. Luke's eyes fell on her, a growl escaping his mouth, startling her. She watched as JJ suddenly forced himself to get up so he could shield her from that monster of a man, only to get kicked in the ribs. He fell on the dirty ground, coughing and gasping.

"Kie … get outta here," he rapsed, his voice laced with pain. He wanted to protect her. Needed to. He couldn't let Kiara get hurt either.

But instead, the girl ran over to him and fell on her knees beside his trembling form, a gentle hand on his shoulder. "Come on, JJ, you need to get out of here!" Though she did expect it, somewhere in the back of her mind, she yelped in surprise when Luke rushed towards her, pushed her off of JJ, and went back to punching.

JJ just took it, shielding his face with his hands, even though it was pointless. Nothing he nor Kiara could ever do would make it stop. Unable to help it, tears flooded his eyes. All he wanted was for it to stop, and it wouldn't.

That was why he almost whimpered when the beating finally ceased. Looking up, he saw his father on the ground, breathing heavily. He realized that Kiara must have shoved him away. The next thing he knew, she was helping him up and urging him to run. Despite his injuries, he complied, wanting to get as far away from Luke as possible.

They ran until they made it to Kiara's house. When he started to protest, saying something about her parents being there, she quickly assured him that they were out of town and wouldn't be back for at least a week. She led him to the nearest bathroom, where she sat him down on the toilet and started going through their medicine cabinet, hoping that she could find something of use to them. After getting some supplies ready, she ran out to grab a washcloth from one of their closets and held it under hot water for a minute. She wanted to get the blood off of JJ first.

"Let me know if I hurt you," she said softly. His weak nod prompted her to help him remove his shirt and run the now damp cloth over his skin. Washing away the dirt, blood, and grime revealed so many more cuts and bruises mottling JJ's entire body. His torso was the worst part. Clearly, JJ had at least one broken rib, if the almost yellow marks and his raspy breathing was anything to go by. Luke had done quite a number on him, that was for sure. It sickened Kiara - she couldn't believe that a father would ever do something like that to his own son.

She was so lost in her own thoughts, she didn't realize she had pressed too hard. JJ's breath caught in his throat, and he hung his head, his eyes sliding closed as he tried to fight off the pain. "Shit, JJ, I'm so sorry," she murmured, taking a moment to take his hand and squeeze gently. The absence of blood on his calloused knuckles told her that he never fought back. Why, she didn't know.

"'S fine," he replied, exhausted. He just wanted this day to be over. "Keep going."

Kiara did just that, trying hard not to cry at the sight of seeing JJ so hurt. He was usually so bright, so adamant on putting on a happy face and rolling with what life sent his way. But today, he looked defeated. It was heartbreaking to see.

"All done," Kiara said when she finally finished. JJ's ribs were now wrapped, the cuts on his face and chest were disinfected and taped up. She would never forget the weak moans that escaped JJ's mouth while she used the rubbing alcohol. The last thing she'd wanted to do was cause him any more pain, yet she did.

"Thanks, Kie," JJ managed to breathe out, arm wrapping around his waist. He finally looked at her, his eyes cloudy and full of emotion. "I owe you one."

"What are you talking about? You don't owe me anything."

After so many times JJ had stuck up for her, protected her, risked his own safety and wellbeing for her, Kiara found it strange that he thought he needed to repay her for this. She guessed he just wasn't used to somebody taking the time to be there for him. He was usually the one doing that for everyone else.

"If it wasn't for you, I…" JJ choked on his words. He started to tremble again. "I probably would've been dead by now."

Kiara shuddered at the thought of not having him in her life anymore. She didn't know what she would have done if she'd arrived at his house too late, and all that was left of JJ was a lifeless corpse. "I couldn't just leave you there."

"But you should have. What if my dad went after you? You know how he is when he gets angry. He can't control himself. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I let him hurt you."

"Oh, JJ." Kiara reached up to cup his face. Her touch was seemingly what made him start to cry weakly, tears streaming down his face. He launched himself into her arms, the two of them landing on the cool, tile floor. "It's okay. You're okay now. I'm here. I have you." She held onto him for what felt like hours, talking to him, soothing him.

"I'm just so tired, Kie," he whispered all of a sudden. "I'm so tired of him and me and everything. I just … I need this to end."

"I know you do, JJ." The girl stood up and gently helped her companion to his feet as well, pulling him into another hug. This one was much shorter, but no less powerful. "But I need you to keep fighting. For me. We'll get you away from your dad. I promise. He'll never lay a hand on you again. In the meantime, you can live with me for a while, at least until my parents get back. Then we'll figure it out. Okay?"

Taking a deep, painful breath, JJ nodded. "Okay," he breathed out. "Thank you."

"Of course. Now, how about I take you up to my room and you get some sleep? You need it."

"Yeah, sleep sounds good. Just … don't leave?"

JJ's request made Kiara want to break down and cry. Him asking her to stay meant the world to her. It meant that he trusted her, that he wanted her there to help him. That he was willing to let her through the walls he had so carefully built around himself and into his fragile, broken mind.

"I'm not going anywhere," she replied, and leaned forward to press a gentle kiss to his cheek. "I promise."

The End