A/N. I'm writing this because, and don't panic, I'm having slight issues with Writer's Block where 'Little Hollow' is concerned. I am calm, cool, and collected. This is no big deal. AH! I HATE WRITER'S BLOCK! I DON'T OWN ANYTHING SO READ ON!
"Katie, would you stop being such a pest!" Sixteen year old Kendall Knight barely resisted the urge to
physically pick his little sister up and carry her out of his bedroom. He loved Katie but she was a younger sibling. Consequently, there were times he just couldn't stand her. Like now.
The ten year old girl stomped her foot and crossed her arms. "Kendall Knight, you promised!" She snapped. "You promised that I could go with you guys to the pond and skate!"
"Yeah, but I didn't say that you could go today." Kendall pointed out. "I said that we'd take you soon. Just not today. We're getting together with some other guys from school and playing a pick-up hockey game. You'll just get in the way."
Katie switched tactics and tried her famous puppy eyes on her older brother. Unfortunately, he was one of the few people who was capable of resisting them. "Come on, Kendall please? I promise I won't get in the way."
Kendall snorted and rolled his eyes. "Yeah right." He pulled his hockey gear bag over his shoulder and stepped around his sister to get out of his room. "Mom, I'm going out!" He called over his shoulder. He listened for his mom's answer and grinned at Katie when she told him to have fun. "See ya, little sis." He ruffled her hair and was out the front door before Katie could blink.
Katie watched him jog over the shoved sidewalks and scowled. What was the harm in going with him? She would stay out of their way and skate in a small section of the ice. An idea came to her and she almost laughed. She would go anyway. Their mother wasn't aware that Kendall didn't want her there. And once she was there Kendall couldn't exactly send her back by herself and there was no way that he would leave to take her home himself. Perfect. "Hey, mom I'm going with Kendall!"
"Dude, you look like you want to punch someone." James Diamond chuckled when Kendall stalked over where he was waiting with their two other best friends, Logan Mitchell and Carlos Garcia. "What took you so long?"
The older boy grimaced and threw his gear bag down with a thud. "Katie." He answered darkly. "Man, she would not leave me alone today. Remember when I told her that we'd take her to the pond?" He waited for three nods of confirmation. "Well, somehow she got the idea that I meant the next time we went. Which happens to be today."
"So how did you get rid of her?" Carlos asked curiously. He had five younger sisters himself and was interested to hear of his friend's strategy.
Kendall shrugged. "I just left."
Logan stood silently by with a small smirk on his face. "Then why," He asked pointing across the ice. "Is she right over there?"
At the sight of his little sister wading through the waist deep snow drifts, Kendall groaned. "Just ignore her." He told his friends and dropped to the ice to lace his skates.
Logan skated across the ice cautiously. He caught the teasing looks from his friends but ignored them. In his opinion, caution was important. Even if it meant checking the surface of a frozen pond a handful of times.
"Come on, Logan." Kendall sighed impatiently. He sensed the players on the other team getting tired of waiting too. "You've checked that spot a dozen times."
"Just checking one more time." Logan grinned innocently. Part of his secretly loved to annoy his friends by painstakingly looking over every single detail several times. "Okay. All done. Hey did you tell Katie about that one patch off to the side?"
Kendall flipped his hand over to his sister. "Yeah, yeah. But she's not even skating right now so it doesn't even matter." He had called across the ice to his sister and he wasn't sure she had heard him. But nothing would happen because nothing ever did.
"Are you guys warm enough?" Logan called over to his friends. He was the only one who was actually wearing a warm winter coat. His other friends wore lighter layers because they were sure that once the game got going, they would be hot.
"We're fine, Logan." Kendall rolled his eyes. "Come on, let's play the game!"
The game began. It wasn't supposed to be competitive, just for fun. But telling a group of sixteen-year-old boys to "just have fun" was like telling a group of politicians to "be nice" during a debate. Pointless. Kendall, James, Carlos, and Logan immediately took the game into their own hands, scoring three goals in five minutes. Not having goalies helped speed things along as each teams hurried to score the desired ten goals.
In the beginning, Katie merely sat and watched the boys play. She was proud of her older brother. Kendall had ambitions to become a professional hockey player and she had absolutely no doubt in her mind that he had the talent. But she soon grew tired of watching the hectic game and decided to skate on the far edge of the pond, totally out of the boys' way.
"Yeah!" Kendall threw his arms up in victory when he scored his second goal. He exchanged a high-five with James when suddenly a shudder seemed to rip through the pond and there was a violent crack followed by a scream. He spun around just in time to see Katie disappear from view as she fell through the ice. "Katie!" He yelled in terror, then began to skate as fast as he could toward the spot where he had last seen his sister.
Logan was the smallest of the four boys but for as long as any of them could remember, he had always been the fastest. In three long strides he had flown past Kendall, yelling at the others he he did. "Find a branch or something!" He gestured wildly to the shore, not remembering if there was anything of use there. Out of the corner of his eye he saw James and Carlos follow his instructions. He halted by the hols in the ice and ripped his coat off, throwing it to the side. Katie was floundering around in the icy water, panicking. "Katie! Katie listen to me. Stop struggling and hold on to the edge of the ice. It takes you a lot longer to freeze to death than it does to drown."
Somehow his words penetrated through the ten year old's fear and she stopped flailing to obey Logan.
"Okay." Logan breathed. His arm shot out and stopped Kendall from coming any closer. "Don't. You could fall through too and then we'll be in even worse trouble."
"Logan, that's my sister." Kendall hissed, trying to throw Logan off of him but the younger boy was remarkably strong despite the size difference.
"We can't find anything." Carlos and James skated over, wearing perfectly matching expressions of white-faced terror. "Logan, the other guys left. What are we-"
Logan was kneeling cautiously on the ice, testing it's strength. He cringed when it shifted under his weight. "Okay." He breathed. "Katie, I'm going to lay across the ice and pull you out. Guys, don't more from where you are. I'm not sure if the ice is even going to hold me but I'm the lightest so. . . James, my cell phone is in my bag. Go call 911."
His voice had a calming influence on everyone. James rushed off to make the call and Carlos and Kendall backed up slowly and stared. Logan dropped to his knees and then his stomach. He inched slowly towards Katie who had started to shake.
"They're coming." James reported as he skated over to them. "They should be about five minutes." He joined Kendall and Carlos and watched in silence.
A crack shuddered over the surface of the ice and cold water spread over the sunken surface. Logan drew in a sharp breath as the water reached him. There was no way the ice would continue to support him. By instead of backing up, he moved forward quickly and braced himself for what he knew was coming. He more or less slid into the water when it cracked again. But to his relief it only came up to his chest. Ignoring the painfully icy cold he grabbed Katie and using all of his strength he lifted her enough so that she could climb out.
It was then that he mentally slapped himself for not taking his heavy skates off. It would have taken more time but now he had a problem of his own. He ignored his friends panicking on the solid surface and grabbed on to an edge. Fortunately it held firm and with a little help from James who forgot all about staying where the ice was stronger, he manged to pull himself out of the freezing water. He laid there for a minute trying to slow his racing heart.
"Logan?" Kendall sounded scared.
Logan forced himself to his hands and knees and bent over Katie, relieved to find her conscious. "Get my jacket." He mumbled to Carlos. He watched as his friend grabbed the jacket and handed it to him. He shook his head and gave it to Kendall. "Wrap Katie in it." He told him. Then he wrapped his own arms around himself and shivered.
They were all relieved when the wail of an ambulance siren shattered the silence. Kendall picked his little sister up who was clearly more scared than anything else, and Carlos and James helped Logan to his feet and they all skated to the shore to meet their rescuers.
A strong, burly man jumped out and rushed over to them. He was surprised to see that no one was in the water and that two of the kids were soaked clear through. But his quick rational mind took only a few seconds before he correctly assumed what had happened. "All right guys, don't worry. Your friends are going to be fine." He didn't say that he was actually more worried about the teenaged boy than the younger girl. She at least was wrapped in a thick winter coat which had obviously belonged to the boy since the other three were wearing lighter coats.
One of them with longish brown hair, suddenly seemed to read his mind and took his jacket off and shoved it to his friend. "Here, Logan." He said, his voice shaking in fear.
"What's up kids?" A second EMT joined his partner and took Katie from her brother. He nodded at Logan. "Can you climb in the back on your own, bud?" He grinned when Logan nodded and with a reassuring grin to his friends, completed the task easily enough. "Good." He passed Katie off to the other guy who laid her next to Logan. "All right, now don't worry. It doesn't look like your friends were in the water very long." He smiled again when the three boys all nodded their heads in agreement. "Great. But you'd better call their parents and get a ride down to the hospital."
"She's my sister." Kendall protested. "Can't I go with you guys?" He bit his lip when the EMT shook his head as he climbed in the back. "Sorry, kid. Not enough room in this one. Meet you there though, okay?" The boys watched them speed off.
"Well," Carlos observed shakily. "At least we have Logan's phone."
"This is my fault." Kendall repeated for the third time in the past thirty minutes. If I had just let Katie come with us in the first place and made sure that she knew not to skate over there in the fist place, none of this would have happened."
"Kendall," Mrs. Knight tried to get her son's attention. "Stop pacing, sweetie. This isn't all your fault." She held up a hand when Kendall opened his mouth to argue. "I'm not saying that you aren't to blame. You are. But only partially. Katie shouldn't have gone after you the way she did and I should have been paying more attention."
"And we all should have looked after Katie better." Carlos said guiltily. "She didn't know that where she was skating wasn't thick enough."
"Right." Kendall said. "Because I didn't tell her. I mean I did tell her but I didn't make sure that she heard me."
James pulled his gaze away from a group of older teenage guys who were having a heated discussion about how they were going to flirt with the female nurses while they waited for their friend to come back from getting stitches after a nasty sledding accident. "Can we stop talking about the blame? I mean as long as Logan and Katie are okay then that's all that matters."
At that, Mrs. Knight smiled tiredly. "And I'm sure they're fine." She said gently.
"You know who's not going to be fine?" James frowned. "Those jerks who left us as soon as Katie fell through. Some help they were."
Kendall's mood switched from guilty to angry. "Before or after we track down Mr. Mitchell?" He asked sourly.
"Kendall." His mother warned. "Don't make this worse than it already is by bringing Logan's father into this discussion. "Remember he's away on a business trip this weekend."
"Yeah but you'd think he'd answer his stupid phone after we called him three times. And didn't he just get back from a trip? He's gone more than he's home."
"Good excuse for Logan to spend more time with us!" Carlos said brightly.
Kendall opened his mouth to reply but he stopped when he saw a doctor approaching them. "Finally." He exclaimed.
"Are you here for Katie Knight?" The gray-haired man asked the group.
"And Logan Mitchell." James added quickly.
"I'm Doctor Anthony Marcus." The doctor said ignoring James. "I was in charge of Katie."
Mrs. Knight stood up. "That's my daughter. Is she going to be all right?"
They all sighed in relief when he nodded. "Katie is going to be absolutely fine. She wasn't in the water long at all and they brought her in wrapped in a coat. She was already warming up quite nicely. In fact she can go home as soon as the nurses help her. Her clothes were drying so-" He cut off and smiled somewhat stiffly. "Ah. Here she is now."
"Where's Logan?" Katie demanded before anyone could greet her. She tried to shake off her mother's embrace but soon gave in. "I'm fine, Mom but where is Logan?" She repeated anxiously.
"Katie, I'm so so so sorry." Kendall said, tearing up despite his best efforts. "This is all my fault. If I wasn't so mean to you then none of this would have ever happened."
Before he could finish speaking Katie was already shaking her head violently. "It's not all your fault, Kendall. But I don't want to argue about something so dumb right now. Right now I want to know where Logan is."
As worried as he was about Logan and as guilty as he felt about the whole thing, Kendall couldn't help but smile at his little sister's words. She was only ten but sometimes she could be wise beyond her years. His smile faded slightly. "I don't know. We're still waiting to hear about Logan." While he told her he wracked his brain trying to remember if Logan had been in the freezing water for longer than Katie. When he added up the time it had taken for them to get to her it added up to be around the same amount of time. But then he thought of how Logan had given his dry coat to Katie leaving him with James' which wasn't anything more than a windbreaker.
"Logan Mitchell?" A deep voice asked, jerking Kendall out of his thoughts.
"We're here for Logan." Mrs. Knight said. "His father is in Minneapolis and we haven't been able to reach him." There was a slight edge of annoyance in her voice when she mentioned Logan's father tat sent to doctor's eyebrows up in curiosity.
"Well then. I'm glad to be able to tell you that Logan is fine. A little shaken up but he'll be able to go home today. Is he staying with someone while his father is away?"
"He is now." Mrs. Knight answered promptly. "We'll stop by his house on the way home and pick up some things.
"Good." The doctor nodded. "Oh! Excuse my manners. I'm Kyle Winters by the way." He smiled and held out a hand towards Kendall's mother which she shook gratefully.
"Thank you so much for caring for Logan and Katie."
"It was our pleasure. Logan was a great patient and I heard one of the nurses mention that Katie was pleasant as well. Please pass on to Logan's father that he raised his son well and you raised your daughter the same,"
Mrs. Knight pasted a smile on his face and thanked him again. But then everyone caught sight of Logan coming down the hallway and all thoughts of his father were gone.
Before Logan could even speak he was wrapped in a tight hug from Katie's and Kendall's mother. At first he stepped backward, shocked by a contact he hadn't felt in years: A mother's hug. But he soon relaxed and smiled. Mrs. Knight had barely let go before a tearful Katie was clinging to him. "Hey!" He said, bending so she could reach him better. "Don't cry, Katie."
"You saved me." Katie sobbed needlessly because everyone in the ER knew what had happened just from overhearing the small group's conversation. But when Katie said that a few people actually started clapping.
Logan wished for nothing more than for the floor to open up and swallow him. He blushed and bent his head to hide it. "I was in the right place at the right time. And fortunately I've read a ton about ice rescues so I knew what to do. It just. . . didn't work out the way I planned it to."
"Yeah instead you practically jumped in to save her." Kendall shook his head and ran a hand through his dark blonde hair.
"Well. . . no I didn't jump in. I kinda fell in. Or slid in. I wasn't planning on being so dramatic about everything."
"You really kept your cool." Carlos said, unable to stay quiet for any longer.
Carlos wasn't exactly helping, so Logan gently pulled himself from Katie's grasp. "Well. . . can we. . ." He trailed off unsure of how to phrase his question without sounding rude.
"Of course." Mrs. Knight said, realizing that all the attention of the people in the waiting room was making Logan uncomfortable. "Let's get you two home."
The drive to Logan's house was short and silent. Katie sat on one side of him while Kendall sat on the other so that he felt slightly boxed in. But he didn't say anything and when Mrs. Knight pulled up to his house he smiled. "Thanks for the ride Mrs. Knight. I-"
"What are you talking about?"
Kendall's words caught him off guard and everyone had turned to gawk at him. "Um. . . what?" Logan asked nervously. He hated it when people stared at him.
"You're not staying home alone tonight." Mrs. Knight tried to say in a calm tone of voice. But Logan's confusion and honest surprise at her announcement were almost heart breaking. She turned around to face him. "Logan, you just risked your life today and not only that but you saved my daughter's life. Besides that, the doctor gave strict instructions that you were not to be left alone tonight. You're coming home with us. We only stopped here so you could get a bag together."
"Oh." Logan laughed awkwardly. "Um, I'll be right back then. Five minutes." He added when Kendall, Carlos, and James started to follow him. He jogged across his lawn and let himself in.
"I don't believe him." Kendall muttered as he watched him go. "Did he seriously think that we were just going to drop him off?"
"Apparently yes." James sighed. "For a genius, Logan can be pretty thick headed about himself sometimes."
Carlos simply stared out the window until his friend reappeared. He smiled slightly but it was hard when all he could think of was how Logan had assumed that he was just being left alone after all he had done. What would it take before Logan finally realized how much he meant to all of them?
A/N. This ended in a slightly non-happy way that made me kinda sad but I'm sad anyway because of real life and BTR angst. So. . . yeah. Review please? I'm trying to beat Writer's Block before I go on my long vacation but I dunno. We'll see. Keep your fingers crossed! If not, I love you all! See you when I get back!