A/N. Dear reader, if you have read my story 'Little Hollow' then you know what I mean when I say that this story is an alternate ending. I knew that I wanted Logan to beat his cancer since the beginning of 'LH' but I also wanted to explore what would happen if Logan lost the battle and the boys had to move on without him. Ironically, soon after I decided that I would write this story, my aunt was diagnosed with cancer and so this story means more to me than I had intended. When I began writing this on pieces of notebook paper all of my fears came pouring out into the words you're about to read. But please do not feel that you are under any obligation to read or review. I'm not going to lie when I say that it's about 95% sheer angst and 5% happiness. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to write and yet it helps me cope with what's going on in my real life. Because of this, I consider it to be my best work yet. Please read and review if you can. They inspire me to continue my writing. Thank you. I don't own anything. Read on.
"Even when your hope is gone, move along move along, just to make it through." - 'Move Along' by The All-American Rejects.
Cancer. It's funny how such a little word can have such a big impact on your life. It instills so much fear in your heart. You can ask all the questions you want to and the doctors who have spent their lives studying the disease will give you all of the answers you have. But it won't be enough. So you'll turn to books and the Internet. Information is everywhere. But the majority of the information out there is like opening Pandora's box. You will be overwhelmed by the terrifying statistics and true stories of pain, loss and absolute heartbreak. Even though there was hope in Pandora's box it was outweighed by all of the disastrous things. Cancer research is the same way. The tragedies outweigh the optimistic stories.
Apparently, once you're diagnosed with cancer, you're a cancer survivor. It makes sense and can even give you a sense of pride and hope. But the one word that cancer patients long to hear from a doctor's lips is "remission". Because that means that you have won you're battle with cancer. It is gone. For the time being at least.
When you're in remission you try to go on. But how do you go back to normal when you're life has been forever changed? There's always the fear deep down that the cancer will come back. A fear that comes out of hiding and claws it's way back to the surface every time you get a little cold or see a bruise that you don't remember getting. Cancer changes everything.
Cancer doesn't just happen to one person. It happens to a family. When the chemo breaks you, seeing you in such a state breaks the people you love the most in a way that one can only understand by experiencing. Because they are powerless and all they can do is sit and watch while something that was supposed to help you, only appears to destroy you.
Chemo isn't the only thing that helps you. While the drug works it's way through you're body and breaks you down there is a completely different kind of medicine that will build you back up. That medicine isn't given through an IV or pills or anything you can get from the hospital. It is the support that is freely given from other people. Support from complete strangers that make donations to help fund the research of the disease you're fighting. Support from the doctors and volunteers in the hospital that start out as total strangers and then end up as extended family members. Support from your family and friends that remain with you no matter what. From beginning to end. They are there to celebrate your triumphs and grieve with you when you suffer a setback or worse, a relapse.
Relapse. That's what the doctors call it when the cancer comes back. Such a simple word but with so much meaning. It doesn't always come back. But it most cases it will. Sometimes again and again and again before one side loses. When you're trying to move on the thought of a relapse is always in the back of your mind. Will it come back? If it does come back will it be harder to fight? Will you have a better idea of what to expect? Will there be anything left of you to fight? These are questions that the doctors can never fully answer. No one can because it is different for everyone.
Why is it that when one is face to face with death they suddenly appreciate life so much? The saying that you never truly know what you have until it's going or gone is true. So you become obsessed with making your life count for something. You make a bucket list, something that you used to make fun of. The list will range from serious. Star Trek marathons that include everything from the 1960's TV show to the 2009 movie are followed by reconnecting and repairing damaged relationships. Suddenly you are aware of how short life really is and how it can be taken away at the blink of an eye. You realize that all your life really ever was is a wave tossed in the ocean. It's there and then it's gone. Just like that. So it's perfectly reasonable to want to live it to the fullest.
But no one ever thinks about dying until they have to. In a study once done, a group of a thousand people was asked if they would like to know when exactly their death would happen. An overwhelming ninety-six percent of them said no. And so until something like cancer happens we often go through life in an apathetic manner. We have fun and learn and love. But we never think of what life truly means until we are forced to.
Still, life is very rarely like the movies. Cancer breaks you. The idea of two elderly, terminally-ill men meeting each other and going on a fantastic trip to cross of their bucket lists is a nice idea but in reality, that's all it is. An idea. Because when you're dying, it's very rare that you have the energy or strength to do anything too elaborate. You can only wait and pray for a miracle.
Kendall Knight, James Diamond, and Carlos Garcia, as well as their friends and family, were no strangers to miracles. When they were just seventeen years old the fourth member of their band Big Time Rush, but more importantly the inseparable foursome that they were, Logan Mitchell, was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia. They had all had their fair shares of ups and downs and faced them together. But nothing could have compared them for what Logan's cancer did to him. To all of them.
Days after his eighteenth birthday, Logan had slipped into a coma as the result of a high fever. Just the day before he had undergone a kidney transplant that was supposed to make him stronger. But infection had set in which led to the fever and the coma. And suddenly, without warning, Logan died. The doctors had tried to bring him back while his friends could only watch in horror. But he had slipped away in the blink of an eye.
Before they had proper time to grieve though, a miracle came their way. Logan returned to them. It was beyond anyone's understanding. Logan's doctor, Steven Walsh, had gone home that night only to lay awake while he struggled for a logical explanation. But miracles are never logical.
Logan told them how he had been faced with a choice. He could either gone on to Heaven to live forever in peace with his mother who had died when he was six, or he could go back to Earth where he faced dying all over again. And though he had been informed by Daniel, an angel who told him everything about his choice, that he would never know the pain his friends were in, Logan couldn't bear letting them down when they needed him the most. And so the boys were given a miracle in the form of Logan literally coming back from the dead to stay with them.
Did everyone receive one miracle in their lifetime? Had they already used up their miracle? Because the minute Logan walked into their apartment wearing a defeated look on his face, James, Carlos, and Kendall knew. "It's back." He told them right before he broke down. He had been in remission for just over a year. He had only gone to the doctor for a routine check-up. And he came home with two words that took their collective breathe away.
"No." Carlos was the first to speak even as he caught Logan in a fierce hug and felt the tears spilling down his cheeks. Somehow the four of them ended up in a four-way hug on the floor since neither one of them could have made it to the couch. Their nightmare had returned.
Up until that moment, the boys had moved on with their lives. They picked up where they left off that horrible day when Logan had collapsed at the hockey rink and they all knew that he was sicker than just a mere cold. They had become Big Time Rush again and finished recording their CD. They had even gone on a short tour and were quickly making Big Time Rush a household name. But they had done more than that. They had also graduated from high school that year. Logan had dropped out early in the year when he was sick because he simply had been unable to handle his studies. The other three had followed in December when their parents allowed them as a Christmas present.
Everything had gone beautifully. The band was a huge success and Logan, in his old form, had easily balanced a rigorous band schedule with his school work to become the graduating class' valedictorian. He had promptly blown everyone away by making a speech as he stood on the podium. No papers, no notes. He had confessed later on that he had been too nervous and made it up on the spot. But that was Logan. And it had been impossible to tell who was the proudest member of the Big Time Rush family.
Most importantly however, their relationships had grown stronger throughout the entire ordeal. James and Julie spent nearly all of their time together volunteering in the hospital where Julie and the others there stripped away what was left of James' self image obsession and the two cared for each other and the patients in the hospital with a love that was far beyond their years.
Carlos and Stephanie became known as the 'Dynamic Duo' everywhere they went. But while one day they spent the evening chasing other Palm Woods residents around with Stephanie's "ghost", they would spent the next day together visiting orphanages or animal pounds and bringing sunshine into the lives of the unwanted.
Kendall and Jo were inseparable when they weren't with the others. They went everywhere together from hockey games to nursing homes where they performed sweet duets to the lonely people there.
Logan's and Camille's relationship had deepened into a bond that belonged to a husband and wife that had been married for fifty years rather than a couple to teenagers that had been together for two years. They changed each other. Camille became softer and more sensitive and Logan became more open to going against normal protocol every once in a while. They forgot where one started and the other ended. They finished each others sentences and read each others minds and even quoted movies, books, and poems to each other. And no one every thought of making fun of them. Especially when they spent nearly all their time together at the children's cancer ward in the hospital bringing smiles to pale and tired faces.
But the romantic relationships between the boys and their girlfriends paled in comparison to the depth of the friendship between the four boys themselves. They had already been close since the day they had met on a frozen lake in Minnesota. They had only been five but even their parents noticed the way they fit together like pieces in a puzzle. Born within two months of each other they formed a quick bond until they were inseparable. Kendall and James, the older two, quickly established themselves over the younger, smaller Logan and Carlos.
However when Logan was diagnosed with cancer everything changed. They all became protectors over one another and the dynamic of their relationship strengthened even more. When one of them fell, the others were right there to pick him back up again.
They had been there for each other through life's most difficult challenges. They were there for Logan when he missed his mother and his father avoided him. They were there for Kendall when his parents divorced. They were there for Carlos when the school bullies hurled racial slurs at him. They were there for James when he fell into a deep depression after Logan's death and revival. And they were there for each other once again when Logan shattered their happy illusion with those two words: "It's back."
When Mrs. Knight and Katie returned home from a girls' day out and walked in to find the four boys holding onto each other for dear life, it didn't take them long at all to realize what had them so upset. Their nightmare had returned to haunt their dreams all over again.
Telling the girls and the rest of their families had been hard. No one should have to tell their mother or father over the phone that their best friends was sick yet again. And Logan found telling Camille especially difficult to tell because when she was a young girl, she had lost her father to the very same disease that has returned to him. It wasn't fair. But once again they all united to support each other and lean on each others shoulders when they're own strength was failing.
The first time Logan had been diagnosed had been hard enough. They had all tried so hard to push their own fears away while taking care of their friends that it had nearly torn them apart. When one of them shut down it would always lead to the other three in tears as they begged their one friend to open up and let them in.
The second time was both harder and easier. It was easier because you could say they were more prepared for how they would feel. Kendall didn't try to hide his feelings of hopelessness but let the others replenish him with their own hope. He didn't try to be the fearless leader because he knew that they were all helpless. Instead he sat with his friends and weathered the storm together. James didn't bother to hide his anger and fear but talked for sometimes hours at a time about everything he was feeling while the others sat and listened patiently. Carlos didn't hide his depression and confusion but allowed himself to cry more than anyone should have to in an entire lifetime. And Logan admitted to them that he didn't want to die but when Daniel returned to him in a dream and told him that he would be reunited with his mother shortly, he didn't keep it to himself.
Because after all they had been through, they suddenly found themselves facing their most difficult challenge yet. And to survive, they would need each other now more than ever.
A/N. This is only the first chapter so I should warn you right now that it's going to get way worse before it gets better. Writing this has broken me but I need to write it just the same. If you want to keep reading, reviews will encourage me to continue. But. Don't feel pressured. As much as I love writing angst this story is very heavy and I've cried writing it, reading it, typing it, and reading it again. I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful day. God bless!