A/N. Fun Fact #1: I wrote this chapter MONTHS ago. Like, last winter or something. I actually love it. Fun Fact #2: I. . . didn't like "Big Time Wedding" that much. The Budda Bob storyline was waaaaaaay more interesting lol. James' hat looked like a giant turd and their outfits reminded me of Amidala from Star Wars. However, I kinda loved Dirt Boy lol. He was adorable. -heart- Anyway. I don't own anything.
When Logan woke the next morning, he didn't need to open his eyes to know that it was very early. No light penetrated through his closed eyelids and all around him, the world was completely silent. For the first time in a long time, Logan felt at peace. So it was only natural for him to be afraid of opening his eyes and find that the peace was only an illusion. Maybe he was dreaming and he wasn't really home. However, as he continued to lay there as still as possible, a realization dawned upon him: He wasn't alone.
A pair of arms was wrapped tightly around his waist and every few seconds, a warm breath tickled the back of his neck where someone had their head buried into his shoulder. Logan wanted to turn around to see who was behind him but another pair of arms was holding his head very gently, preventing it from moving at all. Every once in a while, fingers ran through his hair in a caring gesture and finally, when a pair of lips pressed a loving kiss to his forehead, Logan found the nerve to open his eyes. "Mom?" he whispered, sure she would disappear as soon as he spoke.
But the woman who had been his mother since he was a fourteen-year-old orphan was real. She greeted him with a small smile, the sadness in her blue eyes lifting very slightly as she did so. "Good morning, sweetheart." she whispered in return. "Did you sleep well?"
Logan nodded. He couldn't remember a time in his life when he had slept so well and so naturally. At the thought of sleeping, he recalled how that was where his problems had started and tears blurred his eyesight, threatening to overflow. "I'm sorry," he said, his voice cracking with emotion. "I'm so sorry." He could never apologize enough for what he had done to his family and friends. He would never forgive himself even if they had.
"Logan," She cupped his face in her hands and wiped away the stray tears that made it past the blockade. "Don't cry, baby. Everything will be okay. You're home now. That's what matters to me. To all of us."
"B-but," Logan stammered, shying away from the comfort he didn't deserve. "I was so horrible. I put you all through hell. I-I just-"
"Logan, listen to me." The gentle voice was still soothing but it had grown slightly firmer now as she sought to convince Logan that all was forgiven. "You made some very wrong choices, I won't argue with that. And nearly losing you the way we did was awful. But it wasn't hell. Hell would have been losing you altogether. You came back to us." She cradled him as close as she possibly could with the other pair of arms restricting her just slightly. "Thank you for coming home, Logan."
A strangled sob tore itself from Logan's tight throat and he turned slightly to bury his face deep in his pillow, shaking hard. He didn't deserve the outpouring of love and affection and forgiveness that he had received since his secret had been discovered. He had hurt the people he loved the most so badly. They were damaged and scarred for life and it was all his fault.
"Logie?" The arms around Logan's waist tightened their hold for just a moment and then loosened as Kendall released him and sat up. "Are you okay? What's wrong?"
But Logan only cried harder so he couldn't answer. He felt his mother take him into her arms, holding him close and he heard her whispering to him through her own tears. Slowly, her voice began to drown out the voices of the demons in his head and he was able to relax a little. He sighed deeply, the sobs coming to a halt, but silent tears continued to stream down his pale face. "I-I'm okay," he whispered to Kendall who was still watching him with great concern.
Kendall echoed his sigh and lay back down, staying close all the while. "You scared me," he admitted, shamelessly. He heard Logan draw in a sharp breath and shook his head. "Don't apologize, Logan. I'm just glad you're okay."
There was a movement at the foot of the bed and Logan tilted his head just in time to see Katie sit up, her brown eyes wide with worry and sorrow. A wave of confusion washed over him but before he could ask, his little sister crawled over and settled herself between him and their mother. "We couldn't sleep," she said, offering him an explanation. "So we all came in here with you." She looked up at him, her young face aged with the horror of the recent experiences. "That's okay, right?"
It took all of Logan's strength to restrain from crying again. The lump in his throat had returned and his eyes glistened with tears once more. He nodded, wordlessly. It was more than okay. "Thank you." he was finally able to whisper.
Another sigh escaped Kendall but it was of contentment this time. "It's so great to have you back, Logie." he said with a real smile on his tired face. "We missed you." Even though he and his family and James and Carlos and their families had visited Logan every day at the rehab center, it had never been enough. At the end of the day they were still forced to say goodbye over and over again and it never got any easier. Their journey was nowhere close to the end but it was getting better now that Logan was home where he belonged. And Kendall was confident that it would continue to get better.
"Yeah," Logan agreed softly, meaning more in the one word than even he could comprehend. He had never felt so safe in all his life, than he did at that moment in time. Surrounded by his family with James and Carlos only a phone call away, he could begin to hope that his nightmare was finally coming to an end. A yawn gripped him then, cracking his jaw painfully. "W-what time is it?" he asked, his voice heavy with sleep.
"Only 6:00 in the morning." Kendall let go of Logan long enough to twist around and look at the alarm clock on the nightstand. "Maybe you should try and get some more sleep, little brother."
Little brother. Logan blinked back more tears, wondering if he could ever make it through a day without crying. Obviously not today. He cleared his throat and tried to joke. "I'm only two months younger than you." he said in a false protest.
"Mm, but you're what, three inches shorter than me?" A tiny laugh escaped Kendall and he lifted a hand to gently tousle Logan's hair. "I'd say you're pretty little."
Logan's heart ached slightly at the sound of Kendall's laugh. He wanted so badly to hear it the way it had always been, loud and contagious, not the hollow, empty sound. Maybe one day. He told himself. Then, No, not maybe. For real. One day. Eventually. Things will be okay again. Before he could answer Kendall, his stomach growled slightly and he realized how hungry he was. He hadn't eaten since yesterday afternoon.
"Do you want to try and get some more sleep or do you want me to make you something to eat?" his mother asked him, propping herself up on an elbow and brushing Katie's hair out of her eyes.
Logan thought for a minute and then sat up slowly. "I'm hungry." he admitted shyly. He closed his eyes, startled when she leaned in close to kiss him gently on the temple before getting up, saying that she'd have breakfast ready soon.
Katie got up too and with one last smile at both of her big brothers home where they belonged, followed her mother out of the bedroom and downstairs to the kitchen.
Kendall stood up and helped Logan to his feet. "Well?" he asked hopefully. "How does it feel to be home?"
"It's the best," Logan answered, leaning forward and allowing Kendall to embrace him. He jumped slightly at the sound of footsteps pounding quickly up the steps and then stared in surprise when James and Carlos burst into the room. "What-" he managed to get out one word before both of his friends had him squished between them.
"We were waiting and waiting for you to get up!" Carlos exclaimed, pulling away to let Logan catch his breath.
Logan looked at Kendall for help but he seemed just as confused. "Where. . . where were you guys?" he asked.
James grinned. "On your front porch." he said with a shrug. "When we saw your mom and Katie come down, we knocked and they let us in."
"But it's only. . ." Logan glanced at the clock. 6:09. "It's so early. How long were you guys out there?"
"You could have stayed overnight." Kendall broke in, looking half amused and half apologetic.
"We weren't waiting long," Carlos assured them. "Since. . ." He glanced at James.
"5:30 maybe?" James guessed, looking far from tired despite the early hour. "Anyway, enough about us." His smile faded and he grew serious. "How are you feeling, Logan?" He stepped backwards and held Logan at arms length, keeping a firm grip on his shoulders.
"Better than I have in a long time." Logan said quietly. "And I just keep getting better. I'm just so glad to be home and everything. I knew I missed it while I was. . . away but I didn't realize how much I missed it until today."
Carlos nodded in agreement. "Now we can see you whenever we want!" he said happily. "Just like old times!" He didn't care if things had changed forever. All he cared about was that Logan was home and in one piece and healing more every day. Sure, there might be a setback and that scared him. But Carlos knew they would make it through in the end. The hardest part was over.
"Wanna head downstairs?" Kendall asked, sniffing the air appreciatively as the smell of sausage and pancakes drifted up from the kitchen.
Logan covered his mouth as he yawned again, cringing when his friends automatically looked concerned. "I'm okay," he told them honestly. It felt so good to be telling the truth again. "Let's go." He led the way as they all followed their noses down the stairs and into the Knight family kitchen where Mrs. Knight and Katie were in the middle of cooking a delicious breakfast.
James stumbled slightly, tripping over his own two feet as he tried to pull out a chair for Logan without making a big deal. He returned Logan's grin with his own smile and then sat down next to him. He bounced slightly in his chair, way too happy to stay perfectly still for any period of time. Logan was home. They had Logan back.
As happy as Logan was, there was a cloud of sorrow that seemed intent on hanging over his head. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't forget, even for a moment, how much he had hurt everyone. Especially Kendall, James and Carlos who had been with him from the start of his troubles. They still blamed themselves and it killed Logan to know that nothing he could say could ease their guilt. Kendall, who had been looking after all of them since they were five, James who felt he should have recognized the signs of drug addiction because of his uncle, and Carlos who had trusted Logan until the very end. And yet, they forgave him. And then there was Danny whom Logan missed more than anyone would understand. He wished that his older friend was there to celebrate with the rest of them.
He looked up to see everyone watching him carefully. A faint blush colored his cheeks and he watched their worried faces ease into smiles. "Sorry, I was just thinking. What did you say, Katie?"
"Milk or orange juice?" Katie asked again with more patience then people twice her age had. When she received her answer, she handed her mother the milk and then poured Logan a glass of orange juice, setting the carton on the table before impulsively throwing her arms around her brother. She rested her head on his chest, hating how skinny he still was, but smiling when she felt the strong and steady heartbeat against her ear. "I love you," she whispered so only he could hear.
"Love you too, baby sister." Logan murmured back, using the nickname that Kendall had always used. "Thanks for not giving up on me."
Katie pulled away and smiled at him. "Never." she said, voicing a promise that all of them would keep. "I'm never giving up on you." She reluctantly stood back up and went around the table where she sat between Kendall and her mother, staring at Logan all the while so she knew she wasn't dreaming and that it was all a wonderful reality.
"I never would have made it this far without all of you," Logan said, his voice shaking with emotion. "I know I've said this before but I'm so sorry for how much I hurt you. Just. . . thank you for everything. I wish I could make it up to you somehow."
"You are," Kendall assured him. "We're proud of how far you've come, Logan. I know it hasn't been easy and I also know that. . . that we might hit some rough patches here and there. But we'll always be here for you."
"I know," Logan whispered, at last giving up on holding back whatever tears he somehow still had left. "That's how I know I'll be okay."
Kendall turned at the sound of Logan's voice to see his brother standing in the doorway of his bedroom, a raised first poised to knock on the open door. "Hey," he greeted with a smile. "What's up?"
Logan returned his smile with a tiny grin. "Um," he began nervously. "Can I come in?"
"Sure," Kendall beckoned with one hand, setting it on Logan's shoulder when the other boy came in the room. "Have a seat." Concern clouded the curiosity in his eyes. "It's been a long day."
Logan nodded in agreement and obeyed, sitting on Kendall's bed. He dropped his hands into his lap and twisted his fingers together. "I want to tell you something," he began. "Is that okay?"
"Of course," Kendall said, sitting down next to him. "What's on your mind, buddy? Is everything okay?"
Seeing how he already had Kendall worried, Logan hurried to reassure him. "Yeah. Everything is great. I'm just not sure what to say right now. It's nothing bad though. Really. At least, I don't think-"
"Logan." Kendall interrupted gently. "You can tell me anything. You know that now, right?" He frowned when Logan didn't meet his gaze. "Logan?"
Logan cleared his throat. "Sorry," he apologized. "I was just thinking. So, today. Today was a pretty good day, don't you think?" He sneaked a quick glance at Kendall to see his reaction.
Kendall relaxed and smiled. "Yeah," he said with a light chuckle. "Today was pretty good." He punched Logan lightly in the arm. "Logan, today is tied for my favorite day ever."
Logan raised his eyebrows, slightly confused. "What do you mean? What was your favorite day before?" He couldn't help but smile though.
"Really?" Kendall asked dryly. "You mean you don't know?"
He honestly didn't. Logan shrugged and shook his head sheepishly. "Sorry. Want me to guess?"
Looking at him like he was sure he was joking, Kendall nodded. "Yeah. Go ahead."
"Okay," Logan looked around the room, thinking there might be a hint. His eyes landed on the framed picture of their ten-year-old hockey championship. "That day?" he asked, pointing across the room.
"You're kidding me." Kendall's jaw dropped and he stared at Logan in disbelief. "Okay, Logan, I might be a little obsessed with hockey but what do I love more?"
A faint blush heated up Logan's face. "Friends and family." His eyes lit up then. "I bet I know now! The day we met, right?"
Kendall smiled. "Close," he conceded. "But we were only five so it's not that clear. My two favorite memories now are really clear. Today was one of them so what do you think the other is?"
"Honestly?" Logan said. "I have no idea." He looked closely at Kendall. "Should I?"
Kendall groaned and slapped his palm to his forehead. "Yes!" he exclaimed with a laugh. "Does July 28th ring a bell, Logan?"
Logan's smile froze and he stared speechlessly at Kendall.
Kendall stopped laughing and turned completely serious. "Logan? What's wrong? Was it something I said?" He nervously touched Logan's shoulder and gave him a small shake. "Talk to me, Logie." he begged.
"July 28th," Logan finally repeated in a whisper. "But Kendall, that was the day-"
"That was the day we adopted you." Kendall finished for him. "Yeah."
Logan was stunned into a brief silence. "But," he finally managed. "But, why?"
"Because," Logan started and stopped because he could not think of a single argument. "It's my favorite day too."
"Logan, I've always thought of all three of you guys as my brothers. So when you really did become part of my family, it was amazing. I wish you didn't have to lose your parents. I wish we could have been brothers in the first place."
"I miss them," Logan says softly. "Yes, both of them. Kendall, my dad used to be a great person. He wasn't-"
"He nearly ruined you." Kendall disagreed.
Logan was patient. "He wasn't completely to blame for my actions." he reminded Kendall. "I made all of those really bad choices on my own."
Kendall still disagreed but he let it go for the time being. He was happy, Logan was happy. He didn't want to ruin the moment. "Well, anyway, when your dad first died, I was scared. I was so scared of losing you, Logan. I was afraid that you'd get taken away and we'd never see you again. So when we adopted you ourselves. . . I thought I would never have to worry about losing you."
"But you did," Logan said sadly. "Didn't you?"
A lump grew in Kendall's throat and he nodded. "Yeah," He wrapped am arm around Logan's shoulders. "Just in a way that I never thought possible." The two boys were silent for a while and then Kendall took a deep breath. "Anyway, now you know my two favorite days."
Logan smiled. "That really means a lot, Kendall." he says gratefully. "I mean to know that we share some favorite memories."
"That's why we're best friends," Kendall told him. "I bet Carlos and James would agree, at least about today anyway."
"I still have a hard time believing that this is real," Logan confessed. "It seems to good to be true. Everything. I'm getting better every day, I'm home, you guys forgave me for everything. . ." he trailed off and shook his head. "I don't know what to think."
"You don't have to think about this," Kendall said quietly. "Some things don't need reasons or explanations. They're enough on their own."
"More than enough," Logan sighed. Anyway, while we're still on the subject of family, I have something I want to ask you."
"Right!" Kendall recalled. "I'm sorry, Logie. I guess we got a little distracted. Go on."
Logan took a deep breath and pulled away from Kendall to straighten up. "Okay, so," he began. "I'm not really sure how to say this so I might ramble a little." He saw Kendall nod in understanding and cleared his throat so he could continue.
"I was little when my mom died so I don't remember her as much as I wish I did. But I do remember that I never really felt like I didn't have a mother. Kendall, your- I mean, our mom, always took such good care of me that I felt like I was a part of your family. And when my dad stopped. . . being a dad, I always had Carlos' father."
At the mention of Mr. Garcia, Kendall smiled and nodded in agreement. One would have to be blind to miss the affectionate relationship between the police chief and Logan. "He's always been exactly what you need, Logan."
"Yeah," Logan said quietly with a small smile. "I've never been without what I need. I always had a mom, I always had a dad, and I always had three best friends and brothers. I always had a family. I realize that now."
Logan looked down at his hands in his lap. "Even after all the lies I told you and even after everything I did and all the pain I caused you, you still took me back. You didn't leave me." He saw Kendall open his mouth and went on. "Oh sure, at first it was just James and Mom and Katie. But I never expected anyone to be with me anyway. I still have everyone."
"Of course you do," Kendall told him. "And I'm so glad you feel that way, Logan. I know you won't agree with me but I will always regret not being there for you from day one. I'll always be grateful that James stepped up when we needed him. I don't know what we would have done if-"
"I think," Logan said slowly. "That you would have come eventually. Whether I deserve you guys or not, I know you'll always be there for me. Which brings me to my question." Without waiting for Kendall to tell him to go on, he blurted it out in a nervous hurry. "Kendall, I want to change my last name to Knight, is that okay with you?" When Kendall didn't answer him right away, he babbled on. "See, I'd like to keep my original last name because it was my parents' and they're still a part of me. I'd change it to Logan Mitchell Knight. But only if you're okay with it. I asked you before Mom or anyone else because. . . I just thought it seemed right. But I can understand if you don't want me to so if you do then-"
Kendall cut Logan off by pulling him into a close embrace. "I guess I was wrong," he says quietly.
Logan stiffened when he heard tears in Kendall's voice. "What were you wrong about?" he asked tentatively.
"I didn't think this day could get any better." Kendall said tearfully. "But it did."
"Meaning you don't mind?" Logan asked hopefully. He risked a glance at Kendall to see the other boy's eyes filled with tears.
Kendall shook his head. "Logan," he began in a voice that shook with emotion. "It would mean the world to me."
"Really?" Logan had been unprepared for that reaction. "I wasn't sure because I don't even know if I deserve it. And even then it's kind of just a name to a lot of people. But it was never just a name to me. It's who I am now."
"It's who you've always been. You've always been a part of this family Logan." Kendall said softly. "To me, to Mom, and to Katie. Even before it was official or whatever. As far as I'm concerned, you became my brother the day we met. I'd love for you to change your name, Logan. I can't tell you how much it would mean to me." He took a deep breath and laid a hand on Logan's shoulder. "But only if you're positive, Logan. I guess it wouldn't be that big of a change if you kept Mitchell as your middle name but I want you to be sure anyway."
"I am sure," Logan said with a confidence that Kendall hadn't seen in a very long time. "As sure as I was when Mom first asked me if I wanted you guys to adopt me."
"Okay then," Kendall nodded and smiled through his tears. "Logan Mitchell Knight," he said thoughtfully. "I really like the way it sounds, Logan. So natural."
"You really think so?" Logan looked slightly surprised.
Kendall gave a small laugh. "Yeah, but it might have something to do with the fact that I always used to pretend you and James and Carlos had the same last name as me. I guess you could say this is a dream come true for me."
"Kendall, I don't know what to say." Logan shook his head. "I had no idea it would mean this much to you. Especially after all that's happened."
"Everything that happened makes it mean even more," Kendall said firmly. "I think it made us even closer as a family." He hugged Logan tightly. "Even though I'll always wish it didn't happen, Logan, everything was worth it because we got to keep you."
"I won't ever try to leave again," Logan promised, knowing for sure that he was telling the truth. "I know I can tell you anything and I won't have to deal with anything by myself. And I promise that I will come to you or someone else if I need to."
"I believe you," Kendall said with a smile. "After all, that's what friends and families are for."
A/N. Another happy ending. I like them best. So thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed this story. It's been way more encouraging than you'll ever know. You guys are just the best, okay? Thank you, thank you, thank you. I plan to update "TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY" soon but I might write something. . . happier first to get death off of my mind because lately I'm feeling surrounded by it. So. . . yeah. Sorry skfgergrthtr. One finaly thank you! I couldn't have finished this without your support!