Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
If At First You Don't Succeed
It was the early morning hours in L.A; around 3 a.m. or so. The streets of Los Angeles were actually dead at this time of morning. In a dark alley, there was an exchange going on. The nearby street lamps were just enough to illuminate the two shadowy figures.
One of them was a short man of no consequence. He had a slightly receding hairline, and thick glasses. He was holding a piece of computer printer paper that had something typed on it.
The second figure, an average height black male who was wearing shades even though the sun wasn't even out. He snatched the paper from the short man, and after perusing it, he grinned from ear to ear. He then reached into his suit jacket, and pulled out a huge bundle of cash. He gave that to the other man, and just like that, the two went their separate ways.
The same black man was talking to his assistant, a young blonde girl in her early twenties who had a British accent. A poster of Big Time Rush was setting on a desk between the two of them.
"What did you find out?" the man asked.
"Well, we already tried this one," the blonde girl said, pointing to the picture of James. "I think our best bet now is to try this one. As per your instructions, I have been staying at The Palm Woods for the past couple of weeks, and he seems the most insecure and emotionally…fragile."
"Excellent! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a phone call to make."
The next morning at Rocque Records, Kelly and Gustavo had called the "dogs" into Gustavo's office. The four of them lined up in front of their record producer as he paced back and forth in front of them.
"I just wanted to say," Gustavo started before looking at Kelly for help. "You 'dogs' didn't entirely suck last night."
Kelly quickly closed the distance between her and her boss, and elbowed him in the ribs.
"What Gustavo meant to say is that you guys were amazing at your concert last night!" Kelly commented.
The four "dogs'" faces were beaming as they then proceeded to celebrate amongst themselves; Kendall and Carlos gave each other a bromantic hug, and James and Logan gave one another a bromantic hug as well.
Gustavo snatched a newspaper from his desk, holding it up in front of him.
"Now it's time to read some reviews!" Gustavo announced.
He set the paper back on his desk, before opening it up to the page with a review of BTR's concert last night. Kendall, James, Carlos, Logan, Gustavo, and Kelly all huddled around the one newspaper.
"Big Time Rush's front man, Kendall Knight, clearly has the fire. There's no doubt why he is the leader of the band. His talent is as pronounced as his eyebrows," Kendall read out loud. He then unconsciously covered his eyebrows with his hands before saying, "Hey!"
"James Diamond certainly has the chops to be a phenomenal singer. He is a triple threat for sure; great vocals, great dancing, great looks," James read next.
"Carlos Garcia is definitely the heart of the band. With his youthful energy and crazy dancing skills, he is one of the most likeable members of the group as the legions of screaming pre-teen and teenage girls in the audience can attest to," Carlos read out loud.
"Big Time Rush has proven to me that they are not just another boy band force fed upon us by the music industry. This is their someday, and I foresee a long, successful career ahead of them in the business. This is only the beginning," Gustavo read.
While everyone around him was smiling, Logan was frowning. He leaned in closer, trying to get a better look at the review. His eyes frantically scanned over the material again and again, hoping that he had just missed something, but every time he did that, he was sorely disappointed.
"Wait a second. So there's nothing in there about me?" Logan asked, focusing intently on making sure his voice doesn't crack.
Kendall instantly sobered up. He reread the entire review one more time, hoping they had just left the part about Logan out by accident. However, like Logan, he came to the realization that wasn't the case.
"I'm sorry, buddy," Kendall said, reaching over and giving Logan's shoulder a reassuring squeeze.
"Well, are there any other reviews?" Logan asked hopefully.
Kelly quickly glanced over the two pages that were open. She then started flipping through the entire paper, even sections that concert reviews wouldn't even be in. Eventually, she gave Logan a sympathetic look.
"I'm sorry, Logan," she said earnestly.
Logan started to slowly back away from the desk. His face looked paler than normal.
"Are you okay, Logie?" James asked, concerned.
Logan plastered a fake smile on his face, and scoffed.
"Yeah! Of course! It's no big deal! I just need some air. That's all," Logan answered.
Carlos started heading towards Logan.
"Well, we'll come with you," he said.
"No!" Logan shouted. "No. I just want to…I just want to be alone right now."
Gustavo, Kelly, Kendall, James, and Carlos watched Logan leave Rocque Records. Suddenly, they no longer felt like celebrating anymore.
"Hello?" Joanna Mitchell said, answering her house phone.
"Mom? I don't wanna stay here any longer. I wanna come home!" Logan exclaimed, tears in both his eyes and his voice.
"Oh Hortense, what happened?"
"I don't wanna talk about it; it hurts too much!"
"See? Now I don't think that's true because if it was, you wouldn't have called me. Honey, you know you can tell me anything."
Logan sniffled, and wiped some tears from his eyes with the back of his free hand.
"We just read the review of a critic who went to our concert last night, and Kendall, James, and Carlos all got mentioned individually, but the reviewer didn't say anything about me," Logan said bitterly.
He took a few moments to take a few deep breaths in a futile attempt to calm his frayed nerves. He didn't want to sound like a crybaby on the phone. He wanted to be strong for his mother. He didn't want her to know how badly he was really hurting on the inside.
Joanna Mitchell didn't interrupt her son. She didn't rush him. She gave him all the time in the world to continue on with his narrative when he was ready.
"I thought we did great last night. The concert seemed to have gone without a hitch. I mean I don't think I messed up, but maybe I did. Maybe that's why the critic didn't even mention me in his review," Logan suggested.
"Well then this so-called critic is an idiot!" Joanna remarked.
"No! He's right! I'm not even worth mentioning in a review! It's fine though. I never even wanted to be a singer anyways. I've always wanted to be a doctor. I think when I get home, I'll give Crestview a call and see about applying there."
"Sweetie, it's just one review!"
"Yeah, but Mom, you know how insecure I am about my position in the band! You know how I feel like I'm the weakest link. This one review just confirms that! Once upon a time, Gustavo, Griffin, and even James thought I would get kicked out of the band. Then before our reality show got canned, Katie and TJ said that the audience would vote me out. None of them would have said any of those things if there wasn't some truth to them!"
Mrs. Mitchell was momentarily at a loss for words. Here she thought this was just about the critic's review. Apparently, it was about much more than that. She thought her son had moved past the Wayne Wayne incident and the reality show incident, but she must have been mistaken.
Logan had completely lost his composure all over again. He quickly held his cell phone tightly against his chest, hoping his mother wouldn't hear what an emotional wreck he was at the moment.
"Hortense? Are you still there?" Joanna asked, raising her voice out of worry.
With a shaky hand, he wiped the tears from his eyes again. Once more, he took deep, cleansing breaths trying to calm down again. Once he wasn't as much of a mess, he held the phone to his ear and answered his mother.
"Yeah. I'm still here. So are you going to help me or not?" Logan demanded.
"If this is what you really want, then I support you one hundred percent. However, maybe you should take some time and really think about this before you make any rash decisions," Logan's mom suggested.
Logan vehemently shook his head.
"No! Kendall's always telling me that I think too much; that I always think and I never act. Time to prove him wrong," Hortense stated with an air of conviction.
"Sweetie, you don't have to prove anything to anybody!" Joanna replied.
"Just book me on the next flight from Los Angeles to Minnesota. Please."
James kept glancing at the clock on the wall anxiously. He went back and forth from doing that and looking at the doorway expecting Logan to walk through it any second now. He twiddled his thumbs; it had always been a nervous habit of his.
"That's it! I'm going to go look for him! It's been an hour now! He's been alone long enough!" James exclaimed.
Kendall got in between the door and James.
"He said he wanted to be alone. Maybe we should just respect his wish, and give him some time and space," Kendall said.
"Yeah? Well maybe you should get out of my way before I make you get out of my way!" James retorted.
"Come on guys! Don't fight!" Carlos begged.
Kendall begrudgingly stepped aside so that James could leave Gustavo's office.
"Something's not right here," Kelly said, as she silently reread the review for the umpteenth time.
"How do you mean?" Gustavo asked.
"I mean usually there's more than just one review. I have a bad feeling about this. I don't know. It just seems like this has been fixed. Like I said before, there's usually at least three reviews. All the other guys got mentioned individually, but Logan. I think someone's trying to mess with Big Time Rush. I think someone's trying to mess with Logan."
"But who?" Carlos asked.
It was at this moment that Gustavo's cell phone rang. He answered it.
"Hello?" Gustavo greeted uncertainly.
"Tell me, Gustavo. Have you read the paper this morning?" asked a familiar voice that made the vein on the sides of Gustavo's head throb.
Kelly's eyes bugged out when she heard Gustavo say Hawk's name. It all started to make sense now. She knew something was amiss. Hawk and Gustavo were bitter rivals. Both were record producers at rival record companies. Hawk was in charge of Hawk Records. Gustavo was in charge of Rocque Records. Hawk had made no bones about wanting to destroy Big Time Rush, but more importantly, Hawk wanted to destroy Gustavo Rocque.
"So, I have it on good authority that one of your 'dogs,' the geeky looking one, is at LAX right now," Hawk said, smirking.
"What have you done?" Gustavo demanded.
"I knew I would win because I always get the last laugh, but I had no idea…Logan…is it? I had no idea Logan would make it so easy."
"Look here, Hawk! Nobody messes with my dogs but me!"
"But I haven't done anything, Gustavo."
Gustavo's face started to turn red. He clenched both of his fists tightly. The vein in his neck was pulsating in addition to the veins on Gustavo's temples.
"You just asked me if I had read the paper this morning!" Gustavo said angrily.
"Sure, but that doesn't mean that I had anything to do with what was or wasn't written," Hawk responded, not even bothering to conceal a smile.
"I know you had something to do with this, Hawk! I can hear you gloating right now over the phone!"
"Good luck proving my alleged guilt, Gustavo."
Just like that, Gustavo only heard a dial tone on his cell; Hawk had hung up on him. Kelly was right. Something was fishy about the review. Something was fishy about there being only one review. Now Gustavo knew what.
James reentered Gustavo's office. He was dripping with sweat, and looked winded. He bent over, placing his hands on his knees, and putting his head between his legs.
"He's gone," James said.
"What do you mean he's gone?" Kendall demanded.
"I mean he's not here. I looked everywhere. Logan's not at Rocque Records."
"That's because Logan's at LAX right now as we speak," Gustavo interjected.
"What?" Kendall, James, and Carlos all asked in disbelief.
"I don't know all the details, but Hawk had something to do with the review in the paper. He's trying a divide and conquer approach, and I'm afraid it's working."
"Then we have to go to LAX! Now!" Carlos exclaimed.
"Yeah! We have to stop Logan from leaving!" James added.
"Maybe we can reach his cell," Kendall said.
"You can't! I already tried that countless times. It just goes straight to voice mail." James replied.
Without saying another word, the five of them scrambled out of Rocque Records hoping they could get to LAX in time; hoping they could stop Logan from leaving Los Angeles maybe for good.
"Hi. Is there a flight leaving from Los Angeles to Minnesota?" Kelly asked a receptionist.
"What airline?" the receptionist asked.
"Any of them!"
After taking what seemed like forever and a day to look up the necessary information, the receptionist looked up from her computer screen at a very impatient looking Kelly.
"There's a Southwest non-stop flight that just left for Minneapolis/St. Paul," the receptionist answered.
"You mean we're too late?" Carlos whimpered.
Out of nowhere, James floored Kendall with a punch to the jaw. Kendall looked up at James stunned by what had just transpired.
"This is all your fault! 'Maybe we should just respect his wish, and give him some time and space,' you said. A whole lot of good that did us, Kendall! Now he's gone! And I blame you!" James screamed, not caring if he was making a scene.
Carlos was scared and sad. He didn't like it when his friends fought. However, he was too frightened what might happen if he tried to get in the way even if it was only to stop them. So instead, he stood there, mouth agape, tears streaming down his face.
Carlos wasn't the only one crying though. Kendall was too. Their fearless leader had been reduced to tears as he looked up at a seething James.
"I'm sorry, James. I'm so sorry! I didn't know Logan would leave like that. If I did, then we could have stopped him. I could have stopped him," Kendall said.
"You're sorry? You're sorry! You should be sorry! I can't even look at you right now!" James yelled before skulking off.
Kelly pulled Gustavo aside, out of earshot of Kendall and Carlos.
"Do you think Hawk kidnapped Logan?" Kelly asked, unsure if she even wanted to know the answer.
"Even though I wouldn't put it past him," Gustavo said with venom in his voice. "I don't think so. It sounded like he had someone staked out at LAX who saw Logan go inside."
Kelly breathed a small sigh of relief. She couldn't stomach the idea of Hawk kidnapping Logan, or for that matter, any of the boys. He had already done that once before. Of course, at the time, she and Gustavo had no idea; all they knew was that the boys were late for their first concert.
James had an important phone call to make. He may not be able to contact Logan, but he could still contact the next best thing: Logan's mother. After dialing the number, James held the phone against the side of his face.
"Hello?" Mrs. Mitchell answered.
"Did you help Logan leave L.A.?" James asked, cutting straight to the chase.
James' only answer was silence. That was all the answer he needed though. He suspected as much. Logan was smart, but there was no way he could fly back to Minnesota all on his own. He needed money to do that. That's where Logan's mom came in.
"How could you?" James asked, tears finally welling up in his eyes. "He belongs here with us!"
"I'm sorry, James, but that's not what Logan wanted," Joanna Mitchell said.
"How do you know? Did you even ask him? Or do you even care what he wants?"
Normally, Logan's mom wouldn't tolerate James speaking to her in such a manner. However, she realized that James was just upset. He had always been the closest to Logan. The two of them were friends before they even met Kendall and Carlos.
"Of course I asked him! I'm sorry to say it, James, but Logan wanted to come home," Joanna answered.
"No! I refuse to believe that! You're lying! What did you say to him?" James demanded.
"I didn't say anything to him. This was all Logan's decision."
"You're lying! I know you are! He wouldn't do that to us! He wouldn't do that…he wouldn't do that to me!"
Mrs. Mitchell didn't hear anything verbally from James for awhile. She could only hear the sound of him sniffling. She hated hearing him so broken, but at the same time, she didn't much like what he had been accusing her of.
James was trembling from head to toe in grief. He felt a sharp, stabbing pain in his chest right where his heart was. He was having difficulty breathing. His vision was so clouded by tears that he couldn't see anything.
"He didn't even say goodbye," James said, his voice cracking on the last word.
"Probably because he knew that if he did, you guys would only try to stop him, and he didn't want to be stopped. Also, probably because it would have been too painful to say goodbye," Logan's mom said.
"You just think you have all the answers, don't you?"
"I don't wanna hear it! You may be okay with this, but I'm not! You better be prepared for a fight because I'm not going to stand by and let this happen! I'm coming to Minnesota too, and I'm not leaving without Logan!"
Before Mrs. Mitchell even had a chance to respond, James hung up on her. He was tempted to chuck his cell phone against the wall not caring whether or not he broke it. However, instead, he shakily staggered to his feet. He stalked his way over to the concrete wall of the airport. He balled his right hand into a fist and slammed his fist into the wall time and time again.
"James," Carlos whimpered.
James turned towards his best friend, and quickly noticed that Carlos' eyes were shimmering with tears. His pupils were oscillating from side to side. James hissed in pain as he removed his hand from the wall that it had been embedded in.
"Your hand," Carlos said out of concern when he saw the bloody mess James' hand was.
Carlos quickly made over to James, but by the time he got there, James' knees gave out on him, and he dropped to the ground. Carlos dropped down on one knee and threw his arms around James, who immediately returned the gesture. The two boys' tears fell freely as they held one another in their arms.
Somewhere off in the distance, Hawk laughed triumphantly.
A/N: I may or may not continue this. I actually kind of like an ending where the bad guy wins once in awhile. *dies* When I started this story, I was in a pretty dark place so that's why it's so…depressing. I made some references to things that I've personally been dealing with that haven't exactly gone my way. I'm sure if you've been paying attention at all to my angst rants on Tumblr and/or my angst rants in my author's notes, you'll have a pretty good idea to what those references are…