A/N: Sorry for the delay on this chapter. I hope you like it!
Kendall sat rigid on the family room couch listening with strained ears to the silent house. One hand was absent-mindedly stroking Katie's hair as she was fast asleep with her head on Kendall's lap. Kendall turned his gaze to Logan who was in a restless sleep on the other side of the couch and clenched his jaw to guard against his tears. Logan looked terrible. Clad in sweat pants and a sweatshirt borrowed from Kendall, Logan's bandaged left hand was supporting his face, which had only grown more swollen and black and blue.
As the gray light of the early morning began to peak through the windows, Mrs. Knight moved out of her arm chair on the other side of the room. "I'm going to make some coffee, would you like any sweetheart?"
Kendall mutely shook his head. The pit in his stomach had only grown throughout the early morning hours as his best friend's story had set in. Kendall wasn't sure if he'd be able to keep any food down when just looking at Logan's bruised face from the hands of his father made him sick. Mrs. Knight kissed Kendall on the forehead as she crossed the room into the kitchen. "We'll get him through this."
Kendall jumped when he sensed his mother behind him, returning to the room with her coffee. When Jennifer Knight perched on the armrest of the couch and began to run her fingers through Logan's hair, Kendall had to fight the sobs that were threatening to return. "What are we going to do, Mom?" he choked out. "He c-can't go b-back there!" Kendall's voice was cracking as he struggled to maintain his calm.
After three hours of listening to Logan's horror story and bandaging him up, Kendall was beyond relieved when Logan had finally sobbed himself past exhaustion into a restless sleep. He was therefore reluctant to wake Logan, or Katie, from their slumber by breaking down. Kendall himself hadn't slept all night for fear of Robert Mitchell following his son to the Knight's residence.
Keeping his voice at a whisper, because it seemed easier to control that way, Kendall shakily told his mother about the day he confronted Logan about the abuse. Kendall had been afraid his mother would be angry with him for not talking to Logan sooner when he had had his suspicions for months, or for keeping Logan's secret for the past two weeks. Instead, Jennifer only let the tears slip silently down her face as Logan's story grew worse and worse.
At the end of his tale, Kendall broke down again as tears shook his body. "Don't let them take him away from us, Mom!" he pleaded. Logan sighed in his sleep and shifted closer to Mrs. Knight's comforting hand.
Chief Garcia wished Logan would put the knife away. The ease with which his son's best friend handled the blade was disconcerting. Chief Garcia wasn't an idiot; he knew the reputation Carlos and his friends had. He was there at the station the day his son and his three best friends were brought in after a street fight got out of control. They were let off with warnings. The chief knew that people thought he turned a blind eye to Carlos, Logan, Kendall, and James, but what else could he do when kids like Danny and Sean were running around wrecking havoc?
Chief Garcia had confronted Carlos about it once, the day Logan was arrested a second time for disorderly conduct. The charges were dropped, but Logan had spent the night in jail as a scare tactic. That night, Carlos was furious with his father for detaining Logan but not the bully Logan was fighting.
"Dad, you don't get it. Logan's a good guy, not that scumbag!"
"Carlos," Chief Garcia warned, "You know people already think I'm too lenient with you and your friends. I couldn't let Logan go, not this time. You, Logan, Kendall, and James don't make my job any easier, you know."
"Yea, right." Carlos scoffed. "Without us, none of the streets would be safe. I don't get how what we do is any different than you or the other police officers. How is it different than what Andrés is doing in Iraq? We're protecting people, too! Just without the uniform."
"That's why it's different, Carlos!" The chief exclaimed. "You can't keep taking matters into your own hands!"
Chief Garcia was brought back to the present when Logan stopped fidgeting with the switchblade and returned it to the back of his jeans. "Can't we go in yet? Either he's home or he's not."
"They have to clear all of the rooms first, Logan. Just to be sure. It should only be another minute." Chief Garcia watched as Logan mumbled something and flipped the hood of Kendall's sweatshirt over his head, glaring at the house as if challenging it to a fight. He knew that somewhere under the dangerous exterior was a terrified and broken fifteen-year-old boy.
The entire right side of Logan's face had swelled up and his eye was so black and blue that Chief Garcia wondered if Logan could see anything at all out of it. After the beating and horrifying shock Logan had received the night before, Chief Garcia was surprised to find Logan so composed only hours later. He knew from Jennifer Knight that last night had been horrendous, but Logan had once again adopted his hardened mask.
Logan's frantic flight from his home last night is why they were standing in front of Logan's home this afternoon. Though it was still unclear if Robert Mitchell really had murdered his wife, one thing was for sure- Logan was never going to live with him again. They were simply here to collect Logan's cell phone and some of his other things to take back to the Knight's.
"Mrs. Knight is filing for custody of you right now, you know."
"I know," Logan replied quietly. "I just… part of me wishes she wouldn't. She has a hard enough time supporting Kendall and Katie as it is. I can't give her another kid to take care of."
"Logan," Chief Garcia's voice softened as he put a hand on the boy's shoulder. "She's considered you one of her children for years. This would just make it official."
Logan looked up into Chief Garcia's eyes, and for a moment the chief saw the little boy he had known since his peewee hockey days. Just for a second, Logan cracked a smile and nodded. The moment was short lived, however, as the call came through that it was okay to enter the house.
After packing up some clothes, personal items, and other necessities, Logan found himself standing alone in the family room when he heard shouts from outside. Logan instantly filled with dread when he heard the front door fly open and spun around to see his father crash through the door, followed by two police officers.
"Where is my son going? Where are you taking my son? Logan, what's going on? Why is your stuff packed?" Robert demanded. Clearly, he had sobered up and had no recollection of the previous night's horrors.
"I'm moving out," Logan replied carefully, unsure what to make of his father's state.
"Logan," Robert shook off the hands of the officers who both appeared confused as well, and advanced toward his son. Inches away from Logan's face, Robert's eyes darkened and he dropped his voice to a deadly whisper, "you can't run from it."
"Bobby!" Chief Garcia's voice startled Logan as his father whipped his head around. "Take two steps back with your hands up."
"I'm not armed, Carlos," Robert replied calmly, turning his gaze back to Logan who was frozen in place. "Just giving my son some parting advice." Putting his hands up, Robert took a step back. "You can't control it, either," he continued. "It's pity, really. Such a pretty girl. You should give the poor thing a chance and end it now. You're too much like your old man."
With that, Robert turned on his heel, pushed past the officers, and sprinted out of the house. Logan was rooted to the floor as the officers pursued his father out of the house, gripped with the fear that his father was right.
"Bro! Bro, wake up!"
Logan groaned and opened his eyes to find Kendall literally jumping on his bed at seven in the morning.
"Kendall, what are you doing?" Logan mumbled into his pillow.
Kendall stopped jumping to land directly on top of Logan. "We're officially brothers today!" he exclaimed, the joy evident in his voice. "Get up, get up, get up! We need to be at the courthouse by eight so you can tell the judge you agree to be adopted."
Logan hid his head under his pillow as Katie stumbled into Logan and Kendall's room rubbing her eyes. "Why are you yelling at seven am?" she demanded sleepily. "And what are you two doing?" Katie laughed at the sight of Kendall lying on top of a clearly protesting Logan.
"I'm snuggling with my little brother," Kendall declared, wrapping his arms around Logan whose complaints were muffled by the pillow. "Come join us, baby sister."
Katie giggled and crawled onto the bed next to her two big brothers. Lying down beside Logan, she pulled the pillow off of his head to reveal his face. Even in his tired state, Katie could see his annoyance was all for show. The huge grin dominating Logan's face gave away how completely content he was with his position.
"Hey, Kit Kat," Logan whispered.
"Hey, big brother," Katie whispered back, causing Logan's grin to grow impossibly bigger.
During the past few months when Logan was living with the Knights, his face and other injuries had healed. Logan looked happier and healthier than ever now that he had escaped his abusive home environment. Katie had considered Logan, and Carlos and James for that matter, her big brothers her entire life. She was beyond ecstatic that today Logan would officially be joining their family. The circumstances were tragic, and the fact that Robert Mitchell had yet to be tracked down was terrifying, but Katie wasn't about to let anything ruin today.
Logan had finally convinced Kendall to get off of him and was showered and dressed when he heard familiar voices downstairs. Excited, Logan hurried down to find James and Carlos talking to Mrs. Knight in the kitchen.
"What are you guys doing here so early?" Logan asked.
"We're coming with you to the courthouse!" Carlos answered. "Did you really think we'd miss this?"
"I'm so jealous you and Kendall get to be brothers," James smiled as he ruffled Logan's hair.
Logan slapped James' hand away with a half-hearted, "Quit it, Jay." He was far too happy to be annoyed with anything today.
"Would you boys like some breakfast before we have to leave? There's still time." Mrs. Knight asked from stove where she had pancakes cooking.
Carlos and James eagerly took seats at the kitchen table and were joined by Kendall and Katie who had followed the delicious smell downstairs. Logan, however, shyly made his way over Mrs. Knight and wrapped her in a hug.
When Jennifer pulled away Logan saw the tears shining in her eyes. Placing her hands on his shoulders, Mrs. Knight fixed her gaze on Logan. "Are you one hundred percent certain about this, Logan?" she asked.
Logan nodded earnestly, "I have never been more sure about something in my life."
Jennifer pulled Logan in for another hug as her tears threatened to spill over.
"I love you, Logan."
"I love you, too… Mom," Logan whispered back.
As soon the door to the courtroom shut behind them, Logan found himself wrapped in hug from Kendall that Mrs. Knight and Katie quickly joined.
They stayed like that for minute, all trying and failing to hold back tears, when the sound of a shutter interrupted them. They pulled away to see James smiling sheepishly and holding his camera.
"I figured you'd like to be able to look back on this moment," he shrugged.
Mrs. Knight smiled and nodded, "Thank you, James."
"I'm so glad we were here for this!" Carlos was jumping in place barely containing his excitement.
"Yea," Kendall laughed, "Even after almost getting thrown out of the courtroom."
The rest of the group laughed as Carlos turned bright red. He had, in fact, been threatened with removal by the judge after calling out, "I object!" during one of the preceding cases that morning.
"I didn't mean to say it out loud," Carlos muttered.
"You know," Katie interrupted Carlos' embarrassment. "I'm really glad that was the first time I was in a court room. For something happy, you know? I always thought it'd be after one of you four did something illegal."
"Katie!" Kendall, Logan, James, and Carlos protested while Katie just shrugged.
"It seemed likely!" Katie defended laughing.
"Hey… Mom?" Logan ventured, still shaking his head at his younger sister.
Kendall wrapped an arm around Logan's shoulders and beamed, thrilled to hear Logan refer to his mother as "mom."
"What time is your shift today?"
"Not until four, why?" Mrs. Knight asked.
"There's um… there's kind of one more thing I wanted to do while we're here."
Logan felt the blush creeping up the back of his neck as five pairs of eyes were turned to him.
"If, uh, if it's okay with you, that is…" Logan trailed off unsure of himself.
"Well, what did you want to do, sweetheart?" Mrs. Knight encouraged.
"I wanted to change my name," Logan blurted out before he lost his nerve.
"You mean… to Logan Knight?" Kendall asked hopefully.
"Logan Mitchell Knight," Logan clarified. "It just… seems right that way." Logan shrugged and ducked his head to hide the blush that had taken over his face.
"Logan," Mrs. Knight gently used her finger to lift Logan's chin and look him in the eye, "That would mean the world to me."
"To us." Kendall declared, tightening his grip on Logan's shoulders while Katie nodded enthusiastically.
Logan just smiled in response.
"Dude I just don't understand why you like the Red Sox," Logan shook his head as he and Carlos were heading in from lacrosse practice.
"Because I hate the Yankees," Carlos replied as if it were obvious.
"Yea, so do I, but that doesn't mean I like the Sox! Come on, what about the Twins?"
"Of course I'm a Twins fan! Twins all the way, man. I'm just saying, between the Yankees or the Red Sox, I choose Boston."
"Who says you have to choose?"
"Everyone!" Carlos was getting exasperated as Logan just shook his head and pulled open the door to the locker room.
Logan and Carlos walked to their lockers to meet up with James who was also in the locker room after baseball practice. Kendall didn't play a spring sport because he preferred to focus on hockey. Usually he stayed after school to work out, but today he was home with Katie.
Logan, Carlos, and James were just about to leave the locker room when Logan's phone rang. After a quick glance at the caller ID, Logan answered the phone.
"What's up bro?"
However, instead of Kendall's voice, Logan was answered with Katie's sobs.
"Logan! Where are you?"
"Kit Kat!" Logan's voice rose as panic began to overtake him. "What's wrong? Where's Kendall?"
"He's outside," Katie choked out, "Some guys are out there. I think it's Sean but I don't know. Kendall gave me his phone and told me to call you and lock the door. Logan hurry I think Kendall's in trouble!"
"Kit Kat stay inside, okay? And keep the door locked. I'm coming."
With that, Logan hung up the phone, pulled his switchblade out of his bag, and stashed it in the back of his jeans while turning to Carlos and James who had already mimicked his actions with their own switchblades.
"Sean and his crew crossed the pond. Kendall has Katie locked in the house and he's outside with them. Let's go."
Without another word, Logan flipped up his hood and left the locker room in a dead sprint with Carlos and James right on his heels.
The short walk to the Knight's house went even faster with the adrenaline pumping through Logan, Carlos, and James' veins propelling their sprint the whole way. They reached Kendall to find him in a stand off with Sean who was flanked by four of his friends. They were outnumbered.
Hearing his friends' footsteps behind him, Kendall suppressed a smirk.
"I'm going to give you one more chance to leave, Sean," Kendall began only to be cut off by Sean's laugh.
"Or what, Knight? And where do you expect us to go, back to that crazy bastard Danny? Oh no… if Danny thinks he can take our turf then we're taking yours."
"Hey," Kendall held his hands up, "If you're too much of a pussy to face that idiot, it's not our problem. Want me to call your mommy and tell her about the mean bullies?"
Kendall's mouth never was good at keeping him out of trouble. Sean screwed up his face in rage and lunged at Kendall, but Logan was faster. Once the two boys tumbled to the ground, all hell broke loose.
Kendall, Carlos, and James each found themselves indiscriminately throwing punches at one of Sean's crew, only focused on inflicting as much pain as possible. Logan was taking on Sean and his best friend Ryan at the same time after Ryan had pulled Logan off of Sean.
Through the flying fists, Kendall looked up to see Logan wrestle Sean to the ground once again only to have Ryan deliver a swift kick to Logan's abs, flipping Logan off of Sean. With a yell, Kendall gave his opponent Mike the hardest uppercut to the jaw he could manage and threw himself at Ryan.
Kendall was struggling to gain the advantage with Ryan on the ground when a Sean's terrified shriek of "stop!" stopped them.
Kendall looked up to find James pinning Seamus to the ground with his fist poised, Carlos rubbing his neck and glaring after Brendan had released his headlock, and Mike knocked out on the ground.
However it was Logan who drew everyone's attention. With his knee digging into Sean's chest and his switchblade pressed to Sean's throat, Logan's face was filled with a fury that made even Kendall shudder.
"We'll leave! We're going, I promise! Just let me go!" Sean was stumbling over his words in fear and his rush to appease Logan.
"If you ever cross the pond again," Logan growled, "We're not letting you go."
"Never!" Sean was borderline hysterical. "We won't come back, just get off of me!"
Logan pushed off of Sean and seethed in silence while they collected Mike and disappeared down the block. It wasn't until Sean and his friends were out of sight that James dared to speak.
"Kendall, did you knock Mike out?"
Kendall shrugged, "I guess so. I was more focused on getting to Ryan."
Logan looked up at that and caught Kendall's eye. Immediately his face softened and the terrifying rage melted away. "Thanks, bro." Logan breathed.
Kendall tried to smile in return and winced. His lip was swollen and bleeding, and he wouldn't be surprised if at least one of his eyes was black. James, Carlos, and Logan were in similar conditions. Carlos' nose had a steady stream of blood flowing from it, Logan had a nasty, bloody scrape on his left cheek in addition to a swollen lip, and James' eye was already almost swollen shut. All of their knuckles were cut and bleeding and Kendall knew there were countless bruises he couldn't see.
Gingerly, the four boys walked back to the house to clean themselves up.
Kendall knocked on the door and softly called out to Katie. "Hey, baby sister, it's safe now. You can open the door."
The door flung open and Katie launched herself into Kendall's arms, still crying. Kendall rubbed her back soothingly and turned to look at Logan, James, and Carlos reminding them without words.
This is what they were fighting for.