A/N. This is a semi-late birthday present to my best friend and soul mate, Lauren aka WyszLo. She has helped me through so much, both real life issues and writing issues. She always encourages and inspires me to write and it's because of her that I've been able to write as much as I have. I hope you like this, Lauren! Also, further notes: This is a sequel to "The Last Night". So if you want this to make as much sense as possible, it would help to read that first. It's different from anything else I've written because both of Logan's parents are alive. Lastly, this was inspired by yet another Skillet song called, "Never Surrender". I don't own anything.

Logan woke to the sound of quiet voices and the feel of a heavy arm wrapped tightly around him. He cracked open his eyes, wincing when the light made him realize just how much his head was throbbing. He shut his eyes again, sighing when the darkness eased the pain somewhat. Listening carefully, he was surprised when he could hear James, Carlos, and Kendall all talking to Mrs. Knight. Then his heart stopped when he realized what they were saying.

"He s-said that his p-parents wouldn't get him h-help because it would d-damage their family reputation." Kendall stammered, with tears in his voice. Kendall was crying. Kendall never cried. But judging by the frequent sniffs and stifled sobs, he wasn't the only one.

An icy cold fear swept over Logan and he sat up so fast that all conversation ceased immediately. Frantically, he tried to pry Kendall's arm off of him and fumbled for an excuse at the same time. He glanced down and noticed with horror that his sleeves were still rolled up, revealing the scars down by his wrists. "I-I. . . I have to go. M-my parents-"

"You're not going home, Logan." Kendall said firmly, tightening his grip so that Logan couldn't move away. "Not after last night."

"B-but," tears began to flood Logan's eyes and spill down his cheeks. He knew now why his head ached so ferociously. He must have cried for hours the night before. "They're g-going to be so m-mad that I wasn't home and that I missed s-school. I w-was already g-grounded yesterday because I got a B in my w-world history class and-"

"Logan sweetie, this is much more important than school or what your parents think," Mrs. Knight told him gently. She sat down on the edge of the bed and touched him on the arm. "They need to know what's going on."

Logan shook his head, wincing when it increased the pounding. "Please don't," he begged. "It didn't change anything the last time I told them. It just made things worse. I'm okay, really I am."

"You call this fine?" James exclaimed, pointing at the ugly scars. "Wanting to kill yourself is not fine!" He drew in a sharp breath when Logan flinched at the sharp tone in his voice. "Logie," he said in a quieter, gentler voice. "You're not okay."

"But you can be," Carlos added, looking pleadingly at Logan. "Logan, remember what we said last night?"

How could he forget? But Logan was still terrified. His worst nightmare had come true and although he had been filled with peace by his friends' promises last night, that peace was so far away, replaced by a sickening fear. Why had he ever told them his secret? He should have just-

"I know what you're thinking," Kendall said, his voice shaking so badly that it didn't even sound like him. "It's not true. You did the right thing when you told us, Logan. Now we can help you."

Do you know what it's like when
You're scared to see yourself?

Logan folded into himself, burying his head into his arms as he began to shake with frightened sobs. "What if my parents don't want me to get help?" he asked. "I'm just going to make things even worse. They're going to hate me, I just know it. I'm already a disappointment to them. What will happen to me?"

Strong arms were wrapped around him again and then Kendall's voice, weakened by tears sought to comfort him. "I told you last night, Logie." he whispered. "If you're parents won't help you, then you can come live with us and we'll take care of you. I promise. We'll never leave you."

"You'll never be without a place to stay, Logan." Mrs. Knight spoke then, her voice steady despite the tears in her eyes and the deep, sickening fear in her heart. "Kendall's right. You can stay with us as long as you need or want to." She rubbed his back and glanced over at James and Carlos who were watching mutely. "Boys, why don't you call your parents and tell them where you are? I'm sure they're worried sick."

"B-but-" Carlos started to choke out, still staring at Logan.

"Here," Mrs. Knight reached over to the nightstand and handed him Kendall's cell phone. "You don't have to go anywhere. Logan," she said, addressing the distraught boy again. "Listen to me, honey. I'm going to call your parents and tell them everything for you, okay?"

Logan couldn't answer. He shook his head, begging her to reconsider. He felt sick to his stomach with fear at the mere though of his parents' finding out just how screwed up he really was. Why was this happening? He knew that they wouldn't want anything to do with him once everything was said and done. "Please," he managed in a faint whisper.

Mrs. Knight leaned forward and brushed back strands of his dark hair before kissing him gently on the temple. "I know you're scared, baby." she whispered, wiping away his tears. "So are we. We're scared for you because we all love you so much. But you're not alone anymore. Everything is going to work out, I promise."

Do you know what it's like when
You wish you were someone else
Who didn't need your help to get by?

She stood up and left the boys waiting together. Logan sat motionless on the edge of the bed, listening to James and Carlos call their frantic parents. When he heard James' mother practically in tears, demanding her son to explain, his heart ached because he knew that she cared about him. Why couldn't his own mother care and love him in that way?

"M-mom," James said shakily. "I'm at Kendall's house. We're here with Carlos and Logan. L-Logan. . ." the teen's eyes were riveted on his best friend who still had his face hidden from the rest of them. "We aren't going to school. I-I don't know what's going to happen right now. Can you just come over? P-please?"

Mrs. Diamond must have agreed because then James handed the phone to Carlos and Logan had to listen to yet another conversation between his friend and a loving parent. He wondered what Mrs. Knight was saying to his mother or father and what they were saying in return to her. The thought of them talking to her like they talked to him made him shiver and he felt Kendall tighten his embrace in silent reassurance.

"Sorry," Carlos whispered to whoever he was talking to. "I'm at Kendall's house with James and Logan. Can you and Mom come over?" There was a pause and Carlos nodded his head until he seemed to remember that his father couldn't see him. "Yeah, it's really important, Dad. It's Logan." Another pause. "Mama Knight is calling them. But Dad, it's because of them. No, not like that. At least he didn't say that last night. Okay. Bye."

"We're going to fix this, Logie." Kendall whispered, bending his head, trying to see Logan. "Together."

They still didn't understand how bad things were. Logan cringed away from his friends but they simply moved with him, keeping him close and refusing to give into his distant behavior. "You don't understand," he said brokenly.

Do you know what it's like
To wanna surrender?

"No we don't," James said shaking his head. "We don't understand how your parents could have had a kid as wonderful as you are because you're not like them at all. You're much better than them, Logie. And we don't understand how we could have been so blind to everything that was going on."

"We're so sorry, Logan." Kendall murmured. "It scares me to think how close we came to losing you." He stared into Logan's eyes, empty with the exception on terror. "And how close we still are to losing you."

Carlos rested his head on Logan's shoulder. "It won't happen though," he said as firmly as he could. "We aren't going to lose you, Logie." His hand found Logan's and held fast. "We can't lose you. We love you."

Love. Logan's heart had ached to hear that word and know that it was true. He had heard it over and over again last night and now today. And he believed it and was at a loss for what to do about that. He wasn't used to such blatant shows of affection. He and his friends were sixteen years old boys. Until last night, love had been just a feeling to them. Something they made fun of. But now it was so much more. Now it was an action. An action that was the only thing keeping one of them alive.

"Please believe us, buddy." Kendall said softly. "You believed us last night, didn't you?"

The bedroom door opened then and Logan tensed before he realized his parents weren't among the small crowd of adults that were suddenly surrounding him and his best friends. The Diamonds and Garcias hugged their sons tearfully but he didn't even have time to envy them again. Because as soon as James and Carlos were released, Logan found himself held by his best friends' parents. They didn't even know the whole story and yet they were ready to give him what he needed so desperately. Love. "I still believe you." he said to no one in particular.

Logan stood in the center of his room, looking around. On his bed, sat a suitcase filled with clothes. Another suitcase was laid out on the floor filled with personal things. All around him, he felt the quiet presence of his friends as they waited patiently for him. They hadn't left his side for three days in a row now.

He was moving out of his own house into Kendall's. Since his parents had refused to cooperate at all and get him counseling, the Knights had been awarded temporary custody of him. It relieved Logan and scared him at the same time. His own parents were willing to completely abandon him so that they wouldn't have a screwed up son living with them.

"You know what I don't understand?" he asked, turning to look at his friends. "Won't this make things worse for them if I leave? What are they going to tell their friends? That I'm serving in a third world country?"

"Don't think about them, Logie." Carlos told him quietly. His eyes filled with tears as he watched his friend look so lost in his own bedroom. He still found it nearly impossibly to believe that Logan's parents had driven him so far, almost beyond the reach of his friends. They had come so close to losing him. They could still lose him. Carlos wasn't stupid. He knew that all their hugs and words and care and love were helping Logan. But he also knew that all their hugs and words and care and love couldn't take away the pain Logan was in. The scars, invisible and visible, were still there.

I don't wanna feel like this tomorrow
I don't wanna live like this today

Logan wanted to tell Carlos that he was grateful for his support. He wanted to tell all of them that he was grateful for their support. But all he could really think about was how this shouldn't even be happening. Why couldn't he have the same relationship with his parents that Kendall, James, and Carlos did? Why couldn't they support him in what he wanted to do? Why did they have to be so suffocating?

The urge to cut himself hit Logan with such an unexpected and strong force that he backed up and sat down on the bed with his friends. He couldn't. Not when they knew all of his secrets. Tears burned his eyes and a lump in his throat made it impossible to breathe easily. He tried taking a deep breath to calm himself and wound up choking on a sob. He leaned forward, intent on hiding from his friends because his weakness ashamed him so much.

But he didn't have a chance. The mask he had been wearing for so long had fallen away and now he was an open book in front of everyone. The tears fell fast and heavy, but somehow in the midst of his pain, Logan could tell that he wasn't the only one who was crying. He felt his friends' arms holding onto him tightly, keeping him from falling completely apart.

Make me feel better
I wanna feel better

"I'm so t-tired of feeling l-like this," he sobbed. "I don't w-want to feel like this. I hate it so m-much."

"It won't last forever, Logan." James told him comfortingly. "You have us to help you now. You have so many people who love you and want to help you. You're not alone anymore. It's going to get easier. It's going to get better."

"James is right," Kendall said soothingly. "Think of all we've told you, Logan. We meant every word then and we still mean every word now. We always will."

"I'm afraid you'll leave me," Logan confessed, sitting up slightly. "I k-know that you won't, but I'm still afraid." He laughed bitterly, tears still falling freely. "Does that even make sense?"

"None of this makes sense because none of this should be happening to you, Logan." Carlos said sadly. "No one deserves to hurt the way you are and you're the very last person it should be happening to. It's not fair. But we're not going to give up on you, Logan. No matter what happens, we'll never give up on you. Just don't give up on us, okay?"

Stay with me here now
And never surrender

It was so easy to say and yet Logan knew that it wouldn't be easy to do. And that scared him. It scared him that he couldn't promise his friends that he wouldn't give up on them and leave them. Even now, sitting as close as possible with all of them, Logan wanted his life to end. He wanted the ache in his heart to stop forever.

"Let's get you out of here," Kendall said wearily as if he could tell what Logan was thinking about. "I think that might help a little bit." He stood up and pulled Logan gently to his feet, wrapping an arm around his shoulders. He used his free hand to pick up Logan's suitcase full of clothes.

"I'll get that," James said quickly, taking the heavy luggage from Kendall. "Carlos, can you get the other one?"

"Thanks, guys." Kendall said gratefully, speaking for both himself and Logan. "Come on, buddy."

They walked slowly through the hall to the stairs. Logan stared at everything as they passed by. The pictures of the wall, his parents' bedroom, and the spot on the wall where he was experimented with Magic Markers when he was four. His mom had never been able to get rid of the red heart down near the floor. But Logan noticed now something he had never seen before. There was a tiny crack in the wall, right in the middle of the heart. The heart was broken. His heart was on the wall.

A new wave of emotions crashed over Logan and he staggered slightly. "Sorry," he whispered when Kendall stopped to steady him, causing James and Carlos to nearly drop the suitcases they were carrying. They passed by the bathroom and he tried not to stare into the small room where most of his self-harm had taken place.

It was a relief when they finally made it downstairs even though there were even more memories. Logan's parents weren't there. They weren't allowed to be. Something about a restraining order. The details were growing fuzzy to Logan. All he knew was that for the time being, he was living with the Knights and his parents weren't allowed to see him. Not that they even wanted to see him. They had refused family counseling or even an individual counselor for him. They had let him go as if he was nothing more than something cheap and replaceable. Either that or something they didn't even want anymore. They hadn't fought for him at all.

"Ready, boys?" Carlos' father asked. He had been waiting for them at the kitchen table, dressed in his police uniform while his cruiser sat outside the house. The formality of the situation made everything so real. But he was still the same man, gentle and concerned for all of the boys as they walked to the front door.

It suddenly occurred to Logan that he was leaving the home he had grown up in and he had no idea when he would be returning. He had no idea if he would ever return. "Wait," he said, his voice cracking on the one word. They stopped and waited patiently, their eyes full of understanding. Logan took one last look around him, committing everything to memory. Then he took a deep breath, closed his eyes and nodded. "Okay. I'm ready now."

Logan's eyes were wide open at three in the morning. He listened carefully for any signs that someone might still be awake even though he knew perfectly well that everyone else had been asleep since midnight. He couldn't screw this up. Everything had to be perfect.

Perfect. Like that ever existed in his life, especially now. It had been two and a half months since he had moved in with the Knights and things had yet to improve at all. He was seeing a counselor, Rob, three times a week but they never seemed to get anywhere. Somehow, word of his problems had gotten out at school and everyone either stared at him in sympathy or made fun of him for being such a weak coward. Kendall, James, and Carlos could only protect him so much.

Logan's heart ached even more when he thought of his friends and their loyalty for him. They had kept their promises to him and showed no signs of changing whatsoever. But that only made him feel worse. Because he wasn't getting any better. They were spending so much time with him, worrying about him, protecting him, and it was taking a toll on everyone. This time, Logan wasn't the only one getting hurt. That made him feel guilty.

A panic attack had started at around 1:30 in the morning and after an hour and a half, Logan was still waiting for it to end. It came in waves, the tight feeling in his chest, the shortness of breath, the tears of fear and desperation that stung his eyes. He had already gone through the useless attempts to stop it, sitting up, putting his head between his legs, laying flat out on both his back and stomach, clutching madly at his hair and tugging at it when nothing helped. He felt like, no matter what position he was in, that there was an extremely heavy weight on his chest, crushing, suffocating him. He wanted it all to end.

Slowly, Logan stood up and walked as quietly as he possibly could down the hall to the bathroom. He closed the door and flicked the light on, squinting as he tried to adjust to the sudden brightness. All of the medications and sharp objects had been removed from the room but Logan had hidden a razor blade in his suitcase when he had first packed. It had stayed there for the two and a half months since he had moved but now he could no longer take the pain.

Do you now what it's like when
You're not who you wanna be?

Logan hated himself for all the pain he had been causing those closest to him. They all put on brave faces for his sake but he knew that inside they were hurting a lot. They were scared, terrified. It was affecting their every day lives. Kendall hadn't made a single goal in hockey, James had stopped singing, and Carlos had stopped joking around. Their grades were unspeakably horrible. It was all Logan's fault. They would all be better off without him holding them back.

Sitting on the edge of the bathtub, Logan tried once again to steady his breathing. And once again, the attempt was futile. "Please," he whispered. "Please make it end." His heart was pounding so hard that he could actually see his shirt fluttering with the hammering motion against his chest. He placed a sweaty, shaking hand against the beat and left it there, trying to count the beats. But the pain was so bad that he couldn't concentrate.

He looked down at the razor blade in his hand, trying to hold it steady. But it slipped from his fingers and landed with a metallic clink on the cold bathroom tiles. He gasped, suffocating himself even further with the sudden intake of air that his lungs couldn't handle. Logan choked slightly then and his heart thudded in fear at the thought of waking someone up.

He listened again, quietly, but heard nothing. So he refocused his attention on picking up the razor blade. It took him five tries to actually get a grip on the small object and then keep his hold on it. Logan turned it over in his hands, watching the way that the light glinted off the edges. "I should tell them," he whispered. But the thought of exposing his true weakness to his friends scared him even more. They would be crushed to find out that he wasn't getting better the way they thought he was.

Do you know what it's like to
Be your own worst enemy
Who sees the things in me I can't hide?

Logan held the razor blade to his wrist, shaking violently. He winced at the touch of the cold metal against his sensitive skin. Again, it slipped from his wrist and onto the floor. Instead of picking it back up, Logan shot to his feet and stumbled back into his room. Collapsing on the bed, he buried his face into his pillow, muffling frightened sobs.

He couldn't. He couldn't do it. Not after all they had done for him. What kind of thanks would that be? He was a horrible person for wanting to give up after all this time. "Why can't this stop?" Logan whispered into his pillow.

The darkness was closing in all around him, pulling him down, down, down. Each inhale and exhale was getting harder than the last. Logan had never had such a bad panic attack before and part of him wondered if he might actually die. He wondered if he cared if he died. After all, he had just been in the bathroom, holding that stupid razor blade to his wrist. Had he just been intending to punish himself or had he been planning to actually end it all? Logan couldn't tell for sure. Everything except the present was a blur and even that was confusing.

A whimper escaped his clenched teeth and tears continued to pour down Logan's face. He was dying, He was sure of it. There was no way it was healthy for his heart to race for as long as it had been and his lungs literally felt like the remaining oxygen was being squeezed out.

The door opened then but Logan didn't hear it over the sounds of his own heavy breathing and choked sobs. Suddenly a hand touched his shoulder and he jumped, nearly falling off the bed in alarm. He tried to move away from his unseen attacker but a pair of arms latched around him, holding fast and a familiar voice slowly began to break through the fog.

"Logan! Logan, are you okay? What's happening?" Kendall was frantic. He had woken out of a sound sleep for no reason except for the sudden, overwhelming urge to check on Logan. He had walked in on his friend, having a panic attack. But Kendall had never seen a panic attack in action. All he could see was Logan gasping and choking like he was having an asthma attack. Now, as he hugged Logan close, with the palm of his hand resting on the other boy's chest, he could feel a viciously beating heart that scared him.

"K-Kendall," Logan sobbed, clinging to his friend. "H-help me. Please."

Feeling completely helpless, Kendall held Logan as closely as he dared. "I'm here, buddy." he whispered, closing his eyes and begging for the hammering inside Logan's chest to slow down. "What can I do?"

"I'm s-sorry," Logan stammered, shaking his head.

Do you know what it's like
to wanna surrender?

"What are you sorry for, Logan?" Kendall asked. A thought hit him and he gently pushed Logan away just enough. With trembling hands, he pushed back the long sleeves of his friend's shirt and held them up to the dim light out in the hallway. An overwhelming sense of relief came over him when he saw no new scars. "Logan," he called his friend's name again. "What are you sorry for?"

"For wanting to die," Logan said in a broken whisper. "Just now. I-I came so close just now, Kendall. I h-had a razor blade and everything and I was in the bathroom and. . . but I couldn't do it to you guys. Not after everything you've done for me. But I'm sorry, Kendall. I'm sorry that I'm not getting better. I still want to die."


At the sound of Logan's voice, Kendall woke up immediately. He sat up slowly, reaching out through the darkness of his bedroom to grasp Logan's hand and pull him close. Without a word, he drew the small boy into his embrace and held him while he cried.

"I h-hate this," Logan sobbed, fighting down fresh waves of panic that hit him over and over again before he had a chance to even catch his breath. "I'm tired of feeling like this, Kendall. I don't w-want to feel like this anymore."

I don't wanna feel like this tomorrow
I don't wanna live like this today

"I know, Logie." Kendall whispered as his heart broke. Nearly every night was the same. After confessing that the weeks of therapy weren't helping and that he still wanted to die and that he still suffered from crippling panic attacks, Kendall had made Logan promise to wake him up whenever he felt like that. It had been ten days since then and eight of those nights, Kendall and Logan had spent awake, waiting for the dawn to come. "I wish you didn't feel like this anymore."

"Why won't it stop?" Logan asked, even though he knew it wasn't a fair question. Kendall would feel obligated to give him an answer and there were no answers to give.

"I don't know," Kendall had to give him the only honest answer there was, and it killed him a little on the inside. It killed him that he couldn't help Logan. "I'm here though. You're not alone. Just. . . just relax, Logan. Breathe."

Logan tried to obey him, concentrating on taking deep breaths and letting them out in long sighs just the way his therapist had advised him to do. It would work eventually, but Logan was convinced that the fact that Kendall was with him, helped it work faster than it normally would.

And by faster, he meant two hours later. Logan sighed deeply and laid down, his eyes shut. "Okay," he whispered, his voice hoarse and ragged.

"Better?" Kendall asked softly, hopefully.

Make me feel better
I wanna feel better

Logan nodded then realized that Kendall couldn't see him in the dark. "Yeah," he whispered. "For now anyway."

"Do you want me to get you something?" Kendall offered. "A drink maybe?"

"N-no," Logan said quickly. He was actually extremely thirsty but the last thing he wanted was for Kendall to leave him, even if it would only be for a minute. "Don't leave me. Not y-yet."

Kendall seemed to realize his mistake and laid down next to Logan , wrapping an arm around his friend. "All right," he breathed, gently rubbing Logan's shoulder. "I'm not going anywhere, Logan. Trust me."

"I do," Logan felt the tension drain from him and he sighed in relief. "Thanks, Kendall."

Stay with me here now
And never surrender

"Anytime, bro."

Logan looked at him, confused and curious. "Bro?" he repeated softly.

"Yeah," in the darkness, Kendall blushed a little but pushed on. "You've always been my little brother, Logie."

"I'm only a few months younger than you," Logan added, turning as red as Kendall.

Kendall smirked a little. "Yeah, but you're smaller than me. That makes you my little brother. Same with Carlos. James is just my younger brother since he's always been taller than me."

In spite of the fear that continued to lurk, Logan laughed a little. "I wish we were really brothers." he admitted softly when he sobered up. "I wish I was part of your family instead of mine."

Tears crowded Kendall's eyes. It was always hard to see Logan so vulnerable. "Me too, Logie." he said, meaning every single word. "That would be the best."

It was summer now. Logan hadn't seen his parents since the judge had ordered that he stay with the Knights until a better solution had been found. Seven months had passed and a better solution still had yet to be found. His parents showed absolutely zero interest in gaining back custody of their own son. But Logan was finally beginning to move on.

It helped that school had come to an end and Logan had one less thing to stress over. By some miracle, he and his friends had passed all of their classes and could now relax and enjoy each other's company. Logan could finally do that now. His panic attacks still came far too frequently than anyone would have liked, as much as four times a week. But it was better than every night. The intensity and length of the attacks had lessened too making it possible for Logan to deal with them on his own. Kendall insisted though and when it had to happen, the two boys spent sleepless nights together, waiting for peace to come.

Make me feel better,
You make me feel better,
You make me feel better,
Put me back together.

Often, James and Carlos came over and spent the night too. That helped even more, to have all three of his best friends right by his side. Logan never had to be afraid then. They spent the early hours of each morning, talking about things that mattered and things that didn't matter. They played games and watched movies and even read some books. Sometimes, the four of them sat is absolute silence for hours at a time, simply taking comfort in the fact that they were all together, safe, healthy, and happy. Those were the most peaceful nights even though they didn't sleep.

It was the best reward for Kendall, James, and Carlos to see Logan finally relaxing and returning to his old self. He smiled and laughed now and cried less. He hadn't harmed himself in months and the desire was fading with the panic attacks. They never judged him for his moments of weakness and slowly, the unjustifiable guilt that plagued him, began to go away as well. Logan was healing.

There were still nights and occasionally days when everything, even the little things, seemed to go wrong and upset Logan more than it should. The minutes ticked by into hours and as the time passed, Logan would become more and more overwhelmed by a pressure that he couldn't understand himself. He was scared, terrified. But he always had someone right by his side in those moments. His friends had kept their promise to him. He was never alone.

"Kendall, I need to tell you something." Logan stood in his friend's bedroom doorway, reminding himself to take deep, even breaths.

"What's up?" Kendall laid aside the hockey magazine he had been paging through and studied Logan carefully. Seeing the younger boy's hesitance and fear, he sat up slightly in concern. "Are you okay?"

Logan nodded and crossed the room to sit next to Kendall on his bed. "Open your hand," he said softly. When Kendall obeyed him, he pressed his closed fist into the open palm and let it rest there for a while before he finally released the item and took his hand away. Nervously, he held his breath, waiting for Kendall's reaction.

Kendall didn't say anything at first. He stared at the razor blade, a thousand different emotions flashing across his face. Confusion. Alarm. Fear. Denial. Disbelief. Anger. Hurt. Disappointment. "Logan," he whispered at last. "What. . . where did you get this?"

I don't wanna feel like this tomorrow
I don't wanna live like this today

"I took it from home," Logan confessed, his voice shaking in fear. "I've had it ever since. . . you know." He dropped his gaze and then forced himself to look back at Kendall. "Are you mad at me?" he asked, dreading the answer. "Kendall, I haven't used it once. I promise. I mean, there have been a few times when I almost did, but I didn't! I knew it was wrong and that it would only hurt everyone and make things worse. And. . . and now I'm giving it to you, Kendall."

Kendall drew in a shaky breath and set the blade side before leaning forward to hug Logan. "I'm proud of you, Logan. Not for taking this and hiding it away. But I'm proud of you for never using it and now giving it up. I know it probably wasn't that easy."

Logan shrugged. "The only thing I was scared about was you getting angry at me," he whispered. "Giving it up was easy. I wish. . . I wish I did it a long time ago. I don't want it anymore, Kendall. At all."

Make me feel better
I wanna feel better

Relief overtook all the other emotions in Kendall's face and he even smiled a little bit. "You're a really strong person, Logan. I know that you probably haven't felt like that all the time, but it's the truth. It took a lot of courage for you to admit that you were hurting so much and that you needed our help."

"I'm glad I did," Logan said with a sigh. "I don't know what I was thinking when I first came over here and told you guys that. . ." he trailed off and saw Kendall flinch at the reminder of what his original intentions had been. "Anyway," he rushed hurriedly on. "I don't know why I ever thought you would let me go once I told you. I didn't want to hurt you guys and you were the reasons I was holding back and waiting."

"You're getting better," Kendall said softly. "We can all tell. After everything first happened, it was really scary because we knew how bad things were. But now. . . after all this time. . . you're happier." Kendall studied his younger friend carefully, trying to see the shadows in his expression. "Right?"

Logan nodded. "A lot happier. Happier than I've been in a long time. Happier than I ever thought I would be. It makes everything else worth it." He glanced down and then back up at Kendall. "I'm just worried about one thing," he admitted.

Kendall leaned closer to him. "What's that?"

Swallowing hard, Logan tried to smile but there were tears in his eyes. "I'm scared of what's going to happen next," he whispered. "With my parents, I mean. Kendall, I don't ever want to go back there. Even if they do agree to go to a family counselor. I think I want to see them again. Eventually. But not right now. And I don't think I could ever live with them again. I'm afraid of them, Kendall. I don't want to go back."

Stay with me here now
And never surrender

Quickly, Kendall wrapped his arms around Logan again as he started to cry. Logan had just spoken his own fears aloud. He could see that Logan was getting better. Much better. He smiled and laughed and enjoyed life again. He was more relaxed and just. . . happy. But what would happen if the Mitchells did swallow their pride and agree to a counselor? Kendall loved having his best friend live under the same roof where he knew that he was safe. But all of that could come undone in an instant. "It'll work out," he finally whispered, not offering a further explanation because in reality, he didn't know what was going to happen. He could only hope that he was telling the truth.

"Logan and Kendall, can I talk to the two of you please?"

Logan tensed and glanced over at Kendall. At the sound of his mother's voice, the older boy had frozen, turning in the direction of her voice to see her standing in the doorway. On his other side, James and Carlos looked just as confused and frightened as he felt.

"Is everything okay, Mom?" Kendall asked as James and Carlos stood up reluctantly to leave.

Her face was serious but she forced a small smile to ease their fears a little bit. "I just need to talk to you boys and Katie privately. James and Carlos can come back later. Is that okay, boys?"

Logan watched James and Carlos nod when they obviously wanted to shake their heads and stay there. He felt strangely comforted if only because his friends were so against leaving him. But he knew that whatever Mrs. Knight wanted to talk to him, Kendall, and Katie, had something to do with his future living arrangements. He stood up, Kendall instantly mirroring his actions and standing close by. "Where?" he asked in a faint voice.

"Downstairs in the kitchen will be fine, I think." Mrs. Knight responded, her eyes full of compassion for the four boys who were so distressed. She placed a hand on James' shoulder, stopping him and Carlos as they moved to leave. "You can talk to your parents about this if you want. They know what's going on."

Logan felt a little sick. Did all of the adults know what was going on? What could that possibly mean? He followed everyone slowly, out of Kendall's room, across the hall, and down the stairs, straight into the kitchen. Katie was already there, looking pale and afraid. He sat down in the chair next to her, only to have her stand up and move instantly to his side.

"Bye, Logan." Carlos said quietly. "And Kendall. Mrs. Knight. Katie." He added the others as an afterthought while James simply nodded mutely and then both of them turned and left.

"What is it?" Logan asked once Mrs. Knight closed the front door and then returned to the kitchen to sit across from him. Kendall had pulled the chair Katie had occupied closer to his and was sitting up so straight that Logan wondered how he could stand such an uncomfortable position. But then again, it didn't matter much right now.

Put me back together,
Never surrender,

"Logan," Mrs, Knight began slowly. She glanced over at Kendall and Katie to include her own children in whatever she was about to say. "I know that these past several months have not been easy for you. I hope that we've been able to help you at least a little."

"More than a little," Logan whispered. "You've all helped me out so much. Letting me stay with you and everything?" he shook his head in wonder. "I didn't know that you cared so much. I'm happier than I've been in a really long time, I promise."

A smile flickered across her face. "I'm glad," she said softly. "You should know, Logan, that since you boys met, I've always considered you and James and Carlos as my other sons."

"And I've always thought of you guys as my other big brothers," Katie added, taking one of Logan's hands in her own.

Tears burned Logan's eyes but he wouldn't let them fall. Not when Mrs. Knight obviously still had so much to say. "I've always felt the same way," he told them, keeping his eyes on the wooden table in front of him. He raised his gaze to look at Mrs. Knight. "I always wanted you to be my mom." he admitted, his face turning bright red.

Make me feel better.
You make me feel better,

At first, Mrs. Knight looked confused, caught of guard. "Really?" she asked, smiling in spite of her confusion.

Logan's heart was pounding in his chest. Had he said too much? Opened up too much? He wet his dry lips nervously and nodded. "Yeah," he said in a whisper. "Because I always felt more loved here or at James' or Carlos' than at home. But. . . mostly here."

Surprising all three children, Mrs. Knight stood up and sat in the chair on Logan's other side. "I'm so glad, sweetie." she said softly, tears filling her eyes. "I've never loved you any less than I've loved Katie and Kendall. It hurt so much to see you struggling the way you were." She blinked back more tears and cleared her throat. "That's what I want to talk to you about."

Kendall stood up and placed his hands on Logan's shoulders, standing protectively over him. Katie leaned in closer, tightening her grip on his hand. Logan could only wait.

"Logan, your parents have yet to agree to any type of therapy sessions or counseling," Mrs. Knight began in a steady voice. She waited for Logan to nod to show that he was following her before she went on. "The judge won't allow them custody of you until that happens but. . . it's not helping to persuade them at all."

Logan saw the anger Mrs. Knight felt toward his parents in her blue eyes along with the compassion and love she felt for him. "I k-know," he stammered. "It hurts a little because I know that they'd rather not have me at all than have me. . . this way. But I haven't minded that much because I've been so happy here."

She smiled then and reached over to take his other hand. "Then I have a very serious question to ask you."

"Okay?" Logan asked, feeling breathless.

Mrs. Knight took a deep breath. "I've been talking with the Diamonds and Garcias and the judge handling your case. We've all agreed that it's the best solution and that even your parents would agree to it. Logan, how would you feel about becoming a part of our family? Officially?"

Stay with me here now,
And never surrender

Logan could only stare at her speechlessly. He heard Katie and Kendall talking but he couldn't understand the words they were firing at their mother. He was able to note that both of them sounded more than enthusiastic about her announcement. Did that mean that they actually wanted this to happen? All of them?

"Logan!" Kendall gave his friend a gentle but firm shake and then bent down so that he was eye level with him. "Did you hear what she just said?"

"Y-yes," Logan managed. "I just. . . I just can't believe it." He looked at Mrs. Knight, no longer fighting the hope that was rising within him. "Are you s-sure?"

Mrs. Knight leaned forward and pulled Logan into her arms, tightening the embrace when he started to cry. "I've never been so sure of something in my life," she murmured softly. "But only if you want to, Logan. Don't feel that-"

"It's the only thing I want," Logan interrupted. "I've always wanted a family."

A/N. Lauren's birthday was Thursday but I was away at the shore for the week and then yesterday my power went out just as I was about to upload C52 of "Head On Collision" and then finish this. So lol yeah. That's why it's later than I wanted it to be. Happy birthday, Lauren!