A/N. Happy December, everyone! I'm sorry for disappearing for a month, but I was dealing with some personal things. Anyway, I have a new story that I got the idea for way back in summer, I believe. It's exciting to finally be writing it! As usual, I'm not sure how many chapters it will be, but right now I'm thinking no more than ten. We'll see.
This past summer, I fell in love with Cargan bromance and how sweet and adorable it is. I also love Christmas, so the idea of combining two of my favorite things came rather easily. It will feature only Carlos and Logan, so sorry if there are any James and Kendall fans out there!
I also have quite a few one shots that I've been writing as Christmas presents for some very special people in my life. I posted the first one, "Ohana" today and there will be plenty more to follow in the days to come. This story is dedicated to everyone. Thank you so much for all your patience, support, and encouragement!
I don't own anything! Yet. . .
"Christmas time is here. Happiness and cheer. Fun for all that children call, their favorite time of year." - Christmas Time is Here by The Vince Guaraldi Trio.
Logan Mitchell lowers his head and wraps his arms around his upper body, trying to conserve as much body heat as possible, as an especially strong and icy wind blows through the trees overhead. He shivers slightly, wishing that he had remembered his winter hat before leaving his warm house. One of the first things he ever learned, thanks to being born and raised in the chilly northern state of Minnesota, was that most of a person's body heat escapes through their head. Fortunately, even though his head is unprotected, he's not far from his destination. Bracing himself against the bitter cold, he lifts his head to see better and quickens his pace.
At fifteen years old, Logan is accustomed to Minnesota winters. However, that doesn't make the ten degree weather complete with strong winds and blowing snow any easier or more pleasant to trek through. It snowed the night before and he's glad that the streets and sidewalks are all clear, sparing him the need to wade through knee deep drifts.
At last, through the swirling snow, Logan's sharp eyes spy the familiar two story brick house that sits on the corner of the street. It looks warm and inviting and he breaks into a jog, careful to avoid icy patches of ice on the pavement. Hurrying up the driveway, he reaches the porch and pulls off a glove, blowing hot air on his frozen fingers before he knocks.
The door is flung open right away to reveal a little girl of about five years old who smiles brightly at the sight of him. "Logan!" she sings out happily. "Carlos! Logan is here!" She takes his hand in hers and pulls him inside the welcoming shelter.
"Hang on, Chloe." Logan says, bracing himself so she can't drag him off the welcome mat. "Let me take my coat and boots off first. I don't want to get anything wet."
"Logan Mitchell!" A beautiful, motherly looking woman hurries into the room from the kitchen. "You look half frozen! Please tell me that you didn't walk all the way here. You could have called for a ride if your father was busy." In an instant, she's at his side, helping him pull off his damp outer clothes.
Logan feels his face turn red and he ducks his head. "Sorry," he says quietly. "I thought you might be busy packing for your trip."
Mrs. Garcia shakes her head as she hangs up his coat and then grabs his arm, gently pulling him into the kitchen. "A five minute car trip is hardly a bother," she says, gently reprimanding him. "Especially for you, Logan."
Most teens Logan's would protest such babying. Most teens would protest that the walk to Carlos' house is only ten minutes and point out their sixteen years old and perfectly capable of the short trip. But Logan isn't like most teens. His mother died in a car accident when he was six and his father has been consumed in his work as a lawyer for most of those ten years. Logan is incredibly grateful for the parenting that annoys most teens. "Sorry," he says again, giving her a small smile. "I'll call next time, okay?"
Mrs. Garcia looks pleased and nods. "Much better," she says, sitting him down at the kitchen table where Carlos' five younger sisters immediately begin clamoring for attention. "Now have some of the fresh hot chocolate the girls and I made while we wait for dinner and my husband."
"Hey, Logie!" Carlos joins the happy family at the table, taking his own mug of steaming cocoa. "How's it going, buddy?"
"Logan walked here," ten-year-old Elena tells her brother with wide eyes. "He almost froze to death!"
"It wasn't that bad," Logan says hurriedly when Carlos looks at him, his excitement fading into concern. All the same, he draws his mug of hot chocolate closer to him, allowing the steam to warm him even more. "It was just a little cold."
Carlos rolls his eyes but doesn't say anything else on the matter. "When's Dad supposed to come home tonight?" he asks his mother as he nudges Elena so she moves from the seat next to Logan.
"Any minute now," Mrs. Garcia answers, lifting her gaze from the stove to the clock.
Right on cue, the front door opens and all five girls jump down from the table and rush to greet their father. Carlos takes the brief moment of silence to talk to Logan. "So," he says casually, glancing at his mother. "Why did you walk here?"
Logan sighs and stalls for time by sipping from his mug. The hot chocolate burns his tongue and he puts it back down. "My dad left this morning for a business trip in Michigan," he says hurriedly. "He'll be back in five days though. Same day as you. In plenty of time for Christmas."
Carlos stares at him in dismay. "Logan," he says, his cheerful mood evaporating quickly. "You mean you're going to be all by yourself the week before Christmas?"
This is the only reason why Logan was hesitant to accept Carlos' dinner invitation that night. Because he knew that eventually he would have to tell them that his dad is going to be gone until the day before Christmas Eve. His dad going on business trips is nothing new to them. But he's always had someone to be with when Ryan Mitchell was away. This time is different.
James and his parents are spending from now until after the New Year in New York City. Kendall, Katie, and their mother are in Virginia with Mrs. Knights' parents until after Christmas. Carlos' family is headed to Florida to visit his dad's parents and then bring them home to celebrate Christmas with them. They'll be home the same time as Logan's father and before everyone else. Just in time for Christmas. But until then, Logan is on his own. And he knew it wouldn't sit well with his best friend's family.
"How's the rest of my family?" Mr. Garcia walks into the room, his daughters close at his heels. He kisses his wife and then tousles Carlos' hair, doing the same to Logan before the other boy can even think. "Thanks for joining us for dinner, Logan!"
"Thanks for having me," Logan replies with a smile. "It smells delicious."
"Beef stew," Mrs. Garcia says with a smile that doesn't quite reach her eyes. "Carlos," she says, addressing her husband. "I know it's close to Christmas and that everyone will be traveling right now, but do you think it would be possible to find one more ticket for Logan to come with us?"
Confusion is the first emotion that crosses the police chief's face. Then he simply shakes his head, looking regretful. "No, I'm afraid it wouldn't be possible. I bought those tickets two months ago. Is everything okay?" he asks, looking around at three grim faces.
"Logan's dad is away," Carlos answers flatly. "In Michigan."
"He'll be home before Christmas though!" Logan tries to make things better before they get even worse. But it's already too late.
"Logan, I don't like the idea of you staying by yourself for so long." Mr. Garcia says, looking serious. "I know you're old enough to take care of yourself but that's beside the point. It's too close to Christmas."
"He'll be home before Christmas!" Logan repeats. He has the desire to sink into the floor and disappear until everyone forgets what they're talking about.
"It's not right," Mrs. Garcia says with a sigh.
Logan wonders what they would say if they knew that he and his father hadn't actually celebrated Christmas since he was maybe eight years old. Even back then he could sense that his dad's heart wasn't in it. But he'll never tell them that.
"Wait a minute!" Mr. Garcia says suddenly, so loudly that they all jump and look at him. "Logan, we're going to visit my parents, but they'll be coming home with us and celebrating Christmas. So Carlos wouldn't be missing out on that much if he stayed home with you."
"No way," Logan says, shaking his head quickly.
"Yes!" Carlos says at the same time, jumping up from the table. "Dad, that's perfect! It's perfect, isn't it, Mom?"
Logan stands up to so that he has a chance of actually being noticed over Carlos' enthusiasm. "I can't let you do that," he insists. "You should be with your family."
"But he will be," Chloe pipes up innocently. "You guys are like brothers."
Carlos turns triumphantly to Logan. "She's right, you know. It makes perfect sense, Logan. You know it does."
"I agree," Mrs. Garcia says, but gentler then her son who is really excited. "Logan, I'm having trouble that you're really okay with being by yourself for so long this close to Christmas. If you really don't want to, then we'll go through with our plans Just let us know, okay?"
"I-" Logan breaks off, struggling to put his feelings into words. It actually is an absolutely perfect solution because he really doesn't want to be alone. "I don't know what to say."
"Say yes!" Chloe says, putting everything into simple five-year-old terms once again.
"Please, Logie?" Carlos says hopefully.
Logan finds it ironic that it's Carlos who is begging him. Their roles should be reversed it seems. It doesn't matter either way thought because he can feel his stubborn resolved quickly dying down when he sees how much they all want him to give in. "Okay," he relents with a small smile. "I think it's a great plan."
"Yes!" Carlos cheers victoriously. He casts a grateful look over at his father who looks equally pleased, and then he sits down. "I don't even need to pack," he continues, his voice back to its normal cheerful tone. "I'm already to leave."
"I'll take you boys after dinner," Mr. Garcia tells them. "It might snow even more tonight and I want to get you home before the weather gets too bad. Plus, I still have some packing of my own that I need to get done before we leave tomorrow morning."
During dinner, which is of course delicious, Logan thinks over all that has just transpired and how much it means to him. Even since he can clearly remember, his family situation has always been so. . . unique. While he's been without a biological mother for ten years now, he's never truly felt like he's been completely without a mother. And while his father has been buried in his work since he was eight, he's also never truly lacked a father figure to look up to. And from the time he was six, Logan has never felt like an only child.
Mrs. Knight, Kendall's mother, has loved him just as much as she's loved Kendall and Katie, her own children. She's never missed a hockey game, not just for Kendall, but for Logan as well. The same goes for all of the school events that Logan has been involved in, whether it was a spelling bee, science fair, or awards ceremony. She's always been there for him.
Mr. Garcia, whom Logan has been fondly calling "Papa" for as long as he's known Carlos, has been everything his own father has not been. He's been the one to praise Logan over his straight A's and encourage him to go after his dream of becoming a doctor. He's been the one to teach Logan how to stand up for himself without making things worse. He's made Logan feel loved and wanted. They all have.
"Ready, boys?" Mr. Garcia asks after dinner is finished. He stands up and clears away his plate, walking it over to the sink.
"I just have to get my stuff," Carlos replies as he hops to his feet. "Be right back."
"Wait a second, Carlos." Logan says quickly. "I'll go get your stuff. That will give you a little more time to say goodbye." Part of him still feels horrible for taking his best friend away from his family so close to Christmas but after seeing how happy it's making them, it's hard to feel totally regretful.
"I'll help you, Logan."
Nodding in answer to Mr. Garcia's statement, Logan leads the way upstairs to his friend's room, feeling a little uncomfortable as he does so. "Thank you," he says quietly as they reach the room. On Carlos' bed is a very full suitcase and large duffel bag. On the floor is a backpack. Logan bends to pick up the backpack and then reaches for the duffel bag.
"I've got those, Logan." Mr. Garcia says gently, brushing Logan's hands aside and easily hefting both luggage carriers up off the bed. "Listen, the only thing I'd rather do is take both of you with us. I wish we could do more, I really do."
If only he could convince him that they've done everything for him. Far more than he deserves. Logan fills tears begin to sting his eyes and he forces a smile to his face. "It really means a lot," he managed to say. "I mean, you're giving up your son right before Christmas so I won't be alone. And I'm not-"
"You mean just as much to me and my wife as Carlos does." Mr. Garcia interrupts, dropping the bags so he can hug Logan closely. "I hope you truly realize that one day."
Logan is close to breaking. At fifteen, he's supposed to be be shying away from physical contact and affection. But he's been without it for so long that he actually craves it. The arms around him are holding him tightly and he feels safe and loved. After a short hesitation, he lifts his arms and returns the embrace, already feeling afraid to ever let go.
But he does let go and steps away, looking up at his hero with shinning eye. "Thanks, Papa." he says gratefully because he knows that Mr. Garcia loves it when he calls him that. It's a sign that he does know he belongs in the family.
Mr. Garcia squeezes Logan's shoulder and then picks Carlos' bags back up. "Just always know that you're worth it, Logan. You're worth everything to us."
The two of them head back downstairs where Carlos is still taking with his mother and sister. He looks over at Mr. Garcia and Logan as soon as they walk into the kitchen and his face lights up. "Ready?" he asks eagerly. "Dad, I got those." He hurries over and takes the bags from his dad. "See you soon!" he calls out to the rest of his family, letting his mother steal one last kiss.
"Goodbye, boys." Mrs. Garcia says fondly, hugging Logan too. "We'll be back in five days, okay? Logan, you make sure Carlos behaves himself. Take care of each other."
"Thanks again," Logan calls over his shoulder as Carlos starts to tug him to the door. He catches his breath as they step outside, caught of guard by how freezing it got since he first arrived. Hurrying to Mr. Garcia's pickup truck, he climbs in and pulls his coat closer around him.
"I can't believe you walked in this," Carlos shakes his head as he climbs in next to Logan. "It's freezing out there!"
"You walked?" Mr. Garcia asks, glancing over at Logan. He starts the truck and immediately blasts the heat.
Logan's face isn't just red from the cold anymore. "It wasn't this bad," he mumbles, holding his hands out in front of the vent. "It got worse."
To his relief, Mr. Garcia and Carlos both drop the subject and they drive to Logan's house in a comfortable silence, Christmas music playing quietly. Logan glances outside at the winter wonderland before him, glad that the snow has stopped falling at least for now.
They pull up to Logan's house and come to a stop. Mr. Garcia takes the keys out of the ignition and pockets them. "I'll help you boys get settled," he tells them. "Then I'll be off and you'll be on your own."
Carlos is the first out of the truck, dragging his backpack and suitcase behind him as he hurries to the front porch. "Logan, hurry!" he exclaims, hopping up and down.
You should have waited for me!" Logan laughs. But all the same he hurries as well, quickly fitting the key in the lock despite his shaking hands. He pushes the door open, nearly falling into the house. "Ah," he sighs in relief. "Much better already."
"Where are you boys going to stay?" Mr. Garcia asks, glancing around the house. The heat is on so the temperature is nice and warm. But there's something about it, maybe the empty feel and the complete lack of Christmas decorations, that brings a chill into the still air.
"The basement?" Logan glances at Carlos for confirmation and receives a nod. "The basement. "There's plenty of room down there and stuff."
The three of them walk down the steps into the large, comfortable looking and well kept basement. There's a large flat screen TV against one wall and a pool table and Foosball table nearby. For the most part, they look untouched but cared for all the same. In another corner of the room is a small chair and a bookshelf, each book looking old and worn having been read many times. There's a desk and a computer and even a nice music station. "It looks like you won't be going anywhere." Mr. Garcia remarks with a laugh.
"Except to get food!" Carlos reminds him.
Mr Garcia laughs and nods. "Very true. Logan, do you have plenty of food?"
Logan nods. "And I can cook pretty well." he says modestly.
"Carlos, why don't you and Logan get settled? Bring down his stuff. I'm going to take a quick look around." Mr. Garcia straightens Carlos' overturned suitcases and heads back up the stairs, the boys close behind him.
Logan starts to go up to his room with Carlos right at his heels. He stops though and watches his best friend's father as he goes straight into the kitchen and looks in the fridge and cabinets. He moves around, turning each appliance on and off, testing everything. He's making sure that Logan and Carlos will be as safe as possible.
"Logan? Are you going?"
Realizing that Carlos is waiting for him, Logan jerks out of his daze and hurries up the stairs, his mind still whirling. His own father never does such a thorough inspection of the house. He always makes sure that Logan has food and water and money, but he doesn't go around flicking all the lights on an off like Logan imagines Mr. Garcia is doing now.
"Is something wrong, buddy?" Carlos asks. He sits on Logan's bed and watches and Logan's hurriedly throws a few things together. "You're pretty quiet. You know that this is what me and my family want, right? I mean, aside from taking you with us." He grins a little. "Florida is really nice this time of the year."
Logan laughs. "I bet. I'm fine, Carlos. Really. I'm great actually. This is really fantastic what you're doing for me. It's just that. . ."
Carlos waits for Logan to continue after trailing off. When the pause is longer than he can stand, he prompts his best friend. "It's just that?"
Shrugging, Logan grabs a pillow and looks at Carlos. "Your dad is the best."
Carlos' face splits into a wide grin. "Yeah, I know." he says happily. Bouncing up from the bed, he looks expectantly at Logan. "Have everything?"
"I think so," Logan lets Carlos take his sleeping bag, knowing that any kind of protest is pointless at by now. "Let's go back down."
Mr. Garcia is back in the basement when the boys return. He's looking at the power boxes in the darkest corner of the room, fiddling with some of the buttons and switches. "All set?" he asks when he sees the boys.
"All set!" Carlos answers cheerfully since Logan is still overwhelmed by the incredibly caring gestures.
"I'd better get going then," Mr. Garcia says. He straightens up and brushes a little dust off his shirt. "Now," he says, faking sternness. "Carlos, listen to Logan. He's always had more sense than you and Kendall and James put together. Besides, you're his guest."
Carlos, for once, looks very solemn as he nods. "Yes, sir. Don't worry. I'm sure Logan will call you if he has any problems with me. Right, Logie?"
"That's right," Logan agrees. "Although I doubt I'll have any problems. Carlos isn't that bad."
"Does he behave better for you than his own parents?" Mr. Garcia questions with a straight face. "In all seriousness, both of you, call us if you need anything or have any questions. Be careful, all right?" He hugs Carlos closely and then Logan. "I'll see you both before the week ends."
"See you, Dad!" Carlos calls out cheerfully.
"Bye, Papa." Logan says quietly with a shy smile. "Thanks again." He and Carlos walk Mr. Garcia to the front door. "Have a safe trip."
"We'll be sure to call when we get there." Mr. Garcia promises. Then he opens the door and steps quickly outside, pulling the door shut behind him right away so that the cold air doesn't come into the house.
Carlos and Logan watch out the window as the headlights of his truck turn on, illuminating the dark world around them. He waits until the headlights disappear and then spins around, another huge grin on his face. "So are you ready?" he asks, his excitement making his voice a little louder than necessary.
Confusion crosses Logan's face. "Ready for what?" he asks.
Carlos steps away from the window and drops his arm around Logan's shoulder. "To get this house ready for Christmas," he says, using his other arm to gesture around at the rather dreary and sad looking house. "It needs some Christmas cheer."
A/N. All right, well right now I could use a Carlos lol. My house is like Logan's at the moment, but hopefully that will change in the very near future. I hope you all liked this so far, let me know what you thought! Have an awesome day!