So sorry for the little wait, guys. I was having some issues, but hopefully things are starting to work out. Thanks for the patience!
Oh yeah, one more special note: Logan's speech in this chapter might be difficult to read and understand because of his jaw injury. If you don't understand something and you're curious, ask me and I'd be happy to translate! But hopefully it won't be THAT hard. :)
Carlos jumped as he saw Logan stir out of the corner of his eye. "Logan," he said, just managing to avoid colliding with Kendall as both of them leaned forward. "Are you okay? Do you need something?"
Logan looked over both of their heads to grin at James who was standing nervously in the back ground. "m'fine." he mumbled, wincing a little. It had been two more weeks and the wires from his jaw had been removed, so he could smile and talk, but he was still very sore.
"Thirsty?" Kendall questioned, taking the cup of water that James was handing to him. "Maybe you should take a drink, Logan. A small one?"
" 'endall," Logan sighed and gently pushed the offered water away. "I'm not thirsssty." He made a face at the lisp in his voice and added, "I can't wait til I can talk right 'gain."
Kendall set the paper cup aside and sat down on the edge of the bed. "Just give it time." he advised quietly. "You've been through a lot."
Logan sighed again and leaned back against the pillows on his hospital bed. "I wanna talk to you though." he complained, a hint of an annoyed whine in his voice.
Carlos laughed and sat back down. "And we want you to talk to us," he told his friend. "But not until you're healed more." The laughter in his voice was replaced very quickly by concern. "You're still hurting."
Logan grimaced, both in pain and frustration. " 'Los? Didja. . . tell 'em what 'appened?"
Carlos froze, shocked by the unexpected turn in conversation. The entire two weeks he had been out of his coma, Logan hadn't mentioned the bizarre turn of events that led to his rescue. Not even once. And Carlos never said anything, because Logan was still recovering. It never seemed like a good time.
Kendall and James were both staring at Logan now. "What are you talking about, Logan?" Kendall finally asked.
Logan glanced at Carlos. "Do they know anythin'?"
Carlos reluctantly shook his head. "I told my dad when you were still unconscious," he said quietly. "I don't know how to tell them, Logan. I was going to wait and see if you remembered, but you still need to rest, buddy."
"What did you want to tell us, Carlos?" Kendall demanded.
Carlos looked at Kendall, really looked at him, and realized that he had been so worried about Logan, that the thought of how he had been found in the first place had never occurred to him. But now, with Logan awake and trying to talk about it, Kendall now had that same confusion and curiosity that James had possessed from the very beginning. "I don't know if Logan's up for it. . ." he said, glancing at Logan uncertainly. "I mean, I only know my side of the story and part of his, so-"
"Logan?" Kendall glanced questioningly at his brother. "Tell me honestly, are you up to this?"
There was no hesitation. Logan gave a determined nod. "Please," he whispered. "I haf to."
Logan, Carlos, and James all looked at Kendall, waiting for him to make the final decision. They could tell how much he was struggling with his desire to know and his worry for Logan. Finally, he compromised. "You can start," he conceded cautiously, holding up a hand to let Logan know that there was a condition. "But if it looks like you're getting tired or in too much pain, we're going to stop and save the rest for another time. Deal?"
"Deal." Logan said confidently. "Help me sid up a little?"
James pressed the button that elevated the head of the bed a little and then waited with Carlos while Kendall made sure Logan was comfortable. Everyone was silent, breathlessly waiting for the long awaited explanation.
"I was drivin'" Logan began. "Home. But I was runnin' late because I got a flat tire. My cell phone was dead." He looked at Kendall who had opened his mouth to say something. "I'm sowry," he mumbled shamefully. "It won't 'appen again."
"No it won't," Kendall agreed. "Because it's going to be a very long time before I let you out of my sight like that again."
Carlos and James grinned at each other when Logan blushed. "That goes for all of us, Logie." James told vowed seriously.
"An'way." Logan continued, desperate to get off the subject of the three new babysitters he had apparently acquired. "I was drivin' home, and there whas dish car wit three men-" he stopped when Kendall groaned.
"Logan, you didn't!" the blond explained, rubbing a hand through his hair and shaking his head. "It was late at night, you were by yourself, you had no cell phone, and you stopped for them?"
There was no anger in Kendall's voice, Carlos noticed. Only fear and horror and not only what happened, but also what easily could have happened. Evidently, Logan picked up on this, because he didn't look annoyed or frustrated by the interruption. He looked more sorry than ever. "Well. . . " he said slowly. "They. . . beat me up. And I was barely conscious, but I think dat they dumped me down and empty sewage drain." He reached up and tugged Kendall's hand away from his hair. "You're gonna go bald," he said gently. "Anyway, you hafta lissen to dis part. It's really 'portant."
Kendall swallowed hard and looked at James and Carlos to see how they were taking all of this in. When their eyes met, Carlos knew that Kendall saw how relatively calm he was, almost as if he had heard all of this before. And of course, he had. Kendall just didn't know that yet.
"The nex thing I knew," Logan went on. "I waz wakin' up in my bio lab clash."
"Wait, what?" Kendall asked, only to be shushed immediately by James.
"I thought that I had just had a dweam, but no one noticed me. They didn't see me or hear me. I even pushed a microscope off da table and broke it, but when I looked back, it waas there again."
James and Kendall looked like Carlos had felt the first time he heard Logan story: Bypassing the confusion and heading straight to terror because it made absolutely no sense at all.
"I was scared," Logan readily admitted. "Nothin' made shense. So I went to find you guys."
"Us?" Kendall whispered.
Logan nodded, clearly getting tired. But none of them spoke up stop him and he wasn't about to stop on his own. "I checked your class first, Kendall," he said wearily. "But you weren't there and no one noticed me. I was invisible." "Zo I went home," Logan pushed on even though he was getting to the hardest part. "And Carlos' dad and Luke were there wit you and Mom and Kady." Tears slid down his pale face. "You were all cryin'. For me."
"Logie," disregarding the fact that he was interrupting yet again, Kendall very carefully brought Logan into a hug. "Of course we were crying for you. We were terrified because you didn't come home last night and we had no way of knowing what had happened to you. You mean the world to all of us, bro."
Logan didn't try to pull away or talk again for a long while. He let himself cry and he let Kendall hold him while he cried. "I'm sowry," he said after the silence had been stretched out. His words were still thick and slurred, and it wasn't helping that he was in tears now. " 'm so sowry, 'endall. Eveyone."
"Logan, stop apologizing," Kendall told him gently. "You were trying to help those men because that's the kind of person you are. You made a lot of little mistakes and one big one, and we almost- we almost lost you." He took a deep breath and went on. "But, we didn't. That's what's important. That's all that matters now."
Logan nodded and then pulled away. His face was pale and wet with tears as he attempted a pathetic excuse at a reassuring smile for his friends.
"I think that's enough for today," Kendall said, still anxious. "This is really upsetting you, Logan, and we can't have that. You need to regain your strength-"
"I'm not gonna break," Logan mumbled in protest. "I'm almost done my part, then Carlos can pick it up."
Carlos didn't want to pick it up. He didn't want to talk about it at all. But Logan did. And Kendall and James both wanted, and probably needed, to know. Everyone deserved to know and he was already dreading when they'd have to tell the others who weren't here right now.
"None of you saw me," Logan said sorrowfully. "You were all upshet and cryin' and I couldn't help you. It was a nightmare and I couldn't wake up because it was real. It was that way at James' house too."
"You went to my house?" James asked, his eyes widening. "Logan, what- what did you see?"
"Your parents first," Logan replied, looking terribly sad and guilty all over again. "They were talkin' 'bout how- I'm like a son to them. Like you."
"Of course you are," James told him immediately. "Logan, just because you were adopted by the Knights, it doesn't mean my family or Carlos' family changed what we think about you. You've always been my little brother and I'll always be jealous of Kendall no matter how old we get."
Logan bit down hard on his bottom lip. "Thank you," he said, managing a shaky smile.
James simply nodded and then said, "My parents didn't see you or anything?"
Logan shook his head. "Neither did you," he whispered, a haunted look coming into his eyes. Then he proceeded to tell them about James and his trashed room and probably broken hand, and the way he had been sitting in his closet, crying like a little boy. Logan told them how he had left James' house to go to Carlos' house and how he had nearly suffered a complete breakdown because of affected he was after seeing how everyone was suffering. He told them of the panicked helplessness he had felt, especially when he was trying to think of what would happen if he couldn't get Carlos' afternoon.
"But you did get Carlos' attention, didn't you." Kendall broke in. The words were a statement, not a question. He knew. "Why?"
Without Logan even looking at him, Carlos knew it was his turn. "I don't know for sure," he admitted. "I've been trying to think about it for so long now, but I can't come up with a solid explanation." "I was tired of sitting at home and waiting. No one was finding anything, so I decided to go look myself. My mom was busy with my sisters, so it was pretty easy to sneak outside and go wait at the bus stop on the corner." Carlos faltered briefly and glanced over at Logan. After an encouraging nod, he took a deep breath and went on. "And. . . I was scared and worried and confused, so I literally asked Logan out loud where he was." He shrugged. "And he answered me."
James and Kendall could do nothing but stare. "What?" Kendall finally asked in disbelief.
"He answered," Carlos repeated. "He said, "right here" and it sounded like he was right next to me."
"You jus hafta believe us." Logan sighed wearily. "Guys, I could see and hear eveyone an' eveythin, but Carlos was the only one who coul' hear me."
"But why?" Kendall pressed. "Logan, how were you at school and no one could see you? What about James' house or. . . me?"
"That was what scared me the mos'." Logan confessed, looking up at Kendall. "When you couldn't see me or even hear me." "I think I know why doh," Logan continued, sitting up again. "I at leas' haf a theory." He waited until he had their undivided attention and then said, "Carlos was listening."
Silence. Carlos could hear them all breathing, but that was it. He stared at Logan, waiting for someone else to speak up because he was too scared to do so himself.
"He was. . . listening?" Kendall repeated.
Logan nodded slowly. "See, you all deal with your fears in different ways. James, you were angwy and twashed your room. Kendall, you were angry too, but you were trying to take action even if you didn't know where to start. Carlos," he paused, looking thoughtfully at his friend. "Even if he didn't realize it at the time, he was willing to accept anything, no matter how strange."
Carlos began nodding. "I remember thinking," he said slowly. "That I was dreaming or had gone insane or I was really hearing your voice. And I decided that I wanted the third option to be true. So I didn't really care if it was impossible or not."
James and Kendall were still giving them blank looks so Logan tried again. "Kendall, you're too rational to believe in something like what happened with me and Carlos. I know we've aways been close, but you weren't looking for me in dat way. You were lookin' for me in a way that had an explanation. And James, if you did hear me, it only would've been once."
James nodded. "He's right," he says softly. "I would have thought I was going insane. And I probably would have stopped listening."
"Carlos was willing to fin' me in anyway possible," Logan continued. "He was lookin' and listenin' in any and evey way he could. Even if it was impossible." He sighed and gave a helpless shrug. "I know it doesn' make sense," he said regretfully. "But it's the best I could come up with."
But it was enough. Kendall was the last to give in, giving Logan a gentle hug. "I think. . ." he said slowly. "I think I understand. Carlos' innocence is always something we've joked about, but now. . ." he trailed off and looked at Carlos. "Never change," he said solemnly. "You saved Logan."
Carlos turned bright red and ducked away. "There's something I don't understand though, Logan."
Logan smiled weakly. "Apart from everything else?" he asked.
Carlos laughed. "Yeah, I guess." He looked at James and Kendall then, including them as well. "Logan told me everything that had happened to him and I knew right away that it was up to me. No one, not even you guys, would have believed me. You all would have thought that I had gone insane. So as soon as Logan told me where he was, I took the bus there. But then. . ." and he glanced at Logan again. "Then I couldn't hear you."
"My head was hurtin,'" Logan recalled. "It hurt so much that I could harly think sometimes. It seemed like the closer we got to where I was, the more my head hurt. The las' thing I 'member is the bus stoppin'. And then everythin' went black and stayed that way until I woke up."
"You almost died," Carlos whispered. "I was almost too late."
"But you weren't," Logan said gratefully. "You saved me. Thank you for listening, Carlos."
He was still troubled, but Carlos couldn't help but smile. "Always." he promised. "Get some rest now, okay? You're supposed to be coming home sometime this week."
Logan grinned back. "Finally," he sighed happily. " 'm sick of the 'ospital."
"Soon, bro." Kendall promised softly. "Soon you'll be home where you belong."
A/N. I hope that explanation worked as well as it did in my head and when Lauren and I were discussing it. Basically, we decided that since Carlos is the "innocent one", he would also be the one most likely to hear Logan. James would be too busy having a mental breakdown -cough-trashing his room-cough- and Kendall would be too busy trying to find a more reasonable explanation. Carlos would listen. :)
Anyway, I also hope that this story didn't seem to end too soon, but I'm pretty sure I covered everything that needed to be covered! If anyone has suggestions though, I might take them into consideration though. Thank you so so so so much for all of the reviews. They never failed to put a smile on my face and inspire me to write more. You guys are the best! I might be a little busy this week, but the next story I'll be working on is, "All of Me", so James fans, get ready! Have a good week, guys!