Authors Note: Yes, I'm starting another story; please don't kill me for being unreliable at updating my other ones. I don't get to use the computer very much, so I won't be updating this very often, but I promise that I will try and that you will absolutely love this story. I have been trying to put it together since November – crazy right? – but I've never really gotten to write this part. So here I am, on Wednesday night, finally beginning the story that been nagging at my mind for the past four months.

I just really hope you guys like it. Also, keep in mind that this is just the prologue and I'll post chapter one soon – hopefully. Really depends on if I get to use a computer or even have enough time to write something decent…

ANYWAY, on to the story!

Need to Know: Kendall, James, Carlos, and Logan are all Nineteen and graduated from school and live together in The Crib. Ms. Knight and Katie live in Minnesota as well and won't make very big appearances in this story.

Disclaimer: I do not own Big Time Rush. Frankly, you wouldn't want me to.

Standing in the Dark - Prologue

The entire building was silent except for the casual sounds of light fixtures buzzing and the air conditioning switching on and off. Almost every office was vacant, the employees having left hours ago as soon as their shift was over. It was late a night, around eleven o'clock, so it was no surprise that the office lights were off and the doors were locked. All except for one, the sounds of quite voices drifting into the halls and whispering from the air vents overhead. The voices were too quietly spoken to be coherent and as the air conditioning switched back on, the sounds were drowned out completely.

The dimly lit hallway that lead to the only occupied office in the large building echoed with the sounds of footsteps. The air around was thick with tension as three figures walked under the lone bulb that provides the only light in the hallway. The figures were walking slow, guarded, as they approached the office, hesitating outside the door before grabbing the knob and slowly pushing it open. The bright light from inside the room blinded the three figures and illuminated their silhouettes.

Standing cautiously in the doorway was Kendall Knight, James Diamond, and Logan Mitchell, their eyes narrowed, as they hadn't yet adjusted to the bright light. Once the room finally came into focus, they were able to make out the interior of the room.

Standing in the center of the room was a large round table, several chairs surrounding it, some pushed in, some not. The walls were white and plain, but on the far side of the room was a large screen made for projections. At the end of the table in front of the projection screen stood an aged but lively man, Arthur Griffin. Behind him, his assistant, Abdul, had his hands behind his back clutching the handle of a large black suitcase. Arthur looked up at the sound of the door opening and a smile appeared on his face, placing his hands behind his back and greeting the boys with enthusiasm. "Hey, fellas'!"

The screech of a chair caused the boys to finally notice a man who had his back turned to them the entire time. He obviously hadn't noticed their arrival and whirled around in his chair, looking furious. It was Big Time Rush's record producer and songwriter, Gustavo Roque. Beside him was his own assistant, Kelly Wainwright, who looked as if she was about to cry. The boys knew that look, the look that told them that something bad was about to happen. It was the same exact look she had on her face when she told the boys that their demos might not get picked, when they were suspended from the palm woods pool, and every time Arthur Griffin made another one of his unreasonable and jeopardizing demands.

Gustavo opened his mouth, looking as if he was about to go on a rant, when Arthur interrupted him, "I'm glad that you have finally arrived, and we can get started on some Big Time Changes! Take a seat."

The faces of the three boys fell as they climbed into the chairs beside Gustavo and Kelly. This couldn't be good. Arthur was about to continue and grabbed a small remote off the table when Kendall raised his hand and cleared his throat. Arthur looked at him expectantly and James and Logan raised their eyebrows.

"Mr. Griffin, sir," Kendall began, hoping his politeness and manners would make Griffin's demand not too unreasonable this time, "How come you asked us to come to your RCMCBT Globalnet Sanyoid office at almost midnight and tell us not to bring Carlos along?"

"Kendall, I really admire your leadership and courage, but if you would close your mouth for a moment, you might just get your answer." Arthur said with a smile. It wasn't a friendly smile either. It was more of a if-you-speak-again-I'll-get-Abdul-to-"or else"- you smile. Kendall frowned and let his hand fall into his lap, knowing that whatever this was, it was not going to be good for any of them.

With a punch of a button, Arthur turned off the lights in the room and the projector overhead lit up the screen behind him. Turning around to face the screen, Arthur punched another button and suddenly a chart appeared on the screen. Numbers lined the sides of the chart, forming and L in the corner. The chart was blank, and Kendall raised one eyebrow questioningly but waited for Arthur to explain, taking his comment to heart.

"These," Arthur said, pointing to the numbers that were lined vertically on the left of the chart, "Represent the number of fan bases such as blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter pages, galleries, et cetera. As you can see, the numbers can go from 0 to over 500,000."

"These," The gray haired man continued, pointing at the numbers that lined up horizontally on the bottom of the graph, "Represent the number of months that have gone by since we began taking notice of these fan bases. It ranges from month one to month thirteen."

Clicking a button on the remote, a red line appeared on the graph. It began by hovering somewhere around the 30,000 mark on month one to the 200,000 at the thirteenth month. Tapping on the screen, Arthur began to speak again. "This graph represents the number of fan bases that are completely Kendall centric."

Kendall grinned as he looked at the screen, feeling rather good about himself as he looked at the graph. James and Logan rolled their eyes but listened as Arthur pushed a button on the screen again, the line disappearing and being replaced by another. It began by hovering around the 8,000 mark in the first month but ending around the 200,000 mark in the thirteenth month – same as Kendall's. "This one represents the number of fan bases that are completely Logan centric."

Logan looked slightly taken back when he saw that in the beginning he only had 8,000, but felt relieved when he realized that now he had around the same number of fan bases as Kendall. Knowing he was just as good as Kendall felt good and he gave his blonde friend a high five, ignoring James' impatient clearing of the throat. He obviously wanted to know his ratings, and before he could speak up, Arthur pushed the button again.

The line was replaced once more by another line, this one steeper than the previous two. It began around the 60,000 mark on the first month but ended at the 250,000 mark in the thirteenth mark. Arthur pointed at the line, approval apparent on his aged face. "This line represent's the fan bases that are completely James centric."

A wide smile appeared on James' face as he turned to his two other friends, who gave him a high five. They weren't jealous of his graph, they knew it was his dream to be famous, so they weren't about to make him feel bad for finally achieving said dream. The boys were about to congratulate James when Arthur hit another button and the line was replaced once more. This time, the line began on the 5,000 mark and ended just barely on the 7,000 mark, a pitiful line that the boys knew had to represent the only absent band member, Carlos Garcia. As Arthur began to speak, their observation was confirmed and their excitement quickly faded away.

"This line represents the number of fan bases that are completely Carlos centric. As you boys know, Carlos has never been the most popular one in the band," The boys nodded reluctantly at this, nervously waiting to hear what exactly was on Griffin's mind, "And, I'm sure Gustavo has told you this before, I have invested a lot of money into this boy band. You three have made that investment worth it, earning to many fans over the past few years and selling out concerts all over America. The fans absolutely adore you three, but Carlos is a problem."

"In over nearly a year, with his number of fan bases, most of them being inactive, beginning at a mere 6,000 and only gaining 2,000 – I have had to make some pretty tough decisions." Arthur paused, looking up at the boys as he waited for them to make a sudden outburst. And Kendall did.

"So what are you saying?" The blonde narrowed is eyes, hoping Arthur wasn't about to do what he thought he was going to do.

"Boys, I have invested a lot of money and time into this band," Arthur repeated, "And you three have been able to make it worth it. But Carlos has not satisfied the fans or myself over the years. Due to his lack of popularity among the public, Big Time Rush has been make as much money as it could have made by this point. We have been unable to book as many concerts, receive enough donations at charity events, and sell as much merchandise as we could."

"And what exactly do you expect us to do?" Kendall asked, his voice low as he stood up slowly, his hands pressed against the table as he leaned towards the aged man.

"I have come to the decision that Carlos must be removed from the band and replaced."

The entire room was silent. Gustavo was shaking with anger in his seat beside Logan and Kelly was trying to hold in the tears that brimmed the edges of her eyelids. Kendall, James, and Logan's jaws fell open in unison as they stared, more like glared, at Arthur Griffin.

"R-replaced?" Logan whispered, breaking the ice-cold silence. James snapped out of his shocked trance and jumped out of his chair, lunging toward Arthur in anger but was promptly held back by Kendall, whose eyes were blazing with identical fury. Even if they both wanted to kill Arthur at that moment, they couldn't.

"Yes, replaced." Arthur said, ignoring James' outburst. The projector shut off and the lights turned back on with the swift click of a button on the remote, and the gray haired man tossed the black controller onto the table.

"By who?" James demanded, his eyes darting towards the door as if he expected Wayne-Wayne to burst into the room at any moment. Arthur chuckled, placing his hands behind his back once more as he spoke.

"That is your job, as it is to break the news to your little friend that he is no longer a part of Big Time Rush. You boys are going on hiatus for a while so that he can get used to the idea, and once you've found your replacement, we can get back to business!" Arthur exclaimed happily, a smile appearing on his features as he spoke. His cheerfulness angered all five people on the other side of the table, causing them to glare their sharpest glares but it had absolutely no effect on the man.

"Do you really expect us to just drop him? Just like that? You're insane!" Kendall exclaimed, earning a mere chuckle from the man before him.

"Since Fujisaki retired a few months ago and I as appointed head of RCMCBT Globalnet Sanyoid, you have to obey my orders. I own Roque Records. I own Big Time Rush. And I own you." Arthur explained, pointing to the three boys as he said the last word.

"You can not force us to kick our best friend out of Big Time Rush. We never turn our backs on each other." Kendall spat. Behind him, Logan and James exchanged a worried glance. Arthur obviously had something clever up his sleeve if he was going to make an order like this. He knew Kendall would object, so he would have made his plan fool proof. He always did.

"Oh, Kendall, but I can." Arthur smiled, taking Abdul's suitcase and placing it down on the table. Unlocking the dials, he pulled open the lid and took out a thick contract. "You and your mother both signed this contract three years ago when you were sixteen, correct?"

Kendall's eyes widened as he nodded his head, knowing this wasn't going to be good.

"Well, page six, paragraph two, line four states; If one of the band members proceeds to damage the band's popularity such as tabloid rumors, lack of public popularity, and/or breaks the law – he or she may be removed from the band and replaced with someone who can bring the band's status and reputation back to it's former place." Arthur read, looking back up at the boys when he finished, "And Carlos lacks public popularity and this is critical for the band. He also signed an exact copy of this contract with his mother. Therefore, action must be taken and Carlos must be replaced."

Kendall clenched his fists as hard as he could, his knuckles turning white as his entire body shook with anger. James stood beside him, eyes blazing with fury as he ground his teeth together. Even Logan looked furious, but his eyes were glazed with something else. Defeat. They had all signed identical contracts, skipping over the parts that they thought would never effect their lives, such as the promise earning jetpacks if they caught and killed Arthur's evil clone, and the one that demanded a replacement if one of them was to fail the band.

They had no choice. They had to kick their best friend out of Big Time Rush.

Authors Note: So…. Yeah. Hope you guys liked the prologue. Please leave a review if you liked it – or if you hated it, doesn't matter, and just tell me what you thought of it! If you saw any typos or something that didn't make sense, please tell me so I can go back and fix it or clarify it. It's always better to write a story with thoughtful critique!

Kendall: So why do you call him Arthur instead of Griffin? Everyone else calls him Griffin.

Me: If I told you, I'd have to kill you.

Kendall: Psh, you wouldn't do that.

Me: You're right… I would just steal all of your beanies.

Kendall: -shrieks and clutches beanies to chest-