A/N. Hello, everyone! I hope that this story finds you safe, happy and healthy. This is a story that has been on my mind for a while now and is very important to me. There is a long author's note at the end that will explain my thought process since I finished Memory at the end of August. You don't need to read it if you don't want to, but it, like this story, is very important to me and might explain some questions you might have. In any case, I hope you enjoy the story.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Logan stared around the room, marveling at how much bigger it looked without anything in it. Not that he had ever thought it was tiny, it was actually twice as big as the bedroom he had spent the first fourteen years of his life in. But now that everything, even the furniture, had been removed and packed into the moving van, he felt like all the empty space might swallow him up whole.
He walked to the window and looked out across the Palm Woods park. It was a beautiful view. He had always thought so. It faced the west and almost every evening for the past three and a half years, he had watched the sun set until it sank behind the trees and the sky went from pink and purple to dark blue and finally black. He watched the stars come out one by one and wondered at the frightening vastness of it all. The night sky was magnificent and never failed to bring him back to the ground when he lost himself in his dreams. He would miss this.
He would miss everything about his life in Los Angeles. He'd miss the friends he had made at the Palm Woods. He'd miss swimming in the pool with them during the hot summer days and then having bonfires with them at night. He'd miss the Jennifers who, after so much time, turned out to be included in his unique group of friends here. He'd miss Jo who had become a sister to him. He'd miss Camille.
A lump grew in Logan's throat at the thought of his girlfriend. He'd miss everything about her. Her hair. Her face. Her smile. Her laugh. Her vivacious personality. He couldn't imagine leaving her behind and yet the time had come. She was staying at the Palm Woods to continue what he was sure would be a successful acting career. Out of all the stars in Hollywood and all the stars in the sky, she was the best and the brightest. He loved her and he was proud of her and he couldn't wait to see her dreams come true, just like she couldn't wait to see his dreams come true. But California and New York were separated by thousand of miles. It killed him that they couldn't be together, that they couldn't achieve their dreams together, but he knew that when all his hard work was over, she would be waiting for him just like he would be waiting for her.
There was a knock at the closed door and Logan cleared his throat before speaking. "Come in," he said, wiping at his eyes before turning away from the window.
Even as he was turning, Camille was throwing the door open and running to him. He held out her arms and wrapped them around her as tightly as he dared. He felt her arms go around him and cling to him like breaking apart meant the end of them. "Hi," he whispered, tears clouding his vision again.
"I know we said goodbye last night," she told him, bringing back a flood of memories from the night before. The candlelit dinner he had prepared for her. The moonlit walk on the beach. Laying on the blanket they had spread out and staring up at the sky together. Listening to the waves wash up on the shore and talking about everything.
She was saying something else, but Logan was lost in his thoughts and memories. Only when she had gone silent did he realize he was supposed to reply to something he didn't hear. "Sorry," he apologized, knowing she would understand. "I didn't catch that last part.
His left shoulder where her face was hidden felt damp from her tears and when she repeated herself, he had to strain to her and understand her muffled and teary words. "I know we said goodbye last night, but I had to come see you. One last time."
Logan pulled away gently and brushed Camille's hair away from her face. She was pale and tired looking. She probably hadn't slept any better than he had. She looked sad too. So sad. Like the ocean they had watched and listened to the night before could not contain all of her sadness.
She was also as beautiful as always. Kissing her on the lips, Logan allowed himself to forget for just a minute that this was the last time they'd be together for months, until one of them found time in their overwhelmingly busy schedules to visit the other. He broke the kiss and looked into her deep brown eyes so full of tears and whispered once again. "Just remember that this isn't the end of you and me."
"It feels like it," she admitted, trying to laugh it off. She nearly choked on a sob though and buried her face into his chest again.
"We'll talk," he reminded her. "every night on the phone. Or whenever we can fit it into our day. The time change might make things a little complicated, but we will find the time. We'll make the time. I promise."
"I promise too," she murmured and he could hear the slight smile in her voice.
Camille stiffened in their embrace. Slowly, painfully, she stepped away, easing herself out of his arms. "Sounds like your brother is looking for you." Her smile slipped.
Logan grabbed her hand and gave it a tight squeeze. "I'll walk you back to your room," he told her, his voice quiet and unsteady.
They left the empty room and all the memories it held together. Logan felt Camille's steps while his own faltered when they walked out into the main room. They were all there, waiting. His mother, Kendall and Katie, James and Carlos, even Jo had come for one last goodbye.
"Don't forget to call me or shoot me and email or text," Jo instructed, giving Logan a tight hug. She stepped back and glanced over at Camille, communicating silent support.
"I will," Logan tried to smile back. "Thanks." He wasn't just thanking her for her friendship, he was also thanking her for taking care of Camille just like he knew she would.
Jo smiled one last time at him and turned back to Kendall. She gave him a quick kiss and squeezed his hand. Then she looked around at everyone else. It was all she needed to do. Sometimes, there were no words to be spoken. There was nothing for her to say, but she didn't need to say anything. She cared and that was all that mattered.
Logan watched her leave, eternally grateful that she'd be there for anyone if needed. She was Camille's best friend and Kendall's girlfriend and he couldn't ask for better hands to leave them in. They'd be fine with her. And all of them together, Kendall, Jo, Camille, his mother and sister, and James and Carlos, would all be okay together.
"I'm going to walk Camille back to her place," he announced when Jo had left and silence surrounded them once again. "I'll be back," he added when he saw Katie's alarmed face. "Why don't you um, meet me outside?"
Without looking back, because he couldn't bear to see what he was leaving behind, he tugged on Camille's hand and walked out the door. He stopped abruptly, realizing that he had just left Apartment 2J, his home for the past three and a half years, for the final time.
"Are you okay?" asked Camille, touching his shoulder with her free hand.
Logan took a deep breath. "Yes," he said, letting the air in his lungs leave in a deep sigh. "I'm okay." He closed the door behind them and stared at the metal 2J. He traced the number and then the letter with a finger, trying to gather the strength to really leave.
He took the first step almost without realizing it. It was an almost out of body experience. He felt like part of him could see himself and Camille walking down the hall, the distance between them and his old apartment increasing with each step.
All too soon they had arrived at Camille's apartment. Without speaking, Logan kissed her. Placing his hands on her waist, he pulled her tiny frame as close as he possibly could and held her there. How could a kiss seem like an eternity and end too soon at the same time? His heart, already aching, felt like a tiny tear was slowly opening up. "I love you," he murmured in between kisses, not completely willing to leave. "I love you so much."
"I love you too," Camille's tears continued to fall, but it was she who finally broke away. She touched a hand to his face and closed her eyes. One finger slowly traced around his eyes and down his nose. "I'm memorizing you by heart," she told him, not needing to see him to know he was taken slightly aback.
Logan chuckled a little and grabbed her hand. "I think," he said, pressing a kiss to her fingertips. "that you already know me by heart." He lowered her hand to his chest so she could feel his heartbeat and then he placed his own hand against her heart. "I'm going to miss this," he said quietly.
"Me too," Camille bit her lip and tried to duck him when he reached back up to wipe her tears away. "You need to go," she whispered regretfully.
"I know." But Logan didn't move. Not yet. He leaned down and kissed Camille for the final time. It was short and gentle, but it felt right. "I'll call you when my plane gets in to New York City, okay?"
Overcome with emotion, Camille simply nodded. She opened the door and backed up until she was standing in her apartment and Logan was left outside in the hall. Their hands remained connected, even if it was just by the fingertips. They shared one last look and then Logan's hand felt only empty air and nothing else.
Turning around was one of the hardest things he ever had to do. He heard her start to cry quietly and resisted the urge to turn back. He knew that if he saw her again, he'd go straight back to her and give up everything. He'd take her back into his arms and call the New York University School of Medicine. He'd tell them that he was no longer coming to study there.
But that would be wrong. Deep in his breaking heart, he knew that they had both made the right decisions. Not just them, but everyone. Just because it was right didn't make it easy.
He heard the door close behind him and shut his eyes to brave himself against the pain. The sound was like a bullet to his heart. He looked back. Camille was gone. He already felt like he was past his endurance of pain, but the worst, the hardest, was yet to come. He took another deep breath to ensure that he was still alive and walked on.
He decided against using the elevator to get to the lobby. He didn't want to hurry anything along at this point. Already, everything felt like it was going way too fast. It seemed like just yesterday that he had been accepted to his dream school and now it seemed more like a nightmare. He longed to freeze time until he was brave enough, but he had already had countless talks with his friends and family about everything.
"Just because it's right, doesn't make it easy," Kendall had told him one night when they had stayed up late discussing everything. "All good things had to come to an end so more good things could happen."
It was a typical Kendall Knight speech, the type that Logan had come to adore from his older, adoptive brother. Anyone else might sound ridiculous saying half the things Kendall did. But his advice and pep talks were something that no one ever took lightly and that might had been no exception for Logan. He woke up the next morning with his mind made up.
Logan sighed as he finished descending the staircase and opened the door to the lobby. People did this every day, he reminded himself. They moved on with their lives to grow and experience new and important things. They did all this while leaving people and memories behind. He knew he could do it himself and he wouldn't regret it once it was over, but he was also fairly certain that there would be plenty of nights where he would lay awake and wonder if he had actually been wrong about everything.
The sunlight was bright when he stepped outside. Logan blinked and shaded his eyes. He could just see the small crowd waiting by the old car that they had dubbed the Big Time Rush Mobile. That day had been only a little over three years ago, but now it seemed like another lifetime. A tiny smile crossed Logan's face as a wave of memories washed over him.
His smile faded quickly when he saw the last of his things piled high in the back and Kendall absently tossing the keys around in one hand. It only got worse as he drew closer. Katie had dissolved into tears at the sight of him and their mother looked like she was next. Carlos was staring at his shoes and James was rocking back and forth on his heels, looking like he might tip over at any second. Kendall was staring straight at him, now holding the keys so tightly in his fist that though his hand was shaking, the keys were still and silent.
As soon as he reached them, Katie threw herself at Logan with a force that nearly knocked him over. He quickly steadied himself and then wrapped both arms around Katie and held her tightly. Neither of them spoke at first. Katie was crying and Logan couldn't even open his mouth for fear of losing control. "Hey," he finally choked out. "Katie, don't cry. Please."
"Then don't leave," Katie whispered back, tightening her hold on him as he sensed the end nearing. "Please."
Logan looked over her shoulder at his mother who tried desperately to give him an encouraging smile. In the past year, Katie had moved through the five stages of grief. In the first two weeks, she had refused to believe him, saying that he was joking and laughing him off. Then, she became furious at him and after raving wildly about how selfish he was, she had given him the silent treatment for another two weeks. When that didn't work, she spent three while months, begging him to reconsider, promising everything she could think of if he went to a school that was closer. When he held firm in his decision, she cried herself to sleep for so many weeks that he lost count, until at last, she had almost completely accepted the fact that he was going through with his plans.
"I'll call," he said, releasing her. She hung tightly to him, refusing to let go and he hugged her again. "Every day," he whispered.
"Promise?" She whispered back.
Logan nodded and she let him go. He smiled a little bit and said, "Cheer up. I'll see you at Christmastime." With the schedule he and his counselor had come up with and the incredible distance, he wouldn't be able to visit during every break. Winter and summer. Right now it was the end of August and he wouldn't see then again until late December.
Carlos waited three more seconds, giving Katie time to hug Logan again if she wanted too. When she didn't move, he stepped forward and hugged his friend so tightly that he lifted him off the ground. "Sometimes I wish you weren't a genius," he confessed so only Logan could hear.
Logan chuckled because the only other option was too cry. Carlos would say something like that. "Me too," he admitted.
"You could always fail your first test and lose your scholarship and get kicked out," Carlos reasoned. He laughed then. "I'm kidding. . ."
But he didn't sound like he was kidding and Logan knew that it was what he really secretly wanted. "Carlos. . ." he began.
But Carlos shook his head. "Half of me is really selfish and wants that to happen so we get to keep you. But the other half of me is better than that and wants what's best for you and what you want." He gave Logan a teary eyed, lopsided smile. "I'm letting the second half win since in such a good friend."
"You're the best kind of friend," Logan told him firmly. "Keep an eye out for everyone, okay?" He knew that the best way to cheer Carlos up was to give him a job and he also knew that Carlos would do a wonderful job of helping everyone.
Carlos grinned at him and saluted. "Of course," he promised. "and I'll even make sure that you take care of yourself too."
Logan was smiling for real as he stepped away from Carlos and into James' arms. It didn't last though. Within seconds, he felt James shaking with silent sobs and he had to bite his lip so hard that it bled to keep from crying.
"I'm sorry, Jay. I'm so so sorry."
James shook his head violently which Logan assumed meant, "Don't be sorry" but he didn't actually speak. He just hugged Logan like he was afraid to let go.
"James," Logan eventually had to break out of the embrace because he was having trouble breathing. He looked up at his taller friend. "Are you going to be okay?"
James was shaking like he was soaking wet and freezing, but he forced and fake smile and nodded his head anyway. He wiped hard at his eyes, rubbing them and making them even redder. "Callassoonasyouland," he ordered hastily, before stepping back to join Carlos and Katie.
"I will," Logan promised right before his mom took James' place. It was then that he finally started to cry.
"Logan," she soothed quickly. "Don't cry, sweetie. We're going to be okay. All of us."
He didn't cry uncontrollably, but tears were falling shamelessly from his eyes and he didn't even bother to stop them. His strength was undone and all he could think of was everything she had been to him and all the reasons he should stay in Los Angeles. How could he leave the woman who took him as her own when his father died when he was fourteen? Four and a half years and they had been the best four and a half years of his life. He still missed his dead birth mother every day and longed for better memories if his broken father, but she had more than filled the empty void in his life and now he felt like leaving her was opening up another void.
"Logan, listen to me," she said quietly. "You can go to the other side of earth and that won't change a thing. I'll still love you and I'll always be here for you. I'm only a phone call away and if you really need me, then I'll take the first flight out. If I can't get a plant, then I will take a bus or a train or drive. Whatever I have to do. You're my son and there's nothing that can stop me from getting to you if I need to. Understand?"
Logan couldn't speak yet. He simply nodded. When he had taken a deep breath he could croak out, "I believe you. Thank you."
In response, she held his face gently between her hands and wiped away his tears. "I love you so much, Logan," she whispered, kissing him. "and I am so proud of everything you have accomplished. I'm proud to be your mother."
"And I'm proud to be your son," he told her truthfully. He embraced her one last time, looked at everyone and then turned to Kendall.
"Ready?" Kendall asked quietly. He released the keys from inside his fist and unlocked the front doors of the Big Time Rush Mobile. Logan caught sight of the inside of his hand, the skin reddened and painful from holding the keys so tightly.
Logan hesitated and nodded. "I'm ready," he breathed.
Kendall gave a sharp nod and glanced at his mother. "I'll be back after I drop him off," he said, eyes on Logan.
Mrs. Knight nodded. "Make sure he gets on his flight okay," she reminded him needlessly.
Logan climbed into the passenger seat and shut the door. He buckled his seat belt with hands that shook badly and then twisted his fingers together in his lap so he wouldn't be tempted to get back out. He stared straight ahead.
He heard Kendall climb in next to him and close the driver's side door. The car started up and suddenly, it became a lot harder to breathe. The car inched forward and Logan jumped so much that Kendall jammed on the brakes and gave them both a case of whiplash. "I'm fine," he said so quietly that he didn't know if Kendall heard him.
But Kendall did hear him and wordlessly put the car in drive again. He didn't stop this time, but kept going. Logan stopped staring straight ahead and looked out his window at the others. He reached out and brushed fingers with his mother. Then, they were past them and he was hanging out the window and staring behind, watching them grow smaller and smaller until just like that, they were gone.
Thirty minutes. They had a thirty minute ride to the airport. Logan's mind raced as he tried to think of something to say to Kendall. Soon, his conversations would be like everyone else; on the phone. Logan hated talking on the phone.
Kendall was driving slightly under the speed limit, but Logan didn't say anything. He had plenty of time to make his flight and he didn't want to rush anything. He stared out the window while Kendall stared straight ahead and the uncomfortable silence continued between them.
"We'll be fine," Kendall said at last. "We'll miss you, but we'll be fine. We'll be busy."
"That's good," said Logan, nodding his head. "I'll be fine too. I'll be busy moving into the apartment and getting used to everything."
Kendall nodded. "Good," he said.
Silence again. It stretched out for another unbearable five minutes until Logan made up his mind to break it up with anything. He was just about to comment on the weather when Kendall saved him the trouble.
"Mom spoke for all of us when she said she was really proud of you. We're all really proud of you."
"I just. . ." Logan forced himself to look away from the comforting window and glanced over at Kendall. "I feel like I'm throwing everything away and leaving you all."
"Logan," Kendall paused as he merged onto the highway and Logan waited, holding his breath. "Logan, we're going to miss you a lot. All of us. It'll be weird living in LA without you. Especially with you all the way across the country."
"That's what I mean," Logan broke in. "Sort of. This decision I made. . . I'm not the only one it's affecting. Big Time Rush is a trio now. What if-" he cut himself off and blushed.
Kendall smiled over at him. "What if it doesn't work out without you?" he asked. "Don't sell yourself short, Logan. The fans love you and they'll miss you. We won't be the same without you. I doubt we'll be as good and we definitely won't be better. But I think that we'll manage a year or two and then James can go solo."
Logan sighed in frustration. "I feel really selfish," he told Kendall. "Like me quitting Big Time Rush is putting a hold on James' dream."
Kendall's eyebrows shot up. "You know perfectly well that James is going to miss you just as much as me and everyone else," he told Logan quietly. "and not because you quitting Big Time Rush might be hurting the band and delaying his dream. What have you been doing in LA all this time? I know you had a lot of fun, but this was never your dream."
"It's not your dream or Carlos' either," Logan pointed out.
"No, but this year we're all taking community college courses, remember? Carlos and I will be able to start on our dreams."
"Maybe I should have done the same thing then!" Logan exclaimed. "I mean, I didn't have to go to New York the first year. All the classes will be pretty basic."
"That doesn't mean you don't deserve the best education," Kendall replied patiently. "The community college has a good hockey program so I won't have to worry about scouts. Carlos still isn't sure if he wants to follow in his dad's footsteps or continue with his music career. He'll be able to figure it out this way."
Kendall was right as usual. But this time, his reassurance didn't make Logan feel better. The two of them lapsed into another silence that to Logan's dismay, took them all the way to the airport.
Kendall got out with him and threw a carry-on bag over his shoulder. "Lead the way," he said, his attempt to sound cheerful falling flat.
Logan felt like his shoes had turned to lead, but grabbed his suitcase and backpack and walked through the entrance. The airport was busy with people coming and going. Some were greeting their friends and family joyfully, while others were saying tearful farewells. Logan stopped near the gate where his flight was due to leave and turned to face Kendall.
He had hardly dropped his luggage before Kendall was hugging him. Immediately, he returned the embrace. His eyes were dry, he had no tears left to cry, but the same could not be said for Kendall. He could feel his brother shaking in his arms, not as bad as James, but he was crying all the same. That much was unmistakable. Within seconds, Logan's shoulder was damp from his tears.
"I always used to hate that you're so smart," Kendall confessed, still not letting him go. "I knew that it meant that one day you would leave."
"I'm not leaving forever," Logan reminded him weakly. What a strange role reversal, Logan comforting Kendall.
"It feels like it," Kendall said quietly. He didn't say anything as he reluctantly let Logan go and wiped at his eyes. "Sorry," he muttered when he wound up dragging Logan into another hug a minute later. "I can't believe I ever thought I'd be okay with this."
"Kendall," Logan was somehow speaking around the monstrous lump in his throat that seemed to be choking him. "I can stay if-"
"No!" Kendall forced himself to let go and take a step backward. "Logan, this decision might affect all of us, but in the end, it's about you and only you. This is what's best for you. Besides," he gave Logan a watery eyed smile. "it's not like we'll never see each other again. Maybe around Christmas if you can get away and definitely in the summer."
Logan didn't reply. Christmas would only be a week and that was already four months away. He didn't even want to think about the summer.
Kendall stared at his shoes for a while until a voice overhead named Logan's flight. He flinched and then looked back up. "You'd better get going," he said, clearly hating himself for every word.
Logan nodded slowly. "Yeah. You're probably right." He started to turn around and then stopped. "Kendall, I know we're going to see each other in a few months and that I'm going to talk with you and everyone all the time on the phone. But it's not the same and a few months is actually a really long time so it's going to suck."
Kendall chuckled appreciatively. "I'm going to have to agree with you on that," he said wholeheartedly.
"I wish I knew how to thank you," Logan fought for the right words, but failed to come up with anything that truly displayed what he felt in his heart. "Not just for letting me go, but for everything leading up to today. Being my friend, my brother, someone I could look up to. . ." he shook his head helplessly. "basically everything I've ever needed. I know we've been through this before with the others, but I don't know what I'd do without you, James, Carlos, Mom and Katie. I don't know where I'd be if I didn't have all of you."
Kendall smiled fondly. "I bet you'd already be in New York City, getting chased after girls and being a teacher's pet with all your professors."
It was Logan's turn to laugh. "Yeah, because I would have survived high school without you."
Kendall's smile widened. "Of course you would have," he said, not a trace of doubt in his voice.
Logan shook his head, but didn't argue. That was the last thing he wanted to do right now. "Well, whatever to might think, I believe that everything I am is because of the amazing people I have in my life, so thank you. Thanks for believing in me."
"You make it really easy," Kendall told him, surprising him with one last hug. It didn't last long though and when he stepped away, he handed Logan his luggage.
Logan glanced behind him and then back at Kendall. "I'll see you on December then," he said, his smile not reaching his eyes.
Kendall hastily dragged his sleeve over his eyes again and nodded. "Yeah. I'll see you, Logan. I love you, bro. Call me whenever you need me, okay? Even if it's seven in the morning in New York and four over here."
"I will," Logan promised, knowing that he would take Kendall up on his offer. "Thanks, Kendall. I love you too. I already told them, but tell everyone that I love them and that I already can't wait until Christmas."
Kendall made it easy for him. Logan knew that walking away would be the hardest part, so Kendall, sensing his struggle, did it for him. Even though the pain was then transferred to him, Kendall turned his back and walked slowly away, glancing around until he had to look where he was going in the crowded airport.
Logan stared after him until he disappeared un the crowd. His mouth opened, ready to call out his brother's name, but nothing happened. He pressed his lips tightly together and after one more look into the sea of strangers, he too, turned his back. He was ready.
A/N. Some of you may know that I've been struggling with writing and updating stories for this website. There are a few reasons for this, both positive and negative. To be honest it's difficult and probably impossible to fully describe my feelings and reasons for the decision that I have come to make.
The decision is this: This story is the last I will post on this website. After talking with close friends, I have decided that I can no longer commit to this site and give readers what they deserve. This is not necessarily a bad thing. I have just reached a point in my life where I am busy moving on with my life and current situation. I think the best example I can use is a Then/Now example. When I first started writing fan fiction, I was younger and not nearly as busy. I was constantly writing and updating and now, though I believe that my writing has improved, I'm not updating nearly as much as I used to. I don't feel the same drive to write and update as I used to. It used to bother me to have stories go weeks without and update and now I don't even think of them.
Writing is something I will never completely give up. It's my escape, it's my passion, it's everything to me. I love to write. I will always write. I am a writer. I could never give it up. But by giving up, or rather "retiring" from fan fiction, I can now open up opportunities to move on with my writing. It's always been a dream of mine to publish a book and though I've tried to balance that dream with fan fiction, it just hasn't worked out. That is the ultimate reason I have made this decision.
However, I didn't just want to disappear. No matter how I feel about this website now, it was my home for two years. It provided a place for me to truly "unleash my imagination" and be creative. I met so many wonderful people on this website. Some, unfortunately, I no longer have contact with, but for the most part, these people have become my best friends. People who have supported and encouraged me. People who have kept me from giving up writing altogether. People who inspired me not just to be a better writer, but to be a better person. I could never thank them enough and since this is where we met, I wanted a little closure.
If anyone wants or needs to talk about anything, you can always send me a personal message or follow me on Tumblr (missfenway). I may get the desire to write a little something and post it there for people to read. In any case, I want you all to know that just because I'm finished on this site, it doesn't mean that I won't be around. I'll always be around. Just in a different place. In the meantime, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support and encouragement. It truly means the world to me and I will never forget all this website and its users have given me over the past two years. Thank you.