"Thanks for coming with us." Logan says as he parks in front of his parents house. He invited his friends to join him because he really doesn't want him and Gabby to be alone with his parents. He doesn't trust them at all. For all he knows, they could end up killing him or Gabby with a broken beer bottle. Yes, they're that dangerous.
"So are you really gonna find evidence against them?" Carlos asks eagerly.
"I'm gonna try." Logan says, holding Gabby in his arms. He cringes as he approaches his former home, memories flooding back. He doesn't know if he can think of one positive memory made in this home. It was just full of fights, abuse, and tears. He can remember one incident where his dad came home at three in the morning and beat Kelsey. Ryan and Joanna wouldn't even take her to the hospital and Logan couldn't because he didn't have a drivers license.
"What is it, buddy?" Carlos asks James. He hands the boy his notepad and a pen. James writes something down and hands it to Logan. He tries to say words sometimes, but he hasn't been able to get anything out yet. He's getting there, though. They're expecting to hear his first spoken words soon.
You use to live here?
"Yep." Logan says, putting Gabby down before ringing the doorbell. The TV is blaring in the living room, Ryan is yelling at his wife, and she's yelling back at him. Gabby whimpers and hides behind Logan's leg. He reaches down to touch her hair, giving her sympathetic look. He hates his parents for making Gabby so timid and anxious.
"ALRIGHT, I'M COMING!" Joanna shrieks. She yanks the front door open, not looking the least bit interested in seeing her son. "Oh, it's you."
"The judge told us to have frequent visits, remember?" Logan says, pushing her out of the way. If she were a better mom, he wouldn't treat her like that, but she pushed him around all the time when he was little. His whole life consisted of being abused and threatened by his own parents. He has a lot of issues because of them. If someone lifts their hand, he'll flinch because he thinks that they're gonna hit him.
"Sweetie, I have a little present for you." Joanna puts on a smile for Gabby, taking the little girl's hand. Logan clinches his fists. It's times like this where he really wishes hitting a woman weren't such a big deal. His mom is one of a few people that he would really like to beat his fists into. She's just as bad as her husband.
"So, Mr. Mitchell, how is your day going?" Carlos asks with false politeness.
"Whatever." Ryan answers flatly.
"Those shoes are awesome! Where did you get them?" Kendall asks.
"Wal Mart." Ryan grumbles. He looks at James, who smiles and waves awkwardly. The dislike in his eyes is pretty obvious, though. When he doesn't like someone, it's hard for him to hide it. Logan pats his shoulder before sneaking out of the living room. He has his camera phone with him, so he can snap pics of the evidence.
Gosh, don't they ever clean up their room? It's a mess! Logan keeps his apartment neater than this.
He shuts the door and locks it, walking over to the closet. Without making an obvious mess, he searches the closet. He knows that they keep a huge stash of drugs somewhere around here. He just needs find the stash and snap a picture of it for the judge. He's also gonna try to get some pics of the alcohol. But he should also take a picture of the room. If they got custody of Gabby, the living conditions wouldn't be very good.
He takes a picture of the horribly messy bedroom, then he walks over to the dresser. This would be a perfect place to hide a stash of drugs. Last time he remembers, this was where they kept their drugs.
Which drawer was it? It has to be here, but he needs to know which...oh, he remembers! The bottom left drawer! He opens that drawer and lifts some clothes out of it, smirking when he sees a bag of white powder. These two are just pathetic. With a habit like this, they really think they deserve custody of Gabby?
Now he needs to get to the wine cellar and snap a pic of the booze?
He unlocks the door and sneaks down the hallway, opening a door leading to the wine cellar. When he enters the room, he finds a huge variety of alcoholic beverages. Wine, patron, champagne, beer, and his mom's favorite, vodka. They have gotta be the biggest alcoholics in town.
And his investigation is all done. He turns around to leave the cellar, but ends up bumping into his dad.
"What are you doing?" Ryan Mitchell asks.
"N-nothing." Logan says, trying to walk past him. Ryan roughly grabs his wrist, causing him to flinch. He is roughly shoved against the wall.
"Give me your phone."
"Give me your damn phone!" Ryan yells. Logan yelps in pain as his own father twists his arm. It's a good thing that his phone is password protected. He isn't about to let Ryan stop him from getting custody of his niece. She's his baby girl, not theirs. He's done more for her than his parents ever did for him.
"Let me go!"
"NOT UNTIL YOU GIVE ME YOUR-" Ryan suddenly lets Logan go. Logan looks up at James shoves Ryan away from him, giving a hard kick to the groin. What the chiz? When did James turn into such a badass? He's pounding Logan's dad into a pulp, even though the guy is a bit bigger than him.
Logan runs from the room with James following close behind. The four teens and Gabby (along with her new teddy bear) run out the door and to Logan's car, getting in as soon as they can. Oh, Logan's arm hurts so bad. It doesn't feel broken, but it's definitely sprained. He doesn't know if he's gonna be able to drive with one good arm.
"James, what the heck was that?!" He exclaims. James looks proud of what he did back there. He beat up a forty three year old man! For someone that has been deaf since birth, he doesn't have any more fear than anyone else.
What the...James just spoke! It was only two words, but still! He actually tried to speak!
"What is it, Jay?" Logan asks, holding his right arm to his chest. James's smile has faded and he's avoiding making eye contact with anyone in the car. He crosses his arms, shaking his head. He couldn't try to say anymore?
"I guess that's all he could say." Kendall says, pulling away the curb. Logan wonders why James's demeanor changed after he tried to talk. Frustrated because he couldn't say anything else? Is that it?
"We should get these pics to the judge." Carlos says, unlocking Logan's phone. Yes, his friends know his cell phone password. They're the only ones that know.
"Actually, I think we need to get Logan's arm checked out first." Kendall answers. Logan nods, still holding the injured limb. He's not showing it, but what just happened really disturbed him. When his dad was trying to beat him, he remembered several other instances just like this, where he would do the most minor thing and he would get a beating.
"Does it hurt?" Carlos queries.
Logan groans in response. "Ya think?!"
"It's just sprained." Logan says as he enters the waiting room with his arm in a sling. It's just a minor sprain that will likely heal in three weeks. Just to be safe, he needs to wear a sling. Gosh, he hates his dad. He wishes that he didn't, but he does. Ryan Mitchell seems to enjoy putting his own kids through pain. He and Joanna don't even seem to care that their daughter is dead. Is Logan the only one in the family that cares about anything?
"Logie, should I kiss it?" Gabby asks, reaching for his arm.
"I'm fine, baby girl." Logan says, kissing the top of her head. "Let's just get to the courthouse and put an end to this case."
As they exit the hospital, he finds himself looking over at James. For whatever reason, he has been acting quite distant. Logan wants to ask him why, but he probably should be left alone right now. He doesn't seem to be in the mood to discuss anything. Would he be okay with Logan thanking him for being so protective earlier?
"I wanna stay with you, Logie." Gabby says, hugging his leg.
"I know, honey." Logan says as he opens the car door for her. "And I'm gonna make sure that you do."
"Uh huh...uh huh...Mr. Mitchell, how did you get a hold of these?" Judge Evans asks.
"I was visiting my parents and I decided to get some evidence." Logan explains. "As you can tell, the living conditions would not be optimal. They have a huge stash of drugs, a wine cellar filled with just about every kind of alcohol you can think of, and the place is a total mess! Why force Gabby to live like that?"
"I see." Judge Evans says, still looking at the pictures on Logan's phone. "And how did you injure your arm?"
"My dad caught me and he twisted my arm." Logan replies. He flinches at the pain in his arm, making sure to keep it still. Judge Evans appears to be very interested in the shocking photographs, yet unimpressed with what he sees. Maybe he's gonna see that Gabby is better off with her seventeen year old uncle than her forty three year old drug and alcohol loving grandparents. Older doesn't always mean better.
"He hurt you?"
"Well, you might consider pressing charges against him." Judge Evans tells him. "From what you've already told me, it sounds like you should have pressed charges a long time ago."
Logan stays silent this time. He doesn't wanna talk about everything his parents have ever done to hurt him. Anyway, all he cares about is keeping Gabby under his care. He has been taking very good care of her and they absolutely adore each other. For example, sometimes Gabby will crawl into his bed in the middle of the night, wanting to cuddle.
"What are you gonna do about the case? You can't possible wanna make Gabby live with them after seeing all this evidence." He says adamantly.
"True." Judge Evans agrees. "I'll consider throwing out the case, but I want you to get a little more evidence. This is pretty solid proof, but it's not enough."
"Not enough! What do you mean not enough?!"
"You need to get video of them acting up." Judge Evans explains. "Until I actually see them misbehaving, I'm afraid there's not much I can do."
Logan groans as he takes his phone, exiting the judge's office. More proof? The man wants more proof! Logan went through hell to get pictures of the drugs and alcohol that have consumed Ryan and Joanna's lives. And now Judge Evans wants him to videotape them! He desperately wants to scream his head off right now. In fact, he just might do it when he gets home.