|The Echolls Case
Author: dooski PM
future fic: FBI agent Veronica Mars gets assigned a case involving the very last person she ever wanted to see again. Please R&R!Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Mystery - Veronica & Logan - Chapters: 7 - Words: 27,714 - Reviews: 101 - Favs: 33 - Follows: 108 - Updated: 02-24-08 - Published: 12-09-07 - id: 3937322
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
DISCLAIMER: still don't own the lovelies from Rob Thomas, and there's only one Original Character in here, so give him the credit please! I'm not makin any money!
a/n: okay, this is it. my big Logan and Veronica breakup. The entire chapter is a long flashback of the last time Veronica saw Logan. Hopefully will explain some hard feelings and all the tension that's still there! And you may hate me after this, let me know, I can take it so long as its not a straight up flame.
a/n2: I uploaded 2 chapters at a time this time, so make sure you've read ch 6 - lights camera action before this one! thanks!
Chapter 7: The End of Epic Love
Veronica struggled to breathe, fighting against the chokehold he had her trapped in. Her feet dangled helplessly as he lifted her so that he could stare his cold eyes directly into hers. "Listen to me, you nosy little bitch…"
She couldn't make out what he was saying as her senses started to fade. The longer he had her windpipe pinched tightly, the closer she came to passing out. Sometime during her period lacking oxygen, he must have slipped the ropes over her wrists, because she didn't know they were there until she tried to move her hand to her bruised throat.
The rest of the world slowly came back to her with the seconds passing. She knew she'd barely escaped fainting.
"…all figured out." His twisted smile was the first sight that she took in with her returned vision. "But he was wrong. Guess that daddy of yours isn't so smart after all. Hahaha. Too bad he's not the sheriff. Life would probably be funner."
Normally, Veronica would come up with a snarky comment, point out the man's flawed logic and remind him that he was messing with the wrong person. Fill him in on the little detail that friendly backup was only a moment away and that he'd better carefully consider his quickly decreasing options.
But this wasn't just any situation. She wasn't the old Veronica. This was the newly improved independent Veronica who didn't need a cavalry to bring the bad boys in. She trembled as regret flooded her consciousness; what she should have done differently, the last words she'd said to her father, the confidence that she'd allowed to become a hindrance. With each tear sliding down her face came another mistake that would soon become fatal.
"That's right!" he continued to taunt her, stretching out a finger to catch her tears. His stare hardened as he finished, "Cry for me."
Veronica grit her teeth to keep from screaming profanities at him and jerked her face away, rejecting his sickening touch. She wouldn't give him that satisfaction.
It only amused him further. "Just like your mother. A fighter to the end." The look his eyes held now showed her that she was living her last moments. He was already bored and she had no one to stall for.
Accepting what was next as best she could, Veronica forced herself to speak to him. She had to know, no matter how much the answer could hurt her. "Where is she?"
After he didn't answer, she demanded, "Tell me where she is!"
"You're about to find out," he answered, reaching in his jacket for a knife.
The next moment was a blur, everything happening too fast for her to catch each detail, and in her limited position, she couldn't move to get a better view of what was going on. One thing was for certain – someone had barged into the room and Diggs clearly hadn't been expecting any company.
When she realized it was only one person, Veronica's hopes that somehow the police had been tipped off died. She fought her body's weariness and helped however she could, which specifically involved tripping Diggs while his sight was distracted.
Veronica watched the newcomer tackle Diggs between the jaded darkness of the room. In their struggle, her heart nearly froze as recognition came to her.
"Logan, he has a knife! He has a knife!" she shouted in returning panic.
Logan didn't need to hear it a third time; a sharp pain coming from his ankle told him that he'd been stabbed. He quickly crunched the man's hand with his other foot and tried to kick the knife toward Veronica.
Veronica stretched her foot, straining to get to it. But like she'd always joked about in life, she was just a bit too short.
"You want this?" Diggs asked her as he grabbed hold of it again. Veronica saw Logan slumped against the wall behind Diggs, eyes closed. He must have been knocked out while I was distracted. Her heart wrenched as she took in the semi-blocked sight of his bent form.
"Then I'll give it to you!"
Veronica couldn't stop herself from calling out in pain as it pierced through her leg, bringing a smile back onto his face. "Now," he continued, "which little piggy should we say goodbye to first?"
Veronica's eyes widened as his body was slammed right through the wooden wall. She shut them immediately when pieces of splintered wood fell to the floor and a gust of the cold wind struck her through the gaping hole his body had just created.
A quiet thud sounding from 8 stories below made her open her eyes again. Logan's panting slowly died down and he approached her from the newly made window, crouching down to give her a studying stare. "Veronica," he choked out, tears forming in his eyes as he realized how close he'd come to losing her forever. "Are you okay?"
Veronica's eyes spilled over with tears before she slowly shook her head.
"I'm gonna get you out of here," he promised, "I'm gonna get you help." He fumbled in his pockets for a phone before realizing it must have fallen during their struggle. As his eyes scanned the room for it, the sparse light coming into the room from the stars outside reflected broken streaks in between the blood staining the knife. He picked it up immediately and carefully cut the rope that was binding Veronica's wrists.
As soon as her arms were free, she wrapped them around him and buried her head into his chest. The knife fell with a soft clatter and it was only a moment before he returned the embrace and held her while she sobbed into him.
"I thought you were dead," she cried out while clinging to his touch.
"I'm not," he reassured her, tightening his embrace. "I'm right here," he told her before gently kissing the top of her head.
She turned her head slowly and went through the motions of waking up. I must have passed out in his arms. "Where's Logan?" she asked.
"He's gonna be fine, sweetie. He's right behind us on the other ambulance."
As her attention to detail came back to her, Veronica noticed the tears staining his face. With what little energy she had left, she reached out and slipped her hand into his and offered a smile. "I'm all right, Dad. Logan-"
"We'll talk about this later, I promise. But right now, I want you to rest. We're almost there."
Veronica knew she should rest. But a flashback of the ordeal she'd just gone through sent a worry back into her heart. "Mom-"
"Your mother's fine, Veronica. She was working with the FBI the whole time. They came in as soon as he took off."
"And they didn't know he was coming for me?"
"Veronica," he breathed before a pause. "Please just focus on recovering. I have to talk to the sheriff to find out more about the situation."
Veronica finally accepted that she and the people she loved were safe and allowed herself to rest.
His smile widened with her eyes as she realized who it was. The smile slipped as she saw the state he was in, and she predictably proceeded to scold him for leaving his hospital bed. "Logan! What are you doing? You can't move around with your stitches!"
"I had to see you," he told her honestly.
She couldn't help smiling at his words. For a moment, the two just stared into the other's eyes in peaceful happiness. Veronica had to be the one to break the silence as she joked to him in a mocking, rough man's voice, "So now you'll have this battle scar to show off, right?"
"I'd rather show you something else," he told her with a sly grin.
Veronica returned his grin as she replied, "Why don't you show me your detective skills instead." After a pause, she continued, "Seriously, my dad has sworn to tell me nothing until I'm out of here and I still have no idea how you found me but the FBI couldn't."
"Wait, you're questioning my abilities?" he joked. "Didn't you know? I learned it all from this girl I used to date."
She couldn't help taking the bait, "Anyone I know?"
"She's this short, blonde girl with the bite of a pit bull."
"You make me sound wonderful. Really, I'm flattered."
"Who said anything about you?" he continued to tease her.
"Seeing someone behind my back?" The comment was meant to bring a smile to his face and continue their playful bantering. Instead, his initial response was seen through his eyes. The brown pools were flooded with a sadness and longing that she didn't understand right away. Until he reminded her that he was still vulnerable.
"Last I checked, we weren't together," he said softly, returning the rest of the world to their conversation.
Veronica paused, resisting the urge to bite her lip in a small display of guilt. "But you still came to save the day. Don't you want to gloat?" she tried to keep the conversation playful but still find some answers.
After a pause, he gave in and told her a few details. "When you weren't answering my calls, I decided to follow you."
The knowledge of his invasion of her privacy immediately sent a fury through her, but his concern made her let it go as she realized he was only trying to help. And he did. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for his… prying.
"Just for a little while, to make sure everything was okay. I was gonna take off, I had something to do anyway, but then I heard you lie to that guy you're seeing."
"Piz," Veronica reminded him, remembering the phone call as well. I had the sneaking suspicion that someone was watching me then. I guess it wasn't Diggs.
"Right, Piz." He swallowed before continuing, "I just got this feeling that something wasn't right, so I followed you."
"All the way to the Clark Corporation?" She was surprised with his persistence.
"I was gonna back off as soon as that feeling went away. But you drove straight to the dark side of town. How could I leave you then?"
"I don't understand, if you were following me, why did you wait so long to come in and help? Why didn't you call the police?"
"I did call the police. They wouldn't listen. Suspicious behavior of a former girlfriend didn't hold enough weight to get a patrol car out there. So I called your dad instead."
Veronica frowned as she guessed at the next part. "But he didn't answer, because he was driving back from the bank with the ransom money."
"I lost sight of you after you got out of your car. Why did you park two buildings away from where you were going?"
"I didn't want him to see me coming. I figured it was a lie, some ploy to get me there and trap me, so I wanted to give myself a head's up on what was really going on."
"I know it wasn't the best idea. But at least give me some credit. I never intended to go in. I had my camera. I was gonna find a good spot, hidden of course, zoom in and find out what was going on."
The sound of the door handle moving interrupted their conversation and Logan stared questioningly at Veronica. She motioned for him to hide underneath the bed.
Once the nurse had the door open, Veronica called to her before she could hit the lights. "Oh, wait. Do you mind leaving them off? It's really soothing like that and the headache's fast become a distant memory."
The nurse smiled and compromised by switching them to dim. "Here, this will help you feel better! It'll all be over in just a minute."
"Can you stay over there?" Veronica asked, cringing inside at how obvious she was sure she sounded. "Here, I'll move my arm."
The nurse looked at her questioningly before Veronica continued, "Over in just a minute, right?"
Since the angle she was offering was acceptable, the nurse let her suspicions leave her and she finished her work quickly as though nothing had happened.
She made sure to turn the lights off again on her way out. "Keep resting, Veronica. At this rate, you'll be out of here in no time."
"Great!" Veronica said with a smile, holding her stare until the door closed.
"You have to get out of here and back to your room," Veronica said as Logan came back into view.
"I just wanted to spend some time with you," Logan told her.
Veronica thought for a minute before she decided. "Listen, it looks like you're gonna get out of here before me, or if I'm lucky, we'll leave at the same time. So why don't you focus on finishing your stay here and then you can be my ride home when I sign out."
She could tell he was liking the idea, so before he could refuse, she decided to appeal to his interests, "And then we can go to the beach together."
"It's cold out right now," he reminded her.
"It's not that chilly. I'll wear a coat," she promised. "But no surfing this time. You'll still need some time before your body's ready for that. And a simple walk sounds really nice to me right now. A little mild activity after… everything."
"Okay," Logan accepted, moving to kiss her on top of the head.
"See you soon," she told him with a smile.
He nodded as he backed away. "See you soon," he returned before offering her one final smile and a playful wave on his way out the door.
"How you feeling?" he asked her.
She thought for a moment before answering, "Like I got stabbed in the leg." The look in his eyes told her he wasn't quite as much in the joking mood as she was. "How's my neck looking? I was planning on making out with a hot guy later, but it'll do me no good if this big ugly bruise takes away from the hickie."
"Things a father should never hear," he commented before smiling and answering seriously, "You've healed up just fine. The doctor says you can go home tomorrow."
The news brought an even bigger smile to her face.
"As long as you promise not to make out with anyone for a few days." After a quick pause, he amended, "Years."
"Are you sure that's on the clipboard?" Veronica teased him. "Isn't that sort of thing doctor-patient confidentiality?"
Her father sighed before kissing the top of her head. "I'm gonna go grocery shopping so we can have a real meal tomorrow night."
Veronica opened her mouth to say something, but he quickly added, "You're free to see your boyfriend immediately after dinner. But from 5 to 6 you're all mine."
She grinned at him before accepting, "Okay, Dad."
He stood up and grabbed his coat, about to leave before Veronica stopped him. "Hey, Dad?"
He quickly turned toward her, "Yes, Veronica?"
"Will mom be there?"
He looked down once before answering. "Your mother didn't say goodbye."
"Goodbye?" Veronica asked, the smile fading from her face.
"She checked herself into a center right after her visit with you. The program is 6 months."
"6 months?!" Veronica repeated in disbelief.
"It's in Texas, a brand new, highly recommended place. New ideas and methods. I don't know too much about it."
"Do you think it's gonna help her?"
He shrugged. "It can't hurt."
Veronica nodded and took a moment of silence as she took in what it meant before looking up to say goodbye. "See you tomorrow."
"I'll pick you up at 11. Right after you're done with the doctor."
"Actually, I was thinking I'd get a ride with someone else." Before he could argue, she insisted, "I promise, I'm all yours at 5!"
Keith took a moment to consider it before nodding in acceptance. "Okay. See ya, then." He paused before saying, "Get some rest in the meantime. You look like you were just stabbed in the leg."
Veronica laughed slightly and shook her head as the door closed behind him.
As scary as the ordeal had been, it reminded her of the closeness they shared. She didn't want to push him away anymore. She knew it was high time she matured beyond her fears of falling in love. Logan proved time and again that he was the guy for her.
The one good thing about that frightening day – the moment that seemed like an eternity when she thought Logan had just been killed right in front of her. It hit her then how much he meant to her and she knew now with absolute certainty that she didn't want to lose that, even if it was hard sometimes.
She was glowing as the door opened but her smile faltered for a moment at the sight that greeted her.
"Your chariot awaits," he said before laughing slightly. "Or the front seat of my car. But if you close your eyes and use your imagination-"
"Hey, Piz," she interrupted him.
He approached her and gave her a tender hug. "You gave me a hell of a scare," he said softly into her hair before moving back from her so he could see her face. "I am so glad you're okay." He smiled warmly before releasing her and reaching for her bag. "And you're getting out today, just in time for summer! I know you'll have to take a couple finals, but you have got to come onto my show soon. I have this amazing lineup planned for next week. Oh, did I tell you? I got a job-"
"Piz, you do know that I'm still going to take the internship, right?"
He couldn't have made his answer clearer with his next facial expression. "Oh," he said softly, "yeah, well. I thought you might rest a little bit before…"
"I've had a week and a half of rest. I just want to take my finals and have the summer I was supposed to have."
"Right," he tried to encourage her and conceal his hurt. "That sounds like a great idea. I'm really glad for you. Not that this happened, of course. But, you know, that you can still… do what you want."
Veronica knew she was hurting him, but she hadn't hidden anything from him. He'd known about the internship just as long as she had. "I'm so glad you're here," she said finally and gave him a hug. Afterwards, she reached out to take back her bag, "But I'm kinda getting a ride with someone else."
"Oh," he replied, "well, that's cool. Yeah, I just kind of assumed… but you probably want to spend time with your dad, I guess."
Veronica bit her lip once before continuing, "Actually, it's Logan." She forced herself to look him in the eye as she explained, "We went through a lot together and-"
"You don't have to explain," he stopped her. "I understand. I'll… I'll call you tomorrow. Or, are you leaving tomorrow?"
"I'm not leaving tomorrow," she reassured him softly. "I have to take my exams."
"Okay. Then I'll call you tomorrow."
"Great!" she said with a smile.
"Okay. Well, have a safe trip!" He nodded once before turning to the door. "Tomorrow."
"Hey now, you've gotten a full 24 hours more of the outside world than I have. A 5 minute trip to the waiting room can't have been that traumatizing."
"I've had worse," he conceded.
"So what'd you do while I was still stuck? Play some video games? Pick up some hot chicks?"
Logan only chuckled at her typical curious nature.
"Or maybe you studied? I guess we're not excused from our finals. See how amazing I am? I got you an extra 2 weeks preparation time."
"Yeah, you're somethin' else," he replied.
"Is that gonna be my new title?" he asked. "Cuz I was thinking something more like the Kung-Fu Master."
"Kung-Fu?" Veronica said with a laugh.
"You saw me in action," he defended himself.
"In that case, Bone-Crusher would be more appropriate."
"But that doesn't sound nearly as endearing or skilled."
"I guess in this instance, actions will have to speak louder than words."
He laughed to himself at the comment and was only a step behind her as they walked to the door.
"Proud of me? Okay, dad," she teased him before punching him lightly on the shoulder with her free hand.
"You spent an entire meal with your father and you didn't bug him about the case, not even once."
"I've already figured it out," Veronica told him honestly. "And it's done. He can't hurt anyone anymore." She ended looking down at the sand, which led her to stare at the bandage still wrapping her leg.
Logan nodded before deciding to change the subject. "So you asked me what I spent my day doing."
"That's right," Veronica replied. "Ready to spill?"
"It turns out, I got an important letter while I was recovering."
"Oooh!" Veronica commented with inflated interest and encouraged him to continue.
"I got accepted to film school," he told her.
The news was truly a shock for her. She hadn't even known that he'd applied. She brushed off the initial feeling of hurt that he wouldn't confide something like this in her when she reminded herself that he still didn't know about her FBI internship. "Wow," she replied, "that's fantastic, Logan. Are you gonna go?"
"I don't know," he answered, pulling his hand out of hers and running it through his hair. "Yeah."
Veronica nodded in silence, taking it all in. "Then I guess we'd better make the most of next week," she told him.
He turned to face her with a small confused frown. "What do you mean?"
"I didn't get the chance to tell you. I guess I was putting off telling you… I got accepted to the FBI. It's an internship. It actually starts tomorrow, but since I still have finals, I'm not going until next week."
Logan let out a sigh as he digested what all the news meant. He was down to his last few days with Veronica for probably a long time. But this was what she'd always wanted. "That's great, Veronica. You're gonna be amazing."
"So are you," she told him with a grin.
They walked along in silence for a bit, enjoying the quiet moment while they could as both knew their lives were about to take on a great change very soon.
Veronica broke the silence this time. "So, you never told me you were interested in going to film school. When did you decide that?"
Logan shrugged. "I don't know, it just came to me and I thought, why not. I thought it was just a phase and that I wouldn't get accepted anyway."
"So, how are things? Other than that, I mean. How've you been? I know I've been a little distracted lately, and I haven't been tailing you to figure it out." More like distant and avoidant, Veronica, she scolded herself inwardly
"You know, there's an invention I've been meaning to introduce you to. They made this thing called a phone where you push these little buttons and-"
"Okay, okay! I know, I could've called." The silence that followed might have been awkward for another pair, but it was like Logan knew her unspoken words already. So they walked in comfortable silence for a moment.
"We should drive to that new theme park they built," Logan said suddenly.
"What, right now?"
"Tomorrow," Logan decided, clearly right then.
Veronica thought for a moment before answering, "How about the next day? I have to do something with someone tomorrow."
"Always a cloud of mystery…" Logan commented, teasing although it made Veronica feel more guilty that she'd been shutting him out for so long.
"I have to see Piz," she told him honestly.
Logan tensed a bit before looking away and mumbling, "Right, the boyfriend."
Veronica put a hand on his shoulder and he turned into her. She stared into his eyes for a moment, studying them as she built up the courage to say it. It's now or never, Veronica! "I'm going to break up with him," she told him sincerely.
Logan's eyes widened but he didn't open his mouth and instead studied her silently. Clearly, he hadn't been expecting to hear that.
"I haven't been honest with you, Logan. Or myself." She paused once to collect herself and then put her arms around him. She could feel his body initially tense but then fall comfortably into hers. "There's still something there, between me and you. I feel like there always will be…" After a pause, she finished. "And I don't wanna lose what we have."
His stare wavered a little and he looked away and then back at her. "Veronica…" he trailed hesitantly.
"Actions speak louder than words," she reminded him in a whisper before moving her lips toward his.
He kissed her back and for a moment, the rest of the world disappeared and all she could sense was the familiar taste of his tongue.
But something wasn't right. She could feel his hesitation return and before she knew it, he'd pulled away from the kiss. She felt his true feelings in his kiss, but for some reason, he was still pushing her away. Why?
He put his hands on her shoulders and massaged her briefly before he'd decided upon what to say. "Veronica, I can't do this, I'm sorry." When he saw the unshielded hurt and confused look in her eyes, he realized he couldn't stare at her directly, otherwise he might never say what needed to be said. "I love you, Veronica. But it isn't enough."
Veronica tried to keep from crying. She'd managed the first time he'd done this to her face to face, but this time, after everything they'd been through, she wasn't so sure that she could hold herself together.
"You should stay with Piz. He cares about you." After a pause, he added, "And you trust him."
Veronica felt herself coming closer to tears, but she still forced herself to face what was happening and speak her own mind, "Is that what this is about? Trust? Of course I trust you, Logan!"
When he didn't answer right away, she realized how serious he was. Inside, she was struggling between anger that he wouldn't take her word for it and guilt that maybe there was a grain of truth to his words. She knew she hadn't given him much reason to believe that she trusted him lately, but that didn't change the fact that she was in front of him right now insisting she did. "Logan, I trust you."
"No, you don't!" Logan insisted, losing some of his cool. He swallowed once to collect himself before continuing with what he wanted to say, "You only think you do. You trust me with your life. But not your heart."
Veronica couldn't hold it in any longer. She blinked a few times as tears started to fall and a hot feeling flushed her cheeks. "That's not true," she said quietly, her voice wavering.
"It is true," he went on. "When did you decide you still wanted this? Yesterday? A week ago? I've been carrying this around since the first time we broke up. There's no one else, Veronica. There probably never will be."
"Then why are you doing this?"
"Because you don't want to be with me, Veronica. You want, you want to fix me. But there's nothing to fix. I'm not that guy anymore, I've already told you."
"What are you talking about?" Veronica asked, her hurt slow caving to her confused anger. "When did I ever say that? Were you listening to what I was saying? I want to be with you, Logan. You, not Piz." She looked down once before returning his stare again. "I just wish it hadn't taken me a near death experience to see that.
"Veronica," he said softly, "this isn't going to work. I'm going to film school-"
"Is that it? You want to save yourself from any guilt and do whatever you want at film school?" Veronica asked angrily, letting her emotions do the talking for her.
The question took him off guard for a moment. "What? What do you mean?"
"So you can hook up with whoever you choose and there'll be no one to answer to," she finished angrily.
"No, don't be ridiculous-"
"Don't call me ridiculous."
"This is exactly what I'm talking about!" Logan blurted before trying to calm himself down. He didn't want to argue with her. He wanted her to see things the way he did. He knew it required a different approach since she wasn't going to just take his word for it. "Why do you trust Piz, Veronica?"
"What does he have to do with anything? I told you, I can't be with him. I don't feel that way anymore. Why do you keep bringing him up?"
"Listen, it's not about Piz, okay. It's about you. Why do you trust him?"
"You want me to dignify that with an answer? I mean, you are soon to be attending film school, but you at least spent one year studying real world problems and subjects."
"You're not even thinking about it. Please, if you can just tell me that, then…"
"Then, what?" Veronica demanded.
"Then maybe you'll see why I feel the way I do. Or maybe I'll have to rethink things."
Veronica tried to let go of her frustration and answer him, as pointless as she thought it was. "I can just tell… He's never given me any reason not to… I don't know what else you want me to say, anyone with eyes can see he's a decent guy."
"Okay," Logan said with a pause. "That wasn't the answer I was expecting."
"And why am I not surprised to hear that?" Veronica asked sarcastically. "So did I pass the test? Or do you have a follow up?"
"Well, I think it's because he doesn't know you."
"Gee, that's a convincing alternative, but I think I'm still gonna have to stick with my original answer. That and I'd like to think I know how I feel just a little bit better than you do."
"Veronica, I mean he doesn't know your secrets, your past. I love you and I want you to be happy. I just hope that someday, you'll let somebody in."
What does he think I'm doing right now? Veronica tried to calm herself and think rationally about what he was saying. "And you're telling me that person can't be you," she paraphrased.
"It's okay. I get it." I've hurt you too much for you to ever put yourself in that position again, she thought bitterly.
Veronica took a moment to brush away her tears and then finished, "Please take me home."
Oh, yeah, Logan. Anything but date me. But Veronica put on a smile and said, "Of course."
"Good," Logan said, sounding truly relieved. "Want me to walk you to the door all gentleman-like?" he offered with a smile.
"There won't be a kiss waiting for you. But suit yourself."
When they were both standing on the porch, Logan told her, "I'm sorry if I hurt you."
"You didn't," Veronica immediately dismissed his concern before she remembered it was Logan she was talking to and he already knew. "You did," she admitted less stubbornly. "But it's okay. Really, I get it. Look at us!" she said with a smile. "We would never work."
Logan didn't agree to that but didn't argue either. "I know you're leaving soon, so if I don't have another moment alone with you…"
"You are so not getting into my pants right now," Veronica said jokingly.
"…I want to tell you to call me. If you ever need anything." A delayed smile came to his face as he realized what he'd just said to her. Talk about a broken record! "Call me whenever," he corrected himself.
"Sure," Veronica said. Then she motioned to the door," Well, I'm gonna go inside now. Unless you have something else you'd like to get off your chest before we never see each other again.."
"You're joking, right?
"You had to ask? Are you sure you know me so well?" Veronica teased while dodging.
Logan smiled at the comment. "Okay. Well, if you want to study together…"
"Call you?" Veronica guessed sarcastically. "If I can remember the number…"
Instead of answering, he stood there for a moment, looking as though he was evaluating his decision that day. His stare faltered and she could tell he wasn't just looking at her form standing on the doorstep anymore; he was reliving the past in his mind.
"I told you I wasn't gonna give you a kiss, and if you don't leave now, I won't be held responsible for your health tomorrow morning after you've spent the night pining away on my cold porch."
He smiled once more before offering a final, "Goodnight, Veronica," and turning back toward his car.
"You can come out of hiding now," Veronica told her father. "Besides, he's gone, didn't you see?"
Her father flipped on the light so that she could see him sitting casually on the sofa by the window. "You looked like you could use a moment alone. Something happen? I don't mean to pry-"
"Sure…" Veronica joked.
"But I didn't see a goodnight kiss. Or have you kids gotten sneakier since the last time a boy dropped you off at your door."
Veronica laughed before replying, "No, still just as much sneak as ever; no more, no less." After a pause, she continued more seriously, "Logan and I are just friends. Despite whatever you think you saw at dinner."
"Well, I was a little surprised that he was the boy you brought home, but then again, I was surprised that he was the one who found you. Is there something going on with the two of you?"
"You mean besides recovering from a traumatic experience?" she remarked. "No, nothing more. I just thought we deserved some time together without a psycho trying to kill us."
"I'm sorry, dear. You know I'm just worried about you. I have to be, since some whacked-out twist of fate decided I should be your father."
"I know, it's fine Dad," she told him. "I'm fine," she added before giving him a hug.