The Truth Matters
Veronica Mars looks over at the handsome, sexy man that she has never been able to forget. Over a week ago he appeared at the club and they talked for a while before he went back to his friends. He is in LA visiting Dick and some other friends. He has become an independent reporter. She was not surprised as he majored in English in college and she always thought he was a good writer. He, however, was very surprised that she was the owner of a popular nightclub. She didn't say much about it but she told him that she quit the FBI three years previously. The following day he called and invited her to a late lunch. Since that time, she has seen him daily. Tonight after the club closed, they sat at the bar and began playing a game of "I never". Part way through they abandoned the game and just asked each other questions.
Logan with an elbow on the bar looks at her and asks her how she got the money to start the club. She looks into his eyes and reads the worry and anticipation. It is like they are alone in the world. Leaning in she tells him, her voice a little slurred, "It's a long story Logan."
He meets her gaze and assures her quietly, "I want to hear it all."
Tilting her head a little she asks, "Even if you won't like what happened."
"You can tell me anything," he tells her openly.
Shaking her head slightly she pronounces, "Truth is the cry of all, but the game of few. George Berkeley." When she sees the frown on his face she clarifies, "Is the truth important to you? To us?"
He puts his hand over hers and tells her, "I've learned that the truth is very important."
Her beautiful blue eyes flash for a second and Logan wonders what she is thinking but then the moment is gone. Now she is looking at him as if assessing his sincerity. As he watches her, she seems to come to a decision because she takes a deep breath and pronounces, "OK, here are some truths you should know. I don't know who killed Aaron but I am glad he is dead." Logan visibly recoils at her words. She continues, "A few years ago I tried to find your mother but I couldn't find any trace of her." Meeting his gaze for a second, she carries on, "I haven't seen or heard from Duncan Kane since he ran off with his daughter." Leaning closer she whispers, "If you want to know why I left the FBI, ask Agent Howard." Sitting back a little she adds, "Or go and ask the wizard." Logan's mouth drops open and she knows he understood her reference. She finishes her list as if he is asking her questions, "And last but not least, I am not doing anything illegal now."
Veronica turns back to face the bar. She picks up her drink, downs it and puts it back on the bar. Deliberately she stands and looks over at Logan who is still sitting on the stool next to hers, "If Agent Asshole isn't listening to your wire right now, make sure you tell him to 'Go fuck himself' from me." Meeting his gaze she adds, "Now get the hell out of my place, Agent Echolls and next time you come back, make sure you have a warrant."
He sits there in shock while she turns away and walks a little unsteadily towards the back where he knows her office is. She says to her two huge bodyguards who are standing near the door to her office, "Mr. Echolls was just leaving. He doesn't get back in."
The tall bald man who is holding open her office door for her, nods at her and they both look over at Logan with impassive faces. He can see they will throw him out if he doesn't leave immediately. Feeling like he has been jolted with Veronica's taser, the tall, dark haired agent stands and turns towards the door. He takes a last look around the bar before he walks out, the door shutting behind him.
He hears the door lock behind him and he sighs. He wasn't happy about this assignment. He knew that fooling Veronica would not be easy. Tonight she looked into his eyes when she told him her truths and he would like to say with one hundred percent certainty that he can totally read her and he can without any reservation, believe what she has told him. The trouble is, she did not give him any indication tonight and since he reconnected with her that she knew he was an FBI agent. What else did she successfully hide from him? Could she have looked him in the eyes and lied to him? Has she changed enough that she could fool him?
On automation, Logan walks out of the club and heads down the street towards the van. They are his ride back to headquarters and he wants this wire gone as soon as possible. He wants to be alone with a stiff drink. He wants to punch something. He wants to believe in Veronica's innocence even in the face of all the evidence to the contrary. He wants to believe he knows her and could tell if she is lying. She obviously knew he was wired and certainly could be saying what she wants the FBI to hear. He is conflicted about a lot of things right now but one thing he does know is that something happened between Agent Andrew Howard and Veronica and she left the FBI shortly afterwards. There was no mistaking the reference to another lawman who hurt her.
His mind swirling with all his thoughts, Logan puts one foot in front of the other towards the end of the street. He doesn't want to think about the hurt and anger on her face. She was trying to hide it from him but he could see that she is deeply hurt that he tried to take her down. She trusted him. His stomach clenches as he ponders what she must think about him now. He is another man who betrayed her except somehow it seems worse because they have a real history.
He opens the back door to the van and looks at the three agents sitting there waiting for him. Without a word, he hands the tech guy his wire and then says evenly, "I got shotgun." Shutting the door, Logan walks around to the passenger side of the vehicle and gets in. He mechanically pulls on his seat belt and looks out the window at the neon lights outside the club. 'Odyssey' flashes at him in varying colors. He doesn't see a light on above the club so he imagines that Veronica is doing the nightly totals in her office or maybe she is just sitting on the couch while her assistant manager does the totals. She has had a lot to drink tonight. He thinks about the bugs he planted in her office and condo. Of course she will disable them now she has kicked the FBI from her business and home.
The truth is he was impressed with the club. It is large, has a great dance floor and all the tables have a good view of the stage. It is well run. The wait staff is very professional and good at their jobs. The bartenders are fast and skilled at making mixed drinks. Security is present and the place is safe and secure. There are areas for VIPs and Logan really enjoyed himself when he was there with his friends. Her condo is really nice! It is large, open and nicely decorated. He was comfortable there. The walls had some really nice prints that she obviously took and she had a couple of really nice paintings from new artists that he liked.
Closing his eyes, he sighs and waits for the vehicle to start. He doesn't know how she knew or found out he was an agent. As far as he is aware, no one knows; not even Dick. Was she playing him the whole time? Did she go along with their kisses and touches knowing they were at least on audio? Is that something that she learned to be comfortable with in her days in the FBI or did she find out he is an agent tonight and feels exposed and abused? This whole thing is a mess; he should have refused the assignment. It is clear that he is not able to put aside his past with the tiny blonde and do his job properly.
Two long hours later, Logan has been debriefed, filled out his reports and is packing up to head home. He has never felt so tired or discouraged. Logan is a good agent. He is skilled in reading people. He makes friends wherever he goes and has people he trusts throughout the different sections of the agency. On a break, Logan went out to get coffee for everyone and while he was out, he used a burner phone and called his Mac. From dating Veronica, Logan learned the value of having people who owe you favors and he learned the importance of having a tech person who you can trust. Weirdly his tech guy was actually named Mac, Macdonald West. Logan called him and asked him to find out if Veronica Mars ever reported Andrew Howard for sexual harassment and if any other girls have filed against him. He knows Mac will keep it between them. Although deep inside he knows she is telling him the truth, he has to check everything out. Logan used to think Veronica didn't trust him but now he understands she was just verifying what she knew.
He walks out towards his car and thankfully heads home. It is almost four am when he turns his car up his street and drives through the security booth towards his place. He codes his way into his mansion and drives directly into the garage. As he enters the house, he notices that there is a light on in the living room and the fireplace is going. His security codes were changed last week and he hasn't given them to anyone. However, Dick and his friends are given the code if they call his head of security. Trina and Charlie rarely visit but security would give them the code to get in. He walks into the house and decides that whoever is visiting is someone he knows because his pit bull has made no attempt to greet him at the door.
He walks into the living room to see who is visiting him and stops in shock. Sitting on one end of the couch is Veronica. She is petting the white and brown Pitbull absently while she reads from her tablet. There is a cup of coffee beside her. He is stuck by how at home she looks.
She looks up when the dog jumps off the couch and runs over to greet his master. Watching Logan with his dog, she smiles at the picture they make. It is nice to see him with a pet. He used to love Back Up and of course, her dog really loved Logan as well. She is glad that he has a nice home; he deserves to be comfortable and safe.
Walking into his living room, Logan plops down on the couch across from where Veronica is sitting. He leans back and puts his feet up on the coffee table while he watches her. His dog jumps up on the couch beside him and lays next to him. Logan absently scratches his neck.
Veronica marks her spot on her tablet and closes the book program down. She looks up at Logan and asks pleasantly, "Can I make you a drink?"
Raising his eyebrows he says, "Sure, a scotch rocks, no ice." Meeting her gaze he adds, "I've had a rough night."
Nodding she gracefully stands and walks over to the bar. Bending over she pulls a bottle of scotch out of the cabinet and pours a generous amount into a crystal goblet. After putting the bottle away, she brings the glass over and hands it to him before she goes back and sits down across from him.
Quiet, she watches as he takes a generous sip and lets the alcohol burn down into his stomach. He relaxes his head back and closes his eyes continuing to hold the goblet in his hand. After a few minutes of quiet between them, he breaks the silence, "Should I even ask how you got in here?"
Without much inflection she tells him, "I used to be FBI. I piggybacked your phone."
He doesn't open his eyes. She can see he is very tired. He gently shakes his head and tells her, "I never take my phone with me when I am working."
She reaches in her pocket and pulls out her phone. She scrolls through her screen and depresses a button. In a few seconds, Logan's FBI phone rings. She hangs up and depresses another button and a few seconds later a different ring tone sounds. The tall, exhausted man shakes his head in wonder and annoyance. Then he lifts it and looks at her. He asks baldly, "What are you doing here?"
She delicately shrugs her shoulder and then tells him, "My place is being fumigated." He looks at her in question and she supplies, "I thought I would stay here until I can go back home."
"You weren't invited, " he says baldly.
Veronica smirks at him and returns, "Well neither were you."
Her quiet comment is a direct hit. He used their relationship against her. He knows he stepped over the line. They have been many things to each other over the years but discounting the time after Lilly died, he has always been protective of her. He tells her, "I was just doing my job."
Disappointed in his reasoning, she sighs audibly before reaching over, grabbing her tablet and opening it. "Funny how that wasn't an acceptable excuse when I was a PI and used to use it on you." Touching the screen, she reopens her book app, "I will be out of your hair tomorrow. Too many people have keys to my place right now."
She doesn't say but he is pretty sure she doesn't trust Agent Howard with the key to her place. Frustrated Logan points out, "It is going to cause problems for me when my superiors find out you stayed here."
Raising her head from her reading she asks, "How is this different from what you were cleared to do the last two weeks? At least I didn't make another sex video that I didn't know anything about." Clearly dismissing him she looks back down at her tablet and reaches over to take a sip of her coffee.
Although her face is placid, he can tell she is really angry with him. The times he kissed her and made out with her are on audio and possibly video as well. He knows her last experience with being taped secretly and he doesn't blame her for being upset with him. He admits, "I always stopped it before we got too far."
Without raising her head, she deadpans, "Thanks so much for having my back." After another sip of her coffee, she tells him, "I picked a room at the front of the house. You will have your privacy because I don't know the code to your den or your master suite."
Her comments are a direct shot. She just called him out on his actions. He did try and get her to incriminate herself. He did get keys to her condo and her office. He is not surprised that she feels betrayed even though they have not been friends for a while. Knowing there is nothing further he can say to make things better, he finishes his drink, puts it on the coffee table and stands. Without any further comment, he leaves the living room and heads up the stairs to his master suite.
Veronica continues reading and relaxing. Since she opened up her club, she tends to stay up late and sleep in. Tonight she knows she needs to decompress after her altercation with Logan earlier. Although she knows he was doing his job, her home has been compromised and she doesn't want to be there alone. Here she is safe. The sad thing is it is probably the only safe place she has in LA tonight. All of her friends from Neptune refuse to have anything to do with her. She really doesn't want to involve her father. She doesn't see any of her FBI friends since she left. She is more alone than after Lilly died. Although Logan is FBI and she is part of his case, she knows he would never physically hurt her. Her life is a mess. She can't really complain though; she made choices and now she has to live with them.
By tomorrow night, her place will be cleared of any audiovisual equipment as well as new locks and a new security system will be installed. Lately, she feels like she hasn't been able to breathe; knowing everything she does is either on film or audio. She couldn't really talk to her father knowing every word they say is being recorded. She let her business associates know she was under federal scrutiny and all calls need to be just about business. She is really exhausted. It was hard to even sleep knowing agents had been in her home. Tonight she will be safe while she sleeps.
Logan, up in his room, debates on whether to call his supervisor or not. If he does, he will have to explain how she got in and what she is doing there. Additionally, they will want to bug his place in case she returns. He doesn't want that intrusion but he knows that his duty is to call. He heads into the shower and then goes to sleep. He can always tell them he found her there in the morning if he decides to call his boss. The truth is he can relate to her upset with her lack of privacy even if she isn't supposed to know that the FBI is watching her.
A/N: I am clearing some stories off my word processor. This story is edited and done. I will be posting chapters every few days. I hope you enjoy it.