Title: Out of Control

Author: Sassy

Rating: PG-13

Spoilers: Through Episode 15. I read spoilers on Neptunesite and had to jump on this idea.

Pairing: Veronica/ Logan

Summary: Logan vows to find his mother's killer and Veronica gets roped into helping.

Out of Control

Chapter One

Reputation

Logan didn't register the discomfort of the hospital waiting room chair. Truthfully, he didn't register much of anything. He couldn't seem to focus on anything around him, other than the words that the doctor had told his father, the pair almost out of hearing distance, but not quite our of Logan's hearing range. "Her death was caused by drowning- apparently from the bridge. The impact from the bridge was enough to kill her, but it probably knocked her unconscious. We've ruled her death as a suicide. Was she unhappy in anyway, Mr. Echolls? Oh, and could you autograph this lab coat for me?"

Logan wanted to attack the medical examiner when he'd heard those words. His mother was dead and this guy was asking for his father's autograph. He was trying to make it seem like his mother had committed suicide, but she wouldn't have. She wouldn't have just left him behind in the world with his father and sister alone. While she hadn't always known how to be a mother, she had always loved him. She had helped clean him up after his father's punishments with sorrow in her eyes and alcohol on her breath. Logan didn't pretend like his mother had been happy with her life. She had been utterly miserable, his father had seen to that. But she wouldn't have committed suicide. She had plenty of alcohol to numb her pain; she wouldn't have needed to kill herself. He had to believe that. No. Someone had killed her, just like someone had killed Lilly.

He vowed at her very public funeral to find out who had killed her, as clich├ęd as the revenge plot sounded. He wouldn't let her death go by unpunished and he knew whom he had to go to for help. Even if it pained him to talk to her. Even if she had betrayed him before.

Veronica had heard about Logan's mother on the news and the friend inside of her mourned for Logan and Mrs. Echolls. Mrs. Echolls had always been kind to her, even after the problems with the Kanes' had ruined the Mars reputation. She had been one of the few people who had remained humane to their family. Of course, Veronica had never been sure if it had been the alcohol talking or her real personality, but now Veronica chose to believe that it was Mrs. Echolls' way. But now she was gone.

She wondered if Logan was okay- at least as okay as the circumstances allowed. He had been absent from school for a week, but she'd seen the reports of Logan flipping out on the paparazzi outside their home and then turning on his dad, blaming him for Lynn's death. The highlight of entertainment news was Logan's pain and reaction to it. Aaron Echolls out of control son. But Logan wasn't really out of control. He just wanted privacy so he could lick his wounds without everyone watching. Of course, what Logan wanted didn't matter to the press, because the footage would be replayed every five minutes on TV. Logan couldn't even be given the privilege to mourn privately.

Logan returned to school on Monday. All anyone talked about at school was Logan and his mother's death. Logan was unusually subdued; the boyish smirk absent from his face, the glint in his eyes gone. He stuck close to Duncan, who was equally somber, as he always was with the memories of Lilly haunting him and the anti-depressants Celeste Kane kept him on. Veronica saw them in the halls, and for once, she wished she could talk to them the way they used to. She wanted to talk to Logan. Such an odd concept- wanting to talk to him. But she resisted the primal urges and continued on with her usual outcast life at school.

Veronica was typically hyper-aware of her surroundings. She watched everything around her, an encoding in her private investigator's genes. That is exactly why she was surprised when a hand reached out from the boy's bathroom and pulled her in without her realizing what was happening or who it was. She turned to face whoever it was, ready to punch whoever had accosted her, but she saw Logan with his hand still attached to her arm. A fact that sent tingles down her spine, though she'd never testify to it in court.

"LOGAN! Was there really no other way you could talk to me besides yanking me into the boy's bathroom?" She said it as though the girl's bathroom was not her regular office. She continued on with her rant, "You couldn't have come up to me in the halls and said, 'hey, Veronica, I've got to talk to you.' This is really going to do wonders for my reputation." She added the last sentence as an afterthought.

Logan fell into his usual smirk and Veronica was actually glad to see it. "You really think your reputation is going to get worse by you being in the boy's bathroom with me?" His eyes were laughing at her and she hated him again.

Veronica narrowed her eyes and jerked her arm away from him. She hit the door as she stepped backwards, but the contact didn't register. She was already annoyed with Logan and they had been in the same room for less than five minutes. And to think that Logan had seemed less obnoxious today.

"Look, I'm sorry, Ronnie. I'm just pretty pissed right now, okay?"

"Are you actually apologizing to me?" Veronica's mouth formed into a perfect smile and she relaxed her stance slightly.

"As long as no one else finds out about it, yes."

Veronica sighed loudly and moved away from the grimy door. She wondered why he wanted to talk to her and she couldn't resist asking.

"What do you want, Logan? I assume you pulled me in here for a reason, other than the chance to make fun of me."

Logan's face darkened considerably, the comfortable look on his face gone. The smirk had disappeared once again and he looked sad. Veronica resisted the urge to give him a hug, something she would have done back when they had been friends. Now it would have just been weird. And the situation was already weird enough.

"You heard about my mom."

Veronica understood the change in Logan's demeanor and she nodded, her blond bangs falling in her eyes. She brushed them away while she thought of what she should say. Everything seemed so trite when it came to death.

"Yeah. I heard. I'm really sorry about it, Logan."

Logan ignored the comment, and continued on with what he was saying. "She didn't kill herself. Someone killed her; I know it. I want to find out who it was and I want to make them pay."

Veronica sighed again. Logan was reaching for a reason for his mom's death. He wanted to blame anyone else besides her for it. He needed to believe that it was someone else. She had felt the same way when Lilly had died and when her mother had left. She had wanted to believe that Lianne had left because someone had made her, and then she had realized that there was no one else to blame but Lianne. Lianne was gone because of her own selfish reasons, though. Logan would find that out about his mother soon enough.

She didn't have time to chase down someone that didn't exist. She had plenty of other cases to work on, including ones that involved her - who her father was, who had murdered Lilly, who had raped her. But Logan, who hated her with every fiber of his being, was asking for help. And it probably caused him mental pain to do so. She didn't want to take his hope away from him, for some reason. His hopes would be deflated shortly anyway.

"You came to me for advice on revenge. That's soooo sweet!"

Veronica smiled charmingly at him, hoping to receive one in return. This depressed Logan kind of freaked her out. She knew why he had been telling her. He wanted her help to find the person who did it. But it was fun to make him say it. She felt bad for him, yes, but that didn't mean she didn't want to hear him admit it. She deserved to hear him say that he needed her help after the way he'd treated her.

"I want you to - to help me find who did it, Veronica."

He kept his gaze down, avoiding having to meet eyes with her. He didn't want her to know that he needed her. But he did. Only for finding his mother's murderer, of course, but he needed her.

Veronica decided not to push him any further on him asking for help. She'd have plenty of time to use it to her advantage.

"Why do you think someone killed her?"

"It's a long story."

He seemed tired. His face was shadowed with exhaustion and his eyes were defeated. Logan wasn't one to take defeat.

"You'll have to tell me the whole story or I won't be able to help you."

"So you will help me?"

"If you tell me everything. And no one finds out. I wouldn't want it to get around that I was helping an 09er."

"Yeah, well, I don't want people to know that I'm talking to you, so I think the secret's safe. I don't want to tell you the story here, okay."

"Fine. After school, you can come to my apartment. We'll talk then."

She took out her notebook and scribbled her address down. She tried not to think about what she was doing, giving Logan the address. He could harass her anytime after she gave him this. But she finally ripped it from the spiral and handed it to him. She turned away from him and walked back to the door. She paused before exiting and spoke one more time.

"I am sorry about your mom, Logan."

"Everyone is." He sounded bitter, but Veronica tried not to notice. She didn't want to think about how she missed the cocky, mocking tone in his voice. She pushed the door and walked confidently out into the hall, Logan following not too far behind. Everyone saw it and suddenly, Logan's mom wasn't what everyone was talking about anymore. It was about Veronica providing some cold comfort to Logan in the middle of the school day.