Thought I was
falling, but you caught my hand, lifted me up out of the quicksand.
And we came together, conquered the land.
-Swizzle Tree, "Waterfall"
If I'd been told a few weeks ago that I would be waiting outside a Camelot motel room in case Veronica needed saving for the second time that day, I would never have believed it. Still, here I am.
I never thought that Veronica would ever need saving, or that I would even be willing to perform such a duty. After all, she's Veronica Mars, intrepid teen PI. And who am I but a messed up, fucked up guy who's treading water in his own life, losing all those who ever cared about him.
When I called her earlier that afternoon, I'd only meant to shoot the breeze with her for a little bit, allow myself to believe that I hadn't ruined things beyond repair between us.
Of course, telling Duncan about her files was hardly the best plan to winning her heart, but I've never been too smart when it comes to Veronica.
I told myself that it was my duty, as Duncan's friend, to tell him about her files. He deserved to be prepared for whatever might happen.
Looking back, I realize that there were a number of more manipulative motivations fueling my disclosure. For one, I wanted an excuse to talk to Veronica. It's bad enough that I've resorted to sitting beside her in class and making snarky comments for her own personal enjoyment.
I mean, yeah, it's not like we regularly have conversations in journalism class, but at least she acknowledges that I exist and am at an evolutionary level above the bacterial infection she seems to contract every winter.
I was searching for an excuse – any excuse – to talk with her, so I told Duncan and then called to warn her. Veronica Mars can be a very intimidating creature when she's upset, so I was half-afraid that she would hurt me – horribly – if I delivered the news to her in public.
Also, I was afraid that if I told her in person, she'd see the real reasons why I told Duncan. She can be very perceptive, and if she knew the other reason for telling Duncan, she would have killed me with her own two hands.
You see, I know that underneath everything – his relationship with Meg, his insistence that he's "over Veronica," his drugged-up haze – Duncan still has a thing for Veronica. I may have been slightly intoxicated at the Spring Dance, but my eyes still worked just fine. And he looked pretty damn jealous of Deputy Doofus, as he held Veronica close and whispered sweet phrases into her ear. In short, doing everything that Duncan wished he still had a right to do.
Veronica and Duncan have this history together, and I was so fucking scared that if he showed even an inkling of interest, she would be by his side, trying to make things work. I'd like to think that Veronica has moved on from Duncan, or that she's as frustrated with his zombie act as I am, but I had to be certain that wouldn't happen.
Yes, I can be a selfish asshole when I want to be. I guess Veronica just brings out all those alpha-male traits within me. When it comes to Veronica, I'm possessive. I'm overprotective. Next, I'll be peeing around her car to mark my territory.
Of course, I'd probably find myself peeing through a tube shortly thereafter, once she got done kicking my ass.
I'm a glutton for punishment when it comes to her. The opposite of love isn't hate – it's indifference. And I would rather have Veronica hate my guts than to not think about me at all.
That's why I raced over to the Camelot, likely breaking a world speed record in the process, so that I could be here to save her from Ben.
That's why I maneuvered myself onto the roof of the hotel, preparing to watch, wait, and pounce as needed when they arrived.
That's why I started beating the living shit out of Ben before I knew he was a federal agent – and why I wouldn't hesitate to do it again, if I felt that he was putting Veronica in danger. Hell, as it is, I'm still itching to kick his ass for making her sound so fucking fearful when he was forcibly moving her up the stairs earlier.
As it is, I know that nothing will ever happen between the two of us. The Veronica that I know now doesn't forgive and forget as easily as the one I knew before Lilly died. Given the hesitant truce that has arisen between us recently, I think that she's able to at least move past all the shit I've put her through. But she'll never trust me with her heart after everything I've done.
The squeaking of the motel door derails my train of thought, as I watch Veronica walk out, her scarf swaying back and forth in front of her.
"You okay?" I ask. I'm not surprised in the least when she confirms that everything is just fine. I knew she'd say yes. Nothing happened inside that was so horrible that she had needed my help. It's not like she'd suddenly start giving me a minute-by-minute recap.
Even with everything that we've shared these past few weeks, we're still not friends. Yet we're hardly enemies anymore either. We just coexist, in some awkward state of limbo.
I lean against the wall, waiting for her to make her excuses and hightail it away from me. Will I hear the standard "Thanks for coming by Logan, but I could have handled it" speech? Or will she give me a simple nod and thank you?
Let it be said that Veronica Mars is hardly predictable. Therefore, I shouldn't have been so goddamn surprised when I feel her lips unexpectedly touch the corner of my mouth. For a split second, I can't help but wonder if I'm hallucinating.
Did Veronica Mars – the very same Veronica Mars that I've tormented endlessly over the course of the past year – just kiss me?
I stare into her eyes, trying desperately to read what she's thinking and feeling. She's not as easy to read as she used to be, but I definitely see some vulnerability hiding behind the mask she likes to wear.
Then she shakes her head in the universal what the hell was I thinking gesture, which causes me to jump to conclusions that I have no right to be reaching.
She turns away from me, and without thinking, I grab her arm and pull her back to me. Before she can utter a word of protest, my lips are on hers.
I half expect her to push me away, yell at me, or hit me upside the head. I definitely think that she'll soon make it clear to me that I'm delusional for even my impulsive belief that she could maybe, possibly have any sort of romantic interest in me.
Instead, her arms are wrapping around my neck and her lips are eagerly responding to my kiss. I try to be gentle and keep things slow and simple.
Things with Veronica, however, are rarely simple.
She tastes so damn good, and I feel my blood pooling south of the border. I find myself pressing her to me, desperate to feel her body flush up against mine.
Before I know it, she breaks the kiss and eases our bodies apart. I can feel the cool air circulating between our bodies; the temperature is a sharp contrast to her warmth in my arms.
She's standing before me, practically gaping at me with the look of being completely sated and thoroughly kissed. By me.
I feel a compulsion to pull her body back to mine, to feel that wonderful feeling of being at peace with the world, believing that everything is as it should be. I have no doubt that if I act now, she'll offer up little to no resistance.
But would she regret it? Does she regret it?
As much as I've tried to deny it in the past, I know that we could be fucking great together. Yes, I can be an immature and insensitive jackass from time to time, but damn me if I won't be motivated to keep such outbursts to a minimum around her from now on. Hell, I think I'd do just about anything to be able to kiss Veronica Mars at will.
But, knowing me, I will eventually find some way to fuck this up and lose her, again.
I gaze down at her, my eyes pleading with her not to regret this. I see the fear in her eyes, but I'm not sure what she's so afraid of. Is she afraid of me, of what happened, of what this could mean?
I wish I knew.
Is this just a one-time thing, a stolen moment in time, something that would be best forgotten before tomorrow comes?
Or is there something real between us, something that could change both of us? We were both bent and broken after Lilly's death, but perhaps together we could become whole once again.
I reach for her waist, attempting to reassure her. If anything, my movement just makes things worse. She immediately stiffens and backs away, before running down the steps to her car.
My eyes follow her every movement. What the hell does this mean, Veronica? What the fuck does this mean?
Will we be friends now? Is this the start of likely the most screwed up romance to ever grace the town of Neptune? Or is this simply resumption to where we were months ago, exchanging barbs and insults as if it were second-nature?
Her gaze is a mirror of my own, with the same thoughts running though her mind. The meaning is clear. She wants to know where we'll go from here.
I wish I knew. Goddamn, do I wish I knew.
At the very least, we have this stolen moment in time. Now I know how perfectly Veronica's diminutive frame fits against my body. I know now that despite the tough and angry young woman façade that Veronica presents to the world, she is just as vulnerable to being hurt as anyone else.
Most importantly, now I know that unless she specifically states otherwise, I'm going to have a hell of a time keeping myself from kissing her again. Because even with just one taste, I now know that she's addicting. When her lips are playing over my own, I can forget that my father couldn't care less that his wife died, or that my first love was killed over a year ago, or that I have almost nothing of substance in my life.
It was months ago when I confessed to the probing high school counselor that I didn't see what was so great about living. And it was true at the time, as my life was – and really still is – in shambles. I didn't have a single fucking thing to look forward to when I woke up in the morning.
But now I know that if I can have Veronica in my life, I will have something to look forward to. I don't want to live without her in my life, even if it's just the same old fucking friendship that we've shared these past few weeks.
So now I know that, but what do I do?