Title: When She Stayed
Word count: 4090
Spoilers:Season one and 2x01. Very small reference to 2x06.
Summary: What if Veronica hadn't have broken up with Logan over the summer?
A/N: Big thanks go to my fabulous beta readers lj user"moire2" and lj user"semby" .
Logan chewed on his thumb, eyes vacillating between the television and Veronica. She was frozen at his side, eyes fixed on the television – she hadn't looked at him all night. He grabbed her hand, running his fingers lightly over her palm before she pulled away and fisted her hands in her lap.
"What the fuck, Veronica?"
The credits began to roll across the screen and Veronica reached out for the remote control and hit the power button.
She sighed deeply, tucked some stray hair behind her ears, and swung her leg on the couch so it rested underneath her. Finally, after nervously twisting her hands in her lap, she turned to face Logan. He held out the palm of his hand and she finally took it. She bit her lip, a slight frown on her face as she looked down at her lap and then finally met his eyes.
"I keep thinking if I stick by you, you'll get past this phase and you'll be you again," she said, squeezing his hand tighter. Logan swallowed hard and looked away for a split second.
"Are you breaking up with me?"
She shook her head. "No, Logan. But things have to change; I can't put up with this for much longer - not with you and your toadies cruising around at night hatching plans, refusing to let everything get back to normal. Someone's gonna get killed."
Logan flinched, dropped her hand and shifted up to the arm of the couch. His face contorted in anguish. "Someone already has, did you forget? And most of the people in this town think I did it."
"I don't," she said firmly, but then added in a softer tone, "It's wearing me down. I don't know what you're up to when I'm not with you; I keep thinking that one day I'm going to get a call to say they found your body somewhere."
"I'm trying to protect you!" he exclaimed, his fist thumping the wall to punctuate his words.
"I'm not questioning your motives; I'm questioning your method," Veronica said, leaning forward. "We need to find a better way. Us. Together. Please, Logan…"
He sat with his mouth half open. He wanted to say something, but the words took a few seconds longer than normal to formulate. She cares? he thought, and shook his head.
"Why don't you just admit it, Veronica, you're tired of the shit storm that is my life and you're dumping me. Don't feed me this crap about you actually caring."
"I'm not leaving you, asshole, I'm asking you not to take stupid risks," Veronica snapped, her face tightening as her arms folded over her waist. She looked away, her gaze seemingly on the wall. Veronica wished she could just end it. Leave him, walk out the door now. It would be so much easier than this. But she couldn't do that to him, be the last in the long list of people that had deserted him.
"I'll try more," Logan conceded. "It's just hard, you know?"
Veronica nodded before she gently laid her head on his shoulder.
"Yeah, I know."
Veronica rolled her eyes at Mac as Wallace and Logan began to bicker over the movie playing for the third time. She leaned back heavily against the sofa and tried to make out the words over the din.
"I told you, man. It's crap! My father makes better films than this."
"If you would just shut the hell up for five minutes you might get what's going on."
"Give me the fricken' popcorn!" Veronica interjected, holding her hand out for Mac to pass it over.
"Why don't we not watch the film, go to the beach, get really wasted and have an orgy?" Logan suggested.
"Have to say no. My Ma' would beat my ass," Wallace said ruefully, "and yours."
Veronica dropped her messenger bag on the ground next to the empty table with a thud. Her nose crinkled in disgust as she attempted to brush off the dirt caked on the bench before sitting. Brown grass clippings shuddered in a small swirl of wind and whirled past the empty tables. The sound of her boot tapping against the plastic leg of the table echoed against the concrete walls, and Veronica shivered. Come September, this place would be full of swaggering, hormonally challenged teens wallowing in 09er angst. Looking around, Veronica decided she preferred the eerie silence.
She jumped as a door cracked open and slammed into a wall. She looked towards the sound and rolled her eyes. Logan spread his arms wide, turning in a circle as if he was surrounded by an audience of rabid fans.
"Thank, you, thank, you. No time for autographs. One picture only. Move along, please. Terribly important person coming through."
He reached her table and easily hopped on top. He waved one of lime green sneakers in his girlfriend's face.
"Go ahead, I know you want to," he offered.
Veronica quirked an eyebrow. "Want to kick your ass?"
"Well, I was thinking you could kiss my feet, but if you want to be the Dom today…" he trailed off and waggled his eyebrows.
"Mistress Veronica says shut up and get off the table."
She shoved a wrapped bundle towards him, hitting his hand with a satisfying smack as he tried to swipe a grape from her. Logan made a show of carefully unwrapping it, pausing to wave his hands like a magician over the package before he unfolded the paper.
"You made me lunch?" he asked with a smirk as he took a bite from the sandwich.
Veronica rolled her eyes again. "I need to keep the training up to be the perfect trophy wife, right?"
Logan nodded with a serious expression on his face and received a kick in response.
"You really are Mistress of Pain today," he snarked. "Dick and Beav are having a party this weekend; wanna go?"
"Depends who else is going," Veronica said. "Casey is looking mighty fine these days and Luke…"
Veronica trailed off at the expression on his face that went from one of disgust to faux-anger. "I'll go with you." she laughed.
"Did you order a stripper?" Veronica asked, leaning against the doorway in her best provocative pose.
"I believe I did," Logan stated slowly, drinking in her skimpy, tight outfit. He held the door open wide for her and she waltzed in before grabbing him and pressing her lips against his.
"Mm, not that I mind," Logan breathed out between kisses, "but what brought this all about?"
"New look," Veronica chuckled, pulling him further into the house. "It was a case."
"A case that required you to dress like a stripper?" Logan asked with an indiscernible look on his face.
"Something to do with proving someone was colour blind," Veronica said vaguely, before pulling him back towards her. Logan stopped quickly and knocked the door shut with his foot. He grabbed her hand and motioned towards his room. Veronica nodded.
It took them a few minutes longer than it should have to arrive there due to distracting each other every couple of steps. His fingers moved rapidly over every spare inch of exposed skin, groaning when he hitting a particularly sensitive spot. They made it into his room and fell back onto the bed. Veronica giggled before his mouth found that spot on her neck and she gasped, her head falling back.
Logan smirked as he jerked his top off and threw it over his shoulder. Veronica ran her fingers over his navel and up his chest as he kissed her, carefully pulling the top she was wearing away. As they broke apart to discard the top, his eyes met hers.
"Are you sure?" he mumbled. Veronica smiled and pulled him back.
"Yes," she said firmly.
Veronica stepped out of the car and paused. Lights glowed from the mansion's windows and she thought she recognized the charming lyrics from Disturbed's latest ringing out in the night.
She began to weave through the parked cars that littered the circle drive leading up to Dick's house.
Reaching out, she made to knock on the door only to have it flung open. She was shoved aside as a freshman bounded down the steps and threw up on a rose bush.
"Charming," she thought. "Typical 09er party, then."
The party was in full swing; the music was pulsating loudly and the throng of people were moving in time to the beat. Seeing the familiar faces in the crowd made her feel a wave of nausea and she shivered and felt the sensation of icy fingers running up her spine. Veronica grimaced and stepped around a couple who groped each other in the doorway as if they were alone.
Disdainfully she realised everyone was now drunk and at the "dance randomly with a stranger," "make out with a stranger," or "throw up somewhere" stage.
Veronica made her way through the crowd, looking around for someone she actually liked. She saw Meg standing next to a girl she didn't recognise and gave her an uncertain smile when she caught her eye. Meg purposefully turned to face the other girl, pretending to be engrossed in deep conversation.
A flash of hurt shot through her as she realised Meg wasn't going to 'get over it' anytime soon. Duncan turned up daily to Java the Hut and was making it obvious he was still interested in her. Veronica wasn't sure how to handle it. Although she enjoyed his company and he made her laugh, she secretly thought that, as Logan's best friend, he should have made more of an effort in hiding his feelings. Veronica constantly tried to reach out to Meg, but things weren't getting any better.
A pair of strong arms wrapped around her, making her freeze for a second. After a year of thinking she had been raped at an 09er party, it was hard to stop thinking itwasrapeitwasn'tconsensual every time there was a reminder.
The fingers belonging to the arms brushed down her own arms reassuringly and a voice said in her ear, "I was beginning to think you had stood me up."
She turned to face Logan, a smile on her lips that didn't quite reach her eyes and took his outstretched hand. "So this is 'The Happening Place', huh?"
They made their way over to the kitchen and Logan filled up his empty cup with beer. He grabbed an empty cup from the side and handed it to Veronica. Their eyes met and Veronica realised exactly what he was doing. She reached out and held it back to him.
"Diet Coke, please," she said and he took it from her, giving her a nod of understanding. Veronica turned when she heard someone else enter the room and smiled when she saw who it was.
"Hey, Cassidy," she greeted. "How's it going?"
Cassidy gave her a genuine smile back. "Good, thanks. I've been meaning to talk to you." He paused looking awkwardly at Logan, who handed the full glass back to Veronica.
"See you soon," Logan said, taking the hint and disappearing out of the door.
"What can I do for you?" Veronica asked, taking a sip of the coke and leaning against the counter that was littered with empty beer cans and half-full spirit bottles.
"Well, it's about my Dad," he began, spinning a discarded bottle around on the counter before he realised what he was doing and let go so it spun into the sink and smashed. He blushed and ran a hand through his hair.
"He seems to be doing well for himself," Veronica said, glancing round at the lavish house and purposefully ignoring what had just happened.
"Oh, it's not money." Cassidy quickly said, biting his lip. "Well, it is, but it's my step mom. She's a gold-digger and it's obvious to everyone else in the world except for my Dad. All she does is spend his money,"
Veronica looked at him sympathetically before saying, "Unfortunately, there are no laws against exploiting rich and horny middle-aged men."
"Yeah? Well, the pre-nup doesn't allow her to cheat on him. I came home early the other day and she was acting strange and looked flushed."
"Maybe you caught her exercising to Britney Spears or something," Veronica said with a smirk.
"Look, it's just a hunch, okay, but I'm willing to pay you a lot of money to back it up with hard proof," Cassidy said seriously.
"Define 'lot'." Veronica knew she could really use the money. Since her Dad forced her to start working at Java the Hut, her income had decreased drastically. With an entire college fund to replace, she couldn't afford to be choosy.
"Five hundred for a picture of Kendall violating her pre-nup."
"Thousand," Veronica shot back. She didn't feel guilty -the Casablancas were ridiculously rich; he could afford it
Cassidy nodded. "Okay." He pulled a piece of paper out of his pocket and handed it to her. "That's her schedule. Good luck." He gave her an awkward nod and left the kitchen. Veronica folded it up and shoved in her bag as she followed Cassidy, not looking where she was walking until she slammed into someone.
"Sor…" she began until she looked up and saw Meg standing there and the words died on her lips.
"I'm just always getting in your way, aren't I?" Meg said with a cold smile.
"Well?" Logan asked as he perched at the end of Veronica's bed, his hand absently rubbing behind his ear.
Veronica swallowed hard as she walked out of the bathroom and back into her bedroom. "When does anything ever go right for us?" she finally asked softly, running her fingers through her hair.
"Goddamn it," Logan cried, slamming his hand against the bedside table. Veronica sat down heavily on the floor, dragging her knees up so her head was perched on top.
"It could be worse," Veronica said.
"How? How in the hell can this be worse?" Logan yelled before seeing the look on her face. He slid onto the floor and pulled her towards him, so she fitted under his chin. His thumb stroked her arm as he clutched onto her.
"We were so careful," she said.
"Finally," Veronica declared as she sat down next to Cassidy and opened up her laptop.
"Nice work with the camera, by the way. I couldn't even find the lens," Cassidy said, holding out the ipod.
"That's the idea," Veronica said as she plugged it into the side of the computer. "This might take awhile."
The café was buzzing with people, karaoke night in full swing. She hated working Wednesday nights; drunken people were always wailing into the microphone thinking they were going to be the next big thing, but really they were going to be trapped in their dead-end job until they had children. They'd then bring those children up to repeat the same vicious circle. Karaoke night always gave Veronica mean, bitter thoughts that she kept to herself. She smiled, imagining the look on her manager's face if she screamed those thoughts out. It would totally be worth it.
"Two thousand pictures," Cassidy said in awe.
"One every fifteen seconds," Veronica replied, as they waited for the pictures to load of Kendall. Veronica quickly worked to start a slideshow up of the pictures.
"My Dad is going to kill that guy," Cassidy stated, leaning back. Veronica held back a laugh, how many times had she heard that before. More likely he would dump Kendall on her butt. Veronica bit her lip; she had to tell Cassidy about the other thing she had uncovered while doing her standard research into the Casablancas family, and she knew it wasn't going to go down well.
"Know him?" Veronica asked, buying time.
Cassidy shook his head. "Nope. He looks about our age though."
Veronica grimaced. "Nice. Just think, that could have been one of your friends," She turned her head as she scrutinised the pictures before musing, "Kinda looks like a young Nicholas Brendon."
"Who?" Cassidy asked.
Veronica sighed as she decided to come out with what she had been avoiding. "I have to tell you something about your Dad, Cassidy."
Cassidy glanced at her in trepidation. "Yeah?"
"Ohgodohgodohgod," Veronica chanted, writhing under him as her pink coloured nails dug into his skin leaving little crescent shaped marks.
Logan ran his fingers across her silky skin and pressed a kiss onto her damp forehead. "Come on, sweetheart," he murmured.
Her hands clamped over his biceps as her hips bucked up and she cried out, Logan joining her a second later.
Veronica checked her watch for the second time and sighed, biting her lip in anticipation. The door opened and she looked up quickly, but a girl came hobbling out on crutches with an envelope clutched in her hand. Veronica knew Logan wasn't the only one taking summer school, but the other people were mainly there because they had missed a lot of time off due to illness or an accident, not because their father had murdered someone and tried to set fire to their current girlfriend. Logan always did have to be special, she thought grimly.
'Come on, Logan,' Veronica thought, beginning to get slightly annoyed that he was making her wait so long.
Then she saw him. His stride purposeful and strong, a smile he couldn't hide gracing his lips. He reached her and his mouth was on hers immediately, his arms pulling her flush against him. She felt that familiar tingle in the base of her stomach until they suddenly broke away from each other.
"Good news?" Veronica gasped out as she took a second to regroup.
Logan nodded. "I passed; I say we party!"
"Toast? Cereal? I can cook bacon and eggs…" Veronica offered, stacking up bowls and plates as she rummaged through the fridge.
Keith gave her a curious look as he poured himself a cup of coffee, "I'm good; I'm meeting Alicia later for brunch. Make sure you have something before you leave though."
Veronica closed the fridge door and grabbed a slice of bread. She then carefully spread butter and jam on it, making sure to cover every miniscule inch.
"Think it will get away unless you weight it down?" Keith joked, before looking concerned at his daughter's pale face. "Veronica, are you okay?"
"Dad, I have to tell you something…" Veronica began, hiding her shaking hands behind her back.
Just then the sound of a horn rang through the room, making her jump. "That's Logan," she said unnecessarily. "I have to go; I'll talk to you later."
"Are you sure it can wait?" Keith asked, putting his hand on her slender arm. She nodded. "Have fun on the trip, honey," he said, kissing her goodbye before she hurried out of the kitchen.
The Californian sun was blazing hot and Veronica fanned herself with her hand. She smiled at Logan who was leaning against the school bus waiting for her. He brushed a kiss on her mouth and was about to deepen it when she shoved him away with a look of disgust on her face.
"You've been eating pickle and peanut-butter sandwiches again; you are such a freak," she accused. Logan bowed and blew a breath of air in her direction as she made gagging noises. "Ew!"
"Ready for a day of fun?" Logan asked with a smirk.
"Oh yeah, highlight of my year," Veronica replied.
"You're coming on the field trip?" Duncan suddenly said, appearing behind them. "I figured you and the other Jets would be rumbling with the Sharks,"
"Are you kidding? I wouldn't miss this for the world," Logan replied sarcastically.
"Come on, you two," Veronica said, trying to dissolve the tension in the air. "Let's just get on the bus."
Veronica and Logan settled themselves into seats as far back as possible. Meg was at the front, her arms folded around herself and she was staring stubbornly ahead. Duncan picked the middle, alone.
"Have you seen Dick or Beav?" Veronica asked.
Logan shook his head, "I haven't seen them since their father took off - not sure if they'll be in school for awhile. I heard their Mom was back in town."
Veronica was silent for awhile as she stared out of the window, her knuckles rapping against the glass quietly.
She finally turned back to look at Logan, a vulnerable look on her face. "Do you think Meg will ever forgive me?"
Veronica paid for her bottle of water and walked back out of the gas store.
She stopped in her tracks before spinning around just in time to see what looked like her dead best friend running around the corner in her pep squad uniform.
"Come on, dorkus."
She ran after Lilly, her heart pounding. Could it really be?
Veronica stopped when she saw Weevil crouched by his bike, tinkering around with it. He looked up and caught her eye.
"What are you doing here, huh? Shouldn't you be running for Homecoming Queen or something?" Weevil asked with a smirk.
"I'm safe standing here, right? I mean, you're not going to shoot me, are you?" Veronica replied mockingly.
"So, did you like your taste? Your little year of living dangerously? Did you get your fill? As soon as they'll have you back, you go running to the 09ers. And as a little bonus, you give it up to one of the richest boys in school. Wow, well, I'm sure his sheets are clean."
"You don't know anything about me." Veronica snapped, "And you don't know anything about Logan."
"Yeah, I do. I know that he killed Felix. And he got away with it because he's rich and he's white," Weevil shot back bitterly.
"Veronica, hurry up!" Logan shouted from the bus. "We're leaving,"
Veronica glanced back at the bus and waved to let him know she had heard him, before quickly turning back to Weevil. "Six guys jumped Logan. They broke his ribs. They gave him a concussion. Yet somehow he managed to wrestle away one of their knives and stab Felix? You didn't see it. You were out cold," she defended.
Weevil jerked his angry glare away from the bus and back to Veronica. "So I guess Felix stabbed himself?"
"Well, somebody stabbed him," Veronica said, turning around and beginning to walk away.
"My boys? Nothing goes down in the club without my say-so," Weevil said scornfully.
Veronica stopped and looked at him again. "So I guess you know about the shotgun blast that almost killed Logan and me? Bikers ride up; blow a hole through Logan's car?"
He didn't reply, but the look on his face spoke volumes.
She began to hurry towards the bus. "You sure you're still in charge?" Veronica called back over her shoulder.
"What was that all about?" Logan asked as the bus trundled down the twisty lane.
"He's just in denial; he'll come around," Veronica replied, leaning against the window. By the time she had gotten back, Meg had moved towards the back of the bus so they were stuck in the middle, awkwardly near Duncan.
Logan snorted but didn't say anything for awhile until he decided to break the silence. "Something really smells bad."
Veronica nodded, wrinkling her nose. "Yeah, I noticed on the way up. The jocks put something under the seat as a joke on their last outing to Pan..."
Her last words were drowned out by a deafening explosion and they both ducked, as the bus suddenly lurched to the side. Logan landing on top of her, knocking the air out of her. She gripped onto what she thought was his hand as tightly as she could. Ear-splitting screaming rang out as she felt something sticky beneath her hand and realised in horror it was blood.
Oh god, Logan.
Suddenly everything plunged into darkness and Veronica felt a roaring sensation. She tried to open her eyes but everything was inky black as noise and sight bled into each other. It was icy cold. Everything hurt, every muscle, every nerve felt on fire as she struggled to breathe.
Then she saw Lilly, clear as anything, dancing in Veronica's bedroom with Logan and Wallace lying on the bed. Her Dad was standing in the doorway with Backup lounging at his feet. The Spice Girls were playing loudly as her Mom protested that pop music didn't go with chicken tikka.
Then she saw nothing.
Thank you ever so much for reading and feedback is cherished.