At Any Cost

Chapter Four

Safe

"What do you mean Veronica?" Weevil perked instantly at the mention of the tiny blond's name. She had no reason to be involved in this. She wouldn't know they had Logan yet. How could she possibly have helped him to escape?

"She was here. We found her snooping around, so we pulled her in to keep her silent." Auggie said this quickly, shooting Miguel a warning look to keep quiet. He couldn't have Miguel going on about how they had kidnapped Veronica from her house. Weevil was turning soft, especially where Veronica was concerned, and he wasn't going to explain himself to their so called leader.

"You shouldn't have done that. You should have let her go. She'll be coming after us all now, you know?"

"I'm not afraid of some blond wanna-be 09er. You shouldn't be either. Seriously, if you're still the leader of our gang, you should be stronger than that."

Weevil pushed Auggie up against the wall, anger surging through him, tiring of all of Auggie's insolence. He had lost Logan and now Logan would be running around free, the boy who killed his best friend, once again not facing punishment like all white boys. All of this was because of Auggie, the man who wouldn't bother to follow orders.

"You underestimate Veronica, cholo. She's helped us out of jams, but if she thinks we're the cause of one…especially one involving Logan, she'll be after us like a dog. I don't know why you brought her into this in the first place. You should have just gotten rid of her. She has nothing to do with Felix and she had no reason to be here."

Weevil stalked out of the room, barking a last order. "Go after him. They probably didn't get too far yet. See if you can get Logan again and get some answers, man. Or I might have to think about your place in the gang…."

Miguel hurried to the broken window to examine it while Auggie stood back and glared at Weevil's back, considering the ways he could throw Weevil out of the gang instead.

Veronica was limping now. She was growing tired of walking, her feet were dragging, and she was growing more and more exhausted and hungry. She had never missed the LaBaron more than she did in that very moment. Logan had been surprisingly silent, lagging behind her, though Veronica had the feeling it had more to do with the fact that he wanted to block her from anyone sneaking up behind them if it happened.

She hated heat now. Warm, sunny California had turned into a curse as they walked towards the middle of Neptune. The sun seemed to beat down on her, wearing her down even more, mocking her injured, helpless self. She tripped slightly on a rock and stumbled forward. Logan hurried to her, grabbing her around the waist, holding her to him closely. He couldn't help but feel responsible for the state she was in now. He had always felt responsible for her, since they had first been together. Even now when they fought, he wanted to make sure she was safe and protected.

Veronica didn't shrug immediately out of Logan's arms, enjoying the strong arms supporting her. She had lost a lot of blood and it helped to just have someone around to keep her from crashing. She couldn't stop herself from feeling comfort with Logan's touch, the closeness that she had once felt with him seeping back into her stomach like tiny curls of steam. Logan always seemed to be there when she needed him. Although, this was obviously his fault since he had been the reason she was kidnapped.

She jerked away after remembering the reason she was in this situation in the first place. Logan.

"Can't even accept a little bit of help, can you, Veronica?"

Logan's voice was cross from frustration, exhaustion, and thirst. His eyes flashed with the spirit that had been missing on the walk back to Neptune and ignited the fire back into Veronica.

"This is your fault anyways, Logan. You're kind of help just gets me into more trouble. I find enough of that as it is. I don't need you around complicating my life."

Logan whirled her towards him, eyes blazing, grip tightening. "Complicating your life? Your life? I'm the one who stood trial for murder. I'm the one who has the PCH gang after my life. They played Russian Roulette…"

"With me. They made me think that they were going to kill me. They came into my apartment and took me. You complicate my life. You always have."

She struggled with him, trying to slip from his grasp. His grip was too tight, almost bruising. If she had more fight in her, if she didn't like the feel of his touch, no matter how painful it might be, she would have gotten away. Instead she let him pull her to him, felt him lower his mouth slowly. Her eyes fluttered closed. Her heart began to race with anticipation of feeling another mind-melting kiss with Logan. It had been months since she had felt his mouth on hers, months since she'd felt his hand roam her body frantically with love and lust. She waited while imagining the feel of his hands on her. She waited. And finally she opened her eyes.

Logan's mouth was centimeters from hers. His hazel eyes scanned her face lazily. A pleased smirk spread across his face. "Complicate your life, huh? Seems to me like you want me to." No matter how much he wanted to close the deal and end the straining ache inside of him, he pushed her away and continued walking, letting her stare at him from behind as the anger built inside of her. At least the anger would get her to Neptune in one piece, without giving in to the pain she was feeling from her injuries. She'd make it to the hospital. Then, he'd take care of her.

The emergency room was bubbling with activity. Veronica had never really liked emergency rooms. Despite all she had seen, she hated looking at blood and people in massive amounts of misery. Logan didn't like emergency rooms, either, but his was for an entirely different reason. He had spent plenty of time in the ER to have Aaron's damages repaired, the various stories invented as to why his nose was broken or his chest was bruised so severely. He hated the memories the emergency room brought him. He couldn't deny the fact that they both needed to be there.

Veronica was lagging again as they made their way to the nurse's station. Logan quickly asked for the two of them to see the doctor. The nurse said in a monotone voice, passing the forms disinterestedly without even looking up, "You'll have to fill these out. A doctor will be with you in a moment."

She continued to type on the computer in front of her, only serving to irritate the exhausted and somewhat injured Logan. "Listen, lady, we've got some serious injuries, and I don't think my…Veronica can wait much longer. She's been bleeding for awhile and we had to walk a long way. So get off your ass and try doing your job."

Her response was to slide the Plexiglas over while snapping her gum in annoyance. Logan sighed and pulled the clipboards off the desk ledge and walked to a chair in the waiting room. He watched Veronica closely as she sank into the uncomfortable plastic chair. She closed her eyes slowly, her eyelashes fanning out over her pale cheeks. He paused for another moment, and then decided to fill out the form for Veronica as well. He figured he would be able to fill most of it out. He began scribbling on the paper.

She fell asleep in that chair, somehow. With all the noise, all the bustling, Logan had no idea how she could sleep so calmly. He watched her, responsibility floating around inside of him. It was his fault she had been abducted and hurt. He wanted to take care of her. Honestly, he knew he still loved her, even after the months they had been separated. He felt more than responsibility, but Veronica wouldn't accept it. And he definitely wouldn't force it on her.

He was tired of waiting on the doctor. He was tired of being in pain. He was tired of worrying about being convicted of Felix's murder even when he knew he hadn't done it. The feel of Veronica's head leaning gently on his shoulder did nothing to comfort him, though surprise him it did. He hadn't felt her so close to him and relaxed in a long time. How she had subconsciously moved closer to him baffled him completely. She didn't seem to feel safe with him awake, so why would she asleep? He glanced around the room just soon enough to see Weevil walk in the automatic doors.

He jumped to his feet, no longer thinking about Veronica's head on his shoulder. The movement snapped her awake, but disoriented her as well. Logan stalked towards Weevil, ignoring the pain and weariness in his limbs. "You have a lot of nerve showing up here, Weevil. Here to take us back to your little garage? Itching to try your hand at Russian Roulette? Or did you bring someone to do your dirty work?"

Weevil stepped up threateningly, irritated by Logan's words. He met Logan's gaze straight on as a sign that he wouldn't be submitting to Logan's threatening behavior, even though they were in a hospital well within security's reach.

"My boys seemed to have lost their dog and I came to clean up their mess." Weevil said it calmly and with a slight smirk in his voice.

"Does that mess include Veronica? I'm not surprised you came after me, but Veronica? What'd she have to do with this?"

Logan glanced at Veronica, now in the process of standing to join them and play damage control. Weevil followed his direction and saw the state Veronica was in. He was actually slightly surprised and only proved how he was losing control of his gang.

"My boys did this?"

Logan was about to make another snide remark, but Veronica had made it to his side. She shifted her weight to almost lean on Logan and brushed some of her hair off of her chapped lips. "Weevil. I really appreciated being taken from my home by your friends. I hadn't had enough danger this week."

"I didn't tell them to take you. You aren't the one I'm after."

Veronica scoffed immediately, not because she doubted him, but because of the fact that he was after one.

"And you think it's okay that you told them to take Logan? Why can't you just drop this? Logan didn't kill Felix on the bridge that night. Someone else did."

"Why do you believe that? Because he's going to make your life easier as soon as you start sleeping with him?"

Veronica couldn't believe that Weevil would sink that low. She knew they weren't as friendly as they had been the year before, but she hadn't expected him to call her a gold digging whore. She was ready to respond when her name was called by a nurse. "Veronica Mars."

The nurse tapped her foot impatiently and Veronica responded quickly so she wouldn't lose her spot to see the doctor. Still, she couldn't leave Logan behind to get in a fight with Weevil and be arrested for disorderly conduct. Lamb would love to haul Logan in once again.

"Logan, come with me please." She said it in a sweet voice. She had no doubt that Logan would come. Complicate as he might, he would still bend over backwards to help her, even when she wouldn't accept it.

He stared Weevil down before backing away to join Veronica. "We're not done with this, Weevil. You started this, so don't be surprised when I finish it. You should have thought twice before you messed with me. And Veronica." His voice was low and almost deadly. Anyone else would have been afraid. Weevil only nodded.

"I can't wait to see what you have in mind, white boy."