Ronnie

Hospitals aren't just for healing the physical wounds.

Neptune High- hallway

Veronica walked into school, a sigh escaping her lips. 'Another beautiful day at Neptune High' she thought to herself as she tried to stifle a yawn. She hadn't gotten much sleep the night before as she had been out late working on a case. Her mood brightened when she saw her BFF at her locker.

"Hey Wallace!" she said with a big smile on her face. This didn't fool Wallace.

"Hey, Veronica! You look terrible! Were you working on that case again?" he said to her with mild concern on his face.

She smiled at his concern. Wallace had been someone she'd really come to count on. He truly was her best friend. This past year had been hell for her. Now that she had a real friend again, things weren't so bad anymore.

"I'm fine." she assured him, as finished gathering her things and they continued on to their first period.

On their way to English, she notices a group of 09ers who look at her whispering and laughing. She ignores them as she and Wallace continue to walk down the hall to their classroom. On the way to class, they pass Mr. Clemmons who notices her and gives her a disapproving look. 'Ah yes, it is a wonderful day in the neighborhood' she thinks to herself snarkily. Just when she thought she was home free, Mr. Clemmons stops her.

"Veronica!" he says, just loud enough to make her stop. Veronica turns around too look at him with a questioning look. "Don't you think you could show a little more enthusiasm towards being in school? More…school spirit…if you will." he added looking smug.

In response, she raised an eyebrow, turned back the way she was walking, and pumping one fist in the air, as she deadpans "Go pirates!" All while trying to get to her class.

Again, he prevented her from getting to her desired destination by calling her again.

"Not so fast Veronica!" he said as he quickly walked over to her.

"So close." she said to Wallace narrowing her eyes, while holding her right hand up …her index and thumb finger about an inch apart. She then turns around and walks to Mr. Clemmons meeting him halfway.

"Veronica, you really should be more actively involved with your school. It might just make you, dare I say it… happy." he said to her with a look that was attempting to look like concern.

She immediately responded sounding overly peppy "Oh, don't worry Mr. Clemmons; I do smile, just not here."

You could tell that Mr. Clemmons was getting a little irritated. Wallace just stood there, trying not to laugh while Mr. Clemmons continued his "lecture".

"Well, then maybe you can at least stop calling your teachers," he paused then looks around to see if anyone was listening, then leaned in to whisper "jackasses."

Wallace was clearly trying not to show his amusement. Veronica, always ready with the comebacks, immediately responded "Hey! That was taken out of context" she said stamping her foot indignantly.

Mr. Clemmons continued. "Then maybe you can stop calling life a bitch in English class." he again said with a pause and stage whisper, but this time, whispering the word bitch.

She shrugged and replied "Hey! She's the one who clearly asked for an explanation." Her comment clearly punctuated with an unsaid "Duh!"

He ignored her sarcasm and replied "You realize that she was probably looking for something a little more appropriate for class."

Again, she shrugged, and said "Well, then she'll have to be more specific next time, won't she?"

Mr. Clemmons continued. "I also noticed that you haven't been to see the guidance counselor."

Sensing the change in direction the conversation just took, Veronica stiffened noticeably. "There's nothing to talk about," she replied, clearly trying to hide her emotions.

"You're young. I'm sure you can dig deep and find plenty of things to talk about. She also mentioned that it would be easier for you…for the grieving process. So you can mourn…"

"She doesn't know what she's talking about" she said quickly, cutting of the vice principle. Her voice then took a lighter tone when she added "I'm peachy" with a fake pasted on 'Colgate' smile.

He frowned in disapproval or her attitude. "She went to school for this, Veronica. She does indeed know what she's talking about." Hesitantly he added "and she was told all about your life and all that's happened to you…"

Suddenly angry, her voice rose as she cut him off, angry that essential strangers were talking about her life without her consent. "Oh. OK. So just because she went to school, and someone who probably has no idea what they're talking about told her my "life story",makes her an expert on knowing how I'm feeling? I don't think so." With that she turned abruptly and walked past Wallace to her English class.

Wallace looked to the classroom then turned back to a shocked looking Mr. Clemmons with a sad look and shaking his head, went to follow his best friend.

What both Wallace and Veronica didn't notice during the exchange, was that the 09ers had witnessed the whole thing. Dick of course, is snickering, telling Casey and Cassidy (aka Beaver), what a loser she is. Meanwhile, Duncan and Logan just stared at her during her outburst. They both still stood staring at the same spot even after she left. Duncan shook his head thinking that this version of Veronica was not his Veronica; his expression was of sadness and of some regret. Logan would normally have been doing the same thing Dick was and agreeing with him, if not saying worse things. However, this time, his demeanor was much different. Had she looked at him, Veronica would have seen a different expression. It was a look that bordered on sympathy and compassion. Clearly, not the look of contempt he had for her daily. While scenario unfolded before him, he had to clench his fists at his sides to stop himself from going over to her and comforting her. He realized that the only way to keep himself from doing just that was to try to ignore her for the rest of the day.

Later that day in the Mar's living room

As she entered her apartment, Veronica wanted nothing more than to talk to her dad and forget about the events that happened that morning. As soon as she shut the door behind her, she noticed a note on the kitchen counter.

Veronica,

I got a lead on that bail jumper. I'll be gone for a couple of days. Four at the most. Call my cell if you need me. Just leave a message if I don't answer. Don't throw any wild parties while I'm gone!

Love you!

Dad

'One bad thing about your dad being a private investigator: it sure can get lonely.' she thought to herself as she began to pull out the ice cream. I guess it's 'dessert for dinner' night again, she chuckled to herself. She went about pulling out all the ingredients she needed to make the ultimate ice cream sundae. Just as she was about to pour chocolate syrup on her ice cream, her cell phone rang. The caller ID appeared as 'Unknown'. 'I wonder who it could be. Dad, maybe?' She thought as she slicked her phone on.

"Hello?" she answered hesitantly.

"Hey, Veronica its Casey!" she sighed with relief into the phone. "I thought you'd never pick up!"

Clearly baffled by the caller she replied "Um, hey Casey! What can I do for you?"

He noticed the hesitation in her voice and he cringed. Of course she was confused. It's not like he or any of the 09ers gave her reason to trust them. They'd pretty much ostracized her on Logan's indirect orders. Even Duncan had ignored her. He may not have harassed her, but ignoring her was just as bad. The irony of it all, being that the reason for her ostracizing, the bane of her existence if you will was the reason for his call.

After a long pause, Veronica broke the silence "Casey, you still there?"

He was shaken out of his reverie when he realized he hadn't answered her. He cleared his throat and answered her. "Well, it's not really for me. See, Mrs. Echolls is in the hospital, and Logan is going crazy, and I know you don't really talk to him, but Duncan can't calm him down, and he's saying that he misses his Ronnie, and I remember he used to call you Ronnie, so I was wondering if you could come down to the hospital." All this was said in one long, rambling breath. He signed afterwards, after getting it all out.

'OK, ramble much? Wait! Did he just say Logan was going crazy? Oh no. I hope he's ok.' her voice suddenly took on an urgent tone. "What happened? What do you mean, 'he's going crazy'?"

"We don't know yet what happened to his mom. But he seems drunk, Veronica. And even you know how he is when he's drunk. We got him into a room, so he doesn't get caught, but he's getting really mad and throwing things around. Eventually, someone's going to hear him, so if you could come here, I think you could calm him down." he said pleadingly.

Without hesitation, she responded "I'll be right over. You're at Neptune Memorial, right?"

"Yeah, we're in the closet to the right of room 307 in the Intensive Care Unit." he said clearly sounding relieved. "We'll be waiting."

"All right. Do not let him out of that room!" She closed her eyes as she hung up her cell phone. 'Logan, what are you doing?' she thought to herself, as she grabbed her keys and messenger bag. Throwing her cell phone into the bag, she rushed out the door, to her car and headed for the hospital.

A few minutes later at Neptune Memorial

Arriving at the hospital parking lot, she quickly found a spot and walked determinedly through the entrance, right past the receptionist, hoping the lady wouldn't notice her. She was wrong.

"Miss, you can't go into the hospital without signing in." she reprimanded.

Veronica turned back to the receptionist "Veronica Mars and I bet you know the time I walked in, and if you don't, then just make something up." she said while walking away quickly.

"I don't get paid enough for this!" the receptionist mumbled to herself.

Veronica headed to the elevators and pushed the '3' for the third floor. Reaching the ICU, she began to search for room 307. Once she found it, she saw the door that Casey mentioned. The sign on the door read Supply Room. She looked around to make sure no one is looking. Once she is sure no one is there, she knocked on the door, and waited for someone to let her in. When no one answered, she turned the knob and opened the door. As soon as she shut the door behind her, something crashed at her feet.

'Poor lamp. Whatever did you do to deserve such treatment?' she thought bitterly as she took a step further into the room.

"Ronnie!" Logan cried enthusiastically, while trying to break free from his restraints.

Dick and Duncan were holding him back while Casey and Cassidy "Beaver" were picking up the broken lamp pieces. 'He looks so sad. He seems terrified. Am I the only one who sees this?' she thought as she observed what was going on.

"Hey Logan." She said it softly that you almost couldn't hear it.

"Hey, Ronnie…" he slurred, he then realized he couldn't move, and looked at Dick and Duncan and struggled against them "Guys! Come on...let me go! I want to talk to Ronnie. Let me go, please!" The last part he said with a pleading look. Both boys looked at Veronica.

"Logan, you know I'm not going to talk to you unless you put that flask down." She said giving him a pointed look.

Logan looked down sheepishly and apologized. "I know Ronnie, I'm sorry." He then looked her in the eye and said "I just didn't know what to do." As he said all this he slowly walked towards her and handed her the flask. She took the flask and walked to a sink that happened to be in the room and poured the contents of the flask down the drain.

When she was done, she turned to Logan with a small smile on her face. "I forgive you, but you know drinking isn't going to solve anything. We both know that pretty well."

He smiled back in return. "I know. Could you guys let me go now? I swear I won't do anything. Please."

She nodded at both boys and said "You can let him go guys." She then lowered herself to the floor and leaned back against the wall. Dick and Duncan let go of Logan slowly, and he shrugged them off as he made his way to sit next to Veronica.

He looked at the girl next to him and realized how incredible she was for coming to help him out after all he'd put her through. He knew then what he needed to do. "I'm so sorry Ronnie…for everything." He was looking at her when she turned her head to look him in the eyes.

"It's okay Logan." She said hearing the sincerity in his voice.

His eyes were still locked with Veronica's when he responded. "No, it's not. I was terrible to you when you needed friends the most."

She sighed as she shrugged her shoulders. "It's fine Logan. I'm a big girl."

He looked away and shook his head. "I'm never going to forgive myself for what I did."

Looking at him again, she says "How about we put that behind us for right now and tell me what happened to make these guys lock you in a supply closet?" The last part she said to try to lighten the mood, but when he took too long to answer, she touched his shoulder to get his attention. "Logan?"

Logan's eyes began to well up with tears he had been trying so hard to hold back. This time, he let a few escape before wiping them quickly away. He looked up when he felt Veronica's hand and heard his name. When he saw the concern in her eyes, he began to talk.

"I should have been there, you know? My dad, he hit her. It should have been me, not her. If I was there, it would've been me who got hurt, not her. She shouldn't have gotten hurt." He stopped when he realized how quiet it was in the room. The whole time, the other boys in the room were just quiet watching in wonder as Veronica had gotten him to open up. When Logan realized that everyone seemed stunned by what he just revealed, he continued. "You're probably confused, huh? I know it doesn't make sense…"

Veronica quickly cut him off. "You make sense. Everyday I replay the day Lilly died in my head. At the pep squad car wash, she told me that she had a secret. I wonder if I met up with her afterwards, maybe I could have helped her." She took a deep breath as she began to get choked up. "I, I, I could have done something." she whispered.

"No. You could've been hurt too. It's not your fault." he said just as quietly.

She made a very unladylike snort. "So I've been told. My dad tells me that a lot. He's very protective of me, and he doesn't like to see me upset. Only, when he says it, it's not just about Lilly, it's about my mom leaving also." She pauses a moment as if to contemplate something. "I can't help but wonder…if I was a better daughter, maybe she wouldn't have left or if things went differently that day, Lilly could still be here."

It was Logan's turn to put his hand on her shoulder to reassure her. "Hey, you're a great daughter; it's your mom's loss." He paused then and realized the tension now present in the room due to the seriousness of their discussion. He then chuckled sarcastically. "Our lives are so screwed up and we're only seventeen."

Veronica nodded her head in agreement. "Yeah, I mean if this much has happened in seventeen years, I don't even want to know what will happen next."

They continued to sit there in comfortable silence for a few minutes.

Logan was first to break the silence. "I've really missed you." He reached towards her, wrapping his arm around her waist, pulling her a little closer to him, and allowing her to rest her head on his shoulder. They sat in silence again for a few moments. "My mom did always like you. At first I didn't know why. I thought you were going to be like those other girls; hot, but no personality whatsoever. Once I really got to just talk to you and got to know you, I understood completely."

Veronica smiled at his comment. "I always knew your mom had good taste. I always did like her." She paused for a moment before she continued. "My dad has always liked you. He just thought that you needed constant guidance." She looked up at him smiling.

Logan returned her smile. "I've always liked your dad."

"Yeah, he can be very protective sometimes, but he's great."

"Well, it's good he's protective. You're always going on some kind of adventure, with all those cases."

"I have Backup, my taser, and my pocket knife. What more do I need?"

"Ahhh…yes. All the necessities a woman needs." He chuckled at her comment. Then as if remembering something he spoke out again. "Backup - I haven't seen him in a while. I love that dog. How is he?"

Veronica looked at him with mock surprise. "Well, not that you need the ego boost, but he likes you too, and that's a big deal because he doesn't like many people."

At this point Duncan spoke up. "Yeah, I remember all those times we would walk him. When people would come up, Backup would go into attack mode."

Veronica and Logan were slightly startled when Duncan spoke. They had been in their own little world, and forgot that there were four other boys in the room with them.

"Well, he likes you too Duncan." she said smiling.

Duncan pouted. "Not as much as he likes Logan. I think he just tolerated me."

Logan then smiled smugly, curling the fingers of his free hand, as the other was still wrapped tight around Veronica, and brushed his fingernails along his shirt. "Yeah, well not everyone can be as loveable as I am."

"Oh, shut up Logan." She said while playfully smacking him on the shoulder.

He looked at her with feigned hurt. "What? I only speak the truth." He then huffed indignantly as he turned up his nose in mock arrogance.

She just laughed and rolled her eyes. "Hello! Ego, much?" He just smiled and hugged her a little tighter.

They sat like that for at least twenty more minutes. It turns out Logan wasn't really drunk, he was just so sad, that he didn't know how to control his emotions in front of Duncan, Dick, Casey, and Cassidy. Veronica and he just talked about nothing, everything...just anything. With her head on his shoulder and his arm around her waist, it just felt so right. Like together, nothing could hurt them, but eventually they had to leave the closet.

The whole time since Veronica got there, Duncan, Dick, Casey, and Cassidy had been keeping their distance. Duncan would put his two sense in every once in a while, but he knew that Logan needed Veronica. He never really noticed before, but they have a special bond. There was one day at school, at the beginning of the school year, when Logan pulled his car up next to Veronica, and he called her Ronnie. Duncan thought it was just something Logan made up. Logan and Veronica have a real connection, and they used to hang out together a lot, with or without Lily and Duncan. Right then, Duncan realized something. He was too blind to see it before, but he realized that he was keeping Logan, his best friend, from the love of his life.

Casey noticed the time. Logan and Veronica were still busy talking, Duncan was busy watching, and Dick and Cassidy were just in shock. They couldn't believe the way Veronica and Logan were acting.

Finally, Casey decided to interrupt. "Um, guys, I don't want to be the party pooper, but we've been in here for two hours."

Veronica's eye widened. "Oh, uh, I guess we should get out of here then."

Dick was watching Logan as Veronica spoke and saw that he was upset. To avoid another "tantrum" he quickly spoke up. "You guys can talk later. I can't stay in here any longer. It's not very comfortable. I need some cushion for my tush!" His words lightened the mood a little, even though, no one thought it was very funny. So, like always, they ignored him. Dick didn't really notice or care because he was too busy trying to figure out Logan and Veronica. He decided that he would let it go for now. All that mattered was keeping Logan stable. If it meant hanging out with Veronica, so be it.

Logan finally relented. "Yeah, okay. Let's go check on my mom." He stood up from his spot and offered his hand to Veronica. She accepted and allowed him to pull her up. Not letting go of her hand, he headed out the door to the waiting room.

They had been sitting there waiting for Logan's chance to see his mom. It had been an hour, and Logan was staring out into space. The expression on his face was unreadable.

Veronica noticed that Logan hadn't said anything since they left that closet. 'Maybe he wants to be left alone now. He hasn't said anything in a while.' she thought as she looked at his face.

Breaking him out of his reverie, she cleared her throat and began to stand up. "I think, maybe, it's time that I left."

When he heard what she said, he quickly turned to look at her and grabbed her arm.

"Please don't leave me." he said in an almost broken voice.

She looked at him in shock. "I won't." She promised, in a soothing voice to calm him down.

"Promise?" he said hesitantly.

"Promise." she responded with a small smile. She then sat down again. His hand was still holding her arm, so she reached over and put her hand over his, and gave it a small squeeze. She wanted to reassure him that she wasn't going anywhere.

Logan began to relax, he turned to face forward again, and put his head back against the wall. Not wanting to lose contact, he slowly slid his hand down her arm, to her hand. Once he reached her hand, he took hold of it and intertwined their fingers.

Just when they began to return to their comfortable silence, a nurse walked in. "Logan Echolls?"

Looking up anxiously, he stood up and replied "Yeah?" He still hadn't let go of Veronica's hand.

"You can see your mother now."

"Um, okay." He just stood there

The nurse, knowing how hard it must be for Logan, smiled sympathetically "Its okay, you can take your time. When you're ready just go in." She then turned around, left the room and walked down the hall.

Noticing Logan still hadn't let go of her hand, and that he had made no move to leave, she spoke up. "Logan? Are you OK?"

He then looked down at her and asked "Will you come in with me?" The look she saw in his eyes was full of desperation.

"If you want me there, then I'll be there." She looked him in the eyes, so he could see that she was serious, and that she didn't just mean for that night.


Here's the edited version of this one-shot. I hope I fixed everything. If not, then just let me know. I would like it to be as perfect as possible.

Thanks so much for the reviews! I'm glad you guys enjoyed it. It means so much to me.

xoxox Courtney