Everything was dark. She felt like she had been on a boat for a few hours and the waves were still rocking underneath even though she was now on dry land. She reached out and came in contact with something soft and grabbed it.
"Veronica? It's okay."
She opened her eyes and realized they had been clenched shut. Everything ached. Logan slowly came into focus, sitting by her side with a concerned look on his face.
"You're at home," he offered.
She glanced around and saw she was in her bedroom, her duvet gripped tightly in her fist.
"I took you straight home. You've been out cold awhile."
"You stayed with me?"
"The whole time. No one came near you, I promise."
Veronica sat up slowly, her hand moving forward until she came into contact with his face. She gently brushed her fingers down his cheek, looking intently into his soft brown eyes.
She leaned forward until her lips met his. Logan kissed her back for a second, before he moved away, his eyes now swimming in emotion. He shook his head.
"You want to do that when you are fully conscious? Fine by me. But not now."
Veronica glanced down for a second before she pushed him until he was lying down and moved so she was in his arms. She closed her eyes and fell back into a dreamless sleep.
"Welcome to Mars Investigations," Veronica greeted with a bright smile. "Please take a seat. What can we help you with?"
Keith was in Mexico on a bail jumper case and had left Veronica to take care of the office. He made her promise to only take on easy cases and leave the hard or dangerous ones until he got back. If the worst came to the worst she agreed to give them Vinnie Vanlowe's number. Anyway, it looked good on them if they had to turn customers away because they were so busy, Keith pointed out as Veronica nodded, knowing she was going to ignore everything he said.
The man's suit looked like it cost the same as a year's college tuition. His shirt was perfectly pressed. His thick, silky tie was in a Windsor knot. She looked him over, noticing the expertly razored hair, and smooth shave. He reached out to shake her hand and she shook it. She noticed his neat and buffed nails as he drew his hand back. This guy made her manicure look shabby.
He took a seat in the chair opposite the desk and sighed as if his words were going to cause him great pain.
"My wife was sadly killed in an accident a week ago."
It was odd the way he had said it, Veronica decided. Although his expression was sad, the tone was clinical and orderly, which matched his appearance.
"Her car spun out of control and it went over a cliff."
"I'm sorry to hear that," Veronica replied.
"The odd thing is, all our bank accounts disappeared the day after she died. I was trying to straighten them all out, but it seems like none ever existed. I don't need the money from our mutual accounts, but would like to find out where exactly they have gone so I can access them. She wouldn't have wanted the bank to swallow her money. I was going to donate it to different charities in her name. I want this kept quiet, which is why I came to you."
Veronica nodded. "That's very generous of you, thinking of others in your time of grieving."
Blah, blah. Just tell them what they want to hear.
"I just need to take some details from you."
Veronica asked, pulling out a pad of paper and grabbing a pen from the pot. "What was her name please?"
"Her name is Anna Walker," he said, tapping his fingers against the desk.
Veronica carefully jotted it down, making sure her expression didn't change. "Any other details that might help?"
John Walker began to describe everything in great, glossy detail as Veronica took quick notes.
It was a real shame that Anna Walker's accounts weren't going to be found. Not by Mars Investigations and certainly not by Mr. Walker, Veronica thought to herself.
She hid a smile as she put her pen down and looked back up at him. "We'll get on that straight away, thank you for coming to us."
"Well, you're the best in town," he said with a pleasant smile.
"That we are," Veronica agreed.
"That's everyone?" Veronica asked, scanning the crumpled piece of paper Weevil handed her, "What were you doing? Chewing this?"
Weevil shrugged, ignoring her question. "That's everyone."
"You haven't left anyone off because you think it isn't them?"
"No. I listened the first three times you told me not to do that. This is everyone."
"What now, boss?" Logan asked, leaning on the hood of Veronica.
"Now we find out as much as we can on all of them. General routines, what they do when they aren't with Weevil. We'll have to bug some of the likely candidates."
Veronica pulled out a handful of electronic listening devices.
"If you can attach them to things they carry on their person, that'd be great. Cell phones are perfect."
"Pay As You Go Virgin." Logan said with a leering smirk.
"They are easy to hide in them; watches equally, otherwise, use your imagination." Veronica continued.
"Brass knuckles?" Logan suggested.
"Let Weevil use his imagination," she corrected.
"Hm, two leggy blondes in my bed, not really wearing much, although I wouldn't say no to bondage – possibly handcuffs."
Veronica rolled her eyes in exasperation. "Once you've done that, report back to me, I can listen in and get info. That's about all we can do now."
"Okay, boys and girls." Logan exclaimed, clapping his hands together. "Let's get to work!"
The voice cracked on the computer as she worked to tune it in to the correct frequency. It sharpened and became clearer. Veronica pushed her headphones into the socket and put them on quickly, before Mac, who was working next to her on her homework, recognised the voice.
She had been flicking between the three bikers she had narrowed it down to using the schedules she and Weevil had put together.
Mac glanced up when she briefly heard the voice and smiled at Veronica, with an arch of her eyebrow.
"Up to no good again?" she asked with a teasing tone.
"Oh you know me," Veronica said breezily.
"Need any help?" Mac offered.
"I got this one covered, thanks anyway." Veronica replied, flicking through the channels, her mind on Mac as she began to talk about the latest hard drive on the market.
"…Felix…stabbed…" a voice cracked and Veronica jumped to attention.
"Shh!" she quickly said to Mac, who stopped talking abruptly.
"Echolls is going to go down for it with that witness. Bastard deserves everything he gets."
There was more interference as Veronica frantically stabbed at the buttons to get it to come across clearer, only hearing a few words clearly. He definitely said coke, she decided.
"Good bit of irony there, an 09er going down for one of our crimes," another voice said and Veronica strained to recognise it. Suddenly the voices stopped and Veronica's heart jumped when she realised the program had crashed.
"Dammit," she cursed. "Goddamn it!"
"I need you to do something," Veronica said, standing in front of the brown haired 09er.
"Do I know you?" he snapped, before he smirked. "Ah, you're Veronica Mars, aren't you? The girl Duncan Kane and Logan Echolls take turns banging."
Veronica scowled and pulled out her taser, sparking it a few times for good measure. He wasn't going to agree to this without some kind of visual encouragement. The smug look disappeared and he took a faltering step back.
"You get drugs from PCH bike gang, correct me if I'm wrong – which I'm not. I need you to point out to me who you are getting the drugs from."
She pulled out a bunch of pictures for her bag and handed them to him. He continued to stare at her with a frightened look.
"Hurry up!" She demanded, "I don't have all day."
He began to shuffle through them, keeping a wary eye on her hand.
"This one," he finally said.
Veronica narrowed her eyes as she surveyed the picture. "Thought so."
She snatched the pictures back him, shoved them in her bag. Veronica pulled her phone out, quickly typed out a message and sent it to both Logan and Weevil. Things needed to start happening.
"Right, you need to go and find him and arrange to meet him tonight. Make up some quantity of drugs you want and offer good money for them."
"I've got enough at home." he said quickly.
"You think I care? Do it. Now. You don't have to be there tonight, but if you want to keep your limbs, you'll find him. Oh, and I am way more scary than a biker. Got it?" Veronica folded her arms across her chest as she stared at him coldly.
"Okay," he conceded.
Inky darkness surrounded the school as she waited. The parking lot was completely empty. It was a cloudy night and Veronica shivered, pulling her sweater tighter.
Wind whipped around her, sending leaves up into the air, swirling them around and then dropping them magnanimously in new patterns on the concrete. There was a noise behind her and she turned to look. Veronica squinted in the darkness as she checked, there was no one there. She felt alone and vulnerable. Sure, she was hidden behind a shed but easily found if she was honest with herself. She heard footsteps behind her and whirled around, her heart beating furiously until she caught sight of Logan and breathed a sigh of relief.
"Wow, you almost looked happy to see me," he said. "So, going to let me in on the plan?"
A glimmer of annoyance shot through her at his sarcastic words.
"I just need to check across the parking lot first, make sure no one is around. Think you can handle that?" Veronica asked icily.
"Yes, M'am. I can just about handle that," he replied as he strode off.
Veronica bit her lip as she watched him before she looked away. She glanced around. Where the hell was Weevil? He was supposed to be here by now. She turned to look back but Logan wasn't in sight. She frowned, and stepped forward, trying to see where he had gone.
She heard voices drifting across towards her, sounding more and more angry. Veronica shifted from one foot to the other as she tried to make up her mind what to do. She started towards the voices, then changed her mind, stepping back to the sanctuary of behind the shed. The voices reached her again.
Goddamn Weevil, he was supposed to be here to stop anything like this, she thought lividly. Veronica fished her taser out of her bag for the second time that day and walked hesitantly in the direction Logan had gone.
She heard the sounds of a fight break out and began to run frantically, her hand stilling her camera around her neck. Logan finally came into view, exchanging punches with a biker Veronica recognised as Thumper.
A pang of guilt hit her; she had sent Logan off before Weevil had even got there. That wasn't the plan, but he pissed her off within seconds of seeing him and she hadn't expected the bikers for another fifteen minutes.
Something flashed silver in the night, catching her eye. She narrowed her eyes before realization hit her and before she could stop to think she was screaming.
A loud bang sounded and a bullet flew through the air, a second one ricocheting off the ground in quick succession and Veronica ducked. When she looked up again, Thumper and Hector were running in the opposite direction. Logan lay sprawled across the asphalt. She crawled to him and looked down at the blood seeping from his midsection.
"What the fuck?" a voice said from behind her. "Ambulance, please. Neptune High…"
The voice faded out as she looked at Logan, his face pale in the moonlight. She let out a gasp as she watched dark liquid pooling around him. His eyes were closed and he was breathing shallowly.
Veronica clung to his hand, for a moment lost.
Gotta stop the bleeding.
She took off her jacket, gently applied pressure. There was something warm, dark and wet leaking through her folded jacket. Her hand slipped, and she gagged when she realized why her hands felt so warm.
God, there's so much blood.
She felt like throwing up but fought down the urge until someone gently pulled her hands away and stood her up as they loaded him into the ambulance. The same person slid their jacket over her shoulders and drove her to the hospital. Veronica realized when she got there it was Weevil, but felt sick, so didn't say anything.
Glancing down, she saw her hands. Logan's blood had dried to her hands. Her fingernails were crusted black in it. Helplessly, she looked at Weevil.
"I've gotta wash my hands."
She got up and ran to the bathroom. Weevil watched her go, his face an expressionless mask.
"Just wait." he mumbled to the empty waiting room, "She'll go all Lady MacBeth on my ass."
Veronica sat in the waiting room for the rest of the night, waiting for news of any kind.
It was her greatest fear, someone phoning her to tell her Logan had been seriously hurt and now the day had come.
And she had caused it.
Purposeful footsteps sounded in the hall. Veronica looked up hopefully, although weariness was present in her eyes. It was about the hundredth nurse to walk past and ignore them, so she was surprised when the nurse stopped.
"He's stable and awake," she announced. "But it's family only in ICU."
"You know who he is, right?" Weevil said incredulously. "His ma's dead and his dad is in jail. I don't think any family will be visiting."
"It's hospital policy," she said firmly, before carrying on down the hospital corridor.
Veronica looked back at Weevil, a slightly lost expression on her face.
"You gonna let that bitch stop you?" Weevil asked pointedly.
She shook her head slowly, getting up. She quickly found herself outside of Logan's room, having dodged all staff and their questions.
The palms of her hands were flat against the glass as Veronica gazed through the window at his sleeping form. She heard a noise behind her and quickly pushed through, shutting the door quietly behind her. Veronica crept over to him and put her hand over his.
"I'm sorry," she whispered. She leaned down, resting her head next to his hand. Her eyes began to slowly shut when his hand moved and she jerked upright.
He was staring at her, his eyes red rimmed and blurry.
"Logan," she said quietly, "How are – "
"Did you know?" he interrupted, his words slightly slurred from the pain medication. "Did you know they were going to be there?"
"How could you not tell me? I guess I should have guessed when you told me to look around, but why didn't you tell me they were going to show up? You had to know, why else were we meeting in the parking lot at night?" he rambled.
"I didn't know they would be there so soon. I didn't know you would get hurt," she said vehemently.
"You're such a cold bitch."
She looked at him in shock for a second before a tear trickled down her cheek. Her breath hitched and her hand came up to cover her face.
He winced at her reaction, "I don't understand why I love you, you almost got me killed."
Her hand dropped from her face and she gaped at his words.
"It's sick that I still care about you."
"I care about you too," she protested. "I swear I didn't know they'd be early. I'm so sorry."
He continued to stare at her, the look on his face moving from indifferent to angry before his pain meds won and he drifted back to sleep.
Very few people were on the streets of Neptune when Veronica arrived at Mars Investigations. The sun had only just risen, casting a bright glimmer over everything.
She rubbed her tired, aching eyes as she went into the office, and sat down heavily. She massaged her pounding temples briefly before she reached out and flicked the radio on, a desperate loneliness making her crave friendly voices, even if they weren't for her.
"A hold up at the Wal-Mart last night ended up with two people injured and one person dead. The four men escaped with around $500. Police are holding inquires."
Veronica began to clear through the files, putting them in their rightful places and sort through the pile of phone messages, into ones that had been dealt with and the ones that still needed doing.
"The Aaron Echolls and Lilly Kane tapes are still missing, Sheriff Lamb confirmed today in a brief statement. He added that security measures have since been stepped up when it comes to their evidence collection and storing procedures. He also verified someone internally had been fired over the incident. "
She gritted her teeth as she winced, torn between anger and sympathy for Leo.
"John Walker, the founder of "The Last Wish Foundation," a charity created to fulfil terminally ill children's last wishes, was found dead in his offices at 137 Wyler Drive today. His wife, who Ms. Walker's doctors reported was carrying child, died tragically earlier this month after driving over a cliff, although her body was never found. Investigators claim Mr. Walker was shot by his wife's lover, Adam Scott. More news at 11."
She must have heard wrong. John Walker was killed by his wife's ex-lover? Suddenly, Anna's story wasn't adding up. Veronica's hands started shaking.
This wasn't happening. Logan was in a hospital bed because of her bad judgement and now a man was dead?
Would this have happened if she hadn't helped Anna Walker? How could she have been so stupid? Letting her suck her into her little sob story. It all became clear, Anna just wanted his money and probably her lover's baby.
Veronica felt sick as she banged her head on the table in anger and frustration. Her cell phone began to ring and she slowly fished it out of her pocket.
"Hello?" she managed.
"Hey there, Superfly. I didn't expect you to answer, was gonna leave a message," Wallace said brightly, "I'm coming home today; I'll stop by just after lunch?"
"I can't wait," she said, forcing warmness into her voice. "See you then."
She spun the phone around idly as she gazed blankly into space.
She'd been wrong. An innocent man was lying in the morgue and Logan was in hospital, seriously injured because of her poor judgement and rash actions.
Things had to change. She realized she had to be more careful of the decisions she made and the people they effected. She had a lot of things to make up.
Veronica picked up the phone. But first, there was one, last rash action she had to do.
Veronica pulled into the hospital parking lot. As she made a sharp turn, she stopped the pizza and Gameboy from sliding off the passenger-side seat. Logan, after all, was picky about his pizza. She was just about to get out of the car, when the afternoon news came on over the radio.
"This morning a substantial, posthumous donation was made from Mrs. Walker into The Last Wish Foundation. Reports say the figure was somewhere in the millions and a spokesperson said the money would benefit children all over the country."
A small smile played across her lips as she pulled the keys from the ignition. Some rash acts were totally worth it, others, well…
Her smile disappeared. She picked up the pizza and gaming device before heading inside. Others, people she loved, would be paying for a long, long time.
Thank you very much for reading. I normally use three little stars to separate different scenes, but it wouldn't allow me on the first chapter, even when I tried to insert a line break in HTML. I have tried again this time with lines, but if that doesn't work I give up – I'm sorry and I hope it doesn't ruin anyone's enjoyment of the fic. Please let me know what you think!