Spoilers/Warnings: An Echolls Family Christmas(1.10).
Disclaimer: Logan and Veronica and the whole VM universe don't belong to me. Almighty ruler, Rob Thomas, owns my soul.

A/N: I was watching some episodes from season one and this popped in my head. I've read other missing scenes from this episode and just thought I'd throw my own in there. This is the first I've attempted dialogue with Logan, Logan/Veronica so I hope I can write the characters true. Let me know what you think. :)

--------------------

Vulnerability and fear. That's what a hospital smelled like. It made its way up through your nose and down into the pit of your stomach until all you felt was nausea. It was a smell that Logan Echolls had come to memorize. Fond memories, it did not bring. In Logan's cynical, bitter mind you didn't come to a hospital to get well. You came because of nature, outside forces, or in his dad's case, a small woman wielding a carver and a psychotic attachment to movie stars. He was glad he wasn't the patient this time but being the person waiting could be just as bad. He couldn't decide what his mother was more upset over; the fact that her husband had been stabbed or that 200 guests were witness to the truth of Aaron's unfaithfulness. Logan guessed the latter. Hollywood couples, ladies and gentlemen.

Logan leaned back in the uncomfortable plastic torture device the hospital qualified as a chair and bit down on his lip. It was well past 2am and the halls were empty. He had told his mother he would wait for her there in the sitting room and then take her home. To entertain himself, he envisioned his mom yelling at her bastard husband and then stifling him with his own pillow. If only he could stay in the world that thrived inside his head. The sound of footsteps coming down the hall brought him from his thoughts and he looked up. He sank back down in his chair when he realized it was only a nurse.

"Can I help you with something?" She stopped in front of him.

"I'm just waiting for my mom."

"You're the Echolls' son, aren't you?" The look she threw him was one of unease and he grew irritated.

"Yeah. Why?"

"Oh, well," she started, his indignant stare causing her to look away from him. "I think she left about a half hour ago."

Logan didn't say anything at first. His mouth hung open, but nothing came out. He quickly closed it when the nurse gave him a look of concern and pity. "Well, I guess it's a good thing I drove then." He was up and out of the chair, stalking down the hall, before the nurse could respond.

He knew he should be angry. After all, his mother basically abandoned him in the hospital without so much as a word. He knew how he'd find her when he got home. If she wasn't passed out already, she would be well on her way. Not that he could blame her. Not after a night like this. His first order of business when he got home was to grab a bottle whatever was lying around and proceed to get very drunk. A very Merry Christmas indeed.

As Logan reached his SUV, he was greeted with yet another surprise. "Son of a bitch," he cursed as he knelt down next to his flat, back tire. He found the cause of his predicament and pulled out the offending nail. Anger finding it's way back up to the surface, he stood and threw the nail across the parking garage. "Damn it!" His shout echoed through the dimly lit garage as he kicked at his tire.

He wrapped shaky hands behind his head, trying to control his rage. Breathing out heavily through his nose, he closed his eyes and tried to think of his options. He didn't have a jack and it was too late to call for a tow. The first name that came to mind was Duncan. But he wasn't sure he wanted to deal with that just yet. Duncan had a way of hovering like a girl sometimes and he didn't need that right now. He stopped when he realized that was about as long as his list got. There weren't many people Logan felt he could rely on in situations like this. But that was exactly the opposite of what he needed. He needed someone to forgot what just happened tonight and let him pretend his life is normal. Unfortunately, only a cab driver could offer him that right now. Unless...

Logan pulled out his cell phone and dialed from memory. After four rings, someone picked up.

"Yeah?" She sounded tired and he couldn't help but smirk.

"I need a ride."

"What? Logan? What the- Why are you calling me?"

"You sure are a cranky little thing."

"It's three am." She stated, irritated.

"Yeah, well, I need a ride."

"Can't find a little freshman just tripping over herself to acquiesce to your request?"

"Veronica Mars, you sure do you use big, pretty words."

"Do I need to use a lower level vocabulary or will my hanging up on you get the job done?"

"I could think of a few small words that you probably know real well." His voice was low and dripping with vulgarity and he knew she was reaching her limit.

"I'm hanging up now."

"No no! Veronica, wait!" He paused, making sure she didn't hang up on him. When he heard her breath filter through the phone, he continued. "Look, I wouldn't be calling you, of all people, if it wasn't last resort."

"You make it really easy to say no." He could hear her let out a rough breath. "Why didn't you just call Duncan?"

"And have his puppy-dog sideways glances to put up with? No, thanks. At least you're entertaining."

She snorted. She may hate him, but he knew she'd give in. "Fine," she relented and he smiled, "but I'm only doing this because I feel sorry for you."

It was his turn to laugh. "Sure you do."

"Oh, I do. You really suck at poker and I'm sorry I took all your money so easily." He smiled at that. Count on Veronica Mars to avoid the elephant. Just what he needed. "So, where are you?"

"At the hospital."

"I figured that, jackass. Which hospital?"

"Saint Andrews."

"I'll be there in 20." Before he could say anything else, the dial tone sounded in his ear.

---------------------------------

When she picked him up, he got in the car without a word. Veronica wasn't used to a quiet Logan so she was the first to speak.

"How's your dad?" The look he gave her told her she asked the wrong question.

"Oh, he's just swell. Nothing can keep a good man down." She noted the sarcasm in his voice and decided the change the subject.

"I thought you drove-" she started.

"Flat tire. I'm sure you know all about those." That got him the response he was looking for. Her mouth set in a tight line and she gripped the stirring wheel tighter. He smiled and put his foot up on the dash.

"Do you mind?"

"Not really."

"Look, I didn't have to come all the way out here to pick your ass up so do me a favor and get your dirty shoe off my dash." He raised his hands in surrender and put his foot back down, crossing his arms over his chest.

"You know, you never actually won that money since we never got to finish the game." He was pleased with himself when Veronica turned to him, mouth hanging open.

"You've got to be kidding me! You know that money was as good as mine." She fixed her eyes back on the road, her knuckles turning white against the strain of her grip. "I can't believe you."

"Just because you happen to have been winning at the time doesn't mean you would've taken the pot. But I guess we'll never know," he said wistfully.

"That money belongs to me and I'm sure the others would agree. God, why do you have to be such a jackass?"

He was probably enjoying this too much, he told himself. It was just easier to fight with her than to do anything else. He used her as a distraction from everything else and he almost felt bad about it sometimes. This was one of those times, seeing that she was helping him out in the middle of the night when she could've told him screw himself. Not many people that were supposed to hate you would do that. He was pretty sure that neither of them hated the other as much as they let on. Or maybe she did. She was looking rather hostile at the moment.

"Sorry." She turned towards him sharply with eyes wide.

"What?" It was almost comical, the way she reacted. Heaven forbid, Logan Echolls apologizing to Veronica Mars for anything.

"God, don't make me say it again. Look, you can have the money if it'll shut you up and not get us into an accident. Eyes on the road, woman!" He grabbed the arm rest as the car started to swerve.

Veronica's head whipped back around and she turned the car back onto the road. A smile appeared on her face and Logan couldn't tell if she was pleased with him or herself. Probably herself.

"Sorry, road got slick. Wasn't expecting hell to freeze over." She thought she was so cute, he mused.

"I am capable of a noble act every once and a while."

"In between your keggers and whoring it up, how do you ever find the time?" Her voice was laced with false sweetness and he leered at her.

"I got your copy of Guide to Time Management for Prostitutes." The brakes squealed and the car lurched to a stop. If he hadn't been wearing his seatbelt, he was sure he'd be through the windshield. "Jesus Christ, Veronica!"

"Get out." He looked at her, stunned. Guess he went too far.

"You can't be serious."

"Get. Out. Now."

"Veronica, we're in the bad part of town. You can't leave me out here."

"I don't even know what I was thinking coming to get you in the first place! No, I know why. It's because I felt sorry for you. I figured you had a bad enough night that we wouldn't fall into our normal routine. God, Logan! Your dad got stabbed."

"I know! I was there, remember?" This is not where he pictured this conversation going. Getting out of the car was sounding like a good idea.

"You act like you don't even care."

"Maybe I don't." His voice grew quiet and he wished for anything that he had just called Duncan.

"He's your dad, Logan." He hated the way she sounded. Like he had no right to feel the way he did. Veronica Mars thought she knew everything. If she only knew...

"Well, we all can't be lucky enough to have a Keith Mars. Look, are you kicking me out of the car or not? Otherwise, could we please continue on this fucked up journey so I can get home and drunk before the sun rises?" When she didn't say anything, he reached for the door handle.

"No! I'll drive you home." She put the car back in gear and they didn't say another word to each other the rest of the way.

---------------------------------

Veronica pulled up to the gate and stopped. They hadn't said a work to each other in the last 15 minutes and while she usually relished in such an uncommon thing, she was only disconcerted by it. She wasn't supposed to worry about Logan Echolls. She blamed it on the holiday. Good tidings and cheer and all that. Her thoughts were interrupted by the passenger door being opened.

"Thanks for the ride," he mumbled.

"Logan?" He paused, one leg already out of the car.

"What?"

"Merry Christmas." She watched him look up at his house and then to his hand resting on the door handle.

"Yeah. Merry fucking ho ho to you too."

If he would've looked at her, he would've seen her frown at him. But he didn't and he just shut her door roughly, walking to the gate. Veronica shook her head before she put her car in gear and backed out onto the road. Logan turned and watched her leave. He was glad he was supposed to hate her. Because then he could shake off the feeling of wanting nothing more then to let her be his friend.

After making it through the gate, he stuffed his hands in his pockets and made his way up to the house. There was fake snow everywhere and scowl made it's way to Logan's face. His mom always went all out for these parties. Too bad no one was going to remember how beautiful she had made everything look.

When he walked into the house, everything was still as he left it. The cleaning staff wouldn't arrive until morning, unfortunately. Decorations, empty glasses and a false sense of a good time lingered and he immediately made his way to the bar. His hand reached for the first unopened bottle he could find and he smiled bitterly. No holiday was complete without some sort of disaster. Like all Hollywood royalty, if it wasn't big it wasn't worth mentioning. He hated to think how the tabloids were going to handle this one. It was times like these that he wished he wasn't the son of famous movie star.

But now, he was going to at least forget for a few hours. He was going to forget seeing the look on his mother's face when that woman had said those things. He was going to forget the horror in her eyes when his dad was stabbed and the guilt he felt for enjoying it maybe a little. He was going to forget how he wished the wound was fatal. He was going to forget it all and get drunk and have himself a merry little Christmas.

As he passed around the piano, something caught his eye and he stopped. Stepping closer, he reached his hand down and touched the wetness on the table. He looked down at his crimson fingers, slick with his father's blood and he smiled.

Maybe he wouldn't forget that.

End.