Summary: Pre-series. He thinks she's beautiful. But he'd never admit to that. Logan/Veronica one-shot.

Disclaimer: I own nothing. I don't know WHY you people keep insisting I do. –Huffs- Veronica Mars doesn't belong to me and Kill the Messenger by Jack's Mannequin doesn't belong to me, either. You can imagine how sad that makes me.

A/N: Came out of nowhere. My feet were freezing and the sky was all cloudy and it looked like it was going to rain and the summary popped into my head. Yeah … I'm weird. Do not judge me!

--

I'm gonna send a little rain your way

His best friend does not know about his feelings; that much is paramount.

And that same best friend would probably be the first to strangle him if he knew he was here. He knows this much is true, but that still doesn't stop him from knocking on her front door and shoving nervously-quaking, thirteen-year-old hands into the pockets of his jeans.

The fact – because it really isn't up for argument at this point – that he's nervous makes him a little ill. He's supposed to be the confident one; he's supposed to be pompous and loud and obnoxious at every given second.

But that's all just a façade, isn't it?

He's far from perfect; far from the personality that he outwardly portrays on a daily basis.

She has known him for a month, known his name for three weeks, his quirks for barely two, and his phone number for far less than that. She doesn't know his darkest secrets but he thinks that if she did she would find a way to understand.

She would find a way to save him, be it her job or not.

This girl, his best friend's crush of almost a year, his (almost) girlfriend's best friend is… innocent. And despite the fact that he is thirteen and three months younger than her, innocent is something he hasn't been for a very long time.

He thinks he might miss the feeling of naivety if he could still remember it.

The door in front of him jerks open with a startling quickness and his entire body tenses, hands clenching inside of his pockets. She smiles at him and leans against the doorway, greeting him shyly.

"Hi, Veronica," he murmurs. Her smile widens and she stands up fully, holding the door open and inviting him in. Logan returns her smile and brushes past her on his way inside the house, the contact enough to make him jump out of his skin.

"What are you doing here? I thought you were hanging out with Duncan today," she says in confusion, long blonde strands of hair falling across her bare shoulders as she leads him into the kitchen. "Not that I mind…" she trails off uncomfortably when he doesn't say anything and pushes herself up to sit on the counter.

"Celeste threw a fit this morning; won't let Lilly or Duncan leave the house for the rest of the weekend," he shrugs and hops up next to her.

"What happened?"

He shrugs again, "Hell if I know. DK wasn't giving up many details when he called."

Veronica purses her lips together and nods a little as she watches her fingers tug at a loose string on her tank top. Summer heat in Neptune has forced her to pull her hair up into a messy ponytail, which strands have fallen out of and are now falling at random across her shoulders, left bare by the thin straps of her top.

"I thought, maybe … we could hang out," he says after a moment. She looks up at him with wide eyes, a tentative smile spreading across her face.

"We could," she says softly with a nod. Logan grins at her and hops down from the counter, bowing dramatically.

"And what is the lady's pleasure this afternoon?" She giggles and takes the hand he offers her as she slides off her kitchen counter, a bright smile on her face as he begins pulling her out of the room.

"Someplace with air conditioning," she says seriously. She lets out a laugh and promises to return in a few minutes as she runs up the stairs to change her clothes. True to her word, she comes prancing back down the stairs just a few minutes later, hair braided neatly and a polo shirt replacing the tank top, jean shorts replacing her pajama bottoms.

He thinks she's beautiful. But he'd never admit to that.

--

"Explain to me how a miniature golf course is air-conditioned."

Logan grins and tugs on her arm as they walk up to the counter and buy a few rounds of miniature golf. "It's not, but come on! We live in California," he draws the word out slowly, "We're supposed to be enjoying the sunshine and unparalleled summer weather."

Veronica huffs and folds her arms in front of her chest with a pout. He smiles at her and pokes her in the side, earning a glare and a tight-lipped expression from the tiny blonde. Another poke makes her back away from him with a warning and he only continues to smile as he tells her to pick out a putter and grabs one for himself.

Twenty minutes and seven holes later, she's still complaining about the heat.

"Come on, Veronica," he sighs and punches her in the arm lightly. "Stop complaining and hit the ball, will you?"

She gives him the puppy dog eyes and he rolls his own skyward. "Not going to work," he says seriously. She sticks out her bottom lip a little more and he shakes his head with a laugh. "Hit the ball!"

"Fine," she sighs, turning back to the bright pink ball that's lying at her feet. He bites the inside of his bottom lip as he watches her and sighs quietly.

Oh, yeah. Duncan would definitely, definitely strangle him.

--

He purposefully takes his time setting up his shot and she lets out an irritated groan as she sits down on the bench next to the Astroturf, sighing as she rests her chin in her hand.

"You know, if Lilly were here she would have kicked your ass by now," she says seriously. He raises his eyebrows at her use of profanity and she blushes cutely, looking at the fake green grass at his feet.

"Well it's a good thing she isn't, then, huh?" he smiles at her and Veronica rolls her eyes again, wiping sweat from her hairline. She watches impatiently as he makes his shot and the pale green ball rolls across the ground, landing with a resounding clunk in the hole.

"Finally! Can you take me home now?"

Logan swings his putter over his shoulder and pretends to contemplate her question, laughing when she shoves him and starts walking back to the counter to return her equipment. He grabs his ball off of the course and jogs to catch up with her.

"Next time I ask for air-conditioning…"

"…You'll have it, Mars. Promise," he smiles and she returns the gesture as they start absentmindedly walking toward the ice cream parlor next door.

Veronica freezes when she feels a drop of water fall on her head and frowns, looking up at the sky. Her eyes widen at the storm clouds that are starting to cover the perfect, turquoise sky.

Another drop of rain falls on her shoulder. Two, three, four, five, and then she loses count when the clouds let go and it starts pouring. She shrieks and grabs Logan's hand, ducking into the ice cream parlor with a laugh.

"Still too hot?" he laughs and she rolls her eyes, bouncing toward the counter and ordering a sundae. He follows suit and they spend the next two hours eating and talking, waiting for the storm to pass so that he can walk her home.

When they hear the downpour intensify and the thunder that now accompanies it, Veronica lets out a sigh. Logan pulls out the cell phone his mother gave him for his birthday and requests that she come pick them up while Veronica stares blankly out the window, a tiny smile on her face.

--

She's still laughing when she runs into her house, completely soaked from the run she took up the driveway. Logan follows behind her, shaking water out of his hair and kicking the door shut behind him.

"It hasn't rained like this in forever," she says in awe. Her eyes are wide when she turns to look at him and his chest tightens painfully.

It's not exactly a feeling he enjoys, but it seems to keep happening whenever he's around her.

"No, it hasn't," he agrees quietly. Veronica tugs the rubber bands out of her hair and begins undoing her braids as they walk into the living room, running her hands through her hair and attempting to wring out some of the water that's soaked into the blonde strands.

Keith Mars sits on the couch with a book in his lap, his eyes rising when his daughter walks into the room. "Going for that wet rat look, honey?" Veronica sticks her tongue out at him and Logan laughs quietly, lingering slightly behind. Keith turns his attention to the boy in the room and raises an eyebrow. "Veronica, sweetie, it's not kind to splash the other children when you decide to go play in the puddles."

"Oh, hush," Veronica laughs and kisses her father on the head, grabbing Logan's hand and tugging him toward the stairs. "Logan's staying for dinner," she says sweetly. Keith nods a little and turns his attention back to his book as the two teenagers jog up the stairs toward her bedroom.

She doesn't notice the way Logan shoves his hands in his front pockets. Or the audible gulp when he follows her into her bedroom, but she's talking too much to really hear anything but her own voice.

He smiles a little and flops down on her bed.

--

"Thanks for dinner," Logan says kindly. Keith nods in recognition and heads into the living room to watch the Padres game while Lianne simply smiles before turning her attention back to cleaning the dishes.

Veronica walks him to the door and leans against the wall of her house as they stand on the front porch.

His thoughts from earlier return full force and he takes a deep breath, biting his lip and pushing his hands back into his pockets.

"I had fun today," Veronica says softly. Logan ducks his head and looks up at her through his eyelashes, smiling a little.

"Me too," he agrees. She smiles brightly and crosses her feet at the ankles, bottom lip latched between her teeth. Innocent, he remembers; she's the perfect picture of innocence.

He scuffs his shoe against the wood of the porch and she gets butterflies in her stomach.

He only does that when he's nervous.

"Hey, Veronica?" he takes a step closer so that he's toe-to-toe with her bare feet and forces himself to calm down.

"Logan?"

"C'mere," he whispers, stepping closer still and taking her hands in his. Her breath catches in her throat and she shivers a little, looking up at him in wonder. He gives her a reassuring smile and then presses his lips to hers chastely. He pulls back a second later and she bites her lip gently, glancing at him unsurely. "Hey," he says quietly. Veronica gulps.

"Hey," she squeaks. Logan smiles at her and kisses her again, enjoying the soft feeling of her mouth pressed against his. "What are we doing?" she asks when they separate, the question mumbled against his mouth.

He kisses the tip of her nose, "Veronica," and then her forehead, lingering momentarily and closing his eyes, "Be my girlfriend," he whispers quietly. She swallows audibly and nods against his shoulder.

"Yeah," she whispers with a grin, looking up at him. Her eyes are bright, open, lit up with laughter and he can't help but return her smile.

Logan lets go of her hands and slowly steps backwards down the stairs, promising to call her as he backs up the wet cement of her driveway, the smile on his face refusing to fade.

Veronica nods a little and grabs the doorknob behind her, stepping into the house and closing the door with one last glance at him before she disappears back into her home.

And despite being thirteen years old and certain he's going to get his ass kicked by his best friend when he finds out about this latest development, he thinks she's beautiful. If the stupid butterflies in his stomach would leave him alone then maybe he'd fine the courage to tell her so.