Diclaimer: I don't own anything related to Veronica Mars. Not even the DVDs.
AN: Takes place following the graduation night fallout. Ignores final few minutes of season finale and picks up right after Veronica and Keith are reunited. Spoilers for "Not Pictured".

Logan rang the doorbell and then pushed open the unlocked door.

He'd heard that his father had been murdered while he was sitting in the Xterra in Veronica's parking lot. The reunion of Veronica and her father had been a moment that he didn't want to be a part of. Didn't deserve to be a part of.

It was when he started the truck, that moment of preparation to pull onto the highway that he heard the DJ's words "Aaron Echolls has been murdered in his room at the Neptune Grand Hotel, the same site that saw even more tragedy tonight…"

His dad would be pissed that Beaver's death was taking the spotlight off him.

He didn't think that he wanted to think anymore today. Graduation night was supposed to be fun, the culmination party to send off his high school experience. Fuck.

Beaver was his friend. Cassidy.

He'd always just been around. Logan had never really talked to him, he was younger and Dick seemed to only tolerate him on the surface.

But Logan knew that Dick loved his brother. Logan got drunk with Dick a lot - and drunks talked, even if they didn't remember it.

Dick had brought Beaver along because he wanted him to have fun. He'd always said his brother was 'too quiet' or 'too dull', but the kid had been a genius. A mastermind.

Logan pulled up to the liquor store as the lady was just turning around the 'open' sign. He followed a slouching old woman into the store and picked up a basket.

He planned on drinking for a few days.

"Your door's wide open, dude."

Dick didn't look up from the TV screen. He had to kill these ninjas. Dead. Dead like his brother. He was going to fuck these ninjas up.

Logan sat down on the couch, the bag in his arms clinking.

"Dude. You brought refreshments?" Dick asked, pausing the game.

"What's your poison?" Logan replied, his face blank. Dick was glad Logan wasn't going to start crying and shit.

"Everything," Dick answered honestly. He needed to turn the ninjas back on.

"I'll get ice," Logan said, not mentioning what Dick wasn't talking about. Logan was his friend, no matter what his father did. He knew Logan was a stand up guy, even if he gave him hell behind his back sometimes. Humor wasn't the same as loyalty. Out of all the 09'ers, Logan was the only one that had walked through his open door. Granted, there were crowds of news cameras at the end of his driveway, but that just made it even cooler that Logan had shown up. He'd flunked his senior year and his little brother had killed a bunch of classmates. He wasn't really on the 'A' list of popularity today.

Karma was such bullshit.

The phone was ringing across the room when Logan returned from the kitchen with highball glasses and a bucket of ice.

Dick wasn't answering the phone.

"You want me to get that?"

"If you want. I tried to call my Mom, but she's not around," Dick muttered, pulling bottles out of the bag. "And Dad…well."

"Dick…I can call my lawyer. See if he can take care of stuff for you," Logan said, bringing the phone over.

"They can do that?" Dick asked. He'd never really thought about burying his little brother.

"I guess," Logan replied with a shrug, taking the bottle from his shaking hand and filling the glasses. "My dad got capped last night."

"No way," Dick replied.

"Oh yeah. Big night for Neptune," Logan muttered.

Dick took a deep gulp of the harsh liquor. "You dad killed Lilly."

"Yeah. Cassidy blew up a bus," Logan replied.

"He was still my brother," Dick said after a beat.

"Yeah. I know," Logan replied. He filled up their glasses again.

"Thanks," he said. And he meant it.

"Who was that?" Veronica asked her father when he hung up the phone.

"Cliff. Wanted to give me the heads up about something," he answered, sitting down on the couch beside her.

She didn't want to let him out of her sight. She was 18 but she didn't want to be an adult yet. The past year and an explosion in the sky had driven home how much she didn't want to be on her own yet.

"What was Logan doing here this morning?" he asked.

"It was nothing, Dad, he just…he saved me last night," Veronica answered honestly. "On the roof…after Cassidy knocked me down, I managed to send him a message. He was going to shoot me, Dad." She hesitated. They'd had a rough few months and she'd almost lost him. She owed him the truth. "And then I got the gun and I was going to shoot him."

"Honey," he gasped, worried.

"But Logan…he didn't let me…he told me that I wasn't a killer…but Cassidy hurt me, Dad. I thought he killed you and…I would have lost it if Logan hadn't been there. Then Cassidy jumped and we found Mac…Logan took us both to the hospital…"

"Are you okay?"

She lifted her shirt to show the red marks on her abdomen from the taser. "It'll heal. They gave me some Tylenol 3."

Keith pulled her into a hug, kissing the top of her head with a sigh. "I'm glad he was there."

"So, what did Cliff have to say?" she asked, shaking off the chill from remembering last night's events.

"Well, he's Logan's counsel, as you know. And apparently Logan just called him and asked him if he could help Dick Casablancas handle his brother's arrangements. Kid can't reach his parents."

"Poor Dick," Veronica replied. Dick was an ass, but he'd never gone anywhere without at least inviting Cassidy. She'd been lost without Lilly and they were only friends. Dick had lost a brother.

"Cliff said Logan was slightly intoxicated. Meaning a lot," Keith added.

Veronica nodded. It fit. She knew Logan would deal with the drama the only way he knew how.

"Cliff's going to take a ride up there. I think Logan's grown on him a little," Keith admitted. "How do you feel about that?"


"Cassidy killed some of your friends. Aaron killed Lilly. Do you mind me going up there?" her father asked again.

"Dick's a dick, but he's not a killer. Neither is Logan," she replied.

"That's why I love you, baby," he smiled, hugging her. "You should get some rest."

"I'm coming with you."

"I think you better leave this to the men," he grunted, pounding on his chest dramatically.


"No, kid, I mean it. Rest. I'll be back soon," he promised. "And Wallace beeped in, he's on his way over."

Keith was disgusted by the hordes of press outside of the Casablancas' gates.

But Logan had apparently told the guard that they were coming so they didn't have to get out and negotiate for entry.

"So, Keith, why'd you volunteer to come up here with me?" Cliff asked.

"I don't know, really. Curiosity, maybe. Veronica. She cares about Logan. I hate seeing these kids that had more money than parenting just fall apart like this," Keith replied. He couldn't imagine leaving Veronica to deal with things like funerals and murder trials without him. They were just kids.

"He said the cops had already been through, stripped Cassidy's room and most of the upstairs," Cliff said, parking beside Logan's Xterra.

Keith sighed, seeing Lamb's wake in the halls.

"I thought you said the cops were gone," Dick Casablancas slurred from the recliner, kicking at Logan with his foot.

Logan's eyes were glazed but much more lucid than the blond's. "Cliff, you brought a guest, Mr. Mars," he nodded, putting down the bottle of tequila.

"Dude, give that to me," Dick motioned as Logan managed to stand up.

"Maybe you guys should lay off the booze," Cliff said.

"Is this what we're paying him for?" Dick muttered.

Logan's face was drawn and Keith could see that the alcohol had masked his exhaustion. He gave the bottle to his friend and said something to him quietly.

"Cool. I'll be here," Dick slurred, his head lolling to the side.

Logan sighed and waved them into the kitchen.

"I'm going to take him away for a few days, get the hell out of town," Logan said, leaning against the counter as he passed Cliff a folder full of papers. "Kendall's got a lawyer already but she's not doing anything for Cassidy or Dick. I'll pay your fees until he works stuff out, like with his trust and stuff."

Keith glanced at Cliff who was staring at Logan in surprise.

"I'm a little surprised to see you here," Logan said to him.

"Thought maybe you could use a hand," Keith replied. "Since you gave Veronica a hand last night."

"She okay?" he asked softly, a flicker of concern flashing behind his mask.


"There's also your father's death to deal with," Cliff said.

"Won't his lawyers deal with all that? Or Trina?" Logan shrugged.

"I'll take care of it."

"Good man. I'm going to go pack some of Dick's stuff and we're going to head out. You can call me on my cell phone," Logan said.

"You're not driving anywhere," Keith said, startled that he'd even consider it.

"I'll make some coffee," Logan said, pushing past them and out of the kitchen. "Hell, call a limo, whatever."

"What a mess," Cliff said.

"Why don't you see if you can find a hotel room a couple of towns away for them? I don't trust the two of them to not end up in some Mexican jail," Keith said.

"Right," Cliff replied.

Keith followed his ears up the stairs to what seemed to be Dick's room. It was as ransacked as the rest of the house and he hadn't seen that much pornography since his college days.

Logan didn't say anything to him but nodded at him as he stuffed jeans into a bag.

"How are you doing, Logan?"

"Fine. My father's death is the only bright spot in this whole thing." He hesitated. "Oh, and it's kind of cool that you didn't explode, for Veronica, you know."

"Thanks," Keith smiled, glaring at him.

"I know she's probably pissed I'm helping Dick after all that's happened, but he's gotten me drunk after enough traumatic deaths that I sort of owe him this," Logan replied.

"I think she's more worried about you. Maybe you should give her a call."

He smirked, shaking his head as he zipped up the bag. "Nope, sorry. New rule I have, no talking to Veronica while drinking. Figured you'd be pretty happy about that one."

"How about a new no drinking rule?" Keith suggested.

"I'll quit tomorrow," Logan muttered. "Right now, I'm getting the hell out of dodge."

The car Cliff had hired for them turned out to be driven by a laid back stoner and had agreed to stop at the 7-11 for beer on the way to the hotel Keith had insisted they hide out in.

Logan knew Dick was too wasted to really process and Logan was too damned tired to argue. He didn't know what was right or wrong or how he was supposed to feel, he just knew that he was drunk.

But not numb. Not anymore.

"Dude. Look, its Beaver's girl," Dick slurred, waving at the parking lot.

"Oh." He had been relieved to find out at the hospital that Beaver hadn't raped her. Not like he'd done to Veronica after the GHB incident that Dick had been a major part of. Mac had been humiliated, but thankfully, not physically violated.

He didn't really know why he opened the door to the car and stood up, waving at her.

"Hey, Mac. You okay?"

"Yeah. I think. Sort of. What are you doing?" she asked, hesitantly.

"Well, me and Dick are getting out of town for a while. Can't really process all that's happened, you know?"

Mac gave him a solemn nod, but he saw a flash of understanding in her eyes. She looked older than he remembered, but she'd had a hell of a night.

"Dude," Dick called from inside the car. "We should take her with us."

Logan was confused by Dick's thinking.

"It's like, we all cared about people but we didn't really know who they really were. We're like, all fucked up and nobody understands," Dick said.

Mac was startled, but was standing by the car now.

"We might be a little wasted," Logan apologized.

"There are cameras at my house," she admitted.

"We'll get more booze from room service," Dick said and Logan stepped aside. Mac climbed into the limo.

Veronica and Wallace vegged out for a couple of hours but the longer she sat in front of the TV, the more worried she got about Logan. Her dad hadn't called with an update and the shock from the night before had finally worn off.

"Call him. God, you keep twitching and it's really not helping."

"What are you talking about? I'm totally not twitching," she denied.

Wallace rolled his eyes. "You flip to CNN over every commercial brake and you haven't let go of your phone in over an hour. Just call him, okay?"

She let out an annoyed sigh, but it was nice to have a friend that knew her so well. Annoying, but nice.

She had a feeling that he was going to answer. Something had shifted in Logan and she wasn't sure yet if it was a good thing. He was different. She was ashamed to say she didn't even know when it happened, but Alterna-prom was when she first noticed it. He had almost seemed…shattered. Even more lost than before.

"Hey," he answered softly. "You okay?"

"Yeah. Where are you? Still at Dick's?" she asked, standing up and walking into the kitchen. She felt Wallace's curious eyes on her back.

"Nah. Your dad made us go to a hotel outside Neptune. I promised Dick Mexico, but he's too wasted to know the difference," Logan replied.

"How are you doing, Logan?"

"Drunk. But I've got a pretty girl asleep on my lap and they're having a zombie movie marathon on the Sci-Fi channel so I'm not complaining."

"A girl? Logan…"

"It's Mac. She, sort of, fell into our limo. If her mom calls, she's at your house, though," he said quietly.

She felt a pang of regret. She'd let Mac's parents whisk her away from the hospital and she hadn't even called the girl today. "Is she okay?"

"She's a little drunk, too. She's got Dick addicted to daiquiris now. I make a mean daiquiri," he yawned.

"Are you sure that this is what you guys should be doing right now?" she asked, leaning against the wall.

"Got a better idea? Maybe we should sit down with our fathers and brothers and boyfriends and ask them why they decided to kill people, or even better, why they decided to die," he whispered quickly. "I…I don't really know what else we could be doing right now."

"Okay," she conceded.

"I was scared as hell last night. I thought…I thought I'd lost you. I…I guess what I'm saying is that…it's nice to see you around, Veronica. Stay out of trouble, all right?"

"Logan…" she called, but the dial tone cut off the words she couldn't think of in time.

"Everything all right?" Wallace asked.

"I don't know. Logan says he's with Dick and Mac in a hotel."

Wallace's face flickered through several expressions before settling on confusion. "Mac?"

"Feel up to a road trip?" she asked.

"Actually, yeah. It'll be nice to hang out with people more depressed than us. This whole wallowing thing is getting old here, maybe we both need a change of scenery," Wallace replied.

Mac woke up when she felt the soft bed she was sleeping on started to move beneath her. She gasped, sitting up and was startled to find a very surprised Logan Echolls holding up his hands, non-threateningly.

"Sorry, sorry, there's someone at the door," he said.

She finally got her breathing under control and brushed her hair out of her eyes, nodding. "Just…forgot where I was for a minute."

She had a dull headache from the drinks but she wasn't drunk anymore.

Her impulsive decision to get in a car with her newly revealed psycho killer boyfriend's brother and the king of Neptune angst had ended up being very different than whatever she expected.

Dick had been happy to drink and make random crude observational jokes without discrimination or tact. They were interspersed with equally random thoughts about his now dead brother and all these tiny details that had nothing to do with anything other than Cassidy being dead.

She hadn't talked that much, satisfied simply to listen. It made her feel better that Dick had lived with Cassidy for years and had no idea of who he really was. She thought she'd known Cassidy, too. She'd loved him.

But she hadn't known him at all.

She couldn't separate the truth that Cassidy Casablancas had blew up a bus and a plane and killed people from the truth of the kind, gentle boy she'd fallen in love with in front of a laptop.

Logan was leaning forward now, rubbing his palms into his eyes as the knocking persisted on the door to their suite.

"Do you want me to get that?" she asked. Logan had been a surprise, too. She'd never really had a conversation with him before outside of passing nods when she'd been with Veronica. She'd left him in the same group of 'assholes' as Dick, knowing that she'd never have to worry about him turning his popularity against someone as insignificant as her.

But he'd been really nice with her, making her 'chick drinks' and keeping Dick from choking on his own vomit and stuff. She hadn't mentioned his father's murder and Logan seemed grateful to have her there to give him something other than Dick and his thoughts to focus on. And after Dick had passed out and she'd started to cry, he'd held her without making a big deal out of it.

She must've fallen asleep on his lap.

"God, they're just not going to go away," Logan grumbled, pushing himself unsteadily to his feet and staggering to the door.

She laughed at his ungainliness. Maybe she was still just a little drunk.

He pulled open the door. "What?"

"Good morning to you, too," Veronica said cheerily, pushing a large cup of coffee into his hands as she walked into the suite.

"Hey, man," Wallace grinned, stepping in behind her.

"I don't remember giving you an address," Logan muttered, closing the door clumsily and locking it.

Veronica walked over and embraced her warmly. "How are you doing?"

"Okay, I guess. I was sleeping until you woke up my pillow," Mac admitted.

"You want some help getting him out of the chair?" Wallace asked Logan, motioning to Dick who was drooling in a chair.

"Probably a good idea," Logan replied, putting the coffee down. He leaned over Dick and clapped his hands loudly, the sound echoing in Mac's ears.

Dick twitched and his eyes opened into slits.

"Bed or bathtub?" Logan asked, grabbing him by his arms and pulling until Dick was unsteadily on his feet between Wallace and himself.


"Five seconds, Dick, what's it going to be?" Logan asked, walking backwards as Dick staggered, zombie like after him.

"It's like some kind of '09er ritual," Veronica muttered.

"Bathtub…did I drink tequila?" Dick muttered, rubbing his face.

"Only about a bottle, so you should be good…" Logan said, as they disappeared into one of the bedrooms.

"How are you really doing?" Veronica asked. "A lot happened the other night."

"I know. I'm trying to figure it all out, but it's like my brain's all stuffy," Mac admitted.

"That's from the daiquiris. I have to admit, I didn't expect to find you here."

"Me either. But my parents were suffocating me and I went out to get some air, and ran into Logan and Dick. Something about us all caring about people that turned out to be psycho killers. And drinking. There may have been mention of gratuitous drinking," Mac added.

"Do you feel like talking about it?" Veronica asked after a beat.

"I don't really know what to say yet," Mac replied honestly. "I don't know how I'm supposed to feel, if I'm even supposed to grieve…"

Logan and Wallace walked back into the room then, talking to each other amicably. "Are you sure it's okay to leave him like that in the bathtub?"

"He's probably going to puke and the maids always get pissed off," Logan replied. "He's used to it."

Mac watched Logan pick up a bottle of liquor with about an inch of liquid left at the bottom and carry it over to his coffee.

"You're drinking again?" Wallace asked.

"This is what I like to call 'a binge'," Logan replied quietly, taking a swallow from the coffee before emptying the bottle into the cup.

Mac stifled a yawn and felt Veronica's sigh. Everyone in Neptune had a lot of issues.

"I think I'm going to go pass out," Mac said, getting to her feet. She held Veronica's hand until she was fully standing. "You going to stick around?"

"Yeah," Veronica replied without looking back at Logan.

The coffee and alcohol in his gut was rumbling and he knew that he was going to lost another layer of lining in his stomach before too long.

Veronica Mars and company come to the door and ruin his little moment of silent Zen.

Passing out was totally Logan's plan for Zen.

But no, she had to come knocking and glowing and generally spin him off his axis again.

"Looking a little green, there, Logan," Wallace said in the distance.

Veronica had taken Mac into the bedroom and it was a good a time as any for him to puke his guts out.

He was vaguely aware of tilting to the side but when he hit the floor finally, the toilet was white and smelled like Clorox.

"He went down," Wallace said behind him and he recognized Veronica's warm tiny hands on his shoulders.

"Get us some water?" she said softly, her voice tinkling in his ears.

He didn't know what kind of angel Veronica Mars really was. The Angel of truth, of mercy, of vengeance.

All he knew was that as much as he loved her - craved her - she only tore his heart into tinier pieces every time she walked away.

And she always walked away.

He almost watched her die.

The rush of bile filled his mouth and he shook so violently that her hands left his back and he braced himself against the floor.

It took him a minute, but he finally felt the relief of his stomach settling back into a rumble. "I'm okay," he coughed.


"Get out. Leave me alone…"

"I'm not…"

"Get out, Veronica," he said, not looking at her as he spit.

Finally, he turned to her. "Please."

The door closed with a slam and another wave of nausea took his breath.

Well, at least his day wasn't going to get any worse.

Veronica dozed off on the couch beside Wallace with the echoes of Logan's retching in her ears.

She wanted to stay with him but he'd shut down almost immediately. She couldn't help but feel guilty that he wasn't comfortable letting down his walls with her anymore. Last summer, she'd seen parts of Logan no one else could even imagine. But he was broken. Too much for her to handle and now he wouldn't let her back in.

She woke up when the bathroom door closed. Several hours had passed according to the clock on the cable box and Logan was freshly showered and dressed. He gave her a weak smile, circles stark beneath his eyes.

"Hey. Feel better?"

"Nothing like a few hours spent on the bathroom floor to make me reconsider the whole 'binge' aspect of this plan," he sighed, sitting down beside her on the couch, leaving several inches of space between them. "I gotta call Cliff, he's been leaving messages all night. I think he's worried I'm dead," Logan muttered, avoiding her eyes as he dialed the phone with a shaking hand.

She got up long enough to start a pot of coffee, and noticed Logan holding out a keycard and some cash to Wallace so he could go out for breakfast. Wallace raised an eyebrow of inquiry at her and she nodded her approval.

"Hey, Cliff. Yeah, okay. A little hungover…okay, I'm a lot hungover, but totally functional. Fire away."

Veronica watched Logan from the kitchenette, as his shoulders slumped and he leaned his face against his hand as he listened.

"Dick's mom is handling the funeral? Out of town? I'll let Dick know. Send me a text with the address and date of the service…too drunk to take notes…" Logan was saying when she returned with the first cup of coffee and ibuprofen for him.

"Whatever. I'm not going. Tell Trina…that she has to deal with it, I'm not coming. I don't have to forgive him just because he's dead," Logan said scathingly, ignoring her presence. He sighed. "Sorry, Cliff, I know…just…I'll try to be sober enough to sign stuff when you get here, okay?"

Logan closed the phone and she pried it from his hands and replaced it with the small cup. "Thanks," he muttered. "Cliff says I can't drink until after noon or he's going to tell Trina where I am. He says 'hi', by the way."

"Logan…I want to thank you for the other night," Veronica said, needing to speak the words that were bouncing around in her head.

He held up his hand. "Don't. Just…promise me that you won't ever scare me like that again…"

"Now you know how I feel," Veronica replied. His eyes were bright with confusion and she gave into her impulse, pulling him into a desperate hug.

She had barely been able to let go of him after they'd watched Cassidy fall. When she'd lost her father, he'd been the safest place for her.

"What do you mean?"

"I don't want to lose anyone else, either, Logan. But you…you put yourself in danger, you do stupid things…"

"You're seriously talking about me?" Logan asked, his mouth in her hair, kissing her softly. "Veronica, you're insane…"

"Then we're all insane. Nothing makes sense, Logan…Cassidy's a killer, Woody's dead, Aaron's dead and…"

"Never a dull moment," Logan muttered, pulling away and distracting himself with his coffee.

She smiled, keeping and arm around him and leaning her head against his shoulder. "You do make a very nice pillow."

He stroked her hair gently and she felt a warm feeling go through her. Duncan had never made her feel this safe. Logan was passionate and impulsive and unstable but she knew that he would never hurt her, never let her be hurt without letting himself go down with her.

Logan was loyal and true to everyone but himself.

"I should go check on Dick. Get him ready for Cliff," Logan said quietly.

Mac woke up when she heard the raised voices in the main room. Veronica and Wallace were standing by the door, listening intently.

"What's going on?" she asked.

"Cliff, the lawyer Logan hired for him is here, trying to explain things to him," Wallace said, smiling at her.

"Dick's really dumber than I ever realized," Veronica said.

"I always just thought he was stoned," Wallace admitted.

Mac laughed as they sat down on the bed with her.

"It's like, the lawyer will say something and then Logan has to interpret it in 'Neanderthal' for Dick. But they're almost done," Veronica said. "You looked like you needed some sleep."

"Yeah. What's Dick going to do?"

"His mom wants him to fly up with Cassidy's body on her private jet so they can have a family memorial service, closed to the public," Veronica told her softly.

She sighed, relieved in a way. "That's probably a good idea," Mac replied.

"Our breakfast is out there," Wallace said after a long silence.

Keith stepped into the room then, giving them all a patient smile. "You guys can come out now, Cliff and Dick are gone to the airport."

"How's Cliff going to communicate with him without Logan to translate?" Wallace joked.

"Logan drugged him, so he'd sleep on the flight," Keith replied.

Mac saw Veronica searching the room for Logan but Mac saw him first, standing by the counter scrawling his name on papers.

She nudged her friend toward him and followed Wallace to the bags of food on the table.

"Logan? Are you going to eat something?"

"Yeah. Later," he replied quietly.

Mac picked up one of the croissants and walked over to him. "Here. Can't have skinny pillows, need to keep the fat on your bones for optimal fluffiness," she said.

Wallace snickered. "Dude, I think you've been adopted," he said, patting Logan on the head.

"Great, I'll be sure and start preening my coat more often," he sighed, not rising to the joke. He took the bagel from her, giving her a sad smile and disappeared into Dick's vacated room with the papers and a bottle of rum under his arm.

Veronica sighed.

"Honey, why don't you guys head back to Neptune? I want to talk to Logan a little and then I'll meet you there," Keith said.

"Your mom called him," Veronica told her.

"Ah. How much trouble am I in?" she asked, glancing at Keith guiltily.

"You've been a good friend to this family, and you're practically on the payroll," Keith replied before giving her a scolding glare. "But I don't want to catch you drinking anymore, I won't cover for you again. I'm glad you're okay and I apologized to your parents for taking you out of town without asking first but the IMAX was sold out in Neptune last night and we had to come here," he said.

Mac grinned, relieved. "Thanks."

"Logan?" Keith called, pushing open the slightly ajar door.

"30 million," Logan said.

"Excuse me?"

"That's what the bid's up to for the exclusive rights to my personal story about the tragedy of my father's demise," Logan replied.

"Why don't you give me that bottle…" Keith started.

"Mr. Mars, with all due respect, but I don't think you're going to be the one to spontaneously make me decide to quit drinking.," he said sullenly.

Keith was surprised when Veronica stepped in, closing the door behind her. "Logan, look at me."

Logan's green eyes met hers, guilt and pain darker than he'd ever seen in a boy his age.

"You were going to piss off my dad enough to get him to leave you here so you could drink away your misery," Veronica said, walking over to the bed and grabbing the bottle out of his hand.

Logan glared at her and Keith was impressed by his daughter's effect on the teenager.

"Get up. I'm not doing this with you again. I refuse to let you sulk and kill more of your brain cells with this stuff." She softened her tone and Keith watched her take a deep breath. "You said some pretty serious things to me at the non-prom and I'd really like the chance to hear you say them without the liquor making you forget them the next day. I really…need a friend right now, but I need you to stop hiding from me."

Logan let out a soft sigh and leaned forward to gather the papers in his shaking hands.

Veronica turned to him. "Daddy, Logan's going to be staying on our couch for a few days."

Keith recognized the look in her eye and knew that he didn't want to waste his time arguing. "Meet me downstairs. Make sure you use the bathroom because I don't plan on making any stops on the way home."

"Can we sing 'the wheels on the bus'?" Logan muttered.

"Only if you play nice," Veronica said.