TITLE Auld Lang Syne
PAIRING/CHARACTER Veronica/Logan
RATING R (for adult content)
WORD COUNT 2766
SPOILERS/WARNINGS 210 alternate ending (with a slight clothing change as well); also - adult content
SUMMARY When Logan shows up on Veronica's doorstep for New Year's Eve, things certainly don't go according to plan.
DISCLAIMER
RT and UPN own everything. I'm just playing with them.
NOTES
Many thanks to onastick and mutinousmuse for betaing and moral support. Written for loveathons on LJ.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot

As the chords of the traditional New Year's song starts up in Times Square, the knock of the pizza man pulls Veronica from her funk. If the past few weeks were any indication, 2006 was likely to be full of the same heartache, disappointment, and social isolation she experienced throughout much of 2005.

"So that'll be – " she begins as she opens the door, but she cuts off her words when she sees that the man standing at her door is most certainly not delivering a pizza.

"Logan? What are you doing here?"

"I – I didn't want to be alone on New Year's," he admits after an awkward pause. Veronica wants to ask him why he didn't just go to Dick's party – after all, there would be plenty of party-hearty 09'ers there and probably at least one girl who would be more than happy to warm Logan's bed as he ushers in the new year.

But she sees the sad and maybe even somewhat desperate look in his eyes, and she remembers what it feels like to be alone in a crowd of people. Logan has arguably had an even worse 2005 than she had, and he also has even less to look forward to in the coming year.

"Happy New Year, Logan," she says, stepping forward to give him a friendly hug. She feels his apprehension when she initially wraps her arms around his chest, as she's clearly caught him off-guard.

And then – slowly – she can feel the tension drain from his body. He wraps one arm around her shoulders and another snugly around her waist. As he holds her tight against him, she inhales the warm, musky scent that was once so familiar to her. She remembers happier times, secret make-out sessions, and –

A bottle (one probably filled with alcohol) nudges her upper arm and pulls her from her reverie. She takes a step back, effectively removing herself from his embrace.

"You brought alcohol?" she questions, her voice filled with distaste.

"Sparkling apple cider, Mars. I hear it's a good alternative to the actual bubbly for New Year's."

She raises her eyebrows skeptically but decides to accept his words at face value – for now. The bottle does, after all, clearly proclaim the contents to be Cuvee du Minot Sparkling Cider. Only the highest-class sparkling juice for Logan Echolls, of course.

"Whatever. If you want to pop the cork on that cider and have a seat, channel seven is showing a holiday special – New Year's Across America." She moves to the corner cupboard and clinks the two champagne flutes while placing them on the island countertop.

This is certainly not how she pictured her New Year's celebration turning out, but then again, she'd hardly imagined that her dad would crash before the clock struck nine.

But maybe Logan actually had a good idea, for once. One thing she'd realized during her previous year as the Neptune High Outcast is that little is more depressing than celebrating the dawn of a new year alone. That really embodies one with hope that the coming three-hundred some days would or could be vastly different than the previous ones.

We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet

"Happy New Year, Chicago!" the pair toasts as they clink their glasses and watch the crowd in the Midwestern city celebrate the dawning of the New Year.

"Pizza?" he asks after a moment, reaching for the open box on the coffee table.

"That would be great," she replies, smiling when he hands her a pepperoni-covered slice.

She watches him out of the corner of her eye as she enjoys the uniquely tangy taste of Cho's Pizza's homemade tomato sauce. Tonight he seems different, somehow, than the asshole Logan he's reintroduced over the past few months. If she's honest with herself, she has to admit that he resumed his previous jackass behavior shortly after they broke up. That makes sense, of course – why would he want to expose his true feelings to the one who (in his mind, anyhow) abandoned him?

Now he's making himself vulnerable around her for the first time in a long time. He's being kind and thoughtful and helpful and sweet.

Then again, it is an odd-numbered day after all, and tomorrow will be odd-numbered as well. The fact that two odd-numbered days are back to back could very well explain why Logan is acting so uncharacteristically nice and hasn't yet taken the initiative to hit her up for a favor.

"I watched the tapes," he shares suddenly a moment or two later.

Her eyes meet his, and the raw pain she sees inside them is overwhelming. It's a look that she's unfamiliar seeing in his eyes – largely because Logan is a master at building up numerous walls to keep everyone at a safe distance. He hasn't looked so alone since she saw him at Lilly's funeral.

That, of course, means that the tapes in question must be the ones that she and Duncan found in Lilly's air vent months earlier.

"I'm sorry," is all she can think to say as she tentatively places a comforting hand on his shoulder. She doesn't know what she's apologizing for, exactly. She's sorry that his father slept with his ex-girlfriend, of course. She's sorry that his father is an egomaniac who taped said sexcapades in the first place. She's sorry that his father killed said ex-girlfriend. She's sorry that the first girl Logan loved was so brutally ripped from his life without warning.

And a part of her is sorry for breaking up with him and forcing him to cope without her support.

He surprises her by turning towards her and leaning into her touch. He's careful to keep some distance between them – whether for his sanity or hers, she's not certain. Still, he's moved close enough to her that the scent of his musky cologne is assaulting her senses once again and bringing back more memories of the stolen moments they spent together over the past year.

Logan is a part of so many of the good memories that she has from 2005, and as she catches sight of the tears welling up in his eyes, she wonders if maybe he feels the same way, if maybe the reason why he came here, to her, tonight was because she represented everything that was good about the past year for him.

She considers that thought, and as she moves her hand down his back and rests her head against his shoulder, she realizes that maybe his idea of spending New Year's together wasn't such a crazy idea after all.

And there's a hand my trusty fiere

"Happy New Year, Denver!" they cheer together, as fireworks go off above the mountain city as the clock on the radio display hits eleven.

And then, suddenly, Logan's lips are dipping towards hers, and she freezes in surprise or maybe even fear. Somewhere, it registers that she still (technically) has a boyfriend and that she shouldn't be kissing other guys, but Logan's lips are very persuasive. She feels fireworks shooting up and down her spine, just as they do with every kiss they share. She separates her lips and prepares to delve deeply into his mouth to really get this game of tonsil hockey started, but then he suddenly pulls back, stretches one arm back over the top of the sofa, and places the other around her shoulders.

"Duncan's keeping secrets from me," she blurts unexpectedly, and Logan's hand moves to reassuringly rub small concentric circles on her back.

"I'm sorry," he offers, and she wonders what he's apologizing for, how much he knows, and if he knows more about his roommate than she does about her boyfriend.

She broke up with Logan because she was scared, because she craved something resembling normalcy, because she wanted to be the happy and worry-free Veronica Mars that she was before Lilly died.

Instead, she ends up realizing how much is wrong with her relationship and her boyfriend and just her life in general – all while cuddling up on the couch with her ex-boyfriend.

"It's okay to be vulnerable sometimes, Veronica," he says, and her head jerks up at his response to her apparently not-so-internal thoughts.

"It's just hard," she responds, blinking furiously to hold back the wave of tears that are fighting their way to the surface. After all, she's Veronica Mars, and Veronica Mars doesn't cry.

"Let it all out," Logan soothes, his arms carefully pulling her onto his lap so he can fully envelope her within his embrace. Her arms unconsciously snake around his neck, and for the first time in the long time, she allows herself to cry. She cries for Meg and Duncan and their motherless baby girl. She cries for Logan and everything that has gone wrong in his life over the past year.

Most of all, she cries for herself and for the resilient, take-no-shit, kick-ass Veronica Mars persona that she lost somewhere along the way.

And gie's a hand o thine

"Happy New Year's, Veronica," Logan wishes softly, and Veronica feels the soothing pads of his fingertips wipe away the tears that are making salty trails down her cheeks.

She smiles weakly and returns the sentiment before doing what's been on her mind for the past hour or so.

Her mouth latches on to his own, her tongue urgently tracing his lips as she is desperate to begin this new year with feelings other than the sadness and despair that she experienced for so much of the previous year.

Logan responds willingly, allowing their tongues to dance as they bask in the faint glow of the television set. Although Veronica does detect a bit of surprise at the aggressive stance that she's taken, the fact is, she's sick of laying back and letting people in her life push her around and dictate what goes on around her.

In 2006, Veronica resolves that she will do what she wants when she wants and may the feelings of those who cross her be damned. And right now? She wants to kiss the hell out of one Logan Echolls.

She slowly moves to lie back on the sofa, and Logan attempts to follow her, not wanting to allow his lips to part from her own, not yet. Still, with her legs still covering his lap, he gets tangled up in his attempt to follow her move to a more horizontal position. With a frustrated groan, Logan's lips are forced to separate from Veronica's as he runs out of free inches of height to use to match her movement.

He takes this opportunity to pull her cotton tee-shirt over her head and to unwrap her legs from around his waist. His hands work at massaging her cloth-covered breasts as his mouth greedily covers hers once more.

Her fingers are running through his hair, massaging his scalp, and loving the sensation of his gel-laden hair bending at her will. It's nothing much – just a scant head of hair – but it makes her feel powerful again, makes her feel like she can achieve whatever she wants.

And right now, as his fingers continue to tease at her chest, she just wants to let herself feel.

Veronica loves the explosiveness of Logan's kisses all over her body, as his mouth strays from her own lips and begins to head south. She loves the sensation of fireworks going off throughout her body with every kiss of his lips and every touch of skin-on-skin. Most of all she loves how the sound of the various pyrotechnics being fired off above Neptune matches so perfectly with the eruption of chemistry between herself and the first boy to make her feel something i wonderful /i in months.

She succumbs to sensation, willing to be little more than a writhing figure on the couch as Logan helps make her fantasies come true.

Next thing she realizes, he's nipping at the baby blue cotton of her bra, and his hands are twining underneath her back, unhooking her bra, and slipping it down her chest. No more than a split-second after her breasts are uncovered, he's tracing one aureole with the tip of his tongue and then laying gentle kisses around the elicited peak. The second his lips pull away from her breast, Veronica feels a deep-seated desire to force him to continue what he started. However, Logan is one step ahead of her and repeats himself with her other breast.

Veronica has never fully appreciated the beauty of symmetry until now. She's surprised that Logan can somehow find a way to make even math seem sexy. Then again, if the stories Lilly told were to be believed, she shouldn't be quite so shocked. Of course, some of the tales made it seem as if Logan and Lilly were the first two people to ever even have sex, so her unwillingness to accept all of Lilly's anecdotes as the gospel truth is understandable.

And then Logan's fingers are tracing up her leg and moving underneath her skirt. When his middle finger is easing into her wet center, Veronica ceases to have coherent thought at all. Her mind is focused on the pulsing of his finger and on the increased pressure against her tight core as he slips another finger inside her. His mouth is scattering kisses up and down the length of her torso, nipping at her skin here and licking at it there.

Before long, he's got three fingers thrusting in and out of her, moving against the tight, wet tissue, and hitting a spot that causes bright white lights to go off before her eyes. This is sensory overload like she's never experienced before, and while she was stupid enough to stay with Duncan for so long, she's more stupid than she thought for never allowing Logan to touch her like this while they were dating.

But she can't fixate on that fact for much longer as mere moments pass before she lets out a deep and shuddering groan, and she feels every muscle in her taut frame tense. She sees a bright smattering of lights erupt inside her head, and this is something that she's definitely never felt before. It's almost like she's weightless and floating, and she's only vaguely aware of the continuing motion of Logan's fingers as he rides out her contractions and of the wetting action of his rough tongue against her outer thigh.

As the intense waves of pleasure subside, she realizes that Logan is still paying attention to her peaked breasts and that his mouth couldn't possibly be working against her thigh. Then again, her mind is so cloudy with feelings of sexual gratification that she can hardly be sure of what's truly real at that moment.

The sensation of a wet kiss on the outside of her leg confuses her even further, especially when it is followed by a laugh from Logan that effectively ruins the erotic mood he'd worked so hard to create. He collapses at her side, one arm slung across her bare torso and the other playing with the strands of her blonde mane.

Now she's positive that Logan's head is beside hers as his laughter is erupting loudly into her right ear, causing her still-sensitive nerve endings to stand on edge. Unable to take the mystery any longer, she forces herself to lean forward and begins to giggle herself at the sight.

Backup, her beloved dog, has apparently been wakened from his leftover-induced sleep and is panting eagerly by her leg, wanting desperately to be a part of whatever is going on.

"I draw the line at bestiality," Logan bites out between chuckles.

She collapses beside him, giggling until her lips reach his, and their laughter is swallowed up by a deep and passionate kiss.

"It could have been worse," Veronica remarks, as she pulls away and looks around for her shirt. "My dad could have greeted us, shotgun in hand."

"That would have been bad," Logan realizes, overstating the obvious.

"Yes," Veronica agrees with a roll of her eyes. "After all, if he shoots you, how can I make sure that we get to do this again?"

"What did I tell you?" he asks, a teasing smirk plastered on his features. "If cuddling's the best part, he's not doing it right."

"Don't be an ass," she scolds half-heartedly, smacking him playfully before pulling her shirt on over her head.

"Trust me, Mars, it won't be much longer before you learn to love my ass."

And auld lang syne

END

I had a lot of fun with this, and I really hoped that you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Obviously AU - and while I loved the Wallace-apperance of 210, I thought it could be fun to give the scene more of a ... shipper bent. Those crazy kids - letting one simple kiss lead to so much more. Hee hee!

Anyhow! Thanks for reading. Reviews are greatly appreciated. :)