A/N : I never wrote a Veronica Mars fanfic before, I was stuck in the Jossverse for a very long time but have lately started to branch out. I love VMars, especially the relationship between Veronica & Logan. I have now watched my Season 1 dvds over and over til the discs are almost completey worn out, and decided I wanted to try my hand at a LoVe fic set in the First Season. Hopefully it doesn't suck...

Disclaimer : All characters from Veronica Mars belong to Rob Thomas and other important people who aren't me. The title of this story is borrowed from a song by Simple Minds.

Important Note : This is an AU story. Basically up to the point where the fic begins everything is as it happened on the show, with two slight changes -
(1) Veronica never attended Shelley Pomroy's party and so the rape storyline never happened;
(2) in 'Ruskie Business', the night Logan staked out the hotel to find his mother was the same night as the 80s dance.
Obviously the storylines from this point onwards are now going to get changed and mixed-up, such is the point of fanfiction!

Chapter 1 - Couple-o-rama

"Come in, make yourself at home" Veronica said awkwardly as she let herself and Logan into the house. Things had been worse in the car. Every time she glanced over she was sure he was trying to stop more tears escaping. She didn't blame him for being upset, after all he'd just pretty much lost the last hope that his mother was still alive. Veronica herself could share his pain when Lynn was just missing, her own mother had been gone over a year and every day she felt the loss, but now it seemed there was no way Mrs Echolls would be found alive and Veronica couldn't even begin to contemplate how that felt for Logan.

"Home, right" he smiled a little, though the humour was fake, "Like I even know what that really means" he muttered, and Veronica was uncertain as to whether she should actually answer that comment or not. She chose not to say anything, it seemed the safer option, and the simple way to not have her dead best friends ex boyfriend crying on her again.

"So, do you want to...?" Veronica's question was left unfinished as there was a knock on the door and she moved to answer it, passing by Logan who headed for the couch and sat down, running his hands over his face and back through his hair. He had no idea what he was even doing here really, but now his Mom was gone, and Lilly too, there were few people he had to turn to. Veronica had been helpful and even sweet to him these past few days, so when she'd offered to drive him to her place to talk and maybe get something to eat he accepted almost on autopilot.

"Meg, I am so sorry" he heard the blonde say to the girl beyond the door, "I told you I was gonna find your secret admirer before the dance and I haven't come through" she apologised, "it's just been a million other things I've been working on…" she said, glancing back at Logan as she let Meg into the house. The other girl seemed surprised to see him there.

"Hi" she greeted him awkwardly, "I, er, I didn't know you had company, Veronica, I'm sorry. I didn't meant to interrupt anything" she said with a look that conveyed a little too much meaning.

"You really didn't" Veronica said firmly, "Honestly, I just... um, what's this?" she said, glad to find a change of subject in the plastic covered outfit Meg held in her hand.

"It's nothing" Meg shook her head as she placed the covered dress down on the counter, "I was just thinking, since I've kind of abandoned the whole Caz or Martin idea" she rolled her eyes, "I thought, hey, who says we need dates to go to the dance?" she smiled, then shrugged her shoulders, "I was going to take you"

"Oh" Veronica felt a little stuck as she glanced between one friend and the other. Logan still looked a little too fragile to abandon, and yet Meg's eyes were pleading with her not to say no and make her go to the dance alone.

"It's okay" Logan said, breaking an awkward pause as he got to his feet, "I should go anyway. Trina's probably been telling tales to my Dad by now and..."

"No" Veronica put her hand on his chest, pushing him back and preventing him from passing her and Meg to get to the door.

They both looked a little startled that she'd stopped him and even Veronica herself took her hand away again fast when she realised what she was doing. She smiled overly much and looked up at Logan, knowing she couldn't tell him why she really didn't want him to go. The fact was just as soon as he'd mentioned Trina and his father, Veronica had been reminded of the scene at the hotel, with Logan's step-sister saying how he used to tell tales about Mr Echolls beating on him. The strangest feeling had passed through Veronica then as she recalled a distant memory of injuries her old friend had sustained when they were younger, things he passed off as being caused by walking into doors, falling down stairs, or even the occasional fight. Now she wondered if it had been his father's doing all along, and she couldn't let him go home to face him right now, not in his semi-broken state and with Trina probably having told Daddy dearest about the afternoons events.

"We were going to hang out" Veronica reminded Logan, "Um, why don't you come to the party too?" she said hopefully, "That's okay with you, right Meg?"

"Er, sure" she nodded, though she was a little surprised. Though she knew that these two used to hang out, when Veronica was dating Duncan and Lilly was still alive, it'd been a long time since she'd thought of Veronica and Logan as real friends.

"Really not in the party mood, Veronica" he told her with a look that meant she ought to know that, still she seemed pretty determined.

"Can't say I am either" she admitted, "but y'know being around other people might be just what you need to feel better. What do you say?" she asked with almost pleading eyes and with a sigh he relented, deciding a party with his school friends was preferable to a night in with his Dad and Trina, despite the fact he seriously was not in the mood for an eighties disco extravangaza.

"Okay, I'll go" he relented, "Although, I really don't think this is going to fit me" he forced a smile as he picked up the outfit Meg had brought for Veronica and held it in front of his body, striking a girly pose.

"We'll figure something out" Veronica smiled, glad to see him grinning similarly, even though she was fairly certain his own expression was a fake, after all she was guilty of faking the odd cheery disposition herself, especially since Lilly...

"Okay" Meg smiled, reaching to take the dress from Logan, and ushering her friend towards the bathroom. Veronica shared an almost apologetic look with the young man as she allowed herself to be led away.

It was a good half hour later when the girls emerged from the bathroom, both now ready for an eighties party, Meg dressed up like Andie from Pretty In Pink, whilst Veronica was early Madonna, or Manilla Whore Barbie as she preferred to call her look. Both of them were a little puzzled when they couldn't see Logan anywhere in the living room and some eighties tune was blaring from the stereo.

"Logan?" Veronica called, looking puzzled. A holler down the hall gave away his location and he soon came skidding into view, minus pants or shoes by now and with what appeared to be a pair of her fathers sunglasses on his face.

"Hey, I figured out a look" he grinned, the glass in his hand showing why the sudden change in attitude and mood.

"Risky Business" Veronica nodded, faking another smile, "I just cannot get away from Tom Cruise" she muttered as she walked over to her half dressed friend and reached for the glass he held.

"Hey" Logan complained, holding the drink away from her, high above her head where she couldn't reach.

"Give me the glass, Logan" she told him, "Come on, please" she urged him, a little embarrassed to have him act this way in front of Meg. She wondered how he'd gotten into the drinks cabinet and how much he'd managed to drink whilst she'd been getting changed and hair-sprayed.

"Okay, since you asked so nice" Logan said seriously, suddenly knocking the rest of what appeared to be a large vodka back in one and handing the empty to Veronica, "You asked for the glass, not what was in it" he shrugged, smirking slightly and annoying the blonde immensely.

"Why do you always have to be a jerk lately?" she muttered as she put the empty glass on the counter.

"Why do you always have to be a jerk lately?" Logan repeated back in an overly petty and girlish voice that Veronica took offence to, folding her arms across her chest.

"How about I go warm up the car?" Meg suggested, feeling very awkward once again. her friend nodded that it was probably a good idea, tossing her the keys.

As soon as Meg was gone Logan spoke.

"Y'know for a ex-sheriff detective type, you would think your Dad would have better security on his liquor cabinet" he smirked, glancing over at where the door of said cabinet was swinging open, "Easy when you know how" he smiled, producing a hair slide from behind his back and showing her, laughing as he did so.

"How much did you drink, Logan?" Veronica sighed, wondering what exactly she was going to do with him should he be very drunk.

"Relax, I had one" he assured her, "One large one, but still, I'm fine" he assured her, his laughter subsiding as he watched his own finger drawing random patterns on the counter he was leaning back on, "I could drink more, try and numb the pain but it always comes back" he shook his head sadly and Veronica felt awful for him. She was sort of hoping this really was not going to lead to further tears, she'd already had enough of that today, but was still startled when he suddenly snapped to attention and smiled, clapping his hands together.

"Okay" he said putting his hands on her shoulders and turning her towards the door, "Party time"

"Are you sure?" Veronica checked, sounding genuinely concerned, as she was bundled out of her own house with Logan, shoeless and pantsless, following behind.

"Hey, what's the point of staying home when you made such an effort to look like a genuine eighties whore?" he asked her, and though she wasn't overly impressed by his words she knew he was right, and laughed at the joke as they got into the car at last.

"Wow, eighties fashion. Grody to the max" Meg exclaimed as she, Veronica, and Logan stood in the middle of the glitter explosion that was the eighties dance.

"Don't spaz" the blonde smirked.

"Aren't you totally stoked to be here" Logan threw in.

"Oh, for sure" was Meg's giggly response, "I just didn't know the dance would be such a major couple-o-rama"

"I don't think you need to worry about being the single one, gal pal" Veronica said, sounding slightly less stunned than she actually felt as she spotted Duncan staring at her friend. Given the outfit, it appeared he was supposed to be Duckie from Pretty in Pink, and therefore Meg's partner tonight, "I think we just found your secret admirer" Veronica forced a smile as she pointed Meg in the direction of her own ex and the other girl gasped.

"Hey" Duncan smiled as he and Meg met in the middle of the dancefloor, "Would you care to dance?"

As she watched the pair dance together, Veronica felt ridiculously teary. Between getting fooled by the Russian bride and finding out that Duncan had the hots for Meg, she really thought she'd had her fill of surprises tonight, but she was wrong.

"So, er, Veronica" Logan cleared his throat and caught her attention, "You wanna dance?" he asked eventually.

"Logan, you don't have to..." she began, feeling a little unsure of herself, after all it was a long time since she and Logan had ever spent this much time together as they had today and they were never so close that they did anything like dance together. He always had Lilly, she always had Duncan. Oh, how things had changed.

"Look, you really helped me out today" he said in a quiet voice so no-one else would hear, "I needed... a friend, I guess, and you were there" he smiled slightly, "Besides, every beautiful girl deserves at least one dance at such an extravaganza as this" he said with a flourish, holding out his hand for her to take.

Veronica wasn't sure what stunned her more, the fact Logan had called her a friend, the fact he'd asked her to dance in the first place, or the fact he'd just called her a beautiful girl. The combined effect of these three revelations rooted her to the spot and struck her dumb for a whole ten seconds, which was quite a feat. Veronica tended to have an answer ready for just about every occasion, except this one it seemed.

"Okay" she said eventually, "Just no toe-stepping or... heart-eclipsing, okay?" she tilted her head at the banner bearing the name of the dance and managed a smirk.

"Deal" Logan agreed as she finally took the hand he offered and was spun gracefully into his arms.

It felt a little weird to them both, especially Veronica since she had neither the comfort of being relaxed by alcohol or the knowledge that she could never be with her ex ever again. Duncan was still within touching distance, just a few feet away dancing with Meg. It hurt to see them that way, but surprisingly not as much as Veronica thought it should. She wondered if she missed Duncan as much as she told herself she did, or if she just missed what they'd had. She had few real connections these days, no best friend since Lilly, no boyfriend since Duncan, unless you count drug-dealer Troy, and really Veronica would rather not.

"I meant to say thanks for today" Logan said suddenly jolting her from her deep thoughts and bringing her attention back to him, "I know we haven't exactly been best friends or anything lately, if we ever were but... it was good, to have you there today"

"Is this the vodka talking?" she checked with a smile, but he didn't return it.

"I'm serious, Veronica" he told her, looking just that, "Really, thank you"

"No problem" she told him, as she looked up into his eyes, "I know what it's like. I'm just so sorry we couldn't find her"

"Me too" he sighed, forcing a smile through the tears that wanted to come, "but hey, this is a dance, supposed to be a happy awesome thing" he reminded her, with too much enthusiasm, "Shouldn't we be like wang chunging tonight?" he asked.

"During a slow dance?" she considered, glancing around them, "Maybe not" she shook her head as they continued to sway together to the music.

"Well, I gotta admit, this is okay too" he told her, looking at her in such an intense way that Veronica's breath caught in her throat. She was frowning slightly when she spoke, unable to believe what she thought she was seeing in his eyes.

"Are you gonna kiss me?" she asked him.

"I was thinking about it" he admitted as he leaned in closer and Veronica's eyes fell shut anticipating the feel of his lips on her own. The moment never came as her purse suddenly began ringing from it's position on her arm, shattering the mood as Veronica stepped backwards out of Logan's arms and fought to pull her cell from her purse.

"Hello?" she said, hurrying out of the noisy room as she took the call, Logan hot on her heels, "Hello!" she repeated when nobody answered her.

"Wrong number?" Logan asked from behind her as the call ended and Veronica stared at the phone in her hand.

"No" she shook her head, "Someone keeps crank calling me"

"Here" Logan took the phone from her hand and dialled star sixty-nine, waiting for someone to pick up at the other end of the line, "Hey, who the hell is this?!" he demanded to know, a little too loudly it seemed as he caught the attention of several other people in the hall.

"Er, this is a pay phone" said an old man's voice on the other end of the line.

"Pay phone?" Logan frowned and Veronica grabbed the phone from his hand.

"Why are you calling me?" she asked the man who sounded a little confused.

"Not me, sweetheart" he told her, "You must be talking about that blonde lady"

"Blonde lady?" Veronica echoed, "A pay phone where?" she checked.

"Sage Brush Cantina, Barstow" the man said before hanging up the phone.

Logan was a little worried as he looked down at the girl he'd been about to kiss a minute ago. She looked far less happy now than she had then, a mixture of fear and hope painted across her face as far as he could tell.

"What's going on?" he asked her and Veronica shook her head.

"I have to go" she told him, bolting down the hall. Logan tried to give chase but was hindered by his lack of shoes, his socks on the polished floor causing him to skid and tumble half way to the door.

"Veronica!" he called after her but if she heard she didn't stop, she just kept running. She'd just realised that she had almost found her mother, and right now that was all that mattered.

Alone in the hall, laid out on his back, Logan put his hands over his face and let out a pained laugh. Today had been a crazy day, all in all, both painful and joyful at different times. Now he was left with one resounding thought - What had changed between himself and Veronica Mars? He intended to find out, and as soon as possible.

To Be Continued...

A/N : Please review and let me know what you think of the story so far. Is it cool? Does it suck? I need to know!