Title: Proof of Trust

Author: chichuri

Pairing/Character: Logan, Logan/Veronica

Word Count: 1078

Rating: R for minor adult language

Summary: Logan thinks about Veronica

Spoilers: 3.3, takes place mid episode

Disclaimer: Characters not mine, of course

Proof of Trust

Here's a pop quiz for the wide-eyed college freshman. Question: Why, when one has a pathologically snoopy girlfriend, would a boyfriend be deliberately evasive as to his whereabouts and motives? Answer: When one is deliberately, masochistically, baiting said girlfriend for the twisted pleasure of exposing the underlying trust issues. Specifically, her ongoing lack of trust in him.

Logan knows he should really stop being surprised when Veronica charges forth, blinders intact, to snatch the bait. The message he had left had been designed to tap into her suspicions and insecurities, and he almost would have been disappointed at any other response. It's not even unexpected that she had tracked his cell phone. That whole sneaky knowing how to track someone by following a cell phone's GPS signal? Hot when he's watching her perform her magic on a case, not so much when it's his phone she's tracking. Even less when he knows that she activated his GPS chip not out of concern for his well being, but out of a desire to catch him in the midst of wrongdoing.

Logan remembers the halcyon days of the perpetually angry Miss Mars wrongly accusing him of everything from credit card fraud to election tampering. Back then she had good reasons for pointing her trust issues in his direction. Not that he had ever done any of the things she had accused him of, but his many other offenses and a history of bad blood between them had made her pesky habit of blaming him for anything she was investigating understandable, if annoying. He'd have thought her perpetual series of accusations proving misguided would have triggered some sort of realization that possibly she had underestimated the scope of his abilities as an evildoer. For such a bright little thing, she can be awfully dense when she gets an idea stuck in her head, especially when she has a stubbornly emotional attachment to that idea.

Even now, he is guilty until proven innocent, and the proof never completely satisfies her. No matter how he struggles to redeem himself in her eyes, she can never quite move beyond the sharp betrayal of his harsh words and harsher actions in the months after Lilly's death. He remembers how she watched him in those days, weighing his words and actions on an invisible scale before she lashed out her judgment. That same detachment still sits behind her guileless blue eyes, waiting to balance everything he does against every action he has ever taken. Each of his misdeeds will count against him forever, and no number of rescues or rooftop heroics will erase them.

Veronica Mars has never been able to let go of the pain, and is so wary of the pleasure that she'll let it slip through her fingers before she'll chance grabbing it tight. She's too bitter and jaded to trust anyone but herself, too pigheadedly sure that she's right to listen to another point of view, and too scared of being burned to put her emotions at risk. And God help him, he's been so fucking in love with her for the past year and a half that no matter how she pushes him away he'll just step back up for more.

So if he loves her, why does he court her paranoia, then lash out when his efforts are rewarded? He reasons that, no matter what he does, she'll find an excuse to doubt him. She's already picking at his lack of class attendance and his lack of enthusiasm for her highbrow entertainments. She's already taking the word of someone she dislikes over his own, doubting him when he tries to correct her mistaken impressions. She's already exhibiting the warning signs he too vividly recognizes from the last time she carefully broke his heart. So he pushes, and hopes to God that he's reading the signals wrong, that he doesn't know her half as well as he thinks. That maybe, just maybe, she wants this thing between them as much as he and is willing to bend rather than bolt.

Logan dies a little when he runs back to his new Range Rover for his sociology notebook and finds the tracking device hiding under his dashboard. He had half expected it, after his 'my plans for the weekend' rant the previous night, but his heart clenches all the same. Veronica has free access to his suite, his car, his entire life, and she still doesn't believe what he says. She will never trust him. No matter how he exposes himself to her, she assumes there is a deceitful layer underneath.

Six hours later, after a barely-recalled lecture, a meal that sits like a stone in his stomach, and a long walk to try to ease the tension that thrums through his body, he returns to his car. He flings himself into the driver's seat, compulsively sweeping a hand under the dashboard as a reminder of what made him so miserable in the first place.

It's not there.

He reaches again, running his both hands along the molded plastic and finding nothing. Finally he grabs the flashlight--stuffed under the seat by the 'always be prepared' pain in the ass that initiated this frantic insanity--and gets out of the car, contorting himself into the floorboards so he can visually inspect the surface. Nothing has changed. The tracking device is gone. He ignores the strange looks from passersby as he quickly searches everywhere else she might have hidden it, but there is no sign of the thing.

He slowly climbs back into the driver's seat and tosses the flashlight behind him. Tapping his fingers arrhythmically against the steering wheel, he stares out the windshield into the setting sun. He ignores the insistent vibration of his cell phone as the day shifts from light to half-light then slips into full on darkness.

Question: What does one do when the obsessively paranoid love of one's life sticks a tracking device in one's car, then removes it before that car has a chance to move from the parking lot?

He reaches into his pocket, grabs the phone, and scrolls down his call list. "Dude, I'm not gonna be able to make it this weekend. Something came up. Give Mercer my regrets?" He flips the phone shut on Dick's inarticulate protest.

Answer: He grabs onto this sliver of hope with both hands and starts to believe that one day she might let him into her heart.