Wish You Were Here
Word Count: 3490
Characters: Logan (Mentions of Logan/Lilly and if you look really carefully through rose-tinted glasses, Logan/Veronica.)
Summary: Logan tries to get on with life after losing Lilly.
Disclaimer: Sadly don't own anything.
Spoilers: Really nothing except Lilly's death. It's set pre-series, sometime before school broke up for summer after Lilly's died.
Thanks: Thanks so much to semby for the beta and lapdogdesign for reading through and offering her thoughts!
Logan took another sip of the beer, so far-gone he couldn't even taste the bitter liquid swilling across his tongue. The light cast from the lamps that lit the pool seemed to shimmer on the surface. He glanced towards the house, and noted in surprise it seemed to be shimmering too. He squinted, trying to right his blurry vision before he shrugged, taking another swig of the beer.
His chest ached with grief and loneliness as he stared up at the sky. His eyes began to drift shut, weariness getting the better of him when out of the corner of his eye he saw a body sprawled out next to the swimming pool, in an ever-increasing expanse of crimson. His head whipped around and it immediately vanished, leaving an innocuous stretch of concrete. Rage burned through him as he hurled the can in the direction he had seen the body, had seen her. It skidded to a halt at the edge, the fizzy liquid spilling out.
He stared at it, his chest heaving, his body rigid and his fist clenched as if he was ready to go into battle. Suddenly his stomach twisted, and he turned, emptying the contents of his stomach into the bushes.
He watched in mild-fascination as Madison brushed Dick's hand away from her chest for the third time, without thumping him. She seemed to do it automatically, not even turning to look at him as she steadily gossiped to Shelly. He watched Dick pause for a second before he tried again. Logan shook his head before he reached out for a slice of pizza at the exact same time Duncan did. They both froze, before Logan laughed. Duncan's expression remained neutral as his hand dropped back down. Logan gestured towards the box.
"You go," he said, and Duncan took it without another word.
Logan sighed as he looked away, remembering a time when they would have had a joking fight over it, which would have probably ended in an arm-wrestling match for the slice, or a food fight as the girls watched them, rolling their eyes. Now Duncan gazed into space with vacant eyes, letting the world swirl past him in a whitewash of medication. He missed his best friend.
Just then Sean strolled up to the table, and shoved his tray down. "Did you hear what happened in English this morning?" he asked, a viciously amused sneer decorating his mouth.
"What?" someone asked him.
"The Mars bitch had to give a presentation, and we swapped her slides over to way more interesting ones," he laughed. "Enbom photoshopped her head onto some ho doing it doggy style." Rancorous laugher rose as Sean continued, "Mrs Murphy threw a shit fit, but she couldn't prove who it was. Best of all, Mars just ignored everyone, and did her entire presentation without changing them!"
Logan laughed, glancing over to Veronica's usual table where she sat, resolutely eating her lunch. The conversation swiftly changed and Logan tuned them out, finishing up his pizza.
"You coming to TJ tomorrow?" Sean asked him as he shoved a fry in his mouth.
Logan nodded. "Maybe," he said evasively.
The bell rang shrilly, and everyone began to walk towards the school. Logan jumped over the bench, just as Veronica was rising from her seat with the book that had been in front of her clasped in her hand. He reached out and smacked it down to the ground before she could move out the way.
"Really clever, Logan," she snapped, her blue eyes flashing with fire. He smirked in response.
"Hello, darlings," the woman greeted in a husky voice. Her makeup was caked on much too thickly, and her mascara had clumped in the corner of her eye. Logan stared at her through a drink-fuelled haze. "Can I help you?"
"We were looking for a bit of bow-chica-bow-wow," Dick said with a lecherous grin, holding up a wad of cash.
"You've come to the right place," she replied. "What's your flavour?"
"Blonde's his type," Dick said, nodding towards Logan who'd remained silent.
"Right this way," she smiled, motioning towards a door next to her. Dick shoved Logan forward when he made no motion to move. He followed her down a dank-looking hallway until she reached another doorway. "Just through there."
Logan nodded, twisting the door handle and walked in. A curvaceous blonde sat at the edge of the bed, with a come-hither smile.
"I'm Lucy," she said, standing up and walking towards him. Her hands closed around his shirt buttons. "Done this before?"
Logan ignored her question, backing her up towards the bed. He pulled her towards him, avoiding her face as he breathed in the scent of her cheap flowery perfume, trying to pretend it was the spicy aroma she had favoured. When he looked down at the bottle blonde underneath him, he tried to imagine creamy thighs wrapped around his hips instead of tanned, and when he came, he soundlessly called Lilly's name.
"Hello, lover. Miss me?" she asked with a wicked smile. She was dressed in a soft cashmere sweater and tight jeans that she'd often worn to school.
"Lilly…" Logan said brokenly, staring at her. It had been way too long since he'd seen her mischievous sparking eyes. She climbed onto his lap, smoothing her hand across his cheek. A sad expression suddenly crossed her face, and his heart twisted, desperate to put the smile back on her lips.
"I just can't believe Veronica," Lilly said, her head shaking. "How could she betray me this way? Betray us?" Her eyes glimmered with unshed tears.
"I know," he said angrily, his jaw clenching at the thought of Veronica Mars. "Don't cry, baby."
"Make her hurt. For me," Lilly murmured, before she suddenly yelled, "Dude!" He frowned in confusion. "Dude, wake up!"
Logan's eyes opened, and he blinked blearily at Sean and Dick peering at him from the front of the car.
"Sleep if you want, but stop fucking saying her name," Sean groused.
Logan threw a packet of candy at the back of Sean's head. "Fuck off," he moaned, before he passed out again.
Logan sauntered into class ten minutes late, expecting a detention from Mrs Hauser, who was a heinous bitch on her best days. He registered a moment of surprise to see an unfamiliar teacher trying desperately to regain control of the class. He dropped down into his seat at the back of the class, exchanging an amused eyebrow raise with Luke.
His eyes flickered across the students, and noticed that Veronica's seat was still empty. He rolled his eyes; she was probably still busy servicing the football team.
"Okay, class, come on. I have to do roll call," the supply teacher called, holding up the sheet of paper. "Can you answer yes if you're here?"
"No if we're not?" Dick interrupted.
She shot him a scathing look as she began. "Carrie Bishop?" Logan zoned her out as he began to scratch him name into the desk, until he heard "Lilly Kane?"
An awkward hush fell over the room, as he felt a number of people's eyes turn to look at him.
"I don't think she'll be here anytime soon," Carrie pointed out.
"Do you live under a rock?" Dick called. "She had her head bashed in."
An intense white light took over Logan's vision, as blinding rage took over. He had jumped out of his seat before he'd even thought about it, his fist crashing into Dick's face with a sickening crunch.
"Hey, calm down," Luke shouted, trying to grab Logan's arm. The substitute teacher vanished, and returned a minute later with Mr Clemmons. Dick was sprawled on the floor, holding his eye, looking up at Logan in shock. Logan was breathing heavily, looking furious.
Mr Clemmons looked around the class sternly, before his eyes came to a halt at Logan. "Echolls, my office now. Casablancas, go and see the nurse then wait outside my office."
Logan shrugged Luke off and stormed out of the room. He stomped down the corridor, until he reached the office, slamming the door behind him. He threw himself on the chair opposite the desk. Anger still coursed through his veins as he leaned forward, his head resting on his hands. The door opened again and Mr Clemmons walked through. He sat down and looked at him patiently.
"Miss Adams has apologised for calling out Lilly's name. I realise it must have been a shock for you. It was a simple error in the database." Logan continued to stare at the ground. "I also realise that Mr Casablancas should have been slightly more… sensitive about the situation."
Logan snorted. Dick? Sensitive?
"I, however, can't let you get away with physical violence towards another student, but I'm willing to be lenient in these difficult times. Two days detention."
Logan got up with a slight nod. "I'll be there with bells on," he said sarcastically. He opened the door and spotted Dick waiting outside.
"I didn't mean anything by it," Dick immediately protested.
"Yeah, I know," Logan said, giving him a friendly-punch in the shoulder, which was only slightly harder than necessary.
"Mr Casablancas!" Mr Clemmons called. "I'm waiting."
"Honey, we've got a dinner party tonight," Lynn said as she walked into the kitchen in a cloud of Chanel. She placed an empty glass down on the marble counter top and fetched the crystal decanter to refill it.
"Thanks for the notice," Logan complained.
"Don't speak to your mother like that," Aaron immediately said over the top of the script he was reading at the kitchen bar.
"Oh, I should speak to her like you do, right?"
"Logan," Lynn chastised. "Why don't you go and get changed? The guests will be here soon."
"Fine," Logan sighed. He jogged up stairs and quickly found some khaki pants and a clean shirt.
He arrived back downstairs dressed in a sweater and slacks, a few minutes late. The next door neighbours, the Brennens were already seated on the sofas, sipping their glasses of wine. Steven, their son, who was a year older than Logan, nodded as Logan dropped down on the sofa next to him.
"Say hello, Logan," Lynn said with a pleasant smile.
Andrew Brennen laughed. "He's just like Steven -- typical teenager. Can't get a word out of them."
Mrs Navarro knocked politely on the doorway. "Dinner's ready," she announced.
Logan had never liked Andrew, and he was reminded as to why as he postured and bragged his way through dinner, with the same amount of vigour his own father did. It was exactly what Aaron's dinner parties were all about – having a chance to show off.
He sighed as he moved his dinner around the plate - some overly pretentious meal that took hours to prepare, and then lasted only a few mouthfuls each. Aaron and Andrew were getting steadily more drunk, as Lynn and Andrew's wife, Diane, chatted politely amongst themselves.
"You know what the secret to a well-run business is?" Andrew slurred. "Cheap labour, and lots of it."
"You mean minimum wage?" Aaron asked.
Andrew's eyebrow rose. "Cheaper."
"Illegal immigrants," Logan guessed.
Andrew laughed. "And the irony? They did an article on me the other day, making out I was a champion for minority rights."
Aaron laughed, holding up the wine bottle. "More?" he offered, and Andrew held his glass out.
"So you're like a professional asshole," Logan commented.
"Logan!" Aaron immediately said, giving Andrew an apologetic smile. He shot Logan an angry look as Logan grinned and took a bite of his food.
Logan waited for five minutes after the Brennens had left until he slowly walked upstairs, and slid open Aaron's closet door. He glanced over the belts hanging in a row, and picked a snakeskin one, with a small metal buckle. He trudged back to Aaron's office, where he was already waiting. Logan held the belt out and pulled his shirt up.
Aaron stepped forward, and smacked the metal down onto Logan's back. Logan gritted his teeth, keeping himself from shouting out or even wincing.
"How dare you embarrass me in front of them like that," Aaron spat out.
"Yep, just stay up his ass, even though he's a dick," Logan replied, earning himself an extra round.
They all made sure they were well-placed, at their lockers. Enough of them to record the moment for prosperity, but not too many 09ers that she'd be suspicious.
Veronica was right on time as she walked down the hallway, her nose buried in a book. She reached her locker and absent-mindedly began to twist the combination in. Logan pulled his cell phone out his pocket and hit the record button as she opened the door. At once, the paint bomb rigged up exploded, and Veronica shrieked, stepping backwards, covered in a mixture of brightly-coloured paints, as loud laughter filled the hallway. Logan grinned, snapping his phone back in place as he dug around in his own locker.
He heard footsteps approach him, and turned just as Veronica's hand came flying towards him, hitting his cheek with a mighty slap. He gaped at her in surprise, watching as the paint rolled down her hair, clumping her golden locks together. He reached up and touched the area she hit, and found his fingers were covered in red and yellow paint.
"I didn't do it," he snapped.
"Of course you didn't," Veronica spat back disbelievingly, "I could have been blinded," she pointed out. "Supposedly embarrassing photos are one thing, but this is a new low."
"And you'd know all about being low, wouldn't you," he sneered, stepping towards her.
"Oh, fuck off, Logan," she said angrily, before stalking off towards the bathrooms.
"You deserve it anyway, bitch," he yelled after her, before he slammed his own locker shut, and stormed out of school.
"X-Box marathon at my place tonight," Dick greeted, clapping Logan on the back. He choked back a shout of unexpected pain, covering it with a cough as his eyes watered. "Bring your own beer," Dick continued, not noticing. Duncan nodded, briefly glancing up from the book he was looking at.
"You okay?" Cassidy asked Logan, who was standing next to Dick.
"Yeah, just swallowed my gum," Logan explained. "See you there then."
Dick nodded. "I'm off to get laid," he said excitedly, saluting Logan. "Maddy's meeting me in the janitor's closet." He bounded off down the hallway.
"That's what he thinks," Cassidy confided. "I saw Madison leave with some other guy twenty minutes ago."
Duncan laughed as Logan said, "Oh, shit, Beave, he'll probably be in there all day."
"Probably," Cassidy said with a smirk.
Just as Logan was slipping into blissful unconsciousness after almost an entire bottle of vodka, he saw Lilly waltz into the room, stepping over the sprawled bodies of the boys playing Halo.
"Oh, Logan," she said sadly, her head dipping to the side as a rivulet of blood dripped down the side of face. She was dressed in the tight pep-squad uniform she'd been wearing the day she died. "You're so angry," she continued, before she winked. "It's kinda hot."
Logan continued to stare at her, unable to respond. She crouched down next to him, surveying him out of pale blue eyes.
"Veronica didn't do anything; leave her alone," she commanded softly. "If I was alive, I'd kick your ass and you know it."
She reached out, her silky hair brushing over his face as her hand cupped his cheek, her expression changing from annoyed to wistful. "I miss you."
He suddenly felt a sharp pain on his leg, and she vanished.
"You're up," Dick said, moving back from kicking Logan, to throw a controller to him. Logan frowned, beginning to hit the buttons haphazardly.
Logan noticed Veronica's car parked outside the Camelot as he drove past. He was about to carry on when he noticed she was struggling with a much bigger man. Against his better judgement, he pulled the car over and jogged over towards them. He realised the man was Andrew Brennen just as he lifted his hand up, and brought it down hard across Veronica's face. Logan ran faster as he saw Andrew twist her arm hard, before the camera she was holding flew to the ground, cracking open.
"Hey!" he yelled angrily. Andrew looked up, immediately letting go of Veronica. She dropped down to her knees, clutching her arm. "What the fuck do you think you're doing?"
"The little bitch was spying on me," Andrew said, raising his eyebrows as if he was daring Logan to try anything. Andrew bent down, and scooped up the film that was lying exposed on the ground. "Breathe a word of this to anyone," he growled with a dark look, before he walked away towards his parked Jaguar.
Logan bent down. "Veronica?"
"Oh god, my camera," she moaned. She clamoured to her feet, her face drawn and pale, her lip split from where he'd hit her.
"You can replace it," he said, fighting the urge to roll his eyes. A 200 pound man just smacked her around and all she was worried about was her stupid camera. "Are you hurt?"
"I think my arm's out of its socket," she sighed, swallowing hard. The wind whipped around them, and he saw her shiver from the cold. It didn't matter who it was, no one deserved to be hit by some asshole. Not even Veronica Mars.
"Why don't you get in my car; I'll give you a ride to the hospital," Logan offered.
She looked up at him in shock. "You want to give me a lift? Are there explosives in the passenger seat? A whoopee cushion?"
"Who says I'd let you ride up front? People would see you." Veronica rolled her eyes, sighing and began to walk towards her car. "Just get in my car, Veronica," Logan said. "You can't drive with your arm like that – and it's not like anyone's going to steal your piece of shit for a car. It's right at home in the seedy part of town."
She walked towards his car after some hesitation, and clambered into the seat, holding her arm carefully.
"What were you doing following him anyway?"
"His wife thinks he's cheating on her," Veronica explained tiredly. He glanced at her and could see she was obviously in pain. He fought the brief pang of sympathy it brought him. She'd stood by her dad, leaving them when they needed her the most. She deserved everything she got.
Logan couldn't say he was surprised at her admission – Andrew Brennen was scum, through and through. "And? How's that your business?" Suddenly it all clicked together in his head. "Ah, working with Daddy Dearest now, are you? Playing at being a real-life Nancy Drew?"
She nodded. "Something like that."
He didn't know why he offered to fill out her forms as she was taken into a cubicle. He also didn't know why he waited around afterwards, hearing her gasp as they pushed her arm back into place. He winced, knowing the unbearable pain that went along with a dislocated joint.
Veronica came back out, her arm in a sling and her face even more pale than before, which he didn't think was even possible. She dropped down in the seat next to him and dictated her insurance information to him. The nurse stopped by, handing Veronica her prescription for strong painkillers and they quickly stopped by the pharmacy to collect them.
She climbed back into his car and an awkward silence filled the car on the drive back to the Mars apartment. He brought the car to a halt.
"Thanks, Logan. You didn't have to do that," Veronica said softly, her hand on the door handle.
"Yeah, well," he replied, "I felt sorry for you. You won't be able to get your usual money from your regulars for awhile."
Veronica sighed painfully, and slammed the door behind her as she left.
He was eating lunch when he saw Veronica walk across the cafeteria. She seemed to be engrossed in the front page of a newspaper. He was just about to look away when she looked up, catching his eye.
She walked by his table and dropped the newspaper onto the next one across, just so the paper was in his eye line. He spotted the picture of a shame-faced Andrew Brennen, his head down as he rushed out of his office, and a front-page article on the scandal that his large company mainly used illegal immigrants. Veronica's mouth quirked up in the subtlest smile, one he wouldn't have seen it if he wasn't looking right at her.
"Oh look, trash dropping her trash," Sean sneered. Logan turned, smiling at the lame jab, as Veronica rolled her eyes and walked away.
Feedback makes my soul tingle! It's so very appreciated.