Summary: AU. They were in the same boat. And she wanted to kiss him and kill him for making her realize that, and the look in his eyes told her that he reciprocated the feelings. Logan. Mac. Veronica. Oneshot.
Disclaimer: I definitely do not own these characters.
A/N: I started this approximately a year ago and just never got around to finishing it. Hider and I were going through a bunch of random fics she's written (and never posted, bad Hider!) and I started thinking about this and decided to finish it. Blame her for all the random drabbles we wrote for this pairing, because they inspired this. Originally, this was something completely different than what it is now. Maybe I'll do something with the original concept, maybe not. I don't know yet. But I do know that I would absolutely love some feedback on this…
She ran her fingers through her hair again, determined to straighten out the newly-colored locks. There was a straightener somewhere, she knew, but she was in a hurry and she didn't particularly want to dig through cupboards of unknown contents just to make her hair look pretty.
Eventually she gave up, pulling her hair back into a simple ponytail, and she was proud to notice that the pink in her hair stood out prominently. Mac smiled to herself and left the bathroom, averting her eyes as she passed Veronica's room.
Or … Logan's room, more accurately. But she had ended up watching movies with Hearst's golden couple until late last night and she had been too tired to drive back to her dorm room. Logan had offered up one of two guest rooms for her to stay in, and she'd opted for the one that was farthest from the master bedroom.
Listening to her best friend moan was not high on her list of favored extra-curricular activities.
She grabbed her purse off the couch and pulled her keys out of the small clutch, double-checking the time to reassure that she still had enough time to go back to the dorm and change into new clothes. Despite popular opinion of the college students she mingled with every day, wearing the same outfit two days in a row was not, in fact, cool.
A sigh escaped her lips as she wandered into the kitchen to grab a bottle of water, and she raised her head just in time to spot the person that was blocking her path to the refrigerator. She stepped back a bit and widened her eyes, then knitted her brow at the site of a shirtless Logan Echolls trying to figure out how to work his new coffee machine.
"You don't know how to make coffee?" she asked, incredulous. He turned slowly and gave her a lazy grin, gesturing absently.
"Unfortunately they don't give lessons at Starbucks."
"Spoiled," she muttered, shaking her head. She brushed past him and opened the door to the fridge, grabbing a bottle of water from the door and turning on her heel. Logan stared after her, slightly perplexed, and she shot him an impish grin over her shoulder when she reached the door.
"What, can't a guy get a little help?"
"Have Veronica make you coffee, Logan," Mac smiled. "I'm sure her lesson would be much more entertaining for you than mine." With that, she was gone, and Logan looked from the closed door to the coffee maker again.
For some reason, waking up Veronica and having her make coffee for herself didn't seem like such a great idea. He sighed and left the kitchen, ignoring the open canister of coffee sitting on the counter. Making his way down the hallway, he ran a hand through his messy hair and pushed the door open gently when he reached his bedroom, smiling at the site of his girlfriend buried underneath the covers.
All last night she had complained that it was too hot in the beach-front house, and he had finally given in after two hours of her whining and turned on the air conditioning. Now she was snuggled under his cotton sheets, the comforter wrapped tightly around her body.
He shook his head. She was so difficult to please.
Sighing, Logan ambled across the floor and crawled onto the mattress, tugging back the blankets and laying an open-mouthed kiss on her bare shoulder. Veronica made a soft sound in the back of her throat and he smiled, running his hand down her back lightly. She squirmed slightly and furrowed her brow, burying her face in her pillow.
"Veronica," he sang quietly, smiling as he nipped at the back of her neck. She groaned and he smiled wider, ducking his head to press kisses to her jaw. He settled down to lie next to her and she turned her head slowly, glaring at him through tired eyes.
"What time is it?"
"Early," he whispered, running his hand down the exposed skin of her arm. She frowned and moved closer to him, realizing that he was on top of the blankets with a grumble.
"Then stop interrupting my sleep and get back under here," she laughed sleepily and yawned, pushing at his side lightly. He sighed and rolled over, letting her pull the covers back, and he was back at her side the instant he could get under them. Snaking an arm around her back, he pulled her against him and kissed her forehead lightly.
"Mac left," he told her.
"Did she teach you how to make coffee before she did?"
He smiled, "Nope."
Arching an eyebrow, she turned in her chair and appraised him carefully. "And what is that supposed to mean?
"That depends," Logan grinned, flopping down in a chair. "What do you want it to mean?"
Mac rolled her eyes, spinning in the computer chair so that she was facing him completely. He spun around aimlessly, ignoring the other students in the computer lab, and she sighed as she rested her hands on her thighs and dug her nails into the material of her jeans. "Do you do this often?"
"Avoid simple questions?"
"Only when my lawyer isn't present," he replied cheekily. He stopped spinning and grinned at her, tapping his fingers on the arm of the chair. She narrowed her eyes and his smile faded slightly. "Sorry. Care to repeat the inquiry?"
Sighing, "What do you mean, 'he's too simple'?" she repeated. Logan nodded and steepled his hands in front of his mouth, pushing his fingertips together and resting his lips against the sides of his index fingers for a moment. Mac watched him, irritated and intrigued as he locked eyes with her and held the gaze.
"I mean you need someone," he flicked his hand through the air nonchalantly, "Intelligent. Witty. Someone with a brain," he explained.
"David is intelligent," she defended, spinning around and returning to her previous task on the computer. Logan laughed behind her and she typed faster, determined to get the information she needed so that she could stop dealing with Hearst's too-tight security.
"Is he?" he wondered, standing up and crossing the small space between them. He rested his hands on her shoulders, leaning down so that he could talk to her without the rest of the students in the lab overhearing. "Or are you just looking for someone that can erase the memories?"
She tensed and stopped typing when she tripped over three or four letters, closing her eyes as the tears flew unbidden to pool just inside her lids. He hummed and squeezed her shoulders briefly. "I did the same thing," he murmured, squeezing once more before leaving.
Mac took a deep breath to steady herself and hastily wiped her eyes, shaking her head to rid the accusation from her mind.
She slowed and turned around, smiling when she saw Veronica running across the quad toward her. Mac waited until her friend was just a few feet from her and then shook her head, adjusting the strap of her bag so that it fit more comfortably on her shoulder. "Veronica," she returned. "I could've waited while you walked over here, you know."
"Oh, it's okay. Saves me from having to join a gym," Veronica said. "I wanted to thank you for getting that information on Clifton. I took it to the dean and he's on academic probation for a good two months at least."
"So, mission accomplished, then," Mac smiled. "That's why you ran fifty yards to talk to me? You do have a cell phone," she teased. She turned and started heading toward her dorm again, smirking slightly when Veronica looped their arms together and joined her.
"That, and I wanted to know if you were up for a little girls' night out," Veronica prompted, glancing at her friend. Mac scrunched up her nose and Veronica whined slightly. "Please? Logan is going out with Dick and a bunch of other people that I really don't want to deal with and I don't want to stay at home watching the Disney channel with Backup again."
"You know, I always wondered what the badass daughter of a P.I. did when she was home alone…"
"C'mon, it'll be fun. Maybe you'll even meet someone," Veronica nudged Mac in the side with a grin and Mac laughed despite herself and the uneasy feeling that settled comfortably in her stomach at the thought.
"That's really not on my current list of things to do, Veronica."
"Oh. I just thought, since David fell out of the picture after only one date, that maybe you'd—"
"Yeah, um," Mac untangled her arm from her friend's and reached down to retrieve her keys from her bag, shrugging a little helplessly. "I think I'll take a rain check on the clubbing."
Veronica frowned, "Okay. Well if you change your mind, call me, okay?"
"Yeah," Mac smiled without showing any teeth and waved awkwardly before retreating into her building. She took a deep breath, almost gagging when she realized that someone had gone a little perfume-crazy in the lobby. With a sigh, she started up the stairs to her room and tried to ignore how guilty she felt for putting the depressed look on her best friend's face.
Logan rolled his shoulders, trying to ease the tension in them as he dropped his controller on the floor. Running his hands over his face, he tilted his head back so that it was resting on the edge of the couch and closed his eyes with a tired sigh. All day spent sitting on his living room floor playing video games had given him a headache, and he sighed again when he realized that it was probably because there was no one there to entertain him while he did it.
His cell phone rang and he groped around on the floor for it, closing his fingers around the shaking piece of plastic with a smirk. Opening his eyes, he raised the phone in the air to check the caller ID and then answered with a smile.
"Miss me already?"
"Ha-ha," Veronica replied dryly. "Look, I'm going to be a little late. My dad needs me to drop by the Camelot and snap some pictures so that he can close this case."
He affected a pout for the benefit of the flat-screen television, sighing overdramatically. "Fine, leave me to stew in my misery for an extra hour while you run off and indulge in porn."
"Ooh, yeah," she purred. "Because watching cheating spouses get it on with two dollar hookers turns me on so much," she continued, sarcasm overwhelming the seductive tone.
"I always knew you were a little dark when it came to sex," he teased. Veronica laughed and Logan smiled, ducking his head and scratching it awkwardly.
"Anyway. Mac should be there soon, so it's not like you'll have to make your own sound effects while you play video games."
"I'll have you know that I have never made sound effects while playing video games."
"Hmm, I seem to remember quite a few nights when you and Duncan would wake Lilly and I up because you were being too loud."
"All DK. The man was an animal when it came to virtual fighting," Logan defended. He could practically hear his girlfriend's eye roll and he smiled, glancing at the door when a tentative knock sounded on the wood. "I think the little apple's here."
"She hates that nickname," Veronica told him. He smiled and stood, arching his back slightly. "I'll be there as soon as I can."
"See you soon, babe."
He hung up and dropped his phone on the couch, crossing to the door with an easy stroll. When he swung the door open, Mac smiled somewhat falsely at him and he furrowed his brow, stepping aside to let her in. "Something wrong?"
"What?" she turned to face him distractedly, her laugh too high as she shook her head vigorously. "Oh, no. I'm just tired," she explained. Raising his eyebrows, he closed the door and folded his arms across his chest.
"You are a terrible liar," he informed her.
Letting out a heavy sigh, she sat down heavily on his couch and shook her head, running a hand through her hair. "I'm sorry," she said softly. "I'm just really tired of people trying to hook me up with random guys."
"Last week you were all for jumping back on the wagon," he prompted quietly. She looked up at him and nodded weakly, swallowing audibly. Slipping her Converse off, she wiggled her toes into his carpet and he smirked a little at the cuteness of the gesture. Leave it to Mac to be adorable when distraught.
"Yeah, and then Cassidy decided to start guest-starring in all of my dreams again," she shuddered, curling into the corner of the couch.
"Ah," Logan nodded and crouched down next to his game console, plugging a second control in and then grabbing both off the floor, handing one to her and keeping one for him as he sat down on the opposite end of the couch. "Still jumping?"
"No," she murmured, setting her controller down and shaking her head when he offered to verse her. "Wishing me luck getting laid," she admitted.
He furrowed his brow in confusion and she took a deep breath. "That's what he said when we broke up the first time." His grip on the controller tightened considerably and Mac sat up, folding her legs Indian-style on the cushion. "I guess it's just been bothering me, what with everyone and their brother trying to get me a new boyfriend."
"Understandable," Logan nodded quietly and glanced at her out of the corner of his eye, making his decision when he saw the depressed look on her face. "Lilly told me I would never be good enough in bed to have anyone but her."
She looked at him incredulously, raising her eyebrows. "Really?"
"Yeah," he nodded, pounding buttons and sticking his tongue out of the corner of his mouth as he concentrated on his game. "She said I wasn't open enough to new experiences."
Mac watched his player on the flat-screen and shook her head. "Somehow I don't see that being the case," she tried to make the comment sound teasing, but failed rather horribly. He didn't seem to notice, laughing gently at the statement, and she smiled to herself.
Scoffing slightly, he slammed another cartoon figure into the wall using his thumb. "Yeah, well Lilly was all about the kink," he smirked and toggled the joystick on his controller a little. "Wasn't a damn thing that girl wouldn't do. And that, my dear Mac," he smiled at the girl sitting next to him, "Includes my father. So big check in the cruelty department for one Lilly Kane." He pursed his mouth and made a shushing noise as another bad guy blew up on screen.
"Cassidy never even wanted to touch me," was her quiet reply. Logan looked at her curiously and she shrugged, half-heartedly running her fingers across the buttons on her controller. "Part of me wants to be slightly offended and part of me is glad since…" she trailed off and he clenched his jaw.
"Yeah," he agreed, darkly. Mac nodded and squirmed on her couch cushion uncomfortably. He sighed and leaned back, pausing the game with a flourish. The controller dropped into his lap and she looked at him oddly. "Ever wonder how much easier life would be without the Veronica-based issues?"
She thought about the question seriously and then pulled her knees to her chest protectively. Resting her chin on them, she shrugged and chipped flakes of red nail polish off of her toenails, watching her work intently. "Maybe. Sometimes," she told him.
He nodded and breathed a deep sigh. "Looks like you and I have more in common than we thought, huh?"
Mac stopped picking at her nail polish and looked up at him through her lashes, inhaling shakily as realization shot through her. They were in the same boat. And she wanted to kiss him and kill him for making her realize that, and the look in his eyes told her that he reciprocated the feelings.
Veronica burst through the door a second later and Logan broke their gaze, smiling brightly at his girlfriend as she dropped her stuff by the door and closed it behind her. "You will not believe how impatient some people are. I managed to get a shot of them at his work before they even got in the car to go to the Camelot," she rolled her eyes, blowing out a huff of air that made her bangs fly comically into the air.
"Well," Logan stood and opened his arms as Veronica walked toward him to greet him with a kiss. "I'm certainly not complaining," he smiled and kissed her forehead, glancing at Mac as he let go of Veronica.
"Thank god for uncontrolled libido," Mac agreed, smiling at her friend and managing to successfully brighten her sad eyes this time. "So what movies did you get?"
Young Frankenstein came to a close as the credits started flowing in small white letters up the screen and Mac yawned tiredly, rubbing her eyes to rid the sleep from them. A moment later, the film stopped playing and a blue screen displaying the brand of Logan's DVD player lit the room in an eerie shade of cornflower.
Glancing at the couch, she laughed quietly at the site of Veronica curled up in a ball and clearly passed out, Logan sitting on the floor in front of her makeshift bed. "You are so whipped."
"Mm," he smiled softly and looked up at her. "Did it ever occur to you that maybe I like sitting on the floor?"
"Well, while your carpet is rather plush," she retorted, "I heard Veronica kick you off the couch when I was refilling the popcorn bowl."
"Damn," he snapped his fingers comically. "And here I thought I'd fooled you."
She stood and stretched her arms above her head, grabbing at air as she closed her eyes and loosened her muscles. "It's harder than you think," she said softly, lowering her arms and pursing her mouth. A million emotions flickered across Logan's face in the time span of three seconds at her words and she smiled wryly. "You get your acting ability from your parents."
He laughed outright and rested his head back against the couch, tossing the remote onto the coffee table. "Yeah. I guess most of us do," he looked at her again and she folded her arms across her chest uncomfortably.
"I should get going," she broke their gaze and turned, walking toward the door to gather her stuff.
"You can stay here if you're too tired to drive," he offered.
Mac pulled her Converse on and shook her head, tucking her hair behind her ear as she grabbed her purse. Turning around, she jumped slightly when Logan was just about a foot from her, laughing nervously. "I'll be fine."
"Okay," he said simply, nodding once. She returned the gesture and walked out of the small apartment, then turned abruptly and locked eyes with him again. Opening her mouth to say something, she frowned when he cut her off. "I won't tell Veronica about the dreams."
"Thanks," she said softly. He didn't respond, just shut the door behind her, and she sighed gratefully as she walked toward her car.
When he opened the door, she was puffy- and glassy-eyed, tears running in sharp rivulets down her cheeks as she stared at the ground beneath her feet. Sighing heavily, he reached out for her hand and tugged gently. Mac didn't budge, but she raised her eyes to his and she looked absolutely broken.
"Yeah," he nodded and tugged again, smiling a little when she stepped across the threshold and into his apartment. "I know," he said quietly. She didn't ask him to specify and he assumed she knew what he meant.
Logan rubbed her upper arm lightly and then gestured silently toward the living room, walking into the kitchen to retrieve a glass of water and some aspirin. She sniffled in the adjacent room and he exhaled slowly through his nose, clenching his fingers against the edge of the kitchen counter.
With another sigh, he grabbed the glass and the pills and returned to the living room, setting both in front of her on the coffee table and sitting in a chair so that he could face her.
She picked up the pills and swallowed them dry, wincing as they went down her throat. "I'm sorry," she said quietly, glancing up at him. He shrugged and propped his chin on his palm.
"Don't worry about it."
"I just… I didn't want to wake Parker and Veronica is on a case and I couldn't think of anyone else that would understand," she explained.
Mac shook her head, "Just another dream. God, I feel so stupid," she laughed and dropped her head into her hands, her hair falling and obscuring her face. Logan didn't respond and after a long pause, she pushed her hair back and leaned against the back of the couch with a heavy, measured sigh. "I should be over it by now."
"No," he disagreed, causing her to whip her head around to look at him. Her eyes were wide, brow knitted, and he shrugged his shoulders to mimic the movement of his mouth.
"Took me a year and a half to really move on after Lilly died."
"Really," he arched his eyebrows briefly and laughed. "I had to kiss her best friend to do it, too."
She bit her bottom lip and sank into the cushions. It looked as though she were trying to lose herself in them so that she wouldn't ever have to leave the safety of his couch, and the thought made him smile. "He won't leave me alone," she murmured.
"So fight back."
She stood on the edge of the circle of tables looking for her friend and jumped slightly, startled when he suddenly appeared next to her. "So?"
She furrowed her brow, "So what?"
"How have you been sleeping?" he lowered his voice and leaned closer to her. Her breath caught in her throat and she shrugged, folding her arms across her chest protectively.
"Better," she lied. He didn't say anything and she turned her gaze to his, pursing her mouth resolutely.
Logan opened his mouth to respond when Veronica called his name from across the room, immediately attracting his attention. Mac bit the inside of her bottom lip and started toward her friend, pasting a bright smile on her face as she sat down.
"I had to skin a senior for this table," Veronica said seriously. Logan approached just a second later than Mac and he smiled, kissing his girlfriend hello before taking a seat in between her and Mac.
"It's greatly appreciated," Mac laughed and dropped her purse next to her chair, leaning back in her seat. "How was criminology?"
Veronica sighed, "I'm still trying to decide. Part of me wants to say it was great and part of me wants to say that it was boring."
"That's just because you're the female Bond," Logan told her.
"Runs in the blood," she smiled and then kissed him softly, resting her hand on his briefly. Mac watched their interaction interestedly, missing that feeling of comfort. A moment later, Veronica's attention turned to her and Mac consciously brightened her eyes. "How has your morning been?"
"Not bad. Parker has finally moved out of her Top 40 phase and is now listening to eighties music. It's not much better, but at least I don't have to wake up to the Pussycat Dolls anymore."
"Hey," Logan snapped, pointing at her playfully. "Don't knock the eighties."
She smirked softly, but didn't bother to retort. He gave her an imploring look, clearly seeing right through her façade, and she deliberately turned her attention back to Veronica so that she wouldn't break under his gaze.
Cassidy smiled at her, telling her how beautiful she looked and kissing her forehead softly. She closed her eyes and melted into him, gasping when she was pulled away from him abruptly and thrown back into reality. Mac opened her eyes slowly and looked around, groaning when she realized she had fallen asleep on Logan's couch.
Sunshine was just peeking through the window and she sat up slowly, slightly confused when she smelled coffee brewing. She swung her legs over the side of the couch and walked into the kitchen, yawning quietly as she pulled her hair back into a ponytail to get it out of her face.
Logan grabbed a water bottle out of the fridge and cracked it open, taking a sip. He turned around and stopped with the bottle halfway to his mouth, smiling slightly as he took another sip. "Morning, Apple."
"When did I fall asleep?"
"Halfway through The Shining," he replied. "Veronica was extremely concerned about your sleeping patterns after that."
"Oh," she nodded and leaned against the counter, running her hands over her face. "What did you tell her?"
"That you had seen the movie enough times to be immune to the Jack Nicholson's creep factor."
She smiled at him and nodded. "And to think that's almost true," she laughed and gripped the edge of the counter loosely. They stared at each other for a long moment and then Logan broke the gaze, turning and retrieving another bottle from the fridge. He handed it to her and they locked eyes again, making her flush slightly as she accepted the water and set the bottle on the counter next to her.
"You murmur his name, you know," he said. The change in topic wasn't abrupt, necessarily, but it still made her head ache.
"Yeah," she nodded and looked at the floor, lifting her right foot and scratching at the chipped nail polish of her left big toe. "For a while, I used to scream it, though, so I guess things are getting better."
He sighed. "Stop lying," he requested softly.
Mac raised her eyes to his and smiled sadly. "You did it for a year and a half, remember?"
He nodded slightly and took another sip of his water. The coffee maker beeped loudly behind him and she swallowed thickly, hearing Veronica groan tiredly in his bedroom.