Author's Note: Okay, I'd like to preface this with I'm a Veronica Fan. Not just the show, but the character. I adore her. I am not one of those who feel she is a horrible, hypocritical bitch who deserves all the blame for what we went down with her and Logan. I think she is brilliant and strong, a survivor pure and simple. So this is not to be read as judgment on her, or in any way Anti-Veronica. However, I am also a Logan Fan. And I was deeply unsatisfied with the scene between them in the Finale where she told him he was out of her life. And so I wrote this, my version of it, in hopes of giving Logan a chance to really stand up for himself. The beginning of the dialogue is straight out of the show, but then I get a little twisty and the beauty of creative license takes over. I wrote this for my own peace of mind, so I apologize if you hate it. But regardless, please review. It'd mean the world to me.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Logan stood, still and solid, right where Parker had left him. His eyebrows were drawn together so tightly; he couldn't seem to make out his own thoughts, his own feelings, clearly. All he knew was that honestly, he hadn't been able to breathe easily since Dick had shown him the video of Veronica, and now with Parker's face still lingering in his mind's sight, scrunched with anger and disappointment and tears, he didn't think the most basic of acts would be getting any easier any time soon.
He really needed to learn to give brunettes a chance. They had to be better for him than blondes.
He faintly heard a knock, and the shuffle of Dick approaching the suite's door, and before she spoke a word, he knew it was her.
Her voice was stern, forceful, yet carefully contained. Despite the twinges of dread that sprinkled down his spine, for he knew exactly what that tone meant, he felt a boyish flop in his belly, a shot of life-affirming joy in his gut, just because she was near. And he really understood why Parker was so upset…how could he start to love anyone else at all, when he still loved Veronica so completely?
He heard her snap at Dick to not go anywhere, and he cringed for his friend. That conversation wasn't going to be pleasant, and he hoped Dick was smart enough to just give her what she wanted.
But his concern for Dick was fleeting as his mind snapped to attention in the moment her petite frame arrived before him. The familiar battle stance still seemed intact, and he had to admit he was somewhat mentally relieved to think it'd been a while since she'd had to take it with him. But of course, together or not, eventually he always found away to let her down, and so here she was again, his mighty warrior.
"He's having trouble breathing because of his ribs. He got five stitches over his eye."
Her voice was accusing, wanting to see guilt and remorse rise up in him. But he would disappoint her there too. If she wanted his groveling, she should have stuck to how he'd wronged and hurt her. He really couldn't care less how Piz was breathing. Chances are, even with bruised ribs, the shaggy haired puppy was having an easier time with it than he was.
His voice was deceptively flippant when he asked, "Only five?" He knew she knew he was terrified of her, or at least of the power she had over him.
"You're a lunatic."
He shrugged inside at the statement. She'd called him worse before. And it wasn't like he didn't suspect it was true. But if he was crazy then it was all because of her. A Billy Joel lyric sprang to mind, and if he wasn't so instantly horrified of the look on her face, he'd have sang it to her until she smiled.
Instead he chose to press on, to point out, again, why his fists had met Piz's face and side in the first place. "You didn't know he was taping you?"
Veronica's voice upgraded into fury and he could feel the intensity hum around him, he could feel the moment building all the way inside himself. "Because he didn't!"
"Oh come on, Veronica! Who else would have or could have done that?" He was shouting at her, and he felt like that was safer than if he left his voice soft. The most damning words they'd traded in the past had usually been said low, just above a whisper.
Her face was that of pure defense as she leveled with him. "Here's what I know: it wasn't Piz, and it could not be less of your business."
A million comments on hypocrisy invaded his mind. Referencing Kendall and Hannah and every move he'd ever made when they weren't together that she still had managed to see, to judge, to call him on. She made everything her business. He was merely returning the favor. But he kept his tongue still until the urge to rail at her passed, and then asked simply. "Aren't we trying to be friends?"
She didn't shoot back immediately, so he stepped forward, closer to her, and somewhere in his brain he waxed philosophical about how all he ever wanted it seemed was to step closer to her…but she always managed to be so far away. "As your friend, I was angry at what happened to you. Someone's always supposed to pay, right? Isn't that the rule we live by?"
She opened her mouth to speak, to retort with her unique sort of viciousness, and somehow he sensed she was about to shut him down, the look in her eyes had a dangerous finality, and in self-preservation he stepped closer still, and spoke over her.
"Isn't that the rule you taught me? Do you even remember? I believe I was standing there, at the door to your apartment, and all I knew was that you'd been the only one to make me feel alive, to make me feel like I could live and breathe without Lilly, without my mom, and yet suddenly you were running from me, shutting me out, pulling away. And I was so hurt and confused that someone else I cared about was leaving. Then you opened the door, and your eyes were so cold and unforgiving, and I was still so confused, but all I could think of, for like a solid minute, was just how beautiful you were. But when you spoke, you told me you were raped, and everything beautiful flew away because you thought it was me. You looked at me like you'd already tried my case and found me guilty. And when I denied it, when I tried to explain, you said you were going to find out who did it to you, and you were going to make them pay. Even if it was me. What you didn't say out loud was, especially if it was me. What you didn't say, maybe didn't even know you meant, was that I was going to pay even if I was innocent; that I was already paying. You believed the worst in me that night, Veronica. And I'd never felt so worthless in my life. Not when Lilly would break my heart, not when my father's belt was cutting into my skin, not even when my mother jumped off a bridge, leaving me permanently alone."
He stared deep into her, all the way inside. He wanted to see the famous Mars mind process his words, he wanted to see if she could finally understand what she'd done to him. He saw confusion cross her features, but it wasn't enough. She still didn't get it. And he wondered how he was the only thing she could never figure out. He licked his lips and tore his eyes away, they were already tearing up and he knew her oblivious beauty would have him sobbing if he didn't keep himself in check.
He cleared his throat, then smirked ruefully as he began again. "But then you came back to me. Apologized even. For false accusations, and your eyes pleaded with me not to leave you, not to hold it against you. Like it wasn't already obvious that I was going to stay as long as you'd let me. And I figured I couldn't be mad. I had been horrible to you, for so long after Lilly's death. I never thought tire irons and cruel words made me look like a rapist, but I rationalized that maybe I was being too easy on myself and that of course you would have doubts about me. I stayed with you, held your hand and kissed you that night, telling myself I should just be grateful you let me near you at all, and that now you knew where I stood, where my heart was, and we could move on from there. But within 3 hours you left me again. Apparently, my exoneration was an illusion. You found a few video cameras and I was back to being a monster. And you couldn't leave it at just that. Of course, I must have been who murdered Lilly too. So my room should be searched, my wrists should be cuffed, I should be locked away. Do you remember all this, Veronica? Do you remember how you taught me that, more than anything else - more than trust, more than love, more than friendship or loyalty, the thing you believe in most is justice. And when you put that first, even if it's only on accident, sometimes the innocent are the ones who suffer. Because somebody has to pay. Always."
He looked back at her to see her eyes shift, darting around, looking for her strength somewhere on the dark, shadowed walls of his bedroom. He could see her throat gulping down her reactions, her feelings, as it so often did, and he wondered if this time at least one of the emotions she wouldn't show was remorse. When she finally pushed her eyes back onto him he almost laughed at the carefully constructed expression she wore.
"Alright. That's fair. I accused you of a lot of horrible things, and I am sorry. But I learned something, Logan, from all that…and that's why this thing with Piz is so wrong. It's not supposed to be 'shoot first, ask questions later' anymore. Only the guilty are supposed to pay."
"Except the guilty isn't paying, Veronica. So this boyfriend gets the pleasure of the benefit of the doubt. Great. But then whoever really did this isn't paying either. Because you're too busy here, preparing to crucify me, for defending you. So I was rash, what else is new? If Piz didn't do it, then I'm sorry. And I'll be sure to apologize to him the next time I see him. But doesn't the fact that I did it because I thought he'd hurt you mean anything?"
He hated the whining quality of his voice, he hated that while he was finally arguing so fiercely this time, in the end it was still just him begging for her.
"Of course it means something. But that can't just make it go away, that can't justify anything."
"Sure it can! Do you remember all the rules you broke, all the lies you told, all the people you hurt, in your desperate search for Lilly's killer? Me? Duncan? Your father? Do you know how you slept at night? Do you know what made it okay? Because you knew you would eventually find out what really happened; you would stop at nothing because you loved her. And that was all the justification you needed."
Her face twisted up, her eyes zigged and zagged, hoping he wasn't implying what she thought he might be, and yet hoping he was. Her voice quavered slightly, her eyes pleading with him to spell it out. "What are you saying, Logan?"
"I'm saying that's why I did it: Love. Not for hate for Piz, not for the need to just hit something every now and then, not because I'm a lunatic. I did it out of love. So I am asking for your mercy. And not just for this." Logan stepped even closer to her, his voice still strong, still firm and pointed, but she thought she saw his eyes dim with resignation. "…Because if you can't see, that everything I've ever done, good or bad, in the last two and a half years was all in someway because of how completely, helplessly, desperately I love you, Veronica Mars, than you aren't as smart as you think you are."
Her eyes widened, and the air held still in her chest. He watched her drowning in realizations and drawn conclusions and shock and awe and pain. She stood motionless, for a length of time he couldn't determine as an instant or eternity. But no matter how long it actually took her to look up at him and prepare her answer, he'd already made up his mind that he didn't want to hear it. He was finished. He loved her, and if she could accept that, finally, he'd take her back in a heartbeat. But he wouldn't yell anymore, not for this, and he was finished being scolded like a child. "I love you, but I'm done groveling. And you either forgive me or you don't. Either way, there will be no more lectures from you, no more of me pleading my case. And I hate to steal your thunder, because this is usually your M.O., but for once, I'm running out on you."
Logan brushed past her, his long legs carrying him across the suite in the time it took her to blink back her tears. She heard the door open, and could sense his pause, and her breath caught hopefully. "Try not to kill Dick. He's pretty much all I have left."
Her heart sunk, wet streaks of defeat slipped down her cheeks, and more than the click of the door behind him, more than the faint ding of the elevator's doors in the hall, more than any sight or sound that told her he had gone, finally she felt him walk away.