-1Summary: Future fic. Veronica leaves. Logan breaks. And Mac tries not to think about what happens next. Oneshot.
Disclaimer: Definitely not mine.
A/N: For Roz, because I promised her Logan/Mac friendship fic almost a year ago and every idea I've tried up until this point hasn't panned out. Even this fic didn't turn out the way I wanted it to, but... Maybe my muse will cooperate long enough for me to come up with something better in the future. Anyway. Hope you enjoy this, love. I'm incredibly rusty on VM fic, so any and all feedback will be loved to pieces.
When Veronica leaves, once and for all, no one that is still in Neptune can really say they are surprised by the news. Her eyes were blank for months before Wallace showed up at her apartment to find her closet empty and Backup's dish missing from the kitchen floor.
Honestly, Mac feels like she should've gotten out long before now. Maybe then she wouldn't have left so much destruction in her wake.
Maybe then, Logan Echolls wouldn't be passed out on Cindy MacKenzie's green-plaited couch, moaning in his sleep every hour, on the hour, in syllables that sound far too much like her ex-best friend's name.
But Mac doesn't like what-ifs, because it is what it is and that's all there is to it.
What a conundrum, 'it' and 'if' and 'maybe'; she feels like she is missing something important, something imperative, something that might change how empty she is feeling, despite how much pain she knows her closest friend is in right now.
Logan loves Veronica.
(Everyone knows that.)
Mac's question, then, is what happens to Logan when the love of his life is no longer his guiding light, his safe place, his home. As she watches him shift on her couch, desperate to get comfortable in the early morning light that is shining through the back window, she thinks that she probably doesn't want to know.
The possibilities are endless (and far too terrifying to contemplate).
Dick asks her if she knows when Logan is planning to move back into their beach house, and she cannot answer him with any hint of knowledge in her tone. He gives her a frustrated look and she resists the urge to throttle him, because Logan's condition is not Dick's fault.
She shrugs and offers him a non-committal, "He just needs time, Dick."
"Yeah," he replies, nodding as he looks at a point just beyond her shoulder. "I got that part, thanks."
Mac ignores his tone. (She misses the old Logan, too.)
"Do you want to go for a walk?"
The question startles her, and she jumps so badly that she deletes an entire line of text from her paper. Logan looks apologetic when she looks over her computer screen at him, and she offers him a smile that she hopes is reassuring.
"Sure," she nods and hits 'save,' all but slamming the screen shut as she sets her laptop on the pile of notes at her side. "Where do you feel like going?"
"Not the beach," he says, but he offers no further preference. Mac takes a deep breath and rises from the couch, patting his arm awkwardly as she grabs her keys off the counter. She heads for the door, expecting him to follow, but when she gets outside and he isn't behind her, she can't say she's surprised.
With a sigh, she pops her head back in the door and raises an eyebrow. "There's not much walking to do in my apartment," she teases. Logan smirks slightly and she steps into the room again, holding out her hand and wiggling her fingers. "Come on! I'd like to get home before sunset."
"Afraid of the rapists in the bushes?"
She smiles. "Absolutely. Don't tell me you're going to make me fend for myself."
He runs his hand through his hair absently, roughing it up in the back, and she continues to reach for him even as she backs toward the door. "Please?"
It takes another moment, but with another smirk on his part and a bright smile on hers, he finally follows her outside and even locks the door behind him. He doesn't tease her for her slow pace and she tries not to remind him that going for a walk was his idea.
(In the end, all that matters is that he's participating again.)
Dick shows up at her apartment one day with a pile of video games and his Wii. She rolls her eyes, but Logan lights up at the sight of his best friend and she can't help but relax slightly at the expression on his face.
They spend hours in the living room, taunting each other and throwing punches at her television, and she gets sucked into the festivities when Dick insists that she can't even play tennis against a virtual opponent.
(Logan laughs at that, a low, full chuckle, and she takes the challenge despite the idiot it comes from.)
When dinner rolls around and Dick suggests Luigi's, Mac automatically winces at the indirect reference to Veronica. Logan, surprisingly, just asks him to order extra sauce on his tortellini, and she wonders if this is what progress feels like.
He decides that he hates her couch at the same moment that she decides it's kind of nice having someone to say goodnight to that isn't trying to get in her pants. There is an awkward silence wherein they stare at each other and try to decipher each other's words, and then Mac laughs softly and plops down in an armchair.
"Going back to the bachelor pad, then?" she asks. Logan smiles slightly and ducks his head, nodding in response. "Good," she tells him. "Maybe Dick will forget my address in his euphoria."
"He likes you, you know," Logan says. Mac blinks, mildly disturbed by the words, and he shrugs. "I think his flirting skills stopped developing at the 'pull her pigtails and run away' stage."
"Right," she comments, snorting sarcastically. "Because Dick Casablancas actually likes girls who aren't busty blondes with Angelina lips."
"Do I detect a hint of jealousy, Apple?"
A pillow flies through the air and hits him hard in the shoulder. His jaw drops and she manages to keep a straight face at his incredulity, but she can't help but burst out laughing at the feminine way he scoffs at her before returning the gesture.
She realizes that she'll miss him.
(And she hopes that the light in his eyes isn't fake.)
Her phone rings just when she manages to render Dick speechless in their latest debate over Aquaman and The Flash, and she is shocked at the name she sees on her caller id. Dick is too absorbed in his beer to notice her wide eyes, open mouth, and slightly flushed cheeks, but Logan is so disturbingly in tune with the people around him that he immediately realizes who's calling.
Mac locks eyes with him and shrugs, somewhat helplessly. He nods once and she flips open her Sidekick, answering quickly (as though it will help end the conversation sooner rather than later).
"I'm sorry I didn't say goodbye," Veronica breathes. She sounds tired, like she's been up for hours working on a case, and Mac doesn't really know how to respond.
(She wants to say goodbye; she wants to say she's sorry, too; she wants to ask the girl how she could just up and leave without bothering to tell anyone but her landlord.)
She settles for, "Okay," and Logan looks confused at the apathy in her tone. Veronica lets out a sigh that could be filled with relief, but Mac is more focused on the fact that her friend isn't retreating into himself with the non-arrival of the love of his life on this pleasant evening.
Dick has turned his attention to the stack of Maxim magazines by the television by the time she gets off the phone. Logan asks her how Veronica is doing as she drops her cell back into her pocket.
There's a loud, obnoxious, wet sound in response, and Mac and Logan both look at Dick to find that he has managed to soak everything within five feet of where he is sitting with his latest sip of beer. The shock on his face is explanation enough for the outburst.
Mac tries desperately not to cry at how wrong it all seems.
"You never answered my question, you know," he murmurs, seemingly out of the blue. Mac staples her paper and slips it into a cover sheet so the ink won't get smudged in her bag before turning to face him.
Logan props his feet on the table and leans back on her couch, folding his arms in a way that isn't as defensive as it probably should be. She arches an eyebrow in question and he laughs lightly.
"The other night, when Veronica called, I asked you how she was doing. You never answered me," he clarifies. Mac lets her breath out in a whoosh and drops her paper on the counter, setting the stapler carefully on top of the packet.
"I guess Dick's little spitting problem distracted me," she replies, trying for nonchalant.
She fails miserably, but he pretends not to notice. (She silently thanks him for his diplomacy.)
"Well, we've discussed his kindergarten mentality when it comes to girls. It must extend to other areas of his life as well," he says. She laughs, but the moment dies in less than thirty seconds and then the topic is back to Veronica.
"So?" he urges, leaving the rest of the question to linger in the space between them. Mac shrugs slightly and brushes her hair behind her ear.
"I think she's happy," she offers, but she doesn't give him any more details than that. Logan absorbs her words in silence, and she feels like both of them are waiting for the inevitable breakdown to come.
Instead, he shifts on her couch and moves his hands behind his head, creating the ultimate picture of relaxation. It's a far cry from the fetal position he was curled into a month and a half ago, but she's still terrified of what happens next.
Especially since Veronica has officially said goodbye to someone other than her landlord.
Mac has a feeling it won't be long before Logan gets a similar phone call.
She vows to get a more comfortable couch before that happens.