All That is Left

By Dionne

Characters: Logan, Dick, Cassidy

Rating: PG

Spoilers: Up to 2.22

Logan broke the news to Dick. It was important to him, though he wasn't exactly sure why, that Dick not hear from a news report or as gossip. He left Veronica tending to Mac, whose weeping increased tenfold when she heard about Cassidy's death, and went back up to the party.

For anyone else, moving to a new town would've been scary. But he was Logan Echolls, son of movie stars Aaron and Lynn Echolls. It was up to the other kids to impress him. The first day at their new house he ventured down to the sidewalk in front of the estate. A couple of kids eyed him warily but didn't come over. After about fifteen minutes a small kid with curly brown hair and a shy smile rode up on his bike.

Miraculously, Dick was more or less sober and the crowd of people on the street had yet to send an emissary to spread the word. Logan pulled him away from Madison who pouted but moved on to Casey.

"Dick, I need to talk to you, bro."

The kid introduced himself as Cassidy Casablancas. Usually with someone like Cassidy, Logan would dismiss them automatically. He didn't have much use for anyone weak or shy. But the kid made a sly, witty comment at Aaron's expense that Logan didn't even pick up on for a minute so when Cassidy invited him over to meet his brother Dick, Logan decided to go. Anyone who took a jab at Aaron walked straight into Logan's good books.

"Where'd you go, dude? This party's going to be historic. Everyone's scoring, even the Beav. Hey, you seen him? Him and Ghost World've been gone for a couple hours now. I want to congratulate the boy on finally sliding on home."

He pulled Dick into the hall. "Dick, just shut up for a minute and listen to me. Something's happened." He ran his hands through his hair, tugging at it. "God, I don't even know how to tell you this. It's Beaver."

The Casablancas family seemed to walk straight out of a 1950s TV show. Mrs. C was in the kitchen, not baking but wearing a set of pearls nonetheless. Mr. C sat in the den with a snifter of brandy reading /i Forbes i . When Dick came bounding down the stairs, Logan couldn't help the smartass comment that came out, "Let me guess, Beaver, this must be Wally."

The thing with Dick was that subtle didn't work. Hell, straightforward only worked half the time. But this wasn't something Logan wanted to be blunt about. He didn't see how he had a choice, though.

"Look man, Beaver, he's dead. Turns out he was the one who blew up the bus and killed all those kids and Veronica figured it out. He tried to kill her and when we stopped him he panicked and jumped off the roof." Logan choked down the desire to throw up. My name is Cassidy.

Dick laughed uneasily. "Yeah right. Seriously dude, that's kind of a sick joke."

Grabbing Dick by the shoulders, he looked straight into his eyes. "Dick, listen to me. This isn't a joke. Beaver is dead. He killed the kids and got caught and jumped off the roof." He didn't know when he started crying but Logan could feel tears running down his face. My name is Cassidy.

Dick's face darkened and he shook his head. "You're lying. Beaver wouldn't do that. Your little bitch ex-girlfriend framed him. Beaver's a wimp." His voice broke and shook. "He couldn't do that. She framed him and he got scared and if he's dead, it's all her fault."

"Dick, you're upset and that's cool. We all are. But it's not Veronica's fault. I just wanted to tell you before you found out from someone else." Letting go of Dick's shoulders he stepped back and wiped his face.

It was unintentional but Cassidy's new nickname caught on immediately. Both Dicks, Big and Little, loved it and before long even Mrs. C occasionally called him Beaver. It seemed the only one who hated it was Cassidy himself. And as Logan quickly discovered, nobody in the Casablancas household much cared what Beaver wanted.

"I want to see him."

Logan looked up, startled. He'd never heard Dick's voice sound as it did right then. Like the words were ripping up his throat as they came out. My name is Cassidy.

"I don't think that's a good idea, man."

"He's my brother. I need to see him." Dick pushed off the wall and headed towards the elevator, Logan hot on his heels.

"Dick!" Logan hauled him up against the elevator door. "It won't do any good, it'll just make it worse. He's gone."

Logan tried to stop the nickname but it was useless. Dick was one of the most popular kids in school and if he thought calling his little brother "Beaver" was funny, then the other kids did, too. For awhile Logan, Duncan Kane, a nice kid who was a younger brother himself, and Veronica Mars still called him Cassidy but eventually the nickname even made it into their vocabulary. And after that most everyone forgot that the Beav even had a real name.

The elevator came and Dick got on. After a second Logan joined him. When they reached the ground floor Dick strode out, but then stopped. Police were everywhere and there were a cluster of reporters at the door. As soon as the paparazzi spotted them they started screaming Dick's name and asked himhow he felt. How he felt about his brother's death. How it felt to be the brother of a mass murderer.

Dick backed away and Logan started to turn him back to the elevator when Dick stopped in his tracks. He stared out the door and for a second Logan didn't understand what he was looking at. Then he saw the flashing lights. Behind the paparazzi the paramedics were loading a black body bag into the ambulance.

"No." Logan barely heard the whimpered word before Dick took off toward the ambulance. He shoved past the reporters and tried to stop the paramedics from closing the doors to the van. By the time Logan fought through the crowd Dick was shoving the paramedics away and trying to get to the body.

"That's my brother!" Logan grabbed Dick around the shoulders and forced him to stand still. The paramedics backed off and Dick stared at the black bag. All that was left. "That's my brother," he muttered softly.

Logan let him go and Dick staggered forward to kneel in the van next to the body. Under the buzz of the police and reporters Logan heard Dick murmuring softly under his breath. He moved closer until the words became clear. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry…"

Kneeling next to Dick, Logan let his voice join in the quiet mantra. A day from now Cassidy would be vilified, a monster, and with all that he had done, he earned that title. But for the next couple of minutes he would still be Logan's first friend in Neptune and the first one he betrayed. So Logan would apologize and, along with Dick, seek absolution.