Disclaimer: Veronica Mars and all it's characters and situations are property of Rob Thomas and UPN/The CW. I do not own anything and will not make any profit from this story.
A/N: I always feel weird about them never having properly talked things through. So this is my take. Reviews are LoVe.
A/N: Voiceovers are in bold. And the huge part in italics, down by One Week Later is a Flashback.
Update 20/5/2008: I decided to make it a true, blue fiction, with multiple chapters, BUT, it'll take a loooong time for an update because I have finals coming up, and two other fics to maintain. And a teensy bit writer's block, maybe. xD
"Could you bring these files over to the Echolls'? Lynn needs to sign them." Keith asked his daughter. Veronica didn't really want to go over to the Echolls', "but," she reasoned, "it gives me a chance to ask Logan about the poker game." She would've preferred to do it on more neutral ground, not his house where he had the home court advantage. Beggars can't be choosers. "Sure, I'll do it." She told her dad, taking the files and heading for the door.
She entered the pool house confidently. "I'm looking for your mother." Logan looked up from his video game. "She needs to sign some papers."
"See, this is why I suggested attack dogs. But no, my mother wanted an alpaca." Veronica rolled her eyes. "Ha. Ha." She deadpanned. "Just tell me where she is."
"Probably somewhere inside, preparing for her annual Christmas Gala." Logan said with distaste. Veronica remembered from past experience how much he hated these things. Sensing the foul mood Logan was in, she decided to leave the Poker Game Investigation for a rainy day. She turned around to leave when she nearly tripped over a board game. Picking it up and placing it on the table, she noticed how messy the place was. "Spring cleaning?" She asked Logan. Guess she'd have to work the Poker Game angle after all. "Trying to get rid of the stench of money going to waste? Hey, I know the feeling." She said sarcastically.
Logan turned to face her, agitated. "What do you want?"
"To ask about the poker game. Your version of how things went."
"What is this? A case?" He smirked.
"I just thought you might want to know who stole your money." Veronica threw back.
Logan sighed, he explained to her how Weevil had bought himself in and how Connor's Pavlovian response to his ring tone was to head for the potty.
"I don't suppose you can help me meet him. Somehow I doubt he doesn't have people to keep girls like me away."
"Yeah, I don't get it." Logan said as he took out his cell phone, telling the man on the other side to let his 'friend' Veronica, with a v as in virgin, on set to see Connor.
"Look at you, all helpful." Veronica joked.
"Hey, your peskiness unleashed on Connor brings me joy."
Veronica shook her head, took the documents for Lynn, and headed for the door.
"Annoy tiny, blonde one. Annoy like the wind."
Veronica headed for the house in search of Lynn. She spotted her in the kitchen.
"Hey, Veronica!" Lynn greeted enthusiastically. She missed having Veronica around.
"Hi, Mrs. Echolls." Veronica replied. "My dad has some papers for you to sign." She handed over the envelope.
"Oh, honey, it's Lynn. You know that." She motioned for Veronica to sit down. "What do you want to drink?"
"Oh, I don't think-"
"Nonsense, Veronica, we need to catch up." –that's the best idea.
Veronica smiled awkwardly. "Okay." She sat down as Lynn handed her an Ice Tea.
"Don't think I don't remember what you're favourite drink is." She said with a warm smile. Suddenly there was a small crash from the living room and Lynn left to do damage control, leaving Veronica all alone, with nothing but memories of better times in this kitchen to occupy her. As soon as Lynn was out of the door Logan entered. Talk about bad timing.
"Why are you still here?" He asked her rudely.
"Your mother asked me to stay." She replied before taking another sip from her drink. "Look, I don't want me to be here either, but your mom wouldn't take no for an answer."
Logan sat opposite her, to her left. He kept on staring at her, as if he was studying her. Veronica started growing uncomfortable and agitated. Before, she might've run away, but not now. Now, she was stronger than that.
"What are you looking at?" She asked him rudely. If he could be rude to her, she damn well could be rude to him.
"Just noticing how much you've changed." He replied cockily, taking a sip of his Coke. Veronica didn't let herself get riled by him. "Well, we know who to thank for that." She looked at him pointedly and raised her glass in a faux toast. But that was only partly the truth. While Logan was to blame for her hard outer shell, the real change had come after Shelly Pomeroy's party, where Veronica had been raped. But Logan needn't know that.
"Me?" Logan asked, pretending to be shocked. "Whatever did I do?" He smirked at her.
"Insult me, stab me in the back, spread rumours about me, pull juvenile pranks on me." Veronica ticked them off on her fingers. "You know, for someone who claims he hates backstabbers and says I stabbed him in the back, and then punished me for it, you're being a huge hypocrite."
"Me?" Logan repeated himself, only this time he was dead serious. "I'm the hypocrite?"
"You turned against all your friends."
"The two people left I considered my true friends were you and Duncan and I never turned on you guys. You turned on me."
"That's rich. I turned on you?"
"A real friend wouldn't have made me choose between my two families. Because that's what you guys were to me, my second family." Despite her promise to herself, Veronica was getting riled up. "A real friend wouldn't have made me the pariah of the school, started rumours about me, slashed my tyres. A real friend wouldn't have punished me for my father's actions."
"Your father was destroying a family that was already broken." Logan yelled.
"All I wanted, all we wanted was justice. Lilly was my best friend, practically my sister, and all I wanted was to send her killer behind bars, and all you did was kick me when I was down."
"Your dad was barking up the wrong tree."
"So why did you make me pay? You never once asked me what I thought. Just because he was my father doesn't mean I shared his views. I trusted him to do what he thought was right, but I never thought Jake killed Lilly." Veronica could tell she was close to crying. Lilly was still a sore subject, one that easily made her cry.
"I had to go through the hardest period of my life alone. The only other two people who knew Lilly the way I did were too busy ignoring me or calling me a slut." Veronica felt the tears and knew it was too late. She didn't care that this was Logan Echolls and she was crying in front of him, letting down every wall she had built up since Lilly's death.
"So what if my dad was barking up the wrong tree? Do you think I cared about that the day of Lilly's funeral, when I had to watch my best friend being buried from behind a bunch of trees because I was afraid I might be thrown out? I had no one there for me. My dad was working, my mom had abandoned me, and the one true friend I had left, you, dumped me, turned on me when I needed you the most. So don't call me a back stabber." Veronica wanted to go outside to her car, she needed air, needed to get away from here. She only made it to the hallway because Logan stopped her. "Veronica, wait!" Her revelation about the funeral pissed him off. She should've been at the funeral, she deserved to have been there.
"What do you care? You know, I'm glad I chose my dad, he's the only person, besides Lilly, who's ever really cared about me."
"You think Duncan and I didn't care?"
"Oh, I know you guys didn't, and don't care."
"Lie. We did care. We do care."
Veronica let out a sarcastic laugh. "Yeah, right. You did care. That I might just believe, but you do care? Please Logan, if you do care, you have a weird way of showing it."
"Why do you think I insult you, huh? If I didn't care I wouldn't bother, I'd just ignore you. But if I stayed in your face, I'd always know where you were. I was always there, I knew all the pranks. If something got out of control, I could do something about it, I could stop it."
Veronica looked at him disbelievingly. How naïve does he think I am?
"I always made sure I was there so I could make sure you were okay."
This did it for Veronica. She snapped.
"Okay? Okay?!" She approached him with a glare in her eyes that made Logan the teensiest bit scared.
"You thought I was okay?" She began yelling at him. Logan was taken aback. The only other time she had yelled at him like this was when they'd been thirteen and he had taken his dad's car for a spin and Veronica was the only one who had found out. God, she had been furious. He could remember her yelling about being irresponsible, and that he could have died, and that he was selfish, not thinking about his friends, about her. But that was still nothing compared to this.
"I was alone, scared, betrayed, and you thought I was okay?!" She resisted the urge to hit him.
"Because everything was okay when I watched my best friend lowered into the ground from behind a bunch of trees, and everything was okay when I woke up one morning in a strange bed with no underwear on!" Logan's expression froze. Veronica realized what she'd let slip but continued with her rant. Maybe he'll forget.
"And everything was okay when you, the last person I could count on, stabbed me in the back, pushed me to the ground and kicked me when I was down! And everything is okay when I wake up every morning thanking God I still have my dad, and Wallace and Mac, but wishing I still had Lilly, you, and my mom! You know what someone wrote on my car after Shelly's party? It should have been her, Abel. And sometimes I wish it was, because really... All this is not worth it." Her mind was yelling for her to get out, get away from Logan. She made to leave but Logan wouldn't let her.
"You don't mean that." He said calmly.
"Mean what?" Veronica replied coldly.
"Wishing you were dead."
Veronica was silent. She wanted to get to her car but Logan wouldn't let her.
"Who was it?"
She stayed silent.
"Who raped you?"
Veronica winced at the forwardness of his question. She tried again to move past him. "Let me through."
"Logan, get out of the way."
She tried to move but he wouldn't let her and kept blocking her way. She started shoving him but he was too strong.
"Let me go."
"Let me go! Let me go!" She was half screaming, half crying and hitting his chest. Logan took it all in his stride. She slumped to the floor, crying, and Logan knelt down with her, hugging her the entire time. He felt like this was the most honest conversation he had had with Veronica in over a year, and he knew she hadn't changed that much at all. She was still the girl he'd fallen in love with when he'd first seen her on the soccer field five years ago. And deep down he was still the guy who was in love with her but didn't have the guts to do anything about it.
Lynn entered the hallway, clearly she had been searching for Veronica, she ran for her, concerned, but Logan stopped her to show he had it under control and that Veronica just needed space.
A week later, Logan knocked on the door to Veronica's apartment. She thought he didn't know anything about her now, or that he didn't care. But he knew where she lived.
After Lynn had left, Logan tried to get Veronica to stand up.
"Hey, Veronica. I need you to stand up, okay? Come on." But she wrestled against his grip. He sighed. "Veronica, I'm just gonna let you lie down, okay?"
"Ronnie..." He tried again. In the end he just picked her up and took her to his room where he told her to rest until she felt better. He got her a glass of water and gave her her space. "I'm downstairs if you need anything." He told her. "Or me." He added softly. He closed the door.
An hour later he found his bed empty and her car gone.
Logan heard Veronica approach the door. "What no bark? Is it your day off?" She should've looked to see who was at the door first, but she didn't. Stupid, stupid, Veronica.
She didn't say anything. She thought she could avoid Logan until the whole thing blew over. But Logan had to ruin that by knowing her address. How does he even know that?
"Hey." Logan greeted.
"Hey." Veronica replied.
"Can I come in?"
Veronica opened up the door some more and he stepped in. She motioned to the couch.
"So, what's up?" She asked him, as though she had no idea.
"I know you've been avoiding me, Veronica. Don't deny it. I know you."
She was about to argue but he stopped her.
"I'm not here to fight. I just wanted to talk to you about some of the things you said last week."
This was what Veronica had been dreading. Now the rape issue would come up again.
"You said a lot of things that disturbed me, and hurt me. But I guess the three things I can't go on knowing without talking to you about them are Lilly's funeral, that message on your car, and... the rape." He finished softly.
Veronica really didn't want to have this conversation, but she couldn't see a way out of it. She'd just dodge the rape part for as long as she could. "Okay." She replied slowly. Logan was surprised, he had expected to have to convince her for at least an hour.
"Did you really think you'd get thrown out of Lilly's funeral?"
"It was the day after you gave me the ultimatum and I told you I would then stick by my dad. I didn't want to cause a scene. Lilly deserved better than that."
"She would have loved a scene." Logan said.
"Yeah." Veronica smiled.
"But still, you deserved to be there."
Veronica shrugged. "Guess it didn't feel like that to me."
Logan nodded, he knew it was his fault.
"And your car? Do you know who wrote that?"
Veronica shook her head. "Nope."
"Did you really mean it last week when you said you wished you had been killed?"
Veronica shrugged. "I don't know anything these days. I'm not sure what's right or wrong. Who are friends and who are enemies."
"I guess, what I meant was, I miss before. And I miss Lilly, and you, and my mom, and maybe even a teensy bit Duncan."
"I miss you too, and Lilly."
Veronica was silent before asking the question that she most wanted to ask Logan for about a year.
"Why did you do it?"
Logan sighed. He should've seen it coming.
"As much as I keep saying it was for Jake, Duncan and Celeste and your dad was tearing them apart... I directed my grief to the easiest target. You were the kindest, sweetest person, Veronica, and the fact that your dad accused Jake just made it easier for me to direct my anger to you. Plus, I guess I blamed you a bit."
"Me?" Veronica asked in surprise.
"Yeah.. If you hadn't told Lilly about Yolanda and the kiss, I would've been with her that day, and she wouldn't have been killed."
"Yeah, or you might've both been killed."
"But, I know you're not to blame, I always knew, it was just easier, less painful, to pretend that you were. I know that if I had seen you cheating on Duncan I would've told him too. All you did was be a good friend. And I can't hate you for that."
"Do I what?"
"Hate me. Do you hate me?"
Logan replied immediately.
"No. I never really did. I made a stupid mistake, asking you to choose, and I was too much of a stubborn, angry, grieving jackass, who wouldn't let go of his pride to admit it."
"You have been known to have jackass-esque qualities from time to time." Veronica joked. Logan smiled. "Yeah... I know."
"Do you hate me?" He asked Veronica.
"You'd think, that after a year of torment I would. But, honestly, no."
Logan smiled to himself. "I'm sorry." He said softly.
"I'm sorry too." Veronica replied. "And…" She took a deep breath. "I forgive you."
Logan was taken aback. Not because she had forgiven him so quickly, though that too caught him off guard, but because she had apologized to him.
"You don't have anything to be sorry for." He told her.
"Yes, I do." Veronica said solemnly. "I did indeed put that bong in your locker." She gave him a mischievous grin.
Logan grinned. "Yeah, but I smashed your headlights in with a crowbar. So we're even on that one. You don't have to apologize for anything."
"If you say so, but it still felt right doing it. If we're gonna try and be friends again, we gotta do it right."
"You want to be my friend again after the past year?"
"Yeah," Veronica said with a smile, "I do. There was a time when you were my best friend after Lilly. And I'd like to try and get that back."
"Me too." He replied. "So friends?"
"Friends." Veronica replied. She wouldn't tell anyone, but since she'd been twelve, she'd had the biggest crush on Logan. But at the time, it hadn't seemed right because Lilly liked Logan. But who knows now.
"You know Neptune's gonna implode once they hear about this development." She told him.
"That's us. Veronica Mars and Logan Echolls. Causing destruction wherever we go." Veronica swatted him on the arm playfully and let out an elated laugh.
Logan grinned and pretended to be hurt by her punch.
Now all that was left was to get Veronica to open up about her rape. He decided not to push his luck for the day, but to try and win her trust back first. And maybe, in time, he'd get her love back too. Who knew.
Please, please, please review. I LoVe reading them. If not for me, for Logan and Veronica. xD