Summary: Written for the vmwhatif community, this story is a remix of Chapter 1: Making Friends, taking that fic and going from the challenge, "What if Logan was at the club" and going from there. This is the result.
When Veronica came up with her little "let's re-enter the social scene" clubbing plan, she didn't plan on the level of difficulty in getting Weevil to comply.
It was like pulling teeth, getting him to change into one of his nicer button-downs and a good pair of jeans. That was followed by a five minute fight over whose car they were taking until Veronica let him know she refused to drive his car and unless he wanted to be the designated driver then he needed to get into hers.
Then he sulked all the way to the club. Veronica didn't realise that ex-gang leaders even could sulk but the arms crossed across his chest, the annoyed glare, and the peeved sighs were definite indications.
She would turn the car around, but she was doing this for his own good. He was already changing from the guy he used to be. Since he got out of prison, Weevil had a bitter edge that Veronica really didn't like on him. Of course, she hadn't helped when she accused him of stealing her necklace, but she was still smarting over his rejection when he found out she'd reconnected with Logan. She knew that Logan wasn't his favourite person in the world, but his look of disgust as he walked away from her that day hurt more than she'd ever admit, and while she had legitimate reason to think he'd taken her necklace, part of her wanted to hurt him back.
There was something else, too, behind the bitterness. An apathy that scared her a little. Weevil used to be a fighter, ready to take on the world, and lately it seemed like the fight was leaving him. She figured he needed something to care about again. His friends were gone, his grandmother was dead. So she wanted him to make some new connections. And she figured with Mac always cuddling with Bronson, Parker and Logan completely wrapped up in each other, and Wallace juggling his studies, basketball and the gaggle of groupies that seemed to follow him, it wouldn't hurt for her to make some new connections, too.
In all honesty, Club Largo isn't the first place she'd choose to make the new connections. But it was just outside of San Diego which meant that they'd definitely be getting a new crowd. And it was far enough away that she knew Weevil wouldn't duck out the minute she had her back turned.
She parked the car and looked at Weevil who still wasn't looking too happy. "Okay, this is the deal: we stay here for an hour and you talk to at least two new people. If at that time, you're still miserable, we'll leave. Okay?"
His expression lightened to a somewhat grudging agreement which was much better than the misery he'd been projecting a few seconds earlier. "Fine. Let's get this over with."
Getting in was ridiculously easy. Veronica's fake I.D. was nearly indistinguishable from a real one. And the bouncer, maybe sensing Weevil's mood, didn't even card him.
There was a huge crowd inside. Throngs of bodies bounced on the dance floor, every table seemed to be occupied. And there were so many people crowded around the bar, Veronica could barely make it out. Still, alcohol was going to be needed to get Weevil to loosen up at all so she started in that direction.
Weevil stopped her with a hand on her arm a gestured to the back corner where another, much less busy bar, was set up. She followed him as he shoved his way through the people, finally just grabbing his hand and holding on when it became apparent she would lose him otherwise. He pulled her close behind him so that she wouldn't get so knocked around as they pushed through. It seemed like forever, but a few minutes later they finally made their way through the crowd.
That's when everything went to hell.
It was almost like a movie, the way it unfolded. Weevil pushed their way through the crowd, they emerged, and Logan and Parker left the bar with drinks in their hands nearly knocking into them.
Veronica froze, more surprised than anything else. Parker smiled brightly. "Hey, Veronica! Great club, huh? I love the DJ."
"Hey, Parker. Logan." She looked at her ex and followed his intense stare to where her hand still rested in Weevil's. A glance at Weevil's face as she let go of him showed that he caught on to what Logan was staring at, and he was enjoying it.
"Who's your friend?" Parker asked.
Before Veronica could answer, Logan cut in with a cold smirk. "Parker, this is Weevil. Weevil went to high school with us before getting arrested for murder at our graduation. But don't worry, when he's not stealing cars, burning down houses, or kidnapping people to torture information out of them, he's a real stand-up guy. You've probably seen him around Hearst in his fancy overalls doing maintenance-type work." He turned to Weevil and took a step closer. "How have you been, Weevs? Commit any felonies lately?"
Weevil grinned dangerously. "Nah, I'm reformed. You been setting any community pools on fire or evicting dying women from their homes?"
Sensing trouble, Veronica grasped Weevil by the arm and pulled him away. She could tell they were about three seconds from starting a fight and she really didn't feel like bailing either one of them out of jail.
Unfortunately, Logan didn't take the hint and followed them. "What is it about the girls I date that makes the Navarros go after them? First Lilly, then Caitlin. Now Veronica. Are you really so hard up that you can't just go find your own women? I guess I should be grateful that at least this time you waited for us to break up."
Shaking off Veronica's restraining hold, Weevil got up in Logan's face. "I think the question you should be asking is what are we giving them that they don't get from you."
Weevil grinned. "Satisfaction."
Veronica got a bad feeling when Logan shifted his attention to her. "That true, Veronica? Did I really not… satisfy?"
She wasn't going to dignify that with an answer but couldn't help the blush that spread across her face. Because if there was one thing Logan was good at, it was that. Instead, she murmured to Weevil, "Ignore him. Let's just get something to drink."
"Logan?" Parker sounded upset and confused, but he didn't seem to notice.
"No, really, this is great. I mean, Weevil's been in love with Ronnie for years now. It's nice to see she finally realised he was alive. When she didn't need his help, that is."
"Don't you ever stop talking out of your ass, Echolls?" Weevil scoffed, but it was a moment too late. Veronica had seen the look on his face when Logan said Weevil was in love with her. It was only there for a second, but she knew she wasn't seeing things. It was pain and longing and resigned acceptance.
And just like that, her world flipped on end.
Grinning like the jackass he was, Logan asked, "Did I hit a nerve?"
That was it. Veronica grabbed Logan and pulled him away. "Excuse us one second," she said to Parker and gestured for Weevil to stay where he was.
Turning on him, she spat, "What the hell is your problem?"
"My problem?" He pointed at Weevil, and incredulous look on his face. "You actually have to ask? It's Weevil, Veronica. You can't forgive me for sleeping with Madison when I was drunk, but you date the guy who slept with Lilly behind my back, burned down my house, and got his lackeys to kidnap and torture me and I'm supposed to what? Be fine with it?"
"First of all, you don't know what's going on with us, so stop jumping to conclusions. Secondly, it's not like you were an innocent bystander with all the stuff that's happened in the last couple of years. Besides, I thought with your dynamic duo last year, you guys had gotten past that."
"We worked together for a common goal. It didn't make us bosom buddies, we just stopped actively trying to kill each other. There's a difference." He shook his head, and his tone softened. "God, Veronica, he's dangerous. Or do you honestly think he just 'assaulted' Thumper."
"Weevil would never hurt me." Veronica was absolutely certain about that.
"What about the people he pisses off? You think they won't hurt you, either?"
"He's not like that, anymore. People change, Logan."
"Not for the better. Not in Neptune."
That was a hard point to argue. "Just…," she sighed. "Just let it go. Nothing's happening."
"Really." Logan looked down at his hands and smiled sadly, sounding completely unconvinced. "You were holding hands, Veronica. I'm not stupid."
"Well, that's debatable," she teased, gently.
He chuckled. "Yeah, I guess it is. Look," he gestured to Parker and Weevil standing next to each other awkwardly, "I should go apologize to Parker. But, be careful, Veronica. I mean it. I don't want you to get hurt."
"I know." As infuriating as he was, she knew that Logan only wanted the best for her. Just like she wanted the best for him. Their tragedy was that they never seemed to be the best for each other. She returned the small grin he sent her before they headed back to their companions.
She watched him apologetically smile at Parker and stroke her hair. It was obvious that Parker was unhappy, but whatever Logan was murmuring had her nodding and calming down. Turning to Weevil, she gestured at the door.
"Do you want to get out of here?"
"You even need to ask?" She saw him exchange one last glare with Logan before following her towards the exit.
Five minutes later found them back on the road. She was about to turn the car onto the PCH but Weevil pointed the opposite direction. "I could use a bite to eat. There's a decent all-night diner about half a mile that way."
She expected something slightly seedy or at least run-down, but the Pacific Sunshine Diner was anything but. Brightly lit, cheerful décor, and friendly staff. As soon as they walked in, an older woman behind the counter waved.
"Is that you, Eli? We haven't seen you in ages. Where've you been keeping yourself?"
Veronica glanced at Weevil with this unexpected greeting to find him smiling easily at the woman. "Hey, June. Just haven't had to come to San Diego for awhile. My sister moved up to L.A. How are you?"
"Oh, things never change here. You know that." She smiled at Veronica. "Who's your friend?"
"Sorry. This is Veronica. Veronica, this is June. She's the night-manager here."
Moving forward to shake June's hand, Veronica said, "Nice to meet you."
"You too, dear. Now you kids just sit wherever you want. Eli, you know where the menus are."
They sat in a booth in the far corner away from the few other occupied tables. After they ordered, and their drinks came, they shared some faintly uncomfortable silence. Until it just got to be too much for Veronica.
"So, tonight was kind of a bust," she conceded.
Weevil rolled his eyes. "I warned you."
"Well, it might have been okay if Logan wasn't there."
"Most things would be."
"You know, I wish you guys would just kiss and make up. This whole he-done-me-wrong song is getting old."
Their food arrived and Weevil stabbed a few french fries into his ketchup, scowling. "I can't believe after everything he's done, you're still defending him."
"You know, vato, it's not like you're just a blameless victim."
"Not talkin' about me," he muttered.
That got her attention. "Well, what are you talking about?"
Weevil glared at her like she was slow. "Lilly."
This time it was Veronica rolling her eyes. "You, of all people, know that Lilly was constantly fooling around on him so why should he have stayed faithful to her?"
"It's nothin' to do with him cheating on her," Weevil spat. "I'm talkin' about the bruises all over her arms. Bruises that came from someone beating her."
A stone formed in Veronica's stomach. But good sense took over about a second later and she shook her head. "Logan would never…"
Weevil threw down his napkin. "Stop sticking up for him, Veronica. Not about this."
"He didn't do it, Weevil. For starters, do you think Lilly would let anyone hit her? Ever? Much less go back to the bastard?"
"Then who did?"
It wasn't Logan. She supposed Jake or Celeste were possibilities, but Jake had worshipped the ground Lilly walked on, and Celeste would have been concerned about leaving marks. Image was everything to her. Aaron was a distinct possibility, but Veronica knew Lilly well enough to know that if Aaron had ever hit her Lilly would have gone public with their affair and his abuse the next day. And then it came to her.
"Duncan." She didn't even realise she said it out loud until she saw Weevil's expression of contempt.
"Duncan? That the best you can do?"
"He had epileptic episodes where he would go into blind rages," she explained. "He honestly didn't know what he was doing. If Lilly had been near him when he had an attack, he could have given her those bruises and he wouldn't even know it."
"Then why didn't she say that? I asked her if it was Logan and she said it was."
"Did she actually say that or did she just let you believe what you wanted?"
Weevil's face darkened and she had her answer.
"She would have wanted you to hate Logan," she told Weevil, gently. "She would have wanted you to be jealous. You remember how she was. She probably thought it was fun letting you believe he was being mean to her."
"She played me," Weevil visibly deflated, his voice flat.
"If it's any consolation, she played almost everyone."
For a moment he didn't react. Then he leaned back, shook his head, sighed, and smiled at Veronica.
It was an odd smile, one that she couldn't decipher. "What?"
"Nothin'. Just wonderin' why I keep falling in love with mouthy blondes who don't love me."
The air left her lungs. Her mouth tried to form words but her brain wouldn't exactly cooperate. She just didn't expect him to come right out and say it.
"I saw the look on your face after Echolls opened his big mouth with how I feel about you. I'm guessing you figured out he was speakin' the truth for once." Weevil looked out the window, avoiding her eyes.
"Weevil…" Veronica was at a loss. "I don't know what to say."
Staring out into the dark, he shrugged. "Don't gotta say nothin', V. It is what it is."
"How long?" she asked.
Turning back to her, he thought for a second. "Since that day you stood up for Fennell at lunch. You calling me out and sayin' we should go to prom together." He chuckled, embarrassed. "You been taking me over ever since that day. Every head tilt, every smart-ass remark."
There were so many things going through her mind, Veronica didn't know where to start. Weevil seemed to sense that and went back to eating his meal, not pressuring her for a response.
Weevil loved her. Weevil, with his lewd comments and suggestive eyebrow waggling. Weevil, with his gangsta tattoos and pages-long rap sheet. Weevil, who had stolen the senior trip money and taken care of Thumper.
Weevil, who always had her back, no matter what.
"I…," Weevil looked at her, curiously. She tried again. "I…" This wasn't going well. "I have to go to the washroom," she blurted out, finally.
"Okay." To his credit, he managed to keep the amused smile to a minimum as she slid out of the booth and headed for the restrooms.
As she washed her hands, the door opened and June stepped up next to her and started touching up her hair.
"He's a pretty special guy, you know."
Veronica met June's eyes in the mirror.
"Eli," June clarified. "He's a good kid. I mean, I'm not naïve, I know he's no angel, but he has a good heart."
"I know." Veronica wasn't quite sure what the older woman was getting at.
"I've known him for awhile now. Started coming in with his older sister nearly ten years ago and once he joined up with that gang, he would stop in by himself a few times a month. There've been girls with him occasionally, and if my waitresses are anything to go by, he's apparently very charming." June turned to face Veronica head-on. "But I have never seen him look at anyone the way he's been looking at you tonight."
"We're just friends," Veronica side-stepped.
"I think we both know better than that, honey." June folded her arms across her middle and tilted her head in a concerned, motherly gesture. "Look, all I'm asking is that if you don't feel for him what he obviously feels for you, let him down easy, and let him down soon. He deserves that much."
Veronica nodded and June left, patting Veronica gently on the arm as she passed. She stared at herself in the mirror for a long moment before returning to the table.
The food was in Styrofoam containers and there was a twenty resting on top of their bill. "Didn't think you were going to eat any more," Weevil explained, "so I got it to go. Ready to head out?"
"Uh, yeah. Sure."
Veronica waited as Weevil kissed June on the cheek before they left with June waving them off. "Want me to drive?" he asked. She nodded and tossed him the keys, slipping into the passenger seat. Her mind was so occupied she'd probably be a danger on the road.
The first half hour of the drive were spent in silence. When Weevil finally spoke, it startled her out of her reverie.
"Listen, V, it's not anything to get upset about, all right? I never expected you to feel the same way. Mexican working men ain't really your type."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Means, there's a kind of guy you date and I ain't it. I haven't been deluding myself, thinkin' I got a shot."
Something in the way he said that, in the way that there wasn't even defeat in his voice, just acceptance, made Veronica simultaneously angry and sad. She decided to go with the anger as it was more convenient.
"So, nothing's really changed in the last three years, has it? You still think I'm an 09er bitch who wouldn't give anyone with brown skin, or a net worth of less than ten million, the time of day."
A muscle in his jaw twitched but that was the only sign he gave that he was angry. "I didn't say that. And if you think that's how I see you, then you really don't get how I feel about you. But yeah, I think part of you still wants to belong to the rich kids club, and you tend to go after guys that'll get you in."
It was probably for the best that Veronica wasn't driving because at that point she would have kicked Weevil out of the car, she was so mad. "You're wrong. I didn't date Duncan or Logan because they were rich. They were my friends. I loved both of them before I ever fell in love with them."
"What about Vandegraff?"
"Troy was the first guy to even give me the time of day after Lilly died."
Weevil snorted but didn't say anything. But that snort said a lot.
"What?" she demanded.
"He was the first 09er to give you the time of day. There were plenty of guys into you after your little fall from grace. You just wouldn't give them a second look."
"Like who?" she asked, incredulously.
"Corny. Kid worshipped the ground you walked on."
"Corny? He was so stoned he probably couldn't pick me out of a line-up half the time."
"That ain't true, and you know it. And there was Norris Clayton."
Norris she did know about. "He was a bully who took joy in making other kids miserable."
"Yeah, and Logan never did shit like that, did he?"
"Glass houses, Weevil. Let's not forget how I met Wallace."
"Never said I was perfect. Just making a point."
"Well, I think your point is stupid. And wrong." They lapsed back into silence, and when they passed the 'Welcome to Neptune' sign a few minutes later and Veronica breathed a sigh of relief.
After he pulled into his parking lot, Weevil turned off the car but didn't move to get out. Veronica didn't particularly feel like talking but it wasn't like she could go anywhere with him sitting in the driver's seat so she sat still, staring straight ahead.
"V, I don't want to fight, okay? I mean, the reason I never told you how I felt was because I figured it'd send you running in the opposite direction. And I like having you around." He half-turned in his seat to face her. "Can we just forget this night ever happened? Go back to normal?"
Finally, something she could get on-board with. She turned to him. "Yes. I'd like that."
"All right." Weevil flashed her a grin and opened his door. "You good getting' home? You need me to follow you, or anything?"
"No, I'll be fine." They both left the car and Weevil waved as he ambled up to his apartment. Veronica watched as he entered his place and kept staring long after the door closed.
There was this feeling nagging at her. This feeling like something just slipped through her fingers.
For five minutes she stared at his apartment, willing herself to leave. She was unsuccessful.
When she finally got her legs to work, she was only mildly surprised to find they carried her up his walk instead of the driver's side of her car.
She knocked and he answered, having already changed into his sleepwear - some sweats and a tank. "Did you forget something, V?"
"Sort of." He arched an eyebrow when she didn't elaborate and was about to say something when Veronica leaned forward and brushed her lips against his.
It took him a second to realise what was happening, but once he caught on his arms went around her, pulling her flush against him. Veronica gently nipped at his bottom lip, revelling in the feel of his hands in her hair and on her back. When their mouths opened and the kiss deepened, Veronica couldn't contain a quiet moan.
Weevil pulled away first. Just far enough for him to look her in the eye. "What's goin' on, Veronica? 'Cause I don't think I could take it if you're just messin' with me."
She stroked his cheek lightly and leaned forward to drop a soft kiss on his mouth. "I'm not messing with you. I'm not sure what I'm doing, exactly, but it's not that."
His eyes probed hers and then he nodded. "I can live with that." A mischievous grin replaced his serious look and he leaned forward to plant wet kisses down her jaw and onto her neck. When he hit that one spot that made her knees weak, she reflexively pulled him closer. He lingered there, and she felt herself getting more and more heated.
"Weevil," she moaned, weakly. He whispered, "Yeah?" into her neck before moving his kisses back up to her mouth..
Part of her wished they could stay like that forever. Nothing but him and her and kisses that last for days. But she knew it couldn't.
"Weevil," she repeated, and pulled back.
He sighed and smiled. "Too fast?"
"A little. It's just, I'm still processing things, you know?" God, she hoped he didn't think she was leading him on. Being a tease.
"I get that." He gently pushed a lock of hair out of her face. "We can go as slow as you want, V. No pressure."
"Thank you." She leaned forward to give him a gentle kiss, but it spiralled quickly out of control. Before she knew it, he had her up pinned up against the door and her hands were sneaking under his shirt, caressing his skin.
When they finally parted to catch their breath, Veronica had to laugh and step away. "Okay, I'm going to go, because it's obvious we can't control ourselves."
"Might be for the best," Weevil agreed, still panting slightly.
One last kiss, but on his cheek this time, and Veronica was out the door, Weevil watching her go with a slightly goofy grin on his face. She climbed into her car and had to take a second to calm her whirling mind, and, yes, raging hormones.
The night was about making new connections and as she started up her car and headed for home, she couldn't contain the smile at the thought of fully exploring her new connection with Weevil.
It was gonna be fun.