Scattered (Part One: The minute people fall in love, they become liars.)
AN: This one has been in the background for a while, written between breaks in longer fics. Inspired by a sudden what-if sentiment while watching season two. How would the fab four react to Logan's relationship with Hannah if they still existed.
This story is set in an AU timeline, in which Lilly does not die. Some of the characters may seem a little OOC, but keep in mind that many of the events of VM did not occur and thus certain characters did not adapt accordingly. Ah well, with that disclaimer in mind, enjoy the story… I know I enjoyed writing it ;)
One o'clock found Logan Echolls walking down the hall of Neptune High, hand in hand with his new sophomore girlfriend for the first time, under the scrutinizing gazes of their peers. Hannah Griffith's face was flushed a light pink, a pink that deeply complimented her peach cardigan, Logan was seemingly oblivious to the stares and sniggers of the Neptune teen public. If he walked the walk of controversy once he'd walked it a million times.
1:15 found Veronica Mars plopping down next to her best friend, onto a neon yellow lunch table that was decorated with the boxes and plates of the varying fast food found in the Neptune area. Running a hand distractedly through recently cropped blonde hair, Veronica, decked out in a short skirt and quippy t-shirt, barely registered the banquet laid out before her. Beside her Lilly Kane, princess of the remarkable Kane empire, queen of Neptune, ex-girlfriend to Logan and present best friend of Veronica Mars was digging into a plate of kung-pow chicken so enthusiastically she didn't notice her friends perplexed state.
Not for at least fifteen seconds anyway. And that, for the Lilly Kane who noticed everything, was a record.
Lilly glanced over at Veronica, who was staring at her fingernails absently, and coughed. Veronica looked up with a start.
Veronica blinked and then obligingly reached for a slice of pizza. She munched for a few minutes in obvious deliberation, the turning of the cogs in her head visible to anyone who bothered to look.
"So, did you see Logan's Sweet Valley High moment?" She asked Lilly finally. If anyone had known about their friend and the blonde, lower class man princess before the inscrutable Veronica Mars, it would be the terrifying, fabulous, beautiful, former love of Logan's life. "Did you know?"
"Yes and no." Lilly said carelessly. "The boy puts on a good show, you can say that for him, but Veronica can you even believe his choice of fuck toys?"
Veronica's eyebrows shot up her forehead.
"I think Logan might object to you referring to his new girlfriend as a 'fuck toy'."
Lilly cocked her head and thought about that.
"An Echolls never kisses on the lips or hold hands in public." Veronica reminded dryly. "Not unless the object of his affection demands a certain level of, dare I say, Lilly Kane-esq respect."
Lilly waved her hands dismissively.
"Fine, ok, not a fuck toy. That pep squad bimbo isn't giving it up anyway. Try project." Lilly laughed hysterically at her own joke and Veronica released she had unleased Lilly's malevolent side by comparing the two. "Oh, My. God, Veronica Mars, this is too funny. Logan's being all reformed."
Veronica shrugged and refocused on her pizza. She knew that Lilly was biologically obligated to be a bitch to, well anyone, but especially any girl Logan deemed worthy to favour attention upon. When Lilly started making plans that involved Tabasco sauce and frat boys, then Veronica would be concerned.
Despite the fact that Logan and Lilly had broken up 'for good' over a year ago, any attempt to move on in anyway from the fabulous Lilly Kane was a travesty that welcomed all levels of public and private mortification. In Lilly's mind anyhow, and Veronica had news for Hannah Griffith, this was Lilly's show… They were just supporting characters.
"I wonder why he didn't tell us?" Veronica asked rhetorically, knowing full well any answer that came from Lilly would probably not be worth considering. Lilly shrugged.
It was a good question actually, because Veronica had been privy to every single one of Lilly and Logan's exploits, both together and apart and in avid, technicolour detail. She of all people, deserved a little heads up on the Neptune tid-bit of the year.
From across the quad Duncan Kane, Lilly's brother and Veronica's ex-boyfriend wandered towards the centre table on which Lilly and Veronica sat, his arm linked loosely with the soft white arm of Meg Manning; Meg Manning who, through general agreement that she was the only good person left in Neptune, had gained the slightly exasperating reputation of Neptune's resident fairy princess.
Meg grinned at Veronica good naturedly as she sat down, and Veronica returned it sincerely. Despite the fact that once upon a time Veronica had been the longhaired, innocent Disney princess attached to Duncan's arm, Meg had been a true and best friend for years. It had been a serious adjustment, when Meg started sitting at the table as Duncan's girlfriend and not 09'er good fairy, but Duncan made a better comrade then he had ever made a soul mate and Veronica had long stopped holding it against either of them. Not that Veronica hadn't loved Duncan once upon a time, before pesky things like paternity tests got in the way of their perfect lives.
Duncan looked at his sister and her friend with less amiability then his girlfriend had, glaring at the entire table with an expression of total annoyance that indicated to Veronica that he too had been left in the dark visa vi his best friend's recent romance.
"Did you guys see Logan?" He exploded irritably. Meg rolled her eyes and patted her boyfriends' hand. "Why… Why would he not tell me he had a new girl friend?"
"I'm sorry." Meg said apologetically. "I thought I had calmed him down."
Lilly merely shrugged and popped one of Duncan's fries into her mouth. Veronica set her mouth into a firm line and promised herself she would not satisfy both Duncan and her inner traitor by obsessing over why Logan hadn't mentioned Hannah.
"Maybe it's just new and Logan was nervous about telling you guys." Meg suggested. Veronica, Lilly and Duncan all snorted in perfect sync. The very idea of Logan Echolls being nervous about anything was about as unlikely as Veronica spontaneously making out with Dick Casablanca.
"I thing you should stop ob-cessing" Lilly drawled, drawing out the last word.
In typical Lilly Kane fashion she flicked her long, blonde hair behind her back in a perfect way that caught the light and seemed to make it sparkle in the sun. From behind the mirage of Lilly's hair, the dual figures of Logan and his new girlfriend could be seen making their way across the schoolyard.
"Oh, no." Lilly groaned cheerfully. "You don't think we'll actually have to talk to her do you?"
"Well, I don't get it." Lilly announced to the room, her voice loud and commanding despite the fact Meg and Veronica, the only inhabitants, could have heard her if she whispered. "I mean, it's not like it's just me is it? That girl was such a spaz I could barely even handle her."
Meg slumped dejectedly into Lilly's pillows. The third blonde had been soothing Duncan's enraged ego over the illusive Hannah all day and she was now refusing to discuss the subject further. Veronica on the other hand had a distinct feeling that the subject would continue bugging her regardless of whether Lilly kept going on about it or not. She was unsure why the sight of Hannah made her want to heave so uncontrollably, beyond the fact the girl had clearly been raised and neutered by the thing which seemed to steal cheerleaders' brains, or why she had been unable to look Logan in the eye. She had a feeling the answers wouldn't comfort her anymore then the questions did. As Lilly would often say: sometimes denial was the only way to make it through the day.
"You're exaggerating. Hannah was… nice"
"I am not exaggerating, Veronica. What could he possibly be doing with that child?"
Honestly Veronica could make a few accurate guesses, but she supposed that would be unwise information to share with Lilly.
"She is… different from the normal girls that Logan dates."
Lilly rose an eyebrow archly.
"'Dates' is a relative term Veronica Mars."
Veronica did a mental checklist of the woman she knew Logan had been associated with, and privately agreed. It probably wouldn't be uncalled of to call the women Logan 'dated' sluts, but really in all fairness Logan was the biggest slut of the lot. Was Lilly right? Was Logan reforming himself in the image of a guy who dated innocent sophomores named Hannah Griffith?
Veronica stared in the mirror at her own reformed reflection. When Troy Vandegraff, Veronica's boyfriend of six months and first (and only) lover, turned out to be a lying, cheating drug dealer Veronica Mars stopped smiling all the time. The strong spark of intelligence that she had inherited from her father, responsible for both her dark sense of irony and 3.8 GPA but largely ignored, awakened with a no holds barred, no prisoners taken fervour. When Troy betrayed her Veronica's shell hardened, and when her mother left after telling her that there was a possibility Duncan and Lily were her siblings Veronica cut off her long blonde hair and traded her pastel cardigans and pretty ballet flats for band tees and combat boots. Lilly had thought it was fabulous, Veronica was pretty sure the other girls in her year were less sure. She had never asked what Duncan had thought. She had never particularly cared what Logan had thought.
Now she wondered.
"So!" Lilly's usual oblivious charm disrupted her thoughts. The taller girl threw one arm over her best friend's shoulder and looked deeply into the mirror. "Tell me Veronica Mars, what do you think of crashing John Enbom's 'Day Ending With Y Party' party?"
Veronica looked up at her.
"Lilly…" She said slowly and deliberately. "We're both invited."
Lilly smiled wickedly. "Let's pretend not to be and jump through a window or something."
Meg immediately shot up in alarm, hearing the end of their conversation.
Lilly pouted shortly, then, because Lilly Kane was never able to keep a straight face for more then a second, she grinned again and threw her arms up in the air.
"Then I'll settle with the three of us turning up looking like three unbelievably hot females ready to party like it's 1989."
Veronica considered it her duty to get Meg, who had never been able to say no to Lilly ever, out of this party, considering her knowledge of Meg's previous plans with Duncan. True to form Meg was looking particularly stricken at Lilly's presupposed plans. Veronica sighed; the down side to this knight in shining armour act was that her own chances of escaping John Enbom's dreaded kegger were now about zero to none.
"I think Meg has other plans Lilly." Veronica said.
"Oh." Lilly said with a grin. "Are they dirty?"
Lilly ignored the maroon the spread across Meg's face and focused on Veronica, who for her part was trying to avoid notice with the help of some careful lipstick application.
"You on the other hand Veronica Mars are a free woman, and you are the perfect Sabrina Duncan to my Kris Monroe."
Veronica crinkled her nose delicately.
"Really? You see me as Sabrina Duncan?"
"You can be the 'streetwise' one if you'd like." Lilly offered generously. "But I refuse to let you lower yourself to a replacement angel. You are better then that Veronica."
Veronica nodded slowly and moved back to Lilly's bed, her head sinking into the pillows next to Meg. Lilly danced out of the room happily, giggling to a private joke she now shared with herself.
"I'll bring drinks."
She called over her shoulder.
Veronica lay with Meg in silence for a few moments.
"Thanks." Meg sighed finally, breaking the silence. Veronica turned her face so they looked at each other.
They lay again in contemplative silence for a few more moments until Veronica asked-
"Why would Logan not tell any of us?"
"Oh." Meg said darkly. "We're talking about this again."
"It's ok." Veronica said quickly, she looked back up at the ceiling. "We don't have to talk about it. I'm just curious."
"I don't know why he didn't tell Duncan."
Veronica looked at her sharply, dimly aware of Lilly screeching the words of an Evanescence song somewhere else in the house.
"Why Duncan?" She attempted to sound curious as opposed to neurotic, but fell short as her voice hit a pitch that made Lilly's glass dolls rattle. "Why not 'I don't know why Logan didn't tell Veronica, his bestest girl friend, about his new girl crush?'"
Meg gave her a pitying look, a look that suggested she knew something Veronica didn't, and that Veronica was frighteningly simple for not seeing it. Lilly's giggles grew louder.
"Isn't it obvious?"
Veronica watched people. She always had.
She would have liked to think that she was watching Hannah Griffith now because the girl was particularly interesting, for Logan's sake and her sanity, but she was not. Veronica Mars would never have thought to notice Hannah if it wasn't for the six foot male wrapped around her.
Nether the less, at the moment Veronica found Hannah fascinating.
The petite blonde (and Logan had once sworn he would never touch a blonde again, Veronica tutted) chattered animatedly with the sprawling group of upper class men who had mysteriously befriended her. Among other perks of Logan's affection, Veronica didn't wonder, was an all access pass to the crème de crème of 09er society. The girl's cornflower blue eyes were wide as she beamed at the admiring coos of her new friends, unaware of the shark smiles that lay behind foundation, lip-gloss and Valium. This soft-bellied kitten was so unprepared for her new league of sharp-toothed lions. Veronica would feel sorry for her if, well…
Veronica promised herself that she would either deal with her ill-founded irritation concerning Hannah Griffith, or at least be nice to the kitty cat.
"You know no matter how much you stare, there's no way you can physically burn a hole through Hannah Griffith."
Veronica looked up ruefully into the gleeful brown eyes of Wallace Fennell, basketball star and bona fide 'brother from another mother'. Literally because Veronica Mars' father had just asked Wallace Fennell's mother to marry him.
"Let it never be said I'm not ambitious."
Wallace fell gracelessly into the seat next to her and Veronica helped herself to his pudding cup.
"Are we sure Hannah hasn't slipped something strong into Logan's juice box." Wallace remarked as he too studied the happy couple. "I mean, not there is anything wrong with Blondie, but out of everyone Logan could have chosen…"
"Hmm…" Veronica agreed absently, forgetting her earlier resolution. "She's like a hamster."
"Did you know?"
"Yeah, the supreme disbelief is just well disguised indifference." Veronica deadpanned.
"I can't believe Logan didn't even tell Duncan."
"How do you- wait! Isn't anybody surprised he didn't tell me about his new girl friend?"
Veronica gave her friend an expression of total bemusement.
"Nope." Wallace popped the 'p' and looked over her shoulder. Veronica turned to see Logan, parted from his girlfriend, walking their way with an infuriating smile.
"My, my Veronica Mars." The boy drawled, sitting down beside her and leaning his chin upon his knuckles. "You've been ignoring me. I'm hurt, I am."
"You know how I am." Veronica embellished her faux yawn. "Do em', dump em'."
Logan grinned foolishly at her.
"And you said you loved me." He said in a tone of mock disappointment. "What will daddy say?"
"Maybe you can introduce him to your new girlfriend." Veronica replied crisply, remembering suddenly why she had been avoiding Logan. "She looks like she'd cough up a diamond or too."
Logan mimed hysterics, his eyes cooling.
"I thought so."
Logan pursed his lips, and an awkward silence fell over the table. Wallace glanced at them both, clearing his throat he stood up.
"Well I've got practice so…"
"Bye Wallace." Veronica snapped. The dark boy shrugged, waving half heartedly as he walked off.
Logan leaned back and pulled his sleeves over his knuckles, his playful expression rearranged itself defensively. Veronica felt a pang of guilt, and then a coupled pang of self-directed confusion.
She said, trying again and forcing her sweet tone through her teeth.
"Hannah is really, um, actually… nice."
"Sound more surprised Veronica." Logan sneered elegantly. "Seriously."
Veronica ignored the challenge in his tone.
"Does this mean the days of the Caitlin Fords and Kendall Casablanca's of this world are over?"
"You know you almost sound disappointed?"
Veronica frowned, not just because Logan was being difficult but also because he was right. She did, for some reason beyond her reckoning, sound disappointed.
"What can I say? I'll miss the cosmetic tips."
"Are you going to tell me what's up your…"
"Are you going to tell me why you didn't tell us?" Veronica interrupted fiercely. "We're meant to be your friends Logan."
Silence hovered over them for a moment as Veronica pressed her lips together irritably. Logan's eyes softened slightly, but she refused to see the pity in them.
"You are." He said quietly.
"Really?" Veronica said. "Is that why I found out about your latest teen squeeze with the sophomore debate club."
"Hannah… She isn't like that…"
"All the more reason why you should have let us know before you decided to, oh so classily, broadcast your relationship with your bridal waltz down the Neptune High corridor."
Veronica knew she must look a little red at the moment, but she couldn't for the life of her get herself to calm down. Logan's fists clenched white, and he stood slowly.
"This isn't a big deal Veronica."
Icy blue met hazel, the tension held one Mississippi… two Mississippi...
The tension broke suddenly and as soon as the storm clouds have hovered other them, they shifted and Logan fell back into his seat.
"Do you want to skip fifth period?" He asked gaily. Veronica shook her head with a small smile.
"No skipping senior year." She reprimanded. " Some of us actually have to rely on study scores to get into college."
Logan gasped sensationally.
"How quaint." Under long lashes he leered at her companionably. "Maybe my dirty money will grant me access to the ivy leagues too. You can room in my penthouse flat, although I'm afraid I will need the sex."
Veronica rolled her eyes.
This was how it was for them most of the time, falling happily between the lines of friendship and competition. They fought passionately and with no regard, happy to allow one to sharpen their wit on the other. They argued sometimes, but those moments of antagonism, when she managed to get under his skin or him under hers, passed easily.
Logan gazed at her under lowered lids, his head cocked in contemplation. He smiled at her when she met his eyes and rose liquidly on graceful limbs, offering his arm to her with an unfathomable crooked grin. She accepted with a smirk, and looped her arm around his amicably, their tiff forgotten.
"You're a good friend Veronica." Logan told her seriously.
Veronica blinked, his comment catching her by surprise.
"Thanks, you're a good friend too Logan."
He smiled gratefully and led her to class. Veronica smiled too, the sunlight warming her face as they talked of thoughtless things. For the first time all week she found herself in a sort of contentment. She tried not to chase it away by questioning it.
"Truth." Lilly drawled lazily.
Veronica lay with her eyes closed for a few moments, soaking in the hot Californian sun that cooked her skin, before replying.
"You and Dick Casablancas circa February 2003. Fact or Fiction?"
Lilly laughed, apparently scandalized. She sat up on one skinny arm and flicked her hair over her shoulder.
"Total fiction Veronica Mars. I'm shocked, don't you know me at all?"
Veronica shrugged, grinning.
"It's not like Dick isn't your type. As far as I know he still has his man parts."
Lilly giggled and slumped back onto her towel, flicking a wave of sand onto Veronica with one immaculately manicured hand.
"Oh as if. Your turn, truth or dare?"
Veronica sighed. Lilly's eyes sparkled wickedly, biting her lip with barely contained anticipation.
"Truth." She said reluctantly.
Veronica waited for the inevitable moment of mortification to hatch in Lilly's brain, but alas, she never would find out what Lilly planned to ask her because the taller girl looked past her shoulder and, mercifully distracted, frowned. Veronica half turned too, easily picking out the two figures, walking the winding, clumsy walk of two people entwined around each other, who had caught Lilly's attention.
"Truth." Lilly sighed solemnly. "I think he loves her."
Absently Lilly drew a heart into the sand. Veronica sighed, the slight hiccup of her heart was afraid that Lilly was right. A few feet away from them Logan whispered something into his giggling girlfriend's ear, Hannah grinned and planted a kiss against his cheek. They looked up from the world they had created around themselves and waved at the two girls who watched them.
"A day at the beach with my three favourite blondes." Logan remarked happily as he came close. Hannah's smile thinned slightly, and she seemed to tuck herself nervously behind her boyfriend's broad shoulders.
Lilly preened and Veronica rolled her eyes.
"Oh Logan, this obsession you have with seeing me in a bathing suit is just embarrassing. I mean seriously lover, your girlfriend is right there."
Hannah turned a very unattractive shade of puce. Logan, used to Lilly's antics after a combined friendship and love affair of eleven years, seemed unfazed.
"Lilly." He tutted. "I'm afraid I've changed my ogling penchant to another beautiful and fine Neptune female."
"Oh?" Lilly said nastily. "Who? Veronica?"
Veronica spasmed with laughter, disguising her amusement badly as a coughing fit. Logan gave her a dark look.
"So." Veronica said, changing the subject and taking pity on the very red Hannah. "Are you guys surfing today?"
It was a slightly stupid question, the skin-tight wet suit that Logan had donned hugged his curved arms and toned chest beautifully.
"He's surfing." Hannah piped up. Lilly's eyes narrowed dangerously. "I was more inclined to forgo the cold wet ocean in favour of sitting on the shore, reading a Cosmo and watching my boyfriend walk around half naked."
There was a pregnant moment of silence, and then like the shattering of a glass window, Lilly laughed and broke it. Veronica resisted the urge to make a face, not because Hannah had said something wrong, quite the contrary, she was undeniably pleasant.
Maybe that was the problem.
"You can sit with us." Lilly ordered. Hannah's eyes widened into an expression that was very common in those who spoke to Lilly, a balance act between fear and excitement. Logan looked at Lilly nervously before turning to his girlfriend.
"You don't have to…"
"No!" Hannah said. "No, I want to."
She smiled up sweetly at her boyfriend.
"I want to get to know your friends."
Logan smiled vaguely at her, kissing her lightly on the cheek.
Hannah plonked herself down on Lilly's other side, her blue eyes already happily locked on the smirking blonde. Veronica nodded at Logan.
"I'll take care of her."
"It's not Hannah that I'm worried about." Logan muttered, glancing suspiciously at Lilly.
"I'll take care of her too."
"Thanks Veronica." Logan smiled gratefully. He waved as he walked off, back toward his car and his surfboard. Veronica sighed, perhaps more loudly then she had intended, before picking up her copy of TIME magazine and slipping her sunglasses from her forehead down her nose.
She squeaked when her magazine was ripped, very rudely, from her hands.
"Veronica Mars." Lilly said reproachfully. "We have a new friend, so play nice."
"Leave the girl alone Lils'"
Lilly batted her long, Maybelline lashes at Hannah, who giggled tentatively.
"She doesn't mind."
Veronica rolled her eyes. Lilly would flirt with a bowling ball if she wanted a strike.
"I was talking about me."
Lilly planted a sloppy, affectionate kiss onto Veronica's cheek.
"This is why I love her." Lilly told Hannah's wide doe eyes seriously. "We're kindred spirits, Veronica Mars and I."
Hannah turned to Veronica and she frowned. Her expression was oddly calculating, as if Hannah were studying Veronica for the first time. It looked strange on such an open face. Veronica smirked back, she was used to that spark of shock that people got in their eyes when the layers of her pretty young thing façade came peeling.
"So Hannah Griffith…" Lilly's pink lips twisted in the manic elation of a cat playing with its food. "Truth or Dare?"
Hannah glanced at Veronica appealingly.
"Truth." Veronica said with a slight smile. "Always go truth with Lilly. Last time I choose dare… Well let's just say it ended with me passed out in Casey Grants pool house covered with silly string, at 3pm in the afternoon."
"Oh…" Hannah said. "Truth then. If I come home covered in silly string again my dad's just going to ground me."
Veronica felt like groaning and hitting her head against something really hard. She was not going to start liking Hannah Griffith. That would be too cruel.
"Hmm…" Lilly could ask any number of uncomfortable questions, and Veronica leaned forward, waiting for a little piece of the puzzle which was LoganandHannah to fall into place.
"When did you two meet?"
"The Winter Carnival." Hannah answered easily. Veronica and Lilly exchanged a look of surprise.
"That long?" Veronica asked.
"You know I really thought he would have told you guys…" Hannah said breezily. Veronica and Lilly exchanged a dark look over her head. "But yeah, he wooed me over a game of Leap Frog."
"Have you done it?" Lilly put bluntly. She leaned forward, her breasts swelling in their flimsy holders, in a kind of perverse excitement. Hannah blushed.
"Um…" She lowered her eyes coyly. "We've done… other stuff."
Lilly leaned back, deflated. She seemed unimpressed by Hannah's declaration of 'other stuff'. Veronica licked the dried salt off her lips.
"I don't know…" Hannah continued, happily oblivious to Lilly and Veronica's reactions. "I've never felt like this before, he's so… It just feels so right, you know? I trust him."
Lilly didn't know, she had neither experienced any sense of rightness nor ever trusted Logan completely, but Veronica realised with a pang that she did know what Hannah meant. The real Logan, who was a rare beast indeed, was comfortable to be around, courteous, amusing and more so, Veronica trusted him implicitly.
"I think I might love him."
Veronica blanched and Lilly gasped animatedly.
Hannah sighed, spurred on by Lilly's encouragement.
"It's just… I feel like I really know him, like when we're together I'm looking past his face into his soul. He's such a beautiful person under all that anger and sarcasm…"
'Yes he is…" Veronica felt like saying petulantly. "I know that, I've been his friend since we were thirteen years old. I know him. You couldn't possibly know him, you child."
"Oh my god!" Lilly said. "This is perfect."
She sorted messily through her oversized beach bag, until she pulled out a glossy magazine with a triumphant 'huh!'
"Oh, um…" Hannah fumbled. "I don't…"
"Is It For Real? Sincere Soul Mate or Flippant Fling?" Lilly continued unabated. "Take this quiz and see how highly you and your ardent amour rate!"
"Pulitzer provoking alliteration." Veronica deadpanned.
"And they say the Cosmo women can't write." Lilly sniffed decadently. "Ok, question one:"
She looked at Hannah greedily, Lilly's blue, blue eyes wide with exhilaration.
"True or False: Talking to him brightens up your day."
Hannah bit her lip.
"You feel like you know everything there is to know about him."
"You think about him kissing you, all the time."
The uncanny, indefinable feeling of Déjà vu pricked the back of Veronica's mind, trying to tell her something.
"You can picture your lives together in ten years."
Hannah opened her mouth, but was saved as Logan pulled himself in from the surf. She beamed at him, and waved. Yards down the beach Logan saw her, and with a little bemusement, waved back. Hannah leapt to her feet and began to bound towards her boyfriend.
"Well." Lilly sneered. "I can see why Logan's been hiding Bambi away from us."
"I think she's sweet." Veronica replied distantly.
"Exactly." Lilly said cuttingly, sliding back onto her haunches. "We don't do sweet Veronica, we eat sweet for breakfast."
Veronica's breathe caught, and her chest hurt suddenly. She liked to think a little of the old Veronica, happy, dreamy, pink as pie Veronica, was still left inside this new hardened, bitchy shell casing. Perhaps Lilly was right though; perhaps she had become too hard, too cynical, for naivety like Hannah's.
Perhaps she disliked Hannah so because she didn't want to watch another pretty blonde honey slip into the Neptune machine, raped of her innocent and good intentions by the corruption around her. She didn't want to see Hannah's heart broken when Logan, who was too dysfunctional and broken for happily ever after, messed up (and wasn't it inevitable that he would?").
Logan loped gracefully up to them on long, defined limbs. He flicked his wet, sandy hair out of his eyes and grinned.
"You weren't in long." Veronica commented quietly, peering through the blinding sunlight to talk to him.
"I got bored." Logan laughed. "Thought I would spend some time with my favourite girls. Hey, are Duncan and Meg coming?"
"Maybe we could all go out for dinner." He grinned and Veronica realised for the first time in along time, Logan was really happy. Hannah was making him happy. "I want everybody to get to know my girlfriend."
Veronica sighed and nodded. She would pretend as hard as she could, but Veronica knew that liking Hannah would not become a problem.
"She's… well, she's nice isn't she?"
"That's what I said." Veronica murmured into the phone. "-And Logan bit my head off."
"She's quite funny too, and she's… really sweet."
Veronica sighed and wedged the phone under her chin as she reached for the hidden box of Oreos.
"Lilly says that I eat sweet for breakfast. I think she might be right."
On the other side of the line Meg sighed too, her weariness audible to Veronica. Meg had had a trying dinner, sitting beside the sulking, glowering Duncan. Yet still Meg managed to be the dutiful best friend, and that was because she was…
"You're sweet Meg." Veronica reminded herself. "I like you."
"Maybe it's not the sweetness you object to." Meg suggested reasonably. "And for the record, I have edge."
That was true. Meg was sugar and spice and everything nice, but she was also one of Veronica's favourite partner's in crime and you didn't get that dubious success with out a few minor felonies under your belt. Still, Meg's words rang true and Veronica wondered what, of Hannah's many unique characteristics, made her so particularly dislikeable.
hard Veronica." Meg said with a yawn. "You'll get it
Before Veronica could ask what she meant, the phone clicked and she was left listening to the whine of the dial tone.
His lips graze her earlobe, sending little shivers of anticipation down her spine. The sunlight streams in from unseen windows, making them glow in the bright afternoon, his body twisted around hers. Her shallow gasp breaks the rhythm of their heavy breathing, his lips suckle on the curve of her neck, when he pulls away his breathe is cool on the wetness that is left there.
"We're going to be late." He mutters into her hair.
"Lilly will understand."
"Have you met Lilly?"
"Shh…" She awkwardly presses her finger against his mouth, giggling in that silly, light hearted, girly way he makes her giggle. "Don't talk about Lils' when we're in bed together."
He kisses her deeply, his tongue barging into the cavern of mouth with out permission or courtesy. Her hands tighten their hold on his shoulders, enjoying the feeling of the muscles rippling as they tense.
"That's a good plan." He says, pulling back when he runs out of breath. She looks up at him with wickedness gleaming wanton in her shining eyes. His hair gleams golden in the late afternoon sun and he smiles.
"I guess we can be a little late."
They laugh, gratuitously happy, stolen, undeserved; but cherished more by them, the sinners, then the angels of heaven could possible comprehend. His hand moves between her legs and pushes them open, his fingers moving slowly up the curve of her thigh.
"I love you Veronica." He murmurs.
"I love you too Logan." She replies.
And then she wakes up.
Veronica sat up with a start, breathing in heavy, laboured gasps; her body tender with the forgotten feeling of arousal, her mind buzzing with unpleasant clarity.
Like a circuit, or a machine that had been turned on, or jigsaw finally complete, it all fell into place, and the frisson of achievement made everything very apparent. Of course, of course, now it all made sense, how stupid of her not to have seen this before.
The grave feeling that had settled into her heart, her hatred of Hannah Griffith, Meg and Wallace's palpable insinuations, her sudden and intense possessiveness over Logan.
Perhaps it had always been there, hidden under princess dreams and darker ambitions, hidden under lust and infatuation. They were the same, so like minded, so in tune with each other. Had she, from the first moment she had seen that lanky boy standing outside a soccer field, fallen in love? So deeply, so suddenly and so completely that it had just seemed… normal.
"Oh no." Veronica breathed, falling back into her bed. "Oh shit."
Her gaze fell on her favourite picture of the fractured and scattered fabulous four, Logan looked back out at her. He seemed to mock her, looking at her as if to say 'of course, wasn't it obvious'.
She was in love with Logan Echolls.