Title: The Wall is Crumbling Slowly 1/1
Characters: Logan, Veronica, slight L/V
Word count: 1807
Warnings: A little bit of swearing and some sexual themes. Also, this isn't very Parker friendly, so if you like her, you better not read.
Spoilers: Everything through 3x16 (Un-American Graffiti).
Summary: This revolves around Parker's birthday party. Some of it could be seen as a missing scene.
A/N: This is just a oneshot that grew from a drabble while I was trying to get going on another fic. It started at 200 words and grew from there. Blame the muse. Mucho thanks to my VM soul-mate an all-around great gal, acinogan, who not only beta'd this but encouraged me to post it. Personally, I think she's the greatest thing since sliced bread : ) But of course, all mistakes are mine.
Also, I am almost done editing the next part to Searching For Life. After it sees the beta, I can show you guys. Thanks for waiting! And the good news is the third part is almost done, too.
The elevator ride to the penthouse is ten times longer than the one up to Alterna-prom and that's saying a lot. Worse, she's got Dick (and not the particular one that makes her blush) as company. And the bad thing about Dick (Casablancas, not the one she certainly does not dream about) is that he's both insensitive and oblivious (two things, she takes note, that, ahem, others aren't).
So of course he offers her a drink out of his flask - which would be fine if, you know, her mother wasn't a family-abandoning alcoholic, or if she didn't have personal knowledge that he'd drugged another girl's drink, or if she didn't know he presented her to his sexually abused brother as a free-for-all virginity buffet. She's got a mental black book listing the sins of all those who've wronged her and Dick almost has the most pages. She'll give him time - he's still breathing.
So she does the only thing she can do when faced with an infinite night of soulful glances from her epically declared ex-boyfriend to another woman – she takes the flask from his hands and bottoms up. And damn if the burn doesn't feel good. Maybe throwing a little caution to the wind is what she needs in her life.
She makes a mental note to reprieve Dick for something he'll do in the future and hands him back his metal flask. He leers at her appreciatively (he is Dick after all, and really, it doesn't matter which one this time) and tells her that he's always available to party if Logan is, um, otherwise occupied later. Well, what do you know – it took him all of two seconds to use his 'Veronica Mars Wrath' free pass. That's got to be a record. She wonders how she's even surprised.
Logan's suite is filled with people, half of whom she doesn't know, milling about and generally having a good time. The whole scene doesn't suit her prickly disposition and she's already in a worse mood than she was when Logan invited her. And she's stag, which, in this case, only makes a bad situation worse.
Just then Parker appears in her view. "Veronica" she squeals, "you made it, I was worried you wouldn't come!"
Veronica wants to scream. Wants to shout off the balcony of the Neptune Grand (it'd have to do since she's not going back on the roof anytime soon) what a backstabbing bitch that Parker is. She is so damn happy, wanting everyone and everything to be fine, to be normal. Veronica wants that, too, but she's not about to use Mac's boyfriend to do it.
Maybe she wants things to be that way because she feels guilty, because she has broken rule numero uno of the friend code or maybe it's because she's Parker and her naivety greatly overshadows her sense of reality. She supposes that is one of the side effects of not growing up in Neptune, and honestly, as much as Veronica wants to- she can't hold that against her.
But Parker was supposed to be her friend. Veronica had even let her yell and place blame after the most traumatizing event in Parker's life. And she still helped the taller blonde through it -found her rapist, for god's sake, nearly getting herself raped again in the process - and this was the thanks she got.
Parker with Logan. Parker with Logan. ParkerwithLogan.
Parker with the one person that if she believed in things like love and happily ever-afters they would be with him; her lover, her hero, her enemy, her friend. Her Logan. It's really more than she should have to bear but the last thing she wants is anyone, especially Parker, to know is that it bothers her. So she sets her jaw firmly, forces her lips into a tight, thin smile and responds.
"Wouldn't miss it for the world."
It's really a mystery how he manages to surprise her after all this time. Of course, she guesses, he's nothing if not predictably unpredictable. That's Logan - always the contradiction. But so is she, which is why she imagines they fit so well together – or, you know, not at all. The irony is not lost on her.
So when the phone rings at three in the morning, hours after she'd left the party, she finds herself taken off guard by the name on the caller ID. Taking into consideration everything she knows about him, this doesn't bode well. Because the number one rule when dealing with Logan Echolls is never to be caught off guard.
After four rings, and what felt like an infinitely long internal debate about the merits of letting it go to voicemail, she picks up. She tells herself it's because she's afraid that something is wrong. But she's ignored more than her fair share of Logan's phone calls to know that's not really the reason - that it probably has more to do with wanting to know if he has as hard of a time watching her kiss Piz as she does studying him and twinkle toes Parker together– not that she's ever done that or anything.
"It's late Logan."
She skips the pretenses, because really, they are years past those, and makes her meticulously erected wall known. She's sure he's already not thinking clearly if he thought an early morning/late night strike would find weakness in her Logan-resistant fortress. The metaphorical (or not) stronghold is perfect – it takes the bitter barbs like a champ, recycling them out in cannons of her own and takes the vulnerable shows of affection by letting them seep almost all the way down, fortifying from the inside out. The inner rings remain blessedly untouched and that's just the way she likes it.
"It's five o'clock somewhere, Mars."
And now she knows he's drunk, as if she didn't before, and has to wonder if he got that way right after she left the party or waited until Parker was all wrapped up tightly in his bed. She supposes it doesn't really matter, but the former would allow her to feel a bit better about being ripped from her Logan-filled dreams - dreams about when he was hers and not little miss freakin' sunshine's. No, she's not at all resentful.
"What do you want, Logan? Don't you have a girlfriend to get back to?"
It came out more bitter than she intended, and, dammit, she thought she was prepared for this. It's going be a long mourning period if she can't even make it through Logan's late night drunk-dialings.
The phone call drags out way past uncomfortable and Veronica can tell he wants to say something significant, but then he always does when he's half past inebriated.
"I wanted to do this for you, you know." …If you'd only let me.
The rest hangs in the air, like so many things left unsaid between them. It is amazing, really, how much uncharted territory two people who'd been to hell and back with each other could still have.
The image of a carefree birthday party, thrown by Logan in her honor, sticks in her head and she can't stop inwardly replaying the enlightening dream from the night before graduation. Her alternate universe persona was blissfully unaware that things were so close to going badly and in the end, she still ends up with the very boy of her heart. Perfect.
She is treading into 'what if' territory now and registers trouble on the horizon. Her blinking danger sign must be on the fritz because her well-placed defenses are being neutralized with just a few softly spoken words and ill-fated memories. Much to her chagrin she realizes the wall is crumbling slowly and she's feeling it in more ways than one.
It's all she can manage at the moment. She's choked with emotion; Logan's simple words have set in motion a tailspin of bottled up feelings and she senses her plane losing altitude fast. Only he can do that with words that usually don't mean much of anything, but between the two of them imply a lifetime of loving and pain; either – or. Both.
She takes a deep breath, and she wishes there was a way to actually inhale Logan's liquid courage from across town. There's not – Dick would have been all over that years ago if there had- but she goes in anyway.
"I wish I'd let you."
To most, it's just a simple sentence. Lots of people wish lots of different things and this doesn't even come close to the biggest coin in the fountain. But it's her and it's Logan and things that mean so little to everyone else shatter the walls they've each built tightly around their hearts. It's not just the words; it's the meaning behind them that make all the difference. It's the rule they have lived by since Lilly died; the fallout from her death making it clear that nothing was ever as it seemed and poorly kept secrets were a prerequisite for living in Neptune.
I wish I could go back. I wish things had been different. I wish I could be different.
I wish it was me.
Logan knows what she's really saying, but it doesn't matter. He won't remember this in the morning, just like he didn't remember his epic proclamations of love. Almost a year has gone by since then, but the betrayal stills rings clearly in her mind. His words - his meaning - had touched her so deeply that she could barely wait till morning to rush back into his arms. They were filled already, of course, just like they will be again when he goes back into his bedroom.
Parker spent the night- Veronica's sure of that. A mate always marks her territory when she feels threatened. And despite Parker's perky smile and cheerful demeanor – she feels threatened by Veronica. From what Veronica's heard through whispers and gossip, half of Hearst's campus agrees with her. Usually she could give a rat's ass about any sort of grapevine scuttlebutt, but her sadistic side likes it, giving her just the small victory she needs to get through the day.
The next thing she hears is soft, rhythmic breathing she and realizes that Logan has fallen asleep. She feels a pang of regret before realizing that this is for the best. There was a reason that her and Logan broke up, a very big Madison-sized reason, one that's not about to go away any time soon – or forever, probably… maybe.
She clicks her phone shut with only a slightly dulled pain in her chest. Her heart is thawing with the heartfelt heat that Logan Echolls is supplying and she can't have that at all. She makes a mental note to call Piz in the morning.
It's possible that if the muse strikes and I get a good response from readers that this could have a sequel. I'm not making any promises, though.