Author's Note: I wrote this a while ago, but I just found it and had to share. Fab Four + Petting Zoo + Chickens? AWESOME.
THE PETTING ZOO
"I cannot believe you roped me into this," Logan groaned, letting his head hit the back of his headrest as they paused at a stoplight.
Lilly giggled in unison with Veronica, shoving his arm playfully. "Oh, c'mon, Logan! Where's your sense of adventure?" The word rolled mockingly out of her mouth.
"And you can't tell us you can't wait to see all the cute animals!" Veronica sing-songed after, her fingers idly twining with Duncan's.
Logan turned around in his seat, looking in awe at the couple in the back. "Duncan. Dude. Help me out, here?" He scoffed off his best friend's head-shake, glaring faux-daggers at Veronica who, in turn, rested her head daintily on Duncan's shoulder and flashed him an oh-so-winning smile.
"Besides, Duncan's added testosterone is so not bumping the scale. The vote's been made, baby. We're seeing the cute animals, whether you like it or not."
Duncan only offered a sympathetic chuckle as Logan let out another groan of protest. "Maybe you'll rethink the indecisive route next time."
"What about your indecisive ass, man?"
"The difference is, I have no problems with the cute animals," he smiled thereafter to Veronica, an 'awww' earned from both girls - a kiss rewarded from the blonde at his side.
Logan rolled his eyes with a glance to the rearview mirror as he set the vehicle into motion again. "Thanks, man. Really."
Veronica's skipping steps drew to a halt as she neared Lilly's side, the latter girl rather preoccupied with a tank of nothing but branches and logs. "Whatcha looking at, Lilly?"
"It's supposed to be a snake, but I'm not seeing it anywhere," she huffed, her gaze narrowing into a squint. "God, maybe Logan was right. This is kind of retarded."
"Aw, but Lilly, that's part of the master plan, isn't it? Make him completely miserable with an abundance of animals?"
"Well, yeah, but not if I'm going to be miserable, too!" Lilly rolled her eyes in an obvious fashion, before she linked arms with Veronica and they strolled out into the light outside the exhibit. Her nose crinkled suddenly as a breeze blew by, and she looked away. "God, remind me never to get a goat, if that's what that is."
Veronica's laughter was put on a pause. "Wait. You were thinking of getting a goat?"
"Okay, no, but--"
"Wow, did you guys see the zebras yet?" Duncan panted as he ran up with an accompanying Logan - who looked much less enthused than he.
"There are zebras?!" Veronica gasped, gripping Lilly's arm excitedly. At her glance, she apologetically released her.
"Hello, Veronica! Remember who we are and where. I'm sure they've probably got, like, all sorts of other animals like that," Lilly rationaled her friend back to a calm state, trading a 'spare me' look with Logan. "Besides," she began again, leaving Veronica's side in exchange for Logan's arm, "there has got to be something far more interesting than zebras."
"I am NOT kidding. Get it away from me."
"No. Seriously. Veronica."
Her giggles echoed around them as she edged closer toward him, a struggling chicken in her hands. Logan continued his several cautionary steps back from her, his hands held up in defense, his face contorted and pained.
"Oh my god, Logan, it's just a chicken!"
"It's a bird!" She was laughing whole-heartedly now, doubled over as she held on to the fowl.
He scowled at her mirth, his brows twitching. "It's completely unhygenic. And what the hell is that .... thing?" A gesture was made toward his neck, and Veronica could only break out harder into her laughter. "What?! I'm serious!"
Sniffling, Veronica righted herself, presenting the bird out to him. He took another step back, and she groaned in annoyance, pulling it back toward her. A few delicate pets were laid over its feathers. "Oh, Logan, get over it. It's not like it'll bite you."
"Like you know that."
"It hasn't got any teeth!"
"But it does have a beak."
"You are such a wuss," she sighed, glancing into the chicken's face and back toward him, her head canting to the side with a suddenly thoughtful expression. "Sure you're not related? Next-of-kin?"
Logan gave a lifeless laugh, a frown in return to her beaming. "Yeah, uh, no, Mars. Now, kindly put that thing down." A beat later, as she was threateningly lowering it to the ground, he stammered in correction, "N--No, no, put it back in its pen or whatever the hell it goes in. Just... get it away from me."
With a shake of her head and another laugh, Veronica returned the fowl to its pen, her hands brushing off on her slacks as she returned to his side.
He took a wary side-step away from her. "Hey, don't come near me."
Suddenly, her hands flung outward and he narrowly dodged them, gaping at her in shock. "Are you crazy?"
"Could you be a bigger pansy?"
"Hey, I am not..." He trailed off slowly, glancing at a point somewhere beyond Veronica. "Oh, hey, here come DK and Lilly."
Veronica whipped around, a mischievous grin spread out across her face. "Does Lilly know you're afraid of chickens?"
"Okay, what's the deal?" Lilly finally broke the silence, glancing between Logan and Veronica.
He was startled out of his glaring, and she out of her smirking. "Huh?"
"You've been, like, leering at her since we got our snow-cones," Lilly explained and threw her friend another curious look as the blonde snorted.
Veronica threw a hand up to her mouth to keep her snow-cone in, and Logan grimaced. "Tell me you washed your hands."
Swallowing the ice, she lifted her eyebrows pointedly. "Hey, if you don't--"
"Okay, alright, okay," he interjected quickly, a hand raised to silence her and stifle her proud grin.
Duncan sat back, an appraising look of his own cast between the pair as he slung an arm over Veronica's shoulders. "Okay, now I wanna know."
"It's nothing," Veronica reassured him with a smile. "Just a 'you had to be there' moment."
"And thank god you weren't," came Logan's muttered reply, and she caved into another fit of giggles once more.
Lilly sighed heavily, chucking a chunk of ice at Logan. "Tell me!"
"Maybe when you're older."
"Hello! I'm older than you," she pointed out with rising indignance.
He smirked and leaned in toward her mouth, "Yeah, you are."
Both Duncan and Veronica glanced opposite ways with sneers of amusement and disgust on their faces.
"You're such a gentleman, D," Logan swooned in high voice as Duncan swung the backseat door open for Veronica, a hand held out to help her. "But you never do that for me anymore."
As Lilly cackled from beside him, Duncan gave him a flippant gesture and a smirk. He slammed the door of the Xterra as the other arm wound around Veronica's waist, and he escorted her up to the front porch.
"I'm glad you went along with it," she smiled warmly up at him, and he laughed, pulling from her to look down and offer a shrug.
"Yeah, well, I hadn't been to the zoo in years, anyway. So."
His awkward smile made her laugh, and she ducked her head, chancing a glance to her living-room window.
"Hey, Veronica...?" The hesitance in his voice startled her out of her reverie, and she lifted her head up to him uncertainly. "...What was with you and Logan?"
Laughter bubbled up, and Veronica tossed a careless look toward the waiting yellow machine, pondering. Taking a step nearer to Duncan, she leaned in conspiratorially, wondering in a whisper, "Has... Logan ever mentioned anything about chickens to you before?"
He drew back with a double-blink of confusion. "....Uh. No?"
More giggles, before she was rising on tip-toe to kiss his cheek tenderly. "Then it's a secret."
With another chaste kiss, Duncan's argument was settled. As he back-stepped out of her driveway and nearer to the vehicle, he kept his gaze trained on her until she'd disappeared inside the house and upon climbing in again, he was met with laughter between Logan and Lilly.
When it had died and the car started onward further into the 90909 zip code, Duncan finally questioned aloud, "Uh, so, Logan? What's this about you and chickens?"