A/N: I was wondering what really made Logan change his mind about Veronica in seasons 1. What if there was a catalyst besides his mother's suicide to show him that he cared about Veronica?
Logan walks confidently across the Quad to sit at his table. He takes comfort in the security of his position in the school and all that it allows him: the freedom to say and act how he wants without repercussion; favors from students wishing to be a part of his crowd; teachers and administrators who put up with his disrespect and poor behavior for the lure of his father's money. He has the life most kids dream about; yet it is his nightmare. He takes the good things when he can; tolerates the awful when he has to. Mostly Logan Echolls just gets through each day; arrogance, money, girls and alcohol are his true friends.
He sits quietly listening to the talk around his table waiting for lunch delivery. He looks over to the middle where Veronica sits and notices her table is empty. Wallace her friend is sitting with his basketball friends; secure from Logan's wrath for being Veronica's friend by his ability to shoot a basketball through a hoop. Really Logan reasons it is no different than the perks Logan accepts as his due. Wallace is admired and loved by the school and by the rules of social command; there is nothing Logan can do about it.
Also safe from Logan's wrath for befriending Veronica is Weevil. He is Logan's enemy but he commands respect of his own as leader of a gang. Very few students at Neptune High get in Weevil's way and Weevil respects Veronica. Logan has seen them together; there is something between them. Dick and the others laugh about Veronica servicing the PCHers but Logan knows it is not physical between them. No, their relationship is something else entirely. They are friends; quietly and unobtrusively they have grown to be friends.
This Mac chick that is seen from time to time with Veronica is also safe from Logan's wrath. She is already socially isolated by her mannerisms and intellect as well as her freakishly superior way with computers. She has never tried to be part of the Kane or Echolls' kingdoms so it is hard to banish her from them. She's not sitting at Veronica's table today; probably down in parts of the school that Logan doesn't frequent doing something Logan doesn't understand or even remotely care about.
No Veronica the little pocket sized pain in the ass PI wantabe is gaining respect in the school. She has her set of social misfit friends and she is actually helping students in the school and they are grateful to her. Even Luke who is part of the 09er group and a pitcher on the baseball team respects her. She faced a violent drug dealer for him and he now won't say or do anything to hurt her.
Logan tried to break her and he had but she is like a Phoenix and grew from the ashes into the Veronica today; the thicker skinned, short skirt wearing, ball busting, don't-mess-with-me bitch who gives back as good as she gets and truly doesn't seem to care what the 09ers say about her.
Logan turns his attention back to the gossip around the 09er tables. The talk of the school is that Polly the Parrot has been kidnapped by Pan High. There was that weird video this morning that turned out to be a ransom demand that Wallace Fennell not play in the basketball game against Pan High tonight or Polly dies. Word is Wallace has decided not to play. Honestly Logan could care less if the mascot was killed; they could just go buy another parrot if they had to. Who would even notice?
Casey sits down at the table and asks everyone if they saw the class standings. Logan frowns but doesn't say anything. He saw them. Veronica has passed Duncan for the number one spot. His feelings about Veronica Mars are more complicated now. He had found the lighter after this mother's jump off the Coronado Bridge and wondered if his mother was alive. He hadn't known where to go and had thought about Veronica and her PI business. Desperate and worried, he had gone to her and she hadn't slammed the door in his face; she had listened. He could tell she was skeptical but she had agreed to look into it. And she had. When he had broken down after finding his sister at the hotel, she had helped him to his room and made sure he was OK. She didn't have to do that. Then when he had shown up drunk to the Total Eclipse of the Heart dance she had helped Duncan look after him; even getting her deputy boyfriend to not arrest him for public drinking.
Sean tells the table they have to do something about her. Dick leans forward and says, "Duncan doesn't have to worry about her anymore."
They all look at Dick in question. Duncan seems to wake up from his stupor to look at Dick in question. Dick enjoying the attentions says, "Didn't you hear? The little bitch is in the hospital. She tried to off herself." The group all looks at him in shock and he continues, "I heard she's going to be institutionalized."
John pipes up, "I heard she's in ICU and probably going to die."
Madison sitting beside Dick smirks and says, "Good riddance to bad rubbish. No one will miss her."
Duncan gets up and rushes out of the Quad. He looks green. The group watches him go and Shelley bitches, "Why would he even care if she dies?"
Logan looks over at Wallace and sees that he is upset and his buddies are trying to comfort him. Tould it be true?
Lunch arrives and Dick pays while Madison passes around the sandwiches he ordered. She places Logan's sandwich in front of him and flirts, "Here you are Logan."
Logan ignores her and mechanically opens his sandwich. He is not sure he can take a bite as the words 'probably going to die' reverberate over and over in his head.
He's not one for self-examination but he did not feel relief when he heard she tried to commit suicide. He felt a sharp pain in his gut.
Part of Logan hears the conversation around him: Veronica got called in to see Vice Principal Clemens yesterday morning and then she left the school;
I heard he expelled her;
it's because Duncan is now dating Meg Manning;
who is going to do the football team now?;
won't miss her junker car;
do you think she used drugs or slashed her wrists?;
I heard she was at Lilly's grave when they finally found her;
no one will go to her funeral.
The other part of Logan is in shock. Why would she try to kill herself now? It's been almost two years since she betrayed Lilly. She's tolerated so much already. Why after all this time would she want to die? What happened? What triggered her now? Was it really because she still loved Duncan? Did seeing Duncan and Meg together send her over the edge?
Logan comes back to the present to a shoulder shove from Dick. He looks up and focuses on him. Dick repeats, "Hey I asked if you wanted to go surfing after school?'
Nodding Logan says, "Sure, sounds good." He looks towards the door of the school and says, "I'm going to go check on DK."
Mechanically he gets up and walks towards the door to the school and enters. He finds Duncan in the bathroom leaning over the sink wiping his mouth. He has obviously thrown up; he's pale and a little sweaty. Logan says, "You OK man?"
Shaking his head his best friend says, "No, I'm not."
He looks up and meets Logan's eyes in the mirror and asks his voice breaking, "What are we going to go?"
Surprised at Duncan's question he answers, "What can we do?"
"I can't lose her," Duncan says finally.
Logan sees that his friend is very serious. He really doesn't know what to say.
Duncan continues, "Maybe we can help her?"
Incredulous at his friend's obvious upset, Logan asks, "Why are you worried now?"
Logan sees his friend's pain. Duncan stands up and says, "We did this to her. We drove her to this."
Taken aback, Logan says, "No she brought this on herself."
Duncan slowly answers, "She followed her father." He says, "I would have done the same."
Logan is really shocked. He says, "She betrayed Lilly.'
Shaking his head Duncan corrects, "Her father said my dad was hiding something. Veronica didn't say or do anything."
Scathingly Logan says, "She never cared about us."
Duncan pauses and looks at his friend and says, "You're wrong. She cared."
Duncan turns back to the sink and gets a paper town and wipes his face again. His voice resigned he asks, "I get why you wouldn't follow your father against us but what if it was your mother? Would you have sided with her?"
The young 09er stares at his best friend feeling like he's been sucker punched. He bends a little like he can't get air.
Duncan throws out the paper towel and then picks up his pack. He sadly walks towards the door and says, "Mr. Mars probably won't let us see her anyways. I'm going to journalism."
Logan stays leaning against the wall of the bathroom after Duncan leaves. So many thoughts are running through his head. The first is disbelief that Veronica would break. She became so strong; she put up with everything the school gave her and carried on. He guesses he never tempered his torment of her. It was almost like she was saying, 'Is that the best you can do?" He never thought she would break. She did love Duncan though and she had been torn apart when he broke it off with her. Maybe seeing him moving on without her and having the school tease her about it had pushed her over the edge. Logan thinks about his own comments to her that Duncan was with Meg now. He doesn't know what to think.
Logan is shocked at Duncan's proclamation that he would had sided with his father and he thought Logan would have sided with his mother. He can see that if the situation were reversed, DK would have sided with his father. Although Logan hates his father he loves his mother and would; no he has done almost anything for her. Logan thinks about what he asked Veronica to do. He asked her to go against her father; of course she wouldn't.
Logan follows his friend's actions and goes over to the sink and washes his face. He leans against the counter and wonders if it was the daily torment that finally got to her. Maybe if he had just given up leading the fight against her, she would have been fine.
Logan has lived with the what ifs after Lilly died. What if Veronica hadn't told Lilly about his kissing Yolanda? What if they were still dating that day? What if she hadn't been alone? What if she hadn't broken up with him?
Now he will have the what if's with Veronica. The bell rings and Logan heads to his locker. He has Journalism and the paper waits for no man…… or woman. Veronica wasn't there yesterday and if the rumors are right she will not be there today.
Sitting in the AV room is Meg Manning and Veronica Mars. They are looking closely at a copy of the video demand that Wallace Fennell not play in the basketball game against Pan High tonight. Both girls are frustrated as their attempts to learn more from the video have been fruitless. Meg is blowing up a section of the floor that has a marking on it.
Veronica thinks about how time is running out for her to find out who has the parrot. Really she understands that Wallace has fed the bird and spent time with it when he was an office aide but it's just a bird. She guesses that Wallace thinks about the bird like she does Back Up. He's not going to play unless she can find that bird. She would really like to help Wallace; he has always been there for her. Plus she really needs that recommendation from Vice Principal Clemmons for her college applications.
She is brought back to the present when Meg questions, "Is that a number?"
Veronica looks closer. She squints at the screen and then observes, "It's a thirteen."
She knows that Ritchie is number thirteen on the Pan High team. She doesn't believe he took the bird. Ritchie believed the story that Wilson stole it. Still she has been fooled by a guy before.
Veronica looks at Meg and says, "Who is number thirteen for Neptune?"
Meg doesn't know but rummages through her bag and produces a basketball team program. Veronica takes it and flips through it.
She sits back and closes the program deep in thought.
Meg asks, "Do you know where Polly is?"
Shaking her head Veronica says, "No but I have an idea where to start looking."
Meg shakes her head as Veronica thanks her for her help and then picks up her messenger bag. She asks Meg if she needs a late slip and pulls one from her bag. Meg obviously puzzled that Veronica has a pile of late slips in her bag says, "No I have a free period now."
Veronica nods and puts the slip back in her bag. Meg asks, "Are you going to journalism?"
Shaking her head Veronica says, "I have to see a guy about a bet." After thanking her for her help, Veronica says goodbye and leaves the room.
Meg sits there and thinks about how awkward it was between them. She knows Veronica is getting teased about Duncan moving on and dating her. She can see Veronica feels uncomfortable around her now. Meg is thrilled that Duncan Kane wants to date her but a little part of her feels like she shouldn't have dated one of her friend's exes.
The next day hung over and tired, Logan leans against the locker beside Duncan listening in total disbelief how Veronica had been asked by Vice Principal Clemens to find Polly. She had arrived just before game time with the Pan High goat and Polly. She had not only found both mascots but had pictures of the bird at Jack's house in his bedroom for the coach to see. Jack was the one covering Weevil's bets for the game. He had thrown the game last year and the only way he would be able to throw the game this year was for Wallace not to play because Wallace was the starting guard this year not Jack.
Duncan wasn't sure about where the rumors of Veronica's suicide came about but was obviously relieved it was all just rumors.
Wallace had played and had won the game with a three pointer in the last second of the game. It was the first time Neptune High had beat Pan in the last five years. Wallace was a hero and the school was talking about how Veronica had saved the day. She had stayed and watched Wallace play sitting with his mother and brother in the stands.
Duncan bumps fists with Logan telling him he has to go and see Meg. Logan watches him walk off and wonders at his ability to compartmentalize. He acts as if he wasn't upset yesterday when he heard Veronica had tried to kill herself.
Sighing Logan opens his locker and gets his books out for the morning. Logan looks up the hall and sees Wallace walking beside Veronica. He watches as a lot of kids are congratulating Wallace on his game and sees Veronica's smile as she watches her friend get his due. He sees her gently bump hips with him and he happily puts his arm around her shoulder and squeezes it.
It is apparent that the rumors about her suicide attempt were greatly exaggerated. He wishes he knew that yesterday before he drank a bottle of Jack in the pool house after surfing. He wishes he knew why he even was upset about it; they had not been friends for along time. Still she had helped him try and find his mother. He had gone to her for help and she had helped. He really wouldn't have blamed her if she had refused. He takes one last look at Veronica as she walks down the hall beside Wallace. Today was going to be a long day.