Ruskie Business (1X15) Missing Scene

"She's gone" is what Logan appears to be crying as Veronica holds him in the hotel lobby. I'm sure I'm not the only one who wondered what happened between Logan breaking down after the confrontation with Trina, and him ending up publicly intoxicated the next evening. Not to mention the fact he'd handed his credit card to the desk clerk and booked a room in the previous scene. But I also thought something a little more must have been resolved between Logan and Veronica, to end up where they are by Weapons of Class Destruction (1X18). I'm a latecomer to the series; I just finished watching the first two seasons, so maybe I'll write more fics if I'm so inspired. Enjoy.

"Come on, Logan, let's get out of here. I'll give you a ride home, or to wherever else you'd rather go," Veronica murmured into his ear, his wet face still pressed against her chest.

She had quickly led him back to the couch before he collapsed onto the floor, and held him until his quiet sobs had finally subsided. He was still clutching her tightly, as though if he loosened his grip, she might dissipate as quickly as his hopes just had of finding his mother. She knew the feeling, although her mother wasn't dead; she was just avoiding her life. Although uncomfortable with her new role as, literally, Logan's shoulder to cry on, she also knew the last thing he should be is alone. Still, the entire situation left her unnerved. She didn't even like him, and here she was comforting him. Well, if she could get him out of there, maybe she could drop him off at Duncan's, and be done with this… situation.

"Pardon me, Madam," the hotel clerk interrupted, handing her a packet. "I apologize for the delay, we had a situation with a VIP guest. Here are your room keys, and the gentleman's credit card. Oh, and the room service menu, as requested. Enjoy your stay."

"Uh, thanks?" Veronica replied, taking the packet. Well, never mind, she thought, checking for the room number. This situation just got weirder. "Hey, why don't we get you upstairs to your room, where it's private," she stated, gently but firmly.

Logan nodded in reply, and she led him by the arm into the elevator. She let go of him to press the elevator button, and when she stepped back, he silently grabbed her hand. She looked up at him in slight surprise, but squeezed his hand in return to reassure him. Just a few weeks ago, she'd hated him. Even though she'd already fallen out of favor with the '09ers because Duncan broke up with her, it had really been Logan who turned them all against her last year after Lilly died. He was cruel to her, and she took a perverse pleasure in escalating their animosity whenever possible. But tonight, she finally understood Logan Echolls. Cigarette burns and broken noses… It was as though all of the pieces only made sense when the last one had been put into place. The detective in her felt the relief of sudden clarity, while the teenage girl in her simply hurt for her former friend.

I'm sorry. I should have been a better friend. Her own words echoed in her mind, reminding her why she was even still in the hotel rather than leaving him alone on the lobby couch. She had said those words days ago to Yolanda, just moments before Logan had come to her apartment to ask for her help. Out of guilt, out of compassion, maybe even out of a residual sense of loyalty, she couldn't turn him away then, and she couldn't leave him now. Was he right? If she hadn't told Lilly about him kissing Yolanda, would Lilly still be alive? Or would they just both be dead? And more importantly, did he really think the latter was preferable?

She pushed the thoughts from her head as the elevator doors opened. She led him to the room, and walked in without turning on a light. The room was barely illuminated by the Los Angeles lights outside, shining through the partially opened drapes. She knew how she'd feel if she were having an emotional breakdown in front of someone she didn't like, such as… well… such as Logan. She'd want it as dark as possible.

Logan cleared his throat as she set down her bag, "Hey, um, thanks, but you probably have somewhere else to be, so you don't have to stick around here and baby-sit me, I don't need a..." He choked on the last word. Mom. She felt tears sting her own eyes, but quickly got a hold of herself.

It's a job. I mean, we're not exchanging friendship bracelets. His words had stung her more than she would have expected. It wasn't as though she thought they'd suddenly be BFFs, but when he showed up at her apartment that night to ask for her help, a disheveled shadow of his former arrogant self, she had been stirred by the memory of their past friendship. She realized she didn't hate him after all. In fact, she had missed him. Or at least the person he was when they had been friends. Before they lost Lilly.

"Logan, if that's what you want, if you want me to go, then I'll go. But if you want me to stick around," she shuffled awkwardly then sighed, realizing she couldn't leave him in this state. "You know, hey, you'd be doing me a favor. If you kick me out, I'll just have to head back to Chaz's party. My dress would end up a casualty of his game recaps, which tend to soak anyone in the vicinity with beer."

Logan gave a short laugh. "I think your dress is already damp."

"There's an inappropriate comment in there somewhere, but I just can't find it," she retorted. He smiled slightly at their easy banter.

With the tension momentarily broken, Veronica fell back onto the king size bed with a thump and a sigh. "Hey, I've still got that room service menu. I'm starved, and I bet you are too."

"Yeah, not really feeling much like food anymore. But knock yourself out," he sat down on the edge of the mattress, staring down at his hands.

She sat up on the bed and put her hand on his back. "All right. But you can share mine if you want. You should try to eat something. Then maybe a hot shower and some sleep."

"Yeah, I think I'll go for the shower while you order food," he said, standing up suddenly.

"Okay. Take your time. I'll have the front desk send up some toiletries," she said, picking up the hotel phone as he walked to the bathroom.

Now this was awkward. How exactly did she end up in a hotel room with Logan Echolls, who she despises, or at least did until recently, with him showering? Don't forget, you're a high school girl. Do some high school girl things now and then. Somehow, she doesn't think this is what Dad meant.

After she placed the room service order, she thought to call her father. "Hey, Dad… Nothing much… Where? Funny you should ask. I'm at the Sunset-Regent… I'm here with Logan… No, Dad… Daa-aaad…! No, it's that we tracked down who was using his mom's credit cards… Unfortunately, no. It was his sister, Trina, she's back in town… It was, well, ugly… Yeah, he's as well as can be expected… Look, I'm going to stick around and make sure he's okay, but I think it's going to be a long night, so don't wait up. We're getting food, now… I'll be fine, Dad… I'll call you if I need anything, I promise… Love you too."

Veronica hung up the phone and laid back down on the king size bed, lost in her thoughts. She felt horrible for Logan. She knew how it felt to be abandoned by her mother, but at least her mother was still alive, still out there somewhere. She knew how much Logan hurt when Lilly was murdered, and he hadn't been the same since. He's been angry and self-destructive. Not that it excused his behavior, of course. I loved Lilly too. The sorrow she felt when Lilly died crept back into her throat until she felt the tears in her eyes returning. She knew Logan loved Lilly, as dysfunctional a couple as they were. She didn't know how Logan was going to deal with his mom's death, but she suspected it wouldn't be in a healthy way. She'd had her father to pull her through her pain. But who did Logan have? A self-centered sister? An abusive father? Neither of which paid much attention to him until he either screwed up, or he was in someway useful to them. At least he had Duncan, well, so long as Duncan is taking his meds. She certainly didn't have Duncan.

As it turned out, Veronica wasn't very hungry herself, only picking at the room service fries. She was, however, exhausted by the time she heard the water finally turn off. Logan emerged from the bathroom, wearing the bathrobe hotel hospitality sent up. .

"Hey," she said, her speech slurred by exhaustion. "There's food."

"Yeah, still not hungry," he said, lying down on the bed.

"Can I get you anything? Aspirin, maybe?" Veronica asked him.

"No, just sleep. I just want to sleep," he replied, staring up at the ceiling.

"Oh, yeah, of course. Well, I guess I'll leave you to that," she said, starting to get up from the bed. She stopped as he suddenly grabbed her wrist.

"Veronica…" Logan started.

"Yeah?" she asked, waiting for him to find the words.

After a moment, he said slowly, "I'm sorry I wasn't a better friend to you."

She sighed. She was sorry too, but she didn't know if she was ready to forgive and forget. She lay back on the bed beside him, staring up at the ceiling.

"I don't hate you, you know. You think I do, but I don't," he continued.

"Not even a little? I did put a bong in your locker after all," she looked over at him with raised eyebrows.

"The charges didn't stick, remember? The bong mysteriously exploded in the evidence locker. And I think I got even for that anyway, didn't I?" His eyes met hers and he smiled a little before looking back up at the ceiling. After a moment, he continued, "Well, okay, so maybe I did, just a little. I just felt betrayed."

"Yeah, I did too." She could hear the hurt creeping into her own voice.

"I know." There was something in his voice that sounded like shame. Maybe even regret?

"And broken," she sighed, giving in to a moment of raw honesty.

"Me too," he whispered.

"I know." Her voice quivered.

Veronica woke up not knowing where she was. It was a sickening feeling of déjà vous, until she heard the soft sound of someone breathing behind her, and felt his warm breath on her neck. She definitely wasn't alone. She glanced around the room; she wasn't in Shelly Pomroy's guesthouse. She was still wearing her panties. She leaned back to glance at Logan, barely illuminated in the moonlight, and remembered where she was and why she was there. She sighed in relief that he was finally getting some rest. However, she wasn't glad he was only wearing boxers, and he was much too close to her for her comfort. As though this evening couldn't get any more awkward, she sighed. Oh wait, she thought, as he put his arm around her waist and pulled her close, now we're spooning. Yep, maximum awkwardness reached. She glanced at the clock: 3:42 a.m. Well, there's no point leaving now, she thought. She decided to disregard Logan's arm around her, as though it were perfectly normal she would be cuddling in a king size bed in a luxury hotel with her mortal enemy. She remembers they might not be enemies any more. She doesn't think they're quite friends, but maybe, just maybe, they could be again someday. She knows him; she knows his heart. She knows how damaged he is, because she's damaged too. She falls back asleep in his embrace, remembering the boy in the limo on homecoming night; the boy who used to be her friend…

Logan woke up, his head pounding and his whole body aching. He doesn't remember drinking last night, so why is he hung over? He looked around the room, trying to remember where he even is and then remembered something more important: he spent the night with Veronica. He realized he isn't hung over; he just had a rough night. He sat up in bed, and looked around the room. She's gone. He felt a mixture of disappointment and relief. It was bad enough he'd had a complete breakdown in front of her, but to wake up in the morning in bed with her would have been awkward beyond belief. He reminded himself she was only doing a job, anyway. She probably just wanted to see it through. Even still, he hated to admit it, but she'd been a comfort to him. He remembered waking up several times throughout the night, and her soothing him back to sleep. He remembered feeling the weight of her in his arms, and the smell of her hair. In fact, he could still smell her on him. Shit, he thinks, pushing those thoughts from his head. Even still, he couldn't deny that something had changed between them. They'd had an honest conversation last night, the first one they'd had since… Lilly.

A wave of grief swept over him. Lilly. Mom. The two women he loved most in the world, and they were both gone. Hell, even Veronica. He pushed that thought away. Here I am, alone. He glanced at the clock: 11:28 a.m. He opened up the mini bar and pulled out a few bottles. What the hell, he thinks, it's noon somewhere, right?