Disclaimer: I don't own Veronica Mars. Nor do I own a coherent grasp on the correct use of semi-colons, as you can tell by the way I abuse them in this fic.
Warnings: Mucho angsting, mentions of death.
Takes place after the series finale. Spoilers be here.
Logan understands better now that's there no reason for anything. No plan, no design, no gentle hand guiding the way. Just circumstances and events; just people and the things they do to each other.
The air around him is thick with the dead; their presence distinct, but not suffocating. When he gets up in the middle of the night, he brushes them aside. They move, scatter. He catches the scent of Lilly's perfume; his fingers touch the leather of the belt his father wears. Cassidy sits in the corner, eyes eternally reproachful, Felix stands in the shadows, his chest rising and falling with every quiet breath. His mother stares out of the window, her back to him, and nothing he says or does can ever make her turn around.
He learns to forgive, with each passing day, the things that were taken from him. To see that there's nothing beyond this, that there can't be: it makes things easier. He learns to drift, to skim the surface, go unnoticed in crowds.
Sometimes he can feel a kind of film forming over his eyes.
He hides in his body, practises one liners in the mirror until they come out just right, rolling off his tongue with a sharpness that he never feels anymore. When he dresses in the mornings, it's with the care of an actor preparing for his entrance. The clothes don't fit quite right these days but no one seems to see the difference. He still gels his hair, rubbing his fingers through the sticky wax, enjoying the slipperiness.
When he undresses at night, he turns his back on his reflection.
Logan can control his drinking now, it's easy. He sips beer on the balcony with Dick and watches his friend get louder and louder with every drink; more jokes, longer laughs – hands gesticulating frantically, grin widening till it splits his face. He sees in Dick how he used to be, pasting on layers of arrogance and cynicism and world weary James Dean shrugs; wound up tight like a clockwork toy that's on the verge of breaking down, jerking mechanically in a parody of its old mechanism. Logan feels the merest hint of envy towards Dick – still keeping up the charade even though the show's long been over and everyone's gone home. There's something admirable in his refusal to bow out.
But mostly he feels relief. The energy it used to take was never worth it. The fear he once felt about letting it all go (who would he be then?) proved to be unfounded. In the end, it surprised him how easily he slipped away, like breathing on a window pane until he disappeared from view.
The beer trickles down his throat. He stops after two, sits with Dick until the vomiting starts, cleans him up and puts him to bed. Sometimes he goes back to the balcony for one more beer. Why not?
He sees Veronica on campus sometimes. It doesn't hurt. She's distant now, like a butterfly pinned behind glass. It's like seeing someone he vaguely recognises from a movie. Not real, never real.
They talk, pleasantries mainly. If she's with Piz he'll smile his widest smile, and mean it a little bit too. Piz reminds him of Duncan, that kind of solid, reassuring presence. Security. Veronica could do with that, probably.
When she's on her own, it's okay too. She asks after Dick, and Trina. He asks after Mac, Keith, Backup. He knows it's more awkward for her than it is for him. Veronica's chosen life; she's chosen to care, whereas he's just floating. He should let her go, change his path across the grounds, duck into doorways when he sees her coming. Someday soon though, he promises himself. That tie, too, will be cut.
Occasionally, he senses Wallace looking at him in class.
Eventually, he stops going to college. The blankness filled his head in lectures, he couldn't hear properly no matter how close he sat to the front. His papers were returned with red ink daubed all over; comments like I don't understand this point and where is your evidence? and what are you trying to say? Logan wasn't sure what he was trying to say anymore, so he stopped turning them in. One day he walks out and never comes back.
He doesn't get out of the hotel suite so much either. Dick goes out to parties, comes back late and wakes Logan up to tell him what he missed. Logan nods and wisecracks and promises to come along next time. The staff begin to look slightly concerned when they bring his room service, but they don't say anything. One of them, a fresh faced German girl called Annalise, starts arranging his food into little patterns, love hearts and rainbows. It makes him smile, in an abstract way, like watching a stranger's child take their first steps. It's nice, but it doesn't mean anything to him.
Veronica turns up at his door one night, more than a little drunk, clutching her purse like a string of rosary beads. Before he's even opened his mouth she starts slurring out some words, like please and I miss you and where did you go? She reaches out with one hand, touches his arm, then his face.
Logan thinks he should be proud of himself as he gently detaches her and closes the door. But he doesn't feel anything.
She knocks on the door, twice, calmly; and then she loses it. Starts yelling, banging the door. She's crying. He waits on the other side, silent, listening, doing penance.
Can't you see yourself, Logan? Can't you see yourself? she's shouting. Screaming.
But all Logan sees when he closes his eyes are still images – constant, never changing, never leaving.
Always Felix, sprawled out on the road, hair flattened by the rain.
Always Cassidy, tiny in his Little League uniform, bat hanging limply by his side.
Always Lilly, dressed for prom, face frozen in laughter.
Always Aaron, behind her, hands with bloodied knuckles wrapped around her waist.
And his mother, in a grainy image on a monitor screen, always falling; always falling, falling.
Reviews are very, very welcome.