EUPHORIA

They don't talk about it.

Maybe that's something do with the fact they spent the whole summer not talking, and have only recently returned to the muddy depths of friendship, but Duncan doesn't think so. He's fairly sure, even if that chasm hadn't grown between them, this would be beyond the words of even their friendship. Duncan racks his mind when it comes to this, and there's nothing to say,

He doubts Logan even knows he knows. Knows how Veronica had dropped that bombshell on him; saved him from his guilt and damned him by something else (Duncan doesn't want to identify what) all at the same time. She probably thought he had the right to know.

"Logan gave you GHB at Shelley's party. You were drugged when you slept with me... it wasn't your fault."

And he had just said 'oh.' Said 'oh', as she has wandered off to do her job, so he could sneak into the men's bathroom and puke until his throat was raw (if there's one thing Duncan's always been good at, it's hiding his feelings). It seemed ironic; Veronica telling him how it happened, when she couldn't even remember it.

But he and Logan weren't talking at the time, so it was easy to deal with. Easy to put under lock and key in that dark place at the back of his mind, never discuss again. There was no point to discussing any of it; not to Veronica, Logan, anyone. Logan wanted him to have fun, Veronica missed him, and he still loved her so much he could barely breathe. No-one wanted to hurt each other; it just happened.

On some days, he almost believes that.

Then he and Logan had finally had that fight (Duncan won't admit it felt sick to be in contact with Logan's skin); about Lilly, Aaron, the summer he wasn't there... and it should have been settled. Those were their demons, and they tried to lay them to rest. Logan was his friend again, like he always should have been. Then Logan's house was burned by the PCHers (if there's one thing Logan's always known how to do, it's self-destruct with style), and in Duncan's official Best Friend capacity, he invited Logan to come live with him. And they never talked about it.

He doesn't have to force himself not to lock his door before going to sleep at night. He doesn't feel a little nauseous when he goes to kiss Veronica; seeing his father reflected in her eyes. He doesn't think he's the one who finally broke her. He doesn't recoil; heart speeding in panic, when Logan offers him a beer. He doesn't flinch when Logan's hand lands on his arm; just for a second.

(Liar.)

What would be the point to all that?


They don't talk about it.

Logan vaguely remembers a time when he and Duncan could talk about anything; good, bad, the long scars running over Logan's back... then Lilly died. She took that easy camaraderie away like she took so many things away; Logan's hope, Duncan's spirit, Veronica's world...

Veronica, he thinks with a bitter, ironic smile. She was, in the end, the one who paid for their mistakes. The one who broke under their pressure (he's not really just talking about the party here, but he doesn't want to go into too much detail). And she didn't hate them for it; didn't hold what they did to her against them. After all, what would be the point? It was an accident, and Veronica is not going to chose against her two strongest links to her old life. To Lilly.

Sometimes, he wants to talk to Duncan about it. To commiserate and understand; to say "we didn't mean to hurt her, but we did." But Logan doubts Duncan would really appreciate it, or respond similarly (if there's one thing Duncan's always been good at, it's not acknowledging it when he's accidentally hurt someone). Plus, if Logan said that, he'd have to explain to Duncan what he did beyond the salt-lick, and he's pretty sure Duncan would never talk to him again if he knew.

He's not going to lose his best friend. Another thing that mattered to him; washed away in the aftermath of Lilly and Dad.

He feels a little sick when he thinks about it.

So it just never comes up. Veronica never says a word, Duncan never says a word, Logan keeps his mouth shut. He sort of feels like he's waiting for the second shoe to drop, and the tension is ripping some part of him in two, but he can't say that (if there's one thing Logan's always been good at, it's pretending that he's not in as much pain as he is). Veronica comes over and cuddles with Duncan on the couch; sometimes it hurts so much to look at, but he can't turn away. Life goes on, and no-one is mad at each other for what happened.

So what if Logan knows it's going to shatter like the stained-glass illusion it is?


One day, Logan's being drunk and self-destructive again and Duncan can't think of one good reason not to join in. So they polish off... 3? Maybe? Six-packs, and words start to spill from their mouths. Logan says things about Lilly and Aaron and the Kanes; how Daddy Dearest escaped for a year thanks to Duncan's parents jumping to conclusions; how while they were jumping to conclusions Momma Echolls was jumping to her death off the Coronado Bridge.

Duncan feels guilt and anger swirling in his gut; not sure why or how to direct either. Half-hearted defenses and accusations come out of his mouth; he may bring up Shelley Pomroy's, he can't really tell. Logan doesn't respond to anything Duncan says; and suddenly the air is too hot; too stuffy; pushing him too close to Logan and he needs to get away, away, away.

Somehow, his mind registers that as 'closer'.

He's not a hundred percent sure how he wound up climbing onto Logan's lap; the bitter, paranoid part of him theorizes Logan's done it again. The fury swells and he's pushing himself against Logan; panting, panicking breaths landing on his best friend's face.

"Come on, Logan. Isn't his what you wanted?" Duncan asks harshly. Logan dizzily shakes his head; 'no', but Duncan's in no state to listen. He feels out of control of his own body (again); he bends his head and kisses Logan like an attack – he bites on the bottom lip so hard it bleeds; the taste makes him feels satisfied and sick. He knows what he's doing is wrong; he can feel it in how Logan is squirming underneath him. Yet he continues to press himself against Logan; even though it's painfully obvious neither of them wants anything to do with this.

"What?" He says, tone growing further from enraged and closer to hysterical. "I mean, isn't this why... The GHB... Isn't this why someone'd..." he trails off, unable to put it into words. Logan is looking at him with a mix of terror-cross-pity; Duncan just wants to crawl out of his skin and get away from their whole mess. "Veronica's the one who paid, but that couldn't have been your intention, right?" Logan flinches at her name.

Duncan's voice breaks as he asks his last question: "Tell me Logan. What do you want?"


Logan hears the words "Shelley's party" come from Duncan's mouth and his blood freezes. They're both to drunk to figure out what exactly the sentence is; but Logan knows nothing good came of that party and he wants to run away.

Somehow, Duncan winds up crawling onto Logan's lap and his breath catches. He shakes his head and wonders if he's even drunker than he thinks he is; then again, he doesn't think even alcohol is enough to make him imagine something like this. Duncan is settled and his eyes are teary; he's making these awful thrusting motions and Logan needs to get away, away, away.

He shoves back ineffectually, but Duncan is larger than him and honestly, Logan still doesn't want to hurt his best friend. Duncan asks him if this is what he wanted; Logan shakes his head no. He wants to ask Duncan what the hell he's doing, and why, but then Duncan kisses him and makes him bleed. Logan starts to hate him, but the broken tone in Duncan's voice on his next words makes it stop, and makes the questions get stuck in his jaw.

"Come on... isn't this why... the GHB... isn't this why someone'd..."

Logan floods with guilt and shock; Duncan knows. And is clearly losing his mind over it. Logan is still valiantly pushing against Duncan; this is wrong and awful and sick and what he did does not validate it. Duncan asks him what he wants; Logan answers with a firm punch to the jaw.

Duncan falls back and Logan jumps off the couch, panting and panicking. "What the hell is wrong with you?!" he screams, knowing it's a stupid question. He knows what's wrong with Duncan; knows what he did. The two boys stare at each other blankly.

Logan didn't think about this; he thought about how he had broken Veronica. Their whole culture had raped her. He hadn't thought of Duncan; inhibitions gone, decency gone, virginity gone, choice gone.

"You have no idea what you did to me," mutters Duncan, and Logan presses his lips together.

"I think I came pretty damn close just there," and Duncan looks at him like he's some sort of fairy-tale monster. Logan forces his breathing to calm down, and Duncan bursts out laughing. He laughs and laughs and laughs until the guffaws morph into desperate sobs.

Logan looks down at his friend on the floor; feeling split in two. He sits down beside Duncan, and wants to put a comforting hand on his friends shoulder, but the thought of touching Duncan right now makes his skin crawl.

"It's okay," he lies dumbly, as Duncan continues to bawl.

It's not okay.

It never has been.