It wasn't about Veronica. Logan and Duncan had been falling apart for months before then, slipping down the friend scale. Best friend, friend, acquaintance, stranger. Logan knew this, somewhere deep down underneath his layers of denial Duncan probably knew it too—he just wasn't admitting it. Everything would be much too easy to blame on Veronica and her feminine wiles.

Logan didn't want to duel over her. Duncan was right, Logan lost her Duncan didn't steal her away. If anyone was guilty of stealing then it was Logan himself because, after all, Duncan had been there first. Taken an interest in Veronica before she became the girl that Logan had thought he was in love with. So, Duncan was right and Logan didn't have any claim to Veronica—but she made an excellent weapon.

If Duncan couldn't see that the cuts and digs were directed at him now—and not his girlfriend—well, then he was just a lot slower than his achievements would make out. Veronica's jugular was no longer interesting. She had hurt Logan. She was pissed at Logan. And she had every right to be. Veronica was a losing battle; Duncan was a war that Logan felt he had some validity in fighting. They were supposed to be best friends, look out for each other, not let a five foot nothing blonde tear them apart without even trying.

Logan had thought that he could count on Duncan to be someone who would hate Aaron as much as he did without blaming Logan himself. He was supposed to be there, not pummeling him into a bank of lockers for a half-heartedly crude joke. It had been a nice theory anyway.

Logan had enough experience at things falling off the fucking map to know that practice is always different. People never really turn out how you expect them. It's always surprising, it's always horrible.

He's jealous, he is. Logan is jealous that Duncan got Veronica, he's jealous that Veronica got Duncan. He's the one that really lost someone when Lilly died. He lost his girlfriend, his mother, his father, his girlfriend, his best friend. One manipulative, unthinking tryst and Logan lost everything—and he wasn't even involved. It seemed like karma but Logan couldn't think of one thing he had done at that point in his life that would warrant everything going to shit. Since then maybe, but evil compounds evil and maybe he wouldn't be so fucking stupid if the past two years hadn't happened.

Or maybe Aaron would still be beating the crap out of him and he would be the one in Lilly's place—sending everyone else spiraling. It sounded infinitely more appealing than fucking Kendall and baiting Duncan and pretending he didn't give a fuck about Veronica Mars anymore.

As if she was that forgettable.

Veronica and Duncan—they had been some of his favorite people, now they were on an on and he was on the outs with both of them. Logan had never really considered being alone, even if he felt alone a good majority of the time he had always been surrounded be people before. His new friend-lean existence was strange and discomforting. Logan had never really noticed their absence as much while he was with Veronica. It had been nice to hide from the world with someone for a little while.

But the world kept knocking; it couldn't just leave him the fuck alone—and everyone else seemed more than ready to. Veronica had hoped that Logan was scared on the inside and maybe a little he was, but it certainly wasn't anything to do with what Mr. Casablancas could and would do to him. Logan was much more scared of being left alone—no Dick, no Beaver, no Kendall, nobody. As long as Veronica was pissed off with him, as long as she was confronting him then she was still there. Pissed off, self-righteous Veronica was better than no Veronica—even if she did use him as a venting post. Like it was his fault if Duncan couldn't deliver, unlikely.

The worst thing—and maybe this wasn't actually the worst thing but Logan liked to over-dramatize his situation—was that having Veronica meant not having Duncan. And although that had been no contest at the beginning of summer, hell, it had been no contest in the middle of spring when he was laughing into her mouth in secret on a regular basis. Now it just seemed like he'd made the wrong decision, the stupid choice, thought with his dick instead of his brain. If Logan was nearly half as smart as he liked to think he was then he should have seen Veronica leaving at a mile.

Girls like her never stayed.

Girls that dated him never stayed.

She was flighty and emotionally disturbed and beautiful. Sharp and pointed and witty. Clever and funny and soft and warm. She was everything that people wanted and a lot of things they didn't. Logan thinks that those things (the accusations, the abandonment issues) are the only reason he got the chance to hold on to her for so long in the first place.

He could see her all torn up and he took advantage, he never saw Duncan less than coherent after that one little slip-up with Jake. Duncan seemed calm. Duncan seemed in control. Logan felt helpless and spinning and sick. When he finally saw that Veronica was feeling the same things he couldn't help but notice the match. There was symmetry there and everyone knows that humans are drawn to that identical mirroring—as if they're looking for themselves in someone else.

If Logan could find someone with similar flaws then surely he wouldn't feel inclined to fix his own, not when they were accepted as the norm. Veronica had mommy issues, he had daddy issues. Veronica lost her best friend, Logan lost his girlfriend. Veronica lost her boyfriend, he lost his best friend. Veronica lost another boyfriend, Logan lost Veronica.

But then Logan always lost, really. Didn't matter who was playing.

Duncan shifted on the couch, defeat evident on his features. Logan was a study in concentration, eyes focused intently on the screen before him, fingers moving swiftly over the controller in his grip. Men died, cars crashed, guns fired and Logan won another round of Playstation.

Throwing down his controller Duncan declared, "Dude, you're invincible."

Logan bit his lip in a wry, triumphant grin, "Seems that way."

Veronica watched them from across the room with Lilly, a soft smile painted on her lips. Duncan's eyes warmed up, Logan's flashed—and he wishes now that he could have seen the trigger underneath her skirt and left well enough alone.

But Duncan never seemed to think she was dangerous—Logan used to trust him.