It's been a long eighteen years, and she's pretty much the only person who knows that better than him. Maybe it's worse for her, because she had so much before losing everything as brutally as she could – it was never like that for him. Mom's booze, Dad's belts, Lilly's final breath – for him, everything started bad and slowly decayed further. Not an abrupt cut from good to bad, like Veronica.

Scratch that whole concept. He had it worse.

Sometimes, he doubts what she's thinking. What he's thinking, even. She misses Duncan and he knows it; he misses Duncan so much sometimes he can hardly breathe. Sometimes he thinks he's just the closes thing Veronica can get to her ex-boyfriend, who is apparently now somewhere in the southern hemisphere. The greater part of Logan calls that paranoid, but he can't help it. Logan knows he's never been rational; no reason to start now – except that rationality is exactly what Veronica wants and needs.

Sometimes, Veronica looks so much like Lilly it makes him gasp. That little grin out of the satisfaction of a case. The biting of her lip when one of his compliments has touched her. The tiny breathy gasp when he does something she likes in bed.

Despite all logic, Logan knows Lilly cared about him. Not loved him. He doesn't think Lilly was really capable of love, the same way he loved her. But he would worship the ground she walked on, and he knows she adored him for that – Lilly was always so secretly, desperately needy; aching to be loved and wanted, and no matter how many people did it was never enough to fill that chasm in her. He thinks he scared her with his pure, unadulterated love; Lilly ran and hid, because she couldn't quite believe him. He's sure when she heard about Yolanda, it was confirming her most desperate fears.

But Veronica's not like that. She loves him so much more than Lilly ever could, but she'll never need him like Lilly did. It's stupid and patriarchal, but somehow he can't help but be hurt by that. He was always more like Lilly; collecting what scraps of attention and affection he he found, to try and make something like self-worth.

He wishes he was more like Duncan, or Veronica. Duncan who could be so unaffected by the world around him; who could push the pain so far away. Veronica who can fight so strongly, so bravely; who always knows how to make someone pay. Logan never knows how to make someone pay.

They both have nightmares. He's listened to her in her sleep enough times; he feels sick when he hears her (slightly ironically) beg a not-there Cassidy to stop. Sometimes she cries out Meg's name. He knows she feels guilty for not figuring out what happened; not saving all those people's lives. He doesn't know what he's meant to say.

He has nightmares too, and he knows she knows it. Aaron and Lilly flicker behind his eyelids; disgustingly bloody. Cassidy plays an odd role for him too, dancing on the edge of the building while Logan silently tells him not to do it. Cassidy smirks – he looks like Lilly when he does that – and Logan swears he sees his mother's broken eyes behind his dead friend.

When they wake up, no-one ever talks about it.

She scares him a little. She wants – needs – to know everything; to solve every case and she never cares the kind of danger she's putting herself into. Maybe she's thinking things can only get better. She had accused him of having the death wish, but she's the one who's come face to face with lunatics again and again – the fridge on fire; taser wounds on the roof – and she just keeps going back to them, begging them for more. He wants to tell her to stop; that she can't keep doing this, or she'll get herself killed like Lilly did. The words get stuck in his jaw.

He feels helpless, compared to her. She always seems to be controlling something; she can keep things in her grasp. Maybe it's because she knew how to do that before it got so hard; she actually had time to learn. He was doomed from the start, but she just had bad luck.

Sometimes he blames Lilly. If she had never befriended Veronica, looked for that approval she needed, then Veronica would never have been broken. Logan finds it easier to speak in the passive voice there; not to admit he was one of many who destroyed her. He remembers the old Veronica; she was pure, whole, innocent in a way Logan couldn't quite believe. He loved her, but not in the way he loved Lilly, or the way he loves the new Veronica. Things with the old Veronica were simple; she was sweet and she cared about him. He never had to second guess a thing. He misses that.

He's pretty sure he's going to lose her at some point. Sometimes she already feels so distant; like a butterfly behind a glass case. He'd give anything to be able to touch her, but it's too hard. But then she smiles and hold him, and it's like he actually has a place in the world. He keeps praying it will last. It never does.

If he was someone else, he doesn't think he'd be with her. Too much baggage. But he's not someone else; he's him and Veronica's baggage is the only thing that can cover the gaping wounds in his skin, no matter how flimsily. She pretends she doesn't mind. She seems to have split him down the middle like twins in utero; taking this new, improved Logan for herself. Veronica wants to move on, and leave the old Logan behind. But he can see she can't; that his skin is sticking to her like glue and it stings and he hates himself for hurting her like that.

They've lost so much; so many people have hurt them – hurricanes Lilly, Duncan, Meg, Lynn, Cassidy, Aaron – they've all ripped through them and worn them down to the bones. The throw their arms around each other, and try not to get swept away by the newest blow.

Logan knows it's all going to explode like the ticking time-bomb it is. But he keeps pretending it won't. Because if he loses her, he won't really have anything left.