Logan's fingers snapped back the bar on the door with ease, his other hand curling around the edge of the door to pull it half open. On the other side he was confronted by a very small looking Veronica Mars, her eyes red rimmed and her face puffy. He had found his match.
Disquiet hung in the air as neither spoke, Veronica keeping her arms wrapped across her chest so tightly it looked almost painful. As if she was trying to squeeze all the hurt out of her body.
Finally, when Logan was psyching himself up for another round of hurtful barbs she broke the silence, her words shaking as much as she was.
"Why?" her voice cracked on the word, painfully hoarse.
Logan tried to clear the tears that threatened as he replied simply, "Why do you think?"
There was a moment of silence before Veronica spoke again, her tone defeated. "You're an idiot, Logan."
She continued, "He did this to you and you just erase his evidence for him?"
"He did this to Lilly."
"God, Logan, is it really about Lilly anymore?"
"She was the first one to leave, started an important trend in my life."
"She had sex with your father." Veronica stared at him in disbelief.
"I loved her," Logan offered, moving away from the door, leaving Veronica with the option to follow him into the suite.
She did. "I know."
He huffed out a harsh breath, falling down onto the couch in the middle of the room with a lack of grace. "Ghosts of Christmas past, huh?"
"Do you not get what you've done?"
"I can testify."
"I nearly died."
"Yeah, well she did."
"Lilly would have sold those tapes, she would have loved it all so don't make this about protecting her."
"Maybe I don't want these—"
He gestured to the neat pile of tapes sitting in a row on the coffee table.
"—on the Internet. Just there, forever."
"Y'know, my mom dies and there's footage. My dad defiles my girlfriend and it's recorded. They just loved those cameras." He laughed bitterly, the sound quiet.
"It's all circumstantial now."
"I'd say I'm sorry but those tapes wouldn't make a difference. So yeah, sorry I didn't want everyone at school watching my dad fuck my girlfriend. I mean hell, most of them have already seen my mom jump off a bridge or Lilly just… lying there."
"My case loses credibility."
"Well I really am sorry about that."
"You just threw it all away, Logan. Your money, my case, your dad's trial—everything that's happened, it's all worthless now."
"We know the truth."
"That isn't justice."
"And what good is justice? It doesn't change anything." He was crying again, his face red as he sniffed against his tears. Veronica blinked hard, trying to keep her own at bay.
"He deserved it."
"Yeah, but I didn't—" Logan's voice cracked as a tear finally slipped past his glassy eyes.
Veronica's breath hitched as she watched Logan try desperately to control his tears, his thick voice and quiet sobs punctuated by sniffing. He was standing now, the couch between them, his hands lost in his sleeves. When she took a step toward him, he released a shuddering breath—his chest held tight with the tension of it all.
The couch separating them, Veronica reached out a hand—pressing her palm to his cheek, brushing lightly at his skin with her thumb in a comfortingly regular pattern. Logan sighed at the contact of her hand, the sound coming out like a tight gasp as his eyes closed. Veronica moved, brushing her fingers through his hair soothingly.
"None of us did," she reassured.
"You have your dad, Veronica. Duncan has his parents. My dad has his fans. Hell, even my mom has the fishes or whatever—who have I got? What do I have left? I don't even have you anymore." Logan's hands were shaking as he twisted them in the loose fabric at the bottom of his sleeves, back and fore, his fingers wringing the cloth like he was fighting it for control.
Veronica's hand slipped a path down his jaw, passing his shoulder as she squeezed his arm lightly and ran the length down to his elbow a few times. There wasn't much of a verbal response that she could give, nothing that would bring him any solace.
His body tensed with rejection automatically when she pulled away, but Veronica quickly found herself on his side of the couch, sinking into the cream-colored leather as her insistent little hand tugged on his wrist. Logan acquiesced, letting his head fall thankfully into her lap, his knees curled up under his chest.
Veronica's fingers found their way into his hair again, running against his scalp softly. Logan's breathing was labored.
"My boyfriend has a baby," she said dully, quietly.
Logan didn't even look up as he responded in the same tone, "Everyone I love is dead."
Her touch became a little firmer, a little more determined and Logan tried to curl himself closer to her surreptitiously, his breath hot and the rhythm heartbroken against her thigh. Logan swallowed against the lump in his throat, pain clogging up his airways. Veronica's free hand played around his wrist, down near his dragged-in knees. She couldn't help the small intake of breath at his statement—she didn't want it to sting quite as much as it did.
"It's a new year," she finally said quietly. "You're eighteen soon." She felt the pressure against her leg when his chest caught.
Logan swallowed hard, his breathing still heavy and was unable to reply with more than a slight nodding movement—his cheek rasping lightly against her jeans.
"It'll be okay," she finished.
He managed to choke out, "Because you want it to?"
"Sure," she replied soothingly, "if that works for you, then yeah because I say so."
Logan sniffed ungracefully, letting his eyes fall closed and his head loll comfortably into her lap, drained. "Okay."