Logan Echolls doesn't know when the tiny, insignificant crush he'd had on Veronica (since they met when he was thirteen and she was twelve and rocking that soccer uniform) before Lilly's death (when they were friends and Duncan was a person not a zombie and Lilly was alive and Veronica was a an 09er girl or at least pretending to be one and being something completely different but so much better than a stupid, vapid 09er girl in the process) became an unquenchable, insatiable need to watch her (he's lying. It happened the minute he found out Lilly was gone). To hold her with his eyes (rather than his arms, because he's beginning to realize- and deny, of course- that that's what he really wants, to hold her in his arms and never let go) for fear that if he looks away, even for a second, she'll disappear, because that's what happened to Lilly, Logan let go and left and when he came back she was dead (he wonders if he'll ever be able to let go of anyone that matters after that). He can't handle the idea that Veronica might be gone one day too, that it might be her blood on the ground, her hair sticky and stiff, her eyes empty the way Lilly's were (his nightmares, the only nightmares he ever has these days, are her eyes, empty the way Lilly's were in the video that ended up on the internet that he watched even though he knew he would hate himself a little and the world a whole lot more afterwards), the world forever depraved of the uniqueness that is Veronica Mars (how cheesy he gets these days. He blames the lack of restful sleep).

He tells himself that the girl he crushed on, the sweet, innocent, naïve girl that loved Duncan and loved Lilly and loved Logan (god, he hates it that he can remember her voice saying that, saying "I love you, Logan" even though she never actually said those four words in that order) no longer exists. Losing Duncan (why? Logan had never found out, and Duncan is in no shape to tell him now) and Lilly (he really hopes Abel Koontz rots in jail for the rest of eternity) and Logan has changed her (he doesn't stop to think that losing her- forcing her to make the choice to lose him, because he knew she would never betray her father- has changed him too, though he knows it has, far more than he's willing to admit). She isn't sweet anymore (he wishes he could convince his dreams of that). He can't break her with a glance, like he used to be able to, even if he only did when she really, really deserved it (he refuses to think that the reason he can't has more to do with him, that, even though he can't look away from her, he can't make himself give her any type of look that might actually hurt her, rather than the fact she's gotten tougher). She's not naïve. Logan wonders if she ever was, or if she was just pretending to be because Lilly expected it of her (Lilly was always expecting something of someone, and all hell broke loose when Lilly was asking more than they could do, which was often, especially of those closest to her). She sees more than most people do, interprets the smallest action better than anyone Logan has ever met (except when it comes to him).

So whenever Logan and Veronica are in the same room, courtyard, parking lot, hallway, the same space at all, Logan has his eyes on her. He isn't subtle. He fails at anything resembling subtlety. It isn't like he's glancing at her every once in a while. He's STARING, all caps, underlined, and bolded. His eyes are on her so often and so long her shirts, the stupid jackets she wears over them, her obviously not designer jeans (Logan only noticed because he was staring at her ass one day, he doesn't notice these things normally), her hands, her face, her ridiculous little LeBaron, her bags, should all have little scorch marks and scars where Logan's gaze has burned into her (it would make him happy for her to have some sort of mark of his obsession, because it's approaching the point where it's ruining his life, and she doesn't even notice). Every inch of her should be scorched and overheated and itchy, it's that intense.

He hates her for what she's done to him, and to Duncan, and for what her father has done to the Kane family- or, at least, he tells himself he hates her because it's the only way he can keep up the act- and he torments her like he's ruthless and he doesn't care that they used to be friends (Friends? They used to be the Fab Four! She used to be part of him. It was Veronica and Duncan and Lilly and Logan and they just were and nobody- especially not Logan, who'd never had a family quite like the four of them and was terrified that questioning it would ruin it somehow- questioned what it was because it was just them). But even when he's tormenting her, when he's running her down and maintaining her status as the lowest of the low, the Betrayer (even though he betrayed her, too, and if he's honest with himself he knows he's never figured out which betrayal was worse, but the only thing Logan avoids more than he used to avoid questioning what The Four had is being honest with himself), at Neptune High, he can't keep his eyes off her.

Caitlin, his girlfriend (HA! Trophy wife in the making, though she certainly won't be his), is so dumb and ditzy she doesn't notice that Logan has his eyes on his "enemy" more than he does her, that he can barely look at her when Veronica's around. That he occasionally has to remind himself to close his eyes, that watching Veronica (he wants, needs, to see her react) while he's kissing his girlfriend is beyond wrong. Caitlin doesn't know Logan trusts Veronica's opinion more than he trusts hers, because Veronica has no real reason to lie to him (she obviously doesn't care what he thinks about her anymore, if she ever really did, and she doesn't hate him, not really- he thinks she isn't capable of hate, which he knows is wrong), never has had a reason to lie to him, and Caitlin has every reason in the world. Logan has lost one girlfriend already thanks to Veronica (telling the truth, and dammit, couldn't Veronica ever lie, just a little bit?), and because of her he wasn't there and Lilly died. He can't think that it might happen again, even to someone like Caitlin, who's more there as window dressing (she's apparently the prettiest, most popular girl at Neptune High, the true queen to his king. Logan's biggest secret- other than he dreams about Veronica Mars every fucking night? - He doesn't see it.) and a convenient fuck than because he loves her (between Lilly dying, his abusive father, his despondent mother, and his ever increasing obsession with Veronica, Logan dully wonders if he'll ever be capable of "love" again- a lot of days, he really doubts it).

The other 09ers, if they notice Logan's stare (and it's next to impossible not to), don't say anything. Logan Echolls is the unequivocal, unchallenged, psychotic king of the 09er clique (though they all usually act as if he's the prince and Duncan is still king, even though he isn't) and therefore ruler of Neptune High, and the only person capable of threatening his throne is so drugged up on antidepressants- Lynn Echolls has been on them long enough that Logan can recognize Duncan's zombie behavior for what it is, even if no one else does- that he can't see straight, that he can't function like a human being (not that being human is required to be king of Neptune High, as evidenced by Logan's frequent and increasingly abusive and psychotic behavior). No one wants to risk ending up like Veronica, not after they saw what Logan was willing to do to her, to one of his closest friends, to one of the Four Who Were Now Three, not when being popular is so important and Duncan, who could have saved her, didn't even lift a finger to protect his ex-girlfriend from his best friend.

Logan's "new best friend" (temporary substitute until Duncan pulls his head out of his ass) Dick Casablancas had (taking his own life in his hands) said something about it once (in one of those terrifying moments when Logan realized that Dick did have a brain cell that stopped being devoted to sex- his nickname wasn't Dick just because his real name was Richard-, booze, or Halo for something like ten seconds once every ten years) and Logan had laughed it off (raging silently), said something sexual about women like (one of a kind, completely unique, no one else like her) Veronica (because that was the best way to distract Dick while at school, when booze and Halo were unreachable, even if the thought of Dick thinking about Veronica in any way, let alone a sexual one, made Logan want to rip his "friend's" balls off), and when Dick's little brother Beaver (who Logan only nominally tolerated as his replacement best friend's little brother) pushed the topic, Logan had slugged him (as usual, Logan got off Scott-free, while Beaver got a lecture about standing up for himself. Some moments- the rare ones Logan isn't watching Veronica- he actually feels bad for the kid).

Speaking of Logan's –actual – best friend, Duncan would see it, if he could get off the drugs long enough to pay attention or even focus for ten seconds. He would see that Logan has a scary and increasing obsession with Veronica, and maybe then Logan would get some kind of feedback on how frightening and disgusting this thing actually is and how he can get over it (and hey, who better than to explain that than the man who has spent the last year telling himself he's over her, even if he isn't- Logan can see that even through the haze of drugs). As it is, he barely notices that Logan has turned the whole 09er crowd, everyone who is anyone in this school, (except the teachers, but who cares what they think, and the PCHer's, and they are the scum on Logan's shoes, so he doesn't waste the energy to notice them because neither of these groups count as anyone) against Veronica, let alone that Logan's stare turns predatory and sexual whenever he sees her, that his gaze strips her and pins her to the wall so he can do whatever he wants to her. Duncan can't see it, and his is the only opinion Logan might even be vaguely interested in hearing if something were to happen between them (it never will, because he hates her, remember?), so Logan goes on staring and dreaming (as if he could control that).

Logan(tells himself he) hates the dreams almost as much as (he tells himself) he hates Veronica. It's not because they're sex dreams, no, if they were just that, he could deal. He's had a surprisingly large share of hatesex (and sex that isn't supposed to be hatesex, but really is, especially since he's started dealing with the fact he dreams about Veronica all the time) since Lilly died, even before she died, so if it were just his subconscious screwing Veronica six ways from Sunday, in every position he's ever even heard of (and he's heard of- and performed- quite a lot) and a few he's sure it's invented, he wouldn't have a problem. He's a man. Men have sex dreams, especially with strong women who they happen to hate (he keeps telling himself). He'd get a little better acquainted with his hand or whoever might be handy (ha. He's so funny), maybe, but no problemo. But no. These dreams have to be sweet. They're goopy. He jumps into the dream after the fact, still able to smell them and he feels sweaty and sticky and wants a shower but the dream him doesn't care, he wants to stay with her- which royally pisses him off, who the hell wants the cute without the sex?- at the cuddling and the sweet talk that his subconscious makes her so good at (which confuses the hell out of him, because he knows she isn't, even if he doesn't, and he wonders what it means that it does make her so sweet). He once dreams that she's teaching him sweet, goopy, afterglow-y talk, sprawled across his chest with her arms crossed so can't see anything but GOD can he feel her; he wakes up actually, physically sick, tries to skip school but his dad is home that day and in a bad mood so Logan decides anywhere is better than home, and almost can't face her all day (even though he does, because he can't not look at her for more than a minute if they're in the same room, and it's rapidly approaching the point that he has to go looking for her if he hasn't seen her in a couple hours. He has to keep moving, keep doing something at nights so he won't notice he hasn't seen her and won't show up at her doorstep). He dreams of the two of them sitting in the courtyard, the way they used to before Lilly died, except instead of Logan kissing Lilly and Duncan and Veronica sitting side by side holding hands (PDA-phobic, Logan thought privately. He'd break Veronica of that), Logan is kissing Veronica (and Lilly and Duncan seem to have dropped off the face of the earth, even though they're sitting across the table rolling their eyes at Logan and Veronica- he ignores the fact that there's blood dripping down Lilly's face and Duncan's eyes are hollow and hazy) and they're smiling and sickly, bizarrely sweet (Logan wonders if he and Lilly looked like that and somehow doubts it, and he knows Veronica and Duncan were never quite that-ugh-cute, though he did occasionally tell them that he was about to go into insulin shock, they were so damned sweet, with more sarcasm in his voice than he ever thought he'd use- guess again) and never once in these dreams does Logan remember he isn't in love with her, nor she with him, and the fact they hate each other hurts when he wakes up, and he doesn't want to face her but he can't not, because he can't let her out of his sight.

Unfortunately, Logan's bizarre need doesn't stop with the staring. His eyes undressing her, screwing her there in the courtyard or the hallway, isn't enough. The dreams, raunchy and nasty (and hot) or sweet and bizarre as they are, aren't enough. He doesn't just have to watch her; he wants her to watch him back. He wants her attention. Needs her to feel the same way he does. Needs her to want him back. Wanting her is disgusting and wrong (he has to tell himself that when he wakes up every goddamn morning with the hard on from hell and her name on his lips, irrelevant of whether he's dreamed about them screwing or cuddling on a school bench or even just fucking holding hands- or, at least, he tells himself this after he's jumped in the shower and gotten way too familiar with the conditioner) but he wants her to want him back. He needs her to see that he's watching her, to feel like he always has his eyes on her, even when she's locked up in her room, safe and sound behind her door and her attack dog (when did Backup get so scary?) and her ex-sheriff father (who isn't exactly fond of Logan as it is, and is quite fond of the revolver Logan knows he has stashed somewhere just in case he catches someone with his daughter).

He makes it a point to stand between Duncan and Veronica (protecting poor, fragile Duncan from his crazy, abusive ex- funniest excuse he ever gave). He sits on him when she's looking at Duncan and makes gestures that force her to see him, to see Logan, not Duncan. The best days are when he can make these gestures sexual (which is, lets face it, all the time. Logan has no problem sitting on his male best friend and mimicking touching himself. There was a time- before Lilly's death and the fucking antidepressants- that Logan wouldn't have had a problem with his male best friend being the one doing the touching- preferably-especially- with said male best friend's at the time girlfriend watching. God, he's such a perv, but since when has that stopped him, and his dreams are always hotter on nights after he's had the chance to do this- none of the schmoopy shit-, and he wakes up so hard and hot that he has to turn the shower on icy cold before he can even think enough to jack off properly), because he can tell himself, for the two seconds she's looking at him and for minutes, even hours afterwards, that she's thinking about what he just did and wondering what it would feel like if he did it to her, or for her, even though he knows she's calling him "psychotic jackass" in her head and moving on with her day (part of him actually does hate her for that. Hates her for the fact that he has to go on staring while she moves on and deals with whatever else happens to be happening in Marsland that day, which almost never has anything to do with him, which is what really bothers him. He spends all his time thinking about her, but she never thinks about him unless he's shoving himself in her face, and even then she doesn't think about him for long).

Occasionally, there are days when (it seems, to him, like) Veronica goes out of her way to speak to him (even though she doesn't, and he knows that). Not in any sort of actual going out of her way, of course (because she doesn't care about Logan, he pretends she has to keep telling herself, just so he's not the only one in this relationship spending his days convincing himself of a lie), but just enough that it makes him sure that she doesn't hate him either (he's still wrongly convinced she can't). Their conversations these days are never pleasant to the outside eye, because it looks like they're snarling at each other, but they're not really. They're snarking- he only knew the word because Lilly had once used it when describing an altercation between him and Weevil, which was wrong, because they really were snarling, really were trying to hurt each other and were ten seconds away from tearing at each other like two tomcats fighting over a queen; but the concept fits what he and Veronica do. Everything they say to each other is sarcastic and not really meant to hurt (except on those rare days it is), but just to tell the other that yes, I see you, and I'm paying attention to you for right this second, so enjoy it, because in a minute I won't be (even though Logan will be).

Logan loves these days with everything he has in him. People who watch them "fight"- Dick, Duncan, Caitlin- don't understand, because they really are fighting- they know each other well enough to know what to say to cut deep, and how to shrug off whatever the other throws at them, so even when something hurts they can ignore it until later, when Logan punches a pillow and imagines it's Veronica's face- but Logan never stops smiling (and because he's smiling, Veronica often is too, and he's heard whispers that they both must be insane, to be smiling the way they are while they're fighting). Some 09er's have said that he smiles because it will make Veronica madder (he seems mostly incapable of making Veronica mad without doing serious property damage), but that isn't it. Logan smiles because he can't stop, because she's looking at him, and talking to him, and they don't understand how big of a deal this is to him (and they can't understand. He can't tell them. Hate,remember?). Logan's most recent father-caused-injury (no one knows how long the list actually is, not even Duncan) is a goose egg on the back of his head the size of Rhode Island (which, even though it's a tiny state, is still a pretty damn big goose egg) from where he punched Logan and his head hit the hardwood floor, because Logan hadn't been listening to Aaron talk about some bullshit to do with the movie Aaron was about to star in and the money they were about to make (as if they needed more money) and how Logan should be watching him if he ever hoped to have a successful career (Logan will, as soon as he graduates college, if not sooner, move as far from LA as he can. He doesn't want anything to do with people that will hire someone like his father, even if he is an action hero). Aaron had been talking, but all Logan was seeing was Veronica's face, because she'd talked to him (sarcastically, but that was the only way they spoke to each other these days, so it still counted) for ten whole minutes, and of her own volition, and he'd been smiling when he shouldn't have been and Aaron's fist came flying through the image of Veronica's face and Logan missed three days of school while his mother made sure he didn't have a concussion (they told the doctors he'd slipped getting out of the pool, even if that didn't explain the goose egg and the black eye, but then the doctors assumed he'd been in a fight, which pissed him off, even if it was a semi-fair assumption) and the swelling went down. Logan told everyone he'd gotten the black eye beating up some punk kid in TJ, where he had totally spent the three days, drunk and high on a beach with a dozen beautiful babes catering to his every whim (Veronica was within hearing range of the story once, and he goes out of his way to embellish it, and she rolls her eyes like she believes him. It pisses Logan off that she can't see he's lying.)

He makes sure that whenever a gang of 09ers go near her, he's at the head so she'll respond to him, not anyone else (it's not that hard, cause he's the king, remember?). She's his prey, he reminds them silently (she's his and his alone, he wants to say, but he can't, cause he hates her, remember?). No one really hurts her (no one has the power to really hurt her) but him (he wonders when her skin got so thick. It certainly didn't use to be). He stands just to the side of the 09ers when they torment her about her LeBaron (stupid car) or her locker or whatever happens to pique their fancy that day (and it's different every day, because high schoolers have very little collective memory and 09er's have none at all), so he's a distinct entity, so her eyes will be drawn to him. She sees them as a pack, like wolves, but he's not a part of it. He's not just an 09er (He matters.). He's not just another bully or jackass who's chosen her has his target (he is both a bully and a jackass, and he has chosen her as his target, but there's a reason for it). He's not just another spoiled, rich 09er kid that lives to torment her, but Logan Echolls, who torments her ruthlessly because (he loves her but can't admit it) he has his eyes on her and wants hers on him.