DEATH AND WHINING OF AN OBLIGATORY PSYCHOTIC JACKASS

Sometimes, he thinks about his mother. What it must have been like for her – whoosh, splat and done. Enough of the grainy false-riches world they were always living in.

He tried to follow her, last year. Stood on the edge of the Coronado Bridge with a flask of whiskey in one hand and his torn-up, bloody, gangrene-infected heart in the other. Offered his soul to whatever bastard would take him – the devil would have to be better than Lilly's constant belief he wasn't good enough, or Veronica's constant mistrust – and dared himself over the edge, like a game. He thought of Mom that night, and if maybe she was the only one in their family with any brains.

But he'd fucked that up too; only wound up passed out on the road with the biker-blood-covered knife in his hands. Hell, even Felix had managed better than this – having your guts spilling all over the road with your hair flattened by the rain has to be better than going on another day, getting stared at by everyone who's waiting for you to hurry up and shoot yourself already.

He'd gone the only place he knew where to go after that – Veronica. She had already sold him out once, but somehow, he wasn't looking for his girlfriend Veronica; the one he felt so betrayed by. No, he was looking for what was left of his past – now Lilly was dead and Duncan wasn't speaking to him. He had killed that old Veronica, but she had been so sweet and forgiving, and he needed the ghost of that to help heal his wounds.

He turned the radio on just for white noise to drown out the ear-splitting sound of his own pulse. He wound up driving to Veronica's house with his ribs splitting apart in his chest and the image of Lilly and Aaron – him fucking her; him killing her – examining each and every brain cell, before throwing it into the sea.

Veronica just looked at him when he got there; lay him across her knees like Jesus and the Madonna. All was forgiven, if only for a moment. He told her he knew he didn't do it, and hoped she believed him, because he sure as hell didn't. But then the cops came clamoring for him too – that ex of Veronica's, just because the fucking thing wasn't complicated enough already – and it struck him as funny: arrested for murder, twice in a day.

He got off on the charges – and tried like hell to pretend he knew that was right – and he and Veronica got together again. They tried to pretend things were normal too. But his general lunacy got the better of him, and maybe when he was beating a PCHer to a pulp or watching the community pool burn, it felt like the world was fitting into patterns he actually understood.

But that had lost him Veronica, and just about any hope of salvation he once had. He really missed his mother then. When she was alive, he could always make himself feel better about his wildly destructive nature by comparing himself to her – woman-shaped pile of ashes in the corner of his house. He loved her, and he still misses her, but his mother was a zombie and he always used to feel better when he realized he wasn't like her. However, once she was physically dead by her own hand, the only thing he could think was that she had escaped and he was still stuck here. "Free at last," indeed.

He's thinking of his mother – and Veronica, and Lilly, and Dad, and Felix, and even a little the Casablancas family, but mostly his mother – when he pulls himself to the bathroom cabinet, which is still littered with her painkillers and sleeping pills and (obviously worthless) antidepressants. Such round, perfect white pills – they can do so much damage.

It strikes him as funny; he always thought his mom would die on pills – subtle, easy to get to, and quiet – whereas he would be the more likely one to jump thousands of feet (or however high the Coronado Bridge actually is) into freezing water on impulse. However, he also thought he was more likely than his father to fuck Lilly Kane until she screamed, so maybe he doesn't get his family as well as he thought.

He pours the pills onto his hand; white and pastel pinks and yellows, so soothing. Little words inscribed on each pill, like miniature epitaphs. Here lies Logan Echolls, a fuck-up and an arsonist and a shit boyfriend and a murderer's son and a possible murder himself; let the stupid bastard get some peace because his whining is sure as hell pissing the rest of us off up here.

Something flickers in his head – the sight of Duncan trying to comfort him, the sound of his own muffled sobs into Veronica's arms – and he suddenly flings the pills across the room.

No. He won't be like his mother. She was weak and she was selfish and she was broken, and she abandoned him in time for everything to really go to hell. He'll just get through tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. He'll get his devil-may-care attitude and world-class snark down pat; lash out actually like he's expected to at anyone who dares challenge him. He'll embrace this poor little rich boy cliche for everything it's worth.

And maybe cliches will be cliches for a reason. Maybe, if he follows this set out plan, someday he'll be okay.