Chapter 3

Logan is standing on the door step of a pretty yellow and white house. It has window planters that were once full of brightly blooming flowers, but the flowers are all dying now, and slumped over. Logan runs his hands down his thighs, wiping the nervous sweat from his hands away and knocks on the door.

From inside he can hear Veronica running down the stairs. She opens the door dressed in shorts and a tank top her hair piled on top of her head to try to keep cool on the hot spring day. She looks surprised to see him.

"Logan?" Her tone says she is surprised.

He smiles easily, looking inside for her father, the town's sheriff and a no nonsense one at that. "Yeah, we said today, right?"

Logan had asked her to help him study for their science test. Science was Logan's least favorite subject, and Veronica managed to get A's in all her classes.

She bites her lip adorably, looking both happy and still questioning. "I didn't think you got up before noon on weekends unless you had something to do."

He enters the house and she shuts the door leaning back against it, still regarding him curiously.

"Yeah, I do have something to do today," he says with a shrug, his head ducked down.

She looks disappointed. "OK, how much time do we have? And have you even done any of the reading?" She walks towards the living room where her books are already spread out, but hidden under her breakfast plate and a few bottles on nail polish. The TV is on and tuned to MTV.

Logan puts himself right behind her, close enough to feel the heat radiate off her small body and smell the scent of her shampoo from her still shower damp hair, so when he talks his words startle her. "This is what I have to do today. Studying and hanging out with you."

She takes a few hasty steps away from him, putting a few feet between them. They had spent a lot of time alone together over the past few months, but as Veronica's feelings for Logan changed, she had lost her sense of ease about having him close to her.

Logan frequently surprised Veronica, and he succeeded again as she smiles up at him, pleased but also feeling a bit shy under his direct gaze. She blinks and becomes more businesslike. "Well, good, 'cause you, my friend, have a lot of catching up to do." Logan watches her face and wonders at her internal dialogue.

Veronica makes an effort to keep her tone and actions friendly and casual. Nothing more. She kept reminding herself with in internal mantra, Logan was her friend, nothing more. Just her friend.

-Flashback

09er party from the night before.

Veronica enters the party with Casey, his hand on her back, guiding her. She looks down self consciously as seemingly everyone at the party turns to look at them. The gossiping and conversation picks up speed and volume.

Casey leads her over to a group of his friends, guys that Veronica barely knows. They're a year ahead of her in school, and while they had all partied together for the last few years, Veronica has never paid them much attention. Their conversation loses her interest and her gaze wanders around the party, smiling at friends like Meg, grinning at Lilly who is doing shots and terrorizing Beaver, but her smile fades when her gaze collides with Duncan's. He is staring at her, but it is a blank stare, as if he is surprised. Veronica turns her head away from him. Maybe he is surprised, she thought bitterly. He liked to pretend Veronica didn't exist, maybe actually seeing her was a shock.

Her eyes continue to look around the party. She tells herself she's just looking, seeing what everyone is up to, but she knows it is a lie. She's looking for Logan. Wondering if he's here with someone. She had heard a rumor that he was ready to move on after Lilly, and get a real girlfriend, instead of his numerous and short lived hookups. Finally she finds him, standing with Dick, Rams, Chester, and Luke. They're all laughing and having fun. Veronica looks wistful, wishing she was with them, but she is here with Casey, and she forces herself to turn her attention back to him after reassuring herself that Logan wasn't paying any particular attention to any one girl.

-End Flashback

Smiling at her, Logan sits down on the couch, right in the middle so she will have to sit close to him on either side in order for them to study together. She sits down and opens her book, but after they've only been studying for a few minutes finds herself staring at his mouth and wondering what it would be like to kiss him.

Logan asks her a question and is puzzled to see her blush. When she stands up hastily and walks to the kitchen rambling about how hot it is and would he like a glass of water, Logan's gaze changes from unsure to confident.

Sometime later, Logan catches Veronica staring at him again. He sits back in the couch, and smiles at her. "What?" He asks with a mischievous smile.

"Nothing," she replies, but there is a clear discomfort in her tone.

Logan laughs lightly. "Come on Veronica, I've known you for 4 years, I know that look, and it's not nothing."

She bites her lip, considering her question and if she should ask it, but Logan waits her out, calmly holding her stare. "Are you and Lilly getting back together?" She blurts out.

Logan is a bit taken aback, but answers quickly. "No."

"Oh, I guess, I thought I saw you two talking last night. I thought you might be working it out."

His tone is adamant. "No. I told you before, Lilly and I are over. We're trying to be friends, but that's it. That's all it will ever be from now on."

-Flashback

Previous night. Veronica is standing with Casey, they are a bit away from everyone else, talking, and Veronica is surprised to find that Casey is actually a nice guy and capable of holding a decent conversation. She had always thought he was an over privileged jackass, not too unlike Logan, but without Logan's humor and loyalty.

But for that night at least Casey was being a gentleman, getting her drinks, including her in conversations with his friends, asking her about her interests. She realized she didn't know him that well, and he defiantly didn't know much about her outside of her friendship with Lilly. She tries to focus on him, tries to let herself like him as more than a friend, but again her eyes are drawn to Logan. The boy she can never have.

She smiles ruefully. Maybe she was more like Lilly than she had ever thought. Wanting Logan, wanting what she couldn't have. Though Lilly would never consider anything beyond her reach, but the thought that something was only added to her desire to have it. Veronica finds him again easily, having been keeping track of him all night unconsciously.

Her expression changes from wistful to hurt as she sees him standing with Lilly.

Lilly. Her best friend. Her sister. And the love of Logan's life. They had been broken up since September, and Veronica had actually begun to think that it would stick this time. They had even played good-natured April Fools jokes on each other just a few weeks earlier without resorting to all out warfare.

But there they were together, obviously in an intense conversation. Hurt flowed through Veronica, and she bit her lip, looking back up at Casey as he reached out and touched her shoulder. She smiles up at him, and tries to convince herself that Casey is a viable option. He's not Logan, but then no one is. No one but Logan. And she could never have him. But she could, apparently, have Casey.

-End Flashback

Veronica smiles brightly, obviously fake, and replies with a light tone. "OK, I was just wondering. I mean if you two got back together, that would kinda leave me at loose ends, since I'm single."

"What about Casey?" He asks with a serious tone.

She shrugs. "I'm not sure Casey is the right person for me to date."

Logan frowns. "What does that mean? Did he do something?"

Veronica laughs lightly, amused at Logan's protectiveness. "No, and when would he have had the opportunity?"

Logan is not appeased, and lists off a series of opportunities that Casey had to be alone with her. "When he picked you up. On the drive over. At the party. On the way home. When he dropped you off."

"You make it sound like Casey is some kind of pervert or sex offender," she says lightly.

"Maybe he is."

Veronica laughs. "Come on, Casey? He's...surprisingly nice."

Logan doesn't look happy with that assessment.

-Flashback

Party. Veronica had almost succeeded in convincing herself to give up on the idea of Logan once and for all when she feels his gaze on her. She looks up and their eyes lock, she tries to smile. They are friends after all, but she knows she doesn't look happy. She can't help but wish that things were different.

Logan keeps his eyes locked on Veronica but says something to Lilly. Whatever she says sends him marching off, and Veronica watches as Lilly smiles with satisfaction.

Logan doesn't make a reappearance for some time, and Veronica thought maybe he'd left the party. A quick check shows that Lilly is still there, and she feels a brief moment of relief. Being around Logan and his flavor of the week girls was easier than the thought of feeling the way she did about him now and watching him and Lilly resume their tempestuous relationship.

"Hey Ronica, I brought you a drink. Skist, your favorite." Logan's voice startles her and she turns to find him standing there, a beer in one hand and a can of Skist in the other.

She smiles. "Hey Logan," she says as she accepts the drink and sets down the diet Coke Casey had gotten for her. She hated diet sodas.

He smiles at her but his gaze slides to Casey. "Casey."

"Was'up Logan?"

Logan's smile to Casey resembles a shark. "You know, the usual."

Veronica expected Logan to say hello, then go back to his friends, or the gaggle of adoring girls that seemed to follow him around at parties, waiting to be picked for one special night with Logan Echolls. But he doesn't. He spends the rest of the party with Veronica and Casey, seemingly happy to hang out with them for the duration. Veronica frowns up at him unsure of his motives when he maneuvers them so they are sitting around the fire pit and Logan makes sure Veronica is sitting next to him on a bench that only fits two comfortably, leaving Casey to stand or sit in another chair.

Logan tells several stories about their friendship over the years, and Veronica smiles and laughs at the memories, all the more bittersweet now because of the fact that Lilly and Duncan were her siblings and her newfound feelings for Logan, who had proven to be a steady and stalwart friend over the last few months.

When Duncan had first broken up with her Veronica had been hurt and confused, and the fact that Logan was also mad at her for revealing that he'd kissed another girl at a party, leading to another breakup with Lilly had not helped. But once Logan got over it, and began to get over Lilly he had resumed their friendship, and refused to let her claims that everything was different now change things between them.

Veronica might not fully understand Logan's motivation for sticking by her side, but Casey did. He recognized jealousy when he saw it, and Logan wasn't trying all that hard to hide it.

-End Flashback

"Are you going to see him again?" Logan asks with anger filling his voice.

Veronica frowns. "I'm sure I will, we do go to school together."

"No, I mean on a date."

"I don't know," she replies noncommittally. "Shouldn't we get back to studying?"

"What if someone else asked you out?" He asks doggedly.

"I don't know Logan. I guess it would depend on who it was."

Logan stares at her and she wants to look away but she is held tight by the amount of emotion on display in his eyes. She wants to be light and easy with him, she doesn't want these new feelings to threaten their friendship. Not when his friendship had been the only constant thing in her life for the last few months.

-Flashback

After Duncan broke up with her, Veronica was hurt. When days passed and she was still none the wiser to his reason, confusion supplanted the hurt, and quickly moved to anger and disappointment. Obviously she had been wrong about Duncan. She had thought he was a good guy, one of the only ones at their school, but apparently she was wrong.

Not long after Duncan began his campaign of looking through Veronica like she wasn't there even when she was right in front of him, rumors had started flowing like wildfire. The story started with the accusation that Veronica had cheated on Duncan. It quickly blew up to Veronica cheating on Duncan for several months and giving him as STD. When that story got old, another cheating rumor cast Lilly as the other woman, and had Duncan walking in to catch them in flagrante.

Within a week people who had always been nice to Veronica before glared at her in the hallways, wrote nasty things about her on her locker and in the school bathrooms. She was taunted and teased, though never when Lilly was around. Finally, two weeks after Duncan suddenly developed Veronica related amnesia, Logan had fallen in step with her in the hall after last bell, demanding that she come hang out with him that weekend.

The wolves had backed off instantly, and Veronica was glad to have Logan back. She quickly discovered that he was as in the dark as she was to Duncan's recent actions. The first few times they hung out together, just the two of them, were awkward. In their years of friendship, they had always had the Kane siblings between them, so finding out who they were by themselves had taken a little time.

Even as she had begun to change, lose some of her sweetness, naiveté and innocence his only response had been to tease her more, and act even more protective. She had never told him, but his presence had been one of the only things that had gotten her through the last few months.

Finding out her father was not Keith Mars the man who had always loved her and always made her feel safe, had only been made more traumatizing by the revelation that her biological father was Jake Kane, the father of her best friend and ex-boyfriend. Figuring out that her mother had been carrying on the affair for years, and had never had the courage to find out if Veronica was really Keith's or Jake's just made it worse. She had been proud of her family, secure within their threesome. To find out it was all a lie shattered her complacency and sense of security. Putting the facts together she had one more shock coming, Lilly had known for months before telling her. Months.

Dealing with the fact that Lilly was her sister and had kept this information from her until January, and having to live with the disgust that came with the knowledge that Duncan, her only serious boyfriend, was also her half brother had changed Veronica. Though maybe for the better. She felt less of a need to please her parents and the Kane siblings now. And that meant she was free to find out who she was.

And though Logan didn't know any of it, he sensed the changes in her, and let her change, never altering his friendship for her. It was comforting. Then her feelings had started to change, and acting as if everything was the same when really, everything had changed made her uncomfortable in her own skin, and that discomfort increased in direct proportion to Logan's nearness.

-End Flashback

She smiles at Logan reassuringly. "Logan, it's no big deal, if I date someone or not, we're still always going to be friends, right?"

She is confident of her statement until she sees his frown. His frown that goes on and on as he stares at her. She starts to feel uncomfortable, and her eyes skitter off his face to somewhere over his right shoulder, no longer so sure of their friendship.

His tone is deep and serious when he finally responds. "What if I was the one who asked you out?"

Her mouth falls open, hope flaring in her eyes. Then she forces herself to calm down. She smiles at him, but it is not a happy smile, it is something darker. "Logan you can't do that." His eyes sharpen obviously about to protest that he can.

She continues, "You can't pretend to be dating me just so no one else asks me out."

He frowns at her darkly, "What?"

"I know that you seem to think that I'm too naive or stupid to know who is a good boyfriend prospect or not, but I'm a big girl, I can handle it."

"No-," he begins, but she interrupts.

"You're a great guy Logan, a fantastic friend, but, it's ridiculous to have you running interference for me with all the guys at school."

"I'm not – "

Again she doesn't let him finish. "Look me in the eye and tell me you haven't made it clear that anyone who asks me out will have to go through you."

She looks at him, her expression annoyed, but also tinged with humor. Honestly, she didn't mind Logan acting like her big brother in this particular capacity. She didn't want to date anyone else anyway.

He stares her in the eye, taking hold of her shoulders, his dark eyes intense on her face. "The reason I've made it clear to those assholes that you're off limits is because I don't want you to date one of them. I want you to date me."

Her mouth falls open again, and this time is stays open. Logan watches her face for any signs of rejection, but finds only stunned disbelief and maybe a bit of hope.

She finally manages to pick her jaw up off the floor. "You..."

"Yeah." His reply is brief, because he is moving closer to her, leaning down towards her. Finally his mouth meets hers, his lips rubbing lightly over hers. She gasps a little, sucking in air and Logan smiles in satisfaction seeing her eyes flutter closed and her body relax into his hands. He commits to the kiss, closing his own eyes and sliding his mouth over hers fully, tasting and tugging on her soft pink lips.

Logan drags the kiss out, taking his time, seducing her with a slow deliberateness that leaves her breathless when he finally pulls away.

"Does that clear things up for you, Mars?"

She stares at him, still processing this latest twist.

"Should I explain it to you again?" He teases.

She blinks at him, her eyes closing and opening rapidly, not in the obvious flirty way, but from real surprise. She had never really allowed herself to think that Logan could return her feelings. But as he kisses her again, she lets herself believe.

Breaking the kiss again, before it goes too far, Veronica already half in his lap with their arms wrapped tightly around each other, Logan grins at her, his smile open and innocent. He smoothes her hair back off her forehead, pulling the stick that was holding it up away and letting the blonde strands fall around her shoulders. She moves to comb her fingers through her hair self consciously, still not used to the new haircut. Logan stops her and eases his own fingers into the fine golden strands, feeling the coolness of her still damp hair cling to his fingers before sliding free.

"I think you should say yes and let me take you out to show off your new do." He says temptingly.

"It's not new anymore," she denies. Her hair is now cut into layers, the back reaching just past her shoulders and in the front just touching her collarbones. Her bangs were growing out and until they got longer, she had been wearing it up in fun, edgy twists and spirals.

"You didn't answer my question."

She stares at him, then bites her lower lip and smiles up at him. "Yes."

-AN

Writing Veronica here is a lot different than I'm used to. Logan too, they're both more innocent and lighter here that on the show or in my other stories. It's interesting. A lot of you were asking for V's point of view so I hope this fulfills that. I think there might be a few more chapters in this story so stay tuned...