Story: Philotes was the Spirit (Daimona) of Friendship in Greek mythology. AU story of LoVe. What would happen if Veronica had been there for Logan at his mother's funeral?

Logan looks out the blackened window of the limousine and watches the crowd of well dressed people exiting their cars and walking to the grave site. They are probably anxious to witness the second act of the show. This is just the intermission. It's too bad his father didn't think to serve drinks during the intermission. After all they have a reputation to keep up; the Echolls are the best entertainers around.

His mother's funeral service was just the first act. The setting was befitting a huge production; the largest church in Neptune. The inside of the church was ornate and cold like his mother's beautiful white empty casket. Really he had to congratulate the director/ funeral planner his father hired. There was an abundance of beautiful flowers and mourners absolutely filled the church. The music properly set the mood; the organist playing absolutely beautiful, soul wrenching hymns that were apparently his mother's favorite. There was even a girls' choir to sing; their sweet voices echoing throughout the cathedral.

His father as the producer had definitely outdone himself; spared no expense. He had even taken on a major starring role. He had entered from stage left, dashing and handsome and so very devastated by the loss of the only woman he had ever loved. When he had talked about their love, there wasn't a dry eye in the building. Aaron Echolls was in the role of his career and if the reaction of the audience to the first act was any indication, he was going to get a standing ovation at the end.

He looks at all of the people there and wonders again why none of the hundreds of people there who claim to have loved his mother ever noticed her pain or tried to help her. All the public sees is the handsome actor who found the love of his life and had two children. They certainly don't see a womanizing bastard who beats his son and drove his wife to the bottle, pills and finally to the Coronado Bridge. Bitterly he thinks about how most of the women there would have changed places with his mother in a heartbeat and many had sex with his father just for the opportunity to be near the great Aaron Echolls.

His attention goes to a lone young girl walking. He feels the pain in his chest ease somewhat as he recognizes Veronica walking towards the grave site. She is wearing a plain black dress with a scooped neckline. He remembers how his mother liked Veronica and how Veronica liked his mother. Despite the fact he had ostracized her and led her torment, she had quietly come to pay her respects. Out of all the people there, she might be one of the only ones who is actually there to say goodbye to someone she cared about. He knows she is not there to see him or his father or the idiotic spectacle of the funeral service.

Logan dutifully gets out of the limosine and stands beside his father while the pallbearers carry his mother's coffin to the gravesite. He has his shades on and his face is a mask of calm. Logan walks beside his father and listens as his father greets the dignitaries that have a place of honor at his mother's graveside.

Although Logan only has a bit part in this show, he feels his stomach roll as he follows the pallbearers towards his mother's final resting place. He feels his face flush and the sweat break out on his forehead.

He tells himself that it will be over soon; to take slow deep breaths; that his mother isn't even in the coffin, but none of it helps. As he nears the gravesite, he feels the anxiety rise in his chest closing off his throat making it difficult to breathe. He can't do this! He can't play his role. He didn't audition for this. He is not an actor. He doesn't want this part that has been thrust upon him. He can't distance himself from the pain enough to stand there and listen to anymore platitudes. He can't watch her empty casket be lowered into the ground. He can't listen to any more people talk about his mother; pretending to have some insight on her feelings and rationale for jumping off the bridge. He can't listen to any more people talk about how he will move on and how much his mother loved his father, Trina and him. He can't listen to anyone else tell him that he is lucky he has a father who loves him and they can get through this together. He can't listen to any more people talk about their loss now his mother is gone and how much pain they are in. He has to get out of there. He can't do this.

He looks around frantically and sees that he could leave out the back of the cemetery. He would have to walk past the hundreds of mourners sitting around the grave but that is doable if he can get away.

Of course he knows if he leaves he will face his father's anger and the tabloids would be full of discussions about his disrespect towards his mother. The fallout would be huge but maybe it would just be the plot twist that is needed for this play.

For that split second he lets himself dream of walking down the isle and just continuing on; leaving Neptune, leaving his father; just leaving.

Looking longingly up the isle he sees Veronica sitting in the last row of chairs. She is sitting quietly, away from every one. He parts from his father and walks down the isle to where Veronica is seated. He can't leave but he can adlib his part a little. He stops in front of her and looks down at her. She is looking up at him. He can see the sympathy in her eyes as she looks at him but she says nothing. He reaches up and pulls of his sunglasses and puts them into the pocket of his suit jacket. Meeting her gaze he puts out his hand and waits while she processes he wants her to come with him. After a small hesitation, she puts her hand in his and allows him to pull her to stand beside him. Without speaking, he turns and walks with her to his place at the front.

There is room for Veronica because Trina has not come home for the funeral. Logan sits beside his father and Veronica, with her hand still clasped firmly in Logan's, is forced to sit beside him. 'There is the plot twist that is needed to make this performance really memorable,' he thinks.

The audience is left wondering why the son has gone and got the petit blond to sit with him. Who is she and how does she fit in this plot of this play? What is her character motivation? Inwardly Logan smirks as he thinks about the reaction of the audience to this new plot twist.

Logan knows the tabloids are going to make a big deal of his bringing Veronica to the front of the service. He knows his classmates are going to wonder what is going on between them. He knows Duncan who is sitting in the row behind him, is going to ask him what is going on between his ex and his best friend. He knows his father is wondering why Logan would want Veronica to sit with him. Right now he doesn't care about any of that. He wants someone who really liked his mother to be there. He needs Veronica's strength and quiet way right now. He wants to hold onto her tiny hand and feel someone real beside him. Veronica Mars sees him; she doesn't care about the glamour, the money or how famous his parents are. She is the daughter of the ex sheriff and an alcoholic mother and she makes no apologies about that. Right now she is the buoy in his stormy sea. He is going to hang on to her until he is not afraid of drowning.

Logan is right in that the media is very interested in the girl Logan is sitting with. When they discover she was Lilly Kane's best friend and is Keith Mars' daughter, the story becomes very interesting.

Veronica, sitting beside Logan, feels his hand contract when the priest talks about how much Lynn was loved by her husband, son and adopted daughter. She doesn't know if he is agreeing she was loved or upset that Aaron and Trina are put in the same category as him. She thinks it is the latter.

She is really uncomfortable sitting at the front. She can feel the interest of the press, mourners and especially feels the set of six Kane eyes boring into her back as they sit in the row behind the Echolls; their wealth ensuring them a place of honor.

So she sits quietly without expression on her face and she allows Logan to hold on to her and take strength from her. For some reason she doesn't understand he has chosen to hold onto her. She knows right now he needs her and she knows that despite how poor their relationship is at the present time, she won't say no.

Logan sitting beside Veronica focuses on her tiny hand that is dwarfed in his larger one. If he concentrates on the feel of her hand, warmth of her body next to him and the smell of her perfume, he can make it through Act 2. When his father stands, Logan stands and pulls Veronica to stand beside him. He lets go of her hand when it is his turn to walk to the graveside and throw in a handful of dirt. He feels Veronica put her hand on his arm, stopping him. He pauses and looks over at her. Meeting his gaze, she lifts her hand offering Logan the red rose she brought. It is as if she understands he doesn't want to throw dirt on his mother, even if he knows she is not there. He silently takes the rose from her and walks over to the grave. The crowd is touched as he kisses the rose and gently tosses it on top of her casket where it rests at the bottom of the freshly dug grave. He stands quietly for a few seconds with his head bowed while the crowd watches the last moment between the famous actress and her only child. Without meeting anyone's gaze, he walks back and stands beside Veronica. He takes her hand and watches quietly while the funeral goers walk silently up the grave to pay their last respects. He stands quietly holding Veronica's hand and waits for the signal to walk to the limo.

Act 2 is almost over. After this next intermission, he only has to get through Act 3. The scene will open with all the mourners in the magnificent Echolls' mansion. In his minor role, he only has go through the farce of listening to strangers tell him how he should act, how he should feel, what they feel, how great his father is and how much his father loved his mother.

Logan looks at all the people lined up to walk past his mother's casket and he thinks about all of them and perhaps more arriving at his house to talk to him. His heart races and his breathing quickens. There is no way he can do this. Why are these people here? They don't know him or his mother. Most of them just want to see the spectacle of Aaron Echolls grieving. God why is his father having this huge open funeral?

Logan realizes that Veronica must have noticed his increased stress level as she is looking at him in question. He is amazed that after all this time; she can still read his thoughts and body posture. He meets her gaze for a meaningful moment and then shakes his head a little. She gives a tiny nod and gently squeezes his hand turning to look back at the people walking past Lynn Echolls' grave.

The moment between them is noticed by Duncan and many of the press who are sitting off to the side. What the audience sees is the new character/love interest for the son being a loving and supportive girlfriend. What Duncan sees is his ex-girlfriend holding hands and having non verbal communication with his best friend. It is an intimate gesture made between good friends or lovers.

Logan dutifully goes to the limosine once he gets the signal from the planner. He walks quietly beside Veronica. They don't talk to each other and neither stops to talk to anyone else on the way to the limo. Logan lets go of her hand and gently puts his hand on her back to assist her into the limo ahead of him. Once inside he gestures for her to sit in the middle seat with him. He sits directly beside her and they wait for Aaron to arrive.

Sitting next to him she feels the tension in him. He seems all quiet on the outside but she knows the inside is more chaotic and boiling. The only outward sign that he was not calm is that restless tapping of his fingers on his knee. She knows Logan. He is waiting to blow and by the looks of it, it is going to be a huge eruption. It won't take much to set him off and then the villagers will need to run for their lives.

So she did what she used to do when he was really upset, she hugged him. She leans in and wraps her arms around him under his suit jacket. She puts her head on his chest and holds him close to her. Logan stays still for a second and then wraps his arms around her small frame hugging her tightly to him. He rests his chin on the top of her head. He had forgotten how perfectly she fits in his arms. He sighs quietly and Veronica can feel some of the tension leave his body with his sigh. They stay like that; Veronica giving Logan strength and Logan gratefully accepting her warmth and touch.

When the limo door opens for Aaron to get in, the public and the paparazzi gets a quick glimpse of Logan and Veronica holding each other. It is a picture that will hold a place of honor in a lot of tabloids over the next week. It is the picture of an obviously grieving son being comforted by his girlfriend.

Aaron sits back in his seat and says, "Hello Veronica."

She looks at Logan's father pulling slightly away from Logan. She says quietly, "Hello Mr. Echolls."

Aaron looks at his son holding the petite blond and comments questioningly, "I didn't realize you two were dating."

Logan keeps one arm around Veronica holding her close to him. He reaches up and runs his fingers through his hair, "It's a relatively new event."

Aaron looks at the couple and says in a slightly accusing tone, "If you had told me, I would have made arrangements for Veronica to sit with us at the church service."

Logan looks at his father and explains, "I thought it was too early in our relationship for Veronica to be exposed to the paparazzi but ..." He shrugs and doesn't finish his thought.

Aaron nods at his son as if he understands and says, "I'm glad you have someone to support you."

Logan nods back at his father and listens as his father talks about all the dignitaries that made it to the funeral and how gratified he is so many people wanted to come.

Veronica watches a little incredulously as Aaron Echolls is almost giddy at how well the funeral is going.

Logan sees Veronica's distaste for his father's discussion of who came to the funeral. He feels Veronica's tiny hand rubbing his back under his suit jacket and is grateful she sees and understands his frustration with his father's preoccupation with the media and celebrities. Logan wishes they could have had a small private funeral with real emotions; not a three act play with his father as the star and him as part of the supporting cast.

As they drive towards the mansion, Logan feels his tension increase. He doesn't know if he can walk around talking to everyone and listening to their fake condolences. His arm tightens around Veronica and she looks up at him in concern. She meets his gaze and sees his unspoken entreaty not to leave him alone. She puts her hand up and gently caresses his cheek. She says very quietly, "You can do this… for your mom."

Logan meets her gaze and then nods. He leans down and puts his forehead to hers and says, "Thank you Ronnie."

Aaron watching from across the limo can't hear what they are saying but sees their interaction and sees the closeness. He thinks that Veronica may be good for Logan.

A couple of hours later Aaron brings Logan a plate of food making a big show of his concern for his son. Veronica, seeing the shrimp on the plate and Logan's impending anger that is father doesn't know he is allergic to them, deftly intercedes between them taking the plate from Logan and pulling him away from the situation. She says, "Logan you have to come and meet Mrs. Stone. She was on the soap with your mom in New York when she started out." She looks back to Aaron and the people he is standing with and reassures the, "I'll make sure he eats this. Thanks."

Logan allows Veronica to pull him from the situation with his father and dutifully goes over and talks to Mrs. Stone who does have some funny stories about his mother and some of the things that happened in front of a live studio audience.

Duncan watching sees Veronica discretely dump the plate with the shrimp into the nearest trash ensuring that Logan will not be expected to eat any seafood. She hands Logan a glass of punch which he sips and then gets a look of surprise on his face that he quickly masks. Veronica smiles up at him with an innocent expression on her face. Duncan can see she has added some liquor. He sees Logan's grateful smile as he sips his punch and listens to Mrs. Stone's stories.

Duncan is torn. He is happy that Logan has someone helping him today. He knows Logan loved his mother and has a rocky relationship with his father and Trina. On the other hand he can't let go of the idea that Veronica belongs to him. He knows they can't be together but he still loves her. He watches their comfort level together and wonders at it. He remembers how Logan went and got her during the graveside service and how he held onto her like he is never going to let her go. He thinks there may be more to their relationship than he knows.

Veronica standing beside Logan can see his fatigue and she wonders how much longer the crowd is going to linger. She had found a few of Lynn's real friends and had steered Logan to them. He had listened to their stories of his mother and she knew he had enjoyed hearing about her younger days and some of the stories of her first acting experiences. Veronica had interceded when someone got overly touchy and when they effused too much about Aaron and how much he loved Lynn. She had easily drawn him away with a quick apology and had taken him somewhere safer.

Logan sways a little and Veronica decides that he has done his duty. In a break in the conversation with a few of Lynn Echolls' cast mates, she puts her hand on his chest and says very sweetly, "Logan can we step outside for a few minutes. I am finding it a little stuffy in here."

Logan immediately puts his hand on her back and says caringly, "Sure Ronnie. Let's go for a short walk." Veronica looks up at him gratefully and they excuse themselves and walk out the patio door together. Logan takes a deep breath once they are outside and says, "Thanks, I don't know how much longer I would have made it in there."

Veronica pulls him to the pool and she gestures to the hammock. She says, "Why don't you rest here for a few minutes?"

"That sounds great." He pulls her over to the hammock and he sits down on the edge. As he lays back he pulls Veronica into his arms and she squeals as she lands on his chest and the hammock swings making her feel like she is going to fall out. She puts her arms around Logan hanging on to him as the hammock sways. She looks up annoyed only to see him laughing at her reaction. She meets his gaze and says a little indignantly, "You scared me!"

Logan relaxes his head back and settles her into his arms. He says, "I wouldn't let you fall Mars."

Veronica settles her head onto his shoulder and loosens her arms from around his neck. She wiggles beside him a little trying to get more comfortable. After a few seconds she reaches over and sets his watch alarm to beep in 20 minutes. She says, "We'll go back in and talk with the stragglers."

Logan looks at her obviously not wanting to go back in. She says, 'If they don't leave, I'll get out my tazor."

He has to smile a little at the mental picture of Veronica threatening to tazor his father's friends. They lie together with the hammock swaying in the breeze. Both teens have their eyes closed and seem content to be together.

Duncan, Dick, Madison, Luke, Casey and the other 09ers come out on the patio looking for Logan. It takes them a minute to find him; none of them prepared for the sight of Veronica in Logan's arms. Upset Madison walks closer to the hammock and says, "Logan, how are you?"

He immediately opens his eyes, sees his 09er friends and says, "Hey"

Veronica's eyes have opened and she looks over at the 09ers. She sees expressions ranging from hate to shock to inquiry. She looks over to Logan and sees his fatigue and stress. Logan sits up pulling Veronica with him and holding her to his side as he easily swings his legs out of the hammock. He pulls Veronica up to stand beside him as he stands. He steadies her and then reaches over to shake the male 09er's hands. He lets go of Veronica to briefly hug each 09er girl. Without much expression he listens to their talk of how sorry they are and he thanks them for coming. Very politely he tells them he can't think of anything they can do for him. Finally he reaches over and grasps Veronica's hand and says, "I have to go back in and mingle. How about I call you tomorrow and maybe we can go surfing or something?"

Faced with his open choice to have Veronica stay by his side, the 09er girls reluctantly say goodbye to Logan. The guys all agree to meet at the beach the next day and they leave saying a general goodbye to Logan. He watches as they leave and he sighs. Turning to his best friend he says, "DK man, thanks for being here."

Duncan looks at his best friend and answers sincerely, "Whatever you need."

Logan looks towards the house and notices there are still a lot of people there. He looks back at his friend and says, "I can't believe she's gone." His voice breaks at the end.

Duncan nods and agrees, "Me either."

Veronica excuses herself to go inside ahead of Logan giving him time alone with Duncan. Logan gently pulls her back and says, "I'll come with you." He looks over at his best friend and says, "Duty calls. Can I call you later?"

Duncan nods and says, "Sure." He looks at Veronica but she is not meeting his gaze.

Logan looks down at Veronica and says, "Let's go back in Ronnie." Veronica looks up at him and nods her agreement. Without comment, she walks into the house with Logan.

Aaron sees Logan walk back in with Veronica and goes over to talk to them. He was not impressed when he saw them leave but noticed they were only gone a few minutes. He says, "Where did you go?"

Veronica intervenes deflecting the potential conflict, "Mr. Echolls, it got so stuffy in here so Logan took me out on the patio for a few minutes."

Immediately concerned, Aaron asks the tiny blond, "You are OK now?"

The middle aged woman standing by the door comments a little dryly, "The Echolls' men sure take good care of their women, don't they?"

Veronica squeezes Logan's hand as he stiffens. Veronica looks at the woman and asks, "Aren't you Mrs. Patterson?"

The woman looks closer at Veronica and says, "I am."

Veronica pulls Logan closer and says, "Mrs. Patterson is Director of the Neptune Art Gallery." Logan looks at Veronica in surprise and dutifully shakes Mrs. Patterson's hand. Mrs. Patterson tells Logan that she sold his mother most of the paintings in her art collection.

Aaron breaks up their conversation by telling Logan he has someone for him to meet. Veronica gently hugs Logan and tells him she will catch up in a few minutes.

She talks to Mrs. Patterson for a few minutes and then she goes over and rescues Logan from Aaron's group of friends putting her hand on his back and sweetly telling him she has something to show him. He excuses himself and takes her hand walking with her away from the group.

Veronica turns to face him and pulls on their joined hand stopping him. She says, "Logan, Mrs. Patterson said something that got me to thinking."

He looks down at her and frowns a little at her tone. He asks, "How did you recognize her?"

Veronica says quietly, "She hired my dad." She waves her hand dismissingly, "Usual, cheating husband." Then she takes Logan's arm and pulls him to face her. She looks up at him. Logan looks at her and sees that she is excited about whatever she discovered.

Veronica looks around and sees that they are being watched. She says, "You know what? We'll talk about this another time."

Logan nods in agreement. Veronica can see he is dead tired. She says softly, "Is there a fire alarm I can pull?"

Logan smiles at her a little weakly. Concerned she says, "Let's go and sit somewhere where we are still at the reception but we can rest a little and people will leave us alone."

Looking around at the large number of people still mingling, he asks, "Where is this place called heaven?"

Veronica sees his point. The room is still crowded. She looks around and says, "I know just the place." Pulling on their joined hands she walks into the next room and finds a spot with two chairs by the piano. The man playing the piano nods his head at them. Automatically, he follows her and sits gratefully. Veronica leans in and whispers, "Now no one can talk to us because they can't be heard above the music."

Logan looks at her in surprise but sits back. Veronica sits next to Logan and leans onto his strong chest. He puts his arm around her back and relaxes back holding Veronica next to him. He listens to the soft music and realizes Veronica is right. No one can talk to them but they are both definitely at the reception. He feels some of the tension leave him as he sits holding her and watching the crowd of stragglers still wanting to be at the Echolls' mansion or near Aaron Echolls. He leans in and briefly kisses her forehead in thanks.

To those watching, Lynn Echolls' son has come into the room with his girlfriend and sat near the piano player. They are talking quietly together. It is obvious they get along well. He is relaxing listening to the music. The piano player is playing a medley of songs from his mother's movie career and the two young people seem to be enjoying it.

A half hour later most of the stragglers have left. Logan stands with Veronica and walks with a couple towards the door. He thanks them politely for coming. Aaron looks from his spot in the next room and is pleased at his son's flawless manners. He has no idea that Logan hasn't talked to anyone for the last half hour. He turns to his friends and says, "I am worried about Logan. He was very close to Lynn. I am hoping that Veronica and I can help him through this hard time." He listens as they tell him that Logan is lucky to have a father who cares so much about him. They all reassure him that together they will get through it. Aaron is pleased with how the day went and how well Logan handled himself.

A few minutes later Logan appears by Aaron's side. He says, "Dad, if it is OK, I am going to take Veronica home."

Aaron puts his hand on Logan's shoulder and says, "Sure son. I'll talk to you later."

Logan quietly answers, "OK Dad." He nods a general goodbye to all his father's friends and walks over to where he left Veronica by the door. He takes her hand and they go out the door towards the garage and Logan's car.

Logan breathes a sigh of relief when he and Veronica leave the mansion grounds. He drives down the street towards the beach. He is numb. He doesn't know what to think or feel right now. The only feeling he can identify is the real need to punch something.

"Are you hungry Logan?" his companion asks quietly.

He looks a little surprised as he thinks about her question. Finally he answers, "Not really."

Veronica nods in understanding. She says, "Before we break open this beauty…" Logan gapes as he notices her pull a bottle of Jack Daniels out of her messenger bag. She continues, "We should probably eat something."

Amazed, Logan says, "You are the best girlfriend ever."

Veronica laughs and questions, "Italian?"

Logan pretends to think and decides, "Pizza."

Veronica bounces a little in her seat and says, "Chao's?"

Logan smirks and agrees, "Sure."

Veronica looks at Logan and says, "What are we waiting for?"

Logan looks at Veronica and feels gratitude through to his soul. He needed her today and she has really come through for him. He turns the car towards Chao's. He hands Veronica his phone and says, "Call ahead."

She takes his phone and finds the number. Logan listens as she orders his favorite as well as breadsticks. He shakes his head that she remembered his favorite pizza. They didn't often have it as a group because Lilly hated it. Weird but now that he thinks about it, he remembers that she made it for him when she invited him over for dinner once when the Kanes were in Napa. Mr. Mars had commented that Mrs. Mars would have liked that pizza when she was pregnant with Veronica. They had all laughed. Veronica had shared the pizza with him while Mr. and Mrs. Mars had eaten the pepperoni pizza.

Logan sits in the back of his car with his legs stretched out over the tailgate. He looks out over the ocean. He sighs and takes a deep almost cleansing breath. He has taken off his jacket and tie. He's opened his dress shirt. He feels a lot more comfortable. He looks over and sees Veronica throwing away their supper. She had gotten extra cups with ice for their Jack Daniels as well as a few bottles of water for them to have with supper.

Logan surprisingly realized he hadn't eaten all day and he found he was hungry. He ate a good portion of the pizza and drank two bottles of water. After their meal, she had, without comment, passed him the bottle of Jack and the two cups of ice. He had poured them a drink and they had sat back against the back of the back seat and looked out the tailgate at the water. They were protected from onlookers but out in the fresh air. Logan thought it was perfect.

Veronica sits quietly watching the surfers, families building sandcastles and couples walking along the beach. She is content to wait and see if Logan wants to talk to her. She truly doubts he will talk to her; they aren't close anymore, but she will stay with him making sure he is safe and not alone.

The fact that Logan picked her to support him is a little surreal although she imagines that it is the past relationship she had with his mother that influenced him. That was why she went in the first place. Lynn had always been really nice to her and she wanted to pay her respects. She had watched the Aaron spectacle and had felt genuinely bad for Logan. She knew he loved his mother and would be angry and disappointed that his mother's funeral had turned into such a media event. He had seemed alone at the service. Veronica noted that Trina had not even made it.

Aaron's over the top eulogy made Veronica want to run up there and tazor him. She didn't know how Logan held back. The public had sure been eating up his act though. People were crying at his pain and talking about how strong and brave he was. She had almost gagged. She was amazed that most people couldn't see he was acting; and acting badly at that.

She had been sitting at the back of the graveside service and had looked up to see Logan standing there looking at her. He was dressed impeccably in his black suit. He was wearing dark sunglasses. She had looked up at him expecting him to ask her to leave; him to be offended she was even there, but he had put out his hand.

Logan had stood quietly beside her while the large groups of mourners filed past and Veronica had gritted her teeth at the amount of people crying. She had squeezed his hand in reflex at a woman who was particularly obnoxious with her crying. She was almost as horrible an actress as Aaron was an actor. Logan had given a small smirk at her reaction to the woman and had schooled his features back into indifference.

Veronica had planned to sneak off and get a taxi home once they arrived at the Echolls' mansion but Logan had looked at her, his big brown eyes begging her to not leave him alone. She could see that although Logan was handling everything well, he was really close to losing his cool.

So she had stayed with him and tried to make things easier for him. It wasn't easy. It was weird but all these strangers felt like they knew Logan; probably because he grew up in the tabloids. They wanted to talk to him, give him sympathy and advice. She tried to intercede when someone got too effusive or touchy. Then Aaron tried to get Logan to eat seafood. Hopefully he was just grieving and forgot Logan's seafood allergy. Somehow though she doubted he even remembered Logan's allergy. When Logan was hospitalized, Aaron was on location and made no attempt to even really check on Logan. Veronica remembers how she thought about how lucky she was to have her father. The get together at the Echolls' mansion seemed to last for hours.

Although she didn't understand it, Logan had needed to be touching her. Everyone assumed she was his girlfriend and he had said nothing to refute their assumptions. He had not let go of her even when she wanted him to rest in the hammock for a few minutes. He had pulled her down beside him and held her. Not sure of what to do she had lied next to him, her body practically on his. He had not let go of her when his 09er friends and Duncan were there. She had tried to sneak off when he was talking with Duncan but he had held on to her; keeping her with him. Who knows what the 09ers were thinking or what Duncan thought of Logan keeping her with him? Really she decided, it wasn't her problem. None of them were her friends and Duncan had dumped her without an explanation so his thoughts were not her problem either.

Logan had visibly relaxed when his Xterra had left the mansion. He had obviously not wanted to go back home. Veronica decided that she would use this time to make sure he ate. She knew he was going to go somewhere and drink himself into oblivion so she had snuck a bottle of Jack Daniels and had decided to look after Logan while he drank. He had been surprised but had accepted her help gratefully.

Now sitting sipping the Jack Daniels with her stomach full of pizza, Veronica felt content. She would look after Logan and take him home when he was drunk and close to passing out. Then she would go home and things would get back to normal. She loved sitting at the beach watching the people and the ocean. She thought about Logan never seeing his mother again and she wondered if her mother was even alive.

Logan looks out over the water and finally lets the tension of the day leave his muscles. His mother's funeral had been worse than he even imagined it would be. It was a huge circus. Logan looks over and sees that Veronica is watching the waves and sipping her drink. She is deep in her own thoughts, respectfully allowing him to think; yet, she is there if he should want to talk or if he needs her.

She has been amazing! She has given him so much support today even though they aren't friends. Hell, they are enemies but today she had let all the stuff between them go and she has been there for him. She has been his lifeline. She gave him the rose she brought to throw on his mother's grave. He didn't know how she knew but he had not wanted to throw dirt on his mother even though she wasn't there. He had felt her hand contract while they had watched the grieving masses go past her grave and he had almost smiled at her reaction to some of their over the top grief. Logan thought about how she had wrapped her tiny arms around him like she was going to protect him from the rest of the world. It had touched him more than she would ever know and he had sunk into her embrace gratefully. He had wrapped his arms around her and they had fit perfectly together; like they were made for each other.

Logan had been at the end of his rope with pain and fatigue and she had looked after him at the mansion and had pulled him through the ordeal. He had never had anyone look after him before and he was deeply grateful to her. She had pulled him away from the Aaron fans; she had found mourners who had really known and cared about his mother; she had pulled him away from his father when he had tried to make him eat seafood; she had sensed he was losing it and had played the tired girlfriend and asked him to take her outside for a few minutes and she had found him a place to sit where he wouldn't be bothered when he couldn't take it anymore.

Now she had taken him to the beach, fed him and was keeping him company while he relaxed. Hell she had even stole a bottle of his favorite liquor. He was amazed and profoundly grateful to her. He realizes that he has driven away one of his true friends and, he did not know why she was choosing to be his friend after how he treated her; but, he was going to hang on to her and thank his lucky stars he had her. His anger at her seemed so very stupid and unimportant now. Life had just taught him a harsh lesson in what was coal and what was a diamond.

Veronica looks out over the ocean and thinks about the Fab Four and her family when she was young. Logan thinks about his mother and tries to remember the good times and when she showed she loved him. They both watch the ocean and sip their drinks.

Logan looks down at Veronica. She sat quietly for hours watching the ocean, sipping her drink and thinking. Then finally she drifted off to sleep. Seeing her body droop, Logan reached over and pulled to her rest against him. She had snuggled against him and then fell into a restful, almost peaceful sleep. She looks so young, so impossibly innocent, and so very beautiful when she is asleep. He thinks that maybe she is Philotes the Greek Spirit of Friendship. He makes a mental note to look her up and see if there is a picture of her anywhere. Maybe she looks like Veronica; all sassy with blond hair and blue eyes. He smiles a little and wonders what Veronica would say if he called her Philotes.

After a while Veronica wakes. It is dark and she is lying against Logan. She has her head on his chest and her arms wrapped around him with her leg resting snugly between his. He has his arm around her holding her while he watches the ocean and thinks.

Feeling her stir, he looks down at her and watches her wake. She was obviously disoriented at first but when she realized where she was, he could see her concern for him. She looks up at him in worry and says, "Oh Logan. I'm sorry."

With a rush of affection he reaches up and gently brushes her hair from her eyes. He reassures her, "It's OK Ronnie."

Lightening the mood he teases, "Although I could hardly hear the ocean over your snoring."

She immediately looks offended and says, "I do not snore."

He has to laugh at her indignation and teases her further, "Like a buzz saw."

Frowning she sits up and pulls away from him. She looks around and asks, "What time is it?"

Logan takes a sip of his drinks and readily answers, "Ten pm."

Veronica relaxes back in her seat and asks, "Is there any Jack left?"

Logan smiles genuinely at her and reaches over to pour more into her glass.