TITLE: All-in (1/1) [not part of my Precipitation series]
CHARACTERS: Veronica, Logan
WORD COUNT: 6,377
SUMMARY: A few weeks into sophomore year, and Logan drops by the Sunset Cliffs apartment.
SPOILERS: Vague spoilers for the whole series. Explicit spoilers for the pilot episode of 'Moonlight'.
WARNINGS: Pretty tame.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own any rights to Veronica Mars. This story is written as a tribute only. Beta'd by boobsnotbombs and zaftig_darling. All remaining errors are my responsibility. Originally posted as a challenge response at vmfictitious·dreamwidth·org.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I haven't had any time to write for a while. Here's an old oneshot that I never posted. I'm hoping it will spur my muse a little.
September 28, 2007
Friends watch TV together, right?
Logan halfheartedly tried to convince himself that he didn't have an ulterior motive as he wavered between Veronica's two favorite ice cream flavors, mint chocolate chip and butter pecan. He took one of each, just to be sure. As he walked to the front of the store, he spotted hot fudge sauce, whipped cream, and chopped peanuts, and decided he might as well go all-in.
No. There's no 'all-in'. Friends. Just friends.
A little intel from a sympathetic Wallace had let Logan know that Keith was out of town again and Veronica was planning a quiet evening home alone. Friday night at Sunset Cliffs: just an old friend dropping by, and he certainly wasn't intending to peel Veronica out of her clothes and convince her to...
Nope. He wasn't intending that. They were doing really well as 'just friends' ever since she'd returned from the FBI internship two months before and announced that she wanted to work on their friendship. Just friendship, she'd stressed.
Except...he still dreamt about her most nights. Most mornings she was the first thought that crossed his mind. When he took himself in hand, it was Veronica who pushed all other female images out of his sex-starved brain.
Ah, screw it...you better believe I'm going to try tonight.
He wondered if she'd noticed his celibacy. One hundred and thirty-one long days. That was an eternity in teen years. And he'd mostly quit drinking and partying, and his highlighter pen was really getting a workout the first three weeks of sophomore year. He'd started studying in the library, trying to time it so that he got there during her shift, but of course he pretended to ignore her as he worked.
Because making her curious had always worked before. But this time...sure, she was pleasant enough when they ran into each other. But just hanging out in the library as she worked apparently wasn't enough to pique her incessant nosiness. So he had to try something else.
If this didn't work, he was thinking about reverting to his bad boy ways. Surely there was somebody who needed a beat-down, and then he'd call her to bail him out—no. No! He wanted her to see that he'd changed. That they could have a normal relationship. Fuck, he'd buy a million I-wuv-you-beary-much bears if that's what it would take.
He wanted date night on Saturday night, holding hands in the quad, surprising each other with a Joltin' Java and a brownie after a hard exam...everything he saw the other couples at Hearst managing to do. Something they'd never been able to have, no matter how hard they'd tried.
· · ·
The door opened, and he remembered a few other times he'd been at that door...hoping she'd...wishing she'd... This time, there was genuine surprise on her face, and what he was hoping was actual, real-live, sincere pleasure that it was him at her door, carrying a brown paper bag with the Sac-n-Pac logo.
"Whatcha got there?" she smiled.
"Apparently there's an increase in the supply of ice cream and a corresponding decrease in its sale price. According to the laws of supply and demand—" He motioned up and down with his free palm.
"Ah, somebody's been studying their Intro to Econ. C'mon in." She opened the door wide and they went into the kitchen.
"Well, I believe in sharing the marginal benefit of the sale price at Sac-n-Pac on delicious frozen treats."
"I'm not sure that's exactly correct, but I'm willing to discuss the fallacy of the invisible hand over a couple bowls of..." Veronica dug into the bag. "Butter pecan and mint chocolate chip? Whoa."
"Apparently an overabundance of cheap bovine labor has led to an outward shift in the supply curve. And the marginal cost to my waistline of consuming these delicacies on my own is an entirely new wardrobe, so...wanna help me out? Maybe...watch a little TV together while we scarf this down?"
"It's Friday night. There's nothing on, except Jennifer Love Hewitt's enormous boobage."
"The Breast Whisperer? No, actually I was thinking about that new show, 'Moonlight'."
"You mean the one where Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis are bickering and then the whole show sucks once they sleep together—"
"Not 'Moonlighting', 'Moonlight'. The new show about a vampire P.I. It's supposed to be pretty good. You can nitpick it when they screw up the P.I. stuff."
As Logan unpacked the bag, Veronica got two bowls from the cupboard. With a supremely casual tone, she asked, "Why are you being so nice?"
"I thought we were friends. Friends do nice things for each other."
He watched as she spooned a generous portion in each bowl. "Uh, Veronica...since when do you bother using a bowl for ice cream?"
"Watch it. You better be nice or I won't nuke your hot fudge. Oh, and Logan, I think we might have..." Veronica opened the fridge and searched at the very back. "Ta-dah! Maraschino cherries!"
"And your entire recommended daily allowance of red dye no. 2."
"And fiber. Fiber's good for you."
"I can tie a knot in a cherry stem with my tongue, you know."
Was that a little hitch in her breath? There was a little pause, and he wondered if she was having trouble coming up with a comeback. She glanced in his direction, and he could have sworn she was blushing a little. Veronica put the hot fudge in the microwave and hit the touchpad to warm it up. "You've always been pretty skilled in that area, Echolls."
"The Tongue Olympics? I've medaled at the World's the last three years running, and Las Vegas bookmakers have me at a two-to-one favorite for the gold in Beijing."
"Oh, it's a winter sport." She pushed a spoon in his direction. The microwave whirred and then beeped, and Veronica dumped a generous amount of hot fudge on their ice cream. She got some fudge on her little finger and raised it to her mouth to lick it off.
Logan raised his eyebrows at her in appreciation, and this time there was no doubt. There was a definite flush on her cheeks, and she tried to cover her reaction by sticking her tongue out at him.
Logan's jeans were appreciably tighter. It never took much to get him going if he was around Veronica. Down, boy. Take it slow. Let her come to you.
· · ·
Logan let Veronica sit down on the couch and he took the armchair.
"You could...you could sit on the couch next to me. You know, friends do that." She hadn't met his eyes since he caught that sweet little tongue of hers licking her pinky. Now she fumbled for the remote and tuned the television to CBS before settling in, her bowl held close to her face to allow for maximum consumption. He'd never really understood how she could eat ten times what other girls ate without ballooning up.
Logan sat down on the couch, as far from her as he could. His instincts were telling him that if he didn't push her and was completely patient, she might very well end up in his arms before the night was over. Of course, he didn't intend to play fair; he intended to titillate Veronica's largest sex organ—her brain—far beyond the point that she'd be able to resist.
Before the end logo of 'The Ghost Whisperer', there was a final shot of Jennifer Love Hewitt's impressive cleavage bouncing as she chased something ephemeral and mysterious, and Logan said, "She's not really all that attractive with those giant cantaloupes jostling away."
Veronica snorted. "If you say that guys really don't like big breasts, I will lose all respect for you as a man."
Better not push it. "Ah, here we go," Logan noted as Mick St. John, played by Alex O'Loughlin, appeared on the screen being 'interviewed'.
"Dressed in black...it's the traditional choice for vampires."
"And for P.I.s." Logan kept one eye on Veronica as she watched. "You think he's hot, don't you?"
"Maybe," she muttered, refusing to look at Logan.
Mick declared that he never bit anyone unless 'they really deserved it', saying that there were predators out there who needed to be 'dealt with', and Veronica repressed another snort.
"Veronica...let it out. If you need to mock, mock."
"Well, it's so obvious. They're setting up this gorgeous guy to be both the ultimate bad boy and a hero, because he only takes victims who deserve it. It's kind of insulting to women, that we'll be turned on by something like this."
"So, are you?"
"Shut up. I'm listening."
After a little more self-indulgent musings by the title character, the shot switched to the female lead, Beth Turner, working as a reporter at a crime scene.
It was Logan's turn to chuckle.
"A hot blonde with an insatiable curiosity and a lack of respect for authority. Remind you of anybody?"
Veronica refused to rise to the bait. "I'll bet you a hundred dollars that Mick gets her into bed by the end of the episode."
"I'll take that bet but...the loser has to give the winner a back rub."
"Of course. You made it clear that we're going to be friends now, and I don't want to do anything to screw that up." Logan rotated his head on his neck, ostensibly to relieve some kink in his spine. "It's just that my neck's been bugging me lately, and you're going to lose. Loser."
The police chief (highly improbably) divulged to Beth that the female murder victim was probably a Hearst College student, with a tattoo of the school mascot on a 'very discreet part of her anatomy'. Beth replied, scintillatingly, "Front or back?" and both Logan and Veronica lost it.
"Oh my god. She had a Rough Rider tattoo? This is completely horrible dialogue, and what's with the Hearst reference?" Veronica asked.
"The other male costar supposedly has a Hearst connection, and they did some filming here."
"Wait..did you research this?"
"A sorority girl was an extra in the pilot and she told Dick it was 'like totally amazing.'"
Veronica looked at him suspiciously. "You better not have already watched the pilot. If I find out that our bet is rigged—"
"I promise I don't know what happens in the show, just that the Zeta Thetas were really excited about it. Personally, I don't get the whole vampire thing."
"I told you, it's the appeal of a bad boy, and it's romantic because you risk your whole life to be with them. And then there's the doom of having to live an immortal life among mortals."
"Way to spoil the ending."
The commercial came on, and Logan offered to refill their bowls. "Not too much," Veronica cautioned.
"Oh, I know, you like to pace yourself."
With his back to Veronica, Logan prepared the two bowls, with a little something extra.
The show had resumed, but Veronica was watching Logan as he ostentatiously ate his maraschino cherry, stem and all, and made a show of doing something with his tongue inside his mouth.
"You are completely ridiculous," she pronounced.
He withdrew a knotted stem he'd previously placed between his cheek and gum and waved it in her face. "You sure? Ta-da! Give you any ideas?"
Her eyes narrowed, then she laughed at realization dawned. "I'm not that gullible."
"You were for a second."
Veronica took a breath to retort, but then gasped when Josef Konstantin came onscreen. "Oh my god, this actor could be your brother."
"Suspenders? What kind of fucking vampire dresses like he should be on Wall Street?"
On the TV, Josef was ranting about the murderer being a threat to the vampire community. "'What is this, the 1720s?...You're only ninety, Mick, you've never been chased by a torch-bearing mob.'"
Veronica giggled. "Okay, I kinda love this."
"Ah, the cheese."
"He really does look like you." Veronica turned to gaze at Logan. "It's a little creepy."
Just then Josef beckoned a nubile young girl to come to him and asked, "'Would you care for a liquid refreshment? She's delicious—'82 is a good year.'" And with a move that was half-sexual caress and half-voracious rapacity, Josef ran his mouth along the inside of his 'refreshment's' forearm and sunk his teeth into her flesh. The 'freshy' seemed to enjoy it as much as Josef did.
Out of the corner of this eye, Logan caught Veronica's slight shiver, and he vowed to replicate that maneuver before the night was over...with a little less bloodsucking and a lot more tenderness. She covered her slip quickly with a sardonic, "Oh, of course Mick has a contact at the morgue."
A little later, Beth was breaking into the victim's apartment, and Logan couldn't resist a gentle gibe. "Ah, the cute blonde continues to be nosy and careless about her safety."
"You cannot compare me to this nitwit," Veronica protested. In her dumb-blonde voice, "'Oh, are you the killer, Mick St. John? I'm here alone with you in the murder victim's apartment.'"
"Of course Mick can't be the killer, because he's way too hot. Have you learned nothing from our history? I was always the hottest suspect, ergo—"
"In fact, your hotness always made me more suspicious—"
"Ah-hah! I knew it! Finally, she admits that I'm hot."
"Shh, I'm enjoying this." Veronica put her ice cream bowl on the coffee table and settled back onto the couch, managing to get a little closer to Logan. Logan pretended not to notice and leaned a little toward her, hoping she'd relax against him as Mick and Beth started to work together on the murder case.
They watched in silence until Mick commented, "'Kinda pushy, aren't you?" to which Beth retorted, "'You'll get used to it.'"
Veronica glared at Logan. "Don't say it."
"You know, I'm really digging the vampire in sunglasses, driving a convertible in sunny L.A."
"Come on...if you were immortal, wouldn't you buy a convertible?"
"Of course. I still miss the LeBaron, you know. You looked cute in that car."
After taking the dishes out to the kitchen on a commercial break, Veronica reseated herself, leaning against Logan, and he took the chance of draping his arm over her shoulders. She snuggled into him without thinking—almost Pavlovian, he thought. His heart beat a little faster having her so close to him. All her familiar smells assaulted his nose: her favorite soaps and shampoo, a hint of the body splash she sometimes wore, and the smell of her body underneath it all. If he concentrated, he thought he could feel her blood pulsing in her veins through her skin pressed against his.
He ignored the silly TV show and remembered what every inch of her looked and felt like. The soft skin of her calves as they intertwined with his, the delicate hair on her forearms, the impossibly sensitive skin on her porcelain breast that had never been exposed to sunlight, her strong muscles, clenching and grasping with alacrity. Just barely catching himself before he panted aloud, he tuned out the inane dialogue and focused on the rhythm of her breath.
And then Logan was overwhelmed by an image of lying next to her...afterwards, with the sound of the two of them struggling to catch their breath the only music in the room.
"Um, excuse me." He stood up carefully, hiding his obvious arousal from her. In the bathroom, he splashed water on his face and tried to think of anything but sex, with little success.
Back on the couch, she looked at him with concern. "Are you okay?"
"Yep, I'm okay."
She snuggled again, and this time he tried to focus on the show to keep himself together. The sidekick Josef showed up again, mocking Mick's choice of 'non-fat, soy, vegan blood'.
"I like this guy," Logan admitted, as Josef talked about 'poser wanna-be vampires'.
"Of course you do," Veronica teased, "he just said he doesn't have morals or scruples. And he's got more money than he knows what to do with, just like you."
"'Vampire solidarity, rah-rah-rah,'" Logan said, perfectly imitating Josef's sardonic tone.
"I'm right with you...you know how I like the bad boys." She turned to smile at him, holding his gaze just a second too long before returning her attention to the television and the two vampires bantering.
When the show revealed that Mick had saved Beth when she was a child, Logan laughed and crowed, "No way are they ending up in bed this episode. It's too incestuous."
"Damn it," Veronica said ruefully. "This whole show's going to be tortured angst about whether she should be turned into a vampire to be with her true love forever."
Logan craned his neck back and forth. "Oh, this massage is going to be great."
As Beth confronted the murder suspect—a creepy college professor performing 'Tantric blood and sex rituals' with his students—Veronica grabbed Logan's knee in good-natured tension, and he took the opportunity to hug her closer. Beth landed a good kick on the professor and ran away, and Logan felt Veronica's excitement.
It might be cheesy, but Veronica was enjoying this, the parallels of the intrepid blonde reporter's story to her own life clearly hitting her hard. And when Mick began to fight the professor, revealing his sharp fangs and whitened eyes, she gasped aloud, to Logan's delight. He loved seeing her like this. Veronica always seemed so alive to him, so vital and unusual—a mass of contradictions but more than anything else an adrenaline junkie.
He was willing to bet that Mick coming to Beth's rescue was resonating with Veronica as well—that Beth and Mick's complicated backstory and their fumbling efforts to come together despite overwhelming obstacles was reminding Veronica of their own epic story, and the way that he'd managed to rescue her on the roof of the Neptune Grand despite everything.
At least...he hoped he was right. Logan took a chance and pulled her onto his lap, hugging her to his chest as they watched the finale, with Mick performing impossible feats of strength and agility to subdue the villains.
But when Mick picked up Beth and carried her in his arms toward the camera in slow motion, it proved to be too much for Veronica, and she began to giggle uncontrollably. Logan whispered in her ear, "I can smell it on you. Mm. Grilled cheese and bloooood. '87, it was a very good year."
Veronica lapsed into hysterics. "Look, it's so romantic." They watched, still shaking with laughter through the final fight scene between Mick and his erstwhile vampire bride and Mick's original rescue of the child Beth, twenty-some years ago.
"That was good, except for the cheesy romance at the end," Veronica pronounced, as she scooted off Logan's lap to turn off the TV with the remote.
"Ready to pay up on our bet, honeybun?"
Veronica sighed dramatically. "Okay, turn around, I'll rub your back."
"Unh, unh. I'm lying down. I want the full treatment." Logan positioned himself face down on the couch. "I have lots of knots." He waited, and nothing happened.
He wondered if he'd miscalculated. Would she decide that it was too dangerous, too tempting to try a massage between friends?...which was exactly what he was counting on. Seriously, that bet had felt like a no-lose proposition—if he'd lost, he wouldn't have minded giving her a full body rub down, with or without her clothes. And he was hoping...
Finally, he felt her swivel on the couch, and two tentative hands grasped his shoulders. Even through his clothes, her touch energized him, and he wiggled a little, positioning his arousal a little more comfortably in the couch cushions.
"Feels good," he moaned, and he was quite glad that she couldn't see his front...there was no way he'd have been able to stand up at this point.
"I'm...I'm glad we're friends now, Logan," she said. "I've missed hanging out." Her hands stopped and then resumed massaging his muscles.
"Me too," he mumbled into the pillow, his mind racing. What does she mean? Fuck. Her hands worked their magic, and he thought desperately, trying to figure out what to say to turn this situation the way he wanted to.
He turned over, and he didn't care if she could see the effect she had on him.
"What's the matter—"
Logan seized her forearm, just as Josef had with his freshy, and brushed his lips over her skin, from elbow to wrist, finally tenderly nipping her flesh. He twined his fingers in hers and kissed her palm, the inside of her wrist, the back of her hand.
He suddenly sat up and grabbed her around the waist, positioning her underneath him on the couch. His hard cock brushed against her leg, and he could see it in her eyes—she knew exactly what that was. Her pupils dilated and he knew that she was probably wet for him. Every molecule in his body was telling him that every molecule in hers was ready for him. Hormones screamed, muscles begged to be unleashed.
With his face an inch from hers, he begged her in a desperate whisper, "Please tell me I can kiss you. I don't know what I'll do if you won't kiss me." He trembled with the effort of holding his aching pelvis still.
"Kiss me," she breathed.
Oh, he remembered these lips. Soft and firm and the perfect amount of fleshiness, and she knew how to press just hard enough that it sent a jolt right to his cock. And the tip of that little tongue that he found with his own, and then he took her mouth in a fierce plunge, filling her, demanding that attention be paid. He heard himself whimper and her quiet little answering moans. Yes, he remembered all that, but it was new again like it was always new, because they invariably fit together in infinite ways.
Logan finally broke the kiss and looked down at her, her eyes dreamy, her lips slightly parted, her breath panting slightly as she caught up with him. "I missed this," she whispered. She reached for his face and stroked it with the back of her hand. "I— I wanted to call you so many times. When you came tonight, I...I hoped you were going to make a move, and then you put on that stupid TV show..."
"Vampires...I was hoping you'd get a little hot and bothered."
"Silly. So silly." Her fingers wound themselves in his hair and she pulled him to her again for another kiss.
And then he had an idea. Before she could protest, Logan stood up and hoisted her into his arms. He carried her to the bedroom, in slow motion. Veronica was dying with laughter, but he wouldn't trade that smile on her face for anything.
Now that's all-in, he thought.