Previously on Veronica Mars
Duncan and Veronica discover the tapes and that it was Aaron who killed Lilly. Veronica is trying to get the tapes to her Dad and get through to Logan on the phone. She does not know that Duncan has been attacked by Aaron and that now Aaron is on the loose and out to get her (and the tapes). Meanwhile, Logan is getting drunk on the Coronado Bridge – not knowing anything about – well, anything; and he's ignoring Veronica's desperate calls…

Chapter 2

"Ow" Duncan moans softly and gingerly touches his aching head. His eyes shudder open and he looks with surprise at the blood on his fingers. "What the?" Sitting up slowly (his head is pounding), he looks around and recognizes his sister's bedroom. In a rush his memories come crashing down around him. He remembers that they now know who killed his sister, and he cries out hoarsely, "Lilly!"

"What do you want Donut?"

And just like that, she's there. He knows she's a mirage or a figment of his imagination, or hell – maybe a symptom of concussion, but he doesn't care. His dead sister is here with him again. This time is different from before. She's not wearing the pep squad uniform and her head isn't bloody. This Lilly looks… alive, and is now sitting cross legged on the floor in front of him. She's barefoot, wearing the red tank top and jean shorts from the picture on the…

He looks up at the bulletin board, "It's gone."

Lilly pouts, "Yeah, that bastard took my picture with him. He'll probably take it home and use it to pleasure himself with later. He can be such a dirty old man!" She says this last bit with a naughty little giggle.

Duncan frowns at her, "Aaron? You and Aaron Echolls, really? What were you thinking?"

"Duh. He's beyond hot, and way amazing in… oh well, just trust me. It was fun while it lasted." Lilly smiles coyly at her brother.

"But he's Logan's DAD, and he…he killed you. I can't believe he killed you." Duncan shakes his head, his voice trailing off.

"Yeah, shocked the hell out of me too, but I'm over it now." She scoots closer to him, and whispers into his ear, "And speaking of Logan, you really need to find him."

"What?"

"Logan", she says again – more forcefully. "You have to find him. Veronica needs him now."

"You know about Veronica and Logan?" He looks into the eyes of his apparition.

"Of course, Silly! I always knew he was just biding his time with me. I had a lot of fun with that boy, but then I had a lot of fun with lots of boys…." She throws her head back and laughs in a gesture Duncan remembers well, "And you and Veronica," she continues, "well you two were never right for each other in the first place." She pauses, looking at him closely, "You knew that right? I mean…you just didn't fit."

"I thought we did fit. I love her."

"Loved, Donut – LOVED - past tense. She was your first love. She's far from your last." Lilly is leaning in very close now, and starts to hum a song in his ear.

"What song is that?" He shakes his head to clear it. The tune is annoying him for some reason.

She stops humming for just a moment, "Love you Duncan. Don't forget. Now, go get Logan. He's on the bridge and he's in trouble, but so is she. They need each other now, and they need you too." She kisses his cheek lightly, and continues to hum that same annoying tune from before.

His head is still pounding, and he closes his eyes. That song reminds him of something but he can't put his finger on it. He fades for a moment, and then his eyes pop open.

He is alert and aware, but still laying on Lilly's bedroom floor.

The wound near his ear is bleeding quite a bit, and he looks around for something he can use to stop the flow. Right away he notices a few things. His sister's picture is still gone from the bulletin board. Lilly's mirage (or whatever that was) is also gone, and his phone is ringing.

Not sure how long he's been out of commission, he picks up the phone, realizing it was the ring tone that Lilly had been 'humming', and glances at the display. "Veronica." With his other hand he yanks open a drawer and grabs a tee shirt from within. Even as he says, "Hello", he is a little startled to realize that his parents haven't yet cleared out any of Lilly's clothes. He presses the shirt to his aching head.

"Duncan." There is fear in her voice.

"What's wrong?" He's pulling the door open and rushing down the hall as she answers.

"I haven't been able to find my Dad, and I just have a weird feeling about Logan. I think he might be in trouble. Is Aaron still there?"

"No." In fact, he took me by surprise - knocked me out and left. I'm so sorry, but I think he was in Lilly's closet while we were talking. He knows that you have the tapes. He wants them pretty badly. You are in danger.."

"Damnit! Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I think I'll be fine." He pauses at the top of the stairs, feeling a little woozy, but quickly composes himself and begins the descent into the Governor's Ball below. "Where are you at?"

"I'm almost to my apartment. Going to check there for Dad. If I don't find him, I'm going straight to the police station."

"Good." He hears the shocked sounds of party guests who see his disheveled appearance and the bloody tee shirt he's holding to his head. He ignores them as he makes his way to the front door.

"Did you ever get hold of him? Logan, I mean?"

"No. He never answered his phone. I've left twenty messages and I'm really starting to get scared."

"I think I might know where he is. I'll go find him. Where should we meet? Your place or the station?"

"My place – unless you hear from me differently.. I'll be there in just a few minutes. I'm going to get Backup out for a quick walk and then if my Dad isn't there I'm going to the station. I don't trust Lamb any more than I can throw him, but I'll turn the tapes over to Leo if I have to. I think he'll know what to do. Lamb would probably just toss them in the trash. Do you think you can find Logan quickly?"

"Yes. I had some help," he smiles a bit, remembering his dead sister's visit, "but I think that I know where he is." Duncan is running now, and is soon climbing into his SUV. "Be careful. Do you have your tazer?"

"What do you think?" She chuckles nervously, patting the messenger bag in the passenger seat, which holds her favorite little self protection device.

"Good. Make sure you lock your doors too." Duncan throws his car into gear and roars down the driveway, passing his dad who is yelling for him to stop. "I don't know when, but I'm sure Aaron is going to be looking for you."

"Yeah, I think you're right." She takes a deep breath. "I'll be ready."

Vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

Logan Echolls is drunk, and he's standing on the bridge rail, his arms spread (liquor bottle clutched tightly). He looks like he might just take a page from his mother's playbook, and dive to his death. He knows he would never really do that though. He's not the type to take his own life, but he does take a moment to think about her, and about what her last thoughts might have been as he stares into the black waves below.

His mother betrayed him when she chose suicide. She had abandoned her only son, leaving him behind with that crazy bastard. Sometimes he hated her, but mostly he missed her. He had loved her – he still did. He knew she'd loved him too – in her own messed up way.

Maybe he is destined to only have messed up relationships with women. His Mom, Lilly, Veronica…

He aches at the thought of Veronica, but she seems lost to him now. Yes she's been calling every few minutes, but he's pretty sure he's done. Done with it all. He just can't handle having her trample his heart again. He is pretty sure he loves her, and that's why her betrayal – the very fact that she would consider he'd killed Lilly – hurt the most. He takes a long drag from the bottle, and lifts one leg – balancing carefully on the other.

He wouldn't kill himself, no – but he does like thinking about it. What would Veronica do if he did jump? She'd probably consider it a confession of guilt, and wouldn't shed a tear. He frowns at the thought and firmly puts his foot back down. He's going to have to find a way to prove that he didn't kill her, but where to start?

He's pondering this when his thoughts are interrupted by the roar of motorcycle engines behind him. He turns and greets his guests with a false grin, "Well if it isn't Weevil and his band of merry men."

"Be very careful, Echolls. We are running short on patience tonight."

Logan laughs, "Seriously, what do you think you can do to me, huh?"

Weevil is not amused, "I'll think of something." Behind Weevil, Felix walks over to the Exterra and begins slashing its tires. Hector follows with a baseball bat.

Logan sees the vandalism, but doesn't react. Instead he turns, still balanced on the edge, and with a wicked smile, he takes up a "Matrix" pose, beckoning Weevil and his minions to 'bring it on'.

Vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

Duncan is driving way too fast, and when he sees the lights of the Coronado Bridge ahead, he presses harder on the accelerator. He doesn't know what is going on or why finding Logan is so important, but the memory of Lilly's phantom visit urges him on.

Without warning, he feels a rush of nausea and blacks out. His last thought before the SUV smashes into a pole, is that it must be a concussion after all. His airbag deploys and his seatbelt holds him in place, but still he is knocked about and his Mercedes is totaled.

For the second time tonight, Duncan Kane is injured and still.

Vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

Madison Sinclair is pissed. Her parents have grounded her - again. So she smoked some pot in the house. Who cares? She'd done way more than that in her parents' precious house and it hadn't killed them. She pounds a well manicured fist against the steering wheel of her Mom's Volvo. She can't believe she has to drive this pile of crap, but that is another condition of her punishment.

She also can't believe how thoughtless they are. Don't they realize how important her social life is? How her status as the most popular girl at Neptune High is in jeopardy every time she misses a party? She trying to think of ways to get back at them, when she notices a wrecked Mercedes SUV. It has hit a telephone pole in front of a small deli. She slows to see if there is anyone inside the crumpled vehicle. She has no plans to stop and help – that would be so beneath her - but morbid curiosity wins and she cranes her neck to see.

Glancing from the wreck - back at the road, she is shocked when a bloody and battered Duncan Kane lunges into her car's path. She slamms on her breaks, stopping just inches shy of plowing him down.

"What is your problem?" she screams at him as he wrenches open the passenger door and sits down. "You nearly scared me to death."

"Wrecked my car. Got to get to Logan. Drive." He feels around the floorboard, and coming up with something – maybe a coat - he begins to wipe the blood off his face. In addition to the cut above his ear (thank you Aaron Echolls), he now also had a split lip and a bloody nose from the crash. He brought the fabric to his face, sopping up some of the blood.

"That is suede, you imbecile!" Madison screeches in outrage.

"I'll be fine. Thanks for asking, and I'll buy you a new one – whatever this is. Just drive." Duncan clenched his jaw in anger. He never has understood how Madison is so popular. She is a truly an awful person.

"Whatever. I'll drive you to the hospital and that is all."

"No." Duncan looks at her and speaks clearly, "You will take me to Logan – it's not far, and then you can run along."

"Are you kidding me? I don't know where Logan is."

"JUST DRIVE." The sheer rage and frustration she sees in his eyes, gets her attention better than anything else could. She looks forward, puts the Volvo into drive and begins driving. The Coronado bridge looms only a couple blocks away.

As they draw near to the bridge, Madison and Duncan can see headlights (motorcycles maybe) and a group of people. Traffic is light, which is probably a good thing or there would be a traffic jam of epic proportions.

"What the…" Madison's voice trails off in confusion as they inch closer. "I think that's Logan right there – on the ground getting the crap kicked out of him." She looks over and sees Duncan is opening his door. Though already driving slowly, she slams on her brakes and lets him get out.

Duncan didn't know he could move so fast (concussed or not), but is sprinting down the length of bridge that separates him from his friend. In his head, he hears Lilly's voice, whispering in his ear, "He's on the bridge and he's in trouble, but so is she. They need each other now, but they also need you."

As he draws near, most of the bikers stop beating Logan long enough to look up and see who has dared to interrupt their task. Felix and Hector see Madison and walk in front of her car, motioning her to stop. Hector still holds the baseball bat, and seeing it, Madison does as they ask.

Duncan is out of breath, and looks like he's been hit by a truck. "Stop!" he yells at them. The two bikers who had still been kicking Logan's ribs, step back and look to Weevil for guidance.

Weevil gives them a sign and they stand still, watching Duncan and Weevil. They are on guard, and ready to pounce if the word is given.

"Leave Logan alone." Duncan's words are clear and his tone icy.

"Why? He killed Lilly – your sister? Did you know that?"

Duncan shakes his head, "Logan did not kill Lilly."

Weevil smiles through gritted teeth, "Yeah, big surprise – you sticking up for your rich boyfriend."

Logan is laying in a fetal position, cradling his side. His head is bleeding and his left eye is swollen shut. "Don't waste your time Duncan. He doesn't matter." Spitting out a little bit of blood, he continues, "Nothing matters anymore man. Let them kill me."

Duncan his friend for the moment. His eyes stay focused on the biker gang leader, "Let me repeat myself. Logan DID NOT kill Lilly."

Weevil is fuming mad, and doesn't acknowledge Duncan's mantra, "Lilly was a sweet girl. She was so amazing, and that bastard" he points down at Logan, "killed her. Now, I kill him! He moves swiftly in for a kick, but pulls back when he hears Duncan's outraged cry.

Duncan is screaming now. Blood is running down his face from multiple lacerations, and he looks crazed, "LOGAN DID NOT KILL LILLY. HIS DAD DID!"

In unison, the crumpled man on the ground and the gang leader poised to kick him - both looked at Duncan in shock, "What?"

Vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

Veronica had waited for a while, Duncan still hadn't shown up. Neither of her parents are here (it's still so weird to think of her Mom being back, but she's adjusting), and she can't get through to her Dad on his phone. Backup had been very happy to see Veronica, and she'd quickly fed him and walked him. He was now barricaded back in the back of the apartment and she was pacing by the front door. There was still no sign of her Duncan. Neither he nor Logan were answering their phones, and she was losing patience and getting more and more scared by the minute.

"I'll give him five more minutes, and then I'm heading to the station."

vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

Back on the Coronado Bridge, some order has been restored. The bikes are all now parked close to one side – no longer blocking a lane of traffic. The Exterra is right where Logan had parked it, but that was largely because it had four slashed tires and wasn't going anywhere. Madison's Mother's Volvo is parked behind the yellow Exterra. Hector and Felix have asked her to stay put for now. They were hoping for some fun with the little lady, but the sudden serious turn the evening had taken – was putting a dent in their plans.

Logan is now sitting with his back to the guardrail. He's gingerly holding his side. Visibly shaken, he now appears to be quite sober. He was having trouble digesting all the new information Duncan had been sharing at first, but it is sinking in now. Weevil is standing apart from the two friends, but close enough that he can hear all the details.

"This is a lot to digest. I don't even know what to say…." Logan's voice is filled with anguish. "I'm so sorry that my Dad…" he has to compose himself before continuing. "I'm sorry. I'm just so damned sorry."

"This is not your fault Logan. You are not your Dad. I hate him for what he did to her," Duncan clenches his fists, but contains the rage he's feeling toward his friend's father, "but I don't blame you. Nobody will. I'm just sorry you found out this way. Veronica's first thought was that you needed to know. She tried to call…"

Hearing her name snaps Logan out the shock he's been in. He reaches for his pocket, and pulling out his phone; he notices a big crack across the display. Ignoring it, he tries to turn it on, but it is irretrievably broken. He looks up at Weevil angrily, "Thanks a lot asshole. You and your goons broke my phone." Looking at Duncan, he says, "Give me yours."

Duncan hands his own (surprisingly intact) phone over to Logan. "Hit redial."

Logan shakily presses the appropriate button, and listens. "Voicemail," he says worriedly.

Duncan is also worried. "We have got to get off this damned bridge and get to her."

For the first time since this conversation had started, Weevil interjects, "I want to help. What can I do?"

"Well, I would ask you to kick my ass, but you've already done that, so why don't you BACK OFF!" Logan growls angrily.

"No, there is something you can do." Duncan goes on – keeping the peace, "When we talked before, Veronica said she couldn't' find her Dad. You know the Sheriff, right?" he asks Weevil, "Can you help find him? She needs to give the tapes to her Dad."

Weevil nods, "Yeah, I can help find him."

"Fine." Logan struggles to his feet. We need to get to her – she's at her apartment right?" Duncan nods. "Good. We'll go there." Logan begins to limp toward his beloved Exterra, and then seeing the slashed tires and shattered windshield, he looks helplessly around for some other mode of transportation."

"I'm sorry about your wheels, man. Guess we got a little carried away. You can have a couple bikes," Weevil offers as he walks toward his bike.

"No." Logan looks toward the parked Volvo with Madison standing nearby. She should look frightened, he supposes – surrounded by bikers, but instead she just looks pissed. "No, we'll take HER car."

Weevil watches the sorry pair walk toward the silver car. "V" he says prayerfully under his breath, "I sure hope I'm making the right decision here. I'm pretty sure they'll take care of you. They're crazy white boys, but I think they both love you." Shaking his head, he then mounts his bike, revving the engine. He's got to find the Sheriff, and he thinks he knows right where to look.

The motorcycle zooms past Logan and Duncan as they make their way to the Volvo. Madison sees them coming, and starts to shake her head vehemently. "No, no, no, no, no!" she begins to yell. "This is my Mom's car. You can't have it. And I'm going home anyway."

"Fine," Logan says grabbing the keys from her hand, and throwing them to Duncan, "Go home Madison. Maybe you can ride on the back of one of these bikes with a PCHr," he points at what remains of Weevil's gang. They too are starting to leave the bridge, "you can have your pick of these fine leather clad Lotharios…. I'm sure that will end well. Maybe you'll even hit it off and dump Dick for your brand new Latin Lover." There is no humor in his voice, or in the look he gives her. It is the same menacing glare that he uses to command the other 09rs at school to do his bidding. "I don't care where you're going, but THIS car is going to take ME to Veronica."

"You can't tell me what to do," she whines, but her heart isn't in it anymore, "This isn't school you know. You're not in charge here." She says the last in a huff, but knowing she's lost this battle, she grabs the back door's handle and jerks it open.

"Keep telling yourself that, sweetheart." Logan eases his aching body into the passenger seat, and Duncan takes the wheel.

"We make quite the pair tonight," Duncan observes, looking over at his friend, "a younger Riggs and Murtaugh?"

"More like a younger Tango and Cash," Logan offers with a grin.

"And here I thought you two were a bit like Bert and Ernie." Madison spat from behind them.

Logan ignores the barb, and says to his friend, "Just hope we don't end up like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid…" the smile has faded, and it has been replaced by sheer determination.

These two old friends are not Hollywood heroes, but they are resigned to do whatever is necessary to save the woman they love. They both look like they've been hit by a truck, and they feel every bit as bad as they look, but their friendship, their history and their worry prod them onward. Duncan shifts the car into gear, and the three teenagers leave the Coronado Bridge in a blur of silver Swedish engineering.

Madison is pouting as she watches the dark shapes of houses and businesses fly past her window. She can't believe how badly this day has turned out. Evidently it doesn't matter where he is (high school, a bridge, her Mother's car), what Logan Echolls wants, Logan Echolls gets – and right now, Logan Echolls wants nothing more than to find Veronica Mars.

To be continued…