Ok, I debated whether or not to re-post this (it was taken down a while ago), but I decided 'what the hell' and am putting it back up. So, thanks for reading (again), and if you like this I'll think about putting longer VM stories up.
Anyway, I own nothing, drop a comment if you want, and I should go.
Ah, another day at Neptune High, and another day full of sneers and whispers. Not about me for once or Duncan fleeing with his baby or even the bus crash, but whispers nonetheless. Who's dating whom, who cheated on who, whose parents were getting divorced. A whirlwind of hisses and rumors; gossip. It seemed most high schools thrived on gossip, but Neptune seemed to need it to survive. Like an IV hooked to its vein.
Today, I wasn't listening in on the gossip. I was too busy trying to track down a wallet. Wallace managed to get his stolen out of the boys' locker room. And since I owed him a favor (or twelve), I figured it was time to start returning a few of them.
The suspect list was short. There were only three people in the locker room with him when the wallet was stolen; two 09ers and a PCHer. I didn't want to believe it was the PCHer, not after Weevil helped me out on my last case, but I couldn't think of any reason why an 09er would want thirty bucks, a driver's license, and a empty gift card to an ice cream parlor.
I managed to corner the PCHer in the guys' bathroom, putting the wedge underneath the door to keep anyone from coming inside and interrupting us.
"Weevil may like you, but I don't," the biker commented before I could say anything, spotting me in the mirror as he washed his hands. What a polite boy, actually using soap.
"I want my friend's wallet back," I said softly, not taking the bait. I was used to people disliking me at first sight even though I have a very warm personality.
"What wallet?" he retorted looking at me in the mirror. I noticed something flicker in his eyes and my heart sank somewhere below my stomach. So my hunch was right. Damn.
"You know which wallet," I pressed moving to stand next to him. I turned, leaning my lower back against the sink and crossing my arms. "We don't need to tell anyone about this. I can keep a secret, and I know you'll keep this to yourself. Just hand the wallet over."
I walked out of the bathroom a few moments later, Wallace's wallet safely in my messenger bag. Like I said, I have a warm personality. People flock to please me. Okay, so I may have bribed the PCHer with fifty bucks, but it wasn't like anyone had to know. I didn't exactly need a new camera lens. I could wait.
"Here you go," I said stopping next to Wallace's locker and digging the wallet out of my bag. I handed it to him, and he grinned at me.
"Where'd you find it?" he asked checking the contents.
"I am wounded you would think I stole anything," I commented in a faux-hurt voice, putting a hand over my heart. He laughed slightly and I said, "I found it in the locker room."
"Are you sure?" Wallace asked giving me a skeptical look.
"Would I lie about this?"
"I guess not," he relented and I silently cheered for my acting skills whilst feeling bad about lying to my best friend.
"So, you comin' over tonight?" Wallace asked shutting his locker door.
"Oh Wallace, if you wanted time alone with me you should have asked," I joked as we started walking down the hallway. He threw me a small look, and I grinned and said, "I don't know. I haven't checked my work schedule yet, and Dad might need help at the office."
"Damn girl, it's almost like you want to avoid me," he commented with a grin.
"Dad wants more 'Daddy/Daughter time,' but he's been busy lately. And I miss him, Wallace."
"It sounds like it's you who wants Daddy/Daughter time," he replied ruffling my hair. I swatted his arm and he laughed, ducking into his classroom. "Call me if you can make it," he called over his shoulder and I waved.
"Are you two an item now?" a faux-cheerful (more condescending) voice asked, and I turned to see my ex standing just behind me.
"And my day has just been ruined," I muttered turning to walk away from him.
"I mean, it'd be cute if you were," Logan continued easily keeping pace with me, "detective girl and her faithful sidekick; saving the world just so they can have a moment alone together. I think it'd make a fantastic comic book."
"What do you want?" I snapped turning to face him. Logan stopped short, looking down at me. Now that he wasn't moving, I noticed he had dark circles under his eyes and was a bit paler than normal. I wondered if he was sick or just hungover. I wouldn't be surprised if it was the latter. Recently, he had been hungover a lot. It must take a lot of alcohol to allow someone like Kendall Casablancas to come within touching distance of you.
"Down girl. Leave the taser in the bag," he said raising his hands and backing up half a step, fake fear on his face. He then lowered his hands, smirked, and asked, "Can't two exes just have a pleasant conversation?"
"Oh, so this is a conversation? Trading quips back and forth before the bell rings?"
"I live for our witty banter," he replied sarcastically.
"The highlight of you week, huh?"
"You have no idea."
The bell rang, breaking up our battle of wits. Logan smiled and said, "As always Veronica, it has been a real pleasure talking to you."
"Oh, I cherish these moments," I responded sardonically. He flashed me one last smirk before turning and walking away from me. As conversations go, it was one of our more pleasant ones. Woo for pleasantries, I guess.
I didn't see Logan again until fourth period, and by then he had gone from slightly pale to almost paper white. There went my hungover theory. To say I wasn't worried would be a lie. There was a chance, and I say chance because with his record it could be a possibility, something worse was wrong with him.
Maybe he had gotten into a fight. The only people who would know would be his friends, and I had had enough of Dick Casablancas to last me a lifetime. I guess I could have asked Beaver, but he was a year below me and I never saw him enough to get time to ask him anything.
"If I didn't know any better, I'd say you were staring at me," Logan's sardonic voice said, causing me to shake free of my thoughts and look over at him. "I'm flattered and all, but isn't this a little sad? You still being in love with me?"
Before I could respond, I was called on by our teacher. I flashed Logan one, final worried look before returning my attention to the class. Something was going on with my cocky ex, and I intended to find out what.
At lunch, I corned the one person I didn't want to see. I grabbed his arm and dragged him into the girls' room; a big mistake on my part. I shoved the wedge under the door and turned to face Dick Casablancas.
"Are we here to make out?" he asked looking around the blue-ish green walls. "Because no offense, I mean you are smoking hot, but you aren't exactly my type."
"Bitchy." Me? Bitchy? Seriously?
I flashed him a small smile and said sweetly, "But Dicky, I thought you screwed anything with boobs and a vagina?" He gave me a look, and I smirked and said, "I need to ask you a question about Logan."
"So you are still hung up on him?" Dick asked leaning against the bathroom sink, smiling slightly. "Look, Ronnie, you two are like Romeo and that chick he boned. You know the one who got killed then un-killed then killed again."
"Juliet," I supplied helpfully.
"Whatever. I don't think it's a good idea."
"And there wasn't even smoke," I commented drily and Dick's eyebrows furrowed in confusion. I shook my head and said, "I'm not still 'hung up' on Logan. I just want to know if he's okay."
"He's fine," Dick replied slowly, either trying to figure out my where I was heading with my question or still trying to piece together my 'smoke' comment.
"So, you two didn't go out drinking last night? No wild parties? No fights? Nothing?"
"I'm sure Logan had a wild party with my step-mom, but other than that nope." Thanks Dick, for that lovely image. I shall cherish it with every, other one I have of Logan and Kendall together.
"And you're sure?" I pressed leaning against the sink next to Dick.
"I called him last night, and he told me to go ahead without him. Like I said, my step-mom was probably there with him. I wonder if she was wearing the French maid's outfit I got her."
I pushed away from the sink, putting distance between Dick and I, thinking over what he said. Was the paleness and dark circles the product of another night with Kendall or was it something more? I knew I wasn't going to get much else from Dick.
"So this is the girls' bathroom. I pictured it bigger and with a couch."
After school I did the only thing left to do. I staked out Logan's vehicle. I sometimes wondered why he went with the canary yellow. Was it his favorite color? Or was it something else? And why not buy a new one?
But this wasn't one of those times. I was here on an official/unofficial investigation. I had to make sure my ex was okay. Though, I wondered why I cared so much. It's not like we've exchanged much pleasantries since I broke up with him. He had gone back to the same old Logan, and I had tried to avoid any further confrontations. Why was this time any different?
"Veronica, this is borderline stalking," Logan commented walking towards me. He was moving slower than usual, his face no taking on a grayish hue with some green around the edges. Definitely sick. I just hoped it was a bug and not some type of infection.
"Are you okay?" I asked forgoing the quips.
"What?" He stopped, giving me a careful look. "Does it look like I'm okay? I, my blonde nightmare, am perfectly fine."
"Because you look sick," I plowed on, ignoring his jibe. "And I was just…" don't say worried, "…wondering if you were in a fight or something. I mean, if it's just a bug…"
"Veronica Mars, are you actually worried about me? That's sweet." Oh Logan, why must you be sarcastic all the time? "Perhaps you'll don a white nurse's outfit and take care of me at my bed…" I backed up, hitting the side of his hot, canary vehicle, barely avoiding a spray of vomit.
Why did I bring him here? Out of everywhere in this town, even his own place, why did I have to bring him back to mine? My father was going to kill me.
"I'm fine," Logan grumbled, the right side of his head pressed against my passenger side window. He had puked twice more on the way to my apartment. My car was grateful for the fact that I pulled over both times, as was I. cleaning puke out of upholstery wasn't on my list of things to do.
"Just humor me," I responded parking next to my neighbor's car. I didn't see Dad's car in the parking lot so he was either back at the office or on a case. It gave me enough time to come up with something to tell my father. Other than 'oh, you know me, always worrying about the exes.'
"A Priest, a Rabbi, and a Nun…"
"Just get out of the car," I retorted opening my door. I noticed a silver car pull in behind me, and Wallace get out looking slightly worried.
"I came as soon as I got your text. Is everything okay?" Yes, I know texting while driving is against the law, but what else was I supposed to do. Have Logan take the wheel for six seconds while I typed: SOS, my house. Granted, that probably was a better idea, but I highly doubt he was seeing straight while walking. I wasn't going to trust him with my car for even a couple seconds.
"Everything's fine," I said quickly, hoping to appease my worried friend. "I just need help getting him," I jerked my thumb towards the passenger side, "out of the car."
"What happened?" Wallace asked moving around the car to look at Logan. "He get into a fight? Drunk during lunch?"
"He's sick," I replied tapping on the window to get Logan to move his head.
"So, that wasn't a rumor?"
"Who makes up lame rumors like that at Neptune High?" I asked curiously.
"True," Wallace agreed nodding. I opened the door, and like the stubborn jackass he is, Logan tried to get out of the car on his own. He made it about halfway, before he went down again, and it took the combined effort of Wallace and me to keep him standing.
"And you said you were fine," I commented drily, closing the door.
"I am fine," he insisted, but didn't try to break free of our hold. I gave him a skeptical look, and Wallace and I started helping Logan towards the stairs leading to my apartment. I was the first to notice that the constant movement wasn't helping Logan, his face taking on a green hue again.
"We have to move faster," I informed Wallace and nodded towards Logan when he gave me a confused look. His eyes widened slightly, and we picked up the pace.
I fumbled with my keys and had just gotten the door open, when Logan broke free from us and stumbled towards the bathroom. I tried to ignore the sounds coming from the wide open door and turned to meet Wallace's disgusted face.
"I need you to head over to the Sac-N-Pac and pick up a few things for me," I started heading towards my refrigerator to pull down our memo pad. On the top page was a note from my dad:
Bail jumper in Kansas.
Be back Sunday,
What were the odds of my father being out of town on the day I volunteered to look after a sick Logan? I really hoped this wasn't some sick, cosmic joke. If so, Fate was a fickle bitch.
"Okay," I continued, flipping passed my dad's note. I grabbed a pen off the counter and made a quick list for Wallace.
"Why do I have to get this stuff?" he asked when I ripped the list from the pad and handed it to him. "Don't I spend enough time at the Sac-N-Pac?"
"Okay, you can sit here with Logan," I replied reaching out to grab the list from him.
"On second thought, I'll take the errands," Wallace responded heading towards the door.
"Wait," I called and followed him out. I handed my keys over and said, "He left his jacket in my car, he said it was too hot. Can you get his key card out of his pocket and stop by his place. Maybe get him a change of clothes. Please."
"You owe me several," Wallace informed me before pocketing my keys and starting down the stairs.
"You're my knight and shining armor, Wallace," I called after him. He vaguely waved in reply, and I smiled back before heading back inside.
Logan was just exiting the bathroom. He stumbled towards my couch, falling face first onto it, and slowly turning over on his side to look at me. He gave me a small, semi-sarcastic smile, and said, "I bet you love seeing me like this."
"Oh yes, it's the highlight of my week," I retorted crossing the room to sit on the floor next to him.
"You don't have to do this," he muttered and I nodded. I knew I didn't have to help him, but that didn't mean I wasn't going to. He was my (friend turned ex-friend turned friend again turned boyfriend turned ex-boyfriend) classmate, I couldn't leave him to fend for himself. Or, heaven forbid, trust Kendall to look after him.
"Get some sleep," I suggested pushing myself to my feet.
"And here I thought you didn't like me," he joked feebly before turning his back to me.
My phone rang, a shrill sound from my pocket, and I hurriedly moved away from Back-up's food dish, carrying my cell outside to keep from disturbing my sleeping ex. I checked the id and cheerfully answered, "Bail jumper got you down, Dad?"
"Why do I get the feeling you're doing something I wouldn't approve of?" her father retorted and Veronica smiled.
"When have I ever done something you wouldn't approve of?" I asked in faux-innocence and my dad sighed.
"Whatever it is, please be careful. And wear gloves. And I'll be sure to punish you when I get home."
"I promise, Dad, I'm not doing anything illegal," I said crossing my heart. "And if I was, you'd be the first to know."
"Yes, after Lamb or Cliff has gotten a hold of me," my father deadpanned. "Just be careful, sweetie."
"I will, and you too. I don't want to get a call from Cliff telling me one of his bail jumpers shot you or something." That was one of my greatest fears, losing my dad.
"Oh you know me, honey. I am always careful," he joked, but I could hear the underlying 'I'll keep in constant contact' in his voice. "Hey, my plane is boarding. I'll call you when it lands."
"Okay Dad. I love you."
"Love you, too." And he was gone. I ended the connection, staring at my phone for a few more seconds, wondering why I didn't just tell him about Logan. It's not like we were going to be doing anything explicit. I was just making sure he didn't choke on his own vomit.
I returned to my apartment, stopping in the doorway to see Backup sitting on Logan's chest, licking his face. I bit my lip to keep from laughing and said, "What is it about you?"
"Get him off me," Logan wheezed trying to push my dog away from him.
"Backup," I said and he jumped off the couch, trotting to my side. Logan sat up, coughing, rubbing his chest.
"What are you feeding him?" he asked hoarsely nodding at Backup.
"Oh Backup, he called you fat," I commented and my dog just stuck his tongue out. "Nothing? Seriously?" My dog turned and trotted towards my room. "Judas," I called after him.
"Face it, Veronica," Logan started coughing again, "your dog likes me more than you."
"We'll see. You're not the one who feeds him," I joked quietly, pushing my worry away. He looked worse than early. It was as if the nap did more harm than actual good. "Are you hungry?" I asked heading towards the fridge. "I can make you something."
"I'm fine," he responded lying back down. I wondered if he were feeling dizzy, and was about to ask him, when someone knocked. The door opened, and Wallace walked in carrying a Sac-N-Pac bag in his hands, his backpack over his shoulder.
"Okay, note to everyone present, remind get a place at some swanky hotel the next time I can afford it," Wallace commented dropping his backpack by the door. "Because I could fit everything in my room and your room in one of those rooms." He turned to me, and I nodded, already having been to Logan's place once or twice. Of course, that had been when it was Duncan's.
"You were at my place?" Logan asked sitting back up again. "Why?"
"Relax, I didn't touch anything I wasn't supposed to," Wallace replied putting the Sac-N-Pac bag on the counter.
"I asked him get some of your clothes," I said when I noticed Logan open his mouth.
"That's sweet, really," he started sardonically, "but I'm not staying here." Logan attempted to get to his feet, but the room seemed to spin around him, because he landed back on the couch, clutching his stomach.
"Stay down, unless you want to make another trip to the bathroom," I told him as I dug into the Sac-N-Pac bag. I pulled out a box of saltines, opened them, and tossed a package at Logan. "Eat some of those. They should help your stomach settle."
"So, basically, you're holding me here against my own will?" Logan asked losing the sarcasm in his voice and replacing it with barely controlled anger.
"Isn't that a felony, Wallace?" I questioned turning to my friend.
"Definitely. You're more like, taking care of a stubborn patient," Wallace responded and we nodded in unison.
"This is ridiculous," Logan muttered crossing his arms.
"Hey, it's either me or Dick. And I'm fairly certain getting drunk and stumbling around town won't help that bug you've caught. So, suck it up and eat your crackers." I was being rude sure, but I wasn't going to spend the entire night worrying about Logan Echolls.
"I'm not hungry," he grumbled pushing the crackers onto the floor. "You know, if I am here against my will, you could at least put on that nurse's outfit for me."
"Wallace will get right on that," I deadpanned.
"What?" Wallace exclaimed and Logan smirked, lying back down.
Logan's fever spiked around five. I had checked it earlier, before feeding Backup, and it had been hovering between 100 and 101. When I checked it again, it was around 102. Cause for alarm? Not yet, but I knew I had to keep an eye on him.
"I'm back," Wallace quietly called as he walked into my apartment. He was carrying a Tupperware container full of something liquid and yellow. "My mom thinks you're sick," he commented handing the container over to me. "She sent soup."
"You told her I was sick?" I questioned carefully, knowing how Wallace's mother was friends with my dad. Or, last I checked, they were friends. I mean, they did end things when he found out she lied to him, or something like that; he hadn't really told me much about their break up. Regardless, she could easily call my dad and he would be on the next available flight home.
"I told her I thought you were getting sick," Wallace corrected me. "And that I was going to stay with you until your dad gets home."
"So, I get two jailers?" Logan asked hoarsely from his sprawled position on the couch. "Fantastic."
"Can it or I'll call Backup in here," I said and he threw me a look before covering his eyes with his arm.
"How's he doing?" Wallace questioned quietly, nodding towards Logan.
"Same as usual. Except, you know, the 102 fever and throwing up regularly," I replied recalling the last time Logan vomited after I made him take a couple pills and drank some Gatorade. He nearly didn't make it to the bathroom. It was the exact reason the bathroom garbage can was sitting on the floor next to him, to avoid any accidents.
"I can hear you," Logan grumbled, but I ignored him.
I carried the bowl of soup over to our microwave and pulled open the door. "You need to eat something," I called over my shoulder and I placed the bowl in the middle of the glass plate. I closed the door and set the timer.
"'m not hungry."
"My mom makes some damn good soup," Wallace pointed out, no doubt trying to help.
"I'm still not hungry."
"Logan, a gut feeling tells me you haven't eaten at all today." Okay, so it was more than a gut feeling. I had spotted him at lunch, picking at his food but not actually eaten it. What a shame, that pizza looked really good.
"What's the point? Give it ten minutes, and it'll be like I haven't eaten anything anyway," he retorted drily.
"Humor me," I responded as the microwave beeped.
"I tried earlier, and you shot me down." He threw me a smirk, and I glared at him. I turned to the microwave, pulling the door open, and removed the soup.
"Just two bites," I pressed grabbing a spoon out of the drawer. I carefully removed the top of the bowl, set it on the counter, and slowly carried the steaming soup towards my stubborn ex. He rolled his eyes to the ceiling, but slowly sat up.
I set it down on the end table first, found an old book neither my dad nor I had read in a while, and had Logan use that as a makeshift table. He smiled up at me and asked, "Are you going to feed it to me?"
"Do you want to wear it?" I retorted with a sweet smile. His eyes narrowed slightly, but he shrugged and scooped some soup onto the spoon.
He managed three mouthfuls, before he was scooping the trash can off the floor. I rushed forward, managing to save the bowl from upending all over the floor, and quickly backed away a few steps as Logan's face became acquainted with my bathroom waste basket.
Wallace took the bowl from me and carried it back to the counter. I slowly moved towards Logan, gently resting my hand on his shoulder. I could feel the heat radiating through his t-shirt. He was shuddering, his shoulder tensing with every wave of dry heave that wracked his body. He was still shaking when he managed to lift his head.
"Great soup," he muttered as I took the garbage can from him. "It's even better coming back up." Wallace chuckled, but his eyebrows were furrowed in reluctant worry.
I carried the waste basket into the bathroom, and quickly rinsed it out. When I returned to the living room, Logan was lying back down on his side. He was still shivering, arms crossed over his chest in an attempt to keep himself warm. I handed the waste basket to Wallace while I headed towards my room to get the extra blanket from my closet.
"Mom?" I froze, glancing over at the couch. I let my eyes shift to Wallace, but he was still passed out in my easy chair, so he was going to be no help to me. Unless, I gave him a shift kick…
"Mom? Mom, w-where…?" I carefully walked across the room, arming myself with the thermometer, and knelt down next to Logan. He didn't talk about his mother much, not since her suicide, and I never pushed him to talk while we were dating. A part of me wasn't sure I wanted to hear about Lynn Echolls.
"Shh, shh," I said softly, gently sticking the tip of the in his mouth, trying to keep him from spitting it out. "You're okay."
"Mom?" two unfocused, brown eyes locked on mine. My heart sank at the intense happiness behind his eyes, almost as if he were seeing his mother and not me. "Y-you came back?"
The thermometer beeped, and I removed it from his mouth. "I-I…" What did I do in a situation like this? Lie and pretend to be his mom or remind him that she was no longer around. To stall, I checked the thermometer and my eyes widened: 103.7.
"Okay," I started setting the thermometer on the end table. "Let's get this blanket off you," I continued striping the comforter from Logan's quaking body.
"Mom?" he whispered fighting me, trying to take the blanket back. I knew in his mind he was cold, but his temperature wasn't going to go down if he stayed covered up. "Mom, I'm c-cold."
"I know, but it's the fever," I replied accidently knocking into Wallace's leg.
"What?" he grumbled pushing himself up and rubbing sleep from his eyes.
"Sorry," I whispered to Wallace, moving back to Logan's side.
"Wait," Wallace said coming up behind me. "Did he just…?"
I ignored Wallace, kneeling down next to Logan as he reached for me. He grabbed my hand, clinging to it tightly, and said, "Mom, I-I thought…"
"Shh," I whispered running the fingers from my free hand through his damp hair. Logan's skin burned against my fingertips. A cool glass of water appeared above me, and I took it from Wallace, offering him a smile.
"Help me," I said and Wallace moved to sit behind Logan. With as much help as I could give him, Logan still clinging to my hand and calling me 'Mom,' we managed to get him into a sitting position. "Drink this," I said helping him take a sip.
"Not so much," I told Logan, stopping him from draining the glass and causing himself to be sick. I thought about giving him some more Tylenol, but he had been unable to keep the medicine down the last two times I tried. I wasn't sure if this time would be any different.
"Mom," Logan whispered as Wallace and I lowered him back to the couch. I resumed running my fingers through his hair, the action seeming to calm him down some. "P-please don't leave me, again."
The look on his face nearly broke my heart. I remembered how desperate he had been to find his mother last year. He would have done anything to get her back, and when he realized her sudden appearance had just been Trina milking Lynn's death for all it was worth, I had seen a side of Logan Echolls I hadn't seen since Lilly died, and even then it hadn't been that bad. Could I do that to him, again? Could I remind him that his mother wasn't ever coming back?
"I'm right here." I felt awful lying to him, but I knew I couldn't remind him his mother was dead. Not now. Not when he was like this. "I'm not going anywhere."
My dad called around midnight. I had been cleaning out the waste basket, watered down bile becoming my least favorite smell, when my phone rang. I pulled it from my pocket and answered as quickly as I could, again trying not to wake Logan.
"My bail jumper was easier to catch than I realized," my father informed me. "I'll be home in the morning."
"The morning?" okay, Veronica, it's now or never. You've gotta tell him. I drew in a deep breath and said, "Dad, I need to tell you something."
"Is Lamb attempting to arrest you?"
"Are you stranded at a biker bar?"
"Is there a boy over?" I didn't respond, and I heard my dad sigh. "Please tell me it's just Wallace."
"Wallace is here, too," I replied shrugging.
"Is this about a case? Is this the thing I wouldn't approve of? Please tell me it's not some cult or something to that effect. And please tell me he's not trying to take you to Vegas in his BMW to get married."
"BMW, Dad? I'm more of a Ferrari type girl, and I need to be driving it."
"A friend of mine was sick, and I offered to take care of him."
"This friend doesn't happen to have a lifelong ban from our house, does he?"
"If I say 'no' will you believe me?"
"Be careful," my dad said after a moment's pause. "And keep Backup close."
"Backup likes him dad," I reminded my father.
"Well, even Backup can be a bad judge of character," my dad joked, but I could hear the worry in his voice. The last time my dad and Logan had been in the same room, Logan had been doing a pretty, damn good impression of his father and my dad had been throwing him out.
"I'll be careful," I promised my father. "And I'm sure he'll be gone the moment this bug passes."
"Use Lysol, and wear gloves. And maybe a mask."
"Veronica," Wallace called from the front room.
"I have to go," I said noting the slightly worried tone in my friend's voice.
"You, too," I replied and hung up, rushing into the living room. "What's…?"
"V-Veronica? W-where's…?" Logan was trying to push himself up, his brown eyes burning with fever and determination.
My name wasn't one I thought he'd call out. I figured he'd still be asking for his mother, or maybe Lilly. Neither had broken his heart on the same couch he was lying on now; not like I did. I always figured I had been crossed off his 'names I will call out when I have a fever' list the moment my father kicked him out of the apartment.
"She's right here," Wallace said quietly, and I nearly shook my head 'no.' I wanted to help Logan, be Veronica for him, but he already thought I was his mother. Were his hallucinations going to make me two different people, or was he going to be convinced I had abandoned him?
"M-mom, I have to find…" so, I was still Mom. "I need to tell her…"
"I'm sure she'll be back," I said softly, snapping back to reality and cross the room to kneel next to him. "Whatever you need to say to her can wait."
"W-why didn't she love me?"
Logan's fever broke around four the next morning and did not return. I brought him around long enough to give him some Tylenol, which he thankfully kept down, before I curled up in my easy chair with a book. Wallace had passed out in my bed around three, and I decided to just keep him there. What was the point, really, in making him move?
I must have fallen asleep somewhere between chapter one and four, because the next thing I was aware of was being awoken by a silent swear word. I peeled my eyes open to see Logan trying to get off the couch.
"Need help?" I asked causing him to jolt slightly. He looked my way, his bloodshot eyes locking on mine, and ran a hand through his messy hair. "What time is it?" I asked stretching, pushing myself to my feet.
"I…" he coughed into the nook of his arm. "I don't know."
I checked my phone, nodded, and said, "Where were you headed?"
"Bathroom," he responded and I offered him a hand. He was reluctant at first, but finally relented and accepted my help. We slowly walked towards the bathroom where we parted ways. He kept the door ajar, and I leaned against the wall, staying close, just in case he needed me.
"I see you decided against the nurse's outfit," he commented drily a minute or two later, standing in the doorway.
"What is it with you and seeing me in a nurse's outfit?" I questioned helping him back to the couch.
"If I have to be sick, I would rather enjoy my experience," he retorted, smirking.
"You saw me ask Wallace, but he said some very ill-advised words on the subject. Maybe next time."
We fell silent. He leaned back into the couch, while I stood above him with my arms crossed. We made a show of not looking at each other. It reminded me of two third graders, and I was about to say something, but he cut me off. "Thanks, you know, for yesterday."
"Don't mention it. I think it was just a twenty-four hour thing anyway. Besides, by Monday the entire student body will have convinced itself you were suffering from a hangover. Best work on your story now."
He smirked again, but didn't respond.
We fell silent again, but I quickly broke it up by saying, "So…"
"Look Veronica…" he started at the same time.
We were saved from whatever we were about to say by my dad walking into the door carrying a bag full of donuts. "Hey kids," he said cheerfully. Or trying to be cheerful; I noticed his eyes flick to Logan very briefly before he continued towards the counter.
"How are you feeling?" my dad asked, smiling Logan's way.
"Better now," Logan replied getting to his feet. I saw him waver slightly, but he managed to keep his balance. "I think it was just a twenty-four hour bug. Veronica was a fantastic host, and Wallace was a great nurse."
"Do you need a ride anywhere?" my dad asked curiously.
"I'll take him to his car," I volunteered before Logan could reply. He met my eyes and shrugged, moving towards the door to get his shoes.
He collected his clothes from yesterday, wearing the set Wallace had brought back from his apartment, and followed me out of the apartment. I noticed him shiver slightly, and I hoped it was from the light breeze and not his bug returning. He had managed to keep vomit and fever free for the past four hours. Or, as far as I knew he had, there was a chance I missed something when I had been asleep.
"I'm fine," he said softly. "Stop worrying." He always had that uncanny ability to know what I was thinking. Sometimes it was unsettling, but this time I gave him a small smile.
"Your jacket is in my car," I reminded him and he nodded. I unlocked his door first before moving around my car to the driver seat.
"What? Not going to open the door for me?" he asked and I gave him a look. "Alright," he whispered pulling the door open. He made a point to put his jacket on first before getting into my LeBaron.
We drove in silence back to the school. I wondered if Clemmons would corner Logan and I on Monday and ask what we were doing on school property so early on a Saturday morning. I wonder if he'd believe me if I told him we were cleaning up litter in order to make the school a more decent place to go.
I pulled up to Logan's car, putting my LeBaron into park, and glanced over at him. We were quiet for a second, but he took a breath and said, "Thanks again."
"You didn't have to…"
An awkward silence filled my car, but finally Logan looked at me and said, "Should we kiss or am I still contagious."
"Good-bye, Logan," I responded ignoring the swooping sensation my stomach had done at his suggestion.
"You are an awful date, Ronnie," he commented with a smile, pushing the door open. "See ya in school, Detective Girl."
He shut the door, moving towards his Xterra. I watched as he got into his car and stayed parked in my spot long after he had left. I thought about the bombshell he had unintentionally dropped on me: 'Why didn't she love me?'
Logan had once told me he was falling in love with me. I had made a joke about it, but in the back of mind I always wondered if I felt the same way. With Duncan it had always come so easy, but it seemed with Logan I had to fight through the fog to find my true feelings. And maybe, deep, deep down I did love him as much as I loved Duncan, but I never got to find out. We had broken up and I had gone back to Duncan before I even had time to explore those uncharted feelings.
Perhaps those feelings still lingered somewhere in the back of my mind. Maybe that was why I had decided to take care of my sick ex without giving it much thought. Or maybe it was just seeing an old friend in need. Whatever the reason, I wasn't sure I wanted to use my keen investigating skills to find out.