Fandom: Veronica Mars
Rating: R for language and themes
Disclaimer: The characters and situations in this story belong to Rob Thomas, not to me.
Original Story: "The Date", by pressdbtwnpages
SPOILERS: through Season Three. Set circa 3x13, "Postgame Mortem" (AU)
"I want to go out with you," she says on Monday.
Logan surfaces slowly from his Art History textbook, frowning at her.
Veronica stands at the other side of the table, hands braced on the edge. Logan realizes he's holding a french fry midway between his plate and his mouth, and he glances down as a blob of ketchup slides off the end of the fry. There's something both stupid and sinister about how the drop nails the edge of his plate with a small splat, then splashes his lunch tray. Goodbye, cruel world.
"We should go out," Veronica continues briskly. "This Friday."
"We're back together now? Guess I missed that memo."
"I don't blame you for hooking up with Madison in Aspen."
"We were broken up then."
Logan sets the french fry on his plate. "I broke up with you. You came back."
"And then you lied to me."
"You asked me if I was with anyone while we were broken up. I told you yes."
Veronica waves one hand irritably. "What I'm saying is I'm sorry."
"And you really sound like it."
"Be ready at eight."
"Maybe I already have plans."
"You don't." Veronica gives him a sassy smile and walks away, hips swishing.
Logan hurls his jacket and his books at the couch.
Dick pauses his game of Dead or Alive Volleyball. "How was your day, honey?"
"Veronica and I are back together."
"Congratulations," Dick says, eyes narrowed. Obviously trying to make the words coming from Logan's mouth jive with the expression on Logan's face.
"I'm taking her out this Friday."
"High-powered sniper rifle?"
Logan smiles thinly. Dick doesn't smile back.
"Dude," he says. "What the hell are you doing?"
"I don't know," Logan answers.
Logan knocks on the door Chez Mars, and waits for an eternity like an utter fucktard, his heart a roaring engine in his ears.
He was so sure they were over. As much as he wanted her back –- as much as he still wants her back –- he knows it'll be the same old song, all night long. Gasp and moan, and then she'll turn sharp. Pointed question after pointed question. No matter how he tries to please her, he never can. Not like that.
Veronica opens the door and sweeps onto the breezeway of the apartment building, wearing a devastatingly tight dress as slippery, satiny-pink as the places where she does let him inside.
If he could only fuck her out of his system. If, if, if. His father worked exactly the same way, and Logan never could resist pulling that lever. Sometimes the slot machine rolled up triple cherries, and he got a hug. Sometimes three black bars. Sorry kid. That's Vegas for ya; here's a cigarette butt crushed on your arm.
"Let's blow this clambake," Veronica says, and tucks her hand into his.
The gesture feels incredibly intimate to Logan. Their tongues have been in each others mouths and various other places, and he's had his cock up in her so many times he's lost count, but her hand in his hand really is the gesture of a date, not a fuck buddy.
Dragging Logan behind her, Veronica heads for the stairs. Here's the two of them at their finest. She, firmer with every step, pulling him behind her like a little girl with a wagon, except this evening she's got him by the hand instead of by the dick.
He looks for the yellow Xterra in the parking lot and he doesn't see it, and then he remembers it's gone. Traded in, and now he drives the black Range Rover. By the time they finally reach Logan's truck, they are both laughing for completely different reasons.
"Are you drunk?" Veronica asks.
"No," he lies.
"Because, I can drive, if you..."
"I'm fine," he tells her.
Logan's fingers caress the linen table cloth, flit over the utensils. He finds the steak knife by its wooden handle.
"Please tell me you're going to order actual food," he says because neither of them has said anything for a while, and he knows if the silence stretches any tighter, he'll say something unforgivable. Again. "And not just a salad."
Veronica smiles harder. She hasn't stopped smiling since they left her place.
Raising her eyebrow, she inquires, "Is that a challenge, Mr. Echolls?"
With Veronica Mars, everything is a challenge, and she takes his shrug for an affirmative. Of course she does.
"Hmm then..." Veronica peruses her menu. "What are you getting?"
Logan hasn't made it past the list of drinks yet.
She cuts him off before he can answer. "Because for a true challenge, we should order the same thing, and see who can eat more."
"Steak," he says. Preferably, through your heart.
Veronica says it so seriously, and the whole thing is so stupid, that she and Logan look at one another and dissolve into brittle, bright laughter again.
She's still laughing when the waitress arrives, so Logan orders their identical meals, and a scotch for himself, and the waitress's eyes narrow. Logan can't tell if that's because she's a feminist, and she assumes he's being a chauvinist by ordering for his date, or because he's checking out how her breasts swell against her white tuxedo shirt. He's tempted to ask, but before he gets the chance, she stomps off with their order.
Veronica's determination to win at any cost forestalls small talk over dinner. It's not even an equal challenge, really, since he's consuming so many extra calories in liquor.
"I like to see a girl with a healthy appetite," he says.
She licks sour cream off the corner of her lip. "I'll work off the meal later."
"Oh yeah? Doing what?"
Daintily, she dabs her mouth with a corner of her napkin. "Don't be like that, Logan. You and I both know you're a sure thing."
Logan's fingers tighten around his glass, and the ice cubes chatter. "Fuck you," he says quietly.
"That's the plan," Veronica replies cheerfully. Her small, stockinged foot slithers up his ankle, under the cuff of his pants. "Dessert?"
"What's the lady's pleasure?"
"Chocolate. And then you."
When the Death By Chocolate cake is placed in front of Veronica, and a fresh Scotch in front of Logan, Veronica immediately scrapes off all the frosting.
"You have to eat the frosting, too." Logan says. "Or else it isn't a challenge."
"I love frosting," Veronica replies.
He watches her peel a layer of cake away from the frosting, and pop the cake into her mouth.
"Saving the best for last?" he asks.
"Exactly. Why contaminate perfectly good frosting with cake?"
Logan lets her eat all of the Death By Chocolate, until nothing remains but frosting. He watches her lick and suck the frosting off her fork, lips and tongue and throat working, eyes slitted with pleasure. This is an incredibly obvious attempt to seduce him, and it's working. He's thinking about ripping that pink satin sheath off her, licking and sucking her until she screams. Veronica Mars, sticky-sweet, five-layer chocolate cake, served piping hot. With a side of ice cream that never melts. She's right. He is a sure thing. Fuck him, indeed.
His brain goes back to eight grade for a second; he's sitting at the lab station next to Caitlin Ford, copying her homework from last night, (totally the teacher's fault for seating them alphabetically), while Mr. Levin lectures about carnivorous plants. Next slide, please. The pitcher plant. A pretty pink flower, shaped like a steep-sided cup. Rainwater collects in the bottom; beads of sweet nectar swell on the curling lip, tempting an insect to take a taste... venture in a little farther to taste again. Then the insect slips and tumbles to the bottom, where it discovers it can't scale the slippery sides. It drowns. And the pitcher plant eats it.
At long last, Veronica grants him mercy.
"This is a testament to exactly how much I like you, Logan. Would you like some of my frosting?"
"Love some." He reaches across the table, wipes frosting off the corner of her mouth with his thumb, and licks it off. "Delicious."
She's deliberately sloppy with her next few bites, and when Logan stretches out his hand again, Veronica's tongue snakes along his thumb, and his eyes close involuntarily.
She takes Logan's hands and twirls him in great circles along the beach, toward the water. Logan catches her in his arms, pulling her down into the sand, kissing her at last, starving for her. He lifts his mouth from hers and turns his head, burying his face against the sweet-smelling skin of her neck, one hand clenching sharp grains of cool, hard-packed sand to keep his balance in their awkward position, arms and legs twisted like wind-sculpted trees. Her hair tumbles over his face.
Veronica touches his cheek. "Chocolate makes you melancholy."
"You ate most of the chocolate."
"Chocolate makes me melancholy, then."
Please shut up, he wants to tell her. Just this once. Please. Let it go.
"Do you think it's too late?" she asks. "For us? Too many bridges burned?"
"You're the one who wanted to go on a date. You tell me."
"I don't know anymore."
Logan pulls away abruptly and rubs the back of his neck, wincing. "Crick," he explains.
"Way to break the mood, Logan."
"Better a mood breaker than a neck-breaker."
Veronica rolls her eyes and scrambles up, brushing sand from the wrinkles in her pink skirt. Scooting around behind him, she lays her hands on his shoulders and massages the kink out of his neck.
Keep squeezing, he thinks.
She works her way to his shoulders, then she tugs him down until he lies in the sand looking up at her. She climbs on top of him, kissing his mouth, his throat, his collarbone. Hot sparks race through his body like cinders whirling up a flue. He clings to her. He can't help himself. Even drunk as he is, his body ignites right away, burning like all her bridges and... oh, oh. Oh. God. He's going to burn all night, down to the foundation, everything inside of him charring to ash.
"I like having the upper hand," Veronica laughs softly.
"What a surprise."
"What are you doing tomorrow night?" she asks him.
"Spending it with you."
"Good," she says.
Logan tangles his hands in her hair, drawing her down to him. Veronica stretches out, and he luxuriates in the warmth of her against him. He knows she loves the way he makes her feel. Just like he knows she'll never love him.
His hands tighten around her waist, and he flips her over, rolling on top of her.
"Oof! You jerk!" she laughs. She pushes against his chest, but she's too small to budge him. "Come on. This sand is cold. What are you doing?"
Logan smiles, skimming his fingers up her pale throat. Veronica shivers.
"Regaining the upper hand," he says.
Empty bottles roll across the swaying deck like distant thunder. He's drunk. Oh boy is he drunk. He can't remember a damn thing. The film is missing a few scenes; maybe a lot of scenes -- but one of them is a snap to fill in: Our Hero stumbling onboard the Echolls family yacht, taking a few comic pratfalls along the way.
Logan lifts his head. He's sprawled on one of the padded deck benches, and all his muscles ache, as if he's clenched them hard, for a long time. Salt spray stings his exposed skin. He squints at his bloodless hands in the moonlight, at the dark lines straggling across his knuckles and up his wrists, disappearing under his sleeves. He's crisscrossed with scratches like he tried to drown a cat.
He's so drunk he doesn't feel the cold, as the night ocean swallows him like a whore's mouth. He sinks, gazing up at bottom of the yacht fading above him. Broken by ripples, the shape looks like blond hair, drifting. But this isn't happening, because he'd never do this. He likes the abuse too much. Hit that slot machine, baby. Hit it, hit it again. He's only passing out. Finally. His last thought is not about Veronica. It's that he's gonna wake up with one hell of a hangover.
He sees her in the cafeteria on Monday. The phrase death by chocolate flits through his head; he's pretty sure they went to dinner. There might have been cake involved. Tongue hockey on the beach afterward. Maybe things went further, later. Sucks to be Logan; he still can't remember.
Veronica crosses the room. She looks pale, like she hasn't slept. Leaning down, she braces both hands on his table. Here it comes. He has no clue what he's done, but he knows he's expected to beg her forgiveness. And he will.
"I want to go out with you," she says.
"We've already had this conversation," Logan sighs.
"Men talk about shit," Dick tells him. "They don't 'have a conversation.' "
Startled, Logan turns his head. Dick sits next to him at the lunch table, plowing through a plate of french fries.
"Dude," Dick says with his mouth full. "What is wrong with you? Seriously."
He wipes the table in front of Logan, brushing away a skim of sand; it falls to the cafeteria floor with a whispering patter like rain, and he flicks it off his fingers, frowning.
Veronica strokes the black beaded choker around her throat. "What do you say, Logan? Be ready at eight?"
"Maybe I already have plans," Logan says.
Veronica smiles. "You don't."