Title: Trust Issues
Fandom/Pairing: VM, Logan/Veronica
Rating: PG-13? I use the dreaded effword. Is that enough to get me an R?
Summary: A what if? fic. Specifically, what if Veronica hadn't run off after finding the cameras in A Trip to the Dentist?
Disclaimer: I didn't buy Veronica and Duncan's OMG true love. That alone should probably be able to convince you that I am not, in fact, Rob Thomas and do not, in fact, own these characters.
She’s about to leave the pool house; her jacket is back around her shoulders like armor, and she has dialed the number of the one person she knows with absolute certainty will come and get her without asking any uncomfortable questions. One foot is already out the door, her finger hovers over the green “send” button, ready to press down, when she stops. Thinks. She looks back at the hidden video system again, bites her lip. Uncertain. A sudden burst of loud laughter from the house startles her, and she jumps. Instead of making the call she was so desperate to make not two minutes before, she puts her cell back in her pocket, and walks decisively back into the pool house. She will find her truth, and if it turns out to be what she suspects, who she suspects, she will ruin him.
It takes longer to get their drinks than Logan would like. He tries to sneak in and out, mindful of the warm, happy blonde that he left lounging across the bed in the pool house, eager to get back to her and privacy, but he finds himself waylaid. First Dick stops him, demanding to know if he meant what he said earlier, Beaver cringing with embarrassment at his side. After reassuring Dick that yes, he’d meant every word, anyone who even thought about Veronica with anything other than perfect friendliness better watch their back, Logan manages to acquire some rum and two cokes, and his on his way back out the door when he is stopped again, this time by his father. Aaron wants to be congratulated on his party idea, and Logan obliges because it is faster than spewing the bitterness that lodges in his throat every time he looks at the man in front of him and remembers what his mother was forced to resort to just to get away. Right at this particular moment he doesn’t want to make his father pay for his sins – all he wants to do is get back to Veronica. It’s his pseudo birthday, after all, and he should be able to spend it with whoever he wants – and who he wants has been waiting for him far longer than she should have. So he gives his father what he wants, and breathes a sigh of relief when it makes him go away, smug in his belief that he is making some headway with his stubborn son.
Finally, Logan finds himself once again at the entrance to the pool house, aware that it has taken about fifteen minutes longer than he’d told her it would, and as he enters through those stupid curtains he’s already apologizing, brandishing his bounty and fully expecting to see Veronica perched on the bed, giving him one of her exasperated looks. The words die on his lips when he doesn’t immediately see her, and he steps into the room, looking around. She is gone, and even as he steps farther into the room and opens his mouth to call her name, he knows she won’t answer. Once again, Veronica Mars has left Logan alone with not a word of explanation.
He thinks briefly about heading back into the party, finding something to spike his drink and someone to help him forget that his girlfriend keeps running away from him, but disappointment is heavy in his chest and the last thing he wants to do is pretend to have fun with the sycophants in the main house, most of whom decided to come because it was the great Aaron Echoll’s issuing the invite, and not because of any warm feelings toward the “birthday boy” in question. Besides, he already knows that tomorrow will see him back at Veronica’s door, demanding an explanation for ditching him this time. The last time it happened she had a pretty good reason for doing so, even though he didn’t know it at the time, and he tells himself that the reason for this one might be good, too, because otherwise he just doesn’t understand why she wouldn’t at least tell him she was leaving. Also, he doesn’t need to go back to the party to have fun; he already has a bit of “celebration” on him. Decision made, Logan throws himself on to the bed, fully ready to indulge in a night of sulking and drinking before he chases after his skittish girlfriend once again.
As he falls back on the bed, the screen across the room lights up. Logan jerks to his feet, startled, and stares across at what used to be a set of inlaid bookshelves, his eyes narrowed in confusion. He can’t be seeing what it looks like he is; but there’s no mistaking it. It’s a television screen, and the image it shows is one of the bed that he was just on. Logan stands where he is for a minute, his eyes traveling from the screen to the bed, before it all comes together in his mind. This must have been what had made Veronica run. She’d been waiting for him, had somehow seen the TV or the cameras…or maybe she’d just been looking around and had noticed something off, and her curiosity hadn’t let her rest until she’d figured out the mystery, as usual. So she’d found this setup that had to be his father's, because really, who else would be narcissistic enough to want to tape themselves in bed, and what? Automatically assumed that Logan had known, of course. Believed that he’d been aware of the cameras the entire time, and was using them to trap her into something that she no doubt thought he was going to use against her in future. So she still doesn’t trust him, despite what she’d said earlier. Figures.
Sick to his stomach at the thought that the girl he has been coming to care about more than anything would think him capable of that kind of betrayal, Logan deliberately forces his mind to something else. He will pick at that wound later, prodding it over and over like a sore tooth, but right now there is something slightly more pressing to deal with. It won’t go well for him if his father finds out that he knows about his dirty little secret. Since his mother’s death the punishments for his transgressions have stopped, but Logan is under no illusion that this will continue to be the case if Aaron finds out that he knows about the cameras. Self-preservation has him crossing over to the television, checking to see if there is currently a tape inside recording his discovery. There isn’t, and Logan lets out the breath he hasn’t been aware of holding. He also searches the shelves located below the television briefly, more out of a mild, twisted curiosity than anything else, but there is nothing to be found there either. Obviously, his father had deemed it bad taste to resume his porn habit with Lynn so recently dead. He doesn’t doubt that Aaron will pick it up again soon enough. He wonders if his mother had known, and shudders, hoping that she hadn’t. Gritting his teeth and vowing that somehow, he will stop his father from making any more tapes, Logan shuts the screen behind the bookcase with hands that are shaking slightly. He feels nauseas and wants nothing more than to get the hell out of there.
“I take it from your reaction that you had no idea about the cameras.”
Her voice startles him, and he spins around, nearly overbalancing. Veronica stands in the doorway, the curtains billowing around her, her arms wrapped tightly around herself. She looks small and scared and helpless, and for a moment all he wants to do is go her, take her in his arms and kiss away the frown between her brows, and he actually starts towards her before her words register and he stops a foot or two away. He huffs out a bitter laugh, shaking his head. “Of course. I must have known, right? I mean, it’s not like there’s another philandering narcissist living in my house with the means of acquiring a setup like th-oh, wait.”
She glares at him. “I had to know. I had to be sure.”
“Sure you did. Because heaven forbid Veronica Mars believe that I’m not doing something incredibly twisted. Tell me, Ronnie, if you wanted to know so badly, why didn’t you just ask me?”
“You told me, you said that you brought girls here-“
“I was joking! My god, Veronica, I have a perfectly serviceable bedroom. That’s where I usually go with girls, but in case you didn’t notice, there’s a fucking party going on in my house right now! I just wanted to be alone with you. I’d never-how could you think-why didn’t you-you said you trusted me!” The last part is a shout. He is breathing heavily, fists clenched at his sides. He wants very badly to hit something.
Veronica looks away, biting her lip. “I thought I did, but then I saw those cameras and the television and you’d said you brought girls her and I just wasn’t sure…” her voice cracks, and she takes a deep breath. When she looks at him again, Logan is unsurprised to see her eyes shining with tears. “I’m sorry. I jumped to conclusions and they were wrong and I’m sorry. I do trust you, I just got scared, and it was easier to blame you right away than…” she falters, and blinks rapidly. A tear falls, and suddenly the anger drains out of Logan. He’d spent a year treating this girl like shit for something that wasn’t even her fault. He’d taken everything he’d learned about her during their friendship and used it against her, trying his best to inflict as much damage as possible. Was it really any wonder that she was having a hard time trusting that he wasn’t going to hurt her again?
His shoulders slump, and he rubs a distracted hand over his face. “Okay,” he says, sighing. “Okay. “
Her eyes widen, and she takes a tentative step forward, but stops when Logan shakes his head. “No, don’t come in here. I don’t…let’s just go somewhere else. Anywhere else.”
Veronica nods, glancing quickly behind him into the pool house. It’s obvious she doesn’t want to be in there, either. She starts to turn away, hesitates, then slowly lifts her arm, holding her hand out to him, fingers splayed. Logan studies her for a moment, long enough for her to look uncertain, to start to pull her hand back. Before she can, though, he reaches out, linking his fingers through hers. He squeezes lightly, and she smiles and squeezes back. He will drive them somewhere in his car - somewhere no one will bother them – and they will hash this out. She might not truly trust him just yet, and he might not have fully forgiven her for jumping to conclusions, but they will work through it, and hopefully the next time Veronica's incredible paranoia tells her he’s done something horrible, she’ll actually try talking to him before she runs away. A guy can only hope.
After what feels like a lifetime of waiting, he takes her hand and she smiles at him, her heart lightening in relief as he half-smiles back. She’d been wrong, again, and it had almost cost her that smile, something that she is only now beginning to realize she wants to keep. Trust is hard for her to give, but she finds herself thinking that it might be worthwhile to allow him some. He’s proven himself to her twice over, and forgiven her snap judgment both times when by all rights he should never want to see her again, and she tells herself that the next time her penchant for jumping to conclusions points her in his direction, she will proceed with caution, that she will at the very least give him the benefit of the doubt…but even as she promises herself this, in the back of her mind she wonders if it is a promise she will be able to keep.