Pairing/Character: Logan/Veronica ‘
Word Count: 3871
Rating: R for sexual situations, language
Spoilers/Warnings: Up through 2x12 (Wallace And Rashard Go To White Castle)
Summary: AU. Set a few months after 2x12. A sequel to The More Things Change. Veronica keeps coming back to the suite with games on her agenda. Logan doesn't mind.
Disclaimer: Rob Thomas lets me take them out of the box and play with them, but they go home with him at the end of the day.
Author’s Note: This fic was written for the Cheesy Love Songs Challenge (cheesy_love) run by the lovely strippedpink. I was assigned 'Open Arms' by Journey. Lyrics are behind the cut, just before the fic.
Open Arms by Journey
Lying beside you, here in the dark
Feeling your heart beat with mine
Softly you whisper, you’re so sincere
How could our love be so blind
We sailed on together
We drifted apart
And here you are by my side
So now I come to you, with open arms
Nothing to hide, believe what I say
So here I am with open arms
Hoping you’ll see what your love means to me
Living without you, living alone
This empty house seems so cold
Wanting to hold you, wanting you near
How much I wanted you home
But now that you’ve come back
Turned night into day
I need you to stay.
"Logan, prepare to have your ass soundly kicked." Veronica barrels into the suite unannounced, smiling in a most devious way.
Logan sighs theatrically. "Veronica, I’ve asked you before. Please stop talking about my ass. I'm not a piece of meat." Logan grins while still focusing on the screen in front of him. "Unless you are feeling carnivorous. Then something might could be arranged."
Veronica rolls her eyes, chuckling, and drops her bag by the couch. She stands and looks down at Logan, holding out a wrapped box. His eyes still haven't left the screen, fingers tapping his controller at lightning speed.
"Seriously, Mars. My ass is not a toy. It can't just be - what's this?" Logan looks up as the box hovers closer to his face. The bright red paper catches his eye. "What’s the occasion?" He looks genuinely surprised and a sound of pain comes from the screen.
Veronica glances over at the TV, shaking her head as she takes in the demise of his game persona.
"My condolences. Looks like you just had your heart ripped out.” When she turns back, she finds Logan is staring alternately at her and then the package she is holding. The look in his eyes is unnerving, to say the least.
"Right." Logan glances away to the screen and grimaces, dropping his controller by his side. He reaches out to take the package, still looking confused. A smile plays at the edges of his mouth as he looks at it. "It's not my birthday."
Veronica hands him the package, sits down next to him. "I know. But it was and I didn't get you anything. So, better late than never, eh?" She fidgets with her fingers a little before stopping, sitting up straight. Her attempts to appear comfortable with giving Logan a gift are failing miserably.
He doesn't seem to mind.
Turning the box over, he rips into it. Upon seeing the contents, he looks up, giving Veronica the biggest smile she's seen from him in quite some time. "Sweet. Revenge of the Sith. How did you - ?"
"Come on, Logan. You - we - played it a lot last summer.” She drops her eyes quickly, looks back to him again. Any mention of that time tends to thicken the air in the room. “I knew you lost it in the fire ‘cause we haven’t played it since you moved into your new abode.” Veronica gestures around the penthouse suite. “Plus, I remembered how much you like to play with your lightsaber." She grins.
"Do I ever. I seem to recall you had a certain skill playing with a saber yourself last summer.” Logan smirks as Veronica purses her lips. “In the game, of course.” Logan lifts his eyebrows at her, all innuendo and suggestion.
She shakes her head, half-smirking. "Of course. Now stop stalling and put the game in, so I can get to that ass kicking I promised.”
Logan puts one hand on his chest. "Why, Veronica Mars. If I didn't know better, I'd think you were flirting with me.”
"It’s a good thing you know better. Now, scoot.” Veronica gestures impatiently toward the Playstation.
"I love it when you’re bossy. Oh, wait. When are you not bossy?” Before she can slap his arm, Logan jumps up. After a few seconds of trying in vain to remove the plastic, he hands it to her. She slits it open with a tiny knife from her pocket and hands it back. It has all the hallmarks of a routine they've gone through before. Logan replaces the game he was playing with the new one and sits back down on the couch. His hip brushes Veronica's, their knees bumping.
She holds her breath for a second or two, looking over at him as he settles in. It's been awhile since they've had any physical contact without the Playstation as a go-between. Flipping each other onto the ground and landing one spin-kick after another on the other's character is the closest they've gotten in the two months since Veronica started appearing at Logan's door every Friday night.
At first, he tried to act like he was busy or she was keeping him from his wild party lifestyle, but it quickly became apparent that he looked forward to her arrival. To the way, after a few weeks, she just blazed into the suite, using Duncan's old key card without asking if it was okay. It's her way and Logan can't muster up too much of an argument when she yells out 'Honey, I'm home' one Friday as a joke. He remembers staring at her for a full ten seconds before they both changed the subject.
"Earth to Logan." A small hand waves in front of his eyes and Logan snaps to attention. Veronica is frowning slightly. "Where did you go?"
"Just...nowhere." He clears his throat, gestures at the opening screen. "So, regular game or battling head-to-head?”
This time Veronica is the one who looks at him a little too long before answering. "Head-to-head.”
“You seem a little extra feisty this evening. Something I should know about?”
Veronica loosens her shoulders, locks her hands in front of, fingers stretching. “I’ve just got pent up energy to expend. That a problem?”
Logan hesitates, wondering if they are having a different conversation now. He shakes his head slowly. “Not for me.”
A few minutes later, a fight erupts over character selection. Logan looks at her in surprise. “You picked Anakin? But I’m always Anakin.”
“Well, why? I could be Anakin.” Veronica purses her lips in a near-pout.
"No, no. I'm Anakin. He's all tortured and angry and does questionable things in the name of love.”
“Plus, he’s hot.” Veronica clears her throat, avoiding Logan’s eyes. Veronica hands him her controller and takes his. “Fine. You are Anakin."
For twenty minutes, their only exchanges are taunts and yelps and the occasional exclamatory swear word. It's come to be their best way of communicating. Veronica bangs into him with her body. "Hey! Stop doing that thing with the spinning...and the...damn it!"
"Your reaction time is like that of the elderly, Veronica. You’ll lose that pretty little head of yours if you’re not careful." He bumps her back, hip to hip.
“Aw, you think Obi Wan is pretty? That is so sweet." She shoves her shoulder in front of his, fingers tapping wildly. Her character reacts onscreen in a flurry of slices and dices that ultimately cost Logan/Anakin the match. "Ha! Kicking ass and taking names, really. Well, name. Yours." The duel resets and she frowns, sees that Logan's character is standing still. "What the - did your controller break?" When Veronica turns to him, she realizes her mouth is inches from Logan's. Startled, she jumps back into her own space on the couch and is mortified to realize a blush may be creeping up her cheeks. She takes pride in not blushing very often and wonders why every rule, every element of self-control she normally can exercise starts to falter inside the penthouse suite at the Neptune Grand.
Logan takes in the view, an out of breath, pink-cheeked Veronica Mars clutching her PS2 controller. “Star Wars geeks around the world are locking themselves in their bathrooms with your picture right about now."
The pink flush deepens slightly. “I like the fighting.”
“Clearly.” Logan lifts his eyebrows, bemused. “Should we get back to it?”
She nods, welcoming the distraction from the curious way Logan is studying her. “Maybe we should play the regular game for awhile? Beat back some bad guys?” Veronica thinks cutting back on the head-to-head action for now seems a bit safer for all concerned.
“Sure.” Logan gets them back to the menu, sends them off on a mission. “I’m still Anakin, though.”
“Yeah, yeah. I know.” She decides to keep the part about him still being hot to herself this time.
A few minutes later, in the middle of a fierce battle, Logan asks, “So, what’s the source of this extra energy, anyway, Veronica?”
“Huh?” Veronica has her concentration face on, tip of her tongue caught between her teeth as she leans forward. Logan finds it adorable and can’t stop peeking at her.
Of course, that's when he gets killed for the third time.
"Dude, pay attention!"
Logan laughs loudly. “Dude? Wow, I am rubbing off on you, Mars.”
She waves one hand at him quickly. “Just get back to work. I’m dying over here.”
Revived, Logan helps battle the hordes of enemies once again. After sneaking one more look, he repeats his question, striving for nonchalance. “So, you didn’t answer my question. The extra energy?”
Veronica frowns, brow furrowed in concentration, eyes on the screen. “It’s stupid, really. I...never mind.”
He shoots one glance at her, but keeps playing. “No way. Spill, Veronica.”
She rolls her eyes, wishes she’d kept her mouth shut. Veronica knows Logan will laugh at her.
Veronica jumps up from the couch, as a particularly tough enemy approaches. She does this sometimes. Gets so into the game, she can’t sit still. It’s the reason Logan bought wireless controllers. After the seventh or eighth time she yanked the whole console off the TV stand, he decided it was a good plan. She leans forward, fingers mashing buttons in learned sequences, her character reacting with lightning fast speed. Logan almost stops playing just to watch her, but knows he’ll get yelled at again. So, he helps. Enemy defeated, Veronica wrinkles her nose with glee. “YES!” She turns to Logan, grinning, as the game moves them to the next level.
He smiles slowly at her, and she feels something in her belly liquefy.
She takes a deep breath, hits pause on the game. “I took my first kickboxing class this afternoon.”
Logan looks confused at the apparent non sequitur.
“The extra energy?” She gestures with one hand.
Logan nods, “Ahh.” His brain refuses to release any more words until he gets the image of a sweaty Veronica Mars in spandex out of his mind. It could be awhile.
She drops down on the couch again, almost on top of Logan. “It was just so...physical and yeah, I loved t. It gave me a boost.” She bounces slightly on the last word, charming Logan with her enthusiasm, though he’s still a bit hung up on the way she said ‘physical.’
He chuckles lightly. “Suits you, I think.”
“You think? I thought you were going to make fun of me, honestly.”
“No. You’ve been kicking butt for years in other ways, so it’s about time you got literal about it.”
She grins, pleased.
“Of course, finding someone your own size to fight with might be a challenge. Unless they have an under-12 division?”
Veronica gasps. “Logan Echolls. What have I told you about judging by size?”
Logan taps his finger to his mouth in thought. “Wait! I have it. It’s not the size of the boat, it’s the motion in the ocean?” He smirks, eyes laughing.
“No, you’re getting confused. That’s what I always tell you to say to the ladies.”
“I’ve heard no complaints yet about the size of the S. S. Logan.”
Veronica rolls her eyes, covering her eyes with one hand. “That comment aside, I was referring to my mantra, you dork. 'What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - it's the size of the fight in the dog.' Good old Ike. And he never even met me.”
“You’re no dog, Veronica.” He gives her a once-over. And then another one.
“Stop being so literal. You know what I mean.”
“I do. And yeah. It’s true. You’ve got more fight tucked away in that little body than most people twice your size.”
Veronica pauses, waits for the punchline. When it becomes clear there is none, she lets her mouth hang open briefly. Logan simply paid her a compliment.
His eyes are locked on the controller, fingers flicking the buttons idly while the game hangs in suspended animation. He flicks his gaze to her, and she finds she can’t read him. Can’t figure out the look in his brown eyes. And the uncertainty drives her from the couch and toward the mini-kitchen in the suite.
“Thirsty?” She calls over her shoulder, fleeing the tangle of emotions around them.
Logan reclines on the couch, controller by his side. “Sure. A beer?”
She pads back in the room and he wonders when she took her shoes off. As Veronica hands him the beer, cap off, he smiles up at her. The near domesticity of the moment seems to affect them both.
She claps her hands, setting her bottle of water on the side table. “So? I think there was still some bad boys needing to get spanked?”
Logan sputters in his beer and Veronica hastens to correct herself. “The game! I meant...the game.” She finishes lamely, looking anywhere but at Logan as she takes up the keypad.
He wipes his mouth with the back of his hand, staring at her back as she leans into the game again. Shaking his head slightly with a smirk, Logan snatches up his controller and resumes the game.
* * *
Two hours later, all of Veronica’s extra pep is long gone. She is letting Logan battle on by himself for now as she takes a breather. A breather which is turning into a nap. Glancing over at a pause in the action, Logan notices she is curled up against the armrest of the couch, hand tucked under her cheek. Her eyes flutter slightly, but don’t open.
Her feet push against his thigh and right then, her toes dig into the fabric and she makes a small sound in her sleep. Logan jerks his eyes back to her as the sound becomes a little moan.
And that’s when he is killed once again.
“Dammit!” Logan returns to the game, scowling. The sound of his voice startles Veronica awake.
She sits up quickly. “It’s morning?!”
Eyes still on the screen, Logan reaches one hand over to quickly pat her back down. “I was kidding. It’s around midnight.” He retracts his hand quickly, both to avoid the laser fire onscreen and because he realizes he just patted Veronica’s ass. By accident, of course.
She sits up, making no comment on his inadvertent groping. He can hear her shifting around, her feet still pushing on his leg. It’s distracting. “Guess your Dad is expecting you home soon?” He tries to keep the disappointment out of his voice.
Her voice is a little sleepy when she replies. “No, he’s in Albuquerque.”
“Oh.” He concentrates really, really hard on the game. Logan can almost feel her watching him.
When he doesn’t answer, she elaborates. “With the game?”
“Nah. Unless you want to. I’m fine.”
“Mind if I stretch out?”
Before he can really answer, her feet move over his thigh and into his lap and Logan uses all his focus not to drop the controller. “No, that’s cool.”
The next time he reaches a lull in the game, he turns to look at Veronica. And this time, he does drop the controller briefly. Scrambling to pick it up, he tries to interpret the way her blue eyes are boring into him. There’s something dark and sleepy in them, something appraising. Logan looks away, his chest tightening.
He coughs a little, resuming the game. When they started this little Friday night ritual, it had been awkward. Really, the first time was the day she dropped off the letter from Duncan after he fled the country. He had been angry and she had been upset. She apologized and he accepted it by handing over the second controller to his PS2.
When she arrived the next Friday with popcorn and soda and a new copy of SSX On Tour, he blinked in confusion before opening the door. She’d been back every week since and never once asked if it was okay. While they always snarked at each other and some of it was halfway flirting, nothing had ever come of it. Until possibly now.
Truth be told, it was the best day of his week.
“I look forward to this every week, you know.” She throws it out there like she’s talking about the weather. Logan processes for a second before answering.
“Yeah, me too.” It’s as close to true confessions as the two of them usually manage, and it’s enough to make them fall silent.
The only sounds in the room for the next fifteen minutes are squawks and explosions from the game. When Logan looks over, she is asleep again, her head on the armrest. It looks awkward. Pausing the game, he turns to her, gently shakes her.
“Veronica, you can go lie on the bed, if you want. You’re going to get a crick.” He says it as calmly as he can muster. She’s never stayed here before. Not since Duncan left.
She blinks slowly, licks her lips. “Mmkay.” She half-rolls off the couch, getting to her feet slowly. Logan instantly misses the push of her against him, on top of his legs. At the same time, he is surprised she’s agreeing to crash instead of going home. When he hears a door, he looks to Duncan’s old room.
She’s not there. He cranes his neck around just in time to see the door to his room close behind her blonde ponytail.
Logan turns back to the game, but he is killed over and over for the next ten minutes. His mind can’t stop racing to the dark room just across the suite. The room with his bed. His bed with Veronica in it. Finally, he gives in, shutting the game off.
Logan sits on the couch, staring at the blank screen for a solid five minutes. His thoughts chase each other in circles. Telling him alternately to stay on the couch, or sleep in Duncan’s room. Be a gentleman. The other, more fun thoughts remind him that Veronica knew which room she went in. She had spent enough time in the other to know the difference. His face darkens slightly at the thought of his long-gone roommate. The fact is, after a few weeks, she stopped looking sad every time she looked at Duncan’s old room. She never brought him up and neither did Logan.
He started to let himself think she was over him. Duncan, that is. Which seemed amazing, since he was still waiting to get over Veronica, almost a year after they broke up.
Logan studied his closed door. He was tired of waiting.
Standing up, he walks quietly towards his room, flicking off lights on the way there. When he first enters, it is pitch black and he can’t see a thing. When the door clicks behind him, he hears a rustling sound from the direction of his bed.
He debates what to do next. He normally sleeps in his boxers, but wonders if that would freak Veronica out. His heart races as he realizes he is trying to figure out what to wear to get in bed with Veronica. Logan moves to the side, finds the chair near his bed. Puts a hand down to brace himself as he takes his socks off and feels denim. In the dark room, he can’t see what he’s touching, but he knows the maid put all his clothes away this morning. His fingers moves over the fabric, realization dawning.
He unbuttons and unzips his pants as fast as he can do it, quietly. Hesitating slightly, he yanks his t-shirt over his head and chucks it on the chair. When he finally slides into the bed, mattress dipping in reaction to his weight, Logan’s nerves are pulled tight as a drum.
“I started to wonder if I should have left breadcrumbs.” Her voice is thick with sleep, and he guesses she is close. When her hand finds his arm, he realizes just how close.
“I... Veronica...” Logan is nervous. He can’t believe it. “What...”
She shifts her body and he suddenly feels the warmth of her along his side. Logan takes a deep breath.
“I woke up this morning and realized... I was happy. It’s been awhile, y’know?”
Her fingers curl into his bicep, nails grazing the skin lightly. Logan shivers. “What other revelation did you have over your morning bowl of Lucky Charms?”
“That I was happy because it was Friday. Fridays mean Logan.”
Logan turns in the direction of her voice, his body pressing against hers. He feels the soft cotton of her t-shirt, the warm tangle of her legs in his.
She continues. “And I thought...Veronica, you could wake up happy on Saturday, too, y’know.”
“You always talk to yourself like that?” Logan fights his emotions, tries to keep his tone light until he is sure she is saying what he thinks, what he hopes she is.
“Only when I am making important decisions and I feel a need to consult myself. So, I said to myself: What better way to wake up happy on Saturday then to wake up with the object of your...with you.” Her thumb brushes his chin, the underside of his lip. It seems her eyes have adjusted to the dark.
“Oh? I’m half-naked in your bed, virtually throwing myself in your direction, and you can only say ‘oh’?” Veronica’s voice rises in indignation.
Logan feels her start to pull away and slides both arms around her quickly, tugging her hard against him. His mouth, unerring in the dark, finds hers before she can say another word. She doesn’t react for a second, but when she does, Logan is back in the heat of last summer. Her body flush against his, her tongue in his mouth, the little gasps she always made when he would pull away and kiss her neck over and over.
And he’s tasting her neck again and she still gasps and her fingers dig into his skin as he pulls her on top of him. It’s simultaneously new and familiar to have her in his arms again and the thrill is not lost on either of them.
“Logan.” She gasps into his mouth, hands bracing on his shoulders.
“Yeah?” He bites her bottom lip, trails his left hand from her hip, to her waist and under her shirt.
“This isn’t a one night thing.” He’s not sure if it’s a statement or a question, so he takes it as both.
“Damn right it’s not.”
“And earlier, when I was talking about kicking your ass?”
He laughs into his answer. “Yeah?”
“And then, later, when I did totally kick your ass?”
“Now, I don’t know about-“ Logan stops mid-word as he feels her hand slide over the front of his boxers.
“Foreplay.” Logan’s eyes have adjusted to the dark enough now to see her smile down at him. She laughs, a sound sweet and arousing at the same time.
And in that moment, Logan figures out he’s not getting over Veronica Mars anytime soon.
He grabs her ass in response. “Game on, Mars. Game on.”
Hope you enjoyed! Thanks for reading and for feedback! And thanks to Lindsay for this great challenge!
I'm also currently writing a fic set after 2x20. I hope to post the first chapter very soon. (Yes, it's multi-chapter, but only a couple!) Hopefully, my premise won't Robbed on Tuesday!