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Fic: Past Imperfect, 1/2
Author: jacedesbff
Pairing/Character: LoVe, mentions of Logan/Lilly, Veronica/Duncan, others
Word Count: 3600+
Rating: PG-13
Summary: pre-series AU; what if things had been a little bit different?
Spoilers/Warnings: none, really
Disclaimer: I’m not making any money off of this, and neither, apparently is Rob Thomas (hmmm…wonder why?)

A/N: This idea got stuck in my head and I had to go with it… As a note, while at first this story seems about one thing, it turns out to be about something completely different. (Um, being less vague would kind of give away the plot.) *laughs* Hugs and cookies to the world’s best beta: candlewaxdreams. : - )



“Veronica, I’m gay.”

Huh?

Veronica’s mind hiccupped.

“You—you’re—what?”

Seriously, she didn’t get it.

“I’m gay, Veronica. I think I’ve known it for years, but I didn’t—I couldn’t—you know, because I thought that people wouldn’t understand.”

This isn’t how Veronica had imagined this going. When Duncan asked her to take a walk on the beach, Veronica had envisioned romance, declarations of affection, a sunset-framed first kiss… Somehow, the possibility of her long-time crush coming out of the closet hadn’t entered her mental picture.

“Veronica? Veronica?”

She could hear the fear in Duncan’s voice and Veronica snapped back to reality.

“It’s okay, Duncan, really! I’m sorry, I’m just—surprised. I’m—um—it means a lot to me that you would tell me… Wait a minute, I mean, have you told anyone else?”

Duncan let out a deep breath as he looked longingly out over the surf. “No. Lilly’s always so busy. Mom and Dad are gonna freak out. And Logan—“ Duncan paused. “I couldn’t tell him.” He turned back to Veronica with a weary smile. “You’re sort of a test run. You have the kindest heart of anyone I know, and I knew if I could tell you…”

Veronica’s innate kind-heartedness automatically kicked on, enabling her to hide the shock she was feeling. She would never let anyone, least of all Duncan, feel uncomfortable about sharing something so personal.

“Thank you for trusting me, Duncan. And—it’s okay. I mean, it’s not like I expected it or anything—“ Duncan smiled softly. “But I’m glad you know you can trust me.”

“Thanks, Veronica.” Duncan’s smile faded and he tensed. “The thing right now is that I—I need your help.”

“Anything.”

“I can’t keep living like this. That’s why I’m telling everyone—I have to. I’m going to tell Lilly and she’ll help me figure out how to tell my parents, but…” Duncan took a sharp breath. “Is there any way you could tell Logan for me?”

Veronica was caught completely off-guard. Again.

“What? Why?”

Duncan smiled to himself. It simply wouldn’t occur to her, would it?

“I’m in love with him, Veronica. I’m in love with him, and I can’t bear to look at his face when he finds out. I know he doesn’t feel the same way, and that’s okay. Really. But—I know I’m supposed to be strong enough to tell him, but I can’t. And he has to know. Please, Veronica. You have to help me.”

Veronica’s insides were a tightly-balled knot. How had she gotten into this predicament? But how could she say no to someone being so genuinely in need of help? Here Duncan was, sharing his deepest secret with her. How could she not help him?

It didn’t occur to Veronica that this really wasn’t something friends usually did for one another. As she saw it, Duncan had asked her for help and that was the end of it.

With a soft smile, Veronica nodded. How hard could it be?

*

Lynn let Veronica in and directed her to Logan’s room. The tall young man let her in without looking at her and went back to his Gameboy.

Veronica stood there, awkward and uncertain. She had gone over this a hundred times on her way over, but every intro she thought of sounded more inane than the last.

- Logan, Duncan’s gay. He wanted me to tell you.

- Logan, have you ever noticed anything different about Duncan?

- So, Logan, you must meet a lot of homosexuals in Hollywood, right?

The Echolls’ mansion had appeared in front of her car in what seemed like record time.

And here she was, feeling more uncomfortable than at any other time in her life, and that included the time her mom made her see a gynecologist.

“So Lilly called you already?” Logan’s bitter question cut off Veronica’s train of thought.

“Huh?”

Logan sighed and set his game down, looking up at her.

“She didn’t yell at you, did she? ‘Cause if she did, I swear I’ll kick her ass, girl or not.”

Logan paused at the look of complete mystification on Veronica’s face.

“Lilly didn’t send you?”

“Um, no. Why would she?” Veronica quickly abandoned her reluctant mission in favor of Logan’s odd behavior.

“Then why are you here?” Logan asked, confused.

“Why did you think I was here?”

Her friend grimaced. “I broke up with Lilly.”

“You what?! Why?”

Logan shot up, walking over to the sliding glass door and leaning against the cool glass. “Come on, Veronica. I know she’s your best friend, but you know perfectly well that Lilly’s the world’s worst girlfriend.”

Veronica stood frozen, unwilling to agree to such a derogatory comment about her best friend—true or not.

“She breaks up with me at the drop of a hat, and let's not forget that she screws half the guys at Neptune whether we’re broken up or not. I’m just—tired of it. I’m done.”

“But what—“ Veronica cut herself off when she realized how hateful what she was about to say would sound.

“What’s different this time?” finished Logan.

Veronica nodded.

Logan’s intense brown eyes bored into her own blue ones. “I’m in love with someone else.”

“Did you—“

“No.” Logan cut her off. “I didn’t cheat on her. She—this girl—has no idea how I feel. I’ve never done anything about it. Lilly’s unfaithful, not me.”

“I’m sorry, Logan. I never should have—“

“It’s okay. You figured if I stayed with Lilly, I must be just like her, right?”

“No! No, not at all!” Veronica insisted, unsure why she had assumed that Logan would have acted on his feelings for someone else. He had never shown himself to be anything other than devoted to Lilly, even when Lilly had been…less than honorable in return.

“Don’t worry about it,” Logan’s eyes didn’t reflect his words’ nonchalance.

“Who’s this girl?” asked Veronica.

“Why did you come over here, if it wasn’t Lilly that sent you?”

It was Veronica’s turn to inhale sharply.

“Duncan’s gay.” The words flew out of her mouth like huge leaden weights. Veronica’s eyes went wide and her hands flew to her mouth.

Logan leaned against the wall and raised an eyebrow.

“Duncan’s gay,” he parroted, almost amused.

“No, really, he is,” Veronica drew herself up, determined to carry out her promise. “He’s gay, and he wanted me to tell you.”

“Why didn’t he tell me himself?” Logan still seemed caught between laughter and disbelief.

“Um, he just couldn’t…” Veronica explained feebly.

“Well, you’ve told me now. Good job! Is there anything else you’re supposed to tell me?”

Veronica smiled despite herself. “No, that’s it. But you never told me who the girl is, the one that got you to break up with Lilly.”

Logan straightened up. “This isn’t her fault, Veronica. I meant what I said about her not knowing. It’s—the more horrible Lilly was, the more I looked at this girl and the more I wondered why I stayed.” His eyes were tired. “Lilly slept with Casey Gant, did you know that?” Veronica shook her head. “A couple weeks ago. We hadn’t broken up or anything. It was just convenient. Now she’s sleeping with Weevil Navarro.”

Veronica gasped. “The gang leader guy?”

“Yeah,” Logan affirmed. “The gang leader guy. She thought I didn’t know, not that it bothered her when I told her I did.” Logan looked out at his pool. “I told her it was me or them, all of them.” He barked out a harsh laugh. “She said I knew her well enough to know that she would never agree to that, and that the real reason I was asking was because I was in love with someone else.”

“But how—“

“How did she know?” Logan inserted, turning around to look at her as he did so. “She sees how I look at you, Veronica. I think she knew before I did.”

Veronica’s stomach dropped to her toes and her fingers went icy.

“Me?” she practically breathed.

“You,” Logan stepped towards her. “Listen, I know you’ve never really thought about me—that way, but don’t—don’t say no without giving it some serious thought, okay? Please promise me that you won’t automatically say no.”

“To what?” she asked.

“Being with me. Please,” begged Logan, and he pulled the stunned blonde into his arms in an all-encompassing kiss.

Veronica’s senses exploded as Logan’s tongue traced the outline of her lips. She shouldn’t be doing this, right? This was… Logan’s tongue insisted that her lips part, and Veronica lost her train of thought to his powerful ministrations.

She opened her mouth and Logan’s tongue swept inside. Her body responded of its own accord and her tongue responded in kind. She felt Logan’s strong hands against the skin of her back, cradling, worshipping. Her own hands skimmed up Logan’s neck, molding to his skull, her hands threading through his sun-drenched hair. Logan’s mouth moved from her lips, blazing a gentle but fiery trail across her jaw line up to her ear. And Veronica was lost.

She hadn’t known that it could be like this, that anything could be this wonderful.

She pulled away with a gasp, an almost physical pang of separation shooting through her as she did so.

“Lilly.” Her friend's name flew out of her mouth, barely a whisper, stronger than a sledgehammer.

“I don’t love her, Veronica. I love you,” Logan’s eyes pleaded with her to understand.

“I have to—I need to—“ Veronica couldn’t finish her thought. She ran out of Logan’s room without another word.

*

Veronica pulled her car into the parking lot of Dog Beach, but couldn’t bring her hands to leave the steering wheel. She couldn’t believe that the conversation had been real. She thought she knew Lilly. Like she had known Logan? an inner voice asked.

But Lilly…Veronica thought she knew her best friend better than anyone else in the world. She had thought a lot of things…

-

“Lilly?”

“Veronica! How are you?! Duncan called. He said he sent you over to Logan’s. Did you two have a fun talk?”

“Is it true? Are you—did you cheat on him with Weevil?”

“What difference does it make? He broke up with me because he’s in love with you. And what are we gonna do about that, hmm, Veronica Mars?”

Veronica heard male laughter in the background. “Who’s there with you?”

“Solace, Veronica. You don’t expect me to sleep alone, do you?” Lilly giggled, a sound clearly not directed at Veronica. “Come on, bff, did you tell Logan where he could stick his little crush?”

“How often have you cheated on him, Lilly? How many guys have there been?” Veronica had always told herself that it wasn’t as bad as people said it was, as the whispers she couldn’t help but hear. She never doubted that underneath it all, Lilly really loved Logan. Now, for the first time, she was afraid that she had been doing both herself and Logan a grave disservice. “How many?!”

“Geez, Veronica, don’t get your panties in a wad.” Another male laugh and a comment. Did she know that voice? “What difference does it make? Logan didn’t break up with me because I fooled around. He’s been putting up with that for years. He dumped my ass because he wants you. We can’t let him have that, now can we? Are you with me?”

He’s been putting up with that for years.

The phone slipped from Veronica’s hand and slapped itself shut on the center console. And Veronica’s world dissolved around her.

-

As she watched the sun set over the Pacific, car still running, foot still on the brake, Veronica’s mind crawled through the rubble of her shattered world.

The boy she had adored for years was gay. The boy she thought loved her friend loved her instead. The best friend she had believed to be true was morally decrepit. And she herself had hitherto unknown—yet incredibly powerful—feelings for said best friend’s ex-boyfriend.

Without consciously noting that she was doing so, Veronica turned off her car and got out. She walked to the edge of the high tide line and sat down, staring into the surf.

Right now, the only thing that she knew for certain was that Logan had never acted on his feelings for her, not until after he broke up with Lilly. And what she felt when Logan kissed her was fast solidifying as one of the only certain truths in her life.

Lilly was gone to her. Veronica could not—would not—be so devoted to a person who would trample so callously over others’ hearts and emotions like that. It literally made Veronica sick to her stomach to think about what Lilly had done over the years, things that she herself had unwittingly sanctioned. She remembered all of the times Lilly had asked her to cover for her absences—and Veronica had always complied, helping her “best friend” drive the knife deeper into Logan’s heart.

But she didn’t want to run to Logan just to spite Lilly. More than anything, Veronica wanted to save Logan from further pain. Were her feelings for him real? Could she fully commit to him? Because to do so half-heartedly would be worse than to turn him down.

The feelings that had been unearthed by their kiss kept washing back over her. But what about Duncan? Until that morning, she had nursed a raging crush on Lilly’s brother. It said a lot, though, that Veronica’s disappointment over Duncan being gay was already a non-issue. Logan’s kiss had instantly changed the playing field, and Duncan was no longer on it.

It was time for brutal honesty, then. Not just with Logan, but with herself.

Veronica focused on what she had felt when Logan kissed her. Truth be told, it was more than passion, although that had been there. It was like slipping on a comfortable sweater that you had forgotten about and now couldn’t believe you had ever lived without. While Logan and Lilly were together, Veronica would never have acknowledged any feelings she might have for her friend’s boyfriend; much less would she have acted on them. Now, though…

With a level of shock on par with the rest of the shocks she had experienced that day, Veronica realized that her reaction to Logan hadn’t come out of nowhere. She might be new to allowing her feelings to come to the forefront, but they had been there for a long time.

What she felt for Logan was real. And she didn’t want to go back to burying it.

She got up and headed to her car. After a quick phone call to her mom to let her know that she was going to be hanging out with her friends, Veronica headed her car back to Logan’s.

*

Nobody answered when Veronica knocked on Logan’s front door. Unable to wait, she let herself in. She had barely shut the door behind her when she heard a male voice that wasn’t Logan’s.

Was that the voice of the guy from Lilly’s phone call?

Veronica had lost track of time on the beach. Apparently the mystery guy had finished with Lilly and come here. But why?

What was going on here?

Veronica sped up, bursting into Logan’s room to find—

“Dick?!” she asked, confused.

The blond surfer swiveled to greet the new arrival, obviously embarrassed.

Dick Casablancas was embarrassed?

“Um…yeah, well…” Dick stammered as he looked from Veronica to Logan and back. “I gotta go, dude, but I just wanted to…you know…um… I’ll see you on Monday, right?”

Dick backed out of the room as Logan crooked an eyebrow at his friend.

“Uh-huh,” Logan said drolly as Dick exited.

After Logan’s friend closed the door behind him, Veronica turned to Logan with an expression that read ”Huh?”

Logan rolled his eyes. “Lilly had sex with Dick this afternoon.”

It had been the same voice.

“And he came over to give you the details?” Veronica asked skeptically.

Logan snorted. “He didn’t have a choice. They went at it in Dick’s room and Madison walked in on them.” Veronica gasped. “She’s been on the phone ever since.” Veronica could imagine—Madison would scream it from the rooftops. “Dick wanted to tell me before someone else did.”

“And did he?”

“No. Madison called about 15 minutes before he got here.”

Veronica stared at the amused expression on Logan’s face.

“You don’t seem real upset about it.”

Logan smirked. “Lilly wanted to get back at me and I guess even she couldn’t bring herself to screw my best friend. Looks like Dick was the next best thing.” Logan sat down on his bed. “If I was still in love with her, maybe it would bother me, but I’m not and it doesn’t. Now if you did something like that…” Logan’s smile faded and he looked down. “That I would care about.”

Veronica set down her bag and went to sit next to Logan.

“I would never do that.”

“I know,” said Logan, still looking down. “That’s why I care.”

Veronica put her hand over Logan’s, and his head came up to look at her.

Veronica found that she couldn’t say anything. Tears formed in the corners of her eyes, and a look of cautious hope spread across Logan’s face.

“Veronica?” The barely-whispered question was loaded with meaning.

Without conscious thought, Veronica leaned forward and their lips met again.

She had been sure that nothing could be as amazing as their first kiss. It had to be all downhill from there, right?

Not. Talk about misguided perceptions. If anything, this kiss was more powerful, even as it was more tender. Logan’s lips brushed over hers, gentle, exploring, and Veronica felt lighter than air, safe in this boy’s wonderful arms.

Taking his time, Logan’s tongue traced the seam of her lips and Veronica parted her mouth for him. He nipped gently at her bottom lip and a small sound issued from her throat that Veronica hadn’t known she was capable of making. She felt herself flush scarlet.

His mouth moved against hers. “You don’t ever have to be embarrassed with me.” His arms tightened around her while her own settled on his strong shoulders, where she began to knead in time with their kisses.

Logan pulled Veronica onto his lap and she melted into him. As their mouths explored each other, their heartbeats mingled and Veronica lost track of where each of them stopped and the other began.

She had never experienced anything like this. The heady rush of emotion and desire was to a crush what a Mt. Vesuvius eruption was to an angry anthill. As Logan’s thumb stroked her scalp and his fingers wrapped themselves around her hair, Veronica let go of everything else in her life and gave herself up to the moment.

Logan was powerless against his need for this girl. He had wanted this for so long, he had wanted her—he was afraid of pushing her too hard, too fast. He kept trying to pull back on his onslaught of her body and senses, but the innocent blonde’s eager responses kept getting in the way of his noble intentions.

Slowly, with an effort that reminded him of the time he had participated in a taffy pull when his dad shot a scene at a county fair, Logan pulled back and looked into Veronica’s eyes. Her pupils were dilated and her breathing was shallow, coming in puffs through her kiss-swollen lips.

He felt Veronica’s nervous intake of breath and Logan rushed to reassure her.

“I don’t want to rush this,” he said, his forehead coming to rest on hers. He closed his eyes. “I want to enjoy every minute, every second.”

Veronica nodded against him, her hands moving down his arms to his sides. She slid her hands underneath his shirt and now it was Logan gasping.

“What—?!” he faltered.

“It’s just—“ Veronica’s mouth traveled across his cheek as she tried to explain. “You’re wearing long sleeves and I…hmm…wanted to feel you.” Her hands barely grazed back and forth over his stomach muscles, which tightened instantly. “You said I didn’t have to be embarrassed, right?”

Logan was overwhelmed by the trust that Veronica was giving him. Just as he knew that she had never been this physically intimate with anyone, he had never been this emotionally intimate with anyone, stunted by his intensely dysfunctional family and his torturous relationship with Lilly.

“You can do anything you want,” he assured her, his head moving to rest on top of hers as she dropped her head against his chest. Her hands remained where they were, quietly exploring his midsection. Logan took a very deep breath. Someday Logan would have to tell her how inflammatory this sort of thing was.

“This all seems so fast,” Veronica said against his shirt, “but at the same time…”

“It doesn’t,” he finished.

“Exactly.” That one word contained surprise, confusion, excitement and a host of other emotions.

Logan pulled back to look Veronica in the eye.

“I’m in love with you. I want you to know that. I know you’re not ready to say that, and that’s fine. Hopefully someday you will be, but right now—I just wanted you to know how I feel.”

Veronica’s hand moved up to trace Logan’s features.

“I don’t know what I feel. I know I’ve never felt like this before, and I know that this is where I want to be, that you’re who I want to be with.”

Logan released a breath he hadn’t known he was holding, then he smiled.

“What?” Veronica asked with a smile of her own.

“It’s going to be an interesting week at school.”

She laughed. “That’s probably an understatement.”

Their smiling mouths came back together.

Their lives were about to change in a hurry. Saddle up.

End Part I. To be continued.


Part 2 is continued here

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
celtic_flicka
Jan. 5th, 2009 11:44 pm (UTC)
THAT is one of the most surprising opening lines I've ever read!
jacedesbff
Jan. 6th, 2009 02:47 am (UTC)
I love to find new ways to torture Duncan. Hee!
sanya4
Jun. 4th, 2009 08:19 pm (UTC)
Gay Duncan – the truth had to come out sooner or later :-) Who could blame him for being in love with Logan? He’s simply irresistible to men and women everywhere!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )