Actions

Work Header

The Comforts of Home

Work Text:

Veronica walked into the bar and took a moment to glance around. Two years away from Neptune and things never changed. Logan was in the corner playing pool with Dick and a couple women who were lacking the proper attire for winter weather. It wasn't like southern California got that cold in December, but pasties probably would have the same effect.


She looked away from them and made her way to the bar. She sat where she couldn't see them without turning. A mind trick played on herself to keep her from watching. She should turn and walk out. She could find another bar. She could call up Mac and Wallace and get drunk with them. But, she really didn't want to deal with anyone tonight. The fact that Logan would notice if some random dude was carrying her drugged body out also gave her some peace of mind.

 

She smiled at the gruffy bartender and ordered scotch. She placed three twenty dollar bills on the bar and told him to keep them coming until this ran out. He smiled a sad, knowing smile and gave a nod. He poured the shot, making it a double and snatched the money up.

 

Veronica picked up the glass and sniffed it. She smiled softly and closed her eyes. The bar seemed to slip away from her form and offered a quiet space. Her brain shifted as she sipped the liquid and relished the burn as it made it's way down her throat and sat in her stomach. She opened her eyes, hearing the bar return to it's loud volume.

 

She heard Dick laughing off to the side behind her. A small grin curved her thin lips as she thought that it was good they were enjoying themselves. She hadn't left on the best of terms and Logan actually deserved some happiness in his life, considering his violent childhood. After the fight with Gory, and her own pleading with Jake Kane to save Logan's life, she left. She went to her FBI internship and then to Stanford. She hadn't even been back in town since packing for college. She hadn't come home for Christmas last year. She also had gotten a summer job and stayed up north. Her father had missed her, but was happy she was staying out of trouble and working on following her dreams.

 

She finished the second shot given to her and gave a nod to the bartender. She ignored a guy hitting on her completely. He got the hint, called her a bitch and moved on to someone else. She sipped the scotch and waved the bartender over and asked for iced. She wanted to slow things down. She certainly didn't want to give in to a douche with his collars flipped up.

 

Dick yelled for another round. It sounded like they were enjoying beers. A slow night for Echolls, but it made Veronica grateful. He wasn't out to get drunk, not like she was. She forced herself not to turn and smile at him. She wouldn't be the one to sour his bliss.

 

Her phone buzzed in her back pocket and she sighed before she pulled it out. She squinted down at it and chuckled. Wallace was checking in. Apparently his mom had heard from her dad that she was in town and Wallace wasn't too happy that she hadn't called her probably soon to be stepbrother. Wallace couldn't get in the bar without using his fake ID. Logan and Dick were both underage too, but she wasn't going to rat anyone out. She wasn't a tattle tale.

 

Veronica to Wallace: All good here, Papa Bear. Call me tomorrow.

 

Wallace to Veronica: Where are you? Mom said you weren't with Keith.

 

V: I'm out. I needed some me time. I think I might be starting my period.

 

W: Stop that. I get it. Call if you get lonely.

 

Veronica chuckled at how easily it was to get him to back off. She slipped her phone into her back pocket and finished her drink. When the bartender came back, she stopped his pour with a hand. “Potty break. Can you get me a fresh glass when I come back?”

 

He nodded and pulled her dirty one away from her.

 

She slid off the stool, careful to keep her back to the familiar men still laughing it up with the bimbos. She stumbled a bit to the restroom and had to laugh at how quickly the booze had hit her. Then again, she had six shots. She used the toilet and washed her hands. She checked her makeup in the dirty mirror and shrugged. It was worn from the day, but she was still presentable. She opened the door and walked out, running right into someone.

 

“Whoa, sorry.” A recognizable voice mumbled as a hand grabbed her elbow. He pulled her back and kept her from running into the wall. “Oh, hey, Roni.”

 

She looked up at him and offered a friendly smile. “Dick.” She stabilized herself and tried not to wobble. “How's it going?”

 

“Eh, alright.” He bit his lip as he looked down at her. “Logan's out there. Just thought I would warn you.”

 

“Oh? Thanks. If I see him, I'll wave.” She smiled a little too wide, but realized too late.

 

Dick raised a brow and tilted his head. “You ok?”

 

She nodded. “Of course. Merry Christmas, Dick.” She patted his bicep as she moved past him. She walked back to the bar and reclaimed her stool.

 

The bartender returned and poured her a fresh scotch.

 

She sipped it and looked out the large darkened windows in front of her. The bar was in a strip mall and she was watching the holiday shoppers rush to finish their lists. She felt him. He was standing to her side, just slightly behind her. He smelled of mint and salt water with a hint of beer.

 

“Is this seat taken?” His voice was warm.

 

She sipped her scotch and shook her head. She hadn't wanted this. She wanted him to stay in his world and she would stay in hers. But, she could have left. She could have ran. She chose to stay. She wouldn't run away yet. “All yours.” Even she heard the slur in her voice and winced at it. She hadn't wanted to sound drunk. Not ever, but certainly not tonight, in front of him.

 

Logan slid onto the stool and placed his beer in front of him. He picked up her glass and smelled it.

 

She turned, watching as his face scrunched up and his head shake in disapproval. She smirked at it. “I'm too short for the top shelf.”

 

“I would have helped with that.” He looked to her eyes. His own eyes were soft. Veronica was suddenly in the mood for hot chocolate with those little, tiny marshmallows.

 

“How have you been?” She was proud that her voice wasn't betraying her as much now.

 

“Landmine.” He smirked and sipped at his beer. “You?”

 

“Bored.” She answered honestly. She finished her drink and set her glass out for another refill.

 

Logan watched as the bartender filled it and set two dollars and some change on the bar.

 

Veronica nodded and pushed the money back at him. “Keep it.” She rooted around in her pocket and pulled out a ten dollar bill and handed it to him too. “Thanks.”

 

Logan waited for the bartender to move away before he sighed. “Can we talk?”

 

Veronica raised a brow and turned to look at him. “Isn't that what this is?” She gestured to her mouth. “Or is no sound coming out again? I hate it when that happens.”

 

“How drunk are you?” He raised a brow with a smile that didn't reach his eyes.

 

“I'd still be a disappointment to Lianne.” She picked up her drink and sipped it. “I'm not as practiced in the art of alcohol as she is.”

 

She watched as his shoulders dropped. “What happened?”

 

Veronica put her glass down and turned to eye him. “What makes you think something happened?”

 

“You are alone, in a bar, drinking a shit ton of bad scotch.” Logan sighed. “Can I drive you home?”

 

“I'm fine. I'll call a cab when I'm ready. You should get back to your date with Dick.” She gave a small smile. She wasn't trying to be rude, but the look on Logan's face told her he took it as such. She sighed. “Really, I'm fine. Don't let me ruin your night out. Go have fun, Echolls.”

 

“You are drunk and alone, Veronica. I can't just leave you sitting here.” He sighed.

 

“Then call me a cab. This is my last drink anyway.” She finished it off and set the glass on the bar. Her phone buzzed again and she reached back to check it. Another text message, but this time, it wasn't from Wallace. She squinted to look down at it. Her eyes wouldn't focus and she couldn't read it. Sighing softly, she set her phone down on the bar.

 

“What is it?” Logan asked softly.

 

“No idea. The font is too small. I think I need glasses.” She lied. “I'll check it tomorrow.”

 

Logan picked up her phone and checked the message. She tried to catch his fast hands, but she was moving in slow motion. “Who is Oscar?” His voice had a harsh tone to it.

 

“No one important.” She mumbled. She knew what was coming and really wasn't in the mood for the fight.

 

“Then, why is he cussing you and asking where you are?” Logan's voice was getting louder.

 

“Because he hasn't realized he's not important.” Veronica sighed and took her phone back. She shut off the screen and waved at the bartender. “Can you call me a cab?”

 

“Don't. I got it.” Logan waved a hand. The bartender looked to Veronica for confirmation. She nodded and looked down. “I'm going to tell Dick then I'll be right back. Stay here.”

 

“Woof.” Veronica replied dully.

 

Logan walked back to Dick and talked with him. Veronica heard one of the women whine and try to flirt. Logan hadn't seemed into her though. He told her he wouldn't be back tonight. He walked back to Veronica. “Ready?”

 

Veronica nodded and slid off the stool. She stood at the bar with her hand on it for support. She felt like her brain was swimming in her head and grinned at the pleasant feeling. She felt Logan place a hand on her elbow and start guiding her to the door. He pushed the door open for her and the cooler air rushed over her face. She breathed it in and smiled.

 

“I'm parked over here.” He gently tugged her to the right.

 

She followed behind him, noticing him looking back to check on her.

 

“Are you staying at your dad's apartment?” Logan asked as he pressed the button to unlock his Range Rover. He opened the passenger's side door and waited for her to catch up.

 

“No.” She climbed up into the seat and struggled to reach back to get the seat belt.

 

Logan sighed and reached in and buckled her. His head tilted slightly to face her and held it there for a brief moment before he stepped back and closed her door. He walked around and climbed in and buckled himself in before starting the car. “So, where am I taking you?”

 

Veronica thought for a moment and sighed. “Camelot.”

 

Logan froze and looked at her. “Why are you staying at the Camelot?”

 

“Holiday rates were the best.” She looked out the window.

 

“Try again.” He sighed and turned off the car. He tapped the lock button.

 

“Dad was fumigating.” She grinned at her answer.

 

“Veronica.” He was getting annoyed.

 

“We had a fight. We need a night to calm down.” Veronica sighed. All that alcohol and the warm fuzzy feeling it had given her faded as reality kicked back in.

 

Logan stopped. “What was the fight about?”

 

“Logan, I'm drunk and trying to enjoy this buzz. Did you think I went to get drunk alone because it was something I felt good about?” Veronica took a deep breath and tried to calm the rising anger.

 

“Veronica, I don't know a damn thing about you anymore. I need you to tell me what's going on in your life.” Logan's voice was emotional too, but more on the heartbroken side.

 

“You asked where you could drive me. I told you. If you can't drive me, I'll go back and call a cab.” Veronica sighed. She reached down and tried to unbuckle but it seemed like the thing was superglued together. She growled out in frustration before Logan's hand calmly took her hand.

 

“Ok. But, you can't stay at the Camelot. I'll get you a room at the Grand.” His voice was soft and caring.

 

“I don't need you to upgrade me, Logan. I just need a bed and some sleep.” Veronica leaned back in the seat and tugged her hand free. “Please.”

 

Her phone buzzed again and she pulled it out. She looked down at it. Oscar was calling. She declined the call.

 

“Who is that?” Logan started the car again.

 

“My ex.” She sighed and looked out the window.

 

Logan's hand stumbled a bit as he reached to put the car in reverse. “Oh.” He backed out of the space and started driving towards the Camelot. “So, how's school? I hear you are at Stanford.”

 

“Yea. It's fine.” She sighed and closed her eyes. “Still going to Hearst?”

 

“Yup. Decided to actually stick it out.” Logan was proud of that. It made Veronica smile.

 

“Good.”

 

Another call from Oscar and Veronica turned off her phone. “Sorry.”

 

“Doesn't bother me. I don't think he got the memo about being your ex though.” Logan glanced down to her phone.

 

“It was sudden and recent. He'll get the hint.” Veronica watched the holiday lights flash past the window as Logan drove. He pulled into the Camelot slowly.

 

“Which one?” He asked.

 

Veronica looked out and her breath caught. “Keep driving.” She saw Oscar's beat up Honda and shook her head.

 

Logan tensed and did as he was told. He didn't ask her anything else, but kept driving until he pulled into the garage of a house just off the water. He got out of the car and walked around to open the door for her.

 

Veronica knew she was trapped, quite literally since she still couldn't unbuckle herself. But, she knew she would have to answer his questions. She would have to explain herself.

 

Logan reached in and popped the lock open and pulled the straps off her. He waited for her to hop out of the car and he slammed the door closed. He watched her for a moment after she flinched. He turned and opened the door that lead inside the house and tapped the garage door to close.

 

Veronica followed again, feeling like she was walking into the lion's den. She climbed the small steps and entered what she could only assume was Logan's house. It smelled like him.

 

Logan pulled a kitchen stool out and pointed at it. “Sit.” He turned and walked to the refrigerator and pulled out a pitcher of water. He poured a glass for her and set it on the counter in front of where he told her to sit.

 

Veronica moved to the stool slowly. “Logan, I-”

 

“No. You will sit. You will drink this water so you don't have a hangover tomorrow and you will tell me who this Oscar really is before my imagination goes crazy and I have a stroke.” He took a deep breath in through his nose and the air whistled in his nostrils.

 

Veronica sat and took the water. She sipped it and winced at the chill of it. She had enjoyed the burn of the alcohol. “He is my ex.” She sighed and set the water on the tile.

 

“What happened?” Logan calmed a bit.

 

“I broke up with him.” Veronica licked her lips quickly. “He didn't like that.”

 

Logan tilted his head and took in a quick breath. He rushed to the wall and flipped all the lights on. He walked around her slowly and eyed her face. “He hit you.”

 

Veronica nodded. “A couple days ago. He didn't want me to come down here for Christmas.”

 

“You saw something at the Camelot. What was it?” Logan's voice was rising, but she knew it wasn't at her anymore.

 

“His car. He followed me down here.” Veronica took another sip of her water. She was trying to remain calm. She wasn't going to keep being a victim. She had charges filed. He obviously hadn't been arrested yet.

 

Logan stood right next to her and tilted her head up. He looked down at her face. “I can't believe I didn't notice the pound of makeup on your face before.”

 

“I was just lucky you didn't sit on the other side.” Veronica moved her head out of his hands.

 

“Had he hit you before?” Logan asked softly, but Veronica knew he was keeping the rage inside.

 

She wanted to lie. It would go over better if she lied. “Yes.” Veronica looked to the side.

 

“What the fuck, Veronica?” The rage exploded and caused Veronica to jump. “Why the fuck would you stay with someone who hit you?” He slammed a fist down on the tile and Veronica jumped again. “Fuck. I'm not going to hit you.” He calmed a bit.

 

“I know that.” She did know it. She knew no matter how upset he was, he would never lay a hand on her.

 

“Why would you stay with a violent guy, Veronica? Didn't Lilly's death teach you that?” He winced and stepped back. He had shocked himself with the question.

 

Veronica sighed. “I left him. He charmed me back. I was an idiot and learned my lesson.”

 

“He's at the Camelot?” Logan growled.

 

“Logan, no.” She looked up at him. She knew what he was planning. “You are not going to go after him.”

 

“He needs to be taught not to hit girls.” Logan gritted his teeth. “I'll call Dick and Casey in, I bet he's visiting his parents. Maybe Luke is in town. Hell, Weevil would help with this one.”

 

Veronica sighed. “I'll handle it, Logan.” She reached out and touched his arm. “I may be rusty in revenge, but I think my reputation speaks for itself.”

 

Logan sighed. “Roni, he hit you. Twice. And doesn't feel bad for doing it.” He reached up and rubbed a thumb over her cheek. “I can't let some asshole get away with hurting you.”

 

Veronica winced as he rubbed over the bruise. “My dad had the same feeling and I chose to sleep somewhere else rather than deal with his over-protectiveness. Now, I can't sleep at the Camelot, but I'm sure I can sleep somewhere other than here.” She raised a brow to him in question.

 

“Ronica...” Logan's voice pleaded.

 

“We can move on to another topic if you'd like. Or I can go to bed and you can sit here and sulk.” She sipped her water again.

 

“Veronica, I...” He sighed. “I don't think I can let this go. I mean, Mercer was my friend and I still kicked his ass for hurting you.”

 

Veronica sighed. “You got arrested and were lucky the cops 'lost' the paperwork after you paid for the repairs to the cruiser. Actually, you were lucky Sacks was the deputy in charge that night.”

 

“Actually, it was Lamb. I had to buy them an espresso machine too.” He smirked, but it faded. “I still just want to protect you.”

 

“Protection doesn't mean you go looking to fight someone.” She sipped her water. “Do you have something I can sleep in?”

 

Logan's lips curved a bit. “My bed?”

 

“A tee shirt? Maybe a guest bed would be better. I don't want to take advantage of you in your weakened state.” She grinned back at him.

 

“I had to try.” He sighed. “Want some aspirin?”

 

Veronica shook her head. “No. A shower might be nice. I still smell the bar.”

 

“Come on.” He offered a hand. He had calmed down and it relaxed Veronica.

 

She took it and wobbled a bit as she walked up the stairs. She followed him into the bathroom and watched as he pulled out very plush towels and a washcloth.

 

“I'll get you a shirt, hang on.” He walked around her and ducked into what had to be the master bedroom. He came back out a few seconds later with a large tee shirt and a dress shirt. “Which one?”

 

Veronica reached out with both hands and felt the material. The tee shirt was soft, but the dress shirt felt amazing. She tugged on that one.

 

He grinned and hung it up on a hook on the wall. “Anything else you need? Toothbrush?”

 

“If you have a spare, I would love a toothbrush.” She smiled.

 

He opened a drawer and pulled out one. It didn't look like he kept a full stock of them and that was reassuring to Veronica. “I hope orange is ok.”

 

“I will make do somehow.” Veronica giggled.

 

Logan watched her and she noticed the softness was back in his eyes. “Enjoy your shower. I'll check to make sure the guest bed is made.” He backed out of the bathroom and closed the door.

 

Veronica took her shower. She found some gender neutral soaps for guests. She washed her face and hair and body and let the warm water pound into her. She got lost in thoughts of Oscar's fists and Logan's hugs. She knew better than to go back to Oscar. She knew it when it happened. She knew she couldn't be the one to fix him. She was the one to turn him in though. She had gone straight to the cops, once his fists had stopped and he went to get drunk with friends. They took her to the emergency room where she was photographed and checked out. All of her injuries were documented for the case against him. He wouldn't get away with it. Her father had wanted to go after him too, just like Logan. He had wondered how he could raise such a strong daughter who was acting like an idiot. She hadn't bothered to tell him about the warrant out for his arrest or her photographic evidence. He had heard she went back and blown up, like Logan, and wanted to bring his own justice.

 

She turned off the water and stood in the tub. She had struggled so hard on being so tough and now the men that always mattered more than anyone else thought of her as weak. She wasn't, though. She left her abuser. She did the right thing. She did the legal thing.

 

She pulled the shower curtain and shivered a bit at the cooler air. She looked to the fogged up mirror and smirked. She walked to it, still dripping on the plush floor mat in front of the sink, and raised her hand up. She wrote a message, unsure if anyone else would see it. She suspected Logan had maids who came in and cleaned regularly, but just in case. Veronica Mars was here. She staked a claimed on him, on the house, but she also needed to feel good and brave. She giggled at herself before wrapping the very soft towel around her body. She hugged it to her, taking the moment to enjoy the warm comfort it gave her. She breathed it in, smelling the relaxing smell of Logan's laundry detergent. She dried herself off and rubbed the towel over her wet hair. She put on her panties she had been wearing and the dress shirt that felt like heaven. She had to roll up the sleeves, but the length covered her panties and gave her a sense of privacy. She ran her fingers through her damp hair and slicked it back.

 

She knew her bruises would be on full display without the makeup but she didn't really have a choice. She couldn't reapply it and he already knew. She just hoped he wouldn't get too upset at the sight of them. Her left side had a dull, almost gone bruise on her cheek, but her right eye was still blackened. Bits of red and purple and green faded into her pale skin. Her right cheek was still bruised, but matched the left. The right jaw had a dark bruise too, but it wasn't as bad as her eye. She knew she had more bruises on her stomach and back, but none were as bad as her eye.

 

She brushed her teeth, using some fancy toothpaste she had never heard of before. She rolled her eyes at Logan having to spend so much on guest bathroom toothpaste. She spit it out, rinsed her mouth and winced as she wiped her mouth on the soft hand towel. She didn't want to mess them up.

 

She let out a slow breath and opened the door. The house was quiet. She walked to his bedroom, noticing the door was open. But, it was empty of other people. She walked into the other upstairs rooms, noticing they also lacked a tall brooding brunette. She walked downstairs, slipping once on the stairs, but managing to catch herself before she fell. She took the remaining stairs slowly. Her feet patted on the wood floor as she looked around the lower level. But, Logan wasn't home. She sighed, checking to see his Range Rover missing from the closed garage.

 

She found her phone and turned it back on. She ignored the notice of text messages and voicemails. She called an old number she hadn't used since Vinnie Van Lowe won the sheriff's race a year and a half ago. “Yes, I need to report a fugitive.”

 

 

The very beginning of the day illuminated Veronica's body as she curled up on top of the covers in Logan's bed. She felt the bed dip and her eyes popped open. She turned and looked back. Logan was kneeling on the other side of the bed. He looked exhausted. A wave of pity crossed his boyish features as he obviously noticed the bruises. He reached out and very gently touched her better cheek with the back of his fingers.

 

“Hey.” His voice was restrained and Veronica saw the anger still pumping behind his eyes.

 

“Hi.” She turned, looking for a clock. “What time is it?”

 

“Five thirty.” He dropped his hand.

 

Veronica laid back on the pillow and looked up at him. “Why were you out all night?”

 

“I was arrested for assault.” Logan growled a bit. “Seems someone called in a fugitive and when the deputies showed up, I was pounding his skull into the parking lot asphalt.”

 

“Someone also told you not to go.” Veronica smirked. She took a moment to notice his hands were bloody and swollen, but his face looked alright. “He didn't hit you back?”

 

“I'm not a tiny blonde.” He grunted. “I'm going to shower.” He backed off the bed. “Your dad bailed me out. Seems he was grateful you told someone where that asshole was.”

 

“Its nice to see you two bonding over something.” Veronica rolled back on her side and kept her back to him.

 

Logan walked into the master bathroom and Veronica heard the water turn on. The door didn't even close all the way. She turned just a bit and saw the wisps of steam floating out of the doorway to dissolve in the cooler air of the bedroom. She turned back, pushing the memories of his wet and soapy naked body from her mind. She punched his pillow, which only made his smell invade her nose even more. She growled and closed her eyes. She willed herself to sleep.

 

It seemed like only a second passed before Logan was pulling the covers up on the other side of the bed. She felt him slip under the covers. Even if he hadn't moved the bed at all, she would have felt him behind her. Her body seemed to vibrate with him close to her. She rolled over and looked at him.

 

“Sorry. I didn't mean to wake you back up.” His voice was calm and sweet. “Go back to sleep.”

 

“Why couldn't you just stay home?” She asked.

 

“Because it was you who was hurt by some douche.” He sighed and laid on his back. He looked up to the ceiling. “It wasn't just some girl I was dating or a female friend. It was you. He hurt you.” Veronica suspected he would do the same for any woman on the street, but the emotion behind his words tore through her steel wall and invaded her heart.

 

Her pulse was pumping so loudly that she heard it in her ears and felt it in her chest. “Logan...”

 

“No, I get it, Ronica. We are doomed. We can't be together because we can't be happy together.” Logan closed his eyes. “But, I couldn't let someone hurt you and get away with it. I couldn't stand by and do nothing. Not when it was you. You mean too much to me.”

 

Veronica reached down and took his swollen hand in hers and squeezed it. “Thank you.”

 

Logan looked down to their hands and then slowly up her body to her face. “Anytime. Seriously. Call me if it happens again with anyone.” His face was so solemn. “But, don't call the cops until I'm done with him.”

 

Veronica smirked a tiny bit and nodded. “Fair enough.” She let out a sigh. “So, Oscar is arrested?”

 

“What the hell did you see in him?” Logan turned to face her. “I mean, I hated Troy, but at least he was rich and attractive.”

 

“So, poor and ugly means he has no value?” Veronica raised a brow. Oscar was in a few of her classes and they had a common interest in the law. Oscar was about to get a new goal in life because assault on a female wouldn't look good to law enforcement agencies.

 

“He hit you. He has no value.” Logan sighed.

 

“He was different than you or Piz.” Veronica shrugged. “I wanted different.” She looked down to his covered chest.

 

“Aren't you cold? Under the covers would probably be more comfortable.” He gave a soft smile.

 

“It's hot here compared to Palo Alto.” Veronica smirked.

 

“You know that's because I'm here.” Logan flashed her a wink. “Come on, in the bed, Mars. Your sexy legs showing under my shirt are giving me naughty thoughts. Get them out of my sight!”

 

“I suppose I could put them under the sheet, if only to save your innocent mind.” Veronica pulled her legs up and slipped them under the covers. His sheets were soft. “You will spoil me with this bedding though.”

 

“I could get you a set for Christmas.” He smiled over at her.

 

“We don't have a good history with Christmas. I don't think we've celebrated it together since before Lilly died.” Veronica adjusted the pillow.

 

Logan scooted closer. “We need better memories and traditions.”

 

Veronica's pulse increased and she struggled to not gasp at him invading her space. “Like what?”

 

Logan shrugged. “I thought we could actually spend the holiday near one another and see what we do. Then, maybe use that as a guide for next year. We could add new things or remove the bad things. Like, I suggest next year, you don't have a shitty boyfriend who hits you and I don't beat him up.” He grinned wickedly at her.

 

“We could try that.” Veronica lifted a shoulder with a sly grin. “I mean, I'm willing to see how a bruise-free holiday goes.”

 

His arm snaked over her stomach and he pulled her closer to him. “I like this sleeping in the same bed. I think we should keep it.”

 

Veronica winced at the pulling on her bruise and Logan instantly let go.

 

“He hit your back?” He was shocked.

 

Veronica only nodded. She didn't want to tell the story of Oscar literally kicking her when she was down.

 

Logan moved his body to her and quickly engulfed her small frame with his larger one. He hugged her to his chest and put his chin on her head. “I didn't punch him enough.”

 

Veronica let him hug her. He was warm and felt like home. “I'm sure you punched him enough. Anyone else get arrested? You had talked about taking a posse out to get him.” She turned and breathed him in.

 

“Dick ignored my call. I think he was pissed I left him to take care of you. He'll get over it.”

 

“I didn't mean to ruin anyone's night.” Veronica sighed. “You could have-”

 

“Stop.” Logan kissed her head. “I was happy to see you. You left so quickly.”

 

She heard the sadness in his voice. He had been hurt by her leaving. “I'm sorry about that. I felt like I had no place in Neptune. It wasn't because of you.”

 

“Piz told me you vanished on him too. Was it because of him?”

 

“No. It was my dad and Hearst and maybe a little you and Piz and a little Wallace. It was the Castle and the Fitzpatricks. I just had to leave. I arranged to go to Stanford that fall and between getting ready for that and the internship, I didn't have time for long goodbyes.” Veronica snuggled in.

 

“Stop that or I'm going to have another problem.” Logan threatened with a smirk.

 

Veronica grinned. “Just feels good and safe.”

 

He sighed and hugged her tighter. “You are safe.”

 

“Always safe with you.” Veronica mumbled. She felt herself slipping back to sleep.

 

“Always.” He repeated and moved just a bit as he settled in to sleep.