vanessagalore: (!Precipitation)
[personal profile] vanessagalore
TITLE: Perilous (9/?)
AUTHOR: [personal profile] vanessagalore
CHARACTERS: Veronica, Logan, Keith
WORD COUNT: 5,167
RATING: PG13/R for this chapter
SUMMARY: Sometimes it's best to just get the hell out of Dodge. Set right after 'The Bitch Is Back'.
SPOILERS: Spoilers for the whole series, especially season 3.
WARNINGS: Cursing.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own any rights to Veronica Mars. This story is written as a tribute only. Beta'd by [livejournal.com profile] zaftig_darling and [personal profile] boobsnotbombs. All remaining errors are my responsibility. Thank you for your patience while I was unable to update.

1~Precipitation 2~Precarious 3~Paranoia 4~Prevarication 5~Probation 6~Predicament 7-Paradox 8~Please

RECAP OF THE FIRST EIGHT CHAPTERS: (Highlight to read)

Keith loses the election. Gory breaks into Logan's suite at the Neptune Grand, breaking the fish sculpture and peeing on Logan's bed, and Keith finds out that Vinnie and the DA plan to pursue felony charges against him. They realize that any investigation will cause Veronica's B&E at the Kane mansion to come to light as well. Veronica, Logan, and Keith decide to flee Neptune, and they lay numerous fake trails and drive to the east in a slightly illegal car provided by Weevil.

Once they're on the road, the dismal reality of life on the run begins to sink in. Logan reveals that he's on probation for beating up Mercer and Moe in the Neptune jail. Keith, feeling Logan is endangering them, wants Logan to go on his own, but Veronica chases after Logan, and Keith reluctantly decides to keep going as a team. Logan tells them about his preliminary hearing and his plea agreement, and Veronica realizes that the party in Aspen when Logan slept with Madison was right before Logan's hearing. They reach out to Cliff back in Neptune and find out that Vinnie has filed charges for Keith's crimes, and, more ominously, Gory has filed a complaint on Logan for having assaulted him in the food court. Logan's probation has officially been revoked, and both he and Keith are listed on the NCIC computer system used by law enforcement.

When Keith leaves on a mysterious errand, Logan and Veronica comfort each other, talking about some of their mistakes and misunderstandings. Keith returns, reeking of scotch, with newspapers and tabloids, and they search for any mention of themselves. But they've been pushed off the front page by the escapades of Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton, and the only mention is a small article about Logan in the 'Weekly World News', a trashy tabloid. Later that night, Logan and Veronica find each in the motel bathroom and reunite, in an episode fraught with tentativeness and memories of old times, bad and good.




I feel...really warm. Really good. Best I've felt in ages. So relaxed. Safe. Comfortable.

And then the shouting starts.

"Veronica? Logan! Damn it! What the hell did he do now? I'm going to kill him! God DAMN it!!" Dad's voice reverberates throughout the motel room.

We must have fallen asleep after our tryst in the bathroom. I'm curled up on Logan's lap, with his arms draped over me. I look up at Logan; he's as befuddled with sleep as I am, and we struggle to our feet and hurry out to the bedroom, where Dad is furiously pacing. "Dad, please, it's okay. We were just talking."

"Bullshit."

"Daddy, please! Why are you so upset?"

"Veronica, this is very, very bad. He doesn't ever think! What were you doing?"

"I told you, we were just talking."

To my surprise, Dad puts his hand over my mouth and starts shaking me. "Don't you understand? You can't do this! We have to be careful! You have to be quiet!" He shakes me again.

"Veronica! Be quiet!" A harsh whisper right in my ear. "Wake up! You're dreaming again."

I open my eyes cautiously. Logan's worried face looms over me, and I realize it's light out. His hand is pressed firmly over my mouth.

Shit! It's light out. We fell asleep in the bathroom last night, and now it's morning. Oh god, if Dad heard me crying out in my nightmare...damn it, why do I keep having nightmares?

Logan removes his hand from my mouth and helps me to stand up. He struggles to get up and whispers, "Legs are asleep."

I help pull him up, and he leans on the sink, shaking one leg, then the other, until he can walk again. "One at a time," I mouth, signaling 'one' with my finger, and he nods. Opening the door soundlessly, I peek out. No signs of life in the bedroom. There's an unmoving large body under the mound of bed covers. I sneak over to my bed and pull the covers over me as I hear the toilet flushing.

Logan emerges a minute later, and I glare at him for making noise, even though I know I'm being ridiculous. "Sorry," he mouths with a shrug in my direction before getting back in the bed with Dad. He lies on his side looking at me, and I lie on my side looking back. Dad slumbers away, either unaware, or the coolest dad in the world.

Probably unaware, I decide. Dad's not that cool.

Logan smiles at me, giving me a covert thumbs up, and the four feet of space between our two double beds feels very cruel. I wonder if I'll get to be alone with him again anytime soon, and I close my eyes for a few minutes sleep before we have to start running again.

I try to imagine that Logan and I are anywhere but here, maybe sitting on the beach together in Neptune, watching the sunrise after spending the night talking about our hopes and dreams. Or we're curled up in Logan's bed at the Neptune Grand, caressing each other while we discuss what to order from room service and what we should do that day.

But whatever I imagine, Dad comes striding in to my fantasy, berating me for my foolishness, telling me that it's life or death now, not high school. He's angrier than I've ever seen him and furious at me for risking our safety. I toss and turn, arguing with him.

Finally, exhausted, I fall into a dreamless sleep.

*****

I hear Dad murmuring, aggravated, and I open my eyes a crack to see him banging his electric shaver on his palm. The memories of last night's discussion and groping in the dark flood back into my brain. For a moment, I let myself feel utterly happy that Logan and I are 'together' again; I'm blissed out with the hormones bathing my body and the hope that maybe, somehow, some way....

"Dammit." He bangs the shaver on the bureau, a loud thunk that speaks of frustration rather than a rational hope of actually fixing the device. And I wonder if it's really me that he's mad at.

Paranoid, much, Veronica?

I decide that life on the run is getting to me, and, shaking off my fears, I adopt a breezy tone and hope for the best. "Hey, Dad. What's wrong?"

"Oh hey. Morning, honey. This thing quit on me."

Hmm. Something's off, but I don't feel the red-hot dagger of his disappointment. Definitely not 'I don't know how I'll ever trust you again.' Maybe it is just a broken shaver, the straw that broke the fugitive camel's back.

I look over to the other bed. "Where's Logan?"

"Getting breakfast. You were so zonked, we thought we'd let you sleep a little longer."

I throw off the covers and head for the bathroom, stopping to give Dad a quick hug on the way.

He surprises me by holding on tight. "You know, I had a crazy dream last night—in the dream, I woke up and you guys weren't here. Must have been the scotch."

"Yeah, must have been," I repeat. He knows. I take a breath to ask about the scotch, but the words die on my tongue.

I don't want to lie to him.

"Be careful, honey." He kisses my forehead and releases me. "You know, I know you're a grown woman, and—as much as I don't want to think about it—I assume you and he had, well, a mature relationship in the past, but, Veronica...if we, uh, if we had to deal with a pregnancy on the run, I don't know what we'd do..."

Oh god. "We didn't— We're not going to— Dad, we're just, I don't know, trying to hang on to something good in the middle of all this. Holding each other when the nightmares come." It's not too far from the truth. I won't even let myself hope that Logan and I will ever have anything like a relationship.

"Yeah, I understand. Just be careful, okay?" There's a look on his face that I've never seen before, sad and knowing. I turn away, heading for the bathroom, but he stops me, an urgent hand on my arm. "You're not— you're not going to run off with him, are you? Because...um...I'm sorry I blew up at him yesterday."

"Dad, no! We're not planning anything, I swear to you." I'd almost rather he'd blow up at me like my nightmare, rather than this tentative apprehension.

"Just promise that you'll talk to me if...if there's anything you..." His voice trails off.

"I will. I promise." A little stunned, I kiss him on the cheek and head for the bathroom. Dad knows, and he's not going to kill Logan.

When I emerge from the shower, Dad and Logan are digging into scrambled eggs, grits and biscuits. I pause momentarily and assess: no tension, which means no man-to-man discussion about groping his daughter in the bathroom and the consequences of hormonal urges.

"There she is, fresh as a Georgia peach," Logan announces. His smile is genuine. I don't even mind his horrible hair color when I see him light up at my entrance. I sit down and his knee presses lightly against my thigh, a subtle signal of welcome. He's trying not to look at me—I remember him acting just like this junior year, hiding how he felt from Dick and Beaver, but if Dad hadn't already figured it out, he wouldn't be fooled for long.

I meet Dad's eyes momentarily and search his expression. Worry? Resignation? All that and something I don't recognize. "Eat your grits, honey," Dad urges in an overdone Southern accent. "They're dee-licious." His dark mood from last night seems to have lifted.

But I wonder...he's trying awfully hard to seem casual. Something in his tone reminds me—I can't quite remember when I heard him speaking like this.

Dad cleans his styrofoam container with a biscuit, popping the last bite in his mouth, and he smiles, but it doesn't reach his eyes. "Listen, we have to talk about a couple things. With what Cliff told us last night...I've been thinking quite a bit. The situation is a little more complicated than we thought, and I think we've made some mistakes."

"What are you talking about? We haven't—" I protest.

Dad shakes his head, cutting me off. "I'm assuming you guys haven't changed your minds. No second thoughts? It's not too late to turn ourselves in, you know." He checks his watch, and I wonder why we aren't rushing to get going the way we did yesterday.

And then it hits me: this is the exact calm tone underlaid with desperation that Dad had used when he was trying to contact me about Jake Kane's hard drive just a few days ago. 'Honey. Things have really hit the fan down here.'

Logan says, "No. I haven't changed my mind. I think Gory filed those charges just to drive me out into the open."

"Veronica? How about you? You still want to keep going?"

I push away the images of Logan in jail, fending off smug Russian mobsters, and Dad growing old before his time, gray-haired and gaunt after years of prison food and the stress of confinement—probably with long stretches in solitary for his own protection. "Of course I want to keep going. We can't turn ourselves in. It's out of the question. I don't think any of us would be safe in custody."

Dad nods. "I agree. Here's the problem: we've stayed off the main roads, but our basic route has been a straight line. If anyone picks up our trail in a couple places we've been the last few days, they just have to draw a line through two points and they'll know where we're heading."

I try to stab a piece of bacon and the plastic fork flies out of my hand. When I bend over, to my surprise I see Dad's fingers working at his thumb under the table, pulling off bits of the fingernail as he speaks. It's a nervous habit I haven't seen since the media christened him the 'bungling local sheriff'. I sit back up, cleaning off the fork with my napkin, and look closely at Dad's face. There's a little tightness in his jaw, a clenching overlaid by stoic reassurance, for our benefit I assume.

Dad says, "I wanted to get off the roads as soon as possible, so I've been heading east as fast as we could go, but now I think that was a mistake. We've got to assume, whether it's true or not, that both Gory and Vinnie could be advertising a bounty for us."

"A bounty?" Logan says incredulously. "Vinnie can't do that, he's the sheriff—"

"You don't know what Vinnie's going to ask the judge for. And then he'll make a deal with some unscrupulous colleague for some money under the table." Dad's tone is a little sharp, and he takes a breath before continuing in a more normal timbre. "It's the way Vinnie thinks. I remember one time—" Suddenly there's a loud voice outside the door—a maid speaking colloquial Spanish—and Dad stops talking, jerking his head around to look at the door, before resuming his confident mask. "Never mind. Trust me, the one thing you can count on is you can't trust Vinnie."

"Vinnie made a deal with you to get Woody Goodman," I point out. "There are plenty of bounty hunters he could contact."

"What does he care?" Logan protests. "Why can't he just take payoffs from johns at the Seventh Veil like Lamb did?"

Dad shrugs. "The Fitzpatricks care. There's a reason why they backed Vinnie in the election. Liam would probably love to get me behind bars where half the population has a reason to keep him happy. Maybe he still thinks I've got Kendall's money hidden somewhere."

"Great, gulag refugees and meth head lunatics." Logan pushes his breakfast away, his eggs half-uneaten. He risks a glance at me, and I'm willing to bet he's remembering our encounter at the River Stix. 'There's blood everywhere.' I can still feel the tattoo gun vibrating through Liam's hand pinning me to the pool table.

I shake off my apprehension. I'm really losing it, obsessing about my old mistakes, when we need to focus. "There's only three directions out of Neptune: south, north, and east. Once Vinnie established that we were probably driving, he'd be able to narrow it down, using approximately how far we could have gone."

Dad nods. "We need to start zig-zagging, maybe even back-tracking. And when we're in populated areas, we need to have one or two of us hiding—lying down in the back seat. Maybe even pick up a hitchhiker, so that we have four passengers for some of the time. And have only one or two of us in the car when we buy gas."

He's right. The three of us fall silent. There are definitely ways someone could pick up our trail: traffic cams, alert gas station attendants, even vigilant state troopers warned to look out for three people matching our description. And with Vinnie's connections, or Russian and Irish mafia money, that could mean a network of bounty hunters and unscrupulous P.I.s watching for us in every small town.

Now I'm convinced that Dad is really scared. His new plans have a little sense of desperation. But I want to believe that he's going to get us out of this.

Dad breaks the silence. "Also I want to work on our disguises a little bit. Veronica, if you shop in the girls' department, you could probably shave five years off your age."

I grimace. The day that I had finally hit women's size zero had been a day of celebration. "Ugh. But you're right, it's a good idea."

"Logan, we need to find clothes that you would never wear. Something different from your usual outfits. I need a new electric razor too." Dad ruefully runs his hand over his scalp, which has a few small cuts blotted with tiny pieces of tissue from using one of Logan's disposable razors. He gazed at Logan critically. "Hmm. Logan, those overshirts you like to wear have got to go."

I kick Dad and try to get him to stop talking. Logan's leg, pressed up against my own, jumps nervously. "Maybe a sweatshirt instead," I suggest.

Dad frowns. "What's wrong with just t-shirts? I'm thinking, maybe something like Army surplus, fatigues and camouflage t-shirts. Again, it might make you look a little younger, which would work in our favor."

"I really don't like to wear short sleeves," Logan mutters.

"It's going to get up into the nineties today—a sweatshirt would stick out like a sore thumb. We can't take that risk."

Suddenly Logan stands up, knocking against the table. "Excuse me." His eyes meet mine as he heads for the bathroom.

"What the hell is wrong with him?" Dad asks in a low voice.

"He's got a terrible scar on the inside of his wrist."

"A scar?"

"It's more—how he got it than what it looks like. From his childhood," I stress.

Dad inhales sharply, suddenly understanding.

We hear the water running. I want to ask Dad what's going on but I don't know how.

Logan comes back and sits down heavily. "So I suppose you told him the whole goddamn story?"

"All I told him was that you have a scar." I try to grab his hand under the table, but he pulls away.

Dad clears his throat. "Can I see it?"

Logan pulls back his shirtsleeve, his whole body slumped in defeat. He looks anywhere but at me or Dad. It's been a year since Aaron died, but the scars never heal.

Dad looks nauseated as he peers at Logan's arm.

It had been ages before Logan let me look at his wrist in the light. I always thought it was brilliant the way he'd turned his shame into a fashion statement. Brilliant, and incredibly sad, because the one thing that could destroy Logan was pity.

Logan's voice falters. "I, uh, told Mrs. Torelli, my third grade teacher, that my dad was, well, that he was hurting me. She promised me that she'd take care of it." That anxious twitch of his—pulling his fingers through his hair—today a little disconcerted at his unfamiliar new hairstyle. "So Mrs. Torelli called my father at home that night, and I heard him thanking her for letting him know that I was telling lies at school."

Three angry red scars in a row, slightly raised and roughened, and the exact diameter of a cigarette. Ten years of healing have made them less noticeable unless you know what to look for. They seem to pain Logan if they're accidentally touched, but I always wonder if that was psychological rather than physiological. I picture Logan, nine years old, screaming when the first cigarette made contact, and then held in place while Aaron assessed if the punishment was enough to ensure future compliance.

Logan mutters, "He promised me that I'd never forget the rules again." I hate that he's embarrassed, as if it's somehow his fault.

I imagine there was a short respite after the first burn, when the pain would have relentlessly ratcheted up as the initial endorphins and shock wore off. Logan would have been whimpering, trying desperately not to cry and failing. Then a second cigarette...I always visualize Aaron sucking the smoke into his lungs, casually watching as Logan's panic ramped up. Would Logan have tried to run? Would Aaron have locked the door? Did the handsome movie star pronounce that this would hurt him much more than it would hurt Logan, as he used his greater body weight to hold the little boy in place?

And then, unbelievably, a third time; and Logan would have wondered if Aaron was ever going to stop. Would Logan have begged and screamed? I think he did.

And I know, because I'd asked, that Lynn had been there for the whole thing. Some days I hated her more than Aaron, but Logan wouldn't hear of it as he clung to an idealized image of the woman who supposedly loved him more than anyone else in the world. He'd told me that Lynn had begged Aaron to let her take Logan to the hospital, but Aaron's rage had been fearful and Lynn agreed. And the result was that the scar healed poorly, ugly and vicious just like the abuse.

What a fucking coward Lynn was. You'd have to kill me before I'd let someone beat my kid.

I see all this reflected in my dad's eyes as he examines the flesh. Maybe he understands a little more now. His voice is as caring as I've ever heard it, because he's seen this all before and knows exactly what the scars signify. "Oh, god, Logan, I'm so sorry you had to go through that. Your father was an animal. And that was a terrible betrayal by your teacher. But I don't think the scar is as noticeable as you think."

"Oh, I know, rationally, that it doesn't look that bad. But Da— Aaron used to mock me, told me that he'd marked me because I was such a rotten kid. He said the scar was—" His face twisted. "It was like a neon sign that everyone could see."

My stomach heaves, my greasy breakfast threatening to regurgitate. He'd never told me that before.

"Logan, I'm so sorry that you didn't have anyone to protect you. I wish you'd have told me what was going on when you moved to Neptune and started hanging out with Veronica."

"I thought about it a couple times. But mostly you seemed to think, well, you thought I was a major fuckup. I didn't think you'd believe me."

It's not like Logan's legendary jackassery had ever been subtle, and Dad had certainly noticed it over the years—at late-night beach blowouts that Dad had had to break up as sheriff, at Homecoming, at Lilly's funeral, and then later on when Logan made the news for arranging bum fights. Dad never made a secret of his opinion of Logan's shenanigans, and, for all his faults, Logan could always tell exactly what people thought of him. That first summer when we went out, Dad had questioned what I saw in this guy over and over again, and he'd been more than ready to toss Logan out on his rear when we began fighting.

But now, Dad sighs heavily, his face dropping into his hands and his fingers massaging his temples. "I should have seen what was going on. It's obvious now that you were acting out. I knew, well, I should have seen that your father was a toxic person, but I just—"

"You saw what everybody else saw: he was the great and powerful Aaron Echolls, and I was the kid who was going to get your daughter in trouble." In a voice filled with self-loathing, he adds, "And you weren't really wrong."

Dad winces and tentatively puts an arm on Logan's shoulders. "Listen, I'm sorry I didn't look harder at your family situation while I was sheriff."

"Yeah." Logan's voice holds no conviction.

"I can't do anything about the past. But I'm going to try like hell to protect you now. What a mess. I know it's hard, but I need you to change your look. You've got to be strong about this. I'm very worried that we haven't covered our tracks well enough."

The urgency in Dad's voice seems to penetrate Logan's wounded shell, and Logan nods his head—he'll do what Dad asks.

"What aren't you telling us?" I curse my unsteady voice. I'm sure now that something is wrong, something more than just what Cliff told us. Dad drinking last night and then being quietly reasonable about me and Logan; the insistence on changing our route and appearance; and this leisurely breakfast while Dad tries to hide that he's as skittish as a cat...it's all adding up for me.

Dad fiddles with the plastic silverware from breakfast. "Second bar I went to last night, I found a guy who can get me a couple guns, no questions asked. I lucked out, picked a good sleazy bar on the second try. Had to buy a few rounds of drinks before the bartender helped me out and introduced me. I have to meet this guy in," he checks his watch, "about an hour, not too far from here."

I echo, "Guns? Dad—"

There's no air in the room. I force my lungs to suck in oxygen, and suddenly the door flies open, the chain lock clanking and the hollowcore wood splintering. The door bangs against the cheap sheetrock and ricochets back onto the extended arm of Vinnie Van Lowe, who's incongruously wearing his Members' Only jacket over a Neptune Sheriff's Department bulletproof vest. "Freeze, dirtbags!" I struggle to get my gun free, but it snags in my belt, and then... A single gun shot, followed by a hail of bullets, Dad throwing me to the floor and firing blindly. I hit the carpet hard, my skull bouncing with a jolt, and I see Logan's eyes, sightless, blood oozing from—

We're the dirtbags. We're the hardened criminals advertised on an all-points bulletin. Armed and dangerous. Natural born killers.

I never thought I'd be anyone other than one of the 'good guys'. And maybe I understand that desolate look in Dad's eye a little better now—the man who made criminal justice his life, accepting that we're now the lowlife punks who deserve to be behind bars, and deciding that a gun battle with our pursuers might just be okay.

Dad is fumbling with his plastic fork, drawing little designs on the table. His voice drones on, as if a discussion of arming ourselves is normal breakfast conversation. He looks right at me, intent and serious, and I tune in again. "...Let me make this clear. If we're apprehended by law enforcement, we surrender. But I can see a scenario...if Gory or Liam have people looking for us..."

Logan interjects, "You mean that they might be gunning for us." He looks just like I feel: off-kilter, a little dazed at the concept of a gun fight.

"I think it's likely that, if the Sorokins or the Fitzpatricks catch up with us, they'll shoot first and ask questions later. And I want each of us to have a weapon, in case we get separated, or if we need to back each other up. Remembering, of course, that this is only for emergencies. You remember how to handle a gun, Veronica?"

"Yeah, I remember." I also remember the way Mom and Dad used to fight about having a gun in the house, even in a gun safe. But when Mom left and I started working cases with Dad, he made sure I knew how to use his handgun and gave me the combo to the gun safe, just in case. I'd never really thought about how unusual that was until just this second.

Logan stares at me in surprise. He saw me handle Beaver's gun; he knew from the trial that I'd pointed a gun at his dad on the night Aaron was taken into custody. But I can see that he'd never considered that my dad had taken me to a gun range and made sure I knew exactly what to do with a gun in my hand. 'You are not a killer, Veronica.'

Except maybe I'd have to be, now. And on some lonely nights, I wonder if I would have killed Beaver if Logan hadn't been there. Justifiable, I think they call it.

"Logan?" Dad prompts. But his eyes remain on me as well, and I wonder if he knows what I'm thinking about. Will I be able to shoot to kill to save his life or Logan's? Or my own?

You bet I will.

"Wh-what?" Logan's still staring at me as if he doesn't know me.

"Have you ever handled a gun? We don't need another tragedy because of carelessness or inexperience."

"I went shooting with Dick and his dad one time. Mr. Casablancas said I did pretty good, and he, uh, lent me a gun for a little while."

Dick's dad had told Logan, 'Given your situation, you should just move out of Neptune...move out of Neptune...move out of—' That whole summer, it had felt like the X-Terra had a target on it. I couldn't breathe then either.

Funny: I don't feel any safer now that we've left Neptune.

Dad frowns. "Mr. Casablancas? What—" He sighs heavily. "It'll have to do. I don't want to make any more mistakes, so we can't stop and practice shooting. I'll review the basics with you."

"Don't worry, I'll know what to do," Logan says, with a quick glance at me.

He'll be able to pull the trigger too, I know. And when Dad nods at me, I understand that that was exactly why he was okay with our bathroom rendezvous.

But it doesn't mean that there's any oxygen in the room.

*****

While Dad went to buy guns, he sent me and Logan shopping for new clothes. I'm in a K-Mart girls department trying to buy the opposite of what appeals to me. With a sigh, I hold a pink shirt, size 14, featuring a glittery design, up to my torso. It's just barely large enough. A clerk passes by, and I turn away, pretending to look through another rack of shirts.

All morning, I've been imagining preposterous car chases, with Dad weaving all over the road and screaming at me and Logan to shoot at the car tailing us. Or a confrontation in a motel room, Dad trading shots with a smarmy mafioso, until...Dad's shirt, and then mine, erupts in a gout of red blood...Logan tries to be a hero and... A ludicrous Wild West shootout, complete with tumbleweeds and horses whinnying—Vinnie wearing an absurdly big six-pointed gold star on his Members' Only jacket, with six-guns strapped to his hips.

And right this moment, Dad's buying two guns. Who knows if this is a setup by an undercover cop? He could be headed to jail right now and the only way we'd know is—

The clerk taps me on the shoulder and I almost screech out loud. "Miss, do you need help?" She looks at me quizzically, and then points to the women's department. "I think you could wear some of the smaller ladies shirts too, if you don't find anything you like here."

"I think I'm all set. Thanks," I say with a smile that I don't feel. I turn away quickly, hoping she won't remember my face.

I pay for my purchases and walk a few blocks down the road to an Office Depot, where I pick out three jump drives that are large enough to hold some of the most damaging information from Jake Kane's hard drive, namely Gory's confession and a few other juicy tidbits. I'd suggested that we should each be carrying a portable copy of our insurance policy just in case, and Dad agreed.

I exit the store. Dad had said an hour and a half at most. No sign of him. I grab a coffee at Daylight Donuts and sip it as I watch the cars drive past, pretending that I'm not really looking. I can't stop fidgeting and worrying as I picture Dad lying facedown on the pavement, busted.

It's a few minutes before Dad pulls up. He nods at my quizzical look. "A Glock 19 and a Walther P22." He doesn't tell me anything else about the buy, and I don't ask.

We drive down the road to the Walmart where we left Logan ninety minutes earlier. The traffic is heavy, and Dad frowns. Everything has the potential to be worrisome now. He taps on the steering wheel, and I will the cars to move faster and get out of our way.

In front of the Walmart, the reason for the delay is revealed: a police car and an ambulance, both with lights oscillating, are blocking the main road. A large crowd is gathered, and cars are rubbernecking as they approach the scene. I suck in my breath, every muscle tightened to a painful tension.

Finally, we pull alongside and see an elderly lady on a stretcher being worked on by two paramedics. And a dark-haired white man—obviously in the process of being arrested—is bent over the squad car as an officer searches for weapons. He's wearing jeans and a flapping long-sleeved shirt, and he's not resisting arrest.

When he turns his head slightly, we recognize Logan.

Continue reading..."Palpitation"

Aaaaaa....

Date: 2011-05-11 12:27 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hi,

You don't know me, and I don't often comment on Veronica Mars fic, but you're just /killing/ me with this one!! I'm so glad you're continuing to update it. I think you've really mastered all of the characters, and the story is incerdibly compelling. As awful as the situation is, it's so nice, too, to see Logan and Veronica together again, and her Dad trusting him. Fantastic.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-11 04:13 pm (UTC)
medjunkie: (Default)
From: [personal profile] medjunkie
Wow, so glad to see an update. I wonder what has got keith so spooked. I like the way you get in Veronica's head, and am only hoping that we don't get to see some of the worst case scenario's she's imaginging. Logan getting arrested was a major shock.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-11 05:13 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] boobsnotbombs
Love, what are you going to do when you run out of good words that start with 'p'?

By the 100th part or so, the chapters are going to be called "Philanthropy" or "Podiatry" or "Pickle". :o)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-14 02:31 am (UTC)
afrocurl: (VM - Naked!Logan)
From: [personal profile] afrocurl
Okay, Vanessa, what the hell are you doing to me? I don't think I can take Logan being responsible for killing an old lady. Just sayin'.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-14 03:31 am (UTC)
afrocurl: (Stock - Collection)
From: [personal profile] afrocurl
Okay, so long as Logan hasn't actually moved up to killing old ladies, then I'm all good.

(You know I'd read it. Just late because life got in the way.)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-14 03:44 pm (UTC)
celtic_flicka: UFO (Default)
From: [personal profile] celtic_flicka
Oh jeez, what a cliffhanger!

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-15 11:47 pm (UTC)
schuylerjo: (Default)
From: [personal profile] schuylerjo
Well, I love you but this was just torture - just the ending, I mean.

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