damalur: (Default)
no, use my SPACE name! ([personal profile] damalur) wrote2017-03-25 07:24 pm

aim of operation (vmars, veronica/logan)

Title: Aim of Operation
Characters: Veronica/Logan
Wordcount: 2k
Summary: A Skype call spanning continents and seasoned with a dash of naked adoration.
Notes: #Alternate Universe — Characters Communicate

-

He had forty-eight hours of liberty and a private hotel room. Veronica was too swamped with cases to fly out to meet him, a luxury she'd started agreeing to after liberal application of the phrase 'inherited millions from a man who tried to light you on fire,' but she'd cleared a day and a half of her schedule so they could cram three months of a relationship into one very long Skype call. The first few hours had been spent on couple maintenance; Logan wasn't comfortable asking for racy pictures or videos (the phrase 'Veronica's sex tape' was still what his last therapist would call a 'trigger point'), but halfway through his first deployment Veronica had recruited Mac to beef up her computer's security and then surprised him by initiating discussion of her milky thighs. After that, any private conversation between them usually blew past a PG-13 rating within minutes.

They were well into hour six now, both of them lazy and sated. The people of Neptune would probably have been surprised to learn that, secretly, this was Logan's favorite part; he liked talking to her even more than he liked looking at her, and getting to do both at the same time after twelve weeks in the middle of a floating metal can was like some kind of divine indulgence.

"Which was when her brother's friend decided he was going to tag along," Veronica said. "Did I mention the guy's a Marine?"

Logan's derisive snort was automatic.

"What was that, Lieutenant?"

"You know what 'Marine' stands for, right?" Logan said. "'My Ass Rides in Navy Equipment.'"

"And here I was, afraid you'd let go of all your old irrational prejudices without finding new replacements." The connection was good enough that he could make out the dimple on her forehead when she scowled in feigned exasperation. "Anyway, that's how I ended up on an extended field trip with my client, her brother, her brother's BFF, and Pony while we ran down yet another erstwhile father. Oh no, wait, that isn't even the best part — the friend was ass-over-heels in love with the client and determined to be as obnoxious about it as possible. We stopped at a gas station in Arizona, and he got into a push-up contest. In the parking lot. To show off. Like he was twelve."

"So you're saying you prefer a more subtle display of courtship."

"You upped your game about two-hundred percent in that regard, buster," Veronica said. "Bashing in my headlights and throwing me an entire prom may have flown at eighteen, but at twenty-eight the bar was a lot higher — Logan? What exactly is funny about that?"

He was — there was no manly way to put it — giggling. "Logan, come on," Veronica said, and that set him off in another round. Veronica scowled again, this time in unfeigned exasperation, but after his third attempt to speak failed, her mouth started twitching. "Okay, hotshot," she said. "Care to explain?"

"Ahh," he said. "It's comforting to know that somewhere deep inside the expert ball-buster there still lives the girl who believed the average person eats two hundred spiders in their sleep a year."

"Hey! I slept with a pillow over my face for a month after you told me that."

"Quod erat demonstrandum," Logan said, over-enunciating the dentals. "Seriously, though, you really thought I was subtle this time around?" Her face remained irritated, amused, and a little blank, so he laid it out: "Veronica. I showed up in my dress uniform to pick you up from the airport after buying an airplane ticket so I didn't have to wait an extra three minutes to see you. What about that was subtle?"

He could watch all the small, quick gears in her mind grind over that suggestion. "You showed up in a BMW," she said, and then added, accusingly, "You leaned against it!"

"I have been reliably informed that the BMW is what some people term a 'panty-dropper,'" Logan agreed.

Veronica pulled a face. She was in their bedroom; Logan could just make out a sliver of Pony at the bottom of his screen, presumably because the dog was resting her head in Veronica's lap. The late afternoon sun turned Veronica's hair golden and the dark circles beneath her eyes purple. She was a go-getter, that Veronica Mars, and even if the cost was sometimes unforgivably high, he couldn't do anything but admire her for it.

"I hate that word," she said.

"What word?" Logan asked. "'People?'"

"'Panty.' It's disgusting."

"I have been reliably informed that the BMW is what some people term an 'underwear-dropper.' Better?"

She'd already moved on. "Wait. You told me you'd just come from a meeting with JAG Corps!"

"While not technically a lie, it would be more true to say that I had a meeting with JAG Corps that finished three hours before I picked you up at the airport."

"And you conveniently decided not to change out of your hot Navy-man uniform."

"And I conveniently decided not to change out of my hot Navy-man uniform," Logan confirmed.

Veronica smirked. "You know…" she said.

"Don't." He reconsidered. "No, wait, please do."

"I have heard that the uniform is what some people term an 'underwear-dropper.'"

"Is that an offer to demonstrate?"

"Try again in twenty minutes. There are impressionable young eyes in here, you know." She cupped a hand around the side of her mouth and stage-whispered, "Pony." At the sound of her name, Pony bolted upright, knocking Veronica's computer off her thighs and causing a couple of minutes of mayhem while woman, dog, and laptop rearranged themselves.

"So," Veronica said, when she was finally situated. "Tell me more about this nefarious plan to woo me."

She could still make him feel like an asshole. She could make him deliriously happy, too, but always she could make him feel like an asshole. "It wasn't like — I knew you were dating someone."

One of her eyebrows ticked upwards.

"I knew you were dating Piz," he said. "Look, Veronica. All I wanted was to make sure you knew the option was still open." That wasn't exactly right, because it implied that the option had ever, could have ever been closed; there was no chance of that, not through Hearst and Carrie and the Navy, not through Piz and New York, not through Stanford or OCS or any part of it, not when what Logan considered both the best and the worst part of himself knew that all she'd have to do was show up at his door and tell him how high he had to jump. "That from my end, it was still open," he corrected. "I wasn't trying to pressure you."

The expression that crossed her face wasn't accusing; a wistful half-smile settled over her lips before her mood shifted to something harder, more introspective, more worn. "You didn't," she said. "It just makes me think…"

"That's always dangerous."

"How much do you know about my mom?"

After eighteen years of knowing Veronica Mars, he was used to the train of her thoughts outracing him, but she still managed to throw him off the tracks every now and then. "Say again?"

"Jake Kane," she said. "She and Jake Kane were high school sweethearts. They never really broke up, though; even after Lianne married Dad, she had an affair with Jake that lasted… years. Most of my life. I keep… I keep expecting Hunter to tell me that he has a new step-father any day now. They can't ever stay away from each other for long."

A catapult launch from the deck of an aircraft carrier slammed the pilot with 3 g's of force, which was approximately how this segue was hitting Logan. "Veronica…"

"I used to hate her for it — for cheating on my dad, for not being strong enough to say no. I thought there was no way I would ever be able to understand why she did it."

"You are not your mother," Logan said. "And if I'm Jake Kane, you'll have to take me out back and put me out of my misery."

"No, I'm not," Veronica said. "But I could've been. It's possible that the reason I didn't comprehend your subtle display of courtship was because I was too busy trying to make sure my own naked adoration was hidden."

"...Naked adoration, huh?"

The hard-edged charisma she wore like a uniform softened into something raw and warm and — her words, not his — nakedly adoring. "Don't go spreading that around, Lieutenant," she said. "I can't have the common folk thinking their top ball-buster has gone soft."

"Soft? You? Perish the thought." Her confession was still settling into his bones, but it lit him up; she lit him up. Maybe this was what it felt like to be Veronica Mars all the time — bright, brilliant, blazing. A lot of other 'b' words. Bizarre. Beautiful.

"Whereas you're infamous for your soft underbelly."

"Isn't that how this works?" Logan said. "You're the tough, I'm the charmer?"

"Want to know a secret?"

"I always want to know your secrets."

"I do find you charming."

She was grinning at him: blazing, mischievous, nakedly adoring, mirroring every feeling that flooded him when he looked at her. He tucked his chin into his chest and drank his fill. It was, he knew, the same way he'd looked at her when she'd been twelve and wearing a soccer uniform, when she'd been fifteen in a homecoming dress; the way he'd looked at her when they'd been seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, and figuring out that love wasn't armor enough; the way he would've looked at her at twenty-seven if she hadn't put an entire continent between them because she'd known that they had to learn to live with themselves before they could live with each other.

"Yeah," Logan said, returning her grin: bright, happy, nakedly adoring. "Yeah, I know."