I parked a block away from the Echolls house and entered the grounds through a gap in the bushes that the paparazzi hadn’t yet discovered. Discretion, Logan had warned me after I’d agreed to come over, was key. Not that I hadn’t figured that out already, but I could judge by the low tone of his voice (and the fact that he wanted me to meet him in the guest house) that it was more than photographers he was worried about.
Apparently, his father wasn’t overly pleased with his antics -- our antics, the ones that had nearly driven Lilly Kane off a bridge. And who could blame Aaron, really? He was a big star, the biggest that Neptune had seen, and he clearly wasn’t of the school that all publicity was good publicity.
Anyway, if he decided to ban Logan from seeing Lilly and I? I wouldn’t be surprised. Actually, I wouldn’t be surpriesd if my own father decided to forbid me from seeing Logan, Lilly and Duncan -- he didn’t need the stigma attached to his own reputation.
It wasn’t like that was going to stop any of us, of course. Well. Who even knew anymore?
I crept up to the guest house and rapped sharply on the door, utilising the secret code that he’d come up with back when we’d all been friends. We were still friends, or we would be again. Soon.
The door swung open, and he was standing there. I smiled faintly and took a step forward into the immaculate apartment and waited for him to shut the door behind me. “Hey,” I said, suddenly thrilled to see him even if he did look like -- well, he wasn’t going to be winning any beauty pageants any time soon. “You look like hell.”
This was not going as planned.
You know, hiding should be romantic or at least sexy and all, but this is just pathetic. Why are we even hiding? Well, yeah, because there’s paparazzi in every bush around this house, just waiting for something to happen, probably not even knowing what this something would be. Still... This is just lame. We shouldn’t be hiding. I shouldn’t have made to be asked Veronica to meet me in guest house so no one would see her coming over. We’re friends, damn it, so why can’t we be acting so in public?
Probably because we don’t feel like friends anymore.
Or at least I don’t.
“You look like hell.”
“Thanks,” I reply as I take a step back so she can walk in. “It really hasn’t been the brightest and shiniest week of my life.” That’s an understatement of the day. This week has been so full of shits that... well, I don’t know, I am not very well at metaphors.
“So...” I’m not sure how to finish, or frankly even start, a question to her. Or a sentence. Or anything that would involve our lips. No, wait. That would involve words, because I am pretty sure I could manage just with the lips. Not that I’m supposed to think about that. Not that my lips haven’t caused enough trouble already. Huh. Parts of me seem to have an easy go for fucking things up.
Life’s weird, isn’t it?
Privacy? Check. Awkwardness? Double check. So far he's not saying anything and neither am I, save an insult, a complaint, and a segue that hasn't segued anywhere. So far, coming over here is shaping up to resemble a mistake of amazing proportions. "Sorry." For insinuating that you should look like anything other than hell after everything that's gone on in the past few days, because I'm certainly not at my best.
I turn around to look at him, amazed at our inability to hold a conversation. Okay, so things are a little bit messed up -- before this happened, we were friends. We could talk to each other, and Lilly wasn't always in the room.
"So," I echo, tightening my hand wrapped around the strap of my messenger bag. "Have you talked to Lilly/'
I know what the answer is, I don't know why I'm asking. The question makes sense even if Lilly isn't going to be speaking to either of us in a very long time, and I swore to myself when I drove over here that I wasn't going to let this be about her. And lo and behold...
"Cancel that," I add, taking a step closer to him. "Let's just forget about her."
For a moment I wonder how come Lilly is always the only thing we and Veronica can talk about. How does it all end up back to her? It shouldn't, we are friends even without Lilly. Well, sort of. So why can't we have something else to talk about except for Lilly and everything that involves her. Have we with Veronica really ever shared anything else besides Lilly?
And that kiss?
"How about a movie?" Friends watch movies together, don't they? Maybe even the friends that are hiding in a guest house form paparazzi and their own families and friends or ex-friends and lovers as the case might be, still... Watching movies is a very friend kind of thing and very less Lilly kind of thing, so... how about a movie?
"That's neutral, isn't it?" Neutral for what? For talking about Lilly? Probably. For ending up making out with each other? Not so much. Still... we're forgetting about Lilly, right? Or we could at least give it a shot. Or something similarly stupid.
A movie, huh? Well, as long as we're not going to be watching any of his father's latest releases, then the plan sounds thoroughly... normal. As a matter of fact, it reeks of normalcy, and I send an amused look his way. To top it all off, I'd come over here, ostensibly, to discuss (in person) where we stood.
Well, now that that plan had gone all to hell.
"When you say 'movie,' you do mean something from the non-pornographic oeuvre, right?" Right, so we're taking a crack at civility and not making out, but seriously - this is Logan Echolls we're talking about, and how much time had we spent here, the four of us, laughing at the Jenna Jameson Collection?
Too much. And it hurts to think about it.
"Neutral as Switzerland," I agree, attempting a change of subject. "Perhaps we should try something G-Rated."
"Just for you I'll find Trina's Barney DVD collection," I tell her grinning. It's weird how easy it is to slip back at being friends, well, fine, there still is thoughts of kissing her in my head, but that doesn't matter. It doesn't, seriously! Anyhow, we can manage being friends. Or we can at least try till one of us humps the other one.
Maybe with time the feeling would go away. I'm not all sure what is this the feeling I'm talking about, but I'm sure it will go away, or at least the confusion, because, yeah, there is confusion. I love Lilly. I want Lilly. And still...
I want Veronica too.
And no, it's not in the kind of 'oh I want a threesome with my ex and her best friend' type of want. Not that threesome would be bad, but... we probably shouldn't at least not under the circumstances we are now. We're too twisted and fucked up for threesomes.
Too twisted and fucked up for anything in general.
I arch an eyebrow companionably as he practically flounces out of the room in search of -- well, personally, I’m hoping for something non-purple-dinosaur. But I have to admit one thing -- now that the initial awkwardness is gone, things seem kind of sweet and easy and enjoyable.
Pity they can’t stay this way.
Because despite my (honest) claims that he looks like hell, I really must concede that he looks like hell in the hot way. The way that almost screams ‘Kiss me, Veronica, ex-girlfriend of my best friend and best friend of my ex-girlfriend!’ Which, to be perfectly honest, is what got us into this mess in the first place.
I edge over to the far edge of the couch, my entire right side flush with the right angles of the sofa. Hopefully, Logan will take the hint when he walks back in and will plop down on the other edge of the couch, or, better yet, in the chair. Not that I have any qualms about being near him - I mentioned the hot factor, right? - it’s just that things have already started moving way too quickly and we still haven’t figured out what’s going on.
He walks back into the room and I smile up at him, releasing my tight grip on the arm-rest. “You know, if the dinosaur isn’t an option, I’m willing to go as high as PG-13.”
When I return, she's crawled on the couch visibly as far from me as possible and it's pretty clear she's not expecting me to crawl beside her. Not that that would be a smart idea anyway, even if there is something between us (and yes, there probably is), we should take it slow. Well, as slow as you can take anything with the girl you stupidly kissed. Still, slow should be interesting. Never done it before anyhow.
"Hmm, luckily for you, I didn't find the Barney collection my parody of a sister owns, though," I throw the covers of DVD her way when I take the CD out. "I did find Wizard of Oz which, if is not a porno, should be PG or scarily maybe even PG-13..." God only knows why do we have all these stupid movies in DVDs but fine, at least that's something we can watch. If it doesn't turn out to be porno movie. It shouldn't.
I put the DVD in and sit down on the couch, not close enough to touch but hardly as far not to feel her beside me. Well, you didn't actually expect me to sit as far as I can from her, right? Not going to happen, besides, I am trying. That's actually unusual.
I wonder what exactly am I trying to do.
Okay. So he didn't take the hint. Come on, Veronica, did you honestly expect him to? After all, if you'd really wanted to stay away from him, you could have continued this conversation on the phone.
I take a deep breath before looking over at Logan, and then back down at the DVD case in my hand. The Wizard of Oz. Nice connotations, considering the way that our world's just flipped upside down, and would it be really tacky to say that kissing Logan turned my world into brilliant Technicolor?
Yeah. That's what I thought. Besides, it's not his fault -- he actually does seem to be trying, and that's worth something. It's worth a lot. I shift consciously away from the end of the couch and turn halfway to look at Logan -- we're inches apart now, still not touching, but I can touch him if I want to. And vice versa.
"Are we pairing this up with Dark Side of the Moon like the delinquent teenagers we are?" I tease, remembering the day that the four of us had decided to do just that, and Lilly had pulled out some marijuana that I'd refused to touch because I knew that my father would kill me --
"Or we could just watch the movie," I amend, settling back into the cushion. Because God forbid we ever do anythign that reminds us of Lilly -- then again, does anything not remind us of her?
"Or we could just watch the movie," I repeat grinning at her as I turn the TV on. We could, of course, go over every memory we share of Lilly, the good parts and the bad part, which pretty much sometimes just blends, still, I think, we could at least try to spend an afternoon not mentioning her. Because in the end? It all will go back to be about Lilly. As it always does.
Lilly's not here. This time, actually for real. She's out of hospital by now, I think, and probably either having a party or making plans against me and Veronica or maybe both, so what really does it matter? It's just me and Veronica now. At this moment at least. We can manage, right?
"Wonder if I can find some candies around this place..." I mutter to myself, but loud enough for her to hear, as I stand up. I'm sure there should be some sweets here and yes, I am going to take my wish to kiss her away by overdosing sugar. It might work.
Or it might not as she's not all that different from a candy that I can threat myself with. Huh. Maybe I should give a go to that kissing after all? Probably shouldn't.
The distance between us becomes palpable as he stands up under the pretense of finding candy. Funny how I'd never remembered Logan possessing any particular sweet tooth before now -- maybe I'd been better off at the end of the couch. The MGM lion roared and I lost visual sight of Logan, who'd walked out of the room.
I let out a deep sigh of frustration, because after everything that had gone on, I was still no closer to figuring out what was between Logan and I than I had been upon waking up this morning.
I'd kissed Logan. I'd liked kissing Logan (until Lilly had walked in and ruined it) and kissing Logan should never have crossed my mind. But it had happened and I'd meant it, and I didn't know what it had meant to him. Since when had I gotten so shy? So afraid to just ask?
I kicked my shoes off and curled my knees up to my chest, resting the balls of my feet on the sofa, and watched as the tornado hit Kansas. Logan walked back in, and I looked up at him.
What are you doing, Veronica?
Oh, what the hell.
"Why did you kiss me?"
One minute I'm opening my mouth to tell her about all the sweets I've found in the kitchen and the next minute I'm closing my mouth, probably making a nice gold fish impression, as she asks me why did I kiss her. Weren't we supposed to spend this afternoon in nice and cozy atmosphere? Oh, well, screw that idea, we might as well talk about this. Or is this 'that'?
Why did I kiss her? "Because I felt like doing so," I reply placing the sweets on the table beside me and shrugging at the skeptical look she gives me. Well, I did feel like doing so, you know? "Because you looked beautiful with your hair shining in the sun and your eyes making a weird impression of water while your lips just seemingly begging to being kissed." Is that and answer enough?
"Why did you kiss me back?" That's a fair question in this situation, is it not? I did, after all, tell her why I kissed her, and it didn't involve any 'I don't know's, so she should tell me too. Not that I am interested. Well, no, that's not the truth, but I doubt it matters. Not to me anyway.
I'm not as much interested in why as much as in when again.
Probably shouldn't be, eh?
There were many ways that Logan could have responded to my question, though I will freely admit that I never expected him to say... that. My eyes were making a weird impression of water? What did my eyes generally look like?
More importantly, was he high? I frowned, blinking up at him uneasily. "Are you... okay?" I asked finally, my voice betraying concern. I'd kissed him back because I'd wanted to, and it certainly had nothing to do with his resemblance to... anything.
"Have you been drinking?"
I sigh walking over to the couch and sitting down. I shake my head before looking over at her. "Why do you think I kissed you? Because I wanted to, it's simply as that," It's simply as that that I want to kiss her now too, except now I know better. Kind of. I do know better, don't I? Yes, so I should stop staring at her lips, really.
"Why are you here, Veronica? I get that we need to talk, so why don't we start?" And there goes all the nice plans of having a nice day with watching movies and not worrying about anything. Well, what else did I expect when she decided to come here? Or did I invite here?
"Did you like kissing me?" I ask raising an eyebrow and grinning. Who cares why we did it, the most important part is did she enjoy it, of course, my bet is she did as she's now back here and not with Lilly telling her how accidentally did it happen.
All right, well. I wanted to ass certainly a far better response than, say, your eyes were making a weird impression of water, et cetera. Then again, there weren't a whole lot of responses that weren't better than -- right. I felt my teeth pressing into my lip as I stared down at my hands, very interesting all of a sudden.
Did I like kissing him? In a word, yes. Would I have kissed him back if I'd had any idea of the consequences?
Probably. Oh, God, what kind of a bad person was I? My best friend -- my sister had nearly taken a dive off the Coronado Bridge, would have fallen to her death if my dad hadn't been remarkably quick on the uptake, and all because she caught me in a liplock with her ex-boyfriend.
You'd think I'd've learned from that experience, but no. Here I was again, at Logan's house, alone with Logan -- and thinking about how much I wanted to kiss him again. But somebody had to think clearly, here.
"That's not the point," I shrugged stubbornly, keeping my eyes trained away from him. "Besides, you kissed me."
That's it, Veronica. It's all his fault. Of course.
Yes, I'm very much aware that I kissed her, probably just as aware as she is of the fact she kissed me back. What does it now matter who started it? We're both screwed. "That's not the point either," I point out. And it's really not, it would be if she wouldn't have kissed me back, it might even be if my ex girlfriend who just happened to be her best friend wouldn't have caught us. Then it might be the point. Now it really wasn't.
"The point is, what do we do from now on?" We could of course kiss like mad each time we see each other, I wouldn't mind, but I doubt it would go so smooth with everyone else. Still, we could try, couldn't we? Not that I'm really suggesting it, she seems pissed enough already. Or well, maybe just one 'lets blame Logan' kind of mood. But who isn't lately?
It's not like we can let this pass either. Maybe if there wouldn't have been Lilly, maybe then, but still I doubt it. And we definitely can't date, that would be just... fucked. So what are we supposed to do? Does anyone actually know? Maybe we can just move back to the kissing, at least that was something I could perfectly understand.
I frowned stubbornly, arranging my hands in my lap because hey -- maybe he was actually right about something. It doesn't matter who kissed who, or, you know -- whatever -- the point was? It happened. I know it happened, he knows it happened -- everybody stuck in the express line at the supermarket knows it happened.
That doesn't, of course, mean that it should happen again. "I'm not ready to be Lilly's enemy," I admitted, biting my lip uneasily as I tilted my head to the side to look at him.
I mean, let's face it. My relationship with Duncan was over (and for good reason) -- siblings have a hell of a time getting a marriage license, for some reason. Call me a cynic, but it probably has something to do with webbed feet and hemophilia. And Lilly's relationship with Logan is -- well, that's something more complicated.
I frowned uncomfortably, Logan was staring at me -- almost through me, and I didn't know what to say anymore. There was too much under the bridge to allow me to kiss Logan Echolls freely.
I just wished he'd stop staring at me that way.
She doesn't want to be Lilly's enemy. Well, I don't think she is. Lilly doesn't really have enemies. Lilly has people whose lives she destroys or tries her best at least. I am pretty sure that currently that is where we with Veronica are from Lilly's point of view. Not that it changes anything, we're still somewhat hated by a girl that is our best friend and lover. Well, my lover as far as I know about her and Veronica's relationships and maybe I shouldn't currently think of Lilly kissing Veronica. Besides, isn't that incest or something? That would be like Lilly kissing Duncan and... damn it, wrong pictures in my head.
"What do you suggest? Because I am not apologizing to Lilly," Not that I would even know what for to apologize, I don't see anything wrong with what I've done. Well, ok, so yes, maybe I shouldn't have kissed her best friends and semi-sister, but still... She knew something was coming, did she not?
I have no idea what we could do for Veronica not to become Lilly's enemy, but as far as it is for me? I don't care. Lilly is a big girl, I will not be the one to point for her who she can or can not be friends with, even if that includes myself. We are friends and one kiss, however good it wouldn't have been, won't change it.
Even if no one else thinks so.
I blinked at him disbelievingly. Not apologizing to Lilly? How was that even an option? Despite everything that had happened in the past forty-eight hours, Lilly was still my friend. Apparently, she was my sister. How could life without Lilly even be a consideration?
"You're not sorry that we hurt her?" I could feel the tears in my throat even as I asked the question. As insufferable as Lilly tended to be -- normal people don't run to the Coronado Bridge in an attempt to get attention, no matter what the circumstance -- she was still Lilly. Logan loved her. I loved her.
"How about - oh, I don't know - apologizing to Lilly?" Of course there always remained the chance that she might not accept our apology, and that chance was a damned good one. But what kind of friends - no, what kind of people would we be if we didn't at least give it a shot?
And it - it wasn't that I didn't want Logan. Because I did, and a lot. And I needed to believe that things would be okay, no matter how we twisted this shape. No matter how much I wanted to kiss him again.
"She can't hate us forever, you know."
Why does it always have to be about her? Don't we have our own lives to worry about? But of course, Lilly is our lives, is she not? Well, fuck that. Why can't we be normal?... Ok. Forget that. Pretend I never asked. I know we can't be normal and we never will be, but I think we deserve more than being shadow of Lilly.
"Of course I'm sorry we hurt her, hell, I love Lilly, but I am not apologizing to her for her making so much fuss out of this," And I am not apologizing for kissing Veronica either. Why should I? Lilly slept with Weevil. Or made me think she did. Whatever. I didn't cheat on her with anyone. I kissed Veronica. That's not cheating. She, after all, had kissed Veronica too, no one thought of that as cheating. So why should I apologize?
"She can't hate us forever, you know."
"But she can try and make our lives living hell however long she wishes to," That's true. Lilly's capable to do that. If she wishes too. Depends on her grudge, I suppose, but that really isn't my biggest concern. Lilly and her drama fits are overrated.
"Generally, you apologise when you're sorry," I answered blandly, unsure of where this conversation was going. We were talking in circles, I'd made out with Lilly's boyfriend and liked it a lot and Lilly had nearly jumped off a bridge for whatever reason. And despite the bridge thing and despite the guilt, I wanted more of the feelings that Logan sent vibrating through my bloodstream. So what if it turned out that I was as young and hot-blooded as Lilly? How was that wrong?
Besides, Lilly wouldn't be beating around the bush if the situation were reversed. Lilly always got what she wanted, and maybe that was why this situation was so hard. Defying Lilly was like defying gravity or pretending the world was flat - there are basic laws and tenets that you have to obey, and failing to do so pretty much just flips the world on its axis.
Still, it wasn't like things were going so wonderfully before the kiss, anyway. My life had already been flipped upside down with the revelation that hey - I'm technically a Kane, and maybe I needed to shake things up some more in order to figure things out. And these metaphors aren't helping.
"Maybe," I finally added, my voice slow and deliberate, "we just need to ignore her until she goes away?" This theory seemed a little bit too good to be true, because Lilly did not like to be ignored - she didn't tolerate such things.
But that was her problem, and hey - I could be stubborn, too. I was her sister, after all.
"Generally people do not get into situations like this one," And that there is a fact. How many times have you heard of people making out with their girlfriend's best friend-slash-sister? Alright, so don't answer, I suppose it does happen a lot, but trust me, it rarely has the kind of effect one can get in Kane family.
"we just need to ignore her until she goes away?"
That makes me smile. It would be somewhat cute, wouldn't it? Us hiding under the blanket while Lilly calms down. Of course, it probably shouldn't be the same blanket or even the same bed as that would never make Lilly calm, but it still would be cute. More or less.
"I really doubt that will help, but then again, what else choice do we have?" Beside ignoring her? I don't think there's much left. As we got over the fact there will be no apologies. I don't think Lilly really deserves any.