Title: A Matter of Trust
Pairing/Character: Logan/Veronica, Duncan, Keith/Alicia (implied), Wallace, Weevil, Leo, Aaron & Lilly
Word Count: 5,159
Summary: What if Logan hadn't broken the key to the liquor cabinet in A Trip to the Dentist (1x21)?
Spoilers/Warnings: Spoilers (and actual show dialogue in a few places) from the whole season - but mostly A Trip to the Dentist and Leave it to Beaver (1x21 and 1x22).
Author's Notes: I haven't written much VM fic - but this challenge planted an enormous plot bunny and demanded to be written. So much love to danamulder and storydivagirl for their mad beta skillz. Extra love to storydivagirl for Logan's snarky come back to Aaron - my snark meter was broken :) Feedback and constructive crits always welcome.
Suddenly it all makes sense. After obsessing about it for a year, it’s almost anticlimactic to know the truth. Dick gave Madison GHB, Madison spit in a drink and gave it to me and that’s how I got drugged. Logan poured GHB in a drink and gave it to Duncan so he would relax and have some fun. Duncan found me in the guest room and, since we were both drugged, our inhibitions went flying out the window and we had sex. Not the romantic rose petals and satin sheets first time I had imagined, but not rape either.
“I want you to trust me,” Logan’s voice snaps me out of my thoughts.
“I do,” I tell him honestly, leaning down to kiss him again. Logan’s kisses are addictive. And the weird thing is, even after his confession that he drugged Duncan that night, I do trust him.
“I don’t know about you, but I could use a refreshment about now,” he says, grinning up at me.
I smile back. “Hmm.”
He gives me a quick peck and jumps off the bed. I watch as he grabs a screwdriver out of a drawer and drags a chair over to his air vent. I’m suddenly hit with a flood of memories.
“Veronica, you have to check this out. That guy I met in Italy last summer?”
“He sent me some pictures.” Lilly grabbed a screwdriver and dragged a chair to the air conditioning vent. She climbed up and removed the screws.
“Doing some re-wiring?”
“Celeste is a bit on the nosy side,” she said, pulling out a stack of photos.
“Yeah,” I deadpanned, thinking of all the times she had interrupted me and Duncan hanging out in his room.
“Tell me about it. I’m getting even though. I left phone numbers on matchbooks for Tyrone and Leroy and Chico around the room. Give the woman a little drama in her life.” She flopped back on the bed, flipping through the photos.
“Wait. Who’s Tyrone and Leroy and Chico?”
“Beats me, but it seemed to really upset Mom.” She smiled her wicked grin as I leaned over her shoulder to look at the pictures.
“Lilly, those are naked photos.”
“They certainly are.”
Lilly’s secret. The one she never got to tell me from the car wash. I’m willing to bet no one ever checked the air vents in her room. I wonder if she has something in there that will help me figure out her secret.
“Veronica, are you okay?” Logan asks, handing me a drink.
I smile. “Yeah, just thinking about something.” I take a sip and my nose crinkles. “Ew, what is this?”
“Gin and Tonic. You don’t like?”
“Not really,” I say, putting the glass on the table next to the bed.
Logan puts his glass down too, and runs a hand through my hair. “Okay, forget the refreshments,” he says. “Where were we?” He kisses me again.
I momentarily forget about Lilly and secrets and air vents as I enjoy being thoroughly kissed by Logan Echolls. Within minutes, I’m flat on my back and his hands are drifting under my top.
“Whoa, Logan,” I say, panting. “I don’t know how far I want to take this. I’m sorry.”
“Hey,” he says softly, moving his hand back to my hair. “It’s okay. I understand. We don’t have to do anything you’re not ready for.”
He rolls over and grabs his drink again and I lay there, looking up at the ceiling fan, trying to get my bearings. I like Logan a lot. And I do trust him. But do I want the first time that I’m going to remember to be with him, in his pool house, while there’s a party going on in the main house?
“Do you want to go back up to the house?” he asks. “The party might have broken up by now. We could watch a movie or something.”
I don’t answer him because I’m in too much shock from what I just noticed.
I sit up abruptly. “So what was the plan, Logan? Videotape us having sex and use the Kane streaming video technology to put it on the internet? Prove to the whole school that I really am a whore?”
The confused look on his face is sincere. “Veronica, what the hell are you talking about?”
“That,” I say, pointing at the ceiling fan.
I stand up on the bed and point to the center. “That’s a camera,” I tell him. “And this,” I continue, pointing at the wire casing, “is hiding the cables.” I jump off the bed and follow the cables to the large bookcase on the wall. “They appear to lead here.” I study the bookcase for a moment and then push one side. It slides open easily to reveal a video monitor display and a recording device.
Logan is beside me in a heartbeat. “Veronica, I had no idea this was here. You have to believe me.”
I look at him and see the same sincerity in his eyes that was there when he apologized for drugging Duncan. I believe him. I push a button on the VCR and the monitors both come alive. One shows a view of the bed from the camera in the ceiling fan. The other is a side view and Logan immediately finds a camera hidden behind some artwork on the far wall.
“I don’t understand,” he says, looking at me pleadingly. “Why is this here?”
I shake my head. “I don’t know, Logan. But I believe that you didn’t know about it either.”
“My dad must have rigged this up. I just don’t understand why.”
“He likes to watch himself on film,” I say.
The impact of my statement causes him to grimace. “I think I’m going to pretend I never found this,” he says, turning off the VCR and closing the bookcase. “And I don’t think I’m ever going to come here again.”
He picks up my jacket from the floor next to the bed and holds out a hand to me. “Come on, I’ll take you home.”
I smile and follow him, my hand in his.
“There you are,” we hear the moment we exit the pool house. We exchange a startled glance as his father gives us questioning looks. “Why did you disappear from your party, son?”
I can see the panic in Logan’s eyes. He’s a terrible liar and he’s still in shock from what we found.
“I wasn’t feeling well, Mr. Echolls. Logan brought me out here for some fresh air so I could lie down for a few minutes.”
Logan gives me a thankful look as his father nods. “Are you feeling better now?” he asks his voice full of concern.
“As moved as I am by your attempts at father of the year, I’m going to have to pass on this festival of fun. I’m taking Veronica home and don’t plan to return until I can remove the image of you saying ‘surprise’ from my memory.” Logan obviously gets over shock easily.
Logan tugs on my hand and we head to his car. “Be careful, kids!” his father calls out as we walk away.
Once we’re settled in the car, we share a tentative smile. “Great save,” Logan says.
“Quick excuses are all part of the job.”
He looks vaguely uncomfortable. “I hope you don’t mind, but I was hoping to stay at your place tonight. I’ll sleep on your couch. I don’t want you to be alone after the day you’ve had and I don’t think I can deal with my dad after finding that video equipment.”
His comments surprise me. “Its fine, Logan. I think I’ll feel better knowing you’re there.”
I’m floating on a raft in a pool. Lilly is on a raft next to me.
“Come on, Veronica. You have all the pieces now. You have to finish putting the puzzle together.”
I pout. “But if I put the puzzle together, you’ll leave me for good.”
Lilly rolls her eyes. “I’m already gone, Veronica. If you put the puzzle together, you’ll be able to let me go.”
“I don’t want to let you go, Lilly. I miss you.”
“I know, but its time for you to move on. You and Logan are so good for each other. So much better than me and Logan were. And definitely better than you and Duncan. Put my death behind you so you two can have the life you were meant to have. Together.”
I turn to answer her, but she’s gone. I’m floating alone. I think about what she said. I have all the pieces of the puzzle; if I could just see the big picture.
I’m jolted awake and sit straight up. “I know what happened,” I whisper to myself, the remnants of my dream about Lilly fading away.
I look at the clock. It’s 3:07 in the morning. I’m going to have to wait a few hours to prove my theory.
My brain is frantically making plans for how exactly I can get the evidence I need when I hear a light knock on my bedroom door. I completely forgot that Logan was sleeping on my couch.
“Veronica, you okay?” he asks through the door.
“Yeah, you can come in.”
I don’t want to tell Logan my theory. If I’m right, his entire world is about to be destroyed. But, if I am right, I want him to hear it from me.
He comes in and sits gingerly on my bed. “Why are you awake in the middle of the night?”
I give him a wry smile. “It’s three am, I must be lonely?” I ask lightly.
He rolls his eyes at my joke. “What’s going on, Veronica? I can see your mind working a mile a minute.”
I sigh. I have no idea how to tell him that I think his father murdered his dead girlfriend.
“All right. I think I figured out who killed Lilly.”
He looks confused. “I thought you were in here sleeping.” He glances over at my desk and sees my computer is not on.
“I was. I had a dream. About Lilly. She told me that I have all the pieces and I just need to put them together. I woke up and it was all there. I finally saw the big picture.”
“Well? Who was it?”
I look down. I can’t meet his eyes when I say it. “Logan, I think your dad killed Lilly.”
“Veronica? Were you drugged tonight? My dad may be a vicious bastard, but what possible reason could he have for killing Lilly?”
I force myself to meet his eyes. “Logan, the day of the car wash, Lilly told me she had a secret. ‘A good one,’ she said. She was practically bouncing off walls. We were supposed to hang out by her pool after the car wash, but she told me she had something else she had to take care of and she’d call me later. She died before she got the chance to tell me.”
“I still don’t understand what this has to do with my father.”
“I think Lilly was having an affair with him.”
“You knew she was seeing someone else.”
I shake my head. “I don’t think it was Weevil by the time she died. From what he said, she blew him off a few weeks before her death. He didn’t know if she was back with you or if she had moved on to another secret lover.”
“But my dad?”
“Think about it, Logan. We know your dad liked to fool around behind your mom’s back. And we know he liked younger women. And you said it yourself, Lilly loved guys. She would have loved sticking it to everyone by screwing Neptune’s most famous resident.”
He closes his eyes and I realize that what I’m saying is starting to make sense.
“Okay, so I’ll buy that my dad was sleazy enough to screw my girlfriend,” he finally says. “But why would he kill her?”
“She found the tapes.”
“The tapes of…” he trails off, remembering our adventure in the pool house. “Oh my God.”
I nod. “Lilly would have totally tried to blackmail him. She would have sent those tapes to Access Hollywood or CNN or something. She would have stirred up so much drama.”
“And she would have loved every second of it. It would embarrass her parents and make her famous.” He lets out a huge sigh. “We can’t prove it, though.”
“Sure we can. We just need to get the tapes.”
“Veronica, I’m sure my father destroyed them.”
“If he found them.”
“The air vents. I completely forgot about them when I found the camera tonight. But when I watched you opening your air vent, I remembered that Lilly hid things in hers too. If she had found the tapes, she would have put them in her air vent. I think your father went to her house to get the tapes back and killed her because she wouldn’t give them to him. He must have gone crazy when the cops were searching her room and her car, afraid that someone would find them. When they arrested Abel Koontz, he probably figured he was off the hook and that the tapes would never show up.”
“So you want us to go to the Kane’s house and search Lilly’s air vents?”
“We need to go and apologize to Duncan, don’t you think?”
He looks at the clock. “How early is too early for a social call?”
We make ourselves wait until eight. We try to wait until nine, but by eight, we are both too anxious to wait any longer. Celeste is definitely not happy to see us standing at her front door.
“What are you two doing here at this hour?” she asks, barely masking her hatred of me.
“We need to talk to Duncan, Mrs. Kane,” Logan says. “He and I got into an argument last night and I need to apologize.”
“This is no doubt something to do with you,” she spits out, glaring at me. I take a deep breath and force myself to stay silent. Logan and I agreed to let him do all the talking if Celeste or Jake answered the door.
“Mrs. Kane, Duncan is upset because I didn’t tell him I was dating Veronica. I don’t blame him for being upset with me; best friends don’t date each other’s ex-girlfriend. But the way he found out was rather startling and I want to explain to him what happened.”
Celeste is still shooting me dirty looks, but she always liked Logan and I can see that she’s about to let us in.
“Mom, do I have company?” Duncan asks, walking into the foyer in a pair of boxer shorts and an undershirt. A look of resignation flashes across Celeste’s face and she steps back to allow Logan and me to enter the house.
“Yes, Logan and Veronica are here. Logan says he owes you an apology. Would you mind taking them to your room? The cleaners are going to be here any minute to begin the party preparations,” she says.
Duncan gives us an odd look but motions for us to follow him. Logan and I exchange a glance. I hope Duncan will believe us.
When we get to Duncan’s room, he gestures for us to take a seat on his bed and he walks over to the kitchenette area. “Do you guys want some juice or something?” he asks, ever the polite host.
“No, Duncan, we need to talk to you. Could you please come over here and sit down?” I say.
He sighs, but sits across from us in his desk chair.
“Listen, man, before Veronica tells you why we’re really here, I need to apologize. I did not want you to find out we were dating the way you did. I was planning to stop over here today and talk to you before you started back to school. I’m really sorry. I know you still care about her, but it’s been over a year since you two broke up.”
Duncan flashes a questioning look in my direction. I know he’s asking if I told Logan that we might be brother and sister. I shake my head slightly and he nods.
“It’s okay,” he says. “I had no right to get angry. I broke up with Veronica for a reason and, because of that reason, I know we could never get back together. I was more hurt that I thought you were keeping secrets from me.”
Logan glances between us, knowing that there is more to the story than I told him, but he decides to let it go, so we can tell Duncan why we’re really here.
“Duncan, we need to go to Lilly’s room,” I say.
It’s obvious he’s surprised by the sudden change of subject. “What?”
“We think we know who killed her and we think there might be proof in there,” Logan explains.
Duncan looks angry. “I thought you were done with your witch hunt, Veronica.”
“Duncan, I have proof that Abel Koontz didn’t kill Lilly. The shoes they found at his place are in the photos the police took of Lilly’s bedroom that night. And the tip that led the police to him was phoned in by Clarence Weidman.”
His eyes grow wide at my statement. “Do you still think I did it?”
I sigh. “No, Duncan, we don’t think it was you.”
“Well, then who was it?”
I look at Logan. “We think my father did it,” he says softly.
Duncan looks at me for explanation. “We think Lilly was having an affair with Mr. Echolls,” I explain. “Last night, we found a camera and recording set up in Logan’s pool house. We think that Lilly found it and took tapes that showed her and Mr. Echolls together. We need to check her air vents because Lilly always hid important things in there.”
Duncan closes his eyes while he processes my words. He opens them and looks from me to Logan and back again. He stands up and opens his desk drawer, grabbing something from it.
“Come on,” he says, walking out of his bedroom.
We walk across the hall to Lilly’s room and he pulls her desk chair underneath the vent and climbs up. I see that he grabbed a screwdriver from his desk and he uses it to loosen the screws. He pulls the grate off and feels around inside for a moment. When he brings his hand out, he has three tapes in it.
Logan looks faintly nauseated. My head starts spinning.
“Do you have a camera we can play these on?” I ask Duncan.
He nods and we go back to his room. Logan grips my hand tightly while Duncan hooks up the cables to his television. He puts the first tape in and we watch Lilly enter the pool house and lay down on the bed.
”That’s her pep squad outfit,” I say. “This is the day she died.”
“Come here, lover, it’s time to earn your keep,” she says on the tape.
We watch her lay back on the pillows and see the moment she spots the camera. It’s uncannily like what Logan and I went through last night. Lilly gets off the bed and the tape goes to snow.
“Put another one in,” Logan says, his voice tight.
Duncan looks at the other two tapes. “This one is dated October first.”
The tape starts and we see Lilly on top of someone, obviously making love. Duncan looks at Logan.
“That isn’t me,” he says. I squeeze his hand and the three of us watch in horror as Lilly and her lover roll over and Aaron Echolls’ face fills the screen.
Duncan stops the tape and the three of us stare at each other in silence.
“We need to get these tapes to my dad,” I say, ejecting the tape from the camera and putting it back in my case. “With the other evidence he has, we can finally go to the sheriff and get them to re-open the case.”
“When is your dad coming back from Vegas?” Logan asks.
I pull out my phone and call him.
“Dad, where are you?” I ask when he answers the phone.
“I’m on my way to the newspaper office, honey,” he says. “I…I lied to you about my trip to Vegas. I wasn’t going to pick up my entertainment lawyer, I was tracking down a woman who was with Abel Koontz at the time Lilly was killed. I’m taking her down there to see if I can get the paper to run a story and maybe force Lamb to re-open the case.”
Logan and Duncan both give me strange looks when I laugh. “Dad, meet me at the sheriff’s department,” I say.
“I have evidence that proves who really killed Lilly.”
“It was Aaron Echolls, Dad. Lilly was having an affair with him. I have tapes that I just found in her room that prove it. Logan and Duncan are with me. We’ll meet you at the sheriff’s department. Can you stop by the office and pick up the other evidence?”
“Sure, honey,” he says, shock evident in his voice. “Be careful and go straight to the sheriff’s department. Don’t stop for any reason. And whatever you do, do not tell Jake and Celeste Kane what you found out.”
“Okay, Dad. We’ll see you soon. I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
Logan and Duncan are looking at me expectantly when I disconnect the call. “My dad has a witness that was with Abel Koontz when Lilly was killed. He’s going to stop by the office and get the other evidence we have. He wants us to meet him at the sheriff’s department.”
Both boys nod. “I just need to throw some clothes on,” Duncan says, hurrying to his closet.
“My dad said we shouldn’t tell your parents what we found out.”
He meets my eyes and nods. It’s obvious that Jake and Celeste thought Duncan killed Lilly and tried to cover it up.
Logan drives and parks his X-terra next to my dad’s car. My dad hugs me tight as soon as I’m out of the vehicle.
“Are you okay, honey?”
“I’m fine, Dad.”
“How on earth did you figure this out?” he asks, glancing at Logan and Duncan.
“It’s a long story. Let’s go in there and talk to Lamb.”
He looks at the boys again. “Are you two coming?”
They both nod.
“Are you sure you know what you’re getting involved with?”
“Mr. Mars, I was with Veronica when she found part of the evidence that proves my father killed Lilly. I have to be here to back up her testimony.”
“Same here, Mr. Mars. Logan and Veronica came to my house this morning to find the tapes and I pulled them out of Lilly’s air vent.”
Dad gives me an odd look and I realize I’m holding hands with Logan. I bite my lip, trying to think of how to explain this to him, but he shakes his head and says, “This is Cheyenne. She had a standing appointment with Abel Koontz every week at the same time. And he was with her when Lilly died.”
“What kind of appointment?” Duncan asks.
Cheyenne blushes and Dad struggles with an explanation that isn’t offensive to anyone. Logan grabs Duncan and whispers in his ear and we watch Duncan’s face turn red.
“Oh,” he says with a curious look at Cheyenne.
“Come on,” Dad says. “We have all the evidence we need.”
“So he opens the door and asks what he can do for us. The sheriff says, ‘Aaron Echolls, you are under arrest for the murder of Lilly Kane.’ His face goes white, but he doesn’t say a word while Lamb reads him his rights. We searched the house and found a scrap of paper in his office with Lilly’s cell phone number on it. When we pulled her cell records, we found a number of calls to and from Aaron’s cell phone. There were text messages sent and the phone company is working on retrieving them from their system.”
Leo takes another piece of pizza from the box.
“And that’s it?” Logan asks.
“What about my parents?” Duncan asks.
“Well, Keith’s documents prove that they tampered with evidence to alter the time of death because they thought you killed your sister. We had enough to charge them both with obstruction of justice. They’ll probably end up paying a fine.”
“And Abel Koontz?” my dad asks.
“He’s being released. His daughter has hired round the clock nurses and is flying in some big wig doctor from the east coast to see if there is anything they can do to treat his disease.”
“What about Clarence Weidman?” I ask.
“He’s definitely being charged with obstruction of justice for helping Jake and Celeste. Lamb hasn’t decided yet if he’s going to charge him for threatening your mother and stalking you. It would help if Mrs. Mars were here to testify,” Leo explains.
Dad and I exchange a look. He nods slightly.
“My mom’s in rehab,” I explain. “She’s an alcoholic. She wouldn’t be a very good witness.”
“I still don’t understand why Duncan’s parents wanted your mom out of town, Veronica,” Logan says.
Duncan looks at me and my dad, asking our permission to tell the rest of the group the truth. We both nod.
“My dad had an affair with Veronica’s mom,” he says. Logan, Leo, and Wallace all look from him to me to my dad in shock. “My mom was afraid that Mrs. Mars would file a paternity suit against my dad in retaliation for Mr. Mars losing his job after he accused my dad of killing Lilly. So she got Clarence Weidman to run Mrs. Mars out of town.”
The implications of Duncan’s words hit Logan and Wallace at the same time. “So, you two might be brother and sister,” Wallace says.
We both nod, our eyes pleading with the two of them not to say anything about Shelly’s party. They both seem to understand. Logan squeezes my hand and Wallace pats Duncan on the shoulder.
Alicia gives my dad a curious look. “Don’t you think now would be a good time to tell her, Keith?”
Everyone looks at my dad. “Tell me what?”
My dad takes a deep breath. “Veronica, I had a paternity test done,” he admits. My heart skips a beat as I think about the results I shredded. I’m not sure if I’m ready to hear what he’s about to say. Logan’s hand tightens around mine.
“And?” I manage to choke out.
He smiles and tears start forming in his eyes. “Veronica, I am, without a doubt, your father.”
We both break down crying in relief. I let go of Logan’s hand, walk the four steps to my dad’s chair and throw myself into his arms. “Yeah you are.”
“Did you think that charm of yours was learned behavior?” he asks through his tears, holding me so tight I can barely breathe. “Its genetics, baby!”
I pull away from him and meet Duncan’s eyes. We smile at each other, relieved that we aren’t really brother and sister.
Our euphoria is interrupted by a knock on the door. “Who on earth could that be?” Wallace asks. “Everyone is here.”
I look at Dad and shrug as he gets up and answers the door.
“Eli,” he says, stepping back to let Weevil in.
He looks around the room and finally meets my eye. “Did you forget to invite me to the party, V?”
I walk over and hug him. “I’m so sorry, Weevil. With everything that happened, I forgot to call and tell you what was going on.” I tilt my head and smile. “Forgive me?”
He rolls his eyes and sighs. “Yeah, V, I forgive you.”
Wallace, Leo, Logan and Duncan burst out laughing. Weevil looks at them with a raised eyebrow.
“What’s so funny?” he asks.
The four of them exchange a glance and Leo finally answers. “It’s nice to see that there is not a male on the planet who is immune to Veronica’s head tilt,” he says through his laughter.
Weevil joins in and I give all five guys my dirtiest look. I think I need to start spending more time with Mac and Meg.
“There is one,” my dad pipes up. “Her head tilt doesn’t work on me.”
I give him a devilish look. “Oh really, Dad?” I taunt.
I glance at Backup, who is lounging quietly on the floor, hoping someone will drop a pizza crust. I look back at my dad and tilt my head. “But, Daddy, I really want a dog. I’ll take him out every day.”
Everyone in the room laughs at the defeated look on my dad’s face.
I grin and turn to Alicia. “It’s not wrong to use your feminine wiles to get what you want, is it?”
She shakes her head. “No way. You’ll have to teach me that head tilt thing though.”
Weevil breaks through the lingering laughter with a question directed at Leo. “Was Aaron Echolls really arrested for murdering Lilly?”
Everyone stops laughing and remembers why we’re all gathered.
“Yes, he was,” Logan answers before Leo can speak.
Weevil meets his look. “You okay, man?”
Logan offers a weak smile and nods.
“They gonna put you back in office?” Weevil asks, turning to my dad.
“Veronica was the one who figured it out,” he replies.
“With help from Logan and Duncan,” I explain when Weevil’s glance turns on me.
Weevil nods and accepts a glass of soda from Alicia. He finds a spot on the floor to sit and makes himself comfortable.
We all sit in silence, reflecting on Lilly’s life and death and everything that has happened in the last forty-eight hours. Surprisingly, Wallace is the one who breaks the silence.
“To Lilly,” he says, lifting his glass in a toast to the girl he never met.
We all raise our glasses and repeat, “To Lilly!”
After we drink, the room hums with a variety of conversations. I look at everyone in the room and chuckle. If anyone had told me at the beginning of the school year that this group of people would be sitting in a room, sharing pizza and conversation, I would have laughed.
We’re an unlikely group. The ousted sheriff turned private investigator, his daughter the social pariah, her ex-boyfriend the student council president, his best friend the borderline alcoholic, the basketball star, his mother, a deputy and the leader of the local biker gang.
I smile to myself. Lilly would have fit right in.