Title: History of Abuse
Characters: Logan, Veronica, Aaron, Trina, and Lynn
Spoilers: All seasons
Word count: 4,029
Summary: “Logan,” she whispered in a comforting tone he hadn’t heard in years, hadn’t heard from her ever. “How did you get this scar?”
Warning: This story will include rather descriptive child abuse. If you can’t handle it I suggest you don’t read past the first chapter.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but if Rob and co. ever decide to sell I would gladly take Logan & Weevil.
A/N Thanks to hokeysmoke for all her help on this fic. It is needed. Honestly, sometimes I think gibberish is my first language. Anyway, all remaining mistakes are my fault. Feel free to point them out.
Long minutes passed after Logan finished his story, long minutes filled with a silence that neither one of them seemed willing to break. Veronica had never thought of silence as a tangible entity but, as she lay pressed against Logan, her head pillowed on his chest she could swear she felt the solid weight of it pressing into her, holding her down. She was desperate for some way to end the quiet, but was at a loss as to what she should say, could say. What the hell did one say in a situation like this?Logan to confide in her. She wasn’t the kind of girl who could give him what he needed. She was a woman of action, not words. If she saw a problem she fixed it. If someone had been wronged she made sure the guilty paid. Except in this case the guilty was dead, and with him all hope of retribution, justice. She couldn’t make this right and it frustrated the hell out of her. Made her angrier than she had been in a long time. Aaron Echolls would never pay for a single mark he’d left on his son. It wasn’t right, fair; then again they lived in Neptune, since when was anything that happened in this town fair?Logan’s voice finally broke the silence, sounding strained, nervous.Logan. You didn’t deserve any of it.”Logan didn’t respond, just released a shaky breath and pulled her close, resting his chin on the top of her head. Once again they lapsed into silence, though this one not nearly as tense as the first. Veronica lay still as Logan stroked her hair, her back, her arms, slowly easing the tension from her body.Logan said after a few minutes, stroking her forearm.Logan lightly tapped her arm with his pointer finger. “How did you get this scar?”Logan replied.Logan’s gaze. She searched his eyes, trying to figure out where he was going with that question. He raised his eyebrows mockingly at her, fixing his face with an expression that would usually inspire a laugh, but he couldn’t hide sadness in his eyes, not entirely. He was trying to ease the tension, make her feel more comfortable, give her an out, and she loved him for it. Ignoring the tears pooling in her eyes Veronica leaned down and placed a kiss on his lips.Logan questioned when she pulled back.Logan cringed.Logan stated, clearly amused.Logan released a bark of laughter. “That’s my girl.”
Moving to prop her head up on her hand Veronica regarded Logan thoughtfully. For the past half hour they had been playing a round of twenty questions. It was an unspoken rule that all the questions be strictly of the fluffy variety, although the rule was more for her benefit than Logan’s.
While Logan somehow seemed lighter after reveling his most painful and long kept secret, Veronica couldn’t decide if she wanted to throw up or just put her fist through a wall-unfortunately Aaron Echolls’s face wasn’t available- but she was determined to hear everything, not out of morbid curiosity but of a desire to help him bear his burden. He’d been there for her after she’d accused and later absolved him of responsibility for her rape, been patient and never pushed or made her feel guilty for not being ready to take that next step in their relationship. And he had been there again after the fall out with Cassidy, a solid and protective presence, there when she needed him.
It was her turn to be there for him, to let him tell his story and know without a doubt that there would be no disbelief or judgment, know that his secret would be safe with her. She could help him bear his emotional load, she could handle it –she hoped. She just needed a few more minutes to adjust to the load.
“What is your favorite thing to eat?” Veronica asked, lightly tracing patterns on Logan tanned shoulder.
A lecherous grin was his only answer. The look he gave her caused a deep blush to light her face and she shoved his shoulder.
“I am,” Logan smirked.
“Fine,” Veronica gave in, rolling her eyes. “What is your least favorite thing to eat?”
Immediately the air changed and Veronica knew she'd managed to find yet another bad memory from the wide array of dark moments that were Aaron’s legacy. She briefly thought about not asking, diverting the conversation back to their more light-hearted questions, but she decided against it. Hard as it was on her to hear she wanted to know, and she knew it was harder on him. She had to hear about it but he'd actually lived it. So, rather than pull back Veronica forged ahead.
"Logan?" she gently pushed.
"Pears," Logan sighed, his tone letting her know there was a story there. "Just the smell of 'em makes me sick."
"What happened?" Veronica encouraged.
After a brief moment of silence Logan cleared his throat and began his story. Veronica tried to keep her face neutral but she was sure some of the horror and shock she felt showed. She couldn't help it. She'd known Aaron Echolls had been a sick fuck, he'd slept with and killed Lilly after all, but still, it was hard to imagine anyone being so violent, cold, uncaring with their own child. Hmmm, maybe she wasn't as jaded as she liked to think. To her "father" meant comfort, safety, warmth, laughter, and all other things good. No matter what hell she'd been going through in her life her dad had been there, her touch stone, her rock, the one man she could always count on. She felt for Logan, not pity, never pity, but sorrow. He should have had a good father, someone he could have felt safe with.
Leaning forward Veronica laid a gentle kiss on his freckled shoulder before cupping his cheek and turning his face towards her for a slow kiss. She knew she couldn't take his pain away but she could offer comfort.
Pulling away Veronica sadly looked into his eyes. "Do you have any good memories of him?"
Logan laughed, sounding anything but amused. "Few and far between. And none of that matters, not when he..."
"We don't have to talk about this, him, what he did to you," Veronica assured him.
"I don't mind Veronica." After a long thoughtful pause he continued. "It's actually nice to be believed for once."
"Ask," Logan demanded.
Logan gestured to where her hand rested on his abdomen, her fingers lightly and unconsciously running over an oddly shaped scar. It reminded her of one she had on her elbow. She'd gotten it from falling off her bike when she was six. She had hit the pavement and slide across the ground, the gravel and rock scraping away at her tender flesh.
Veronica was almost afraid to hear his response. "How?"
June 6th 1998
"Quedate quieto," Pearla, the Echolls' aging housekeeper admonished as she attempted to tighten the strap on a fidgeting Logan's goggles.
Logan threw his hands up, dramatically freezing in place, earning an eye roll for his trouble.
"Brat," Pearla smiled. "Demasiado lindo para tu propio bien."
"What?" Logan asked, impatiently scratching at his nose.
"You're a very handsome boy. You're going to have many pretty niñas chasing after you when you're grown."
Logan smiled widely and Pearla chucked him under the chin. "None of that now. You grow up and find one good one."
"But two is so much better than one," Logan replied cheekily. "And three is much better than two. Four is-"
"One, the right one will be plenty," Pearla stated firmly. "Stop all that instigating. You've got too big a heart to be a lobo. We both know that."
The sound of clicking heels cut off Logan's reply and they both turned to see Lynn enter the kitchen, dressed to impress and not a hair out of place.
"Yes, Mrs Echolls."
"I've laid out some clothes that need to be taken to the cleaners," Lynn vaguely gestured. "Could you make sure that's taken care of?"
"Yes, Mrs Echolls."
"Thank you," Lynn replied before turning her attention to Logan. "How are the new goggles?"
"I haven't tried 'em yet. Pearla was tightening them for me."
"All right," Lynn answered, looking past Logan to the pool outside. After a moment of silence her gaze fell back on Logan. "Are you sure you don't want to come with me? Maybe we can see if you can be in a scene hmmm?"
"I don't want to be an actor," Logan replied, his lip curling in distaste.
Lynn smiled. "I know, but it could be fun. Maybe after I finish up we could do some shopping, see what new games they have out."
"I want to swim. The pool’s finally done."
Lynn sighed, resigning herself to the fact that he wouldn't be convinced. "All right honey, just promise me you'll be good, and just..." she shot a quick glance at Pearla. "Just give your father some space. He's had a stressful week."
"I will," Logan promised quickly, practically bouncing with anticipation to try out the new pool.
"Okay," Lynn gave him a peck on the head. "I'll see you when I get home. Be good."
When Lynn exited Pearla went back to fixing his goggles. "There," she said, popping them unexpectedly over his eyes, earning a laugh. "All set."
With an exuberance that only a young boy can achieve Logan raced out of the kitchen, briefly stumbling in his haste. Once he reached the pool’s edge he immediately began to plan his grand entrance. It was a brand new pool so no ordinary flip or belly flop would do. It had to be awesome. For a moment he was completely stymied as to which aerobatic feat to perform, then he saw Trina floating his way on her raft. Her hair was tied back, her expensive lenses on, and she was dry as a bone, Trina did not swim, she tanned. Logan's plan gloriously began to take form. He would start out in a run, than flip over Trina before landing in a cannonball. It was perfect.
Quickly, Logan made his way back to the patio. He got into his runner's stance, rocking back and forth a bit to get the right footing, then he took off like a shot, racing across the heated ground, his feet loudly pounding with each step. He had just reached the pool’s edge, ready to jump, when he stumbled. Powerless to stop himself Logan flew forward. Trina noticed him just in time to let out an ear piercing shriek before he landed right on top of her, plunging them both into the pool.
They struggled under the water, both trying to reach the surface. Trina kicked her foot out as she moved, catching Logan in the chest and knocking him further down. Eventually they both reached the surface, clutching the edge of the pool, Logan coughing and sputtering while Trina looked like a drowned rat.
Trina went for the ladder, trembling with anger as she pulled herself from the water. "What the hell is wrong with you?" she demanded.
"It was an accident," Logan defended, brushing water from his face.
"It always is you stupid klutz. You've ruined my hair, broke my sunglasses, and...I could have drowned!" Trina finished in dramatic fashion.
Logan rolled his eyes at her. She always overreacted.
"Daddy!" Trina cried, stomping her foot in anger.
The reminder that his father was there had Logan tensing up.
"Go inside and clean up Trina," Aaron Echolls ordered.
"I'll take care of it Trina. Go ahead and get dried off."
Trina spun on her heels and stomped inside, screaming for Pearla to bring her a towel.
They were alone. Logan hadn't moved from his spot at the edge of the pool. He heard the swish of water as Aaron moved closer. Why was it everything seemed louder at times like this? Logan closed his eyes, his head pressed against the edge of the pool. It was no use though. No matter how much he wished it he couldn't reverse time or make himself disappear. Hopefully it wouldn't be that bad this time, hopefully Aaron wouldn't linger, hopefully he-
"Get over here Logan," Aaron ordered, his voice tight.
Slowly Logan pushed back from the edge, a cold shiver running down his spine.
"You better move faster than that."
Logan sped up his strokes, moving to meet his father in the shallow end of the pool.
"You know," Aaron chuckled, curling a hand around the back of Logan's neck. "You never cease to amaze me."
Logan drew in sharp, rapid breaths. His heart was pounding in his chest and his limbs were tingling with the need to spring into action, to run. He hated the build up. He preferred when Aaron got right to it, a slap to the face, knock his head into the wall, kick him down the stairs, quick and easy, painful but easy in a way. When it was quick he didn't have time to think, to wonder, to fear. He was conjuring up a million different punishments for his actions and it was all adding to the terror he felt. He just wanted to get it over with.
"You know," Aaron continued. "Any normal person with an ounce of common sense might have considered the ultimate consequences of his actions, but not my son. No, he plows right ahead without a moment’s thought."
Logan shifted, feeling the water lap softly over his chest and back.
"So tell me Logan, what on earth possessed you to jump on your sister?"
"I'm sorry," Aaron interrupted, his grip on Logan's neck tightening. "I can't understand you when you mumble. If you have something to say then say it."
Logan cleared his throat. "It was an accident, I was just gonna...flip over her. I tripped but I didn't mean to hurt her. It just...happened."
Aaron sighed. "Things always seem to just happen with you don't they?"
"It was an accident," Logan insisted once more, a slight tremble to his voice. "Trina was just...she's okay."
"Lucky for you she's okay," his grip on Logan's neck turning hard, his fingers digging in, making Logan cringe. "But what if she hadn't been huh? What would you have done?"
"I don't know," Logan answered pitifully.
"Of course you don't, Aaron scoffed. "You're too damn thoughtless. You live from one moment to the next without a care for the people around you."
Aaron ignored him. "Maybe it's time you leaned how your actions affect the people around you. You never were one for learning by listening, so let’s see if you can learn through experience."
"Dad, I...she was okay. I-"
"Be quiet Logan," Aaron ordered. "You don't speak unless I say you can, do you understand?"
"Now, let me see if I have this straight. You wanted to do a flip over your sister. Is that right?"
"Yes," Logan replied, trying to stay calm.
Aaron chuckled, sounding anything but amused. "You didn't quite make it did you?"
Logan shook his head.
"Now, your sister was fine, as you repeatedly pointed out, but let’s say she wasn't okay," Aaron's voice took on a hard edge. "Let’s say my bright son managed to hurt his sister. What do you imagine would have happened?"
Logan took a shuttering breath. "I don't know."
Aaron gave him a shake. "Well why don't you use that imagination of yours and come up with something."
Logan nervously licked his lips. "Um, she uh, she would have been under the water."
"Under the water? You're probably right. She would have been under the water, in too much pain to get herself out. Under the water and powerless to save herself, like this perhaps."
Without warning Aaron suddenly plunged Logan beneath the cool water. Caught by surprise, Logan didn't have time to take a breath before he went under. Seconds after he was submerged he felt that old familiar tightening in his chest, letting him know he needed air. Logan struggled but could do nothing against his father's iron grip. Moments later Aaron pulled him back up. Logan took a few deep breaths, rubbing at his eyes, trying to ease the stinging from the chlorine water that had gotten in his eyes before he could close them.
"What else?" Aaron calmly asked.
Logan shook his head rapidly, a cold chill sliding down his spine. He knew where this was going now and it scared the hell out of him.
Aaron gripped Logan's neck hard, causing him to cry out. "Answer the question!" he barked.
"She..she would have been under the water," Logan continued slowly.
"You said that already."
"Trina...Trina wouldn't have been...she'd.."
"She would what Logan?" Aaron asked impatiently.
Logan took a deep breath. This was going to happen whether he wanted it to or not, no matter how long he stalled. In fact there was a real chance it'd be worse if he stalled but god he didn't want to do this, he didn't want to be here.
"She wouldn't have been able to reach the surface," Logan stated reluctantly.
Tears of fear and stress began to well in his eyes. He feared what came next. Trina wouldn't have been able to breathe. He wasn't going to be able to breathe. "Please, I'm sorry. I won't do it again. I won't-"
"Shut up," Aaron snapped. "I don't care that you're sorry. It doesn't change anything. You need to be taught a lesson. You need to learn what is and isn't acceptable behavior. And you will learn Logan," Aaron promised. "Even if I have to beat it into you. Now, tell me, what would have happened if Trina hadn't been able to reach the surface."
He wasn't going to escape this. It was going to happen. His dad always won in the end. Logan opened his mouth and shakily admitted the truth. "She wouldn't have been able to breathe."
Without a word Aaron plunged Logan back beneath the rippling water. Ten seconds passed, then twenty, thirty, forty. Logan began to squirm against his father's strong grip, panic overwhelming him. He'd been practicing holding his breath for long periods of time. He wanted to have surfing lessons, and if he ever fell off his board he wanted to know he could hold his breath long enough to fight his way above the waves, but the most he'd been able to go was a minute and a half, and even that had been a struggle.
Logan felt the smooth rush of water over him as his father jerked him back up. Once he was firmly back on his feet he began to greedily suck in deep breaths, his panic easing with each breath he took.
"Terrifying isn't it?" Aaron asked, eerily calm. "Not being able to breathe and knowing there isn't a damn thing you can do about it."
"I won't do it again," Logan promised desperately.
"Hmmm, you think you've learned your lesson?"
"Yes," Logan cried.
"I'm not so sure. Those sound like desperate words from a desperate boy, hollow and meaningless."
"No," Logan whispered, tears filling his eyes. "No. No. No."
"No, you haven't learned your lesson, but you will," Aaron promised.
Once more Logan disappeared below the blue tinted water. Aaron forced him down and before Logan knew it his back was scraping the bottom of the pool, Aaron's foot on his chest. Logan's hands immediately went to Aaron's ankles, desperately pushing at him, but he may as well have been pushing a 2 ton truck for all the good he was doing. Eventually he stilled, hoping that would make Aaron release his hold, but no such luck. Logan felt that old familiar panic creeping through him as the pressure in his chest from a lack of oxygen turned into burning that rolled through his chest. His limbs tingled with a desire to move, to seek out air. Logan stared up at his father through the shimmering water, as the seconds slowly ticked by he began to fear that his father would go too far.
One minute and ten seconds in Logan knew he couldn't last any longer. He had just started to breathe in when Aaron lifted his foot. Logan scrambled up, quickly shooting to the surface, alternately coughing and drawing deep breaths. He barely noticed as Aaron lifted him forcing him out of the pool, scraping his stomach against the pool's rough edge. Moving to his hands and knees Logan continued to cough deep in his chest. His coughing soon turned to gagging and before he could stop himself he was retching, the combination of pool water and stomach acid burning his throat.
Aaron climbed out after him. "I think you've learned your lesson. When you’re finished get the hose and clean that mess up, and don't come inside until you’re dry, we just got that carpet and we don't need you dripping all over the place."
Aaron moved past him, going inside. The patio door slid silently closed. Logan was left alone on the ground, shivering and coughing. God he just wanted it to stop. It had to stop. He could be better, he could be good, stay out of his father's way. He would do whatever he had to do.
He just wanted it to stop.