Author's Note: AU. In which Quinn & Logan have known each other since they were little, Logan's family is unmotivated and pessimistic, and Quinn is his biggest support.
Disclaimer: I do not own Zoey 101.
He liked to pretend that one day, he'd have her in all of her blazing glory. (Well, if he could call national scholastic competitions glory.)
She liked to pretend that one day, she'd have the (scientific) world falling at her feet.
But both of those dreams were too far out to be reached. They should have figured that, considering they were only in high school, and she was too good for him (he thought), and the scientific world even looked at Einstein's Theory of Relativity with skepticism – an absolutely ridiculous fact if you asked her.
She was sitting beside her best friend of three years in his ancient station wagon. He was a compulsively terrible partner when it came to long road trips, since before he had first acquired that dangerous license at the age of 16 and 10. Logan would smack greasy potato chips into his mouth, leaving a trail of crumbs from the gearshift to his seat, play music at an unnecessarily high volume, and rage every time a car went below sixty miles per hour on the highway. However, this time, Quinn had to make do with Logan's driving. Not only because she had failed her driving test the week earlier, but because she absolutely needed a ride from him to Bloomington for a college visit. Logan would never make the effort to go on his own, but Quinn desperately wanted to see him feel at place for once. She had not only carefully picked out where she would apply for college, but suggestions as to where he should apply. Mrs. Reese dismissed the idea of college, calling it "too expensive" and a "waste of time for someone as stupid as Logan". Quinn refused to.
Sometimes, he wonders what would have happened if he had told her to just shut up about Wightman axioms. Maybe she wouldn't have tapped his shoulder, forcing him to look at her, and then crash into that other car. "Will you please be careful?" she had screeched in her nasal, high-pitched voice. "You're going to get yourself a ticketttt," Quinn bellowed melodramatically. Her dark brown hair bounced up and down on her plaid checkered shirt, a sign of the Texas background her family had left behind for the city life of Chicago ten years ago. Her companion was busy brushing his russet hair away from his striking eyes and tan face. "Now, as I was saying, there are so many exceptions to the Wightman framework," her voice faded off in his mind.
Quinn had seen Logan in many different stages. She had even titled them by level of maturity. He started off as the "little brat" throughout elementary school, when she refused to talk to him because he stuck gum in her hair. Then, he progressed backwards to "wannabe rebel" complete with black eyeliner, fierce basketball skills, and a dark scowl. It was in freshman year that the two connected over an English project about Shakespeare's As You Like It, and Logan had transitioned into "confused jock". After all, he could hardly leave his past entirely behind, regardless of Quinn's positive influence on his personality, but he failed to understand what he had become. The boy who was used to blowing off steam through fistfights on the blacktop started talking to the awkward poets and 'drama kids'.
Logan hated science – because it took away the one person he could actually see himself with in another ten years. The funeral was a depressing procession, of course, family and friends she had accumulated over the years all making their way to the ceremony to honor her peppy spirit. He wished he listened to her final words, even if they were about quantum physics. The emptiness in his heart was amplified through the constant sympathetic stares and occasional glares he received. The Penskys were simply too nice to ever blame others for the misfortunes in their home, but others weren't.
Logan Reese was not the basketball player he once imagined he was. Quinn Pensky could not be the scientist she pictured herself as. For her, he picked up the brochure for Digital Art at Indiana University, Bloomington when he finally mustered the courage to drive up there again. One long, hard breath, and he had decided – he would make Quinn Pensky proud. He stopped blaming himself for the accident as soon as he was admitted and felt like Quinn's smile was sitting safely on his shoulders, slowly lifting the mental burden into the sky.