Author's Note: This is my first Veronica Mars fanfic. I've never really thought of writing any Veronica Mars but this story just kind of popped into my head and I had to write it down.
Thirteen year-olds, Logan Echolls and Duncan Kane are sitting in the Kane living room playing Super Mario Brothers on Duncan's PlayStation.
"Man, you're killing me," Duncan says, after losing to Logan for the third time in a row.
"Dude, you just plain suck," Logan says; his voice cracking on the last word. He cringes as his voice once again betrays him. Logan Echolls is smack dab in the middle of his "awkward" phase complete with braces, a forehead covered in zits and thanks to a recent growth spurt his arms and legs no longer seem to be proportionate with the rest of his body. Although he'll never admit it to anyone, he's become a little self-conscious lately about his changing voice and some of the other recent changes his body has been going through. Yeah he knows it's normal and everything; he just hates how it advertises to the world "hey, I'm smack dab in the middle of puberty." To make matters worse, yesterday his annoying older sister, Trina, told him, "Hey, bro, word of advice, that little half 'stache or whatever the hell it is, needs to go. You might think it looks manly or whatever, but really; it just looks pathetic." Logan laughed off his sister's comment, not wanting her to realize she'd embarrassed him.
He'd noticed the peach fuzz above his upper lip a few weeks ago. At the time he figured that no one would notice and he thought he'd be okay for a while because it was still pretty blonde; apparently though it had gotten dark enough that other people were starting to notice. The problem is his dad is away filming a movie for the rest of the month, but there's no way though he can wait that long to shave it if he doesn't want to embarrass himself. And even if his dad was around, he can't quite picture him teaching him to shave; it just doesn't sound like something his dad would help him do. And it's not like he can ask his mom. He finds himself once again wishing he had someone who cared about him; that he had someone he could look up to and teach him how to be a man or whatever.
Needless to say, Logan's become uncomfortable in his own skin lately. It doesn't help that he's maturing before Duncan, who still looks and sounds like he's ten or eleven. And although other his best friend, Dick, voice's dropped months before, he appears to have skipped the whole "awkward" phase; seriously it was if one day he sounded like a little boy and the next he sounded like a man.
"Well, you're winning streak is about to come to an end," Duncan says, interrupting Logan's thoughts.
"Yeah, in your dreams," Logan laughs.
"Hey, boys, what's up?" Jake Kane asks, entering the living room as the boys start yet another round of Super Mario Brothers.
"Logan's been killing me."
"Keep it up, Logan," Mr. Kane says jokingly.
"Shut up, Dad," Duncan says laughing.
At times, it still shocks Logan that his best friend talks to his dad like that; if he would ever talk to his dad like that, even jokingly, he'd end up with a belt to his ass; literally; he has the scars to prove it. Duncan has no idea how good he has it; how he lucky is to have a dad that's actually cares about him.
"Well, you boys have fun," Jake says, as he walks out of the living room and heads towards his home office.
After Logan kicks Duncan's ass a few more times at Super Mario Brothers, Duncan gets up to go to the bathroom. While Duncan's gone; Logan notices Mr. Kane standing in the kitchen with the refrigerator door open. He can't help but notice the difference between Mr. Kane and his own dad. Jake Kane might be a billionaire owner of Kane Software, but it's obvious that he loves both his kids, Duncan and Lilly, and would do anything for them. Aaron Echolls, though, is far from the family man he often portrays in movies. If Logan were honest with himself he'd admit he's actually jealous of the various child actors who've played his dad's kids in those movies. Heck, his dad is probably more of a dad to those kids than he is to him. He has to admit he's also jealous of Duncan though; that he has a dad who's around and really loves him.
Logan walks into the kitchen to get a drink of water. "Do you need something, Logan?" Jake asks as he grabs a bottle of water for himself from the fridge.
"Uh, just some water, please."
"Here, you go," Jake says, grabbing another bottle of water and handing it to Logan.
"Thanks." Logan says. "Uh, Mr. Kane," he asks, his voice cracking again; this time though more from nerves and embarrassment than puberty. "Can- uh, can, I ask you something?"
"Sure," Jake says.
"Look, uh, my dad, is gone shooting a movie until the end of the month and well, I was wondering if you might be able to teach me how to shave?"
"Uh, sure," Jake says, realizing just how much Logan has grown in the last few months and can't help but notice the hair on his upper lip. Yeah, definitely time to break out the razor, kid.
"I'm sorry, normally, I wouldn't ask you for something like this but I didn't-"
"Logan, it's fine; I'd be glad to teach you. Besides, it'll give me some practice for when I have to teach Duncan." Jake knows that Logan has never really had a great relationship with his dad, in fact; in the year and a half since Logan moved to Neptune and become best friends with his son he's only meet Aaron Echolls two or three times; it seems as if he's away from his family more than he is home.
"Would it be okay if this just stayed between us?" Logan asks. It isn't that he doesn't want Duncan to know he's starting to shave; to be honest he could care less about that. He's just embarrassed that he has to ask his best friend's dad to teach him because his own dad is too busy filming movies with hot women and other people's children who were pretending to be his own. He's embarrassed that his dad is never around and doesn't even care about him. His dad has never done any father-son things with him; unless it was in front of a camera. Last month at the premiere of his dad's latest movie, he had to keep himself from gagging when the woman interviewing his dad said, "You guys are seriously like the perfect family." "Yes, I'm a very lucky guy," his dad as he stood there smiling with his arm around his wife while he and Trina stood on either side of their parents; smiling for the camera. If only she could've seen them three hours later on their way home; his mom completely wasted, lying down in the backseat; Trina sulking in the seat beside him because she didn't even get to talk Leo DiCaprio, and his dad furious at him because apparently he embarrassed him somehow even though he had no idea exactly what he did. Once they got home then, he headed straight to his dad's closest, picked out a belt for his dad to once again beat him for doing something stupid. Perfect family my ass.
When they moved to Neptune a year and a half ago, his dad promised that things would be different from now on; that part of the reason they were moving was because he wasn't going to be acting as much. And like an idiot, Logan actually believed him. But his dad continues to be away filming more than he's home. His dad never even gave him the dreaded Talk; instead everything he's learned about puberty and sex has been from school, his friends or the Internet. On one hand, he's glad he managed to skip that embarrassing conversation that his friends had with their dads, but on the other hand, he just wishes his dad would've cared enough to have that conversation with him. And, he knows for a fact that his dad completely forgot his thirteenth birthday a few months ago when he was filming his last movie. His dad finally called him at like 9pm that night and he knows it was only because his mom sent him a text telling him to call his son because it was his birthday.
"Sure," Jake says. "Why don't you come by tomorrow afternoon while Duncan's at soccer practice."
"Okay, thanks," Logan says, his voice once again cracking slightly.
"No problem," Jake says. He can tell Logan is slightly embarrassed about having to ask him for help; he figures the poor kid is probably embarrassed that he's hit puberty before most of his friends. Not only that, but he can tell it's kind of hard on him not having his dad around while he's going through all these changes. Although just from the few times he's met Aaron Echolls, he can't quite picture him giving Logan fatherly advice or telling him he shouldn't be embarrassed about the changes his body's going through. It's obvious to him that Logan is desperate to have someone tell him those things; that all he wants is for someone to care about him.
"Logan, you ready for another round?" Duncan says, as he walks into the kitchen.
"Yeah, I'm ready to kick your ass yet again," Logan says laughing and then opening his bottle of water and taking a sip of it. The two boys make their way back to the living room.
"So what were you and my dad talking about?" Duncan asks.
"Uh nothing; I just needed some water," Logan says.
"Oh okay," Duncan says, although he can tell that there's something Logan's not telling him but decides not to push him
The boys spend the rest of afternoon playing video games. When Mr. Kane drops him off at his house late that afternoon and says just to let him know when he's on his way over tomorrow. "And don't worry about getting a razor and shaving cream, I'll have everything already for you," Jake says as Logan gets out of the front seat of his car.
"Uh, thanks," Logan says. He can't help but smile as he walks into his house because for the first time in his life he might've just found a father who actually cared about him.
Author's Note: At this put I plan on keeping this a one-shot but let me know if you think I should continue it.