Thank You Irma66 for continuing to be there, to give me the confidence to keep writing, and being willing to edit my work!
Lilly traipsed through the halls in search of her best friend. She was on a mission and she needed her help. Normally, they would ride to school together, but this morning, Lilly had needed to visit the Echolls' estate before school, and now she was late and trying to find Veronica in these crowded halls was proving rather difficult considering the height limitations of the person she was looking for. As if on cue, Lilly saw Dick Casablancas with a squealing Veronica Mars tossed over his shoulder. "PUT ME DOWN, DICK!"
"Now, Ronnie, I'm just showing you how easy it would be to get you to come with us." Logan and Dick were laughing while Duncan was pulling on Veronica as he tried to talk some sense into Dick.
"Put her down, Dick."
"Veronica!" Lilly hollered in her direction. Once she reached the group, she swatted Dick on the arm. "Put her down, Casablancas. I need to have a word with her." Dick set Veronica down gently and Lilly grabbed her hand, dodging people as she dragged Veronica away.
"Gee, Lils, slow down. What's the rush?" When they reached the girls bathroom, Veronica pulled her arm away and followed Lilly inside.
"I need your help planning the greatest birthday party, Veronica." Veronica looked perplexed as she leaned against the counter. "Mrs. Echolls is letting me have complete control over Logan's birthday party! I need you to help me."
"Seriously, Lilly, this is a terrible idea. You can't organize a party." By the response she was getting from the person from whom she had expected complete support, Lilly realized this wasn't going to go as she had planned.
"That's why I need your help. I want him to have the best birthday ever."
Veronica began her protest. "Lilly, I'm going to end up doing all the work. You have no idea how to organize or carry out such an event. Dick's more qualified."
Lilly didn't know why Veronica was being so irritable. Lilly could pick a date, time, location. She knew how to spread the word. What was so hard about it? As it was, the location was already picked and the date would be around Logan's birthday. All she really needed to do was put up some decorations based on the theme and get the food catered. She just needed help deciding the theme. This was supposed to be fun. She thought her best friend would love to do it.
"Come on, Veronica, why are you being like this? I thought we could have a sleepover and we could figure it all out. I don't expect you to do it all; I just thought it would be fun if we did it together." Lilly reached for Veronica's hands and began swaying them back and forth between the two of them. "Come on, Vee, you and me, my place tonight...please? Your mom and dad will let you sleep over; it's Friday night!" She looked pleadingly at her best friend, squeezing her hands in encouragement as she practically bounced up and down in front of her.
"Fine," Veronica finally relented, "I'll call my dad at lunch and ask him. Now let's get to class."
Lilly dropped her hands and squealed with glee as they left the bathroom.
Veronica sat on the floor of the Kane media room surrounded by party books Lilly had absconded with from her mother's reserves. She has been to many 09er parties but never had she seen the preparation for them. These designs were elaborate, beyond anything that Logan would want. Veronica always felt that he hated all the lavish parties his mother had for him. If she was going to be a part of throwing Logan a party, she was going to be sure it would be something he would like. Pushing the books aside, she reached for the notebook and began drawing a rough sketch of his back yard patio.
"Veronica, I've returned bearing pizza and S'kist. What have you found so far?" Lilly set the soda and pizza down on the coffee table and sat down across from her on the floor. She opened the pizza box, taking a slice. "What are you doing?' she asked before taking a bite.
"I'm making a sketch of Logan's so we can plan where to put everything."
Lilly picked up a book and began flipping through it while eating her pizza. Veronica had completed the outline, so she opened her soda and helped herself to a slice of pizza too.
"Do you think Logan would like this design, Vee?" Veronica leaned over to see what Lilly was looking at.
Veronica sighed. "Lilly, don't you think all those designs are a bit too much? They don't really suit Logan, do they?"
"Why not? Logan is used to having parties like these," Lilly said, shrugging her shoulders.
"That doesn't mean it's what he would want. I thought you were trying to throw him a party he would like. Isn't that why you asked Mrs. Echolls if you could plan it? So it would be what he would enjoy?" Veronica was exasperated. "Do you even know what Logan wants?"
Lilly looked annoyed. "Do you?"
"I know he doesn't want to spend his birthday at a stuffy party."
"So tell me, Veronica, what do you think Logan would want for his birthday?" Lilly's tone made it clear she was goading her but Veronica took a chance.
"A casino party."
"A what?" Lilly asked, sounding surprised.
"A casino party, the entire theme based around playing games from a casino. Logan will love it and it will be fun!" Veronica expected Lilly to jump at this idea.
"Is that really what you want to do? That doesn't seem like something even you would be into, Veronica?" It was clear Lilly wasn't keen on the idea.
"This is supposed to be about Logan. And he would love it. I do think it will be fun. I'll plan it all if you want," Veronica suggested.
"But I wanted to do it," Lilly whined. Realizing that she sort of was taking over, even if it was necessary, Veronica felt she needed to make a compromise.
"I'm sorry, Lils. How about I do the decor and you handle the catering?"
Veronica watched the smile spread across Lilly's face. "I can do that!"
Veronica looked around at her handiwork. She was glad she stood up to Lilly about the theme. Letting Lilly handle the caterers seemed like a decent compromise. The food table was set up with casino-themed tableware, featuring red, black, and white prints of playing card suits. She had poker chip fan decorations hanging all over the patio. The music speakers were disguised as stacked dice. The roulette, craps, blackjack, and poker tables were set up and ready for party goers sporting chocolate casino chips and dollar bill chocolate bars. Red, black, and white balloons strategically placed finished off the decor. Veronica set her present for Logan on the gift table next to the cake table. Veronica had insisted on a four tiered cake, each layer representing a card suit from the deck. On the top of the cake, a pair of dice rested, showing seven, with small stacks of poker chips. Happy with her work, she headed inside to the kitchen to check on the food. She'd seen the catering truck pull up to the service entrance a short while ago.
Veronica walked into the kitchen to see them plating the food. She scanned the mass of trays sporting dice-shaped petit fours, jello dice, suit shaped cookies, and chocolate covered pretzel cigars. She was starting to worry that it was going to strictly be a dessert party when she noticed the martini glasses. She looked up at the woman who was opening a jar containing a red sauce. "What are these for?" she asked, pointing to the glasses.
The woman smiled. "Shrimp cocktails, ma'am."
Veronica felt a knot in the pit of her stomach. Placing her hand on the woman's arm, she asked her to hold off making those and left in search of Lilly.
"LILLY KANE!" Veronica screamed through the house. "LILLY!"
Lilly came in through the service door. "I'm right here, Veronica. Geez, what's your damage?"
Veronica walked over to Lilly, trying to calm herself. "Did you warn the caterers of Logan's food allergies when you hired them?"
Lilly looked confused. "What are you talking about?"
Losing her restraint, Veronica asked more sternly, "Did you tell the caterers not to make any seafood?"
Now Lilly looked angry. "Please tell me they didn't screw up my seafood buffet? I specifically told them to make a variety."
Veronica wasn't sure she heard her right. She took a few deep breaths and calmly asked her for clarification. "You ordered a seafood buffet for the party?"
"Of course I did; why wouldn't I? Who doesn't love seafood?" Lilly responded.
Veronica couldn't take it anymore. This party wasn't even her idea. She loved Lilly but she knew nothing about her boyfriend. How could she be so completely clueless? "Because Logan is allergic to shellfish, Lils. Are you trying to kill him?!" Veronica turned and stormed out of the kitchen.
She made it halfway down the hall then stopped, trying to figure out how to save Logan's party. She saw Dick enter the house, poking the the keyboard of his phone and the answer fell into place. She ran to him and grabbed his hands. "Oh Dick, thank God you're here. Can you call Cho's and order 20 pizzas, please?" Veronica pleaded.
He looked at her in confusion. "I thought Lilly was having this thing catered," he said.
"She ordered seafood, Dick! It's practically an all-you-can-eat shellfish buffet! She's gonna kill him on his birthday!"
Dick looked over at Lilly who was standing just off to the left behind Veronica. "Why would you have a seafood buffet for a guy who is allergic to shellfish?" He turned his attention back to Veronica. "Relax, I got this," he said giving her a nod and returning his attention to his phone.
Lilly came up grabbing Veronica by the shoulders. "I'm really sorry, Veronica, I didn't know. I had the caterers throw out all the shellfish." She truly looked sorry, but Veronica couldn't fathom how she didn't know about her boyfriend's allergy.
"It's okay, Lils. I'm sorry I yelled. We can still use the rest of the food and Dick will get the pizza delivered and it will all be in the past." Veronica gave her a reassuring smile. "Crisis averted."
Veronica sat on a lounge chair next to Dick while Lilly oversaw the placement of the food trays on the party table. The caterers had provided clean trays for the pizza and had agreed to tray it for them. The guests would be arriving soon, along with the guest of honor himself. She really did want him to have a great birthday even though Lilly had almost turned it into a disaster. She'd been trying to figure out how two people could spend so much time together and not know the most common things about each other.
"Dick?" she called, interrupting his texting.
He finished typing before he answered her. "Yeah, Ronnie?"
"How can she spend so much time with him and not know his likes, dislikes, or even his life threatening allergy?" She paused, not sure if she was even waiting for an answer. "She could have killed him."
Dick laughed. "You wouldn't have let that happen, neither of us would." Dick put his phone down and turned towards her. "Look, I'm pretty sure we both know what it is they do when they are together. This is a physical relationship." Dick leaned back, reclining in the lounge chair as he added. "It is for her at least. I'm pretty sure our boy believes it's more."
Lilly came over and stood over them. "Okay guys, the pizza is in place and now it's time to party."
Veronica couldn't help but laugh. "The only thing missing is the guests, Lils."
As if on cue, they heard voices coming around the side of the house. Dick stood up, moving towards the noise. "Like she said, let's get this party started!"
Veronica pouted. "But Logan's not here."
"Yes I am! It's not a party without me, right?" Veronica looked up to see him standing just outside the patio doors with a huge grin on his face. "This looks amazing." Lilly wrapped her arms around his waist and he bent down for a kiss. "Thanks, baby."
Lilly took a step back and looked around. "You really like it?"
Logan smiled down at her as he brushed the hair away from her face. "I do. It's amazing. Shall we gamble?"
Veronica watched Logan lead Lilly into the crowd. She smiled to herself, satisfied that he loved the idea of the party.
"You did good, Ronnie. He's going to have the best birthday ever because of you." Dick kissed the top of her head and she watched him head over to the roulette table, a bag of chocolate poker chips in his hand.
Veronica spent the early part of the party wandering around watching everyone enjoy themselves. She was torn between pride at what they had accomplished in putting this party together and irritation as she watched Lilly take credit for everything. She finally decided that she wasn't going to let jealousy over the appreciation that Lilly was soaking up get to her. Instead she chose to take advantage of an open chair at the blackjack table. Armed with her own bag of chocolates, she decided that she was going to enjoy all her hard work. It wasn't long before Veronica had a bowl full of chocolate poker chips and she moved on from blackjack and made her way to the poker table.
"Veronica, did you leave any chocolate for the rest of the guests?" Lilly teased as she sat down beside her. Veronica looked up to see Logan pushing in her chair before taking a seat next to her.
"There's plenty to go around, Lils." she answered as she accepted her hand from the dealer. "Happy birthday, Logan. I hope you're enjoying your party."
Logan smiled in her direction, collecting his cards from the table. "Thanks, Mars, I'm having a blast. You ready to lose that bowl in front of you?"
"Dream on, Echolls," she replied as she placed her first bet.
After a few hands, Lilly stood up from the table. "It's about time for cake and presents, don't ya think, Lo?"
Logan looked back and forth between Lilly and his hand. "Uh, yeah. Just one more round, okay, Lils?"
Lilly leaned down and kissed him. "Sure, finish up. I'm going to go make the announcement."
From a distance, Veronica heard Lilly calling for everyone's attention. She turned her attention to her best friend, standing on the diving board with a microphone in her hand. "Hey everyone, I hope you're having a great time. I'm not trying to interrupt your winning, or losing, streaks, but I just have a quick announcement. We are going to be doing cake and presents soon, so when you see the crowd moseying over in that there direction you'll know why. Enjoy!" Instead of returning to the poker table, Veronica watched as Lilly made her way into the house, Veronica assumed to retrieve the candles and lighter for the cake. She refocused her attention back to the game at hand. "I call," she said, placing her cards down on the table.
"How do you do that?" She heard Logan's voice.
"What?" She turned her attention to him. He had a half smile on his face.
"You weren't paying any attention to the game. How did you win that hand?" he asked her.
Veronica shrugged her shoulders. "I just had a good hand."
Logan shook his head and stood. He reached out to her and she took his hand. "Come on, Mars, let there be cake."
Once she stood, she let go of his hand and followed him in the direction of the cake table. When they arrived, he pulled her wrist to stand next to him while they watched Lilly light the candles. Everyone began to sing. Logan blew out the candles then leaned over the cake to kiss Lilly who stood on the other side. "Thank you, Lils." Lilly smiled, picked up a knife and began cutting the cake, serving it to their guests.
Once the cake was dished out, almost everyone went back to the game tables. Only his close friends had brought gifts for him since most people thought there wasn't anything to give an 09er who could buy himself anything he chose. Veronica ate her cake as she watched Logan open up his few presents. Each one meant something personal. Veronica hoped she'd made the right choice. It was only recently that she'd realized how much he enjoyed playing cards, seeing his face light up when he talked about the next poker game he planned to host. It's what gave her the idea for the party and the monogrammed poker chip set she had wrapped on the table.
Logan reached for the box and she felt her confidence in her decision sway. Their eyes met and he gave her a questioning look as he shifted the weight of the gift in his hands. Not able to maintain eye contact, she looked away nervously. When she turned back he had torn off the paper and was opening the latches on the box. Logan ran his hand over the chips and pulled one out. She saw him grin when he saw his initials inscribed on them. Rolling the chip between his fingers, Logan looked up at her. She couldn't help but smile at the gesture. She had imagined him doing that very thing with them, only she'd seen him sitting at the poker table that sat in his pool house. Content that she had made the right choice, Veronica walked back to the roulette table to place a bet.
Logan sat staring at Veronica, flipping the poker chip through his fingers. She always did know what he would want before he did. What made her think of something like this? Did she get him the set because of the theme Lilly chose? Logan was pulled from his thoughts as Dick sat down, placing a hand on his shoulder. "Happy Birthday, man. Whatcha got there?"
Logan replaced the chip in the box and closed it. "Thanks, Dick. It's a monogrammed poker chip set from Ronnie."
"Woah, that's awesome. That girl went all out for this thing, didn't she?" Dick said before taking another bite of cake.
Logan looked at him puzzled. "What do you mean?"
"I just mean, first she did all this, then she gets you that. Ronnie didn't pull any punches."
Logan wasn't sure if he understood what Dick was trying to say. His mom had told him Lilly was planning his birthday party this year, but maybe it was more Veronica. Could this really all been because of her? "Veronica did all this?'
"Yeah, Lilly begged her to help at first, but in the end, it was all Ronnie. All Lilly had to do was hire the caterer and she couldn't even get that right. I had to order pizza."
Logan ran his hand over the etching on the box. He needed to talk to Lilly.
"Hey man, I'm gonna go find my girl. We still surfing in the morning?" Logan asked
"For sure, dude." Dick finished his piece of cake. "Tell Ronnie I said the cake was delicious."
Not seeing the point in correcting him, Logan walked away from Dick in search of Lilly. He found her sitting by the pool with Madison. He walked up behind her and wrapped his arms around her, kissing her on the shoulder. She reached up and rested her palm on his cheek, then ran her hand around the back of his neck. He nuzzled into her, remaining there until Madison excused herself.
"Finally, you are all mine." He lifted his head to rest his chin on her shoulder.
"We can disappear from here anytime you want. Just say the word."
Debating that offer, he chose to follow through on asking Lilly about the party. "This is all great, Lils. How'd you come up the idea?"
"I had help; Veronica and I spent all night planning this thing," Lilly answered.
"Yeah but who came up with this particular idea?" Logan knew he was acting like an ass, but sometimes that was the only way to get Lilly to talk.
Lilly sighed. Turning in his arms, she placed her hand on his chest playing with the fabric under her fingers. "Technically, it was Veronica's idea. I wasn't sold on it at first but she insisted and said she'd take care of it. I was in charge of helping decorate and hiring the caterer."
Logan rewarded her honesty with a kiss that turned into a heavy make out session. Needing to slow things down, he finally pulled away. "Later, okay? I've got guests still. Thank you for tonight, Lilly. This really was the best birthday." He gave her another quick kiss before he left her to find Veronica. He searched everywhere but he couldn't seem to find her. He was about to give up, thinking she might have left after he opened her gift, when he saw her walking toward the house.
"Veronica!" he called. She stopped and turned around, searching the crowd. Logan reached her and grabbed her wrist, pulling her around the side of the house.
"You weren't leaving without saying goodbye, were you?" he asked.
"Of course not. I was just going to use the restroom." She laughed. "So is this going to take too long...cuz if it is, you're gonna have to wait." They both laughed at that.
"Sorry, I just wanted to thank you...for all of this." He gestured toward the party. She looked shocked at first, then smiled and nodded.
"You're welcome." He smiled as her head tilted, trying to figure out why he knew what she'd done. "How did you know?"
"Dick, then Lilly." He looked at her. "It really was the best birthday ever. I loved the party. I love my present." He hugged her. "Thank you, Ronnie."
"I'm glad. Can I use your restroom now?" she asked.
He couldn't help but laugh. "Yeah, sorry."
From the comforts of the lounge chair, Lilly was enjoying the activity buzzing around her, even though the casino theme wasn't really her thing. She could handle people-watching for a little while, but before too much longer, she was hoping to coerce Logan to the pool house to finish what they had started a short time ago. She would have to thank Veronica for having this idea; Logan's appreciation was sure to work in her favor.
As she watched the party, she began to realize however that Veronica's idea might have been too successful because, from the look of the fun everyone was having, this party would be going on for some time. She was formulating an argument for a quickie before the guests left when Lilly heard Logan call for Veronica. She scanned the crowd to find him pulling her around the side of the house. Unable to ignore them, Lilly stood and moved to where she could see them.
She watched as Logan held Veronica's wrist. talking to her as if he was nervous. When she laughed, he released her, shoving one hand in his pocket, and running the other through his hair. That was a nervous gesture of his that she was all too familiar with. He motioned to the crowd behind him as he spoke. Lilly's brow furrowed. If she didn't know any better, she would think she was watching two people who were dancing around their feelings for each other. But this was Logan and Veronica. Her boyfriend and her best friend. They are just friends. Then she saw the look on her best friend's face as her boyfriend hugged her and everything Lilly knew about the two people she was spying on fit together like a puzzle.
Seeing Logan and Veronica part ways, Lilly turned and walked back to the comforts of her lounge chair. Curling up with her drink, eyeing the party, she smiled to herself. Her Veronica with Her Logan. Now that would be a force of nature. She smiled to herself. It was clear that neither were ready for that yet, and she sure as hell wasn't ready to give up her playmate to her best friend, but eventually, when she got bored and was ready to share her toys, getting those two together would be fun. Lilly smiled to herself as she saw Logan walking towards her with that look in his eyes. She placed her drink on the ground and stood, walking towards the pool house until their bodies collided. Yes, Logan and Veronica would be an epic combination, but it would definitely have to wait.
I'm working on continuing this...not sure how long it will take because I've just begun...What would happen when Lilly is ready to give up her playmate?