Series: Life on Mars: Sunny Side Up, I
Word Count: 1,139
Rating: PG for language
Disclaimer: I don’t own. Rob Thomas, UPN, they own.
Summary: Keith has a few new employees due to booming business after the murder solution.
Notes: Totally unbeta-ed. I seriously just wrote this for fun, cuz it popped into my head and wouldn’t let go."
"Mars Investigations! Where we find out all those dark, dirty secrets that you really don’t want to know about! How may I help you on this fabulous day?" Logan’s insincere smile partnered his overly chipper phone greeting. Sitting on the couch, Veronica shook her head as she tried to fight the smile that threatened to wind its way over to her boyfriend.
"Really? Again? You lost your dog again? Mrs. Connors, have you ever thought that just maybe your dog is running away from you? Mrs. Connors? Hello, Mrs. Connors?" Hanging up the phone, Logan Echolls, erstwhile assistant (one of three) to Keith Mars, head of the now-booming Mars Investigations detective agency, turned to his girlfriend, Veronica, assistant number one and daughter of the inestimable Mr. Mars. "Lost the connection. Weird."
"Or maybe she hung up on you." Veronica volleyed back with a grin. However, her expression grew serious as she stood up. "Logan, you need to be nicer to the clients. Dad is gonna fire you. You’re leaving him with no choice."
Leaning back in the chair, Logan peered into Keith’s office. "Nah, he likes me too much." Veronica raised an eyebrow. "Or he feels sorry for me." Folding her arms over her chest, she continued to stare at him. "I’m dating his daughter and it would upset her?"
She shook her head back and forth and just laughed. Walking over to him, she leaned down and pressed a quick kiss against his lips. She straightened up with a sigh. "Logan, what am I going to do with you?"
"That is a good question," Keith remarked, his voice none too cheery, from the doorway of his office. Turning around, Veronica faced her father with a tight smile. Logan, meanwhile, sat up straighter and offered a winning smirk Keith’s way. "Logan, I just got off of the phone with yet another disgruntled client. You have to stop talking down to the clients; no more insulting them, treating them like you think your better than they are. They pay my bills, which in turn pays you the generous wages that you really don’t deserve."
"I apologize, Keith. But, first of all, really, not all that generous." A dark cloud began to gather over Keith’s face. Logan's voice faltered a bit and he offered much more sincerely. "But appreciated, Kei-- sir, Mr. Mars, sir." And then because he was after all Logan Echolls, he continued with his second point. "And, uhm, sir, if it was Mrs. Connors with whom you spoke. Well, sir, to put it bluntly, she’s a bitch."
"She’s an eighty-year-old grandmother of six, Logan." Keith ground out with exasperation.
"You have to watch out for those old biddies, they’re crafty." He clicked his tongue and winked. Before Keith could respond, the phone rang again. Logan began to reach for it, but Veronica beat him to it and grabbed it first.
"Mars Investigations, how may I help you?" Grabbing a pen and paper, Veronica shoved Logan aside to jot down details. "I see, okay, thank you. Mr. Mars will be in touch with you as soon as possible. Yes, ma’am, he is the best. Thank you." She hung the phone up and turned back to face her father. "Standard cheating spouse, here’s the information. Do you want me to handle it? You know I love those stake-outs."
Running his hand over his head, Keith nodded and then reconsidered. “Wait, let me check it out first, see if there’s anything sketchy there.” He took the slip of paper and with one more warning look Logan’s way, headed back into his office, leaving the door open behind him.
Logan waited a moment or two until Keith looked sufficiently occupied and then wrapped an arm around Veronica’s waist. "Hey baby, maybe we can stake each other out," he waggled his eyebrows suggestively, "If you know what I mean."
Veronica slumped slightly against the desk and just shook her head, laughing silently. "Logan, don’t push him! I mean it." She turned around to face him, pursing her lips together to keep from laughing more. Just then, the front door opened and Wallace sauntered in. "Thank God, Wallace, save me from him." She laughed openly now at the wide smile on Logan’s face.
"What’s up?" Veronica’s best friend looked from Veronica to Logan and then back to Veronica. "What’s going on?"
Logan answered for her. "I’m being chastised because I’m too mean to the clients. Even if they’re mean first."
"Logan! She’s a grandmother of six! And she’s eighty!" Veronica exclaimed.
"Are you talking about Mrs. Conners?" Wallace interjected.
Logan and Veronica turned to him and Logan nodded, "Yes. The one and only Mrs. Conners and her lost dog."
"Did she lose that dog again? I swear he’s running away. That woman is nasty!" Wallace did a faux full-on body shiver.
"Really?" Veronica asked, surprise in her voice. She turned back to Logan who was now looking smugly at her. "You weren’t just being an ass for the fun of it?"
"Oh, so you believe him, but not me. That just warms the cockles of my heart, sugarpuss. I told you that the woman was a bitch."
"Logan!" All three teenagers jumped at the sharp sound of Keith’s voice.
"Yes, sir?" Logan asked with a slight gulp and tremor in his voice, for the moment appearing genuinely contrite.
"We do not call our clients 'bitches.’" And then a twitch of his lips preceded another statement. "Even if they are, in fact, bitches."
A smile that reeked of overwhelming sincerity lighting his face, Logan asked, "What about ass—"
"Logan … " Keith’s voice warned and Logan zipped it shut. "Veronica will you please take him away. Somewhere, anywhere. Just take him and go" He glanced at Logan and shook his head. "Now."
Logan jumped out of the desk chair and grabbed Veronica’s arm. "You heard what the boss said."
"Wait, do I have to answer the phones?" Wallace asked suddenly, a disgruntled tone in his voice. "Man, I was gonna be off today. How come she gets to take him? I can take him somewhere."
Stopping on his way out the door, Logan leaned into Wallace. "You gonna make out with me?"
Wallace did another full body-shiver and this one was real enough. "I’ll pass."
Logan shrugged, "Then Veronica it is. See ya, Wally. Keith." Shaking her head in silent laughter, Veronica just waved as they walked out the door.
"Don’t call me Wally," Wallace ordered under his breath once they were gone.
"Don’t call me Keith," Keith muttered at the same time.
Turning to look at each other, Wallace asked, a slight grimace on his face. "Tell me again, why do we put up with him?" They were both silent, and then with a mutual sigh, they spoke at the same time. "Veronica."