A/N: It has been a long year waiting for the movie and it was so worth it. This is my continuation of the movie. A look into the life of Veronica as she deals with a long distance relationship and a few rolls in the mud. I don't own and didn't have a beta. So all mistakes are mine and please don't sue me.
She knows as she opens her eyes what it means when he is standing there in his Navy whites. She banters with him about beating an AWOL rap because she isn't ready to say goodbye. Two weeks wasn't enough. No matter how blissful they were. She knows she has to say goodbye, but she has never been very good at them so she delays it.
"Listen, it's a hundred and eighty days Veronica. What's a hundred and eighty days to us? Our story is epic. Spanning years, continents."
"Lives ruined, bloodshed."
She's barely holding it together when she leans up and presses her lips to his. They've talked briefly about what is happening between them but mostly they've just been reconnecting and trying to make up for nine years apart. She pours everything she hasn't already said into that kiss. A kiss that will have to last them for the next one hundred and eighty days.
Six months. Half a year. A blip of time in the grand scheme of things really. She can do this.
She has to do this.
When she pulls back her voice is raspy. "Come back to me."
She holds onto his hand until the last possible moment and watches as he swings his bag over his shoulder and heads towards the door. She knows the cab he arranged the night before to pick him up has probably been waiting outside for awhile now, but she's thankful when he still pauses at the door to look back at her. She flashes a smile, despite the tears that are filling her eyes, and lets out a choked half laugh. She shouldn't be surprised that this is where her life is headed now but she is.
The door clicks closed behind him and it takes all her self-control to not race to the door and out to the curb to throw herself into his arms again.
One hundred and eighty days. He's right. To them, that's nothing.
The last two weeks have been mostly a haze of romantic bliss for Veronica, but she has never been one that was all play and no work. So instead of letting herself curl back up in Logan's bed to wallow she forces herself to get up and face the day head on.
Today is the day she's going to fess up and tell her dad what's she been up to. And the decisions she has made about her future.
He's going to be disappointed and it kills her. But she's twenty-eight, an adult, and she knows what she wants now. She's tired of running. Of hiding. Of not admitting what's she's always known. Neptune is home. There is no escaping it. And now she knows she doesn't want to. She's going to stay. She's going to fight.
Logan teased her that she was going to be Neptune's very own superhero. She had scoffed, but there was a level of truth to that. She wants there to be a level of truth to it at least.
She heads out to the beach. She has to admit that Dick picked a good spot. The beach house is modest for the two millionaires and the view is a killer one. The Pacific Ocean stretches out in front of her and she takes a deep breath of ocean air. Dick is surfing in the early morning light and she grins. Dick has never been her favorite person, but over the last two weeks they've come to a tentative understanding.
Dick spots her and plops himself down next to her.
"He take off?"
Veronica nods and kicks the sand with her foot. "Yeah."
"He'll be back."
They sit in companionable silence and watch the waves break against the shore. Dick takes a deep breath and Veronica braces herself.
"Just…don't break him again, okay?"
Veronica's eyes fill with tears again and she shakes her head. "I won't."
He sat with her for a few moments before he stands up and grabs his surfboard. "Don't be a stranger. I promised him I'd look out for you."
"Of course you did."
"See you around Ronnie."
Her phone buzzes in her pocket and she reads the message with a small smile on her face.
- One hour down. Wait, too early to start a countdown?
She types out her response before standing and heading back to Dick's beach house to get her stuff.
- Nope. Miss you already. Be safe Richie.
- I'm already regretting telling you that story.
- Oh please! It's the perfect call sign. I'm quite impressed with it.
- You would be. Have to go. Talk to you later.
- Ok. Call me later?
- I'll call you tonight before I ship out. Good luck with your dad today. He'll understand.
She pockets her phone and grabs her purse off the kitchen table. The keys to Logan's car feel foreign in her hand, but he'd insisted that she take it while he was gone.
"I can't drive your car!"
"Of course you can," Logan insisted as he held the keys out to her. "I'd rather you have it than trust it with Dick again. Just take it Vee."
"You need a car and I need someone to take care of mine while I'm overseas. Take it."
"Fine," she finally relented and took the keys from his outstretched hand. "But don't expect to start winning every argument."
Logan smirked, "never."
The car is powerful and smooth and she won't lie to herself she loves driving it. When her phone starts ringing she answers after reading the display.
"What do you got Q?"
"Well Bond the new system is nearly finished and I've got all the files converted to electronic…"
"Mac you are amazing for doing this for me."
"Anything for you Bond," Mac assures her and then after a beat, "Have you told your dad what you're doing yet?"
Veronica sighs, "nope. Today. I'm planning on telling him today."
"Good luck with that. Has Logan left yet?"
Veronica nods despite Mac being on the other side of the phone and not there in person, "yeah. He had to be back on base early this morning."
"I knew it was coming…"
"Doesn't make it any easier, does it?"
"Nope." There is a moment of silence between the two friends and then Veronica laughs a little bit. "Did you ever imagine me the girl with a military boyfriend? Cause I sure didn't."
"Probably because no one ever pictured Logan Echolls in the military."
"Isn't that the truth."
"Well I'm happy for you both…"
"Mac you don't have to…"
"It's the truth Bond. I liked Piz, sure, how could anyone not like Piz? But I want you to be happy. And someone would have to be blind to not see how happy Logan makes you."
"You're the best Q."
"Okay, I'm headed to my real job now. I'll check in at the office after I get off."
"I probably won't be there until later anyways," Veronica answers. "I'm having lunch with Wallace at the school and then I'm planning on spending the afternoon with dad."
"How is the Papa Mars?"
"Good! He's doing very well. They're hoping to discharge him as early as Friday."
"I know! He'll still be weak and sore and definitely won't be ready to go back to work for a few months, which will give me a chance to get everything set up at the office before he gets back."
"You have to tell him today."
"I will Q," Veronica promises, "Okay, go work for the devil."
Mac laughs, "I'll see you later."
Veronica pulled into the parking lot of Neptune High and isn't surprised when the old feeling of dread washed over her. Even now, ten years later this place feels like the worst kind of hell and she was only here for a visit.
She walks into the office to sign in and request a guest pass when she hears her name.
"Veronica Mars," the familiar voice of Mr. Clemmons calls from his office. "Should I assume you are here to cause trouble?"
"Me?" she asks, feigning shock, "of course not! I'm just here to have lunch with Wallace."
"Ah yes, Mr. Fennel. Wonderful addition to the staff."
Veronica smiles, "I would agree with that."
"Enjoy your afternoon Ms. Mars."
It was like stepping back in time walking down those halls. Memories flooded her, both good and bad and she chose to remember the good times she had in those hallways.
She steps into the back of Wallace's classroom and rolls her eyes at him and he waves her off as he continued his lesson in Algebra. He loves being a teacher; anyone could tell that he was in his element there in front of those kids. As the bell rang he shouted a reminder to the fleeing kids about finals and homework assignments and Veronica laughs at him.
"Oh papa bear," Veronica coos, "you make a pretty great teacher."
"Awh shucks," he responds dryly, "thanks Vee. Come on, I'm starved."
He leads her to their old table and she chuckles, "you still eat at this insufferable table?"
"It felt wrong sitting anywhere else," Wallace responds with a shrug. "Besides, we had some good times at this table."
"That we did."
"How are you doing?"
"I talked to Mac earlier."
"I really am fine."
Wallace nods. "I know I haven't been the most supportive over the last couple weeks…"
Wallace shakes his head, "no, it's not. You're my best friend Vee. I should have supported your decision, even if I didn't really agree."
"I knew what you would think."
"Wallace," Veronica interrupts him with a small smile. "You are friends with Piz too. I know I hurt him. I didn't intend to. I really didn't think when I came out here that it would go down like this. But…but I'm happy. Logan, whatever we're doing, it makes me happy. I don't think I've felt this happy in a long time."
Wallace nods. "I know. I'm glad you're back here."
"Me too." Veronica spears some of her salad and twirls it around. She hesitates only briefly before starting again. "I have to ask…have you talked to Piz?"
"I know, I know. But…"
"He'll be okay. It's been rough for him, but he'll be fine."
"I know he will." Veronica answers with a nod. "Okay, we should change the topic. How is the team doing?"
Wallace nods and starts saying something about his point guard and Veronica was grateful for the change. The rest of the lunch hour flies by and before she knows it she is hugging Wallace goodbye with a promise to text him later about hanging out and she heads to the hospital.
She had been waiting for the best time to bring up her plans to her dad when he starts talking about it being okay for her to head back to New York. She takes a deep breath.
"Yeah…about New York…"
Veronica nods with a little smirk, "I've already decided I'm not going back. I don't belong in New York, I belong here."
"You can't change my mind dad," Veronica insists. "Besides, I'm already working cases and updating your system. Mac has been helping me. I'm going to keep the office open while you're recovering."
"I know you wanted more for me dad," she continues, ignoring his attempted interruption. "But I'm good at PI work. I like it. I can make a difference here. I want to make a difference here."
"Veronica," Keith stats not allowing her to continue this time, "Yes, I wanted more for you. And you've work hard for it, but I'm not going to say I'm not a little bit happy about you staying here. I've missed you kid."
"I've missed you too dad."
"So about Logan…"
"We're figuring things out," she answers honestly. "One hundred an eighty days."
"I just want you to be happy kid."
"I know dad," Veronica assures him with a smile. "I know you have never really liked Logan…"
"I can admit that he's changed, matured. Just be careful. There is a lot of history between you two."
"Yeah," Veronica replies with a nod of her head. "But…it is different this time dad. And I know it is cliché to say it, but it is true. We know what is at stake this time. This is it. The last chance for us. And we both want it to work."
"Okay." Keith sighs. "Just give me a little warning before you go picking out wedding colors, okay?"
Veronica laughs. "Don't worry about that just yet. Not even close to that."
"So, tell me about these changes you are forcing on me at the office. And about the cases you're working on."
She doesn't hold anything back as she goes into detail about the changes she's been making at the office and Keith can feel the joy rolling off of her. It doesn't keep him from worrying about her and about the rabbit hole she seems to be falling back into, but he'll support her if it makes her happy.
"Wait," Keith interrupts as she is explaining the leads she has in Weevil's case, "Where did you get the money to upgrade our system. I mean, I've been doing just fine, but…"
"We have an investor," Veronica answers him with a shrug. "Don't worry about it."
"You agreed to take money from Logan?"
"It was an investment," Veronica responds with a sigh. "There is a contract and everything."
"I know what I'm doing," Veronica insists. "Trust me?"
"You know I do."
"Good," she answers. "Now let's see if I can gain back my advantage in our game."
"Please," Keith responds with a huff and a laugh, "I've got you cornered."
The house is quiet when she arrives home later that night by herself. She loves the new house, her dad had sent her pictures of the choices when he started house hunting, and Veronica had quickly fell in love with the little bungalow.
The only change she's made since deciding to stay in Neptune was to get rid of the pull out couch in the bedroom she claimed and replace it with an actual bed. She had taken Logan with her that day to test them out and they had had a blast rolling around on the testers to pick out a bedframe and mattress she loved.
She grabs a beer from the fridge and collapsed onto the couch and flipped on the television. TMZ was playing and they were showing some footage of Logan arriving back to base from earlier that morning. He was back to being the prince of the tabloids. Son of movie star is American Hero, etc.
She hates that they still are focusing on him. Aaron has been dead for ten years. Lynne for eleven. She thought they would have moved on by now and would have left Logan alone.
She had obviously been wrong.
It is only a matter of time before they move on to someone else. They won't be able to get anywhere near Logan for a solid one hundred and eighty days as he heads overseas. Maybe by the time he gets back they'll be over him.
She laughed at herself. She might as well get used to the attention Logan will always attract.
The ringing of her phone jerks her from her thoughts and she grabbed for it, smiling at the updated picture of Logan. She had replaced that hysterical high school photo of him with a picture of him on the beach the day after he'd been exonerated.
"How was your first day back?"
"Eh," Logan answered, "briefs and assignment details. Nothing special."
"You ship out tomorrow?"
"Yup," he replies her and she could sense his nod. "Six AM sharp. Listen Veronica…"
"Nope," she interrupted, her bottom lip caught between her teeth. "I don't want you to finish that. I already told you, I'm staying here. I'm waiting."
"Okay, good. How did your dad take the news?"
"Better than expected," she answers honestly. "He didn't try to talk me out of it, which I had expected. He asked about the investment."
"Well, he asked me how I got the money to update the system and such so I had to tell him about the investment."
"And he's okay with it?"
"I think he wants to be okay with it. You know, I really appreciate that. You didn't have to…"
"I know I didn't," he interrupts. "I wanted to."
"I miss you already."
"God, I miss you. One hundred and seventy nine days."
"I don't know how much access I'll have to the Internet and such until I get over there, but I'll email and call as much as I can."
Logan laughs. "I better go. I've got an early and long day tomorrow."
Veronica feels her eyes fill with tears, "yeah, okay. Be safe Logan."
"You too Veronica."
They end the call and she wipes away a rouge tear that had started to fall down her cheek. She turns off the television and downs the rest of her beer in a few quick swigs. As she gets ready for bed she pulls out a shirt she borrowed from Logan and slips it over her head. She inhales deeply, his scent reassuring her that the past two weeks have been real.
Climbing in her new bed she buries herself as far into the covers that she can. She steels herself against the wave of emotion that threatens to take over. She eases into sleep and into dreams of her very own Naval Aviator a smile on her lips.
The days all look alike to Veronica as the next week passes by. Mornings at the hospital with her dad, lunches that rotate between Wallace and Mac and even on occasion Jade, Weevil's wife who becomes a fast friend to Veronica. She even lunches with Dick, though those are mostly pizza at the beach. Her afternoons and evenings are filled with meetings with potential clients, stakeouts and computer hacking with Mac.
There is more work than she thought there would be, but she is thankful for it all and the distraction it gives her.
It isn't until Day 9 that she hears from Logan and her heart nearly stops when she see's his name pop up in her email.
It is hotter than hell here. It makes me miss the wonderful Southern California weather and the beach. I'm sorry it has taken me so long to write, it has been hectic ever since we touched down.
I wish I could talk to you about what we're doing. What I see, but it's all classified. Sometimes I think you would have liked military life…then I remember your pennant for rule breaking and know you'd hate every minute of it. It's been good for me though. I don't know if I'd still be alive if I hadn't enlisted when I did. I know we haven't talked much about it…but communication has always been our weak spot. Our Achilles heel if you would.
I'm not going to let that happen again. I'm going to tell you everything. Or at least as much as I'm legally allowed to.
Is it best to do this over email? I have no idea. I would certainly rather be holding you right now and not halfway across the world alone in my bunk.
You were always too good for Hearst. I knew it. You knew it. Everyone knew it. When you transferred to Stanford, I was hurt. I shouldn't have been. We weren't talking then. You'd left, went to Quantico and did your FBI internship. It wasn't so much as that you were leaving Neptune, but that I didn't get to really say goodbye.
Mac was a good friend to me in that year after you left. Wallace has never liked me, and Piz, well; I know he blamed me for the breakup. But Mac, she kept me in the loop for a while. (I don't know if she ever told you that. If she didn't, don't be mad at her.) I was pretty down though. I was going through the motions of school, passing, but only barely. Then one day I woke up and realized that wallowing wasn't going to get me anywhere. And it certainly wasn't going to bring you running back to me. So I bucked up.
I started drinking less and attending my classes more. I was studying, voluntarily and actually doing extra credit work. My grades were getting better and better, even if I still was depressed.
I want you to you know, I'm not telling you this to have you feel sorry for me. Or to feel guilty. If anything, it is to say thank you.
I definitely wouldn't be where I am or who I am without you.
There is so much more to say, but my time is up and I have to get going. I'll email again as soon as I can.
Only 171 days left to go.
I miss you.
The email, although short and practically unfinished reassures her in a new way and she wishes – not for the first time – that she wouldn't have cut him so ceremoniously out of her life back then. She had been looking for a fresh start and she thought that meant cutting ties with everything she knew would tempt her into running back to Neptune.
Wallace and Mac had assured her then that they understood but there had been an unspoken agreement to not go into too much detail about her two exes. Wallace had been angry with her for breaking Piz's heart and she never could blame him for that.
She loves that Logan wants to tell her all of this. He's right, their communication has always been horrible and she knows they are going to have to make the effort if they want it to work.
And she knows they both do.
Her fingers rest over the keys of her computer as she starts to form her response.
It may not be the most ideal to do this over email, but I agree it's needed. So I'm glad we're doing this. You know I'm not good at talking about my feelings, but I'm going to try. Have some patience with me, okay?
The stories I could tell you about that FBI internship. If I'm being completely honest, I hated it. Which was an awful thing to figure out. I mean I had been working towards a life with the FBI for longer than I could remember and then I got a chance and it was nothing like I wanted it to be. When I got the call from Stanford that they had room for me, I jumped.
Piz and I had already ended things and I knew that going back to Hearst would be difficult. I never thought I was better than Hearst Logan. I just never wanted Hearst. I always thought getting out of Neptune was my goal. I wasn't wrong then. But things change. Neptune is what I need now.
I'm sorry I never said goodbye. I couldn't face you. I couldn't face what you meant to me. There were emotions that I didn't know how to face then.
Also, I couldn't be mad at Mac. She may or may not have kept me up on the rumors of Neptune and you. I'm glad we had that little connection. It made not talking to you feel a little less awful.
I do feel guilty Logan. I feel guilty for so much. Even if you don't want me to.
I'm happy you found something that you love. And that you seem to be really great at. I don't think I would have ever pictured you in the military ten years ago, but…it seems to fit you perfectly.
There are still so many things to say. Things I don't even know how to say yet. What I can say is that I miss you. Every day.
Be safe Logan. And come home to me.
She makes herself hit send before she over analyzes the contents. She didn't say a lot, but she was trying. That had to count for something right?
She is sitting at her desk at the MI offices two days later when her phones rings.
"Hey kid, I'm finally getting released from this place. Pick me up?"
"Dad that's great! I'll head that way now."
"I want to stop by the office."
"Hell no dad," Veronica states firmly. "You are still going to need to rest. You have rehab and…"
"I just want to see what you've done with the place kid," Keith interrupts with a laugh. "We won't stay long."
"I'll think about it," Veronica relents after a beat. "Give me twenty minutes and I'll spring you."
An hour later Veronica was helping her dad into the Mars Investigations office. Mac is sitting behind the receptionist desk, the computer monitors glowing brightly.
"Mac," Keith greets with a smile, "I like what you've done with the place."
"It's great to see you up Mr. Mars," Mac answers back with a grin. "Welcome back!"
"He's not back," Veronica responds vehemently, "this is just a visit. The doctor doesn't want him working yet. And neither do I."
Veronica scoffs, "I'm not letting you come back to work until you're one hundred percent and the doctor agrees."
"Fine," Keith relents after a moment. "Working any new cases?"
"We're keeping busy," Veronica answers with a nod from Mac. "Business isn't suffering."
Keith nods and then lets out a long, drawn out yawn.
"Okay, time to get you home and in bed. Mac can you close up shop for the night?"
"You bet Bond. Do you want your messages now or in the morning?"
"If it isn't anything pressing I'll take them in the morning. Thanks Q."
Veronica stops and picks up Chinese for dinner on the way home, making light conversation with her dad about the changes she keeps noticing the more she gets reacquainted with Neptune.
They talk and eat, the television playing some rerun show about a vampire PI in the background. Veronica picks at her fried rice, her thoughts going a mile a minute.
"Earth to Mars," Keith teases when he notices his daughter spacing out. "What's going on in that head of yours?"
"I need to go and get the rest of my stuff from New York," she answers with a shrug. "But that means calling Piz and…"
"And you haven't talked to him since you broke up and got back together with Logan."
"It'll be okay," Keith assures her gently. "Piz is a good guy…"
"I know," Veronica interrupts, "Which is what will make it all the more worse. I know he's hurting, but…but I know that the decision I made was a good one. Besides, he broke up with me…"
"I'm not going to argue with you about this. Make plans to head out there and do what you need to do, I'll be fine here."
"You'll be fine since I'll have Wallace or Mac come and stay with you. Or maybe I'll hire a nurse for awhile."
"That's not necessary."
"You can barely stand on your own," Veronica reminds him playfully, "you have a broken leg. You're going to need help getting around, going to the bathroom and getting to rehab. Plus, I'll only going to go for a weekend…two days, three at the most."
"That's a good dad."
"Shut it and grab the ice cream, okay."
"You got it daddio."
It isn't much later when Keith finally admits that he's tired and Veronica helps him to bed. She is cleaning up the living room when she decides to pull the trigger and make the phone call she's been dreading for weeks now.
Her finger hoovers over his contact information and she pauses briefly before hitting it and holding the phone to her ear. She hears the phone connect and they are silent for a moment before she takes a breath.
They are silent again and Veronica wrings her hands together.
"I hope I'm not calling too late."
"No," he answers, "it's fine. Um, how are you?"
Veronica hesitates, "I'm…I'm okay. Dad just got released from the hospital…"
"I heard about that," Piz says quietly, "I'm glad he's okay."
"Me too," Veronica replies. "I'm calling…I guess I just wanted to say sorry again. I'm staying here, in Neptune. Going to run Mars Investigations with dad. Well for him until he's back up to snuff, but…yeah."
"I figured you weren't coming back to New York."
"No Veronica," he interrupts his voice slightly harsh. "I'm not an idiot. I knew what was likely to happen…I just thought, you know what, never mind. It doesn't matter anymore. What do you need?"
"I was thinking about coming out to this weekend to get the rest of my stuff," Veronica tells him and she hears the breath he takes. "Is that okay?"
"Yeah," he answers quickly, "of course. I'll go out of town for the weekend or something…"
"You don't have to do that," Veronica insists gently. "I'll call Sarah and see if I can crash with her. It'll only be a couple days, just long enough to get packed up. I don't want to leave dad for too long."
"Sure," Piz relents. "I guess I'll see you on Saturday then."
"Yeah," she answers. "See you then."
She runs her hand through her hair and sighs. She can't help but be relieved, the conversation with him went much better than she thought it was going to go. She doesn't know if he knows she's back with Logan or not, but she can't help but hope Wallace hasn't shared that little detail with him. She never wanted to hurt him, but she knows that her going back to Logan so quickly would.
She calls her old roommate, Sarah, a friend from Stanford who had moved to New York several years ago and gives just enough information to back up the request to crash with her for a night or two. Veronica had never really talked about Logan with Sarah, minus a quick mention one night when she was plastered after midterms their senior year at Stanford. She promises her the whole story once she is back in the city and then ends the call and sinks back against the couch.
The vampire PI show is still playing and she can't help but chuckle at it. She lets it play though, something in the background to keep her from going completely crazy.
She opens her computer and her email and can't help but feel disappointed when there isn't an email waiting for her from him. She starts to compose a new one anyways.
I hope you're being safe. I know it has only been a couple days since your first email arrived, but it is still hard not to worry about you. Does this get easier? Never mind, I know it probably won't. Don't worry about me, okay? I'm fine.
Dad got out of the hospital today. He's doing much better. I know I've said it a thousand times, but thank you. If it hadn't been for you he wouldn't even be alive right now. So thanks. It is cliché to call you a hero? Doesn't matter, you are one.
God I miss you.
I talked to Piz today. I don't know if he knows about us or not. I didn't ask and he didn't really offer. I know Wallace has been taking to him. But I'm telling you this because I'm going to New York this weekend. I've more than worn out the clothes I brought with me and it isn't far to Piz for me to still have all my stuff there. I'm going to stay with my old roommate and catch up with her. I do miss the city a little bit, so it'll be nice to be there for a visit. Maybe when you get back we can go for a visit? I know you've been before, but I'd like to show you around what I consider my home for four years. If you want, that is.
I'll only be gone for a couple days, don't want to leave dad for longer than that anyways.
I hope I hear from you soon. 169 days to go.
She takes a cab to the airport, Wallace tries to insist that he'll take her, but her flight leaves early enough from airport that he'll still be at school and she shrugs him off. Mac and Wallace agreed to keep an eye on her dad while she's gone and she hired a nurse from the hospital to stay with him during the day.
Her flight is uneventful and she uses the time to study the notes on a case she's working on. She's thankful she has the row of seats to herself, and spreads out the files and notes and spends the five-hour flight deep in work.
When she lands at LaGuardia she stuffs everything back into her messenger bag and grabs her empty carry-on suitcase. She hadn't really packed anything, knowing that she has an apartment filled with things here.
She heads to the subway and pulls out her handy Metro Card and swipes it and grabs the first subway train that is headed into the city. Sarah McKibbins was the first person to befriend her when she transferred to Stanford. As a finance major, Sarah moved to New York a year after Veronica and they had shared an apartment on the Upper West Side, about halfway between the Columbia campus and Sarah's bank job in the Financial District.
Veronica knocked on the door of the apartment she used to share with Sarah, who had decided to keep it, even after Veronica had moved in with Piz due to a great landlady and fairly reasonable rent for the area.
"Veronica!" Sarah greets her as she flings open the door after buzzing her into the building and throws her arms around her friend. "I'm so happy to see you!"
Veronica returns the hug with a smile and drops her bags in the small entryway.
"It's good to see you too Sarah! Thanks again for letting me crash with you for a couple days."
"You are always welcome here Vee! When do you fly out?"
"Sunday afternoon," Veronica replies and collapses onto the worn sofa they'd purchased years before. "Ah, this is as comfortable as I remember."
"So we only have like a day to catch up?" Sarah questions and waits for Veronica to nod before continuing. "Then we're going out tonight. It's Friday, we're both single, you still owe me the story on that by the way and we haven't hung in like months. Get up! Let's go."
"Give me a second to chill, okay? It was a long flight." Veronica pauses and then takes a deep breath. "I'm not exactly single…either."
"What?! I thought you said that Piz broke up with you."
"Okay," Sarah answered sinking down on the couch. "It is story time now."
Veronica laughs before she starts the saga. "I…do you remember the ex I told you about…Logan?"
"Oh my God, that's right! You used to date Logan Echolls. I'm sure you heard all about his ex-girlfriend. Crazy, right? I wonder what happened with that, I haven't been keeping up with it."
"Yeah, crazy. Carrie, Bonnie Deville, Logan's ex-girlfriend…we all went to high school together. Logan called me after he was charged with her murder…he asked for my help."
"Wow! I had no idea. Wait, your help?"
Veronica can't help but chuckle a little, sometimes it surprises her how much Sarah reminds Veronica of Lily some days. "There are a lot of things you don't know about me Sarah. When I was in high school and at Hearst I did some PI work for my dad on the side."
"Yeah," Veronica says with a shrug and then continues. "I hadn't talked to Logan since I left Southern California. He called, asking for my help about picking a lawyer so I went out for a couple days. But…things escalated and I kind of got dragged into the case. I stayed and Piz ended things."
"Weren't you supposed to meet his parents a couple weeks ago?"
"Yup. And when I choose to stay in Neptune instead of coming back for that…"
"He broke up with you."
"But you're not single anymore?"
The look of frustration that crosses over Sarah's face makes Veronica laugh and then there is recognition. "You got back together with the ex. Logan, didn't you? He was accused of murder."
"Not the first time that has happened," Veronica answered, "and besides, he didn't do it. He's not a murderer."
"He's been accused of murder before?"
"I'd rather not get into it all now. It was a long time ago."
"Wow, so where is Logan now? He didn't want to come out with you."
"He's a Naval Aviator pilot. He's been shipped overseas."
"Oh my god. Wow."
"Yup. He wouldn't have come with me anyways or I wouldn't have let him. I hurt Piz enough and he doesn't know that Logan and I are back together. We stayed pretty under the radar before he left and the paparazzi don't find him nearly entertaining enough when he isn't in trouble."
"Wow girl," Sarah breathes and shakes her head. "Yeah, we're definitely going out tonight. If for nothing else than to let you get hammered and forget about the drama in your life for a bit."
"I wouldn't mind hitting some of our favorite spots before I give up the city."
"I'm definitely going to have to come out and visit you sometime this summer."
Veronica grins, "I would love to host you! Just give me a call and I'll pencil you in."
Veronica wakes up in her old bed the next morning, slightly hung-over from their escapades the night before and groans before rolling over to check the time. She was due to meet Piz at eleven so she dragged herself out of bed and into the shower.
"Good morning," Sarah greets from the kitchen as Veronica stumbles out from the bathroom. "I made breakfast."
"God yes. I haven't been that drunk in a long time."
"I could tell," Sarah answers with a laugh, "here. What time are you meeting Piz?"
"Eleven. I don't know if he's planning on staying while I pack or not. I'm kind of hoping not."
"Just letting you into the apartment."
"I guess," she says with a shrug. "I still have my keys, I need to give them to him. I've got the movers coming at four, so that gives me five hours to get everything packed and ready to go."
"It was cheaper than shipping everything since I'm taking my desk and reading chair and movers seemed easiest."
"Makes sense. I can come with if you want."
"No, you don't have to do that. I'm hoping that I can just put on some music and lose myself in packing for a while. Thanks for offering though."
"I'm going to call Erica and Rissa and we'll all go out for dinner tonight. One last girls night out before you abandon us for the warm, sunny weather of SoCal."
"Sounds like fun," Veronica tells her with a nod. With Sarah's help Veronica had started to shed her tough girl exterior and had made some actual friends in New York. Despite a busy class load at Columbia they had had a lot of fun over the years. "Alright, I should go. I don't want to be late."
She wandered out into the New York Saturday morning, surprised by the chill still in the air, even in mid-April. That was something she had never fully gotten used to in her time in the city, the chillness that cut straight through her bones. She certainly had missed the weather of Neptune.
The apartment she had shared with Piz was only a few blocks north of Sarah's place, so she decided to enjoy the morning and walked that way. She noticed her favorite coffee shop and the Italian restaurant they went to, even though it paled in comparison to Luigi's and she smiled.
New York held a lot of great memories for her.
She was ready to move on though. Ready to move back to Neptune.
She let herself into the building with her key, but hesitated when she reached their third story walk up apartment. She didn't have any right to just let herself in anymore so she reached up and knocked.
It didn't take long for the door to swing open.
"Veronica," Piz greets with a hesitate smile, "you didn't have to knock."
"Yes I did."
"Yeah, well, whatever." He starts to head into the small living area of their apartment and Veronica can't help but be a little surprised at the animosity dripping in his voice. She can't ever remember seeing him this angry.
He turns quickly and holds up his hands, "Look, Veronica, I don't want to talk, okay? I don't want excuses or reasons or any of it. I should have known better. Anyways, the moving company dropped off the boxes on Thursday and I picked up some tape for you. I'm heading to the office for a couple hours. Just leave the key under the mat when you leave, okay?"
She watches as Piz grabs his coat and hurries out the door. She pauses for only a second before she switches on her favorite playlist and gets to work.
She's finishing just as the buzzer goes off and Veronica lets the moving guys into the apartment. She gives them a few quick directions and when her phone rings she answers it without looking.
Her breath catches in her throat and she doesn't try to stop the smile that spreads over her lips.
"The one and only," he answers and she can't help but laugh. "I didn't catch you at a bad time did I?"
"It wouldn't matter if it was or not," she tells him and steps into the kitchen where she has a bit of privacy but can still oversea the moving of her stuff. "Hearing your voice makes it better. How long do you have?"
"Only a few minutes," he tells her and she can hear the regret in his voice. "I'm headed out on a mission in about thirty, we have a few minutes to talk with family before our final briefing."
"So you're off to do something dangerous…"
"It all can be dangerous."
"I'm really glad you called."
"Me too. So, how is New York?"
"You got my email?"
"Yeah, I didn't respond yet cause I knew I'd be talking to you today and wanted it to be a surprise."
"New York is okay," she tells him, "I'm finishing up at the apartment now then I'm doing a girls night out with some friends before I fly home tomorrow."
"Neptune is home huh?"
There is a beat of silence before his voice fills her ears again. "How is Piz?"
She sighs, "I don't know. I mean, he's clearly still upset and definitely angry with me. But I don't think he knows…about us, I mean."
"Wallace didn't tell him?"
"I don't think Wallace wants that job."
She chuckles a little bit, "No you're not. And that's okay."
"Look, I have to go, I'm sorry. I miss you."
"Miss you too. Please be safe."
"I will. Bye Veronica."
She ends the call and looks up and dread fills her when she spots Piz looking at her from a few feet away. She forces a smile onto her lips and the look on his face tells him he definitely heard enough of that conversation to make this last encounter very awkward.
"I didn't think you'd be back yet."
"Yeah, well I thought you'd be gone by now."
"You and Logan huh?" She doesn't answer right away and he just nods. "Can't say I'm surprised."
"Never mind," Piz interrupts and pushes past her and into the kitchen and grabs a beer from the fridge. "I hope you and Logan are happy together Veronica. I hope he can give you whatever you want."
"Ms. Mars," this time it is the movers that interrupt and Veronica is a bit relieved. "We're finished now. Everything will be delivered Monday to the address in Neptune California provided on the request form. Here is our number should you have any further questions."
"Thank you," she answers and takes the card from his outstretched hand. "I'll be there to meet the truck."
The man nods and leaves her and Piz alone again. She turns back towards him, but he throws his hand up and her words catch in her throat.
"Good bye Veronica. I really do hope you have a great life."
"You too Piz. I am sorry for how everything happened."
She grabs the suitcase she'd packed and heads down the hallway, only glancing back briefly to find Piz looking out from the living room window. There isn't anything left to say so she leaves, dropping her set of keys to the apartment on the hallway table on her way out.
A/N: I really hoped you enjoyed this. And if you did (or even if you didn't) please leave me a little review. Thanks!