Journal Entry #9
I know this is our journal and not a place to write love notes, but I can't help myself. It's four in the morning and I'm watching you sleep. You're so goddamned beautiful. What the hell did I do to deserve another chance with the most amazing woman I've ever known? The only person who's ever really come close to knowing ME. Ok, so I'm being the girl again. What the fuck do I care? After nine long years, I feel like I'm finally home. Like I actually have a home to come back to. And I really, really don't want to leave. But I have to. I have to keep telling myself that. I made choices while you were gone. Choices I can't take back and I really don't want to. But that being said, GOD I'm gonna miss you.
I'm gonna miss watching you sleep and I'll miss teasing you when you wake up (bringing you caffeine as a peace offering, of course). I'll miss sleeping with my arms tight around you, your head tucked under my chin; holding you, touching you. I'll miss our banter, our quips, the way that you look at me like we're the only ones in the world who exist. Nothing can compare to that. Nothing.
I tried for years to find something that would replace it. It was a losing battle and I knew it from the start. But once you left, what else was I supposed to do? I couldn't follow you. Even I knew that. I didn't know who I was anymore. But I knew I couldn't be that person. The one with no identity of his own, the one who let a failed relationship define him.
So I did what I had to do to keep going. I found a reason, a purpose for living. I knew if I ever saw you again, I wanted you to be proud of me. Not that I had much hope of you forgiving me, letting things go. We've hurt each other a lot in the past but I meant what I said when I told you, "Bygones." Whatever else we are, Veronica, we're family - first and last.
Then, there you were. And here we are. And the last thing I want to do is be dismissive. This thing we have, it's epic. I may have been drunk off my ass when I said it but I meant it.
His words were interrupted by the sound of the woman herself rolling over. She lifted up on one elbow lazily, and gave him a sleep-filled grin.
"Why aren't you asleep, Mister?"
Smiling back crookedly, he closed the journal and slipped his arms around her, kissing the top of her head. "I can sleep when I'm dead."
She quirked an eyebrow and gave a scowl. "Not funny," she said.
"I thought it was a little funny," he smirked.
"Nope," she shook her head, burrowing into his shoulder, "Not even a little."
He held her close and soon her breathing was even again. He sighed. His heart ached. How could something so perfect be ending so soon? 'Typical,' he thought, 'Fucking typical. I get everything I've always wanted and now I have to leave.'
She stirred again in his arms, murmuring softly, "Logan? What's wrong?"
"Nothing," he told her, "Just can't sleep."
Slowly, Veronica grinned, popping one eye open and then the other before asking cheekily, "Need me to wear you out?"
He laughed, shaking his head, saying affectionately, "Perv."
She sat up a little, mumbling against his neck, "As if you didn't know that by now."
"Oh, I definitely knew that," Logan confirmed, "Just thought I'd state the obvious."
Veronica pursed her lips and glared at him playfully, then asked, "Seriously, if we're not going to sleep, we might as well make use of the couple hours we have left together."
An hour and a half later and Logan's dressed in his uniform. The first light of morning streamed through the window making Veronica's still-sleeping form look close to angelic. Logan stood smiling softly at the foot of the bed, capturing the moment with the camera on his phone.
She moved, groaning as she mumbled, "Too early..."
"You'd be surprised how strongly the armed services feel about punctuality," Logan replied, amusement clear in his voice. "You wouldn't want me to get busted for going AWOL, would you?"
Her eyes sparkling with mischief, Veronica pushed herself to her knees and moved toward him, narrowing her eyes as she spoke, "What I want is for you to stand there in your effity uniform and with your Harvard mouth show me so effing courtesy."
Logan grinned down at her and wrapped his arms around her. "I appreciate you keeping it PG-13 for me. I'm delicate."
Pulling back a bit, Veronica searched his eyes. She was still rather rumpled from their earlier activities but Logan thought she had never looked so perfect.
In an attempt to be brave and hide her true feelings, Veronica flirted with audacity, "Come on, I got you off murder charges. I can beat an AWOL rap!"
It was a come on but it was also a plea. She didn't want him to go and they both knew it.
Logan gripped her arms both gently and tightly, looking down into her face with an intensity that begged her to understand.
"Veronica, it's 180 days," he said quietly, "What's 180 days to us?" Then, his eyes softened and the corners of his mouth twitched. "Our story is epic. Spanning years and continents..."
Her eyes shone as she narrowed them, a playful grin trying to spread across her face, "Lives ruined. Blood shed."
"Yeah," Logan grinned back.
Veronica's smile faltered. He'd remembered this time, but still. She fought the tears trying to well in her eyes. Her voice was thick with emotion as she said, "Come back to me?"
She watched him go. She knew he was worried about her. When he turned back at the door, she put on a brave smile and gave a quick laugh, trying to assure him that she knew she was being silly. But as soon as he was gone, she collapsed back on the bed. Face in her hands, she cried.
Later, she finally went to see her dad. She knew it was long past time.
As always, Keith took one look at her and knew exactly what she was going through. He let her get away with pretending things were fine for awhile but he asked casually, "Logan return to duty today?"
She couldn't look at him. She messed with the cards in her hands and said, "Yep."
"I'm sorry, honey."
She worked her jaw and forcefully swallowed the lump in her throat. She didn't look up. "Yeah..."
"Hey," he said, trying to sound cheerful, "They say I'm ahead of schedule here. And as much as I'm enjoying all this daddy/daughter time, maybe it's time to start thinking about heading back to New York." He knew this was a last-ditch effort but still, he felt obligated to point out, "You've got a life there..."
When Veronica looked up, her eyes were filled with a steely resolve as well as the remains of a few unshed tears. She took a deep breath and met his eyes. Then, in spite of the butterflies fluttering in her stomach at going against her dad, she said, "Actually, about New York...I'm not going back."
Keith's entire countenance looked crestfallen. He sat back heavily against his pillows and said seriously, "Veronica."
She shook her head, though, and said stubbornly, "No, dad. Listen to me. Neptune is my home. It's where I belong. You're going to need help but even if you didn't...I don't know how to explain it. I just can't, dad. I can't go back there. It's not who I am."
Things were still more than tense between them when their conversation ended and the nurse asked Veronica to leave so that Keith could get some rest.
She sighed, sitting at the wheel of Logan's BMW, gripping the leather tightly.
It took awhile before she could bring herself to leave the parking garage. When she did, she wasn't quite sure where she was headed. Unsurprisingly, though, she found herself at the beach.
Before she'd left Dick's that morning, she'd gathered up the few belongings of hers that had remained. She'd tenderly taken the journal that she and Logan had both written in and held it close to her heart before putting it in her bag.
Now, she rummaged through and found it. She took it with her as she headed toward the sand and surf. Finding a spot, she sat and made herself comfortable. Then, she opened it up to read.
She had planned to start at the beginning but something in Logan's handwriting caught her eye at the end. She found his love note from that morning. As she scanned it, her eyes filled with tears again. She held it to her heart and sobbed quietly. When she was able to control herself, she flipped back to the beginning. Before reading it, she looked out at the waves crashing to the shore and murmured to herself a reassurance: "It's 180 days. We can do this."