Disclaimer: Oh, Rob, I know there are some arguments, but I personally loved your last episode, but will it kill you to add some interaction between Logan and Veronica that couldn't turn water into ice? Come on, dude! I know you think of Duncan and Veronica as Romeo and Juliet (which, hum, huh?) but even I think Buffy proved us that Star-Cross Lovers aren't, like, forever confined to each other. Oh, and also? They're not mine, obviously.
Okay, I promised and I kept my promise. Here's a kinda-epilogue that is a bunch of scenes meant to portray the situation and wrap things up. I hope you won't be disappointed or think it's still too abrupt. Even if you do, I'd still like to know WHAT YOU THINK.
Also, last thanks to wildhorses for betaing over my silly little mistakes and for everyone who took the time to review this story. I love hearing what you guys, not just about the story, just in general.
Life is so strange.
Yeah, it's not very deep or insightful, but you try thinking up interesting anecdotes about life when Jake Kane is sobbing all over you and there are approximately fifty thousand camera flashes exploding in your face. Be assured though, the only thoughts that travel to one's head at times like these are: 'Hmm, I hope I left Backup enough food, this dude could cry for hours,' or 'one sheep jumps over the fence, two sheep jump over the fence, three sheep…' (Yeah, you get it, don't you?)
Celeste eyed her with a steely glance. She walked over to Jake and tried to yank him from her without looking too blunt. Luckily, Jake was very compliant to anything at the moment, so he simply let go of Veronica (oh, thank God) and crashed onto his wife's shoulders with fresh sobs wracking his body.
Veronica felt relieved for a moment, but she soon realized that having no whining Jake as a shield left her completely bare to the press. They seemed to notice that too and immediately started bombarding her with questions. Idiotic Vultures.
"… Veronica, did you ever suspect anything?"
Well, no, I was sure Lilly tripped on her overalls and died in a horrible accident. But now that you mention it, do you think she might have been killed intentionally or something?
"… Are you comfortable with being a role model for young girls?"
Sure, it's grea… what? Me? Why the hell would they look up to me? What is wrong with the world?
"… Were you scared when Aaron Echolls tried to light you up?"
Oh, no! I was perfectly content! It was the best day ever! I especially liked the COMA that followed, but the fire part was nice too, sure.
Her father sent her a wary smile. He was also attacked with questions of this sort ("… Mr. Mars, did it bother you to be alienated from your community?"). The only different was that he had warned her this was a bad idea before they left for the press conference, so technically he had a right to be annoyed.
"… Veronica, weren't you afraid to start a relationship with the son of the man who tried to kill you?"
Hmm… Logan. Me likes Logan. I'm sorry, what was the question?
She turned around, completely ignoring Celeste's disapproving glare, and instantly broke into a smile. He was there, thank God again, and seemed very engaged in a conversation with Cliff (who, by the way, had orchestrated this whole thing. Oh, she'd have to thank him for that later). However, as soon as he noticed her looking at him, he grinned sheepishly and winked.
Clearly, he wasn't listening to most of the questions that were being thrown at her from every direction, because, damn, some of those journalists were just plain crude.
"We're definitely not cut out to be in show-biz," Keith said with a sigh when they were finally allowed behind the curtains or veils or whatever thin fabric separated them from the alligators out there.
Veronica kissed her father on the cheek and smiled apologetically, "Sorry, Dad."
Keith shrugged, "Don't worry about it, kiddo. We got paid, didn't we?"
"That you did," Cliff said sounding pleased as he joined them with Logan, "not to mention, you've helped the defense case plenty. I'm sure after the press heard your… silence, they'll be much less supportive of Aaron Echolls."
"Oh, shut up, Cliff," Logan mouthed Veronica's thoughts and took her hand, being careful to keep a safe distance from her in an uncharacteristic consideration of Keith's nerves.
"Strapping young man, ain't he?" Keith said, sporting an incredibly fake grin. Logan smiled back obnoxiously, which prompted Keith into putting as much force as he had available on a friendly back slap to his (God-he-hoped-not) future son-in-law.
"Very," Cliff agreed with a sigh. He and Keith shook their heads gravely before starting to walk together in the direction of the car. Even as they grew more and more distant, Veronica could still hear Cliff murmuring "I'm just hoping he'll strap himself to the outside of a plane". Keith nodded enthusiastically.
"Should I be offended or something?" Logan asked, wrapping the appropriate arm around his girlfriend and trying to kiss her as chastely as possible. Public place, after all, and Keith wasn't that far away (which, honestly, was how Logan liked him best).
"Nah, they're just protective. I hope." She frowned suddenly, "You do lock your doors at night, though, right? I have no use for you dead."
He chuckled, "That's possibly the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me."
That was incorrect, actually. Lilly once told him that she would still love him, even if he, for some reason, became a little dog. Maybe even more so, as she missed Molly as well and wouldn't have minded getting a new dog. Sweet girl she was – everyday he found it harder and harder to miss her.
"I'm all about the romance," she said casually.
He answered with something like 'Yeah, you are' but she couldn't make out the words exactly because he whispered them in her ear and she could never bring herself to concentrate enough whenever he did that. She did hear his next question: "So, what are you gonna do with all this money you suddenly have lying around?"
Veronica chuckled as they slowly started walking towards the car where Keith and Cliff were waiting for her, "I'm thinking of buying something really expensive. Maybe an antelope."
"Seriously!" he exclaimed, slowing their pace considerably, "a hundred grand. You know how many invisible-ink pens you can buy with that much money?"
A hundred grand, for finding Lilly's killer, but no one was willing to say that out loud. Lilly's name had become sort of a taboo. Whenever she accidentally said something about Lilly, Logan grimaced, Keith shook his head sadly and Duncan looked away. Sometimes Veronica thought she was the only person who still loved Lilly unconditionally.
"I'm afraid it's going to my college fund," she said, "no freaky euro-trips for me."
Logan's smile turned somewhat coy as he started to say, "Well, actually…"
"Veronica!" they heard Keith impatient call, "I think earth has spun around twice already, are you coming?"
She rolled her eyes but kissed Logan goodbye nevertheless. "I better go," she said regretfully, "if earth spins one more time, I'm up for grounding."
He nodded and watched her make her way to the car. They were going to meet later that evening to celebrate anyway, it's not like he was pushy or something. Nope, he was all about the cool. He knew that sometimes being Veronica's boyfriend was like facing a vicious tiger. Only in reverse. With a tiger, if you showed any sign of weakness, it jumps all over you, but with Veronica? One sign of commitment and far away she went.
If you ever told him he'd have to sometimes hide the fact that he wanted to be serious with a girl he loved, he'd tell you 'Well, yeah, I'm going out with Lilly, haven't you noticed?'
Still, it wasn't the same. Lilly didn't care, Veronica was just afraid. He hoped, anyway, because he was starting to resemble a male Hilary Duff. Seriously, every day he was closer and closer to putting some witty quote of hers about how luv is so kewl as his inspirational note.
"You mom isn't joining us for dinner, is she?" Wallace asked later the night as helped Veronica make the salad.
The parents insisted on a celebratory dinner, but it felt more like those dinners divorced people who are dating throw in order for their families to get to know each other, which was a stupid thing, because Veronica and Wallace knew each other way before their parents did. In fact, they kind of introduced them. But whatever, sometimes one had to just indulge.
"Sure she is," Veronica answered with a sunny smile, "she's in the bedroom, getting dressed."
"What!" Wallace asked incredulously, earning a concerned glance from his mother.
Veronica chuckled and bumped him playfully. "You're such an easy mark," she teased, "she went to meet up with an old friend."
He raised his eyebrows, but not before kicking her under the table, "Yeah?"
"Yeah. She says she's one of the lunch ladies in our school. Mary or something. Anyway, she won't be here all night."
"How are things going with her, anyway?"
"Sort of ok-ish," she said with a shrug, "next week she's gonna start looking for a job. At least that's what she says."
"Don't trust her, huh?"
She shook her head, "Not really." And no, I don't wanna talk about it, thank you. The subject had to be changed, pronto. "What about you, why haven't you brought Cora?"
Wallace gave her a funny look, "You're set on making me as uncomfortable as possible, aren't you?"
Veronica laughed, "Not just you! Everyone! Uncomfortable dinners are the best."
"Really? Than why haven't you invited your little boyfriend? It would have been funny to see your dad shoot him. Like a Looney Toons special."
"Yeah, I thought about it," she admitted, "but, well, like you said, that would be funny, not uncomfortable."
He frowned, "I was kidding, Veronica."
"You're truly sick."
"In an expected turn of events, Aaron Echolls claims to be innocent in the death of Lilly Kane. Echolls, a once popular actor who starred in many successful films was charged with murder and various other crimes earlier this month. Tomorrow on Entertainment Tonight, find out what really happened the day Lilly Kane was murdered."
"Look at you, Veronica."
Veronica wheeled around, turning away from the mirror, "Lilly?"
Lilly smiled happily at her. Veronica gasped and turned to the mirror again without any real reason. Lilly didn't have a reflection, of course. "What? I'm not a vampire, Veronica. Come on."
"I thought you weren't going to come around anymore," Veronica said quietly, even though she should have been covering her ears and shutting her eyes. It was one thing to see Lilly when she was sleeping, but seeing her when she was wide awake? Not the same. She considered slapping herself, but, well, it was always nice to see Lilly.
"I know," Lilly said, "but I've missed you. And also, I heard the good news."
"What good news?" Veronica asked, not understanding why she was indulging her own psychosis by talking to the freaking ghost (who was more likely a hallucination brought on by some undiagnosed head injury) in the middle of her bedroom.
"The cash you recently came into, silly!" Lilly exclaimed happily, twirling around.
Veronica instantly flinched. "Well, thanks… but… it doesn't feel right… taking money for finding out… I mean, I didn't do it for the money, Lil. You know that, right?"
Lilly waved a hand dismissively, "Of course I know that! Come on, Veronica! Still, Mom and Dad are so cheap! I would have given you a million bucks if I could. You deserve it."
"Think I can convince your Dad to give away more money to us on account of his daughter's ghost's request?" Veronica asked jokingly, glad that she had at least someone she could make inappropriate jokes with (dead or alive).
Lilly laughed, her voice echoing across the room. "You could try," she suggested slyly, "I'll even try and arrange lightning or something, if you need a sign from above."
Veronica smiled tenderly. She could feel tears welling in the corners of her eyes, which was very, very bad. She promised everyone she'd stop obsessing over Lilly.
"Aw, Veronica, don't cry," Lilly begged, stroking her cheek softly, "you'll smear your make up!" She came closer to examine Veronica's appearance, and Veronica could swear she felt her warm breath on her face. "And why are you wearing this lame eye shadow anyway?" Lilly asked, sighing, "Green is so your color! And that shirt? Far too Sunday school. God, Veronica Mars, have you learned nothing from me?"
Veronica shook her head in a defeated manner, "What should I wear then?" oh my God, her mind screamed, did I just go to a ghost for fashion advice? What the hell is wrong with me?
Lilly seemed to contemplate this a little, "Hmm… Logan likes dark colors."
"No he doesn't," Veronica said quickly, "he wears light colors all the time."
"Fine," Lilly said, rolling her eyes, "he likes how you look in dark colors, what's the difference? Just change into something dark red already!"
Veronica, for reasons entirely unknown to her, complied without a word and changed her outfit and her make up completely. Lilly made comments from time to time, telling her to go lighter or darker and turning down countless outfits. Veronica already made a mental note to herself to check the phonebook for a decent looking madhouse and reserve a room for herself first thing in the morning.
"Perfect!" Lilly shrieked when Veronica was finally ready. "Logan's gonna faint! You totally should use that opportunity dump him in some alley!"
"Lilly, don't be a bitch," Veronica said, trying to suppress a giggle, "I love him."
"Sure, you say that now. Just wait a few months, you'll be sorry you didn't slip a little cyanide in his drink," Lilly promised.
Veronica opened her mouth to say something. She wasn't sure what, though. Was she looking to apologize? Ask Lilly to stay? Argue about Logan's qualities as a boyfriend? It didn't matter, anyway, because her father's voice interrupted her. He said she had a gentleman caller, which meant this was over.
"He's here," Lilly said quietly and, without warning, kissed Veronica on the lips. "You'll be alright, Veronica. And when you won't, I'll be there. And you know why? Because you're hallucinating."
Veronica's lips burned. She turned around to the mirror again, wishing to God that her lip-gloss would be slightly smeared. It wasn't. And when she turned around, Lilly was gone.
"You know we didn't have to do the dishes, right? We have a couple of teenagers at our disposal for that," Keith told Alicia, even though, in all honesty, he loved spending this time with her.
She grinned sweetly, "I know, but they're both so excited about their dates. Why ruin it?"
Keith sighed exaggeratedly, "You're way too good, woman. I'm all for child slavery."
Alicia laughed heartily, looked around to make sure they were alone and whispered: "you know, we're finally gonna have the house all to ourselves for a few hours."
"Are you forgetting your other son by any chance? You know, the little one?"
"Wallace is taking him to play with Cora's little brother…" she informed him.
Keith let go of the dishes and wrapped an arm around her, "Well, well, well, my mood just jumped up by thirty percent."
"Only thirty?" Alicia asked, mock-disappointed.
"It was a good day today, so it was already high from the beginning."
Alicia laughed again and kissed him lightly.
"Stop! Stop that!" Wallace cried as he came into the kitchen. He covered his eyes with his hand and quickly took something out of the fridge. "All right, I'm done."
Keith sighed. "Why does he always do that?" he asked himself before moving to kiss her again. This time they were interrupted by the doorbell.
"Man…" Keith murmured as he made his way to the door and opened it. His scowl intensified even more when Logan cheered his usual 'Hey, Mr. Mars! Isn't it a wonderful day?'
"Veronica! You have a gentleman caller!" and I use the term 'gentleman' very loosely, he thought to himselfas he called out with irritation, turning away from Logan's insufferable grin.
Veronica came after a few minutes, looking completely different than she did just moments before. Keith frowned, but moved away to allow her access. She looked a little disheveled, but then again, she was teenaged girl. Teenaged girls were always upset about something. It just meant she was finally starting to act like a normal girl.
"Hey," she said quietly.
Logan's smile brightened and he kissed her softly on the mouth. Keith sighed, realizing that he wouldn't be able to keep this asshole away like he planned. "You got the emphasis on the gentleman part, right?"
"Yeah," Logan said firmly, nodding his head, "though, one day you'll have to explain to me what that means exactly."
"What?" Logan asked innocently, "I wanna learn!"
Veronica chuckled and led Logan outside, "Let's go. Bye Dad."
"You'll be back by ten, right?"
She frowned, "Dad, it's nine thirty."
"We're leaving now," Veronica said, rolling her eyes.
As he closed the door, Keith could still hear Logan asking sheepishly: "What, is he mad or something?" and Veronica laughing.
"God, I hate that kid," he snarled.
"Really?" Alicia asked laughingly, "I hadn't noticed.
"… I don't understand how people could think I killed someone. My own family?"
"… I never followed Lilly Kane back to her home. I was willing to face the consequences of what I did. I knew I would be able to redeem my actions somehow, why would I have killed her?"
"… My wife wasn't well. I was lonely."
"… Lilly Kane came to me. I never pursued her.
"… I know I made a mistake. And I'm sorry. But I'm not a murderer"
"Hey… Veronica… I wanna ask you something."
Veronica sighed, "You know how you always say just the wrong thing when we're making out? You think you could look into that?"
He chuckled and contemplated just doing as he was told and carrying on. The girl he loved most was sitting on his lap, and he got to kiss her and touch her and feel her. The wisest thing would be to just shut the hell up, dumbass!
But nooooo. "Come on, I wanna ask you something," he repeated, ignoring the voice in his head (and, you know, in other places) that told him he was immensely stupid and needed to be put down.
She sighed dramatically again and pulled back from him, "Fine. You've got my kind of undivided attention. What?"
The loss of contact hit him hard, so he decided to make this quick. "You know how you said there were no euro-trips for you?"
He ran a hand up her leg, hoping to make her more compliant, and wondered why he was always the woman in his relationships. "Well, I don't think that's right."
"Meaning?" she asked with a smile, trying to see where he was going with that.
"I want you to fly to Europe with me," he blurted out.
She raised her eyebrows, "What?"
He pressed his lips to hers for a moment and repeated: "I want you to fly to Europe with me. For a vacation."
"Are you serious?"
Veronica tried not to smile too broadly, "Where? For how long?"
Logan also tried not to smile too broadly, though she was clearly giving in, "Wherever you want and for as long you like. I can pretty much afford anything. Though we should probably get back here for the trial?"
"Are you serious?" she asked again, eyes turning red.
"Yes," he answered again. He tightened his hold on her and stared determinedly into her eyes, trying to make her see he was serious. "Come on, Veronica. Sandy beaches, Jacuzzis, I really don't see what there is to consider here. I'm pretty sure hundreds of girls would be happy to be in your place."
"Oh, no. I have to go now," Veronica said mock-gravely. Her face softened, though, when she took in his cute boyish scowl. There was a short silence, in which Veronica repeatedly opened and closed her mouth and Logan tried to coax her with his eyes into talking.
"Can we…" she started timidly, "can we go to Ibiza?"
Logan broke into a joyful laugh and pressed his lips to hers fiercely. He lied back on the bed, pushing her down with him and started to slowly slide down her dress's zipper.
"Oh, wait," Veronica suddenly stopped, "you haven't actually said yes. I'm not sleeping with you until you say yes."
He chuckled, "Damn, I was hoping to make false promises and then discard you. Now I guess I really do have to take you to damn Europe, huh?"
"Way to get yourself in stupid situations, Echolls," he murmured to himself, mock-reproachfully, and watched in delight as she laughed. Not wanting the sound to stop, Logan pulled her back down and trailed kisses all the way down to her collarbone. It made her moan, not laugh, but, well, he liked that too.
"… I'm especially sorry for the pain I've cause my son. I hope he's watching this now, seeing things from my perspective. If he were here, I would have told him, 'Logan, son, I'm so sorry'. He's seventeen, you know? Two weeks ago I threw him a birthday party."
"…I don't know how things got so complicated."
"… I always liked Veronica Mars, she made my son happy. Right now, though… I mean, when I think about the lies she's feeding him. How she's making my own son hate me… I don't like her much anymore. She's just like Lilly. Spins men about. I'm really worried about my son. Women like that destroy men. Look what happened to me."
"… I just want everything to go back to the way it was. I miss my wife. I miss my children."
"… I can't see any jury in their right mind keeping someone away from his family."
I can't believe they let him go.
How could they? Did they not see the tapes? Did they not see him?
I can't believe he actually managed to fool an entire team of juries with his stupid crocodile tears. Idiots, idiots, idiots!
I have to take Veronica away. We can't share a continent with that monster. We have to move. Anywhere that isn't here.
Okay guys, this seriously wraps this up. I'm so sorry if it's still a little blunt, but writing this chapter… well, let's just say I found out I could go on for hours and hours and never end it (so many things can still be resolved… the paternity thing, for once) which would be a little tiring. Also, I dunno, I guess it leaves an opening for a sequel or something. Anyway, I hoped you enjoyed this story, because I sure as hell enjoyed writing it and reading the wonderful feedback I got for it!
Sorry there isn't a character plea this time, but I let the bastard go the last time. I didn't think there'd be an epilogue. Lucky idiots, they got away just barely. Also, I thought I'd give one last thanks and goodbye to everyone who actually managed to stuck through 18 chapters and wasn't all "oh, screw this story" – you guys are the light of my little universe.
So, I hope I'll see you in my next story, though I have no idea what it will be about. I'm trying to find a moment in season 1 that can be altered into LoVe and hasn't be used yet (which, you know, good luck on that, Lily). Any ideas?
Anyway, please, for the last time (for real this time) REVIEW – just to say adios.