Characters: ensemble. This chapter: Logan, Veronica
Disclaimer: I wish they were mine. This would totally happen.
A/N: Well, this is it folks... the end... finally. And what a journey it's been. For those people who reviewed, I can't even begin to thank you enough. This is my first story, ever, of any kind and I can't tell you how much your words have encouraged me and kept me writing. If you think reviews don't mean much... think again. Thanks to everyone who has stuck with it and read the whole sixty and some odd thousand words. Whew! I love you guys... really.
Also, now that I'm finally done, I'll probably go back and clean up the beginning a little. I feel my writing has slightly improved since I first posted this so I want to make it better. I just wanted you to know, in case anyone decided to read it again in the future. Of course it won't be anything major. Just some wording changes and I may add a few sentences here and there.
As always, no beta... all mistakes are mine. And as usual I was up late, wanting to get this posted, so I'm sure there are some. Thoughts are in italics.
Their one year wedding anniversary was coming up and Veronica was starting to get nervous. Logan hadn't said a thing about it and despite her penchant for all things investigative, she hadn't been able to discover any secret plans. She wasn't worried that he would forget, after all he was the girl in their relationship, no, she was just worried about what he might be planning. Logan had been known to go overboard in the romance department on more that one occasion and she was just content with spending a low key night with her loving husband
Despite the fact that it had been sixteen months and twenty-one days since all hell had broken loose, The paparazzi were still circling like vultures, desperate to get a glimpse of the 'miracle couple' as so they had been dubbed. And of course the government had jumped on the bandwagon, too. The FBI had taken advantage of the inevitable publicity and made Veronica their new poster child, flaunting her around shamelessly. One of their own had taken down the largest Russian crime syndicate in the United States in addition to exposing a high level corrupt agent. The higher ups had even overlooked the at least half a dozen regulations she disregarded in the Veronica Mars brand search of truth and justice for all.
Of course it had all come at a cost. A great cost. Ben had lost his life, dying a week after his valiant attempt to save her life. And although he had betrayed her, she wasn't able to harbor any resentment. He was just as snowed by Agent Karnes as everyone else, including her. She tried to remind herself that he made the ultimate sacrifice for his country but truth was she knew that wasn't the only reason. Ben had the unfortunate luck of getting involved with her which made him the latest in a long line of bloodshed. In the end it didn't matter what his motives were, he deserved the same justice she'd found for Lilly. She would see to it that Agent Karnes was brought there one way or another and she had a feeling that Logan would actually back her up on this one.
Even though Karnes didn't actually pull the trigger, more than anyone, he deserved to be punished. After all, he was sworn to serve, protect and uphold the law at all costs. An inner battle constantly rages in her mind, telling her she should be thankful for what she has, to leave well enough alone and let someone else handle it. But despite the fact that her last name is now Echolls, she is still Veronica Mars and she just wasn't built that way.
Ben's life hadn't been the only sacrifice, though. She had almost lost Logan... again, and the scars from those memories weren't likely to fade anytime soon.
But as for Logan and her, things had been going well... very well. She had requested a transfer to the San Diego field office and much to her's and Logan's delight, she had gotten it. She wanted to go back home to her Dad and Wallace and Logan was glad she would be handling the more simple things like bank robberies and kidnappings for the time being.
Due to the highly publicized events surrounding Logan's death and subsequent return, his humble surfing business had taken off. Brody's Boards was quickly becoming the biggest outfitter of quality surfboards and beachwear in the world. And Veronica couldn't have been more proud. Logan had finally found something constructive he could pour himself into. But that wasn't the only reason she was so proud, large anonymous donations to battered women's shelters were popping up all over the place. He would deny it if she ever asked but she already knew...her husband had a very large heart.
They had gotten married in a small ceremony on the beach almost four months to the day that she had gotten out of the hospital. It was a simple, private affair with only their family and close friends attending. Even Eva, who was now a profiler for the Bureau, had made the trip. Wallace reluctantly was her 'man of honor,' but drew the line at wearing a dress, which was of course fine by her. She had a sneaking suspicion that he wasn't quite so reluctant as he pretended to be, but she played into his charade anyway.
Surprisingly Duncan was Logan's best man. He had told her of Duncan's confession right before she woke up and at first she was a little wary but all had been well. Duncan had seemed sincere and she had been happy that Logan was happy. It was just one more step in repairing the damaged relationships that had seemed irreparable so long ago.
And as for her, everything had been perfect, one of the best days of her life. Dressed in a simple yet elegant strapless white silk gown, she had walked down the makeshift isle escorted by the one man who had never left her to the next man who promised the same. It had been hard to hold back the tears as both her father's and Logan's eyes welled up, their happiness on display for all to see. And as they had shared the vows they had written themselves, Veronica had known that this was the way things were always meant to be.
When Logan got home that evening he told Veronica to pack her bags, they were going on a long weekend trip for their anniversary. She had used every trick in her fully loaded arsenal to try and get the destination out of him but to no avail. He just kept insisting that she would find out soon enough. After huffing and pouting like a three year old, Logan finally got her to give in and go pack. They arrived at the airport a short time later and after passing security quickly, thanks to one tiny blond FBI agent, they checked in at the gate.
And that's when Veronica looked up behind the desk at their destination. She looked at Logan like she very well thought he was crazy. Her nose scrunched up and the disbelief was evident in her voice.
He laughed at her indignation as he pulled her in, placing a kiss on her forehead.
"Logan... tell me again why we are driving around in the middle of Tennessee."
"I told you sugarpuss, it's a surprise," he said as he leaned over and tapped her on the nose. "Now I know you have a hard time not knowing everything that is happening all the time, but would you just sit back and relax and let me surprise you for once?"
Relax? How could she relax? Every single bump was reeking havoc on her insides, not to mention stirring up the queasiness she had been experiencing on the plane. She'd had to visit the plane's facilities more than once and she was quite sure that Logan would notice if she chose the middle of nowhere to repeat the effort. After all, flight sickness could only go so far.
"We're almost there anyway so try keeping your panties from getting in a twist."
"Well if they did, I'm sure you wouldn't have any qualms about getting them out of one, would you Mr. Echolls?"
"Touche, Mrs. Echolls."
Veronica leaned her head against the passenger side window and watched the scenic countryside go by. Anything to keep her mind off of her tumbling stomach. The grass was a splendid shade of deep green, smothering gently rolling hills with their thick blades. Groves of trees seemed to be evenly dispersed amongst open farmland and every so often they would pass a pick up truck cruising along the rural road they were on. You could sense the calm and laid-backness of it all and Veronica found herself reveling in being so far removed from their hectic life in California.
"A-ha! We're here!"
Veronica shifted her gaze to the front windshield and took in the beautiful grey stone wall coming into view. It was only about three foot high, each stone looking as if it were placed carefully by hand, but it reached for as far as she could see. Someone or many someones had spent a lot of time erecting such a grand structure.
"That wall was one of the only things on this plantation to survive the civil war," Logan stated as if he were reading her mind.
Since when was Logan up on his American History?
They turned onto a gravel drive and approached a large black, wrought iron gate perched in the middle of the seemingly endless rock wall. It was obvious that it was quite a bit more modern than the stones which held it in place, but it was well crafted and elegant, fitting in perfectly with its surroundings. Logan reached over, grazing his arm against her leg, and reached into his bag on the floor, pulling a small black metal box out. He pointed it at the gate and it opened up, dividing into to separate and equal gates allowing them entrance.
"Huh. Glad to know technology is alive, even way down here... and why is it that you have a remote control to the gate, anyway?"
"Patience o' loved one... patience."
Veronica rolled her eyes, not like being placated one bit. She wanted to know what was going on and she was quickly losing her patience despite the boyish giddiness that Logan seemed to possess all of a sudden.
They continued up the long drive lined with stately oaks before arriving at one of the most beautiful homes Veronica had ever seen. The dark red brick of the two story mansion created a splendid contrast against the clear southern blue sky and she gasped slightly, awed by the simple beauty of the house and its surroundings. Four large, round, white columns stood across the front, framing both the first and second story verandas. A banister wrapped around the second story porch while quintessential rocking chairs adorned the lower one. Several wide plank stairs gently invited family and visitors alike. She couldn't help but think it looked just like something from a storybook.
"This house survived, too, only not by much. The east wing was set on fire and the whole house nearly went with it. And I have it on good authority that there is still a cannonball stuck in the brick on the north side."
Veronica couldn't help but think this house had been through as much as her and Logan had. And then it hit her. The secrecy, his apparent knowledge of the place, the controller for the gate... this place was theirs. She tore her gaze off the brilliant architecture and looked at her husband in disbelief.
"So... do you like it?"
"I just thought it be nice to have a place where we could get away from it all, ya know?"
Yes. She did know.
"And I thought it might do us some good to be reminded that some things are made even more beautiful because of their history and battle scars."
As Veronica looked at him, she couldn't quite remember if she'd ever loved him more. This... he'd done all this for her... for them. And she was quite sure her heart couldn't be more full than at this moment.
He leaned over the console and kissed her, spelling out his unspoken promises in ways words never could.
Breathless, they both pulled away.
"How did you find this place anyhow?"
"I've been looking for a vacation place for us for a while now and when the realtor told me that it had once been won and lost in a poker game, I knew it was the one."
Veronica playfully punched him on the shoulder.
"You'll never grow up, will you Echolls?"
"You know what they say... you can take the boy out of the bad but you can never take the bad out of the boy," he said, wiggling his eyebrows at her.
She just glared.
"Awwwhhhh, don't worry, baby, you don't have to feel left out. I made sure there was food nearby. Best meat and three, that's what they call a restaurant around these parts, anyway, best meat and three in the whole state just down the road. I called ahead to make sure they made enough today."
That earned him another punch. And then a laugh.
"Come on... there is something else I want to show you."
They got out of the car and Logan came around to grab her by the hand, pulling her towards a path that made it's way around the back of the house. Once they rounded the house she could see a wooden fence, one definitely more modern than the rock wall encompassing the property. Behind the fence was a very large stable which another path led straight to and then around.
"This way. Close your eyes, Veronica."
Veronica did as she was told and reached out for his hand. Logan led her around to the back of the stable and leaned up against the fence.
"Now you can open them."
She opened her eyes and took in the sight before her. The most beautiful horses she'd ever seen stood scattered in a small pasture.
"A pony!! You bought me a pony?!"
Logan laughed at the little girl excitedness that oozed from Veronica.
"No. I bought you seven of the finest thoroughbreds this side of the Mississippi," he affected in a southern drawl, finishing dramatically with air quotes.
They stood, facing out at the rolling hills that served as the backdrop for their serene moment. A tear slipped down Veronica's cheek as she wondered idly if she ever thought life could be this happy.
He looked at her and smiled, loving the happiness that was clearly showing through.
"Veronica, I just want to give you everything you've ever dreamed of having."
She turned to meet his gaze which was heavily doused with content but still with a hint of longing,
"You already have, Logan... you already have,"
Logan took in her soft and reflective tone and followed the path of her hand as it gently brushed along her stomach until it rested on her lower abdomen. He stared at the splay of her fingers as it seemingly protected something inside her. Looking up, catching the adoration in her eyes and the glow coming from her face he came to a realization all his own. He couldn't believe he had missed it before.
One beat, then two, and Logan dropped to his knees in front of the one woman who made him want to be a better man, grabbing her hips and pulling her to him. He slide his hands around to her lower back and began to kiss the place where her hand had rested just moments before. Tears began to slide down his face and Veronica could feel the wetness through her shirt.
"Oh, Veronica... I love you so much. I promise you... you and this baby will be everything to me. I promise I'll never be like him... I promise."
That was too much for Veronica to take.
She dropped to her knees, too and grabbed him tighter than she would have ever thought her tiny hands could. The things that he left unsaid were burning a whole through her heart. She would never let him think those things. Her mouth went directly to his ear and spoke determinedly. The fears of boys becoming their fathers and of girls becoming their mothers had loomed over them for way to long.
"Logan, you will never be like him. Never. If I thought for one second you even had an ounce of that terrible man in you, I could never love you like I do... And I do... love you... more than yesterday and I'll love you even more tomorrow. Were in this together, remember."
He pulled back to look at her and became even more emotional recognizing the love and determination in her eyes. His Veronica was convinced that he was a good man and that he would be a good father and to him, that was the only healing he'd ever need.
Logan got to his feet and reached out his hand for Veronica's, pulling her up with him. He kept his left hand intertwined with her right while his other reached for her, his thumb grazing her cheek, the other fingers bracing the back of her head. Their mouths met in record time, kissing like only Logan and Veronica can. All searing heat, immense passion, intense yearning, each evidencing their epic love.
She would like to think that Logan was being prophetic when he told her they were epic. Truth was, she was sure he didn't know what it meant even more than she did. He certainly didn't know that just a short few weeks later he would take it to a whole new level, solidifying his position as the hero of their story on the rooftop of the Neptune Grand.
But at the time it probably made sense... love, faced with obstacles that could either tear it down or make it infinitely stronger. Maybe for them it was both. In spite of everything they had went through before, though, it could not prepare them for those things that had been still to come. And yet here they stood, hand in hand, hero embracing his heroine, ready to face anything else life wanted to throw their way, together.
And then that's when it hit her... maybe that's what being epic truly meant... finding your one true love, knowing that you need them and love them with every fiber of your being, realizing that no matter how many lives were ruined, continents were crossed, years have past, that the one person you discover you cannot live without is waiting for you at the end of it all. And that indeed, was a realization of a lifetime.
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