Chance of a Lifetime

Logan Echolls sat in the school university center twirling a soggy fry in a pool of ketchup. It was his last day as a freshman at Hearst College. He had taken his last final of the semester and the promise of lazy days of summer loomed before him. Yet, he couldn't seem to be excited about it.

His surfing trip with Dick was in the tank thanks to Big Dick's crisis of conscience. And he didn't have a girlfriend to hang out with this summer. Parker had bounced him when she finally woke up and realized where his heart truly lay where his heart would always lie. Too bad his heart was in the hands of a heartless jailor with a new boyfriend whose named rhymed with Pez. Piz, what a stupid name, Logan thought.

He started to collect his things and pick up his tray when he felt someone looming over his shoulder. Lurking really.

"This seat taken," a familiar voice asked. It was Veronica. Always Veronica.

Was it time for the rollercoaster ride again? It seemed they were always on the popular carnival ride. Enjoying the highs, climbing and climbing and then feeling that nauseating wave wash over them when they plummeted back to Earth, it was never ending. He was sure they were at the base of a hill again. Question was could he stand to take the plunge one more time?

"Sure, have a seat," Logan told her. He hooked his foot around the leg of a chair at the table and drug it back.

Veronica placed her tray on the table and sat down. She looked down at her lunch options she had purchased, a salad in a clear plastic container and a bottle of water. She fidgeted with the salad container and finally opened it.

Logan sat and watched her. Sure he should say something but he was afraid. Veronica never sought him out unless she had an ulterior motive. It truly was a sad testament for their relationship. From friendship, to adversaries, to lovers there was always a reason.

He had to say something. He hated the silence. "So, are you happy school is ending?" There, Logan thought that was a safe question.

"Yeah," Veronica replied busily enthralled with salad, yet she hadn't taken a bite of it yet.

Veronica hadn't really talked to Logan since he had done a number on Piz, Veronica's so-called boyfriend. Logan had beat Piz up when he thought Piz had filmed them having sex. Or almost sex, as Veronica told Logan; she and Piz got close but hadn't done the deed.

It was then Veronica had said they were over. She would have nothing to do with him. It was just after Parker had broken up with him so Logan hadn't had a good day that day.

But Veronica was always like a weather vane on windy day, twirling one way and then turning the other way. A few days later, in this same UC cafeteria, Veronica had said it would just take some time. So, she really wasn't throwing him away.

When Logan, for the second time in a week, pummeled another guy in Veronica's name, he didn't miss the slight smile she gave him as the walked away from her. Leaving the guy he had beat to a bloody pulp groaning at her feet. He figured he also earned a few points when he went over and apologized to Piz for beating him up.

So, what brought Miss Mars to his table today? And she was eerily quiet which unnerved him. Veronica Mars always had something to say.

"I am just wondering something," Logan said. He had to jump start whatever this was.

"What," Veronica finally looked up at him.

"When will it be Piz time?" Logan pushed back his long-sleeved shirt to reveal his bare wrist. "Cause aren't I suppose to leave when Piz comes around. I guess I have to be ready for it."

"Don't worry about it," Veronica said. She slammed the lid on her salad and targeted him with her piercing blue eyes. "We broke up."

Logan wanted to jump for joy but he was sure Veronica wouldn't appreciate it. Especially since she seemed so devastated, which kind of hurt. He didn't see her shed a tear when they broke up.

"Sorry to hear that," Logan feigned.

"No you aren't," Veronica said placing her forearms on the table. "Be honest."

"Honestly," Logan leaned close to her. "I am jumping for joy inside." He smiled slightly. "That guy was never for you. He could never keep up with you."

"And let me guess," Veronica said. She scooted her chair closer to him, her thigh touching his under the table. "You can."

"Well, no one can keep up with Veronica Mars, but I have been in training for a while." Logan stood up and held up his arms flexing his muscles. "Note the definition."

"Very funny," Veronica said. She waved her hand for him to sit back down.

"So, you really are bummed he broke up with you?" Logan asked.

"I broke up with him," Veronica admitted.

"Ahh, there is my bobcat," Logan said. "Tearing up hearts wherever she goes."

Veronica just shook her head. She also narrowed her eyes. Oops, Logan had gone too far.

She scooted back her chair and lifted her tray from the table. "I have to go."

"Wait," Logan grabbed her wrist. "You sat here for a reason, what was it?"

Veronica took in a deep breath and sat back down. She ran her finger along the edge of the tray. "I have the chance of a lifetime this summer," Veronica began. "Did you know I got the internship at the FBI?"

"No," Logan's eyes lit up. "That is great, I am so proud of you."

Now that was the reaction Veronica expected from her boyfriend. Elation for what she wanted. Not the sad puppy dog eyes, what am I going to do without you this summer look.

Veronica shook her head and raised her arms, letting them fall back down on the table with a resounding thud.

"What?" Logan turned his head slightly. Reading Veronica was full-time job and he was really earning his money today.

"See, that is what I wanted?"

"Veronica, I'm not following you."

"I wanted Piz to be happy for me," Veronica admitted. "Sure I would be spending the summer in Virginia, but it is only three months. And I have heard modern technology makes you feel you are almost right there with a person. Phone, texting, webcams, it is a great time to be alive. Interning at the FBI is a once in a lifetime chance."

"Agreed," it was all Logan said.

"But Piz acted like I should just forget the FBI and stay here with him." Veronica shook her head.

"Damn him." Logan tried to hide his pleasure.

"And then there's you." Veronica admitted. "Piz saw the look on my face after you beat up Gori."

"And what look was that?" Logan asked but he knew already.

"You know the look, don't make me say it."

"No, I think I need to hear it." Logan prodded. "Let me hear it."

"That I was kind of impressed," Veronica said. "The look that I still care about you."

"And do you, care about me," Logan asked. He took her fingers in his.

"Yes," the word came out so softly he could barely hear her.

"I am sorry, what did you say?" Logan had to hear it again.

"I said, I care about you," Veronica said. She gripped his hand. "You are this total fuck-up. The kind of guy my dad warns me about – the bad boy I try to redeem."

"Gee, thanks for the kind words," Logan quipped. "Don't stop with the compliments, you'll make me blush."

"What I am trying to say," Veronica let out a long frustrated sigh. "Is that in the last two years you have always been there for me, no matter what. You have screwed up, but so have I."

Logan just shook his head yes.

"But the bottom line is I don't think anyone else is good for us, but us," Veronica bit her lip. "We aren't nice people but I think sometimes we can be nice to each other."

"Wow," Logan let go of Veronica's hand. "I feel like I should be preparing my speech for the humanitarian award."

Logan was upset, no he was mad. Veronica basically said she couldn't make it work with a nice guy, so she was settling for him because he was easy. Logan got up from his chair and picked up his tray.

"If that was your attempt at getting back together, then I have to say no thank you," Logan told her as he backed away. "I love you, Veronica. I probably always will but I can't be the only one in the relationship who does. God, I sound like such a girl."

Logan turned from her and walked away. He could hear her calling his name but he kept walking away.

Oh, how the worm had turned. It was only a few short months ago that Veronica was avoiding Logan's phone calls. Now, he was doing the same. Logan starred at his phone seeing Veronica's name and number come up. He waited until the ringing stopped and it went to voice mail. Logan dropped the phone in the cup holder of his Land Rover and jumped out.

Logan stared out at the waves. The ocean was always so beautiful in the morning. He zipped up his wetsuit and went to the back of his vehicle to get his board. Surfing always seemed to help him clear his head, and he sure needed it today.

Veronica hit the end button on her cell phone. It was the third time this morning she had tried to call Logan. She left at 4 p.m. today for Virginia. Veronica longed to talk to Logan before she left but wasn't sure if she would get her wish.

"So," Keith Mars began the conversation as he rubbed his hands together. "You ready to take on the FBI?" He smiled at his only daughter with the pride only a father can produce.

"The question is," Veronica said as she went to the counter and picked up the plastic container full of Lucky Charms cereal. "Are they ready for me?"

"I don't think the world will ever be ready for you, Veronica," Keith said. "But they better make room."

"Is that another comment about how much I am packing?" Veronica poured the sugary cereal in a bowl. "Because I have you know everything in those two bags are everything I will need."

Two large black bags sat by the door. They looked to be overflowing and the zippers were bulging from the strain.

"Just don't complain when you have to pay extra for them," Keith informed her. He began to laugh.

"Ahh," Veronica acted shocked. "Do you mean my own father wouldn't foot the bill for me?"

"I have been waiting and waiting NOT to fit the bill for you," Keith picked up the paper on the counter. "When is it you are moving out for good?"

"Very funny." Veronica carried her cereal to the counter and sat next to her father. She looked at the article he was reading and it made her insides crawl.

Sherriff Vincent Van Lowe. Oh, it sounded so wrong, like they were living in a parallel universe. How could Keith Mars, the most capable man to be sheriff of Neptune in a 100 mile radius have lost the election to the seedy and shady Vinny Van Lowe?

Oh, wait. Veronica knew how. Her father never brought it up. Never blamed her for what her actions had cost him. He just loved her unconditionally. But Veronica knew that he had erased the hard drive that held the image of her sneaking into the Kane house. The suspicion had fallen hard on him and in the end the people spoke. Keith Mars was yet again booted out as Neptune's Sheriff and yet again an inept buffoon took his place.

Why did she do it? Continually hurt the people she loved. Especially the men she loved. As her father sat and read his paper and she slowly chewed her cereal, her mind drifted back to her conversation yesterday with Logan.

"Why can't I tell Logan I love him," Veronica mused to herself. Maybe it was because all the people she loved left her. Well, except her father. He was the unknown variable in her hypothesis.

Lilly, her mother, Duncan, they all left. Even Wallace left her not once but twice. First he went to Chicago to live with his dad, now he is in Africa. Of course, Wallace was just gone for the summer and will be back, but he still left.

Or maybe it is a trust issue. That is a given. How could Veronica be expected to trust anyone after all she has seen and all that has been done to her? First she believed she was wrapped, then she found out she had been with Duncan that night at Shelly Pomroy's party. But wait, if that is true, then it was possible she slept with her half brothe, which means, if the possibility is there, her own mother cheated on her father. Then she finds out Duncan isn't her brother, but wait he has a secret too. He fathered a child and now has run off with the baby. And she couldn't forget the moment she learned she truly had been raped by none other then Beaver Casablancas. And she got a case of the clap to boot.

Oh, and Logan. He was a list of his own. Her best friend's boyfriend, one of the fab foursome, they used to do everything together. Herself, Lilly, Duncan and Logan until Lily died. Then Logan became the jackass everyone loved to hate. And she hated him with a passion. Veronica took every opportunity to set him up and watch him fall – like the time she placed the bong in his locker and leaked the information to Vice Principal Clemmons.

When did it change? When did loathing turn to something else? Veronica believed it changed for her when Logan asked her to find his mother, whom he believed wasn't dead. When it turned out it wasn't Logan's mom using her credit card, but his dead-beat sister, he cried in her arms. And her heart softened toward him.

That day on the balcony of the run-down motel, after her run-in with the DEA agent, Veronica had meant to kiss him on the cheek for coming to her aid. His head turned one way, hers another and their lips met. It was a charge of electricity like she had never felt, not even with Duncan. And when he pulled her back to him, as she attempted to walk away, and devoured her lips with his, she was sent over the edge, sent into an abyss with no way out.

Her life became a whirlwind after that. Being with Logan was intoxicating because when you were with Logan all he can see is you. Logan, when he is with you, is loyal to a fault. How many times had she betrayed that loyalty?

It was just that Veronica could never get past Logan's latent flaws, though if she admitted it, there were some flaws that could be found in her self as well.

She had forgiven him so many times, but he had forgiven her in kind. But it was Madison she had a hard time getting over. Over Christmas break, Logan had slept with Madison Sinclair, the girl that had given her the drink laced with the date rape drug and whom she partially blamed for her rape.

It wasn't fair, if she thought about it. She and Logan had broken up, again. It was like the Friends episode with Ross and Rachel. They were on a break. But it wasn't some random girl – it was Madison. It was Madison.

But here was the truth. If she continued to deny how she truly felt about Logan, who would win in the end? It was Madison.

She had to talk to Logan but time was her enemy. After cleaning up the breakfast dishes and putting last minute items in her bulging suit case, Veronica looked at the clock. It was almost 11 a.m. She had to leave for the airport soon.

She picked up her cell phone and dialed Logan's number for the fourth time of the day. Damn, it was his voice mail again. He was avoiding her. Gee Veronica, see that is how that feels.

There was just one thing to do. Rely on that modern technology she said she loved so much. She would email him. Impersonal she knew, but it was quick and easy and maybe just maybe he would read it and understand where she was coming from and where she wanted THEM to go.

So, she went into her room and opened up her laptop to write the heartfelt email to Logan.

Logan,

I am leaving today. I have tried to call you a few times but have just gotten your voice mail, so I guess I will have to tell you this in an email.

Yesterday in the university center I wanted to talk to you. I needed to talk to you. When I found out about my FBI internship I was supposed to be so excited the first people I should have wanted to tell was my dad, of course, and my boyfriend, Piz. But it was you and my dad I wanted to tell – to make it real.

We have hurt each other so much. You once told me our love was epic. I told you it shouldn't be this hard and you said they didn't write songs about the easy ones. I guess you were right.

Because as I saw you go an apologize to Piz that day all I could think about was that I wanted you to come back and stand beside me after you did it.

I remember I told you once that you knew who I was, when you put that body guard on me. But maybe you should ask the same of me.

Through our on and off relationship you have never been unfaithful to me when we were together. Logan, I know you love me. I know you wish I would tell you the same. But I am afraid if I tell you I love you then you will leave me. Everyone I love leaves me.

Even during our rocky times you have always been there for me. I know that now.

It was hard for me to accept that you slept with Madison. I kept thinking that if you loved me you wouldn't do that. But then, I realized that I could either continue to let that one fact drive me, or I could get over it and find the happiness that has been eluding me for months.

So, I am asking if you will be there for me one more time. That you will wait for me to come back so we can sort this out. I was wondering if you would let me tell you I love you in person.

Have a great summer Logan and I hope to hear from you soon.

Love,

Veronica

Veronica read through the email. It said everything she was feeling. She just hoped that Logan knew it came from the heart. She maneuvered the mouse, positioned it over the send button and pushed the button. Well, it was out there now. No taking it back.

Rubbing her hands across her face, Veronica breathed a sigh of relief and shut the lid of her laptop. She packed it in the new computer bag her dad bought her and left her room. She wouldn't see it for three whole months and hoped when she returned the room held more promise for a future then it did when she left.

It was past 6 p.m. when Logan entered the Neptune Grande penthouse he called home. Well, it wouldn't be home for much longer. It was one of the things he had wanted to tell Veronica, before she pissed him off.

Resident bad boy, Logan Echolls, was growing up. He had purchased a house, in the 09er zip code of course, and would be moving into his new place in a week. He hoped he could tell her and she could see that majority agreed with him. So much for his grand plans.

He quickly showered and changed into a comfortable pair of jeans and a t-shirt. After putting on a pair of socks, Logan padded across the suite to the phone. He placed his dinner order and settled in front of the flat-screen TV on the couch.

His laptop sat beside him and he picked it up. He started to boot it up but thought better of it. He didn't feel like dealing with any of it today. And truth be told he was nervous about the grade he got in his sociology class, so Logan tossed the laptop back on the couch and turned his attention back to the TV.