Author's Notes: Four short moments in my idea of the post-series finale time-line.
Veronica is surprised but grateful for the unlikely friendship Mac and Logan strike up while she's away at the FBI internship. It means that without having to ask, she gets regular updates about his activities: the ridiculous websites he and Mac are creating, the summer classes he signs up for and to her horror, his vicious beating at the hands of Gory's thugs and subsequent recovery.
She suspects but never confirms that the information exchange goes both ways. That Logan hears about her internship – amazing but just as much coffee-fetching as she imagined – and her breakup with Piz – amicable and surprisingly not initiated by her.
But despite the tidbits Mac feeds her, she never ever expects to answer a knock at her summer dorm room door to find Logan on the other side. But on the morning of her 20th birthday, that's exactly what happens.
Hearing a knock, she opens the door and her jaw drops in surprise. He stands there in a worn t-shirt, hair bleached by the summer sun, backpack slung over his shoulder, looking ever bit as handsome and droolworthy as she remembers. It's really unfair for someone to look that sinfully good.
He holds out a red helium balloon and says "Happy Birthday, Veronica" with that little smirk that both infuriates her and makes her heart flutter. And that's all it takes.
She doesn't think or speak, just twists her hands in his t-shirt and pulls his mouth down to hers. His hands go to her waist and the balloon drifts up to the ceiling unnoticed. She tugs him inside and kicks the door closed.
It's been so long since she's kissed him and the fire that's always existed between them flares up hot at the contact. Her mouth is demanding and he responds with equal fervor, slipping his hands under her t-shirt. She moans at the heat of his fingers on her skin and welcomes the fever rushing through her blood, pushing up on her toes to get closer to him. When he guides her back onto the tiny twin bed, she doesn't fight it, just fumbles with the button on his jeans.
Later, they lie in bed, their hands entwined on her stomach and the fire between them has settled into a warmth that suffuses her whole body. He places little fluttering kisses on her bare shoulders and she smiles.
"I've missed you." There's so much more she needs to say, things they need to sort out. But for now this is enough.
Sophomore year, they fight like cats and dogs, screaming so loud that more than once Neptune Grand security is called. But it's communication and for once, they try to work through their issues instead of running from each other. Junior year is a little calmer although they still break up twice. But they only manage to stay apart for hours instead of weeks.
When the third annual Mars/Fennel Christmas celebration rolls around senior year, they haven't had a big blow up for months.
As they wait for dinner, Darryl is kicking Logan's ass at MarioKart as the older Fennel boy talks smack behind them. Finally, Logan gives up, tossing his controller to Wallace, and goes off to find his girlfriend. He passes Alicia and Keith in the kitchen, joking with each other. They got back together the summer Veronica was in Virginia, Wallace was in Africa, and Darryl was at summer camp.
He finds Veronica in the dining room, dancing around to Ella Wishes You A Swinging Christmas as she sets the table and wearing a ridiculous elf hat.
"Our cheeks are nice and rosy and comfy cozy are we / We're snuggled up together like two birds of a feather would be," she sings as he saunters towards her and steals a kiss. "So you finally figured out you should be helping us get dinner ready instead of playing video games, huh?"
"Nope. I'm a man, baby. We do electronics. You chicks are the ones who belong in the kitchen." She sticks her tongue out playfully and continues putting out the silverware.
"Dinner's ready!" Alicia announces, bustling in with the potatoes. "Veronica, can you go collect my sons? Logan, sweetie, can you get the wine?" She hurries back to the kitchen and Veronica makes a move to follow her until she notices that Logan seems to be frozen in place.
The endearment slipping from Alicia's lips so easily had startled him and suddenly he finds himself realizing exactly what his life is. His life is Veronica, who loves him, the Fennels who like him, and Keith, who doesn't hate him so much anymore. He's been welcomed into their family like it's completely natural for him to be there. It's been so long since he let himself think about having family in his life, that the realization shocks him.
It makes him think about the future in a way he hasn't allowed himself to do since….he doesn't even know when. It's not just what classes he'll take next semester or where his next surf trip to be. It's not even just what'll he'll do next year – business school in D.C. while Veronica's at Quantico.
No, for the first time in years, he's thinking long term because he can see himself coming back to this house, these people, for Christmas dinner for the next 10 or 20 years. The thought terrifies him, but at the same time creates a little pit of warmth in his stomach.
"Logan? Are you okay?" Veronica's sweet voice breaks into his thoughts and he shakes his head clear, then smiles at her.
"Yeah, I'm good."
He gets the wine as Keith carves the turkey and they all sit down to dinner. It's nothing like the fantasy Christmases his mother used to create with twinkling lights and fake snow. It's small and homey and infinitely better.
"So I guess I'm not your best girl anymore?" Veronica pouts to Wallace as they shuffle around the dance floor.
"I think Kelly would have a little problem with that," he replies, glancing over at his new wife in her white dress. "But you know you'll always be my BFF."
"Duh," she jokes, "that's cuz the second F is for FOREVER." Then, she speaks more sincerely, "I'm really happy for you Wallace." She hugs him so hard that he grunts a little, but hugs her back just as tightly.
"Such a marshmallow," he teases. The song they are dancing to ends and Wallace goes back to his wife while Veronica makes her way over to Logan. His tall frame is sprawled casually in his chair, his tux jacket cast aside and tie loose, and he looks hotter than she thinks should be legal. Not only that, but he looks a hell of a lot more comfortable than she feels in her light blue bridesmaid's dress. Punishing him for his higher comfort level, she drags him out onto the dance floor.
When the music shifts to a slower song, he pulls her in closer and she ducks her head into place beneath his chin.
"So," he whispers into her hair, "what do you think about you and me and the whole marriage thing?"
Her head snaps up and her ice blue eyes go wide. Logan almost wants to laugh at the way her jaw works up and down without making a sound as she searches desperately for something to say. But he wasn't joking so he keeps quiet.
"Logan, is that a proposal?" she finally manages to choke out.
"No," he replies, watching her expression visibly relax, "I was just wondering what your thoughts were." She takes a moment to collect those thoughts before answering.
"We're both just beginning our careers. And things are good the way they are. Why change things?"
"But I love you," she admits, words that have become easier for her to say over time, "and marriage is what people in love do, right?" The question is unsure; they've both seen too much to have such romantic notions of marriage, but when things are going well they are hopeful that they can be different.
"Wallace seems happy," Logan changes the topic, not sure how to answer her question when he has the same doubts.
"He does." Veronica beams at her best friend from across the room. Her head finds his shoulder again and thinks that the conversation is dropped. Until she hears a whispered "Trust me, when I propose you'll know."
The thing that makes her throat catch is the "when" not "if" and the fact that she knows, despite everything, she'll say yes.
They buy a small house in Malibu, close to the beach so Logan can surf, a short commute to their respective offices in L.A., and close enough to Neptune so that they can see Keith and Alicia often.
Logan suggests that they get a part time housekeeper. They both work hard and they have more than enough money, but Veronica tells him a little cleaning never hurt anyone. In fact, she finds it soothing after a long day of chasing bad guys.
As she runs a dust rag over the mantel, she looks at the pictures featured there. Happy times from a life that had more than it's fair share of heartache.
Nestled between one of her, Wallace and their parents at graduation and her and Logan's wedding photo is one of her favorite photos though she supposes it's a little odd to have it there. Logan's arms around another girl, her in another boy's embrace – pictures of exes are not the kind of thing you usually find on a display in a newlyweds' home.
But she and Logan have never been a usual couple and it feels right to have their homecoming picture displayed in their living room. Duncan and Lilly are people they both love, a huge part of the past that brought them together, and won't be erased from their hearts.
She stares at her own face in the photo – a happy-go-lucky California girl in a pastel pink dress, smiling for the camera. She remembers years ago, looking at this same picture after Lilly's death and wondering if she would ever be that happy again. Then, she hears Logan's key in the lock and his cheerful "hi honey, I'm home" and she doesn't have to wonder anymore.
Comments are love.