Spoiler Note: If you haven't seen all three seasons, this could spoil some stuff.
A/N: I own nothing. Well, maybe a couple characters were of my creation, but the important stuff all belongs to Rob T. Oh, and there are some other real life brands in here. I don't own those either.
A/N 2: If you're worried I'm not working on Escaping Neptune, please don't. It's still on, but this kept getting in my creative brain's way, so I figured I'd get it up here so I could be done with it.
"Ma'am?" The gentleman said timidly, approaching the woman as she sat on the railing of the bridge. As he moved closer, he became aware of the fact that she was wringing her hands and crying. Once he was right next to her, he realized she was apologizing over and over to someone. "Ma'am, please. Please talk to me."
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I'm just so God damned angry at you!" She repeated as her mantra.
"What's your name?" The man attempted. He looked back to see her car door had been left open and he could hear melancholy music blaring from her speakers. He noted her engine was still running. A quick glance told him both of their cars were as out of the way of traffic as possible. He figured a line of honking cars might frighten the small cowering woman.
"I'm John." He said, trying another line of thoughts. "It's been a really long time since I stopped to appreciate how beautiful the view is from here." He noticed she had stopped speaking and started looking out at the ocean and the San Diego skyline. "I drive this bridge twice everyday. I work at an ice cream parlor at the Hotel Del Coronado. You should come by sometime. I'll give you a free scoop."
The woman turned to look at him with wide, curious eyes. It was then that he saw how young she looked.
"We have amazing waffle cones." He continued. "And if you don't tell anyone, I'll make you a Johnny-Go-Lucky. It's a secret recipe of mine. Best ice cream cone you'll ever have." He stated proudly.
"What kind of ice cream is it?" She asked, her voice hoarse from the crying.
"Vanilla, but I add peaches and some other secret ingredients." He said with a smile. "So, do you live in San Diego or Coronado?"
"I live in Neptune, actually."
"Ah, Neptune! They have a good ice cream shop there. Amy's. Not as good as Moo Time, that's where I work, but it's good."
"I used to go to Amy's a lot with my…family." She hesitated on what last word to use.
"It's just me these days." He said quickly as he saw her eyes sadden again. "My wife, Lucy, passed away about two years ago. She went about six months after our son. He was only twenty seven when he committed suicide. The doctors say my wife died of pneumonia, but I know better. She was healthy as an ox until Robby died. Lucy died of a broken heart." The woman turned back to the ocean sadly. "Who's going to suffer because of this?" He suddenly asked in a new bitter tone.
"There's obviously someone out there who loves you, or you wouldn't be up here apologizing." He stated simply. "Let me tell you, your apology won't mean anything to them. They'll suffer every day until they die. First they'll deny it. Shock does that to a person. Makes you think, 'No way. Not my boy. Not that beautiful baby I held in my arms. Not that gorgeous girl with eyes like the ocean and a smile that lights up the room."
She understood he was talking about her now, but couldn't form a response.
"Then, they'll let the blame wash over them. That's how it is with suicides. You blame yourself for not seeing it. For not talking enough. For talking too much. For not being enough. For failing them. For being the reason."
"What if it's better for them if I'm not in their lives?" She finally responded.
"That's the most self-centered bullshit I've ever heard!" He groaned. "Sorry to use such language, but give me a break, Lady. Who are you to decide what someone else needs? And don't give me that line about you bringing too much darkness into their lives. Because as much as you think you do, you bring twice the happiness to someone. A girl like you is probably everything to someone. Someone who needs you in their lives more than anything else in the world. And the last thing they need is the burden that I get to live with everyday for the rest of my life."
"You have no idea how much pain and suffering I've brought into people's lives. The misery I…" She slid off the railing to stand and face him in frustration. She noted his slight gesture of relief that she was on the safe side of the railing now.
"No matter how much pain, suffering, or misery I felt when my son was depressed and acting out, it's nothing, NOTHING compared to how he chose to end his life rather than love his family. His friends. His girlfriend."
"I do love them."
"And I'm telling you, there's no way in hell that they'll see it your way. That may even be what you wrote in some page-turning note you left on someone's pillow or in their mailbox. But, they will suffer like never before. They'll blame themselves and each other. It will tear them all apart until they have nothing left and are alone. The path you are on is a purely selfish one. It will end your suffering, but it will multiply everyone else's."
Two hours later she lay uncomfortably in a hospital bed while a nurse monitored her. "Your vitals all seem normal." The nurse observed aloud. "A psychiatrist is just outside. He'll be in to evaluate you in a moment. The man who came into the hospital with you left this for you." She handed the woman a card good for a free cone at Moo Time Creamery. The woman let out a half-chuckle, half-sob. "You have some visitors. They'll be allowed in after the doctor is finished with you."
"Okay." Her voice sounded small and unsure.
Forty-five minutes later, the doctor had prescribed a twenty-four hour observation period, and asked her to begin weekly meetings with a psychiatrist.
"I've spoken with your visitors. I asked them to limit your visits to two people tonight. The rest can come tomorrow after you've gotten some rest."
"The rest of them?" She asked in confusion.
"There were about eight people out there the last I saw." He said with a smile. "All of them are very concerned about you and most were rather pushy. I let them argue amongst themselves about who would get to come in tonight."
"Eight people?" She wondered aloud.
"All of which expressed their devotion to you. It seems you aren't quite as alone as you might feel. I'll be back around to see you tomorrow." He smiled and left the room. She suddenly felt nervous and began smoothing her hair, wishing she had a mirror, but thankful she didn't. She didn't really want to see her splotchy, tear-stained face. The first visitor opened the door with trepidation. The minute his stocky frame entered, he rushed to envelop her in a bone-crushing hug and moved himself onto the bed next to her.
"Oh, my sweet baby." He cried into her hair.
"Daddy." She unleashed a new stream of tears into his chest. "I'm sorry I scared you, Daddy. I'm so sorry. I can explain, I swear!"
"No, Baby. Don't. We'll deal with all of that later. Just let me hold you. My little girl. My beautiful little girl." He soothed, kissing the top of her head. "I love you so much."
"I love you too, Daddy."
They spent the next half hour holding each other and he rocked his daughter as she cried, just like he had held her as a baby. Somehow, the thought brought him some comfort.
The next visitor came shortly after her father had left the room. The door slammed open forcefully, this time and the man walked in with what appeared to be a mission.
"I had to threaten everyone out there with violence to get to be the one who came in here. So, you're going to listen to every word I have to say, Veronica Mars." He began loudly.
"No. You don't get to speak until I'm finished." He commanded, firmly. She nodded her acceptance as she took in just how upset he had obviously been. "The doctor told us we aren't supposed to say anything to upset you, but that is a load of bullshit after what you put us through tonight! Of all the asinine, ridiculous situations you've gotten yourself into, this takes the mother-fucking cake! Suicide, Veronica?! Seriously?" His voice was now so loud it bordered on yelling. "I get the call from your dad, and I'm thinking, 'this is the sickest fucking joke ever'. There is no way Veronica Mars, who knows God damn well exactly what I've been through, there is no way she would even consider it. Then, he asks me to go get your car from the fucking Coronado Bridge toll booth station." He gave up the last ounce of control he'd mustered and succumbed to his outrage. She watched him wide-eyed, with tears streaming down her face.
"So, obviously, I realize you want nothing more than to hurt me in the most despicable way I can imagine! How fucking awesome would it be for me to have the two most important women in my life jump off the same fucking bridge?!"
"SIR! You either calm down, or you will be escorted off the property." A nurse stated firmly from the doorway.
"He's fine." Veronica said for him. "Please just leave us alone." She added looking at the nurse stubbornly.
"I won't have someone screaming and stirring up the patients in my ward."
"Either you leave us alone and ignore it, or I'll be the one screaming and you can't get rid of me until the twenty four hours are up!" She barked at the nurse.
"I'm getting your doctor. Then I'll have you sedated." The nurse challenged and stomped off.
"Keep going, Logan. We only have as long as it takes her to find a sedative."
"How can you joke right now?" He asked, his voice broken after his tirade was interrupted.
"I'm not joking. I want you to let it out. You should get it all out. I need for you to get it all out." Her voice was sure and held more force than even she realized. "I know what happened is unforgivable. So, get it all out, tell me you're done with me, and go. Like ripping off the band aid. Just get it over with."
"What?" He asked in utter confusion.
"Be done with me and then next week when I go to my internship, I'll just move to Virginia permanently so you won't have to leave Neptune. I'll be out of your hair and I won't be able to hurt you anymore." She said with conviction. A realization dawned on Logan. He knew this girl inside out and the fact that he'd ever thought she would have done it made him nauseous.
"You were never going to kill yourself." He stated. It wasn't a question for him. "You knew how mad I'd be at your little stunt. You want me to hate you so you can feel justified when you run. The doctor said you've done nothing but apologize. That John guy who found you said the same thing. But, I come in here and you instantly begin antagonizing me. You're trying to goad me into leaving first. Well, it's not going to work, Veronica. I'll follow you to Virginia, if necessary, but I'm not letting you sabotage what little we have left of a relationship. You're my best friend and the only person I truly care about. And, even if what you did today is the lowest thing you have ever done, it doesn't change the fact that I love you and I always will."
The nurse barged back into the room with a syringe and moved to Veronica's bedside. "It's time for you to leave." She said to Logan. "This one's going to take a nap." She gestured toward Veronica.
"Can you use that sedative on a pregnant woman?" Veronica stopped her with a hand. Logan's jaw dropped.
"What? Your chart doesn't say anything about pregnancy."
"No one asked."
"That's something you're supposed to mention automatically." The nurse chastised. "How far along are you?"
"I don't know. The doctor was supposed to tell me that at my appointment tomorrow."
"I have to go check on this." The nurse growled and left.
"You were right about a lot of things you just said, Logan. But you were wrong about something major."
"You're pregnant?! Have you told Piznarski? Because he didn't act like he had any idea."
"You were right." She continued her previous thought. "I wasn't trying to kill myself. I didn't freak out and then go to the bridge to jump. I was driving over the bridge and then I freaked out. But, I wasn't trying to hurt you maliciously, Logan." She began crying again.
"Your boyfriend has no idea you're pregnant and you decide to go hang off a bridge? What were you thinking?"
"I was in the middle of the bridge and I thought about the fact that I don't have a mom to help me through this. So, I got out of my car and went to the side to just, breathe, you know? And to yell at the grandmother of my baby for jumping off the fucking bridge!" She wiped furiously at her tears. He did a double take in confusion. "I freaked out! I don't know what to do, Logan! And then, Lilly's necklace fell on the ledge, so I tried to get it, but it fell into the ocean. So, I sat down and started crying. And then, I couldn't stop crying, and then John came and he was talking about his son committing suicide. It all just snowballed, I swear! But, no one believes me. And if I were them, I wouldn't believe me either. And God Damn It, I can't stop crying!" She brought her knees up to her chest and hugged them tightly. At some point, Logan began crying as well.
"You mean, it's mine?" He cried. "But, how?" We haven't been together in almost four months!"
"I just didn't realize…I was sick all the time, but I just thought it was stress about Mercer and Gory and getting my dad in trouble, and you. I told you you were out of my life forever."
"I didn't believe you, Veronica." He assured. "You always say stuff like that when you're mad."
"Everyone's gonna think I'm crazy. My dad thinks I really was trying to kill myself." She sighed. "Do you really believe me?" Her question came out so small and vulnerable it startled him.
"Yeah." He nodded. "I think what you did was stupid, but I believe you." He wiped at his own tears. "God, Veronica! You could have died!" He finally let himself go over to her and he wrapped his arms around her.
"I'm sorry, Logan. I'm so, so sorry."
"Shh." He whispered. "It's going to be okay. We'll figure it all out."
"Logan?" Keith called from the doorway. "They want us to go so she can get some rest."
"Please don't leave me." She clutched his shirt in her tiny fists. Logan looked over at Keith for sympathy.
"I'm going to stay. At least until she's asleep." Logan stated and Keith nodded in agreement.
"I'm going to send everyone else home. I'll be back in a bit to say good night, Veronica." Keith announced before leaving.
"Sit with me, Logan." She pleaded. He complied and put his arms around her so she could lean on him.
"You should probably tell your boyfriend you're pregnant."
"I don't have a boyfriend." She sighed again. "We broke it off about thirty seconds after the infamous cafeteria incident."
"Oh. I'm sorry if the break up made you sad." He attempted.
"No you aren't. But that's okay."
"Does your dad know about the baby?"
"No. Nobody knows but us. I didn't want to tell anyone before I told you, anyway."
"How long have you known?"
"I first suspected it last week, but I couldn't get to a doctor until yesterday. He called with the results this morning. You don't want me to get rid of it, do you?"
"I think it's too late to consider that option."
"And, if it wasn't too late?"
"I'd support any decision you made. But, I would hope you'd want to keep it, I think."
"I'm really, really sad about losing Lilly's necklace. Does that make me a bad person? That I'm so wrapped up in a piece of jewelry?"
"It was like a little piece of Lilly you could keep with you. Of course you're sad about losing it." He said and she snuggled a little into his chest. "That doesn't mean I'm okay with what you did to try to get it. I'm putting my foot down on this, Veronica. From now on, you are not to put yourself in harm's way! No chasing down murderers or rapists. No pissing off the Russian Mafia. And, absolutely NO situations that even REMOTELY resemble suicide attempts!" He demanded.
"Logan! You know what the doctor said!" Keith argued as he came into the room again.
"Yeah, well, I always had a problem listening to authority figures. Sorry, Mr. Mars."
"Dad? Have you seen my nurse? She's supposed to bring a sedative so I can get some sleep." Veronica hinted.
"I'll go find her, Sweetie."
"Thanks." She attempted a smile before Keith hurried off to find the nurse.
"Trying to get me alone, Mars?" Logan teased.
"We have to start talking about this. I'm supposed to go to Virginia in two weeks for the rest of the summer. Do you want to be a part of the baby's life? It's fine if you don't, but I hope you do. Should I keep living with my dad, or do you think I should move into my own-"
"Veronica, slow down. We have plenty of time to go over all the details once you're out of the hospital. And I plan on having a major role in our baby's life."
"How can you possibly be so calm about this?"
"Compared to what could have happened today, what I thought was happening today? How can I be anything but relieved? You're okay. That's the only thing that matters to me."
"I wouldn't go so far as saying I'm okay. I WAS sitting on a freaking bridge screaming and crying. And I think that was the point I realized just how out of control I let things get."
"This is life we're talking about. You weren't alone in letting things get out of hand. I played a big role in that too. Please don't try putting all that responsibility on yourself."
"I'm scared, Logan. How can I ever be a good mother when I don't-"
"Don't even go there. I win the 'look how bad my parents were' debate hands down." Logan interjected. "And I know you. You'll be making cookies for the kid and you'll teach the kid how to pick locks and how to make a good fake ID. And think of all the great lessons we've learned and can pass on to the next generation!"
"Like, teaching them not to have sex with their friend's parents." He said, snarkily.
"Or step-parents." Veronica added pointedly. Logan sighed.
"Exactly. Or, what about the very popular…Oh, my God. I never made that corollation. You went practically supernova about me and Kendall. But I never even thought it might be partly because of what happened to Lilly."
"Or it was that the guy I was in love with hopped into the sack with a heinous, gold-digging, over-sexed bitch after me. Instantly making me question how I could have ever kept you happy with all of my hang-ups about sex."
"Okay, let's not fight about that right now. But I do have to say, before I move on, you have NOTHING to worry about when it comes to having sex. You're kind of amazing, Veronica. Anyway, we could also teach a kid how to avoid having to flee the country with his kidnapped love child." Logan smirked.
"To never, ever accept a drink at a party unless it's factory sealed."
"To never, ever, ever lie about your alibi. Especially to your girlfriend."
"That some moms don't leave." She added quietly.
"That some dads don't hit." He whispered into her temple. They remained silent for a few minutes, just holding each other as memories washed over them. Suddenly, the door flew open wildly.
"You're pregnant?!" Keith exclaimed. "Why didn't Piz tell me? Why didn't YOU tell me?"
"Maybe I should go." Logan attempted to remove himself from her.
"Not on your life, Echolls." Her hand clamped down on his forearm. "You made this bed; you're going to lay in it."
"I made?" Logan scoffed. "Yeah, I was completely alone in 'making the bed'. No help whatsoever from you." He said, complete with air quotes.
"I'm a young, impressionable girl, what are you trying to say?"
"You are six months older than I am! Don't give me that crap about young and impressionable." He challenged.
"Older, yes, but experience-wise, you…"
"STOP." Keith growled. "Are you saying YOU got my daughter pregnant?" He pointed angrily at Logan.
"Actually, I'm saying I couldn't have acted alone. She holds equal responsibility in this." Logan resorted to his instinctual defense mechanism. He winced when he realized he'd just snarked at the only man on earth who actually scared him.
"What are you planning to do about this?" He asked Logan.
"Right now, I'm only concerned about Ronnie getting out of the hospital. After that, we're going to have a long chat."
"A long chat that ends with?" Keith quizzed.
"With the two of us doing whatever it takes to make sure our child is healthy and happy." Logan declared.
"Dad, give him a break. He's only known for ten minutes. Neither of us has made any decisions yet."
"Veronica, we are under strict orders not to upset you, so I'm trying to be patient here."
"Dad, I'm not fine china. I'm not going to break if you yell. I have been waiting for it, actually. For weeks, if I'm honest."
"Is that why you were on the bridge?" His voice cracked.
"No. But you won't believe the real reason, so let's just let it slide for now."
"My nineteen year old daughter is pregnant and it's not even her boyfriend's baby. Then she attempts suicide, but thankfully fails. I'd like to think I deserve SOME kind of explanation while I'm dealing with all of this."
"Mr. Mars?" Logan asked.
"Veronica is the most determined person I've ever met. She doesn't fail at anything. She perseveres until whatever she sets out to do is done. Don't you think, if she had actually intended to commit suicide, she would have been successful?"
"Did you listen to anything the doctor said to us, Logan?"
"No offense, but I've known that doctor for an hour. I've known Veronica since I was twelve. If I'm going to get information about her, I'm going to her, not some guy who hadn't even met her when he gave us an analysis." Logan smirked. "If she says she didn't, then I believe her."
"She told you she wasn't really trying to kill herself? So what was she doing on the Coronado Bridge? Hanging out for fun?" Keith mocked. "Think about how ridiculous that sounds, Logan."
"I didn't say it was for fun, but yes, she told me it wasn't a suicide attempt and I believe her."
"I'm actually in the room, you know!" Veronica quipped. "Dad, I know it was a really bad decision, but I wasn't there to jump. HONESTLY. I was driving across the bridge to go to Coronado for some surveillance. Well, suddenly everything just hit me all at once. I'm pregnant and Mom is gone and Lynn is dead. There's no mother in my life that can help me with this. That can answer the millions of questions I have. And I just got so angry at them for leaving us. So, I got out of my car and went over to the side to scream or cry or I don't know, just process. But, then Lilly's necklace fell onto the ledge and I went to get it. But I ended up kicking it off when I lost my balance a little. I was crying about it when John showed up, talking about Robby committing suicide and then he brought me here. I don't expect you to believe me, but that's fine. " She looked at him earnestly throughout her explanation.
"That's got to be the stupidest thing you have ever done, Veronica!" Keith chastised. "Going over a rail for a damn necklace? What were you thinking?! NO, don't answer that. You clearly weren't thinking at all."
"You believe me?" She asked in confusion.
"Of course I do."
"But," Logan interrupted. "You didn't believe me when I said it."
"Believe it or not, I have trouble trusting the boy who was charged with two separate murders, who led a ring of bum fights, violently destroyed a lamp in my home, and who got my daughter pregnant. I do, however, know my daughter and she didn't use any of her tells. I'm perfectly capable of seeing through her lies."
"Tells? What tells? I don't give off any tells when I'm lying. I should know, I practiced it for months!" She defended.
"Please. First, you deflect with some outlandish tale to piss me off, usually of the sex-with-strangers variety. Then, you look at my left shoulder while you prepare to give me one of your rehearsed speeches, where you tuck a strand of your hair behind your ear. And then you give me a kiss on the cheek and bounce of in mock happiness."
"He's right. You do all of those things when you lie." Logan agreed, impressed with the assessment.
"Okay. That's enough ganging up on me." Veronica grumbled. "I am in the psych ward after all. You shouldn't be aiming to bruise my ego." She added sweetly for sympathy.
"Whatever!" Logan snorted.
"What about Piz?" Her father suddenly asked.
"What about him?" Veronica questioned.
"Have you mentioned the pregnancy to him? Are you sure it's not his?"
"It's not physically possible. We haven't-" She implied the rest with a hand movement.
"Veronica, I was running for sheriff. Do you think that video of you two wouldn't have made it to my inbox?"
"And, now I'm nauseous again." Veronica groaned and covered her eyes with her hand. "We didn't finish what was started, so to speak."
"He's still your boyfriend. Shouldn't you tell him?"
"We broke up, Dad. Over a week ago."
"So, are you two back together, then?" He motioned to them.
"No." Logan replied a little too quickly. "Not that I don't…"He tried to explain.
"I think we need to work on some stuff before we even consider that option. " She answered for him. "We seem to have some major anger, trust, jealousy, and communication issues to iron out before that happens again."
"Agreed." Logan nodded.
"Should I be planning on a grandson or a granddaughter? And how soon, should I expect them?"
"I don't know yet. My doctor's appointment is scheduled for tomorrow at eleven. I'll have to reschedule, obviously."
"Maybe we could get you out of here early." Logan offered.
"No. I made a deal with the doctor. I stay the full twenty four hours and he doesn't pump me full of anti-depressants. I don't want to become a Zombie like Duncan did. So, what happened to the big, bad nurse? Seems like she's been gone forever."
"I told her not to come back for at least an hour." Keith said.
"I can't believe that worked!" Logan complained.
"He worked the Mars Magic, Logan!"Veronica smiled. Both Keith and Logan sighed in relief. "What?" She questioned.
"What, what?" Keith wondered.
"You both just sighed."
"Oh, uh, I…" Keith stammered.
"You smiled, Veronica." Logan put words to the thoughts. "One of your real smiles. Everything seems right with the world when you give one of those."
Keith blanched at Logan's assessment of the situation. It was in that moment he realized just how much that boy loved his daughter. That Logan Echolls had been so dead on about how her smiles affected people struck a chord with him. He knew there would be a rough road for these two, but somehow, he felt completely at ease, which earlier in the evening had seemed impossible.
"What Logan said." Keith agreed and reached out to hold his little girl's hand. Veronica blushed as she realized both pairs of eyes were fixated on her.
"You two are such girls!" She giggled. Soon all three of them were laughing out their grief, laughing out of relief.
"Dad! Let's get a move on! Hurry up!"
"I'm sorry, Honey. I had to get the battery for the camera so I can be sure to document this excursion properly." He replied, juggling two bags and holding up the camera to take a video of the scene in front of him. "There's my little Angel, the world's most beautiful Granddaughter of all time." He narrated. "Hello my girl." He cooed to the smiling baby, buckled into her car seat carrier, currently sitting on the dining room table. Keith then focused the camera on his daughter. "And her beautiful Mommy."
Veronica rolled her eyes at her father. "Logan's waiting in the car. Can you get her diaper bag? I'm overloaded as it is." She responded. Keith surveyed the overnight bag, the toy bag, the baby swing and a pink gingham suitcase all balanced in Veronica's arms.
"Hey, Angel," He cooed to the baby again. "Your Daddy is a little punk for not helping your Mommy with all of that stuff. Yes , he is!" He elicited a giggle from the infant.
"Ahh, but my Princess knows her Grampsy is just too senile to remember her Mommy wouldn't accept the help he offered." Logan teased as he walked into the kitchen and up to the baby. "Isn't that right, my Baby Girl?" He baby talked and then leaned in to nuzzle her nose and kiss her forehead. "Are you ready for a trip? The whole house is in the back of the Rover, so you won't feel out of place at your Grampsy and Grammy's house. And if your Grampsy starts talking trash about your Daddy, you be sure to keep him up ALL night with the screaming you love waking me up with." He leaned down to kiss her forehead again and whispered softly. "I'm gonna miss you so much, Princess." He stood back up and picked up the car seat. On his way to the garage, he grabbed the swing from Veronica's shoulder.
"I had it, Logan." She protested lightly.
"Uh huh." He agreed, but kept going.
Forty five minutes later, Logan put his right hand on Veronica's left as he began driving them over the Coronado Bridge. She smiled gratefully up at him, then turned back to watch her Dad explaining baseball to the baby girl next to him. Suddenly she felt tears welling up in her eyes and turned to Logan. He looked down at her, knowingly.
"It's your Dad and Alicia." He assured her.
"But, it's too soon."
"We agreed on six months. She's seven months now. Almost eight." He squeezed her hand.
"But, what if she forgets us?"
"We'll only be gone for four days." He sighed. "She won't forget you, Veronica. I promise."
"If you want, I'll take you back to the house. Say the word. But you get to explain it to the grandparents."
"No." She said in defeat. "You're right. She'll be fine."
Once they'd parked at the hotel, Logan cradled his daughter to his shoulder with one hand and entwined the fingers of his other hand with Veronica's. Keith walked next to Logan to entertain the little girl as they headed around to the back of the hotel.
"What are you going to get, Keith?" Logan asked as they approached the door.
"The Sheriffs' Special, of course!" They all smiled in acknowledgement.
"LUCY!" The man behind the counter exclaimed. He rushed around and held his arms out to take the baby from Logan, who willingly released her. "Oh little baby, you are getting so big! Pretty soon your Uncle Johnny won't be able to lift you anymore, Miss Lucy Echolls. And then I'll be so sad and you'll be running around and you'll forget all about me." He rocked back and forth. He then turned to Veronica, who was still holding Logan's hand. "I didn't get to mention it yesterday, but you make a beautiful bride, Veronica."
"Thanks, Johnny." Veronica gushed. Logan planted a kiss on her temple.
"Not that I'm complaining, but how'd I warrant a visit before you leave for the honeymoon?"
"Logan and I figured it'd be easier to get Veronica to leave Lucy if she had ice cream to distract her." Keith teased.
"Hey!" Veronica fussed. "That's temporarily separate from Lucy. There is no leaving, happening." Veronica let go of Logan and stole her daughter back from Johnny. "You hear that, Baby? We'll be back in four days." She assured and snuggled with the bundle in her arms.
"I see what you mean, Keith. " Johnny laughed.
"I'm thinking we're gonna need copious amounts of ice cream." Logan sighed. "And a miracle, if you have any to spare." Logan added, quietly so she wouldn't hear him.
"We'd like a Sheriff's Special and Two Johnny-Go-Luckys." Keith announced.
"Then you should know that a little girl with eyes like the ocean inspired a name change. It is now called a Lucy-Go-Lucky."
Three hours and two bouts of crying later, Veronica and Logan settled into their seats aboard the airplane bound for Hawai'i. In the window seat, Veronica watched the clouds distractedly, when something heavy falling in her lap snapped her back to where she was. She frowned at Logan's amused smirk, then looked down in her lap at a brown paper package.
"What's this?" She inquired.
"Open it and find out." He smiled.
"We agreed no presents. This trip is the present to each other, remember?"
"Baby, just open it." He encouraged.
"Fine." She sighed heavily. He knew better than to think she wasn't excited. Her eyes were sparkling as she examined the paper and her fingers lightly danced around to find the easiest way to open it. She finally removed the wrapping without tearing it and she gasped when she realized what it was. She carefully opened the pink leather book to find that Logan had gone to a lot of effort to find the best pictures of Veronica and Lucy to place in the scrapbook. There were some of him too, and of the grandparents and of their friends, all pictures of their baby girl with the people who love her. On the last page of the book, there were two pictures. The first picture of Logan, Veronica, and Lucy on the day she was born and the other, their most recent family portrait at the wedding. "Logan, this is amazing." She cried softly.
"I just wanted you to be able to see her whenever you need to. Or want to. Or maybe even when I want to. God, it's unbelievable how much I miss her already. " He admitted, as he grabbed her hand.
"This makes my present to you seem totally lame." She stated.
"What happened to no presents? You got me a present, too?" He questioned.
"Yeah, but it's nothing compared to this."
"What is it?"
"You have to wait until we get to the hotel room."
"Packed in the suitcase?"
"No. I'm wearing it." She admitted.
"Wait, what?" He leaned over to her and moved her shirt collar enough to peer down it." He exhaled deeply. "Trust me, it compares." He mumbled into her neck. Then lifted his head enough to kiss her lightly.
"I love you, Logan." She whispered and pulled his lips back to hers more forcefully.
"I love you, Veronica." He replied when they finally pulled out of the kiss. "Do you mind if we call home to check on Lucy the second we land?"
"As if that wasn't going to happen anyway." She teased.