A good detective is all about answers, having them, getting them, providing them. It's how they make their living. A dedicated P.I. will do whatever it takes to solve a case, and Veronica Mars was a dedicated P.I. But in her own life, many of the important questions had been so difficult to answer. She'd jumped through hoops, begged, and put her life on the line for the answers she'd acquired. Faced with this newest question, she was thinking that some queries were better left unasked. But she was Veronica Mars and she prided herself on being the one who could provide the answers…
He had known that this would probably scare her. They'd had more than one conversation about what their future could hold. But the fact that she hadn't taken off running down the driveway at the site of the ring allowed him to hope. "Just hear me out, Veronica. I know how you feel about marriage. I do. But think about it. I never thought I'd want to be married after what happened between Aaron and my mother. But I watched Trina get married, and she was so happy. Her fiancé came up to me after the wedding and told me that the 5 seconds it had taken me to walk her down the aisle were both the longest and best of his life. And all I could think is that I want that with you. I want you to be mine; I want to see you in that beautiful dress, walking down that aisle toward me."
"Is that the deal breaker then, Logan? I can have you as my husband or not at all?" Her breath hitched, and pain radiated through her heart. Logan wasn't one to give ultimatums, but the thought that he might actually make her choose frightened her.
"Don't be stupid, Veronica. I will take you in any form you'll let me. But I want you to know that this is real. This is it for me. I don't want any other girl, ever. The last fifteen months have changed me too. I haven't slept with anyone since I left Neptune." Veronica scoffed; Logan had always been a playboy thru and thru. Even when they'd been together, he'd had more girls in his phone book than guys, even if he never called them. He smiled. "It's true. There hasn't been a single girl since you. And I don't ever want there to be another one."
Veronica could hear the sincerity in his voice, see it in his eyes. She knew he was telling the truth. And what's more, she felt the same way. Her hiatus from Logan had also been a hiatus from men. After Logan's departure, she'd gone to Piz and broken things off with him. He hadn't taken it well. He'd accused her of still loving Logan; she'd been unable to deny it. He had then accused her of playing him, leading him along. That claim she had denied, because she had tried with Piz, but she couldn't lie to herself and she had thought it unfair to lie to Piz. They'd been able to mend bridges after a few weeks, but things were never the same. And she had turned down every guy that had asked her out since.
"Logan, you know I feel the same. But I just don't know. Marriage seems…it never works out. Look at our parents. Your father drove your mother to a bridge; my mother stole thousands of dollars from my father. And neither Aaron nor my mom knew the meaning of being faithful."
"Veronica, look at me." He lifted her chin so as to look her in the eye. "If there was one thing you have drilled into my head, it's this: I am not my father. I could never hurt you. I could have slept with hundreds of girls in the last year and a half; I haven't so much as asked one for her number. And what's more Veronica, you are not your mother. We've both been hurt by our parents actions, but that pain has just made sure that we won't make those same mistakes."
There was such hope in Logan's eyes. For the first time since Lilly died, she tried to picture the white wedding she'd wanted all those years ago. Then, it had been in a church, her long hair had flowed over her white dress and she'd walked down the aisle on her father's arm toward Duncan. But in her mind's eye right now, that wasn't what she saw. She saw a small intimate ceremony. On her arm now was Weevil, Wallace walking in front of her, her 'maid-of-honor'. She could hear the ocean in the background and feel the sun beating down. And at the end of the aisle, in all his Adonic glory, was Logan, a huge smile on his face. The image brought a smile to her own face.
"Logan, I want that so much. I want to be yours, only yours, forever. I just, I'm afraid. I don't want to turn into one of those couples that I've made a living off of. I don't want to drive you to some cheap motel with your assistant, and I don't want to have to drown my pain at the bottom of a bottle. I don't think I could stand to turn into that. If I take this ring, that'd be it. Just you and me, against the world, till the day we die."
Logan's heart soared. He never wanted another woman in his arms or in his bed other then the one standing in front of him at this very moment. And her admittance to fear was what made him sure she was going to accept. "That's kind of the point. Besides, I wouldn't have it any other way." He pulled her forward and pressed his lips to hers. "Does that mean you'll marry me?"
Veronica looked into the eyes of the man who had been both friend and foe, both lover and bully over the last five years. She saw all the love she felt reflected back in them. If she was honest with herself, she could have predicted this all those years ago on the balcony of the Camelot. If she was honest, she could admit she had hoped he would ask her this very question. "Of course, I'll marry you, Echolls."
Again he leaned in and placed his lips to hers. For a minute, they forgot where they were. Veronica was just so happy to be in Logan's arms, looking forward to a lifetime of moments just like this. Logan deepened the kiss, sliding his tongue into Veronica's mouth. She pulled him closer, moving her arms up around Logan's neck. His arms wound around her waist removing the last space between them. Veronica fought the urge to wrap her legs around Logan's waist for only a second before she allowed her desire to be as close to him as possible to take over. She jumped up, never breaking contact with his lips. His hands traveled down her back and around her butt to support her.
He pulled back, just a millimeter, just enough to whisper against her skin, "We should take this inside. What will my neighbors think?"
She chuckled in response, her warm breath sending goose bumps down Logan's skin. "That it's about time you got some."
He chuckled in response, "You're right it is." Veronica unwound her legs and placed them back on solid ground. He handed her the ring box and swung her into his arms. He proceeded up the steps, carrying her bridal style over the threshold. He went straight for the steps and led them upstairs, toward the bedroom. He walked up to the bed and sat her on the edge. Kneeling in front of her, he took the ring box out of her hand and opened it. He took the diamond ring out and slipped it onto her finger. She held it up, allowing what light was in the room to reflect off of it. She was momentarily breathless, the ring was perfect. She pulled Logan to her by his shirt; he collapsed on top of her, falling back onto the bed. They slowly moved up so that both of their bodies were fully on the bed. Veronica's hands found their way into Logan's hair and his moved under her shirt.
The way they danced together, you'd think they'd been doing these steps every night for their whole lives. It was hard to imagine they hadn't done this in over fifteen months. They moved together perfectly. It was hard to discern where he stopped and she began. It had been too long for both of them, too many lonely nights wishing the other was in their arms. But they made up for the nights apart with the passion in their first night back together, neither got more then an hour of sleep that first night.
Monday morning dawned, Veronica and Logan wrapped around each other. Neither wanted to move, both exhausted from the night before. So they stayed that way, curled around each other. At one point Logan went downstairs to make Veronica breakfast, serving it to her in bed. They spent the day talking, Logan telling Veronica the ways he'd passed the time while in New York, Veronica catching Logan up with all the news from Neptune.
Logan called the airline and bought himself a ticket for the following day, so that he could return to Neptune with Veronica in the morning. That night they once again took their time rememorizing each other.
Having spent two days having some rather amazing sex, both Logan and Veronica spent the five hour plane trip sleeping. They landed to a beautiful California afternoon. Veronica had been away for less then three days, but in those three days she'd been able to shed much of the pain from losing her parents. When she'd flown out Saturday after the services, it seemed like a cloud had settled over her hometown. But seeing it with Logan's hand in her own brought some sunshine back to Neptune.
"Where to first? Should we check in with Weevil at the office, or do you want to see Wallace?" Logan squeezed her hand, letting her know she had support.
"There's a stop I want to make first." She directed Logan to the cemetery where both of them had laid their parents to rest. He stopped at a roadside flower stand along the way. They walked through the cemetery, hand in hand, Veronica holding four bouquets. They came upon Lynn's headstone first. Veronica hung a step back, giving Logan some space, but staying close enough to hear what was said.
Logan took one of the bouquets from Veronica and set it down. "I'm sorry it's been so long, Mom. I had some things to take care of. You'd be proud of me. I've finally found myself a nice girl to marry. It's a shame you won't be there to help her plan the wedding, it would have been quite the shindig with you at the reins."
Veronica stepped forward and placed her free hand in Logan's, giving it a squeeze. He took a second to wipe a tear off his cheek as she thanked Lynn for all her kindness. "I'm just sorry I couldn't have figured everything out sooner, maybe things would have been different. Logan and I owe all of this to you though. You were the catalyst that brought us back together. Thank you, Lynn."
They walked hand in hand down the rows, moving away from Lynn's grave. Logan could see the two newly covered patches laying side by side that must belong to Keith and Leanne. Instead of hanging back as Veronica had done, he stayed close, offering her the strength today he had been unable to give before.
Veronica leaned forward to place one bouquet on her mother's headstone. She'd said everything she'd needed to say to her. There was a time when she'd have given anything to discuss wedding plans with Leanne, but that dream had passed away long before her mother.
She then looked to Keith's stone. It had been one of the hardest things to write the few small words that immortalized her father upon that stone. In the end she'd kept it simple, Keith Mars, beloved father and faithful protector, dedicated to justice, may he find the peace he sought. She felt her eyes tear up as she stared upon what was left in this world of the man who had given so much to shelter her and for whom she had given up so much to defend. She handed Logan one of the two remaining bunches of flowers and stepped forward. She placed the purple roses at the base of his headstone.
"I took your advice, Daddy. You wanted me to be happy. Logan and I are going to try. I only wish that you could be there to give me away. I don't know what I would have done without your strength all these years. Your support has turned me into the person I am. The last thing in this world I want is to be standing here, but it's because of you that I have the strength to. I love you, Daddy." She kissed her index and middle fingers, leaned down and pressed them to the name engraved upon the stone.
Logan had stepped up behind her; ready to hold her if she needed it, but she seemed steady. "Don't worry, Mr. Mars, I promise I'll take care of her." He slipped his arm around her shoulder, pulling her close.
The two of them wound back through the twisting plots, toward the northwest corner. They had been to this cemetery together on several occasions, but the first trip had been to lay Lilly to rest. Her sleek black stone stood before them. Just as the girl had done while alive, her grave marker stood out among the grey stones surrounding it. Below her name and the dates of her life was a framed picture of her set in the stone. Over the years, Logan and Veronica had come both separately and together to remember the girl they'd lost. Though the mementos were no longer there, they'd left them: charm bracelets, shot glasses, fabric swatches and bottles of wine. A million different memories from a million years ago swam up as the two friends stood over the grave of Neptune's Princess.
Logan handed Veronica the flowers, lilies of course, and reached in his pocket for his own gift. Both leaned forward to place them at the base, Logan's 'I Love NY' shot glass sitting in the same place he'd left over a dozen others. They stepped back together and instinctively grasped hands. Veronica spoke first, "I bet you saw this coming, didn't you?"
"Of course she did. Probably was planning ways to make it happen." This thought did not sadden either Veronica or Logan. They were both quite sure Lilly would have found their relationship quite entertaining; especially with all the drama it had taken to get them there.
"I just wish you were here to be my maid of honor. Wallace won't look nearly as hot in the red satin dresses I have in mind. He doesn't have your legs." Logan chuckled and wrapped his arm around Veronica, planting a kiss on her head.
Veronica pulled away, and began walking toward the car, giving Logan a moment with his ex. She had been to visit Lilly many times since Logan had left, sometimes accompanied with Wallace or Weevil. It had been easier to talk about everything when it seemed as though she was explaining it to Lilly too. She had a feeling Logan wanted a moment alone with Lilly, a chance he hadn't had in a long time.
"I want to thank you Lils. I have no doubt in my mind that you're the one that gave me Veronica. I don't know where I'd be if she hadn't let me in her door that night after my mom died. You once said that you'd always love me, but that we weren't the ones destined to be together. At the time, I thought it was your way of trying to justify your flings. But I get what you meant now. Even if you had lived, you never would have been the settle down kind of girl. But you knew that Ronnie was, that she and I would find a way to work things out. So thank you. I love ya Lilly."
He walked away from Lilly Kane's grave. He'd be back, so would Veronica. But just now, he could honestly say that he had finally closed the door on his romantic relationship with Lilly. Yes, a part of him would always love her, but it was the kind of love you felt for a sister that was left in him. He moved quickly to catch up with Veronica.
"What do you say we go back to your place? I could use a home cooked meal, maybe some cookies too." He smiled at her and put the car in drive. They wound through the streets of Neptune, which were both familiar and strange to him after his time away. It didn't take him long to pull up in front of her apartment complex. The two of them would have to start house hunting soon, but he could wait a few weeks to mention that.
They got out of the car and walked up the stairs to the front door of Casa de Mars. Veronica opened the door and switched on the light to reveal an apartment full of familiar faces. The gang was all present and accounted for. Wallace was the first to get his arms around Veronica, Dick the first to hug Logan. But everyone got their turn as the newly arrived couple circulated through their friends. Veronica was greeted by tight hugs from Weevil and Dick, as well as Mac. Parker's hug was not as tight but still showed she was glad to have Veronica home. Piz opted out of a hug, instead holding out his fist for a brotherly bump. Logan also received his fair share of love, with tight hugs from both Mac and Parker as well as a one-armed man-hug from Wallace. Piz merely gave him a head nod, but Weevil shook his hand, which was a shock for Logan.
It was Parker who noticed the new addition to Veronica's hand, as the group was gathered around the island, eating the pretzels and chips Mac had put out. Parker quietly excused herself and walked over to the fridge. Dick had mentioned to her a few weeks ago that Logan had bought a ring, and was just waiting for Veronica to call. Parker had figured when Veronica had gone to New York that Logan wouldn't let the opportunity pass him by. She reached inside the fridge and pulled out the bottle of champagne. "Dick, in the third cabinet on the right, you'll find some glasses. Let's toast the happy couple."
Dick retrieved the glasses and passed them around. Parker poured champagne in each, and raised her glass, "To Logan and Veronica. Love couldn't happen to two more deserving people. My wish for you is that from now on the only storms you have to weather are the kind that you can watch from the safety of your bedroom." The group all raised their glasses, clinking them together. Parker waited until everyone had taken a sip before opening her mouth again. "So, when's the big day?"
She had been prepared for the spray that came out of Weevil's mouth, even from Piz's. But she hadn't expected Mac, Wallace, and Dick to react that way as well. Veronica and Logan however had merely swallowed, then looked around at the assembled group, all of whom were now staring at Veronica's hand, the hand which not only held the champagne glass, but was also now sporting a 12 carat rock.
Parker smiled, "Come on, guys. You can't be that shocked. We all knew it would happen eventually. I, for one, am glad it's happening now. We haven't had a decent party in this town in months.
"Well Parker, we haven't actually discussed any of the details. It just happened. We wanted to get back here and get settled in before we started planning a party." Veronica looked around at the faces of her friends. They all seemed quite happy for her and Logan.
The group hung out for a few hours, catching up on what had been going on with Logan and filling him in on the things Veronica had not yet told him. Around seven, Piz left for work, he was still hosting down at the radio station, only now his show ran for three hours and was one of the highest rated programs on the air. Parker followed not long after, she had a date that evening and needed to get ready. Dick and Logan made plans to hit the waves at dawn, while Mac and Veronica decided to meet the following day at a more decent hour for brunch. Dick and Mac then said their goodbyes and headed for the apartment Dick had purchased after Logan's departure.
Logan excused himself as well, needing to go pick up the things he had put in storage when he left. He promised to return in a few hours, also wanting to stop and grab some food for Veronica's empty fridge. This left Veronica and her two almost brothers alone in the apartment.
"I can't believe you're going to marry that dope," Weevil's words couldn't be taken seriously with the huge grin on his face.
"What did you expect when you sent me to New York, huh?"
"I'm happy for you Veronica. Your dad would be too." Wallace put his arm around his best friend, hugging her.
"Wallace, Weevil, You guys have been amazing these last few months. Thank you so much for everything. I was wondering if you'd both be willing to do me one more favor."
Wallace agreed immediately, he'd do anything for her. Weevil, who still pretended to keep score, seemed slightly hesitant. "What's the favor?"
"Well," She turned to Wallace and took his hand, "Wallace, will you be my maid of honor?" Weevil laughed, but Wallace seemed genuinely touched.
"As long as I don't have to wear a dress." Veronica laughed at that.
She then turned to Weevil, "Eli, you've come a long way since we first met. Do you remember when my dad didn't even want me tutoring you? Yet here you are, partner at Mars Investigations, faithfully entrusted with my safety." She paused to wipe a tear off her cheek. "I want you to give me away, at the wedding. Since Dad's heart attack, you've become like the son he never had. You've become like my big brother."
She had known Wallace would say yes, they were best friends; no one else could possibly stand beside her on that alter. But she was not entirely convinced that Weevil would agree, which was why she was caught completely off guard when he reached forward and wrapped his arms around her. "Of course I will, V. I'd be honored too." She pretended not to see the tears that had welled in the corner of his eyes.
Veronica had come along way in the years since losing Lilly. She had grown up in every way possible. That dark fall when she'd lost not only Lilly, but her friends, her mother, and her innocence, she'd feared she'd never have the life she'd dreamed of. And maybe she didn't. Back then she'd dreamed of a life with the Kanes, married to Duncan, best friends with Lilly, where she didn't have to worry about anything but what she was serving at the next party. But the life she had now was just as good, if not better then the one she used to picture. She had six people in her life whom she could count on to be there when things got difficult, and she was about to marry the love of her life. Maybe she didn't know exactly what to expect out of the years ahead, but as long as she had Logan and her friends to support her, she was pretty sure she could take anything life wanted to throw at her. Because she was Veronica Mars, and she didn't take life lying down…