Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read and review Natural Born Killer. I really enjoyed writing this story and am looking forward to starting the sequel which I hope to be posting soon:)
Here's the final chapter:) I hope everyone enjoys:)
Dread rose in Veronica's stomach as she pulled her car to a stop outside the familiar white stucco building that Mac lived in. The day was glorious, the sun searing down from a brilliant blue sky and it was all so wrong. It was the kind of day that should be spent on the beach, sipping cool beer and enjoying the feel of the warm sun on their skin but instead, Veronica was going to have to intrude on Mac's perfect life, delivering the news that would bring it all crashing down.
Mac was a good person; she didn't deserve this, Veronica considered ruefully as she reluctantly turned off the engine of her car. How Veronica was actually going to break the news was still something she hadn't fully decided on. FBI protocol would have Agent Mars brief the unfortunate family members immediately, relaying the information in as clinical and matter-of-fact a way as possible. Mac was her friend though and that made Veronica's role as FBI agent entirely irrelevant. God, this was impossible, Veronica suddenly realized, her stomach turning not for the first time that day as she banged the door of the car forcibly closed. She should have turned this duty over to Burke but deep down Veronica knew, she was the only one who could deliver this horrendous news to Mac.
"Veronica, what are you doing here?" Mac asked brightly, a smile widening across her face as she opened the door to her friend.
The smell of freshly brewed coffee wafted in from the kitchen as Mac hastily ushered her into the small ground floor apartment. Though normally spotlessly tidy, today the apartment was a mess, wedding magazines and samples of materials littering the coffee table and Mac's collection of luggage still stacked by the door.
"Do you want a coffee? It's just brewed." Mac informed her distractedly, clearing a space for Veronica to sit on before disappearing into the kitchen.
Left alone with her thoughts, Veronica sat down rigidly on the worn leather sofa, her hands clenched together tightly.
"Here you go," Mac smiled, offering Veronica a steaming cup of coffee before taking a seat opposite her. "Now, explain your presence." she demanded, taking a tentative sip from her cup. "It's not like you to just drop in like this."
Sighing, Veronica placed her cup carefully on the table and looked at her friend frankly.
"Mac, I've something to tell you. It's about Brian." she began, the look on Mac's face rapidly changing from confusion to shock as Veronica nervously relayed the horrific story of her fiance's double life to her friend.
"It was terrible." Veronica sighed, her eyes swollen and red as she threw herself onto the sofa in Logan's apartment, clutching a cushion comfortingly against her chest. "You should have seen the look on her face."
Veronica's voice trailed away then and she stubbornly swiped a hand across her cheek to catch the few tears that fell.
"I've tried calling her since but she won't answer my calls," Veronica continued, not resisting when Logan wrapped an arm around her shoulder and pulled her into his arms. "And wait till the media get their hands on this story. They'll hound her, make Mac's life a living hell. Not that it isn't already." she sighed, shaking her head sadly.
"She'll talk to you when she's ready," Logan murmured comfortingly, smoothing a hand over her soft blonde hair. "You know you really should stop blaming yourself. What happened to Brian was not your fault."
"I stabbed him to death, Logan. How is that not my fault?" Veronica demanded irritably, though rationally she knew there was sense in her boyfriend's words.
"He would have killed you, Veronica." Logan answered insistently, taking Veronica's face in his hands and tilting up her chin so her blue eyes met his. "The guy was a freaking serial killer, remember?"
Shaking her head in despair, Veronica sighed miserably as a few more tears escaped down her cheeks. "I could have handled the situation better, Logan." she maintained, refusing to be placated. "I'm a trained FBI agent and I didn't even manage to have my cellphone charged, much less keep a hold on my gun. I doubt even Lamb in his worst moments would have been this incompetent."
"Logan, I feel like crap." Veronica declared in a small voice, disentangling herself from Logan's arms and pulling herself up off the sofa. "My head is about to explode. I'm going to go back to bed for a couple of hours and try and get some sleep."
"Do you want some company?" Logan asked gently, his hand still wrapped warmly around hers.
"How could I say no to that?" Veronica replied, the first real smile all day brightening her face.
Two days later and Veronica sat at the kitchen table, picking unappetizingly at her breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast. She was going insane. Accustomed to long hours and food grabbed on the run, Veronica was finding her new routine of lounging in bed late and watching bad television infuriatingly boring. Marilyn refused to let her back on the job for at least a week and even insisted she undergo a full medical before she step one foot inside the office. Logan had gone to work and now Veronica was stuck in his apartment alone, wondering what the hell she was going to do to stop herself from going absolutely stir crazy.
A run might do it, Veronica considered idly, lazily taking a drink from her cup of coffee before being disturbed by the buzz of the doorbell.
"Mac." Veronica greeted her friend uncertainly, seeing the girl standing outside the door, her skin waxy pale.
Ushering her friend into the apartment, Veronica gazed furtively around before closing the door behind her. A media frenzy had circulated around the death of Brian Matthews and the uncovering of his grisly deeds. Every news station it seemed had taken residence around Mac's apartment building and almost constant coverage of the case was playing on the television.
"How are you doing?" she asked her friend gently, before cursing herself inwardly at the sheer idiocy of the question. The man Mac loved had just been unmasked as a serial killer and was now dead, at the hands of her best friend, no less. How the hell could she be okay?
"You know," Mac shrugged dully but the dark shadows that were smudged under her eyes and the swollen cheeks betrayed her. The girl was a mess.
"I'm sorry for everything, Mac." Veronica sighed, not exactly sure what she was apologizing for. Despite all of Logan's protestations that what happened was not her fault, Veronica couldn't help feeling hideously guilty every time she thought of Brian's lifeless eyes staring dully at the ceiling. Sure Brian had been a serial killer but to Mac, Brian had been everything. Hell, they were supposed to be getting married in a few weeks.
"I don't blame you, Veronica." Mac said simply, raising her blue eyes to meet Veronica's for a moment. "I still can't get my head around who they're saying Brian was supposed to be. Like, I know rationally, the police and the FBI have evidence to connect Brian with the murders but still..."
Mac's voice trailed off for a moment and Veronica could tell she was lost in her thoughts.
"His mother called me today."
At Mac's words, Veronica jerked up her head sharply. "What did she say?" she asked curiously.
Since the showdown at her apartment, Veronica hadn't been privy to developments in the case over the past few days.
"Brian had a troubled past, apparently," Mac relayed to her friend shakily. "His mother told me that when Brian was a kid, he was a really high achiever and had serious problems dealing with any kind of failure. Once he was placed second at a science fair and the next day the kid who had placed first suffered some serious stomach sickness. He was brought to hospital where doctors found he had been poisoned with arsenic. Later, his mother found an empty container of rat poison in the garbage. Another time, his sister's pet hamster was found dead after she had the audacity to win a spelling bee."
"And you never knew any of this?" Veronica asked disbelievingly, finding it very hard to understood how her friend had lived unknowingly with a monster for the past few months.
"He grew out of it, his mother said. As soon as he started high school, Brian turned into your average, easy-going guy. He started playing football and basketball and excelled in all his classes and his parents thought he was after outgrowing whatever 'phase' he was going through. Being accepted into Harvard med cemented the 'new' Brian as his mother referred to him and they really thought he had changed. Turns out they were wrong." she finished darkly, raking a hand shakily through her dark hair. "A few weeks ago, Brian was turned over for promotion at the hospital and the FBI think that's what started off this whole chain of events."
"I still can't believe I was going to marry this guy," Mac murmured disbelievingly, tears shining in her eyes. "You must think I'm really stupid."
"Of course I don't think that, Mac." Veronica retorted, reaching for a tissue and handing it to her friend. "Brian had everybody fooled. Don't you dare feel bad about that. None of this is your fault."
Mac didn't look like she quite believed Veronica but she wiped her eyes all the same and gazed frankly at the other girl.
"I've come here to say goodbye, Veronica." Mac informed her quietly, forcing a small smile onto her face. "I've handed in my notice to work and I'm heading to China to begin that backpackers tour of Asia that I've always been threatening. I just can't stay here. Those damn reporters are making my life a misery and anyway, there's just too many memories."
Staring at her friend in shock, Veronica nevertheless felt happy that Mac was at least trying to make a fresh start.
"Good for you, Mac." Veronica smiled at the other girl before crossing the room to give her a hug. "I'll miss you but for what it's worth I think you're making the right decision. You need to out some space between you and what's after happening if you are to ever begin getting over it."
"You think the Pacific Ocean will be enough?" Mac joked weakly.
"It will be a start at least," Veronica replied, tears beginning to prickle in her eyes.
Sitting at the kitchen table, Veronica was poring intently over the classifieds section of the LA Times, circling possible apartments for rent in bright red. The options weren't very appealing. For the money Veronica could afford to pay, her choices were pretty limited unless she was willing to live in some crime ridden ghetto on the wrong side of town.
"What are you doing?"
Looking up from the newspaper, Veronica saw Logan staring at her with curious eyes before wandering across the kitchen and pouring himself a cup of coffee.
"Looking for a new apartment." Veronica replied, smiling as Logan pulled out a seat and sat down beside her. "Well, at least trying to. You wouldn't believe the rent some of these places command. The way things are looking, I'll be sleeping in a cardboard box and beach and probably paying for the privilege."
"I know somewhere you could stay and the rent is pretty cheap," Logan offered with a teasing smile as he reached for a croissant from the centre of the table.
"Does it have a swimming pool?" Veronica asked, a twinkle in her blue eyes as she smiled at Logan. "Because that's a deal breaker for me."
"It doesn't have a pool but I have it on good account that your roommate would be this really hot guy. Might be worth considering." Logan shrugged as he brought his lips to Veronica's for a kiss.
"No pool, no deal," Veronica sighed, unable to resist breaking out into a smile as Logan pressed his lips against hers again. "Although, if this roommate is as hot as you say he is, I might have to reconsider. Can you get me some photos of this hottie?"
"I can do even better." Logan promised, taking her hand and pulling her towards the bedroom.
Pulling in front of Dr. Lavelle's office, Veronica brought the car to a stop before sliding the keys out of the ignition. Veronica hated going to the doctor but Marilyn insisted that she undergo a routine medical examination before she would even consider allowing her back to work. Rummaging in the back seat for her bag, Veronica inwardly cursed realizing she had left it back in Logan's apartment. She was horribly distracted, Logan's offer of the two of them moving back in together weighing heavily on her mind.
So far, Veronica hadn't given her boyfriend an answer but then she had stopped her search for the apartment, so maybe, subconsciously she had already resigned herself to a future with Logan Echolls.
"Hello, Veronica," the doctor welcomed her warmly, ushering her into her office and gesturing at her to sit on the examination table. "How have you been feeling?"
"Not great." Veronica admitted, squirming a little as the doctor wrapped the velcro strap tightly around her arm and started to pump up the blood pressure monitor. "But I've been very busy at work and not sleeping well, so I guess it's not a surprise really."
"Your blood pressure is a little on the high side," the doctor commented, ripping the velcro strap off Veronica's arm before noting the result on her file. "Could you elaborate on how you've been feeling lately?"
"I've been feeling exhausted and nauseous," Veronica began, smoothing a hand wearily over her blonde hair. "And I've been having these killer headaches. Nothing a few hours sleep won't cure, right?"
"Maybe," the doctor replied tightly, before gesturing at Veronica to lie down on the examination table. "But I'm going to take some blood and run a few tests, just to be on the safe side."
Extending her arm reluctantly, Veronica suddenly remembered why she hated visiting the doctor so much.
"What was the date of your last period?" Dr. Lavelle asked as the needle pinched Veronica's skin.
"My period?" Veronica asked dully, suddenly realizing that she wasn't all that certain of the answer. Her cycles had never been very regular and with all the stress of the previous weeks, Veronica couldn't remember exactly when she had had her period last.
"Is there a possibility you could be pregnant, Veronica?" the doctor asked curiously as Veronica pulled herself to a seated position on the table. "It might explain some of those symptoms you've been experiencing over the last few weeks."
"There's no way," Veronica replied in a quiet voice but even she could hear the uncertainty in her own voice. "I'm on birth control and they're meant to be like ninety-nine percent foolproof, right?"
"They are, if they are taken correctly," the doctor confirmed with a stern nod. "But if you've been sick, you might have thrown up the pill unknowingly. Look the only way you're going to know for certain is if you take a pregnancy test."
Nodding dully, Veronica took the plastic vial the doctor offered her and slunk into the bathroom.
Five minutes later and the results were confirmed.
"It looks like you are pregnant, Veronica," Dr. Lavelle informed her with a warm smile. "Congratulations."
"Thanks." Veronica replied back numbly, sitting back in utter shock as the doctor reeled off a list of well intentioned advice on the dos and don'ts of pregnancy.