Veronica looked down at Logan. He'd gone all out, candle lit dinner, beautiful ambiance, down on one knee, gorgeous ring. And Veronica was more than willing to say yes. But she couldn't, the very thought of being Veronica Echolls made bile rise in the back of her throat. She pushed out of the chair and kneeled next to Logan on the ground. She wrapped her hands around his, covering the diamond ring. "Logan, I'm sorry." She felt tears welling in her eyes, felt her throat tighten. "Logan, I love you more than I have ever loved anyone. I can't imagine my life without you." It was true. They'd done the on and off relationship thing since junior year of high school. They never stayed off for long. And after she'd told him she wanted him out of her life, she'd only lasted three months before showing up at the Grand, apologizing.
Logan couldn't believe his ears. Veronica Mars was one of the hardest people in the world to read, but he'd been almost positive that she would say yes. Even now, looking into her eyes, he could see the truth in every word she was saying. That's why he didn't understand why she was apologizing. "And I don't want to live mine without you. So why are you apologizing?"
She felt the tears running down her face, knew her makeup was a mess. But she didn't care. Her heart was breaking. There was only so many times she could break his heart before he stopped putting it in her care. She was afraid this would be the last straw. "Because I can't marry you, Logan."
Logan swallowed back his own tears, "Can't, or won't?"
She looked him in the eye, willing him to understand with all her heart, "Can't, Logan. There is nothing I want more than to spend the rest of my life by your side, but I can't do it as Veronica Echolls. I just can't." A sob escaped her on her last words. She wanted to have children with Logan, she wanted to grow old with Logan. But she couldn't bring herself to take the name of the man who had murdered her best friend, beat his own son, and tried to kill both her and her father. She had come a long way since high school, but that was one compromise she was unwilling to make. It would be like asking her to name her first born after Cassidy Casablancas.
For a second, Logan's mind stopped, his mind trying to make sense of her words. And when they finally clicked, he couldn't help the chuckle that escaped. "Is that it?"
Veronica was slightly confused. "Is what it?"
"The name, is that why you're saying no? Because you don't want to take my name?" He continued to laugh.
Veronica wasn't sure what was so funny. "No, Logan, not your name, his name."
Her words sobered him up quickly. His smirk disappeared and his eyes clouded over. While he could never forget the things his father had done to him, he sometimes allowed himself to believe that he was the only one his father had hurt. His voice was soft as he raised a hand to cradle her cheek. "Why didn't you say so? I would have changed my name ages ago."
It was Veronica's turn to chuckle. "Like I said, it's not your name, it's his. You are Logan Echolls, but I can't be Mrs. Echolls." She hoped he understood the difference.
Logan leaned forward and kissed her, a light peck to her cheek. "You don't have to be. Stay Veronica Mars, I don't want anyone but her anyway. But I do want her, forever, and I want everyone to know she's mine. And if she needs me to be someone else, I'll do it. The Echolls' name never did me any good anyway. Besides you know what they say about roses and being sweet."
"I don't want you to change either, Logan. I love you just the way you are." She moved her hands from his, looking down at the ring he was still holding out. "Are you saying you still want me, even though I won't take your name?"
Logan took the ring out of the box and placed it on her finger, pulling them both up to a standing position, "I'm saying I want you, and only you, and I don't care what hoops I have to jump through."
Veronica leaned in and kissed him, passion evident in her motions. After a moment, she pulled back, breathless. "No hoops, promise, just that one request."
Logan wrapped his arms around her, "Done. I love you, Veronica Mars."
She laid her head on his chest. "And I love you, Logan Echolls."