This is a companion piece to "Holding the World Together." This is a one-shot story that gives the back story of how Veronica and Logan ended up together. It is completely AU and absolutely far-fetched, but I hope you enjoy reading it. Please let me know your thoughts. Thank you for reading – please take a moment to review!

God's Gift

You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them. ~Desmond Tutu

"Move one inch, you're on the receiving end of 50,000 volts," Veronica seethed, pushing her taser into his back. She had known he was following her for the past few blocks and had taken the first opportunity to switch positions. Her foul mood had been permeating through the day, leaving a real chance that this man was going to be hurt.

"Ms. Mars," he said politely, "you haven't changed a bit. I need to speak with you."

"Speak away. You won't mind if I keep my finger on the trigger."

"Is there somewhere we can speak privately?" They were standing on the sidewalk outside the Neptune Grand, out of the general traffic but still in plain view.

"I'm sure you'd like that—"

"Ronnie," Logan said, coming from the other side of Clarence Weedman, "what's the problem?"

"Go away, Logan," she said angrily. He was the last person she wanted to see; it was her greatest fear when she'd agreed to meet a client at the hotel.

"I was just asking Ms. Mars to give me a moment of her time—"

"Sounds fair," Logan said, overly cheerfully. "Come on, Ronnie – let's give him the opportunity to speak. I have my gun. Mr. Weedman is going to hand both of his to you. Then we'll go upstairs to the penthouse and sort this out."

"Butt out, Logan." She saw Logan occasionally on campus but their communication had been otherwise limited since she'd rejected him in the beginning of the summer.

"Mr. Echolls – I'm glad you're here. I was going to suggest taking this conversation to your suite. I need to speak to you as well."

"That's handy. Because if you think I'm letting you take her anywhere, you're mistaken," Logan declared. Veronica began to argue but realized she was in a losing battle. She didn't want to spend alone time with Weedman any more than Logan wanted her to. Then again, alone time with Logan was also something she'd been hoping to avoid. Weedman eventually pulled out both his main and back up guns and placed them in Veronica's hand, which she quickly transferred to her messenger bag. The Kane family head of security went first with Logan and Veronica following.

Veronica hadn't been inside Logan's penthouse apartment since they'd severed ties for good four weeks prior but she hadn't imagined things had changed much. She imagined wrong. A blond sat in his living room with a toddler on her knee. She turned to look at Logan, whose jaw dropped as much as her own. So he was unaware.

"What's going on?" Logan demanded.

"This is—"

"Lilly," Veronica said softly, moving toward the child. She offered her arms and carefully took the young girl from Astrid – Mrs. Kane's former assistant. "Astrid?"

"Are you sure that's her?" Logan asked, his eyes still focused on Weedman.

"It's Lilly," Veronica assured him, holding the child closer. The baby snuggled into her embrace, her small fist looped around the older woman's braid. "You are so pretty," she cooed at the girl, smiling despite the situation. Lilly smiled back, giggling as she attempted to pull the braid into her mouth. "That's yucky," Veronica told her, pulling it away. The baby's lip began to quiver but Veronica acted quickly, taking a toy set of keys from Astrid and handing them to Lilly.

Logan joined Veronica but still kept his eyes on the large man who had brought this upon them. "What's going on here? Where is Duncan?"

"We should sit," Weedman said again, choosing a chair for himself. Veronica sat on the sofa, Lilly in her lap and Logan pressed protectively against her side. "I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this – but Mr. Kane died last night."

"What? What happened? Where is he?"

"Ms. Mars – we have more pressing issues. When the Kane family discovers that Duncan has died – they will be looking for the child. Duncan Kane's only wish in the event of his death was that his parents and the Manning family never be allowed to raise his daughter."

"They're not going to let me keep her," Veronica assured him. "They hate me."

"They can't claim Lilly as their own without admitting to helping their son commit a felony kidnapping. No one knows what Lilly Kane – the second – looks like. This child – if you so choose – becomes whoever you need her to be. We have the capability in the next few hours to create whatever background you need. But I need to know you're willing to do this."

"To do what? I can't even comprehend this. You tell me Duncan's dead— and now you want to what? What are you suggesting?"

Logan fell to his knee in front of the couch and Veronica's eyes went wide in disbelief. "What are you doing?"

"Veronica Mars, before I lose the opportunity to do this without you thinking it's required - -marry me. Now. Tonight. I love you and I always have. Our arguments are stupid and trivial but we belong together – forever. Marry me and we become Lilly's parents." Her world went from frozen in those few moments to warp speed the second she spoke.

"Call Dick and Wallace – tell them to wear suits and get here fast – don't tell them what we're doing and tell them not to bring anyone else or tell anyone else. Find a minister who will come here. I'll call my dad and Mac. Is there anyone else you want here?"

"Are you saying yes?"

"We sleep in the same bed – every night. No walking out when we're angry. If I say therapy, you say when? You cheat on me at any time prior to my death and I castrate you with my bare hands. Are we agreed?"

"That sounds fair," Logan said, his voice laced with tears of joy.

"I want a pre-nup," she continued. "Get Cliff here too."

"I don't need—"

"It's for me," she interrupted. "I don't want your money. Not now – not ever. Divorce is not an option. If we do this – we do this right."

"Absolutely," he answered. He pulled her into his arms, kissing her deeply while hugging her and the baby. "Are you sure?"

"Positive. Now go." Veronica hoisted Lilly onto her hip and moved into the bedroom with her phone in hand. The first call was going to be the most difficult. Placing Lilly on the center of the bed, she rubbed the baby's belly to lull her to sleep while her dad's cell rang. When he finally picked up, Veronica took a deep breath and began the most dreaded conversation they'd ever had.

"Hi Honey. I was hoping you'd be home by now –"

"Dad, we have a lot to talk about," she interrupted. "But now is not the time. I need you to do a few things for me. I need you to come to Logan's tonight – don't bring anyone else and don't tell anyone else. But first I need you to get some things together. In my closet—" she proceeded to ask him to gather her make-up bag, several changes of clothing, pajamas, a small box of documents, and select jewelry. Finally, she told him to take out the silver garment bag at the back of the closet along with the yellow shoe box and bring them both to the apartment as well.

"Veronica," Keith said, his tone desperate and curious and pained all at once, "why am I bringing you a wedding gown?"

"Dad – just get over here – please. And wear your charcoal suit with the new blue tie. I love you and I'll see you soon."

"Veronica—" She hung up before he could continue and prayed that he would understand.

"Grandpa is not going to be happy," she informed the sleeping baby, all the while dialing her next number.

"Hey, V – I have a really big test tomorrow—"

"Mac, I'm sorry, but I need you. Can you get to Logan's?"



"Veronica –"

"It's of life altering importance and I wouldn't ask you except for the fact that you're in my top five most important people."

"I'm listening."

"I need you to get here now. Bring a nice dress and necessary accoutrements. Don't tell anyone where you're coming."

Veronica lay on the bed and cuddled with Lilly until her father arrived. When he burst into the bedroom, she put her finger up to her lips and gestured to the baby, shaking her head. She followed him back out into the living room and closed the door. "Keep your voice down," she said, "she's sleeping."

"Veronica, what is going on? Who is that baby? What are you doing?" Mac, Dick, and Wallace had also arrived so Veronica asked them to all sit down and listen. Logan joined her and took her hand, much to the surprise of those gathered. The last time they had checked, the two had been broken up for the third time.

"Dad, we're getting married," Veronica said quickly. "It's abrupt, it's crazy – we know – but we're doing it – and we'd really appreciate your support."

"Veronica! You can't be serious! You can't get married at two in the morning in your boyfriend's apartment!"

"It'll be more three-ish by the time Cliff finishes the pre-nup," Veronica assured him.

"Veronica, this is serious. This is your life."

"My life," Veronica agreed. "I want you to be here. I need you right now – but if you can't understand, then I'll have to accept that."

"I'm with your dad on this one," Wallace agreed, loosening his tie. "do you really know what you're doing? I'm always on the Veronica channel but this time it's not making sense. Four hours ago you and Logan were broken up and now you're getting married?"

Mac sat quietly nearby, assessing the situation and comprehending it all. She had understood the plan as soon as she had peeked into the bedroom and seen the baby. "She'd doing what she has to do," Mac said suddenly, surprising everyone in the room. "And I've known Veronica long enough to trust her. If this is what she feels is right, she has my support." She crossed the room to stand next to Veronica and took her hand. "Whatever you need."

"Thank you," Veronica answered, biting back tears. Her eyes turned to the two men whose opinions meant more than anything to her. "Please, daddy? Wallace? Trust me."

"If I can't talk you out of this – if this is really what you want – point me to the aisle," Keith said finally, stepping forward to hug his daughter.

"Thank you. I can't do this without you." She watched with a bit of hesitation as Keith looked directly at Logan. Wallace captured her attention as Keith and Logan moved away to talk more privately.

"I've got your back," Wallace agreed. "But if this backfires, well, I'll have your back then too. You've got me under your spell – Veronica Mars." Veronica and Mac quickly sequestered themselves in the bedroom and Veronica unzipped the dress bag her father had delivered.

Mac stood in awe, admiring the gown. It was pure white organza in an A-line skirt and a sweetheart neckline. The bodice was covered in shirred organza and accented with a bright sapphire blue satin ribbon and a white floral detail at the waist. The only thing more beautiful than the dress was the way Veronica looked when she stepped into it.

"I'm still being supportive – but this is killing me –Why do you have a wedding dress?"

"I was shopping a few months ago for a dress for the winter formal and I saw this. Normally, I wouldn't have touched it – but --- well – you already think I'm crazy – so I'll just tell you the truth – Lilly told me to buy it. And when it rang up at $23 instead of the retail $723, I decided it was meant to be."

"Lilly's ghost has good taste. You look beautiful."

"So do you," Veronica said, looking approvingly at the white dress covered in blue flowers that had materialized out of Mac's closet.

"It was from my cousin's wedding. I was hoping it was what you had in mind."

"It's perfect. I can't thank you enough for being here."

Before either girl could become too sentimental, a knock sounded on the door. Mac opened it slightly and Cliff came in, a stack of papers in hand. "Are you sure you know what you're doing, V?"

"Cliff, I've answered this question several times already. Show me the dotted line."

"Alright, you always were a smart one. Now Logan and your dad added a few things to this agreement. In the event of a divorce, you would be left with a small allowance."

"I don't want it. I'm not getting a divorce. I'll kill him first."

"I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that in case of any future incidents. I know you don't want money – but you're outnumbered. It's a pittance compared to the Echolls' estate. And it also gives a portion of the estate to any children you share. Beginning with the little bundle of joy you're expecting tonight."

"Very funny," Veronica nodded. "Where's the pen?" She signed the papers and Cliff disappeared, telling her she made a beautiful bride. A few moments later, her dad and Wallace appeared, handing a bouquet of white roses, lilies, and violets to Veronica and a smaller version to Mac.

"Are you ready, honey?" Her dad asked, offering his arm.

"I am," she said simply, smiling at him. She jumped a bit in surprise when she heard a violin begin playing simple gifts.

"That's our song," Wallace said with a grin, offering his arm to Mac. They both hugged Veronica before disappearing into the living room. A moment later the music changed to Canon in D and Veronica stepped forward with her father. They walked down the make-shift aisle that was lined with flowers to where Logan and Dick were standing with a man she had never met before. Cliff, Weedman, and Astrid were off to the side. The young blond was providing the music. The ceremony was short but beautiful. They finished with a toast and a beautiful cake Logan had somehow gotten his hands on in the middle of the night.

At four that morning, after the minister was gone, they stood around the bar looking at a stack of papers. "Sign here," Cliff said, flipping to the final page. "And here," he said, pointing to the birth certificate. "Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Echolls, on the birth of Emma Lilly Echolls." The room clapped and cheered, pretending this wasn't the strangest morning they'd ever spent. Veronica hugged Logan and kissed him gently before accepting Lilly – now Emma – from Mac's arms. They now had everything – birth certificate, hospital records, doctors' notes – everything to suggest that the child had been born of Veronica and Logan.

Six months later, Keith flipped open the morning paper and shook his head at the caption. "Echolls' Family Expands." The paparazzi had jumped on the faked information fed to them from a variety of sources. They had waited at the airport for Logan's jet and taken photos of the young couple stepping off, Veronica's engagement ring and wedding band clear as she held her daughter tighter against the media onslaught. Logan offered a quick introduction, spoke to the health of both his wife and his daughter, and asked for privacy as they began to build a family.

Luckily for the situation, Lilly had been born a tiny baby as a result of Meg's injuries. As Emma, she looked to be just about the right age. Veronica was attached. During their honeymoon/pretending to birth a baby time frame, she and Emma had bonded. She and Logan had connected. In all, it had been a fruitful trip. They had led tumultuous childhoods but with their return to Neptune as a family of three, the adventure was just beginning.