Logan and Veronica are at one of theirs and the Kanes' mini-parties; booze and drinking games and cheesy movies. They are getting the food from the kitchen, and she's slightly tipsy when she speaks.
"You know, Logan," she says with a serene smile, "Sometimes, I feel like... Like this is gonna last forever. Me, you, Duncan, Lilly... forever. Destiny."
He looks down at his friend, amused and a little pained. "You are drunker than I thought," he says. Veronica is so naive, believing the Fabulous Four can last forever. Logan knows that things like this don't last eternity or even a long time; he knows Lilly is going to burn herself out at some point, for one thing. Not that it matters. Logan gave up on eternity a long time ago.
Veronica scrunches up her face and smacks him on the arm. "Shut up, cynicism man," she says. He laughs.
There is nothing beyond them; it feels painfully obvious in both their skins. The world exists and often does not revolve around them, but somehow they have always been there, weaving themselves into each catastrophe. To say otherwise is madness.
They weigh each other down every moment, always too burdened by the past (she looks at him and sees the wolves she was thrown to; he looks at her and hates hates hates who he was, is). But they are the only ones left now and neither will break that bond.
They try normal. They try hotel keys and guidebooks to girlfriends; they try turning the old snark, which he used to rip her apart and she used keep herself afloat, to sweet comic banter. Veronica understands that Logan is trying to mature; but good and righteous for her (she thinks of noble traits like that and thinks of Duncan; where is he now?). Like she (should) doeswant. It pierces her skin and she feels sick, because she looks to Logan to see anything but that; she wants to see violence and madness, something that tells her it's okay she's broken.
Logan cannot bring himself to be that person again. He wants to bury himself and the Ghosts of Veronica (Lilly) Past in her flesh; creating this new, perfect Veronica of them both. A new Veronica for a new Logan; first humans in the Garden of Eden. A world where he is someone, anyone else.
Veronica lovehates Logan's hotel room; stuffed so tight with ghosts it chokes her. She sits here and remembers her (third, second) first time and how Logan had run into her, bitter; she remembers how she had run out of alterna-prom (the same day of dealing with resident psychotic abused janitor); she feels the sting of her tazer wounds and remembers the feel of the trigger under her finger.
They can talk about anything; LillyDuncanAaronAnything, except that night. He had saved her life then and she always felt a little resentment at being rescued (sometimes she caught how self-reliant she was trying to make herself and hated it), along with the gratitude.
Logan's hotel room reminds her of last year, when it was easier to pretend she was unbroken (although the lie seems more convincing now, ironically). When the idea of being as innocent as she once was still made sense, even if she knew she would never get it back.
Maybe that was all Duncan's fault.
One day, it's the thirty-first time she hasn't trusted him (and he's pretty sure it's still the old him he wants to kill, that she sees and mistrusts) and he can't do it anymore. He can't stand her judging eyes (it strikes him ironic how their positions have reversed) anymore; how she digs up the Old Logan's grave again and again, never letting him forget what he did to her. So he ends it. He tells her that he can't stand being a disappointment anymore and it should feel like a clean break.
It feels like a mudslide.
Soon Mercer is found and tries to kill her; Logan thinks of Mexico and the fire that should never have been, that logistically couldn't have been. He feels guilty for what he said, defending his 'friend', and thinks he should go visit her, check she's okay – but he's always been better at retribution then salvation. He buries the instrument into the hood of the cop car; buries his fist into Mercer's face, and feels the blood of that other (evil) Logan rushing back to him.
Life goes on, and he realizes that cutting Veronica loose has shredded him, cutting away the foundations of his persona; leaving a fragile web of behavior over a wire frame. He finds himself on a beach with a cheap blonde, and thinks of Lilly again. Lilly would approve; pointless sex from a nameless girl in a car (Lilly loved sex; leaving him bruised, betrayed, not allowed to hate her) because he was such a fuck-up.
He realizes that there is no Old Logan; that this sickening violent tormented creature he knows is all him. That he can't cut off the other boy, cut off Veronica, because without it he is dead. There is no new man to build; no redemption. He was stupid to think there ever was.
Aspen happens not long after that.
Later, when Veronica arrives at his hotel room wearing pleading, loving eyes, he doesn't feel any better. But he does feel slightly more whole.
Veronica stands dumbfounded for a few seconds, lingerie hanging pathetically in her hand. Madison has long since sauntered away, leaving Veronica shocked. She remembers to move again after a few seconds, not letting Madison Sinclair turn her into a statue (again).
Logan had sex with her. Madison. The rational parts of Veronica are telling her to ask, to see if it is true – it would be like Madison, lying specifically to cause chaos. Veronica already knows it's true, however; one of those PI gut instinct things. She thinks of Alterna-Prom again; how Logan said he loved her and later, she just found herself seeing Kendall wear that exact same grin Madison did. She should have seen it coming.
She feels sick, thoughts swarming to the night she chooses to forget because she can't remember. Madison made it that way. It was all Madison's fault (lie, but it's easier to blame her), she had told Logan that, and he had still...
In the hotel room, they screamed and thought. He said he wasn't trying to hurt her, and she yelled "Imagine if you tried!"
And he did. He thought of the year after, when he was so irreparably damaged and taking it out on her, stripping down what little she had left after Lilly until she was forced to become something else. When Veronica brings up the roofies, it gets both their minds spinning back to that party – which she can't remember and he can't forget – and then to the night on the roof, the one they can't ever discuss. For a split second Veronica wishes she shot the gun.
Logan doesn't fully understand; he knew Veronica hated Madison, but not this much. Veronica's only thoughts are of how the girl helped rip away the last vestiges of her innocence and weave her into the story of eight people's deaths (somewhere she understands it's more Dick's fault than Madison's, but blaming him gets her back to Cassidy and that makes it all too real for her to function).
She storms out, and he lets out a tiny, bitter laugh. They really should have seen this one coming.
Piz is normal; he is awkward first dates, friends confusion, and the way he can look at her like she's a goddess.
He loves her, and she hates him for it.
She hates the way he can see her without the blemishes and tarnish (she can barely remember what she was like before Lilly died), unbroken and heroic. He doesn't understand what really happened to her, chiefly because she hasn't told him. She feels bad that she can't trust him, but she doesn't trust anyone, so it doesn't matter. When he looks at her; it doesn't feel like he's looking at her, it's like he's looking at the mangled corpse of the first Veronica. Worse, he doesn't mind.
His gaze reminds her of Duncan and last year again, when she pretended that normal wasn't a pipe-dream. It was never like this with Logan. He was a constant reminder of what had happened, the one person of her past – both pasts; before Lilly and after – and she liked it that way. Looking at him reminded her, when she felt damaged, that there were reasons.
With Piz, she just feels foolish. She has a good life now; a sweet boyfriend and wonderful friends, she's even on good terms with her ex. If you value moving on as much as Veronica does, you need to appreciate the now; but she just squirms with history every time he looks at her.
Piz looks at her like she can still be perfect. His gaze reminds her of Duncan, how he had looked at her before everything happened (it never hurts as much to think of Lilly – forever gone by Aaron's hand – than it does to think of him; just a phone call away if only she knew the number), back when she was still that innocent, naive (stupid) Veronica.
She plays normal. She plays holding hands and internships and kisses that hardly move the world. Piz's innocence, naivety, burns her skin and slits her throat. When she looks at him, she can only see the other Veronica.
He can tell Parker about Mercer.
Parker isn't like Veronica; she hasn't had everything ripped away. Veronica was betrayed and broken again and again and again; what Cassidy did to her was just the final push, the one think that forced the new Veronica to be born. Parker isn't like that. Parker was supported, not abandoned – she managed to tentatively heal the skin Mercer took.
He tells her the truth, and it's not all too hard like it was with Veronica about Cassidy (part of Logan still thinks he could have stopped the boy jumping if Veronica wasn't there). He tells her he told Veronica Mercer was in Mexico when Nancy was raped (he still can't bring up the Fire That Never Was), she accepts it and forgives him. She asks how it's even possible, and honestly he doesn't know.
He looks at Parker, and doesn't see the old Veronica. Parker is a little bit broken, he knows that – she pretends she's just fine, but it's still a sore spot. But she's okay. Parker loves and understands still, like Veronica did before she was broken. In Parker, he sees the Veronica that should have been, if he hadn't been the Other Logan (and he knows they're one and the same, but it's easier to think of him as someone else). A little bit broken, but not hardened. Not callused. Never alone.
Parker smiles and kisses him, and he is left with a not-real girl and absolution that tastes like poison in his mouth.
Video killed the radio star, he thinks as he stands in front of Veronica, trying to explain. To tell her about the video, tell her what her wonderful new boyfriend really did to her. She stresses and judges (isn't that what she's always wanted from him, opportunities to judge?), not believing Piz would do something like this to her. When she says that, he swears he sees the Veronica he killed flicker behind her eyes.
She takes the video and her stomach churns. She sees herself and Piz on the bed, and they look so young, happy, carefree. The image makes her think of Lilly rolling around under Aaron's covers, even though she swore she would never end up like Lilly (part of her resents her best friend for her destruction, leaving poor Veronica alone).
She stops the vid and smiles bitterly (and that's all she's ever managed to do, because if she doesn't she'll cry and cry until she wastes away). It figures. Show any innocence, any at all (that not-real normal Piz sees in her) and eventually the world will use it against you. She learned that at Shelley Pomroy's party.
She wants out, off this Ferris Wheel of history. She tries to cut Logan out, and tracks down who did this to her without a second thought to the past (but a third, and a fourth, and a...)
Justice smells like blood and food court nachos; and she can't help herself liking the feeling. On a rational level, she knows what has just happened is bad – Logan is chasing that deathwish again. She's tired of rationality. Tired of looking for an answer. The sight of Gory's bloody face comforts the animal in her, in a way she can't describe.
Logan grins, calmly deflecting Gory's threats. He grins at her, and apologizes to Piz. Veronica can't meet her boyfriend's eyes, and watches as Logan leaves, walking like a great burden has been lifted. She feels similar.
Entropy has worn them both down as far as it can, making them the only ones left. They emerged as broken toys with a million faulty gears, which only each other ever knew how to kick and shift the right way, so they would lurch mechanically back to life, never what they once were. They are untouchable by others and all their innocence.
True love indeed.