I let your soldiers in my fort and when you burned my cities down you left your salt all in my ground.

--

The crisp, chill water makes his teeth chatter, but this is the one thing that reminds Logan of his life.

Waist deep in icy water, salt filtering through his lungs, and Logan feels just like he's twelve years old again. Falling through the waves again; with every misstep on his board. His hair is short again, bleached by the sun and ruined by the sea. Sand freckles through it and Logan feels like he is growing into the beach. He belongs here.

It's the first time he's had that feeling in a long time.

Surfing was how he met Dick; surfing was the excuse for a lot of his getaways. Surfing is just this thing that he associates with being Logan Echolls.

--

Logan misses his favorite board, maybe more than anything else he lost in the House of Taking, Taking, Taking. He buys a new one, green, and drags it through the sand as he ambles toward the ocean all alone.

The surface scratches up a little and it's a start.

The cool, slick wood lies against his belly as Logan paddles out and there is a calming effect to it. The sick, hot churning feeling that is nearly always running through his gut stops. The water vacuums everything.

It is almost too quiet and the waves sound like breathing.

When Logan goes under, his board breaking the surface before he does, there is a split second where he remembers that his mother is down there somewhere and there is liquid all around him and when the ocean finally spits him out Logan bobs, red-faced and willing back a scream, feeling a little like he's just been born all over again.

There's something particularly scary about that thought, that maybe he hasn't learned from anything. Logan hates his life a lot of the time, he may be trying to reclaim it but he sure as hell doesn't want to re-experience it.

There are too many scars inside his head that Logan really doesn't want re-opened.

The salt stings his eyes, clinging to his eyelashes where it would dry to a crust if he wasn't straight back in the water. There are things you can't ever know about under the ocean and Logan finds that comforting, everything has become too predictable lately.

He steps out of the ocean and back to Veronica, but she's not there. He looks left and right, scours the sand before he remembers her summer of playing spy.

He drags the new board, christened with white-washed foam, back across the beach and flops down beside it.

This has been his summer. Logan and a board. So far it is a lot less heartbreaking than some of his summers have been.

Logan was christened with his father's name as a middle name and there's not much he can do about that. But if he can be baptized into the surf, cleaned up with saline and ornamented with thick slimy seaweed, then he thinks these things can be forgotten about.

The sand sticks to his back and Logan trails one hand along beside him, pinching the sand into a tiny castle. He's not alone, the beach is dotted with people, their anonymous faces merging to one, but it feels that way and the water starts to clear more definitely from his chest so that Logan can breathe properly again. It feels good. It feels like something he had forgotten, lost in the surf and brushed under the ash of a house fire.

He lies out until he burns red and the aloe vera stings pleasantly sinking into his skin. There is one small spot on his back that Logan can't reach and it stays fired and flaking.

--

There's only so long you can stay in a haunted hotel and more than one thing from Logan's life has died inside these walls. The clinical idea of it being temporary hangs through the air no matter how long he hangs around. It's still just some suite, bone-dry and a few hundred feet above sea-level.

It's not his.

The hotel reminds him of Veronica on his more morose days – an inescapable presence, self-important, linked to Duncan, full of memories, cementing him to the past. Bone-dry and thousands of feet above sea-level. He doesn't ever remember being this low.

He doesn't ever remember being dumped so creatively or so quickly.

"Don't say my name, don't say anything."

"Hello?"

"What did I just say?"

"Ve—"

"Seriously, you have to be quiet."

"Uh, okay. Everything cool? Where abouts are you?"

"I can't tell you where I am."

"So it's some undisclosed location? You're really getting into this whole spy thing."

"This isn't funny, Logan."

"I never—what's going on Ver— What's going on?"

"I'm not coming home."

"What?"

"Some stuff is happening. I—I don't know. I just, I had to say goodbye."

"Goodbye? Veronica, what the hell—Veronica? Veronica?"

The line was dead, she had hung up. Logan read up a lot about witness protection and missing persons, the FBI, the CIA, MI5, area 51. Mostly though he went surfing and if he didn't expect Veronica to be waiting by the sand then it was a good day.

--

"Hey, man."

Wallace turns up on his strip of beach one morning, a postcard in his hand. When Logan asks why, Wallace just shrugs. "She left you too."

No postcard ever arrives for Logan. He's not sure if his lack of a permanent address helps that, but the next day he puts down a deposit on a house and gives Wallace the address. He knows Wallace doesn't have a forwarding for Veronica, nobody knows where she is at all, but he hopes somehow it will filter back to the nightmare girl who told him everything would be okay and then disappeared.

--

The water wrinkles him and Logan wonders if you really get old with no one around to notice. The sun dries out the lines from his skin but Logan can't shake the feeling that he's not supposed to be asking these sorts of questions at eighteen. He's not supposed to wonder if anyone will know when he turns nineteen.

An old sodden twig acts as his pen while he scrapes letters into the sand, crossing out the names of the disappeared.

Mom

Dad

Veronica

Duncan

Dick Beav
Hannah
Lilly

Their order doesn't seem important; they're all just as gone. He really wishes he hadn't told Trina to 'fuck off and die' when she invited him to do Oprah with her.

Even Kendall disappeared, but it didn't seem so strange when Logan thought Veronica was still steadfastly Veronica and residing in Neptune. After all, disappearing, name-changing, it was all Kendall's apparent MO.

Now though he can't help but believe the two are connected. It's easier to blame Kendall for taking Veronica away than it is to blame Veronica. He doesn't know when it became difficult to blame Veronica for the bad things in his life.

--

He still walks along the edge of the water when he cannot sleep. The small dark waves stretch and rise, molding up the horizon, and he rolls up his jeans, shoes in hand and walks a tightrope up the foaming sand. It requires discipline to stay straight and Logan has been drinking in his car, but he doesn't fall over. It's a start.

A dark ocean becomes the dark sand and Logan tries to navigate the difference. He knows this better than he knows anything. A lot of his life happened out by the sea and he doesn't know why he let things like scandal and Veronica Mars drag him inland.

When the weather's bad and the lightning strikes the sea he just sits and watches. A brawl in the sky, intangible things falling to pieces, and Logan sits safe as can be in his car observing the new aquatic world, water above him and water below. There are islands, he muses, where you can stand anywhere and see water, see escape. His whole life up until this point has been a prison break, but now watching the water, he doesn't have anything to run from.

It feels safe and he waits for the sea to churn up something it took away.