Title: To Neptune and Back
Rating: T to M
Spoiler: AU after Season 2
Disclaimer: VM's characters and universe belong to Rob Thomas.
Summary: Logan left after Cassidy committed suicide. He has been leading a double life for 10 years now
Author's Note: I put plenty of action movie homage. This chapter is re-done and beta'ed by the amazing steenbeans!
New York City
Logan was chewing his bubblegum absentmindedly. Sometimes he chewed gum to calm his nerves. He'd quit smoking a year ago, and it had been hard. He looked out of the open window of his hotel, watching the building in front of him. He was wearing a Bluetooth in his ear and listening to his assistant, Patricia, babble about a case.
"And I told him, he could just go fuck himself! I mean, seriously. He was having an affair with her husband? That's totally unprofessional!" Patricia yelled. Logan didn't say anything, only muttering in agreement. "I mean, he had a contract! How hard is it to follow through a simple contract? Kill the husband, let the wife get the insurance money, and then pay us. But nooo, he had to follow his heart! And now, the wife is dead and we don't get paid!"
"Patty, we've been through this," Logan finally said. "I told you we don't take contracts for insurance killing anymore. Too much drama." He looked through his binoculars, towards the entrance to the building. "And you know how I feel about hiring Sven. He's… a drama queen. No pun intended."
Patricia whined, "We need the money, Logan. We can't live by your… indie movies alone. Do you know how much bullets and weapons cost?"
Logan rolled his eyes. "Indie movies are just for cover. You know that. And again, don't hire anyone without my agreement. We're not exactly an organization. We're… independent."
"Like your movies," Patricia snarked.
Logan just sighed. His assistant had a smart mouth, but she was efficient. The most common misconception about assassins was that they worked alone. Well, in the field, they did work alone. But a professional killer usually needed an assistant to help with the little things- like purchasing airplane tickets, buying weapons and bullets (preferably with discounts), taking phone calls and messages, arranging contracts, taking assignments, etc. There were plenty of professional killers who didn't have assistants. But they had a lot of stuff to juggle, which made it harder for them to concentrate on their job.
"Everybody needs a day job, Patty," Logan calmly told his assistant. "By the way, is the money for this job already paid?"
Undisclosed location, Utah
"Yes, this morning. After you've done the deed, go to the rooftop of your hotel. Cross over to the next building and climb down the fire escape. A car will be waiting; the car key is in your suitcase. Also, I've received a bunch of emails for you, and requests for the next assignment. Would you like to hear them?" Patricia asked.
She was in a studio, sitting in front of her computer with her own headset. Patricia was in her 40s, and she'd recently dyed her hair blonde. She had a girlfriend who was 15 years younger than her, who didn't know anything about her 'other' job. She always claimed that she was a telemarketer.
New York City
"Sure." He looked at his watch. In 10 minutes, his target would appear – if the target was on time. He assembled his sniper rifle, fitted its laser sights, and looked through its telescope. He was still eyeing the entrance of the building in front of him. The street was crowded with cars, cabs, and pedestrians. The sound of a drill came from somewhere, loud and annoying. But Logan was used to noisy situations; Patricia was always yapping in his ear through the phone.
"Husband cheating, wife wants him dead-" Patricia started.
"But it's good money."
"What did I say about cheating spouses?"
"Never mind. Okay, how about this – A private company wants you to blow up Greenpeace's ship near the coast of Japan."
"No Greenpeace, Red Cross, hospitals, animals or children," Logan said. "Don't you have something along the lines of, like… an annoying Prime Minister?"
"Not this month. It's not an election month."
"November, then. Okay, what else you got?"
"Because of your high moral ground, I have to say that there's nothing interesting," Patricia said sarcastically. Logan smirked a bit. So what if he had standards? "Let's get to your email. By the way, has your target arrived yet?"
"Not yet." He scanned the area for the target. According to his assistant, his target would be arriving soon, so he needed to be prepared. He wrapped his bubblegum in a piece of paper, and put it in his personal trash zip loc. Never leave a trace of DNA when you're killing someone.
"Okay, I'm just gonna read your emails. You can reply to them yourself." Logan heard the mouse click several times. "This is why you need to buy a BlackBerry."
"So I can BBM with you?" Logan chuckled. "Disposable cell-phones are the safest. I have you to read my emails and sort through my Twitter and Facebook statuses."
"Ugh, fine!" she groaned. "Plenty of emails from your manager, asking whether you want to make a remake of one of your…Aaron's old movies." Logan snorted, and Patricia considered it as a 'no'. "Email from Casey Gant about your book." Logan didn't answer, but Patricia didn't delete the email. "Email from Sofia Coppola asking about a collaboration." Logan curled his lips; it was a tempting offer. "And an email from Dick Casablancas, about your high school reunion."
Logan frowned. "Dick?"
"Yes. Richard Casablancas, Jr." Patricia read the email, doing her best impression of Dick. "Dude, what's up? How's Utah? I can't believe you haven't called me in over a year, asshole. Anyway, I just got my invitation for our high school reunion. It's gonna be so awesome! I'm sure you already got your invitation. Once you get to Neptune, let's hit the waves."
Logan just groaned. A high school reunion was not something he'd ever looked forward to. Those weren't exactly the best years of his life. High school certainly hadn't been boring; but it was a time he wanted to stay buried, forever. After graduation, he'd just… left. He'd built his 'fake' life and become a professional killer.
Although he always tried to convince himself that he was only killing 'bad people'- politicians, mobsters, the morally corrupt assholes who were responsible for the injustice of the world- did that make him a better person? Logan doubted it; in the end he was still a killer. Aaron would appreciate the irony.
As an indie film director, Logan Echolls was very well known. He was the bright young indie star of the decade; the next Quentin Tarantino. Nowadays, people forgot that he was Aaron Echolls' son; the son of a murderer. Logan had managed to make his own name for himself a few years back, when he'd made a movie. It was the dark tale of a corrupt city, called Neptune Noir.
The plot was fictional, but he'd sprinkled some truth into the story. The movie was about a young redheaded detective in high school, named Betty Spencer, who'd tried to solve the murder of her mother. She'd gotten involved in a love triangle between a hot-headed, snobby Sheriff named Michael Sheppard, and her equally stubborn rival named Jack (no last name – because it was important to the plot). She'd uncovered a conspiracy, involving the mayor and organized crime. The movie had many plot twists and smart dialogue, not to mention great acting. Betty Spencer was played by a young and upcoming actress named Andrea Bowen, who was really great in the role. Michael Sheppard was played by Connor Larkin (Logan had decided to use him for eye candy), and the role of Jack (no last name) was played by Alex Pettyfer.
The movie had won a Film Independent Spirit Award a few years back, for Best New Screenplay, Best Actress (Andrea Bowen), Best Cinematography, and Best Director (Logan Echolls). When Logan had accepted the award, he'd gotten a standing ovation – the title of son of a murderer had disappeared. Logan had redeemed himself with that award, and many more afterwards. The movie was a hit, it was a critical darling, and it had even gotten some Oscar buzz. Although it hadn't gotten nominated for an Oscar, all of that buzz had given the film great credibility.
But there was always a dark passenger inside of Logan, and he couldn't get rid of it.
It was as though his sense of justice, and the vigilante side of himself, had gotten meshed together one night… the night that he'd watched Cassidy Casablancas leap off of the rooftop of the Neptune Grand, killing himself. Cassidy, his best friend's brother, had murdered so many people, and he'd almost killed Veronica. Logan had saved Veronica, but he couldn't save Cassidy. And then, as if everything wasn't already fucked up enough, the police had informed him that Aaron had been found dead in his room – shot in the head. He'd been discovered by Kendall Casablancas, Cassidy and Dick's step mom, who'd also slept with Logan. And yet, Logan had felt relieved when he'd found out that Aaron was dead. He was thankful to whoever had killed him. It was a fucked up way to feel.
He'd looked at Veronica as she slept in his lap, later that night; his heart was in pain. He loved Veronica so much that it hurt. Early the next morning, after Veronica had reunited with her father, Logan had quietly walked out of the apartment… and out of their lives for good.
It wasn't until his movie had come out, and he'd become successful, that everyone had tried to reach him again. His 09ers friends, Trina (who'd wanted to be cast in his movies), and Dick. He'd realized that he didn't have many friends in his life. Back then, his life had only been about Lilly, Duncan, and Veronica.
Veronica had never tried to reach him. It was over, their epic love life. It was true, that their epic love had only brought misery and death. But like any other epic love story… Logan had never forgotten Veronica. She was always on his mind, constantly. He'd tried to call her many times, but he'd always hang up after the first ring. He'd googled her, reading the many articles about her and her dad; how she'd solved many cases, how her father was Sheriff of Neptune again, after beating Don Lamb in an election. But Veronica had decided to quit the detective gig. After she'd graduated from University, she'd become a famous photographer.
Logan went to one of her exhibitions, in Los Angeles. He hadn't seen her, but he'd seen her pictures. Her pictures were beautiful: sad, gorgeous, intriguing, many things that Veronica herself was. Logan had seen a picture of a pony. It was black and white, and the pony was stuck in mud. There was a little girl trying to pull the pony out of the mud. There was such sadness in that picture, and yet there was also hope. Logan was mesmerized by it; he bought the photo for five thousand dollars, after he'd won his bid on it.
He'd seen her picture once, in a magazine. She was being interviewed about her work, her past and possible future. Logan read between the lines; she was careful in not saying a lot about her past, but she was very positive about her work. In the glossy magazine picture, she was sitting on the beach with her dog, Backup. She looked so peaceful; she was wearing a summer dress, with Backup at her side. She was smiling and the wind was blowing in her hair. When Logan saw that picture, he'd put the magazine close to his mouth and kissed it lightly.
He was glad that Veronica had led a good life. He guessed that his non-existence in her life really had helped, and he didn't blame her at all for never trying to reach him. It was for the best. Her life would be in danger if she knew that he was actually a professional killer.
He was a professional killer first, an indie movie director second.
After he'd left Neptune, he'd joined the army. He'd worked for the government, gone into the professional killing business for himself, and managed to build a resume as an indie movie director while he was at it. The money was good on both sides, but better on the assassin side. He researched his potential clients, and only took jobs that interested him. Sometimes, he'd use aspects of his job in the movies he made. This was why people loved his movies; they had a certain gritty realism.
He was careful that nobody found out about his assassin life, not even his clients. Only Patricia knew about his identity, and he trusted her completely. He'd saved her from her abusive husband one day – by killing her husband. Both of them had disposed of the body, and Patricia had started her new life, thanks to Logan. They'd decided to open up their business, and Patricia had become his assistant. Logan always considered her the older sister that he'd wished he'd had.
Patricia was still babbling about the assignment. Logan didn't pay much attention, because a group of people had just walked out of the building. "Hold on, Pat. I see him." Patricia shut up immediately and waited. Logan aimed his sniper rifle, looking out of the scope towards the entrance to the building. An old man, surrounded by his bodyguards, was outside the entrance. They seemed to be waiting for their ride. Logan waited until a limo stopped in front of them. As one of the bodyguards approached the limo, the driver's side door opened.
This was Logan's cue to act. He targeted the driver- he was the assassin. He turned on the laser sight, ready to shoot. The driver pointed his gun at the old man, but the bodyguards saw him. Before they could react, Logan shot the driver point blank in the head. The driver/assassin fell immediately, while the bodyguards piled themselves on top of the old man, trying to protect him. Some of them shot at the driver, even though he was already dead.
Logan backed away from the window, and began to break down the rifle. "Done," he said to Patricia. "I'm going home." He'd just finished packing his things, when he suddenly heard the sound of a screeching car. Logan looked out of his open window; a dark car had stopped next to the limo, and someone was getting out of the car with a gun. The bodyguards moved off of the old man and rose with their weapons.
A woman wearing a red wig raised her gun and shot the old man several times in the chest. The old man fell down. The bodyguards were too late to protect him; before they could react, the woman shot them in the legs. She ducked fast behind the car, while other bodyguards shot the car with a hail of bullets. It was chaotic. People were screaming, running, huddling, and trying to protect themselves. The red wigged lady seemed calm. She threw her empty gun and pulled out two guns from inside of her jacket. She stood and shot at them, but didn't get anyone – apparently, the shots were just a warning. It seemed to be working, because the bodyguards were all scrambling to hide.
Undisclosed location, Utah
Patricia listened in horror to the sound of shooting and screaming coming from her headset, but she didn't say anything.
New York City
Logan watched the scene below him in shock. There were two assassins! Before he could make a move, the red wigged lady suddenly looked up, and Logan felt his heart leap into his mouth.
Veronica Mars was looking at Logan's open window and aiming her gun. She hadn't seen Logan's face, but she shot at the window several times. She knew there was someone there who'd just killed the driver/assassin. Logan jumped sideways to avoid getting hit. He was breathing hard, but he didn't flinch as the bullets broke the glass window next to him.
It was definitely Veronica Mars. Veronica Mars had just killed the old man and hurt the bodyguards, and she'd almost killed him. Granted, she hadn't known that it was Logan. But it had been very close. Logan didn't have time to think about his brush with death. His brain was still trying to comprehend what had just happened, when he heard the sound of a screeching car. He peeked out of the window, and saw that Veronica had already driven away. He also saw the old man lying on the sidewalk, blood pooling around him.
"Patty!" he yelled into his Bluetooth.
"Yes!" Patty also yelled. "What the fuck happened?"
"A fucked up situation, that's what happened." Logan grabbed his weapon case, which looked like a guitar case, and walked out of the room. "There were two assassins, and one of them managed to kill the guy."
"Do we know this person?" Patricia asked worriedly.
"I do." He gritted his teeth and kicked the door to the emergency stairs open. "Book me a trip to Neptune as soon as possible."