It is much easier to become a father than to be one. -Kent Nerburn
The baby is four months old- from the day of conception- when Logan finds out about her.
He sits against the bathroom cabinet, for once shorter than Veronica, who is perched on the toilet. His head is against their sink. He's taking deep breaths like one of his therapists tried to teach him to, once upon a mentally disturbed time. He knows that Veronica is wishing her dad were with them, and he finds himself wanting Keith as well. His father-in-law still doesn't really like him, but they've had five-plus years of Thanksgiving dinners that have slowly grown less awkward, and right now he really wants someone who will be logical, who will help them through this decision.
Logan jumps as his watch beeps, the timer run out. He glances up at Veronica. Her face is wrinkled from closing her eyes so tightly, so she doesn't reach for the test. Logan sighs and plucks it off the bathroom ledge. It's not one of those one line, two line, pink and blue line ones. No need to check the box, just read the word.
"Do you want to take it again?" Veronica gasps, and Logan pulls her down into his lap. He's terrified too, but one of them has to plan. "What do you want to do here, babe?"
She shudders against him. She feels very small in his arms, and he thinks about her growing larger over the next months. He shuts down the thought, not wanting to get ahead of himself.
"I'm going to suck as a mom," she groans. "I had the worst role model in the world. I haven't thought about having kids, I don't really want them. I love my job. I love our life."
"So you want to get an abortion?" he asks, and hates the pang the words send through him. He knows how important it is to be able to control what happens to your body. He knows better than anyone how important it is for her.
She sighs, pained, into his chest. "I don't know. Can I – I just want to think about it."
"Okay," he says helplessly. "You know I'll support anything you decide to do.
As he curls beside his wife that night, he decides that he was lying. When she tells him the next morning that they'll be having a baby, he doesn't question her. He's still terrified- if anything, his role model for fatherhood was worse than hers for motherhood- but somehow, despite all promises and better judgment, he has started wanting a baby with Veronica Mars.
A king, realizing his incompetence, can either delegate or abdicate his duties. A father can do neither. -Marlene Dietrich
Rosalynn Marie Echolls is twelve minutes and forty-four seconds old when Logan falls in love with her.
"She's definitely got your size," Veronica jokes, drifting off. Logan doesn't believe her. He supposes that she is on the large size for a baby, but she feels tiny and glassine in his arms.
He was thrilled to find out that they were having a girl. It felt safer. He couldn't imagine hurting a child, especially his own, especially one that looked up at him with Veronica's blue eyes, but he knew just how unpredictable his temper could be. A girl seemed less likely for him to lash out towards.
As soon as he held his daughter, he had the feeling it wouldn't have mattered. She was blondishly balding, very pink and just longer than a loaf of bread, and he had never loved anything more purely in his entire life.
"Hi, Rosie," he says to her floppy, trusting body. "I'm your dad. And I promise that I'm going to keep you safe."
His life has been full of broken promises, and as soon as the words leave his mouth, he begins to worry that this was another one. After all, how can he ensure her safety forever? Answer: He's Logan Echolls and he's sure as hell going to try.
He is pacing, the baby still sleeping in his arms, when Keith Mars enters, giant, fuzzy pony in hand. "Are convents still a thing?" Logan blurts.
Keith chuckles, tucking the pony into bed with his daughter. Veronica smiles briefly and snuggles against it. "Sit down, son," he says kindly. Logan sits, stopping himself from jiggling when Rosie purses her mouth at him, seeming to stir. Keith looks down at his granddaughter. "For a long time, I wouldn't have expected us to be in this position, Logan."
He's a grown man, a CEO with a wife and a daughter, and Logan looks down. "I know, sir."
"But you've turned your life around and so I'm going to help you out here. You're freaking out. You've seen what this world can do to people and you don't want it to happen to your baby girl."
"What can I do?" Logan's life has been going pretty well, and the desperate tone hasn't come out in a while. "How can I keep her safe?"
"You can't," Keith tells him regretfully. He looks pained for a minute, still upset over the things that have happened to his own daughter. "Unless the nurses switched that baby, there's no way your genetics are going to produce a girl who will let you put her in a plastic bubble. All you can do is keep her smart, keep her confident, give her your trust, keep her laughing and make sure she knows she's loved."
Logan looks at his wife, curled against her pony in the bed. He looks at his daughter curled relaxedly against his arms. He looks at his father-in-law with the seriousness that he has always had in his eyes. "Not a problem."
For rarely are sons similar to their fathers: most are worse, and a few are better than their fathers. -Homer
It is twelve days to Rosalynn's fifth birthday when Logan is called to help negotiate a celebrity divorce. He is supposed to be back by the end of the week, but when has his life ever gone as he planned?
The eleventh night, Rosalynn's voice is a completely faithful when she asks the question. "You'll be here for my party tomorrow, right Daddy?" She gives the phone back to her mother without waiting for the answer she knows confidently, so Veronica is left with Logan saying mournfully, "I'll try, sweets."
On the fifteenth night, Veronica comes down from putting Rosie to bed and finds her husband lying on the couch, an arm over his eyes. She curls up by his feet.
"Did you just get back?"
"Twenty minutes ago," he says quietly. His voice says that he wants a drink, and she's so proud of him that he just uncovers his eyes and looks up at her. "Does she hate me?"
"Logan," Veronica sighs. "She's five years old. Yeah, you missed her birthday, so right now you're on her shit list, but buy her a new Barbie or a pony and all will be forgiven. Our vengeance genes haven't quite developed in her yet."
"A pony?" Logan smirks up at her reluctantly.
She grins winningly. "Please?"
"Are you angry at me?" he asks, serious suddenly.
Veronica snakes up the couch so she's lying on top of him. She's small enough to do it easily, and his arms come around her. "Nope," she says baldly. "I get why you needed to go. There were kids involved and I would be angry at you if you had ditched to come home early. But Logan," she puts her palms on the sides of his face. "Why are you so broken up about this? You've been here from her first breath to her first day of preschool. This is just one party."
"That's how it started with me," he tells her. His eyes close and he grounds himself with the feeling of her rings against his cheekbones. "First it would be, 'Sorry I missed your school play, Logan,' and then it was, 'Sorry your mom had to get her stomach pumped, Logan,' and then it was, 'Sorry I broke your arm, Logan.' I can't let that happen to my family."
"That's what I'm here for, dumbass," Veronica's voice is surprisingly sensitive. "I would never let you slip that far. And you know what? You're an amazing father. You'll never be the best father in the world. It's not possible. Not while my dad's around."
"I want to be like your dad," he says, almost pushy.
"I think it would be really creepy if you were like my dad." He can hear the smile in her voice. "But we're good enough. Rosie...She's growing up so much better than either of us did." She stands, pulls him up. "Come on. It's one party. You'll be at the next one."
"And all the rest of them."
A man's worth is measured by how he parents his children. What he gives them, what he keeps away from them, the lessons he teaches and the lessons he allows them to learn on their own. -Lisa Rogers
Rose is fifteen, walking out to a party when her dad hands her a little gift bag.
"Ooooh, presents," she says and ignores her friend Jen honking from the driveway. She turns to bag over. A small whistle, a can and a card fall into her palm. Rosalynn frowns. "You gave me a rape whistle, mace and," she squints, "A drug test card?"
"Wait!" Logan reaches into his pocket. "Forgot the condoms."
"Rosie," he says seriously, using the nickname that no longer leaves their house. "Do you know how I lost my virginity?"
Her blush is fast and bright. "No! And finding out isn't really on my to do list. Ever!"
He persists, leaning against the doorpost. "I was fourteen, and with my girlfriend, Lilly. Do you know how your mother lost hers?" This time he doesn't pause. "She was drugged at a party, raped and had sex with her ex when neither of them were in their right minds. She didn't find out exactly what happened until two years later."
Rosalynn looks shocked and at the same time like she wishes she had been a few minutes faster getting out of the house. "Mom?" She has seen her mother stand up to school principals and sheriffs. She's never seen her mother afraid, she's never known a mother who did not know what to do. It makes her anxious to hear about. She wants him to take it back. "Why are you telling me this?"
"Oh, Rosie." Logan lifts himself from the doorpost, moves toward his daughter. "I don't want to scare you. I just want you to be safe."
"It's not that kind of party." Rose knows she sounds pathetic, protesting weakly.
"Sweetheart, it might not mean to be, but it's always going to be that kind of party."
A father carries pictures where his money used to be. -Anonymous
Rosalynn is eighteen years and six days old as her father pulls up to Yale's green lawns.
"We're here," he says, staring ahead for a few seconds before turning and grinning at his daughter. "Good road trip, girls. Now we can turn around and get back to California just in time for opening day at UCLA."
"Logan..." Rosalynn's mom's voice takes on the tone where it warns him that if he doesn't shape up, he'll be lacking in things Rosalynn doesn't want to think about.
Her dad transfers his smile to her mother. "Don't worry, Veronica. It took us ten days to get here, but we were sightseeing. We'll be back in three- five max. And if it seems like we won't make it, I can just get a plane."
Veronica raises an eyebrow, leaning over to brush a kiss on her husband's cheek. "Call my dad while you're parking and you two can commiserate about how you couldn't keep me and Rose young."
Logan looks shocked. "But pussycat, I'd never want to keep you young! Then everyone would talk about that handsome older gentleman and his little gold-digging tramp."
Veronica is still rolling her eyes as she gets out to find Registration.
Rosalynn starts to follow her, but her dad catches her hand.
"You know I'm proud of you, don't you, baby girl?"
"Course," she tells him. He still has every school picture in his office and every popsicle stick and glitter Fathers' Day mess on his desk. He would probably have a binder of every report card, A essay and college acceptance letter if she would have let him.
She regrets the trite, easy answer when he turns away from her, staring through the window again. "Your mom and I...we didn't grow up the way you did. Your grandpa was always proud of your mom, but my parents weren't as supportive." Her dad doesn't talk about his childhood often. She's found more from wikipedia than she has from stories, so Rosalynn is quiet.
"My mother was very selfish and my father was a real bas- terrible person." Rosalynn feels a rush of affection for him, how he still won't curse in front of her, even as she heads off for college. "And I swore that I would never be that kind of parent."
Rosalynn leans between the front seats, grabbing her father's hand. "I love you, Daddy. You've been the best dad ever."
He squeezes her hand, smiling at her in the rearview. "Why don't you go find your mom and tell her that?"
Watching your daughter being collected by her date feels like handing over a million dollar Stradivarius to a gorilla. -Jim Bishop
Rose Echolls-Davis is twenty-six as she and her dad stand waiting to walk down the aisle at her wedding.
"Breathe, sweetheart," he whispers as her sister-in-law steps onto the carpet. "You made it official at city hall last weekend. Even if you pass out here, you've already abandoned your loving parents."
"How did you know about that?" she demands, keeping her face serene with the utmost effort.
"Please." Her dad rolls his eyes. "Have you met your mother?"
"Not really making a good argument against leaving you and Mom."
They've moved up to the doors by now, and Rosalynn clutches her dad's hand.
"Don't let go," she orders, and they step into the small chapel.
"I won't," he promises seriously, before adding in a wicked undertone, "Although even this old guy could catch you if you tried to run."
"Dad!" She kicks him slyly beneath her skirt, unwillingly impressed by his lack of reaction. "It's not me I'm worried about running. It's him."
Logan nearly stops in the middle of the aisle in shock. "Rosie, Josh loves you. If I thought he would ever hurt you, he would not be standing at the end of that aisle right now."
Rosalynn laughs a little, knowing it's true. "You're right. God, of course he would never hurt me. I love him. I'm just..."
"Nervous?" Logan sighs. "Sweetheart, I've been where he's standing and he's probably nervous as hell too. But I promise, it will be worth it. I have absolutely no regrets about marrying your mom."
And then he's pulling back her veil and giving her away- symbolically, not literally because she nixed that sexist part of the ceremony. She takes an extra second letting go of her father's arm, and she thinks maybe he holds hers too. But when she glances at her parents a moment later, they are smiling.
We never know the love of our parents for us till we have become parents. -Henry Ward Beecher
Rosalynn Echolls-Davis is twenty-nine when she calls her parents one winter night. She doesn't know this, but at that moment, Veronica is about to challenge Logan to an arm wrestle to decide which movie to see.
"Saved by the bell," she smirks as he leans over to grab the phone, and he tickles her one handed as he says hello.
"Hi, Rosie," he says, tucking the phone against his shoulder so he can get at his wife with both hands.
Veronica couldn't miss the moment that their daughter delivers her news. He backs up off her, taking the phone back in his hand and speaking in slightly traumatized single syllables.
"Love you too," he finishes, and then just sits, the phone giving a dial tone in his ear.
Veronica takes it from his hand and clicks it off. "Well? What did Rosie say?"
Logan stares straight ahead for another long minute before he says hoarsely, "Our daughter is having sex."
"A logical conclusion. I knew I didn't just marry you for your looks," she grins at him until he glares back.
"She's pregnant, Veronica. Our baby is having a baby. How are you not disturbed by this development?"
"She already told me, back when she first suspected." Veronica feels smug. It's been a while since she kept secrets from Logan and it kind of feels good. Not damaging, but a little secret agent-y, which she definitely likes.
Logan seems to take this fairly calmly, which means that he's probably still partially in shock. But the shock seems to be lifting as he turns to her, a smile beginning to light the corners of his mouth. "Rosie's having a baby. We're going to be grandparents." He leans towards her, gripping her shoulders and giving her one of the kisses that she is fairly sure would be high in the top ten reasons that she married him if she bothered to make a list. "You're going to be the world's hottest grandma."
"I expect a mug attesting to that achievement," she gets out between kisses.
"A mug? I'm getting it on a t-shirt. If you've got it, flaunt it, babe." After a moment, he pulls back, holding her face between his palms: serious time. "We did good, didn't we, Mars?"
"Hell yeah we did, Echolls," she says, and if there are tears in her voice, Logan will never tell.
His voice is nostalgic and triumphant as he leans close to her. "This is going to be the most spoiled grandbaby ever."
My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it. -Clarence Budington Kelland