Epilogue

Logan looks out from the back of the limousine as he rides with Veronica towards their spot. He found it years ago when he first got his license and with it, his first taste of freedom away from the home life everyone envied and he couldn't wait to leave. He took a drive up the PCH dreaming of the time he could just keep driving and never have to live another day in fear of his father and his leather belts. He would be able to take his mother with him and they both would be free. Of course those were just the dreams of a young teenage boy; they never materialized but they helped to keep him sane and gave him some measure of hope in a world where he felt desolate.

He had been driving and finally stopped to turn around when he found the spot. It was high up above the water but had the most spectacular view. The beach below was rugged and deserted. The log he sat on to look out at the peaceful scene was protected by shrubbery and palm trees. It was his own private oasis; it became his place to go to think and to dream.

He never took Lilly or Duncan Kane there even when he was dating Lilly and Duncan was his best friend/brother. He kept that place as his own delicious secret. He went there when he needed to recharge from his tempestuous relationship with Lilly or when his home life became too much for him to handle.

It was his own fortress of solitude until the day he took Veronica Mars there. He is not even sure why he took her there the first time; he guesses it was because she was so caring and loving that he felt he could share that part of himself with her. Of course she immediately understood what the place meant to him and she loved it there. Since that first time, they have come there for many of their important moments and now they come each time they are in Neptune.

This trip back is a special one. It is their five-year high school reunion. They are going to attend the Friday night social and then the reunion dinner and dance the next night. He looks over at her and feels the familiar warmth in his chest. He and Veronica have been a couple since they got back together in junior year of high school. They both graduated near the top of their classes from Stanford and are both now in law school at Harvard.

This spot has almost all their important memories. He brought her to his spot to talk about going to college together while they were in senior year of high school. He brought her back after their freshman year in college to ask her to formally move in with him. Then they came here during their junior year and he gave her the beautiful promise ring she now wears. Tonight he is taking her to their spot and he is going to ask her to marry him. He is not worried she is going to refuse; he is sure of their relationship.

He is not worried but he is very excited. He has been sure that she is the one for him since high school and he has loved every moment of time he has spent with her. Now he wants to make their relationship official. He wants to give her the wedding of her dreams. He wants to spend the rest of his life with her.

He remembers his high school graduation like it was yesterday. It was one of the happiest days of his life. At first he had been upset because both of his parents had decided to attend. He had vented to Veronica that his parents were going to make Neptune High Graduation a circus event. She had taken his hand and pointed out, "While they are fighting for media attention, you and I can just sneak away and spend the last few days with our friends before we leave for our internships in Seattle. "Of course she had been right; the media focused on both of his attention loving parents and he had been left alone for the most part.

After all this time he does not know what caused his father to divorce his mother just before his senior year of high school but he strongly suspects that he has Veronica's grandfather, Ian and probably Keith to thank for that miracle. All he knows for sure is that his father came back from his movie shoot in New Zealand that year and announced to the press that he and Lynn had grown apart and they had decided to divorce. Of course he tried to spin himself in the best light by saying that Lynn had decided to stay in Neptune with their son until he graduated mostly because her career had stalled while he was now in negotiations for his next blockbuster.

Aaron, in a foolish attempt to seem like a caring father, had donated a large amount of money to help pay for his high school and then college graduation. Each time he had sat in a place of honor in the front row with the latest starlet from a long line of starlets and models his father had been seen with since his separation and subsequent divorce from his mother. Of course Logan had understood that his father could care less about the fact he graduated high school or college. He was there to do some damage control. The press had not been positive after his separation and the later announcement that Lynn Lester had received full custody of Logan. There was a lot of speculation that Lynn was divorcing him over his many affairs and that Logan chose to stay with his mother.

At first Logan worried that his father would get custody of him when his parents' divorced. Once Logan learned that his mother was retaining custody of him, he had worried how much time he would be expected to see his father in LA. Surprisingly his mother had negotiated security that could not be threatened or bought off or threatened.

If Logan had been skeptical of the divorce settlement, Veronica had enthusiastically embraced the idea that Logan was away from his sick, abusive father; in fact she had actually done the dance of joy. When Logan had questioned why his parents were now divorcing and his father allowed his mother to keep custody, she had grasped his face and made him look at her stating definitively, "Who cares? Voldemort is dead!" Then she had raised her arms in victory and yelled, "The wicked witch is dead!" She then began to dance around singing from the Wizard of Oz. He had to smile at her enthusiasm and obvious happiness that he wouldn't have to see his father often. Plus of course, she looks sexy dancing and singing. He mentally shrugged and joined in the impromptu celebration.

Logan still remembers the day that his mother's attorney explained the particulars of his custody and settlement to him. He would be getting ten thousand dollars a month from his father until he turned twenty-five years old. Once he turned twenty-five, he would receive twenty million. Logan could not believe that his father even agreed to the divorce much less the generous settlements both he and his mother received. He always told his mother he would leave her penniless and he would cut Logan off if she ever tried to leave. The money was already in trust for him so his father couldn't renege on the deal. The only stipulation his father made was that he was not allowed to talk to the press at all about their relationship and the custody agreement was to be kept secret. That was fine with Logan. He didn't want to talk to the press at all and it was nobody's business what his personal financial situation was.

Before the meeting with his mother's lawyer, Logan confided his fears that his father would cut his mother and him off financially. Veronica had carelessly dismissed the money firmly stating that they were both going to become lawyers and they didn't need any of his blood money. They would help his mother as well if it came to that. Logan had loved her more for her belief in them and him as well as her wish to have Aaron gone even if he cut Logan and his mother off without a penny.

Of course once Logan turned eighteen, he absolutely refused to have anything to do with his father. He refused to attend any movie premieres, visit his home in LA or even talk to him on the telephone. It gave Logan perverse pleasure that his father couldn't do anything about it. After that day, he absolutely ignored any press about his father. He didn't care how he spun the end of their relationship; the important thing was he was gone.

Although he flourished, Logan wasn't surprised when his mother fell apart when Aaron announced their separation. Veronica couldn't believe that she would be anything but relieved but Logan understood the torment she had endured and how low her self-image had drifted during her marriage. Logan asked and even begged his mother to go to drug and alcohol rehabilitation but instead, she started working a little doing some television guest shots and then took a supporting role in a movie. With her seventy-five million dollar settlement, she really doesn't need the money but it was really more to help her feel good about herself again. Although Logan recommended she wait, she immediately started dating again. She soon met an important man; a judge and they got married right after Logan's graduation from high school. He doesn't want her to work as an actress; he wants her to help him with entertaining and his campaigns. She is good at staying in the background and making her man look good. At first Logan was very unhappy she was dating but with Keith and Veronica's support, he got to know the judge a little and now when he sees him, they at least are able to talk about the law. He is just too dominating and it bothers Logan that his mother is letting another guy make decisions for her.

The summer after high school was spent in Seattle with Logan interning with Ian at his law firm and Veronica interning with her grandfather at the police station. After his mother's wedding, Logan and Veronica went to Stanford together and although Veronica had a dorm room, she spent most of her time with Logan in his condo. She made it his first real home. She helped him pick it, furnish it and she was there to teach him how to have an ordinary life; he learned to budget his money, keep his condo clean, do laundry and cook. Of course he didn't actually ever clean his condo; he hired a service to come once a week and clean but he did learn to keep things neat. Veronica did a lot of the cooking but Logan did like to grill and he learned to cook some simple meals as well. He didn't think he could love Veronica more but their first year of college together cemented their relationship. Instead of just dating, they became a team; team LoVe.

Veronica sits next to her boyfriend of over seven years and she thinks about the past as they ride towards their spot. He is so romantic and loving and this spot has many happy memories for them. She was touched when he brought her here for the first time; knowing that he hadn't brought anyone else made it even more special. They came here to reminisce and be together nearly every time they visited Neptune. Tonight they had gone out to Luigi's for a romantic dinner. Logan being Logan had gone all out renting a limo for their date. He looks very handsome in his dark suit and crisp white shirt. She has learned to just join in and enjoy her boyfriend's crazy, often impromptu and extravagant plans. He is a romantic, loving and sentimental man; she wouldn't change that about him for the world.

Besides tonight was their only night to celebrate the end of their first year of law school together. The rest of their time in Neptune would be busy with reunion activities, visiting friends and helping her father get ready to move so tonight she wholeheartedly joined in their date night. She did her hair, nails and make up and then put on one of the new dresses she bought for this weekend. It is a wonderful royal blue off the shoulder dress that really brings out the color of her eyes and she feels beautiful wearing it.

After over seven years, her man still makes her feel beautiful and desired

every day. He looks at her with his wonderfully expressive and soulful brown eyes and her heart skips in her chest. She could not love a man more than she loves Logan Echolls. There is never a dull moment with him; he is impulsive, fun and full of life. He shares her dream of becoming a lawyer, is a part of her loving, wonderful family and most of all, he is her soul mate. In High School, they were voted the couple most likely to celebrate a golden wedding anniversary. Veronica thought that was boring but Logan had been thrilled that their classmates could see them together that long. She had been touched when she found their prom picture and that prediction from their senior yearbook framed and hung in his den.

Truthfully she is excited about this weekend. Her father is moving to Seattle. It is past time. He has been alone in Neptune since she went away to college and moved in with Logan. The first two summers she interned in Seattle and the last two summers she and Logan interned in LA with influential friends of Lynn's husband. The summer before Grad school, Logan insisted they take the summer off and relax. He said they had been running like hamsters and they needed to be together. She had agreed and they had gone for a vacation to Italy. It had been the best experience for her. She had never been out of the US and in fact hadn't really been away from the west coast before. Lynn had given them the trip as her gift to both of them for graduation. Ian had insisted on paying for grad school for her and Lynn's husband had paid for Logan to attend Law School.

Tomorrow night Veronica was going to get to see Meg and Leo. They got married the summer after grade 12 and Meg almost immediately got pregnant. They now had two children and their third is on the way. Logan had been worried that they were getting married too soon but a talk with Leo had convinced Logan that he was very serious and deeply in love with Meg. Veronica had stood up with Meg at their wedding.

Surprisingly Lilly had been Meg's maid of honor. She was still wild, untamed and unpredictable but both Logan and Meg felt she was happier now she was away from her parents. Logan talked to her once a week and he was convinced that getting into a sorority changed Lilly's life.

Lilly confided in Meg that Veronica is her half-sister. She noticed her mother's immediate hatred when she met Veronica and it had tweaked her interest. Why would mother dearest hate Veronica Mars? It all became clear when she overheard her parent's arguing. Veronica Mars is the product of her father and his high school sweetheart's affair. At first Lilly hated her more but in college she changed her mind about having a half-sister. Her sorority sisters have accepted her as she is and have become her chosen family. Part way through her first year of college, she decided that even though she could never call Veronica her sister publicly, she was going to get to know her. So when she was back in Neptune visiting, she took the time to actually talk to Veronica without any animosity between them. As a bonus, it is a huge fuck you to her mother that Veronica Mars has become her friend. It does bother Lilly a little that Veronica had to work and get scholarships for college when she is the biological daughter of a billionaire but she can see that Veronica is happy with Mr. Mars. She actually found it ironic that her half-sister is now dating her ex. Logan is sex on a stick so he will keep her sister satisfied; he is rich and they are both becoming lawyers so her sister will live in a huge mansion and never want for anything. Lilly keeps in touch with Veronica and they are pretty good friends in their own right.

Surprisingly Duncan is still a free agent. He upset his parents by coming second in the class rankings to Veronica and then further upset them by refusing to go to college right after high school. He has firmly told them that he is not interested in becoming a politician or taking over the family business. He took a year off after high school travelling and surfing. He has just completed his journalism degree and now travels around the world freelancing. He is one of the wealthiest young men in the world and he will never need to work.

Mac will be at the reunion. She got a full ride to MIT and she hasn't looked back. Each summer she interned at different company and out of the multitude of job offers she had upon graduation, she accepted a job in a new, relative unknown software company. She finds her job exciting and rewarding. She is not dating anyone steady but talks in glowing terms about the man who founded the company. Veronica suspects that Mac's admiration is masking a more personal interest.

Erica and Luke broke up in senior year. Luke got a baseball scholarship to USC and he graduated with a degree in kinesiology. Erica went to Hearst College and has become an accountant. She is dating a guy she works with and seems very happy.

The petite blonde is excited to see Cindy and Derek while they are in Neptune. Veronica and Logan held on to each other and joined in the large group of firefighters, police officers as well as friends and family who bonded during Marie's illness and death. Although Veronica knew that Logan was strong, her father and the Chief were impressed with how much support he was for Derek after Marie passed away. Logan through his time volunteering at the fire department was able to see how Derek was coping at work. He also started volunteering with Derek when he walked the State Park trails. The long hikes gave the two time to bond and gave Derek an opportunity, away from Cindy and his coworkers, to talk about what he was feeling. Logan is a good listener and doesn't have any expectations of how Derek should handle the loss and how he should feel. Veronica couldn't have been more proud of how her wonderful, loving boyfriend was just a good friend to Derek; they remain buddies to this day.

Veronica, true to her promise to Marie, made time for Cindy. They both worked at the foundation that was set up in Marie's name but Veronica has made sure that she was there personally for Cindy. They are still close talking weekly on the phone.

Veronica was very worried about Cindy at first. She had been home with Marie and she seemed to be deeply depressed after her death. Even working hard for the foundation wasn't enough to help Cindy through the pain she felt. In addition Derek threw himself in to his work and his volunteer projects. He was away from Cindy physically and emotionally. Veronica was truly concerned about their marriage.

Fate stepped in though. Years before Marie was diagnosed with her cancer, Keith talked Cindy and Derek into becoming emergency foster parents. They took the occasional child in for a few days at a time until the social worker was able to find them a more permanent placement. About six months after Marie passed away, a young baby girl and a two year old boy were left alone after the mother was murdered by her boyfriend. She had no other family and placing the two traumatized children together was a challenge. The social worker did not want to split them up especially as they just lost their mother.

Cindy couldn't say no and she took the two emotionally needy children into her home and took care of them. They ended up staying a few months before a good home was found for them together. Cindy actually enjoyed the challenge and the good feeling she got helping the children adjust. It had been a long time since they had a baby around the house and of course, had to answer the million questions of an inquisitive and excitable two-year old.

Derek had really enjoyed helping Cindy in the evenings and the care of the two young children gave the once close couple something tangible and daily to work towards. It eased the stress between them; they were able to get past their personal pain and get back to the closeness they once shared.

Of course Moneybags Logan talked his mother into letting them use the apartment in Paris for a vacation after the two young children were given a permanent home. They came back from their trip to Paris obviously closer physically and emotionally. Since that time they have been foster parents to over thirty children. They are talking now about actually adopting a small family that needs them. Veronica thinks that they would both be wonderful parents for some very lucky children.

Keith packs up his apartment. He is happy to be moving home to Seattle. He is going to live with his father right now until he gets settled in his new job as captain in the precinct he began his police career in. He is excited about the new challenge.

Looking back on his career in Neptune, his biggest regret is that Aaron Echolls got off too lightly for his years of abuse on Lynn and Logan. Keith's innate sense of justice makes him want to see Aaron face the consequences for what he has done but he knows inside that getting Lynn and Logan away from Aaron's influence was more important. He had done his part protecting Lynn and Logan during the separation and divorce. He helped Lynn select a security company to protect Logan while he was with Aaron during the court mandated visitation and he has ensured that Logan's condo near Stanford and his current house in ((((( are well protected. He has also helped to ensure that Aaron has not found out who instigated his divorce and subsequent settlement.

It has been a few years but he knows that Aaron is still looking for whoever orchestrated his divorce but so far has been unable to get any new leads despite hiring four different private investigators. Ian and his father's plan was actually genius. They just informed Aaron that each week they were going to send part of the information they found about Aaron's affairs and Logan's abuse to one person who would be contacting him for payment to keep quiet. Aaron had been stubborn but finally caved after the first man demanded one hundred thousand dollars to keep quiet and the second demanded a quarter million.

Interestingly a few years ago Keith confided in Veronica that he knew about Logan's abuse from both Lynn and his father. She had apologized for not coming to him directly; citing his job as Sheriff as the stumbling block, not any lack of belief in him. He had understood and she had surprised him by asking him to look into the doctors and nurses that had known about and covered the physical abuse Logan suffered in Neptune. Keith had been more than happy to look into Dr. Joel Pendleton and the nurses who worked for him. Without involving Logan, Keith had been able to ensure that three nurses and Dr. Pendleton had voluntarily surrendered their licenses to practice. Although they did not directly pay for what they did to Logan, Veronica and Keith are both content to know that they cannot hurt others.

Keith has been sure for years that Logan is going to end up his son-in-law. As a father you want a man to love your daughter deeply and treat her like a princess. That definitely describes Logan. He is strong enough to handle his stubborn, strong-willed daughter and most importantly, he is loving and kind enough to deserve her. He is not afraid to openly show that Veronica has his heart and he worships her. Keith could not be happier for them; they are really good together.

As he packs Keith thinks about how Logan approached him two months ago when he visited them and asked for his permission to marry Veronica. On paper Logan has real issues; a mother that drinks and is addicted to pills and a father who physically and emotionally abused him. Logan was raised entitled and self centered. He has very little respect for authority and he has real smart mouth to go with his negative attitude.

It took a lot of patience and time but Keith has come to see that along with the love this young man has for his daughter, Logan has a real desire to belong to a family. It is hard not to care about the little boy inside the arrogant young man; the little boy just wants to have approval, acceptance and love. He turned to Keith to be his role model and surrogate father and the Sheriff did not have the heart to turn him away. Keith made a real effort to get to know Logan; they went to the gun range, played poker and had movie nights since they both love action movies. Keith taught Logan to grill and Logan taught Keith to love boating. The truth is he loves Logan like a son.

Logan assists Veronica out of the car when it arrives at their spot. He carries the picnic basket and blanket on one arm and holds her securely with the other not wanting her to be hurt walking on the uneven terrain with her high heels. It is almost a routine between them as he puts the blanket down and assists her to sit on the log. While she admires the view, Logan opens the basket pulling out the bottle of champagne he brought.

Veronica smiles at how handsome Logan looks as he opens and pours the champagne. She likes how polished and distinguished he looks in a suit. Of course she loves how he looks all the time; when he wakes up with his hair all messy from sleep, when he wears his wet suit to surf or when he wears his expensive tight jeans and t-shirts. No matter what he wears, he always affects her.

Looking around she feels a little melancholy. This spot has a lot of meaning for them. Now that her father is moving, they likely won't come back here as often. Lynn lives in LA, her father, grandfather and Ian live in Seattle, Mac moved north of LA, Duncan is travelling all over the world and who knows where Lilly will end up. The only people who remain in Neptune are Meg, Leo and their children, Erica and of course, Derek and Cindy.

It's a shame because she loves this spot. It holds so many wonderful memories for them as a couple. Her attention is brought back to her loving boyfriend as he hands her a flute of what she is sure is expensive champagne. She takes it and gives him a happy smile. Lifting her glass she toasts, "To another year closer to graduation."

Returning her smile, he sits beside her and touches his glass to hers, "Here, here." They both sip the wonderful champagne and enjoy the moment.

Logan looks out at the view briefly before he looks back at his beautiful girlfriend. She looks very sexy tonight with her hair curled and swept to the side. He is so happy they are back in Neptune for the reunion. It will be good to see everyone and see what they have been doing. He will never turn down the opportunity to dance with Veronica. However tonight he wants to put the engagement ring he designed for and bought her on her finger.

When he decided not to go back to Lilly and to give his relationship with Veronica a real chance, deep inside he didn't believe it would work out. She is so smart, so beautiful, so loving and so real; way too good for him. He just knew he would find a way to mess it up or she would realize he is not worthy. As they dated, he realized something important; he realized that Veronica believes he is perfect for her. She loves him just as he is and she feels lucky to be with him. Her belief in him and them means more to him than she will ever understand. He is doing well in school; his grades rival hers and he now believes that he will pass law school. Weirdly his upbringing actually helped prepare him for the courtroom. Law isn't all knowledge and application of principles; there is a lot of showmanship and even gambling involved. It is in the presentation that Logan has excelled. Veronica has known since the start that she wants to work somewhere in the prosecution arena. She has strong ties to law enforcement through her grandfather and father. She has a strong sense of justice and feels like those who break the law should be made to pay. Logan wasn't as sure where he would fit in. He has come to realize that his heart lies in working with children. They have almost no voice and he intends to give them as big a voice in the legal system as he can whether it is in a large law firm or in his own firm.

He looks at the woman who has come to mean the world to him. He trusts her with his heart and soul and he knows she trusts him back. He reaches over and gently caresses her cheek. When she looks at him he quietly says, "Veronica, although we are only 23 years old, in some ways I feel like I have loved you my whole life."

She smiles at him and agrees, "It is hard to believe that we have been together seven years already."

He nods his agreement and adds lovingly, "They have been the best years of my life."

Her face softens and her beautiful blue eyes glisten in the moonlight as she agrees, "For me too."

Logan takes her hand and quotes, "If you do not love me I shall not be loved. If I do not love you I shall not love." Samuel Beckett

Completely touched, she looks at him admiringly. Smiling she shares, "I love your quotes."

He lifts her hand and kisses the back of it then turns it and kisses her palm; gently, softly and with strong emotions. When he looks up and meets her gaze, he shares, "Beckett is right though. You are the only woman for me. I am complete with you. You are the woman of my dreams."

"You are the right man for me Logan," she tells him. "I am happy everyday because we are together."

Logan lets go of her hand and he reaches in the pocket of his suit jacket pulling out the small box. He goes down on one knee before Veronica and opens the box for her to see. "I love you Veronica Mars. I want to face the future with you by my side during the day and in my arms at night. Will you marry me?"

For a heart stopping second she looks at him in shock and then she smiles that smile that makes his heart skip; the smile that she only gives him. He meets her gaze and sees the happy tears in her eyes as she nods and answers, "Yes, I will."

His face breaks out in the happy grin that only a few fortunate souls get to see. He takes out the ring and puts it on the fourth finger of her left hand. He leans down and kisses her finger before he looks up at her.

Unable to hold in her excitement and happiness, she throws herself in his arms wrapping her arms around his neck. She lifts her face to his like she has so many times before. Logan easily catches her and pulls her close. He leans his head down and kisses her as he has so many times before but this kiss feels different. It feels special and new.

When the kiss is over, he gently nuzzles her cheek with his and whispers in her ear, "I love you so much." He pulls back to look at her; to remember her beauty in this moment.

She reaches up with both hands framing his face and stares back at him. Then after a long moment she gently raises her right hand caressing his forehead, eyebrows, cheek, chin and finally his lips with her finger.

Touched, he looks at her a little quizzically wondering what she is thinking. Without his having to ask, she sees his curiosity and tells him, "A woman knows the face of the man she loves as a sailor knows the open sea." Honore de Balzac

He gazes at her feeling the familiar pull in his chest. She is always surprising him. She has taken to quoting famous sayings to him and each time it disarms him. He shakes his head and tells her emotionally, "You are amazing!"

Happy she make him feel good, she teases, "Don't you forget it!"

Pulling back a little, she looks at her ring finger admiring the beauty of the design. Knowingly she says, "You designed it for me." Meeting his gaze she sees she is right and adds emotionally, "It's perfect!"

Wrapping her arms around his neck again she tells him, "Please make love to me now."

He is only too happy to join with her now. Reaching behind her he unzips her dress as he leans down to kiss her.

This kiss is the start of their future as committed partners. It is the next step in their relationship; one that they both hope will last the rest of their lives. A future they will face together with love, honestly and hope; The Real Thing.