It had only taken a few days for Veronica to settle her affairs in New York before calling her dad and getting on a plane back to Neptune. She was here to make amends. Spending her first days back with her dad was the best therapy. She'd missed him more than she realized, not just his presence but the little things, like how he hummed while he cooked and how he yelled at the television while watching the game. During those first couple of days, admitting to past transgressions made for tense situations but she knew she had to face them. There were so many secrets she'd kept from him and he deserved her full confession. He made no judgments when she apologized for all the mistakes she had made.
"Veronica, we all make choices for ourselves that we feel are best at the time. We grow, we change, we move on. I've made mistakes myself and we need to learn from them. I just wish you would have learned some of these things a little sooner. I've missed having you around over the years."
At dinner on Saturday, Mac and Wallace had the same perspective. They assured her that, although they missed the years of quality time together, they didn't condemn her for it. "We are just glad you're back so we can hang out, Supafly." Wallace said, giving her a quick hug.
"Absolutely!" Mac added.
Veronica couldn't understand how her dad and her friends forgave her so easily. She apologized and they just moved on? She had been sure this would be so much harder but, on top of giving Dick a piece of her mind, she still needed to face Logan. She really didn't know how to approach him. Veronica was sure they would slip back into old habits. Trying to decide what to do was what brought her here. To this beach...their beach. Lost in her thoughts as she walked along the surf, a flash of someone caught her eye, just as she looked up.
He stopped. She thought she heard him whisper, "Bobcat?" but he didn't turn around. He was looking down at the water washing over his feet, eyes closed. His breath became labored and she was sure she could feel his anger boiling to the surface.
Before he could say something snarky and crass, she tried to speak. "Logan, I...I know I don't deserve…" She stumbled over her words, unable to find the courage she needed to go on. She wasn't ready to see him yet, but she couldn't just walk away from him now. "I had hoped... the years would soften the anger you might have about the way I left things." She waited for him to acknowledge her, but he was silent so she tried again.
"Lo, I am sorry." He remained silent and she wondered if he was just waiting her out, hoping she would leave. Feeling hopeless, she dropped onto the sand, wrapping her arms around herself. Is it too late? Dick was so sure that he still loved her and wanted her in his life but why would she listen to Dick anyway?
Her father had been fine; Mac and Wallace had been fine. She, however, wasn't fine. Meeting Logan, apologizing for everything...it wasn't going the way she'd hoped it to go. She had anticipated a harsh response but it felt more like he was just going to ignore her and head out into the surf. She wasn't sure which hurt more.
As she sat, all hope draining away. he stabbed his surfboard into the sand and sat down beside her. Unable to look at him, she watched the waves, unmoving. Logan reached over, unwinding her arm from around herself, interlocking their fingers together. Veronica watched his movements, unsure of the situation. He was being cautious and gentle. He seemed like her Logan, no matter what, knowing just what she needed when she needed it. When he lightly squeezed her hand, she looked up and their eyes met. Logan gave her a small grin. "Bygones."
Veronica let out a harsh laugh, unable to understand why yet another person she loved was being so easy on her. "No Logan, no bygones. I was an awful person...friend...girlfriend. You can't let me off the hook that easily. I've run for far too long. I'm here to fix it. I need to fix this."
"Veronica, it's been years. I've moved past it. I forgave you a long time ago and I've worked so hard to be who you need me to be."
Veronica twisted her body in the sand to face him, pulling her hand from his to rest it on his cheek."I just need you to be you. I've always known the kind of man you are. I'm just sorry I never made sure you knew," she said, caressing his cheek.
"That seems like an awfully tall order for a couple of screwed up teenagers."
At Logan's words, Veronica pulled her hand away, breaking their eye contact, shame over who she was then overwhelming her. She'd treated him just as badly as the others in his life had: his mom, his dad, Lilly. Never willing to acknowledge the good in him. Never willing to admit her feelings. This is why I came home.
Logan continued to sit, knees bent, his wrists resting on them, examining the sand between his feet. Veronica moved to kneel in front of him, taking his hands in hers. He glanced up, focusing now on their joined hands.
"I mean it, Logan. I never made sure you knew how proud I was of you, how proud I still am of you. How smart, and loyal, and loving I always knew you were." His gaze shifted up to meet her eyes and she smiled hopefully, willing herself to go on. "I never made sure you understood how important you are to me. And I've never had the courage to tell you that this isn't just a momentary thing. I love you!"
Veronica stirred awake to the sound of rustling. It took her a minute to realize that she'd fallen asleep in an awkward position on a strange couch, where she'd spent the night talking to Logan. They'd sat on the beach for a few hours before Veronica's stomach reminded them it was time for lunch and they'd headed over to the diner. At first, they'd shared stories-old friends catching up on what they missed over the years. By that evening, as they sat down to take-out from Luigi's, Veronica was determined to make things right. Her confessions to her father had taken a lot out of her but with Logan, it was more about admitting her fears, acknowledging her insecurities, and telling him how she felt. The years apart had eased the pain they'd caused each other and she felt confident that she and Logan were in a better place this morning. Getting up and walking towards the noise, she found Dick in the kitchen. He was standing at the island, slicing bananas and placing them into a blender.
"Wow, Ronnie, rough night? I was a bit shocked to find you and Logan asleep on my couch when I got home this morning. What brings you to Neptune?"
Of course he would resort to asshat mode after their encounter in New York. Not wanting to give him the satisfaction that she took what he had to say to heart or that she thought he was right, she simply asked him what he was doing.
"What does it look like, Veronica? I'm making a smoothie."
"How domestic of you, Dick."
He stopped what he was doing and put down the knife. "Veronica, can we not do this?" Gesturing back towards the living room, he said in a low voice, "He never could quit you."
Wow, this Dick really has grown up. Swallow your pride, Veronica, and just thank him. Drawing in a deep breath, she steeled herself for what she needed to say. "Yeah, okay, I'm sorry. Thanks for taking care of him, Dick. He seems like he's in a really good place."
He gives her a quick smile of acknowledgment. "Are you sticking around?"
"Yeah, I can be a photographer anywhere. Despite the fact that everyone seems to want to let me off the hook, I have a lot of mending to do. I'm here to stay." He gives her another nod and returns to his task. Deciding they had nothing more to say to each other, Veronica tapped the counter with her hand and backed out of the room.
Returning from the bathroom, Veronica curled up on the end of the couch facing a sleeping Logan. She tucked her right leg under her, leaving her other leg hanging off the couch, draping her arm across the back. Logan looked comfortable, his legs resting on the coffee table, ankles crossed, hugging a throw pillow under his head. She sat and watched him for a few minutes, just taking him in. When she couldn't hold back any longer, she leaned forward and brushed her fingers through the hairline just behind his ear. Logan woke slowly, drawing in a deep breath before opening his eyes.
"Hey," he said in a soft voice, looking at her shyly.
"Morning." A small smile played on her lips and she took the opportunity to climb into his lap. After spending the previous day rehashing the past, Veronica felt it was best to continue the honesty.
"So, I feel that with all the sharing we are doing that it's only right that I tell you something." Logan looked nervous and Veronica ran her fingers up into his hair at the base of his neck. She was hopeful this small physical gesture would reassure Logan that what she was about to tell him wasn't a bad thing. "Your friend there in the kitchen paid me a visit in New York. He felt that because the two of you were family, it was his fault that I was staying out of your life."
Logan rolled his eyes and grumbled under his breath. Needing to be closer to him, Veronica rested her forehead against his. Maintaining eye contact, she spoke softly. "I assured him that he wasn't the cause of me leaving nor my lack of returning to Neptune. That I had done things that I wasn't proud of and that I couldn't take hurting any of you anymore." Veronica leaned back, feeling more confident in herself. "Dick pretty much told me I was stupid and I took all of you for granted."
Logan snickered. "Huh. I wouldn't have expected him to take that kind of chance, pissing you off like that."
She blushed and nodded. "Yeah, I was so angry with him but he cleared out before I could even respond. I took a walk in Central Park, trying to forget the whole thing, and then I met this little old lady." Veronica began fiddling with the button on his henley. "Logan, listening to her talk about her regrets and the losses she endured from pushing the people she loved away, what Dick said actually started to kinda make sense. So, I've moved back to Neptune. I'm here to stay. I need my dad, Mac, Wallace, and you in my life. I think I could even maybe start to like having Dick around."
Logan rubbed his hands up and down Veronica's arms a few times before he looked up at her. She could see the love in his eyes. She gave him a warm smile that he returned. Placing his palm along her neck, he pulled her to him. Just before they reached each other, Veronica pulled back. "I love you."
Logan kissed her chastely. "I love you too." He smoothed his hand along her cheek, tucking her hair behind her ear. "Always." He kissed her again, a wide grin breaking across his face. "Welcome home, Bobcat!"