and so it must end...Enjoy!

Veronica had been embarrassed as she sat, Logan beside her, with ice cream smeared on her face. He'd even laughed, but she was pretty sure it was more about him being amused by the situation rather than actually laughing at her. She couldn't help staring at him as he gently wiped the ice cream from her cheek and she'd gotten goosebumps when his eyes met hers. She had to take a moment to pull her hair up into a ponytail, trying to get herself under control after the intense moment and she'd still been trying to lighten the mood when she'd asked to share his ice cream. She never would have guessed that it would lead to kissing.

Logan was the first to pull back, resting his forehead upon hers, his hand still caressing her cheek. She closed her eyes, trying to concentrate on slowing her breathing, but not having a lot of success with her focus instead on the feel of Logan's skin against hers. Her heart skipped a beat when she heard his words.

"I've wanted to do that for so long."

"What?" Her eyes popped open and she stared up at him. He dropped his eyes, then glanced back up, looking embarrassed. His sheepish grin made her smile back at him.

"Really?" she asked, incredulous.

He sat back, still holding her face in the palm of his hands. "Yeah." His fingers played up into her hair. "Since I'm making embarrassing confessions anyway, if I'm gonna be honest, I've wanted to do that since we were twelve."

Veronica reached up, grabbing the placket of his shirt. "I...I...but...but you loved Lilly," she stammered.

"Eventually, yeah. But that doesn't mean I wasn't interested in you. It's were so sweet, and perfect, and I...I just wasn't." He ducked his head again. "I was told you'd never be with someone like me, that you preferred Duncan. And Lilly...she was always there, and you know how she was. She had a pull that was hard to resist, and since I couldn't have you…" He paused, looking up at her from under his eyelashes. "She and I made sense back then, just like you and Duncan made sense. Don't be mad. I knew she was right...I wasn't good enough for you. But I never stopped feeling..." He leaned into her then, kissing her again, making it really hard to think about what he was saying. Years ago, when she'd started to hint around to Lilly that she thought Logan was cute, and that she might have been starting to like him more than just your average boy, Lilly had been almost dismissive, telling her that someone like Logan was far too exciting and wild for someone like Veronica, and she'd believed her. Lilly had so much more experience than she did; who was she to doubt her?

With an effort, she pulled away from Logan and jumped off the rock, heading down the beach, her lips still tingling from Logan's kisses but needing to get some distance so she could think. The further down the beach she went, the clearer her mind was, but she stopped and turned back when she heard him call her name.

"Stop." She held up her hand and he stopped in his tracks. She could tell from the look on his face that she was scaring him, but she had to process everything that he'd just told her.

"Lilly told you that I wouldn't be with someone like you." She wasn't sure if she was asking a question or just trying to be clear what she already heard, but he nodded. "When I told Lilly that I liked you, she told me that you'd get bored with someone like me." Logan began walking towards her. She didn't stop him this time, but she kept talking through her confused thoughts. "That I'd be much happier with Duncan."

Logan stopped his pursuit. "What?"

Standing about five feet apart from each other, they just stared at one another. Thoughts whirled through Veronica's head. Had Lilly kept them apart? And was it because of the reasons she said–that Logan and Veronica were too different from each other to be together–or was it for some other reason? She thought about what it was like back then. All the times Logan was flirty and fun. All the times that he called or texted her just to check in and see how she was doing. She'd thought that he was just being nice to her because of Lilly, but now it looked like that hadn't been right. It had all been because he cared, even if he had been told he wasn't good enough. She knew better, and she didn't want the distance between them anymore. She walked back to him, wrapping her arms around his waist. An unexpected sense of calm came over her as they held each other.

Veronica clasped the hair clip, pulling up the curls on the right side of her head to complete her look. Finding the pink lip gloss on her vanity, she applied an even coat, then rubbed her lips together. As she looked over herself in the mirror, she heard the knock on her front door. He was here. She sat down to strap on her shoes.

"Honey, your gentleman caller is here," her dad called to her from the living room.

"Just a minute," she called out, finishing with the strap on her left shoe. When they had returned from the beach the other night, Logan had asked her dad if he could take her out on a date. She was pretty amused with Logan's ability to render her dad speechless. In the end, her dad had admitted to wondering how long it'd take for this to happen, and had given Logan his consent.

As Veronica stepped out into the hallway, she heard them talking about the game that was playing on the television.

"Okay, I'm ready to go," she said as she walked up behind her dad and kissed his cheek.

"Have fun, kids," her dad responded. "Remember, ten o'clock."

Logan stood up, shook her dad's hand, and walked up to her. He reached for her hand and, leaning in, kissed her cheek. "You look beautiful. Shall we?"

"Night, Dad," she said as she closed the door behind them.

Just outside the door, Logan stopped and turned to face her. "Come here," he said, pulling her to him to give her a proper kiss.

He wrapped his arm around her waist and they walked together to the truck. Logan opened the door and held her hand as she climbed in, then shut the door and jogged around to the driver's side.

"Ready?" he asked, placing the key in the ignition.

Veronica felt euphoric; she could only nod in agreement. She was sure he would take her to her favorite Italian place, but where he should've turned, he kept going straight. He glanced her way and smiled.

"So, where are we going?" she asked.

"I have a surprise."

"Am I at least dressed for the occasion?" She looked at what he was wearing, a button-up and black pants.

"I told you; you're beautiful." He glanced her way briefly before turning his attention back to the road. When he pulled up to a stop light, he looked at her again. "You're dressed just fine," he assured her. He took her hand in his and kissed the back of it before resting their joined hands on her lap.

Logan drove away from downtown, heading into the 90909. Deep into one of the nicest neighborhoods, they pulled onto a lane that lined the beach.

"We're a little overdressed for a beach party, aren't we?" Veronica asked and Logan laughed.

"No beach party," he replied just before he pulled into a driveway of a house even bigger than his own. He parked the truck and hopped out to walk around to her.

"Where are we?" she asked when he opened her door. He just smiled at her, taking her hand and leading her to the front door.

"Wait and see." He rang the doorbell, then kissed her forehead. "I think you're going to love it.".

When the door opened, a man, probably the butler judging by his suit, greeted them. "Good evening, Mr. Echolls, we're very glad you could join us this evening. If you'll follow me, the guests are gathering in the dining room and dinner will be served shortly."

"Thank you," Logan replied, and they followed the butler to the dining room. A large table dominated the room. Veronica counted twelve seats, each with a place setting and place cards. As Logan walked her along the table, she began reading some of the names, but she didn't recognize any of them. On the opposite side, they found their places and took their seats.

"Are you going to tell me why we're here?" she asked as she glanced around the room at the few other people that were seated.

Logan turned in his chair and whispered to her, "It's a murder mystery party. It's really a fundraiser for some children's charity that my mom and dad got invited to, but they weren't going to go and when I heard about it, I figured, since you've had to cool it with the investigating lately, that this was a safe, fun way for you to use your skills."

Veronica's heart fluttered. He'd managed to choose a first date that was both unusual and suited specifically for her. She closed the distance between them and kissed him.

Logan pulled up to Veronica's apartment building and turned off the ignition. Her trophy and certificate for solving the mystery sat on her lap. Logan was grateful that his mom had mentioned the party, and that she'd been willing to make the donation so he could take Veronica to it for their first date.

Watching her work had been amazing. He'd never seen this side of her. They'd been at odds when her dad created Mars Investigations and she started working for him, and after they'd reconciled, she'd been locked out of the business. It fascinated him to see first hand how her brain worked as she solved the mystery. He could see why she wanted to keep working with her dad at MI; she was really good at spotting clues and putting the pieces together. The rest of the partygoers never had a chance.

Logan stepped out of the truck, walking around to open her door. She reached out and he took her hand to help her out, but as soon as her feet were on the ground, she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him.

"Thank you for tonight, Logan," she said when they pulled apart, her voice a little breathless. "It was the most perfect first date. I had so much fun."

"Yeah, well, I knew how much you missed getting to do this kind of stuff and when I heard about this thing, I thought it might help with that." He leaned down to kiss her again. "Plus, it was awesome to see the great Veronica Mars, girl detective, at work."

"Oh really?" she said with a laugh.

"Yeah, really. I've never gotten to see you in action before." He grinned down at her. "It was actually pretty hot."

"You probably don't want to share that tidbit with my dad," she said and he nodded before kissing her once more.

"I make it a point not to discuss your hotness with your dad. I have a feeling that isn't information he really wants to hear."

He stepped back and caught her hand in his before heading toward the apartment. At her doorstep, he gave her a final kiss. "Good night, Ronnie."

"Night, Lo." She reached for the doorknob, but before opening it, she turned back. "Call me when you get home, okay?"

"Okay," he said as he walked back to his truck. When he reached his door, he looked back up at the apartment and she was still standing at the door watching him. He waved to her and she blew him a kiss and waved back, then turned to go inside.

When Logan got home, he stopped in the kitchen to grab a bottle of water and found his mom sitting at the counter. He walked over to her and wrapped his arm around her shoulder.

"Hi, honey. How was your date?" she asked as he kissed her temple, then moved to the fridge, grabbing a bottle of water.

"It was amazing. She's amazing." He sat down next to her. "It was just so perfect. Veronica solved the case and they gave her a trophy. You should have seen her. She's so smart and clever and gorgeous and..." He stopped and looked at her, shamefaced. "Geez, I'm gushing."

"Gush all you want, sweetheart. I think it's great that you and Veronica have gotten together. I always loved her when you were friends before. And I'm so happy that the fundraiser worked out to be what you were looking for." His mom patted his hand and smiled. "So I take it this means you will be planning a second date?"

"Second, third...there will be plenty more if I can do anything about it." He'd already spent the entire ride home thinking of other ideas. "Oh, I promised her I'd call when I got home." Logan kissed his mom's cheek and stood up. "Night, Mom, love you."

"Love you too, honey, good night."

Logan headed up to his room to have some privacy to talk to Veronica. As he closed his door, he pulled his phone from his pants pocket and dialed her number, then collapsed on his bed.

"Home safe and sound?" Her voice came through the phone and his heart fluttered.

"Yeah, safe and sound." He sat up and kicked off his shoes. "I really had a great time tonight and I got you home before curfew. Do you think your dad is cool with us doing this again soon?"

She laughed. "I'm pretty sure you already have his blessing. You aren't going to need to ask him every time you want to make plans."

"I suppose you're right. So was tonight what you expected?" he asked.

"I was telling my dad about our night while I was waiting to make sure you got home okay. He was surprised you found something like that for us to do. He was impressed, just like I was." She paused for a moment before she continued. "It really was incredible, Logan, I loved it. I love that you chose something that you knew would make me happy. Thank you so much for an incredible evening."

"It was my pleasure, Mars. Shall I pick you up tomorrow, maybe we can head to the beach or go to the boardwalk?" he asked.

"I'd like that. Sweet dreams, Logan."

"You too, Veronica. I'll call you tomorrow." He waited for the call to disconnect before flipping his phone closed and dropping it onto his bedside table. A grin on his face, he rolled off the bed to get ready for bed, replaying the night's events over and over in his head until they finally lulled him to sleep.

After the great night together, Logan couldn't wait to see Veronica again, so he called her first thing in the morning to make plans for the day. Dick had called at the crack of dawn to go surfing, but when Logan refused, Dick instead suggested getting together later at Java the Hut for a late breakfast. Logan had liked the idea, and Veronica had also, so Logan picked her up at home and they headed for the coffee joint. Logan spotted Dick sitting with an African American kid he vaguely remembered seeing around school and a dark haired girl with a blue streak in her hair. He didn't really know her, but he'd had her in a class or two. He'd heard she was supposed to be good with computers.

"Who's that with Dick?" Veronica asked as they headed for Dick's table.

"I'm not sure who the guy is, but I'm pretty sure the girl's name is Mac," Logan replied quietly as they made their way to the table.

"Dick, man, how's it going?" Logan said as they joined the group. He turned his focus to the other two at the table. "Hi, I'm Logan and this is Veronica."

The girl smiled shyly. "I'm Mac."

"So the computer thing is true, huh?" Logan asked and she laughed.

"Well, yeah, but that's not why I go by Mac. It's short for MacKenzie; that's my last name."

"I guess you got the perfect last name then," Veronica said. "Like in Harry Potter. Who'd name their kid Remus Lupin and not know he was eventually getting turned into a werewolf?"

Everyone laughed and the boy stood up and extended his hand to Veronica, and then to Logan. "I'm Wallace Fennell. Nice to meet you both."

Everyone sat down and after a moment, the waitress came over to take their orders.

"So Mac, if you're into computers and such, what are you doing hanging around with this guy?" Logan asked, motioning to Dick.

"Yeah, I had a project with his brother Cassidy. We just sort of started hanging out playing video games," Mac said.

"She kicks my ass every time," Dick added, then motioned to Wallace. "We found this guy taped to a flagpole on the first day of school. Meg made us cut him down. Dude crossed the PCHers."

"Wallace, my dear boy, not smart," Veronica said, making Logan laugh.

"Give him a break, Ronnie, he's new in town. He knows not of the Neptune underbelly," Dick teased.

"Mistakes like that will get you swallowed by the hellmouth," Veronica replied dryly.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah...I already heard a version of this from our friend here," Wallace said, nodding towards Mac. "Dick's been keeping them at bay for the time being."

"Why don't we have my dad look into it? He might be able to suggest something to get them to back off," Veronica suggested.

Logan looked up at her in surprise. The Veronica who'd come into existence after Lilly died, the one who got herself run off the road and nearly killed, would have come up with a wild plan of her own that would probably have put her in danger. This most recent version of Veronica thought of getting help from her dad first. He knew that she'd changed, but this was unexpected, even for him. Maybe she really had learned her lesson. Logan leaned over, gently pulling her closer and kissing her temple. She responded with a blush and a warm smile.

Her dad had gone into the office to meet with Deputy Sacks about Wallace's case. She and Logan decided to stay in for the evening, binging on classic movies and eating their weight in ice cream and popcorn.

"What shall we watch next?" Logan asked, flipping through the DVDs on the shelf.

"I say we stick with comedy," Veronica called from the kitchen where she was popping more popcorn.

"Without a Paddle?" Logan suggested as he pulled it from the shelf.

"Perfect," Veronica said, coming back in with another big bowl of popcorn. She sat down on the couch, putting her feet up on the table in front of her. Logan grabbed the remote before sitting down beside her. He draped his arm across the back of the couch behind her and she leaned into him setting the bowl on their laps. Watching Logan click through the preview trailers, Veronica's mind began to wander. Where would they be now if they had followed their hearts when they were twelve? Or if she hadn't followed her heart and trusted him or her dad to help?

Logan must have noticed her staring at him; he picked up the popcorn bowl and placed it on the coffee table, then turned to face her.

"What's going on in that head of yours?"

"So much has changed. I feel stronger, happier," she said. "It's because of you." He smiled, and reached out to pull her into his lap. She wrapped her arms around his neck and rested her forehead on his.

They sat silently for a moment, just enjoying the moment, before she interrupted the stillness. "Can I just say one more thing?"

Logan only nodded his head, which in turn made her nod hers. The simple act made her laugh and he smiled back at her. "I'm sorry it took us so long to get here. I never should have let Lilly manipulate me back when we first met you. I mean, I don't think she was trying to hurt me; I never want to think that. I just always let her have her way, even if it meant I missed out on something important to me." She stroked her thumb against his cheek. "Knowing now, how I feel about you, I wish I'd been stronger back then."

Logan rolled his head so his lips would meet hers. After a slow heartfelt kiss, he pulled away and looked into her eyes. "Better late than never."

Thank You, Irma66, You are incredible!