Early in the morning the sun was beaming it's rays on the day. Today was the best day. What better day than today for him to win back the love of his life? He watched as Dick took the next wave, soaring over the water into shore. Here it comes, his last ride of the morning, he started to paddle and at the perfect moment...he's up soaring over the water. He used to think this was the best feeling in the world. Then he fell in love with her and now this is second best.
Dick doesn't even wait for him when he makes it to shore, he's already changing out of his wetsuit and mounting his board on the rack of Logan's Xterra when Logan makes it to the parking lot. It's their thing, Dick will spend the time it takes Logan to change and mount his board to towel dry his hair. They will hop in the truck and drive to the oceanside diner for breakfast. He will drop Dick off at home making plans to meet up later. Today's plans however, are already made. He'll be the guest of honor at his birthday bash and if, no when things go as planned, Veronica will be his date.
Sitting at the light he saw his girl's best friend heading in the direction of the mall. If only the two of them could have come together as friends before everything went south he could have recruited Wallace to help break through her defenses. Logan pulled up to the Sunset Cliff apartments, he noted the Lebaron parked in it's spot. He's got this, she can't ignore a guy on his birthday. He knocked on the door then shoved his hands in his pockets.
"Logan?" Mr. Mars answered. "What can I do for you?" He didn't look very pleased to see him.
"I'm here to see Veronica." Logan answered a bit more nervously than he wanted.
"You just missed her. She went out to breakfast with Wallace. I'm not sure she plans on returning any time soon." Mr. Mars seemed rather pleased to give him this bit of information.
"Oh um, thank you. Bye." Logan turns to rush away faster than he had arrived.
That didn't go as he had planned, but he wasn't giving up. He just saw Wallace's car and he knew where they were going. He was hoping to bare his soul in the privacy of her apartment but he could improvise. Logan pulled out of the parking lot and headed in that direction.
Veronica had a favorite place to eat breakfast but there were two other spots she sometimes got in the mood for. Logan had been to all three and she wasn't at any of them. She had lied to her dad, not that he was surprised, she did it all the time. However that means his intel is faulty. This day was not turning out the way he planned. It's as if the fates were against him. Where are you Veronica? He pulled out his phone and sent a text to Mac. Hey Mac, any idea where your gal pal is today? I need to talk to her.
It was only seconds when his phone pinged with a disappointing response. Sorry not a clue.
Just as quickly another text. Happy Birthday!
He didn't really consider Mac a close friend of his but the fact that she remembered his birthday had him thinking maybe they were more than just mutual friends of Veronica's. He typed out a quick Thank You and told her he hoped to see her tonight.
Logan didn't want to spend the day driving around town trying to figure out where she had disappeared to so he decided to just call her. The phone rang twice and she picked up.
"Hey birthday boy." She sounded cheerful.
"Hey yourself." Maybe this will be easier than he thought. "Hey um, where are you? I went by your place and your dad said you were doing something with Wallace."
"Oh well, yeah. I had somewhere to be and Wallace volunteered to come with me."
"Well I was hoping to see you. When do you think you'll be done?" He asked her hoping she wouldn't be unavailable the entire day.
"We are still on the road and it should take about half an hour then…" She cut out.
"Veronica? Veronica?" What the hell? "Hello?" Logan looked at his phone to discover it had died. For fuck sakes! Fates 3- Logan-0
Veronica was printing off the last of the photos for her client when her phone rang.
"Hello?" She answered.
"Hello, Miss Mars?" Came the voice of an older woman on the other end.
"Yes." Veronica confirmed.
"This is Maria from Ahrend Studios. You had an order you placed with a notation that it needed to be ready by today. We close at five and I was calling to see if you were going to make it."
"Oh right, um…" Damn it she forgot about Logan's birthday present. Veronica looked at the clock. There is no way she will make it to Fallbrook in half an hour. "I'm sorry, I had planned to pick it up today but I'm not going to make it by five. Is it okay if I pick it up tomorrow morning?"
"Oh sure. I just thought that since you had this notation placed on it that you were getting it today. You are welcome to pick it up at your convenience." Maria reassured her.
"Thank you. See you tomorrow." Veronica disconnected the call and collapsed on her bed.
She forgot about the photobook. Not long after Weevil burned Logan's house down Veronica decided to find as many photos she could and had them restored. Despite the fact they were no longer together, she wanted him to have it. When the idea came to her, there was no way she would find the pictures and have the book made in time for Christmas so his birthday seemed the next best thing. Other than giving Dick a reason to throw a party, Logan's birthday didn't get much attention.
Veronica didn't really want to make the drive to Fallbrook alone so she begged her bff to join her. Wallace had agreed to come as long as he could drive. Grateful he agreed to help her do something nice for Logan, Veronica promised to fill the tank, buy snacks for the ride and after they picked up the photobook, buy him breakfast.
They spent most of the drive there discussing Logan. How could they not, he was the reason they were on this venture in the first place. Needing a break from talking about her feelings Veronica turned on the radio. Justin Timberlake's Sexy Back is playing. Veronica reached to turn it off, but Wallace intercepted her.
"Oh no Supafly" He teases, "This is staying on."
I'll let you whip me if I misbehave
It's just that no one makes me feel this way
"No!" Veronica reached again but Wallace blocked the radio. She didn't want to cause an accident so she relented, letting it play. Wallace started to dance and mock her. She couldn't help but laugh at him.
You make me smile (go 'head, be gone with it)
Go 'head, child (go 'head, be gone with it)
And get your sexy on (go 'head, be gone with it)
Get your sexy on (go 'head, be gone with it)
As the song faded out her phone rang. Wallace turned the radio down so she could hear. It was Logan. She showed him the screen, he smiled and shrugged his shoulders. Wallace was right earlier, she couldn't quit him. Riding the high from the song she answered it.
"Hey birthday boy!" Maybe that was a bit over the top, but it's too late now. The words already left her mouth.
"Hey yourself." He sounded surprised. "Hey um, where are you? I went by your place and your dad said you were doing something with Wallace."
"Oh well, yeah. I had somewhere to be and Wallace volunteered to come with me." She glanced at Wallace who was giving her the 'are you kidding me' look. She laughed.
"Well I was hoping to see you. When do you think you'll be done?" He asked.
"We are still on the road and it should take about half an hour, then I promised Wallace I'd buy him breakfast. We should be back by lunch time." She tried to explain without giving anything away or causing suspicion. To be honest she really did want to see him for his birthday. Then there was silence on the other end of the line.
"Logan?" Nothing. "Logan", she tried again. Still nothing. She pulled the phone from her ear and realized the call had dropped. She tried to call him back but it went straight to voicemail.
"You've reached Logan with today's inspirational message. Courage is in the air in bracing whiffs, better than all the stalemate an's and ifs-Robert Frost"
This wasn't turning out to be the birthday he expected. He had planned for two outcomes today. Veronica would agree to give him another chance and be his date for the party or she rejected him and he would end the day getting drunk wallowing in his misery. He never expected he wouldn't even have a chance at either. Needing to clear his head and come up with a new game plan he decided to drive down the coast listening to the crashing waves and smell the salty air.
Two hours later he was still on edge but he had to admit the scenic drive he took helped. If he couldn't spend his birthday with Veronica, spending it with the ocean was a welcomed alternative. Dick requested his presence for party prep so he pulled the Xterra up next to Dick's Nissan 350z, turned the engine off and leaned back on the headrest closing his eyes, he needed a minute. He couldn't let Dick see him like this or he would provide an endless parade of women his way all night.
After a few minutes he pulled the keys from the ignition and opened the car door only to see Cassidy and Dick standing in the doorway to their house staring him down. Shit, they saw him. "What did Ronnie do now?" Were the first words out of Dick's mouth.
"She didn't do anything. I haven't been able to track her down to ask her to be my date tonight." He fidgeted with his keys. "It's...fuck, forget it." Logan pushed past them into the house and they followed behind him.
"Logan give it up, I've invited a ton of girls for you to have fun with, play the field dude." Cassidy opened the fridge and tossed a bottle of soda to each of them then grabbed one for himself as Dick carried on. "At least for tonight, let it go."
"I can't do that Dick. It always backfires, man." Logan flopped himself on the couch opening his soda. "I woke up this morning determined to have the best birthday, get the girl. I'm not giving up on this. I will track her down and I will convince her to be my date tonight."
Dick chugged his soda, replaced the cap and tossed it in the direction of the garbage making a perfect basket. "A'right dude. Well, get off your ass and let's get this place ready for a party."
Dick walked over to the stereo system and turned up the music. He then pulled large bowls from the cabinet while Cassidy carried the grocery bags over from the foyer. Logan rooted through the bags pulling out bags of chips and pretzels to fill the bowls. Dick opened the beverage fridge and loaded the drinks to cool. They have thrown enough parties, they worked together like a well oiled machine.
Logan never imagined that prepping for a party would be so therapeutic. The music was rockin'. The breakables were locked away in the pantry. Extra towels and suits were stocked in the pool house for guests. Drinks were cold and snacks were scattered throughout. He was feeling a lot better but he couldn't help feeling it could be so much more if he just had a chance to see Veronica. Would she show up to Dick's for his birthday party? Sitting on the deck overlooking the ocean he remembered how he skillfully slipped the invitation into her bag.
He saw her standing by her locker, flipping through a notebook tearing out pages. He covered the yellow flier with his hand on the short stack of books he was carrying and walked up to her.
"Just can't find the right words to confess your love? No worries, I'm right here, you can just tell me how you really feel." He leaned against her locker blocking the opening. When she glanced his way he could read the confusion on her face and it was at that moment he slipped the invitation into her bag bumping the notebook with his elbow as she stumbled over her words.
"I...Is there something I can do for you Logan?" She asked before slamming her locker shut. He couldn't help the display of satisfaction on his face, not just because of her physical reaction to him but that he had succeeded in delivering the invite.
He wished he knew if she planned to show up tonight. Dick had made quite the effort giving a run down of the list of girls he knew were coming to the party but he wasn't interested. As one last ditch effort to talk to her before his party Logan decided he'd offer to go pick up the pizzas.
Getting up from the lounge chair he made his way inside finding Cassidy hanging a Happy Birthday banner across the mantle.
"Yo Beaver, You ordered Cho's Pizza right?" Cassidy glanced his way and Logan noticed the annoyed expression at the use of the nickname.
"Yeah man, Where else?" he answered then went back to tacking up the banner.
"I can do the Pizza run." Logan flopped on the couch stretching his arms out over the back, lifting his legs he crossed his ankles as he tried not to seem anxious.
"No need man, I set it to be delivered."
Logan deflated at Cassidy's affirmation.
This has been such a day already. She isn't really sure how she started recapping her whole history with Logan to Wallace but when you end up in a car with your best friend for a few hours you have a lot of time to talk. It started off harmless, 'I had an album of his childhood photos refurbished for him' , then it escalated to 'I'll always love him.' That statement there had her bff questioning why. "You really wanna know?"
"Veronica, all I've seen from the guy is a sense of entitlement and a penchant for destruction. So why him?" As she watched him, she couldn't help thinking Wallace was making a point she couldn't argue. Post Lilly Logan is all he has been privy to. She never talked to him about Logan. She didn't think she was ready to share the intimate things like how he knows how she feels and what she needs even before she does. "We have all morning," he added, taking a glance her way from the driver's seat. Nope, we weren't getting that involved but she could share their past.
So that's how they spent their morning travels. Starting clear back when they were twelve years old and how the Kane's introduced them on the soccer field. She told him how they became the Fab4, and about sleepovers, movie nights, how he was there for her during instances with her mom. How there were many nights Veronica would sit with Logan at the beach just talking, sharing stories of their moms. She told Wallace about the games Lilly had played. Then Lilly died and she lost all of her friends. She told him how Logan felt betrayed and abandoned. They had been close and then they weren't. Veronica explained her relationship with Logan the best she could. Telling him about how they reconnected starting with helping him look for his mom, finding him at the Sunset Regent, and how he saved her from the ATF agent at the Camelot.
They were on their way back now. It had been an emotional morning but talking about it with Wallace helped her understand how it wasn't all Logan's fault. She abandoned him, when he needed her, out of fear of losing him. Everyone abandoned him. The hero was the one who stayed. She needed to talk to Logan.
When she returned home she wrapped the album in a silk brushed navy blue box with a silver ribbon then tried again to call him. Unfortunately she heard the same inspirational message she heard the last 4 times she called. Veronica was frustrated she couldn't reach him. Her locker at school had the same invite everyone else did to his party tonight but she really didn't want to have this conversation nor give him his gift at the party. Not being able to reach him on the phone Veronica gathered his gift, her keys and set off to track him down. Making her way towards The Grand, Veronica drove along the beach looking for the big yellow obnoxity Logan drives. She didn't see it so she turned towards town. Arriving at The Grand, Veronica walked up to the service desk setting the box on the counter. Tina was talking to another customer so she waited patiently.
"Hey, What's this?" Tina twisted the box testing the weight.
"It's Logan's birthday, have you seen him today?" Veronica asked.
Tina looked disappointed, "No, sorry. Do you want me to call up and see if he answers?"
"That would be great, thanks." Veronica waited while she rang the room. She felt her own disappointment when she saw Tina hang up the phone without speaking. She knew he hadn't answered. "Thanks." She tells her picking up the box walking out of The Grand. Where are you Logan?
Veronica realized Logan probably didn't want to spend his birthday alone and was most likely with Dick and Cassidy. Therefore she was going to have to meet him at the party, but she needed back up. She sent off a text to Mac and Wallace to meet her at her place and headed home. Before this morning Veronica would have rallied only Mac for this venture but now she felt Wallace would be just as supportive.
Wallace had messaged her back to tell her he would be over when his mom got home from the grocery and Mac told her she was on her way. She was actually grateful for that because she felt like she needed to talk to Mac. Wallace had really opened her eyes to things and she wanted Mac's perspective on the conversation.
"He texted me today." Mac interjected into the conversation, lying on her stomach flipping through the album Veronica had made. She looked up at Veronica from her position on the bed, "He was looking for you." Mac added as she turned another page.
Veronica had been telling Mac about this morning's conversation with Wallace while she went through her closet trying to find something to wear to the party.
"I did get to talk to him, but then his phone died." She looked at the short sleeved powder blue blouse in her hands. She turned her nose up and placed it back in the closet. She was running out of options.
"How girly am I being right now that I am determining what I'm wearing based on how I'll look carrying his present?" Veronica asked, flopping down on the bed next to her.
Mac closed the album and sat up with a giggle. "You're allowed to be a girl Veronica." She crossed her legs and slapped her hands on her knees. "You and I aren't necessarily the girly girls, but we still want to be noticed. It's okay to want that attention." Mac was right. She wanted that reaction, to see the look Logan gets on his face when he looks at her.
"Okay so first off, do you want comfy casual or do you want to wear maybe a sundress?" Mac questioned her.
"Well they live close enough to the ocean that it gets chilly and I don't want to look like I tried too hard." Veronica admitted to Mac.
Mac got up from the bed and walked over to the closet. She pulled out a long sleeved charcoal grey slim fitted tunic t shirt and a pair of faded blue jean capris. Veronica liked it. She gathered them up and went to her bathroom to change. When she came out Mac had a coral sheer infinity scarf to complete the look. Looking at herself in the mirror Veronica was excited. "Mac, it's perfect. I just need shoes!"
Veronica crawled into her closet to look for her shoes when there was a knock on the door. "That's got to be Wallace." Veronica concluded.
"I'll get it." Mac offered leaving Veronica on her quest for her dark grey canvas tennis shoes.
"Hey V!" Wallace greeted her as she sat on the floor in her closet slipping on her shoes. She watched as he noticed the album on the bed. "Uh, I thought you were going to take that to Logan." He said pointing to it.
"Ugh...I couldn't find him." She stood up, pulled down on her shirt over her pants and then brushed her hands down over it.
She walked over to the bed and picked up the album carrying it to her desk to put it back in the box. "I'll just have to convince him to go somewhere with me away from everyone." She closed the lid on the box and ran her fingers over the bow.
"I can do this, right?" Suddenly Veronica felt insecure.
She didn't willingly show up at 09er parties anymore. Not even when she was dating Logan. She glanced over at her friends, that's why they were coming with her for moral support.
"It's now or never." Mac encouraged her.
"Let's go." She picked up the box and headed out, Mac and Wallace following her.
The party was in full swing. It seemed everyone in Neptune had shown up except the one person he wanted to be there. He continued to hear a round of Happy Birthday Logan's as he moved through the party. He needed a break so he made his way out to the front of the house. As he stepped out on the patio he felt the cool air wash over him. He leaned against the pillar, arms pressed against it and took a few deep breaths when he heard the sweetest Happy Birthday Logan in his life. He pushed off the pillar and looked in the direction of her voice. She had brought her entourage with her, Mac on her left and Wallace flanked on her right. As he watched her approach he soaked her in. She was wearing a pair of blue jean capris with a grey t-shirt hugging her in all the right places. A peach colored scarf loosely looped around her neck and she carried a blue box with a silver bow. "You came!" He said unafraid to show his surprise.
Mac leaned forward giving him a one arm hug, "Happy Birthday."
When she stepped back to align with Veronica, Wallace stepped forward offering his hand. Logan was shocked at the friendly gesture and it took him a moment to accept his handshake. "Happy Birthday Man."
"Thanks." Logan shoved his hands in his pockets, suddenly feeling uncomfortable. Not really sure what else to do, over the top party host, seemed like the way to go.
"Thank you, for coming. There's music going, pizza, drinks, and the pool house has extra suits if you want to swim." He fanned his arms towards the doors before encouraging them on.
"Seriously, Have a good time."
Wallace thanked him and offered Mac to join him. He put an arm on Veronica's shoulder and told her he would catch her inside. She nodded her response and looked at Logan. "Um, I have something for you. Do you think there is someplace we could go...in private?"
"Oh, ah yeah...that's why i came out here." He nervously tells her. They could sit in his car or walk to the beach? He doesn't want her to feel trapped. "Do you want to walk to the beach or we could go to my car?" That's it Echolls, make it her choice.
She looked as if she was debating the options then she turned back around gesturing with her arms towards the driveway. "Your car would be good, then you could leave it there." She suggested before walking that way.
Logan followed behind her, slowly making his way up to walking beside her. He was nervous. Just before she reached the passenger side Logan sped up to open the door for her. She turned to him and gave him the warmest smile. She reached in to balance the box on the center console before climbing inside. Logan shut the door, then took a moment to take a few breaths before jogging around to get in the driver side. Settled in his seat Veronica now had the box in her lap smoothing the silk fabric with her hands. He watched her for a bit before he spoke. "Veronica, I have tried all day to find you. To talk to you. I wanted to spend my birthday with you." He let out a deep breath of air, "I am so glad you came." He finished. There was so much more he wanted to tell her but that is all that seemed to matter. She began to play with the silver ribbon on the package and Logan began to wonder if she was ever going to give him the gift.
"I had forgotten about getting this for you. When they called to tell me it was waiting for me I had Wallace go with me to pick it up. Even though we aren't together, I wanted you to have it." She glanced over at him and it looked as if there were tears in her eyes. "I tried to find you when we got back but your phone was dead and you weren't anywhere I looked for you."
She picked up the box and handed it over to him, "Happy Birthday Logan."
He took the box and rested it on the steering wheel but he didn't open it. He needed to tell her this. "Veronica I need you in my life. I would prefer you were in it as my girlfriend, but I'll take you anyway you are willing to give."
"Logan." She paused, then repositioned herself so she was facing him. "Open it."
That wasn't the answer he was expecting, but to be honest he wasn't sure he knew what he actually expected her to say. He slowly ran his hands up lifting the lid as he did to open the box. Inside was a white envelope with his name on it and a brown leather book.
Veronica reached over and held the lid open while he opened the envelope.
"Wishing you a Happy Birthday," scrawled across the front of a navy blue card in silver cursive writing. When he opened it, the inside read "and hoping to spend many more with you. Love Veronica"
He stared at those words for a while. Then he reread them over and over. When he finally looked up at her he felt the tears in his eyes. He blinked in hopes to stop them. She smiled at him and nodded towards the book in the box. He placed the card on the dash of the truck and lifted the book out of the box. Veronica pulled the box away and shoved it onto her side of the dash. Logan lifted the cover of the book and was greeted with a photo of him and his mom when he was about four years old. He put his hand over the photo, then glanced at Veronica. Returning his attention back to the album he flipped through the pages seeing photo after photo of his childhood, refurbished. It was the most thoughtful gift he ever received. When he reached the end he rested the album on his lap and twisted his body reaching for Veronica. She met him half way stretching over the console in a hug. "Thank You." He said, no longer able to hold back the tears. "You're welcome Logan."
They had eventually lulled into a comfortable silence, locked in each other's embrace. Veronica pulled away first. As she ran her arms over his shoulders she let her hands travel to his neck, then up to cradle his face. Logan loosened his grip and let his hands rest at her hips. She used her thumb to wipe at his tears. He saw that look in her eyes. It was that look that made Logan believe she really did love him. She smiled, then he heard the words. "I love you Logan." He was still trying to process what she had said when he felt her lips on his.