Lynn stands at the edge of the Coronado Bridge. Tears are streaking her mascara and it’s stinging her eyes, but she’s beyond caring at this point. Her mind wanders back a few hours to the events that brought her here. Another showdown between Aaron and Logan at the school no less.
She takes another drink from the silver flask filled with premium bourbon, draining the last drop. She throws it down, denting the top of her car. “That will leave a mark.” She whispers morosely, the irony of the statement not lost on her. Maybe with her out of the way, Logan will find a way to get out of Aaron's grasp. He’s the brave one, always has been. She’s the coward. At least she had some foresight to squirrel away money over the years in a secret investment account Aaron had no idea about. She kept paperwork and some Lester family heirlooms at Mrs. Navarro’s, the 'domestic" Aaron couldn't trust.
She grips the light pole harder as she watches a tanker go under. Her foot slips. The bottle of Xanax she downed on the way to San Diego is definitely kicking in, along with the bourbon, it’s a wonder she is even standing up at all. Though it’s a bit weird she keeps feeling a tugging at her inner core. “Ah, Lynn, it’s called guilt.” She chides herself.
Suddenly she hears a car screeching below her. She shouldn’t be surprised. It is a busy bridge in the middle of the day. What DOES surprise her is hearing what she hears next.
“Mrs. Echolls”, “MOM!” Veronica and Logan both scramble out of the beat up Le Baron convertible. They look anxiously up at her, before Veronica starts to climb.
“Please just stay put, don’t move. Veronica, please don’t go up, I’ll go.” Logan grabs Veronica’s leg. “Ugh, Logan, quit being stupid. I’m shorter therefore my center of gravity is lower so I am more stable. Besides my boots are functional, and your sneakers are for appearances only.” Veronica sneers and shakes her leg a little. She reaches up to grab Lynn’s hand. “It’s ok Mrs. Echolls, we are here for you. Think you can come down now?” She looks pleadingly at Lynn.
“Uh, I don’t feel well at all…Xanax…bourbon…phew…it’s HOT.” The tugging is getting quite…substantial?
Without warning a black-haired woman, not much bigger than Veronica, with a short bob pops up over the railing. “Ummm, which one of you is Lynn Echolls, nee Lester?”
Lynn, Logan and Veronica freeze. If Lynn’s situation wasn’t so precarious, the sight of the three of them would be down right comical. Lynn was still gripping the light-pole. Veronica had her arm snaked around one of Lynn’s arms, and Logan’s hand was halfway up Veronica’s thigh.
“Hello? I have a schedule to keep. I appreciate the welcoming committee, but if I am late for supper AGAIN this week because of work, Bub will be none too pleased.” This woman looks at each of them pleadingly.
Lynn, Logan and Veronica look at each other for answers, too dumbfounded to make sense of the situation.
The woman rubs her hand over her face and through her frizzy hair. “Fine, I will just take all three of you and we can figure this out on the other side. Now where is my coin….” She feels around her black jacket and pulls out a coin. “Ah, there you are! Ok, let’s go!” She flips the coin.
Next thing they know they are tumbling onto a hard, wooden surface. Lynn tumbles away and curls up in a ball facing away from the others. Logan lands on top of Veronica, hard enough to issue an audible oumph from her.
“See, this here makes sense.” Logan bends and growls into Veronica's ear, sweeping hair from her face and neck.
“Lo-GAN! Geez, we don’t know where we are, who we are with how your mother is...now if not the time...” Veronica starts as she pushes Logan to the side and stands up dusting herself off. She looks up at the woman who captured then and brought them to wherever they are.
“Look lady. I don’t know who you think you are, but here is how this is going to go…” Veronica steps forward, reaching into her own pocket for Mr. Sparky.
Logan looks at the two women standing there. He swears the tension between them could inflict more damage than Mr. Sparky. And the odd part? They are dressed the same. No that isn’t right. They look the same. Black jacket, black boots, tight jeans, same smooth pale skin. Only differences are eye color, and hair. Whereas Veronica’s is smooth blonde, mystery lady is frizzy jet black. Aside from that, there is an odd twins vibe from 'The Shining' going on, which quite frankly gives Logan the creeps.
Logan reaches behind her, wrapping his arms around her and pulls her back a step. “Uh, Veronica? Why don’t you go check on my mom? I will see what I can figure out.” He turns her around and points her to the fetal positioned Lynn.
“FINE, but if she makes the wrong move, tase her.” Veronica stomps off, pushing her taser into his hands though relaxes her steps the closer she gets to Lynn. He sees he crouch down and caress his mom’s hair. He is so lucky Veronica saw his mom down the pill bottle in the parking lot, and smelling trouble sought him out so they could follow.
“So, um. I have no clue what is going on but thank you for at least getting my mom off that bridge. I don’t know what I would have done if she had died today.” Logan looks a little sheepish. “If you can point us in the right direction, we can get out of your hair and you can back your regularly scheduled programming.”
The woman looks up from a clip board she is holding, tapping a pen against her chin, looks back down, then to Logan.
“I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but she is. Well technically all three of you are right this moment until I figure out what exactly happened on that bridge. I’m Lana, Lana Harvey, by the way, just your friendly neighbourhood grim reaper.” Lana tries, unsuccessfully, to lighten the mood with some jazz hands. Bub keeps telling her she needs to work on her people (ugh) skills.
“Geez, you guys are the least chatty people I think I have ever met. Usually its all, ‘Where am I going?’ ‘Is heaven and hell real?’, ‘Is my dog Heidi here?’” Lana starts to pace waving her arms in the air. Logan shakes his head. The similarities are uncanny.
“I am Logan?” He tries to say, but he isn’t sure of anything anymore.
“OK….are you telling me or asking me? Statement: I AM Logan Period. Question, which by the way, unless you are on my docket, I feel uniquely unqualified to answer: I am Logan question mark.” Snarks Lana as she tilts her head at him and smirks.
They both hear a sigh behind them, and they turn. “Lana, people skills. You need to remember not everyone has the advantage of knowing what’s happening when you sweep them away.” A soothing British voice says.
Veronica spans the 20 feet in two steps, grabbing her taser from Logan, and holding it up the newcomer quicker than Logan can imagine. God he loves her.
“Who exactly are YOU? We need some answers and need them now.” Veronica is red, and Logan once again, pulls her away.
“Ok, ok, I see my dear Lana has forgotten some manners and chosen to escalate things instead of trying to talk things through. Let us try this again. I am Beelzebub, or Bub for short, at your service.” Bub grabs Veronicas hand raises it his mouth and lightly kisses her fingers which stuns her into silence. “I heard that you may be Logan? Given this one is far too feisty to be on the reapers list, I will assume the fair one sleeping is Lynn Echolls?” Bub says scanning Lana’s docket. “Which leaves the remaining question as to who you may be, aside from a very close approximation of my Lana?” Bub looks into Veronica’s eyes.
Veronica glares at everyone. She feels she is being tricked but can’t figure out the game. She licks her lips and looks around. Lynn is ok for the time being, Logan is worried, but in one piece. Mr. Sparky is on stand by. They are on a boat, on water, but this is certainly NOT San Diego or anywhere in California she has ever been before.
“Veronica Mars.” She says icily as she slips her arms around Logan.
The four of them stare at each other for a moment, but Bub is the only one smiling. “How about we find, your mother,” He asks Logan, and Logan nods, “somewhere more comfortable to recover, then some answers?” He moves towards Lynn slowly, when they all hear a loud growl.
Veronica is once again red, and she shrugs her shoulders. “I missed lunch in the excitement.” Logan snickers.
There is a sudden scratching at the cabin door, near which Lynn is laying. Veronica pulls Logan behind her and sparks the taser gripped in her hand. Bub holds a hand over his mouth as not to laugh out loud. “Oh, but this one IS feisty, luv, seems to remind me of someone…” His sentence was broken off as he opened the door to the cabin, and two of the largest dogs Veronica had ever seen bound out, toppling each other to the ground.
Once again, the situation found Logan and Veronica staring and blinking. The slightly bigger dog sniffed briefly at Lynn, before leaping over to Logan, bowling him over in the process. The dog rolled off Logan and onto his belly, tongue hanging out and tail wagging making it clear to Logan he wanted some love. The other dog sniffed at Lynn’s prone figure and stalked over to Lana to sit between her and Bub, keeping eyes on the scene. Ears back, eyes searching.
“Ugh, SAUL, you traitorous hound!” Lana grimaced. “Can’t you be more like Coreen and actually, you know, look out for me?” She reached down and scratched Coreen’s ears.
“You too? My dad’s dog Backup, flies across the beach to tackle Logan, everytime.” Veronica crossed her arms and smirked as she toed Logan’s side. She crouched down, held out her hand towards Saul who wormed on his back further towards Veronica and gave it a big lick. “Gross.” She said as she wiped her hand on her jacket.
The next few minutes were spent in relocating Lynn, still unconscious, but ok otherwise, and getting settled in the cabin. Saul was leaning against Logan’s legs, while Coreen was standing at the front door taking in the whole scene.
“Soooo, someone needs to explain exactly what is going on, and where we are.” Veronica is standing, refusing to sit. Lana too is standing, looking over her clipboard, and texting on her phone. She looks up and huffs.
“Look, Veronica, I told you, I am a reaper. A reaper of souls? Mrs. Echoll’s was on my docket for this morning. Usually it’s easy enough, I give a tug and the soul comes flying out. I spent 10 minutes trying to get her soul and it would not come. They you two show up and complicate the situation.” Lana gestures between the two them. “Normally I would have fought a little harder, but someone,” She nods towards Bub, “gets, well, concerned when I put myself in the middle of what might be considered an unusual situation where I might get injured.” Lana rolls her eyes and lands them on Bub.
“Considering the amount of times you have been into Meng’s to be patched up, the situations you get yourself into, especially after all that nastiness with Grim….” His voice trails off.
Logan looks up and laughs and flicks his hands towards Bub and back to himself. “You too? Veronica attracts trouble like a fly to honey.”
“If I recall, mister, YOU were the one to bash my headlights in with a crowbar.” Veronica deadpans. “Seems you are the trouble.”
“Ah, see you admit, you are attracted to me.” Logan teases.
“No, that’s not at all what….”
Lana sighs. “Um, not sure what this is, but….”
“Foreplay, luv. Surely we haven’t been together so long you have forgotten what that is?” Bub purrs as he stands to move beside Lana, trailing his hands down her neck coming to rest on her hips.
“OKAY. This seems to be taking a turn to something else. Can we get back on track?” Veronica stalks over to rest her hand cautiously under Coreen’s jaw. Coreen sneezes, and glances towards Lana seeking approval. “Go ahead.”
Coreen butts her head slightly into Veronica’s hand giving permission to pet her. “It’s nice to see some dogs have the ability to remain faithful to their masters.”
Bub absently scratches his face. “So, may I ask, what led Mrs. Echoll’s to the state in which we find her? Alcohol, drugs and the edge of a bridge seems to suggest something….” He doesn’t finish the sentence, as he is old enough to know exactly why.
“Uh, it’s my fault,” Logan begins, “my parents were called down to the office on account of me, and I started fighting with my sperm donor, and my mom…”
“Look son. I’ve been around long enough to know her demons showed up long before she decided to put herself on that bridge. But it also sounds like she was struggling with letting go. Which is odd because once they make it to the docket, it’s a done deal. Usually.” Bub shrugs.
Lana narrows her eyes at Bub. “Please do not tell me you are thinking what I think you are thinking. Ugh, the paperwork that will entail. Jenni is going to have a hissy fit.”
Veronica and Logan look at each other, when they both clue in to what might be on the table. “If it’s money, I can get you whatever you need…..” Logan begins hopefully.
“This isn’t a money thing. I have enough of that, I AM a demon after all and I provide for Lana quite adequately, though she insists on keeping this job no matter what I say. This is a "doing what’s right for the soul" so to speak. But it’s entirely up to your mother.” Bub smirks at Lana but faces Logan sadly.
“I have reaped enough souls to know when one is not ready to leave, just never one who wouldn’t leave their body. Depending what she decides, I can make sure she is situated somewhere she will be happy, comfortable, here with us.”
Everyone turns to Lynn as she moans and starts to move. Logan rushes over to help her sit up, and Bub brings her a glass of water.
Logan starts to explain the circumstances to Lynn, who just looks bewildered. Veronica adds information to try to clarify as needed. Lana and Bub stand back huddled with whispers, Lana stamping her foot occasionally, while Bub rubs his hand down her arm soothingly.
“So I am not dead?” Lynn asks to no one in particular. “And I have the chance to go back? Back to that hell? Are you kidding me? I’ll stay thanks.” She looks grimly at her glass of water.
“I should have known better.” Anger rises from Logan’s voice. “My parental figures only seem to care about themselves, never me. Sure mom, it’s ok. I get it, this is a crazy situation, but you have a chance to come back with me. And you just want to abandon me.” Logan gets up and walks out of the cabin. Saul leap up unsure of where his pillow went.
“Logan, it’s more complicated…” Lynn calls out, but she know how hollow that sounds.
Lana sits down, blowing air forcefully, her face softening to speak to Lynn. “Look, I get it, you have some shit that went sideways. Trust me I KNOW how that is. I know how easy it would be to turn away and give up. But it seems like your son needs you for something back among the living. He cares enough to be angry that you may not go back, but it is ultimately your choice.” Lana grips Lynn’s hand softly.
“You don’t understand, Logan’s father…” Lynn looks up at Veronica who nods. “He hurts him, with me gone Logan might be able to get out from under him.”
Bub looks up with a gleam in his eye. “One of those is he, oh they are my specialty.” He rubs his hands together. “Give me a minute….” Bub dials his phone. “Asmodeous?....” And then his voice is lost as he goes into a bedroom.
This leaves the three women and Coreen in the room. Coreen nuzzles Lynn’s hand, and she drops it to rub the dog’s ears.
“Bub likes to play white knight sometimes. For a demon, he has a heart of gold.” Lana rolls her eyes.
Veronica doubles over with laughter. “Logan too. He tries to pretend he is a jackass, but yep, heart of gold and a romantic."
Bub leaves the bedroom just as Logan walks back in the cabin. “Okay. He is in.” Bub’s eye’s glisten. He pulls Lana off to the side explaining, before turning back to the group again.
Lana begins, turning to Lynn. “This is all up to you, but if you want to go back, we can make this work. It requires a leap of faith, and a lot of paperwork, so you will need to trust us.” Lana nods over her shoulder to Bub.
“I don’t know….I think it’s better…” Lynn mumbles.
Logan looks pleadingly at his mom but doesn’t say anything. Veronica looks angrily at Lynn. “You KNOW what he does to Logan and you want to take the easy way out….” Logan pulls Veronica back into his lap, his head nestled into her neck. She feels wetness.
Lana starts to speak again. “Sometimes souls get, well, lost and wander for a long time before they can be found, before they let themselves be harvested. Something was holding you back on that bridge, the pull to stay on the mortal side was too strong for me. And that’s saying something.” Bub snorts. “I can chalk your soul up to lost and you can return with Logan and Veronica.”
“Ahhhh, that is where the leap of faith comes in. We are taking a risk already, so I’d like to keep our next hand hidden. We can return you to the bridge, but you will have to trust.
Veronica wrinkles her nose skeptically up at that and Lana laughs. “I get her.”
Lynn looks up. “Logan, is this what you want? I still don’t have a grasp on all of this,” she waves her hand around, “probably a dream. But if there is a possibility of something changing…..”
“Yes, mom, please yes.”
“Ok then, lets move out to the deck.” Bub says as he gently grasps Lynn by the waist and Logan moves to the other side as they help her onto the deck. Saul bounds after Logan, Coreen waiting for Lana. “I clearly need to get a girl dog.” Veronica says.
Once everyone is on the deck, and Lana gives a run down of what will happen, and what to expect once back on the bridge, the five of them stand on the deck.
“Umm, thanks, for everything. To have a second chance with my mom…..” Logan starts, and Veronica moves protectively to his side.
“If my idea pans out that is all the thanks I need,” Bub says eagerly, then nods to Veronica, “And good luck with yours. If she is half as obstinate…”
“Protective.” The two men say at the same time, finishing the banter, laughing. “Yeah, I think we both need the luck.” Logan says as he looks to Veronica who is standing beside Lana.
The two of them stand there. Black jackets, boots and jeans, hands on hips, looking exasperated with the men. Saul and Coreen beside Lana.
“Ok if your fun-time hour has finished,” Lana turns and flips her coin, and turns to Veronica with a sad, but soft grin. “I look forward to reaping your soul, Veronica Mars. Finding someone with my skill-set is hard and I could use the help.”
Before Veronica can answer, they are all sucked into a tunnel and when they look up are beside Lynn’s car.
The three of them, stare at each other, blinking not sure if everything really happened. Logan grips his mother, tears running down his face. Veronica, turns away, searching Lynn’s red convertible.
“Logan? Are you ok to drive my car with your mom? There is more room….and has a direct line to my dad’s office should you need it. I will meet you back at your place with your mom’s car. We can figure out a story when we stop for something to eat.”
“I’m not sure what to believe, but sure.” Logan moves to grip Veronica. “I don’t know if that was a dream, or what, but…”
She smiles at Logan and places a warm kiss on his lips. “Let’s go home.”
One month later
Logan is woken by the announcement in journalism class. “Logan Echolls, please report to the office immediately,” there is some whispering, and the voice returns, “Veronica Mars, please accompany Logan. You both are excused for the day.”
Logan and Veronica look at each other and grab their back packs, shrugging to the class as they grasp each other’s hands and slip out of class. “What did you do?” They both ask at the same time.
As they walk into the office they are met with Lynn’s tentative face.
“Mom? Is everything ok? Did he come back….” Logan moves so quickly he drags Veronica.
Lynn places her fingers to her lips before saying, “Thank you Mr. Clemmons, I am going to take them home now.”
They walk towards the blue car parked outside in silence. Lynn traded in the red convertible to a SUV after Aaron returned to L.A. to do some auditioning for new prospects. He had left the morning after the meeting at office and Lynn’s visit at the bridge.
Logan and Veronica slide into the back seat together, Lynn looks at them from the driver’s seat.
“So, I received a phone call today from the production company Aaron was auditioning for…..there was a freak accident with a lighting system that no one can figure out.”
“Mom, what are you saying?” Logan leans forward and Veronica grips his hand tighter.
“Our leap of faith….he’s gone, Logan. We’re free.” Lynn looks at them with happy tears rolling down her face.
“Look, there must be some mistake. Do you know who I am?” Aaron’s anger is palpable. Bub is leaning against the ship’s wheel, Lana looking off into the distance. Saul and Coreen are on guard low growls and barring of teeth anytime Aaron gets too close. “I can’t be DEAD, and certainly not heading to hell, I AM Aaron Echolls!”
“Well aware. And the only mistake is letting you live as long as you did.” Bub sneers with glints of fire in his eyes. “Now shut up, we have a promise to fulfill.