?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
14 June 2013 @ 01:23 am
[fic] i knew you were trouble when you walked in [1/2]  
okay, so the reason I should never, ever, do fic prompts is because I have this supreme ability to not understand that when people prompt something at a fic war thing, they do not want to read over 17,000 words on it. No, but, what the actual fuck is this. I've been writing it about three days now (not continuously, because I have hours and hours of work, which i've been procrastinating on horrifically), but that's like an eternity for me. So, for Marta's prompt:



Senior year of college, they hook up unexpectedly, mess and misery ensue.



I know why she chose senior year, and it's the best choice, but i wanted to deal a little with season three stuff, so I turned it sophomore year instead. but there's definitely a lot of mess and people being miserable, so maybe that makes up? Guys, I am so sorry. Also, it doesn't even fit within one post, which i hate. I dislike things breaking up. It's also the second longest one-shot I've ever witten, damn. I feel like I should warn for Logan and Veronica being terrible people, but you know, such is their existence. And I always feel like "shit, am I making Logan too ~fanon hero, till I remember "if cuddling is the best part, he didn't do it right" and "didn't plug her right the first time, huh?" and feel better because Logan is actually that canon character who fits into fanon pretty much as he is. Gratuitous Casablanca references, and some lyrics basically interspersed as text, because, i don't even know, okay.



i knew you were trouble when you walked in
veronica mars | veronica; veronica/logan; veronica/piz, logan/oc, wallace, keith
post season three | nc- 17 | warning: mentions of rape, sex, language. | 17,500
She first hears about it from the new waitress at the Java, oddly enough. "Aaron Echolls's son, you know." the girl informs her gleefully, "I gave him head once."







She gets thrown out of the FBI internship two weeks into it.

That's not what they officially call it, they give her a subdued letter of recommendation, couched in carefully neutral terms, telling her to explore "other avenues", and cautiously expressing "hope" that she'll "discover her field of expertise" in the near future. She knows the only reason she gets even that much is because the FBI doesn't like to admit it may have been wrong in any of its decisions. There's a lot the FBI doesn't like to admit.

She still has bruises from when she tried to confront their tracking "assignment" on her own. That she may have prevented a potential kidnapping is apparently not the point, Mars. You had specific instructions, and you disobeyed them.

"You're not fit for the FBI," her supervisor tells her, bluntly, "we've seen too many of your kind; all headstrong arrogance, and no patience for instructions, or respect for protocol. You walk in here thinking you must be something special, because you had your name in the local papers once. This is a sensitive, government organization, Mars, we handle classified, top-secret data, data that might cause the United States of America to potentially go to war at any time, if our counterintelligence doesn't follow the rules, maintain the hierarchy, and keep their damn mouths shut. Rebels without causes aren't what we specialize in; looks like you walked onto the wrong set, James Dean."

She's been concentrating so hard on this thing that it's pretty much the only future she can remember having tried to build in a very long time. Which is ridiculous, because she hadn't even thought of the FBI till Professor Landry had mentioned it, but she still can see the golden gates comically shutting inside her head. Her future is suddenly empty, open, and for some reason, that's terrifying.

She hefts her travel bags on her shoulders, and doesn't bother looking back at the room she'd been given as she walks out. There is no space in her head for regrets. She's going to move on.

It's raining outside when she gets onto the plane, and the initial minor turbulence makes her convulsively clutch the arms of her seat in reflex. But soon they're above the clouds, and when she sinks down into the seat, and turns her head to look out of the window, there's nothing but the white.






-






She ends up at his door in the middle of the night. She remembers having done this before, but she's a little nervous anyway. It surprises her, the feeling. Then again, this isn't the kind of thing she usually does, so maybe it's understandable.

He opens it, rubbing sleep from his eyes, hair all over the place, and she feels such a surprisingly strong sense of affection, looking at him like this, it makes her pause.

He's alone. She hasn't even realized she's been waiting for him to be with someone till he isn't. Apparently, that's her default setting. You can take the PI out of the Camelot, but you can't take the sleaziness and the distrust of the Camelot out of the PI.

"Veronica," he says, surprise evident in his voice, even half-asleep, "what are you–?"

She keeps her bags down, and nearly knocks him over.

"Hi," she whispers against his mouth.

Piz laughs against her lips, the sound vibrating through her, right down to her toes, "hey."






-






Sex with Piz is...fun.

She generically asks about the condom in his bedside table, because it seems like the girlfriend thing to do, unable to stop smiling through her pretense of outrage, making a show of looking beneath his bed. He tucks a strand of hair behind her ear with one hand, and, glancing pointedly at her suitcases, tells her that when he's dating Veronica Mars, a guy always has to be prepared for everything ever.

It's a good answer, so she stretches out on top of him, and kisses him again.

They mess up with the only condom he has. She breaks it, while trying to put it on with her teeth, like she'd seen in one of the adult movies Lilly had forced her to watch as part of the Lilly Kane Sex-Ed-straordinary Class.

"When you finally realize you're too fabulous for the virginal Donut, and find yourself a real man, a less clingy version of Logan perhaps– because that boy is magic with his fingers, but so whiny; don't make the same mistakes I did and vet your lovers, love– you'll be thanking me. So listen up, Veronica Mars, today is the first day of the rest of your life."

They'd giggled over it, she remembers with a pang. Remembers watching it with her hand half over her eyes, while Lilly kept up an outrageous commentary and soundtrack. God, she misses Lilly. She'd gone and made the same mistake her best friend had, of course, except Lilly had loved Logan, but Veronica had fallen in love with him. Because she's always been a bigger fool than Lilly ever was.

She determinedly brings her thoughts back to the present, there is no space for regrets in her head. She's done with the ghosts who broke her heart before she met Piz. This is the future. This is the future with a boy who'd turned his dream internship down just to be close to her.

They both look at the torn material silently for a few seconds, and then Piz laughs.

"You better return your pornstar nameplate, Uranus," he teases, "doesn't look like you'll be branching out the business into a thorough...investigation of the Case of the Piznarski Family Jewels anytime soon."

That's such an awkwardly Piz thing to say, even when he's fully naked, and half hard, it makes her laugh too.

"Are they missing?" she gasps breathily, "that would explain so much," and he flicks her across the nose.

He goes out to buy another one, and she lies back on the hard bed of the small room and doesn't think about anything except the number of different shades of brown on the wood of the ceiling.

She raises an eyebrow when he comes back with three packs, "hopeful, aren't you?"

"You know me; ever the optimist," he nods, solemnly.

She thinks of Logan just twice. About how, if she'd turned up at his door, he wouldn't have slept with her just because she wanted him to, because Logan never did anything just because she wanted him to. He'd have given her the third degree about why she was back, searched for injuries, raged at the faint bruises that still line her neck and forearms and hips, if someone looks closely. He would have looked closely. They'd inevitably have ended up screaming, on opposite sides of the room, probably broken up, and then not even made it to his bed.

He'd have made her come as many times as he could, left her breathless, and drained, and aching, using his hands, his mouth, his cock almost as weapons. Because he couldn't really hurt her, but he could let her feel how much she wanted him, how much she needed him– at least for this, at least in the moment– and let that knowledge hurt her instead.

Piz doesn't ask questions. He believes her when she tells him that it just didn't work out. Believes her when she says she's here rather than back home because she was missing him. Believes her when she says she's okay. He only asks her about the FBI food with mock-seriousness, and she answers him for five whole minutes with equal seriousness, before he laughs and shuts her up with his tongue in her mouth.

It's so easy– this– she'd almost forgotten what that felt like.

She doesn't want songs written about her, she decides, she wants easy. Easy is good. Easy is better than good.






-






She stays in New York for three whole days.

She goes out, while Piz is at the Pitchforkmedia office, window-shops alone, doesn't look into dark corners or wander down narrow alleys. Doesn't look for trouble, or invent it, when she sees a man grip the hand of the woman next to him too hard. She walks inside one of the cool, air-conditioned shops instead, and stays there as long as she can.

She calls her dad on the second day.

"Oh," is his only response.

"Gee, dad," she rolls her eyes at him, even though he can't see her, but she knows he knows she's doing it, "let me look that up in the dictionary and get back to you."

"Saturday night, did you say?" he asks, suspicious, and there it is, the father-thing, he still cares, for some reason, he still cares, even though she messed up again, even though she can't seem to stop messing up, "then where are you now?"

"You mean when I'm not working the poles and giving the Haves of the world lap-dances to pay for college?"

"Veronica," his mild tone has a thread of danger in it, only for her fine-tuned ear.

She caves, "at my boyfriend's tiny apartment, like any other nineteen-year-old. Oh look, daddy, I'm a real girl now!"

She can hear him snort, part amused, part irate, part resigned, "you must be getting too used to the good life if you're calling that room tiny, honey. I didn't know you kids were back together. Also, get your ass back home this instant."

"We never broke up," she replies, blankly.

There's something to be said about her dad that he covers up almost immediately, "and how is Stosh?"

"Piz," she says, feeling herself flush, because when did she ever, in recent times, give any indication it was anyone but, "is good. Great, even. He loves his internship."

Her dad seems to be at a loss at that, "good for the young man. He seems...ambitious."

She fiddles with the bedspread, "I'm staying another day."

"Veronica–"

"Come on, dad," she interrupts, "I got kicked off an internship, and immediately ran off to cry in the manly arms of my musician boyfriend. Are you really going to deny me my teenage dream moment?"

She can almost see her dad considering that; his little girl's virtue vs. his little girl being normal. It's not really a choice, since they both know she'll do whatever she wants to, but they go through the routine all the same, and she can't stand the thought that there may be a time when they won't. That somehow, someday she'll do something that will take away his trust entirely, and she won't have anybody left. Logan was wrong, she does need something. She needs her dad.

"Besides," she says, coaxing, "it's not like Piz is going to introduce me to the dark, seedy underworld of sin and debauchery."

She bites her tongue almost as soon as she says it, because now they're both thinking of who would and god, she's so stupid. But Logan always makes her feel vaguely dirty, like she isn't the pre-Lilly, sexually shy, Veronica one point oh. Or the post– rape, she forces out the word, rape– sexually distant Veronica two point oh, but someone else, another Veronica entirely. Like wanting too much and articulating that want and being a complete slut is okay in Logan's bedroom, by the soft blue glow of the headboard.

She grips the bedspread tightly; she won't go down that road again, she can't, and soon those memories of the blue light flickering across his face as he thrusts into her erratically, his gaze dark, piercing, will be replaced by other, newer memories. They have to. So what if Logan is a consummate lover, that can't be the sole basis for any healthy relationship. She's old enough to understand that.

"The public prosecutor has withdrawn the case against me," Keith says, out of the blue– not the headboard, the metaphor; god, she is losing it– and for some reason her dad isn't pushing this, for some reason he's giving her an out, and she's grateful, she really is, "because Jake Kane apparently mistook what happened that night, and was too hasty in declaring a B&E and theft, and had the charges against you cancelled when he realized. Because of which, the evidence, which was supposed to have been destroyed during my watch, wasn't in existence at the time. Almost all the deputies and the Sheriff himself are willing to corroborate that."

"That's great!" she says, and she's not even fooling herself.

"What did you do?" she can hear the I told you not to get involved in this undertone, and she so badly wants things to not be awkward between them again.

"I didn't do anything," at least it's the truth, for once; Jake Kane may say whatever he wants to about it being too late, but she has a healthy respect for Clarence Wiedman's ability to time travel to protect his boss, if necessary, "Mr. Kane called about some...files, a couple of days back. And I may have mentioned I was down at the FBI headquarters, and he may have gotten the wrong impression about what I was doing there. But I can't know for sure; the other's subjectivity is necessarily unavailable to the self. I learnt that in the Beckett credit course. See, I learn intellectual things in college, and nothing at all about B&E's, whatever those may be."

For a moment she doesn't know how this will go down, and she doesn't even realize she's holding her breath, till Keith laughs over the line, and she lets it out, shakily, feeling the sheer relief at the sound settling in her bones.

"Your plausible deniability ranges with the best of them," he says, affectionately.

Vinnie Van Lowe may have the shiny badge, but Jake Kane holds the invisible strings to the Sheriff marionette at Neptune. And she hadn't stayed to comfort her dad after the loss of the election, the office seat he'd lost because of her; she'd run away, instead, as usual. Even though she had an excuse this time, it was still running away, it was still just an excuse. Maybe she can make up for it, bit by bit. Be who her dad wants her to be, for once.

"You can stay," her dad breaks into her thoughts, "but only for a day. And, honey? You're grounded for a month when you get back."

She makes a sound of outrage at the back of her throat, "like you even know how grounding works!"

"Locked up in your room for days?" he guesses, "no food? No water? No sunlight? Perhaps some fancy torture equipment? I think we can figure something out. Love you."

"Love you too," and she does, she does so much. She's not a robotic automaton, incapable of human emotion or something, she's not.

She keeps down the phone, and picks up her purse. Today, she'll try on much-too-expensive dresses in fancy shops on the Fifth Avenue, and drink things with little umbrellas in them, she decides.






-






Being back at Hearst feels...different.

Piz is her boyfriend, Mac is down for her semester at Yale on scholarship, Wallace is more withdrawn, reserved, buried in his books, and if she catches glimpses of Logan around campus sometimes, then that's all there is to that. Dick is still away with his father, and she doesn't know when he'll be back, because it's not like they're friends, and it's not like Logan's going to come up, kiss her on the top of her head, and tell her these things anymore.

Even the sex tape is old news, she realizes her first week back. Some of the guys still grin lasciviously when she passes them, but it's more perfunctory than anything else. There have been two more sex tapes since hers, and the girls had bigger breasts, and were probably more adventurous than her. She's almost irrationally annoyed by that for a second, before shaking her head, because she's clearly losing her mind.

Even with Lilly's death, and Duncan running away with his daughter, and Bea–Cassidy, this feels like the most change she's experienced in a while. Like everything is really different this time, and it's going to stay this way.

But that's okay, because she's not the same Veronica she was, not the girl rushing headlong into trouble, creating it where she can't find it. Not after she's seen how her father's clients have decreased drastically because of the bad publicity, because of her, even though the charges have been dropped. She's different too now, she has to be.

Piz waits for her outside classes, and carries her books sometimes, and she lets him, because it seems like the girl thing to do. Normal is the watchword again, and this time it's going to be a permanent fixture in her dictionary.






-






Third month of sophomore year, Logan gets together with a girl from his Sociology class.

She first hears about it from the new waitress at the Java, oddly enough.

"Aaron Echolls's son, you know." the girl informs her gleefully, "I gave him head once."

Her stomach churns, but she has no right. Not anymore. So she smiles, tight, brittle, and says, "so did I."






-






"Wallace," she says, loudly, brightly, "the road to my runner, the Bubbles to my Buttercup, the Greta to my Garbo, my BFF, my soul-sister, and how are you this fine morning?"

"It isn't any of your business." he's lying flat on his stomach on top of his bedspread, a book open in front of him, sections on quantum physics highlighted with neon green marker. The diagrams look complicated, like a line-depiction of their relationship. Hers and Logan's.

God, she needs to stop with the bad metaphors. And thinking of him, she needs to stop with that too. She doesn't know what it is about imagining him with someone else that does this to her, makes her go completely crazy. Her normal always seems to extend only as far as Logan's bachelorhood does.

"Whatever do you mean, best friend of mine," she busies herself with the strap of her bag, running a thumb over where a golden sequin has fallen off. They keep falling, no matter how many times she tries to sew them tighter, or glue them back on. Just like–

No. Seriously. Shut up.

But she can't keep it up for long, and when she looks up, Wallace is giving her his patented BFF gaze; the one that tells her he knows her now. As much as she may want to pretend she's unreadable and inaccessible, he knows her.

"I didn't tell you about Logan's girlfriend," he says, slowly, deliberately, "because it's none of your business."

She didn't know the relationship status was Logan's girlfriend. She'd sort of imagined another girl to share memories of giving him head with. Maybe they could all form a club, half the female population at Neptune, probably some of the male population she doesn't know about. Meet every Thursday, or something, exchange stories. His hand in her hair, clutching too tightly, the soft, plush carpeting scraping against her knees.

She'd swallowed, once. It was the closest she'd ever come to any form of submission in their relationship, to any form of submission in any of her relationships. But the frenetic movement of his hands, the awkward jerk of his hips, the blistering heat in his eyes, when he'd told her he was fuck, so close, Veronica, and she hadn't moved her head away, hadn't stopped the rhythmic movement of her mouth, and he'd realized what she was doing–

She flushes, when she grasps that Wallace's eyes are still on her, his gaze mildly wary, and she hopes to god he hasn't yet learned to read her completely. What is wrong with her?

"That wasn't what I–"

"Yes, it was." he sounds disappointed in her, like he'd thought they were past the excuses, past the pretense. She doesn't know if she'll ever be that. Past the pretense.

She can still see the naked lust in Logan's eyes, mixed with his brand of dizzying, intense love, if she concentrates hard enough. She'd left almost immediately after, when he'd tried to return the favor, not even waiting to get around to the actual sex. She'd avoided his gaze throughout, while she was pulling her clothes back on, and pretended she didn't hear his soft, questioning, guarded Veronica? Till he'd realized how this was going to play out, because he was practiced in her, and basically a jerk, and told her mockingly to not let the door hit her bruised ego on the way out.

She'd turned around once, before leaving. Hadn't meant to, but had anyway. He'd been sitting in middle of his silk sheets, with their impossible thread count, still shirtless, head bent, hands clasped around spread knees, till it was as if he could feel her eyes on him, and looked up.

"I didn't ask you to." he'd said, quietly, locking eyes with her, his  gaze blank, unreadable almost, making her want to stay to decipher it, which made it even more imperative she leave, "I've never asked you to."

"I know," she'd said shortly, because it was the truth.

She'd closed the door on him five seconds later.

"Won't disturb you any longer from your scholastic achievements," she forces out cheerfully to Wallace, batting her eyelashes at him, "big, strong man like you needs to go out and slay those dangerous physics equations. If I'm going to wear a 'kiss the chef!' apron and dedicate my life to keeping your kitchen tidy and making you sandwiches for the next fifty years, you got to show me the money, you know. Bro-five on a Jerry Maguire reference? It's a sports movie and everything, I personalize my referenciality for you!"

He halfheartedly claps a hand against hers, "you're with Piz now."

"I know that," she says, unnecessarily, eyes involuntarily moving to the bed beside Wallace's. She likes Pizneyland, she always has, and rollercoasters make her lightheaded and nauseous and stupid.

"And you broke up with Logan."

"Okay," she says, "those are the Facts for the Day. I get it."

"I don't want you to hurt Piz." Wallace is quieter since his return from Uganda, and she doesn't know what to do about it, how to fix him, to magically make okay the things he's seen, done, maybe. It makes her chest hurt.

"I'm beginning to feel like you don't trust me at all, Fennel." she says, dramatically clutching her chest. It's almost as if she's... forgotten how to be real. How to do real. It's strange, the feeling.

"I don't want you to get hurt, Mars," Wallace says, gently, and there's that other patented look that she hasn't yet gotten used to, ridiculous amounts of caring, without the slightest expectation of material returns. Christ, she's beginning to categorize feelings in economic terms. It probably means she's damaged in some way. Some special way, because god knows she's damaged in lots of ways already.

She tries to think of a suitable one-liner, but she can't, so she settles for, "I won't." And she won't.

Wallace nods, once, "good."

"Good," she echoes.






-






She runs into him outside his Sociology class, by some strange coincidence, considering her own Domestic Violence and the Justice System class is on the other side of the Quad.

He's leaning against the door, talking to a guy she doesn't know. It's a different door, a different minion or friend or whatever, but it feels like Neptune High anyway. Like she'd back in the middle of the tentative truce they'd built after his mother died, and she wants to approach him, but doesn't know how he'll react. Doesn't know if their truce extends to the interested glances of the people they both know, or it's a secret thing, restricted to her doorstep and her arms awkwardly around him in the lobbies of hotel rooms.

He catches her gaze on a laugh, the smile slowly sliding off. He nods at her once in acknowledgment, before turning back to the other guy.

She walks up to him, "hey."

He shifts his gaze to her, in slight surprise. She knows it's the first time she's voluntarily talked to him since you're out of my life, forever. That had been a silly thing to say, overly dramatic. They're both adults here.

"Hey," he repeats, shuffling his feet uncomfortably, "what's up?"

His friend smiles at her, "Veronica."

She nods, in mild confusion, "yeah, I'm sorry I–?"

"Samuel Horshack."

She vaguely remembers the name. Logan had mentioned him sometime, she thinks, glancing at her ex-boyfriend. It hadn't been all doom and gloom and angst, she knows, though sometimes she likes to pretend that. Pretend they were always a disaster, counting-down to ground zero. But it wasn't just that. There were days when he couldn't stop touching her; just kissing the top of her head, spinning her across rooms, telling her about his day, ineptly cutting the vegetables and nicking his finger at equal intervals. The disaster is so much easier to remember.

"Lover," the voice behind her is like a midnight dip in freezing water. A red satin dress.

The kiss is long, lingering, and it strikes her she should probably turn away. It's as intimate, as it is exhibitionist, and it reminds so strongly of Lilly, it makes her ache. She's fascinated again, as always.

"Hey," the girl breaks away, noticing her, "I'm Claire."

It takes her another thirty seconds to realize she's been silent for a whole minute.

"Hi," she speaks around the cotton wool in her mouth, throat dry, "I'm Veronica."

Logan isn't looking at her, she realizes, distantly. He's staring at a point behind her head. The feeling of betrayal hits her hard. She hasn't realized she's been expecting something at all, but apparently she has. Someone like Meg, another Hannah, another Parker, another Kendall even. A redux version of someone he'd once liked, been with, because Logan has this tendency of sticking within the diametrical constraints of his own circular orbit when it comes to women. She hadn't expected a redux of someone he'd once loved.

"I've to go back to the Grand," he tells Claire, stroking her hair in the way that she remembers him doing to her, "I left my Development project behind."

She laughs at him, and kisses him on the nose, "ain't that typical, Echolls. And I bet you have your Nintendo in your bag." The easy affection makes something in her stomach turn uncomfortably.

"You would know all about going back," she says, sarcastically, once the other two are inside, and he's turning away without even bothering to say anything to her, to explain, "considering you're apparently dating Lilly-Lite."

His mouth sets in a grim line, "you don't know anything about Claire. You've barely even met her."

"Don't I, lover?" She doesn't know why she's being a bitch about this. But, it's just that– it's Lilly, she can't compete with Lilly. She's never been able to. Which is ridiculous, because she isn't competing at all. This is not a competition. And she is not Lilly. Neither of them are. Neither of them can be. Not for Logan.

He's staring at her like he doesn't know her, "it's none of your business, Veronica." he says, so coldly, it nearly makes her shiver.

She watches him walk away, that's different too.






-






And that's when it gets annoying.

It’s like they’re all over the place. Everywhere she looks, it’s Logan and Claire; making out in the darkest corner of the library, staying past her shift, by the trees near the Chemistry Department, at the frat parties, in front of the stupid Sociology classroom, the Hearst canteen. And every time she sees the back of the blonde head, joined at the hip with his dark one, it makes her miss Lilly so fiercely, she can’t stand it sometimes.

Parker looks over, equally fascinated, “wow, huh.”

“Yeah,” Veronica echoes, “wow.” Pretends she can’t feel Parker’s steadfast gaze on her. She feels, unreasonably, that Parker should be affected too. After all, Parker was his last girlfriend. But she hadn't been in love with him. Parker had done that thing where she had moved on.

And when Piz slides down on the chair beside hers and kisses her chastely, talking about the new guest star he’s managed to rope in for his show, she feels a relief so strong, it nearly makes her lightheaded.

She can’t stand to be alone, when Logan’s not. She doesn’t know what it is in her, but she can’t.

Parker still looks her way much too often, with an odd sympathy, almost as if she doesn't even realize she’s doing it, but it’s easier to ignore now, with Piz here, and that makes it okay. She just wants okay.






-






Piz and Claire become friends. Like calling-each-other-in-the-evening-to-talk-about-indie-bands friends.

Because, of course they do. And she wonders something bitchy like god, does she want all the boys. And then pretends she didn't think that. Then remembers Jackie saying pretty much the same thing to her once. Then pretends she didn't think that even harder.

“Logan invited us over,” he says, when they’re lying on his bed and she’s trying to read her Criminology & Profiling textbook, through his arm wrapped around her, “for drinks. Or dinner. Or something. But I’m not passing up a free meal at the Neptune Grand.”

Logan invited us over,” she repeats, incredulously, before she can help herself. Maybe this is it, his way of showing that it’s finally over. That this, right now, is the moment, where it's just done. That he’s managed the moving on thing too, which seems so popular with the kids these days. No more beating up people who he feels might have threatened her maidenly honor.

Piz thinks about that for a moment, “actually I think it may have been Claire. But she mentioned Logan in some capacity. Either way, it’s a double date. Or something.”

She thinks of Duncan. She hasn’t thought of him in very long. She barely even notices the peeling paper fortune on her mirror anymore; it’s become a part of the scenery, like the small hole in the wall right next to her bed, but she thinks of him now.

"Is that fine with you?" Piz asks her, completely unironically.

She wants to refuse; she really doesn’t want this warped session of history repeating in 3-D, with technicolor and surround sound, but she can’t think of a good enough reason to.

"Is it fine with you?" she asks in return, because he got stitches because of Logan, and that should not be fine with him.

Piz shrugs, "hell yeah. I actually kind of like the guy, you know, in this odd Stockholm Syndromish way."

So she agrees, because she has no real reason not to. There isn't a real reason not to. She's an adult now. She's a normal adult now.

And maybe this will be good for her; maybe they can actually be a different foursome, Logan and she at diagonals again. And maybe she’ll stop categorizing them, trying to fit them in the spaces left behind by the Kane siblings, and do the moving on thing too.






-






“No,” she says, and she can’t.

“Oh come on, Veronica,” Claire pouts at her, “don’t be a spoilt sport.”

Piz laughs, “it’s just a stupid game.”

She doesn’t want to, but she looks at Logan anyway, because he, of all people, should know why. And that’s the trouble with half her life, she decides, that Logan fucking Echolls is literally the only person left in it who knows everything about her, starting from the beginning. Not even Wallace does, and Wallace is her best friend.

If she’s expecting sympathy, she’s not going to get it there, she realizes wryly. His face is impassive, and when she looks over, he drawls, “oh come on Ronnie, for old time’s sake.”

Bastard.

It feels enough like old times to make her sick. She feels outshined, sidelined, and unable to compete. Except, the difference is, with Lilly, she’d never actually felt those things. She’d been happy, content to be out of the limelight, in Duncan’s arms, while Logan and Lilly painted the town red. That was how it should have been. But she can't go back to being that girl. That girl left town a long time ago.

He walks over to the kitchen, and brings back a glass of Sangria for her. “Here, now you can join in.”

“I didn’t ask for that.” she says, uncomprehending.

“I know your memory isn’t what it used to be, Detective Mars, but you need a drink to play.”

She doesn’t know why she’s pushing this, but she hates his presumptuousness, “yeah, but I didn’t ask for that. You never asked me what I wanted.”

"So," he says slowly, "you don't want the Sangria."

"Yes I do," she says, exasperated, "that's not the point."

"So there is one," he smiles pleasantly, an edge to his voice, "because I was beginning to wonder for a moment there."

She resents it, she decides. The casual intimacy of his knowledge of what she likes, what she doesn't, when she lies. It's something she'd like to forget. She can't be a different person entirely, just so he wouldn't have her mapped out under his hands anymore. There are so many things she can't change; her body, the coffee she likes in the morning, the way she looks sleeping, the drink she always orders, the things he knows and is always going to know.

She takes it, because Piz is beginning to look at her carefully, and it’s stupid anyway. She doesn’t know why she always allows Logan to do this to her.

“Okay,” Claire claps her hands, “now that we’re all set. Let’s dial-up to the uncomfortably sexy because no one cares about the sob stories, but we’ll keep the good ones for later so; I’ve never been skinny dipping.”

You haven’t?” Piz asks, in mock disbelief, “seriously?”

She flicks his arm, “I’m still young, child, I have all the time in the world to run away to a nudist colony. This body ain’t going nowhere, trust me.”

Veronica drinks, it’s mostly sweet, but she can’t tell around the ashes in her mouth. Logan drinks too, just as he had the first time. He quirks his lips when she raises her glass, probably wondering when in the interim period between being raped and nearly killed and nearly killed again and nearly killing and probably being nearly killed and raped a couple more times, she’d taken out the time for skinny-dipping.

Screw him, she doesn't care what he thinks. He doesn't know everything about her, and she likes it that way. This is between her and Lilly.

Piz doesn’t drink, but he’s looking at her, amused. “I’ve yet to explore this side of you, Mars,” he whispers, pushing her hair back. She can see Logan’s grip on his bottle-neck tightening. But then that’s because she’s looking. Dammit.

“I have never,” says Piz, smirking at her, “been part of a hot, public sex tape.”

She forces a smile, and raises the glass again. She knows Piz, after the initial awkwardness, was convinced it was silly, and people would get over it, and it’d be something they could joke about later. She can’t blame him; he hasn’t been privy to her high-school years of Super Slut Status, he doesn't know about Lilly apart from what he's seen on TV, doesn't know how specifically the tape hurt her, he doesn't know anything about Shelley Pomeroy’s party, and it's her fault for not having mentioned it, any of it, for wanting to keep this part of her life with him… untainted… like it would just go away, if she didn’t talk about it.

“All right,” Claire hoots, “I haven’t actually seen the video in question, but from what I’ve heard, it’s definitely worth looking at, munchkins. Mind sending me the mpegs?”

“I’ve seen it,” Logan’s voice offers quietly, automatically.

His face is drained of color; and she’s never really thought of this before, thought this through completely, but he’s seen both her and Lilly in flagrante with other people on tape. She remembers how she’d felt when she’d returned the day after the Alterna Prom, and she hadn’t even actually– seen– him and Kendall. It makes her want to reach over and– and what? Fix him? Stop him from every having to think of it again? Get it out of his head, like she'd demanded he do with the images of him and Madison in her head? Save him from ever getting hurt again?

He isn’t hers for saving, not her responsibility. You can’t save anyone. She knows this by now. She’s not the naïve sixteen year old she used to be.

“Boy, have you,” Piz mutters under his breath behind her, his hand on his jaw, like it still hurts to think about it. And she’d almost forgotten about that part. This was always going to be like this, god, why had she agreed to this thing.

“I have never,” Logan says grandly, raising his glass high, breaking into her thoughts; his sheer physicality always makes her more prickly, and she unconsciously braces herself for it, “masturbated in front of someone.”

Fuck him.

‘Aren’t you kinky,” Claire says, fondly, running her fingers through his hair, before taking a long swig, “you must remind me to do that for you sometime, lover.” She can feel her own fingers tightening around her glass, and Jesus, what is with the fucking subtext; they’ve been broken up for more than a year, this has moved from absurd to psychopathic.

Piz is looking at her, because he’s not stupid. She keeps her hand firmly around her glass, doesn’t raise it to her lips.

“O--kay,” says Claire, “Veronica’s turn. You lot are repressed, just a b-t-w.”

“Wait,” Logan says, and he’s more drunk than she’d realized initially, she registers, almost in panic. He’s composed, usually, subtle in his digs, and she doesn’t understand how she’d missed it before, because it’s written across his face. Drunk-Logan is long declarations of love, a train-wreck of epic proportions, “I want to make sure everyone here understands the rules of the game. You drink if you’ve done something. No, really. It’s literally that easy,” he claps his hands, faking surprise.

He’s not even pretending anymore, his mouth set in a hard, mocking line. She has a feeling he’s going to call her out on it if she doesn’t drink. So she does. The standstill is ridiculous, Piz knows she and Logan were together, that they've slept with each other, it doesn’t change anything.

Piz looks over once, watching the glass touch her lips, before glancing at Logan, still staring at her, then looks away. It’ll be fine. They’re all adults here.

“Why, Veronica Mars,” Claire says, admiring, “aren’t you quite the hidden minx. You seem to have all the bases in the game covered. Your turn.”

“I’m bored,” she says, “this is stupid, I don’t want to play.”

Logan snorts somewhere to her left, but she determinedly doesn’t look his way. If she never sees him again, it’ll be too soon. He’s an asshole of a hitherto unattained order.

Claire sighs, “fine. Let’s just eat then.”

“I’ll take her turn,” Logan raises his glass in toast, “just to complete the round. Symmetry, you know.”

“Fine,” Claire says, pointing “the gentleman in the emo sleeves; go!”

“I have never,” he pauses, as if deliberating, which is ludicrous, he’s probably planned this whole thing down to this very moment, Logan is surprisingly astute when it comes to people, she knows. Not in loving them; he’s thoughtless in love, he loves too recklessly, too desperately, but hurting them, hurting himself; he’s just a championship away from the world trophy, “cheated on someone.”

She thinks of a long elevator ride– so it was just you and Piz, huh. He has no right here.

She opens her mouth to say "no" as icily as she can manage, even though it’s not supposed to be a question. And then remembers Leo. She remembers kissing Logan on the balcony of the Camelot. Remembers doing it even though she shouldn’t have, even though she’d been with a sweet guy who actually liked her, and didn’t make her want to break things. Remembers she hadn’t even thought about Leo in the moment. Or the second time.

And she’s drained, suddenly, she doesn’t even care anymore that he’ll get the wrong impression, that she doesn’t have to drink this time, because no one here can call her out on this. But, whatever. She drinks anyway.

Logan's sharp intake of breath is audible, while Piz stares at her, in slight bemusement, like he’s not sure he knows her very well, which makes her want to laugh a little, because he has no idea.

“Guess I should drink to that too though, huh, Ronnie?” Logan raises the bottle to his lips, the tight grip turning his knuckles white, taking long gulps, till she loses count, “here’s to good old Yolanda.”

“You’re too intense about this,” Claire says, looking between all of them, like their subtextual drama bores her, which it probably does, “it ruins the fun.”

“I have to go,” Veronica gets up. She can hear Piz making excuses about some paper they have due or something, but she’s so angry, she can’t even think straight.

“Thank you for a nice evening,” she says to Claire, colder than she intends, although it's misdirected. And doesn’t throw something at his head. It probably counts as a point on the karmic scale somewhere.






-






She almost knocks on the door, then steps back before she does. She should just use her Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card and get the hell out of this mess and stay out, but instead she’s choosing to miss another turn yet again, for another pointless confrontation.

She’s going to use the keycard, she knows, even though she shouldn’t. She doesn’t even know why she hasn’t given it back. It was hers just as long as I only want you, and now he doesn’t. Only want her. But she’s going to use it anyway, and then throw it in his face later, because having him open the door; it gives him the control. It gives him the chance to loom over her, refuse to let her in, or look at her like he’d been looking at her all evening.

And she can’t let him have any more power than he does right now. It’s too much already, too many parts of hers in the loose pockets of his pants that she’s sure he stole, because there’s no way in hell she’d have given them willingly.

She’s already swiped the keycard in and opened the door, before it strikes her; this is a no good, very bad, terrible idea, Kendall’s image fills the space behind her eyelids, and how had she forgotten? He’s probably in there with Claire, and she’s going to look like the jilted lover, the desperate ex girlfriend, come to beg him to take back or something, and she doesn’t remember if she’s always been this stupid, or if it’s something special about him that makes all the brain cells melt in her head.

“Veronica Mars,” his voice comes from the left; she blinks trying to adjust her eyes to the darkness, “extending that mile long criminal record. Color me surprised.”

He’s sitting on the couch– alone– she notes with an excruciating sense of relief– a shoe in one hand.

She wants to scream first, not get involved in his drama. Because he has a silver tongue, she knows, and if she lets him get a word in, she’s going to be the worse off for it. So her best bet is to tell him how much she hates him, and that if his girlfriend want to be bff’s with her boyfriend, that’s just fine and dandy, but no way in hell is she ever coming within fifty feet of him again, because his asshole gene seems to go into overdrive when she’s around. He probably gets it from his dear, old, departed dad, and did she mention she hates him?

But she doesn’t. Because she wants to know where he’s going at two-thirty a.m., after an evening of antagonizing her with uncomfortable, drunk innuendoes, because that’s his modus operandi when it comes to her. Damn her curiosity.

“It’s past two in the morning,” she leads in.

He makes a big show of looking at his watch, the theatrical twist of his hand making her heart beat faster with remembrance, “daddy teach you about the big hand and the little hand and time-reading? Good girl! Here’s a cookie. Now maybe we can start on social graces that they probably don’t teach in the Land of the Trailer Trash; what time is appropriate to visit the ex-boyfriend so he doesn’t think it’s a booty call. Or is that it, Mars? The new, sainted boyfriend not doing it for you? How much do you want to bet he hasn’t ever made you beg? Word on the street is, you like the bad boys.”

She ignores him, “where are you going, Logan?”

The tense line of his body and the way he’s looking at the door tells her she’s not going to like the answer, and the sudden rush of dread settling in the pit of her stomach is both familiar and unwelcome, “Logan—”

“Not,” he says, deliberately, “that it’s any of your business, but an old friend of ours invited me out for drinks, and it’d be so rude to refuse. And you were always whining at me about being nicer to people; so look, this is me, taking your advice.”

She doesn’t even know how she knows, but she does. “Gorya Sorokin,” she states, flatly.

He avoids her eyes, “Super Sleuth Mars strikes again! And so once again, the day is saved, thanks to the overgrown Powerpuff Girl.”

He’s going to get himself killed. It’s the Russian mob, he’s going to get himself killed. He’s going to go in there, all stupid bravado and patented witticisms and not know when to fucking stay down, and he’s going to get himself killed.

Her tongue feels swollen, stuck to the roof of her mouth, making words difficult to pronounce, "I'm not letting you go."

"Really," he drags the word out in a mock-bright, high pitched falsetto, before lapsing into sullen grimness, "fortunately for both of us, you don't get to make that decision."

"I used to." That's a stupid thing to say, but the blind terror is making her stupid.

He looks at her for a second, obviously still registering that she just went there. "Yeah, well, didn't you hear? The Nagging Girlfriend package is a limited time offer. You time-stamped the expiration date, remember?"

"Stop being a jackass, Logan," she says, flaring up, suddenly, and doesn't miss his brow smoothing out, like this version of her he can handle. He can never quite handle her concern, she knows. "I'm trying to help."

"Sorry," he replies pleasantly, "it's just, your bitch factor upped to about a hundred, just speaks to the jackass in me. It's why we've always worked so well, I guess. Birds of a feather," his dramatized sigh of faux-nostalgia makes her want to hit something. Preferably him. Hard. It's a familiar feeling. Almost like release.

“Aren’t you going to ask why I’m here?” she's being unfair, hitting where it will hurt, but she doesn’t care if it’s good or right, she only cares if he’s safe.

“No,” he says, “but that isn’t going to stop you from telling me anyway.”

“Because I want you.”

She throws in the gauntlet and hopes to god he’ll pick it up. Hopes that she hasn’t been reading the signs wrong, that he isn’t well and truly, completely over her, and she’s not allowed to care for him anymore.

He stops short, “—what?”

“I can’t,” she twists her hands, “stand to see you with her. Claire. I can’t stand you kissing her or imagine her in your bed or you falling in love with her. I don’t want you to live out what could have been with Lilly, because when I dream of it, we end up together. Even when Lilly’s there. Even when she’s alive, and she’s just as beautiful, and just as desirable, we still end up together. I want you. I’ve always wanted you. I want you, right now, so much. This moment. Please stay with me. Logan, please.”

His gaze is unguarded for a moment, before it hardens into something ugly, to match the hideous thing she is inside. But that’s okay, because that flash tells her she hasn’t been reading the signs wrong. And now he thinks she’s playing him. She probably is. But she’s not going to let him go.

She reaches over and pulls her dress over her head in one fluid movement. His jaw almost drops, before he clenches his teeth.

"Is this because of that one time I said I've never slept with a hooker, and you want to make sure I've experienced everything that life has to offer before I die?" his voice is strained.

It's a harsh blow, but she doesn't even flinch.

"This is the one way we've always worked." she says, "the only way we've always worked."

"Do you take cards," he asks, rifling through his wallet, she doesn't miss the shaking of his hands, "because I think I'm all out of cash at the moment, and I don't want to end up with a lawsuit when you sell the video to Entertainment Weekly. No money equals no discretionary clause, I've done my research."

"Anything," she says, and she doesn't even know who she is anymore, "you can do anything you want to me. You can make me do anything you want."

It's one of those loaded sentences, she knows. The kind where changing the italics changes the meaning. She did it in that grammatical construction class in seventh grade. You can make me do anything you want. You can make me do anything you want. You can make me do anything you want. You can make me do anything you want. You can make me do anything you want. You can make me do anything you want. You can make me do anything you want, Logan, goddammit, listen. It's not about the sex, really. Maybe a little bit. But not all of it. It's about control. So he can string her up as high as he always says she has him. She can give him that for his life. It's not good or righteous, but she does. N't. Doesn't. Care, that is.

His jaw tightens, "can I make you go away? Click your heels three times. Maybe that'll work. Cuz I'm pretty sure you're not in Kansas anymore, Toto."

"Come on," she forces seduction in her voice, even though she knows he can see right through her, "are you really going to let this go? Isn't there anything you've always wanted me to do, Logan?" She bites her lip, and feels a momentary rush of satisfaction, that dizzying power, when his eyes drop to take in the movement. He knows she's acting, and it still affects him.

"Say you loved me." he says, finally, roughly.

She feels sick suddenly, "what?"

"Say," he repeats, measured, even, "you. loved. me."

"What the hell kind of question is that." she snaps, patience wearing thin, even though it's not a question, "you know I loved you."

"Do I?" his gaze is unreadable. "Is this a reference to the time," he adopts a high-pitched voice, it grates at her nerves, "I love you, Veronica. I love you. Do you love me?"

"I said I loved you then," she drops her eyes.

"I'm pretty sure," he puts his hand to his chin in a model image of 'thinking', "you said 'yeah'. Which may, of course, substitute 'love' in some foreign dictionary."

She's silent, probably for too long, till he laughs, an awful sound, and shakes his head, pulling on his jacket.

She doesn’t even think twice, “I loved you,” she says, moving towards him, “I loved you. So much. I loved you, I swear. I had since so long.”

He doesn’t believe her. He’s never believed it. It’s why he’s never asked her if she loves him, except once when he had to, only when he had to, and she’s reacted just as he’d probably known she would; pushed him away.

He starts moving towards the door, "where are you going?" she can't recognize her own voice.

"Did you miss this entire conversation, Veronica? Jesus, didn't anybody ever put you in remedial class when there was still time?"

"You promised, you said you wouldn't if I said I
- Logan-" her voice sounds rough, as if with disuse.

"Let this be a lesson, young Miss Mars," he fakes an exaggerated Southern drawl, "always get in in writing. Legal Aid 101, courtesy Logan Echolls Inc. Just leave the money on the table."

She grabs him by the lapels of his jacket, moulding her body against his planes, re-familiarizing herself to the feeling of him. He's taller than Piz, and it always makes her feel even shorter, almost vulnerable.

“Kissing,” he says sardonically, his voice barely above a whisper, her lips inches from his, “is cheating.” But his breathing is uneven, and she can read his tells.

It should have made her stop, made the sordidness of this whole thing clear. But it doesn’t. She can feel the fight go out of him the moment she kisses him; hot, desperate, teeth clashing against his, biting his tongue hard enough to draw blood. He hauls her up against him, to reach her neck, but she pushes him back on the couch, climbing on top, the pleather sinking down under their combined weight. She pushes all her fear into the kiss, everything she’s ever felt for him– feels for him– she doesn’t know.

He tries to run his hands over her, cup her breasts, slide his hand between her thighs, give like he always does, like she'll run away if he doesn't, if it isn't all about her. But she slides down his body instead, and runs her lips over his cock, mouthing him through his pants, feeling the familiar hardness beneath the expensive material.

He lets out a low, involuntary moan at the back of his throat, the kind that always makes her feel aflush with fever. He’s staring at the ceiling, but as she looks up, he looks down, expression agonized, like he wants to tell her to stop, but can’t.

And she knows then; he’s not going to go tonight. And he’d not going to die today. Someday, maybe, probably, definitely. But not today. He's not her fucking problem, she can’t always be around to save him, but she’s here tonight anyway.

And, she realizes embarrassed, angry, aroused, she wants this. That hadn’t been a lie. She doesn’t know how much of it had been, but that hadn’t.

She unbuckles his belt.





-






contd.
 
 
 
Noelle: Veronica Mars - LoVe heartspuffy_noelle on June 13th, 2013 11:44 pm (UTC)
Logan was wrong, she does need something. She needs her dad.

My daddy's girl heart loves this.

HOLY SHIT. That last part was INTENSE.

Edited at 2013-06-13 11:44 pm (UTC)
youcallitwinter: here to get it back from youyoucallitwinter on June 14th, 2013 08:28 am (UTC)
First time EVER trying to write Keith/Veronica interaction, because those two are perfect and terrify me.

I AM GLAD YOU THOUGHT THAT WAS INTENSE, BECAUSE IT WAS KINDA WHAT I WAS GOING FOR <3
Jaimyjaimy818 on June 16th, 2013 11:39 am (UTC)
Aaaah. *Reads part 2*
youcallitwinter: all over the world tonight.youcallitwinter on June 16th, 2013 11:49 am (UTC)
That made me laugh for some reason xD
treblebeth: lv kisstreblebeth on June 16th, 2013 06:17 pm (UTC)
ahhh I've been waiting ALL WEEK to have time to read this and holy crap, it does not disappoint. I wish there were a million more post series fic because this is awesome. part two ahoy

Edited at 2013-06-16 06:17 pm (UTC)
youcallitwinter: keep the streets empty for meyoucallitwinter on June 16th, 2013 06:42 pm (UTC)
Hee, I just posted this three days ago, so you're nowhere near late to this :D But I am SO GLAD you're reading now than earlier, because it's totally different from when I first posted!
treblebeth: lv greentreblebeth on June 16th, 2013 07:19 pm (UTC)
ha, I think it feels like forever because I've had the tab open since the second you posted it! so I kept looking at it longingly but was just too busy. I was so happy to be able to refresh the page this morning and finally read :)
youcallitwinter: repeated image of the lovers destroyedyoucallitwinter on June 16th, 2013 07:57 pm (UTC)
YOU ARE SO NICE <3 But honestly though, the fact that you took time out to read this makes me :D because my excitement level is ridiculous right now, and everyone else is clearly over it!
treblebethtreblebeth on June 16th, 2013 10:57 pm (UTC)
my excitement level is ridiculous right now, and everyone else is clearly over it!

aww, well I'm totally sympathetic, partly because I too am still crazy excited! but also because I understand the feeling of wanting to talk/flail and facing general disinterest.. while on vacation with my family I watched all three seasons of haven -not because it's a particularly good show but because I obviously needed something to do that didn't involve my family. but now I have all these strong feelings about the writing and the characters and the ships and LITERALLY no one I know could give a flying fuck. I made my sister pretend to care for twenty minutes last night and it was not remotely satisfying :|
youcallitwinter: with pretty-eyed boys girls die to trustyoucallitwinter on June 17th, 2013 03:26 pm (UTC)
Oh, ouch! That really does suck D: I'm luckier in that regard, I suppose, since fandom is huge, and my OTP is mainstream, and there's so much stuff to read, even if fandom isn't a fraction as active as it was once upon a time. But the movie news has definitely rekindled interest and I'm in a way better position because of that, than I would have been had I decided to watch the show a year or two back. And there's a general excitement in fandom, which is so much fun; people are re-watching, or new people are watching, so there's the possibility of more in fandom once the shooting begins, or the release date gets closer.

You should join the Haven comm's! Although yeah, considering I've been trying to get people I know into VMars because it's so much more satisfying to squee that way, I can totally sympathize as well! D:
littlemisbitchlittlemisbitch on June 20th, 2013 10:36 pm (UTC)
That was awesome. I love how angsty and intense the last part was. Nothing better than angst-sex.
youcallitwinter: all we know is distanceyoucallitwinter on June 20th, 2013 10:47 pm (UTC)
Haha, thank you, I do agree angst-sex is basically my favorite, even though these two can be perfectly adorable!
(Anonymous) on July 20th, 2013 12:02 am (UTC)
Holy shit this was good. You really have a way with words and their dialogue is perfect. Also, your fics hurt, they really really hurt. But they capture Logan and Veronica's relationship perfectly. Because they're all fire and craziness and heartbreak.
I'm rewatching the series and on a fanfic reading spree now to entertain me until the movie comes out. Going to read the rest of your fics now XD
youcallitwinter: an everlasting smileyoucallitwinter on July 20th, 2013 08:24 pm (UTC)
That's wonderfully complimentary, thank you so much! And I completely agree with your description of Veronica/Logan, because that's pretty much how I see them. I've been through the fic reading spree myself, after having watched the series for the first time, haha.