Fandom: Veronica Mars
Characters: Veronica/Logan, Piz.
Word Count: 1616 words.
Written For: queenvixta.
Prompt: The song 'The Story' by 30 Seconds to Mars.
Author's Notes/Summary: Veronica dwells on her place as the super sleuth of Hearst College.
The cold air brushes against Veronica’s cheeks; she can feel blood rushing to the skin. It’s colder than she can ever remember, and she wraps her sweater around her tightly.
Of all the nights to go out for a walk, she thinks. Goddamn it.
But she has to think. She has to wrap her green frog sweater around her as she feels the pavement underneath her sneakers. She has to endure the cold. At least, she thinks, I’m not in Maine or something.
While she strolls around the Hearst campus she can hear noise erupting from all around her. She hears giggling, then a crash, then a scream. But Veronica Mars, defender of justice, super-sleuth, does nothing.
She feels bitter.
One foot in front of the other. A pebble stumbles into her shoe. Her hands deep in her pockets, a cold numbness prickling at the end of her pinkies. She lets her long blonde hair down to shield her neck from the cold.
She just wants to think.
Of course, Veronica, mind moving at ten thousand miles per hour, doesn’t think about what she knows she has to. She thinks about the puppy she wanted to adopt when she was five. She thinks about her mother braiding her hair. She thinks about her first kiss with Duncan. She thinks about that book on serial killers she picked up from the library.
She wonders if she needs to recharge the batteries on her camera.
Maybe if she can push all these random thoughts from her mind, she can think about what she has to think about. Maybe if she puts one foot in front of the other, pebble scratching at the arch of her foot, she can sort everything out. Maybe she can make it better.
She thinks to a year ago, when she was sure she wanted to go to Stanford. She thinks of Cassidy. She thinks of her father and she smiles. She wonders what he’s up to this time of night. In the back of her mind, she hopes it’s something dangerous, something that can help her put him back up on that pedestal that he was on for so long.
She wonders where she is now.
Looking around, she realizes she’s out in front of the Kane Science Building. Kane, she thinks, and looks down at the weave bracelet that Lily made for her in a single attempt to find a hobby when her mother told her to.
“Hey, Mars, where you going?” Veronica hears the high-pitched squeal of a classmate.
“Nowhere,” Veronica replies, and for the first time in ages she hasn’t lied.
“Come party with us!”
Veronica retreats under her shell that took so long to build up. She wonders where it’s been all this time. Now she feels isolated, and it frightens her that she likes it.
Nowhere, she thinks. I’m going nowhere.
Maybe she’s on her way to the FBI. Maybe she’s going to get her PI license. Maybe she’ll get married and have ten children and move to Utah.
But right now it feels like she’s stuck here, in a rut. The worst part of it is that she likes where it is. She really likes it. She likes going to school with Wallace, and staying at Logan’s place. She likes hanging out with her friends, with Mac. She even likes the occasional case that comes up. It doesn’t hurt to have some extra excitement and cash.
One foot in front of the other. She smiles. Being alone works for her.
Veronica isn’t surprised. She doesn’t jump. She’s always been level headed. Nothing can spook her.
“Hi, Piz,” she replies. She wants him to go away, and her expression lets him know it.
He can’t seem to take a hint. “What’s up?”
“I’m constructing my master plan to blow up the school,” Veronica tells him, voice dripping with sarcasm.
“Yeah, so go away.”
She turns around and doesn’t hear anything. Smiling, she beings to walk again.
“Do I have to?”
Veronica groans and spins around, rolling her eyes. “Yes,” she tells him emphatically. “Leave me alone. I’m thinking.”
She doesn’t answer at first. “Nothing,” she lies.
“Then why do I have to go away?”
She smiles against her will. “Because I said so.”
They stand there in silence for a while. Veronica feels like she needs to move her feet, to feel the scrape of the pebble against her heel. She needs to wrack her brain, to think and never stop. She needs to puzzle out the answers. She can’t be left in the dark.
But as the lights on campus go out, she stands there, looking at Piz. He smiles, dopey and incorrigible.
She gives in. “I’m looking for something,” she says, trying to not sound serious. She doesn’t want to bare her soul or anything. She just wants to talk.
“Did you lose something?” Piz asks. “’Cuz I know someone who can find it,” he tells her, grinning.
That’s me, Veronica thinks. Super sleuth.
She doesn’t laugh at his joke. She doesn’t even want to laugh. “Is that really who I am?” she asks, her tone light and playful.
“You know. Like, super detective lady. Am I more Dick Tracy or Philip Marlowe?”
“Sam Spade, I’d say.”
She smiles again, something she didn’t plan on doing. “Alright, then. I’m looking for the Maltese Falcon. So go away,” she tells him, circling around back to her original demand.
“You’re weird sometimes, Veronica Mars,” Piz says. “I kind of like it.”
She beings to walk and to her aggravation he follows her. He talks of a movie he saw a weekend ago, and the new Tarantino flick he rented. He talks about his new guitar and the girl he’s teaching to play. He talks of his new shoes and his mother and his sister’s fabulous cupcakes.
It’s as if everything he thinks comes out through his mouth, and it makes Veronica feel a little better.
They stop by the front courtyard. It’s cold and empty and a little bit damp. Veronica realizes the pebble in her shoe is killing her, and sits down on the ground without consideration for her jeans.
“Damn pebble. It’s trying to kill me, I say,” she says, her voice contorted as she undoes her shoelaces.
Piz flops down next to her. She takes off her shoe and dumps the pebble out. “There. Better.”
But instead of putting her shoe back on and getting up, she sits there. The moon is big and ominous, and she likes it.
“I’ve just been wondering,” she says, and her voice sounds like it’s a million miles away.
She doesn’t want to say it. It will sound cheesy and stupid and vulnerable.
“I don’t know,” she says, and that’s the easiest way to get it out. “I don’t know anything. Who I am or what I’m doing or where I’m going. It sucks balls.”
“And you feel alone.”
Veronica looks up, stunned. Piz looks serious, his eyes on the looming moon.
“Yeah,” she says, her voice almost nonexistent. She recovers. “Story of my life.”
“And it sucks,” he continues, looking at her. “I get it.” He lays back, hair smothered in the wet grass.
“I lie and I excuse myself because I’m doing the right thing. I’m okay with it. You know, most of the time.”
“Well, you’re super detective girl. You gotta do some lying.”
“Not to the people I care about. Which, surprisingly, is quite a few people,” she tells him, but it feels like she’s talking to herself.
“Then maybe you should tell the truth?”
Neither of them says anything after that. The crickets make noises, the air chills. The wind blows an empty soda can across the brick pathway of the courtyard. A flyer for the Phi Beta Kappa extravaganza falls into Veronica’s lap.
“Yeah,” Veronica replies.
The air grows colder.
One knock. Two knocks. Her knuckles hurt. Three knocks. Where is he? Four knocks. Five knocks. Her phone vibrates. Six knocks. She ignores it.
Another knock and the door opens.
“What?” a groggy voice mumbles as the lights are turned on. Logan stands there, eyes barely open, hair messy, wearing a robe.
“Hey,” Veronica says, her fake-pep mode in full blast. “Like, what’s up?”
“Did you come here at three in the morning just to speak valley girl to me?”
Logan rolls his eyes. “Well, come in.”
She does and the door shuts behind her. “What’s up?” she asks.
Logan sits on the couch, sleepy. “Shouldn’t I be asking you that?”
Veronica bites her lip. “Yeah, sorta.”
“Sit down?” he asks, and she does; close to him, which she doesn’t mind at all.
She doesn’t say anything, even though she desperately wants to talk. She wants to tell him everything but can’t possibly seem to let the words escape her lips.
“Hey,” he says, his voice soft as he notices her distress. “What’s up?”
She leans forward and gives him a small kiss, letting it linger.
They break apart. “That’s nice,” he says, smiling. “Is that what you came here for?”
Her heart beats faster. “Yes,” she lies. “No.”
She leans back against the couch and shuts her eyes. This was a bad idea, she thinks. But going home would be just as bad.
“Are you tired?” he asks. “You can crash here, if you want.”
Veronica nods. “Sure.”
Logan stands up, dragging Veronica with him. They head to the bedroom and Veronica drops her bag by the door.
“Logan,” she says, and he stops. “I’m sorry.”
He looks back at her. “For what?”