[identity profile] mollivanders.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] prefer_my_life
Title: since last that we parted
Fandom: Veronica Mars
Rating: PG-13 (language)
Characters: Veronica/Logan, Mac, Dick, Madison, Carrie Bishop
Author's Note: Word Count - 2,888. Written for the VMars comment ficathon with the prompt of My Manic and I.
Disclaimer: The characters belong to the those who believe in the beauty of their dreams, as always. Thanks, Kickstarter.

The dust from Neptune sticks to her feet for years, but she stays away.

(She runs, far far away.)

Her phone fills up with whole new contacts and there are whole days – weeks – where she does not think of –

Well, they’re not important anyway.

Eight years and four months after she left, the invitation to her high school ten year reunion comes in the mail. She pretends she’s her personal assistant and tells the bubbly girl on the other end to put her down as a No. The invitation, complete with its ten year memorial sticker for Lilly Kane, goes in the trash. Live, Laugh and Love is a theme only Madison Sinclair would pick out and even now, the name raises the bile in her throat.

(The bubbly girl, on the other hand, reminds her of someone else altogether.

It was a long time ago.)

Her father’s heart attack though – that brings her home in an instant.

+

“Stop fussing,” he insists, lying on the couch covered with a blanket. He would insist on watching the game just a day after he was released and it’s not even the damn World Series but no –

“Veronica,” he asks at the top of the sixth inning, “would you mind running down to the store? We’re out of milk.”

Her father looks so much frailer than she remembered from his last visit; thinner and balder and older. Somehow, she is sure this is her fault and nobody else’s.

(Back in this town, she can feel old ghosts clipping at her heels.)

“You want a sense of machismo to go with that?” she quips but he only smiles fondly. The heavy feeling in her gut stays with her all the way to the grocery store.

This is how Logan catches her completely off guard, down Aisle 13 with milk and contraband party size Milky Ways tucked under her arm. She catches the Milky Ways; the damp gallon of milk slips loose from her grip and slams against the linoleum with a wet slap.

“Well look who crawled back into town,” he says, his eyes raking over her like they used to. There’s a dark edge to his voice though – maybe because she hasn’t called in eight years and seven months – and when she scrambles to pick up the milk it’s leaking.

“Fallen on hard times?” she asks. “Have you ever been in a grocery store before?”

His smile is thin as he passes her by. “Nice to see you too, Veronica Mars,” he answers, and she absolutely does not follow his path all the way to a woman with a Gucci purse and long blonde hair, spilling over her shoulders in waves.

Yep. She’s feeling the love all right.

+

In the end, her dad is the one who makes her go to her own reunion.

“Go, go,” he repeats until she threatens him with mountains of forbidden lasagna. “You’re not going to kill your old man leaving me alone for one night,” he says. “Show ‘em all what the Mars family is really made of.”

Mac lets her borrow something, a ruby red piece that’s short on her friend and hits Veronica at the knees. She tugs it higher, wishing for straps and Mac rolls her eyes.

“You look fine,” Mac insists and takes her arm. “Just think about Van Clemmons’ face when he sees you again.”

The Neptune Grand hasn’t changed a notch and almost wistful, she wonders if this place will finally become an antique – if Neptune will fade and disappear into the sea and take all its memories with it. Mac plies her with drinks until Wallace shows up and she pulls him into a huge that nearly breaks him.

“Missed you,” she whispers and he chuckles. “Well, you know, I’ve been so busy – ”. He winks at her and she punches his shoulder but he just laughs. When he sits down though, she catches someone watching them from across the room.

“I’ll be right back,” she promises and cuts across the ballroom, her old classmates splitting before her as they always did. Her target stays in place, his expression painfully familiar as he drinks in a corner.

“Why are you staring at me?” she asks and he laughs, staring over her head. “God, Veronica,” he says. “Not everything is about you.”

It hurts, like he meant it to, but when she turns to leave he steps in front of her, his eyes not half as glassy with drink as she guesses he plans them to be. “What, nothing to say? You’re just going to walk away again? Don’t call, don’t write? Gee, Logan, I transferred and don’t give a fuck about anyone anymore?” Her arms are tight around her chest, waiting for him to finish, before he scoffs and steps out of her way. “But why am I surprised?” he asks. “You wanted to make me pay, right?”

+

She mostly has a good time, aside from – you know – the eye bolts burning into her back.

+

It’s not hard to find out where Logan lives, who he’s dating, what he does, and for Veronica it’s child’s play. Madison hasn’t changed at all and she pours it into Veronica’s ear with a waspish tone that hasn’t changed at all in the intervening years, blocking her path to the guestbook with vindication.

(To be fair, Veronica’s second guessing if she’s changed at all herself.

But when it comes to Madison, fuck fair.)

“Ready to jump back in the 09er pile, Veronica?” Madison sneers, a rock the size of Switzerland glittering on her hand. “Logan’s poor real estate these days but I guess beggars can’t be choosers.”

“Funny, you seemed to like him,” Veronica retorts like standing here doesn’t make her hands itch to be fists. “Or was that just his father’s money that you liked?”

“Not as much as Lilly liked it,” Madison bites and Veronica doesn’t think, just pushes Madison Sinclair, fiancée to Troy Vandergraff of all people, down across the display table. Madison’s pink drink sloshes down a dress that definitely costs more than Veronica’s car but it doesn’t seem important with Veronica’s hand at her throat.

“Say it again,” she hisses and when Madison struggles Veronica steps on her foot. “Lilly would have you for breakfast and you know it,” she adds and doesn’t resist the hand at her elbow gently pulling her back.

“Come on, Veronica,” he says quietly at her ear. “Come away.”

She keeps her eyes trained on Madison gasping and rubbing at her throat until they make it through the double doors.

+

Logan’s upgraded his car, switching from muscle to style, and Veronica doesn’t know what she’s doing in the passenger seat as he drives, top down.

Her eyes are stinging and she scrunches them shut.

“How can you stay here?” she bursts, leaning forward against her seatbelt and pressing her palms against her eyes. “In this stupid small town. This is why. You’re still here and you’ll always be here so of course I wasn’t going to call you, Logan.” She’s panting like she’s run a mile and her phone buzzes with another message she can’t be bothered to check.

He’s quiet, staring out at the highway as he drives, and suddenly she’s worried that he really did have too much to drink, that they should pull over and not act like the dumb teenagers they once were, but when she looks at him, she catches him wiping his face.

“You came back,” he says thickly, eyes still on the road. His knuckles are white as he grips the wheel but his expression is clear. “I knew you’d come back.”

Her heart thuds slowly in her chest, wanting to stand still but forced onward, her pulse beating faster as she takes it in, and by the time she finds her voice all she can do is stare at the road too.

“My dad had a heart attack,” she says, and even now there’s a sharp edge to her words. “You were counting on that?”

(They’ve had this conversation a hundred times before.)

“No,” he says. “I wasn’t counting.”

+

He checks them into a hotel room seventy four miles from Neptune and she collapses into the bed, fully dressed and unable to sleep as Logan pulls his shirt off and lies on his back next to her, on top of the sheets.

“You think Madison’ll come after me?” she asks, facing away from him. It’s dark in the room but his silence prompts her to face him. He’s studying her and an ache between her ribs remembers every inch of his gaze. Hesitant, he reaches for her hand and laces their fingers together.

“Welcome back,” he says, and her eyes flutter shut.

When her dad calls in the morning, she groggily tells him she’ll meet the sheriff’s deadline and tries to ignore the disappointment in his voice. “I’ll see you soon,” he tells her and she ends the call.

“I could run,” she hypothesizes. “And then I could never come back. Guaranteed, a warrant out for my arrest.” Logan smirks, pulling his suspenders back over his shoulders. The morning sun glances through the curtains and warms her, tempting. Stay. Mend.

“Well, you know where I’ll be,” he says, glancing away from her, his armor back on. She’s run too many times, she supposes, and he was never one to chase.

(Some things never change.)

“Drop me off at the station?” she asks, running a hand through her hair when she looks in the mirror. Logan shifts behind her and catches her eye in the mirror.

“Giving in?” he asks, his voice laced with what would be hope on another man. “To Madison Sinclair?” His eyebrows arch inappropriately. “I don’t think Lilly would approve.”

“I used to date her boyfriend,” Veronica says, matching his expression. “And you never know.” She pauses, twisting to face him.

(Mac’s dress is crumpled, her hair is a wreck, and she wishes she was anywhere but here, seventy four miles from Neptune and three thousand miles from New York.)

“I might want to come back someday,” she finishes.

His smirk doesn’t quite reach his eyes, in the end.

+

By the time Madison drops the charges, Veronica’s already stayed a week longer in this town than she expected, and now the only people left are the 09ers, an unwelcome prospect on most days. The day her dad relapses and she’s trapped at the hospital cafeteria waiting for an update on his surgery, she absolutely does not want to see Dick Casablancas, of all people.

“Ronnie!” he calls out, jogging across the court to stand next to her. She’s too busy deciding which fruit cup she wants until it’s too late and really –

“You never said hel-lo at the Grand,” he says, still talking, which she forgot he did. Nonstop.

“I was a little busy,” she replies, going with the pineapple and checking her watch. Still too early. “You wanna come out tonight?” Dick asks. “We’re throwing a party now that all your friends left town, but you’re still welcome.” He winks at her. “Thursday. Carrie Bishop’s place.”

“Look, Dick,” she says, setting her tray down with more force than necessary. “Use your powers of observation. I’m in a hospital. I’m not in Neptune for my health.”

He backs up with his palms out, unfazed. “You need to learn to chill, Ronnie,” he says and she cannot believe him, or any of these people. Nothing has changed and there is nothing romantic or nostalgic about it. “I just thought you’d like to see Logan again,” he adds, shrugging, before palming a pudding cup and sneaking out the entrance. “Finish what you started.”

Unbelievable.

But then – what was Dick Casablancas doing at a hospital?

Three days go by, then four, and with her dad recovering but heavily sedated she decides it’s either crashing back at the apartment watching old Hallmark movies or spending one last night one-upping her old classmates. She’s full of pent up energy, stale from having nothing to do in this town besides relive not so glorious glory days, so despite herself, she goes.

(She is not afraid of them, and this time, it’s true.)

“What is she doing here?” Madison asks as soon as she walks in the door. Carrie Bishop takes one look at Veronica and shrugs. “I invited her,” Carrie says, and that’s that. “How’ve you been, Veronica?”

“Besides throttling me?” Madison bites and Carrie rolls her eyes as Veronica smiles sweetly. “I’m thinking about an encore,” she chirps and Madison scoffs, shifting into the background.

“Ronnie, you made it!” Dick says, bounding through the crowd and tries to grind with her before she pushes him off. “Well you know, my court date fell through,” she replies and catches Logan watching her, leaning against a pool side pillar. It seems pointless to avoid him.

“We really have to stop meeting like this,” she says and Logan smiles halfway, leaning his hips out. “Yeah, Dick really wanted you to come,” he says and she cocks her head. “I wondered about that. What was Dick doing at the hospital?”

This time, Logan full out grins. “Oh didn’t you hear?” he asks. “Dick’s a doctor now.” At Veronica’s horrified look, he amends. “Intern. Whatever.”

“Can you get me something to drink?” she asks weakly. “This is why med schools should do background checks.”

An hour later she’s comfortably fuzzy and the party has dwindled down to professional affairs and a beer pong championship she wants no part of. Sitting at the pool’s edge, she drops her feet in the water and lets the Neptune summer wash over her. When Logan slides down next to her, she doesn’t even protest.

“Got many pools out wherever you are?” he asks and she laughs softly, splashing at the water with her feet. It’s choppy from the jets and the hems of her jeans are soaked. “Only for the rich,” she says.

(He’s warm next to her, almost painfully so.)

“So what you’re saying is I could buy one,” he says and she snorts. “I don’t think you’d like it there,” she answers. “Nobody would know who you are.” Startled, she doesn’t move away when he shifts his body to rest his forehead against her head, his hand at the small of her back. “Logan,” she whispers.

(The party is a dull noise in the background.)

“I’m glad you came back,” he says, breathing deep, before pulling away and she faces him, searching. “Even if you always run away again.”

There doesn’t seem a good reason not to, at this point. Softly, she kisses him, his breath an uneven rhythm against her lips, and her eyes flutter shut as he kisses her back, a gentle press giving way to more.

(This is why she comes back.)

Her name is a prayer on his lips, fluttering urgently against hers, and she doesn’t protest when he pulls her closer, across his lap. She doesn’t care who’s still paying attention or even who’s here, seeing Veronica Mars slumming it with Logan Echolls again.

“Is there somewhere –” she starts to ask but as much as she’d like to forget, he really is a professional at this and at her cue he leads her through the back door, stealing kisses from her on the way, before they settle on a door. His body frames her but the door’s still closed and her hand settles on the knob, trying to think, to decide.

He stops, breathing heavily as he looks down at her.

“What do you want, Veronica?” he asks, and suddenly it’s not that nothing has changed; it’s just that this is who they are.

(She turns the knob.)

+

The next morning she steals out before he wakes, but not before she scrawls an address on the notepad she found in the nightstand drawer.

Now you know where to find me, she adds underneath it and doesn’t look back.

It’s another two weeks before she finally feels like she can go home and leave her dad. He drops her off at the airport and she spends the long plane ride back to JFK emptying her head of everything and everyone in Neptune. By the time they touch down, she’s almost succeeded.

She grabs her carryon and edges off the plane with everyone else in coach, her mind full and her body exhausted, so much so that she doesn’t even see him on the other side of security.

“I always like to start my morning with a hot blonde waiting for me in the airport,” he jokes when she stares at him, speechless, and nervously shifts on his feet. “Want me to get those for you?” he asks, pointing at her carryon.

“How?” she asks, because she sure as hell didn’t tell him and he shrugs. “I’ve always depended on the kindness of strangers,” he answers, and reaches for her bag.

Veronica Mars, future high powered lawyer and former private detective, would never admit to dropping her bags jump into a hug with her high school ex-boyfriend in the middle of the airport, or admit to letting him cradle her. She’s all sharp edges, a quick wit for a tough exterior, but then – haven’t you heard?

Veronica Mars is a marshmallow.

Finis

Date: 2013-03-20 02:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ever-neutral.livejournal.com
lol I hate you for that ending.

H8 the rest of the fic too. THEY MEET AGAIN IN THE GROCERY STORE. #and you cry and your tears are blood

I'm in a state.

Date: 2013-03-20 09:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] earnmysong.livejournal.com
Image


THIS IS LOVELY.

Date: 2013-03-21 06:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hisui-ryoshi.livejournal.com
This is amazing. So glad this fandom is starting back up again. These two are perfect, and you capture them beautifully.

Date: 2013-03-22 03:13 am (UTC)
ext_317107: (VMars; Logan; making the same mistake)
From: [identity profile] stainofmylove.livejournal.com
Aww, thank you so much for this! I needed 10-year renunion spec like yesterday and this so hits the spot <333

“My dad had a heart attack,” she says, and even now there’s a sharp edge to her words. “You were counting on that?”

(They’ve had this conversation a hundred times before.)

“No,” he says. “I wasn’t counting.”


Perfection.

Profile

prefer_my_life: (Default)
we're not like the rest, no, we ain't like most

June 2016

S M T W T F S
   12 34
567 891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 20th, 2017 12:37 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios