vanessagalore: (!Precipitation)
[personal profile] vanessagalore
TITLE: Precipitation (1/1)
AUTHOR: [personal profile] vanessagalore
CHARACTER: Veronica
WORD COUNT: 2174
RATING: R
SUMMARY: Even the weather seems to be against Veronica.
SPOILERS: Vague spoilers for the whole series.
WARNINGS: Cursing.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own any rights to Veronica Mars. This story is written as a tribute only. Beta'd by [livejournal.com profile] zaftig_darling. All remaining errors are my responsibility.

Inspired by Mini-Challenge #2 at [community profile] vmfictitious and the "torrent" prompt at [community profile] inkstains.




The peculiar whoosh of tires meeting wet pavement—a murmuring unheard for months. Slicked cobblestones and umbrellas half-bent, awkwardly wielded. A sunlit expanse taunts from beyond, with a rainbow threatening.

I will not cry. This little drop on my cheek? It’s not a tear. It’s rain. It’s definitely rain.

A lady brushes against me, her umbrella spewing water on me. I deserve this. I deserve to be soaked; I’m nothing. She hurries on, oblivious.

What the hell...it never rains in Neptune.

Why didn’t I bring an umbrella?

What does it matter? It’s just a little rain. A trickle works its way down my neck, insidious, uncomfortable. My hair adheres to my scalp, the ponytail a sodden weight on my collar.

A man, clearly annoyed at the inconvenient weather, barrels toward me. His glance slides over me and then returns, fixed and knowing.

Is he picturing me naked and cheering? Or maybe he recognizes me as the daughter of the twice-disgraced sheriff? I avoid his eyes and turn, pretending to look at the display in the window. My eyes unfocus; the tchotchkes blur and disappear.

It’s burned into my retinas: “Prosecutor files charges against Mars.”

My shoes are ruined, these cute little Jimmy Choos I saved weeks for.

And I don’t care.

***

Finally I reach the sanctity of my car. I can have a meltdown in private, but now that I’m here, the tears refuse to come. I pull out my cell, and my finger hovers over “3”.

How do I protect him? What do I do? What have I done?

I imagine Logan, beaten and bleeding, or maybe even dead. If I’m lucky, just a few new scars on his face to match the ones he keeps hidden with long sleeves. I think about the faint white lines etched on Logan’s back, a graph of daddy dearest’s excoriations. Aaron’s cruel voice, forever whispering in Logan’s ear, twisting the truth, “See what you made me do?”

Yesterday is still a blur of adrenaline and regret. Again...again, I try to think what I could have done differently.

A moment of pure exultation when Logan glanced at me, bloody and triumphant, and a lifetime of dread to follow.

Yes, see what I made him do?

Of course he pummeled Gory. Did I really expect anything else?

Stupid, stupid, STUPID Veronica.

I tap the “3” key lightly, trying to find the courage to dial. Yeah, “3”. I never changed it on my phone; I pretended that I forgot to delete it. But I didn’t forget. I couldn’t take him off speed dial. I know that makes me pathetic. Or hopeful. Or deluded. Or something.

You never quite get over the first boy who saves you from a gun-wielding, psychotic rapist-slash-mass murderer.

A firm press, because I am NOT a coward. Five rings, and it goes to voice mail. “You’ve reached Logan Echolls. ‘It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we make mistakes...we make mistakes because the easiest and most comfortable course for us is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions—especially selfish ones.’ Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Leave a message after the—”

Panic—because it’s so fucking true. I thumb the “send” key to disconnect.

The bile hits the back of my throat, and I pant a little, trying not to throw up.

When the hell did he get so wise?

***

At Neptune Memorial Hospital, there’s no one admitted under the name of Echolls. I drive to Good Samaritan in a blur. Wipers thud, thud, thud, the water swirling at the base of the windshield. I just barely avoid an accident with another Southern Californian who sucks at driving in the rain. At Good Samaritan, the triage nurse looks at me with pity as she shakes her head ‘no’.

Back in the car, I try his cell again. Straight to voice mail now...what the hell does that mean? He’s safe, just avoiding me? He’s dead, lying in a ditch? Or floating under the Coronado?

I will the phone to ring. Call me...tell me you’re okay. And then I pray it won’t. Don’t tell me, I don’t want to know he’s—

I realize: My whole life, it’s going to be panic and fear every time the phone rings.

Rivulets of water pool on my car windows; a thousand fingers tap on the roof. How do people in Seattle do it? I feel drenched, waterlogged. All those negative ions are doing something to me.

I let myself fantasize about ways to murder Gory. A hit and run. Swap his Tylenol for something more deadly. A pipe bomb, with a timer, Wallace would help me to—

There you go again, Veronica. Brilliant idea, get your best friend involved in a murder scheme.

I imagine Wallace, naked from the waist up, being shocked by a device around his neck while they interrogated him. He didn’t even hesitate when I asked—my friends always jump to help me.

Wait...is Gory going to go after Wallace too? He’s going to realize...he’s going to put it together....

What do I do? Do we all go into witness protection? All my friends—

Oh fuck.

Mac.

Mac helped me with the hard drive. Would Mr. Kane figure out that I would have had help...? Is Gory going to...? Oh, fuck, fuck, fuck.

Try to breathe, try to breathe, try to bre—

A motherfucking thunderclap! All those times I took God’s name in vain...maybe I should head to St. Mary’s and—

You are so full of it, Veronica. You aren’t important enough for God to worry about. Like you confessing to God would convince him of anything!

“No. Just Veronica Mars. What a disappointment.”

Another rumble of far-off thunder, and a deluge of water pours from the skies.

***

Somehow I drive to the beach. I slot the gearshift into park and turn off the key.

It’s still fucking raining. Without the wipers battling the rainfall, the water flows unimpeded down the windshield. I watch as the drips follow some map that only they understand.

I pick a little at my ruined, disintegrating shoes—collateral damage from my recklessness.

Six pm...I turn on the radio. “Early results are in for the Balboa County Special Election, and it’s a landslide. With 88% of the votes counted, Van Lowe is projected to win the sheriff’s office with with 71% to 18% for Mars. The Balboa County Prosecutor’s Office released a statement that they’ve suspended Sheriff Mars’s private investigator’s license while investigating claims of ethics violations. In other news—” I twisted the knob, practically snapping it off.

Did you really think your dad had any chance, Veronica? Good job, kid. You found out who made the video, after it already went viral and the whole fucking world saw it (thank you, Dick), but you can’t do a goddamn thing to them, and you broke about fourteen federal statutes in the process. So your dad had to save your ass again and give up the job he loved.

I abandon my shoes and step out of the car. Wet sand sifts between my toes. Good memories then: mom and dad and me playing in the waves, me and Logan in Catalina, me and Backup playing Frisbee, me and Wallace flying remote control planes.

I’m saturated in a few seconds, hair plastered to my scalp, every bit of clothing drenched—I feel like the rain is soaking into my pores. I’d slosh if you could hear it over the dull roar of precipitation.

At the edge of the ocean, I stand with the waves lapping at the hems of my jeans. I’d thought that I was already waterlogged, but the fabric becomes heavier, wraps itself insidiously, somehow sticky on my legs...how can wetness be sticky?

The ocean is slate-blue—a color I didn’t know existed—all dark and turbulent, throbbing with lacy edges of froth and unease. A solitary insane windsurfer soars far offshore, tumbling and spinning. He catches a gust and sails impossibly fast. The board skims a mogul of steep-sloped wave, almost a flip!, before flailing onto the waves in defeat. A moment of terror (do I call for help?), and then a head appears above the surge, followed by a body hoisting itself onto the board to try again. An expert twist of the sail and the board flies off downwind, disappearing from sight.

I wade in a little. It’s warm and cold at once, with pinpricks of rain on my exposed skin. Almost clinically, I note the goose flesh as my body reacts automatically. The sand shifts beneath my feet, and I stumble and shuffle, regaining my balance.

A steel-colored sky looms, with no evidence of the sunset that should be imminent. I search my memory—‘nimbostratus’, I think. The dense and ominous billows press against the sea, with tinges of whiteness betraying the sun’s futile attempts to break through the clouds.

I step forward into the turbulence. A rush of water surrounds my legs, sucking me down, pulling me in. I lurch back, onto the uncertain sands and the unsteadiness of the verge, with the eddies taunting me and the waves lapping at me hungrily.

A voice...no, voices.

“There she is!”

I turn and see them. Dad, Logan, and Wallace. Dad hurries to me, ignoring the water lapping at his feet (we’re a fine couple of gumshoes, I think, ridiculously). He bundles me into his arms and whispers hoarsely, “I’ve been so worried about you. Where have you been?” He pulls me onto the shore and urges me toward the parking lot. The four of us, bedraggled, make slow progress through the harsh wind.

I’m embarrassed by how wet I am. It’s nonsensical. Of course I’m wet. I’ve been standing outside in the rain. I’ve been wading in the ocean. Of course I’m soaked. Now Logan’s talking and I struggle to listen.

“When you didn’t show up for dinner, your dad called me. I told him you called me twice but didn’t leave a message.”

“I’ve been calling you. Why didn’t you answer?” Dad asks.

I realize how scared he was. How scared he is. Fumbling for my phone, I look at the screen. The battery’s dead...I’ve been meaning to get a replacement. “My phone died.” I show him; it’s somehow important that he believe me.

“Oh honey.”

I look at his face, and then at Logan’s. And then I look at Wallace, who’s been uncharacteristically quiet. He mutters, “We’ve been worried about you, Vee.”

And then I get it. They’ve talked. They know everything. I search their faces. I wonder if Dad’s seen the video, and I cringe. Between the three of them, they have the whole sordid story.

Dad says, “We’ll figure it out. We’re going to be safe.”

“Mac...” I whisper. “She helped—”

“That’s what I thought,” he replies with a nod. “She’s at the house, working the phones.”

I look at Logan. “I went to the hospitals...I thought....”

“No, I’m okay. I haven’t been back to the Grand. Your dad said he’d find me a place to crash.” Logan’s familiar face regards me with concern, just a little swollen from the altercation in the food court, but basically unscarred. “I’ll drive her back in the Saturn,” he suggests, and my dad nods.

Dad puts me in the passenger seat of my car, pulling the seat belt over and buckling it, and I flash back to being five years old, still only 34 pounds and 39 inches tall, so California law said I still had to be in a child safety seat. I begged and pleaded, and Dad said, “It’s the law, Veronica—maybe you should eat more,” as he strapped me in against my will.

And then I picture this man who loved the law, who lived for upholding the law, breaking it to save me. I don’t quite know what he did—it’s clear to me that he thinks it’s better if I don’t know—but last night he said, “There’s nothing to worry about, Veronica. We don’t ever need to talk about it again.”

I tremble a little, and Dad sweeps a hand across my brow. “It’s going to be okay, Veronica.”

Logan picks up my sodden shoes and puts them behind the seat. He starts up the car as my dad shuts the passenger door. We drive back to Sunset Cliffs, and Logan holds out his hand for me. I take it, and he squeezes hard.

I look in the side view mirror, and I see Dad and Wallace following in Dad’s sedan. “I— I’m...—” I’m stuttering, blathering. “I, uh, wonder...do you think it’s ever going to stop raining?”

“Yeah, this rain is ridiculous.” A quick glance at me, and I wonder what he’s really thinking. His thumb slides across the back of my hand, and I think how much I’ve missed that casual gesture. Flippant, as always, he says, “Don’t you know it never rains in Southern California?”


( Continue reading...'Precarious')

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-27 01:46 am (UTC)
sarahbrand: a lone figure looking out over a vast ocean (Default)
From: [personal profile] sarahbrand
I love this kind of a lot.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-27 02:40 am (UTC)
zaftig_goddess: (Default)
From: [personal profile] zaftig_goddess
I also love this kind of a lot.

I also like your new layout, but there is a graphic in the center of the screen blocking part of the header of the fic...I'm not sure how to fix it.

I love the story, the way she allows herself to rely on the people who care about her.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-27 03:19 am (UTC)
celtic_flicka: UFO (Default)
From: [personal profile] celtic_flicka
I like that you gave this a realistic ending--you didn't just wipe away all the danger Veronica got her friends into--but it's still hopeful.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-27 06:49 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
This is just lovely.
You really do have a talent for writing, i love this style :)
Also, you've avoided a happy ending, thank you for that, you've reached that place where it ends in such a way that we don't know what will happen next, but there is a peace with the story.
Perfect!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-27 05:18 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
The images in this are so vivid. It has been raining here and it is cold and miserable so I can identify with Veronica. The concern her father and friends have for her is so touching. Typical Veronica thinking about revenge and who could help her achieve it.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-28 04:19 am (UTC)
jesstherobot: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jesstherobot
Oh, loved it. The voice is so very Veronica, especially the bit you chose for the tagline -- just pitch perfect. (This little drop on my cheek?) Could easily hear it in kbell's voice. (Although, embarrassingly, I've been watching gossip girl recently, so I've been hearing EVERYTHING in kbell's dulcet tones, but that's neither here nor there.)

I love how you capture this sort of out of control desperation. I mean, everyone hated season 3 vmars because she was a bitch, me included, but if you dig under that there's a lot of fright and confusion motivating it, and you evoke that very clearly here. Also, love the hint of hope -- still unresolved! -- at the end, and Wallace/Logan/Keith as a trio to the rescue, just on principle. lovely.

really enjoyed this...

Date: 2010-10-29 01:51 am (UTC)
schuylerjo: (Default)
From: [personal profile] schuylerjo
Hi, I am a new VM fan - I had never seen an ep until a month ago when I started on Netflix and have enjoyed finding the fanfiction, as well. I really like your imagery and the details such as the shoes - the way you mentioned Veronica's shoes AND her father's really reminds me of all the dualities in the show. At first I was appalled by the way it all ended...however, as I've thought about it I haven't minded as much. I think the question of whether or not Logan and Veronica can ever really be healthy for each other in a non-friends relationship is a tough one - at least where they are in their lives presently. I think its interesting to read how angry everyone was at Veronica - it seems that everyone kind of forgot the incredible trauma she had so recently experienced. I think she really is just so damaged. Sorry to go on a tangent, I'm where most people were 4 years ago :).

Re: really enjoyed this...

Date: 2010-10-29 02:03 pm (UTC)
schuylerjo: (Default)
From: [personal profile] schuylerjo
Thanks! I have already read YLD 1 & 2 in the past week or so. I think I left an anonymous comment because I didn't find a code until yesterday...something along the lines of being "ruined for all other fanfic." The scope of those stories was impressive and I really think having V go undercover at a girls' boarding school was fabulous. I also saw a dramatic difference in your writing between the beginning of those and the end. Thanks for the links, it has been quite an adventure figuring out how to navigate livejournal and finding fanfiction that doesn't make me scream due to writing/grammar issues. Let's just say my RL has really suffered as a result of this current obsession :). I know the whole VM movie debate continues, but I wonder of RT has ever considered publishing some VM-related books. It would be interesting to see how they sold. Finally, I like the canonical fic best, too. I have read some good AU stuff, but I prefer to stick to the show. Mistakes and all, I loved the show - even though I haven't been able to bring myself to watch the episodes where Veronica dated Piz. I just can't. Maybe if I drink some wine before turning them on! Keep writing, I think your style is very nice.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-31 04:58 pm (UTC)
medjunkie: (Default)
From: [personal profile] medjunkie
I always jump up and down with delight when I see you have posted another story. I'm glad that your new community is inspiring you and others.
I really liked this, because it was in the immediate aftermath of the show. Like you I really feel that although Veronica was pretty unbearable at times in the show, that she was deeply traumatised and this accounts for a lot of her behaviour. I wonder if S3's finale would have been her moment of truth, in terms of recognising some of her own faults? She really had messed up very badly. I like to think it might have made her re evaulate things, and the role that those around her played.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-02 10:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] boobsnotbombs.livejournal.com
Love this.

I especially like how oppressive the rain feels. The metaphor of fingers tapping on the surface of her car was particularly astute.

I love that you didn't totally demonize Veronica in this, which a lot of fics do. I think she has a lot of thinking and apologizing to do, but she had reasons for doing the things she did throughout season 2.

People forget that the other people in her life are far from perfect, too.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-01-07 06:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://www.google.com/profiles/116264982644933904721
Yay! I'm so glad to see some more fic from you. Love.

I had a VM marathon over the holidays and then went on to read your YLD and YLD2 - which are amazing.

I've really enjoyed a foray into this fandom w/ your fic, which is smart and on character. Its been so interesting to watch your writing style develop and I can already see w/ this fic that your descriptive style is much stronger.

Evocative phrases... "a thousand fingers tap on the roof." "unsteadiness of the verge, with the eddies taunting me and the waves lapping at me hungrily" -You've given the elements a personality and made them a foil for V's internal dialogue. And the image of K buckling V into the car - brilliant. His caring for her, her chafing at the restraint, what the law means to him. This is showing, not just telling. Very good.

I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this. (even though, as a rule I don't like WIP)

Thanks you!

~Jenn

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-29 11:19 pm (UTC)
onceuponapillow: (Logan/Veronica)
From: [personal profile] onceuponapillow
Awesome beginning. You have a very vivid way of writing. It just grabs you and doesn't let go.

-Love that bit at the end where Logan & Veronica hold hands. They're screwed up kids but they still have those soft moments.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-06-08 06:24 am (UTC)
jesterlady: (btvsfreehugs)
From: [personal profile] jesterlady
This is really great. I just read the whole thing and I really love how you dealt with the aftermath of S3. I don't want to think about how much research you had to do to write this so knowledgeable (unless you do have an alternate identity as a master criminal) but this is so incredibly realistic and it's wonderful.

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