Veronica Mars - Fic: The View from the Cheap Seats.
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wisteria_:
veronicamarsfic
veronicamarsfic
Veronica Mars Fiction
Tuesday, March 1st, 2005 11:39 pm
Fic: The View from the Cheap Seats.

Title: The View from the Cheap Seats
Author: wisteria
Pairing/Character: Veronica, Logan (platonic, no romance)
Word Count: 2,100 so far
Rating: PG-13
Summary: The five stages of grief.
Spoilers: through "Ruskie Business"

The community page doesn't mention multi-part fics, so I'll take a chance. Please let me know if your policies change! This story has five parts; I've been posting it to my LJ, but I thought I'd share the first two here. I plan to have the rest completed by the end of this week. I've been writing X-Files and BTVS/AtS fic for the past seven years, but this is my first Veronica Mars story. Hope you like it!



The View from the Cheap Seats
by wisteria


1. Denial


He calls so often that she gets him his own ringtone – "Baby One More Time". Logan would get a kick out of that if they were the kind of people who told each other jokes. But they're not, so she mentally pulls out their new phone script.

Him: "Any new leads? Was her card used again?"
Her: "No, sorry. I'll keep looking."

When she hangs up, she vows that next time she'll tell him to stop calling, it's hopeless, just give up and move on. But she's a pot and he's a kettle, and it's not like she's in any position to be calling him black.


+++++


Veronica used to think closure was overrated – a crutch for people who couldn't just get over themselves and move on. Now, though, she kinda sees the appeal. Closure is never going to be in the cards for her and Logan. Hell, the door is still wide-open, but lately it's been letting some of the air conditioning out.

And the weirdest part of all this is that Logan's almost been nice lately... at least, in his own Logan-esque way. Calling him nice still sticks in her throat, though. Even back when they were friends, he was still a jackass. "Jerk" plus "Logan" equals two great tastes that taste great together. She should probably like this new twist, but she's too busy waiting for the other shoe to drop.

He drops by the office after school on Thursday, all "How's it goin'?" like they're old friends – which, okay, they had been, but still.

She gives him the standard reply: no more leads on the case, beyond the now-ubiquitous crackpots trying to make a buck off the tabloids. His lip quivers just a little, but it doesn't fall. She almost wants to pity him for holding onto all this false hope – but that would mean pitying herself for doing the same thing, and she's not about to do that.

Then he pulls out his wallet. "I never asked what your standard rates are. How much do I owe you?"

Yeah, the money would come in really handy, but taking it feels strangely wrong. "Don't worry about it."

"God, Veronica." His voice takes on a more typical hard edge. "I told you not to do me any favors. I'm a client, damn it."

"Since when have I ever asked you for any charity?" Here comes a massive headache. "Looking stuff up for you is not a big deal or anything, but if it makes you feel better, I'll send you a bill, okay?"

"Okay," he spits back. So much for the nice-vibes.

As if on cue, Dad walks through the door. He stops short when he notices they have company. "Oh, hello, Logan. I was sorry to hear about your mother."

A long, highly-awkward silence, then Logan mutters, "Everyone's sorry. Nobody wants to do anything about it."

Then he stalks out of the room, an imaginary cape practically twirling around him. He always did love making a big show; he probably got that from Lilly.

Dad leans forward. "What was that all about?"

Veronica sighs. "Just doing a favor for a friend."






2. Anger


For the first fifty miles, she imagines what will happen when she gets to Barstow. The big, touching reunion of mother and daughter, accompanied by violins and tears. A perfect Lifetime Movie of the Week, if it'd been anyone else. She's all angsted-out now, but the rumble of the engine lets her appreciate a little irony.

Obsessing over reunion scenarios has never done her much good, though. Not when Mom's probably long-gone, anyway. So she thinks about other things to make the miles go faster.

A couple of months ago, Logan was sitting a few tables away at lunch. He kept squirming in his seat, and she overheard him telling a friend that he'd gotten bruised playing street hockey. But he leaned forward to grab something, and his shirt rode up to show angry welts on his back.

"Cigarette burns and broken noses," Trina had said. God. She wonders what welts and bruises he'll sport on Monday, once his dad finds out. But they're all scarred, aren't they? At least hers are on the inside.

Still, she decides to change his ringtone later.


+++++


What was she saying about getting her hopes up? Oh, yeah: don't.

The worst part is that she's caught up in this ugly mix of fear and frustration. One look at Clarence Wiedman tells her all she needs to know, and though all she wants is to grab Mom and run as far away as possible, she can't. It won't end well, to put it mildly. She has a taser, but he probably has a gun.

She's always prided herself on standing up to anything the bastards threw at her, but now all she can do is back down. Self-preservation, sure, but more for Mom's sake than anything else.

And still the fear coils through her belly, chasing up her throat until she's biting back a scream, a sob.

Wiedman leaves, thank God, but she doesn't kid herself that he's far away. So she leans in and whispers in her mother's ear: "If you need anything, call me." It sounds so inadequate, so stupid, but what else can she say? A quick kiss on Mom's cheek, too close to see her face because that would just make Veronica dissolve into a crying mess, and then she says, "I love you."

Legs barely holding her up, she starts the long walk to the cantina's door and walks through it, with one last long glance at her mother. It's all she can do, but this is far from over. She only hopes this buys her – and Mom – some time.

She holds back the tears and screams until she's twenty miles from Barstow.

When she gets back home, she tells Dad that she had a great time sleeping over at Meg's house.

After he goes to his weekly softball game, she makes sure his guns are still stashed in the bedside table and the cutlery drawer, and she maps out all of the apartment's escape routes.


+++++


It only takes a few days for things to get back to their twisted version of "normal", but she counts each moment with the pounding heartbeat in her ears, the glances over her shoulder. And she hates herself for backing down, letting go, but she knows when she's been bested. Caught between a Kane and a hard place. If she's going to take them on, she needs more ammo, more clarity of vision. It'll happen soon, and she'll be ready.

On Monday morning, she somehow manages to get a "B+" on her biology test. Small miracles, huh? Meg slides onto the bench next to her at lunch, and Veronica tries not to cringe.

"Uh, Veronica? I'm sorry it didn't even occur to me until now, but are you okay with me and Duncan?"

Deep breath. Focus. It's not Meg's fault. She's a real friend, remember?

She pastes on a smile. "It's okay. Really. Just a few residual ex-boyfriend-moving-on issues." Before Meg can try to pry into that, she adds, "But if he's going to get together with anyone, I'm glad it's you."

Meg hugs her. That feels incredibly weird. She's never had friends who hug. She thinks maybe she likes it. Maybe.

She doesn't see Logan again until after school. He's stalking through the parking lot, and all the other students give him a wide berth while whispering to each other. Schadenfreude rears its ugly head, and she's kinda glad to see him getting a taste of his own ostracism medicine. Yeah, she can be petty sometimes, despite all she's learned about him in the past week.

When she gets to her own car, her keys fall to the pavement. She crouches down to get them, then glances up to find Logan staring at her from twenty feet away. Her heart skips; he's either going to totally ignore her or start yelling. She knows a good defense mechanism when she sees one.

Except he surprises her. Again. All he does is look at her, his face neutral. No glares, no smiles. His hand twitches as if he's going to wave at her, but then he turns and walks away.

Typical Logan. That's a good sign, right?

But her heart's as heavy as her foot on the gas pedal as she speeds out of the parking lot, on her way to the office to figure out how to sort out this messy life.


+++++

(To be continued)

Tags: , , ,
Current Mood: energetic energetic
Current Music: Blur - "Out of Time"

19CommentReplyShare

mswyrr
mswyrr
mswyrr
Tuesday, March 1st, 2005 10:33 pm (UTC)

Just as I was starting to miss new VM eps like crazy, you post this fic. Wow. You've really captured the tone of the series here. Your Veronica voice is so spot-on; your turns of phrase sound very authentic. They've got that kickass combination of funny, haunting and perceptive. Your use of Logan also felt very close to the way he's been handled on the show. Nice, subtle choices there. I liked the way you eluded to the similarities of their situations. The way you set-up the ring-tone line was perfect. I thought it was funny at first, and then later... the second reference to it actually made me shudder. Your interpretation of the Barstow events worked for me as well.

Anyway, thanks so much for writing and posting! Your work is much appreciated. I look forward to seeing the continuation. :)


ReplyThread
wisteria_
wisteria_
wisteria
Saturday, March 5th, 2005 07:54 pm (UTC)

Thank you! Getting into Veronica's head is really fascinating -- the voice-overs tell a lot, but she's still quite a mystery. I'm also glad that you caught the ringtone bit, since I worried it was too subtle. ;) I hope you enjoy the rest, and thanks for the feedback!


ReplyThread Parent
orion_d13
orion_d13
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2005 12:07 am (UTC)

Great start to this fic. Anxious to read more, as this beginning is well written and so well characterized. Veronica is Veronica and Logan is Logan, and what is said and done could be done on the show 100%. The above comment said it so much better than I, but word yo.

I also love that someone is exploring the platonic side to a Logan and Veronica pairing. I love V/L romantic fics, but for me, like the show, it's too soon for anything serious. I want the tension, the slow dance of acceptance, of forgiveness, the shared pain and the loss of a loved one bonding these two together into becoming something more that what they currently are. These two, with so much in common and with so differing yet similar personalities, are almost being written to be with one another. God I love this show.


ReplyThread
wisteria_
wisteria_
wisteria
Saturday, March 5th, 2005 07:57 pm (UTC)

Thank you! It's really great to hear that you find the voices so authentic, considering this is my first VM fic. And I'm glad you like the platonic nature of this story -- I'm not a huge V/L shipper, but I do love the pairing. That said, right now I'm more interested in exploring their awkward, tense dynamic than I am in portraying them as a romantic and/or sexual couple. Of course, that will probably change really soon. ;)


ReplyThread Parent
snoopypez
snoopypez
Jimmy Petstore
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2005 02:25 am (UTC)

I was so excited to see you had written a VMars fic! You're one of my favourite Buffy/Angel writers. Yay.

Honestly, reading this was like hearing a VMVO the whole time, though I somehow doubt Veronica would refer to herself in the third person. ;P

Everything is so spot on. I can't wait for the rest, and I utterly adore that this is just platonic. Again, yay. :)


ReplyThread
wisteria_
wisteria_
wisteria
Saturday, March 5th, 2005 07:57 pm (UTC)

Ooh, thank you! I'm so glad that you saw it as similar to one of the VMVO's -- that's what I'd wanted to achieve. :)


ReplyThread Parent
bluerosefairy
bluerosefairy
apple juice, man, fucking delicious!
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2005 09:38 am (UTC)

Oh, I just love this. It's so tense, and the push-pull dynamic of Logan and Veronica comes off so well. I love how you explored Veronica's slight paranoia after seeing her mom and Clarence Wiedman in Barstow, and that she's never had friends who hug. That actually surprised me. I figured Lilly for the touchy-feely type who gave really good and strong hugs because it would tick off Celeste. But that's just my opinion.

This was wonderful. Waiting for the next part!


ReplyThread
wisteria_
wisteria_
wisteria
Saturday, March 5th, 2005 08:01 pm (UTC)

Thanks! I worried that the Barstow scene was out-of-place in what is, essentially, a Veronica-and-Logan fic, but I thought it was important to show where her mindset is right now. Good point about Lilly and hugging -- you're probably right that she would've. But I think Meg is more sincere in her shows of friendship (not to say that Lilly and Veronica weren't true friends), and that would make an impact on Veronica.

Thanks again, and I hope you enjoy the rest!


ReplyThread Parent
rashaka
rashaka
Rashka the Demon (wolf in the cave)
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2005 12:56 pm (UTC)

Damn, you're gonna convert me to veronica/logan, just when I was getting all crushy on Officer Lee-Oh-So-Fine.


ReplyThread
mswyrr
mswyrr
mswyrr
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2005 01:29 pm (UTC)

Hey, Rashaka! I was just writing an email in which I recommended this fic to you, only to end up re-reading it for the third time, and then glancing at the comments... Heh.


ReplyThread Parent
rashaka
rashaka
Rashka the Demon (wolf in the cave)
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2005 01:32 pm (UTC)

Well, if you have any other recs, keep writing that email. :)

I can see rereading it. I read it twice.


ReplyThread Parent
wisteria_
wisteria_
wisteria
Saturday, March 5th, 2005 08:02 pm (UTC)

Ha! Thanks, rashaka. I have plans to write a bit of Leo fic in the future. ;)


ReplyThread Parent
rashaka
rashaka
Rashka the Demon (wolf in the cave)
Sunday, March 6th, 2005 01:37 pm (UTC)

Sounds good.


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2005 08:34 pm (UTC)

i really liked it but what else can i expect i have always enjoyed your buffyverse fic. i can't wait to read more.---sarmi


ReplyThread
wisteria_
wisteria_
wisteria
Saturday, March 5th, 2005 08:02 pm (UTC)

Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy the rest. :)


ReplyThread Parent
witchytara
witchytara
Katie, Called Tara
Friday, March 4th, 2005 10:19 pm (UTC)

This is really good. I can't wait for the next installment.


ReplyThread
wisteria_
wisteria_
wisteria
Saturday, March 5th, 2005 08:03 pm (UTC)

Thank you!


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Wednesday, March 9th, 2005 09:50 pm (UTC)
Good Job

Your stuff is good. I have been writing FanFic for a good 7 months now (non-VM, of course) and I must say, I cannot seem to capture the VM/Logan dynamic. Hope to see more of your posting!
~season4.5


ReplyThread

(Anonymous)
Monday, April 11th, 2005 11:48 pm (UTC)
very cool

As another poster said, you caught the right voice for the show. There's a truce, but it isn't too sweet. And I loved that Keith moment. I hope you write more and often.


ReplyThread