Author: Regala Electra
Pairing: Veronica/Duncan, Veronica/Logan
Word Count: 1,036
Summary: Veronica’s got a new laptop, new complications, and old glitches to keep her company.
Spoilers: Everything up to One Angry Veronica
Author’s Notes: Character study, second person POV, working out my own VM characterization glitches. Um, I am not departing from other fic ventures, more like, I have been blocked and this is me unblocked, writing Veronica Mars fanfic. Uh, my brain is broken. I don't even I have to warn that this is unbeta'd, do I?
Here’s the kicker.
(Like it’s really a kicker, a punch line to a really good joke, one that makes the whole crowd burst out laughing, and you at the center of it, basking in that singular knowledge that it’s all happening because of you and isn’t it all just marvelous?)
After a while, you can pretty much gloss over anything, even your own personality.
You’ve attempted to rewrite the rewrite (and the rewrite of the rewrite, it's a fucking onion of metaphor, but you're not that meta at the moment) and like so many soon-to-be-disillusioned screenwriters learn, there’s only so many times you can write “I’m sorry/I’m not sorry/why can’t you apologize/why can’t you accept my apology - it was different/it wasn’t different/I’m different/I’m back to who I was meant to be - why do you keep on doing this to us/me/yourself/everyone around you” before the whole process is a waste of time. Then you delete without saving and grumble and decide to go back to the unfinished (okay, it was finished, but you always hated the ending) story and give it another shot.
This time, you’re going to make it work.
And, sitting next to Duncan, you have a moment that would have been the spark, the little flash that made everything different. This is the part where it gets interesting, all you have to do is really do something, something that means more than this new veneer you’ve been hiding under.
But you do nothing. That’s not what the New New Veronica Mars, Version, well, you’re not counting which Version it is, the second you name it, a new one comes along, with all the promises of it being better this time around and twice as many glitches as last time.
The laptop works better than before and you think you’ll have to tell Mac that she might be the fairy godmother of computers, and just as you’re pondering what exactly a cyber fairy wears and if it’ll ever be necessary should you ever have to break into another gamers’ paradise, you remember the nasty rewrite on fairytales. Gifts given in the best of circumstances often had nasty little side effects.
You try to force yourself to remember that you’re not one person up against the world, haven’t you learned this yet? That doesn’t stop you from realizing that even if Mac had put something on your laptop, it’s not like you’ll be able to find it.
You’d feel guilty about thinking about a friend like that, but maybe that was just a corroded Veronica version seeping out of the new updates. No worries, after all, you didn’t do anything about it.
It’s not your problem so long as you don’t care enough to let it matter.
You think it might be a new mantra – Normal isn’t the watchword when you find yourself in the unlikely event of preparing for a custody battle of your boyfriend’s daughter, up against your (former) friend’s psycho family. It’s not your problem, don’t let it matter.
Maybe it won't hurt then, not even a little sting.
Of course it matters. Everything does. Which is why you’ve been doing less and less. You’ve got a sinking feeling that when you uncover why that bus crashed, you’re going to regret it for a long time. But you know if you don’t figure it out, you’re going to hate yourself even more. Yet you’ve been doing next to nothing. Waiting for something to trip you up again, to make you remember that you've changed for the worse - for the worse in this world.
So you go back to that old story that you’ve been putting off, highlight and delete.
Sitting next to Duncan, you turn to him and say, “I’ll help you, but this,” you pause, meaningfully, the weight of an Anglo Saxon caesura between heavy words, and yeah, you were studying for your English test last night, but you need the scholarship even more, especially when you say this, “Duncan, this isn’t working.”
He’ll half-understand you, of course – which is more than he understands you most of the time. He thinks you’re talking about the upcoming legal battle, that his custody case needs to be tinkered, that you are as selfless as you wish you could actually be.
But you’re corrupted now.
Talking around the issue, and when hasn’t this all just been about avoidance – how Duncan can visit and visit and just keep on visiting Meg and never once say what he was doing and deep down, what is this beyond a familiar rekindling of something you wanted so long ago that the words ‘once upon a time’ would have been used only semi-sarcastically?
Upon breaking up with Duncan, leaving his room for the last time as “Duncan’s girlfriend,” you hear an electronic beep. Logan’s standing in the doorway of his room, making a display of stopping a countdown on his watch. He’s not smiling though.
You shake your head at him, but just barely, you’re too tired to even bother.
Yet you know you can’t help yourself. You say it, just before you make it out the door, out of the penthouse and out of one of your glitches (and into another one, a full fledged virus that’s always going to crash your system but you’ll keep on rebooting, thinking it’ll fix the problem), “When were you counting from?”
He might have answered. You slammed the door shut behind you before he’d gotten a single word out.
So it’s another mystery to solve. Doesn’t matter. You’d have to care for it to matter.
(The story, the rewrite of the rewrite of the rewritten jumbled mess, is going to need to be repolished soon. Your hand hovers over the delete button for a long time before you click your cursor over the last sentence, that last bit of complicated dialogue, you never said, after all, how exactly the question was delivered, and start inventing the next line, making a new alteration, it’ll change everything. Maybe you'll get something right this time. Maybe this time, it won't break your heart to be wrong all over again.)
In all honesty? You care too much, but not for lack of trying.