|Hope's Not Enough Anymore
Author: Hider PM
The smell of orange Lysol haunts you most days, telling you you're Veronica Mars and that nothing can go your way...Rated: Fiction M - English - Tragedy/Angst - Words: 3,840 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 1 - Published: 10-13-05 - id: 2617507
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: Hope's Not Enough Anymore
A/N: This is very very angsty so if you're looking for fluff, this probably isn't the story for you. Some past readers said they wished they would have known that, so this is just a friendly warning :)
Losing so many loved ones in such a short span of time can cause a person to become some what obsessed with death.
When you deal with it every day, it becomes less sacred somehow. You're no longer respectful of the people that had their lives stolen- or had willingly given them up- and it becomes less about sorrow and more about anger. Because it's anger you feel when you lay in your empty bed at night and try to pull the covers tight around you, trying to feel safe and secure again. You know its a hopeless battle- its been years since you felt safe- but you try just the same.
At first you think its the loneliness and unanswered questions that keep you awake at night- letting you lie hopeless and vulnerable under thin sheets- but as more and more of those nights passed, you think its something less complex. It's anger, pure and simple. Anger for them. Anger for the way they left you behind.
He had dealt with as much death as you had, he knew how painful it was. He had left you broken, and after that you thought it was impossible to shatter anymore, you were wrong.
His was only the fourth death you cried over.
Lily was the first of course, her life taken at sixteen with one simple and fatal swoop of an ashtray.
One swoop was the catalyst that started everything.
A year after Lily's death, you thought you were hardened. As you look back on it now, you roll your eyes at your former self. You hate yourself for not seeing what was right in front of your eyes forever, for constantly choosing to keeping love and trusting. The Veronica that cut her hair was really no different from the one in the white dress. She wasn't really broken, not really. She was just slightly chipped in one corner when it came down to it, and just had sarcasm and bitterness made into a mask to cover her quick mouth.
You wish you could talk to that girl. You don't know what you would say, but it doesn't stop you from hoping. Maybe you would warn her of all the things to come, tell her to lock her heart once and for all to avoid the pain. Maybe you would curse and yell and tell her she was being naive in thinking that vindication stopped the pain. Because it didn't.
A year after seeing your best friends blood, you held a sobbing boy in your arms in the lobby of the Neptune Grand.
It was a death that caused the sobbing, and the two of you would be in the same situation for many years to come. That time it was Lynn's death and the lobby of the Grand, the next time it was over his bastard of a father in your cramped apartment, over him again in a corner outside of the courtroom a year later.
It wasn't always you holding him. You took turns. You called it even.
You didn't hold him the day his father finally died. The two of you stood with feet between you behind inches of thick glass. You watched the needle slip into the vein and the eyes start to close. You looked at him at that moment and didn't see what you expected, but you knew you're face matched his. There was none of the satisfaction and closure that you both had hoped for, and definitely not pity or sadness.
Aaron Echolls was a man who had an affair with his sons sixteen year old girlfriend and brutally killed her. He drove his own wife to kill herself and caused scars that would outlast him in more years than he would ever know. The remaining Kane's suffered for years to come, and were never the same, who would be. Jake and Celeste paid the price of ten years wasted behind steel bars, and one paid with their life. Keith still had scars that burned when the sun hit them too much. You still woke up screaming in a cold sweat, sure that the night terrors were right, that you were back in the fridge dying before your dad could get to you.
His own son carried so much of both emotional and physical scarring that it was too much for any amount of alcohol or therapy to heal. In the eight months that he waited for his own daughters birth, he woke up with nightmares constantly. The terrors haunted him nearly every night during those months- no matter how many sleeping pills or drinks he had- and the doubt would slowly creep into the next day with him. You knew his biggest fear was that everyone might have been right all along, maybe he was more like his father than he hoped.
So that day when you looked at him, you understood without saying a word. So much, of everything- the word pain didn't seem to cover it anymore. All of that yet he died a quick and painless death. One shot that merely sent him to a soft never ending sleep. It didn't seem fair to any of them.
The two of you spent years in each others arms, off and on but years just the same- trying to seek comfort you knew would never come. Dark nights underneath the covers, early mornings that brought up buried memories with the rising sun, the setting was always different but the scene always the same.
After his death you tried holding yourself under the covers, your arms wrapped tightly around your waist, burying your face in his old pillow instead of the chest that belonged there.
You hated yourself for it. You hated him too, but yourself more. Because the absence of his arms was too much to bear most nights, so much that you just wanted to end it all, but you couldn't. If you did then you would be no better than the people that had always left you behind. So you tried to substitute his hard chest for his soft pillow but the smell of him always made you cry. You cried more than you slept and it eventually got worse, not better. Because the more you cried the more the pillow smelled of salty tears and less of his cologne and shampoo with a hint of soap. It got to a point where all you wanted to do was smell him again. Just one whiff so you could remember. The smell had become fainter and fainter and so many months had passed you couldn't even remember it anymore.
So you tried desperately to grasp it, no matter how many times it slipped through your fingers. You tried turning the pillow over or smelling the sheets you didn't wash. You tried hiding in the closet, balled up in the corner with his old t shirts. The couch, the den, his study. None of it smelled anymore and you hate herself for being the neat freak that you were. The smell of orange Lysol haunted you most days, taunting you, telling you that you were Veronica Mars, the girl who could never have what she wanted.
You know you can never fall in love again. It just isn't possible. Logan had always been spiteful but he was more so in death. His image stayed with you and you tried to forget but you just couldn't. The thought of healing and losing him forever seemed more frightening to you then the pain you already felt, because moving on meant he was really gone and you just weren't ready to accept it.
Still you try to remember all the times that he hurt you, try to remember all the harsh words he spoke, but you just can't. The only things you can remember are all the good things and you think that he would hate that. The two of you always mocked how shitty people were glorified after death, like dying meant they were respectable. You both loved Lily but she was anything but pure- a fact that came to be even more true as more secrets were uncovered for years after her death. He wouldn't want to be glorified. He would want the truth, good and bad. But the truth was that you had loved him so much that the word love didn't seem to cover it anymore and it was that same love that blocked out all the bad stuff.
So when you closed your eyes, you always saw the same happy slide show that made you cry all the harder. Him swinging your daughter around where she was just a blur of blond curls. Him kissing her forehead and taking her to her first day of preschool. You remember when the two of you stood against the fence and watched her run around the playground. You remember the look of pure horror on his face when he saw his little girl chasing boys and he turned to you and said "This is your fault, it's your genes." He went on to make a completely serious comment about needing to call Keith about borrowing a shot gun. You laughed and he looked at you like it was totally not funny and he was totally serious. You rolled your eyes and dragged him by the arm as he protested.
As the sideshow continues you just cry all the harder, knowing that no matter how many times you blink or open your eyes, the next slide will still be there on the other side, waiting for her them to close so the show can continue.
He wouldn't let you name her Lynn, he outright refused. He said that she was yours and that nobody else could have her. He said his little girl wouldn't be branded with the pain of the past, because she wouldn't know what pain was. You try to tell him that he won't be able to protect her for forever. He tells you "watch me" and leaves the hospital room for coffee, coming back with two cups and a book of girl names. He shoots down half of them, in an attitude that brushes them off because they're not good enough for his little girl. You find it charming in his own way but it quickly gets frustrating by the time you make it all the way through the J's and K's. Eventually you're exhaustion takes over and your remind him that you just suffered through ten hours of labor before telling him you're opening it, pointing to a name and that it's it- unless of course it's hideous, tacky, hard to pronounce, too long, or Lianne or Trina. You picked a name and it seems like a perfect movie style moment- that was back when fate didn't hate you so much- you loved it instantly but were surprised when he didn't put up a fight after his pain of the past speech.
Lily's birthdays became a joke between them after a while.
On her first birthday, he tried to bake a cake and about blew up the house.
On her second, he fell down the stairs and broke his leg.
One her third, he locked the keys in the car and they were late to their own party.
On her fourth, he had gotten stuck in a play slide at Chucky Cheese.
On her fifth, he swerved to miss a kid in the road and slammed into a telephone pole, killing them both instantly.
The guy that was a lot of your firsts- kiss, breakup, heartbreak, and a lot others- tried to hold you together after you lost your husband and daughter. He did all he could but you can't feel a hole that's bigger than the dirt you have to cover it with.
Over the years, his and Logan's friendship had become increasingly rockier. You continued to talk to him a couple times a month, but their unspoken arguments eventually caused a void to where they were one step away from enemies. The only time they talked was if Logan picked up his call to you and then only until you could get to the phone. When they were forced in the same room, it was polite small talk made up of only simple questions that left no hidden meaning.
After Logan died, you stayed friends with him. The friends you'd made since high school were a select few and even they seemed to slip away after everything. Besides Duncan and your step brother- Wallace actually was your brotha' now- the only people you kept in touch with were Mac and Weevil.
He became like a brother to you- nothing more- and he was a lot of support over the year that followed.
You should have seen it coming. You were Veronica Mars after all. Good things weren't allowed to stick around you for long.
Just like the only comfort you had gotten in knowing you weren't alone- Duncan had always felt guilty about never patching things up- was gone in a snap of the fingers.
Or in his case one night alone on the couch.
Since high school, his seizures hadn't caused him much trouble and as far as you knew he'd only had a couple in the past few years, and moderate at that.
You don't know what sent him over the edge. You never will.
You tried thinking about it but, like always in the years after you solved your final big case- Lily's-, you never came up with any answers. Eventually you stopped trying.
After he stood you up for your usual movie night- which he never did- and didn't return two days of phone calls, you showed up at his place and used the key he had given you for emergencies. You expected to sit there until he got home and then give him a playful lecture about scaring you to death. You imagined the scene in your mind. The irony just made it hurt worse.
You found him on the floor, shattered glass and blood around him. The TV was smashed. The glass coffee table had been broken by throwing a stereo threw it.
Suddenly, you were shattered again. You didn't think the pieces could brake any smaller, but you were wrong. It was like Logan and your daughter's death had caused you to shatter and the past year someone had been trying to sweep them up into a neat little pile, only to step on them to see them crumble some more. It was like fate was waiting for you to grow into a routine that was as comfortable as you were gonna get, so it could fool you into thinking you were finally safe, only to prove it was still the one in charge.
Two more funerals followed Duncan's and eventually you wondered why you even bothered to wear anything but black anymore. You were always in mourning, and the second you tried to wear another color, life would strike you back down and turn you around by the shoulders to point you right back to where you started, in black.
The thing that hurt the most was the way they all happened.
The therapist and counselors over the years had been wrong. You always knew they were but hated it just the same. They all said searching for answers in Lily's death wouldn't numb the pain and make it go away, just draw it out. Everyone tried to force closure on you, forget if you wanted it or not.
Lily's murder left lots of questions that needed answers and you could feel okay for a while if you had a truth to focus on. With everyone else in your life, there were was no vindication or resolving needed. All their deaths were perfectly filled out forms with no room for question, a pretty package tied up with a nice bow and delivered on a silver platter.
You knew you were right all along, but you wished you hadn't been.
An accidental death with no purpose or motive left you feeling worse. After Lily, you felt alone and angry at the people who stole her from you and stole her life from right out under her. Everyone else just made you feel weak, and fragile, and breakable, and every other God damn adjective that means hopeless and desperate.
They were all out of your control and their deaths benefited no one, just let more broken people behind that nobody bothered to clean up.
The mother you think you may of hated was killed a couple months after Duncan. She was killed by a drunk driver coming back from yet another go at rehab. The irony was lost on no one.
Your name was written on the back of an school picture they found in her pocket. She didn't have any ID on her, much less a license.
They tracked you down and called you in to identify the body. You block out most of the experience, it was painful but not to much compared to everything else. The woman that laid dead in front of you had hurt you more than she loved you.
So every night you lay curled up in your big empty bed and pretend you can feel his arms around you. You pretend you can still hear your daughter peacefully sleeping across the hall- even though you couldn't even hear it when she actually in there- and pretend that you'll actually get a good nights sleep.
You carry on the charade because it's the only small hope at comfort you have. So you lie to yourself some more. You make imaginary grocery and errand lists in your head and tell yourself that those are your biggest worries, like your playing the part of who you used to be.
You plan out your "next day" in your head and remind yourself to call your Dad about your trip home for Christmas. Add Weevils name to the call list, because you promised you would do him a favor and you finally got him the intel he asked for. You don't bother to add "finish tracking down mom to the list" because you still hate her and know exactly where she is.
Despite your wishes, you wake up every morning and make it all day without being the victim of any random acts of violence or fate. You give a loud sigh and mumble "maybe tomorrow" when you unlock the one lock on your New York City apartment in the bad side of town- you're not worried. You go straight to the cabinet and pull out one of the many bottles that took up residence on yours shelves and settle into your couch that no longer smells of your husband or little girl that left you years ago. The pictures in the photo album stare back at you and you focus so hard you can almost believe its real.
All you have is hope. You've stopped trying to look to other people, you'll only hurt them in the end, and be broken again.
So you stick to your hope, even though you know its hopeless, but you're pathetic like that now.
You hope that maybe one day you'll wake up with a start and Logan will rub your back and tell you this whole thing is just a night terror and your little girl will stumble in and see what's going on that made mommy scream.
You hope that maybe one day fate will finally you give a chance or at least a reason for all of it.
Most of all you hope that fate will just kill you already, fuck the slow and painful death. You've been slowly dying for the past twelve years, ever since you saw your first dead body.
The last thing you look at before you fall into something no normal person would call sleep, you look at the list. You wrote down all the names one night when you're drunk. A silent death list that didn't even really hurt to much to look at anymore. Pain was so typical now days. You were surprised you noticed it at all anymore.
It's just a simple list on notebook paper, written in your drunken scrawl. Filled with names of people you loved, some you may have, and people think you may have hated- a couple that you know you did- but plain names just the same. It was weird how two words stood for so much.
Lily Kane, murdered at sixteen by Aaron Echolls.
Lynn Echolls, committed suicide by jumping off a bridge during her sons junior year.
Aaron Echolls, killed by a lethal injection that wasn't nearly painful enough.
Logan and Lily Echolls, killed in a motor accident at the ages 26 and 5.
Duncan Kane, died in a fit of rage caused by his epilepsy at the age of 28.
Lianne Mars, killed by a drunk driver on the way home from rehab.
Jake Kane, killed in prison a month before his ten year sentence was to end.
Weevil Navarro, killed with three bullets outside the Neptune courthouse by someone he prosecuted as a DA.
Keith Mars, died in the hospital from a heart attack.
The list would never be long enough to sustain fate or whatever the fuck was putting you through your hell.
Metal is cold underneath fingertips at night. It's hard and unforgiving. You think it's ironic that you thought of it has unforgiving.
You fists close around the edges of the paper until their crumbled and then before you know it you're scribbling on it in more drunken scrawl and when you're satisfied you drop it to the ground and move on.
Suddenly theres another catalyst, a pull that moved a piece of metal a fraction of an inch.
You didn't think anymore. You didn't feel anymore. You didn't hope anymore.
Veronica Mars, committed suicide in her apartment after twelve years of losing people she loved...
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