She's wearing a white dress and she almost seems to glow.

She looks all innocent and ethereal and who the fuck is she kidding?

Colored lights splash over her as she makes her way further inside, and now, now she looks like stained glass.

You think she's making it so easy to break her it's practically an invitation.

When she passes by you you laugh out loud, nearly spitting beer all over your shirt.

It is so beyond ridiculous that she is here. So completely wrong and annoying, like trying to shove a puzzle piece in that obviously doesn't fit.

Veronica Mars is on the periphery, part of the border.

She's not the picture, not anymore, and you wish she'd just fucking stay where you've put her on the sidelines and out of the way because then you could forget about her. You and Duncan could both forget all about her and her fucking family and just... get through the year. Because maybe after a year it won't hurt so fucking much.

But she keeps doing this.

Showing up.

She sits at a lunch table directly across from you and Duncan. She hasn't changed her routes to class, hasn't changed her seat in the few you have together to be farther away. She's always within spitting distance.

So you spit.

Words like stones.

Go the fuck away Veronica Mars. No one wants you here. Not anymore.

You know why she's here tonight though. To prove that it doesn't affect her, that she doesn't care what anyone says. You can see it as she passes by you, her head held high, tiny shoulders squared, and you think, You're not fooling anyone.

You know it hurts. You know every day is hell. You've made sure of it.

Duncan ignores her like he did right before Lilly was murdered.

But you.

You do everything you can to make her bleed, to make her cry.

Because it's what she deserves.

She stiffens when you laugh again and you say with faux sincerity to her back, "Nice dress, Ronnie."

You want to martyr yourself, at least you're dressed for it…

You turn back to the makeshift bar as she disappears into the crowd. You lose track of her and her pure-as-the-driven-fucking-snow party dress and after twenty minutes you forget that she is there at all.

Because you're sticking your tongue down some girl's throat, you're putting your hand up her skirt. You're chugging whatever is in your cup because it's always full and waste not want not or whatever and you're swallowing every pill that gets handed to you and you are fucking flying and it feels good because for once, for once you are not thinking about Lilly and how she should be here telling you to stop being a jackass and then kissing you and fucking you until you realize she is the only drug, you don't need any of this if you have her.

But you don't have her. You'll never have her ever again and it's all your fault…

Well, not all your fault. There's someone else. There's someone else you can blame.

You break away from whatsername's mouth to finish the rest of your beer, but she's still twined around you like a fucking vine. The air inside the house is thick and soupy with body heat, with 10 different kinds of smoke, and you're sticking to this girl you've been groping and it's not turning you on anymore, it's making you want to take a shower.

She whines against your neck, sucking kisses and trying to get your hand back where she wants it but you're getting bored because it's boring.

You're good at faking it but you've scanned the room in the three seconds she's let you come up for air, and you can see that no one you care about is around right now. Duncan's nowhere to be seen and you don't have to set a good example for anyone else.

You tell her you'll be right back and you head out to the patio for some air and goddamn it feels good to close your eyes and feel it, the cool breeze sliding over your skin…

And then out of nowhere it hits you, the wave of loneliness that you have been trying to stave off since before Lilly died, when Duncan started acting like a pod person and the only other friend you had told on you, like three seconds of tongue was worth tattling about when Lilly gave as good as she got and you weren't always the one giving it to her even when you weren't broken up.

Sometimes you wanted to pat Veronica on the head and feed her a cookie. You're naiveté was a choice, hers was just…

You shake your head.

Whatever.

She fucking made her choice then, and she sure as shit made it four months ago.

You open your eyes to look for Luke, Sean. You sold what you had to some asshole and you're starting to come down and that's the last thing you want right now, but you get distracted by the lights looking like fireflies strung up around the pool, the paper stars like the inside of a kaleidoscope. That floating feeling, what's left of your high, makes them hover, makes them sit in the air like magic and it's really fucking pretty so you smile.

And then right before your eyes those points of light strung on strings start to bleed and drip. The stars morph into something rotten, something dead, bloated, and your stomach starts to heave, your heartbeat in your ears pounding away like a jackhammer.

You stumble onto the grass, you drop to your knees and press your face into it because it's cool like the wind was cool before you started thinking about Veronica and you got distracted, you got angry.

Your shoulders sink towards the ground, curling you up into yourself like you're waiting for a kick, your knees drawn up under you, up against your chest and you're in the fucking fetal position now, you can't seem to unlock your muscles, you can't seem to make it stop.

You tell yourself you don't need to be protecting any vital organs right now, that the rotting stars and bleeding lights aren't going to kick your ass and that if Dick or anyone sees you like this you are going to be really fucking embarrassed.

So you force yourself to relax, to uncurl, to sit the hell up.

The world zigzags around you when you do and those strings of light drip drip dripping like blood into the pool, spreading like ink in the water are waiting for you, but something is glowing to your right, something white and soft and you go to it you get to your feet and you go to it because it looks safe.

White, white dress…

You stand over her and you think Lilly… long blond hair, black leather cuffs on her slender wrists like a game you'd play.

Tell me when to stop, lover…

Don't stop, don't ever stop…

You sit down beside her, touch her hair, gently softly. You rest your forehead lightly against her cheekbone and you say, "I miss you… I miss you so fucking much… what am I supposed to do…"

And then she moves, she shifts beneath you and her hair falls away and it's not Lilly, it's never Lilly no matter how much you want it to be. It's always Veronica Fucking Mars ruining your high, ruining your life.

Your hand is on the other side of her head, clutching the top of the deck chair she's passed out on for support. You're leaning over her completely, she's all you can see and her eyes are closed, her mouth is open and you whisper into it while the lights bleed behind you, the stars fall to pieces, "I hate you."

Your eyes are burning but you don't cry.

"Duncan needed you."

Your chest is aching but you don't curl in on yourself.

"I needed you. I needed you, Veronica."

Her lashes flicker against her cheeks, heavy and dark with makeup that's trying to make her look tough, like she can handle this.

"Do you hear me? Do you hear me, V'ronica?"

She opens her eyes slowly and then she's looking right into yours. Soft and sleepy she murmurs, "Logan".

She smiles like she doesn't know who you are now, she smiles like everything's okay and your eyes burn and your chest aches because you want it to be, God, that's all you've ever wanted...

But it's not okay and it won't be ever again and you're angry for the way she's looking at you because it means it isn't working, your insults, your taunts. It means she's still going to be there in your line of vision, insistently, stubbornly, undeniably there and forcing you to remember when that was okay, when it was more than okay.

You don't want to remember when you were friends with Veronica Mars.

You want to erase all of it, even Lilly, because remembering… remembering what your life used to be… it's killing you. As crappy as it was most of the time, as little as four freaking months ago you at least had something to hold on to, something that made it all worthwhile. But now… now it's a 24-7 bad time no matter how many parties you go to, how many girls you do.

None of it feels like anything. Sex, drugs, alcohol…

None of it feels like blue eyes and long blond hair and that slow smirky mouth trailing kisses over every inch of your body, kissing your scars without asking about them, without needing to know every little detail of how they got there, just knowing that this, that being touched so softly by someone who knows is almost enough to make up for them.

"Logan…"

You're staring at her mouth and she's still looking up at you soft and glowing and you move towards it, you feel her breath in your mouth, the whisper of her lips against yours...

You tear yourself away from her so fast you almost fall off the deck chair and then all of a sudden Dick is there with a bottle of tequila, shot glasses, limes and salt and a "what do we have here?"

You don't know, you don't know, your insides are swirling with too much booze, too many drugs, a confusing memory of prom night on the beach, too much anger, too much hurt…

And then there are the insides of her wrists, her neck and shoulders damp with swaths of saliva, crystals of salt and you ask Dick for a hit of something, anything, when he turns to you and says "Your turn bro" because you're coming down hard but you laugh when you say, "No, you go, man", you whoop it up as he palms you a vial of GHB because this is who you are now and you don't ever taste her skin but you watch, you watch and even though your fists are clenched at your sides and you're thinking you could seriously kill Dick Casablancas, you stare down at her flickering black eyelashes, the black wrist cuffs and ribbon around her neck, her white, white dress that is a lie and think are you happy now? Are you fucking satisfied?

You take a sliver of lime, your head is starting to clear and you aren't confused anymore, you're a little drunk, a little buzzed, but you know who you are and who she is and what she did and you put the lime in her mouth and you laugh and you think, Fine. I'll be your fucking villain.