A/N: First Vmars fanfic. Title and lyrics taken from Kelly De Martino's song, "Radar". Hope you guys don't mind that it's VIZ and not LoVe. Although I am a LoVe fan myself, I'm partial to Piz and would like to see more fics written about him. Cue the tomatoes...


You're Barely On My Radar
By: Modern-English

Veronica let her fingers trail over the box full of flat, cardboard containers that held several vinyl discs. She didn't know what she was looking for, really. So, she let the tips of her fingers skim the tops of the vinyl covers, sometimes pulling one up to read a name or title that she'd forget in the next moment. She couldn't feel her crossed legs anymore. She must have been waiting for him for over an hour now, sitting on the floor with his music. Looking around the empty and dimly lit radio station, she let out a slow sigh, pulling out another vinyl cover. This time she took an extra minute to read.

She pulled herself up with shaky legs to cross the room adorned with posters and pictures of bands and DJs of previous years and of the present while she drummed her fingers against the black vinyl cover she still held in her hands. She left the cover on top of a nearby player to look at some of the posted pictures on the bulletin board.

"I'm over there." Piz entered the quiet room with a bright voice that almost startled Veronica. "See, by Trish and Merc--err..."

He crossed the room to stand next her, ripping the picture from the bulletin board. Quickly crumpling the photo without hesitation, Piz grinned after trashing it.

"It's fine, Piz." Veronica said, shrugging.

"Ah, but, that's what I love about photos. If at any point they bring up bad memories, they're conveniently disposable." Piz told her, trying to keep his smile from wearing.

"Really, it's okay. Anyways, It's getting late." Veronica said, massaging the back of her neck. "I'm sorry about this, but I knew I could count on you to do this for me and on such late notice."

"I'm happy to help. 'Tis the season, right?" Piz replied with his bright voice again.

Veronica would never readily admit it, but she secretly envied people with bright smiles and voices like his. Mentally shrugging this thought away, she asked, "Is Bob Dylan still stashed away for safe keeping?"

"Trish wouldn't sell it to me at first, but I told her that it was for you and I---I told her that I needed it so that I--Well, long story short is that it's yours." Piz replied, fumbling over his words.

Veronica covered a small yawn, nodding. "I've been scouring all over town to find a decent vinyl that has It's All Over, Baby Blue."

"I didn't know you were a fan." Piz said.

"It's for my dad." Veronica said. "He's going to throw the Nat King Cole out and put Bob on repeat until spring once I give it to him."

Piz watched Veronica laugh at the thought of this, grinning at how soft she sounded. She rarely broke out into laughter these days, Piz thought to himself.

"So..." Veronica said, staring expectantly up at Piz.

"Yeah." Piz's grin stayed, growing lazy and wider.

"The record?" Veronica smirked.

"Oh. Right." Piz chuckled briefly before clearing his throat.

Rummaging through the messenger bag he had slung around his shoulder, Piz withdrew a white vinyl cover out of one of his bag's compartments and handed it to Veronica. She sighed in relief and thanked him.

"So, how much do I owe you?" Veronica asked, pulling out her wallet.

Piz shook his head. "It's on me."

"Piz--"

"Seriously, take it." Piz insisted. "It's Christmas. I'm not going to charge you."

"Thanks again, you're a life saver." Veronica said, giving it the once over before stuffing it into her own bag.

While collecting a few things into his bag at a nearby desk, he knocked over a black vinyl cover off of the station's old record player.

"Hey, you listen to De Martino?" Piz asked, stopping Veronica from leaving.

"I--uh--Well, no. While I was waiting for you, I was looking through some of the records you guys had lying around. Sorry I--" Veronica started sheepishly.

"I've been meaning to make a new playlist for my next shift. If you want to stay, I could play it for you." Piz offered

Veronica could feel another yawn trying to escape her and couldn't understand how Piz looked so peppy this late into the night. Without really thinking about the morning classes she would be attending the next day, Veronica stepped back into the side room of the station and pocketed her car keys.

"Do you always stay up this late to make your playlists?" Veronica wondered.

Piz chuckled. "No. Trish lent me her keys to the station and you know, you're not the only one with pulls around Neptune."

Veronica raised a skeptical brow.

"Okay." Piz rolled his eyes. "I know one of the janitors that cleans the cafeteria, because sometimes I forget homework in the station. That's why I told you to stay even after lights out and that's why no one booted you out of the station after everyone closed up for the day."

Veronica shook her head. "I wonder how you would fair in an actual interrogation."

"Come here." Piz gestured her towards the record player he plugged in.

Veronica took a seat next to him, listening to the crooning of a woman's lazy, delicate voice. The song would have put her to sleep if it hadn't kept her rapt with its lyrics. She rested her head on her crossed arms on a desk she pulled up to.

You're barely on my radar
But, I still see the scar
You're barely on my radar
But, I still see the scar
Will you always be surrounded not free
Will you always be protected from me

"Story of my life." Veronica mumbled after the song ended.

"Really?" Piz took her out of her reverie. "I wouldn't have pegged you relating to this song at all. It's too...tragic."

"Wallace got you back on the analyzing bandwagon, huh?" Veronica turned her head to face him.

"N-no. Just." Piz looked up as if he were searching for the right words to say on the ceiling before leveling his eyes with hers. "I see you being more...free."

"Free?"

"You're not afraid to say the things on your mind. You're smart and you know it, but you're not obnoxious about it. You stick up for people who can't stick up for themselves, and you don't care what other people think of you. There isn't anyone like you, Veronica." Piz explained while she stared up at him. "You're just...free."

Veronica blinked, staring at him, her face still lying on its side on the desk.

"Free also means that I find myself with all this time in between classes and grueling study hours where I'm at a loss for side projects or a proper social life." Veronica said dejectedly.

"Ah, so goes the way of the high achiever's college life." Piz nodded in understanding.

"The way of the single life." Veronica corrected him, lifting her head up.

Piz thought about her words for a moment and hoped she didn't notice how he had begun taking on his irritating and inescapable habit of staring again. Mentally kicking himself, he averted his gaze as soon as he thought she looked expectant.

"I doubt you'll be single for long." Piz didn't know how that ended up slipping out of his mouth.

"I doubt that nosy, emotionally-distant girls are well accepted with the college boys." Veronica said, shrugging.

"Logan saw something in you, he's in college." Piz said.

Logan. Logan the college boy that broke up with her just a couple of months before. A part of her head was focused on what Piz said and the other part was trying to push away the overwhelming memories that started to surface.

"But, I mean, that was a bad example." Piz regretted. "He--"

"He and I broke up because I am those things and because he's other things too. I mean, I should've something was up when he told me he loved me and all I did was nod like an idiot and say, 'yeah'." Veronica said, scratching at a piece of loose bark on the desk in front of her.

"I'm a mess wrapped up in a mess." Veronica tried to explain herself, feeling oddly comforted by divulging this information to someone she had only gotten to know.

"I think break ups are messy in general." Piz told her.

At that moment, Veronica realized that she didn't fully elaborate on any of her feelings about Logan to anyone and telling someone, even Piz, felt like she was lifting some sort of heaviness off of her.

"Do you think people can change?" Veronica suddenly asked.

Piz scooted his chair closer to hers with a determined look in his eyes.

"If you're thinking of changing, you shouldn't. So you've got baggage. Doesn't everyone have a secret? Doesn't everyone have a past or at least an embarrassing story to tell? You are who you are and that's what makes you...you. You're perfect the way you are." Piz could feel his veins rushing with blood and his heart pumping in his ears at this point. "I mean, I think you're perfect."

Despite the growing weariness Veronica felt, her eyes grew wide. She hadn't expected such an answer. She expected to hear a generic 'sure' or 'if you really want to, you can' reply so that she could have some semblance of hope for herself and Logan. But, with Piz's reply still buzzing in her ears, she realized she could not ignore this admission as she did with the subtle things she noticed from him since they met.

"Piz--"

"Look, I don't want to hear how sweet I am or that I'm a nice guy or how much you respect the friendship or that we can still have a normal relationship even if you don't feel that way. I really don't." Piz interjected, standing now. "I just wanted to say those things because it's a lot to carry around whenever I'm around you."

Veronica stood now too, her hands wringing her bag's strap tightly. She tried to get Piz to look at her instead of his shoe laces. No luck. When he finally caught her eyes, he moved closer to her. He was surprised she didn't move or flinch as he dipped his face towards hers. He had just lightly brushed his lips against hers when Veronica put her palm to his chest, causing his closed eyes to flutter open.

"Sorry." Piz sighed.

"It's okay." She said quietly, staring at her hand still resting on his chest. "I'm just not--"

"Not interested. Got it." Piz nodded and abruptly turned his back on her to find his bag.

"Well I--" Veronica started.

"I know, it's late. I got classes tomorrow too." Piz nodded quickly, pulling out the keys to the station.

"What about your playlist?" Veronica asked.

"Forget it." Piz replied, walking to the door.

Veronica followed him. "Wait. Piz, slow down."

Piz whirled around so fast that he bumped into Veronica. He apologized, holding her arm and quickly releasing it.

"Yeah?" He started to feel a little light-headed.

"Thanks again. My dad is going to love his gift. Really, thanks." Veronica tried to pull him into a hug but he stretched out his hand, blocking her.

Veronica gave him a funny look as she took his hand and shook it.

"I won't be seeing you after exams or during Christmas because I'll be back home, so I guess greetings are in order." Piz said, grinning a smile that looked strained. "Merry Christmas."

"Merry Christmas." Veronica said, taking her hand back.

After an exchange of farewells outside the building, Veronica watched as Piz walked away and felt her chest inexplicably tighten.

-

"Catch any z's last night?" Mac asked of her drowsy-looking friend who just joined her.

Veronica rubbed her sore eyes. "Not a lot."

"Well, maybe you can now. Piz has been playing nothing but mellow songs since I got here for lunch. People are starting to complain." Mac pointed to the radio station across the cafeteria.

Veronica wouldn't have noticed until Mac mentioned it, but suddenly heard a familiar voice fill the air.

You're barely on my radar
But, I still see the scar
You're barely on my radar
But, I still see the scar
Will you always be surrounded not free
Will you always be protected from me

From across the cafeteria, she saw Piz sitting in the DJ booth. He smiled brightly when he noticed her looking his way. But, she was sure that she saw a fleeting look of sadness before he turned his attention elsewhere and her chest tightened. She wouldn't readily admit it, but she always envied people with bright smiles and bright voices like his.

End.