Title: Wings

Author: fickledame

Rating: R

Words: 1707

Characters: Veronica (Veronica/Logan)

Summary: Sometimes Veronica just wishes she could fly away.

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Spoilers: I guess a vague mention of 3.9, but nothing major. Set pre-series and then in the future.

Thanks: Massive thanks to the fabulous moire2, takenwithyou and skk670 for the beta work!

Her shoulder aches as she lies sprawled out on the floor, next to her mother, whose eyes are closed, lips slightly parted. Veronica's hand is outstretched, almost touching Lianne's lips, checking for the gentle, regular puffs of air. Her muscles are moaning in protest at the awkward position, but she doesn't dare move in case next time she checks, she can't feel anything. She can smell the stench of alcohol, familiar and foreign at the same time. She remembers when her mother's breath smelt of sweet peppermint, but the memory is buried in the abyss of her mind, faint but everlasting.

Finally, Lianne's eyes open, and she stares glassily at the ceiling. Veronica realises with a stab of pain her eyes are vacant. It's ironic, really, that Lianne still lives with dead eyes, while Lilly, who had the most alive eyes Veronica had ever seen was rotting in the ground.

She hears the front door click quietly open, as her dad creeps in after a late night shift at work. Veronica jumps up and runs into her bedroom as she hears him approach, unseen by Keith. She peeks out the door as he bends down, muttering an, "Oh, Lianne. What if Veronica finds you like this?" He helps her onto unsteady feet, and leads her towards their bedroom. Veronica climbs back into her bed, pulling the cover up tightly as she waits for her father to quietly come and kiss her goodnight, as he had done every night since she was born.

OOO

Veronica doesn't understand why her mother had drank so much. It isn't like it took her problems away. They'd still be there when she woke up with a pounding headache, and the smell of vomit clinging to her. But as Veronica stares at the vodka bottle in front of her, she knows why. She desperately wants to drink until the world slides away, leaving a swirling ball of nothing. She wants to escape so badly it hurts, even if it's just for a little while. To vanish and pretend she no longer exists. No more Veronica Mars, most hated girl in school.

The vodka looks innocent – clear, like water. She knows it's nothing like water though; it won't slide across her tongue refreshingly, but instead will make her eyes water, and take over her senses. She wonders if the burn of the liquid would make her clean again – purging herself of the lingering filth she could still feel inside. She's slowly reaching forward, her fingers wrapping around the bottle when the phone rings shrilly. She jumps, guiltily shoving it back in the cupboard.

OOO

The pill slips down her throat, aided by a cool glass of water. It doesn't happen instantly, but when the edges of her world begin to blur, she feels calmer. She hides the prescription bottle carefully away from Keith's prying eyes. No need for him to find out his straight-A daughter, who got into Stanford, needs a little help to get her through the day.

Just like her mother.

She hates herself for it, she really does. The weakness, the patheticness of it all. She's been kicked while she was down before, so many times. She doesn't know why she let this one get to her, destroying her slowly until she crumbled and begged for it all to go away.

She can't help but be so incredibly grateful to her little helpers when she sees Logan holding another girl's hand and feels nothing but numbness.

She knows people are worried about her. She can't seem to concentrate on anything anymore, her grades have slipped down a notch and occasionally she finds that in the middle of a conversation she's suddenly staring into space. Her fight just seems to drain her, leaving her drifting through time in a sea of darkness.

OOO

Veronica tries to have a one-night stand. It's college, it's expected, she reasons with herself. She meets him in a bar – he's cute and has a sweet smile. She's completely mortified when she starts to cry half way through. It would have been so much easier if he'd called her a tease and stormed out, slamming the door behind him, but he's understanding, and reassures her it's okay, even though he seems embarrassed. He leaves her to it, telling her he'll call her sometime, even though Veronica's aware he doesn't even have her number. She curls up into a ball, and wishes she still had the pills to slip away from the world and hide for awhile, covering up the scars she'd managed to expose.

OOO

Her grades are getting lower and lower. Wallace is helplessly in love with a girl and he spends all his time with her. Mac and Parker are closer than ever, leaving Veronica feeling isolated and alone. She dates a guy named Ryan, who is one of those 'live life to the full' types, and she hopes he can inject some enjoyment back in hers. She has an argument with Keith one day, and when Ryan offers her an E that night, she takes it, pushing it between her glossy pink lips. A few seconds after she swallows it, blinding fear takes over. What is she thinking? She tries to call Wallace, but the buttons on her phone swim out of focus and suddenly the fear is gone, leaving nothing but joy. She spends the night dancing, lost in her own colourful world, but she crashes back down the next morning with a painful bump, and everything seems darker than ever. Spending the day wrapped-up in her comforter watching South Park re-runs has its merits, but the bleak feeling at the pit of her stomach refuses to go away, and she doesn't know what to do anymore. She just wants to close her eyes and never wake up.

OOO

It's not an easy process. She starts therapy, but refuses to offer anything helpful, and then walks out, slamming the door when the therapist begin to ask prying questions. She goes back again the next week, and manages to last the session. They talk about Stanford. Veronica thinks if she'd just made it there, everything would be okay. The therapist doesn't agree, suggesting that depression could have hit no matter which school she was at, Ivy League or State School, it was all the same at the bare bones. In her next session, she does nothing but cry. Deep, gut wrenching sobs that she feels down to the depths of her bones. Then the fucking therapist has the audacity to say she's had a breakthrough. Veronica just glares at her through watery blue eyes.

OOO

She manages to get her grades back up, although she does it by spending an excessive amount of time locked in her bedroom, working obsessively on schoolwork. Her dad comes back from the office a few times a day to check she's eaten, worried about the weight his daughter has lost. Once she starts achieving the grades she wants, Keith locks all her books and laptop away, saying she can have them back in a week, but she needs a break. She throws a fit, screaming at him that her grades are going to go back down, and she's going to be a failure, just like her mother. Keith is shocked at her reaction, before he calmly points out that Veronica will never be anything like Lianne, because Veronica doesn't run away from her problems. Veronica laughs bitterly as she slams her door shut. She's the epitome of running away.

OOO

Professor Landry offers her the internship at the FBI again. He tells her he's impressed with the effort she's been putting in lately. She accepts. It entails a lot of menial labour, like data-entering and filing, but it gives her a chance to make contacts. One day, her supervisor overhears her talking to another intern about one of the cases the FBI is working on. Veronica idly points out some of the ways she would try and go about solving it. The supervisor doesn't let on that he heard her until her suggestions pan out. He tells her how impressed he is, and offers her a job after she graduates. Veronica doesn't know how well she can play with others, let alone legally, but Keith is so thrilled he invites all her friends around for some Chinese food, and then surprises her with a large bottle of champagne.

OOO

She graduates that summer, and is surprised, but happy to see Logan there, his diploma in his hand. He tells her it's because of her he's even there, and asks her to join him for a drink that night to celebrate. She accepts without hesitation, then spends the rest of the day in turmoil. Is it a date? Two friends happy to be free from education at last? She finally settles on a simple black dress, and is relieved when she opens the door to find him pulling his sleeves down over his hands, and offering her flowers. They take things slowly, this time. Each time they try again, they seem to get better at the whole relationship deal. Veronica thinks maybe one day they'll be perfect, but she loves what they have, and she loves him, and that's all that matters.

OOO

Wallace and Veronica go to Paris for her birthday. It is supposed to be the City of Love, but she's thrilled to be there with her best friend all the same. They look around the usual sights – the Eiffel Tower, the Sacré-Coeur, the Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame. She loves the artists at Montparnasse, but she and Wallace are shocked when two soda purchases nearby come to almost twenty dollars. She sends postcards home to her dad, Mac and Logan, and one to Backup, so he doesn't feel left out. When the plane touches back down in Neptune, the contented feeling she expects to dissipate as she walks across the tarmac stays. Logan and Keith are waiting for them with a welcome home sign, and sheepish expressions as Veronica's eyes slide over the cartoon drawing of a pony in the corner. Veronica laughs, and for the first time since she can remember, it's completely genuine.

OOO

fin

Feedback is cherished.