Title: defined by a single choice
Author: Jenwin23

Summary: Logan/Veronica, Lilly. She never thought either of their lives would be defined by choices they made at 17.

Disclaimer: I don't own Veronica Mars or the characters. Too bad.

She never thought either of their lives would be defined by choices they made at 17.

Lilly, so full of life and laughter and mischief who lived each day as if it was her last, would always be remembered first for the way she died. Even before the who, the how, and the why of her death was known, Lilly's life from the moment of her death was forever defined by her death. Bludgeoned to death poolside. The bits of importance in her life, her family, her loved ones were only made her death more memorable. Billionaire heiress bludgeoned to death poolside. Murdered heiress was girlfriend of Logan Echolls.

Once Veronica and her father's investigation revealed the whole and daunting truth of Aaron and Lilly's affair, the sex tapes, and the quick act of violence that took her life with complete disregard for her zest for living added more spice to the salacious story and sealed her fate—always to be remembered for how she died. Billionaire heiress bludgeoned to death poolside by two time Oscar winning actor following illicit affair.

The fact that Aaron was old enough to be Lilly's father and that he was, in fact, the father of her on and off again boyfriend and best friend of her brother added the final ingredient to a perfect gossip bit, and ordained the story to be recycled in pop culture for many years to come. Billionaire heiress bludgeoned to death poolside by two time Oscar winning actor, and father of her boyfriend, following illicit affair.

Those closest to Lilly in life may have been able to remember her life more than her death if any of those factors had not been present, but as things were, thoughts of Lilly happy and laughing were quickly followed by images of her dead body, bloody hair, and smug face smiling into a hidden camera.

Knowing that Lilly was defined by her death almost from the moment of her death, never gave Veronica pause that her life might also be defined by an act made in haste and distrust when she was just 17 years old. No, back then if Veronica had thought of it at all, she would have thought her life would be defined by Lilly's death. And in a way it was.

The changes the rippled out following Lilly's death, destroying Veronica's life and her ability to trust others, led her to make the decision that ended up defining her life. When Beaver, Cassidy, told her that Logan had returned home early from Mexico, she hadn't immediately run to Lamb to turn him in. But her distrust ate at her and soon enough she was sharing the information and sending Logan into the lion's den. She hoped rather than believed that he might be innocent. But hope is for fools who can't face the truth, and Veronica Mars was all about the truth.

She and Logan had managed have a relationship after all the various revelations that night and the ones that followed. For three months that summer, and then again the following summer and the first semester of their freshman year at college they had managed to get together before breaking up. Despite the on and off again nature of their relationship, Veronica thought in the back of her head that they might just make it. She was never sure if that was a good thing or not.

But they didn't. They couldn't. The damage done by his taunting and torture of her for the year after Lilly's death and her act of betrayal upon learning that he was, in fact, a viable suspect for Lilly's murder, never left them. Time and time again her mistrust and his inability to reign in the instinct to hurt her whenever he was hurting caused them to breakup.

No matter how many times they got together—more because they couldn't seem to stay apart for long than any real belief that this time it would work—she could never trust him to not turn on her or himself, and he could never trust her to accept him and not to act as judge and jury for his mistakes (mistakes in her eyes at least).

So many years later following yet another breakup that sent Logan winging across the country and diving into a bottle, and drove Veronica to throw herself into work, hoping to dissolve the tightly coiled ball of anger and pain that seemed to fill her entire heart, she stumbled across a single truth.

Just as Lilly had been defined by a decision she had made at 17, so was Veronica. She was only 17 when she chose to believe the worst in Logan. Only 17 when she chose to turn him in rather than ask him to explain. Only 17 when she destroyed their chance at happiness. Her decision that day could never be erased, not forgiven or forgotten. It simply sat there in the recesses of their minds and poisoned every decision and feeling they had for each other.

If she had truly forgiven Logan for his behavior the previous year, she never would have believed him capable of hurting Lilly, let alone killing her in cold blood. She couldn't let it go, and she couldn't trust him. Or anyone, really.

One decision. Followed by so many others—but that was the one.

They could never be truly happy together. Both waited, waited and expected with the anticipation borne of certainty, that the other shoe would drop and split them up again. She'd leave in a rage, or he would leave silently and she would arrive home to find him gone. Gone from each other's lives. Again. But never for long, because as much as they despised themselves for the weakness, they couldn't stay apart for much longer than they seemed to stay together.

Couldn't stay apart and couldn't stay together, and neither could capture more than brief moments of happiness. Sometimes being apart, once the fresh waves of grief and anger had dissipated, they might know a few moments, days, or even weeks of peace brought about by the absence of the overwhelming emotion that swept over each when they were together. But the peace never lasted, and the absence would begin a slow or quick build up of need demanding that one contact the other. A call, a letter, an email. Even a quick text message was enough to bring back the rush of emotion which commanded them to find their way back together. Again.

But quickly enough regardless of their best efforts and promises, the old problems would resurface. And they would break apart again. Splitting their lives and souls to different locations, leaving more behind with the other each time. It had happened so many times over the years that they were weary of it, but remained in ignorance of how to change it. Unable to change themselves, each other, or the inevitable.

Because behind every problem was her inability to trust and his inability to believe that she might trust.

Two girls, two decisions. Neither had thought their lives would be defined by choices each made when they were 17.

AN: This is my first fic ever. It just came spilling out one day. I didn't post it until I was three chapters into another fic though.