i've been roaming around always lookin down at all i see.
painted faces fill the places i can't reach.
you know that i could use somebody.

(use somebody, kings of leon)

-

Seventh grade and Veronica is a star.

Weathered cleats and worn knee highs become blurs on the field and she is free. Her aim is horrible so she's learned to not attempt any winning shots anytime soon. But the wind in her face as she dodges and manoeuvres is something amazing and she wants to remember this feeling forever.

She hopes the grass stains never come out.

And for once, the stands hum with chants of GoVeronica!YesVeronica!YouCanDoItVeronica! and it's a miracle that she can even hear that over the solid sound of all the blood rushing to her ears and it's nice, everything is nice and she doesn't want to ever stop and –

The point is, Veronica has always been good at running.

-

All Veronica hears is voices in her head, pity and wrath and accusation tinted in their tones. She's let them down and they've let her down and what's the difference anymore, really? She's given up on taking score.

She turns up the volume and keeps her foot on the gas, the Welcome to Neptune sign a thing of the past.

-

She goes north because all south holds is shot glasses and stolen cars and benders in which she's probably played a bigger part than she'd like to admit.

Neptune holds nothing at all.

This is a rebirth of sorts.

-

There's a part of her, the part that houses doe eyes and wears its heart on its sleeve and never forgets the feel of white cotton, that had wanted to dig in her heels and hide under the bed until the sun came out and home didn't make her chest ache. That part is dead. Sometimes she finds her self seeking it out, like the ghost of a limb that she never imagined parting with.

(That kids? That's called nostalgia.)

Wallace gets phone calls and Logan gets postcards but neither of them get their Veronica back. That Veronica is dead and gone too and she ain't coming back.

Texas is nice.

-

Cheating husbands and petty thieves don't take breaks past the state lines.

Cases arrive on crumpled bills -cash not cheque, we don't want a paper trail, people (not that anyone's looking)- in the form of lipstick stains decorating starch pressed collars and grainy footage of five-fingered fever. (It's almost too easy.)

You see, even when she's running, she's stuck in the same old routine.

-

Time to mix things up.

-

Veronica has an eye for liars.

Slick tongues and Colgate smiles and warm hands: Eddie Ward has these in spades. Oh and really good liars? They have aliases, complete with badges and artificial credentials.

The FBI could care less about jilted lovers who express their scorn in red. They don't drive Impalas either. Her spidey senses are tingling.

Like recognizes like and old dogs don't learn new tricks (read: she smells a mystery).

-

Eddie is Dean Winchester and Dean Winchester is dead.

(Ghosts have never looked so good.)

He has a rap sheet a mile long, tracing him from Tennessee to Missouri to Illinois, fumbling detectives and unsolved mysteries following in his wake.

Later, he'll chuckle "Why, you're just a regular Nancy Drew" and she always did have a soft spot for the Hardy boys.

But now? Now everything fades to black.

-

This is the part of the movie where ominous music plays and the protagonist considers that maybe she should have kept her nose out of this, just this once. (Is it too late to ask for a rewrite?)

Her body isn't hers anymore.

-

Grace periods are a luxury that she's never been afforded. One second it's blood and white lights and Lilly and her father all demanding her attention. She can't breathe.

The next it's Dean and Latin and "are you alright?" and no, she really isn't but it's hard to find the words with iron thick on her tongue.

She doesn't remember much but she remembers this.

-

Cliff notes version:

She almost dies (again).

He plays the hero (again).

They're on the run (again).

-

She's done horrible, horrible things.

Flashing lights of red and blue sent them sneaking off under the cover of the moon and she'll have to tattoo her name onto his passenger seat now because he said there's no going back.

It turns out you can lose your innocence more than once.

Her palms are slick with crimson and it just won't wash off without leaving a stain. (She wonders if housewives have a remedy for this, but she doubts a little baking soda will do the trick.)

Dean drives silently, hands clenched at ten and two. His palms aren't so clean either.

The world is a blur again.

Mama, I'm a fugitive now.

-

He fills her in on tales of demons and ghosts and things that go bump in the night. She skips the stages of denial because the stench of sulfur still imprinted in her lungs is all the proof she needs.

He talks about rituals and there's a pause, "You'll have to learn them too."

The silence that follows speaks volumes. (It almost speaks in tongues if she's being honest.)

-

She's a fast learner.

(Chasing demons ends up being easier than facing her own.)

-

Small time news turns into big time news and Veronica Mars is a household name, newly bloomed on the tongues of the righteous, those with badges held steadfastly over their chests and pistols just like daddy used to own. (Not so secret: she used to want to be just like them; she's been rethinking her career goals lately.)

She listens to them report her sordid past on 20" inch screens, motel bedspreads making her thighs itch.

She's dangerous, all the newscasts say, oh so dangerous.

With salt powder caked under her fingernails and a dagger buried under her pillow, Veronica can't help but agree.

-

It's an easy partnership built on old habits and new loyalties. And pie, she can't forget the pie.

Trust is forged in a fortnight because with new cases and old myths, Dean's the only thing she knows is real. She doesn't quite cling to him, but her grip is anything but loose.

He didn't (doesn't, won't) let her die and she's all for reciprocation where it counts. Sometimes she even picks up the cheque- because the good pie? It isn't cheap.

-

She dreams of that night.

Her cheeks were salty and Principal Clemmons had saluted this is only the beginning only hours before. Voices were meant for shouting and guns were meant for shooting and rooftops were meant for jumping.

Her chastity has since long been gone and she can't bring herself to cry for broken animals when the sky is on fire.

She wakes with a gasp.

-

"Come on Mars, let your hair down," Dean taunts. She's heard that bar dives are the best place for that sort of thing so she obliges.

Vodka dances on her tongue and flows into her veins and she thinks of her mother on a night like this.

The shot burns.

She takes another.

When her mouth finds his, she'll pretend it was an accident.

-

They don't talk about it.

They don't talk about a lot of things.

He rests his hand on her knee through Michigan and she lets it stay.

They don't talk about it.

-

"I had a brother once. Sammy. You would've liked him," he says over dinner, his drawl low.

"I had a dad. And a dog, Backup. They would've hated you on site."

Now, now they only have each other and it's almost enough.

fin.