Entitled: Calculation vs. Intuition
Fandom: Veronica Mars
Setting: Shortly after the end of Season 3?
Length: 5,000 words
Disclaimer: I do not own Veronica Mars.
Notes: You know, when I first watched the show, I was hardcore for Logan/Veronica. Years passed. And then there was Dick. But isn't that the ending of most coming-of-age stories?
"Veronica," Dick put a hand on her knee, "I need you to fake-marry me."
"Magic eight ball says no, sorry!" Veronica flipped a page of her textbook, carefully detailing the tiny flowers that grew in the margins of her notes. Dick's hand made a suggestive, groping motion. Veronica set her book down. "Any reason why you're sexually harassing me at—what is it, eight in the morning? Make it a quickie, Dick! Some of us have responsibilities."
"Awesome," Dick agreed, "Can we get fake-married now?"
"Because my answer will have changed in the past ten seconds?" Veronica made her eyes big. Dick shrugged.
"I figured you were holding out for money."
"Why, Dick," Veronica clasped her hands together in mock-earnestness, "You know me so well!"
"I know," Dick said smugly. Veronica rolled her eyes. His hand snuck upwards. She twisted his ear, expression serene. Dick hastily retreated.
"Okay, fine, you're still a psycho bitch. Sorry." He nursed his ear, face screwed up dramatically, lower lip jutting outwards. Veronica promptly returned to her studies. Dick prodded her. "Hey. Hey, Ronnie—"
"Dick!" Veronica's voice snapped along with her patience, "Did you just miss that little hint? The one that I find French grammar more interesting than you!?" she waved her textbook around aggressively, nearly smacking him in the face with it.
"Come on, Veronica!" Dick whined, "I said I'd pay you!"
The library abruptly fell silent. Veronica glared. "Dick," Veronica enunciated carefully, "You keep on forgetting that not all the money in the world would be enough for me to marry breathing scum."
"Right," Dick nodded, "Which is why I'm paying you to fake-marry me."
Veronica threw her hands into the air.
"He's, uh," Piz rested the phone against his shoulder, glanced at Veronica, and attempted to muster some sort of conviction, "There's. Just. Come on, man, don't ask me to help you. I mean. I mean, you can't, um, propose to her. She is my girlfriend. So. That's just. So, um." He broke off when Veronica took pity on him and snatched the phone away.
"Richard," she said darkly, "Stop harassing me, it upsets him."
"Look," Dick said, it was obviously his best salesmen voice, "It's a very nice ring."
Veronica pulled the phone away from her head and stared at it wordlessly. Piz blinked at her. She closed her eyes. "I really hate arguing with stupid people," she muttered.
"Veronica," Dick began excitedly, throwing himself into a chair opposite her and upsetting her lunch tray, "I've got it. I'm blackmailing you into fake-marrying me."
Veronica mauled her salad. "What've you got?"
"What?" Dick made a lunge towards her peach cobbler, which she defended rigorously, stabbing at his hand with her fork.
"Blackmail. It sort of implies that you actually know something?" she paused to snort.
Dick blinked, "Okay. I…haven't thought that far ahead," he paused, narrowing his eyes. "But. But I have known you for like…ten years."
"I mean, there has to be something." He pondered over this, steadily picking off her french-fries. Veronica resisted her urge to brain him with the salt shaker. Judging by the way his mouth sagged, Dick was still deep in thought, "…have I mentioned that I'm paying you?"
"Dick's trying to bribe me into fake-marrying him," Veronica informed Wallace, sitting comfortably on his bed and watching as he was repeatedly shot in the face, cursing into his headset and jiggling his controller violently.
"Sorry, what?" he asked, once the round was over. Veronica raised her eyebrows.
"You know, I'm a fan of when they send out the dogs," she mused, but then got to her feet. "No, never mind. Our girl talk has been ruined by your sudden influx of testosterone."
"So how much money are we talking?"
"Wallace," Veronica enunciated painfully, "That is hardly the point."
Dick changed tactics.
"Veronica," Piz sniffed pathetically, scrunched in the middle of their apartment with his eyes watering, "I'm kind of—it's really sweet of you, I mean. But. My allergies are—um, you know…"
Veronica massaged her temples. "One minute." She requested, fumbling for her cell phone. He picked up on the first ring which, frankly, revealed quite a lot. "Dick," she said sternly, "I don't even like roses."
There was a scuffle and a bang, "What roses?" Dick asked.
Veronica went in search of her lighter fluid.
"Veronica," Wallace greeted, the second she had opened the door, "So I'm guessing Dick's still bribing you to marry him?"
"Fake-marry," Veronica corrected, and fell to his side, grinding her teeth and shredding her new teddy bear with gusto, "What's the most violent game you've got?"
"Veronica," Wallace adopted a saintly expression, "I will not condone your unscrupulous urges."
Veronica snarled. Wallace handed over the controller.
"…So, have we gotten a number yet?"
"Sorry. Duck and shoot! No—damn it! Veronica, stop wasting the grenades!"
There was never a sound more vile than a phone ringing at four in the morning. Veronica snatched at it, grabbed and dropped it, picked it up again, only realizing that she had smashed poor Piz into the mattress in her haste to silence the awful thing. He moaned a little. She shushed him, pressed the receiver to her ear.
"Don't hang up."
Veronica hung up.
"Veronica," Piz slurred, "Should I like. Like. What was the idiom I was going for? Kick him to the curb. Should I kick him to the curb?"
"Oh Piz," Veronica cast her eyes up to the heavens, "Please don't."
"Kay," he agreed, and went back to bed just as Dick called back.
"What the hell," Dick informed her, but apparently didn't expect an answer, "Veronica. I had an epitome."
"Whatever. You and me—we're both, you know, we're both blond. And hot."
During these past weeks of harassment Veronica had learned that the best way of dealing with Dick Casablancas was to issue a series of grunting noises. She did so now. Piz, with a confidence she was sure he would not have displayed had he been fully conscious, threw an arm around her waist and kissed her hip almost possessively.
"So like," Dick continued, "Our hypothetical children would be superior. Totally premium. Well. I mean, I guess the girls might—but my mom was pretty stacked, so—"
"Dick," Veronica enunciated carefully, "Even if I did consent to your fake-marriage thing, which I am-not-doing-don't-you-dare-record-and-splice-this-conversation, I don't see how spawn would factor in."
There was a beat of silence. "You know, Veronica," Dick said very seriously, "I'm starting to think you have a crush on me."
And the only reason Veronica did not throw her phone at the wall was because Piz would probably insist on repairing the dent.
Genius or not, logarithms were still logarithms, and as the second hour of class dragged on, Veronica had begun settling comfortably into a mindless, math-zombie state. This was rudely interrupted when Dick blasted into the room, and her professor cut himself off.
"Hi." Dick said to everyone, and then shoved his way down the row until he was standing next to Veronica. She stared at him icily. He plopped down, ice clattering in his take-out drink, which he offered to her. "Cleverly disguised vodka?"
Veronica put her head down and moaned.
"Save it," Dick advised her.
"And you are?" the professor drawled, fingers poised above his laptop keys. Dick stretched laboriously.
"Do you always take attendance in this class? I wouldn't know. This is my first time showing up, I mean."
"Indeed." The professor said dryly. The girl sitting on Veronica's other side raised her eyebrows, looking delighted.
"He's not with me." Veronica gritted out, at exactly the same time Dick turned to her and said, much too loudly, "Hey Ronnie, can I have some paper?"
Veronica thought wistfully about hideous acts of murder. It had a calming effect.
"Dick," she said, as soon as the class had shaken off its titters and returned to the lecture, "Are you stalking me to my classes?"
"Uh," Dick's tongue poked out of the corner of his mouth as he focused firmly on folding her paper into paper airplanes, "What?"
Veronica stared at him in what could only be described as amazement, "Wow," she hid her face in her hands, "I have got to start appreciating Piz more."
"You could buy him condoms for his birthday," Dick suggested, and scooted the drink towards her, "Or mine. I mean, my birthday. For me. With me. Do you get it yet?"
He smiled in what was obviously meant to be a charming and wooing fashion. Veronica took a very, very large drink.
She and Duncan had a secret.
There was an e-mail account they both know the password to, and they saved messages to one another in the drafts section. Sometimes he'd upload pictures of Lily 2.0—a little girl with Meg's eyes and Lily's smile and Duncan's nose, and just looking at her was almost enough to make Veronica cry.
She got to the point. Dick keeps on trying to get me to fake-marry him.
In three days, she checked his response, Just know that somewhere in the world, I am laughing. You have my fake-blessing. Where's the fake-honeymoon?
For no reason at all, she smiled at the screen. You are massively unhelpful.
But all he said back was, I miss you, and she had to turn off her computer then, because there wasn't much to say about that.
"Hey honey!" Keith's voice rang over the line, and Veronica grimaced, lifting the phone away from her ear gingerly.
"Dad," she said, "I already have three pairs of headphones working towards my future deafness—you do not need to help the cause."
"Sorry!" Keith called, voice heavy with a smile, "I like driving with the roof off. Gives me that tousled, windswept look."
"Uh-huh," Veronica studied the ceiling, "So, what's up?"
"Whadaya mean, 'what's up?' Can't a guy talk to his only daughter?"
"Right," Veronica agreed, "He can, until that infamous line pops up. Enlighten me, my father."
"I raised you an atheist," Keith accused, but then cleared his throat, "So I hear that Casablancas kid's been messing around with you—"
"Oh," Veronica choked on her coffee, "Oh, that. Yeah. Don't worry about that."
There was a very painful pause, "Honey, that sounds like—"
"Dad," Veronica groaned, "Trust me, there's nothing to worry about. You know me—always the prudish one."
Keith muttered something grumpily, while Veronica waited patiently, "Besides," she added, throwing in her trump card, "I've got Wallace to look out for me. It's like trying to get it on in front of a nun."
"I'll have you know that there are many, many men who would be happy to—"
"DAD." Veronica's face flushed with the sort of mortification that only a parent could induce. Piz wandered into the kitchen then, his hair tufted up and eyes sleepy, before digging into his cereal. He was making happy growling noises with every bite.
"Well," Keith said casually, "You know, thought I should get to know him. As a potential father-in-law, and all that."
Veronica froze. Piz looked at her worriedly. "Wallace," she hissed.
"I thought you were talking to your dad…" Piz trailed off.
"Veronica Mars," Mac raised her eyebrows, "Should I say 'howdy,' or would you refuse to ever speak with me again?"
"Depends, do you have cowboy boots?" Veronica slipped inside Mac's dorm room, dropping her bag to the floor and sitting gingerly on the edge of Mac's bed. Mac smiled a little, that quiet, sweet smile she wore sometimes when she felt comfortable.
"Only in three different colors," she said, coy, then turned back to her computer, "What's up?"
"I have a stalker," Veronica announced, and waited for sympathy.
"Is it that Dick-guy?!" Parker screamed from the bathroom, "Because I think he's got an add for you in the classifieds!"
Veronica twitched. Mac just raised her eyebrows. "Huh." She grimaced, "I really can't believe I'm saying this, but…maybe you should have stuck with Logan?"
"Very funny," Veronica snarked, ignoring the way her throat tightened. "I need you to—"
"—do you a favor?" Mac looked flatly unimpressed, "Veronica, you're starting to get predictable."
"I brought you a muffin."
"I never said that was a bad thing," Mac held out her hand, pointer finger crooked, "What shenanigans are we getting into this time? Satellite-hacking? Running Armenia over the internet? Bribery? Black-mail? Stealing some missiles?"
"All this for a muffin?"
"I was hungry." Mac dug into the bag happily, taking a giddy bite. "The one thing I will not sell to you is girl-talk."
The bathroom door flew open and Parker skidded out, fumbling her towel shut, "Where?!" she glowed, face shining through her facial wrap. Mac looked terrified.
"Look what you did," she glared. Veronica held up her hands.
"Later, Parker," she waved her away, "Mac, I just need you to do some digging for me. Find out what the Casablancas family has going on for a financial plan."
"I do so love being the fallback plan," Mac muttered, a few crumbs teetering on the edges of her mouth before she licked them away and swallowed, "Five minutes. Entertain yourself." She tossed a Rubik's cube, which Veronica caught and stared at stonily.
"I hate these things."
"There's an algorithm involved," Parker informed her smartly, "Figure it out and you're golden."
Veronica began peeling off the stickers. "Thanks. It all makes such perfect sense now."
"Dick," Veronica abruptly stopped, holding out her arms imperiously, "I hope you have enjoyed carrying these textbooks. It will be your last time doing so."
"The foreskin is impressive, really."
"Foreshadowing, Dick." She dug for her keys.
"Uh-huh," he slouched against the doorframe, "You keep telling yourself that. I'm not giving up."
"I—" Veronica's hand fumbled with her heavy books, and her keys smashed down to the floor, "Shit. Why not?"
"Uh, because it's going to happen," Dick said slowly, like she was being incredibly stupid, and Veronica stopped. She squinted at him, a sudden thought just now occurring to her.
"Dick," she said slowly, "Couldn't it be…I don't know, Madison, or something? Someone more at your level?"
"You shouldn't put yourself down like that," Dick said angelically. Veronica snorted.
Dick appeared not to hear this, "Frankly, you're a frigid bitch. And, well," he grinned smugly, "I've been married before, and you chicks are clingy. If anyone'll be able to resist me, it'll be you."
"Because I'm a frigid bitch," Veronica clarified.
"Or a lesbian. I haven't decided."
"Huh," Veronica nodded thoughtfully, "Well. You should get back to me on that."
And on that note, she made her dramatic exit.
It was almost two when the phone rang. Piz moaned. Veronica groped through the darkness and answered with her eyes unopened, "'lo?"
"Veronica!" Logan bit, with such malicious enthusiasm she was surprised the phone hadn't liquefied, "So she strikes again."
Veronica rolled forwards, pitching to the floor and padding out of the bedroom, shutting the door gently behind her before speaking. "What?"
"You know," Logan mused, "I really wouldn't have pegged you for the flowery handwriting and fake-lace kind of card. But then, I used to think you had class."
Veronica stopped dead, sighed, then rolled her eyes as the piece clicked into place, "Okay. Well. This could…be a problem."
"You aren't just a problem," Logan laughed, "I can deal with problems. What I can't handle is you."
Veronica swallowed. Her stomach hurt, digging into the rim of the kitchen sink, tap water drowning her glass and running down the sides, over her fingers. She pulled away and dumped the whole thing down the sink. "Logan," she said finally, "I—"
"Fine," Logan snapped, "Let's pretend for a second that you love him more than you did me. If I'd asked would you have said yes?"
Veronica's lips parted with shock—but then she caught the words and struck them back, letting the silence run into her, slipping down deep. "Logan, would you just listen—"
"Don't you dare wear white," Logan said at last, and hung up. Veronica pulled away, checked the phone, and then threw it down, cursing.
"Veronica," Weevil informed her gravely in the morning, "You have sunk to a new low."
"Oh, Jesus," Veronica snarled, and buried her face in her hands, "He invited you too?!"
"I'm supposed to be the hired help," Weevil intoned sarcastically, shrugging in his worn leather jacket. There was a new tattoo crawling up the side of his neck, and his skin looked red, as though he'd been rubbing at it.
"I'm not marrying him," Veronica growled, "Dick's just being…Dick."
"Right," Weevil raised his eyebrows, "Does this mean I don't have to buy you a toaster?"
"But I want a toaster," Veronica whined, and then broke out of her pleading stare long enough to snort, "Great. He probably sent one to my dad. He'll be breaking out the shotgun any minute now."
"Why's this kid so set on you, anyways?" Weevil drawled, browsing past her and inspecting the contents of her refrigerator at his leisure. Veronica allowed this calmly. Weevil was a better cook than her, anyways.
"I—" she broke off then, surprised to find that she was without an answer. "He said it was just a fake marriage…thing. I don't know. It's Dick. He's probably just out to have a good time."
"Y dondé esta los melones?" Weevil attacked the eggs, smirking at her, rummaging for a frying pan. Veronica glared.
"Golly, that just never gets old, does it?"
"Hey, Veronica, I didn't know you coo—oh. Okay. Okay, um, why is there a—Veronica. There's a dude. In our kitchen." Piz stared. At Weevil once-over, he retreated back to the bedroom for some pants.
"Must you?" Veronica drawled. Weevil snorted.
"Don't gimme that, V."
"So," Piz reappeared brightly, attempted to lean casually against the door frame, and failed spectacularly. "You're. You're Weevil, right? You look kind of like a…rapper. Um. You're not another ex-boyfriend are you?"
"For her? No. She burns through guys like they're cigs or something." Weevil dumped half an omelet in front of Veronica. "She's just annoying."
Piz looked to her for guidance. Veronica spoke around her mouthful, "I do his homework, he pimps my street cred." She swallowed, "So, what's up?"
"Fitzpatricks need a little take down," Weevil was already trudging to the door, "Get me some money-shots. Bonus if you get one of them in drag."
"Bye Weevil," Veronica called to the closing door. Piz stared at her wordlessly. She munched for a moment, and then blinked at him.
"You're not marrying Dick, are you?" he blurted out, flushing guiltily. Veronica stared at him incredulously.
"Piz. Come on."
"Right. W-well," he coughed, "That's…good."
Veronica allowed him a moment of peace before unleashing the flood, "Logan's probably going to be flying in today."
Piz turned white.
"Wallace," Veronica taped her nails menacingly against his door, "Won't you speak with an old friend?"
There were numerous shuffling noises from beyond. "Do you swear you aren't holding anything sharp?"
"I don't know," Veronica radiated pleasantness, "Do you swear you won't tell my father about this conversation?"
There was a loud groan, "Oh, come on Veronica, it's not like Dick's thing for you was a secret."
"Right!" Veronica agreed, "But. You did, you know, talk to my dad about me. Behind my back. And what is friendship rule 101?"
"Do not rat out the other party to their parental units," Wallace guessed. The door cracked open, and one dark eye peeked outwards. Veronica waved with pseudo-enthusiasm.
"Right. And according to my sources Mr. Fennel, you have violated said contract."
"If I let you beat me at Mario Cart, will you forgive me?" Wallace pleaded. Veronica paused to consider.
"Will you act like you tried hard and allow me gloating rights?" she asked suspiciously. Wallace nodded. She thought about it for another moment.
He opened the door. She popped him in the jaw. "Ow!" Wallace whined, backing away from her, "Whatever happened to solving things using our words? Did my kindergarten teacher lie to me about that too?"
"Face it Wallace," Veronica sighed dramatically, "Me, beating you at a videogame…that would just be wrong."
"Thanks," Wallace rotated his jaw a few times, "I think."
"Veronica," Dick looked at her in disgust, "I think you're confused about something. Wedding, not funeral."
"Your invitations were hideous," Veronica informed him, digging through her bag to procure one, then promptly shoved it under his nose. "Honestly, Dick—where did you even get this?"
"Photoshop," Dick said proudly. Veronica glanced towards the card again, grimacing.
"Did you splice Marilyn Monroe's chest onto me?"
"A bit," Dick managed, before Logan kicked his way into the lecture hall and tackled him. Wallace poked his head around the door, glancing guiltily towards the extremely peeved looking lecturer.
"I tried to stop him," he said helplessly, before Keith knocked him out of the way, dragging Piz in his wake. Piz looked towards her desperately, caught sight of Logan, and looked slightly nauseous.
"Veronica," her father panted, "This is just one of those nightmares I get sometimes, right?"
"You sack of shit!" Logan snarled in the background. Veronica sighed.
"That would be nice, huh?" she muttered.
"Oh, hell yeah!" Weevil cheered, bursting in on the scene, janitor uniform and all. Veronica sent him a look. He was already fumbling for a digital camera.
"I really have to go, Mr. Mars," Piz squeaked, "I'm going to Africa for—for a few years, you know, Green Peace. And. And my flight is leaving. In like. An hour."
"Why couldn't you have just stayed with him?" Logan yelled, gesturing towards Piz violently, "At least when you were with him, I wouldn't have to worry!"
"Hey, dude," Dick looked affronted, "Uncalled for."
"Why do you insist on such magnificent stupidity?" Veronica roared back, and then a bit of chalk pegged her in the eyebrow.
"Would you please take it outside?!" the lecturer screamed.
"Sorry," Logan hissed, in a way that was not remotely apologetic. Dick prodded his swelling lip, and winced.
"Jeez man, take a chill pill."
Logan hooked him in the mouth for his efforts.
"Damn it Logan!" Veronica screeched, and on cue, Keith wrestled the two apart.
"Don't you dare," Keith whispered, "Bruise him up before I get to him."
Dick looked slightly worried.
"Um. S-so," Piz coughed, "I really have to go, Veronica—"
"Fine!" she threw her arms into the air, the picked her way towards him for a fast kiss, "Go to Africa and write me when you find a nice humanitarian girl. Do not drink the water and do not try to feed the animals."
"Okay," Piz agreed happily, then trundled off.
Weevil made a strangled noise, turning his face to his collar, and Veronica was suddenly aware of the entire room, staring at her. "What?"
"At least I never sunk so low," Logan muttered. Dick glanced at him incredulously.
"That was sarcasm, right man?"
"I'm confused," Keith informed the lecturer, "I don't know who I'm supposed to strangle anymore."
"I know," the lecturer returned, then stared at Veronica darkly.
It had taken a considerable amount of cunning for Veronica to send off Wallace, Weevil and her father, (particularly the last one) and faced with the end result, she began seriously doubting whether it was honestly worth it. Dick and Logan stared back at her, Dick looking sullen, Logan looking surly.
"Dick," she said carefully, "I have come to appreciate your many levels of idiocy—but seriously, why the hell would you send one of them to Logan?"
"So this is a fake, right?" Logan interjected, "Man, looks like I missed the memo. I didn't know we were going all celebrity-style on marriages now."
"And Dick," Veronica set her hands on her hips, "I had Mac do some digging. Marrying someone just for an excuse to dip into the company pot is a really, really stupid thing to do."
"Oh, Ronnie," Dick sighed theatrically, "I'm talking five hundred million."
Veronica's cool speech abruptly died. Even Logan looked a little thrown. Dick preened.
"I don't know how it works, exactly, Dad set up something after mom was out of the picture. Something about emotional trauma, I don't really care, but yeah, that's part of the reason why Kendall was such a hit."
"This sounds really, really illegal." Veronica muttered, still trying to figure out how the board members could have agreed to this.
"I think you mean absurd," Logan interjected. Dick grinned at her.
"So how about it, Veronica? Just one little fake-marriage and we'd be set for life."
"Dick," Veronica massaged her temples, "I don't really get where you're going with this 'fake marriage' thing, but it wouldn't work."
Dick paused, looking troubled, "Oh."
"Should I just take off, then?" Logan muttered, skulking towards his coat, "Obviously, there's a new man in Veronica's life."
"I knew you weren't a lesbian." Dick interrupted triumphantly. Veronica elbowed him.
"Logan, I—I'm just not ready." She looked at her feet, all to aware of how small her kitchen seemed at this moment. "I mean—I mean we keep…getting back together. Which means that, you know, it's sort of…I don't know. But it'll happen again, and I'm getting tired of falling apart, and I sort of just want some time to, um, screw around, I guess."
There was a long silence.
"I really love that you said 'screw around,'" Dick said blissfully, and Logan walked out quietly. Veronica bit her lip.
"So, Dick," she glanced at him, "If I say yes, do you promise to stop annoying me?"
"Okay, you are a horrible liar," she punched his shoulder a bit harder than necessary, "When it's time, will you help me bring Logan back? Like you did with the invitations?"
"I seriously don't know what you're talking about," Dick rolled his eyes, then plodded towards her fridge, scrounging about. Veronica smiled.
"Sure you don't."