CAUSALITY

She tries to forget, most of the time.

Because she can't remember. Because there's no point to remembering; it can't do any good now. Cassidy is dead and it is over; she knows how to move on. It's all she's ever done; fluttering away from one tragedy after another, because if she didn't she'd sink into the abyss. She dealt with this three years ago; no point to becoming stuck on it again now.

She doesn't blame Dick.

She can't afford to. Because he is Logan's friend, Logan loves him and Logan has this tendency of losing everyone he loves ever. It's just her and Dick left, and although they can't really stand each other but they put up with it anyway. For Logan. Somewhere Veronica understands the boys are both equally alone (Dick's just another of the people Cassidy hurt; that boy should have had a PhD in it), but obviously, she cares more about Logan. But she tolerates the way Dick acts towards her, and never thinks about that night, because she has no choice.

He was drunk. He made a mistake. He didn't think Cassidy would actually do it.

She never wonders what would have happened if Madison took that drink.


When Parker tells her Dick was outside her room the night before the rape; Veronica wants to cry. Parker says: Next time you're snuggling on the porch, like an insult, and when Parker's gone Veronica sneaks into the bathroom and throws up.

She had only wanted the truth when she snuck into the frat house; truth is, after all, what she's always looking for. But now she vomits peaches, cereal and coffee; because Parker thinks Dick did it. The Lilith House girls think Dick did it. And if all those people think Dick did it, she has to consider the possibility that he might of and he is Logan's friend and that is not an option.

She asks him; he gets mad because she dares to investigate the frat; and she sees his bruised hands. He won't explain where he got them, and she wants to run into a corner and hide like the girl she once was would have. She doesn't; because this new Veronica never cowers. She breaks. Never begs.

It's a lie; because she remembers that night on the roof. She had sobbed for her father. She had begged Cassidy for her life; begged him to spare her years too late. She had almost shattered into a million pieces and just pulled the trigger; part of her says, if Logan wasn't there, she would have. Part of her says she wouldn't. The latter calls the former heartless; the latter calls the former weak. She's not sure which to believe.

Dick storms off, petulant, and Veronica looks at him go; half searching for regret in those eyes. She doesn't find anything. After all, she's never told Dick – the world – about what Cassidy did to her.

Just like Cassidy didn't.


She's a little thankful for Mercer; even if he'd a constant bad influence on Logan (everyone is, because she doesn't want to say that's just Logan), he's not Dick and hence, she breathes a little easier when he's around.

She cries a little then; sneaks off from Logan and cries. Cries the tears she's not allowed to, and she knows she has to take advantage of this opportunity. Because Mercer's not the kind who will ever manage to stay in Logan's life, she knows it. He will be gone soon and it will be just Logan and her and Dick; and she'll just have to suck it up for Logan's sake. She's getting resentful now; weighing what she's doing for them all, how much pain she's sparing Logan.

Sometimes, she wonders if Dick knows. Or if he cares.

When Parker tells her about the cologne, when she finds the clippers, when Lamb tells her about the GHB (actually believing her now; that's new), she doesn't want to believe it. For Logan's sake; he cannot have that bad a choice in friends. He asks her to prove Mercer didn't do it; talking about Nancy's rape and a fire in Mexico, and she's grateful. Grateful she can make an innocent (more or less) friend for Logan and just breathe again.

So she does. She finds the records of the show; she gets drugged in the parking lot. She still doesn't like Mercer much, but she feels calmer now.

When she hears the glitch on the radio, she wonders when she'll ever learn.


She hates Madison.

Hates hates hates Madison, and yeah, a lot of it is to do with that night. Hates what Madison did to her; just an adolescent prank that managed to rip away the last vestiges of her innocence. It's not fair, but Veronica can't afford to be fair about this.

After all, fair is to acknowledge it. To know that Logan's last remaining friend did not just make a drunken mistake because he was making fun of his little brother; fair is that alternate universe where it was Madison's nightmare, waking up amnesic and bruised. She tries to block the thought off, but the image bleeds into her imagination anyway: Madison lying naked on the bed, Dick on top of her; pulsing, thrusting, spilling into her unconscious form. Rough calloused surfer's hands in bleach blond hair, so unlike thin intellectual ones.

She shakes it off again; and calls the whole mess Madison's fault. Never would have happened if Madison wasn't humanity's biggest bitch; it makes perfect sense to blame it on her. Waking up and finding "SLUT" scrawled on her windscreen was just icing on the cake.

Then she actually meets Madison again, and the bitch tells her about Aspen. Logan. It's a bombshell and Madison means it to be; leaving Veronica standing in the lingerie shop, tears in her eyes, frozen pathetically. Madison. Logan.

The image makes her want to throw up; Madison Logan Madison Logan Madison Logan Dick. She remembers the party she can't remember; and all she can think is that Madison is getting closer, trying to worm her way out of her place of blame. Veronica won't let her.

She confronts Logan; screams at him. She brings up the roofies, and with the detail he has, it's actually a valid point – she never brought up Dick. They fight and she feels disgusted; then she storms out. Leaves and never, ever tells Logan the truth.


She winds up at a party. Funny how history repeats itself.

She's only there because Parker nagged her into it, but Parker wound up lost in the crowd somehow. That makes Veronica a little fearful for her friend's sake, but she thinks she's being paranoid. It wouldn't happen to Parker twice.

She finds Dick collapsed on the couch with a collection of empty bottles; the more masochistic part of her drives her to go sit with him. "Hey Dick," she says, "Breaking alcohol poisoning records again?"

He gives a mumbled, slurred reply that she can't be bothered discerning. "Sorry about Logan," he says, and Veronica manages to piece that bit together. It makes her shiver. There's a weird camaraderie between them right now because of Madison and Logan; they both feel betrayed and they understand that in each other, even if he won't admit he cares.

In a few seconds, he's crying. Flat-out sobbing and burying his head in his hands, and the sight is a shock. She's never seen Dick like this, even after they were actually on the roof. She awkwardly reaches her hand across to pat his shoulder and comfort him; because that's what you do when someone breaks down like that; but he jumps back like she just touched him with a lit fuse.

"I'm sorry, y'know?" he says, caught between sob and half-laugh. "I'm sorry about Beav. About what happened to him; about how stupid I was; about the way we treated him. I'm sorry, like, about those people; about Good Old St, Blonde, Meg, wasn't she like, your BFF or whatever?"

Meg; the name drives a knife deep in her.

"And... you know; I'm sorry about whatever the hell happened at Shelley's; I still haven't really figured it out but..."

She sits there dumbly for a few moments; frozen by the apologies she's just heard come out of his mouth. "His name was Cassidy," she chokes out eventually, unable to say anything more. She knows he notices she doesn't say she forgives him.

She stands up shakily then, but he doesn't look surprised – although that may be the combination of alcohol and tears. She just has to leave then, and she only vaguely sees Parker looking concerned as she goes.

She gets away from the party as fast as she can, like she should have done three years ago. She goes because; excepting somehow getting the gun back and shooting Dick; the only thing she can do with what happened now is run.