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She should tell the truth.

It's been a month now, and Mac isn't really any better – she doesn't cry and moan about it, but Veronica really wishes she would, because this quietness is killing her. She keeps waiting for Mac to fall apart on her, and even if she knows it probably won't happen, she selfishly wishes for it, because she needs a project more than ever right now and needs some way to regain her control.

She's not going to brood about it. It was over two years ago now, and she dealt with it at the time – she didn't know who then, and now she does, but that was never the important thing anyway. She still hates Cassidy (dead, broken Cassidy) for what he did to her, but it wasn't that important it was him who did it too her, right? She thought she knew him once, but she was wrong and she is not going to waste any time mourning a friend she never had.

Mac is different. Mac grieves for him, despite everything, and Veronica can feel it coming off her friend like waves of steam. She kind of wants to scream; to shake her; to remind Mac as harshly as she can of what Cassidy did, what he was. She wants to scream out what he did to her like a sobbing little girl, and to tell Mac she can't play victim here because what he took from Veronica was something Mac can't even define.

She always shakes those thoughts away – she's okay; Cassidy has never broken her and she doesn't need to scream her pain and rage out for anything. She needs to be there for Mac, who really is the victim now, and needs her help. Veronica knows she's screwed this up before (Meg, Meg, Meg; why wasn't she smarter, why didn't she catch him, why didn't she save a friend?), but Mac needs friends like she's never needed them before, and Veronica just needs to suck it up and support her.

Her confession? She can't say what he did to her and it's terrifying. It's all for the best to be open and honest about it, because she has nothing to be ashamed of. It's up to the rest of them to support her, to do the right thing by her, because she was the victims. She knows and, more importantly, believes all this, but she just can't find the words. She somehow screamed it out in her fury back on the roof, but she can't remember how now. She courts her own thoughts; whatever wall is making her choke on the words in her mouth, and all she can think of is the sound of those boys on tape, the skid of tires and the smell of burning bus at the bottom of the ocean.

She could never become that person, and she knows it – but this one's harder to believe. Her own silence is consuming her insides like a cancer, and she can't put a stop to it, even though that would be as simple as those three words. It would hurt people, and she knows it – the men who left her there, not knowing what would really happen; the man who pushed (her) the one chance of stopping Cassidy before her hit his stride aside. She's got the world on her back, on her image that nothing happened, and she's sick of it.

They deserve the truth – okay, maybe the bastards partially responsible for everything don't, but a lot of people do. Mac does. The truth will set you free, and the girl Veronica was before it happened always kind of believed in cliches. Maybe, if she tells the truth, it will be the one thing to push Mac over the edge and let them both start afresh. Maybe just making herself the victim will let Veronica let go of that nasty weight she's had to carry around ever since she first saw Lilly's blood spread over the pavement.

But she just can't do it. She's a coward for it, and she's scared it might make her crazy in the end, but she still can't bring herself to say the words. There are no words for what he did to her, and she doesn't want to think about it anymore. She wants the pieces to say still for a second, and to just build on what she has at this very moment. Maybe the foundations are shaky, but she tries not to care because they all need her to be okay, and no matter how hard she tries to play I-don't-care-what-you-think, she hates disappointing people.

She looks her best female friend (and the only one she's got left now) in the eye every time they meet, and knows she should tell the truth. She doesn't, and honestly, she doesn't feel guilty – just scared.