Disclaimer: I own nothing
Life was pretty good, Weevil mused to himself. Sure, he and Veronica had only been man and wife for about seventeen hours, but so far it had been smooth sailing.
Their reception had been… interesting. Which, he supposed, is what happened when you mixed former and current (but mostly former) members of Neptune's most infamous gang with a large number of current and former law enforcement officers. But by the time drinks had been flowing for awhile, everyone had loosened up and he and V had fun watching Inga salsa with Hector and that lawyer McCormick jiving with one of his aunts.
The wedding night was fantastic. Not that it was their first time or anything. No, that ship had sailed about five years back when she was still in college and before they technically even got together. And it was good. But last night was different. And it wasn't just the fact that they were staying in the Honeymoon Suite at the Grand, or that Veronica, for the first time in their relationship, was wearing a silky, slinky teddy. Nope, it was the new rings on their fingers and everything they represented. Weevil'd be lying if he said he didn't get a little emotional when the light caught the gold band on her finger as they lay in bed. Somehow, it just made the whole thing real. He got the girl. The girl.
Part of him was still waiting for some guy to tap him on the shoulder and say, 'Sorry, but wetback gangbangers don't get the fairytale ending. You're gonna have to step aside.' And he wouldn't even be that angry, because, you know, that would make sense.
For now, though, he was just gonna enjoy it. He was cruising up the PCH with his wife by his side, headed for a fancy hotel in San Francisco. Not the most exotic honeymoon spot, but because of both of their criminal records, getting a passport wouldn't be easy for either one of them. Besides, Weevil had never been to San Francisco, and Veronica thought it was something they needed to remedy.
Veronica – his wife. Yeah, this was gonna take some getting used to.
"What are you grinning about?" she asked, sounding amused.
"Just wondering what kind of fancy nightie you might have packed for the honeymoon. I'm hoping for a lot of black lace."
"Yeah, keep hoping, vato," she snarked. "I've got the ring on my finger now. Nothing but flannel from here on in."
"Flannel, huh?" He waggled his eyebrows at her. "Sexy."
She laughed, and Weevil couldn't help but marvel once more on how lucky he was.
It was pretty late when they got into San Francisco. They took their time on the drive up, stopping for meals and just to walk around a couple of times or when Veronica saw something she wanted to get a picture of. They were staying in Union Square and by the time they got there, it was nearly midnight. Checking in, they discovered that Keith had upgraded their room to a suite as a wedding present.
Stepping in, Weevil couldn't help but whistle. The place was bigger than his and Veronica's apartment. Fancier, too. Veronica followed him into the bedroom and threw herself down on the bed. "I'm exhausted."
"Me, too." Truth was, yesterday was the wedding, and even though they were both really tired, the giddiness of being married led to a really passionate wedding night. But then they got up early to have breakfast with Keith and drove for nearly eleven hours. Just thinking about it made Weevil sigh.
Veronica pushed herself upright. "I know it's the first night of our honeymoon, but could we just get some sleep. I promise to be a saucy minx for the rest of the trip."
Wrapping his arms around her, Weevil laughed softly. "Well, no offence to you, baby, but I'm so tired, even you couldn't tempt me right now. Let's just go to bed, and we'll start the sexy part of our honeymoon tomorrow."
And that's how, on the first night of their honeymoon, the newlyweds fell asleep almost as soon as their heads hit the pillow, both wearing boxers and t-shirts, no black lace or silk in sight.
Veronica blinked slowly, trying to orient herself in the super-soft bed and warm covers. The weight of Weevil's arm across her waist anchored her to him, and his warm exhales tickled the back of her neck. She shifted to reach for her cell phone and check the time. Almost ten. Rolling over, she ran a light finger over Weevil's brow.
"I can tell you're awake," she said. "Your breathing changed."
Weevil cracked open one eye. "You know, monitoring my breathing is kinda creepy."
"Like you don't do the same thing when you wake up first."
He rolled onto his back and pulled her on top of him. "So, ball-and-chain, what should we do on the first day of our honeymoon?"
Lowering her head to kiss him, she smiled coyly. "I can think of some ways to pass the time."
She moved to his neck, sucking lightly at his pulse. "Uh-huh."
"Do tell," he murmured.
Abruptly, she pushed herself up, grinning. "Well, first we're going to shower. Then we're going to order some breakfast. And after that, we'll just see what happens." She hopped off of the bed and headed for the bathroom, as Weevil groaned.
But she knew her husband, and sure enough, five minutes later as she was getting into the shower, she heard the bathroom door open and he stepped into the shower with her. "You never said we had to shower separately."
As he pushed her up against the shower wall, she laughed. "I'm glad you picked up on that."
Over an hour later they were clean, wrapped in fluffy bathrobes and smirking at each other over their room-service breakfast.
"You know," Veronica mused, "I think this is the first time I've seen you in a robe."
"Well, we're married now. No need to put up a front anymore. I'm a robe and slippers man," he said, keeping his tone serious. "The fuzzier, the better."
She just rolled her eyes.
After they were finished their meal (bacon and eggs for him, some sort of fancy quiche for her), he put the dishes out into the hall and tried to subtly put the "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door handle.
"Think you're getting lucky, huh?" she asked from behind him.
Nothing got past her. Ever. It might have given him some second thoughts about marriage if it was anyone else.
"Hoping," he replied.
"I don't know," she hedged. "It is your first time in San Francisco, and there is a lot to see here. I'm not sure if we can afford to waste any time."
"We've got a whole week. Besides, it's raining out. You know how I hate getting my hair wet," he said, stalking towards her.
She smirked, and ran a hand over the peach fuzz that covered his head. "Well, that would be a shame. It takes you so long to dry and style it."
Sweeping her up into his arms, Weevil kissed her before walking them into the bedroom and over to the huge bed. "Glad we're on the same page." He tossed her into the middle and jumped in behind her. "Now I think you said something about a saucy minx?"
They barely left the bed for the rest of the day.
Day Two in San Francisco saw them actually leave the hotel. First of all, the rain had cleared and it was too beautiful a day not to spend outside. Secondly, Veronica had to admit somewhat wryly, she was sore and could use the break.
Weevil looked entirely too pleased when she admitted that.
They decided to just wander around. They took a walk through Chinatown, took the trolley up to Lombard Street, ate in a great little restaurant just outside of Ghirardelli Square, and decided to take a long stroll along the wharf. Veronica had her Nikon with her and ended up taking dozens of beautiful pictures. It really was a fantastic city.
Almost like he was reading her thoughts, Weevil ventured, "I think I could live up here. It's got a nice vibe to it."
"It does," she agreed.
"You think you might ever want to live up here?" There was something about the way that Weevil asked the question that had her radar going off.
"Why do you ask?"
He shrugged, almost too casually. "No reason. Just realised, we never really talk about the future. Don't know where you see us being."
It was true, they never had discussed it. Veronica guessed that she was pretty content with her life as it was, both of them working for her dad, and didn't really consider changing things. But maybe Weevil was.
"I haven't thought much about it. Things are good now – why mess with it?"
"You have a point." He looked down at their visitors guide. "So, what should we do next?"
Veronica realised he was changing the subject, but she didn't call him on it. With Weevil, she knew he would tell her what was on him mind eventually. She just needed to leave it a little while.
Weevil did have something up his sleeve. In fact, Veronica's suggestion to come to San Francisco for their honeymoon was damn convenient. Otherwise, he'd have had to come up with some other way to get her to the Bay Area, and it was hard to get Veronica to do anything without a million questions.
And he knew she wouldn't like it. She never did like decisions being made for her, but she had made the wrong choice with this particular decision and he just wanted her to see that. So, he was willing to have her be pissed at him for awhile if it did her good in the long run.
It was the third day of their honeymoon, and it was the day that things would come to a head. They woke up that morning, had a little fun in bed before getting showered and heading to a breakfast place just up the street that was straight out of the 60s. Really good Swedish pancakes though.
After Veronica had stuffed herself, she leaned back. "So, what should we do today? Alcatraz? Golden Gate?"
"Why don't we do that tomorrow. I've got something else planned for today."
"Oh really?" Veronica smirked.
He had to laugh. "Not that. There's just something we need to do."
She stiffened, just slightly, but he knew his girl. "And what would that be?"
"I know you don't like surprises," he replied, reaching forward to grasp her hands, "but you're just gonna have to trust me on this one, all right? I'll tell you where we're going once we're in the car."
Her eyes bored deep into his and he could tell she was trying to read any indicators on his face for a clue. "Fine." It was abrupt, and far from happy, but at least she agreed.
"Okay, we need to go back to the hotel room to change. Then we should get going."
"Just trust me, okay. We're going to need something nicer than jeans and a hoodie."
An hour later, they were in the car driving south, and Veronica still didn't know where they were going. She hated not knowing what was going on. And Weevil had insisted she wear a suit that she hadn't even packed, but somehow came with them all the same. And he was wearing a collared shirt and tie that covered up a lot of his ink.
"So?" she asked.
"We're going to Palo Alto," he revealed.
"What's in - ?" And then she put the puzzle pieces together. "Weevil, please tell me you didn't do what I think you did."
"I can't, because I'm pretty sure what you think I did was find your acceptance letter to Stanford in the garbage, fish it out, and set up your interview with the head of the Psychology department for a place in the doctorate program. And that's what I did." He spared her a nervous glance before returning his eyes to the road.
For a minute Veronica couldn't even form words, she was so mad. How dare he make a decision like that without even asking her about it. As soon as she could speak without yelling, she asked, "Why would you do that?"
"V, when did you apply for the program?" he asked.
"What does that have to do with anything?"
"It just does. When did you apply?"
"I guess in January."
Weevil shot her a look. "Right. In January."
She had no idea where he was going with this. "Your point?"
"We had that huge fight in January, and I moved out for a bit. And that's when you applied for the program. So, when I was no longer in the picture, what you wanted to do was go back to school. And then when we got back together, you threw the acceptance letter in the garbage. That's just wrong."
"It isn't that simple," she protested. And it wasn't. But she had a feeling he wasn't going to see it that way.
He kept driving, eyes on the road, but nodded. "Okay, so what else was there?"
She took a second, trying to find a way to make him understand. "I was happy." At the slightly confused look on his face, she sighed. "You know, we were happy."
He was starting to piss her off. "And, I don't know if you've realised this Weevil, but it's pretty rare that I feel content. That I can sit back, and relax, and just enjoy life."
"I've noticed, but I still don't see why you would think that would change just because you go back to school."
"Because it wasn't just my decision. We'd both have to get new jobs, my dad would be down two assistants, we'd be further away from both of our families, all of our friends. It seemed like too much. And in my experience, life-changing decisions tend to lead to pain and suffering, not happiness."
"That's bullshit. What, you thinking getting married isn't a life-changing event? Or having kids?"
"Well, I've only done one of those, and right now I'm seriously starting to second-guess myself."
"Weevil, what do you want me to say? You sprung this on me and I'm not supposed to be mad at you? Do you know me at all?"
"I knew you'd be mad, and believe me, I get it. But I just want you to take a minute and think about why you applied in the first place."
Her first instinct was to argue, but being with Weevil had helped Veronica subdue that knee-jerk reaction a bit, so she did take the moment to consider what he'd said. When they'd broken up, she had one night of angry crying and then she pulled herself together and decided to move on. In retrospect, it probably wasn't the healthiest reaction to what she'd assumed was the end of a relationship she thought would be the one that stuck, but it was what she had to do. She refused to wallow. She needed something new to concentrate on, so she took some serious stock of where she was and where she wanted to be and applied to Stamford's doctoral psych program. When she'd been at Hearst, she'd taken a lot of psychology courses as part of her criminology degree and found it really interesting. A couple of her professors said she should take it further, but she got caught up in her relationship with Weevil and with working for her dad and just never got around to it. So, when things with Weevil seemed to be over, the timing felt perfect.
Then, a month later, after both of them had been miserable for awhile, and all of their friends harped on them to just apologize to one another, they got back together. And somehow things were even better than before. And Veronica really didn't want to mess with that, so when the letter came inviting her to meet with the Dean of Psychology at Stamford, she threw the letter in the garbage with almost no regret.
"Look," Weevil's voice broke into her thoughts, "going to the interview doesn't mean you have to go to the school. Hell, you might not even get in." She glared at him and he couldn't hide a small smirk. "I'm just saying, take the meeting. See what they're doing. After that, we'll figure the rest out."
The problem with Weevil, was that he was usually pretty reasonable. It made him harder to fight with. And it left Veronica without much of a choice. "Fine," she sighed. And tried not to threaten him with divorce when he grinned.
Weevil waited on a bench outside of the Dean's office, trying to ignore the stares he was getting from pretty much everyone who passed him. He'd grown up a lot since high school, but part of him still wanted to strike a little fear into people who looked down their noses on him.
The door opened next to him, and Veronica stepped out. Weevil stood up as she turned to say goodbye to the Dean. "Thanks for your time, Dr. Gardiner."
"The pleasure was mine, Ms. Mars. I look forward to having you in our program." He smiled at Weevil and nodded, before shutting the door.
Before Weevil could ask how it went, Veronica spun on her heel and strode out of the building. Weevil knew that walk. That was her pissed-as-hell walk. He'd followed it a few times in their years together.
When they got to the car, she stood next to the passenger door, waiting for him to unlock it. He clicked the button and she got in, still giving him the silent treatment.
It wasn't until they were back on the road to the city that he tried to break the silence. "So, it sounds like it was a good interview."
"The Dean seemed like a good guy. He was the only one who didn't do a double-take when he saw me."
All she did was stare out the window.
"Sounds like you're already in. You know, any other time I'd be mad that you made such a big decision without talking to me, but I guess I had it coming this time."
That got her to talk. "I didn't accept the offer," she muttered. "I told him I'd think about it."
"You actually gonna think about it?"
"You've got all the answers - what do you think?"
"I think this is a decision that you gotta make for yourself."
"Says the guy who practically kidnapped me and forced me to go to the interview," she scoffed.
His hands tightened on the steering wheel, and he reminded himself, that if it were the other way around, he'd probably be plenty pissed at her. "Okay, maybe I should have told you about the interview instead of just springing it on you, but I was pissed off."
"You were pissed off?"
"Hell, yeah. Not at you, V. At least, not just at you. I was pissed at me, too." She shot him a questioning gaze, and he shrugged. "You threw that letter away because of me. You can deny it all you want, but the truth is, if we hadn't gotten back together, you'd have taken that interview and would probably be packing to move north at this moment. And it pisses me off that you didn't think you could do this because of me."
She let out a bitter laugh. "I've told you before, and I'll tell you again, it wasn't because of you. I'm happy with life in Neptune. I don't want to mess that up."
"Why do you think this'll mess things up. Your dad would be fine, and it's a non-issue because if you went to Stamford, you'd have left him anyway. And you never even asked me. What, you think I wouldn't want to leave Neptune? Trust me, Veronica, no one from my neighbourhood ever gives up a chance to get out."
She didn't answer, once again turning her attention to the scenery passing out the window, and Weevil wisely stayed quiet.
To say that Veronica was upset would be an understatement of biblical proportions. Weevil knew how many control and trust issues she had, and he still pulled that stunt. He knew how angry it would make her, and he did it anyway.
But that was the thing. Weevil knew her. He knew her in a way that no one else did. Because as much as Wallace and Mac loved her and she loved them, they didn't understand just how much Lilly's death affected her. Weevil got it, because her death screwed him up, too. And as hard as she and Logan tried to make it work, they both had problems seeing each other as they were rather than who they had been. Weevil knew the girl she had been, and loved the woman she'd become.
So, if Weevil knew her so well, and knew how mad she'd be, still pulled this stunt, then she had to consider why.
Part of it, she knew, was his own insecurity. He had some backwards idea that he didn't deserve her, that he was just a hood from the barrio and that she was some golden 09er. Which was weird, because he usually was the one who saw everything clearly, but it was one of his few blinders. And in this case, he probably thought he was holding her back or something, which couldn't have been further than the truth.
But that was only part of it. If it was just his insecurities, he probably would have just confronted her with the letter, they'd have argued, but then he would have let it go.
The truth was, Veronica was intrigued by the interview she had with the dean. After all the crime, all of the horror she'd experienced in her life, she felt like she needed to understand why people did the things they did. And she thinks that's why Weevil made her take the interview - so she could get her answers. What she didn't know was whether she wanted to risk the happiness she finally found in Neptune.
By the time they were sitting down to dinner, Veronica still hadn`t said anything to him. But Weevil could tell that her silence had moved from angry to thoughtful sometime in the past hour.
Once the waiter brought their drinks, he knew it was safe to speak. "Look, I just wanted to give you the chance to do this. If you really don't want to, we'll go back to Neptune and never talk about it again."
"It's not that," she said, "I'm interested, and you know that I am, otherwise you wouldn't have set up the interview. I just don't know if I'm ready to move to something new."
"V, I've known you since we were kids, and you've never been afraid to take a leap. What's so different this time?"
"This time I'm not jumping by myself. This time, I'm taking you with me. And I guess for a lot of people, that would make it easier, but for me, it makes it harder. In five years, I don't want you to look back at this moment and realise that this is when your life went wrong and that it was all my fault."
"That's bullshit. I would never think that. Especially since I've been shoving you along with this."
"But what would you even do? You've got two good jobs back home, your family, friends. Why should you have to give that up for me?"
"Hey, no one forces me to do anything, and seeing as this has been my idea, it's not like you're twisting my arm. There is plenty I can do here. I got family in the city, I got prospects, so don't worry about that."
Veronica gave him a hard look. "Okay."
He usually had a pretty good read on her, but this time, there was nothing. "Okay? So, you're going to Stamford?"
"No, okay, as in, I'll think about it. I still want to talk it over with my dad and I think we should sit down and really look at what this will mean for us when we get back. But... I'm considering it."
Weevil let out an internal sigh of relief. "That's all I wanted you to do."
A pause, and then she gave him a small smile. "I know."
Sometimes it was impossible not to kiss her, so he reached across the table, took her hand, and kissed it softly.
And he didn't even say anything five minutes later when, after confirming that dinner was on him, she ordered steak and lobster, the most expensive appetizer on the menu, and started eyeing the dessert cart.
The last day of their honeymoon came too quickly. As she awoke, Veronica could hear Weevil shifting behind her in bed. She rolled over and smiled as he yawned and rubbed his eyes.
"Do you think we could take this bed with us? I haven't slept this good in years," he said.
"Seeing as they charge two hundred dollars for the robes, the feather mattress and Egyptian cotten sheets would probably cost more than our year's rent."
"Well, then we're getting our own, even if I have to pluck the geese myself." He shifted to his side and pushed her hair over her shoulder. "We have four hours before we have to check out. Wanna order some room service after giving the bed one last workout?"
She had to laugh. "You're such a romantic."
"Hey, we're married now. The romance is over."
"And what romance was that, again?" she asked, pretending to think hard.
"I bought you chocolates that one time. And just last month we walked hand in hand in Neptune Park."
"That was a stake-out."
She laughed. "It does." Rolling on top of him, she said, "Now, Mr. Navarro, I believe you mentioned something about making our bed earn its keep?"
The smile on his face was so sweet that she paused for a second. "I love you. You know that right?"
Somehow his smile grew even sweeter. "Yeah, but not half as much as I love you."
And at that moment, Veronica knew. It didn't matter if she chose to stay in Neptune or went to Stanford, or if she kept working or went back to school, or any of that other stuff (though, for the record, she went to Stanford, they lived in South San Francisco, Weevil worked at a bike shop for a few years before opening his own, and Veronica became a profiler for the SFPD), she knew that they were going to do it together. And they would find a way to make anything work. And in the end, that's all that really mattered.