Title: Breathe Again
Words: 1217
Rating: PG
Genre: Gen, angst-ish, drama
Characters: Veronica, mentions of Logan, Keith, Mac, Wallace, Piz, and Parker
Spoilers/Warnings: End of season 3, movie spoilers ala Rob Thomas
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Rob Thomas is the boss.
Summary: Veronica says good-bye.

A/N: I haven't written in forever, let alone a Veronica Mars fanfic and certainly never one with Veronica as the focal point. I really hope this doesn't suck. If you haven't been following Rob Thomas on Twitter, and live under a rock, you might not know about the movie's premise. So, uh, spoilers. But this is based off what he said about what happens after the end of the series. I'd love to do a Logan piece but there's no more canon to work off of yet and I'm a canon whore.

A/N 2: Listen to Breathe Again by Sara Bareilles. This is what I was listening to (for the hundredth time thanks to Smallville) when inspiration hit me. Not one to use songs in fic much but, well, it fits. The music is pretty enough for what Smallville used it for but I think the lyrics are much more sad if you actually listen to them and ignore the perfect moment happening in that final episode. LOL So, perfect for this! LOL

Breathe Again

Car is parked, bags are packed
But what kind of heart doesn't look back?

Veronica Mars was an expert at disappointment; some she's caused, a lot she's caused, and some caused by others. She liked to pretend that she was never the villain but she's beginning to understand that there aren't many heroes in her story, save for one. Her dad would always hold that position no matter how many times she's disappointed in life, in herself, in others, in the world. She hates that she isn't his. She knows it's her own fault, of course. She never could leave well enough alone. Consider this her turning over a new leaf. Because the only way she could fix things, was to start completely over.

Veronica's future was suddenly not so certain. Her dreams were no longer hers to take and now she had to find new ones. She shouldn't be so surprised that the FBI internship was taken away. She wasn't, really, not after all that had happened. Still. Still. It felt like another rug ripped from under her feet. Life was full of hardship, this she knew. She just figured she'd had her fair share at this point. Maybe it was selfish of her to think the universe owed her a favor. But maybe just this one time...

It tore at her insides but the decision was made. Keith didn't try to stop her; told her it was probably for the best. She tried to hide how much that hurt. He still loved her, she knew, but his eyes were sad whenever he looked at her. She wanted nothing more than to change that. She was going to try harder than ever before to make him proud of her again. Harder than solving Lilly's murder, her own rape, the bus crash, everything. It would always be her first priority, no matter where her life took her. Because if he was proud of her, then she could be proud of herself.

So she was going to leave. She was going to leave her life, her friends, her home and her father because it would be better for all. Crying over that was the hardest thing not to do but she was always strong, wasn't she?

Things needed to change. She needed to change. She couldn't be Veronica Mars, Private Investigator and all around badass anymore. She'll keep the badass part; store it for special occasions. But everything else had to be left behind. She needed to learn to let go. Leaving was the only way to do that.

She'd already said her good-byes to Wallace when he left for Africa. She emailed him of her new plans and promised to keep in touch. Her good-bye to Mac was made with hugs and maybe some tears. Veronica knew Mac would miss her but she could tell she was a tiny bit relieved. She couldn't blame her, not really. Not with everything that's happened. With another promise to keep in touch, they parted ways.

Parker barely acknowledged her. Veronica couldn't find it in herself to try any harder with her than she had. Parker would get over it. Someday.

After the event in the cafeteria, she knew it was over with Piz the second she looked over at him after Logan's apology. It wasn't because of Logan, but because Piz finally figured out he never really stood a chance no matter what. He was vanilla and she was Rocky Road, pun notwithstanding. No person could hold onto that much chaos and come out innocent. As much as he cared about her, thought he loved her, he didn't want that life. She tried to reason that she didn't either but he argued a very good point; one that still stings a little. At your core, you can't change. No one can. She still wanted to prove him wrong. She hoped she could. They parted as amicably as they could but he still bore the scars of being collateral damage in the tailspin that is (was) Veronica Mars' life. She should really think about writing a book.

Hang my head, break my heart built from all I have torn apart
And my burden to bear is a love I can't carry anymore

She thought about not saying good-bye to him. Then, she thought of Duncan. She knew how much it hurt Logan when Duncan left without so much as a word. She wouldn't do that to him, not after everything. Even if her head wanted to, her heart and her feet wouldn't let her. His was perhaps the hardest because she had no idea what to say to him. Even after telling him he was no longer a part of her life, he never really left her side. She always made him the villain but didn't she once say it was the hero that stayed? She hated that he was both because it would be easier if he just had stayed the bad guy. Because this was it, this would sever everything. She couldn't allow him to follow her into this new path. It would be best for both of them. They would cut ties and finally get over each other because neither would ever be happy otherwise. Even after all he'd done to hurt her, she wanted him to be happy because he'd been hurt too. He deserved happiness just as much as she did. Just not with her, never with her. She knew in the deepest part of her soul that it was right and one day he'd see it too. One day he'd give up on the fairy tale of happily ever after.

He took it much easier than she expected. No yelling. No arguing. Maybe she wasn't the only one trying to change. No, that was wrong. He'd been trying to change all along; she just never gave him credit for it. She could see, though, how hard he was really taking it when he asked if they'd at least keep in touch. She choked out a not very convincing "sure" but she didn't have to say a word. She could tell he saw it in her eyes but he played the game and nodded anyway. It all felt so serious, so final. This was what she wanted, after all.

She made him promise not to get himself killed. He looked down and did that little half smile of his and she knew it was the best answer she'd get. No promises. No lies. It is what it is. He told her he hoped she found what she was looking for but his eyes still wanted it to be him. She smiled; told him she hoped so too and left him with his dream for now. It was easier; not just for him but for her as well.

Leaving the suite for the last time, she felt her lungs tighten and she fought to take a deep breath. As she got in the elevator, pressed the button for the lobby, she closed her eyes.

All I have, all I need, he's the air I would kill to breathe
Holds my love in his hands, still I'm searching for something
Out of breath, I am left hoping someday I'll breathe again

Song: Breathe Again by Sara Bareilles

Thanks for reading!