Title: One of Us
Fandom: Veronica Mars
Pairing: Veronica/Jenny (Dianna Agron's character from season 3)
Spoilers: whole series
Summary: The aftermath of the ID card investigation
I own nothing except the mistakes, and don't really know where this came from... One-shot.
"You can be one of us."
She could still hear Jenny’s voice hours later. She’s home safe, curled in her bed with Backup, "one of us" echoing on an endless loop. She should have been with Piz and Wallace — or Mac and Parker — but things with Piz were so complicated, and Wallace would want to talk, and Mac was dealing with the aftermath of love, and Veronica didn't feel like being castigated by Parker for Logan's latest boneheaded move.
That's how Veronica found herself contemplating the meaning of Jenny's attempt at bribery. "One of us." Even when she was dating Duncan — and then Logan, and Duncan again, and Logan again — she wasn't actually an 09er. She was always on the outside looking in; it's just that when she dated rich boys the window was cleaner. She wonders what Jenny really meant. Would all be forgiven, all forgotten? Would she be issued an Elizabeth Browning ID card and forgotten, or would she be included on trips to Aspen and Sunday brunches?
She wonders what would happen if she called Jenny and asked. She'd probably hang up. But what if she offered to keep Jenny's name out of it? She hadn't yet given the list of names to the school. She could easily delete one name — Jenny wasn't even an important link in the chain. It wouldn't be a tragedy if the school didn't expel her. What would happen if Veronica called Jenny and offered a trade — immunity for, what, exactly? Inclusion? Friendship? Was it really friendship if she was offering a bribe? Did she have any friendships that weren't based on bribes?
Contrary to popular opinion, Veronica and Wallace never hooked up, never even kissed. This is not to say, however, that she never thought about it. When she thinks about it, she remembers cutting him off the pole, the first time they met, and wants to preserve that. She thinks that if they ever dated he would start to hold the favors and the selfishness and the one-sided flow against her. Really hold it against her, she means. Not the occasional fights that erupt from nowhere and fade just as quickly. Veronica wants to preserve that friendship because it might be the only one she's really had since Lilly.
Veronica thinks that, maybe, she doesn't want friendship from Jenny. Maybe she wants absolution. To know that she has not single-handedly ruined the life of her classmate who hasn't, really, done anything worse than what Veronica does. After all, it's not like Veronica hasn't made dozens — scores — of fake IDs. She knows that Jenny is smart, both from watching her in class and also from her role in the scheme. Blaming Weevil really had been a good idea, even if the execution was flawed. She thinks that this will not destroy Jenny because it would not have destroyed Veronica. She hopes that Jenny is as strong as she is. She does not want to be disappointed yet again.
Lilly didn't do favors. She didn't do help. Lilly was selfish and the center of the world and Veronica just lived in it. She loved it, though, shining in Lilly's reflected light. Lilly kept Veronica around because she was entertaining, and Lilly loved to be entertained. Veronica wonders if she could entertain Jenny, or if that part of her died with Lilly. Veronica tried, once, to kiss Lilly. Not drunk kiss, not kissing in the back of a limo to entertain the boys, but really kiss. Veronica was twelve and Lilly was thirteen and they were listening to Stone Temple Pilots on Lilly’s bed and there was a breeze and suddenly Veronica just had to know what it felt like to have all of Lilly, just for a minute. So she leaned over and kissed Lilly and she missed, of course, and kissed the very corner of Lilly’s mouth. Lilly laughed and pushed her away. “God, Veronica,” she’d said. “Do you really want to be that cliché?” and all of a sudden Veronica was awake again and knew she could never have all of Lilly, but that Lilly already had all of her.
She starts to think that she doesn't want absolution, either. She thinks about words like relief and safety and home, and wonders if things with Jenny would be complicated like Piz or volcanic like Logan or maudlin like Duncan. She thinks that maybe the answer is none of the above — she thinks maybe things with Jenny would be slow and measured and easy. She thinks that things are never, ever, easy, but she thinks she's earned easy. She has, at very least, earned a chance at easy.
She picks up her phone, determined to at least call Jenny, to see what happens, but she finds a new text from Piz and loses her nerve. Piz was a mistake. She knew that, objectively. She knew that it could only end with her breaking his heart. He was too sweet, too new at this, for any other outcome. She didn’t want to break Piz’s heart. She never wanted to break hearts. She thinks that, after Lilly first broke her heart, she went on the offensive. She tried to break Duncan’s heart, and failed, and got her heart broken. The same thing had happened with Logan. Piz would be the first one whose heart she’d really get. She wondered if she should feel proud.
She's surprised to find herself actually considering a romantic entanglement with a girl. It's not that she's opposed to the idea, necessarily, it's just that she's 19 years old and figures that if she had any Sapphic tendencies, they would have appeared before now. That one kiss with Lilly had been an impulse, not a realization. Besides, it's not like she's really attracted to Jenny. Objectively, sure, the girl is stunning. Flawless skin, a nice body, tall enough that she could hold Veronica securely against her chest but not tall enough to crush her. But it’s not like she thinks of Jenny’s lips late at night and the way they curl into a slow, easy smile. She doesn’t. She thinks.
Veronica thinks that Backup is the only person in her life who has never let her down. Her parents, her friends, her boyfriends, everyone reaches a point where they cannot live up to her standards. She realizes that she has no expectations of her pit bull, other than companionship. She wonders if she has found the answer — have no expectations and you will never get let down. She wonders if she is capable of having no expectations, and thinks that she probably isn’t. She thinks she’d like to try, though.
She wonders if dating Jenny would make her "one of them." Wonders if Jenny would keep her a secret or hold her hand as they walked around campus. Wonders what her dad would say, and whether Logan would threaten Jenny like he threatened Piz. She thinks he would, that Logan wouldn't care whether it's a man or a woman who has the power to break her heart. She wonders if Jenny would ever break her heart, or if she would break Jenny's, or if maybe there would be no heart breaking at all.
The best moments with Piz were quiet, when they read together on his extra-long twin bed. There’s no pressure, no chance of damage being done, of points being scored. There had been no quiet moments with Logan; their whole relationship was loud and volatile. They did not know how to be silent together. She wonders if time with Jenny would be quiet. She thinks about long talks over coffee, and walking on the beach, and doing homework in her living room without having to ask whether Jenny’s been going to class.
Veronica rolls over once again and faces her phone. She scrolls through the contact list, thumb hovering over Jenny’s name. She has no expectations of Jenny, except that she totally does. She hits send. The phone rings once, twice, and is answered.
“Hello, Jenny?” she says. “It’s Veronica.”
- Fic: One of Us