Where Your Wings Have Gone
Fandom: Veronica Mars
Spoilers: Credit Where Credit’s Due
Distribution: lists, standing orders, others by permission
Disclaimer: Rob Thomas, Silver Pictures, UPN, have more of a right to this show than me.
A/N: story and section titles from the Tori Amos song, “Angels.”
Summary: Three girls. Three falls. One ocean.
i. “before the truth was buried alive, did we prize it?”
Lilly thinks that she might be an angel now. Which would be kind of sweet. Sweet like her mom would say it, and sweet like she’d say it. Back when she said things, which is almost a year now. Almost a year and she’s an angel, and it’s sweet, and she can see things and it’s all gauzy, like a really good glamour shot, or that movie, the one with Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow, Sky Captain and Who the Hell Cares.
Maybe, in fact, she’s just dead. She can’t remember, because it happened so fast. She knows she drove home and ran one of those stupid red light cameras and that was okay, because hey. When your best friend’s dad is Sheriff Mars and your dad’s Jake Kane, no doubt you’re going to get away with a few minor tickets, and it wasn’t on purpose. Lilly remembers that very clearly. She was listening to a good song on the radio and thinking about getting home in time for Pimp My Ride and calling Veronica about The Secret.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this.
She can go to the edge of the ocean every night, wander through the fire at an 09er party, even get a beer or two before the cops break up the kegger, and then wade into the water.
Wade to her knees. Up to her waist, pretending there’s someone on the beach to watch and smile and tell her she’s being crazy, going out that far at night where there are riptides. Even deeper. She can walk on the bottom of the ocean, lit only by the light of the moon, every night for the rest of forever, and she doesn’t feel cold water, or fish tickling her ankles. Lilly can’t taste beer anymore, or feel sand in her ass crack.
She’s an angel and it’s sweet, but she doesn’t want to be an angel. Not now. Not yet.
She wants to go home. She just wants to go home. But home is one place where Lilly Kane can never go ever again.
ii. “you always were the one who kept us all guessing…”
I drove to El Cajon to buy the pregnancy test, far away from any kind of water, home, or recognition factor. For those of you who think California is all coastal towns with no middle class, or inner city barrios where Koreans, blacks, and Latinos take turns trying to kill themselves and each other? I present to you the white-flight suburbs, where the working and middle class go to nest, listen to country music, and remind us that Jesus Is Coming!
It was on a rock hovering over the Wal-Mart where I bought the test. Subtle, huh? Everything there was black and brown and dried out from the fires, which burnt all the way down the hill with the Jesus rock. Nobody talked about it, even though I went home with ash on my windshield. Neptune might as well be in a different state in some ways; everyone looked the way I think Texans and other non-Californians look. Less plastic, more meat, and a love of peeing Calvin stickers.
Of course, given that I did my thing in the Wal-Mart bathroom, I guess it rubbed off. I spent all ten minutes in the stall, and I didn’t remember to pull my pants up. I couldn’t. I was too busy staring at the result window, thinking “don’t turn blue don’t turn blue don’t turn blue.”
I think there might be some rule where time dilates and then contracts when you’re in a Wal-Mart with a pregnancy test. I thought it was only eight minutes. I had checked my watch and it had said five minutes, but then I went back to glaring at the pregnancy test and making sure it didn’t show me the whammy.
But then someone banged on the stall door, making the water in the toilet slosh gently. “You okay in there?”
“Uhhhhh….” and I checked my watch again. Forty-five minutes later and I was still the girl with the pants around her ankles. Okay, great. “I’m okay. Just a second.”
I don’t think I remembered to wash my hands.
They should tell you that you don’t feel better when it doesn’t turn blue, even though I was glad it wasn’t blue. Instead, you just get a headache, toss the pregnancy test, and go drink four lattes at the Starbucks in the Vons next door so that your hands stop shaking.
They should tell you that even if the test is negative, you will drive your car up the PCH for hours, racing the oceans until you have to stop and puke out your guts because the salt water smell makes you sick.
But I know there’s no they, and even if there was, why would they care about me, anyway?
iii. “but it’s not how you think; you’d be surprised.”
Logan isn’t subtle. “Why don’t you go run away with your Latin lover?” he asks Caitlin, and then he stops talking to her altogether.
Big shock that he’s copying Duncan Kane, because Logan Echolls is the Duncan-shadow, except Duncan can keep his mouth shut. Caitlin doesn’t think Logan knows how to shut the hell up; all he does is bitch and moan and gossip to the other 09ers about Caitlin being a whore. Same kind of thing they said about Veronica, except everyone knew that was wrong.
Wrong, but who cared? Veronica was nobody; she got where she was by kissing Lilly’s toes and hanging on Duncan like last season’s cast-offs. Caitlin was somebody, still will be somebody once Logan gets the bug out of his ass. Veronica hangs around on the outskirts of cool for whatever reason she thinks she has.
But Caitlin ends up sitting on the beach all by herself that Friday night, her arms around her knees, wishing that she hadn’t gotten a pink Vespa. It looks stupid and girly. It’s something the vultures can pick over when they’re done talking about Caitlin being a slut, into the jungle loving, and a co-conspirator in credit card fraud.
She looks out at the black water, reflecting nothing except bits of light from Neptune and the stars and the moon and maybe the boats out on the water (Caitlin isn’t exactly sure what makes the lights on the water, but she thinks it’s all of the above) and then?
Caitlin sees something surprising.
A girl, standing in water up to her waist, waving at her. For just a second, Caitlin sees her, waving and twisting and trying to call to her, but Caitlin can’t hear it, and when Caitlin blinks?
The girl’s gone.
Caitlin shivers, because it’s cold and she forgot to bring a sweater. And then she heads for the Vespa, refusing to look back, just in case she sees the girl again, because if she does, Caitlin thinks it might end up being her.