CHARACTERS: Veronica, Casey
WORD COUNT: 984
SPOILERS: Missing scene from 210, One Angry Veronica
SUMMARY: An old friend shows Veronica how to have fun again.
DISCLAIMER: Not mine – everything belongs to RT and UPN.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Originally posted to vm_santa as a teaserfic for lostt1. Since I have now revealed my identity by posting her present, I'm reposting this now as well. Many thanks to onastick for beta help! :)
More of my VM fanfiction can be found at herowlness_fic
"Any idea who put that thank you note on your car?"
The sound of the vaguely familiar voice startles Veronica from her back-and-forth, up-and-down scrubbing motion and almost causes her to knock her bottle of Windex off the hood of her car.
Of course, since she is Veronica Mars, she quickly gathers her composure and looks up to see the face of a boy whom she hadn't seen in months.
"Well," she begins, "the use of the Spanish phrase for thank you is probably meant to implicate the PCHers, but given the fact that I had a hand in voting to convict some of my very upstanding 09er classmates, I'm willing to bet that some of our mutual friends are involved."
"Mutual friends? People who would do something like this to a great girl who was just trying to fulfill her civic responsibility aren't any friends of mine." He pauses for a moment before adding, "Madison's at the top of your list, isn't she?"
"Well, I do have a feeling that Hunter's conviction will throw a wrench in her New Year's plans. I think the latest gossip at school was that he was going to fly her to Paris for New Year's in his family's private jet."
"Really now? That definitely sounds like grounds for vandalism to me," he chuckles.
He leans back against the trusty LeBaron, and after a moment's pause, she joins him.
"What are you doing here, Casey?" she asks after a moment.
"Not happy to see me?" he jokes, before offering her a more sincere smile. "I got back from Stanford a few days ago, and I heard about Duncan and Meg, and about Wallace running off a few months back, and I thought that maybe you could use a friend, someone to talk to."
A part of her is touched that he would realize how the disappearance of her best friend would leave a void in her life, let alone offer to be the one that she could talk to about her boyfriend's tendency towards secret-keeping.
But, at the same time, she wouldn't feel comfortable bearing her soul to him, no matter how much he might be willing to listen.
"I appreciate the offer, Casey, but I'm fine."
"If you say so, Veronica," he responds in a tone of voice that belies his true meaning. She knows that she hasn't heard the end of this, and she's tempted to just ask him to leave her alone.
But it's nice to have a friendly face nearby, especially one that she hasn't seen in so long, one that isn't as caught up in all of the politics that seem to rule the halls of Neptune High each day.
"Come on," he urges after a few moments pass. "Let's make this windshield shine like new."
She rolls her eyes at his clichéd remark, but still she hops off the hood of the car and tears off some paper towel before passing the roll over to him. They clean in relative silence until Veronica is rubbing off the final traces of the G, when Casey accidentally (or not so accidentally, she thinks) sprays her hand with the Windex and starts trying to clean her wrist.
"What are you doing?" she cries out in surprise, her cat-like reflexes allowing her to quickly pull her hand out of his reach. He runs around the car, of course, grabs her hand, and carefully polishes each fingernail with his damp paper towel.
"You're insane, you realize that?" she questions.
He nods solemnly in response to her statement, and she pulls her hand out of his and tosses her paper towel at his head. He ducks it easily enough, and she quickly grabs the spray bottle from its spot on the nearby sidewalk and holds it before her as a weapon.
"Don't make me shoot!" she threatens, but there's no malice in her voice.
He instantly puts an expression of devout fear on his face, and she has to work to keep a straight face herself. She'd never known how much of a ham Casey could be when he wanted to.
He holds out the paper towel roll, slowly begins to unroll it, and says, "I come in peace."
She's skeptical, but makes no move to spray him as he continues to move closer and closer. And then he's right beside her, but before she knows what's happening, she's being wrapped up in paper towel, as if she is a modern-day mummy. She thinks about fighting it, breaking out of the not-yet-thick layers, but then she realizes that this is fun.
She's spent so much time recently worrying about Wallace and his dad, or Meg and her baby, or Logan and his enemies that she didn't really have that much time left to just chill out and relax and play.
Not that she really had anyone to "play with" in her life anyhow, especially without Wallace around.
So she aims as carefully as she can at Casey's khaki-clad legs as he dances around her, pinning her arms to her chest, and she soaks spots on his legs with the Windex.
"Gee, Casey, I could have sworn that potty training would have been included in any nursery setting, but apparently you missed that lesson," she teases, after she hits just the right spot on his pants.
He laughs uproariously in response, wraps his arms around her (not that she has much of a choice, what with her arms being stuck to her sides), and says, "God, I've missed you, Veronica Mars."
She chuckles softly in return, and it feels wonderful, freeing to finally let loose and laugh.
Maybe Casey will eventually get her to talk about everything that's wrong with her life, but for now, they're doing something she hasn't done in a long time.
And that? Almost makes having to clean her car worth the effort.