DISCLAIMER: These characters are the property of Rob Thomas and UPN, and I sincerely hope they remain so for many more seasons to come. This story contains femslash.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: Welcome Wagon and Not Pictured
When Veronica orders the first Bailey's Irish Cream coffee after the movie, she pretends that she's just trying to see if they'll card her. She pretends like this matters, as if she doesn't have sixteen different forms of identification in her bag, fourteen of which conveniently add enough years to her age to make it a non-issue if they do. She pretends that she's just trying to see if they'll card her because that might be something that a normal college girl would do on one of the first Saturday nights of her freshman year. And she'd really like to pretend that she and Mac are just normal college girls, out for a couple of sugary, caffeinated, alcohol laden drinks.
When Veronica gulps down the first Bailey's Irish Cream coffee they bring out to the table, she coughs and sputters a little bit at the burning sensation in the back of her throat. Her mouth, it seems, is pretending to forget that she and Lily used to throw back vodka shots at the start of every sleepover since seventh grade. And really, it would be better to keep pretending like the feeling that your insides are unexpectedly catching fire is a complete novelty to her, like it was the first time that she tasted purple lipstick and expensive liquor and Lily's tongue in her mouth. Logan usually tastes like whatever high end crap the bellhop stocks in the Neptune Grand mini-bar. The taste is similar, but not the same.
Veronica looks over at Mac and remembers that she ordered hot cocoa with a shot of Kahlua. She pretends that she's not staring at Mac's fingers wrapped tightly around the flimsy Styrofoam drink cup in her hands, and thinking that right now she probably tastes like chocolate and tension with a little kick. When she catches herself rather graphically imagining how, exactly, her tongue would feel sliding past Mac's lips to explore all of the possible tastes in her mouth, Veronica decides that her drink must be about 95% Baileys, 1% coffee, and 4% foam.
When Veronica orders her second Bailey's Irish Cream coffee, she pretends that she just wants to spend some more time hanging out with Mac, who doesn't seem to be in any hurry to go back to the dorm. She pretends that her mind is not dwelling on the stupid 'unwashed' show when Mac gave her a once over so intense that she could have maybe been kicking a hacky sack around on South Quad instead of listening to some third-rate leftover grunge band. She is also not replaying the weirdness of Parker stripping in front of them, and the way Mac seemed to be struck with the exact same blushy awkwardness that Veronica felt, and was fairly sure had little to do with new roommate modesty.
Mac gives her a half-smile, which before Beaver turned out to be a sociopath would certainly have been a grin, and says, "Veronica Mars, you are getting tipsy." Veronica giggles, because tipsy is a funny word. When Mac stands up to leave, Veronica finds that she is just a bit wobbly on her feet. She pretends that's why she's leaning into Mac, more than is strictly necessary, on the walk across campus.
When they reach the edge of the green where the Take Back the Night rally was held, Veronica puts her hand on Mac's shoulder. Mac turns to her with a look that is mostly puzzled, but has a tiny glimmer of hopefulness behind the eyes. When Veronica leans in and kisses her, she pretends that she is certain Mac will kiss her back. When she feels Mac's lips moving against her own, Veronica feels as though she's just released a deep breath that she didn't even realize she'd been holding. It just feels right. The kiss is warm and perfect and Mac actually surprises Veronica by tasting a little like peppermint biscotti.
When they break apart, Veronica's fingers are tangled up and toying with one of the red streaks in Mac's hair. When Mac whispers her name, Veronica feels more alive than she has since the night that Lily died.
When they start walking in silence back to the dorm, Veronica touches Mac's hand gently, because she trusts Mac to understand that this isn't a drunken first weekend of college experiment. Mac puts her arm around Veronica's waist, and Veronica gets that Mac is still reeling from the whole first-boyfriend-psycho-killer trauma, but that she's willing to rethink the whole never getting involved with anyone ever again deal. Because even when Mac doesn't want to be kissing anyone, she's kind of always wanted to kiss Veronica Mars.
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