DISCLAIMER: Veronica Mars and its characters are the property of Rob Thomas and UPN. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

When You Need Directions, Then I'll Be Your Guide
By gilligankane


Mac hums under her breath and Veronica ignores her, choosing, instead, to push a little harder against the gas pedal and lift her chin a little higher in the air.

It's been this way for the last forty-seven minutes and every time they pass a mile marker, the silence in the car – with the top pulled down over them – stretches thinner.

At mile 104 in the wrong direction, Mac finally decides to be assertive.

Veronica beats her to it. "Don't say a word."

"You don't know what I'm going to say," Mac argues.

Veronica's foot eases up on the gas and she pulls her eyes away from the blurring yellow lines long enough to glance over at Mac. "You were going to say I'm going the wrong way."

"Well," Mac snorts, crossing her arms over her chest. "You are going the wrong way."

"It's the scenic route."

Mac leans forward in her seat, peering out the window at the barren farmland around them: the dying willow trees, the half-mowed fields, the abandoned hay rolls, the broken down tractor. One brow raised, she settles back in her seat and rolls her eyes.

"Some scene."

"Do you want to drive?"

She shrugs. "Why not? I mean, that way, when I turn the car around and drive right back through the setting of some slash horror film, you'll be able to enjoy all the wonders of what I've been seeing from this passenger seat."

There's a momentary pause before Veronica looks over again and repeats, "I'm taking the scenic route."

Mac's jaw drops; she can't help it. "The scenic route? The scenic route is, like, two miles outside of whatever route you happen to be taking. Not one hundred miles."

"Where does it say that?" Veronica challenges.

"It doesn't need to say it," Mac argues. "It's a known rule."

"I don't follow rules."

"Apparently, you don't follow highway signs either."

Veronica reaches forward and for a second, Mac thinks she's going to admit defeat and surrender the wheel, but she keeps reaching past Mac's hand, past Mac's knee, finally tugging at the handle of the glove compartment.

"What are you doing?"

Veronica ignores her and pulls out a map, unfolding it with one hand. "Look," she directs, pointing. "This is where we're going."

Mac leans forward, hunched over the map, the quickly fading daylight her only source of illumination, and squints. There, nestled between what looks like two roads and a highway, is a red circle drawn hastily, its curves overlapping.

"Where is this, exactly?"

In the driver's seat, Veronica looks over, a rare, genuine smile lingering in the corner of her mouth – the smile only Mac gets to see, when the world isn't looking – and shrugs one shoulder.

"Home," she says quietly. "If you want it to be."

Another flap of the map unfolds and a flyer slides out, screaming "Congratulation on buying your first house" in bright red letters.

"Home," Mac whispers.

The scenic route is kind of perfect, after all.

The End

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