Pairing/Character: Veronica centric with Beaver, musings on most major and a few minor characters including, but not limited to, Mac, Wallace, Gia, Lilly and Dick.
Word Count: 677
Summary: She’s on the roof of the Neptune Grand, and everyone is there.
Spoilers: Pretty much just Not Pictured, though bits of seasons 1 and 2 may have leaked in as well.
Soundtrack: Led Zeppelin (Stairway To Heaven, When the Levee Breaks), Coldplay (Talk)
Author's Note: I've had the first three or four paragraphs in the works for around four months, so they're going to be quite a bit more polished, as a warning. Understandably I'm more secure about the first half of the fic than the second, but mostly I'm just happy to have finished. Additionally, this narrative is Veronica dreaming, if it wasn't already clear.
Phantasmagoria (N): (a) A fantastic sequence of haphazardly associative imagery, as seen in dreams or fever, or (b), A constantly changing scene composed of numerous elements.
Cassidy looks frail and febrile on the roof in Veronica's dreams, his mouth and spine curving into the same tortured shape as he looks at her, almost smirking, eyes dark. "That's what I thought," he says with the neon lights of Neptune playing across his pallor, and falls, without seeming to jump or even step, back still bent into an incomplete 9 or backwards C.
Sometimes, when she’s feeling literal, it is Logan who is there to hold her and he doesn't say a word. Logan's supposititious armor has been stripped away to reveal the boy, alone, soft and vulnerable and strong. He who had loaded his cannons with wit has no words left for Cassidy, frail and febrile, on the roof in Veronica's dreams.
Other times it is Lilly who stands in front of her, bright hair waving, unafraid as she is, in the wind, and when Cassidy bitterly asks his question Lilly puts her hands on her sassily slanted hips, tilts her head and says, "Hello?! Um, who are you talking to, again?"
When it is Wallace who shares the scene he doesn't say Cassidy's name or his burden, but he does say "Stop!" and when Cassidy asks the question Wallace doesn't pause like Logan does or slant sassy hips like Lilly. Wallace is terrified and unsure but he says, "Don't be a coward, man. Think about your family."
"What's left of it," says Cassidy acidly.
"What's left of it," agrees Wallace, face grave.
Veronica doesn't like Dick, but when he joins her to see Beaver fall she cannot blame him, thinking it cruel that he cannot experience this moment, that the memory that will be forever bound to him is not even his. Dick feels the pain, but it isn't him who heard his brother's last words, who saw him when he was not acting. This way, on the roof in Veronica’s dreams, he doesn't have to share Beaver--Cassidy?-- with anyone, or at least not as much.
After Mac's turn Veronica thinks that Beaver was right to confine her to the room, because he doesn't wait for an exit line, but leaps to the sound of Mac's sniffles and escapes the shame.
Veronica doesn’t know why it is raining when Gia twists her narrow body into an imitation of Cassidy’s as she finally meets her father, all her happy memories curling up at the edges, turning to ash and flame. In a strange way they are related, Gia and Beaver, forever bound to a father they hardly knew and a man—or a boy—who died in the air, falling, flying.
How strange it was to meet her father on the roof, but it didn’t occur to her at the time. Keith shoots Beaver down as he stands. It wouldn’t be the first time.
It’s like she’s running out of people, because soon Lianne’s sodden, snotty, mucoidal mass is slumped slackly next to her watching frail and febrile Cassidy on the roof in Veronica’s dreams. Veronica doesn’t want her in this moment. She’s got enough weighing on her. That’s why she’s almost happy to see Duncan’s arduously noble profile furrow with incomprehension and fear, why she’s (almost, but not quite) glad to hold Meg’s hand as Cassidy goes to meet her.
It’s the roof of the Neptune Grand and everyone is there. Veronica is in bizarro world because she is popular, in a sick kind of way, as everyone from Madison Sinclair to Gia Goodman’s little brother slumps and sits and stands next to her, trying desperately to share the memory and shoulder the pain. They run together in mass globs of flesh coloured paint after a while, unimportant because in the end it’s only her there on that roof, and it’s only her shoulders upon which the burden rests. And this is where it ends, but before the fade-out can bring blissful oblivion the timeline churns back to the beginning and on her carousel of ghosts Veronica watches the fall again.
She wakes up to the sound of a body falling, and she is alone.