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VM: By Second Nature (Mac/Veronica)

mosca and callmesandy organized femslash10. I wrote a back-up story for harborshore, who requested a Veronica Mars story with Mac/Veronica.

Title: By Second Nature
Author: voleuse
Fandom: Veronica Mars
Pairing: Cindy Mackenzie/Veronica Mars
Rating: PG-13
Summary: And though I hated it then, a part of me wanted it to live.
Notes: Post-series, a few years in the future.

The knock on the door was distinctive, and it only took Mac half a minute to realize who it had to be. She doffed the headphones she'd had hooked around her neck and rolled over the back of her sofa.

Veronica was mid-way through knocking again when Mac swung the door open. Her fist wavered before she planted it against the threshold. "Look what the cat drug in," she drawled in an extremely horrible Southern accent.

"How'd you find out where I live?" Mac asked. "I've moved twice, and you're not really the postcard-sending kind."

"Duh," Veronica said, raising her eyebrows. "Detective? And thanks for the affirmation."

Mac rolled her eyes and shifted back, and Veronica stepped inside like she was prancing.


Mac poured coconut rum into a plastic wine glass and mug that proclaimed, WE ARE OF PEACE. "I have pineapple juice," she offered.

"Pshaw," Veronica pronounced exactly. She took the proffered cup and sipped. She said, "That's the stuff," and winced.

"Shut up," Mac said. "You want Red Bull?"

"Dear God no," Veronica replied. "You are trying to poison me."

"Shouldn't you be at Quantico or something?" Mac asked.

Veronica leaned back. "Did my dad send out a Christmas newsletter?" She set her glass down and folded her arms, all expectation.

"Duh." Mac smirked. "Hacker?"

"I'm not at Quantico yet," Veronica said, "so I'm not obligated to report any--"

"Hypothetical activities of known subversives?" Mac tilted her head. "Between me and Weevil and, y'know, everybody, I'm surprised your background check didn't get you booted."

"Funny how they value competence these days," Veronica responded. She flipped Mac off, then laughed. "So are we going to make out or what?"

Laughter burst from Mac in a loud cackle, so she was totally unprepared when Veronica kissed her. She spilled her rum on the sofa, but she was never in love with it anyway.


Veronica, it turned out, was in town for a seminar on something crimefightery. Mac tried to care for a while, but it had nothing to do with computers, and there was only so much about profiling she could stand without having flashbacks to things she'd decided not to think about anymore, or ever again.

Eventually, Veronica noticed the look on Mac's face, the way Mac was kneading her nails against the carpet of Veronica's hotel room. "Sorry," she said, touching her foot to Mac's knee. She leaned her head back against edge of the bed, slumping further on the floor. "I get numb to it sometimes. Most of the time."

"Even though?" Mac asked, not wanting to fill in the blanks.

"Even though," Veronica confirmed. She wriggled her toes, and Mac caught her round the ankle. "Is this a talk-about-it moment? Because that's cool, but then--"

Mac slid her hand up and hooked her palm behind Veronica's knee. "It's not."

Veronica squinted at her. "Are you sure? Because--"

"Veronica." Mac knelt and leaned forward. She braced her hands on the mattress, bracketing Veronica's shoulders. "It's now now."

"Good enough," Veronica conceded, and she locked her arms around Mac's waist. Mac pressed further, her lips brushing down Veronica's throat, but when she shifted further down, she slipped, and they thumped onto the floor in an awkward tangle.

"Or," Mac said, squirming until Veronica's elbow stopped jabbing her ribs, "we could talk. That might be safer."

"Too late," Veronica said. She flopped over, squashing against Mac's torso. "And this is going to be pretty damned romantic."

Mac giggled, and Veronica wrestled with buttons and zippers and clasps until they were both breathless.


Veronica was surfing the internet on Mac's computer. No, Veronica was surfing a database that Mac had been hack-proofing.

Mac stared for a long minute, wondering if good sex and caffeine deficiency were taking their toll on her in her old age. "How'd you do that?"

"Magic," Veronica claimed. She didn't turn to look at Mac, but she raised her hands and waggled her fingers before returning to her search. "I'm not you-level, but it turns out I've got some mad hacking skills. With a z, even."

Mac dragged a chair over and descended rapidly into it. "You found my notes, didn't you?"

"I hacked your mind, Cindy Mackenzie." Veronica twirled in the chair, her knees brushing against Mac's legs. "Are you terrified?"

"That outfit terrifies me." Mac surveyed Veronica: shiny black pumps, A-line skirt, ruffly blouse, and crisp jacket. "What's up with the corporate drag?"

Veronica plucked the hem of Mac's boxers. "We can't all be work-at-home geniuses." She tucked a lock of hair behind her ear, then folded her hands primly against her knee. "Don't I look responsible?"

"Like you've never broken and entered anything at all," Mac replied. "They buy it?"

"I sell it pretty well." Then Veronica snorted. "Please don't--"

Mac held her hands up. "You said it."

Veronica stood, brushing her skirt down, then swatting Mac's hands away when she tried to help. "So my ticket says I'm flying back this afternoon."

Mac gazed up at her. "I know."

"How did you--" Veronica paused, then shook her head. "Right." Her brow creased, then she took a deep breath. She grinned. "Thanks for the rum and make-outs."

"Seriously?" Mac folded her arms. "That was the worst attempt at making the worst attempt to pretend everything's okay I have ever seen."

"It's to avoid awkwardness," Veronica said. She looked sidelong at the door. "So I should probably--"

"Yeah, I know." Mac pulled her knees up and yanked her T-shirt over her knees. "We're not currently hugging people, right?"

"And wrinkle this hotness?" Veronica replied, and she bent, kissed Mac one more time, teeth nipping against Mac's bottom lip before she pulled away, strode away, and the door clicked shut behind her.


The carpet of the hallway muffled footsteps, and the door was something heavier than plywood. It stung Mac's knuckles as she knocked. As she waited, she looked up and down the hallway, feeling alien and young.

There was a brief thrum against the door, and then metal scraping lightly. The door swung open, and Veronica leaned against the threshold, a cup of coffee steaming in her hand.

"Hey," Mac said. "The humidity here sucks ass."

"And our airports are too crowded," Veronica replied. "I'm supposed to work in an hour."

"I know." Mac leaned forward, pressing her lips lightly to Veronica's, just enough to taste coffee and cinnamon lip gloss. "So let me in."


A/N: Title and summary adapted from Peter Pereira's Butterfly Bush. Link courtesy of breathe_poetry.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 10th, 2010 04:40 am (UTC)
Really excellent. I hope you write more
Sep. 10th, 2010 05:25 am (UTC)
Oh MAN. God, I love them, and I love this so much--the way it's all new (and not), comfortable and a little weird, the way they banter like it hasn't been a while. They sound SO MUCH like themselves too, which, the dialogue is one of my favorite things about that show. Also, I love that you worked in mentions of how good they both are at what they do--I have a competence thing, and that's part of why I'm so fond of these two together (it dates back to the moment we saw Mac driving off in her new car). Thank you so so much for writing this! It's pretty gosh-darned great. ♥

Edited at 2010-09-10 05:25 am (UTC)
Sep. 10th, 2010 10:39 am (UTC)
I couldn't love this more.
Sep. 11th, 2010 06:55 am (UTC)
Oh boy. I'm kind of wordless. You got so much history across in this...I'd copy my favourite phrases but I'd end up giving you the entire thing back in a comment, that's how perfect this was. Serious love. This was just amazing.
Sep. 15th, 2010 04:53 am (UTC)
I'm in love with this like OH MY GOD. So, so awesome :)
Sep. 20th, 2010 03:30 pm (UTC)
Aww, this was sweet!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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