Even now, years after that day, Weevil doesn’t think he’ll ever truly understand how he became so enmeshed with Veronica Mars. It happened a week after she showed up at school with that horribly cropped hair, her eyes now even more shadowed than they were before. Weevil had never paid much attention to her before Lilly’s death; she was just one of Lilly’s friends, the sheriff’s daughter, another good girl in a pink sweater. But he heard the rumors, the whispers, the stories of what happened at Shelly Pomeroy’s party.
“She pulled a train with the water polo team,” he heard during first period.
“Heard she sucked off three guys by the pool,” Felix told him during shop.
“Girl’s a freak,” Chardo declared as they shared a cigarette in the bathroom.
But Weevil knew none of the stories were true. No girl who looked that messed up was some wild party girl. And when he came out of his math class to find “whore” scrawled across Veronica’s locker, the girl in question scrubbing angrily at it with a handful of paper towels. Weevil slowed his gait as a handful of 09ers came up behind her, catcalling and throwing condoms at her. Veronica winced, trying to turn her back to them, her hand moving faster and firmer against the locker, but her tormentors didn’t let up.
It wasn’t planned. Weevil crossed the hall, slamming his shoulder hard into the torso of Dick Casablancas, sending the bigger boy stumbling.
“What the fuck, man?” Dick exclaimed but Weevil glared at him, positioning himself between the boys and Veronica.
“Walk away,” Weevil ordered and it took only thirty seconds for the guys to move on, puffed up with false bravado. He turned to Veronica, who was watching him as if she were a cornered animal. Weevil didn’t care much about Veronica Mars, but Lilly had, so he simply nodded before carrying on towards his English class.
It amuses him, when she starts working with the sheriff as a private investigator, when she starts sacking up and sticking it to the assholes that used to be her friends. He’s grateful for her help when his abuela gets accused of Chardo’s crimes, he’s happy to offer her what he can when she needs it. It’s an easy arrangement, and Veronica doesn’t really want much, never really asks for much. They have that in common.
Her showing up at Echolls’s poker game surprises him, but Veronica seems to constantly be surprising him. Watching her take them for all they’re worth is hilarious, and he doesn’t even care so much about losing the pot so long as those assholes don’t walk away with it. When Aaron Echolls takes a blade to the gut, Weevil almost feels bad for Logan until he remembers that Logan Echolls is the worst kind of person. Veronica and the sheriff watch the ambulance take Aaron and his wife away, and Weevil is surprised when Veronica invites him to come back to their apartment for Christmas movies and Chinese food.
Weevil doesn’t think the sheriff wants him hanging out in their apartment, but he isn’t rude or unwelcoming. He sits on the floor while Veronica and her father sit on the couch, and the pitbull cuddles up beside him. It’s quiet in the apartment, and it surprises him; it’s never quiet in his house, especially around the holidays. He’s heard the stories, of course, about Veronica’s mother being a drunk, about how she took off after the sheriff got fired; once he even saw Lianne Mars stumbling around outside the liquor store, and Weevil thinks maybe he and Veronica have more in common than he initially thought.
He still isn’t sure how it happens. The sheriff goes to bed, pointedly making sure to announce he has the gun beside his bed in case of emergency, and Veronica pops in the second Godfather. Weevil migrates up onto the couch, and for a while neither of them speak as they watch. Then suddenly his lap is full of Veronica, his fingers tangling in her blonde hair as their lips meet with a ferocity Weevil wasn’t even aware he felt until this very moment, and it feels so…right.
Her kisses are like everything else she does: single minded, fierce, powerful. It is Veronica who runs the tip of her tongue along the seam of his mouth, all but demanding entrance, and Weevil moans at the feel of her tongue sliding against his. She is warm and surprisingly soft beneath his hands; since Lilly died, he had started to think of her as being made of steel and armor, but she is just like any other girl right then, one who is hot and sweet and feels so damn good as she wiggles in his lap against the bulge in his jeans.
“Eli,” she breathes between kisses, and it makes him even harder to hear her call him by his real name. He has been Weevil for so long, just another thug; Lilly never called him Eli no matter how often he invited her to do so. For a moment, he is afraid to move, afraid of breaking the spell surrounding them, but then Veronica is pressing firmer against him and he catches her behind the back, leaning her back against the cushions and settling above her.
“Oh,” Veronica sighs as his lips find a sensitive spot on her throat and Weevil pushes his hips against hers, a slow grind that makes them both shake. He isn’t sure how long they have been kissing when the dog barks, but the fear of Keith Mars finding him licking his only daughter’s nipple while two of his fingers work inside of her is enough to send Weevil scrambling across the room, fumbling to button his jeans with panicked hands.
Veronica sits up, righting the cups of her bra, tugging her shirt down and her pants up. She looks at him, running her hands through her scattered hair, before suggesting, “Maybe it’s time for you to go.”
Weevil nods, wincing as he gets to his feet. He hasn’t had blue balls this bad since he was thirteen. “Yeah. I’ll see you at school.”
They don’t talk about it. Weevil senses this isn’t the sort of thing you talk about; it’s just one of those things that is. They’ll go weeks barely speaking to each other, Weevil running PCH while Veronica does…whatever it is Veronica does, and then they’ll spend every night for a week kicking the gearshift in her LeBaron. He learns she likes it when he calls her “Vee,” likes it even more he talks to her while they fool around; she’s quiet when she comes, but the night he goes down on her for the first time, she makes so much noise, he spends the next week smirking with satisfaction whenever their eyes meet in the hallway and she blushes brightly.
They never have sex. For all the rumors, Weevil suspects she’s a virgin, and he isn’t in a hurry. Abel Koontz is in a cell, and Veronica isn’t going anywhere. Weevil can be patient.
He isn’t sure what to make of it the night he gets the text to pick her up at Echolls’s house. Weevil goes because he knows she needs him, and she moves with such purpose, he wonders what happened in that pool house. She holds him a little too tightly as they ride through the streets of Neptune, leaving behind the mansions for the rundown complex Veronica calls him home. As he kills the engine, Veronica pulls off her helmet and hands it to him.
“What were you doing there?” he asks, and the deep flush of shame which fills her face tells Weevil everything he needs to know. He chokes out a bitter, mirthless laugh and Veronica flinches.
“Eli – “
“Nah, it’s cool,” he cuts in. “It’s not like we were ever anything, right?” He starts up the bike again, the roar of it seeming to echo in the Neptune night. “See you later.”
They never talk about it. They fall back into old habits, asking favors and trading quips, and sometimes Weevil convinces himself it wasn’t even real, that it was all just a fever dream.
But every time he sees Echolls with her, every time her brow furrows after speaking with him or her eyes light up as he approaches, Weevil can’t help but think maybe Veronica isn’t so different from Lilly after all.