Pairing: Tim Riggins/Veronica Mars
Spoilers: Miscellaneous spoilers for season 3 of Veronica Mars. Not much else.
Summary: Poor judgment and bad navigation strand Veronica Mars in Dillon, TX. Tim Riggins is no knight in shining armor, but he'll do in a pinch
Disclaimer: Friday Night Lights and Veronica Mars were created by Peter Berg and Rob Thomas, respectively. No profit is being made from the use of any of the recognizable characters.
Author's Note: Written for my own personal 12 Days of Crossovers fic challenge. Pairing and prompt provided by mrs_boyscout. This...didn't end up quite the way I saw it in my head. Bit longer and a shade darker than I had planned, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.
It was the sirens that woke Veronica. Blinking slowly, she sat up in the reclined passenger seat of the Saturn. "What's going on?" she asked, voice still heavy with sleep.
Weevil didn't meet her eyes as he steered the car to a stop at the side of the road. "I, uh, might have been goin' a little above the speed limit."
Suddenly awake, she asked, "How far above the limit?"
"Oh, y'know, maybe fifteen miles...maybe twenty-five."
"Weevil!" She buried her face in her hands just as the cop tapped on the window.
Weevil lowered it quickly. "Evening, officer. What seems to be the trouble?"
"I clocked you doing 92 in a 65, youg man. License and registration, please."
He pulled out his wallet while Veronica fumbled in the glove compartment for the registration. Both of them were silent until the officer had walked back to his car.
She shrugged, leaning back in her seat, eyes already drifting shut again. "It's just a speeding ticket. Not exactly the end of the world."
"See, that's the thing...it might be a little more than that."
Maybe if she didn't open her eyes it would all go away. "What do you mean?"
"I, ah, might have forgotten to mention this trip to my parole officer."
Veronica drove slowly, keeping her eyes peeled for a motel with a 'vacancy' sign. Weevil was being kept overnight at the station in Midland--the late hour on a weekend meant nothing could be worked out until the morning.
She sighed, and resisted the urge to beat her head against the steering wheel. This whole trip had been Weevil's idea. Even though he wasn't actually in college, he'd gotten it into his head to go on Spring Break. After much wheedling, cajoling, and outright begging, he'd convinced Veronica to road-trip with him to South Padre Island. Being 1500 miles from her latest Logan drama was just a bonus.
But instead of boozing it up with the coeds and frat boys, she was entering the town of Dillon, population Not Nearly Enough, looking for a place to sleep. On top of the parole fiasco, Weevil had managed to take them several hundred miles out of their way, mistakenly getting on Route 20 instead of staying on 10. Clearly, this trip was cursed--or at least in dire need of a radar detector and a GPS.
There was a loud noise, and the car jolted. Pulling over, Veronica was tempted to scream when she saw the flat tire.
Five minutes later, she did scream when she found the spare flat as well...and that cell phone reception was nonexistent.
Tim looked up when the door opened, and was surprised when a young, pretty blonde walked in. She didn't exactly fit the normal clientele of The Landing Strip. She looked tired and frustrated, and without a second thought he was out of his seat and ambling her way.
"You look a little lost," he greeted her.
She looked up--she had to be close to a foot shorter than he was--and nodded. "Any chance this place has a pay phone?"
"Sure, in the back," he replied, hooking a thumb in that direction. "Anything I can help with?"
"Not unless you've got a spare tire for an '07 Saturn VUE on hand."
"Nope, sorry." He caught her arm as she started to walk away. "Phone's not going to help, either."
He grinned. "This is Dillon, sweetheart. Not much open past nine on a Saturday except the bars, Applebee's, and the Alamo Freeze."
"Of course there's not. Because that's just par for the course tonight. So what am I supposed to do now?"
"Have a drink with me," he replied, that easy grin back in place.
She hesitated. He seemed harmless, but appearances could be deceiving--a lesson she'd learned the hard way. There was also the small issue of not being twenty-one, but she'd had a fake for years. After the speeding and the parole violation, what was one more broken law tonight? "What the hell," she finally said. "Having a drink in a strip club with a total stranger is a perfect ending to my day."
He stuck out his hand. "Tim Riggins."
"Veronica Mars," she replied, shaking his hand. Long fingers, rough skin--he was no California pretty boy.
"See, now we're not strangers."
They didn't build guys like Tim Riggins in California. He was completely at ease in his own skin, exuding a sexual energy that had her wondering how many of the strippers he'd already nailed. But there was also a darkness behind his eyes, an edge that reminded her a little of Weevil. This was someone who understood consequences, but couldn't really be bothered by them.
Or maybe that was just the beer talking.
She'd only been planning on one drink, but he'd ordered another round without asking, and she didn't want to be rude. It's not like she had anything better to do anyway.
"Texas is a long way from California," he said by way of restarting their stalled conversation.
"Road trip to South Padre Island."
He arched one eyebrow. "You do know you're going the wrong way?"
"Learned that when we got pulled over for speeding and my friend got hauled in on a parole violation."
The other eyebrow went up. "You have friends on parole?"
"Just the one. What's your point?"
"You don't seem like the type, is all."
"I don't seem like a lot of things," she mumbled into her beer bottle.
He stood up abruptly. "Let's get out of here."
"I don't think that's such a good idea."
He looked down at her, and after a moment he seemed to understand that there was fear and caution behind her hesitation. "You can't stay here all night," he reminded her quietly.
The reality of her situation settled over her again. Sooner or later, she was going to have to trust someone. "Where did you have in mind?"
"My brother and I have a couch. It's not the Ritz, but you're welcome to crash for the night. You can call about your car in the morning."
Still she hesitated. Gut instinct told her he was no Cassidy or Mercer, but her gut wasn't always reliable. "Thanks, I'd appreciate that."
Tim's brother Billy was sitting on the couch watching TV when they walked into the house. If he found it odd that his little brother had brought home a stray, he didn't mention it.
Tim glanced between Billy and Veronica, saw the doubt on her face again. "What don't you take my room?" he offered. "I can take the couch."
She couldn't quite hide her relief. "Okay. Thanks, Tim."
Veronica's eyes flew open, disorientation nearly overwhelming her. It took her a moment before she remembered where she was, and even then her heart was pounding. Throwing off the covers, she climbed out of bed and slowly made her way in the dark to the closed and locked door. She opened it as quietly as she could, and stepped out into the hall. The house was quiet, and she wondered what time it was.
After a quick stop in the bathroom, she padded into the kitchen, wanting a glass of water. There were no curtains on the front window, and she could see Tim sprawled across the couch in the living room. His chest was bare, skin pale in the moonlight, and she took an involuntary step forward.
"Veronica?" he said.
"Sorry," she said softly. "I didn't meant to wake you."
"I wasn't asleep," he said, and she couldn't tell if he was lying or not.
She came around the couch and sat on the coffee table, clutching her water glass a little tighter than necessary. "I should let you have your bed back. That can't possibly be comfortable for you."
"It's just one night. No big deal. What about you? Couldn't sleep?"
"Just woke up all of a sudden. Strange place and all that." She paused. "Thanks for letting me stay here tonight. I could've done a lot worse," she teased.
"No problem. Anyone would've done the same."
"Maybe. Maybe not."
They lapsed into silence, the kind of sleepy silence that only happens in the middle of the night, when people can only see shadows instead of faces. It stretched until she started to wonder if perhaps he'd fallen asleep, but she didn't speak and she didn't move, because her life doesn't have many quiet moments.
"South Padre is overrated."
She started a little, then chuckled quietly. "It certainly doesn't seem like it will be worth all this trouble." Even as she said the words she regretted them, because they made her sound ungrateful for what he'd done that night, and even she's not that much of a callous bitch. "I don't mean you," she added.
"Wasn't worried," he replied, body shifting on the couch as he propped his head up on one hand.
She wished, suddenly, that she could see his face. They'd only talked about her, where she was from and how she'd ended up in Dillon. She didn't know anything about him.
She set her glass down on the table, the dull clunk loud in the quiet room. Her hand found his face in the darkness, fingers grazing over the beginnings of stubble. It was easy, then, to lean in and kiss him.
He didn't hesitate to respond, his free hand coming up to tangle in her hair. She thought about how easy it would be to let it go too far, to climb on the couch and let him do what she was quite certain he did best.
Instead, she pulled back. "I should go back to bed."
She told herself it didn't matter when he didn't try to stop her.
They never made it to South Padre. Weevil's situation got complicated, and he ended up on a plane back to California. Somehow, she just couldn't bring herself to drive the rest of the way without him. Bad enough she'd have to drive home alone.
The Saturn had four good tires and a functional spare, so it seemed only logical to drive over to the Riggins place.
"I hear South Padre's overrated," she greeted Tim when he opened the door.
He grinned down at her, apparently not at all surprised to find her on his doorstep. "Completely."
"So tell me," she said, brushing past him into the house without waiting for an invitation, "what is there to do in Dillon?"
"Not a whole lot," he told her, closing the door and turning around. Two steps and he was directly in front of her, their bodies not quite touching, his hand hovering close to hers, waiting for her to close the distance. She smiled up at him, their fingers lacing together easily, firmly. "But somehow, I don't think you'll be bored."