Actions

Work Header

Rose

Work Text:

People have always idolized her. Veronica and her kind are the ones you see in the magazines—the rich and powerful who’ve got it lucky. Little boys and little girls aspire to be like her kind, ever since they’ve been educated by their jealous society.

And in their jealousy, some had grown scorn for her. In their eyes, nobody should possess the money and power she had when there were millions starving without a roof to protect them from the rains. There were people dying of disease and labor while Veronica got to sit on her little throne—the throne where no rain would ever hurt her.

And everyone talks about her. The worshippers fawn over their idols, and the attackers are eager to tear at the trash. You either praised or shamed her in this world.

But whether you loved or loathed her image, everyone saw the same one. On the movie screens, everything’s all beaches, fun, cruising with your friends in your convertible. Veronica can only dream to be what the people thought she was. That everything was always sunny, partying in Beverly Hills, looking your best on the red carpet—the perfect Barbie Dreamhouse life.

But this was the real world, and Veronica knows for a fact that this dream isn’t as charming as it appears to be.

Veronica Rose is the heiress of the Chardonnay Company, one of the world’s most esteemed oil companies. Naturally, she gets to inherit all of her daddy’s riches and fortune. Designer options. Exotic cars. Life in one of the many luxurious estates her father owned. Very glamorous on picture. But if you look outside of the papers, you’d see what she saw.

Total boredom. She’s seen the world and most of what it had to offer, what’s she to do then? Do it again? Everything lost its passion, their charm, there wasn’t any value anymore. The initial excitement in her life died a long time ago and now she’s been desensitized until she was jaded. There wasn’t enough that made her feel alive, not enough to touch her soul, she’s been too numb. Veronica was so bored of all of the riches, all of the same snotty people she has to associate with just because had they wealth in common with her.

Aiden never sees that. Aiden’s real name is Zhao Xue, but he goes by Aiden so Veronica’s team would have a name they could pronounce. He grew up as a poor and sickly boy in China who came to worship the rich and powerful—they represented everything he never had as a child. He envies them, he wants to be them. And as a child, he had also idolized a racing team heavily related to the Chardonnay Corporation, the spiritual predecessor to the Fast-Lane Turismo, which Veronica had founded. He praises the teams like they’re living gods, their skills and status are just divine to him. Aiden shoves the excellence of these teams in everyone’s faces, and anyone who disagrees is automatically in the wrong. Now that he’s a Turismo, he’s desperate to prove himself. Aiden wanted to be the best and the Turismo were the best in his eyes. Even if he’s in the team, he’s an outsider. He’s the young rookie and the token minority, the nobody compared to the celebrities.

Veronica thinks he’s rather annoying. He’s certainly a good driver and an excellent engineer, but he’s useful and that’s that. Aiden is the team’s lapdog and that never stops following them, or quits yapping, and Veronica has to be there to shut him up when they’re around company. In truth, Aiden really never gets the fame or recognition the other members do. He doesn’t get payment anywhere close to the wealthy sums of the other drivers. But he desperately clings to be with the Turismo. Veronica doesn’t understand what he sees. But Aiden never understands what she sees. He never had the fortunes she had. If Veronica was born in his circumstances, would she have been the spitting image of Aiden?

But what Veronica is in this life, is a flower—domestic and grown in the amazing shelter that is the indoors. She’s safe from storm and drought and she knows that’s a good thing. But she’s fed up of fake fluorescent lights, devoid of flavor and warmth. Where was all the rain and sunlight that would make her feel alive? She knows the wild plants have something she doesn’t, and that it was something money could never buy.

She is a Rose, yes. Being a Rose comes with luxuries fit for fairy tale royalty. But being a Rose meant that you must bear the thorn of the business. That means being in charge of operations, holding business meetings, evaluating capital allocations, blah. This also meant spending her life shaking hands with men in tuxes that she will immediately forget afterwards, trying to listen as they spoke gibberish she could care less about, all while sitting in an office chair for hours and hours on end. It’s the mind-numbing cost of her luxurious life.

Her father loves her at least, he loves her and so he wants Veronica to be successful. Alexander Wagner’s parents want him to be successful first and foremost, and maybe then they’ll love him for his success. He hailed from a wealthy family in England. Alexander doesn’t get anything like the freedom Veronica’s father gives to his daughter. His parents are absolute control freaks. They’ve meticulously molded him to be the obedient child that will do whatever his parents say. They’ve disciplined him, scolded him, shamed him, punished him—really anything that would teach him to be the perfect child they wanted in him. They’re in charge of every aspect of his life. Everything they say is law, and Alexander has no choice but to follow.

When they saw that the Turismo would be accepting new drivers, their son just had to be let in. They got their son to work hard for them—they managed to mold their son into an excellent professional soccer player (the American soccer) after all, surely he would be a great driver as well? Out of all of the submissions, Alexander ended up being chosen.

He’s certainly one of the more quiet members. He doesn’t speak much, and can barely hold his own in a conversation. In truth, he’s rather awkward, he was always alone growing up as a child. He’s always obedient, to Veronica, to the others, he’ll never act out of line. His parents made him so vulnerable. Alexander was easily manipulated, easily pressured, he can never say no. He’s always doing what someone else wanted him to do, he never does anything for himself. Veronica knows how shitty his parents are, she’s met them and they’re a couple of assholes. But she can’t help but feel grateful to them. They never spoiled their child, and that’s why he was so bearable compared to the other members of her team. Alexander continues to live out their wishes.

She knows the age-old saying, every rose has its thorn. She knows about the converse too; if there is a thorn, then there is a rose. But what rose would be worth the thorn? She knows this rose well. It’s withered and shriveled, droopy and dead, only the faint final notes of its perfume lingered. Veronica was tired of the same, old, wilted rose, how could she bear its thorns? The Rose duty and legacy was a burden she had no wish to carry.

Veronica’s been trying to avoid the business part as much as she could, making the most of her time before she’s got the company weighing down on her shoulders. She’ll spend her time out of the house, visiting parties. She doesn’t come to dance or socialize, she’s there to take advantage of the food and drink, the time spent away, and she watches as chaos ensues. And the alcohol. The buzz never fails to please her, and the whole world is so much more tolerable. Then she realizes she’s sobering up alone in someone else’s guest room with a pounding headache and the shame and regret hits her. She’ll say she hates the drinking, but she knows that she’s always come crawling back.

Brianna Dufour is a pretty big fan of parties and alcohol, and she doesn’t even have a business to take care of. Her family were the stars of the reality TV show set in Paris. It is the dumbest shit ever, and somehow the show got enough fans to make that family rich. All the family did was sip tea and cause drama, why were they even famous? The show was eventually cancelled, thank god, but the members are still living in the light of stardom. She swears Brianna would be talentless if it weren’t for her. The Turismo were a huge deal, and she wanted in on it. And so she practiced, and found her way into the team. It’s probably the most respectable thing Brianna’s ever done.

Brianna’s a real flirt. That social butterfly is always seeing people, getting into relationships and hooking up with people she barely knows. She loves to get under people’s skin, she lives for drama. She sees people for fun and that’s it. And when you’re not fun to her anymore, no longer is she putting up her bubbly, cheeky act. She’s cold, bitter, and spiteful, and she’ll leave you in the dust. And then she moves on to someone else,

Veronica’s thought about love. A handsome Prince Charming would come to swoop her off her feet and make life worth living. She’s been around but she’s never been satisfied. Veronica wants something real—a deep human connection. But everyone just wanted her for her money, her fame, and/or her looks. Everytime, she ends up leaving with a bad taste in her mouth. She gave up on love a long time ago. No longer does she kiss frogs and hope for princes. Veronica’s also been in the sheets. Sex is nice, but she doesn’t want something so fickle. She isn’t satisfied with one-night-stands, sex belongs in a genuine, loving relationship, it is shouldn’t something be something that’s thrown around so casually. Veronica wants more than just a body.

But Brianna is a fan of the material, she never looks for passion in anything, she just wants to have cheap thrills to pass the time.

She knows the time will come where she’s in charge of the Chardonnay Corporation. When the time comes, she’ll just have to face it, Veronica isn’t one to change the status quo. But how long would she last even? She was only 25, she had a lot of life left to waste. Perhaps she’ll die of an overdose eventually. Substance abuse was common for her people in her status—drugs and alcohol could make someone happy, even if it’s only for a while, when the real world could not. Maybe she’ll get drunk and drive, only to crash and die. At least she’ll go out having done two of her favorite passions.

Enough allusions. The chances are, you want to know more about Veronica’s ties to racing and about her racing team.

Driving was her healthier happy place. Veronica feels alive when she’s behind the wheel. The thrill, the rush of adrenaline—she sparks to life when she gets her car on the track. It’s breathtaking, and that spirit just isn’t found anywhere else. She happens to be an avid collector of cars too. She enjoys the thought process and mentality automakers have when developing their craft. Veronica can enjoy the modern masterpieces, but she’s also quite a fan of the classics. Really, she can enjoy any car as long as it was made with heart and soul. Her vehicles often get pricey, she’s fine with that, it’s not like her to be unable to afford something. Besides, she only buys things with a price tag fit for their quality.

Veronica knows about the rich like her who buy some of the most unique and high-class cars, she hardly knows one who doesn’t. But she knows about the upper-class who bought a car merely to have a status symbol. They stow these cars away in their garages to sit pretty and collect dust. Sometimes, they would drive them from A to B at speeds that generally never go above 30 miles per hour, even if those cars deserve to be let out on the track at full throttle. She despised every single one of those people.

It seems Veronica was destined for cars. Her father runs a motor oil company after all. And her father isn’t disappointed at all in her collecting cars. Hell, he has his own grand collection, bigger than hers. He’ll gladly pay for anything she wants. But he has questions. He knew she was wasting her time when she was racing. He also knows about the parties and alcohol too, but he’ll be a hypocrite if he says anything about that. But racing was open for criticism. Her father wants her to spend time off the track and more time in the office rooms. Veronica knew her time racing would run down the drain if she did as little for the company as she did.

So Veronica devised a brilliant solution, to found a team of racers that would promote the brand. She dons this team, you guessed it, the Fast-Lane Turismo. The Turismo are out there on the racetrack, competing in tournaments and winning for the Chardonnay brand. It’s genius marketing on her part. Being a Turismo driver is a coveted position and there’s a whole slew of people who want admission into the team. You must be a racing expert to be admitted. That’s fair, why would a racing team want otherwise? Other factors come into play too—social status, economic status, appearance. That’s shallow. But hey, the media obsess over this “shallow,” and the whole damn point of the team is to advertise.

These expectations brought out the worst in people. The fortune, the status, the pressure, and the success rewired their brains—killed the human inside of them. If they had any innocence, it died as soon as they became Turismo. The ones who had lost it would fit right in with the team. None of her drivers acted genuinely. They’re practically machines who sold their souls so they could be with the highest of the social hierarchy. They’ll act like the exact image the media want to see in them. They’re the absolute coolest, nothing less, and she absolutely hated these kinds of people. All fake, all shallow, all like the rest—Veronica absolutely loathed her teammates. She can speak to them like they’re complete shit, and they’ll still eat it up because she was the alpha bitch here and she was the one giving them a paycheck. And as a racer, she’s on her lonesome, she was an independent driver at heart. She never liked the Turismo, but they managed to make her passions and business coexist, so she gives credit where it is due.

Svetlana Ivanov was a sweet little girl from Russia. She grew up a humble lady with nothing special. Some men in tuxes found her pretty little face and told her that her gorgeous body could be making some major money. They transformed her into one of the most renowned supermodels. She hit the jackpot, and she was never the same. Svetlana was spoiled—grew snooty and arrogant. She wasn’t the sweet humble girl from Russia she once was. Now she’s a foul and snotty bitch based in America. Svetlana looks down on everyone who isn’t at her level, and gloats about how much better her life is compared to others constantly.

Svetlana had some connections with “friends” that were in the Turismo. She saw that they were shining and she wanted to be in that light as well. She trained hard in the hopes of becoming a Turismo driver, and she was eventually admitted into the team. Now she’s an even bigger snob than before.

She’s pathetic. Svetlana’s walk is only okay for the most part—she could really use a more effortless air in the runway. But in no way does it live up to her talk. She hypes herself up as if she’s hot shit. She tries to be recognized as the greatest. But often, she’s proven wrong. She never proves to be as glorious as she says. And Svetlana doesn’t like to be proven wrong. She’ll throw a hissy fit—yell, throw things, and cry. She never holds her weight and she was the kind of member that bothered Veronica the most.

As time passes on, the business threatened to absorb her passion. Racing wasn’t the same exciting passion it used to be. She doesn’t feel enough struggle when she’s pulling in wins for the Turismo. The thrills and rush of adrenaline were fading. She doesn’t want to admit that racing felt like a chore. Veronica had never felt so strongly towards anything in her life, she can’t let racing be just a phase! So she’s racing even more, desperately trying to get more of that energy she had felt years ago. But there’s just less and less soul every time. Turismo racing was shifting into the same kind of business as the office work that she inherited and avoided. And it doesn’t help that her teammates constantly sour the experience for her. What source of emotion would she have left when racing will have been exhausted?

Veronica’s no dumb blonde. She knows how well her situation is. That she comes off as an ungrateful, whiny brat who has no reason to complain about how her life sucks. She should be thankful that she isn’t some poor child in Sudan, or Iraq, or Bangladesh, or all those other third-world countries. She’s lucky that she isn’t like the Teku or the Metal Maniacs and that she can get perfect cars that are fresh from the factory. Her problems are always invalid, they never matter because they exist in an entirely separate dimension called the first world. She’s being well-fed, she’s got a roof, she’s got everything, why can’t she be happy? Veronica wants to be happy, that’s why she’s a racer. She needs to have something more to be happy, she can’t live the same days in a row. But when you’re at the top, the only place left to go is down below, and she doesn’t want that.

And can she care about what you think of her even? Sure, she doesn’t want to look bad just as much as anyone. But even if she embarasses herself, or does something absolutely wrong, does it really matter to her at all? At the end of the day, she’s going to go back to the same million-dollar bed, and then she’ll wake up to live out her million-dollar day, the cycle repeats. She can’t care. It’s almost disappointing that she’s practically unable to care, and that she has next to nothing she can care about. She really is the coolest. Veronica's cool to the point of numb and she can hardly feel anything. That’s why almost nothing fazes her. Veronica remains indifferent towards nearly everything. There has to be something to break the cycle. Something more than the alcohol, dare she say it, perhaps even more than racing. But alas, she doubts there's anything left for her. What can she even do anymore?