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Mac likes being Veronica's go-to person for computer skills. In fact, love of geeky things aside, Mac sometimes secretly considers putting aside important things to go learn something random. Like how to crack futuristic high tech safe mechanisms, something that Veronica might one day need her help with.

On her really bad days? Mac often comes close to going into exams unprepared and missing assignments in favour of learning more of these random skills Veronica might one day appreciate.

Thankfully that doesn't happen too often.

* * * * *

Mac likes being Veronica's go-to person for friendship when Wallace isn't around. Not that Mac doesn't know that Veronica does really like her, and that she isn't just a Wallace replacement, but the key thing is that Veronica doesn't like her. So Mac gets her thrills where she can.

Sometimes Mac wants to date boys so that she'll have something to talk about with Veronica, something that Wallace can't quite compete with. She knows that she isn't meant to work like that because she's genuine and nice, and that it isn't a competition, but she can't seem to help herself.

Then she starts dating Beaver and things are going really well and she almost kind of forgets that this was supposed to just be about giving her that extra something to talk about, and it is good, but one day she catches herself saying 'Veronica this...' and 'Veronica that...' and 'I talked to Veronica about it and she said....'

The last time she recites the latter at Beaver he flips out, and she can't help but wonder what he knows.

 

* * * * *

When Mac first starts rooming with Parker, she's secretly a little terrified. She'd figured that even though the boys were proving a little elusive, she could at least find and nurture a new friendship of the female variety. If she was lucky, it might even turn into a female friendship not intertwined with a raging crush.

But then there's Parker, who is tall and leggy and enthusiastic and totally different to Veronica and Mac, and she keeps taking her clothes off in front of Mac like she hasn't a care in the world. The periodic lack of clothing is almost enough to distract Mac from Veronica's 'how's tricks, kid' after a long summer of almost silence.

She tries to tell herself that wasn't relief she'd felt at the sound of that voice, like it hadn't hurt that they'd barely seen each other all summer. She keeps telling herself that, and Parker and Mac end up being great friends, but Parker is still totally different to them.

In the end there's nobody quite like Veronica Mars, and she kind of wants to kick herself for not learning that particular lesson sooner. Everyone else seemed to. She gets it now, but sometimes, when Parker is out and she's got the room to herself, she likes to pretend that she's rooming with Veronica, and it's Veronica who makes a regular habit of stripping in front of her.

 

* * * * *

Seemingly out of the blue one day, Veronica asks Mac if she wants to stay the night and do the girly sleepover thing. Apparently her father is out of town and she wants to stay in, avoid Logan and Piz and anyone who she's helped the police bust lately, and she wants to do it with Mac.

So Mac goes to the girly sleepover, and they eat burnt popcorn and watch bad movies and paint each other's nails because it's what they tell each other they're supposed to do, and then they wrestle over the remote, and over the comfortable couch cushions, and eventually even over the food. Mac thinks they're still messing around when Veronica deftly slips a hand between them and under Mac's shirt, stroking gentle fingers across her hipbone and watching her intently with wide eyes.

Mac thinks she's having a quiet heart attack, and then the words start. They pour forth and she can't quite tell who is saying what, but they don't stop, things like I didn't think you'd ever notice....

I've always loved your smile.

But what about...

I never want to let you go.

Do you think next week we could...

I want you.

I'll keep your secrets.

I've always wanted you.

I didn't realise... Hey, come back here.

I need you.

I think I know you better than you realise. I'm going to fall in love with you soon, I just thought you should know.

Veronica slides her hand up Mac's side, rucking her shirt up as she goes and traces shapes and pictures on her breast, through the lace of her bra, until Mac wants to giggle. She opens her mouth, but all that comes out is 'oh', and then Veronica is mouthing at her throat and tugging at her hips and then it's 'oh, oh, OH!'

Then Mac really does giggle, because she sounds ridiculous and she feels like she's in a bad porn movie, and then Veronica is laughing too and there are tongues and lips everywhere, hands in hair, and tangled clothing. They fall asleep still kissing on Veronica's living room floor, curled around each other and a half empty bowl of popcorn.

* * * * *

When the morning rolls up to their front door, Mac wants to know what all of this means, but she hasn't had long enough to stew over the important questions and get up the courage to broach the subject yet, so she doesn't say anything. She studies her hands and keeps her eyes averted and smiles nervously through the whole trip to campus, and Veronica doesn't say anything about it either. She says something about meeting up for lunch later instead, and Mac knows she's nodding a little aimlessly. She's got these feelings bubbling up, but they're getting stuck and she's feels like she's choking.

The glare of the cafeteria seems unnecessarily harsh while she tries to find Veronica amongst the crowd of people they know, people whose opinions and judgements might matter. When she finds her, Veronica's hunched over one of her criminology textbooks and Mac only gets a quick flash of teeth to acknowledge her arrival and Mac thinks oh.

That's how we're going to play it then.

She pulls up a chair and she's so busy trying to pretend like her world isn't tilting madly and her ears aren't ringing that she misses Veronica blindly reaching out until their hands collide.

Veronica gently strokes the top of Mac's knuckles with her thumb for nearly an entire hour, still engrossed in her textbook and only pausing occasionally to grab her coffee and smile warmly across the table. Mac sits there for nearly an entire hour, grinning like a crazy person and not particularly caring, and occasionally pushing food around her plate like she's actually capable of focusing on anything other than the warmth around her hand and the careful shift of skin against her own.

At the end of their nearly-an-entire-hour together, Veronica gathers up her things and Mac watches her. To anyone else Mac is sure she'd look quite calm, but she's trying to trust that Veronica really can see her better than anyone else. She's trying to trust, and Veronica rises to the occasion, squeezing her hands and smiling meaningfully. Reassuringly. A whole conversation conducted without words, and then she kisses Mac softly goodbye in front of everybody whose judgement might matter.

She kisses Mac softly like they do it all the time, and Mac already irrationally feels like they do.

* * * * *

Mac likes being Veronica's not-so-secret girlfriend. Now she's the go-to person for practically everything. She no longer feels like it's a competition, because she won, and she knows that she never has to fight for Veronica's attention again. Even though Veronica keeps pointing out that she never had to fight in the first place.

Sometimes she wonders what she should call her crush now that it's reciprocated, except maybe she's crushed on Veronica for too long to change the definition. Mac has a funny feeling she'll still be crushing on Veronica for a long time to come.