Fandom: Veronica Mars
Pairing: Veronica Mars/Eli "Weevil" Navarro
Why Veronica Mars? Why Weevil and Veronica?
I came late to Veronica Mars as a fandom. I have vague memories of watching the show – and liking it – during its first run, but it premiered the year I had my first baby (2005), and was cancelled the year I had my second (2007). Any spare time I had was devoted to reading and writing fic in another fandom, and somehow, the magnificence that is Veronica/Weevil managed to pass me by. Then.
Late last year, I stumbled across hetreccers, and just through browsing the ships I was interested in, happened across "The Dectective and the Biker" recs by aj. I remember thinking - “oh, that'll be cool” and started reading.
Well. I started there, and didn't stop. Then I downloaded the entire three seasons to watch on iTunes, and dedicated every bit of my considerable internet research skills to finding every last Weevil/Veronica fic on the Net. It's not an easy task, given the number of purged journals, broken links, and dead archives that have arisen in the five years since the show was cancelled. And then there's the indisputable fact that a certain other ship dominates this fandom, and only a fraction of Veronica Mars writers ever touch this ship.
But it's a spectacular fraction.
But why Veronica/Weevil? For me, it's a two part fascination – firstly, Weevil. Oh, Weevil. Even in the not-so-bland landscape of Neptune, he is the most magnetic character on the screen. Visually arresting, well written and often superbly acted, Weevil as embodied by Francis Capra just seemed more alive than anyone else, particularly when compared with the other young male leads. Every scene he appears in is memorable, whether for banter, menace, high emotion or an explosive mix of the three. Secondly, Weevil and Veronica. I will go to my grave believing that this was destined to be the canon ship of the second season, before the Logan Echolls train derailed it. Too many sexually charged moments in the first season, too much focus on him as a character, and them as a team, for it not to have been destined to go somewhere. Weevil and Veronica are two sides of the same coin – one Hispanic and male, the other white and female, but both operating to their own moral code, both ruthless in the pursuit of their own ends, and both valuing loyalty above all else. Weevil shows Veronica what it is to be proud of your identity and secure in the life you make for yourself; Veronica shows Weevil what it can mean to embrace change and growth, and admit the possibility of a different future.
And yes. They'd be so pretty together. It's perhaps no coincidence that many of my favourite fics are highly evocative and thick with beautiful imagery ...
Fic Rec #1: Gash
Author: Vanessa Galore
Why This Must Be Read: “He reached with his thumb and touched that lower lip that had taunted him, had accused him, had even smiled at him once or twice.” One of the first Weevil/Veronica fics I read that completely rocked my world. It's a bit like Weevil himself, in fact: short, punchy, in your face, and a little bit nasty. In the best possible way. I've read in comments that Vanessa wanted to explore a troubled relationship (Logan and Veronica) and how that could play out; I can certainly find that subtext in here, but to me, this fic is most interesting in how it strips Weevil and Veronica back to the fundamentals of favours owed, secrets shared, and a no-holds-barred approach to life. In this fic, at least, Weevil and Veronica are all about the now, fulfilling basic needs and ignoring the galaxy of issues that complicate their lives. No one is deceiving themselves that a happily-ever-after awaits (and that's a good thing).
Fic Rec #2: The Force of Gravity
Why This Must Be Read: “Eli Navarro steps out of the shadows; she tries not to wonder why he was in the darkened alley in the first place. He’s darker too. Dark and gritty and a little too noir even for Neptune.” Choosing which Aeneas fic to rec was always going to be hard, since Full Service Treatment offers a classic (beautiful, scorching) coda to the events in the pilot. In The Force of Gravity, however, Aeneas is brave enough to explore what too few authors have done – what's left of Eli Navarro when he's released from jail? What happens to Veronica when life becomes too normal? Nothing good, Aeneas tells us, but then proceeds to give us a glimmer of hope. And while this fic is dark and brutal, it creates the darker Neptune with achingly beautiful language and a superb use of metaphor – the very last line of the fic is one of the most perfect closes I've read in any fandom.
Fic Rec #3: Taste
Why This Must Be Read: “He told himself he wasn't thinking about it, but the next few times he heard an SUV pull into the shop, he couldn't help wondering if it was her.” Veronica starts dropping in on Weevil through the summer after the end of her first year at college. I love this fic because it shows Veronica ever-so-gently pushing Weevil towards a real relationship, while he is stubbornly clinging to the idea that she only wants him for the occasional favour. “You haven't lived until you've tasted what I got,” he says at one point, and Veronica, it seems, has decided he's right, but needs to convince him of that. Lovely Weevil pov, pitch perfect dialogue, and steamy, realistic sex, that still manages to take a backseat to the character development. And – bonus! - tackles the abomination that was Season 3 and makes it all better.
Fic Rec #4: You Just Have a Thing for Blondes
Author: JM (child_of_inanna)
Why This Must Be Read: “She wouldn’t want all that you want to give her. So you’ll give her a little bit of oblivion because it’s all you have to offer her.” I love this for the Weevil voice, which reveals him as a teenage boy, struggling with wanting a girl he is pretty sure doesn't want him, and trying not to deceive himself as to the prospects for their relationship. The language is perfectly pitched, with long, run-on sentences that are convincingly stream-of-consciousness juxtaposed with short, sharp stabs of fact. Lovely visuals, great momentum, and a poignant ending that is still hopeful while never backing away from the reality of the characters and the situation in Neptune.
Why This Must Be Read: “There, right then, clinging to the door jamb, Veronica had felt a pure, instinctual, unguarded second of safe, a primal urge to crawl into something warm and large.” This author is prolific across the VM fandom, so it's a treat to read one of her few Veronica/Weevil pieces. As responses to prompts often do, the starting point “hands” keeps the fic tight and focused and gorgeously visual. Every fandom has its good writers, its great storytellers and then, those wondrous few people who create sheer art with their use of the language – wily_one24 is one of those, and every word, every sentence, every idea here is shaped not just to say something, but to say something dripping with sensuality and subtext. And endless love for it being Weevil at the door that night ...
Fic Rec #6: Detention
Why This Must Be Read: “She was about to return to her English assignment when he fished out a pack of cards. “You know how to play poker?” A gorgeous, light hearted look at Veronica and Weevil before they “meet” in Season One. If you ever wondered where Veronica learnt to play poker, wonder no longer. Dionne has written many lovely fics, several others of which I'd happily recommend, but this is my favourite for its Veronica-voice, and the way it adds new layers to the early relationship. By building a foundation of shared experience and understanding prior to the flagpole incident and Weevil's threats outside the Camelot, Dionne makes the relationship that evolves later that much more credible.
Why This Must Be Read: “She reached into the bag and pulled out a pair of Mickey Mouse ears…ears that said “Eli” on the back.” Angel_Grace knows these characters and obviously loves them – she nails the dialogue, and gives them a sweet, funny, hopeful adventure to share after Weevil is released from jail. I love the way Veronica wants to redeem herself, but in trying to be a friend, discovers that is not all she wants to be. Deft, sure, easy to read and unabashedly romantic… perfect holiday fodder for those who'd prefer to forego the angst.
Fic Rec #8: Something Old
Why This Must Be Read: “Eli he may be, suave and charming in a smart suit, but at the core they're still Weevil and Veronica. And Weevil, she knows full well how to handle.” Our protagonists gave things a go in college, but Veronica wasn't able to commit. They meet again at a wedding, and Veronica is confronted with what she gave up. I've chosen this story above Shadowfax's many wonderful stories because it's newer than most, as well as one of the few that ventures into the far future, giving us the chance to see what Veronica and Eli are doing in approximately … 2012, would you believe! Excellent characterisation and lovely banter from someone who hasn't written a bad fic – try Brown (G), Preparation is the Father of Inspiration (rated R) or Rain (NC-17) if you are new to her work.
Why This Must Be Read: “His breathing was ragged, but it was nothing compared to everything in his eyes. “So what’s this? Veronica Mars losin’ her shit?” One of the reasons I read fanfiction is for new insights into characters – what were they thinking? What were they feeling? Why did they DO that? This fic blows all others out of the water for its understanding of Veronica, her motivations, her temptations, and her faults. It reveals what Weevil represents to her – his loyalty, pride, and refusal to take her shit – and how that is incredibly attractive to her, even when she's not ready to trust him.
Fic Rec #10: Learning Curve (yourself around me)
Why This Must Be Read: “She's turned into a girl, into the girl she was before, when she'd have nightmares about walking out naked, when she had nightmares about being left instead of leaving.” So many fics leave you with a sense of “I wish there were 47 more chapters of this I love it THAT much”. This one, in contrast, leaves you with a sense of perfection achieved - its sparse beauty maps Veronica's passage through season two as she explores her own identity amidst turmoil in Neptune.
Why This Must Be Read: “You know you’re in trouble when she walks into the bar near closing time wearing a skirt as short as your temper and boots high enough to meet the hemline.” This short but perfectly formed post-season 3 fic has FBI-agent Veronica walking into Weevil's bar. It's beautifully written to keep you guessing, and once the secret's out, unfolds to illustrate who they are at this point in their future lives, and the connection they share … in just 800 words.
Fic Rec #12: fresh out of horses
Why This Must Be Read: “The beat-up Chrysler that belonged to the one and only Veronica Mars with her cute little head tilts and her fake-shy "hey"s and the capital "T" for Trouble tattoo she had to have branded on her tight little ass.” This is an old story that has been recced all over the place … but here! I love it for the amazing Weevil voice; tough, but grudgingly caring, putting aside his own plans for the weekend aside to look after Veronica. Monimala's perfect characterisation – right down to the razor sharp banter – makes this a Veronica/Weevil classic.
Fic Rec #13: No One Expects the Spanish Inquisition
Why This Must Be Read: “She shivered as his hand trailed up her arm and his knuckles brushed along her throat, and she knew she had to stop this. Now.” Speaking of Veronica/Weevil classics, Shealynn88 wrote many of them, and this is my favourite from her long list of great Weevil/Veronica stories (try King of the World for sweet, or The Scars That Show for biting angst). But this one! Hot, Snarky, well-written and a little bit kinky – in my humble opinion, Shealynn's smut masterpiece.
Fic Rec #14: The Best Part of Midterms is when they End
Why This Must Be Read: “Her lips close on his throat, teeth breaking skin, the warm ooze of blood on flesh and then her tongue erasing the wound.” Mandilyn is my favourite Veronica Mars writer, and I would rec every single story she has written, but if I had to choose one, I would go for this ... raw, sexy, beautiful images of an angst-free, joyous Weevil and Veronica celebrating life and each other. Spectacularly good smut.
Fic Rec #15: so quite a new thing
Why This Must Be Read: “If you asked them what happened, how it started, the only thing they’d agree on is the part about the beach.” But luckily, I don't have to stop at one, and can offer this beautiful little story for those who can't or won't read adult material. A stylistic exercise after ee cummings, Mandilyn pulls it off beautifully to give us a gentle, low-key story about a relationship that develops long before a first kiss.
Many of the very prolific authors in the Weevil/Veronica fandom - such as Shealynn88, Mandilyn, Shadowfax - can be read at the dedicated Veronica/Weevil archive, Love You Long Time. Finding an archive entirely dedicated to a newfound ship is the fangirl equivalent of the Holy Grail, and I have to say a huge thank you to the archive's owner, Laiq, for keeping her little corner of Veronica-and-Weevil heaven up and running long after many others have shut down. And thank you, too, to all the wonderful authors out there. Especially the ones who might think "hey, I never did finish that fic about ..." and contemplate writing just one more Veronica/Weevil piece.
You know you want to ... just look at them.