Pairing/Character: Kristen Bell/ Jason Dohring, and some Sarah Michelle Gellar just for kicks
Word Count: 3200
Rating: Hard R, I think?
Warnings: strong language and some sexuality
Summary: Veronica’s taking over. Sarah Michelle Gellar tried to warn her. This is an exaggeration of something that I think could potentially pose a problem to long-term television actors. Obviously not to this degree, though.
Spoilers: Vaguely spoilerish through the end of season two
Disclaimer: Obviously I wish Kristen and Jason the best in their respective relationships. And Sarah Michelle Gellar is probably nothing like what I’ve made her out to be. Um, ditto for Kristen and Jason, I guess.
A/N: Well, this is my first foray into this fandom. Never written Veronica Mars fic and I’ve never written an RPF before. A plot-bunny attacked me (ATTACKED me, I tell you, I couldn’t shake it loose). I’m sad that it was such a crackalicious plot-bunny, but I guess you take what you get. Reviews are muchly appreciated!!! I always like constructive criticism or feedback of any sort, really.
"Last year, with Angel and the heartbreak, I would go home and cry. My body couldn't work properly. I don't take the demons home with me, but I do take Buffy's pain. The vampires I'm immune to, but not the emotion. When we filmed the episode where Angel breaks up with her, I cried for 25 minutes. I thought I was having a breakdown. They had to shut down the set. When they say rip your heart out, that's really what unfulfilled love does." – Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nylon Magazine; 1999
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Kristen read that article, too. She had never been a particular Buffy fan, but her freshman year of college she had been flipping through her roommate’s magazines and stumbled upon that interview. Kristen had been appallingly unsympathetic. This girl, she had thought, was obviously out of her depth - Kristen had been acting in plays since she was seven years old and never had a part remotely affected her this way. Even a few years later when she had a few movie parts and television guest star roles under her belt, she still thought of that quote with disdain. No matter how intense the scene is – and Kristen has had some intense ones – you just need to separate yourself from the character you’re playing. Make their motivations and experiences different from yours. Give them different gestures if necessary, give them a different accent, make them left-handed: Anything to remind yourself that they are not you.
It is 2006 now. Kristen wants to run up to Sarah Michelle Gellar, throw her arms around her, and cry for 25 minutes into her shoulder because Sarah, bless her, had tried to warn her that this would happen. What’s more, she is one of the few people in the world who can potentially understand the hell that her life has become.
Two months into filming Veronica Mars, Kristen craves a hamburger. She has been a vegetarian for years and she can barely remember the taste of hamburgers. She wants them anyway. She shoves down the craving and continues on with her day.
A month after that, Kristen is shopping at a clothing store with her friend and she finds herself absently checking the price of a pink and green striped T-shirt.
“Um…do you want that?” Kristen whips her head up to see Ashley eyeing the shirt with bemusement. “Don’t you think it looks like something a sixteen-year-old would wear?”
Kristen looks at the shirt again and she doesn’t blame Ashley for her confusion. Besides being slightly juvenile, it is utterly unlike her usual style. She flushes slightly. “Oh, no – for my cousin. She might like it.”
“Cool. You gonna get it?”
Kristen backs away from the rack. “No. On second thought – no.”
A few nights later, as she is changing back into her street clothes, her wardrobe stylist snaps her fingers. “Don’t forget to take off the choker.”
Before she realizes what she is going to do, Kristen’s hands fly automatically up to her neck. “Can I keep it on?”
Her stylist, Hannah, looks surprised. “Sure, just don’t forget to bring it back tomorrow.”
Kristen’s hands shake slightly as she reaches up to unclasp the black choker that she has worn in nearly every scene. “No, you can have it back. I think I was just – I don’t know why I said I wanted to keep it on. I don’t.”
She holds the choker out to Hannah, who takes it and looks at Kristen with an appraising eye. “I think maybe they work you too hard, babe. Those are some long hours for a young gal.”
“I’m seventeen,” she says defensively.
Hannah looks at Kristen as though she has sprung another head.
Kristen feels the same way. “What I meant to say,” she says,” is that even though I look seventeen, I’m twenty-four. I can handle it.”
Her stylist is not buying it.
“Too many hours,” she says, clucking to herself.
“Yeah, probably,” agrees Kristen weakly.
Mostly, the episodes run together for her, but she remembers this one: “Clash of the Tritons.”
Kristen is perusing the script, marking scenes that are likely to give her trouble when she stumbles across the line: Veronica Mars is smarter than me.
Her script drops to the floor. Her legs spill out from under her. She gets it. She so does not want to, but she gets it. She wants to laugh; she wants to cry. It is so clear now.
Veronica Mars is smarter than her and Sarah Michelle Gellar had tried to warn her.
Kristen knows herself pretty well by now. She is a sweet girl – uncomplicated but substantive, intelligent but not brilliant, funny but not snarky, pretty but not beautiful, confident but not aggressive.
She is – despite her fairly interesting job – not a terribly interesting girl.
Veronica could kick her ass six ways from Sunday and not break a sweat. Veronica Mars is stronger than her. Her personality, her likes, her dislikes – they are stronger than her own.
Veronica wants hamburgers. Veronica wanted the choker. She wanted the shirt at the store. She’s seventeen years old, she is not happy living inside a sappy-sweet twenty-four-year-old actress, and she wants out.
As time goes by, it gets worse. There is, it transpires, an enormous difference between portraying a character in a play and living with a character for years – a character who grows, ages, changes, has highs and lows, passions and quirks, vulnerabilities and flaws.
Kristen is at a store (actually looking for a present for her cousin this time). Her eyes flick around the store and stop to rest on a squishy stuffed unicorn. She feels the familiar surge. Veronica wants it. Kristen fights it. She never gives in.
Kristen, who has always been a trusting person, begins exhibiting alarming new traits. She finds herself questioning people’s stories, doubting their motivations, analyzing their behavior. When her boyfriend comes home late, she mentally pieces together his alibi. Does his story make sense? She hates this. This is not who she is.
The worst part? The very worst part?
Well, that would be the day that she and Jason kiss at the Camelot. Because suddenly Jason’s cologne – which she has smelled a thousand times – is the headiest scent she has ever inhaled. His lips on hers leave a trail of searing heat that makes her gasp and practically whine for more. She has always gotten along with Jason, has always liked him fine, but this – this dizzy, spinning gloriousness – can only mean one thing. Fuuuuck. Veronica wants Logan bad.
Kristen is in a special kind of hell. Jason’s arms. Jason’s eyes. Jason’s torso. My God, Jason’s ass.
Not Jason. Logan. She doesn’t know which is worse: lusting after a happily married man or admitting that the fictional eighteen-year-old detective inside her is lusting after her fictional playboy ex-boyfriend who just so happens to be dwelling in the body of a happily married man?
“Our readers want to know,” says the perky magazine reporter, “if we’re going to see any developments in the Logan/Veronica relationship. Are they done for good this time or is there still hope for these two?”
Kristen clenches her firsts. “I think they’re all wrong for each other.”
She has a headache the rest of the day.
They are nearly finished filming the second season and Logan and Veronica are indeed getting back together.
Jason and Kristen are running lines in her trailer when it happens. She opens her mini-fridge and picks up an O’Doul for Jason and a bottled water for herself. When she turns around, he is leaning over the table, face in his hands as if crying.
“Are you all right?” she asks him, alarmed.
“Headache,” he answers, his voice muffled.
Kristen bites her lip and walks over to him. She places her hand gently on his back and rubs it in a slow circle, hoping to comfort him a bit.
Jason flinches as though her touch has burned him. He jumps up and takes a step back from her. “Don’t!” he snaps.
Kristen is stunned. “What the hell is wrong with you?”
Jason looks up and she is shocked by the vulnerable expression on his face. When he finally speaks, his voice is ragged with emotion:
“You feel it. Please tell me you feel it.”
“Feel what? Log- I mean, Jason, I don’t underst”-
“He wants you,” says Jason harshly.
Kristen’s jaw actually drops. “I-“
“I know you feel it,” he says, cutting her off abruptly. “I know you do because Veronica’s even stronger than Logan. He’s in me, man. I don’t know how else to explain it. Just tell me. Tell me I’m not going fucking crazy.” His voice is pleading.
Kristen is cautious. “What exactly do you mean?”
“You know damn good and well what I mean,” he spits out.
Her head is spinning. This is so unlike him. Jason never gets upset. He never yells and he has certainly never yelled at her, not once in their long history.
“Jason,” she says, striving for normalcy in her voice, “you’re acting really unlike yourself. I think maybe you need”-
Damn it. There are tears in his eyes.
“I’m going crazy,” he says, and there is now a tinge of desperation in his tone. “I don’t even know if I believe it and I’ve certainly never felt this before. The truth is I’m not feeling at all like myself. I’m feeling like,” and he swallows, taking a deep breath, “like Logan. He’s an angry, self-righteous bastard. He’s overprotective and bitter and sarcastic and fuck, Kristen, he wants Veronica something fierce. He wants you.”
“W-wants me?” she squeaks.
“All the time,” he says. “Whatever you wear, I – he – notices it. Your perfume. Your lipstick. Your smile. Your body. It’s like a fucking train wreck. I can’t look away.”
Which is worse, she thinks hysterically. Married man? Fictional teen? She never actually decided. Married man? Fictional teen?
Fictional teen is worse.
“Jason,” she says, her tone surprisingly even, “I know what you’re feeling and, yes, I’m feeling a little bit of it, too. It’s not a crime to be attracted to someone. We’re both in relationships, and we’re both mature enough not to act on a teensy bit of mutual feelings. You don’t have to justify it by pretending that Logan’s attracted to Veronica”-
He laughs – a wry, bitter sound that could not be more different from Jason’s normal shy chuckle.
“You really think that’s all this is?”
Kristen sets her jaw, defiant. “Yes,” she answers.
“No, Kristen,” he says darkly. “No. It’s not me. Trust me when I say that Logan is piloting this shipwreck.”
She opens her mouth and he holds a hand up, forestalling her objections.
“I’m trusting you enough to be completely honest with you. I’m not pretending that I’ve never had a stray thought or two cross my mind,” he says, flushing slightly – a very Jason thing to do. “I’m married, not blind. You’re beautiful, funny, talented, all of it. But,” he says, eyes wide and guileless, “you know me, KB. I’m a romantic. When I thought of you, it was, you know, rose petals on the bedspread, candles, bubble baths, making love in the moonlight. You know, the things I do with”-
“Lauren,” she supplies, with a sinking feeling in her stomach.
He looks horribly uncomfortable. “Well, yeah.”
Kristen is drowning. She does not know how to bring this conversation back to shore.
She has to know. Or Veronica does. “Whereas Logan”-
Jason is holding onto Kristen’s chair with a death grip. His knuckles are white. “Logan wants to fuck you so hard you’ll scream yourself raw,” growls Jason harshly. “He wants you in leather. In chains. He wants to tie you down and lick every inch of that body of yours. He wants to spank you until your butt is as red as that fuck-me lipstick you wear and when you’re so sore you can’t take it anymore he wants to fuck your ass. He wants to”-
She launches herself at him and he catches her as though he knew she would do this all along. Hell, maybe he did. No one knows Veronica as well as Logan.
They are sprawled on the floor of her trailer, writhing madly against one another. Their breathing and gasps are so loud that Kristen is surprised the whole set doesn’t hear them but Veronica could care less. Jason’s hands are cupping her breasts roughly and Kristen is unzipping his fly one-handed, her other arm busily attempting to undo the buttons on his shirt.
“Veronica,” he gasps out, and yes, yes, yes – that makes this okay; it absolves them of any wrong-doing.
“Logan,” she whispers, “LoganLoganLogan,” and on every other syllable her pelvis thrusts against him until she is gyrating with abandon. His cock is hard and ready for her. She is shaking with need and anticipation and it is as his hands are just about to slip beneath her underwear and relieve the mounting tension inside her that her eye falls on a photograph. Jason and his wife, beaming, arms around each other. Holly and poinsettia adorn the card, on which is written: “Happy Holidays from the Dohrings.”
Kristen yanks his arm away and scrambles away from him, still panting harshly. “No,” she manages to get out. “No. Lauren. Kevin. No.”
Realization dawns on Jason’s face. “No. Oh, God. What did I do?”
“Nothing,” she says firmly. “You didn’t do anything. Just – just go. Nothing happened. Nothing happened.”
Jason adjusts his erection, tries to make it less noticeable. It is fast fading anyway.
“I’m so sor”-
“Don’t be sorry!” Kristen’s voice is shrill and panicked. “Nothing happened.”
Jason can’t even look at her as he crosses the room to leave. His hand is on the doorknob when-
“Wait,” she says, despite herself. Jason pauses. “Those things you said. About Logan. The way he thinks about her. He can’t… does he – he can’t possibly love her?”
If she feels shocked that she asked it, it is nothing to the stunned look on Jason’s face. For a full twenty seconds there is silence. Then Jason, looking miserable, sighs. “He’s a fucked up guy, KB. I don’t really know how easy it is to assign labels to his emoti”-
“That’s all I needed to know,” she says, cutting him off smoothly.
Jason turns the doorknob, steps outside, and twists his head around to look at her again. If it’s possible, he appears even more dejected.
“Jason, you really have to be going. If someone sees you”-
“Completely. He loves her completely. And unconditionally.”
Her face twists into a mask of amazement, but before she can give voice to her feelings, he is gone.
She spends the next month avoiding him as much as possible off-camera. Veronica is furious, but Kristen is determined to be strong about this. In fact, the only actor on set she is remotely comfortable around is Percy. Veronica’s feelings for him mirror her own fairly closely.
Kristen wonders if things will always be this way. When the show is canceled, will Veronica stick around? Will Kristen be stuck with her for the rest of her natural existence?
In July, she attends a premiere – and who else should be in attendance but the ex-vampire slayer, Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Kristen has to know. She just has to. True, this plan involves her making a complete ass of herself in front of a famous star. But Veronica’s tenacity appears to have infected her.
She surreptitiously (apparently Veronica’s sleuthing skills have also made an impact) follows Sarah to the restroom. She powders her face.
When Sarah emerges from her stall, Kristen affects a startled smile. “Oh my goodness! Sarah Michelle Gellar.”
Sarah smiles politely.
“I’m Kristen Bell,” she says, extending a hand. “I’m on this show on – well, we’re going to be on the CW, but we were on UPN, your old network. I play…Veronica Mars?” She doubts Sarah has heard of it.
To her relief, Sarah smiles and shakes her hand. “Sure. I’ve heard of Veronica Mars. The little show that could. Kick-ass blond girl who saves the day? It’s drawn a lot of favorable comparisons to Buffy.”
Kristen is relieved that Sarah has brought up the “B-word” first.
“Well, since I’ve got you here, I was wondering if I might ask you a quick question.”
“Angel,” says Sarah promptly, looking bored.
“Not that question,” says Kristen hurriedly.
Sarah frowns. “Okay.”
“It’s – it’s – it’s Buffy. She was…quite a strong character.”
Sarah is still frowning. “Definitely. I think that’s what made her so popular.”
“Mm-hmm.” Definitely looking bored.
“Do you – do you – did you or do you ever feel like Buffy sometimes…like it was hard to differentiate between her feelings and yours?”
Sarah looks very confused. “What?”
Oh, God. “I just mean…” How many times is she going to get Sarah Michelle Gellar alone? And Sarah already thinks she’s a giant loser, how much worse can it get? She’s going all in.
Kristen takes a deep breath. “Veronica’s a really strong character. Stronger, smarter, much edgier than me. And sometimes I feel like even when I go home for the day, I can’t turn her off. I feel like she’s…inside me. She wants things. Sometimes I feel like I take her decisions into account when I’m choosing things. I don’t suppose…” she gathers up her courage, “that you ever felt like that? Or still do feel like that?”
Sarah Michelle Gellar is looking at her as though she is extremely disturbed. She looks toward the door as if to make sure that no one is witnessing this “crazy person” confronting her.
When she looks back at Kristen, her expression is unreadable.
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” says Sarah, in a very flat tone, “was very important for a lot of reasons. There weren’t a lot of strong female role models on televisions at the time, and I’m honored and delighted to have been able to be a part of that. It was very rewarding to portray such a wonderful character, and of course it’s sad that it’s over, but I hope that fans of the show will take a chance on the current projects I’m working on.”
Good grief. The woman sounds like an infomercial.
Sarah smiles faux-sweetly. “Did that answer your question?”
Kristen smiles weakly. “Yep. It sure did.”
Hopefully Sarah wouldn’t start spreading rumors about that crazy Veronica Mars. Although the publicity probably couldn’t hurt the show.
It is as she is dumping out her purse the next morning that she finds it: A folded notebook page. On the page were scrawled just three simple words:
Every damn day. – SMG
Kristen folds the notebook page up and slowly crumples the piece of paper into a ball. She throws it in her trash-can, the one with painted unicorns on it that she’d bought only two weeks ago.
She closes her eyes. “That’s what I thought,” she says aloud to the empty room.
She dresses herself in a purple satin skirt and pink ruffled top, paints her nails in a shade Veronica hates, makes herself a tofu scramble, squares her shoulders, and starts another day.