Disclaimer: Other than the fact that I don't own this, I also don't own the dialogue that you'll find located between two of these stars. It's from episode five.

Story: What if Lianne had succeeded in taking off with Veronica when she tried to get her out of school? (from episode five)



CHAPTER 1: THE STRANGE MORNING Months ago, early 2004

Veronica Mars had woken up that morning and she knew somehow something would happen. Her best friend had deemed this "her psychic gut moment". Oh how she missed Lilly then… All these little instances only served to remind her she was gone, taken away bloody in a body bag and to an all too early grave. That morning she had felt it, strongly, deeply. Today her life would change. But would it be for good or bad? That she couldn't tell.

She swiveled to a sitting position in her bed, sweeping her long blonde hair over her shoulders with a sigh. She'd been thinking of cutting it recently but still had doubts. She stood, waking the dog at the foot of her bed. "Rise and shine," she smiled to Backup's protests. Finally he came trotting behind her as she made her way into the kitchen.

The scene there was such a routine these days. Amid boxes, her mother sat quietly sipping her coffee and staring into the distance, while her father drank his own coffee perusing the morning's paper. Veronica sighed and went to give the dog his breakfast before making herself a bowl of cereal. She took it to the table and sat, her mother at one end and her father at the other.

"So… I heard it'll rain."

"Take an umbrella," her father mumbled as her mother just hummed. Veronica sighed once again and ate in silence. When she'd finished, she went to dress.

"I'll drive you to school," her mother stood out of her daze.

"Okay," Veronica nodded. Lianne Mars had insisted on doing this every morning for some time, but Veronica didn't think too much of it. Frankly these days she cared much more for the ride than the actual destination. Neptune High had become a live reminder of the repercussions of the events of October 3rd 2003. As they stopped in front of the school, Lianne spoke up.

"Do you have your phone?" she asked.

"Yes," Veronica rolled her eyes, tired of the question. "Keep it on," she spoke in chorus with her mother.

"I love you honey," Lianne took her hand.

Veronica smiled, "I know." She kissed her mother's cheek and got out of the car.

She faced the building, took a deep breath, and marched on ahead. As she walked through the halls, she tried not to make too much eye contact, granted it really wasn't a problem these days. She got to her locker and groaned. Someone had broken in – again. What little present had they left her this time? Nothing – they'd taken everything, likely having hidden it somewhere problematic for retrieval.

She turned at the sound of stifled laughs. In the process, her gaze fell on two people: Duncan Kane and Logan Echolls. Logan sort of laughed with the others. Duncan though, he gave her a strange look before forcing his eyes into another direction. "Another wonderful day at Neptune High," she told herself, closing her locker and heading off to English class.

She sat by the window, needing to be able to look somewhere she wouldn't see some 09er snickering and/or pointing. Was she ever going to live it down?

"Miss Mars, please read out the first paragraph?" The teacher brought her to attention. She gaped for a moment before speaking.

"I, uh, I don't have it… I lost it…"

"No, wait, here it is," Logan spoke then, throwing the book to land with a thud on her desk, nearly catching her hand before she could pull it away. She kept herself from replying and opened the book.

"What are you still doing here?" The words were scribbled all over the place, amidst other words that only got more hurtful as she found them. Her eyes burned, holding back tears.

"Fine," the teacher sighed. "Miss Sinclair, please read out." Veronica looked out the window, trying to shut out the pain. What her eyes met caught her by surprise – was that her mother's car parked outside? What was she doing there, she should have been gone by now. But then…

"Miss Mars? Veronica Mars? Report to the administration's office?" The class "ooh-ed" and "aah-ed" and whispered as she stood, leaving the marked book behind. She was glad for the distraction.

Rubbing at her eyes to erase any trace of tears, she turned to enter the office. "Mom?" she asked, confused. Lianne smiled to the secretary and started to pull her daughter back into the hall. "Mom, what are you doing here? Where are we going?"

"I just thought it would be nice to spend some time together. I thought we could go visit Aunt Sheryl," Lianne went on as she led her daughter toward the exit.

"In Palm Springs? Mom, I can't go to Palm Springs. I have a history test next period and a Spanish project due," Veronica spoke as she finally got her mother to stop dragging her along. The look in Lianne's eyes was one of desperation.

"Honey, please. Don't make this hard," her voice lowered to whisper, "Just come with me, okay?" The fear in Lianne's voice gave Veronica goose bumps.

"What's going on?" she whispered back.

"I… I can't tell…" she looked around.

"Then I'm not going anywhere," she started to walk away.

"Veronica!" she whispered a little louder.

"No, Mom," she spun back to face her. "Why should I? After everything… no, I shouldn't even bother…" she started to leave again.

"I'm sorry…" Lianne whispered.

"Sorry for w…"

She was cut off as she felt something come over her mouth – a cloth. The fumes got to her before she could do anything. Before long, she was unconscious in her mother's arms, being carried to her car and driven away, from the school and Neptune.