Disclaimer: I don't own Veronica Mars, but we both know I'd love to… :sigh: You know the drill.

"I narrowed down my list." Skipping onto the bed, the girl smiles confidently, almost leaning back against the neatly placed rows of clothes.

"Right." The other responds, grabbing her piles before they can wrinkle, and moving them into the open duffel on the floor.

"No, seriously. It's done. It's narrowed. It's whittled down." The shorter of the two tilts her head slightly, a knowing smirk playing across her lips.

"You say it is, I know it isn't, must we play this little game?" She asks, resuming her task of folding clothes. There are piles everywhere, the chair, the desk, even the bedside table has a few stray undergarments scattered neatly on it.

"Veronica, it's done." Her smile is wide and bright, and for a moment, Veronica almost believes her.

The moment has passed. "I don't believe you. We spent hours-no, days, making that first list. Days, mind you, that could've been spent oh say, perfecting my own list." Her eyebrows raise and she smirks again, sighing as she surveys her piles.

"Veronica. You have a whole year to decide where you want to go to college. I, on the other hand, have months. Weeks. Days, even to get everything ready and sent out." She smiles again, and it's so infectious that Veronica can't help but smiling back. Clearing a spot on the bed, she lies next to her friend, propping up her head with a pillow.

"Ok. Fine. Hit me with your list. But I'm telling you, if none of the schools we first talked about aren't on there, I'm leaving." The words are harsh, but there is a smile in her voice, and the other girl laughs.

"Jake and Celeste want Brown-"

"No."

"What, Veronica, why? It's a great school, and as an added bonus it's on the East coast. Snow! Imagine how cute I'll look in sweaters and hats. God, the boot options alone are fabulous. Imagine the damage that we could do." She laughs again, and the deep sound reverberates through the entire room.

"Yes…the operative term there being 'could', Lilly. Could. You'll be doing the damaging on your own if you go to Brown…" Her tone is serious, but her eyes are dancing merrily. Lilly huffily sighs on her right, but can't help but smiling.

"So then I said, guys, come on. This face?" She gestures to her flawless white skin. "In snow? I would disappear. And we can't have that." She grins; and reaching behind her, Veronica pulls out her pillow, and smacks her lightly.

"Next? We are on a time schedule here, Lill." She glances down at her watch teasingly, and taps the face. "At the rate you're going we'll have graduated by the time you're done." Rolling her eyes, Lilly smiles, rolling to her side.

"Dad got all misty, Lilly," She exclaims, clearing her throat, and imitating her father. "If you have any hope of carrying on the Kane tradition, the Kane LegacyBrown is the place to go…but I said, Dad. No way. And I'm just so convincing that he bought it." It's Veronica's turn to roll her eyes.

"While we're young here, Ms. Kane." She responds, deadpan, suddenly sitting up and glancing around the room.

"Ok, here it is abridged Veronica Mars, eat your heart out. UCLA," She points to herself. "Acting career started!" She does a little shimmy and pouts a la Marilyn Monroe and though unwillingly, Veronica laughs.

"Since when do you want to act?" She asks skeptically.

"Since I'll be in LA, and have that option."

"Next?"

"Berkeley, Andrews, Neeland, and UC San Diego."

"You have absolutely no musical talent. None. What so ever. What in the world are you going to do at Berkeley, Lill?"

"Hello, Veronica Mars, have sex! Guys with guitars are so hot."

"Does that mean I should learn how to play?" A voice says from the doorway, and both girls jump.

"Logan! Hi! You're early." She is up and at his side in an instant, and Veronica sits unobtrusively on the bed, looking anywhere but at the embracing couple.

"And you're…packed. On time. Early even. Did I fall into an alternate universe or something?" Lilly laughs uproariously, leading him into the room, and Veronica quickly stands.

"Hey Logan," She whispers softly, wiping her hands on her jeans, and getting out of his way. Their gazes catch fleetingly as he settles into the spot she has just vacated.

"Hey," He responds, but she's already turned her back to him. As she smiles at Lilly, he frowns.

"Ok, Lill." Gesturing towards the door, she smiles. "I'm gonna go. But call me when you get back on Sunday." They air kiss, and laughing, Lilly turns, Veronica forgotten, to the stereo, turning up the volume and sensually dancing her way towards him. As she closes the door behind her, she distinctly hears Lilly say, "Come on, we can do it once before we go." Her stomach drops, and she tries unsuccessfully to block the images out of her mind.

"Hi," A voice from behind her softly whispers, and she nearly jumps out of her skin before turning.

"Duncan. Hey." She responds uncomfortably, looking down at her hands. Or anywhere really, that takes her eyes off him.

"Are you leaving?" He asks after a while, and she nods her head jerkily, praying for a miracle to take her away from this awkwardness.

"Uh, yeah. Logan just got here…and he and Lilly are getting ready to leave soon, so, yeah. I should go. I'll see you later." She turns to leave, breathing a sigh of relief when he doesn't stop her.

"Veronica!" He calls, when she's almost at the door. Dammit, she thinks. So close.

"Yeah?" She calls, turning slowly, and plastering her brightest, fakest smile. He comes down the stairs, closer and closer, and her breath catches in apprehension. I don't want this! her subconscious screams, but Duncan's, apparently, doesn't get the memo.

"Veronica," He murmurs when he gets close, his hand wrapping around her forearm, and she forces herself not to cringe. "I know things have been…strange between us. But you're Lilly's best friend, and we're bound to see each other from time time…" You should be a politician, she thinks, effectively blocking him out, smiling and nodding at the opportune moments. The second she sees an opening, she smiles again, trying to recapture her arm without seeming rude.

"What's this?" Lilly's voice calls from above them, and inwardly, Veronica groans. "A party and we weren't invited?" She comes down the stairs as regally as a queen, with Logan at her heels. He tries to catch Veronica's eye, but she looks away. Anywhere but here, she's thinking, but she just smiles blandly. "Are you guys getting back together? Because, oh my god, that would be so great! We could be the fearsome foursome again!" She continues obliviously, smiling dazzlingly at Veronica, shaking her head conspiringly. "So this is why you wanted to leave? A secret rendezvous with Duncan? I knew you guys would figure it out eventually." She looks so excited that Veronica doesn't have the heart to tell her.

"I've really gotta go, Lill." She murmurs apologetically, squirming out of Duncan's grasp. "I'll talk to you soon." She turns towards the door, rushing as soon as she gets out, her spirit breaking as she sees Logan's yellow X-Terra haphazardly parked behind her. "Dammit, Logan!" She exclaims, visibly startled to find him standing behind her, his keys dangling from his fingers.

"I just uh, came out here to tell you that I was blocking you in. I'll just move the truck, and be out of your way." He says quietly as he passes her, and as his arm accidentally brushes hers, she closes her eyes in anguish.

"Thanks," She responds weakly, frowning as she catches a glimpse of herself in the side mirror. The color is high in her cheeks, and she frowns, looking away.

"All set." He calls out, and she looks up, startled. In an instant he's close, and suddenly her throat is dry.

"Th-," She starts, swallowing the scratch out of her throat. "Thank you." She finally manages, briefly glancing into his eyes, and finding herself caught in their depths.

"Yeah, no problem." He responds in a whisper. We're so close, she realizes, that if I move my head up just half an inch we'll be kissing, but immediately she chastises herself for it.

"We can't do this, Logan." She murmurs, flattening herself against the door of the Le Baron. He nods, breaking the spell and looking away.

"I know." His voice is low, and in her ear, and a million tiny goose bumps explode on her arms. "But I just can't forget, y'know?" His voice is so lost and passionate that she can't help but looking at him again. You and me both, bud.

"I wasn't lying when I told Lilly I had to go." She says softly, by way of explanation, quickly getting inside the car, but unable to resist looking back up at him. "Have fun on your trip." The sun has begun to set, and even with that, even as she's reversing out of the driveway, she can feel his eyes on her. And even when she's out of sight of the house, and knows without a doubt that he can't still see her, she can feel him, and that alone breaks her heart.

A/N: This is my first foray into the Lilly being alive side of FF, but I have to tell you, I'm really enjoying it. This is also-for people who have read my other stuff, the longest chapter I think I've ever written. But Ok, let me answer some of the questions I'm betting some of you have. Aaron didn't kill Lilly on October 3rd, 2003-obviously. This is set about a week before Lilly's Senior, and the rest of the gang's Junior year of high school. Duncan broke up with Veronica in the same fashion, but since a considerable amount of time has passed, and her best friend isn't dead this time, she got over it. And no, I'm not being allusive and random when Logan says, "I can't forget". You will find out what exactly he can't forget, and boy is it good. I really hope you liked this. I love it.