AN: This is a completely AU story. Some notes:

Lilly never had an affair with Aaron, and therefore she didn't die. Veronica's mom left because Keith quit the public, political life and created Mars Investigations, where Veronica helps with cases. There were never any paternity issues with Veronica (mostly because I hate the whole storyline there). Veronica is mostly like she is on the show, but a little softer. She's friends with Wallace and Mac, and she doesn't like most 09ers, and they don't like her either.Her only 09er friends are Meg and Lilly. She's still dating Duncan. Lilly never got with Weevil and she's still with Logan.

I know that's a lot to get around, and some of it might not make much sense, but it's the universe I wanted to create, hee. The story will get better after this chapter, it's mostly an introduction to where all the characters are at right now.


Lilly slammed down the telephone and turned to Meg and Veronica, who were sitting on her bed.

"Why does he get so jealous?" Lilly sighed as she flopped between the two girls.

"Because you love guys?" Veronica nudged Lilly with her foot.

"The key point being multiple guys," Meg reinforced Veronica's point as she idly twirled a strand of Lilly's hair around her finger.

"I can't help it if I get bored easily," Lilly laughed lightly. "Guys love me, and I love them."

"So you can see Logan's point," Meg said gently.

"He's the one who keeps taking me back," Lilly argued. "It's not like he doesn't know the game by now. If he'd just be a man and stop putting up with my shit, maybe I'd stop fooling around with other guys."

"I can't believe you just managed to blame Logan for your inability to be faithful," Veronica shook her head with a smile.

"I really don't think I can be blamed for this, Veronica," Lilly said with an infectious grin. "It would surely be a crime to withhold this face and this body from the world."

"Lilly!" Veronica laughed as she pushed her friend. "You're impossible."

"And you love me," Lilly said with a self-confidence that couldn't be shattered.

"So what's the plan?" Meg asked with a yawn.

"The guys are going to pick us up and we'll go to the party in a limousine that Logan's renting," Lilly informed them.

"Why do we need a limousine just to go to a party?" Meg asked.

"Well, Meg, the answer is two-fold," Veronica imitated a game-show host. "Firstly, because then we don't have to worry about a designated driver. Secondly, because we can't fit six people into one car and that'd mean we need two designated drivers."

"Oh," Meg laughed.

"Now, for outfits," Lilly mused as she bounced up from the bed and flung open her closet. "No pink cardigans for you," Lilly told Meg. "And no biker boots or retro shirts for you," she told Veronica.

Veronica and Meg shared a look.

"But that's who we are," Veronica pointed out.

"Not tonight. Tonight, you, Veronica Mars, shall be the sweet yet ridiculously hot girl that you would have been, had you not decided to go all butch and retro when you went all Private Detective-y. And you, Meg, shall be the sexy vixen that you've never been but should be," Lilly decided.

"Does that mean you're going to the party like the sweet, innocent virgin that you never were?" Veronica asked, straight-faced.

"Very funny, Ronica. I shall be dressed in my usual fabulous way, because I am the only person in this room who knows how to dress," Lilly twirled with a short black skirt and a red corset top.

"That's an outfit to inspire trust in your jealous boyfriend," Meg deadpanned.

"Now Meg, I see you in black satin pants and this top," Lilly pulled a white halter neck from her wardrobe. The dip was much lower than anything Meg usually wore.

"Lilly," Meg began apprehensively.

"Relax, you'll look great," Lilly brushed away Meg's protest. "And Veronica. I see you in red satin. This dress is so not you, that it's perfect."

Veronica cringed as Lilly almost disappeared into her closet to find the dress she was referring to. "Aha!" Lilly cried as she emerged with a strapless satin rose red dress that would fall to her knees.

"Now, hair and makeup …"

Two hours later and the three girls stared at themselves in the full-length mirror in Lilly's room.

"Wow," Meg murmured.

"Yeah," Veronica echoed.

"I look fabulous," Lilly laughed as she pushed the two girls aside so she could pose in the mirror.

"Does this really look okay?" Meg whispered to Veronica.

"You look gorgeous. You definitely fit the sexy vixen profile," Veronica reassured her.

"I have to admit, Lilly does know what she's doing with this stuff," Meg stared at Veronica. "You look completely different. You look older somehow, and really elegant and classy."

"Not to mention totally hot," Lilly giggled as she wrapped her arms around the girls. "I feel so proud, like a mother hen watching her chicks fly from the nest."

"Come on, mother hen," Veronica laughed as she moved towards the door. "It's time for our big entrances."

The girls made their way downstairs, Meg tentatively in her high heels and Veronica highly aware of the unusual sensation of a skirt flowing around her bare legs, whilst Lilly pranced and preened all the way.

"Wow," Cole's eyes widened as he saw the girls first.

Duncan said nothing but his eyes grew wide and he had to remind himself to close his mouth.

"Yowsa!" Logan cried theatrically, his eyes drawn to Lilly and Lilly alone.

"You approve?" Lilly nudged Duncan and Cole as she made her way towards Logan.

"Hell yeah," Cole grinned as he helped Meg with her coat.

"You look amazing," Duncan whispered in Veronica's ear as he helped her with her wrap.

"Thanks," Veronica blushed as she turned around slowly.

"Meg, you look lovely," Logan said as he swept into an extravagant bow before her.

"Thanks, Logan," Meg laughed as he took her hand and pretended to ravish it.

"Now, Veronica, you really could have made an effort," Logan shook his head as he looked up at her, still ravishing Meg's hand.

"Funny, I was just about to say the same to you," Veronica retorted as she walked past him.

"You break my heart, Mars," Logan called as he offered his arm to Lilly.

"That's the fifth time this week that I've broken your heart," Veronica replied as she smiled up at Duncan.

"Your girlfriend is heartless, Duncan," Logan sighed as he helped Lilly into the limousine.

"Your boyfriend is a psychotic jackass, Lilly," Veronica pulled a face at Logan.

"But he's such a cute psychotic jackass," Lilly replied as she grabbed Logan's chin and grinned up at him before depositing a kiss on his lips.

"The lady thinks I'm cute," Logan declared, with his hand over his heart.

"She didn't deny that you were a psychotic jackass though," Duncan pointed out, causing everyone to laugh.

Logan sighed. "I shall ignore your cruel words and offer you a beverage instead. Champagne?"

"To a fabulous night," Lilly toasted once they'd all been given a champagne-filled flute.

They arrived at the party and split up. Lilly disappeared, leaving Logan to drag Cole and Duncan towards the keg he'd spotted in the kitchen.

"What's with you and Logan?" Meg asked as they made their way through the drunken crowd that had already been partying for a few hours.

"What do you mean?" Veronica asked as she sidestepped Dick trying to dirty dance with Madison, who was trying to get away from Dick's grabbing hands.

"I mean all that sniping," Meg reminded her.

"That's just what Logan and I do," Veronica laughed.

"But why?" Meg wanted to know.

Veronica stopped and turned around to look at Meg. "You know, I don't know why. But we've just always done it. It's our way of communicating."

"Don't you ever get upset by what he says? Or does he ever get offended by what you say?" Meg asked.

"Never," Veronica shrugged. "I called him a psychotic jackass and he didn't flinch. He knows he's a psychotic jackass."

"Veronica," Meg protested.

"I watched him take a crowbar to a guy's car once, just because he'd accidentally gotten Logan in trouble by mentioning that he'd seen Logan out in the bleachers, and Clemmons found him with alcohol. He's insane," Veronica shook her head. "When I tried to stop him, he just pushed me towards Duncan and took another swing."

"Talking about Logan?" Duncan appeared and handed Veronica a drink.

"Meg wanted to know why Logan and I bicker," Veronica took a sip and leaned back into Duncan's embrace.

"They don't like each other," Duncan said simply but with a smile.

"That's not true …" Veronica trailed off.

"Yes it is. They used to be friends, a long time ago," Duncan stage-whispered to Meg conspiratorially.

"Things change," Veronica said lightly.

"Well, I'm going to go and find Cole," Meg said, looking between Duncan and Veronica, who both looked a little uncomfortable with the subject before disappearing into the crowd.

"You think Logan and I don't like each other?" Veronica turned in Duncan's arms to look up at her boyfriend.

"I thought it was common knowledge," Duncan said.

"Has Logan said something to you about not liking me?" Veronica persisted.

"Not in so many words, but then why would he? You're my girlfriend," Duncan reminded her with a smile as he tapped her nose lightly.

"I know," Veronica laughed as she rested her head against his chest.

"Come on, let's go find the others," Duncan stroked her arm before reaching for her hand.

"You go find them, I'm going to try to find Wallace," Veronica stood on tiptoe and tried to look around the room.

"Don't be long," Duncan brushed his lips across hers before moving away and leaving her alone.

Veronica stood in the middle of the room, watching the sea of people moving around her. No-one spoke to her. No-one smiled at her. No-one acknowledged her presence at all. Ever since her dad had left the sheriff's department and begun his own private investigator business, Veronica had become almost invisible to the 09ers. Once she'd started to help her dad with his cases and snubbed the 09ers for Wallace, Mac and her other new friends, her name had been dirt with her old friends. The only friends she still had left from her old life where the ones she arrived at the party with. When she'd said that things change, things had definitely changed for her more than anyone else from when they first all became friends to this moment. She had once been the sweet and innocent sheriff's daughter, but over the last few months, she'd ditched cute skirts and pink dresses for jeans and boots, which were much more comfortable on stakeouts. Not to mention that her dad was raising her on one meagre salary whilst he started his own business. And her long hair, that Duncan had loved so much, had disappeared in a moment of rebellion.

"Hey," Wallace appeared next to her. "You look different."

"Excellent observation skills," Veronica grinned at him. "What do you think?"

"You look stunning," Wallace admitted. "But it's not really you."

"I know," Veronica smiled ruefully as she looked down at the dress. "But Lilly wanted to dress me for the night."

"I see, Barbie Girl. Having fun?" he asked.

"Not really," Veronica confessed. "If it wasn't for Lilly and Duncan, I'd be vegging on the couch, eating popcorn with my dad and watching one of those old films that he loves so much."

"You're a wild child, Veronica Mars," Wallace grinned.

"There's always a place for you on my couch, Wallace," Veronica punched his arm lightly.

"Does your boyfriend know you proposition other guys?" Wallace teased her.

"Only you, Wallace," Veronica laughed.

"I gotta get back," Wallace indicated a girl who was clearly waiting for him. "Try to have a little fun, okay?"

"I'll try, but only for you," Veronica sighed heavily before grinning and stepping into the crowd to find Duncan and the others.