Pairings: Beaver/Mac, Possibly Veronica/Crane (because that plotbunny is rabid and won't go away.)

Chapter 1

Notes: CassidyBeaver, for those that don't watch Veronica Mars.

Disclaimer: The fact that this sentence in this section exists at all is proof that I own absolutely nothing.

You know, I never thought I would actually find a place more corrupt and tawdry than dear old Neptune, California. Of course, when it came to Neptune, the world was exposed to the dark side of the town, and they decided to actually do something about it. (What that will actually amount to, I haven't a clue. I won't be there for the clean-up process.)

The thing about Gotham is that it's also a cesspool of humanity, and this specific pool doesn't garner it's filth with palm trees and sunny beaches. The people in this town are so bent, they don't even bother hiding.

After all, who is there to hide from? I think the world gave up on Gotham long ago.

Yeah, so frying pan. Fire. I'm quite certain you know the adage.

I'm not sure what drove me to Gotham U in the first place. Possibly losing the Kane scholarship kept me away from Stanton. GU did offer awfully good incentives for coming here.

Maybe it was the city life. I was hoping that I could hide away.If normal wasn't the watchword, then 'fly-on-the-wall' might just do.

Of course, news of Neptune had spread even here. As did news of the girl who helped catch those naughty actors and politicians. Sure, I didn't get all of the credit for solving those two mysteries, but partial credit was enough to get me recognition around campus.

Which is how I got myself into this mess.

Well, almost. You see, I would've been fine if it hadn't been for the fact that Mac and Cassidy got involved. They ended up here as well, and when they started to realize that people were still coming up to me and asking for little favors, the cogs in their little heads started turning.

Mac was dangerous enough on her own, but once she teamed up with Beaver? Those two were a force to be reckoned with. They were a cute couple, but definitely less cute as business partners. Mac started on her old idea once more, with a few things added on. She would run the website, Beaver would handle the cases that came in.

And me? Well, it would be my job to actually take the cases. What could I say? It wasn't highschool, and we all had tuition to pay. Why not play to our strengths?

Most of the cases were just repeats from high school. It was an odd sense of deja vu, finding lost animals and digging up the dirt on people's parents.

Then the cases got a bit...eerie. I was good at finding things out about people, could I figure out if someone had been offed? The police simply didn't work fast enough on those cases, it seemed.

This case, by far, had to be the strangest. Beaver sort of nudged it towards me over the coffee table in the dorm's common room, as if he really didn't want it. "We keep getting requests for this case. I think if the girl floods the inbox anymore, Mac'll throw a fit."

I raised an eyebrow at him. Why, Beaver! You know that's not a good reason to take a case. Bad boy. Of course, I glanced down at it anyway, "Is this for real? Not one of those prank cases?"

"Looks pretty real. I called the girl, she should be over in a few." He smiled apologetically. Yeah, that might work on your girlfriend, but I'm a bit tougher than that.

"So you've already okayed this?" I asked in disbelief. Not like he had time to answer. There was a knock on the door, and Beaver hurried up to get it. Hunh. And here I thought that sort of timing only happened on television.

Beaver led the girl to a seat, and to my dismay I recognized her. Her name was Marcie Evans, and she was in my Anthropology class. She seemed sane enough. Marcie shifted nervously, clearing her throat a few times. I smiled, put on my best gung-ho voice, and decided to plow right through the spiel. "So, Marcie. I've been reading over your case." She nodded, following along. Good. It was going to get interesting if she wasn't. "What do you mean when you say this guy drove your mother insane?"

She only sputtered, "Well..."

I continued on, "Because the plausibility of this...? I'll look into it for you, but if it's fake I'm going to be very pissed off. And trust me, I've dealt with fake cases before, people wanting me to find their dad, when their dad was apparently dead." I wasn't about to tell her that the guy wasn't actually dead in the end, that would totally negate my point. Beaver was frowning at me of course, ever the businessmen. He didn't like it when I got rough with people. Bad for PR and all. "So is this the real deal?" She did manage a nod. "Good. Then I'll need as much information as possible on the guy, and your mom."

Another nod. It seemed like we were on the same page. "My mother's name is Sarah Evans, and she worked for the Gotham City Police Department. She was a good cop, one of the few." Whew, someone had rehearsed. It sounded like one of those voiceovers on a cop show. She handed over a few newspaper clippings. 'COP BUSTS DRUG RING', 'EVANS BUSTS CHILD PORN RING'. Kinda sounded like my dad, in way. It was a wonder she wasn't dead in this city by now. "She got a tip from one of the people in the D.A.'s office, about the director of Arkham Asylum. Something about him being crooked, putting sane people in there when they should go to jail. So she went sniffing around, and the next thing I know she's been incarcerated, and is under the care of the very guy that she was investigating."

I nodded, "And she's crazy now?"

Of course, Marcie starts to get teary now. "Yeah, he turned her into a raving looney."

Another nod from me, as if she didn't say a completely ridiculous statement. "And she wasn't crazy before this or anything? There's no possibility she just got like this of her own accord?"

Marcie shook her head, tears flowing freely. Beaver offered her a tissue. "She was fine before, I swear. No history of mental illness."

I nodded, "Great, we'll take the case. I'm just going to need the name of the Asylum's director." I hoped Beaver would handle the transaction, and that the girl had money to pay. I'm all up for charity cases, just not dangerous ones.

She was more than willing to oblige, "His name is Jonathan Crane."

A/N: Feedback of any type is greatly appreciated, as it will help me improve both my story and my writing. Thanks for reading!