Title: Why Me?
Reasons for rating: nothing too major
Ships: Veronica/Logan, Lilly/Dick, Duncan/Meg
Summary: AU. Veronica Mars is not your typical Neptune High Student. She has straight A's and a perfect family and life. That is, until Logan comes along. What happens to Veronica when he shakes things up?
Word Count: 3370
Disclaimer: I do not own Veronica Mars or any of the Characters.
Shout out: Thank you Mary0112 and MusikLuver for being my Betas! J
Author's Note: Wow I can't believe it's over. I mean I thought I would have at least one more chapter, but it didn't work out that way. Thank you everyone for reading this story, and loving it even though you didn't like the idea of Veronica in a wheelchair. Thank you to everyone who reviewed, it really put a smile on my face :D
And as for the whole Duncan hating Veronica therefore changing the ballots, I had no specific reason for why he did it, I just needed someone to do it. I didn't want it to be Madison, and I figured since Duncan's been a jerk towards Veronica, that it would be him.
Once they decided how to hold the demonstration, things moved quickly. Alicia, Wallace's mom, helped a crowd of protestors to make signs and sandwich-board placards. As they worked, Veronica was swarmed with stories of marches on the pentagon during the Vietnam era, and even taught them a couple of chants and songs.
Three days before Protest Friday, Wallace and Dick made calls to everyone they knew, urging them to call their friends. She even thinks Dick got some dates out of it, which just made her laugh and shake her head. But to her shock, most people already knew what was going on. Seems like Logan had organized his own calling system, and was a few steps ahead of them.
Telling everyone about the protest wasn't embarrassing after all. Everyone wanted to come. She knew the excitement wasn't only for her, Sure, most people were sympathetic, and wanted the run of the whole school. They were also thrilled about the secret plans, the tingling sense of secrecy. The students were scheming to overturn the authorities and changing the rules.
Everyone was sworn to secrecy. Advanced word mustn't reach Clemmons or the school board. As Alicia put it, "Surprise is your greatest ally."
The night before the demonstration, Veronica summoned her courage and called Logan. "Hey. I don't know how to thank you, but I've got to try. So, thank you for getting this all started."
"It's nothing. It's something I want to do for you." Logan replied.
She wanted to ask him why. If it was because he still felt guilty over the accident? Is it his way of making it up to her?
Those hard questions swirled around her head, but she couldn't bring herself to saying it. Instead she said, "It means a lot to me. It matters that you are with me on this, that the idea for this came from you."
"I'm doing this for my best interest," he said with a laugh to lighten the mood. "I don't want you to leave school. If a picket will help, then let's picket!"
The next morning was clear and the sun was shining. A crisp, cool wind sent the dry leaves frisking along the ground. Veronica's father drove her to school early and follow as she made her way through the crowd of students already gathering around the front doors. Several people already carried signs, and three or four wore the placards they made. "STAIRS ARE RETRO!" one read. "WHEEL POWER! RAMP IT NOW!" Another said, "NEPTUNE HIGH IS FOR EVERYONE. ACCESS RULES!"
"This is great!" Keith Mars exclaimed. "Wish I had thought of this myself."
"You did what you could. Now we are trying it our way." Veronica explained.
"Would you like me to wear one of these?" He asked as he picked up a placard.
"No." She said. "You shouldn't be hanging around. This should be student only. It's a better story that way."
Keith looked relieved and longing at the same time. "Call me at lunchtime. I want to hear everything."
Dick and Logan worked their way through the crowd, getting kids into a ragged formation. "Were going to march all the way around the building," Logan said. "We'll station a group at each entrance. You offer leaflets to everyone who goes in, okay? Don't block the doors, just hand them the flyers."
"And make sure you sing." Wallace added. "We've got to sing! 'We shall not, we shall not be moved…'"
"Get real!" Madison said. "There's no way you'll catch me acting like a dork in front of everyone."
"You won't be singing by yourself," Wallace insisted. "You're part of a group."
"Where is Clemmons?" Corny asked "He'll probably start lobbing tear gas as soon as he sees us."
"He's not here yet." Logan said. "His car's not here."
"What are we waiting for? Let's start marching!"
Veronica looked over and noticed Weevil said it. Everyone looked at him, and then one by one followed his orders. He looked at her, as he walked slowly up to her. He seemed almost shy, and not knowing what to say. Veronica reached out and grabbed his hand. He looked her in the eye, and she smiled.
"Thanks for being here. This means a lot to me."
He seemed relieved. "Wouldn't miss it for the world. School wouldn't be the same without you. So you don't blame me?" Veronica shook her head.
"No, I don't blame you. I never did. It was Thumper who did it, not you. I saw that you were trying to keep things under control, and thanks for being there for me as much as you could."
She wiped the tear in her eye, and he did the same to himself. He bent down and hugged her.
"You're the best thing that ever happened to me. I don't know what I would do if you left. I'm glad you want to stay."
He pulled back and joined the others. The group made it's way along the front of the building and around the far corner. She took her place next to Wallace, rolling slowly forward, trying not to run anyone over. She couldn't take her eyes off of Logan, as he patrolled up and down, cheering everyone on, giving directions, shepherding the stragglers back in line. He was the same Logan as last spring, but yet different at the same time. Instead of telling jokes or being demanding to be the center of attention, he spoke with purpose and clarity. He was someone to respect. If only she were at his side, she'd never feel sad or isolated again.
But he didn't want her that way. He wanted to make amends, and that was why he led the march. By fighting for her to stay at Neptune High, he hoped he could ease his guilt. He hadn't taken in what she told him, that they each had their share of responsibilities for what happened. He couldn't understand that she didn't blame him anymore.
They made a full circle around the building, groups of kids separating to stand by each of the entrances. She returned to the front entrance and stationed herself at the foot of the stairs. A camera flashed, and she glanced up to see a burly gray-haired man who she assumed was Madison's Uncle.
"Let me get a shot of your sign," He said. "There, that's perfect!"
The sign on the back of her chair said, "IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW WE CLIMB, AS LONG AS WE ALL GET TO THE TOP."
"Who thought of that one?" Logan wanted to know as he came up behind her.
"I did," Veronica said. "Wallace and I had a brainstorming session last night."
"I love it," He said as he squatted to be at her level. "It's kind of like, hey, we're all in this together."
Their eyes met, and they both smiled. They were locked in the moment, sweet and long, when someone said, "He's here!" as Clemmons loomed into view. He was shouting as he came.
"What's going on here?" He bellowed. "You kids get inside! This is a high school, not a circus!"
The camera flashed again, catching him in mid-shout. The instant he saw the press, he stuttered into silence.
"One, two, three!" Wallace cried out, and he began to sing. His voice rose alone through the first two lines, and then others began to join in. They sang shyly at first, glancing around to be sure no one was mocking them. Soon, there voices gained power. As Mr. Clemmons stared, outraged, and helpless, they sang in unison, "Just like a tree that's standing by the water/ We will not be moved!"
After the reporters left, Mr. Clemmons summoned Veronica to his office.
"What do you have to say for yourself?" was the first thing he said. "If you weren't in a wheelchair, you'd be suspended on the spot for creating a spectacle like that!"
"If you think I deserve to be punished, don't let my wheelchair stop you." She said. She couldn't believe she was being so bold.
"We've bent over backwards to be kind to you," He continued. "We've tried to make you comfortable and to keep you safe. And you repay us by complaining, and making demands, and bringing in the media, as if you'd been mistreated?"
Veronica couldn't believe what she was hearing. "There are three levels to this school and I've been restricted to one. The same would happen to any other person who uses a wheelchair. It isn't fair."
"If you're suspended, it would only play into your hands," he said as he thought out loud. "I'd be tarred and feathered on the news." He glared at her coldly. "Go back to class."
And just like that, she was dismissed.
The protest at Neptune High was big news that weekend. It was the lead story in the papers, and she was interviewed on the local cable TV station. The Los Angeles Times picked up the story and gave it two columns on the Suburban Page. The picture featured Logan and Veronica seated side by side on a bench in front of the school building. The caption read, NOT EVEN TRAGEDY CAN STOP THIS COURAGOUS YOUNG WOMAN FROM SEEKING TO LIVE A NORMAL LIFE. She didn't like the words "courageous," and she flinched when she read "tragedy," too. She was still alive and well. She went to school, and she was building her friendships. There was even a hint of romance budding into her life. The accident wasn't a tragedy, and neither was losing Lilly. They were events that changed her life and made her stronger as a person.
Even with all the uproar, she didn't hold out much hope. She had made Mr. Clemmons angry, that he would never change his mind. He would only be too glad to get rid of her for good. "Backlash," as Wallace's mom calls it. Backlash was always a possibility.
On Sunday afternoon, Mrs. Sharpless from the school board called and spoke to Keith for a long time.
"They're having a special conference tonight," He said as he hung up. "Bonnie Sharpless says they're 'going to reconsider what accommodations can be made.'"
"I'm not getting my hopes up," Veronica said. "At least we tried. You and me and all the kids at school. Everybody pitched in for me, and I couldn't have asked for more."
Despite all the excitement over Protest Friday, Monday morning came as usual. One of the soccer players was supposed to meet her and Wallace at the side entrance, and as usual, he was late. They moved out of the way as kids drifted past and into the building. Two girls from choir stopped to say hi and that they loved her picture in the Los Angeles Times. A boy she had never seen before said his mother had sent a letter to the school board on her behalf.
"That's really nice off her!" Veronica said excitedly. "Thank your mom for me, okay?"
Finally, a couple of sophomore boys walked by and offered to help her. "We saw you on TV," one of them said happily. "You're a celebrity!"
Would they have offered if they hadn't seen her on television? Veronica wondered. If she went to Open Door, she wouldn't have to wait for help.
Inside, she maneuvered to her locker through the crowded corridors. Again, she couldn't open her locker on the first try. It was just another ordinary day. What had they accomplished with their placards and singing? The school board would never budge. Why should Neptune High accommodate her, when she could be safely away? Veronica wondered.
And she still felt out of place in homeroom, downstairs with the E's instead of upstairs with the M's where she belonged. This morning Mrs. Bloomfield handed Veronica a piece of paper. It read, "Mr. Clemmons requests your presence during first period. Please be prompt."
The message had such a cold feel to it. She sat for a minute in a daze, too stunned to think. At last, she slipped from the room two minutes early, and made her way towards the office. Mr. Clemmons was sitting in his swivel chair behind his desk.
"Good morning young lady. I suppose you've heard about the board meeting last night." Mr. Clemmons got straight to the point.
"Yes. Mrs. Sharpless called my dad." Veronica replied.
"Then you know all about it," He sounded relieved. "I can't go into details right now, there are still some things to be worked out."
"Wait a minute," Veronica said with confusion. "I know they met last night, but I don't know what they decided!"
"They decided," He started, then corrected himself hastily, "we decided that I should give you this."
Without rising, he rolled his chair around the end of the desk. She'd never realized that his fancy swivel chair was a wheelchair in disguise.
She was busy thinking about Mr. Clemmons chair that at first she didn't see the object he was holding, a small and silvery, dangling from a leather thong. For a moment she gazed at it, uncomprehending. Then she reached out her hand and took it reverently.
"It's the key," she said in awe. "It's the elevator key. For me!"
Mr. Clemmons launched into a meandering lecture about the virtues of flexibility. He explained that Neptune High could indeed be flexible, within reason. Special exceptions could be made under exceptional circumstances. The freight elevator was a case in point. She must be responsible about its use. The privilege was not extended to everyone.
Veronica listened in a daze, trying to absorb what the growing mound of words meant for her life. The board had come around. She could use the elevator freely. Ramps would be built, and another handicapped stall would be added in the second floor girl's bathroom. She could stay at Neptune High. It was a cautious welcome, and it would not come without its protest. But she could stay here with friends. She wouldn't transfer to Open Doors after all.
She made her way outside of his office and joyfully and triumphantly, swung the key up and down. It spun and danced in its leather thong, so small and yet so powerful!
She was supposed to go straight to Algebra Two, her first period class, which was almost over. She wasn't ready to think about equations. Instead, she sped through the empty hallways to the elevator. How many times had she waited for Lucky to work his magic? Now that power rested in her own hands. Stretching up as high as she could go, she inserted the key into the keyhole, twisted it, waited for the green light, and pressed the button marked UP. From the depths of the basement came a groan of cables. Then the steel doors rumbled apart, and the car waited, inviting her inside. She rolled inside and pressed the "2" button. Alone and unassisted, she rose swiftly to the second floor.
From end to end of the hallway she rode, zooming past science labs, the foreign language wing. Like a time-traveler, she explored places she hadn't seen since last spring. Retracing a long-familiar path, she glided around the bend and rolled to a stop in front of Logan's locker. From her backpack, she took out a piece of paper and a pen.
"Dear Logan," she began. She paused and took a long look at the word "dear" before she moved on. "I am hand-delivering this note. Right this moment, I'm sitting by your locker, wishing you were here."
"Veronica?" came a voice from behind. "Wow, I never thought I would see you up here!" Logan strode towards her, his face beaming. "I forgot my lit book, so the teacher made me come and get it. Any excuse to leave class."
"Well I had to come up here too," she said. "As soon as I got the key. I wanted to tell you before anyone else."
"You got the key! They finally gave it to you?" He asked excitedly.
"It's all settled," she said as she held up the key to prove it.
"What about the rest? Like the steps to the front of the building?" His tone was guarded as if he didn't dare to hope.
"They're going to put in two ramps," she explained. "One at the side entrance, and one around back by the gym."
"Not as good as Open Door is it?" He studied her face, searching for her response.
"It won't be Open Door, but it is on its way." She agreed.
"You're staying then?"
"Of course I'm staying! That's what the protest was about, remember?"
Logan bent down beside her and took both her hands into his. "I was so afraid it wouldn't work. I thought, what if we did the whole demonstration and nobody listened? I wanted to do something, but I knew it might not have been enough."
"You didn't have to do anything, you know," she said. "I mean, you don't need to prove anything to me."
"It wasn't like that. Not like you think."
"I don't blame you for the accident anymore," she told him. "I used to, but I don't now."
"You do one stupid thing, and it changes your whole life, and other people's as well. I'll always wish that night never happened."
"But my life is good now. It really is. You need to know that, deep down." She thought she saw a glint of tears in Logan's eyes. He looked away.
"I guess I'm starting to get it," he paused before he looked back at her. "And I'm starting to see what a totally neat girl you are."
Veronica burst out laughing. "Totally neat girl I am? What is this the 50's?"
"I thought if you left Neptune High, how would I get to know you? I'd end up losing you completely. I couldn't stand it if that happened." Logan continued as if he didn't hear her comment.
"It took me a long time to see who you really are as well," She said slowly. "I didn't even want to speak to you when I first met you. And now-"
"And now here we are."
"Yea, here we are. It feels like this is a beginning."
"It is," He said. "If you want it to be."
It might have felt awkward, leaning from her chair for their first kiss. But they were drawn to each other so powerfully, that there was no question about logistics. There lips met, soft and sweet. The second floor hall disappeared, and the whole world became nothing but the two of them.
"People are going to say a lot of weird things about us," Logan said when they withdrew from each other. "Like they might think I'm with you because I feel guilty."
"Or sorry for me," She continued for him. "Do you, sometimes?"
"You're the one I want to be with the most. Whenever I think about everything, it always comes back to you. Besides, I did by you a puppy."
Veronica smiled. She loved her new puppy, and she knew in her heart, that she loved Logan Echolls.
"Is anything between us going to be complicated?"
"Is it for you?" He wanted to know.
She thought hard. She tried to look deep within herself, to search for the truth. "No. It'll seem complicated to other people, but it isn't for me."
The bell rang. Up and down the hall doors burst open, and human life swept out to engulf them. Logan walked her to the elevator, the two of them parting the crowd as they slowly made their way forward. She didn't care if they ever got there at all. On the outside, she was one more student trying to reach her next class. But on the inside, she was singing.
In the book, the main character is in a band, and they have a gig over at the Hospital. But since Veronica isn't in the band, this is where it's ending. Sorry if it seems sudden, and I hoped you enjoyed
Thanks to JaysBaby, xosummerxo, Katie 05, sarah, MackeyPac, moustrich, VMars13, milly, LoVe23, FanFicFairy514, Lil Aussie Alias Chick, XxHotBloodySirenxX: Sarah, the blaming Veronica for Lilly's death was an error I made as I was typing. I thought I took it out, so sorry for that confusion.