Pairing: Logan/Veronica; mentions of other couples from S1.

Summary: What if Logan's video tribute to Lilly led him to more than he bargained for?

Spoilers: Season 1, AU off The Wrath of Con


Of Video Tapes and Lies

Prologue

Visions of a blonde pixie danced across the computer screen, her innocent smile a disgrace to the vibrant and untamable woman hidden beneath the surface. Pastel memories of ballet recitals and piano lessons spun an intricate web of deceit, attempting to mold the past into something it never had been- perfect.

Anyone fortunate enough to experience even a moment basking in the radience of the mischivious blonde could testify life was anything but ideal when it came to Lilly Kane. She had been reckless, bold, cunning, a wild spirit in the form of a seductress- above all, she had been a beakon of everything life had to offer.

Beyond the glamorous façade the world adored, there had been so much more than simply a rebellious girl. Her fierce protectiveness and twisted sense of loyalty to the lucky few she had loved revealed a rarely seen heart that was hidden away.

Lilly Kane had lived life to the fullest, taking everyone else for an adventure of her own choosing. Life with her had been messy, painful, and unpredictable, but no matter what, it had always been truly exhilerating.

With a bitter shake of his head, Logan raked an agitated hand through his hair, a choked sound between a chuckle and a sob escaping his lips.

Even as he cursed the fates for landing such a bittersweet task in his lap, Logan knew without a doubt this was his doing. He had been the one to offer his services to create a touching memorial video. It hadn't been planned, the offer had surprised him more than Duncan- the words had slipped unbidden from his lips before his mind could process the ramifications.

Only the sheer relief in the other boy's eyes had kept Logan from hastily revoking the careless offer. Anything that could pull Duncan Kane from his dazed existance was not something to be ignored.

So, in an effort to spare his childhoood friend more heart ache, Logan now found himself reliving a time that was long gone.

He honestly didn't know whether to laugh or cry as he pieced together halmark moments of his first love's tragicly short life.

She would have hated this tribute.

Of that, Logan was sure, but there was nothing to be done. Celeste had all but insisted that he create an illusion of the sweet, biddable daughter she had always wished Lilly had been, but never was.

Following orders, Logan uncovered any snippet of rare complacancy that had conveniently been caught on tape. The result was a watercolored fantasy- nothing more than a mere shadow of the girl he had once loved.

Lilly as a long distance commercial.

In a blinding flash of rebellion, Logan slammed his fist against the pile of videos on the desk- the injustice of this blatant attempt to reconstruct history making his blood boil.

He would be damned if he allowed Celeste Kane reduce the memory of Lilly into the ideal debutant. There was no way he was going to sit idly by and watch as the world slowly forgot just what had made the departed blonde so spectacular.

As plans began to formulate in his head, his lips curved into a truimphant grin- instinctively knowing that Lilly would have approved of this rash decision. Somewhere, he was sure the golden vixen was smiling wickedly at the thought of her mother's plans being thwarted.

On a mission to begin his half baked plan, Logan hopped from his seat with a new sense of purpose. This would be his final tribute to the girl who had once been his entire world- still was, but now in a different, twisted and abstract way.

With a long forgotten anticipation, Logan grabbed the scattered tapes and shoved them into his bag, his nerves tingling with supressed excitement as he bounced out of the classroom.

His rare display of good cheer vanished at the sight of the bane of his existense. The last person he wanted to face after spending a painful afternoon being reminded of all he had lost was the petite blonde.

Leaning against the doorframe, Veronica masked her turbulent emotions into a display of curiosity, the question clear in her voice even as she casually explained her presence in the abandoned hall. "I thought I heard Lilly's voice."

Even after a year, a sharp stab of longing seized Veronica's heart at the mention of the girl who had meant more to her than a sister. The sorrow shimmering in her eyes betrayed the veneer of composure she was valiantly attempting to maintain.

Logan's eyes narrowed, a familiar bitterness bubbling into his throat as he loooked down at the traitor who had turned her back on the everything she claimed to care about. Slipping into the familiar role of tormentor, Logan grinned ferally. "You should go a shrink about that-" Snapping his fingers together, he smirked mockingly. "– oops, you can't afford that, can you? Well, I'm sure the football team would be more than willing to pay for your services- what do you say? I'm sure a dime would be more than adequate."

A sense of satisfaction filled Logan as her trademark look of disdain made an appearance- effectively erasing any prior signs of the vulnerability that had been threatening to break free.

Not bothering to wait for what was sure to be a hostile retort, Logan smirked and strolled past the furious girl, the smirk on his face conveying his pleasure at having the last word in their encounter. Stepping out into the blinding light of the afternoon sun, Logan shielded his squinting eyes as he scanned the crowds of students- his mind working to process the best course of action to execute his plan.

It was obvious the first thing he needed was footage of Lilly- most preferably things that hadn't been edited to suit a more conservative frame of mind.

His first instinct was to turn around, march back to the girl he had just ridiculed, and ask for help. There was no doubt Veronica would have hours of their many youthful escapades caught on film. Pride and a strong sense of betrayal prevented him from seeking her out. She didn't deserve to speak Lilly's name, much less contribute to a memorial for the fallen girl.

Logan ignored the many greeting thrown at him as he made his way towards his most loyal of lackeys. The small group of boys stopped mid-conversation and greeted their friend with grins, all eager to find themselves in the good graces of the Echolls heir.

Neglecting to participate in the usual greetings, Logan barked out orders, the enthusiastic nods in response letting him know that they understood just how important their task was. Assured the boys would do his bidding, Logan waited expectantly as they ran off in search of those most likely to have tapes of the late Lilly Kane.

Ah, it was good to be king- even if it was only of a measley high school. Oh well, ruler of Neptune High today, the world tomorrow- and people said he didn't have any serious ambitions in life.

If world domination wasn't an impressive aspiration, he didn't know what was. Logan snorted at his inner musings, a pang of lonliness washing over him as he wished there was someone around who would appropraitely share the amusement of his offbeat humor. A year ago, he could have counted on three people to share his inner most thoughts with, however silly they were, now though there was no one left but himself.

Sure, Duncan could still be found by his side more often than not, but the dark haired boy was in a haze of numbness no one could breach. The trauma of losing his sister couldn't even be blamed for Duncan's condition, even though the entire world chalked it up to just that. Logan knew better, he remembered how his best friend had slowly withdrawn from the world- weeks before all their lives were irrevocably altered by tragedy.

If Logan was honest with himself, he knew that although losing Lilly had taken it's toll on Duncan, it was the separation from a completely different blonde that had reduced his friend to a shell of his former self.

Hell, if he was really going to delve into this whole truthfulness thing, Logan could admit that Lilly also had seemed to pull back from him around the same time. As Duncan had shied from his first love, his older sister had publicly let it be known that her most current dismissal of Logan was to be the one that stuck. No one had been surprised by the declaration, it was almost a weekly occurrence for the entire school's population to be dragged into their many heated break-ups and subsequent make-ups. The harsh and biting words she had thrown at him had stung, more so because she knew the many chinks in his armor, but the steely conviction behind them was what had stolen the breath from Logan's chest. Never before had her words held such finality.

It seemed that one morning the Kane siblings had woken up and decided their happy little quartet was no longer an asset, but a burden. In a decision their corporate father would have been proud of, they had cut their losses and moved onto more profitable endeavors.

Logan's only solace, both past and present day, was the fact that he hadn't been alone in his confusion as he attempted to understand the abrubt shift of the sibling half of the fabulous four.

Watching from opposite sidelines had been an innocent and heart broken blonde, wondering why their perfect world was suddenly imploding. Veronica had shared his myriad of emotions, the pained realization on her face mirrored his own as they both silently came to the conclusion that nothing would ever be the same.

Mind skittering away from the disturbing trip down memory lane, Logan pushed all thoughts of his past life aside and made his way to the baseball field. Best way to keep an unwanted train of thought at bay was to stay busy- and that's what he intended to do. In an attempt to do exactly that, Logan scanned the field for a particular tall, lanky boy; his eyes brightening as he caught sight of his target.

At the sight of a fellow 09er on the baseball field, Luke sent a lighthearted wave before jogging over. "Hey man, what's up? I didn't think baseball was your thing."

The baffled look on the other boy's face made Logan chuckle. It was clear the star of the baseball team was clearly wondering how anyone could overlook the joys of such an amazing sport.

Shaking his head in amusemnet, Logan skipped the small talk and cut to the chase. "You still have all that footage from last year?"

Luke flinched at the reminder of the weeks he had wasted folling his friends around and taping their every move, all the while dreaming it would be the best doucumetary ever created. In the end, all he had accumalated was countless hours of spoiled teenagers going about their melodramatic lives with an overabundance of asanine antics. Needless to say after that experience, Luke had realized it was more fun to be one of the people in front of the camera than behind it and soon after had returned to his first passion- baseball.

"Um, yeah. I think I buried everything away in my closet." Rubbing his neck in embarresment over his previous lapse of judgement, Luke nodded slowly. "I could probably get it to you after practice…"

At the news, a wide smile appeared on Logan's face. It seemed like he was one step closer to completing his mission.


Two days, no sleep and excessive amounts of swearing later, Logan was finished with the video for the memorial. He grinned in satisfaction at the thought of the final product.

Celeste is in for a big shock.

Logan's friends had proven themselves more than reliable when they had shown up on his doorstep the other day, arms laden with boxes of videos. It was apparent most of the school had been hit up for anything that could possibly have Lilly in it.

After hours of tirelessly editing the over abundance of footage, Logan finally had something Lilly would most definitely have been proud of.

Logan frowned at the destruction done to his room, his desk was littered with tapes and pictures, the mess spilling onto his floor where piles of tapes were organized in stacks.

The large mound of tapes carelessly tossed aside caught his tired eyes. It had been dubbed the reject pile- things that either had nothing to do with Lilly or were far too vulger for the public. What held his fascination though was the disk that had been angrily thrown atop the other discards.

The shocked fury that had seized his body still pressed down on him. It had been unexpected, although he should have been prepared for the possibility of running across something of this nature.

He had avoided it until this moment, the lingering fascination always lurking in the back of his mind. So many times, he had come close to watching it, but fear had taken control of him- making him shy away for more than one reason.

The thought of watching Lilly's last few days in the world made Logan's heart clench, but more so the knowledge that he would inevitably come across her sparkling eyes and carefree spirit enjoying life with abandon- without him by her side. He was no fool, Lilly had enjoyed the drama of their break ups while he had always been the one crushed by the pain. He honestly didn't think he could bear to watch as she flittered through life so easily while he hurled bitter and angry words at her until she finally retaliated with her own ruthless remarks.

It was unfathamable the way they had treated one another only a mere day before he lost her completely to forces beyond himself.

Morbid curiousty won out over self preservation.

Taking a calming breath, Logan placed the disk into his DVD player, tamping down his feeling of panic before pressing play. Mental and physical exhaustion took over him as images flicked on the screen, his eyelids involuntarily becoming heavy.

The sound of a girl's overly excited sqeals slowly pulled Logan from the land of slumber, his eyes flickering open to dazedly notice the darkness from his window- revealing how long he had been unconscious.

Tiredly, he rubbed his eyes to brush away the remnants of sleep and looked around, slowly coming to the realisation that the sound was coming from the T.V. In confusion, he watched as Shelley Pomeroy was chased around her pool by some jock. For some reason, the decorations seemed vaguely familiar, as did the entire scene. His sleep fogged mind puzzled over this mystery before memories of that night suddenly came hurtling back.

This was Shelley's end of the year party, which meant that this was filmed barely two months after…her funeral. In a blind search for the remote, Logan shot off his bed, eyes frantically searching for the remote.

He had never planned on watching the footage of after Lilly's death. After all, why would he need to see that nightmare on film when he had lived it- was still dealing with the fallout to this very day?

All noises from the television ceased after Shelley was chased into the house by her companion- leaving nothing but a serene view of the abandoned backyard. At the lack of sound filling the room, Logan paused from his search and looked up curiously- body jerking back as his eyes widened at the image on the screen.

Virginal white dress- the same one he had mocked so cruely- torn and rumpled, long golden strands a matted mess, Veronica Mars timidly made her way out of the poolhouse. Her heels clutched desperately in fragile, shaking hands as she limped across the yard, tears and cheap mascara ran down her devestated face in dark gloppy torrents.

Chest tightening painfully, Logan gasped for breath as the instant realization dawned on him of just what grim circumstances had befallen the innocent girl he had once considered a friend.