Disclaimer: Don't own it. Just having fun.

Author's Note: Hey, look, it's my very first Veronica Mars fanfic! I've been writing other stuff for years, but I've never posted anything. But, since I just watched the entire series, for the first time, in a week, I figured I could finally get over my shyness and post something. After all, if I could give up sleeping and eating in favor of sitting in front of my computer and watching Veronica Mars, I could post some fanfic. If you like it, let me know. If you think it needs some improvement, I'd love to hear that too. Anyway, enjoy!

Witness Protection

Chapter One

Veronica Mars smiled at the woman with the small child as they maneuvered their shopping carts around each other. It was also Veronica Mars that chose Chunky brand over Hearty for her soup, then waited in line, loaded her items onto the conveyor belt, and handed over her debit card. It was Veronica Mars who was asked for her I.D., and it was a picture of Veronica Mars that stared out of her driver's license.

"Thank you, Miss Belmont. Have a good evening."

Yet it was Emily Belmont that walked out of the supermarket with her groceries.

Veronica never thought the little things would be so hard. She'd known it would nearly kill her to give up her father, Wallace, and the rest of her life. Of course, being nearly killed was still a lot better than being actually killed, which was exactly what the Fitzpatricks were looking to do to her after her testimony put Liam in prison for life.

She'd been snooping, of course. She hadn't meant to find herself anywhere near the Fitzpatricks or anyone associated with them, of course. One round with a tattoo gun near her face had been more than enough for her. But she was in the wrong part of town, doing surveillance on a completely different matter, when Liam Fitzpatrick pushed Kyle Pascolla to his knees and held a gun to his head. Veronica just had time to turn the camera in the right direction and take a few shots before Kyle's brain was splattered all over the street.

She never would have been able to live with herself if she hadn't turned over her pictures and testified. Still, she hadn't thought about how hard it would be to give up her name.

But this had been her life for the past year and a half. Every once in a while, she'd pick up a disposable, untraceable cell phone and call her dad or Wallace, just to let them know she was still okay. However, the conversations had to be kept short, and she couldn't really tell them anything much. To let them know anything about her life would be to endanger them. They didn't even know what name she was living under.

Sighing, she stopped the car outside her apartment building. She did a double take when she saw the yellow X-terra, but then shook it off, like she did with most Logan-related thoughts.

Their last fight had been right before her testimony. He'd wanted her to let him help her disappear, the way Duncan disappeared, so she wouldn't have to be in Witness Protection. She'd turned down his offer, and he was considerably less than thrilled. The federal government had whisked her away before she'd had a chance to say goodbye.

They hadn't been together at the time, but, if she read him right, they'd been headed back in that direction. It had taken her years to get over his one night with Madison, but she'd finally reached a place where she didn't see Madison's face every time she looked at Logan.

She never wondered whether or not she was still in love with him. She knew she was. She also knew that falling in love with him was probably the stupidest thing she'd ever done. But it hardly mattered now. Now she was Emily Belmont, freelance photographer, who specialized in fashion.

To say she wasn't happy would be an understatement. She was a licensed private detective with a degree in criminology. And she was wasting her time taking pictures of emaciated women with pretty clothes. But this was the price she had to pay to keep her family and friends safe.

With another sigh, she shifted her groceries from one arm to the other as she trudged up the stairs to her apartment.

When she reached her landing, she froze. A moment later, she dropped every bag in her arms and staggered a few steps closer.

Logan Echolls was asleep in front of her door.

And he reeked of alcohol.