Veronica goes undercover at a Pi Sigma Sigma party to learn more about the rapes on campus. So does her not-so-favourite Sheriff. Something other than hilarity ensues. AU from episode 3:2 - My Big Fat Greek Rush Week.
"You should meet Chip, president of the Pi Sigs. Chip!"
Chip turned around, and Veronica cringed. First Dick, and now this. The first week of school, and she was already infamous.
"Yeah?" Chip asked, his expression less than thrilled at coming face to face with Veronica. She smiled nervously.
"This is Veronica," Marjorie continued, clearly oblivious to the tension. "Tell her Theta Beta is the best house on campus."
Whatever Chip had been going to say - and somehow, she didn't think it would have been to recommend the sorority - was interrupted, however, and Veronica almost sighed with relief. Chip turned his attention to the man who had just clapped him on the shoulder, and Veronica followed suit, thankful for the distraction.
"Hey," Chip greeted the man, then turned back to Veronica and Marjorie. "This is Jerry," he said, and he was smiling, so Veronica assumed that the crisis had been averted. She turned her best fake smile on Jerry.
"Hi," she said, and her smile faltered a little. Jerry looked awfully familiar, but he wasn't anybody she could place. Hurriedly, she slipped back into character. "Aren't you a bit old to be in a frat?"
"Former Pi Sig," he assured her, smiling. His tone was perfect frat boy, but something in his eyes wasn't. He looked at her like he expected her to recognise him, but in the end, it was his voice that did it. Once again, Veronica had to struggle to keep the surprise off her face.
"I'm Veronica," she said, leaning in closer.
"She's rushing," Marjorie added, and Sacks smiled. He looked like he was going to say something to her, but Veronica thought, for the third time that night, that that might not be the best idea.
"Panty dropper?" she asked cheerfully.
Even without his moustache, Sacks' speechless look was the same.
"You joined a sorority?"
Wallace's expression was sceptical, and Veronica rolled her eyes.
"I didn't join a sorority. I told you, I'm investigating the Pi Sigs."
Wallace gave Veronica the kind of look that only he and her father were allowed. "You rushed a sorority," he said, counting off the points he made on his fingers. "You got voted into the sorority. And now you're attending a sorority welcome party."
"Actually, it's a welcome masquerade," Veronica said, unzipping the garment bag she had brought. "We have matching costumes and everything." From inside the bag, she pulled out a white, shimmering dress. Wallace stared, openmouthed.
"You're wearing that?" he asked, incredulous.
Veronica cringed as she looked at the dress. She had been warned about the matching dresses, yes; mostly, she just wished it weren't white. "I kinda have to," she said.
"You know this is crazy, right? I mean, Veronica." Suddenly, Wallace started laughing. "You're in a sorority."
Veronica rolled her eyes again, and waited for Wallace to get it out of his system. When his laughter had subsided, she just looked at him.
"Yeah," she said. "Okay. I'm in a sorority. And now I'm going to an awesome party hosted by the awesome Pi Sigs, and this is probably going to be the best chance I'm going to have to get something on them." She sighed. "So, can I get changed here?"
"Yeah," Wallace said. "I'll wait outside."
Fifteen minutes later, Veronica looked in the mirror. Wallace had been right, she realised. This was definitely crazy. The dress was white, for one thing, and if that hadn't made her want to call the whole thing off, the fact that it poured over her like a second skin would have.
Veronica managed a weak smile at the mirror. Lilly, at least, would have been proud.
Squaring her shoulders, Veronica pulled on the mask, also white and sparkly. It only covered her eyes, but with her hair pulled back she though it might make a decent cover for a glance or two. Not that she was hoping she would need a cover.
When someone knocked on the door, Veronica practically jumped.
"Yo, Veronica," Wallace called through the door. "You okay in there?"
Veronica took a deep breath. "Yeah," she said. She was going to regret this.
"I'm coming in, okay?" When Veronica didn't answer, she heard the door open, and Wallace step into the room. Nervously, she turned to face him.
Playfully, Veronica reached forward to slap Wallace on the shoulder, but she was smiling.
"Does Logan know you're going out like this?" he asked.
"Logan is at home recovering from being your prisoner," Veronica teased, but there was an edge to her voice. "But no, he doesn't know, and no, I don't think he needs to find out." She shot a meaningful look at Wallace, who just shook his head.
"If he does find out," Wallace said, "I knew nothing about any of this."
"Good boy," Veronica said, patting him on the shoulder. "Wish me luck."
Deputy Sacks was holding what looked like some sort of costume as he came to Lamb's office. Lamb looked at it, and gestured for him to come in.
"How did it go?" he asked.
"Great," Sacks said. "They're hosting some kind of party tonight, apparently. They gave me this."
Lamb smiled sarcastically.
"Veronica Mars was there, too. I think she recognised me."
Lamb's smile froze. "Veronica Mars was there?" he asked, sitting up.
"Yeah. Apparently she's rushing Zeta Theta Beta."
But Lamb was already out of his seat. "Give me that," he said, taking the outfit Sacks still held.
"You're sitting this one out," Lamb said. He looked at the outfit. Black pants, black shirt, black mask. "If Veronica Mars was there, it means she's up to something. Which means she'll probably be there tonight." He shook his head. He was not going to let Veronica Mars screw this one up for him.
Veronica tried not to be nervous as she walked up to the Pi Sig house. She had done this a million times before, she told herself. This was just another costume; just another case. She rang the doorbell.
A Pi Sig dressed all in black opened the door. His mask covered most of his face, and she sighed. Great. That was going to make it really easy to identify them. Behind him, she could see more Pi Sigs, and Theta Betas dressed in red or white.
"Newbie!" he greeted enthusiastically, and Veronica forced a smile as he ushered her in. Someone handed her a drink, and she waited until his back was turned to pour it out. Well, she thought. It was now or never.
Veronica wasn't sure exactly what her plan was, except that she had to get upstairs somehow. She figured her best bet would be to wait until later, when the party was fully underway and she could slip upstairs unnoticed. Until then, she'd just have to try to blend in.
She avoided the kitchen; the last thing she wanted was to be cornered by another Pi Sig while he watched her drink. Instead, she headed toward where more people were gathered, figuring she'd be less likely to be noticed in a crowd.
Inconspicuous. That was the watchword. So when a Pi Sig took her arm, instead of pulling away, Veronica let herself be guided into the living room where people were dancing. The Pi Sig stopped and turned toward her, putting his hands on her hips, and reluctantly, Veronica put her arms around his neck. He leaned in, and Veronica tried not to let herself be distracted by his cologne. He might smell nice and have great arms, but he was a Pi Sig, and that was enough to condemn him in her book. But as he pressed closer, Veronica couldn't help relaxing into him, feeling the tingling in her spine as his body moved in time with hers. She was playing a role, after all.
Which was why, two songs later, she leaned in closer to him, stretching up so that her lips nearly touched his ear. "I really love this song," she said.
"Me too," the Pi Sig answered breathlessly.
Two words. He had only spoken two words to her, but even over the music, Veronica would have recognised his voice anywhere.
"Lamb?" she asked, pulling away sharply.
And then he was grabbing her arm, and pulling her closer to the stairs. When they were away from the crowd, he stopped and leaned into her, keeping his voice low.
"Veronica," he said, and she knew she had been right. There was only one man who could say her name like that. Veronica tried to forget the feeling of her body pressed against his, which, seeing as they were still standing like that, was more difficult than she would have liked.
"What are you doing here?" she asked softly, her eyes locking on his as he stared down at her.
"I could ask you the same thing," he said.
"I was invited," she said, and paused. "I guess I don't have to ask why Sacks was at the Theta Beta rush party."
"We're investigating the rapes on campus," Lamb said, his voice sounding resigned.
"You're investigating the Pi Sigs." Veronica tried to keep the incredulity out of her voice. She almost couldn't believe that Lamb had drawn the same conclusions as her.
He sighed. "Yes."
"So why not just come in here with a search warrant?" she asked. "I mean, you are still the Sheriff, aren't you?"
"We don't have enough evidence for a search warrant," Lamb said. "And in any case, I'd rather not just show up with a warrant until we have some kind of evidence. That's really more your father's thing."
"Obviously you have some reason to suspect them," Veronica said. "What have you got?"
Lamb laughed, and Veronica could feel it. "You've obviously been following the case, Veronica," he said. "Why don't you tell me what you've got against the Pi Sigs?"
Veronica ignored his question. "So you resort to illegal searches?" she asked. "Or did you just come here for the free booze and drunk coeds? You know that this kind of work is what private eyes are usually for."
"You're not an investigator, Veronica," Lamb said condescendingly. "And I really doubt Keith could pass muster as a frat boy."
"Whereas I'm sure the Pi Sigs would be delighted to know that the Sheriff had invited himself along to their party."
"Funnily enough, Veronica, I'm actually here to solve a crime. It's kinda my job."
"Well, that makes two of us," Veronica shot back.
"This isn't your job."
"And yet, I'm still better at it than you."
"Funny," Lamb said, his tone not at all amused. Underneath his mask, Veronica could see him clenching his jaw.
He leaned in closer to her, something that Veronica hadn't previously thought was possible. When he spoke next, he was practically whispering in her ear.
"Look, Veronica, you can be ... you about this, or you can help me out and save us both a lot of trouble. What'll it be, hmm?"
Veronica paused. Had Lamb just asked her for help? Ignoring an immediate impulse to do a victory lap around the room, she smiled. "Fine. What did you have in mind?"
"You want to check out Chip Diller's room, I presume?" Lamb asked.
"That's the plan."
"Then follow me."
Before she could say anything else, Lamb took her hand, and Veronica bit back a gasp of surprise. Pulling her toward him, he started up the stairs, and Veronica followed, trying to ignore the way people brushing past kept pushing her up against him. At the top of the stairs, Lamb hesitated, and Veronica took the lead. She couldn't help muttering a snide "shouldn't you have done your homework, Deputy?" as she continued down the hall to the fourth bedroom on the left.
Luckily, the door was unlocked - she supposed the Pi Sigs didn't want the possibility of lost keys getting in the way of any drunken hook-ups. Without glancing back, she pulled Lamb into the room, and shut the door behind them.
"Had experience with this sort of thing?" Lamb asked smugly, as Veronica pushed herself away from him.
"At solving crime? Yes," Veronica answered. "Have you?"
She didn't need to be able to see all of his face to know Lamb's expression.
Not bothering to pull off her own mask - if he wasn't going to reveal anything, neither was she - Veronica moved straight to Chip's desk, and started searching.
"And don't even think about removing evidence," Lamb cautioned her sternly as he began to look through Chip's wardrobe. "This is a criminal investigation, Mars."
"Me? Wouldn't dream of it," Veronica said, in her best mock-innocent voice. But she did pocket a slip of paper she found in one of the drawers. If the Sheriff wasn't searching the Pi Sig house officially, nothing was really evidence yet, after all.
After ten minutes, Veronica estimated that they were halfway through with their search, and she had to admit that they made a pretty good team.
"Did you check his computer?" Lamb asked, and Veronica shook her head.
"Not yet," she said.
Moving over to where she stood, Lamb flicked the monitor on and started checking through files; recent documents, internet browser history, email programs.
"Wow," Veronica said over his shoulder, and he turned around to look at her.
"What?" he asked testily.
"You kinda don't suck at this."
Veronica had expected a comeback from Lamb; but instead, he froze, and a moment later, the door opened.
Veronica paused. Getting caught wasn't really part of her plan. As she was mentally preparing her cover story, she felt Lamb grab her again, and then something happened that had definitely not been in the plan.
Lamb kissed her.
Her first instinct was to pull away, but even through a haze of confusion and cinnamon Veronica realised that that wouldn't be a good idea. Instead, she fought all of her instincts, and kissed him back.
Don Lamb kissed her like he had no right to kiss, hungry and fierce and passionate. His mouth was warm and wet against hers, and almost unwillingly, Veronica found herself opening her mouth to him, pressing her tongue against his, tasting him. His hands at her waist, Lamb pulled her closer to him, and Veronica gasped as he reached one hand up to graze her breast.
She had almost forgotten about the people in the doorway when one of them coughed.
"Dude." Veronica recognised the voice instantly as Chip Diller's, and cringed. Lamb was still holding her tightly against him, and she resisted the urge to pull away. She could still taste him on her lips.
There was a long moment where nobody spoke. Finally, Chip broke the silence.
"I want those sheets washed," he said, his voice full of beer and camaraderie. Then, he was gone.
She should have pulled away immediately. One of Lamb's hands was around her waist, holding her against him, the other resting lightly on her breast. Veronica didn't know whether to be glad that he couldn't see her expression, or annoyed that she couldn't see his.
She should have slapped him.
He pulled away first, dropping his hands to his side, and that pissed her off, too. "We should go," he said, shutting down the computer screen.
"Did you get anything?"
Veronica could feel Lamb leering at her. "Yeah," he said, his voice infuriatingly smug. "I think I got everything I need."