Summary: Veronica Mars moves to Neptune the summer before her junior year to escape her abusive father after her mother is killed in a car accident. She moves in with her uncle Keith Mars and then cuts her hair, changes her look, and vows that she'll never let anyone control her like her father did. School starts and she makes enemies with Lilly Kane (everything with Aaron will happen her senior year) and friends with Wallace Fennel. As her life goes on how will she cope with the past and move on into the future?

Spoilers: Will contain some season one spoilers. It will have some of the cases and mysteries of season one. There will be no Lilly murder mystery, however.

Disclaimer: Veronica Mars belongs to Rob Thomas, obviously.

So does anyone remember the song that's playing when Corny gets mugged by the pizza mugger in season 2? It's "On the 54" by The Dandelions. It totally rocks and you guys should check it out.

Also, I just read in TV Guide that in Heroes Kristin Bell plays Elle who will not disappoint us VM fans. Apparently, her character will be full of quips and sarcastic remarks. YAY! While I've never watched Heroes I definitely will start watching. In case anyone wants to know Kristin Bell will be on Heroes starting October 22. I seriously can't wait!!!

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She waited in silence. The fresh wounds on her back bleeding and evicting sharp pain. Looking at her, the only way you could tell she was in pain was the death grip she had on her bag. After a few more minutes of waiting, the car finally pulled up to the curb. She quickly got into the passenger side and sat straight, careful not to touch her back, and buckled her seatbelt.

"You ready?" Keith Mars said, looking at his niece.

She nodded and stared out the windshield. As the car pulled away from the curb she didn't take one glance back to the house she'd never have to call home again.

……………

Keith led his niece, Veronica, into the apartment. After he closed the door she stood just inside of it, looking lost and out of place. On the way in he had noticed the blood seeping onto her pale blue shirt that brought out her blue eyes. So Keith walked straight into the bathroom and came out with a wet washcloth and a first aid kit.

"I'm sorry," he said to the frightened girl, "I got there as fast as I could."

"Thanks." Veronica choked out in barely a whisper. She then looked at the floor and fidgeted with her hands.

"Can I take care of your back for you?" Keith soothingly and softly asked.

Veronica looked up and then looked back down again. Nodding slightly she took a half step closer.

"We can go into your room so you can just lie down on your bed." Keith told her and then ushered her into the bedroom straight down the hallway.

Veronica couldn't help but give a half smile at the mention of her room and her bed. She was starting to feel a little less out of place. When she got in the room, Veronica walked slowly around, ran her hand over the desk and dresser and finally got to the bed. Turning her head sharply to look at Keith one last time, she turned around and pulled off the bloodied shirt and then laid stomach-down on the bed fast. She turned her head towards the wall and bit her lip as the cool antiseptic reached the welts. Eventually he finished and said 'Good night' before flicking off her light and closing her door. One tear fell down her cheek before she drifted off to sleep.

A broken plate… a C on a test… trying to watch South Park while he was gone… rolling her eyes at him… asking to go to a friend's house… sneaking onto the internet…

Him undoing his belt… turning around… shirt on the floor… screams of pain… sounds of leather whipping skin… blood dripping on the floor… mother silently crying in the next room…

Excuses, excuses, excuses… "I fell"… "I ran into a door"… "A dog attacked me"… "I was playing football"…

Pushing down on her shoulders… his hand between her legs… trying not to cry… sound of tearing foil… bruises on her thighs… his grunts of satisfaction… the vomit she threw up afterwards… the mess between her legs…

Police at the door… car accident… her mother's gone… dressed all in black… placing the flower on her grave… crying herself to sleep… loneliness taking over…

She's got to get out… he blames her… throwing things into a backpack… he intercepts her at the door… a few whips… she fights back… he falls… she runs… "hello… Uncle Keith?"

Her father's mocking face looming over her as he comes inside her… trying to run away but then he says he'll kill her mother… there's no escape… broken wrists… black eyes… bruised thighs… dread… worry… fear… out of control… pulse racing… maniacal laugh

Veronica shoots up gasping for breath after the evil laugh of her father is played in her mind. The images of her previous nightmare still imbedded into her head. After she calms down, the realization hits her. She's free. He can't hurt her anymore. She's free. And there's one thing she knows. She will never ever let anyone hurt her or control her like he did again. Veronica falls back asleep with a confident smile on her face.

……………

The first thing Veronica does is go shopping. She's sick of the pastels and pinks and girlish clothes he made her wear. Searching through the racks of clothes, she picks out reds and blacks and greens and navys. She finds jeans and mini-skirts and stuff she's never been allowed to wear before. Jackets that hug her small figure and slip-on chucks and her favorite, her combat boots. Taking the numerous shopping bags with her she plops down at a table in the food court after getting a giant slice of pepperoni pizza. She devours the slice like it's the only food she's had in years. After drinking the skist till it was only ice she moved on.

While on her way out she passed a group of four girls. One: skinny, blonde, and naïve. The next: brunette, developed, and experienced. Third: Blonde, tall, and aiming to please. And the one leading the pack: Blonde (again) with a spicy personality and all-powerful attitude. The other three listened to her intently as they discussed their shopping plans. The leader saw her and looked her up and down with slight interest before dropping her gaze and strutting to the Victoria's Secret a few stores down.

Rolling her eyes Veronica kept heading towards the door until she saw the hair salon to the right. She looked down at her own long blonde locks and smiled as she thought of what she would do.

……………

Veronica walked through the door to the apartment with a new confidence and attitude. It's amazing what a new wardrobe and hair style can do to a person.

Keith looked up from his baseball game and gaped at Veronica's new appearance, "Your… hair…"

"He always made me keep it long." She said. They didn't need any clarification to know who she was talking about. Her father. Keith's half-brother.

"But, thanks Uncle Keith. This really helped." And she flashed him a genuine smile and trotted off to her room to organize all of her new stuff.

……………

For Veronica, the rest of the summer flew by. She went to the office whenever Keith did and learned the trade of the P.I. business. He got her a camera and laptop, which she used constantly. Sometimes he'd entertain her with stories from previous jobs, others he'd tell her all about Neptune. She learned about the social hierarchy with the '09ers on top and everyone else on bottom. The PCHers were also now of knowledge to Veronica. She'd even seen pictures of many of them, including their fearless leader Eli 'Weevil' Navarro. By the end of the summer, Veronica had even started taking on a few cases for her uncle. Nothing more than the late night surveillance at the Camelot Motel.

But throughout the summer, Veronica acquired a favorite pastime. On a lot of mornings, she would get up, put the leash on Backup's collar, and take a walk along the beach. She found the beach to be a place where she could just think about things. It was relaxing for her, and she eventually dubbed it her favorite place in Neptune.

Keith came to be someone Veronica trusted, and she often wished he was her father instead of Pete Mars. Keith and Pete shared a father, so Veronica assumed that Keith's mother was some sort of angel while Pete's was more of devil's spawn. But no matter what the biology may be, Veronica had grown attached to the balding man and was now completely comfortable with him. She now realized that not everyone in the world was bad, and that there were some good people in the world. And since she started her junior year of high school tomorrow, she decided to set out to find those people.

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When Veronica walked out of the parking lot and towards the school, she found that finding some good people was going to be quite hard. For up on the flagpole a boy was taped with everyone else either walking past or crowding around laughing and taking pictures. Veronica looked at the scene in disgust and made her way through the crowd till she got to the front of the group.

"Who died and made you que-" some guy who was taking his picture with the guy taped up asked but stopped when she flicked open my pocket knife.

"Move." Veronica stated.

"Freak." He muttered before walking away.

"You new here?" She asked the boy while in the process of cutting through the duct tape on his wrists.

"Yeah."

"Me too. Lovely school Neptune High is, huh?"

He snorted. Then Veronica heard noise behind her as people started to move away after the excitement stopped. "Go Pirates!" Veronica said sarcastically. Good thing she remembered the school mascot, or she would have ended up saying 'Rhinos' instead. Eventually everyone cleared and she got his clothes and together the two new students walked into the school.

"Thanks for that. I really appreciate it. Umm… my name's Wallace Fennel, by the way."

The mention of his name finally got Veronica's attention and she turned her head to mutter a "Veronica Mars" before continuing to walk towards the main office.

They both got their schedules and lockers and headed their separate ways. After checking out her locker Veronica went to her first class, newspaper.

……………

When Veronica walked into the room she immediately recognized the blonde that led the small group of shoppers that she passed in the mall towards the beginning of summer. She was sitting on some other guy's lap, who had brown hair with blonde tips. Another guy, with brown hair and piercing blue eyes sat next to them with his head between his hands telling them to stop. Veronica rolled her eyes and walked towards the teacher to hand her her schedule.

After looking over the schedule the teacher stood up. At the scraping of her chair everyone looked to her except the 'leader' and the boy on who's lap she sat.

"Miss Kane, Mr. Echolls, could you please stop fooling around. Lilly, get your own seat."

The blonde huffed and then sat on the other boy who immediately grimaced and pushed her off. "Come on Donut," she said, "she said to find another seat." 'Donut' sighed and then got up, giving his seat to Lilly, and then found another empty seat on the other side of the room.

"Okay class," the teacher began, "we have a new student here, her name is Veronica Mars. Please welcome her to your school."

But instead of the usual clapping, some kid with shaggy blonde hair said, "Are you like, related to Keith Mars?"

"He's my uncle." Veronica said.

"Oh," he said, "so… why'd you decide to move to Neptune."

"You know, I heard how fantastic this school was, and I just had to be apart of it. I mean, who wouldn't want to go to Neptune High?" Veronica sarcastically said with a tilt of her head. The boy looked dumbfounded and she couldn't take it anymore. She snorted and then elaborated, "No, I really don't care for this school. And I didn't decide to move to Neptune. I'm sorta stuck here."

"Why?" The stupid boy continued on.

Seriously, Veronica thought she might have to go all Jackie Chan on him if he didn't shut up. She huffed out a breath and then continued with her life story. "Well, in case you didn't know," she began, talking like she was talking to a five-year-old, "when someone's parents die they get stuck with some other relative. So I really am stuck here. Well, until I graduate. Then I'm out of here." She smirked as everyone shut up when she mentioned her parents were dead. So, it was a lie. But it was half right.

The teacher cleared her throat and Veronica was sure she felt quite awkward. "Well, um, Veronica you can have a seat over there next to Duncan Kane."

Veronica looked to where the boy previously called 'Donut' gave a small wave. She walked over and plopped down next to him.

"And here I thought your name was Donut." She teased.

"Oh, that's just what my sister Lilly calls me." Veronica now made a mental note: Lilly Kaneblonde leader; Duncan KaneDonutLilly's brother.

"I see."

Duncan was about to say something else when Lilly and the blonde-tipped boy walked over.

"Veronica Mars," said Lilly, "weren't you at the mall earlier in the summer?"

"Yep."

"Didn't you have, like, really long hair."

"Wow, your observational skills sure go a long way. And yes, I did, and before you ask, yes, I did cut it."

The blonde-tipped boy, previously called Mr. Echolls, snorted at Veronica's comment and Lilly swatted at his arm. "Logan." Hmm… so blonde-tipped boy has a name too. New mental note: Logan Echollsblonde-tipped boyLilly's boyfriend?

After putting Logan and Echolls together something clicked in Veronica's mind. "Logan Echolls… sounds familiar. Is there somewhere I'd know you from?"

"Well, E! is always a fine choice, or there's people, any of the tabloids you may read, and yes, before you ask, my father is Aaron Echolls."

Mental note number three: Aaron Echollsstar of The Breaking PointLogan Echolls father. Veronica didn't fail to notice the dark look that passed over his eyes in mentioning his father and she couldn't help but note how it looked quite like the one that passed over her eyes in mentioning her own father. Interesting.

"That sucks."

"Excuse me?" He questioned.

"I mean, your whole life is probably out there for everyone to see. Fighting the paparazzi whenever you go somewhere. I'm sure you have to 'impress' people whenever you're around your father. And no offense, but his movies aren't even that good." Veronica didn't really have a nice side anymore. She said whatever came to her mind. And she distinctly remembered 'The Breaking Point' being one huge crapfest.

When she looked at Logan's face Veronica saw a smirk break out. Must have hit pretty close to home she thought. "Why Miss Mars, you sure have quite the opinion. But you got one thing wrong, his movies suck horribly, they're not just 'not even that good'." He said with air quotes around what Veronica had said earlier.

She smiled at his humor but it faltered when she saw Lilly glaring at her. Luckily, Ms. Dent (Veronica had gotten a look at the nameplate on her desk) intervened before Lilly could say something nasty.

"Mr. Echolls, please go back to your seat and do something. And Miss Kane, how about you tell Miss Mars about what goes on in this class."

Lilly looked especially mad about this. "Why can't he do it?" She asked while pointing to her little brother.

"Because as our editor he has some important work to do. And since you never seem to be too busy to chat, I don't think you'll find it too inconvenient to help out Miss Mars."

"Whatever." Lilly scoffed. Then she turned to Veronica and asked with very false sweetness, "Sooo, what sort of stuff do you write?"

"Well, I don't really write so much. I was wondering if I could maybe just take pictures."

"I don't know. But I'll show you the cameras." Lilly then turned on her heel, flipped her long blonde hair, and strutted over to the cabinet containing the cameras. Does she make everything a performance? Veronica wondered as she watched Lilly walk. She then rolled her eyes and followed.

"So, this is the camera or whatever." Lilly held out a 35mm camera.

Veronica snorted. "Yeah… I think I'd rather use mine." And she then pulled out her camera from her messenger bag.

"Umm… okay. Have fun with that." Lilly then walked back over to Logan and perched herself on his lap.

Veronica walked over to Ms. Dent. "So, do you mind if I just take pictures with my camera? I'd rather do that then write."

"Well, we can start you off there."

"Great."

"I have your first assignment, are you free after school tomorrow?"

"I guess."

"We're doing a feature on Bodie Chang, you know him?

"Seeing as this is my first day, no."

"Well he's a surfer, and he's winning all these competitions. He's got another one up at Gold Coast. Duncan's writing the story. So you can go and talk to him about it. Maybe you two can carpool or something."

"Yeah sure." Veronica says before walking back over to where she was seated earlier. "So I'm taking the pictures of Bodie Chang tomorrow."

"Oh cool."

"Yeah, it's my first assignment." Veronica glanced up at the clock and saw that it was almost time for 2nd hour to begin. "Well I'll see you up at Gold Coast tomorrow." Then the bell rang and she strolled out of the classroom and on to Honors English. Veronica had been taking honors classes ever since they had been offered. Her father made her. With her new attitude and outlook on life she would've taken regular classes but knew they'd be way too easy and her teachers would end up moving her up anyways.

After Honors English she had AP Calculus and AP Government. Then it was time for lunch.

……………

Veronica plays with the gross cafeteria food as she stares at the lunch table in front of her. She has clearly found the 09er table. There sits Logan with Lilly on his lap, Duncan with an arm slung around the naïve girl from the shopping foursome, the shaggy blonde, and some other people. They were all eating pizza, which Veronica had found only the rich and elite could get with their 'pirate points', according to some nerd in her calc class. She was so engrossed in watching them that she didn't notice Wallace sit down.

"You okay?" He asked her.

"What?"

"You look, I don't know, hypnotized."

"Oh." Veronica continues to play with her food while Wallace unpacks his sack lunch. Wallace is about to open his mouth again when a head shaven, tattooed biker comes straight towards Wallace. It's Weevil, grand leader of the PCH bike club.

"My bitch. Weren't you supposed to wait for me at the flag pole? I'm not sure I could have made that any clearer." Weevil says before sitting down very close to Wallace, deliberately getting in his face. The other bikes crowd around Weevil. Wallace lets out an uncomfortable laugh.

"Okay, I get it, a'right. Very funny."

"Yeah."

"I guess we're even now. Right?"

Weevil then responds aggressively, "You get what boy? You get that you're a dead man walking, is that what you get?"

"Leave him alone." Veronica states without an ounce of fear in her words.

Weevil turns his attention towards the small blonde as the rest of the quad goes silent, grins, and moves towards her. "Sister, the only time I care what a woman has to say is, is when she's riding my big old hog but even then it's not so much words just a bunch of oohs and aahs, you know?"

"So it's big, huh?"

"Legendary."

Veronica smirks as she rises to the unspoken challenge. "Well let's see it. I mean if it's as big as you say, I'll be your girlfriend," Then she turns breathless as she adds, "We could go to prom together!"

Weevil is amused by Veronica's refusal to be intimidated by him and he laughs and looks around at his fellow bikers.

"What? What seems to be the problem? I'm on a schedule here, vato." She says with a tilt of her head.

Weevil's buddy Felix is clearly offended and nudges Weevil's shoulder, "Dude, Weevil. Don't let blondie talk to you like that!"

Veronica almost bursts out laughing as she says, "Sounds like your buddy here wants to see it too." However her outside appearance is still calm and collected, unwilling to give anything away.

"Ah, hell, I'll show you mine." Felix says as he moves closer to Veronica and reaches to undo his pants. Weevil puts out an arm to stop him but Vice Principal Clemmons gets there first.

"Felix Toombs," the VP begins, "What on God's green earth is going on here? All right gentlemen, move it along. Veronica, please try and associate yourself with other students?" But Veronica just smiles blandly as Clemmons moves the bikers on and away from the table. Felix shoots Wallace a filthy look and then Veronica and Wallace are yet again alone.

"So what did you do?" Veronica asks her new found friend.

"What?" Wallace asks confused.

"Why are you a dead man walking?"

Wallace elaborates on how two of the PCHers came in and started stealing stuff, then gave him a dollar for a pack of gum. After hitting the silent alarm the police arrive but after Wallace sees the whole gang there he tells the sheriff it was just an accident. But Lamb goes in and gets the surveillance tape.

"Congratulations, sport. In your short time here, you've already managed to piss off the motorcycle gang and the local sheriff." Veronica tells Wallace, who just shakes his head.

……………

Once school is over Veronica goes to Mars Investigations and starts doing her usual routine of answering phones, taking messages, organizing files, and internet surfing. Keith is in with a client so she takes down the message about a wife who thinks her husband is cheating on her. She's just hung up the phone when Cliff McCormack, the seedy, 'attorney for those who cannot afford an attorney' lawyer, walks in carrying his briefcase and a file.

"Veronica Mars." He greets her.

"My uncle's with a client."

"Apparently. That's okay, I'm happy out here chatting with you." Cliff then walks over and sits down in the chair on the other side of Veronica's desk.

"Like I said, Mr. Mars is with a client."

"I heard you but he's always out tracking down bail jumpers half the time lately and yet somehow all the cases that come in here still get handled. How is that?" Cliff asks innocently although he already suspects that Veronica's the one that helps out with the other cases, which is why he doesn't bother talking to Keith.

"We're efficient." Veronica tells him with her poker face on.

"Very efficient. Um look, I'm just going to leave this file here, open on your desk and if you decide to take a look at it, cool. One of my clients, Loretta Cancun, dances at the Seventh Veil…"

"Classy." Veronica says in response to the mention of Neptune's own strip club.

"These are my people, V. She was busted for vandalism, taking a baseball bat to the washing machine that stole her quarters at Suds'n'Duds."

"And Johnny Cochran was booked."

Cliff smirks before continuing. "I make no apologies. I like this case, it's tawdry. Miss Cancun says the Seventh Veil has an interesting way of keeping their liquor license…" Cliff then gets to his feet and starts walking towards the door, "despite their rather lax ID policy. She wants to make a deal. If your dad has time, he should look into it." And with that Cliff walked out the door in all his cheap suit splendor.

……………

After eating supper Keith got a call that his newest bail jumper was on the move. Veronica booked him a flight, hotel, and rental car in El Paso. Once he left she grabbed some coffee, her homework, her messenger bag (after double checking for the taser Keith gave her and her camera), and Backup. An hour later she found herself parked by the Camelot Motel, waiting to snap the money shot. However when she heard the motorcycles coming she felt her plans may be a bit delayed. She watched the bikes approach and then circle around and finally come to a stop to the side of her car. Weevil takes off his helmet and gestures for her to roll down her window.

"Car trouble, miss?" He asks.

"Yeah, as a matter of fact. I think it might be a loose belt but if you wouldn't mind checking under the hood."

One of the bikers approaches the car and says to his leader, "Hey Weevil, who gets the first danc-" But he's interrupted when Backup jumps out of the window from the backseat and fastens his teeth onto the bikers arm and brings him down to the ground. "Get him off me! Get him off me, get him off me!" He shouts.

Felix then comes to the car and threatens, "Girl, you best call off your dog."

But Veronica tasers him in the chest and he goes down. Weevil isn't too impressed with the two bikers.

"Backup! Chill!" Veronica calls and the pit bull lets go of the biker. She then addresses Weevil. "I'll tell you what. We'll call it a draw."

"Baby, come on, it's too late for that."

"Here's the deal. Leave that kid at school alone for a week and I'll make sure your boys walk."

"Why you care so much for that skinny negro anyway."

But before Veronica can respond Felix starts to claw his way back up to her window so she charges the taser in front of his face.

"All right, all right, all right. Felix, we get it, you're a badass, okay. But for once don't be stupid." Felix then backs away from the car, quite gratefully.

"Not bad advice." Veronica says.

"All right, one week," Weevil agrees, "After that, we come for you, your boy, and your little dog too."

Backup starts to growl so Veronica talks to him, "Backup, be cool." Right now, Veronica is very grateful for Keith teaching her to command the pit bull.

"You get lonely out here remember, Weevil love you long time." And then he blows her some kisses to which Veronica gives him the thumbs up. Then the bikers depart, leaving Veronica alone once again. Eventually she gets the money shot and goes home to grab a few hours of sleep before school the next day.

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I hope everyone liked this. I'm going to add some Lilly vs. Veronica in the next chapter. Also, I think Logan and Dick may start 'terrorizing' Veronica, although they don't necessarily want to. I might also explore Dick's character a bit. He's one of my faves!

Reviews please! They make me want to write more!