"Corsage - check. Limo - check." Veronica smiled up at Duncan. The limousine didn't remind her of the one they had hired for Homecoming two years ago. It was a limo, after all. They were all pretty much alike.
Duncan opened the door for her, and she stopped.
"Come on," Logan said. "You didn't really think you were going to the dance, did you?"
"You seriously want to go to Homecoming?"
Duncan raised his eyebrows. "Yeah. I seriously want to go to Homecoming."
"Because, it's what normal high school kids do?"
"Exactly. Why be normal?" Logan looked at him. "Do you really want some stupid election? Or do you want to party in style?"
Duncan laughed. "You call that style?" He shook his head. "I already asked Veronica. I'm supposed to pick her up in an hour."
"So, then, let Veronica come."
Duncan shot Logan a look, and Logan matched it.
"I am capable of playing nice on occasion."
"Are you?" Duncan regretted the words almost as soon as he had spoken them, but Logan just shrugged them off. He was serious about this, Duncan realised.
"Yeah," he said. "I am. We all used to be friends, you know. I think we can pretend for one more night." He paused. "For Lilly."
Duncan nodded. "For Lilly," he agreed.
"I did, actually." More than anything, Veronica really didn't want to get into the limo. But Duncan was behind her, and so, reluctantly, she climbed in.
Logan shook his head as Duncan climbed in behind Veronica. "And what would Lilly have said about that?"
"I think she'd probably say 'stay away from my boyfriend.'" Veronica had intended it to come off as light-hearted, but she couldn't keep the slight quiver out of her voice.
Logan laughed anyway. "How you do know she was talking about me?" he asked.
"So," Duncan interjected, a little more cheerfully than was strictly necessary. He held up a bottle. "Champagne?"
"Please," Logan agreed. He rooted around for three glasses, then held them up for Duncan to pour. He had thought about getting a fourth glass, but that seemed a little maudlin, even for tonight.
"To Lilly," he said, and even Veronica smiled.
"To Lilly," she and Duncan repeated.
"To me." Lilly laughed, and drank her champagne. Logan, Duncan, and Veronica followed suit.
"To Lilly," they agreed, amused.
"And to Veronica," Lilly continued, smiling. "Who will always be a red satin dress."
Logan and Duncan looked confused, but drank anyway. Duncan topped up their glasses.
"To Logan," Lilly said, looking sideways at her boyfriend, "for being awesome in the sack." She drank, and laughed even louder as Duncan groaned. "And to my brother," she finished, "for being so easy to embarrass."
They all drank to that.
Veronica shook her head. "Did you know your sister at all?" she asked.
"Okay, then, what was it?"
"Like Pirate green," Veronica elaborated. "Lilly suffered from too much pep."
Logan laughed. "Yeah, 'pep' is one way of putting it."
Duncan looked at Veronica. "I still can't believe you were on the pep squad."
"Hey," Veronica said. "I can be peppy."
Logan laughed harder.
"Okay," Veronica asked him, "what was her favourite birthday?"
"When she was seven," Logan said. He looked at Duncan. "Your parents actually took her to Chuck-E-Cheese. She said it was the only time she could remember them doing something for her just because she wanted it."
"I remember that," Duncan said. "Mom complained the whole day, and dad spent most of it on his cell phone talking business."
"Yeah, well." Logan laughed.
"Your turn, Ms Mars," Duncan said. "When was Lilly's first kiss?"
"When she was twelve," Veronica answered confidently. "Mark Fadden, during lunchtime, behind the gym."
"Wrong," Duncan said, and Veronica looked at him. "When she was six, she kissed the gardener's son. I think she knew it would piss off our parents."
"Six years old, and she was already using guys to make your mom mad?" Veronica asked. "Very nice."
Logan was shaking his head at Veronica. "Shocking. For that, I think we should make you drink."
Veronica held his gaze for a moment, and then drained her glass. Logan leaned forward to fill it up again. "I've still got more right than you," she said.
"Yeah, by one."
"And Duncan," Veronica said, "is trailing by ... what is it, three questions now?"
Duncan shook his head. "Hey, if her brother knew more about her than her best friend, I'd think something was wrong."
"Okay, then," she said. "An easy one. Which one of your parents did she like better?"
Duncan shook his head again. "No contest. Give me something a little difficult."
"All right," she said. "If Lilly could have had any pet, what would it have been?"
"Probably a tiger," he said. "Or a unicorn."
"Something difficult and flamboyant," he finished.
"That was Lilly," Logan said.
"And we love her for it," Veronica said.
Logan laughed and shook his head, and finished off the bottle. He opened a new one, not bothering to pour it into a glass.
"Okay," he said, "enough with the sentimental crap." He turned to Duncan.
"Truth or dare?"
"Dare," Duncan said, looking at his sister. Lilly smirked.
"Okay," she said. "I kissed Veronica." Duncan hung his head, and Logan smirked. "So now I think you should kiss Logan."
Duncan looked at Logan, and back at Lilly. Very deliberately, he started drinking.
"Wuss," Lilly accused him.
"Truth," Duncan said.
Logan smiled. "Okay. Did you ever watch Lilly changing, or in the shower ..."
"No!" Duncan looked at Logan incredulously. "No. Dude."
Logan took another drink. "You should have," he said.
Duncan shook his head. "Dude," he repeated.
"That was really wrong," Veronica agreed, looking at Logan, but she was laughing. She tried not to remember that, not too long ago, Duncan had thought that she might be his sister.
"Your turn," Logan said to Duncan.
"Veronica," Duncan said, and she turned to look at him.
"Truth," she said.
"Would you rather be at Homecoming right now?"
Veronica looked at Duncan, and considered the question. "No," she said finally.
"Dare," he said immediately. It could be bravado, she thought; or it could just be that he didn't want to answer her questions.
Veronica remembered Lilly's dare from two years ago, and smiled. "I dare you to kiss Duncan," she said.
She wasn't sure if she had expected him to punk out, like Duncan had. But Logan handed Veronica the bottle, and then, leaning over, kissed Duncan square on the lips.
"Dude!" Duncan said again, once Logan was safely back in his own seat.
"You," Logan said, as he refilled a laughing Veronica's glass, "have got to stop saying that."
As Veronica took a sip from her glass, Logan looked over at her. "Veronica," he said.
She returned his gaze. After a moment, she said, "dare."
"All right," he said. "I dare you to flash the next car that comes past. Let's see if that Mamma-Max actually works."
Veronica scowled at him, but stood as she opened the sunroof. Praying that Logan couldn't see her from where he sat, she waited for a car to approach, then pulled down the top of her dress. She was rewarded with a loud honk, and laughter from inside the limo.
"I guess it does," she said, as she sat back down. "Duncan?"
"All right," Duncan sighed. "Dare."
Veronica stopped to think. She looked at Duncan's glass, which she was quite sure hadn't been refilled nearly as much as hers; and at the half-full bottle Logan was holding. "I dare you to finish the bottle," she said.
Logan looked mock indignant as Duncan took the bottle, but had another one in his hand before Duncan had even finished. He inclined his head at Veronica's glass; after she had drained it, he filled it back up, then took a swig.
Duncan finished the last of his champagne, then shook his head at Veronica. "Logan," he said.
Logan looked at him, then handed Duncan another bottle before answering. "Truth," he said.
"How many girls have you slept with?"
Veronica studied her glass intently. She really, really didn't need to hear this.
To her surprise, Logan began to drink. She smiled. Thank god for small favours.
"Veronica," he said, once the bottle was significantly emptier. She wondered that he wasn't slurring yet.
"Truth," she said, after a moment's hesitation.
"If you could bring back Lilly, or all the kids on the bus, which would you choose?"
Veronica only paused for a second. "I'd choose Lilly," she said. She didn't look at Duncan. She was pretty sure he had loved Meg, even if he didn't any more. She wondered what he would have chosen.
"Me, too," Logan said, and for a moment, they looked at each other. It was Logan who looked away first.
"Truth or dare?" she asked him, and he looked back over.
"Truth," he said, almost defiantly.
Veronica paused. She hadn't really thought this far ahead. There were a million things she wanted to ask Logan, but she wasn't sure she wanted to hear the answers to any of them.
"Do you still love her?" she asked finally.
Logan nodded. "Yes," he said.
"Honey, smile if you love me!" Lilly jumped onto Logan's lap, and he smiled at her, his grin as wide as he could make it. He finished off the bottle, and then she kissed him. Duncan and Veronica turned away.
"Please. That's my sister," Duncan said, studiously averting his eyes. After a moment, he gave in and started kissing Veronica, until Lilly's laughter broke his concentration.
"Oh, come on," she said, her arms still around Logan's neck. "Like we're the only ones."
Duncan smiled at Veronica, who smiled back up at him. Lilly groaned.
"You two are way too perfect for your own good," she said, and Veronica blushed.
Duncan handed her some more champagne.
"Do you think we'll, like, be together forever?" Lilly asked later, in her usual blend of joking and excitement.
Duncan smiled at Lilly and Logan, then at Veronica, and shrugged. "Probably."
"We did." Duncan laughed, and leaned back against the couch. "In our defense, we were only, like, five years old."
"What did your mom do?" Veronica asked, though she could imagine Celeste's reaction for herself.
"She ..." Duncan paused. "Was not happy," he finished, and Veronica shook her head. That might have been the understatement of the century.
"We do not have the best luck with pets," he added, and Veronica laughed. "What about you?"
"My most scandalous moment with Lilly?" Veronica asked, and smiled. "I'm afraid I just can't tell you that. We swore we'd take it to our graves."
"Now this, I have got to find out," Logan said, sitting up, and Veronica looked at him.
"It'd take a better detective than you to get me to spill," she said. Logan lay back down.
"Well," Duncan said, standing. "I'm pretty sure that sunrise means it's time to sleep, so I am going to bed." He held his hand out to Veronica, who took it, kissing him as she stood.
"There should be sheets on the other bed," he told Logan, "or you can crash on the couch."
Logan nodded. "Good night," he said. Though Veronica was pretty sure he was talking to Duncan, he was looking at her.
"Good night," she said.