Season 1, Episode 1:
A/N: This is more of a prologue as it is very close to the show…the AU starts next chapter when the surf competition actually happens so keep reading folks!
I expected the glares. My witty retorts were ready, my emotions suppressed and my left foot out of the LeBaron. Nothing came. It was the first day of school. I was expecting at least a piece of road kill in my parking spot. My enemies weren't going soft were they? It would be major piss-off considering I wasted good money on an extra spare tire, surface cleaner and combat boots. The masses were, instead, focused on the flagpole. Being short and all I couldn't make out exactly the situation but being a PI and having gone to Neptune since freshman year I figured that some poor sod was taped to the flagpole. As usual I was right. The kid was new. I felt bad. I cut him down. I could hear the whisper as I sliced through the duct tape.
"Is she doing
"When did she start carrying a knife?" "I heard she had to cause she like lives in the ghetto now?"
My peers are nothing if not consistent. Regardless of the amount of eyes on me I only felt one pair. Duncan Kane, he used to be my boyfriend. That was of course before he stopped talking to me. Usually when one says that it implies there was a falling out, a dumping and then silent treatment, not cool but still somewhat acceptable in the world of high school. What Duncan Kane did was way less cool. One minute he's calling me baby, the next he's calling me nothing.
"Thanks" The kid
smiles at me (he's new) and accepts my jacket to tie around his
"Don't worry I know it's cold outside" I respond with a smile and walk away leaving him bug eyed with his jaw unhinged in shock. Bitchy, maybe but I gave him my jacket and cut him down. Really pushing him away before he hears a rumor about how he slept with me and caught some sort of venereal disease is doing him a favor in the long run. The slut comments would be funny if they weren't so ridiculous. I would tell the sordid tale of how I lost my virginity but that would require me to actually remember the event. No I don't mean that in a tequila-and-prom-night-way I mean that in the woke-up-in-the-morning-alone-looking-for-my-underwear way. Let's just say I'm swearing off sex for the foreseeable future. It's reassuring to know that I am getting tons of action in an alternate universe though.
The day is unremarkable. I've been placed in journalism, against my will because Miss James feels that I am "passionless and disconnected". Please. As much as it's against my will I'm good with a camera and quick with words, it shouldn't be too bad. This realization is short-lived however as I come eye-to-eye, well really eye-to-chest with Logan Echolls. Every school has an obligatory psychotic jackass, he's ours. Devil child of Lynn and Aaron Echolls, Hollywood's golden couple, more money than God and less affection than a pair of spurned hookers but nobody ever saw that side of the Echolls'. One may wonder how I am privy to dark side of the Echolls. I'm really not, call it a gut feeling, call it good PI eyes or simply call it Logan-used-to-be-my-friend. It is never said out loud anymore. There was a time where I would come home from school hold a picture of us in shaking hands and say we used to be friends over and over
again as if saying it like that would turn the used-to-be in to are. Now that part of me, and apparently that part of Logan, has been erased. I guess it wasn't really there to begin with.
He stops just short of hitting me, sneers wordlessly and heads over to Duncan. I guess time doesn't heal old wounds. I guess I won't be getting my welcome-back-hug.
"Veronica I need you to take pictures of the surf competition at Gold Coast this weekend" Mrs Dent said handing breaking me out of my Logan-induced nostalgia.
"Sure." I try not laugh as she attempts to show me how to use a 32-millimeter camera. A few minutes into her speech I decide that I like her and put her out of her misery showing her, rather demonstratively that I know how to use a goddamn camera.
"Let me introduce you to your partner. Duncan Kane" Duncan looks up from his seat obviously uncomfortable. I wish I could say that this was the most awkward experience with Duncan. It probably wasn't. "I've arranged for you to drive with one of the competitor's parents" Mrs. Dent is so obviously oblivious to the tension in this twisted little threesome.
"Me too" I practically yell. She studies us for a second before mumbling something about the oil crisis and walking away. The lunch bell ringing has seldom sounded so good.
My table is located not too conspicuously across from the 09'er table. I set up camp last year when I figured I was only on sabbatical from the prestigious table. When I realized the change was permanent it was where I was able to reflect on the change, watch Logan and Duncan and imagine Lilly. Now I'm kind of attached to it not to mention the vantage point has many advantages. A few months ago I would never have imagined not sitting at the table across from me because Duncan was more than a boyfriend, he was the brother of Lilly Kane, my best friend. My now dead best friend. Lilly was the most vivacious person I had ever met a blonde haired, blue-eyed goddess. She wasn't always kind and was almost never fair but she was fiercely loyal and ruled Neptune High by the side of Logan Echolls, her boyfriend. 11 months 2 weeks and 5 days ago she was bludgeoned to death by, well I guess that's what the question is. By whom? According to my father, the sheriff at the time, that matter is still unresolved but according to Neptune, it was Abel Kontz. A disgruntled Kane employee cut unceremoniously from Lily's father's, Jake Kane, streaming video project to which half of Neptune owes their fortune. When my father went after Neptune's own billionaire golden boy the town was in uproar. He had a choice, change his suspects or change careers. Shortly after my friends gave me a choice change my Dad's mind or change friends. We both chose the former and it's a decision I live with every day.
"Are you ok? You look hypnotized or something." I snap my head towards the person who rudely interrupted my pity party. The guy from the flag pole? The grape vine must be slow today if he's still talking to me.
"Did I say you could sit here?" I growl with more venom then necessary. The half-defeated, half-angry look he shots me as he gets up to leave causes a small wave of guilt to roll through me.
"Wait, Sit wherever you want." I'm pleasantly surprised he wants to sit here.
"So, how did you end up on the pole?" Apperantly I'm not one for seques. My new friend Wallace apperantly had the brilliant idea to half-turn in the PCH bike club after they robbed him at the sack-and-pack. Since the sheriffs have a video of the theft his attempt to lie about 'accidently' pushing the silent alarm did little to pacify the local bike club who are now apparently out for blood.
"My bitch" Speak of the devil. " I thought you were supposed to wait for me at the flagpole. I don't know how I could have made that any clearer." Wallace considers this for a moment as he tries to shake off the biker's hand.
"I get it…very funny..and I guess we're even now." Oh wow this kid needs serious help.
"Even boy we're…"
"Leave him alone" For some reason this demand catches the attention of the other tables and for a moment I think I see concern flash across Logan's face. Then again it might be the Mexican he was chowing down.
"Look blondie the only time I care what a woman has to say is when she's riding my big old hog" That definitely got everyone's attention and I can see Logan pretending not to listen. How he wishes he was truly indifferent to me.
"So it's big huh?"
"Legendary" Great me engaging with the leader of a bike club about the size of his penis is going to do wonders for my reputation. Ah well if the damage is done.
"So let's see it?" Weevil apparently is easily put off. "I mean if it's really that big I'll be your girlfriend." I gasp in pretend excitement "We could go to prom together." Weevil is officially at a loss for words. "Common vato I'm on a schedule here."
"Weevil don't let blondie talk to you like that." Why oh why must gangs travel together.
"Looks like you're friend here wants to see it too." Faux-innocence. .
"Hell I'll show you mine." Oh please don't. I'm about to make some comment about forgetting a magnifying glass but penis jokes are trite and Mr. Clemmons steps in anyways. The bell rings and I've, of course, left my books in my car in anticipation of needing an excuse for an escape.
"Heya Ronnie" There is something vile about having your once-friend-now-enemy call you by his old pet name. It's a low blow made more painful by every time he used that that name with affection.
"How's my favorite virgin" He says with a teasing smirk putting his legs across my lap. Duncan and Lily had gone to visit a sick aunt in Maine and that meant Logan and I have to entertain ourselves this weekend. It wasn't that Logan and I hadn't spent time alone in the past. We are friend, good friends. We sit together in classes that didn't have our 'significant other' in them, sometime we talk about 'issues' like how he thought Lily was cheating on him (which she'd never do) or how Celeste hated me. That being said Logan and I rarely spent a whole weekend alone just hanging out and, frankly, I was worried about boring him. "What no quip?" I smile and blush lightly mumbling something about watching a movie
"We can have Clint Eastwood marathon." He says with laughter twinkling in his eyes. It occurs to me that he hasn't looked this at ease in a long-time. Relishing the opportunity to give him some enjoyment when I knew he was worrying about Lily's 'fidelity' I readily agree nestling into the couch preparing for a hours of machoism.
"Logan." I hear Logan's father Aaron yell from the hallways his voiced laced with a level of anger I didn't know parents even possessed for their kids. The door swung open with a bang revealing a shaking mad Aaron. Nervously I look to Logan all the sparkle had left his eye and his previously jovial expression was quickly replaced with a mask of cold indifference.
"Hi Mr. Echolls?" I said with a tentative smile hoping that my presence will stop Logan for getting yelled at.
"Veronica how are you?" He smiles that creepy two-million dollar smiles and his face softens slightly.
"Good, uh, Logan and I were just about to head out actually." I will myself to maintain eye contact as I lie through my teeth. I can feel Logan's eyes boring on me. "We have a journalism project due tomorrow and we need some pictures of the beach for an article on Neptune's cleaner beaches project." I smile sweetly and start to pack my bag like the couch was a temporary thing.
"Of course, Logan I'll deal with you later." Logan gives him a mock salute and falls backwards on the couch. Eyes shut tight, tension draining out of his system as the footsteps move futher away.
"I guess we're going to the beach." I say with a nervous giggle throwing his car keys at him. He looks at me intently for a moment with a look of something akin to wonder and gratitude in his eyes.
"You're a good friend Ronnie."
"Ronnie?" I snap my head back at him as he coasts beside me in his yellow monstrosity he calls a car. Duncan is sitting in the passenger seat looking out the window so he won't risk looking at me. He thinks like an ostrich, if he can't see me, I can't see him.
"Some of us were thinking that we'd rather surf than study today you want to come with." My grandma once told me that if you ignore the bullies they'd leave you alone. I don't reply.
"Duncan will even take off his shirt does that sweeten the pot." Wow a Duncan dig, and Echolls used to be my most original tormentor. "Does that make you horny?" This is me choosing not to dignify that with a response. I keep walking, if he wants to get a rise out of me he's going to have to do better than that.
"How about a little hooch, huh?" He dangled his flask out the window and I stare at him like he has just offered me cyanide. I think it's safe to say I've learned my lesson about accepting drinks from 09ers. "Common aren't you your mother's daughter." That makes me stop. Logan Echolls has a moral code and our war has rules. We leave Lily, mothers and past secrets out of it. The aim was always to cause flesh wounds, the kind that hurt but healed quickly so the next attack could continue. Logan Echolls does not stoop to insult my mother. "Do you know where she is these days?" There is intent to kill in his eyes. He doesn't want to inflict simple flesh wounds anymore, he wants me dead. "Any clue?" If it's possible his eyes harden more. I'm about to snap back about his mother. Mine may have run out after Lily's death and may be an alcoholic but that doesn't take away the fact that his mom is a pill popping junkie who talked to Logan like he was a distant cousin. I can't do it. Duncan grabs Logan's shirt and tells him to leave me alone, a gesture I would have appreciated more if he had done it the first time. I watch as Logan zooms off content to think he's won this round. Fine Logan you want the kid gloves off, fine by me.
I walk up to my table where my new friend/acquaintance/guy-who-hasn't-heard-malicious-rumors-yet is and take a seat.
"Girl, you should hear what people are saying about you." Now if that doesn't put someone on the defensive than I don't know what does.
"Then why are you sitting here." I grumble pretending not to care about yet another person thinking I'm a skank.
"You sat with me" he objects and I roll my eyes.
"This is my table." I snark and grab my lunch out.
"And what a fine table it is." He mocks knocking on the plastic surface. "What do you think this is made from? Oak?"
"Look if people are saying such awful things." I resist the urge to ask what the rumors are. That would imply I care, that I let the rumors effect me.
"Look I figure I have a choice. I can sit with the people who laughed and took pictures of me on the pole. Or I can sit with the girl who cut me down." This kid suddenly raises multiple points in my book and I figure that hey a friend could be a nice development. I guess that means I have to keep him alive.
"So do you want to get the PCHers off your back?" We share a smile and brief flash of solidarity. Maybe this year will be better.
The plan is wonderful if I do say so myself. Corny builds a bong for me to stash in Logan's locker in preparation for his 'random' locker search. Funny, yes, helping Wallace, kind of. The firecracker in the bong explodes in the evidence room ensuring Logan's innocence and allowing the friendly local fire chief to switch the tables clearing the PCHers. Helping the criminal element is good for the soul. Victory is sweet and the celebration involves me, Wallance and a toy plane which he is desperately trying to teach me to loop-the-loop. All pretense of normal and fun is dropped when I see Logan laying on the hood of my car crowbar in hand surrounded be 09er goons. I don't know if I should be alarmed or proud that he brought back-up.
"Veronica Mars" Well at least it's not Ronnie. "You know what your little joke cost me?" Knowing his parents, nothing.
"Well I'm assuming you won't be getting your bong back." He looks at me for a second as if weighing his options than smashes my headlight with a crowbar.
"Care to guess again." It wouldn't be too hard to stop this. Logan isn't a cold person. A sincere apology a tear and some picking at that indefinable time where we used to be friends he would walk away. He wouldn't apologize or offer to pay but I know he'd feel bad enough to leave the other headlight alone.
"Apparently your sense of humor" My days of pacifying Logan are over he wants a challenge I'll give him a challenge. I won't insult Lynn because I'm a better person than he is and because I like her but if he thinks I'm going to look up with watery eyes and apologize anymore he's wrong. This revelation gets me another broken head-light.
"No my car. My daddy took my T-bird away" I resist the urge to roll my eyes, all this over a car. "and you know what I won't be having? Fun, fun fun." He looks straight into my eyes peering down on my menacingly. If I didn't know Logan better I think he's trying to imply the crowbar is going to be used on me. I smirk back up at him. Logan never has and never will hit a woman that's the least of my worries. The bikers pull up along side the car. Surprisingly Logan steps in front of me and I wonder where he got his enemies-for-dummies guide because defending them
against biker gangs makes the whole hate thing kind of a hard sell. Surprisingly Weevil is there to defend me and ends up taking the tire iron to the 09ers SUV.
"Head for the hills" As the others leave he gruffly grabs Logan. "Except for you. You apologize." I fight the urge to laugh and I'm pretty sure all three of us know that's not going to happen. Logan looks at me
"Kiss my as.." Weevil punches him hard in the gut and he doubles over. He stands up quickly looking even angrier. This is about to get really bad really soon and as much as Logan drives me crazy I don't really want to see him a bloody mess. Weevil asks him to apologize again.
"Rub a lamp" before I can interject Weevil's fist connects hard with Logan's nose and I resist the urge to run over and help him to his feet.
"I don't want his apology." I insist quickly before the vigilante justice continues. After reassuring Weevil and begging Logan with my eyes to just take it and go I return home filled with dread about the surf competition Duncan and I get to cover.