A/N: I know you guys probably hate me. I'm sorry. Life has been crazy. I've tried to write this chapter sooo many times in between my crazy life, but it was a hard one for me. But, I finally churned it out. I hope you guys like it and it's at least a little bit worth the long wait for it.

Disclaimer: All belongs to Rob. In the words of Whitney Houston, "I have nothing…"

Summary: After the events of the series finale, Veronica broke up with Piz and went to Vegas with Logan to talk. The ended up getting married by accident, but decided to stick with it.

A few days into their return to Hearst, Lianne shows up telling Veronica that she thinks she witnessed a murder and is afraid the killer is after her. Veronica agrees to help her mother, but wants to do it without Keith knowing it. Keith won his election and has been out of town settling his remaining cases before he takes office.

In addition to helping her mother, Veronica has been playing matchmaker. Veronica wants to hook Wallace up with Nikki, a cool girl she met during her internship who also goes to Hearst. Also, Veronica and Wallace have been working to get their parents back together.

Mac and Dick hooked up after spending a summer getting to know each other and commiserating over the life and death of Beaver. Things were going well for them until Dick visited with his father in jail. After wards, he distanced himself from Mac, but didn't tell her why.

The gang (Nikki included) has travelled to Arizona during Labor Day Weekend to where Lianne has been living to investigate the crime she witnessed and to give her witness account to the local police.

Mothers and Daughters

Chapter 7: I Can See Clearly Now…

Logan and Wallace walk into the house to find Veronica and Mac tapping furiously away on their laptops while Dick is trying to teach Nikki how to play a video game on the huge television mounted on the wall in front of them. Veronica's head snaps up as soon as she hears their footsteps and Logan can tell she is radiating nervous energy. He wonders if what she found out from the bar is anything as odd as what he and Wallace found.

Nikki: You guys are back! I take it you broke and entered successfully?

Logan: Was there ever a doubt?

Mac: Yes.

Logan: Mac, you wound me. And you grossly underestimate my abilities. I am perfectly capable of illegally entering someone's home.

Nikki: All by your self? With no help?

Logan: Well, Wallace helped a little.

Mac: Is that all? No one else helped? Not even, say, Weevil?

Logan narrows his eyes at Mac's smug expression and then cuts his eyes to Wallace.

Logan: Really, Wallace?

Wallace: Don't look at me. I didn't say anything.

Wallace can't quite keep the smirk off of his face.

Logan: Anyone ever tell you you're a terrible liar?

Wallace: I take that as a compliment.

Logan: You would.

Veronica: Oh, sweetie. Don't be mad at Wallace for outing you. Not everyone is a natural-born burglar. I still love you. I respect you a little less, but the love is there.

Logan: Ha ha. Do you want to get this show and tell on the road or do you want to keep busting my balls?

Veronica: Decisions, decisions.

Wallace: Ugh. Don't you start too.

Veronica: Logan, have you been oversharing again?

Wallace: Yes, he has. And if he keeps it up, I'm gonna do more than bust his balls.

Veronica slaps her hand over Logan's mouth to stop the dirty reply she knows is coming.

Veronica: Ok. That's enough of that. Let's just talk about what we found, shall we? Mac?

Mac: I'm up first? Ok. Something is way off about this case. We found absolutely nothing on story. It took a while for us to even find the report that Logan and Veronica had read. I found it, of course, but it wasn't easy. What's really weird is, the article had been created two days before and deleted four days after Veronica read it.

Wallace: That is Weird.

Mac: Exactly. I'm still digging to find out who created and deleted it. It shouldn't be too much longer.

Veronica: Is that all?

Mac: Not quite. I dug a little more into the guy your client identified. Paul Erickson flunked out of Arizona State after only one semester but all of his petty arrests have been swept under the rug—probably because is father was one of the Assistant District Attorneys in the state and had been on City council for the past 7 years.

Nikki: We also looked into the cop that you talked to. There was nothing of note found on Sloan so far. Just an ex wife and a bit of a gambling habit.

Dick: That actually makes sense. It matches what that douchebag, Jack, told us.

Logan: Jack?

Veronica: The bartender. And he wasn't a douchebag. He was nice. He said he knows nothing about any fight and he's there almost every night. He also knows my client by name. Apparently, she's one of the few daytime regulars.

Though she tried to hide it, Logan heard the hitch in Veronica's voice when she mentioned Lianne being a regular. He lays his hand on her knee and rubs her leg as she powers on.

Veronica: I'm not at all surprised. I'm well aware of this client's affinity for alcohol. I imagine her house reflected this as well.

Logan and Wallace exchanged nervous glances. Neither wanted to be the one to tell Veronica exactly what Lianne's house reflected.

Wallace: Not exactly. Just the opposite, actually.

At Veronica's confused look, Logan took over for Wallace.

Logan: The apartment was quiet and clean. Based on what I know about her money, her place costs way more than she can afford. And nothing about its condition suggests she left in any kind of hurry. There were no dishes in the sink, not clothes thrown around in a hurry to pack.

Logan's heart breaks seeing Veronica trying to piece together in her mind what this could mean about her mother. Wallace gives Logan a break and delivers the last nail in the coffin.

Wallace: There's one more thing, V. There were men's clothes in the closet. Expensive men's clothes. Dolce and Gabana cologne on the dresser, solid gold cufflinks in the jewelry box, et cetera.

Veronica is fighting the urge to break down with everything she has. She is barely holding it together. She suddenly remembers something and jumps up to snatch her messenger bag. She rifles inside for a second and pulls out a folded piece of paper. She opens it to reveal the scrap piece of paper her mother had given her that had Officer Sloan's name on it. It was supposedly from when Lianne saw the news report. Looking at it with the new information in mind, Veronica notices something that she didn't before.

The handwriting on the scrap paper is perfectly neat. It looks as if it hadn't been written in a hurry or under duress. It looks as if it had been casually jotted down, not scribbled while in a mild panic. She gives the paper to Logan to see his reaction. She knows the second he comes to the same conclusion that she did.

Without another word, Veronica gets up and walks out of the room. Everyone winces when they hear the bedroom door slam shut. For a few seconds, everyone is silent not quite knowing what to say or do. The doorbell rings, breaking the silence.

Dick: That must be the pizza we ordered earlier.

Logan: Oh ok. Why don't you go get that and I'll go check on Veronica. Take my Amex.

Dick: I've got this, dude. It's on me. Even the extra meat lovers pizza we ordered just for Ronnie.

Dick gave a small smile, patted Logan on the shoulder and rushed over to the door.

Logan: I'll be back, guys. You can start eating without us. Just, for the love of all that is holy, don't touch the meat lover's.

Logan's comment breaks the tension as he goes off in the direction of the master bedroom.

Everyone attacks the pizza Dick brings in the room with gusto. They are all starving.

Wallace: Mac! You're eating pizza. I thought you didn't eat pizza.

Dick's head snaps up and he waits for Mac's answer.

Mac: I didn't. I was eating vegan for a while. I realized that I really missed dairy. Like a LOT. SOMEBODY kept ordering pizzas and ice cream around me.

Mac turns to glare at Dick and he fights to hide the grin that wants to creep onto his face.

Mac: So, I dialed back from full-Vegan. I still don't eat meat, but cheese and ice cream and cheesecake…they're back.

Mac bit into her slice of veggie pizza, as if to seal the deal. Wallace shook his head and started in on his own pizza. Slowly, the room settled back in to some normalcy after the information session and Veronica storming out. Dick went back to playing video games with Nikki with the addition of Wallace. And Mac went back to typing furiously on her laptop, her face a display of focus and determination.

In the bedroom…

Logan walked into the bedroom to see Veronica lying on the bed, facing the wall. She wasn't moving, just staring. Logan gently lay on the bed and spooned himself behind her. He wrapped his arms around her and just waited. After about 30 seconds, he felt the first tremors of her body that indicated she was crying. She burrowed herself further back into him and began sobbing.

30 minutes later, she had stopped crying but still hadn't said anything. Logan simply continued to hold her. Finally, she spoke.

Veronica: She lied, didn't she? This whole thing has been a lie.

Logan: It looks that way, but we don't know for sure.

Veronica: Logan…

Logan: We don't know for sure.

Veronica: What we do know is that she's a drunk and a thief. She's also STILL a mistress and a liar.

Veronica pops up from the bed.

Veronica: We have to go back. Tonight. I need to confront her.

Logan: Veronica, we're not going back tonight.

Veronica: WE HAVE TO. I have to know. I have to know.

Logan rose up and walked over to Veronica. He pulled her into his arms and held her tight.

Logan: You will know. You will confront her with everything we've gathered and you will demand the full truth out of her. On Tuesday.

Veronica: But…

Logan: No. Listen, we came down here to investigate AND to enjoy ourselves. Learning that Lianne might be completely full of it doesn't change that. We need to stay…you need to stay. Get this all out of your head for now. Just for the weekend, forget about mothers and lies and cases and everything else. Let's just enjoy ourselves with our friends this. We'll get back to this crap soon enough.

Veronica is not agreeing, but she's no longer protesting.

Logan: Besides, you still haven't gotten Wallace and Nikki together. And you still haven't fixed Dick.

Veronica: I do have work to do on the Nikki and Wallace front. But I never promised to fix Dick, too. What kind of wizardry do you think I have at my disposal?

Logan: All kinds. But speaking of Dick…who's this Jack character that he says was douche, but you say was "nice"

Veronica sighs dramatically.

Veronica: He was just a nice gentleman bartender who gave me all kinds of valuable information. He may have used a little innuendo, but he was harmless. Speaking of harmless, what's this I hear about a girl at a party with her hand down your pants?

~x~x~x

In the living room…

Dick, Wallace, and Nikki are still at it playing video games. As Nikki has gotten better at the games, she's gotten louder and more competitive, which brought out the monsters in Dick and Wallace. They were currently playing Call of Duty and Dick was complaining about Wallace, who had just died. Mac had long since gone to her room to finish working on her computer. She stuck her head into the living room and asked Wallace to come help her with something. Wallace gladly dropped his controller on the couch and followed Mac.

Wallace: What's up, Mac?

Mac: We have trouble…I think.

Wallace: What?

Mac: After Veronica's reaction, I knew there was more going on that what she was telling us. I'm fine with that. Most of our interactions are covered with riddles and covert conversation. But, this time, I decided to do a little more digging. I wanted to help her get this case solved. And there were too many coincidences for them to actually be coincidences.

Wallace: What did you find?

Mac: First of all, Paul Erickson, our criminal, is actually Paul Erickson, Jr. He has ties to Neptune through his father, Paul Erickson, Sr. His father went to Hearst and was a member of The Castle. So is Sloan from the police station.

Wallace: Damn it!

Mac: I know.

Wallace: This is not good. This is not good at all. We need to tell Veronica.

Mac: Do you think that's the best thing to do right now? After her reaction…

Wallace: Maybe you're right. We should tell Logan.

Mac: He's with Veronica. How are we gonna get him alone without anyone getting suspicious? And by anyone I mean Veronica.

Wallace: I don't know. I'll figure something out. Stay here.

Wallace slips out of Mac's room and goes looking for Logan. He finds Logan sitting on the couch watching Dick and Nikki while he eats. Luckily, Veronica is in the kitchen doing something, so he quickly motions to get Logan's attention, then waves him over. As soon as he sees Logan get up, he turns back towards Mac's room, confident that Logan will follow. Logan enters the room behind Wallace, who closes the door quickly behind him.

Logan: What's up, guys?

Wallace: A lot. We have to be quick before that nosy wife of yours notices we're all missing.

Mac: Paul Erikson has connections to Neptune. His father went to Hearst. So did Officer Sloan.

Logan: What?

Wallace: And, they were both a part of The Castle.

Logan: What the hell is that?

Mac: Veronica didn't tell you? Of course she didn't. You two weren't dating then. You were with Parker.

Mac winces as she realizes what she said.

Mac: Sorry.

Logan: Don't be. If it makes you feel better, she didn't tell me stuff when we were together either.

Wallace and Mac fill Logan in on last year's mess, as he didn't know the whole story. They told the story through several angry interruptions by Logan where he cursed a lot and threatened to kill Veronica for her recklessness.

Mac: So, that's the Castle. And Erickson and Sloan are connected to the Castle.

Wallace: Which means that Erickson and Sloan are connected to Jake Kane.

Logan: And where you find Jake Kane, you usually find Lianne Mars close behind.

Logan notices that Mac doesn't look very surprised. He figured it was only a matter of time before she figured it out. He decides to not even address it.

Wallace: We're gonna have to tell Veronica.

Logan: I know. But let's not do it just yet. It took a lot for me to convince her to not go back to Neptune before to confront Lianne. If we tell her this now, she'll be on the first thing moving, no matter what I say. Let's just let her have this weekend and we'll tell her when we get back.

Mac: Agreed.

Wallace: Agreed.

A/N 1: I had to throw the random scene of Mac going from Vegan to Vegetarian when I realized that Mac was never a Vegan on the show. (She ate pizza with Max one time). Plus, I don't know a lot about vegan cuisine and I didn't feel like having to research every time there was a scene with everyone eating.

A/N 2: I haven't forgotten about things in Neptune. We'll be seeing appearances from Lianne as well as Parker and her gang. No, she hasn't given up on Logan yet.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Please read and review!