Title: A Kiss Before Dying (1/10)
Rating: R for language in this chapter
Summary: 15 year old Veronica has never been kissed and Lamb makes her a promise. Characters/Pairing: Veronica/Lamb, (mentions of Lilly/Logan, Duncan, Keith and a few others)
Spoilers: will eventually be through entire series but AU from 3X14
Word Count: 3988
Disclaimer: I don't own Veronica Mars, the movie or book "Little Women", Christian Bale or the phrase 'A Kiss Before Dying.'
A/N: I got the idea for this while watching Little Woman for like the millionth time. In one scene in particular the relationship between Amy and Laurie just seemed like it could translate to Veronica and Lamb. Pre-Lilly's death Veronica always seemed to be on the romantic and naïve side (which is very Amy-esque) so I could see her having feelings such as this. There is also a very strong overtone of death throughout the VM series and chapters from this story will focus on interactions between Lamb and Veronica in regards to these moments.

I wasn't expecting visitors. So when the first knock sounded on my door, I was slightly confused.

I got up from the comfort of my couch and silently went over the possible suspects capable of intruding on my quiet Friday night on my way to the door.

Keith and Lianne were out of town for a couple of weeks, Lianne was getting some 'help,' so it couldn't be Keith. Sacks, was working the night shift, so that counted him out. And Veronica was staying with the Kane's while her parents were gone, so it most likely wasn't her either.

The thought of the latter suspect bothered me a little. I'd been slightly hurt when Keith informed me that my guard duties wouldn't be needed this time around. I'd been her trusted caretaker for the previous 5 years after all, but I understood the reasons. She was 15 now and it wasn't appropriate for her to be staying alone with a man 10 years older than her and not related to her. Though when Keith had told me of their decision, I'd gotten the feeling that it was more an issue for Lianne than for Keith himself. But it still bugged me, I loved my time with Veronica and the prospect of two full Veronica filled weeks was something I'd give my right…um, eye for.

And that right there, as much as it killed me to admit it, was the A number 1 reason that it was probably a good thing that Keith chose the Kane's over me. I don't think they knew, but it didn't matter, the truth was that when it came to Veronica Mars, my self control seemed to be waning.

I'd always adored the kid, from the day I met her she'd had me wrapped around her little finger and I wasn't complaining. Who would? And everything was fine for a few years; we became friends, an unlikely friendship with a vast age difference but friends no less. But over time things often change and change they did. I swear it was like a switch was flipped the minute the girl hit puberty. In a matter of months she went from my cute little blonde buddy to a beautiful young blue eyed woman that had me counting down the days to her 18th birthday. And yes I'm aware of how wrong that was, but I never acted on it. As much as it pained me, I was more than willing to wait, and wait I would.

When I finally reached the door I couldn't hide my excitement to see the very subject of my thoughts standing there smiling at me in her usual mischievous manner.

"Mars, to what do I owe this unexpected visit?"

She smiled at me and tilted her head in that patented Veronica Mars fashion, which was always my cue to prepare myself to be thoroughly snowed; saying no to her was not an option. "Hi Deputy! Um, wanna watch a movie?"

Her smile turned into a cheesy grin and I laughed as I stepped aside and waved her inside. "Always."

She skipped right past me and over to the couch where she promptly grabbed the remote, propped her feet up on the coffee table and acted like she owned the place. I knew it should feel strange but it didn't and that in and of itself was strange enough. But when it came to Veronica, nothing was ever normal and that was just the way I liked it.

I sat down next to her on the couch and looked at her. Something was up, I could tell, but she obviously wasn't going to offer the info so I probed a little hoping to get some insight. "So, I was under the impression that you were living the wild life with Miss Kane and your band of Merry Men this weekend, what changed?"

She flinched a little at my mention of Duncan and Logan which caught my attention immediately, there was definitely something going on there. But she didn't give anything away as she smiled and responded. "What can I say? I got a little tired of the constant excitement at Casa de Kane. Needed a breather so I came over here, they probably don't even know I'm gone."

I put my hand on her shoulder in an awkward friendly gesture that she smirked at and then something occurred to me. She was only 15, so if they didn't know she was at my house, and I didn't pick her up, how the fuck did she get to my house? "Um Veronica?"

She chuckled anticipating the next words out of my mouth. "I drove."

I could actually feel the early stages of a heart attack happening, I knew she would have been better off with me than staying at the Kane's. But I pushed my feelings aside, if she was desperate enough to drive without a license to get to my house she really needed to get away. "Just please tell me you drove a car with permission and that you didn't hotwire one." She more than had the skills capable of doing that after all.

"Of course not, I borrowed one."

I inwardly groaned. Great. "Please tell me you're kidding."

She laughed outright then and no matter how many times I heard it, it was still one of the most beautiful sounds I'd ever heard. "Of course joking Deputy, I had Logan's driver bring me over here." She went to stand up a little as she finished. "I can call and have him take me back if you prefer."

"No!" Ok, so it was probably a little bit of an overreaction to the comment, but she was there and I didn't want her to leave. I couldn't have her the way I wanted yet, but having her in any capacity was better than not having her at all.

She sat back down smiling due to her victory and I leaned back against the couch. "So what are we…..?" Before I could even finish asking her what we were going to watch she was pulling a DVD out of her bag, handing it to me and within seconds I was cringing. "Little Women?" You've got to be fucking kidding me. I looked to her in disbelief and she just shrugged. "Not your usual genre Goldilocks. What's with the wartime chick flick?"

Her face turned a little red as she admitted her reasoning to me. "Well, there's a possibility that I have a book report on "Little Women" due on Monday, and there is another distinct possibility that I didn't actually read the book."

Well color me surprised. Veronica Mars behind on her school work? Hmm, guess there is a first time for everything. But since she didn't read it and it was due in 2 days, she didn't have much choice and of course with me being the trusty friend and confidant, it was my duty to watch it with her.

It may not have been my style of movie, or hers, but we both took one for the Mars Education Team and settled in to watch the movie. It actually wasn't as bad as I'd expected it would be, but it was starting to make my sensitive side poke through and I was not gonna have it. I needed to keep my masculine façade up or face ridicule from the Mars child until the end of time. Besides, there would be plenty of chances for me to show her my sensitive side when she was older.

I was lost in thought and had stopped paying attention when her little angelic voice broke through my daydreams. "I'm never going to be kissed."

Ok, so I'm fairly certain that that one comment nearly caused me to have a massive coronary. First of all, she was 15 and shouldn't even be thinking about that...ok, so maybe she should, but I didn't want her to think about that. Second, I didn't even want to entertain the thought of her ever kissing someone. As far as I was concerned no man would ever touch her ever, no boy either, Veronica Mars was strictly off limits to anyone possessing a certain part of anatomy. (Well until she was 18, but that's a whole other issue because I didn't count in that 'no man will touch' category, at least in my mind.) But third and definitely the most disturbing, was the fact that the minute she said it; the only thing I wanted to do was kiss her myself. And fuck! How the hell was I supposed to keep myself from acting out my inappropriate fantasies when all I had going through my mind was visions of her lips pressed against mine?

And on top of all of that, I was surprised, how was it possible that this breathtaking creature had yet to experience her first kiss? Guys should be lining up around the corner for her, I didn't want them to, but they should've been. Ugh, it was gonna be a long night.

I guess I must have sat there for too long in shock because when I finally turned to reply she was staring at me with an evil little smirk on her face. "You ok Donnie?"

I laughed a little and ran my hand through my hair. "Yeah, fine. Where did that come from?"

She replayed the previous scene in the movie and I understood. Amy had just been sent to stay with Aunt March because Beth was sick, Laurie took her and Amy told him she was afraid she would die without ever being kissed. Yeah, that explained a lot.

I grabbed the remote, paused the movie and turned to look at her. "Veronica, why do you think you will never be kissed?"

She turned away a little with a slight blush covering her cheeks. "I don't know."

I lightly touched her face and turned it back so she was looking at me. I couldn't take it anymore, I knew there was something wrong the minute she'd shown up and I was gonna find out if I had to torture it out of her. "No, you do know, you just don't want to tell me. But I want to know Veronica. Is there something wrong?"

She smiled but I could tell it was forced and then she tilted her face against my hand. I felt a shiver go down my spine and once again I wanted to kiss her but I ignored it, it's not like I had any other choice. And then she finally told me why. "Why would anyone want to kiss me when they could have Lilly?"

Fucking shit, should have seen that one coming from a mile away.

When he let me in I didn't waste any time making myself at home. I never did, as far as I was concerned, Don Lamb's house, was my house and if I'm being honest, I'd always kind of hoped that someday, it really would be. Yes it's true, for years I Veronica Mars had had a super sized crush on Don Lamb. If I was still 12 years old and he'd been the centerfold in that month's Tiger Beat it would have been prominently placed right above my bed. Yes, it was that bad.

But he didn't know that, actually no one did. Lilly might have had a clue but she never called me on it and I was fine with that. It was my own personal dirty little secret and I was more than willing to keep it that way. I mean it's not like I would ever actually have a chance with him, he was 10 years older than me and probably had his pick of girls his own age. His boss's 15 year old daughter probably wasn't even a blip on his radar. So I secretly pined for him. It was kind of my thing anyways., all I ever did was pine because I never got the guy. No, that was Lilly's thing. Veronica Mars didn't exist when Lilly Kane was around.

As far as the movie choice goes, it's not that I didn't do my homework, I actually just forgot about it and there was a lot going on in my life. Yeah, sometimes 15 year olds have issues too ya know. My mom had problems as you already know and well, my personal life was in the process of taking a turn for the worse. I just needed to watch the movie, write the report and then we could focus on some Don/Veronica time. Which was exactly what I needed and wanted.

I didn't expect for the movie to bug me the way it did and that one scene just really kind of threw me. The words were out of my mouth before I could stop them and I freaked out a little inside when I realized it. Of course when I looked over at him and saw the pained look on his face I almost couldn't stop myself from laughing and I felt a million times better about my little slip of the tongue.

I didn't know what he was thinking but it obviously wasn't good or appropriate and that just made me even more curious, and excited for that matter. When he looked at me finally, I asked if he was ok and he said yes before asking why I'd said what I'd said. I wasn't exactly hoping he wouldn't ask, but I wasn't so sure I really wanted to tell him what was going on. I knew he could tell that all was not well in Veronicaland, but I also knew he wouldn't pry unless given an opportunity and unfortunately, that's exactly what I'd just given him. So I replayed the scene for him. He seemed to understand and I hoped he'd leave it alone but of course he didn't. He asked me why and I blushed telling him I didn't know and hoping that he would let it go but of course, no such luck.

When his hand touched my face I felt a surge of warmth through my body that I'd never experienced before and I moved into his touch. He got a strange look on his face that made me wonder if he felt the same thing I did but I ignored it, citing wishful thinking. And then I let it out.

It's not like I wasn't used to Lilly being the center of attention and I'd never admit it to her or anyone, except apparently my favorite Deputy, but it got old sometimes. Especially when it ruined things for me.

It had taken me a few years to admit it but I had a fully fledged crush on Logan, one that almost rivaled the one I had on Don Lamb. Logan was cute and sweet and a really great friend, but I found myself wanting more. Unfortunately, I didn't know that Lilly had set her sights on him as well. I don't want to accuse anyone but I was pretty sure she knew how I felt about him. Apparently, it just didn't seem to matter to her.

Once I made the comment about Lilly Don's eyes grew wide and he got that protective look I loved so much. "What the fuck did she do now?" And that right there was the reason I came to him, no matter what, Don Lamb always took my side.

So I took a deep breath, let it out, and told him everything, or at least most of it.

Earlier that night the four of us, Logan, Lilly, Duncan and I were out by the pool just relaxing and having fun as usual. It was supposed to be just the four of us but around 6PM Dick and Beaver showed up, followed by Shelley, Enbom and about 50 others 15 minutes later. By 8PM it was an all out 09'er party and Lilly had found a chance to make her move, pulling Logan into her bedroom to stake her claim. I was the only one to notice that they were gone and I went to look for them. I heard the moans first, it made my heart hurt and when I looked through the small opening in the doorway the split second of a sneak peak I got was enough to officially ruin my night and send me running for the door, dangerously close to bursting out in tears.

When I got out of the house Logan's limo was pulling up the drive and I went straight for it, the driver was there to pick Logan up on his parents orders, but he took one look at me and ushered me into the back. He drove me around for a few minutes until I regained my composure and then asked me where I wanted to go. Without even hesitating I gave him Don's address, he was the only person I wanted to see at that moment.

It was a crappy ride the whole way; I was single, alone and had never been kissed. I felt like Drew Barrymore, definitely not a fun night. But seeing Don smile when he opened the door to find me there really turned my night around.

As I told him what had happened he looked relieved, angry, sad and concerned all at the same time. He didn't say anything for the longest time and I began to get really nervous thinking I'd just totally embarrassed myself and then he smiled at me and shook his head. "Why would anyone want her when they could have you?"

And oh, if that didn't just melt my 15 year old heart.

It didn't surprise me one bit, not a single word of it.

I'd known for awhile that Veronica had a crush on the Echolls boy, I didn't like it, but I knew none the less. And in truth, I was jealous as hell. Until he came along all her attention was focused on me, I was her first crush and I didn't want to share her. Even if I wouldn't…couldn't act on my feelings, that didn't mean I wanted someone else to act on theirs where she was concerned. But that night, having her in my home, her trusting me with what was one of her biggest embarrassments and having felt her skin against mine, my resolve was slipping. Fuck, it was not good. 10 years difference and I couldn't have cared less. I wanted her and at that moment I wasn't sure how I was going to make it another 3 hours, much less 3 more years.

But I took a deep breath, reined in my self control, smiled at her and told her the truth. "Why would anyone want her when they could have you? You're better than she could ever be and any guy who chooses her over you will live to regret giving up the best thing he ever could have had."

Her face lit up with my words and I had to hold myself back from giving her that first kiss that she so desperately wanted. Instead of answering me she moved and leaned against me, in response I placed my arm around her holding her tight to my side before starting the movie again. I thought it was over; we'd gotten past the awkward conversation and the moment of near insanity on my part. She felt better and I could just enjoy her being next to me.

I didn't expect a part two. "But what if no one ever realizes it? What if no one ever wants me? What if I die before ever being kissed?" Way to be dramatic Veronica, she really could have succeeded with a career in the performing arts.

The fucking stupid movie was ruining my quiet night with my favorite Mars offspring, my favorite 15 year old Mars offspring I reminded myself. I sighed, ran my hand up and down her arm and my mouth opened before my brain could tell it to stop and I found myself channeling a 100 year old literary character and Christian Bale. "Veronica, I promise you that someday someone will kiss you. And if they do or don't, I promise that I will kiss you before you die."

I felt her stiffen and I chastised myself immediately. I was literally envisioning Keith showing up on my doorstep with a shot gun and blowing off my dick for even suggesting the fact that someday my lips might touch hers. But she loosened up almost as fast as she had stiffened and moved away from me a little. I looked straight at her and saw something in her eyes that scared the crap out of me; she wanted me, just as much as I wanted her.

Her voice was near a whisper when she spoke. "Do you mean that?"

I leaned toward her and about died when the next words out of my mouth were thoroughly laced with arousal. "Yes, more than anything."

I was officially done. In that moment I was more than willing to give up my right to live for just one perfect moment with her on my couch, the two of us joined in one of her life's most prominent firsts. So I continued to lean in, my eyes glued to her perfect pink lips.

I was right there, my hand in her hair, my thumb caressing the smooth skin of her neck and I could feel her sweet breath on my face. I was so fucking close to my own personal Mecca that I couldn't believe it.

We were less than an inch apart when the front door to my apartment flew open and my heart literally jumped from my chest as I removed myself from her personal space.

I turned around to see Lilly Kane standing in the doorway. If she knew what she'd interrupted she wasn't letting on, but I was pretty sure she didn't since Miss Kane was not one to keep her mouth or other things shut. As she yanked Veronica towards the door exclaiming that she had been worried sick, but should have known she'd find her at my house, Veronica looked back at me.

I saw longing in her eyes and I knew mine showed the same. But I didn't stop her from going, she was too young and it wouldn't have been right and I was too afraid that if I kissed her I wouldn't be able to stop. But I also didn't stop her because I knew that someday we'd get there again. I knew we would. Someday we would have that kiss and there wouldn't be anyone there to interrupt us.

Only 2 years, 340 days, 1 hour, 13 minutes and 47 seconds to go.

to be continued...

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