Sometimes, he tries to pretend she doesn't exist.

It never really works, but ignoring her is easier than looking and seeing everything that's ever gone wrong – Lilly, Father, the 'illness' – in her eyes. He's a coward and a traitor and he knows it; knows the awful things Logan says about her apply to him far better.

Lilly would kill them both if she were here. She would throw them to the wall and cut their skin into strips for what they've done to Veronica; pushed out into the shivering cold, slowly cracking under the strain. But Lilly is dead and Logan is lost. The old Duncan would stop him; would beat him to the ground for the things he's said about Veronica. But this new Duncan doesn't have the energy to lift his arm, and he hates it hates it hates it.

Then it's Shelley's party and Logan pushes it too far; salt and lime and tequila. Duncan wants to throw up, but yet again finds himself the knight in shining armor; this time to his drunk ex-girlfriend/sister. She leans on his shoulder and it feels a little like being burned; but she's alone now so he can't just run.

He feels that there's something wrong when Logan gives him the drink; deep down he doesn't care anymore. If something bad happens? He might wind up where Lilly is; that would be relief.

Instead, he winds up with Veronica. Touching her still feels like flame, but she tastes like the ocean (or maybe just tears) and he can't pretend not to want it anymore. She spins him into ecstasy and then into unconsciousness; he can't remember which one he appreciates more.

He wakes up with her curled into his side; soft, whole and innocent.

He thinks he's going to be sick.

He shakily stands, and pretends she doesn't exist.


She wants to save Veronica Mars.

She's not even all that sure what she'd be saving Veronica from; the barbs and taunts of the 09ers, sure. But what else? From her father's ideas on Lilly's murder, which everyone calls insane? What if they are insane, what if they aren't? Why should the Kanes be believed?

Maybe Meg would be saving her from the death of her best friend; maybe from the abandonment of everyone at this school she thought cared about her. Maybe from her mother running out, maybe from her father losing his job, maybe from just being alone. Meg can't ever take those things back, but she kind of wishes she could soften the blow for Veronica. Everyone else has someone to do that.

She thinks she could stop the 09ers if she tried hard enough; said loud enough that Veronica Mars is not their punching bag. She's lying to herself and she knows it; her fellow 09ers would never listen – probably cast her aside as easily as they threw away Veronica – but if there's one thing she's never been able to tolerate, it's feeling helpless (even though most of the time, she is). She pretends it's just cowardice that stops her standing up for the girl she once knew.

She goes to Shelley's party and is a little unnerved to see Veronica; wandering through the crowd like she can prove nothing's wrong this way. Prove she is still that girl they knew. Meg understands Veronica is that girl, but the words to say that die in her mouth and looking at Veronica makes it too hard to breathe.

She remembers her parents' words, calling Veronica – and Lilly before her – a "deceitful whore", screaming Meg must stay away from them. She is ashamed to listen to her family – she never did in regards to Lilly – but Veronica is just a little bit blinding; Meg can't help but be deterred.

But Meg is actually human, so when she sees Veronica practically unconscious on the deck chair, with a thousand guys all over her, there's a pit of animals warring in her stomach. She has to help Veronica; has to run; has to be one of the girls who don't care; she has to has to has to has to.

And as if on command; someone appears to rescue sweet Veronica and placate Meg's conscience. She sighs and leaves with Cole; never wondering what else could happen to the girl who could be her friend.


Veronica Mars is a cunt.

This has become official fact; Dick never questions it. She is a bitch and a slut and traitor, it's that simple. Fuck how broken she looks when receiving her millionth taunt; she deserves everything they do to her and more. Logan leads them against Mars, and he used to be her friend, so if anyone has the right to judge what she deserves, it's Logan. And he picks eternal torment.

Dick didn't really know Lilly well, but he got that she was cool and hot and most of the school loved her. Duncan loved her. Logan loved her. Veronica pretended to love her, but wasted no time picking Daddy Dearest over her dead best friend. Bitch should pay for that. Dick is full of an abstract sort of rage; he hates Veronica for what she's done, but it's not like she's done any of it to him. Not like he doesn't remember just a few months ago, when Veronica was their sweet 09er-tagalong.

Maybe there's some part of him that's saying it can't be that simple; that the old Veronica couldn't have been a lie completely, that maybe it's okay to second-guess what happened to Lilly. He pushes this down, because Veronica Mars is the cunt who betrayed everyone who ever cared about her – she should never have even been in their group, but Logan and Duncan and Lilly insisted. Bet they regret that now (if Lilly can regret, being dead and all.)

He doesn't give a crap when he finds her at Shelley Pomroy's; sticks his tongue down her throat because he can; because like she'll stop him? Sure, she's wasted, but like that really matters. Dick doesn't feel guilty as he feeds her shots; as Shelley makes out with her; as she passes out on the couch. Then he finds that somehow, Beaver managed to pussy out of fucking that bitch Dick set him up with, and Dick just wants to pull a joke on him. Veronica is right there, after all.

So he carries her into the bedroom and throws a pack of condoms on the bed; Beaver's alarmed expression is hilarious. Dick knows he won't do anything, because Beaver is a total wimp and not evil (even Dick acknowledges that if Beaver did it, it would be kind of rape). So he leaves, and doesn't feel even a little bit wrong.


She thinks she was the only one to see this coming. Well, not Lilly dying. No-one could have seen that coming. But Veronica Mars? Sure, Madison got she would turn out to be a mistake, right off the bat.

Veronica was never good enough for their exclusive club of wealth; Madison doesn't get why anyone acted like she was. All it did was give her the opportunity to betray her dead best friend and everyone who cared about either of them; it took serious work on Madison's part not to gloat "I told you so." She and Lilly were never exactly close, but they went shopping together and gossiped together; Madison would be happier if she were still alive.

And Veronica just doesn't care.

When Madison arrives at Shelley's party, she rolls her eyes and groans to see Veronica Mars wandering through the crowd. Dick is spouting some stupid bullshit and trying to massage her shoulders; she's too irritated to let him. He demands he go get her a drink, and he obeys. Madison watches Veronica for a little; stupid whore desperately clambering for her old place back. Sorry sweetie, doesn't work like that, Madison thinks bitterly.

Then, just because her night hasn't been bad enough, Dick gets her a regular soda – ew, calories much? So instead, she sends little Veronica 'to the dentist', passing the drink and saliva off with a smug grin. She loses track of boyfriend and enemy then.

And just to add to her night of Veronica Mars-induced badness, the next time she sees them, Veronica has her tongue stuck down Dick's throat. Whore! Madison's mind screams as she stares, mouth ajar. She storms out in a rage, gaining sympathetic looks from her fellow party-goers.

Somehow, in her fury, a can of spray paint winds up in her hand, and she's standing over Veronica's car. She scrawls "SLUT" on the windshield, seeing that Luke is watching her and not really caring. She stares at her handiwork; the official label of what Mars is, at the core. She feels satisfied.


He's never really thought about Veronica Mars. He didn't know her well when everyone liked her – she was sweet; he learned that much – and doesn't know her well when she's pariah of the year. Dick calls her a bitch and a slut, but he's Dick, so Cassidy takes those words with a grain of salt. When Dick and the other 09ers pick on her, Cassidy joins in, because... hey, why not? But otherwise, he couldn't really care less about her.

Veronica Mars is pretty much the last thing on his mind the night of Shelley Pomroy's party; he hears Dick complain about her once or twice, and that is that. Dick has set up something with some girl called Cindy; insisting Cassidy "be a man." He guesses he should feel excited. He feels nauseous.

Cindy is wearing her sluttiest grin; he wants to run, but he can't. He can feel hands all over him; telling him what to do, what a good little boy he is. He sees those words reflected in Cindy's eyes; it's not her fault, but when she tries to touch him, she feels like corrosive acid. Somehow he winds up vomiting on the floor, and Cindy just rolls her eyes. She wanders off with Logan, and Cassidy collapses on the couch.

He thinks morbid, distinctly not-sober thoughts. About girls and life and the past. About why Cindy's flesh felt like it could kill him. About how he wants to run away and never come back. He asks himself how exactly is he meant to just be better; move on and become a 'real boy' like the fairytale says; how is he meant to be unbroken again?

He's wallowing when Dick finds him, says some drunken bullshit about what a pussy he is. He doesn't care until Veronica Mars is being carried into the guest room, Dick humming a wedding march. It's like a sick parody of what was meant to happen this night.

Then Dick leaves; leaves him with her. He looks at her and sees her for the first time; she looks as fragile as he is. He closes his eyes and tries not to cry for the both of them. This, after all, is probably the answer to his prayers from before.

He reaches for his belt-buckle, and some part of him is still saying no. Telling him this is wrong; telling him this isn't who he wants to be in the long-run. That voice is silenced by the urge to see – make – something deader than he is.


He can't believe he ever considered her his friend. She is the one who has betrayed him so utterly he can barely breathe, and he never saw it coming.

He sort of knew that some day, a "friend" would screw him over (as things like that always happened to him); he always tried not to weigh up the probabilities of who it would be. But he's certain Veronica would have been last on the list. Veronica was something that seemed almost incomprehensible to him: sweet, trusting, innocent. Pure. So he thought, anyway.

He hates her. Hates her for what she's done, hates her for her betrayal, hates her for turning her back on Lilly's memory. Hates her for finally proving to him there are no good people left.

Duncan doesn't hate her, and Logan can't really understand why. Maybe it has something to do with the fact Duncan has been wandering through life anesthetic since Lilly died; incapable of feeling. Logan wishes Duncan would hate Veronica for her betrayal with him, but Duncan can't and Logan can't bring himself to ask. So instead, the rest of the 09ers become his army against this one girl; the girl who he used to be so close to.

But she's winning against them all, because he misses her.

He tries not to; tries to cut out each hint of who they once were. How he told her he thought she was hot on first seeing her (which he did, even if they were twelve); how she always sat with him in chemistry, even after Duncan dumped her inexplicably; how disappointed she looked after catching him kissing Yolanda.

Logan laughs bitterly. Yeah, Veronica had the right to be disappointed in him.

He tries not to care. Tries to suppress his conscience and old affection when she flinches at his barbs. He's not going to care about her; not going to forgive her; she betrayed him.

Then it's Shelley Pomroy's end of the year party, and she's near passed out on one of the deck-chairs. He smirks. She's fallen a long way. Something in his head is telling him he should help Veronica; Lilly's voice is screaming at him not to let her best friend get hurt. But Logan doesn't want to hear that; doesn't want to see the Veronica he loved anymore. Because the real Veronica is a slut and a bitch and a traitor, Lilly should be glad Logan will reap vengeance.

So he does. He pours salt on her chest and puts lime in her mouth; cheers on each boy who wants his five minutes of fun. His conscience is disgusted, but he's too drunk and angry to listen to it.

Then Duncan comes in, knight in shining armor again – why is Logan even surprised? Then he understands. Duncan still loves her; fuck Lilly.

Fuck Logan.

He's not all that sure why he gives Duncan the GHB (he tells himself he wants his friend to have some fun; he's not sure if it's true) but he loses track of the both of them then. He doesn't care. He winds up in bed with some freshman girl called Cindy; he still doesn't care.

When he sees Veronica at school next, she looks different. She's cut her hair. She doesn't flinch at his attacks anymore; she throws sarcasm back in his face. She doesn't look innocent anymore. He's grateful he can't see the old Veronica anymore.

Out of the corner of his eye, he sees Lilly shake her head and walk away from him.