Things She's Never Done

SET AFTER SEASON 1 IN A VERY AU WORLD. A "WHAT IF" FIC, OF SORTS.

Summary: the "Fab 4" plays "I Never" on the beach.

"I've never… been so drunk I did the table-lampshade dance," Duncan says, his grin evil as he looks across the fire at Logan.

His best friend chuckles good naturedly, and picks a bottle up from the sand, contemplating. "Does it really count if I don't remember it?"

Lilly and Veronica both giggle, and break into a chorus of "Drink, drink, drink!" as Duncan nods his head.

Logan smiles and takes a swig.

"Okay…" Lilly says, "Ummm… I've never… dated a drug dealer," she giggles, looking at Veronica. The younger girl rolls her eyes and smiles, taking the bottle from Logan and gulping some down.

"Hmmm… I've never… planted a bong in someone's locker," Logan supplies, and all three look at Veronica.

She rolls her eyes and takes a sip. When Logan crows, she glares at him. "You'll never prove it," she tells him, and then adds, "and I've never smashed the headlights on someone's car."

Logan toasts her and takes a swig, but when they all look to Duncan to take his turn, he shakes his head, and points at his sister. "Drink, Lils."

Logan grins, raising an eyebrow, and Veronica looks aghast at her friend. "When?"

"Well… one time, Clarence Weidman let on to Mom and Dad that I'd skipped school to go with Logan to a club down in TJ, and… I mean, he deserved it!"

Despite her words, her tone is unapologetic, and she's grinning widely as she takes the requisite drink.

Then Duncan takes his turn. "I've never directly disobeyed my father, even though I knew it was dangerous."

Veronica suddenly wonders when this became "gang up on Veronica" instead of "I Never", but she takes the bottle. Then shakes her head.

"It wasn't really that dangerous!" she protests.

"Veronica, you almost got killed!" Logan yells, standing suddenly. He is furious with her about going into the Moon-calf collective. If she's honest with herself, she really does understand.

After all, she'd spent a week in the hospital after that damn horse had kicked her… and then basically trampled her.

"But the people weren't evil cultists, Logan, it's not like I ran headlong into hell or anything –"

"Veronica, you didn't know that," Duncan offers quietly, and tears spring to her eyes as she realizes she's lost this round, and takes her sip, perhaps drinking a little – okay, a lot – more than she needs to.

Lilly sits for a moment, thinking. "I've never threatened someone I knew was dangerous even though I knew it would only provoke them."

Again Veronica protests. "Lilly, he worked for your father! And he wasn't going to do anything to me!"

"FUCK! Veronica, you found out he sent photos of you with a gunsight around your head to your mother! What part of that made you think he wouldn't hurt you?" This time it is Duncan who stands and yells at her for her stupidity.

Knowing it will piss him off more than her words ever could, Veronica drinks a good half of the bottle before turning to Logan and glaring at him.

He opens his mouth and she knows what's coming.

"I've never offered myself up as bait to someone I knew was a murderer."

This one had happened more recently. The man had strangled his kid. But the boy had only been in pre-school, so there was no way for the aunt to prove that the boy was even missing. Veronica had lured the man into the bathroom with her, planning to lock him in while she and her father and the aunt searched the house for evidence.

But about 20 minutes before they'd set this plan in motion, Veronica had found photographs of the little boy's dead body, blue and purple bruises around his tiny neck.

She still honestly isn't sure why she'd gone through with the plan after that. Sure, her dad hadn't picked up his phone when she'd called to tell him, but that didn't mean she'd been out of options. There were a thousand other ways she could have handled the situation.

The bottle was almost empty, but Veronica has more, so she just pops open a new one.

"I've never… had an affair," Veronica supplies, unable to think of anything else. She wants to go after Logan, but her head is spinning with alcohol, and this is all she can think of. Lilly it is.

More than anything, she really wishes they'd get off her case about everything. She's had a hard couple of years.

"I've never been an alcoholic," Lilly says, pointedly looking at Veronica after she takes her sip. Apparently they've decided to forgo the pecking order they'd established at the start of their game. Or Duncan's just doing his usual thing. Standing idly by.

Veronica glares at her best friend and takes a long swig, smirking when Logan also sips.

But her joy is short-lived. Logan looks at her sadly, and reaches his hand out to her, as if he is going to cup her cheek, and she catches her breath and closes her eyes, waiting for the longed-for touch. But it doesn't come.

"I've never been so drunk for so long that I wake up in the hospital and can't remember the entire previous month."

She downs a good quarter of the newest bottle, not even bothering to argue. All she wants is to forget. And they're not letting her. Fuck. She doesn't deserve this.

She glares at them, all of them. She's had enough. Even if they are right about her, they have no room to talk. It was their fault.

"I've never died and left someone I claimed to love all alone in the world!" she spits, and when the bottle makes its way back to her hands, she screams and throws it as hard as she can against the bench across from her. For a long while after, she huddles there, facing away from the fire and her friends, sobbing into her arms.

For Lilly, who was murdered by Aaron.

For Logan, who leapt from the Coronado Bridge while Veronica was in the hospital with third degree burns.

For Duncan, who decided to go to Napa with his parents, and got blind-sided by an eighteen wheeler.

For herself, because she'd died with them all, and doesn't know how many more lives she has to endure.

For the fact that she's spent the past 3 weeks being drunk and playing "I Never" with ghosts.

She hears shuffling behind her, and lashes out.

"I hate you, I hate you all, dammit, I'm glad, I'm so glad you're all gone, I can't stand you! Go away!"

She doesn't remember anything else, just that she continued to scream at them until her body gave in to the exhaustion.

When she wakes up the next morning, the fire pit is cold – hasn't-been-used-in-days-cold – and she is alone. Ignoring her protesting muscles, she sits up, and grabs her last bottle of champagne.

Lifting it in a toast to the uncaring waves, she whispers "I have never not loved ghosts."

It's the truest thing she's ever said.

Then… she drinks anyway.

She might as well. There is no one else left to do it.