This started out, because I was craving me some Veronica Mars. I wasn't sure I should continue, but it keeps on going. Who doesn't love them some DoVe? Let's see some more of this pairing out there!

Apologies for any mistakes.

Don Lamb didn't know what he did wrong. When Lilly Kane had died a part of his happiness died with her. The then Sheriff Keith Mars became obsessed with her murder case and drove the whole sheriff's department crazy. He wanted justice for his daughter Veronica. Lilly was Veronica's best friend. Lilly's brother was Veronica's boyfriend. Someone needed to pay for the crime and fast. A naïve Deputy Don Lamb agreed.

Then, Keith wanted justice for himself.

Jake Kane was suspicious to Keith from that night on, but Don knew that the sheriff was somewhat blinded by his wife's ongoing affair with Kane. Keith wanted him to pay for their adultery. Celeste, wife of Jake and mother of Lilly and Duncan, was prominently at Jake's side at all costs. Costs... Ha! She was a hard broad clutching to Kane Software billions like the rest of the so-called better half of Neptune. Money was what made their world go round. Keith was using his wife Lianne's infidelity as probable cause to bring him down. Don told him to look in another direction with a clear head, a fresh view with a new set of eyes.

Sheriff Keith Mars didn't listen. He was wrong. He accused the man of Neptune's biggest company, with the staff that was keeping the town afloat, of murder. He accused Jake Kane of the murder of his own daughter. Neptune turned its back on him and his family. They didn't need a foolish man like him to keep them safe.

Don stepped in to fill his shoes. To help Keith, the man he looked up to as a father figure more than a boss, in hopes to keep him proud. It would be like handing down the family business to his son. After all, the man taught the deputy everything he knew.

Keith wasn't impressed. In fact, he was pissed. His ticking jaw was like the bomb ticking down the final minutes before it exploded. Boy, did he explode. Don got an earful of expletives and a small trip down memory lane. He felt like his mentally adopted dad was stepping into the shoes of his biological father. He had never seen the man so livid except for the time he legally had to release Jake Kane from his custody. Even then, it was nothing compared to rage he experienced firsthand and directly instead of only as a bystander.

Keith left and slammed the door to his office. Don sat in his comfy Sheriff's chair, behind his perfectly stable Sheriff's desk, with his head in his hands as he cried. He lost his mentor and built up a thicker wall around himself.

That was the last day he could tolerate being nice to Keith Mars.

Veronica was another story.

She had to see for herself if her favorite deputy was worth redemption. What was so bad about him filling in the role of her father's former title? If her dad couldn't have it, she wanted Deputy Lamb to. It was rightfully his. Well, either him or Sacks. He was the only one from the department to step up, though.

He was a friendly face and a shoulder to cry on, nothing but supportive since Lilly died. He found ways of cheering her up while she hung around the department after school. He didn't treat her like she was his boss' child or child at all. They were kind of casual friends – acquaintances.

After he took the job, she stopped visiting every day. There wasn't a reason for her to be at the station anymore. It didn't stop her from dropping in. She'd make a few remarks about his new title that were purely a defense mechanism and the truth wrapped up in a joke. She was her father's daughter. She was Daddy's little girl… He didn't expect her to be wholeheartedly warm to him. They never were before. They were always teasing each other in a time that seemed so far away, when really it was months away.

Then, she came in to report a crime. Her white dress was wrinkled and smelled of alcohol. Her hair was disheveled and her mascara was running down her face. When he saw her all he could think was, 'not again.' Veronica didn't need to see anymore than she already had. She needed to be sheltered in a tight cocoon to protect her from the evil that could be Neptune.

"I was raped," she admitted. She tried to be strong, but she was crumbling.

His jaw tightened and his body was flushed hot with anger. In that moment, he knew exactly where she was and all who possibly could have done it. He was so pissed and instead of asking her how she knew and else he needed to know, his words came out bitter when really it was rage towards those rich pricks.

He was in such a fury that his mouth seemed to form the words into a sick version of accidental sarcasm. "Is there anyone in particular you'd like me to arrest, or should I just round up the sons of the most important families in town?"

Veronica didn't respond. She sat gravelly across from him.

Don thought of his former mentor for a spell, thinking aloud with hurt feelings. It was like her rape case was trying to scale the walls he built around himself.

When she started crying he was gone. He became insane as memories flooded him.

"Look at this! She cries! I'll tell you what, Veronica Mars. Why don't you go see the Wizard? Ask for a little backbone."

In his mind he said it like they used to. It was a teasing tone that they used to build each other up when they were down. Wizard of Oz was the most ridiculous thing in the world and it became a part of their late night Sheriff's department hangs as she waited for her father; it was an inside joke. He should have known better though. It was one of those things that were only funny for a week.

Sheriff Lamb didn't comprehend that she wouldn't remember their little joke. She didn't, he understood, long after she walked out of his office.

And when Keith didn't kill him for being an ignorant asshole, he knew Veronica didn't tell him what happened. The fact that she had faith in him and trusted him with the knowledge of her rape made him feel twisted that he was happy it was only him. And so it should remain, because he shredded the form she shakily filled out.

From that day on, he used that movie as acidic ammunition.

Veronica Mars was in and out of the department from that day on. He slowly watched her change. His words, her mom's disappearance, Lilly's murder, her father's Kane obsession, it shaped her to be this… new Veronica.

He adored old Veronica. Sweet, bright, innocent youthful Veronica that swung her grass stained legs from under a chair. Old Veronica was the girl who wasn't broken by family and death and evil. New Veronica, while she lacked the soft exterior she once had, from head to toe Don Lamb was enamored. He might not have spoken about the way she captivated him, but that did not mean he was ashamed of his feelings. Fuck, he was shameless all round. There was an invisible fine line with her that had him biting his tongue about his crude thoughts. He didn't want her to know. So, maybe he was ashamed of the way her sun kissed skin writhed in pleasure underneath his caress (in his mind). It wasn't that much different from the way she recoiled when he handcuffed her.

His handcuffs should have her name engraved on them. For the better part of the last two shitty years she was adorning them more than Weevil and Echolls. When she wasn't in his workspace for illegal reasons she was there for legal reasons regarding others. Those were when his fingers itched to grab his cuffs and arrest her for being a wanton annoyance.

He overheard her using his job title to her bratty peers more times than not. She cared still. He knew she did. She was buried under her own invincibly strong stone wall - one that probably matched his. It could reflect some of his scars. Scars that they shared in the battle of their acquaintanceship up to when he became just Lamb to her, but Sheriff Lamb on a slip. She was always Veronica to him, whether her name came out like clichéd blasphemy or not.

When that asshole Botando smashed his head in like he was out for pumpkins, he knew he was going to die. His only regret was not repairing his relationship with Keith and his devious daughter. It seemed like everything was going well for them. It's like he had a chance to rewind to when they were becoming rocky. He wasn't foolish enough to think they could go back to being mentor and mentee. He just wanted to barbeque with the guy on the balcony of his apartment again. Have a couple beers with him.

Don wanted to apologize.

When he was in the hospital, in a coma, he could hear Keith and Veronica talking to him what he assumed was the first couple of days. After that, it was only Sacks. He vaguely remembered Sacks explaining how terrified he was when he shot Botando. How happy he was that Don was alive still. He could hear him trying not to sob while telling him he'll pull through. It could have been the drugs they were giving him, honestly, but he swore he heard Sacks tell him he died twice during surgery. There was something about brain hemorrhages and contusions, Keith and sheriff, doctors and hot nurses, and a sponge bath.

Don panicked after that. He knew in his subconscious state that he had to awaken. His heart was beating fiercely in his chest. His head was spinning and in so much pain. It was throbbing. His whole body vibrating like he was Dr. Frankenstein's fucking creature of the night.

His eyes opened and all he saw was a blur. He blinked tiredly, but tried to focus. He could mentally hear a mocking Veronica telling him he was a wuss. It made him fight that much more.

He saw the doctor examining him, could barely hear a word he was mouthing his way. It hurt to frown. The doctor's face held concern.

He was half tempted to slip into another coma and never come out. The nagging voice wouldn't let him. She wouldn't win their last round. He had to do this.

He had to do it for her.


Edited as of 02/09/14 Might have to do it again, if I'm honest.