Considering this is Veronica Mars fanfiction, I wanted to incorporate her somehow in Lamb's recovery. I didn't want to have her appear suddenly like I was throwing her in the chapter. I thought this was a great way to bring her up and show some more history. Thank Triton for Sacks, huh?
Apologies for any mistakes.
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Don Lamb was home! He almost couldn't believe it. The stairs, his final test, left him physically weak. He tried not to show it much, but Doctor Tennant was a sneaky bastard. Instead of going home Tuesday, yesterday, he went home today. Wednesday. He wasn't complaining. In fact, the only thing he had complained about in days was the smell coming from his refrigerator. Sacks promised he would help get his place in order. The man attained a day off from a gracious Sheriff Mars to help settle him in. This produced a list of chores and orders.
The first chore was grocery shopping. A pain med induced, gimpy, recently released hospital patient with a deformed head couldn't exactly go to store. Let's be honest, it was mostly because he didn't want to go. He had his reasons.
He had Sacks get a lot of snack. He needed his comfort food. It wasn't exactly the best way to get on a healthy track. Alcohol was frowned upon with his new medication. So, he needed a lot of carbonated sugar to make up for it. He was okay with that. He lusted after junk food and soda, and Sacks was willing to get it. It was an epic win. All he needed now was a killer sandwich the diner made.
The diner - it reminded him too much of Veronica. She would go with them on the department food run. She always suckered him into buying her a root beer float. It was the only reason why she tagged along. He was smug and delirious thinking she had a crush on him. It's how she got her way. The other deputies teased him about her duping him with her pout. She was tricky even then. That was a little over four years ago. There was the occasional trip when she was a too cool high school student. It was a rare one. Don't even consider the suggestion of her running around with a cop. Unless it was her dad, she would freak.
"I'm a freshman now," was her reason. He couldn't argue with that. He remembered his high school days. They weren't that long ago. He too was above the police. A punk ass jock that was untouchable. He had a mind of his own, forever stubborn.
He heard Sacks let himself in. As if he was going to get up and answer the door anyway. He made no move to glance the man. The whistling was enough to let him know it was 100% him.
"Guess who I saw at the store."
Don whipped his head around faster than he should have. He winced – it ached – but he focused on Sacks anyway. He wanted to guess her name. It had to be her! It had to.
That was a disappointment.
Don thought about the familiar name. No face came with it. "Why do I know that name?" His mind was blurry. Or, perhaps the person wasn't important.
"Fennel, Lamb. You've busted him once or twice. Neptune High's former basketball star." It was all coming together. "Veronica's BFF."
Sacks using BFF was all kinds of wrong. Wait. Hold up! Before he got to ask about her, he continued.
"Veronica's sick. He was out buying her a few favorites as I am for you."
"Yeah? What makes you think I care?" The look he received said it all. He knew he cared.
He humored him. "The kid thought it was funny I was buying root beer and ice cream. It seems you're not the only one with the special request."
Floats? Isn't that a coincidence.
He wondered if 'College Veronica' would be seen with him at the diner. He quietly pondered the fantasy. Sacks left him to it, minding his own.
Until he couldn't stand it anymore, when he blurted out what his teeth bit back. He was almost angry. He practically yelled, "When are you going to tell her?"
He impatiently crossed the room and his arms, standing a yard away from Lamb.
"What?" He heard him, but questioned the passionate tone. Sacks wasn't a dramatic.
"Damn it Don! You've been in love with Veronica Mars for years. Years! You need to man up and do something about it. I'm sorry, okay? I'm sorry, but someone needs to slap some sense into you." With that, he lightly kicked the berated man's shin.
Lamb chuckled. "That took guts. Good for you, Sacks."
Sacks was red in the face. A vein was popping out of his neck. He was a madman. Don never saw him so fervent. He was the laid back guy. A cop who would not hurt a fly. His outburst was amusing.
From Lamb's reaction, the deputy faltered in surprise. "Well, you know… Hmph. Are you going to tell her or do I have to?" His threat was weak. The man who wouldn't hurt a fly, right?
"The timing has to be right." He scratched his neck. "Is this about the bet?"
"Bet? What bet?"
"The one everyone used to whisper about. The same bet that didn't start until I brought her in for manufacturing fake IDs."
The other man grimaced. "Not exactly. That one stopped when you ended up in the hospital. It picked back up when Keith and I visited you. Technically, it's not a bet."
"What do you mean not exactly?"
"Your timeline is wrong. It started long before the infamous 'Veronica Mars is smarter than me' moment."
"It's the only time I heard the ludicrous idea of Veronica and me ending up together.
He rolled his eyes. "The talk of it started when Keith and Leanne had the department over for the potluck barbeque. The one right after we got hired, remember?"
Don nodded. He was fresh out of the academy. It was nothing like the Police Academy movies, by the way.
"No way was that when it started. I vaguely remember that barbeque and not because of this." He slid a hand over the back of his head. "Nothing even happened between us to start the slightest hint of a… us! No way. I don't believe it."
"You were wrapped around her finger from that night on." It seemed like Sacks was trying to convince him. He was crazy and so was his mustache.
"Whatever. She was 14 and trouble."
"You recall her age perfectly," he pointed out.
Lamb was defeated. He melted into the couch, but couldn't quite disappear. He felt like a pervert even though that wasn't the case. He was embarrassed.
"Why do you think Sheriff Mars kept his eye on you? He was against the idea, the whispers, and the rumors. He hated it. Now not so much, I think. You know why?"
He sighed. "Just tell me."
"Everyone knows you love her! Since you're not my boss anymore, and you're my friend, I'm telling you this with love: You. Are. An idiot! Tell her you're alive!"
Sacks was right. He needed to tell her. It was the only way his root beer fantasy would ever work.
On the other hand, Lamb was stubborn. He had a mind of his own and a plan to go with it. Veronica didn't know he was alive now. More time wouldn't hurt her.
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