There are a lot of Danny Phantom fanfics out there, with lots of outside-looking-in perspectives…but few from Paulina's. So rather than write about Paulina herself, and because I love crossovers, I brought in a total stranger from far away Dimmsdale. A psychologically unsound, geek-loving stranger.

Veronica was very much abused in The Fairly Oddparents show, much more so than Star. But then again, she's spiteful, obsessive, and a little crazy. This story takes place five years after tFOP, when Ronnie's in tenth grade rather than fifth, so she's matured a little bit.

So here you are!

The pouring rain slammed onto the windows of the car like kamikaze warriors, splattering into inch-wide circles on the glass. The sky above was as dark and stormy as expected.

The better to amplify my mood,Veronica thought darkly as she stared into the storm from the back seat of her father's beat up '95 Toyota Corolla. The scenery whizzed by so fast that, combined with the rain, she couldn't even see the road taking her farther and farther away from her home. Away from Dimmsdale.

"You alright back there, Ronnie?" came a voice from the front of the car. "You've been awfully quiet. Why don't you take advantage of this time to chat with, uh , what was your friend's name again? Trina? Rickie? Cee—"

"No Dad, I'm not alright," Veronica snarled back, breaking her vow of silence. (It had lasted about ten minutes, since she'd broken her last vow of silence.)"My idiot parents are getting divorced and now my idiot father is taking me away from my idiot mother and my non-idiot friends for his own selfish reasons. And her name is Trixie, Da, I've only been going to her house for sleepovers every other week since I was eight."

"Hey now," her father sighed. "I know this divorce is hitting you badly, but that's no way to speak about either me or your mother. But I know how hard this is for you, so I'm going to let it go and not ground you your first week in Amity Park—"

"Not that it matters, since I haven't freaking got any FRIENDS—"

"—So you can go 'hang around' and meet some new frien—"

"It's called hanging out, and you can't just make friends in a day by loitering around the mall!"

"Would you rather be grounded?"

Veronica bit back an angry retort saying she would, because she really did want to scope out the mall, her soon-to-be home-away-from-home. With the divorce and the move, she knew she'd get plenty of guilt money. She didn't let her pride force her to make a self-damning comment, but it wouldn't let her admit that her father was right.

Her father sighed once again; this wasn't the first time Veronica had given him the silent treatment, and it certainly wouldn't be the last.

"I need you to help me unpack when we get there," he began.

"Oh, so I still won't actually—"

"BUT, but but but," he continued, not letting Veronica finish her indignant tirade, "I'm not going to ask you to. I want you to have a good first impression of Amity Park, so I'm going to give you seventy-five dollars to stake out the mall, and you can come home whenever you feel like it."

Veronica brightened up a little; that was fifteen dollars more than usual! Maybe this whole divorce-and-moving-and-ruining-her-entire-freaking -life thing wasn't so bad after all. "Alright," she grudgingly accepted.

"Besides," her father continued with a smirk in his voice. "I need you out of my hair when you're being all moody like this."

And that, with four dollars and twenty-three cents left in her purse, was how Veronica found herself the next morning, with nearly seventy dollars' worth of purchases from various boutiques in bags around her feet. She'd opted to go that day rather than the night they'd arrived so she could spend the entire day there rather than a few hours.

I'm notmoody,she lied to herself and she sucked on the dregs of her frappuccino. I'm just… bored. Normally a day of shopping would have made her ecstatic. Normally she'd have spent the shopping day with Trixie Tang. She put the small book she was reading in her and withdrew her phone.

The mall here is pretty nice, she texted. After a moment's thought, she also sent But itd be more fun with you :/.

I miss u 2, bby!Trixie replied immediately. Now i have no1 2 go shoppin withhh! if u c any hotties, send me pix ;)

Hotties, huh? Veronica mused as she texted back that she would. It was true that no one could take a creeper pic like Veronica. Trixie knew that she was good, but she never knew just how good.

Veronica looked up to see if she could fulfill her bestie's wishes, and her eyes soon found a perfect specimen. She snapped a picture as she studied him. Trixie's two types were stereotypical hot jock, and tortured/sensitive/ironic artists with chin beards, like Chip Skylark. (It helped if they were insanely famous.) This boy was easily of the former category.

He really was good looking, though not her type. The boy was tall and fit, with that upside-down triangle physique common to athletic types, and had cropped blond hair. The letter jacket he wore revealed him as a high school student where Veronica herself would soon be attending, Casper High. He was laughing and being loud and pretty much being a teenager with a group of other good looking friends.

Hmm,thought Veronica as she looked over the guy's group. The two girls of the group had straightened hair, perfectly applied makeup, and high-end designer clothing. The two boys were similar in shape and both wearing letter jackets. They reminded her so much of herself, Trixie, Tad, Chad, and their other various followers. Veronica's heart sped up as she put a name to what they were, and what she intended to become again.

Populars.

It'd be good if I met them now so I have an excuse to sit with them once the school year starts,Veronica ascertained as she threw her empty drink cup in the general direction of a garbage can. She tried to tell herself to not assume immediately that just because they were attractive, rich, and loud that they were popular, but she was already confidently walking towards them with her many shopping bags in hand. As she drew nearer, she heard the prettier Hispanic one saying "and I like totally caught her making out with Ryan, though she won't admit it. Who does she think she is, the skank?! I mean, like, Ryan's been crushing on me since, like…"

Yep. Definitely populars.

Alright, since the dark-haired girl seemed to be the highest in rank, she was the one Veronica would suck up to—uh, try to make friends with. As she walked toward the group, with the sound of her high-heeled sandals clacking on the floor boosting her confidence, Veronica mentally prepped herself. Okay: common interest, flattering, maybe some conversation and deferring to her alpha-femaleness… let's do this!

"Ohmigawd!" Veronica shrieked as she "accidentally" walked right into the girl and dropped all her bags. "I am like, so, SO sorry? I totally wasn't paying attention at all. My bad!" She waved her phone in front of them as explanation.

"Um, yeah, you should be?" the alpha female began angrily. "Could you like maybe watch where you're going, next time? I think you—"

"Ohmigawd," Veronica screamed again. Don't let yourself be made into an enemy. Flattery time. "Are those Pour la Victoire?" she asked, gesturing at the AF's shoes. "I just love platform and wedge sandals. I saw those in a magazine, and I was like, totally thinking of getting them, but they just look so good on you I don't think I can anymore." Too much? She lifted her own comparatively-cheaper -sandal clad foot. "I guess I'll just stick to these, for now."

There: flattery, a common interest, total alpha deferral, and a conversation starter.

Apparently it wasn't too much. "Actually, they're Miu Miu," the pretty girl said with smile. "And I totally know what you mean, platforms are like, soooo much fun. I actually only got these, like, two weeks ago, so they're still totally rare." The AF swished her hair back and gave Veronica a dazzling smile that made her heart clench and reminded her of Trixie. "I'm Paulina, by the way. Sanchez."

"Veronica," the now-potential-A-lister said, and sat down in the seat that had been vacated by the Asian jock. "So, you guys look like you know this mall. What are the best places to go to?" She made a show of looking around, pouting. "I just moved here, and this is nothing like my old mall."

A girl Veronica had barely noticed, hidden behind Paulina's sparkling aura, suddenly spoke up. "Where're you from? Oh, and I'm Star, this is Kwan, and that's Dash." The girl pointed to herself and two of the boys, while Veronica granted them each a smile and a wave. She was clearly the sidekick, the satellite, the deputy, that every ultra-popular girl needed. To be one left girls proud to be so close to such a radiant person, but bitter and jealous that they weren't them. Veronica knew the position well, having occupied it herself, with Trixie.

Paulina looked slightly put out from being interrupted, but got over it, wanting to know the answer herself. "Dimmsdale," Veronica supplied. "It's in California."

"So have you ever seen—" the Kwan began, but was interrupted by his blond friend.

The mall consisted of two floors. The first one looked like a normal mall, with a fountain and food courts and the like. The second one, which had the Starbucks Veronica had bought from and where she and her newly-met acquaintances now were, was essentially a long balcony road on either side of the mall in front of the storefronts, with the middle of the floor open to view the level below. A bridge separated the two sides of the second floor every few hundred feet or so.

"C'mere, come here!" Dash stage-whispered, gesturing 'come here' motions from where he was kneeling in front the bars of the balcony, looking down at something on the floor below. Paulina made a shrugging motion and went to him. Star and Veronica followed.

Walking on the first floor was a trio of teenagers that Dash was pointing at. "Since you're new here, I'll do you a favor and show you the losers you need to avoid," he said to Veronica with a smirk. "That's Fentoenail and his sidekicks, and they're the most fun nerds to mess with in like the entire school."

"Hmm," Veronica made a non-committal noise as she examined the victims, while Paulina vocally expressed her own issues with the group.

"Fenton and Foley aren't too bad," Paulina sighed, "I mean, they have crushes on me, so they know how to do one thing right!" She giggled at her own joke, and both Veronica and Star responded with obedient smiles. "But that girl, Manson…! She, like, totally sucks the fun out of everything!" She glared at the girl below and Veronica studied them.

The goth girl that Paulina had some vendetta against wore dark clothing and combat boots, but she looked a little too happy to be a real goth—she wasn't grey like Francis. She was just content to break the molds that Paulina, Star, and Veronica so happily filled, and ignore social norms in favor of comfort and confidence in herself. Veronica could see why Paulina hated her.

The white boy in nondescript jeans and a t-shirt was gesturing angrily to his friends, who appeared to be nodding and speaking in sympathy. He was skinny and of average height, with wild black hair falling into his eyes every so often. Bo-ring!

But the third boy…oh man. He wore a red beret, which, though it went nicely with his black skin, clashed horribly with his yellow shirt and olive cargo pants. The outfit of the truly fashionably blind. That, combined with the piece of technology in his hand that he was fiddling with, absolutely screamed TECHNO-GEEK! NERD! DWEEB!

Veronica's heart sped up. Oh no. Oh, why oh why must I be cursed to have a thing for losers in red-hued caps?!

While Veronica examined the three losers, Dash, after looking around wildly for any ammunition, grabbed Star's almost finished Iced Tea and lobbed it at his favorite human punching bag. The football star's aim was true, and the icy dregs of the pink drink exploded open on the white boy's clean(ish) white(ish) shirt.

"Here you go, Fentwirp!" Dash shouted down and his now soaked victim. "I figure since you're too afraid to use the showers at school, I'd give you one now. Can't wait for school to start tomorrow!"

The boy let out a roar of frustration. "Dash!" he shouted. "Why don't you give it a rest already?!" His two friends alternated between looks of sympathy at their ice-tea'd buddy and loyal rage at his bully. He was clearly someone Dash loved to pick on, more than other nerds. The boy—Fentwirp—took in a breath as if to yell some more, when icy fog billowed out from his mouth, despite him being inside a mall in the heat of summer. He clapped his hand over his mouth and looked at his dork-friends. Veronica, unexplainably suspicious, whipped out her phone and snapped a photo.

It wasn't the strange rumbling that alerted Veronica to something being wrong, and it wasn't even her new friends' dismayed shrieks and moans of "ghost!". Rather, she began to sense something ominous before that, when the light all around her seemed to change color. The mall seemed to get darker, deepening into shades of purple and green. (Which, fyi, seriously don't go well together. Just saying.) Patrons of the mall were running around and shrieking, but with no discernible location of the source of the…whatever it was, they didn't know what exit to run to.

"I AM TECHNUS, MASTER OF ALL THINGS TECHNOLOGICAL AND BEEPING!" Veronica's head whirled around at approximately 35mph to stare at the source of the booming, reverberated sound. The masses, now that they knew what to run from, promptly did. Screaming. Loudly.

Veronica didn't notice that her new friends had abandoned her. She didn't notice how she was quickly becoming the only one left in the mall. She held up her iPhone with shaking hands and took picture after picture of the…ghost.

The ghost.

"You! You dare brandish your puny technology in front of me?" Technus shouted, pointing at Veronica, and more importantly, her phone. Veronica couldn't move or feel anything beyond her racing pulse and the coldness of terror on the back of her neck. I can't move. I can't move.

Technus held up a hand and waved it at Veronica. Glowing green televisions, gaming consoles, cell phones, computer monitors, and more rushed toward her. I can't move. I'm going to die.

I'm going to die.

Suddenly Veronica felt herself being lifted off the floor and out of the way of homicidal technology. She could only look down as the malevolent technology crashed where she had been standing with thundering force. A reverberating voice near her ear shouted out: "The beeping isn't even half as annoying as you, Technus; I surprised it even lets you be its patron ghost! Are you sure you don't want to switch to something more appropriate for you, like 'Master of the Sound of Nails on a Chalkboard,' or 'Master of Construction at Six Thirty AM?'"

She looked up into bright green eyes, brighter than peridot, brighter than emeralds. They were framed in a friendly, glowing face, which was in turn topped by shockingly white hair…all suspended about fifty feet above the ground.

"Hi," the voice of the owner of the green, green eyes said. "You must be new in town."

Edited September 23, 2014