Just before the start of Buffy season 3, and Veronica Mars season 2. Of course I've invoked the gods of time travel so that the shows are running simultaneously. Bits of canon altered/kicked into submission:
Veronica's father passed away in the season 1 finale. Faith and her watcher are living in Neptune because... because... oh hell I don't really have a reason but lets just say there was a patch of demonic activity and the weather was nice so they decided to stick around.Disclaimer:
I dont own Veronica Mars or Buffy, and make no claim on said copyrighted material.
Veronica sighed tiredly as she unlocked the front door of the Mars apartment, backing clumsily inside whilst trying to balance her shopping bags. Kicking the door shut with her foot she dumped the heavy bags on the ground, cursing as the apples she’d brought rolled across the floor and straight under the paws of an overexcited backup, who had torn into the kitchen at the sound of her keys in the lock.
“Hey buddy!” She greeted as she knelt down, gathering apples back into their bag with one hand whilst she patted the excited dog. Normal. That’s the watchword. Sounds good doesn’t it?
As normal as things could be that is. Her best friend Lilly Kane had been murdered, and after an exhaustive year of searching the culprit, Aaron Echoll’s had been discovered and apprehended. What had been the cost for justice? Her father. He had walked through fire to save her after Aaron had locked her in a fridge and set it alight. Whilst his external injuries weren’t bad, he had died on the way to the hospital due to flame inhalation that had destroyed his wind pipes. The sight of him lying on the ground gasping was the last memory she had of her dad, and it would haunt her forever.
That had only been the start of things. Duncan was gone, hiding with his parents as they dealt with legal issues. She had pushed Wallace and his family away despite their best efforts to get through to her, Mrs. Fennel even offering to take legal custody of her dead boyfriend’s daughter when Leanne Mars didn’t return to Neptune despite summons. Instead, Veronica had taken the legal steps to gain emancipation, leaving her alone to fend for herself. Leanne had run off with the Kane money. That meant no more school she had to work full time to pay rent. Then there was Logan. He had been there at first, offering support and even housing, but she couldn’t look at him without seeing the man who had taken away two of the most important people in her life. After a while it had become unbearable and she had broken it off with him.
Perhaps ‘more normal than before’ is a better description of the watch word. No more detective work, no more unsolved murder mysteries, just normal life working two jobs, full time as an office worker during the days, and three night shifts a week at the Java Hut.
Thankfully she had tonight off. Not just because of her exhaustion but also for the sake of the whirl of energy which had been cooped up in the apartment for the best part of the week. “Time to take you for a walk,” she said, giving the animal one last pat as she straightened up, reaching for the leash which was lying on the kitchen table. A knock on the door interrupted her. Snatching the leash she made the two quick steps to the door, opening it a crack and groaning inwardly as she saw who was waiting for her. “Cliff.”
“Veronica.” He beamed. The blonde just stood there silently, waiting to hear what he had to say. “I have a favor to ask of you,” he said after a couple of moments. “Its-”
“I’ll pay you, you know that” Cliff added, stepping back a little bit as backup pushed his way between Veronica’s legs and growled softly.
“I don’t do that anymore, you know that.” Veronica said quietly as she leant down, tethering the leash to the dogs collar before moving to push past the lawyer.
Cliff blocked her exit. “Come on Veronica it won’t take long, and I know you need-”
“Is this guy bothering you V?” The Bostonian drawl caught both Veronica and Cliff’s attention.
“Ah Faith,” Cliff greeted, “beaten up any bikers lately?”
Faith smirked as she leant back against the wall of the apartment building. “Nah, been trying to pick on people more my own size.” She said, her eyes fixing deliberately on the sheriff’s department lawyer.
It took a couple of moments for the message to sink in, but then Cliff nervously cleared his throat, backing away from Veronica. “Well I’ll just be on my way, Veronica if you change your mind…” he looked again at Faith, blanching a little before turning on his heel and walking away briskly.
“Thanks,” Veronica said, once the lawyer was out of earshot. Faith had moved in a couple of days after well… what had happened. The brunette was cagey and mysterious, inexplicably coming and going at all hours, but somehow the pair had struck up a strange friendship. It had probably started the day she’d broken up with Logan. To say that he hadn’t taken it well was an understatement. He’d smashed a lamp and started yelling. At that point the brunette had burst in, slamming him against the wall before kicking him out. Literally. Since then she’d taken to keeping an eye on the blonde who lived in the apartment next to her. She always seemed to be outside or at least around when Veronica came back from work and when she left in the mornings. It was a little strange but it made Veronica feel secure.
“Taking him to the beach?” the brunette asked as she stared disinterestedly at Backup who was straining on his leash to reach her, his nose quivering as he sniffed the air around the brunette excitedly.
“Yep,” Veronica said as she turned to leave, pulling Backup with her. After a couple of moments the brunette fell in step beside her. Faith wasn’t the type to ask permission to do anything, she just did it. The blonde would have been annoyed if part of her wasn’t secretly thankful for the company.
“So does Cliffy moonlight as a pimp or something?” Faith asked as they walked down the stairs.
“What?” Veronica asked in confusion.
“Is he a client then?”
The suggestive tone in the Faith’s voice said it all. Veronica fixed the brunette with an icy glare. “It wasn’t that kind of favor.”
Faith just smirked as she stepped out onto the beach. “What kind of favor was it then?”
“I don’t know, probably injury fraud or a cheating spouse’s case,” Veronica said absently as she removed Backups leash before the restless dog could pull her over. Then she noticed the confused look on Faith’s face. “My dad is… was a private detective, I used to help him out.”
“So V’s got some sleuthing street cred huh,” Faith grinned as she picked up a bit of drift wood, waving it in front of the dogs face, before hurling it with surprising force down the beach.
“Mmm,” Veronica murmured noncommittally as she watched Backup tear away after it.
Faith didn’t question any further. Instead she flopped down onto the sand, leaning back on her hands as she stared out intently across the horizon. After a few moments of awkward standing Veronica took a seat next to her. It was a hot evening, and Veronica was beginning to feel uncomfortably warm in her work clothes. Glancing over at Faith she silently wondered how the brunette could seem so unperturbed by the heat in her leather getup. She had to be roasting.
“So you’re going to Neptune High when the holidays are over?” Veronica broke the silence, frowning at her own question. When she thought about it she didn’t even really know how old the brunette sitting next to her was.
“Nah schools not really my thing,” Faith said casually. “Dropped out last year.”
“What do you do then?”
“Oh you know…”
Veronica didn’t know. Before she could inquire further a British voice interrupted them.
The brunette rolled her eyes at Veronica before lying down on the sand, stretching out lazily as she stared up at the woman who was now marching authoritatively as one could across sand in high heels. “Sup?”
“You were supposed to meet me over an hour ago.” the lady said indignantly.
“Oooh right.” Faith still didn’t move.
“Well I guess I got to motor,” Faith sighed as she slowly stood up. “Seeya V.”
Veronica gave a half hearted wave before turning back to watch the ocean. That was Faith’s legal guardian. Faith had referred to the woman as her watcher once before, which she was guessing must be some kind of slang. The brunette always treated the woman as an annoyance, but Veronica knew deep down she had some fondness for her up tight custodian. The huffing and panting of Backup interrupted her thoughts. “Oh god Backup put it down” she scolded as she stared at the half eaten hamburger which was now dangling from his mouth.
After apologizing to a very annoyed and hungry beachgoer Veronica had decided to call it a night. Opening her apartment again she let Backup push inside, skidding on a small folder lying on the ground just in front of the door on the way to his water bowl. Bending down she felt a smile tug at the corners of her mouth as she read the note scribbled on the tan cover. Bet you want to open it.
The lawyer knew Veronica too well.
Veronica tapped her fingers against the side of her camera as she stared impatiently at Neptune’s seediest motel, the Camelot. She was beginning to regret her decision to help Cliff out. The philandering housewife was taking her sweet time. Leaning back in her seat she closed her eyes, listening to the panting of Backup in the back seat. It wasn’t more than a couple of seconds before a muffled scream caught her attention. Sitting up a bit straighter in her seat Veronica watched as the lady she was supposed to be watching was pulled from her room by a couple of men. Instinctively she reached for her phone, cursing under her breath when she realized it was at home. She was really out of practice.
Looking up again she saw the woman was being pushed down the stairs. She hesitated for a moment before grabbing her tazer and stepping out of the car. “Hey!” she called out as she strode towards them with as much confidence as she could muster.
The two men stopped, turning to face her, grinning. “Well hello there.”
“Back off,” Veronica growled as she lifted her tazer, letting it crackle. The warning had no effect. One of the men was chuckling now and slowly advancing toward her. God what was wrong with his face? There was a loud growl and a blur of fur ran past her, launching itself at the would-be attacker.
There was a sickening snap. Backup crumpled to the ground without as much as a yelp. Before Veronica could register what happened the man was on her, twisting her head to the side as he lowered his mouth towards her neck.
“Let her go!”
Veronica felt herself being knocked to the ground, looking up she saw her attacker turn into ash before her world went black.