Title: Two Four Six Oh One
Pairing/Character: Veronica, Wallace, Mac, OC
Word Count: 1,064
Summary: To her surprise (wasn’t it a sad notion that this was surprising?) someone came to the misfortunate young man’s aid. Series Reboot, with new characters added. Someone else tries to help Wallace off the Flagpole, and the changes accrue from there.
Spoilers: The entire series eventually, but just 1x01 for now.
Warnings: This is my first time writing for Veronica Mars. This is technically a crossover, but the new characters I am adding are pretty much original characters. Some were from another TV show, but I added so much character development and backstory to them that they're unrecognizable. And they're under pseudonym anyway. But I developed them from the template provided by that other show, so yeah... This really isn't relevant to chapter 1 at all, is it? I apologize in advance for 40+ percent of this chapter consisting of movie/book quotes.
Two Four Six Oh One
Veronica pushed through the crowd toward the flagpole where the unfortunate Black kid had been duct-taped up. Predictably, a crowd had gathered to gawk- one might think that the already rich and famous would have no need to find amusement in something as crass as schoolyard hazing, but the 09ers were overrepresented among those enjoying the show. Wealth was no anodyne to boredom, Veronica had discovered. Instead, it dulled the sense of empathy that made most find cruelty repulsive; when you were raised to look down on others, you lost any sense of community with them, and the accompanying empathy. She shook her head. The last year must have made her an emotional masochist, because it was too early in the morning to be reflecting on the emotional state of the rich and shallow.
She was halfway through the crowd when it happened. To her surprise (wasn’t it a sad notion that this was surprising?) someone came to the misfortunate young man’s aid. Some jerk -Veronica thought it might be Caz Truman from the basketball team- had stepped forward, not to help, but to take a picture of himself with the boy on the flagpole. As if he were some sort of tourist attraction. She could see shame in the flush of the teenager’s cheeks as he held his head high and tried to maintain his dignity. The would-be photographer didn’t get his shot. Another person, one Veronica couldn’t place from seeing the back of her ponytail, stepped forward and swatted the camera out of his hand. “He’s been embarrassed enough. Show some common decency.” The girl started trying to pull the duct tape off, and to Veronica’ surprise, actually seemed to be tearing the notoriously resilient adhesive, albeit slowly.
“Here, let me,” She said, pulling out her pocketknife. “You really have to cut through it.” She grinned at the girl, who had to be new; she’d have remembered seeing those delicate Asian features before. “Unless you want to unroll him like the mummy in a bad Halloween comedy.”
The girl grinned back at her. “I didn’t think we were allowed to have those on campus,” she said, nodding at the knife.
“You mean this? This is just a personal grooming appliance.” Veronica pitched her voice low, in imitation of Vin Diesel.
The Asian girl laughed. “And here I was afraid I’d be the only sci-fi fan in the school.” She produced a long, thin blade that looked like it was meant for murder. I proved to be as wickedly sharp as it looked. “Guess I can always say I brought my letter opener by accident,” she commented.
Veronica idly wondered what kind of person carried around a knife like that, even as she tried to think of something witty to say to carry the conversation. Fortunately, she was saved from having to say anything by the boy they rescued from bondage. “Thanks, both of you. I though I’d be up there until first period.” He moved to step down, but paused as the Asian girl held up her hand.
“Hold on a moment.” She unslung her backpack and pulled a thin, but large, yellow towel from within. “Here. So we don’t have to see you in your skivvies. Or worse.”
“Wow, Are you always so well prepared?” Veronica teased. “Planning for the inevitable Zombie Apocalypse, perhaps?”
The girl smirked back at her, then launched into monologue. “The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say on the subject of towels...
A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value - you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to- hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you - daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.
More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with."
She delivered the entire speech in a clipped British accent. The bell rang, while she was less than halfway through, but Veronica and the newly towel-wrapped boy stood, listening raptly to her performance. It wasn’t until she was done that they noticed that another had joined them. “I can’t believe you actually memorized the whole thing,” the new girl gushed, as Veronica noted the blue highlights in her hair. “That’s really cool.” She suddenly stopped as seemed to shrink into herself as she realized that all three other people there were now looking at here. “Uhm, hi, my name is Cindy. But you can call me Mac.”
Veronica smiled, wide enough to be genuine but not so wide as to seem mocking. “Well, introductions all around, I guess. I’m Veronica.”
“Wallace,” the African American youth offered.
“I’m Minako. And we should get to class”
That broke up the group, but Veronica couldn’t bear not to make a parting quote. “You know, this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
Her only answer was Wallace’s groan.