Disclaimer: The Characters from Veronica Mars and Highlander aren't mine...pass the tissues

Dead Ahead

A Veronica Mars/Highlander Crossover

Chapter 3: The Case Revives

Veronica smiled widely as Joe Dawson entered the lift, her Colgate bright smile dimming only fractionally as he was joined by a tall, slim built man, in his early thirties. “Going down,” he said.

It was a statement, not a question, but Veronica nodded enthusiastically. “Same here,” she said, putting on her best bubble-gum voice. “What a coincidence!”

The elevator moved upwards and Joe Dawson raised an eyebrow, before exchanging a look with his friend. “Downwards, eh?” he drawled. His friend snorted a laugh, but Veronica kept the smile on. No brains here, she thought grimly, oh no, just another ditzy cheerleader…

A snigger came from behind her, and Veronica turned to at Logan, giving him the death glare with her eyes. “Why, Logan!” she said, her voice sugary sweet. “Still here?”

The elevator chimed, as the doors flew open on the eight floor, and Logan gave her a pointed look. “Don’t you have an appointment to keep?” he asked. Why the hell wouldn’t he shut up?

“Change of plan,” she said lightly. “But don’t let me keep ya’, I’m sure that pet cougar of yours is waiting to pounce on you, in your rooms.”

“And miss the entertainment value of watching you squirm in an elevator?” he drawled, before a mock thoughtful expression crossed his face. “Oh, wait; I’ve already seen that, haven’t I…?”

Veronica felt her cheeks go hot, as the memory flashed into her mind. She silently stabbed the ground floor’s button.

“So,” Joe Dawson’s friend drawled out. He had a British accent, Veronica noticed; a very sexy British accent. She tried her best to concentrate on the sexy, British voice, and ignore the self-entitled asshole burning a hole between her shoulder blades with his eyes.

No, it still wasn’t working….

“So…?” she said, then winced. Wasn’t that what he said a few moments ago? She smiled and flicked her hair. Maybe, if she flirted, he wouldn’t notice that there was something very iffy going on in Oz. “So,” she said, again, and died a death, in her mind. She’d never frozen like this on a case, before. It was embarrassing….

But, apparently, British guy liked blondes….or he was an idiot. “So, we’re all going to the ground floor,” he said, his voice easy and amused. “What a coincidence.”

Okay, maybe not an idiot….

“Yeah, serendipity at its best,” Joe Dawson muttered, and Veronica bit back a sigh. Joe Dawson wasn’t an idiot either, apparently.

Logan stood up to the doors and smiled secretively. “Oh yeah, just one happy accident after another,” he said, sotto voice, to the British guy.

Must not forget to let the air out of his tires, on the way home, this evening, she thought to herself. Yes, it was petty, but hey, maybe she was doing him a favour. All that hot air can’t be good for a guy.

Amusement flashed in the British guy’s eyes as Dawson growled under his breath. “Cheer up, Joe, it could be worse,” he said.

“Not for Jim, it isn’t,” he muttered. “Damn it, I knew it was too soon to…” he caught himself, mid-sentence, and took a breath.

Jim, so she had a name, Veronica thought, with a start. The elevator halted, and Veronica’s mind began to turn as the doors slid open. Did they have a car she could bug? Did Dawson’s friend have a name? Oh yeah, a whole slew of questions, and not an answer in sight.

Veronica bit her lip; maybe she should just let this one go.

“Miss Mars!” Veronica froze as the doors opened, revealing Agent Morris, with Sheriff Lamb in tow. He didn’t seem too pleased to be the sidekick.

“Agent Morris, what are you doing here?” she asked, in her best ‘surprised’ voice. Not that I have to pretend too much, she thought ruefully.

“Please, Miss Mars,” the Agent said dryly. “That act might work with the local Sheriff’s department, but it doesn’t work with me. How long have you known Mr Dawson and Mr Pierson?”

“Who?” This time, she didn’t have to fake any confusion. Where was Morris going with this?

Agent Morris smirked, and crossed her arms. “You know, for a woman who pleads her innocence, you do seem to turn up at all the wrong places,” she said flatly. “First, the crime scene—”

“The crime scene?” Veronica echoed with disbelief. “Is this the forensic dark ages, or something? The body was washed up on the beach. I found it. I doubt the crime scene was any where near either of us at the time….”

“And, then of course, there is your previous track record, when helping us with our enquiries—”

“He dumped me,” Veronica protested. “He didn’t leave me a forwarding address!”

Morris ignored her. “And, of course, here you are, cosying up with the deceased’s acquaintances, even though you told me you didn’t recognise the body,” she went on.

“Wow, I am totally blown away by your thorough and accurate investigation, Agent Morris,” Veronica drawled sarcastically, throwing away the last vestiges of friendliness. There didn’t seem any point in it. I"’m especially amazed by your last piece of detective work. Imagine, me not recognising a headless body!” A sharp snort emanated from the British guy, and Veronica glared at him.

Sorry,” he said, “Throat…tickle….”

“Don’t worry, we have something down the station that will clear that right up for you, Mr Pierson,” Agent Morris said, nodding to the Lamb.

“Adam Pierson, I’m arresting you for the murder of Jim….”

“What the hell are you doing?” Joe Dawson, cut in sharply, “You can’t do that. He doesn’t have anything to do with it.”

“Haven’t you heard?” Logan murmured, as Lamb handcuffed Pierson. “This is Neptune. Arresting the wrong person for murder practically has its own sporting season around here.”

“Not now, Logan,” Veronica said lowly. Could agent Morris be right? Was Pierson responsible for the dead body on the beach?

“That reminds me,” Lamb drawled, “You were late signing up at the station this week, Echolls, see it doesn’t happen again.”

“See what I mean?” Logan said, giving Joe a conspiratorial look. “You’re practically not a native, until you’ve been arrested for at least one serious misdemeanour.”

“If you’re not careful, Mr Echolls, I’ll add another one to your list,” Agent Morris said brusquely. “Interfering with an ongoing federal investigation.”

Logan slapped a hand over his heart, but kept quiet as Lamb finished reading the British guy his Miranda rights. Joe Dawson, on the other hand, was another matter.

“This is stupid,” he burst out. “You know he hadn’t anything to do with it. He just flew in from Seacouver this morning!”

“We haven’t been able to verify that,” Agent Morris said softly. “In fact, there are no records of an Adam Pierson flying on any flight into Neptune, in the last month. Care to explain that, Mr Dawson?”

Joe Dawson scowled like a trooper at the agent, even as he shifted his weight on his cane. “Obviously, somebody somewhere messes up! I picked him up from the departure’s lounge this morning. If it ain’t on your records, it’s definitely on tape!”

“You better hope you’re wrong, Mr Dawson,” Agent Morris said coldly. “Because, if he was on that plane, he wasn’t flying on it under the name of Pierson….tell me, why would your friend be flying under a false passport?”

“Leave it, Joe,” Pierson said suddenly. “I’ll sort it out at the .station. Just make sure you call M… my lawyer.”

Veronica’s ears perked up, what had Pierson been about to say?

“Don’t worry, Miss Mars, I haven’t forgotten about you,” Agent Morris said suddenly, seeing the expression on her face.

Veronica lifted her eyebrows. “Don’t tell me you’re going to arrest me for the murder too? I don’t think they allow you to hedge your bets like that.. something about a constitution?”

Morris’s eyes narrowed. “You may not be the murderer, Miss Mars,” she said “But you do know something, and I intend to find out what.

Cue ominous music,” Logan said, under his breath. Veronica bit her cheek, trying not to laugh, as Agent Morris bristled.

“You may think your name and your wealth protects you, Mr Echolls,” she said. “But, as you know, your father found out differently.”

Veronica winced; cute, Agent Morris, she thought to herself, real cute.

The three of them, Veronica, Logan, and Dawson, watched Lamb and Morris haul Pierson through the lobby.

“Sorry about you friend,” Veronica offered quietly.

“What’s it to you?” Dawson asked.

Veronica shrugged. “I didn’t mean to pry.”

His eyes swerved on her, sharpening. “Oh yes you did,” he countered. “It wasn’t a coincidence you were in that elevator, was it? Morris had a point. You know something!”

Veronica sighed. “I wish I did, Mr Dawson, I really do,” she murmured. “But all I know is that I found a body on the beach, and nobody seems to know why.”

Dawson gave her a long look, and must have seen something he liked, because the tension flowed out of his shoulders. “Sorry, kid,” he muttered. “Jim was a friend of mine. I guess I’m still in shock.”

Curiosity raised its perky head in Veronica’s mind. “How did you two know each other?” she asked.

Dawson opened his mouth, then seemed to think better of it, and shook his head. “Never mind, kid,” he said. “You’re probably better off not knowing.” He limped away, and Veronica stared at his back. There was something about Joe Dawson that strangely reminded her of her Dad.

“Ronnie, you’re not trying to get yourself killed again, are you?” Logan drawled. “Coz, I gotta say, this death wish of yours is getting old.”

“What?” Veronica said distractedly. “Oh…yeah…whatever.” She came to a decision.

She was still on the case.