Lilly Lives AU for Bondo and MKT's Fabulous Lilly Kane Resurrection Collection. This AU is similar to the graduation dream, except for Veronica not knowing Wallace. She absolutely cut him down from that flag pole, even without the trauma of Lilly's death and the subsequent issues, because that's how she is.
This is just a moment between early 20-somethings Lilly and Veronica. No real story; the title was something I was using to try to calm myself, EllieBear, and MKT from rage tweeting at those who want more of the recent disaster (S4), and it went from there.
And no one could come up with Lilly's middle name for me, so I did whatever I wanted. We should be used to that by now, right? At least I didn't do what I wanted with a pizza bomb.
When the phone beside her starts to vibrate, Veronica growls, but when she glances at it, her irritation smooths into a grin. She's in the middle of midterms and there are only two people for whom she would ever stop studying, actually three counting her dad, and this call qualifies.
"Mars the Tortured Law Student," she answers, but the wailing in her ear wipes the smile from her face and she holds the phone away from her head.
"Geez, Lilly, I'm deaf now, thank you very much."
"Good!" a furious voice answers. "This is all your fault anyway."
Veronica peeks at the time—fifteen hours, thirty-eight minutes until Torts—then shoves a Blue Book into the textbook to mark her spot before pushing her rolling chair away from the desk. "Okay, I'll bite. What's my fault now?"
"I could be in Ibiza right now, having a drug-fueled threesome, but you thought I should get a job." A frustrated shriek echoes through the phone, but long experience with Lilly as a best friend has Veronica ready for that and she holds the phone away from herself before Lilly can pierce her eardrum again. "My dad wouldn't have complained if I'd just finished my undergrad and then lived off him forever. He probably expected it. But noooo. My obnoxious best friend convinced me I needed to make something of myself."
"You could have stayed in grad school," Veronica says patiently. "You're the one who decided not to stick that out and just get a job. You could still go back next year if you really are hating what you're doing. You know Jake and Celeste won't tell you no if you wanted to keep going to school. I mean, geez, Duncan's already talking about how many post-undergrad degrees he can rack up before they make him start going to work regularly at Kane Software and he's the one they actually keep the pressure to succeed on."
Lilly's voice is suspicious. "Hang on, when did he say that? He keeps telling the 'rents that an MBA will make him so much more valuable to the business."
Veronica laughs. "Ahh, but is he actually in an MBA program right now?"
"What?" Lilly shouts and Veronica snickers.
"Okay, but you didn't hear it from me, got it? At the start of this last semester, he told Logan he's enrolled in a Masters program in History right now."
"That dirty, rotten..." Lilly stops and huffs out an irritated burst of air. "And I'm working."
Veronica twirls in her chair, first one way, then the other. "Come on, it's not like you're the only one. Logan's student teaching this semester. Sixth graders. I'm afraid he's going to be bald before he finishes his credential at this rate." She shoves the chair closer to her bed and props her feet on it. "And anyway, the last time we talked you loved your job, Lils," she says. "What's going on now?"
Lilly sighs, this time a long, anguished release. "It's not the job itself exactly," she finally admits. "I still like it. And I'm good at it. I have such awesome taste, of course I know how to make everyone else love what I love. I mean, come on. I've been telling everyone what they like for most of my life. Marketing's just a twist on that. I'm a natural. The naturalest of the naturals. Au natural you could even say. "
Veronica nods. "Yeah, that's true, although I hope you're not doing a lot of au natural at work. So what's the problem then?"
"My stupid 'team'—" Veronica can hear the air quotes through the phone, "—they refuse to acknowledge anything I suggest. I give 'em my ideas, and the numbers and the studies to back them up, and they blow me off like I'm nothing, or like I'm stupid. It's making me nuts. What's the point of being here if no one will listen to me? I might as well go get a Masters in History with Donut. It's as unhelpful as anything I'm doing here."
"Are your ideas turning up later, dressed up a little different but still the same general idea?"
Lilly gives a bitter laugh—Shit, no, not yet at least." —then she groans. "And I didn't think I could feel worse. Now maybe it really is that my ideas suck since they're apparently not even good enough to steal."
"No, no, that's not what I said," Veronica chides. "And stop right there. Who are you and what have you done with my best friend? This cannot be the fabulous Lilly Kane questioning her value. Such a scenario cannot even be imagined."
"Stop it, Ronica. I'm having a crisis. Pointing out that my ego is massively enlarged doesn't really help the situation." Another frustrated sigh echoes through the phone.
"Lillian Minerva Kane—"
"That is not my name."
"—you are not authorized to speak about my best friend like that. Do you understand me, Lillian Mabel?"
"Some best friend you are, you don't even know my name."
"I asked you a question, Lillian Mavis."
"Oh my God, stop." A small giggle rolls out. "Fine, I won't speak poorly of your best friend whose name you can't even be bothered to learn. Satisfied?"
"Mostly." Veronica looks at the bulletin board above her desk and smiles at a picture of she and Lilly with their arms around each other, making kissy faces at the camera. "Now I don't know whether your ideas are good or not, and I probably wouldn't even if you explained them to me. I'm pretty much the anti-consumer. I just buy what you and Logan tell me I should."
"But, if they are good and these people are shining you on because you're too new, or you're too attractive, or you're just too damn female, then my message to you is, don't let the haters get you down. Just keep getting in there and swinging for the fences, and hopefully, things will turn around."
"Hopefully?" Lilly's tone is incredulous. "Hopefully? What kind of pep talk is this?"
"A realistic one. If they're dicks, they're probably gonna keep being dicks. There's no stopping that in some people. But that doesn't stop you from being fabulous, and if they won't see that at this job, someone at another job will."
"You think?" Lilly asks in a tiny voice. "What if it is just that I suck?"
"Lillian Maymie, do not make me come out there. I am really busy right now." Veronica drops her feet from the bed and twirls her chair again. "I will never believe that you suck. It's not impossible that you might have ideas that can't work for one reason or another, but overall, I believe in you a hundred percent, and you need to also."
There's silence on the other end of the phone for a moment. "Lilly?"
"Yeah, I'm here. Just thinking."
"Uh oh. That so frequently ends with me doing something I don't really want to do."
"Oh, haha, right. I have the best ideas; you know I do." Lilly sounds more like herself again, her teasing tone restored.
"Well, let's just hold off on the drug-fueled threesomes in Ibiza, okay?"
"Whatever you say," Lilly says primly. "It would be easier to do closer to home anyway. More time for the threesome and less wasted on travel."
Veronica snorts a laugh and shakes her head. "Your practicality knows no bounds."
"It's all the time I've spent around you, Ronica. I used to be such a free spirit, but then I met you."
"Uh huh. So it was eight-year-old Lilly who would have been fine with an Ibiza threesome, but after that, I curbed your wild tendencies?" Veronica stands and moves to her mini-fridge, pulling out an orange soda. "I think you need to let your mom know this. She still acts like I'm to blame for pretty much everything that happens ever. If you could just explain that I'm what's standing between her and Ibiza-related public humiliation—"
"No way. You're my last line of defense when Celeste goes on the warpath—"
"You mean I'm your scapegoat," Veronica interrupts, dropping back into her chair and pulling back up to her desk.
"Okay, whatever, it's not like you care what Celeste thinks anyway."
"All right, you've got me there." Veronica chuckles and nods. "Well, I think we've had a breakthrough in this pep talk, and I have got to get back to studying, but I need to make absolutely sure that this time spent away from the types and categories of torts was well spent. So, what have you learned, Dorothy?"
"Another wrong name." Lilly gives a mocking scoff. "Drug-fueled threesomes are best conducted domestically?"
"Oh no, that one is just not okay," she huffs, but her voice sounds amused. "Dicks will be dicks—which we've known for years. Swing for the fences—and get real, you got that one from your dad, you can't tell me different. Also, I don't suck. And, you have no comprehension of what you should buy, ever."
"Is that it?"
"I am far too fabulous to let the haters get me down."
"Whoomp, there it is. Finally. The moral of this entire story. Good job, Lillian Margaret, really good job."
"Ooh, nice. It takes a whole phone call, but she finally gets it right," Lilly teases.
"I could say the same for you. Now I've gotta go."
"Okay, fine, go. And thank you. I know I can always count on you."
"Right back at'cha, sister."
"So give Logan a kiss for me—"
"No, I've told you before, that's too weird."
"—and I'll see you guys in a couple weeks over your Spring Break. Love ya, babe."
Veronica smiles again at her best friend's picture. "Love you too."