Setting: Post-Leave It to Beaver. Just after the last twenty seconds, in fact.
Summary: Veronica’s visitor has just one thing on their mind.
Author's Notes: Written for hopingitwasyou.
Veronica opened the front door and smiled. "I was hoping it would be you..."
“You were expecting someone else, Miss Mars?” enquired D’Hoffryn, quirking an eyebrow upwards. “I did say I’d be back when you actually had a name for me.”
Veronica smiled weakly. It had been a long day after all. She stood there with one hand still on the doorframe and felt her body still aching from earlier. “So, you need an invite to come in….?”
D’Hoffryn tilted his head to one side, and smiled at her. “Not really, but it is generally considered polite.”
Veronica just smiled and stepped back from the door, leaving it open. D’Hoffryn nodded once in respect and walked inside the Mars household. “’Cuse the mess,” said Veronica wearily, “I think I just threw my mother out.”
D’Hoffryn pursed his lips and perched gingerly on the edge of one of the seats, arranging his robes around himself. “I must say Miss Mars, that you do have a most interesting life.”
Veronica remained standing up against the kitchen counter. “Shall we get down to business, Mr D’Hoffryn?” she said evenly.
“Please, please,” he replied holding his hand up as if to stop her, “Just D’Hoffryn will do nicely, as I told you when you first called me.”
“Fine,” sighed Veronica, “Please don’t take offence, but it’s been rather a long day for me. I’ve already crashed one party, been locked in a fridge and found out which bastard killed Lily.”
D’Hoffryn smiled tightly, his lips almost pale in the dim night lighting. “Ahh, yes…. The world famous action movie star Aaron Echolls, and just coincidentally your boyfriend’s father.”
Veronica made a sudden cutting gesture with her hands. “No! New rule – my personal life is twisted up enough already. That is strictly out of bounds.” She stared for a moment at her cell phone lying next to her hand on the counter, and briefly considered calling Logan again. Pushing it out of her head with regret, she studied D’Hoffryn carefully. “You wouldn’t help me before, so why should I believe you now?”
The demon sighed loudly. “As I explained before, my dear Miss Mars – may I call you Veronica?”
“No, you may not,” said Veronica, flashing an obviously insincere smile.
D’Hoffryn sighed again. “As I said last time, we justice demons cannot do a thing without the name or location of the party in question. As long as Mr Echolls was not known to be the murderer of Lily Kane, we could not do a thing to him or against him.”
He smiled again. This time it vaguely reminded Veronica of a crocodile on film she and Lily had laughed at in a hot and stuffy summer classroom. Silent, motionless at times and quite, quite capable of biting your arm off at a moment’s notice. “But now that everything is known, Miss Mars,” he continued, “I must now ask you what you wish to happen to Aaron Echolls.”
Veronica looked down at him. “Justice demon?” she queried, her mind churning over all the various options. “I thought you and your kind were vengeance demons?”
D’Hoffryn leaned back, satisfied. When they started to think like that, the ‘client’ was almost there. “We operate as a more or less last court of justice, Miss Mars. For every ‘case’ that comes before us, there must necessarily be both a winner and a loser. Not all our reputation is undeserved I grant, but a great proportion of our history was written by the losers.”
“And what happens to me when I make this wish, D’Hoffryn? Do I lose my soul suddenly, or what?” Veronica said, looking him directly in the eyes for the first time. D’Hoffryn permitted himself to laugh internally. Arguing over the price was a sure-fire mark of success. Outwardly, he remained impassive.
“You did all the research yourself before you ever decided to summon me, Miss Mars,” he said evenly. “Nothing happens to our clients – our personal pay is the pain and suffering of the victim. And conveniently, they do always deserve what happens to them.”
He stood up from his perch on the edge of the chair. “So, I ask you once more – what vengeance do you wish upon Aaron Echolls? A painful car crash on the way to prison, perhaps? A sad and lonely suicide in the cell?”
D’Hoffryn circled the room until he stood behind Veronica. “Maybe he should die burning and tortured in a fire – just like he tried to do to you…?”
He leant forward and softly spoke into one ear. “Or has the feared Veronica Mars thirst for justice and vengeance finally run out? It was so evident this last year, that it impressed even this old demon.”
Veronica spun round and glared back at him. Eyeball to eyeball, they stared across the kitchen island at each other. “For the third and final time Miss Mars, what vengeance do you wish upon Aaron Echolls?”
“He. Will. Live.” said Veronica, coldly, bitingly, each word a precise and complete jewel hanging in the air between them. “Aaron Echolls, the world famous movie star, loved and adored by fans all over the globe, will live a very long time. He will have his time in court where every last stone will be unturned, every scandal unearthed, every single secret dragged out into the light of day. Before all the cameras, before all the press, before the eyes of the world, I want Aaron Echolls destroyed.”
Her blonde bedraggled hair hung around her face; her body still wearing the clothes she’d fallen asleep in. But looking at her face… D’Hoffryn didn’t remember quite so much pain and rage and hurt so intently channelled through one woman for many a long year. Watching Veronica Mars this last year had been more than he’d ever expected.
“But!” said Veronica fiercely raising one finger up in the air, “You will leave Logan out of all this. He, and his sister I suppose, are to be mentioned as little as possible. They don’t deserve what his father’s going to get.”
“Done!” cried D’Hoffryn loudly, and a sudden wind seemed to sweep through the room. Veronica was blown about, and when she looked up again, the demon was gone. The only sign of his visit was the front door gently swinging back and forth.
Backup sleepily growled from his prone position on the floor, as Veronica closed and locked the door. “It’s okay, boy” Veronica whispered softly to him as she stroked his fur. “I think, for the first time in ages, it’s gonna be alright now. Time for us both to rest, boy.”
As the sunlight eventually rose above the horizon and spread across Neptune, Veronica sleepily stared out of the window and slowly smiled. “Brand new day, Lily.”