So just a bit of background on this before you start reading.
This isn't my first attempt at writing a fanfic, though most of the other ones admittedly weren't that greatly written. A few other one-shots I did were posted on the ScoobyAddicts forum which is a forum that I am an admin for (I believe they still may be there), though I feel this fanfic is my first really good one. This first chapter was originally finished and published on June 20, 2014. However, I didn't join until 2016 so thus the first three chapters were posted as a group on July 12, 2016.
Secondly, this fanfic is mainly Daphne-centric. That being said, the gang does make appearances throughout, but not necessarily in every chapter or all together as a group. As this is a follow-up to Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, the gang is still split up and not all together. The overarching plot of this does deal with Daphne's relationship and how, or rather if, she truly 'fits' with the gang and if she does, what unique thing does she bring to the group that cannot be replaced by someone else?
But I'll stop talking now and just let you all read! Enjoy!
Daphne woke up to the annoying buzzing sound of her alarm clock. She groggily got out of bed and turned off her alarm. She groaned loudly, as she knew that she only had an hour and a half until she had to be at work. She still had to eat breakfast, shower, get dressed for the day, and her hair was a mess! She quickly shoveled down a bowl of cereal and milk, and got ready for a hot shower. She was still so tired (as she was every morning, she was not the 'early bird' type) that she nearly dozed off in the shower.
"Wake up Daphne, wake up!" she kept saying to herself, because it seemed like the only thing she could do to keep from falling asleep. Finally, she had gotten herself all clean, and just in time, too, she could feel her eyelids began to shut. She got out of the shower, dried herself off rapidly with her favorite, soft white towel that had her initials 'DB' on it, and looked at the clock.
"8:00?" Already?" Daphne lamented. She finally began to mentally wake up, as she always did around this time. Now, it was time for the seemingly million questions Daphne asked herself every day.
"Should I curl my hair? Should I leave it straight like I always do? Should I put it up? Or should I leave it down?" After 5 minutes of deciding and thinking, she decided on leaving it straight, and putting it up for the day. But she wasn't done with the questions yet. There was still the matter of how much eyeliner to put on, what kind of hairspray to use, and many more questions that had yet to be answered.
8:30, Daphne thought to herself. She quickly put on some eyeliner and make up, and tried to finish up in the bathroom. But, as always, it was 8:40 before she finished with the million 'fashion' questions she asked herself, and she had to be at work at 9 sharp, and she had a ten minute drive yet.
Ten minutes, Daphne sighed. She still needed to figure out what she was going to wear yet for the day, which took her way too long to decide upon. After questioning if every single pair of pants was 'in fashion' and whether it made her look 'pretty enough,' She finally slipped on a pair of pants with two minutes to spare.
She knew there was only two minutes before she had to leave, but yet, she asked herself, "Do I want to look professional? Or should I go for a more 'cutesy' look?" Ten minutes passed, and after trying on multiple shirts and dresses, she decided on 'the cutesy look' as she called it. She began taking the dress out of her closet, but then she realized the dress was too long for the pants, and she would have to wear tights! She threw the pants onto the bed, and slipped on the tights. Her watch began to beep.
"9:00! My boss is going to kill me!" she gasped. She quickly slipped into her dress, then grabbed her keys and ran out the door.
While driving to work, she imagined the scenarios when she came in late, and what she was going to say. "I was late because I was putting on a dress?" That seemed like a recipe for disaster. Maybe she could lie? Daphne didn't really like this idea, she wasn't much for lying, and she nearly always told the truth.
Another decision to make this morning, she thought.
While thinking and driving, she looked at some of the sights and signs, as she always did on her way to work each morning. 'Now entering Crystal Cove', one said to the right of her. Daphne had always been unsure why they created two cities (Crystal Cove and Coolsville, the second one being the one Daphne lived in), and made them sound completely different, when she felt they were exactly the same city. Everyone in Coolsville and Crystal Cove considered the two cities as exactly the same. But the two cities' explanation for the division of the cities was that Crystal Cove was a suburb of Coolsville, but they were not, and would never be the same two cities.
Daphne arrived at where she worked, the TV station, at 9:12.
"A little late, aren't we Miss Blake?" said the security guard at the gate.
"I'm sorry, my...um...car got in a terrible accident."
"Oh my gosh! Was anyone hurt?"
"No, it was just a fender-bender."
"Let me look at it. My hobby is to fix cars!"
Now Daphne was in trouble. She knew that when he looked at the back of the car, she'd be marked as a liar forever.
"Hmmmm... I don't see any damage here." the security guard looked suspiciously at Daphne.
"Umm...it actually happened last night. I was late because...I was picking it up from the mechanic."
"Oh, that's good. I thought for a second you were lying to get out of work. But you would never lie, would you Miss Blake?"
"Me? Of course not!" Daphne gave a fake-ish type smile and laughed along with the security guard.
"Go right ahead Miss Blake, I won't keep you any longer."
Daphne parked her car quickly, and ran in the building, hoping that no one else would question her about being late to work. But she knew everyone would, after all, she had rehearsal for her now famous show, Coast to Coast with Daphne Blake, and if she wasn't there, there was no show.
Now 30 minutes late after her long talk with the security guard, she arrived at the rehearsal room.
"Where have you been?" asked Daphne's cameraman, Fred Jones.
Daphne always had a strange relationship with Fred. All throughout high school, people had thought they liked each other, much to Daphne's dismay. After the sort of 'break-up' of Mystery Inc, when they were all tired of catching fake monsters and faux ghouls, Fred and Daphne had run off from the rest of the gang to do 'Coast to Coast with Daphne Blake'. Ever since that, Fred was always treating her like she was helpless, something Daphne took as 'flirting' as if he liked her. She absolutely hated Fred acting like a lovesick idiot towards her, and vocally expressed this to him.
"For your information, my car broke down." said Daphne angrily.
"You know I'm good with cars, I could have helped Daphne. You didn't need to get your delicate hands dirty." Fred replied back.
Daphne had to take a deep breath and count to ten before she replied to this sexist comment. "I can handle myself!" said Daphne firmly, just as she had said when he had asked "Are you OK?" up on Moonscar Island when one of the zombies had grabbed her.
Fred gave her a confused look.
Daphne was already embarrassed. "Well, let's just get started filming."
"Coast to Coast with Daphne Blake: Season 2: Haunted America: Episode 2..." Fred rambled.
"Just get on with it!" Daphne barked.
"OK, OK, don't be so grouchy!"
"Filming in 3...2...1..."
"Welcome to Season 2 of my new show, Haunted America. Today, I'm going to look into the most haunted forest area in America, Pine Forest, where there is supposedly a ghost that grabs anyone who goes into the forest. 16 people have been reported missing in this forest in the last year, and there have been no signs of a struggle at the scenes of the disappearance."
Daphne signaled to Fred to turn off the camera.
"We'll film Scene 2 tomorrow." Daphne explained to Fred.
Luckily for Daphne, her boss wasn't around today, and she had the rest of the day off to pack for her next trip, to Pine Forest. Her previous trip, to Moonscar Island with the rest of the gang had been a complete bust. She had found real, terrifying zombies and cat creatures, but she had lost all the evidence in quicksand. Not only that, but her boss had scheduled Season 2 Episode 1 to air on TV on September 29, which was only a few days after she got back from Moonscar Island. The problem was, she couldn't find any footage in time for September 29, so she had to quick throw together a clip show, which made her ratings drop significantly for that week.
It was Sunday, September 30 now, and her show aired every Saturday morning. Luckily, the next Saturday, October 5 was scheduled as a repeat of a Season 1 episode, so she had until October 12 to get new material for Episode 2. And this time, she had to get new material for her show, she couldn't just make all of Season 2 'clip shows' or her boss might cancel the show due to low ratings.
Daphne decided to go visit Velma at her bookshop, Dinkley's Mystery Books. It seemed like she was happy where she was working, but it always appeared like she was longing for something else.
"Daphne! What a nice surprise!" Velma smiled.
It seemed like Velma had lit up when Daphne came in the bookstore.
"Daphne!" A familiar voice said.
"Shaggy? Scooby? What are you doing here?" Daphne said, as Shaggy and Scooby came out from behind a bookshelf.
"Like, we got fired from another job!" Shaggy sheepishly said.
"Let me guess, you ate all the food again." Daphne guessed.
"Yeah. It seems the only job we can keep is feeding our stomachs 24/7."
"Reah. Rehehehe" Scooby laughed.
"Can I have The Haunted Ghost Town Mysteries #22: The Ghost in the Ghost Town?" asked a customer, who just entered Velma's shop."
"Just a second." Velma said.
5 more people got in line, waiting for Velma to help them.
"Well, I can see you're busy, and I've got to pack for another ghost hunting trip for my show." Daphne explained.
"OK, thanks for stopping in!" Velma smiled.
As Daphne closed the door, she could hear Velma sighing, as if her heart sunk when Daphne left.
An annoying beeping noise could be heard. It was time for Daphne to wake up again. Daphne once again shoveled down a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios, and got in the shower. She would have to be ready to pick up Fred at 10 o'clock. It was the same routine as any other morning, but for a reason that she could not explain in her head, she felt like she needed to look especially pretty today, like a fashion model, even though she was only going to get all dirty in the woods. She put on extra eyeliner, perfume, deodorant, and so much makeup that her face was almost glowing red. She also decided to make her hair curly today, instead of straight, like she always did. She just couldn't put her finger on why she needed to look so pretty today. It was because it was the first 'real' episode of her new season, that was why. But yet, she still wasn't so sure.
Finally, she was ready to go, and got in her car, turned on WZOP, which was her favorite radio station.
Fred hopped in Daphne's car, and seemed to be acting differently around her. It seemed like he wanted to say something to her, but couldn't think of the words to say it.
Finally, he said it, "So...you look different."
"Oh what, you mean the hair? It was nothing."
Daphne felt disgusted with herself suddenly. Did I just play hard to get? she asked herself.
She immediately straightened up. The car was silent for most of the way to Pine Forest. The radio helped a little bit to fill the void spots where words should have been.
"We're finally here." sighed Daphne.
"Turn on the camera Fred" Daphne instructed.
Fred did as he was told.
"This is the haunted Pine Forest, where supposedly a phantom has been seen and heard floating around. We're now at the spot where supposedly people disappeared."
"I think we just heard our first signs of the haunting!" Daphne said excitedly, although she still was a little shook up from the strange car ride.
Suddenly, a figure appeared. He had a huge ax, and was wearing red lumberjack's clothes.
"Are you getting this Fred?" Daphne said nervously.
"Y-yeah" Fred shivered.
The lumberjack ghost tripped over a rock.
"Whoopsies!" the lumberjack said, in a stupid voice.
The lumberjack was lying in the dirt, his pant leg slightly up from falling. Fred touched his leg.
"I don't think this is a ghost, Daph." Fred said somberly.
Daphne took the mask off.
"This isn't a ghost." She could smell alcohol on his breath. "Fred, this is a drunk man!" Daphne said, in shock.
He started to wake up. "I'm sorry Daphne, I just wanted to be on your show so bad." he drunkenly moaned, "So when you said you were coming here last season I kidnapped 16 people. They're all alive and well at my house over there."
He pointed to a cabin over in the woods. Daphne and Fred hiked over there, and sure enough, it was the 16 people who had supposedly disappeared. Daphne groaned, and hit delete on her camera, erasing all the footage of the 'ghost' lumberjack.
Daphne went back to the TV studio, and ran into her boss, Jim Sands, head of the TV studio.
"So Daphne, did you get the footage?" Mr. Sands demanded.
"No, the ghost was a drunken idiot." Daphne said angrily.
"I don't care. It's October 1st today, you have 11 days to get that footage, or I'm cancelling Coast to Coast."