Fox of Crystal Cove

Chapter 5

Progress was progress…at least he's pretty sure it's progress as he sat in his living room with the two books he had and the numerous notes he had scribbled out.

Sure he might not have the number two book, the one which the girl online told him she had but she did say she was going to help and give him the book next time she was in Crystal Cove which was not too far away.

The two of them had changed from emails to texts when talking and through that he had also gotten two other numbers of her friends. It was a bit odd at first but they all were nice people, especially since the first girl was going as far as to give him the book which has been in her family for generations.

With this he'd have three books and maybe would be able to understand enough about all of this to finally tell Velma…otherwise he'd start to feel bad about hiding it from her.

He was brought out of his thoughts though as his phone started to ring and show Daphne was calling him, quickly answering it despite being surprised and confused why she was calling this late. It was even more confusing since she was supposed to be babysitting a kid right now if he remembered correctly.

"Hello Daphne? What's up? Are you okay?" Naruto asked, adding the last part once he heard a bit of panting on the other end.

"If you consider getting attacked and chased out of a house by a kid who transformed into a little monster fine then yeah….I guess I'm fine" Daphne told him with her voice making it clear how exhausted she was after what she just went through.

"Wait what? Monster kid? What happened?" Naruto asked, sitting up on his couch worried about her before she chuckled a bit.

"I'm okay Naruto, honestly I got out before he actually attacked me and he didn't chase after me. I'll tell you all about it soon as…I was kind of hoping I could stay the night at your place given I have no ride back home and my mom can't drive at night" she asked him a bit nervously which he could understand given she was asking to stay the night at a guy's house.

They might be close friends, friends since before his parent's disappeared and he was taken in by Velma's family, but staying over at a guy's house was always going to be a slightly awkward thing to ask to do for a girl.

"Of course you can Daphne, there's no way I'd say no when you have nowhere else to go" Naruto told her as he quickly started to put on his sandals and grab a jacket. "Tell me where you are and I'll come walk to you, last thing you need to do is walk alone in the dark like this" he added before she chuckled a bit and a knock came at his door which only made him sigh.

"Too late" Daphne said through the phone and to his face as he opened the door with a somewhat apologetic smile on her face.

"Well no use whining over something already done, come on inside" he said while he motioned into his apartment. "If you haven't had dinner yet I have some leftovers from a few hours ago, hope you like homemade ramen" he added since given he really liked the food Velma had given him a large recipe book on ramen for one of his birthdays.

It surprised him how inexpensive everything was to make it and how even the healthier versions of it still tasted delicious.

"That actually sounds pretty good" Daphne said with a smile since she had tried his homemade cooking before and given he lived on his own it seemed he learnt how to provide for himself rather well.

"So what is the plan for tomorrow? I mean we do have school and I doubt you'll want to go in the clothes you are wearing right now" he brought up given wearing the same clothes twice in a row was more a Shaggy thing then it was hers.

"Ew, no. My dad takes really early morning jogs with a chauffeur following behind him in his car. I already called him and got the okay to be here so he'll come and get me after his jog" she explained to him while she watched him heat up the ramen for her.

"I'll lend you a pair of pajama pants and a t-shirt of mine for you to sleep in, might be a bit big on you but it's better and more comfortable then sleeping in your current clothes. Also you can get my bed for the night, its only right as there is no way I'm letting you sleep on the couch" he told her, giving her a look that told her not to argue before she smiled and patted his arm while he set down her ramen.

"Aw thanks Naruto, you really are sweet, I don't care what anyone else says" she said with a wink and a smirk showing she was teasing him which only got him to roll his eyes and shake his head.

"Just eat" he replied while he smirked at her before going off to clean up his room a bit since if a girl, who wasn't Velma, was staying over he definitely didn't want it to be a mess. While in there he also made sure to get her some sleepwear, hoping this would be good enough for her.

"I set the clothes on my bed for you so you can change into them once you are done" Naruto told her after walking out of his room and back towards the kitchen, chuckling a bit as he saw Daphne enjoying the ramen.

"Thanks again for all of this given it was kind of out of nowhere…." She muttered with a bit of an embarrassed look on her face since she did feel a bit bad about it.

"Don't worry about it Daphne, honestly. What kind of friend would I be if I turned you away" he assured her while waving it off. "Plus I'll be honest this isn't the first time I've let a friend who isn't Velma stay the night. I've accepted the fact that my apartment seems to be where they just love to go" he added since other than Velma there was one other person who occasionally hung out here.

Though lately they hadn't shown up and honestly he was worried as to why that was a bit.

"So what do you do normally with visitors who aren't Velma?" Daphne asked with a smirk as she could figure a bit of what he did with Velma easily, especially with the way he tended to sneak peaks at her ass at times.

"Movies and video games mainly, I'll try and go easy on you a bit" he teased with a wink, getting her to smirk as she took that as a challenge.

"Oh yeah? Well lets see how good you actually are Mister" she teased back as she finished her bowl of ramen, putting it in the sink before she crossed her arms as if to say 'Well?' which only made him chuckle.

"Fine then, but don't whine when you lose" he told her before heading to his living room with Daphne following behind.

-Next Morning-

Naruto yawned a bit as he woke up to the sound of knocking at his door. "Coming, one second" he groaned out due to just how early in the morning it was.

"Ah Naruto, sorry to wake you. I thought Daphne would be ready by now" Daphne's father Barty said with a slight frown since he didn't want to wake up Naruto this early.

"Don't worry about it, she's up and getting her stuff together. I woke up to at least see her off since I'd feel bad if I didn't" he explained with another yawn in the middle of his sentence.

Though it was also his and Daphne's fault for staying up so late playing video games. Time just really got away from them both.

He withheld another yawn as he turned to see Daphne walking out of his bedroom still dressed in one of his black t-shirts that had a red swirl on the front and a spare pair of baggy pajama pants. The reason for that was due to her not wanting to put back on her dirty clothes which he didn't mind.

"Oh hi daddy, sorry to keep you waiting" Daphne said with a slight frown of her own as she walked over to them and gave Naruto a hug. "Thank you for letting me stay here and sorry for making you sleep on the couch" she told him while he hugged her back before waving her off as they pulled apart.

"There was no way I was going to leave you stranded or stuck on the couch. I'm used to sleeping on my couch so it's no big deal, honestly" he assured her, giving her a look that told her to stop worrying.

"Oh yeah, I'll return your clothes once I have them washed" she quickly told him before she walked over to her dad.

"Thanks for looking out for Daphne like this Naruto, I can safely say you are the only guy I'm comfortable letting Daphne stay the night with. For the time being that is" Barty teased with a wink, chuckling as Daphne's face turned dark red due to their talk at the doorway a few days ago.

"O-Okay that is enough dad! I'll see you later Naruto" Daphne spoke out quickly, starting to push and urge her dad away while he waved to Naruto who sleepily waved back with a bit of a confused look on his face.

Daphne was definitely thankful he was half awake right now.

'Weird…oh well, back to sleep' Naruto thought with a yawn as he closed the door and immediately passed back out on the couch due to not having any energy to walk to his bed.

-Few Hours Later-

"So Daphne stayed the night eh?" Velma asked him with a smirk as she got into the back of the van and sat beside him after Daphne had hopped out of the van to get her. It didn't surprise him that Daphne told Velma since if she didn't he figured she'd feel like she was 'sneaking around' in a sense.

"Nothing happened like that, only thing that did happen was something where she was forced to leave her babysitting job earlier than expected and had no ride back home. I gave her the bed and slept on the couch as customary when anyone stays over" he told Velma once she sat next to him at his 'seat' of against the back of the seats. "After all you are the only girl I'd share a bed with" he whispered in her ear, softly running his finger down her back with a smirk as her shiver and biting of her lip was an amazing reaction.

"He was a perfect gentleman as always, gave me food, lent me clothes, and woke up to see me off despite it being so early. He's a good boy" Daphne teased a bit, turning back towards them and patting Naruto's head while he just rolled his eyes.

"So what did happen anyways?" Velma asked since she was curious as to what exactly caused Daphne to flee in the middle of a babysitting job given how professional she was with that kind of stuff.

"He grew fangs and gained glowing eyes. One second he's as sweet as can be and then the next he's trying to kill me" Daphne told them with a frown, still unsure what all that was even after talking it over with Naruto last night.

"Maybe he had too much sugar" Fred chimed in, getting Velma, Daphne, and Naruto to look at him with raised eyebrows.

"Sugar doesn't make you grow fangs" Daphne replied as that just wasn't something that would ever happen from that.

"Good! Cause if there's one thing I love its sugar!" Shaggy exclaimed with a smile as he ate a donut whole from the dozen he had brought with him this morning and going in for another while Scooby ate one as well.

"Dericious" Scooby chuckled out as he also downed a donut in one gulp.

"We're only a few blocks from Arthur's house, could we stop by and see how he's doing?" Daphne asked once they started driving and noticed how close they were.

"Sure since we aren't going to miss anything at school" Fred said after he checked his watch.

"Got to love being seniors at times like these" Naruto said with a content smile as today was one of those days where seniors didn't have to come to school until later in the day.

"Oh wait…I forgot about Civics class" Fred quickly added after a moment of thought with a tone showing that he didn't like that class at all. "I'm flunking out and coach says if I don't pass I'm off the team" he explained with a frown which only made Daphne perk up at.

"Hey! I'm great at Civics, I could tutor you!" she said excitedly, jumping at the chance for some chance to spend time with him. "I could come over and, you know, help you study. Just you and me…alone~" she told him, putting some charm in her tone as she leaned closer to him and fluttering her eyelashes at him.

"Gee Daph that sounds great," Fred started to say, that alone quickly making Daphne perk up at "but my dad already hired a tutor. I'm supposed to meet her in library during lunch" he finished in true Fred fashion of not noticing anything Daphne was attempting with him.

"Her?" Daphne asked with her tone making it clear how much she didn't like that fact.

"Yeah a senior, dad said she's brilliant" he told her, once again not noticing Daphne's tone. "Whoa look at this!" Fred said, quickly getting everyone's attention as they looked out to see the police closing off the neighborhood.

"Well, that doesn't bode well" Naruto muttered as they slowed down to not only see the police setting up roadblocks but nearly everyone on the street packing up their cars with a ton of boxes and suitcases.

"Like where is everyone going?" Shaggy asked once they got out of the van and walked past the police barricade.

"Wait!" Daphne yelled as she ran up to one of the cars to catch them before they left. "Mr. and Mrs. Baywosenthal what's going on? How's Arthur?" Daphne asked after noticing Arthur wasn't in the car with them.

Though the second after she asked the upstairs window opened up to revealed a white haired, glowing eyed kid with claws and a mouth full of fangs who yelled out in growls for a moment before closing the window.

"Any other questions?" Mr. Baywosenthal said in a flat tone before they drove off.

"Jinkies! The whole block is leaving!" Velma told them as one by one the cars drove off, all without their children with them.

"A good thing too, who knows what these kids are capable of" a familiar voice spoke out which instantly made Naruto understand what was going on here, the gang turning around to see the Mayor and Sheriff walking up to them.

'Please tell me they aren't planning to do what I think they are' Naruto hoped in his head while gritting his teeth a bit as he felt that this was going to only piss him off.

"Kids? You mean?" Daphne asked, leaving her question open before the Sheriff nodded.

"Afraid so, every child on this block has become inexplicably…Spookified" the Sheriff told them, the mere word 'spookified' making Shaggy and Scooby hug onto each other out of fear.

Naruto rolled his eyes at them a bit before he looked over his shoulder with a frown as he watched a mother sadly say goodbye to her 'spookified' daughter before leaving.

"They can't just leave all the kids" Daphne told them since to even imagine that just sounded terrible and something that would get CPS involved.

"They'll be fine, we'll airdrop in some freeze dried canned food. Just cause they are spookified doesn't mean they can't reconstitute macaroni" the Sheriff explained which only made Naruto scoff at.

"Yeah just care for them from afar and not actually help them" he grumbled before Velma held his hand and gave it a soft squeeze with a somewhat smile to try and get him to calm down a bit.

She knew, as well as Daphne – since those were the only ones he could talk to on the matter – about just how much he disliked how the Mayor and Sheriff handled things. He swore they cared more about money than safety of others by far.

"Any idea what caused this Sheriff?" Fred asked since he was curious as to what could turn the kids into what they were now.

"We're not really sure but it might have something to do with…this!" he said before pulling out a picture to show them.

The picture was definitely odd. It wore a clear Mayan inspired mask with a long white hair, blue skin, bandages wrapped around its skin, and a Mexican poncho over itself.

"Isn't it creepy?" the Mayor asked with a smirk as Shaggy nodded.

"Like I'll say" he muttered with a shiver.

"This thing shows up, plays its creepy flute and all the kids are all...spookified~" the Sheriff told them with a 'spooky' wiggling of his fingers.

"Well gang, looks like we got another mystery on our hands" Fred said with a smile as he rubbed his hands together.

Naruto knew this was going to go bad the second he said it as it didn't take long for the Sheriff, and the other police, to handcuff them all.

"But dad!" Fred somewhat whined out as he frowned at his dad, confused as to why he was doing this.

"Oh no, no no no no no no no! Uh-uh, absolutely no mystery solving! We've got one heck of a monster here!" the Mayor told them, Naruto almost seeing the money signs in his eyes. "I smell tourists! T-shirts! Concerts! Chachkies!" he listed as Naruto clenched his fists.

"Cause money means more than safety of people as always eh Mayor Jones?" Naruto asked which quickly got the Mayor and the Sheriff to turn his way.

"You wouldn't understand kid but this is for the best of the town" the Mayor said as he waved Naruto off, a stern look in his eyes as Naruto stepped forward only for two police officers to struggled to hold him back as he kept walking towards him.

"Yes, lets benefit off someone using kids like this and causing parents to run off but everything is okay as we are giving the kids freeze dried food as we exploit them for money!" he ranted with a glare, getting real fed up with how this kept happening and how uncaring for everyone and everything if it meant they got money in the end.

"Kid, I'd watch your tone when you're talking to the mayor! He deserves your respect" Sheriff Stone yelled, jabbing his finger into Naruto's chest before he, and everyone around, widened their eyes as Naruto grabbed his wrist.

"Respect is earned and he'll earn it the second money and tourism isn't the first thing on his list rather than safety of his citizens!" Naruto growled out, gripping the sheriff's wrist tighter to where the man was brought to a knee.

"Naruto! Stop" Velma yelled as she quickly ran up to him and, due to her hands being cuffed behind her, pressed herself up against him a bit to try and get his attention.

Naruto quickly paused at Velma's voice and widened his eyes a bit as he realized what he was doing before he let go of the Sheriff's wrist. His surprise turned a bit to worry as he noticed the broken chain that normally connected the handcuffs as well as the somewhat warped cuffs.

"Whatever, just get us to school" Naruto said as he turned around and walked off, purposefully not looking at anyone as he got into the back of the police transport van. He was a bit thankful the others were leaving him alone as he was taking in what all had just happened.

'Did that really just happen?' Naruto thought with a frown as he ran a finger over the warped cuff before tapping the broken chain. His mind was immediately brought to some passages in the books he had. 'This can't be related….can it?' he worried a bit before the police transport arrived at school.

Once everyone had their handcuffs removed, Naruto being allowed to pocket his broken pair, he was quick to start walking off.

"Wait Naruto!" both Velma and Daphne said in near unison, getting him to look back at them before Daphne motioned for Velma to go on after they looked at one another for a moment. "Are you okay?" Velma asked while Naruto sighed a bit and rubbed his wrists before he accepted his bag from the cop that drove their van to school and slung it over his shoulder.

"I just…need some time alone…I'll catch up with you guys at lunch" he muttered, not looking at either of them before he headed inside with his hands in his pockets.

He didn't care much about getting in trouble from skipping his first two classes while he laid down on the roof of the school. What he was more focused on was trying to see if something in the books could explain what happened to him.

Though, just like everything with these confusing books, they found a way to make a simple paragraph difficult to read. The words were one long column from the top of the page down to the bottom but pushed over to where they only took up half the page and, from his attempts to read it, he only had half of the sentences.

'Bet I need to put another book next to it for the other half' he grumbled as he tried his best to read it and make sense of things.

'Those who are bonded with…...Not all exhibit physical… well as reaction speed…...have been shown. Be careful…...reactions faster and make it…...draw on these enhancements without…...' he read before he groaned and slammed the book shut.

"That made no sense!" he yelled out as he buried his face in his hands and grabbed his hair out of frustration.

"Having trouble with your homework again? I can help you again if you want if Dinkley is unavailable due to her infatuation with the Rogers boy" a familiar voice spoke out, getting him to look over his shoulder to see someone who was just finishing climbing up the ladder that led up to the place he was hiding out at.

The girl was Marcie Fleach, a friend of his that he hadn't seen in a while. She was a nice girl and one that was just as smart as Velma. She was rather skinny but not overly so, with brown hair that went down to her shoulders and red rimmed glasses. She often wore a brown wool jacket with a tan collared shirt under it, a somewhat large red ribbon, and a red skirt.

"It has nothing to do with homework, let's just say personal issues are being extra crap recently" Naruto told her while he watched her sit down across from him.

"Does that have something to do with you and your friends arriving in a police transport?" Marcie asked since it was well known around school about how often they got in trouble with the police and Mayor for foiling the costumed criminals that were a dime a dozen.

"Part of it…." he muttered before looking back at her. "Where have you been by the way? You haven't been over in like over a month" he asked her since he had been worried about her a good bit while she had been not showing up.

"I saw that Dinkley was coming over a lot, I didn't want to get in your way though it seems you've achieved your goal….plus I feel like I'm taking advantage of you a bit" she told him, frowning a bit as she pulled her legs up to her chest and hugged them.

Naruto could only frown a bit as he was one of the few people who really knew her situation.

To everyone else at school she was just the poor girl who had to shower in her father's failing amusement park's reused water that had been previously used for cooking hotdogs – hence the rude nickname she had of 'Hotdog Water'.

He though knew that her 'poor' status was due to her father refusing to give up on their failing amusement park and being beyond tunnel visioned when it came to it. It was so bad to the point that her father had sold her house and she was living at the amusement park where she occasionally had electricity.

The first time he had learnt about it was back in early freshman year when Velma had started her long plan of getting together with Shaggy for whatever reason she had decided on back then. At the time he needed tutoring in a few subjects and she was the tutor he got when he signed up for it. She was a bit hard to get along with at first due to her blunt nature but it wasn't all that bad the more he spent time with her.

He didn't learn of her situation until one day she caved in and had to ask for a shower as her amusement park of a home didn't even have spare hotdog water to shower with. After the shower was when she explained it to him and he made the offer of allowing her to come over and shower, eat, or whatever whenever she needed it.

Back then Velma was rarely over so the two of them never crossed paths, due to their strong rivalry due to them both being incredibly smart, so it had never really mattered.

"You aren't 'taking advantage' of anything Marcie, honestly. You are a friend so if you ever need anything or somewhere to stay you are always welcomed, hell that's why I gave you a key" he reassured her while nudging her with his foot while looking her in the eyes as she looked back at him, her mouth hidden by her knees before she let go of her legs and stretched them out.

"I guess you're right…." she relented with a sigh as she nudged him back with her foot. "What about you, what has you so frustrated if it isn't homework? I'd figure you'd have Dinkley helping you since she stopped going after the Roger's boy" she asked to change the subject away from her, taking silent note of how Naruto put the book he was reading back into his bag.

"Just a personal research project that is bothering me mixed with something that happened earlier today. I just…need to figure it out a bit on my own before I ask for help as it's a really…weird project" he tried to explain as best as he could while still being vague about it.

"Well, know that you can also come to me for help if you wish once you figure it out more. It's only fair after all" she told him, smiling down at him while she stood up and dusted off her skirt. "I might have to drop by in a few days so we'll see…try not to let whatever is getting to you worry you too much" she added before she started to leave but not before giving him a soft smile that he returned.

As she left he could only sigh and lay back. He knew she was right, he knew he should ask for help but at the same time how would he explain crazy spirits and all the stuff the books went on about….

-After School-

As Naruto got home he sighed, tossed his bag on the floor and instantly collapsed onto his couch. School, even after his rooftop frustration, didn't get much better. Velma had made it clear that she was giving him space in regards to not asking about the handcuffs but it was still obvious that she wanted to ask him.

The mental exhaustion from everything he had been through today made him quick to fall asleep.

His sleep though didn't last for long as he stirred a bit in his sleep from the sensation of someone stroking his cheek. He smiled softly as he put his hand over the person's since he knew, even without opening his eyes, who this person was.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to wake you" Velma apologized before he grabbed her hand and softly kissed it.

"It's fine, I'm glad you're here" he told her as he sat up and gently pulled her towards him. He was thankful she was so use to him pulling her onto his lap that she just sat down with her arms going around his neck.

"My mom's probably going to be upset but I had to sneak out due to how you've been today. I was really worried with the whole handcuff breaking and all" she said before she put her forehead against his and closed her eyes.

"I'm sorry, I'm just…a bit confused at how things have been with me recently" he admitted, stroking her sides before she opened her eyes and pulled away a bit.

"Then talk to me, maybe I can help make it less confusing" she said as she cupped his cheeks, her eyes full off worry which honestly stung him inside.

"I want to, trust me I really do, its just…I have to find a way to explain it without sounding insane. I'm not hiding it I just….need to get more info on it on my own" he told her while worried she might think he was maliciously hiding it from her. His worries quickly vanished though as she tilted his head up and kissed him softly.

"It's fine Naruto, take your time. I just want you to be safe since when you turned around after breaking those handcuffs your eyes weren't blue…they were blood red" she told him, frowning as she felt him tense up and squeeze her hips a bit reflexively.

"I'll let you know as soon as I can its just for now…I can't…" he muttered while non-perversely burying his head in her chest, finding her petting of his head to be comforting.

"Shhh, it's okay Naruto…" she whispered to him softly since this was all she could do for the time being for him. She knew Naruto wasn't the one to be malicious and hide things if it wasn't for a reason and from how he asked her to wait she knew it was important.

She could only imagine what it really was from the weight of it that she saw in his eyes and the worry he showed after breaking the handcuffs like that. It didn't take smarts to realize something was up with him since breaking police-grade handcuffs was not something an ordinary person could ever do.

All she could hope for was that when he did tell her about it, whatever it was, she could help him with it.

-Next Day-

Naruto definitely felt refreshed after the bit of couch cuddling he did with Velma before they went off to bed to sleep in each other's arms. After the stress of things it was exactly what he needed and then some.

"Uh-oh, that doesn't look good" Naruto muttered a bit as they slowed down once noticing another street being blocked off by police with parents packing up their cars.

"Yeah looks like the creepy flute player struck again last night" Fred said before putting the van in park to let them all get out for a closer look.

"More parents are leaving" Daphne commented with a frown as the stood behind the police barricade and watched as car after car drove past it and out of the new 'spookified' street.

"At this rate Crystal Cove will be a town of nothing but 'spookified' kids" Velma added as a street per night would eventually spread all over their small-ish town.

"And here it comes, like clockwork" Naruto groaned as he saw a familiar red tour bus driving up towards them with Velma's mom behind the wheel.

"And here is the location of the most recent attack by the creepy creature that's been 'spookifying' the children of Crystal Cove" Velma's mom announced over the bus's speakers as she slowly drove by to allow tourists to snap a million and one photos before stopping nearby them.

"Velma sweetheart, how are you?" she asked before quickly turning to the side. "Sheriff they're back!" she yelled, getting Naruto to roll his eyes as she could be just as bad as the Mayor and Sheriff at times.

"Mom! Please, we just wanted to see what was happening" Velma said in a fake tone that she occasionally used to try and assure her mom that nothing was up.

"There's nothing to see, not unless you're paying" her mom started in a sweet tone that just annoyed Naruto since it made it feel like again, like all the others in the town, that money was most important. "Now get to school darling, all of you!" she ordered in a strong tone which got them to start to head back to the van.

"Naruto, Velma, be a couple of angels and takes these and wear them around school~. If anyone asks they are 15 dollars" she added, throwing two t-shirts that had the monster's face on them before driving off.

"Yeah I'm not wearing this…" Naruto muttered as he balled up the shirt with a frown while Velma and Daphne held up the shirt she got.

"We have got to figure out what this thing is and where it comes from" Velma said before Daphne perked up a bit and smiled as she turned towards her a bit.

"And I think I know who can help" Daphne said with a smile as they headed back to the van and went off to school to follow Daphne's lead.

"I can't believe you are actually wearing that" Naruto groaned out as they walked through the halls of the school behind Daphne who was leading them to where she thought could help. The fact that Velma actually put on the shirt and was telling the few people who asked how much the shirt was just feel weird.

"She's my mom, even if we are going to debunk this monster I might as well help her a bit. Though you don't have to since you don't like the town profiting off other's misfortune" she told him before they arrived at the office of a teacher.

"Dr. Portillo?" Daphne called out as she opened the door, peeking in before she and the rest of the gang walked in to see no one was inside. "Hmmm, he must be teaching a class" she said once they really were able to see that he wasn't here.

"Like what kind of stuff does this dude teach anyway?" Shaggy asked, noticing all the weird items around the teacher's room from masks on displays to odd tapestries hanging on his walls.

No one had time to reply as moments later the door opened and a man walked in. The man was middle-aged with tanned skin and white balding hair alongside a white beard.

"What are you doing in my office, my personal private space?" the man asked, his voice having a clear Spanish accent while confused and a bit upset as to why there were kids in his office.

Though Naruto didn't blame him as they had kind of barged in.

"Dr. Portillo its important that we talk to you," Daphne told him as she walked towards him and gently pulled Velma over towards them "do you recognize this creature?" she asked as she pointed towards the image on Velma's shirt while Dr. Portillo frowned as he looked at it.

"Yes…" Dr. Portillo said with a sigh before he closed the door and walked into his office, he stayed silent as he sat down behind his desk "it is Que Horrifico" he revealed before he buried his face in his hands.

"Who's Que Horrifico?" Scooby asked since the name definitely wasn't something they had ever heard before.

"A mythological creature" he briskly replied before Fred walked over to his desk and picked something up from it.

"Hey cool blowgun! What size dart do you use? I prefer a three centimeter with combed beaver bristles" Fred went on as he looked over the object he picked up before Daphne came up behind him with a frown.

"Fred that's not a blowgun, it's a pan flute" she whispered a bit worried as a pan flute was what the creature played to 'spookify' the children.

"So you are saying because I have a plan flute I am the creature!? This pan flute is purely for recreational purposes I assure you! How dare you accuse me!?" Dr. Portillo yelled in a rant before Naruto held up his hands to calm him down.

"Easy there, no one is accusing you of anything Dr. Portillo" Naruto tried to assure him while Velma came up beside him and nodded.

"We just want to find out about this thing" she added, hoping it'd calm the man down.

"Oh…I don't know what is wrong with me. Where are my manners? Yes of course I can help you, I gave a lecture about Que Horrifico to my honors class a few weeks ago. I'll get the slides, they're in color!" he told them with his mood instantly calming down while he walked off to get them and set up the projector for them.

From what he told them and what the slides showed them it seemed that Que Horrifico was a mix of the Pied Piper and a werewolf as Que Horrifico's song of mystery was what turned the kids into monsters and the creature was apparently a normal man by day but transformed at sundown.

"I hope that was of help children as that is really all I know" Dr. Portillo told them as he let out a long and loud yawn. "Now if you excuse me I'm going home to rest, I haven't slept well these last two nights" he added before he left and closed the door behind him.

"I know this sounds crazy gang but hear me out," Velma started out as they left Dr. Portillo's office and started walking down the hall "but what if Dr. Portillo is Que Horrifico? He has the pan flute, the blankets, and he hasn't been sleeping well the last two nights" she told them while listing off reasons.

"It could be a case of 'monster and unaware' situation like something he can't control or he could be a red herring someone is using as a scapegoat" Naruto replied as personally he didn't believe in stuff like werewolves and the man didn't seem like the kind to do the whole 'monster attacking the town' thing.

Sure he got defensive about the pan flute but in the past whenever they were close to the suspect they never reacted like that, not even if they were nervous or afraid. In most cases the closer they got to the suspect the calmer the suspect acted to throw off suspicion.

"Either way its best if we keep an eye on Dr. Portillo since he's our only suspect for now" Fred told them until they all stopped as someone walked up to them.

"Fred Jones Jr," a small girl with long brown pigtails and white thick rimmed glasses called out which got Fred to look down at her "you were supposed to meet me in the library for your civics tutoring" she said before she cleared her throat in a rather odd and somewhat gross way.

"Mary Anne I can't, I have something important I need to do" he tried to explain before Mary Anne stood up on her tip toes to get closer to him.

"What could possibly be more important than civics?" she asked with a stern tone and narrowed eyes.

"Look Mary Anne, civics are important but right now something suddenly came up that we need to take care of. Life is full of unforeseen stuff like this. That's why rain checks are a thing so hold onto that and cash it in tomorrow or something" Naruto told her while subtly pushing Fred onwards as the gang followed along, allowing them to slip by her.

"Thanks Naruto, for a little girl she sure is intense" Fred said with a thankful pat to Naruto's back.

"No worries but what exactly is the plan now as I doubt any of us know where Dr. Portillo lives" Naruto told them as Velma hugged his arm with a smile.

"You leave that to me, I'll meet you all out in the van in five to ten minutes" she declared, giving his hand a soft squeeze before she walked off to do whatever she had planned.

It turned out she did have something planned, her knowledge of computers and the relaxed nature of the school's computers made it easy for her to find his address for them to drive to. Although they of course parked a street over since their van wasn't inconspicuous by any means.

"That's his house, I guess all we have to do is stake it out and see if any Que Horrifico looking creatures leave his place or something" Naruto muttered since he wasn't sure how to go about this as if he was Que Horrifico – not the supernatural kind but more the man in a mask kind – he figured he'd have some way to stealthily leave his place.

"Well we'll just have to go and see, come on gang" Fred whispered out as he crouched down and started to stalk towards Dr. Portillo's house with the others following behind before they stopped in front of one of his windows behind some trash cans.

"He's in there so that's a good sign I guess" Naruto said quietly as they were able to see him sitting at his dining room table though to him something seemed off. It wasn't like someone trying to hide or act natural, if anything it looked like a man worried and scared.

"You guys trust me right?" Naruto asked, getting them to look at him confused a bit but nod before he stood up and knocked on the window.

"L-Like what are you doing!?" Shaggy stuttered out before Dr. Portillo opened up the window surprised at them being there.

"So you do think that I am Que Horrifico!?" he asked while Naruto nodded with a frown.

"And so do you, am I right?" Naruto asked back, getting the man to nod nervously with a worried look on his face.

"Perhaps you can help?" he pleaded with desperation until Naruto put his hand on the man's shoulder.

"Of course, we'll be right around to the front door" he told him, making the man smile massively and nod before closing the window.

"Why did you call out to him like that?" Fred asked while he followed behind Naruto with the others, him and Shaggy confused while Velma and Daphne seemed fine with what just happened.

The reason for their lack of reaction was due to the fact that they trusted Naruto. He had proven more than enough that when he did stuff like this it wasn't for no reason.

"Because he looked like someone afraid and scared, definitely not a monster so the sooner we assure him he isn't some Pied Piper werewolf the better" he told them before the front door opened and they walked in.

What happened next, well, was not what Naruto expected.

"Wow these chains are fantastic! Who's your chain guy? I want his number" Fred said excitedly as he wrapped a long chain around Dr. Portillo as he sat on his recliner chair.

"Wouldn't you know if you were Que Horrifico?" Daphne asked given she was just as confused as Naruto was in terms of how this all was going down.

"The transformation may be so totally complete that I don't remember it the next day like after you've had too much fudge" Dr. Portillo explained, the explanation making some kinds of sense…before he got to the fudge part of things.

"Well, the moon is up. Now what?" Shaggy asked a bit worried as if he was going to transform then he definitely didn't want to be here for it.

"Now we wait" Dr. Portillo said determined while the gang settled down.

Naruto sat next to Velma on the couch, Daphne next to her while Fred sat on the table and Shaggy and Scooby sitting next to each other on the smaller part of the 'L' shape couch. As they waited for whatever transformation that was supposed to happen all it did was make Naruto remember how much he hated waiting and doing stakeouts.

Thankfully though Dr. Portillo was kind enough to allow them to eat some chips and dip and drink some iced tea as snacks for helping look out for him tonight like this.

For the most part the wait was quiet, Fred staring intently at Dr. Portillo and Shaggy getting bored enough to turn on the TV to watch some show about vegetable people with weird names.

Naruto though was content as he subtly held Velma close to him since no one was looking their way. Velma didn't seem to mind as she did scoot closer to him and lean against him a bit.

Nothing happened though, even the one freak out Dr. Portillo had where he thought he was transforming just ended up being gas of all things….

"Well that was anticlimactic…" Naruto muttered as he flopped back down onto the couch before sounds of screams and pan flute music were heard outside. "Okay, spoke too soon" he quickly added while he and the others rushed outside.

The sight of scared parents running out of their houses with 'spookified' kids growling out of windows made it clear that this was real.

"It's Que Horrifico! He's here!" Daphne yelled as she pointed out towards a figure standing atop a destroyed car as a fire burned nearby.

The creature looked just as it did in the pictures and in the slides they were shown, it laughing at them before disappearing into smoke.

"Well at least now we know it isn't Dr. Portillo" Velma said since with Que Horrifico having struck while Dr. Portillo was chained up in front of them moments before the pan flute music had started.

"I am not a weirdo? Woohoo! Yay for me!" Dr. Portillo cheered as he hopped out behind them, still chained to the chair and easily able to stand with it which honestly surprised them all.

"We're going to catch that thing" Fred declared as he looked out into the street, frowning at the chaos and car fires that were springing up.

"Like how do you know that?" Shaggy asked, causing Fred to turn around with a confident look on his face that made it clear what he had planned. Though then again it was Fred so his answer was always the same.

"Because I'm going to build a trap. You all just wait and tomorrow(*1) we'll be able to take them down" Fred told them, fully trusting him as when it came to traps he was the one to rely on just like how Naruto was often the one to rely on to keep them safe.

"First lets unchain Dr. Portillo and then head home. The 'spookified' kids seem to stick to their houses so you should be safe" Velma told the man who nodded and hopped back into his house with the others following along.

After letting Dr. Portillo go free Fred was quick to drop them all off, most likely so he could plan and figure out things for the trap.

-The Next Day-

"Three days and three streets of 'spookified' children. Makes me wonder how many kids are 'spookified' so far" Naruto wondered, partly aloud to himself and the other part actually asking Velma as she sat next to him in the cafeteria.

Nothing really had happened after Fred dropped them off as it turned out Velma had gotten in a good deal of trouble for sneaking out of the house to come over to his place the way she did.

"I could help you calculate that" Marcie said from behind him, getting him to turn around to her but not before noticing Velma's annoyed look on her face.

"Hotdog Water, what are you doing here?" Velma asked while she narrowed her eyes before Naruto cleared his throat.

"Velma, we talked about this. Her name is Marcie" he scolded her in a hard whisper, getting her to frown before Marcie waved it off.

"It's okay Naruto, I've come to the conclusion that only you and my teachers will call me by my name here at school. As for your question Dinkley I'm here to ask Naruto about when works best for me to come over to work on the project we were assigned" Marcie told Velma which was true given he had been paired up with her to do a join research paper for their history class.

"Any time that is best for you is good for me since there is always about a week of free time in between the idiots in costumes that pop-up" he muttered since it varied at times, mainly depending on the aftermath and how long it took the town to patch up the damage.

"Perfect, I'll come over on the weekend as that is also best for me" she told him with a smile, turning to walk away before she stopped and turned back around, seemingly remembering something. "Also in regards to your previous question its simple to estimate the number of 'spookified' kids given, per street block, there is on average 26 houses. Given the proximity of the streets that were hit by the monster to the elementary school I'd estimate at least three quarters, or 20 if we are rounding up from 19.5, contain kids. That leaves 114 'spookified' kids if you are going by the 1.9 average of kids per family statistic in the US recorded last year" she explained to him, getting him to clap a bit at given with him not being super smart like her and Velma it always was nice to see them show off their smarts and he always tried to make them feel appreciated for sharing it.

"Very nice, that actually helps a lot" Naruto told her, getting a soft blush on her cheeks as she smiled at him seemingly happy to have helped.

"I could have told you that as well" Velma pointed out since as far back as elementary school she and Marcie had been rivals, always the smartest girls in their schools and often butted heads and competed over it.

"I'm sure you could have" Marcie said with a smirk, getting Velma to stand up with a glare before Naruto quickly got between them to stop anything from possibly happening.

"Easy there you, no need to start anything" he quickly said to Velma with a frown, thankful that she sat down with only a hmph which still made him sigh. "I swear I'll never understand the rivalry between you two. If you two teamed up you'd both be a shoe in for literally every science fair and every science-y thing around here" he told them both while looking back and forth between the two of them.

"Sorry Naruto, as kind as you are, it'll take more than that to get us to bury the hatchet. I'll see you this weekend" Marcie told him with a soft smile showing she wasn't upset at him for stopping things or trying to help them before she walked off.

"I swear girls are confusing" he mumbled while a clearly jealous Velma clung to his arm just as Daphne ran over to them.

"Hey guys Fred just told me the trap is ready for tonight, he has it all set up" Daphne started out while quickly sitting down only to raise an eyebrow at Velma as she clung to Naruto, a look from him telling her not to ask.

"So what kind of disguises did he decide on this time?" Naruto asked, using his free hand to pet Velma's head to hopefully placate her a bit which got a bit of a chuckle out of Daphne.

"A new family that just moved in apparently. Fred's probably going to be the dad and me the mom~" she said in a dreamy tone as that set up was what she hoped and dreamed for.

"Earth to Daphne, keep your daydreams for later" Naruto said as he brought her out of it, snapping his fingers in front of her face which was enough to get her out of it and slightly shake her head to brush it off.

"R-Right," she muttered while clearing her throat "Scooby and Shaggy are the children, and you and Velma are the grandparents apparently" Daphne finished, the last parts confusing him but then again they've fooled other mask wearing weirdos with odder disguises and set ups.

"Well whatever, the sooner we stop this nonsense the better" he muttered with the ringing of the bell for class only signaling they were closer to being done with school for the day so they could soon take care of this 'Que Horrifico'.

-That Afternoon-

"Jinkies, the kids have really taken over Crystal Cove" Velma said as she saw a few damaged cars and trash can fires while they drove in the van to where Fred had set up the trap. She even spotted a few 'spookified' kids running around.

"Yeah, like, this whole neighborhood has been 'spookified'" Shaggy muttered with a scared tone as he peaked out of the rolled up window from behind Velma, whose seat he was cowering behind.

"But not this house, it's been for rent for a year" Fred explained just as they pulled into the driveway of a two story house with an attic space and was obviously vacant.

"Wonder why" Naruto commented since the place looked pretty nice and a perfect house to live in, especially for a family.

"No idea but it's a fully furnished three bedroom two bath with upgraded appliances, perfect for a couple just starting out" Daphne said, hinting heavily to Fred as he walked up.

"Not anymore after all I've done to it" Fred told her while once again totally not catching any of the hints Daphne was giving him….like usual which only got Naruto to give her a sympathetic pat on the back.

"Why would Que Horrifico come here?" Scooby asked, clearly confused as to what the plan was.

"He wouldn't, unless there was a family with new kids moving in" Velma explained to the dog, getting his other half to come up alongside her just as confused.

"But who would be dumb enough to do that?" Shaggy asked and immediately regretted it as Velma, Naruto, and Fred all gave a knowing smile at him which never spelled anything good for him and Scooby.

-Few Minutes Later-

"Oh my, don't our two young children seem to having a wonderful time?" Fred asked louder than usual to project it out, hoping that Que Horrifico potentially overheard them now that they had everything ready in terms of disguises and parking the van elsewhere.

Naruto though, as he rocked in a rocking chair next to Velma in their 'old person' disguises, had to really struggle to resist laughing at Shaggy and Scooby as Scooby ha a bib and bonnet while Shaggy looked like those old averts of sailor boys you'd see frolicking with lollipops or something like that with a blond wig and tiny little Donald Duck like hat on top.

"Ah~ this is nice" Daphne said with a dreamy sigh as she leaned against Fred who was wearing a pair of fake glasses, a suit, and fake mustache while Daphne did her hair to where it appeared shorter with a white blouse that was a good deal open in the front and a hot pink apron with a longer lighter pink skirt under it.

"Watch it Daphne, we're supposed to be married. Don't look so happy" Fred chastised her as he pushed her away, making Daphne frown and look a bit hurt at.

"It's almost sunset, we should probably head inside" Naruto told them in a bit of an attempt to speed things up and move away from Daphne's – as usual – denial of closeness with Fred.

"Right," Fred said as he turned towards Shaggy and Scooby "come two young children it's bed time! You're grandparents are going to tell you a story" he continued, once again projecting a bit to get the 'monster's' attention while Shaggy and Scooby skipped inside with everyone else following them.

"Quickly, you three get upstairs" Fred ordered a bit, given he was the one with the plan, getting Shaggy, Scooby, and Velma to head upstairs while Naruto stayed behind with him and Daphne.

Everything was silent while the three others ran upstairs, the sound of pan flute music quick to begin playing. It didn't even take long before Que Horrifico was seen walking down the street.

Fred was in deep concentration as he held two ropes. "Come on, just a little closer" he muttered, waiting for the perfect moment before he pulled both ropes hard. "Say hello to Mister Trap!" he yelled as pulling the ropes set off a quick chain of events and causing a weighed net to land on Que Horrifico and keep him pinned down.

"Got him!" Fred cheered, quickly running out with the others following behind him.

Though, as Que Horrifico quickly began playing their pan flute music again Naruto knew it wasn't going to be so easy and the sight of 'spookified' kids walking towards them only made that more clear.

"You all know I'm always down to punch rather than run but these are kids and we are severely outnumbered so we need to get back in the house. Now" Naruto calm told them, pulling Daphne and Velma back behind him to let them start walking backwards and ensure they get inside first.

The sight of the kids ripping the net of Que Horrifico just made their situation worse.

"This town is ours now! Get them!" it yelled out, pointing at them and siccing the 'spookified' kids after them which got them to change their slow walking backwards to the house to running full speed back into it.

Naruto immediately helped Fred push against the door in hopes of keeping it closed, the rapid sound of kids slamming into the door making it clear how many were out there. With the amount of kids it didn't take long before they forced the door open a crack and their constant pushing made it difficult to shut it again.

With all the kids pushing against the door Fred struggled to lock it with them opening the door right before he was able to latch the deadbolt. He tried to undo it so he could close the door but the kids were real monsters, one kid grabbing his ascot and repeatedly pulling on it to bang his head into the door and cause him fall backwards.

It was beyond chaos as Naruto struggled to keep the door closed before Fred quickly came back to the door. The sound of Daphne screaming as he could see her holding a kid barely at arm's length made him want to help her but he knew if he did a ton more would rush in.

Though, in the end, it was useless as one kid poured corn oil to make them all slip away from the door and force them to run into the house for safety.

Naruto was quick to pull the kid off of Daphne and throw him back towards the other kids who were now rushing in through the front door. He pulled her up to her feet quickly in front so she could run with him, Velma, and Fred while Shaggy and Scooby were separated and started to run up the stairs.

From barricading one door to another Naruto and Fred found themselves quickly keeping another door shut as best as they could. This one though they were able to close before the kids got there but even then it was difficult given the number, it easily being in the ballpark that Marcie gave them with the amount of slamming and growling they heard on the other side.

Velma's scream quickly got him to turn around, watching as some kids grabbed her through an open window. Fred nodding to him was all he needed as he and Daphne ran over to her, grabbing an arm each to pull her back towards them with her 'Que Horrifico' shirt thankfully ripping apart and causing the kids to fall out the first story window.

"Daphne you try and help Fred, Velma and I will keep the window closed" Naruto directed, quickly picking up a nearby table to help barricade the window since it wasn't able to be closed. The girls quickly nodded as they all tried their best to keep all the kids out of the small room they were cornered in.

"This is going nowhere, girls get behind me and Naruto on three we're going to do the same" Fred suggested as it was obvious what the plan was given the window and door were right across from each other.

"Go, I'll be able to hold this on my own until it's time" Naruto told Velma, smiling a bit at her worry before she nodded and moved over to the side of the room with Daphne.

With a nod to one another Fred counted down, the second he got to three they both quickly moved out of the way, Naruto dropping the table while Fred let the door burst open. The kids on either end flying forward and crashing hard into one another and leaving a disoriented pile of 'spookified' kids on the ground.

With those kids out for the count Naruto quickly grabbed Velma's hand and ran out with the others only to see more kids growling and stalking towards them from multiple directions. 'Great, from one corner to another' Naruto thought with a frown while he moved Velma behind him, Daphne joining her as he and Fred were shielding them while being forced backwards into the living room near the TV.

For a moment there Naruto was worried he might actually have to fight children to protect the others but the instant the TV turned on from him stepping on the remote everything immediately changed.

The second the vegetable show from last night started to play the kids instantly froze, transfixed on it, and even laughing at the jokes on it while all sitting down on front of the TV.

"Okay…what is going on?" Naruto whispered out while the slowly walked away from in front of the TV as not quite sure what was happening while also not wanting to ruin it.

"What are you doing!? Attack them!" Que Horrifico yelled out from an open window, clearly angered that it's kids weren't obeying it.

"In a minute, we want to watch this" one kid said before he, and the other kids, all removed their 'spookified' masks and fake teeth.

"Fools! You're ruining everything!" Que Horrifico yelled again, stepping halfway through the window and trying to get the kids to obey it again like they did before.

"Oh you are so done for" Naruto said with a smirk as he started to walk towards the 'monster', it quickly leaping out the window with him right behind it. Que Horrifico was frantic as it tried to run away from him, the sound of police sirens growing louder only making it visibly frantic as it tried to run between two trash cans only to snag a rope and send a second net that Fred had set up onto it.

"What in the name of whole wheat toast is going on!?" Mayor Jones yelled out as he and Sheriff Stone stepped out of the police cruiser and the Sheriff started walking towards them.

"Whoa, you all are fast. Normally we have to call you" Naruto said, for once surprised by their speed and quick action.

"That is because I called them" Dr. Portillo said as he stepped out of the backseat of the cruiser after Mayor Jones opened it for him. "I was worried you all might be in danger as I saw the 'spookified' kids running in a herd. I'm glad you are all alright" he told them with a smile, thankful that they had someone looking out for them.

"We got him dad!" Fred declared excitedly while Shaggy took the net off Que Horrifico, allowing Naruto to pull off the monster's mask.

"You mean her!" a familiar girl yelled out in annoyance as she looked up at them.

"Mary Anne Gleardon!?" most of the group said in unison, Naruto again not one for these 'say at the same time' moments.

"Your tutor? But why?" Mayor Jones asked clearly confused as a girl like her was the utter last person he expected to be the monster.

"I was trying to scare all the adults out of Crystal Cove so I could run this city my way!" she admitted while Fred helped her up only to pull her arm away from him with a glare. "I told you I have brilliant ideas! With all the adults gone there'd be no to stand in my way. I learned about the legend of Que Horrifico in Dr. Portillo's honor class and it was the perfect solution. I used the high school's theater department for my costume then went to every kindergarten and elementary school in the city to convince the children to pretend to be 'spookified' and in return I offered them utopia!...When that didn't work I offered them candy" she went on, explaining how and why she did everything.

"Whenever the children heard me playing the pan flute that was their signal to put on their fake hair and fangs and commence 'spookification'! I almost had the whole town cleared of adults and I would have too if it wasn't for you quometa bols quad pela!(*2)" she yelled only to sigh at their confused looks. "Loosely translated it means 'meddlesome kids' in Latin" she explained before Naruto cleared his throat.

"Um, Mary Anne, we're older than you so wouldn't it be 'meddlesome teenagers'?" Naruto pointed out, getting an annoyed glare from her for pointing it out before a kid walked over.

"I'm going home…I miss my mom and dad" he said with a frown while all the other kids all started to head off ahead of him. "By the way, this was lame" he added with a frown before he too started to head home.

Mary Anne frowned, raising a hand to reply only for a handcuff to latch around her wrist. "Wait! You're taking me to jail! But I'm just a kid!" Mary Anne said with worry in her tone as the Sheriff cuffed both hands behind her back and started to walk her to his cruiser.

"Do you know how many boxes we're stuck with of Que Horrifico tshirts, Que Horrifico pan flutes, Que Horrifico dance CDs, Que Horrifico–Okay, okay, I see your point" the Sheriff went on before Mary Anne interrupted him with a defeated sigh and allowed him to put her in the back of the cruiser and close the door.

"That's mostly your fault though Sheriff and Mayor. Always one to count your chickens years before they hatch" Naruto commented since they were always like this, immediately trying to profit off the 'monsters' only to suffer in the end.

"Silence brat or I'll bill you for the handcuffs you broke!" the Sheriff warned with a glare which only got an eye roll out of Naruto.

"Can't bill me for faulty equipment!" he yelled back before the Sheriff and Mayor Jones drove off.

"Here, let us drive you home Dr. Portillo, it's the least we can do for you helping us out like that" Daphne suggested with a smile while Fred jogged off to go get the van.

"Aw thank you that would be very kind. I'm just glad there was no real Que Horrifico. I can rest much easier now" he said with a smile, Fred not taking long to come around with the van and pick up his trap equipment.

"The mayor and sheriff might not appreciate you kids but everyone else does as I'm sure the parents do as well, thank you for helping those children out" Dr. Portillo told them with a smile as he got out of the van.

"With how most of the adults treat us that is actually surprising and very nice to hear" Velma said given most adults and some of their parents all treated their 'mystery solving' as something that harmed the town more than anything.

"Well do not let them get to you, you continue on your path and I am sure they will one day see things right" he added, turning around to head home before Naruto noticed something.

"Wait Dr. Portillo, your bag!" Naruto yelled out, holding a small satchel out of the window for him.

"You keep it Naruto, consider it a gift for wanting to help me yesterday. I'm sure it'll be useful for you" he assured Naruto before he headed inside his home.

"That sure was nice of him to give you a gift. What is it?" Daphne asked as she turned around to look only for Shaggy and Scooby to somewhat push forward over the back of the seats.

"Before that lets head to Angel's I'm starving after nearly getting attacked my 'spookified' kids" Shaggy said with a whine, Scooby joining along and getting Fred to put it in gear.

"I was planning to head there anyways so lets go!" Fred announced with a smile, looking forward to relaxing at the radio station after a mystery well solved.

-Later that night-

Naruto smiled contently as music played around him with Velma by his side, leaning against him as they relaxed on the couch. Shaggy and Scooby didn't take long before they were chowing down on the mountain of food that they stored in Angel's fridge. Fred mainly stuck to the pinball machine with Daphne trying to spend time with him.

All in all it was a nice breath of peace after a hectic few days.

"So what did Dr. Portillo actually give you? I'm expecting a book on indigenous folklore" Velma guessed, sitting up a bit with a smile as she grabbed the bag from nearby before handing it to him.

"I don't know but whatever it is the thought behind it is very sweet for that guy. Never got a gift from someone we helped before" Naruto said since most of the time the at most got were some thank you's.

Naruto froze a bit as he opened the bag, seeing a familiar looking book with 'Five' written on the spine of it. He didn't even need to look at the front to know it read 'Clan of Nine' on it. So many questions ran through his head from how did Dr. Portillo have this book, why did he give it to him, and how did he know he needed it.

"Hey Velma…I think I'm ready to tell you a bit about what was bothering me a few days ago" he told Velma, looking her in the eyes as he closed the bag which got a worried but subtle nod from her while she squeezed his hands.

-With Dr. Portillo-

"Yes, I made sure he knew the bag was for him as he made certain that I didn't forget it in their van. I hope it'll help him since he has three and six right?" Dr. Portillo spoke on the phone as he had called them when Naruto and the others dropped him off and it took a while for them to get back to him.

"I doubt he'll come talk to me once he sees the book, at least not until later when he has more questions. I just hope you all know what you are doing putting a boy like him through all this but if you say he can handle it I'm inclined to agree" he replied with a sigh before nodding.

"Yes I'll keep you all posted as will you when you plan to send more books this way" he told them before hanging up and letting out a yawn.

'Moving all the way from Brazil was rough but it was decided it was needed and who am I to argue with how things have been going here. He needs people he can trust and people who are trusted to hold the books and pass them on. Lets just hope he can handle this burden as if not….then this was all for nothing' Dr. Portillo thought with a frown since so much was resting on the shoulders of that boy, more weight than there should be but given everything this was their last chance.

Naruto was their 'hail mary' so he just hoped he could handle it all.

-Chapter End-

Pairing: Naruto x Velma, Marcie, Daphne, and Three Others

*1 – the reason I did the whole 'tomorrow' thing in my chapter despite Fred immediately heading over with them to trap it in the show is because the time flow was a bit wonky. Shaggy said the moon was up and then they waited quite a while before Portillo had the false alarm. In my mind it should have been too late to do the trap yet somehow it was only sunset for the rest of the episode after that which honestly felt odd. Hope my decision makes sense now

*2 – Latin is hard to write, especially with no transcript to go off of for the episode so just accept that it's right please lol

Woo! Finally updated, sorry for the lack of stuff recently a mix of health stuff and stress was getting to me. Still not back to 100% but I'm going at a pace that is comfortable while still not too slow

A good deal happened in this chapter, some more nice Naruto and Daphne moments which I felt was cute, as well as some signs of something interesting involving Naruto being a long stronger than usual with red eyes.

Plus we all met Marcie as well as saw a bit of how she and Naruto are alongside how he is the mediator between her and Velma and tries to mend the bridge with them sooner than in canon. Give it time, by the time her episode rolls along it'll be fine as I have some changes in mind for the Manticore and whatnot.

As I've said before (or think I have said before) Naruto isn't hiding things out of malicious intent with Velma, just more worried how she'd take it for now. She understands something is weighing on him and knows not to push it other than letting him know she is here for him. Now with a third book he feels like he has more to show her to where he doesn't sound quite so insane.

Also Dr. Portillo is more than meets the eye. People from this Clan of Nine are putting the books in Naruto's path so he can find them. How else do you think he found one in the public library after all? As time goes on more books will be found and more people connected to them will show up.

Next episode is Alice May and given everything that goes on in that episode expect some more moments between Marcie, Velma, and Daphne. Though since Velma isn't dating Shaggy I figure you can guess what I have in mind given it is prom and all~

I hope you all liked it as I feel it was a fun chapter overall

Till the Next Time

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See Ya!