A/N: Facts in this story are mostly gleaned from the "Scoobyville USA" website. Other 'facts' are my own twisted perceptions of the show(s)/movie. Follows Shaggy and Mary Jane after the movie; Shaggy's POV. If the readers wish it, I may make this a multi-part, but without outside encouragement, this is a one-shot.

"Disconnected"

a scooby-doo fanfic by SchizoAuthoress

Okay, so Mystery, Inc. just foiled an evil plot for world destruction...something of a change of pace from, like, stopping jewel thieves or counterfeiters. Not that it's not totally groovy that the world isn't gonna go to hell in a handbasket held by Scrappy Doo, but the first thing out of the reporters' mouths was, like,

"Hey, another spooky-looking place is 'haunted,' want to take the job?"

Personally, I prefer to stay away from anything that could possibly be supernatural. So I'm a coward. Cowards live longer than the brave ones. 'Sides, it's always possible that the ghost they want us to catch, like, really is a ghost. Sure, Daph always says, "Shaaa-ggy! There's no such thing as ghosts!" but how does she know? Isn't it better not to take chances, chill in a safe place like a cafè or on the beach, and maybe cuddle with my new girlfriend?

Yes, I said new girlfriend. Who else but Mary Jane? She's the grooviest chick ever! When she realized that I could never give up rooming with Scooby for any girl, she got a special allergy prescription, so everything is pretty much perfect. Except, of course, that Fred, Daphne, and Velma are making arrangements to check out this haunted castle or mansion or whatever in Great Britain, and me and Scoob are gonna have to go with them. Mary Jane and I have only two more weeks until duty calls and Mystery, Inc. comes between us.

****

"He-ey, boys!" I hear Mary Jane call from the kitchen. She just got back the grocery store. "I've got some more Scooby Snacks!"

Scooby is, or at least I thought he was, completely knocked out on the couch. At the words "Scooby Snacks," though, he's up and making tracks for the kitchen.

"R-oh, roy, Rooby Racks!"

I roll my eyes at Scoob's antics and follow him. Mary Jane has an opened box in one hand, and she grins at us both. I give her a kiss on the cheek. "How cute," she giggles, tossing Scooby a handful.

"Me, or him?" I ask with a smile. She considers for a moment, and pops a snack into my mouth.

"Hm, you, I think."

Mmm...coconutty Scooby-Snack-goodness. Mary Jane hugs me around the waist, and I hide my face in her hair. Mm...flowery-shampoo Mary-Jane-goodness. "Two weeks," I whisper into her golden hair.

"I know, hon," She whispers back softly, "I know."

****

Soon, it was obvious to both of us that 'two weeks' was starting to quickly become the maximum of time we could spend together. People all over the world wanted the services of Mystery, Inc. And Mary Jane was working so often, and going to business college the rest of the time. Mostly, the only time we saw each other was lying in bed, fighting to keep our eyes open long enough to say goodnight.

Mary Jane had a collection of crane-animals set up on the shelf above the bed. Everywhere I got dragged to with the gang, I'd find a crane-machine full of stuffed animals and get her one. She even had a Sailor Jupiter plushie from a Japanese 'UFO Catcher' game. She was always so happy when I gave her a new one; she'd hug me and give me a kiss and have me tell her all about the gang's latest mystery. Of course, it came in installments; she ran around doing half a million things, but she never forgot where I left off and eventually she'd get the whole story.

I was getting tired of all these mysteries, all the ghost and monsters and phantoms and zombies and ghouls who always turned out to be somebody in a costume covering up some elaborate scheme. Are there no police around? Is there no FBI? And besides, what good do I do for Mystery, Inc.? I'm not the leader--that's Fred. I'm not the fighter--that's Daphne. And I sure as heck am not the brains of the operation--that's Velma. (Or as Fred has suddenly taken to calling her, 'the Velmster.' Personally, I think it sounds goofy.) I get chased around and scared half to death by freaks in foam-rubber, I come up with evasive maneuvers that usually involve cross-dressing, and I eat. I am the trembling voice of reason (or cowardice, if you want to call it that)--"Guys, why don't we just, like, get out of here?!"--that is always overruled by my thrill-seeker friends.

I have the dog. Scooby Doo, the icon of Mysteries, Inc. is my dog. That's it.

****

The next call came from New Dehli, India. The papers were reporting the mysterious goings-on as 'the return of the Monkeyman.' Velma decided to brief us on the plane. We were in first class, courtesy of the client, and the airline allowed us to keep Scooby in a large dog-crate where the wheelchair would have gone if anyone disabled was on the flight, because there was no one disabled on the flight. Velma and I sat right behind Scooby's spot, with me by the window.

****

"The Monkeyman was a mysterious creature who terrorized India in 2001. He had glowing red eyes, hands like claws, and the ability to spit blue-white flame that he would attack people with. He mostly focused on young women. When his victims called for help, he'd bound away, twenty or thirty feet up in the air, like an agile monkey, hence the name." Velma pushes her glasses back up. "There were reports of a similar creature in London, around Sheffield in 1837. They called him Spring-heeled Jack there."

"Man, what is it with the British and the name 'Jack'?" I ask suddenly. I drain my plastic cup of ginger ale and sit up, counting off on my fingers as I list, "Spring-heeled Jack, Jack the Ripper, Jack Frost, the Union Jack..."

Behind Velma and I, "How about jackass?" Daphne mumbles into her glass of wine.

"C'mon, Daph, don't be mean," Fred says quickly, playing the peacemaker. Daphne grumbles a little, but then she is quiet.

"Jinkies, Daphne, maybe you shouldn't drink...you can't hold your liquor all that well." Velma suggests, a concerned look clear on her face. Daphne nods absently and takes another sip.

"Hey, Vel, you shouldn't talk," I tease gently, "Miss One-Drink."

Velma shrugs, smiling. "At least we always have a designated driver when I'm around."

"Excuse me, " the flight attendant shows up, pushing a cart. "Do any of you want the in-flight meal now?"

"What are you serving?" Fred asks.

The man checks the menu and answers, "Deli sandwiches: ham, turkey, tuna, or roast beef." Fred gets a roast beef, Velma has the ham, and Daphne asks for half a turkey sandwich.

"Like, you got any salads or something, man?" I ask. He blinks in surprise and I explain patiently, "I'm a vegan. No meat or fish."

"The sandwiches come with sprouts or lettuce. And we're giving the coach passengers peanuts...I think that's all, sir."

Sigh. I hate airplane peanuts. Like, you'd think that a major airline would have vegetarian options when they served meals! "Okay," I say cooperatively, "Get me a couple packages of peanuts, and, like, some sprouts if it's not too much trouble, please, man."

"Yes, sir. I'm sorry."

"It's cool, man, it's cool," I reply softly, dismissing the problem. Man, but I still hate airplane peanuts.

For some reason, Fred is bothered by the minor fuss I've made. He leans over--he can look right at me that because I have the seat pretty far back--and demands, "Why do you have to do that, Shag?"

"Do what, Fred?" I ask innocently. He scowls.

"You know what. Make more work for people like that. You do it all the time; every restaurant and small-town diner, too!"

"Freddy, Freddy, Freddy..." I say, shaking my head in mock-disappointment. "We've known each other since you guys were, what, sixteen? And I was pretty much raised to be vegan, so aren't you, like, used to it by now?"

Fred grumbles, "You're so hardline, though," and takes a big bite of his roast beef sandwich. I wince. I know that he and the others have the right to eat what they want, but it still kinda grosses me out to watch people eat animal flesh.

Velma points out then, "We forgot to get something for Scooby."

"He's totally knocked out, Velma," I say. "Mary Jane picked up some tranquilizers from the vet for the trip...she shot him up, like, just before we left her at the security checkpoint."

"You sure he's okay?" Daphne asks worriedly, peeking around Velma's seat at Scoob's crate.

"He's fine," I reassure her. "The vet suggested that we tranq him. Like, strongly suggested it, in fact. 'Cause he's such a big dog and all."

After that, the flight attendant brings me five of those little foil baggies of peanuts,--honey-roasted, so that's better than I expected--a plastic lid from the sandwich container filled with sprouts, and a spork. "Thank you," I say gratefully. When we all finish eating, we all occupy ourselves with quiet stuff, so there's not much more talking.

****

Once we get to the street where Monkeyman seems to be focusing his attention, Fred immediately utters one of his trademark phrases. Standing outside a condmened apartment building, he commands, "Gang, let's split up."

Velma rolls her eyes and mouths along with him, "Daphne, Velma, and I will ask around on the right side of the street. Shag, you and Scoob take the left side."

I smother a laugh and playfully salute Fred. "Yessir, Commandant Jones!" To Scooby, I say, "C'mon, buddy, you heard the man. Let's go."

****

The Monkeyman turns out to be the landlord of the condemned building and a drug-trafficker. The big break-through was on the third day. Fred was out of commission, since he came down with the flu, so Daphne took charge and paired up Velma and I. The four of us broke into the building; Daph and Scoob went upstairs, Velma and I went downstairs.

Velma noticed that a lot of the walls had holes in them, and there was dust from the plaster everywhere. "Jinkies!" She said, attracting my attention away from nervously listening for crazy people to jump us, "Shaggy, this is strange. Who would pile plaster-dust on the table like this?" And she pointed to a small mound of white powder on the folding card-table which was set up near the boiler.

I tasted the stuff. "Zoinks, Vel; this isn't plaster, it's cocaine!"

She gave me a strange look. "How do you know what cocaine tastes like?"

I gave her a strange look right back. "Velma," I sighed, "You were a teenager in the sixties. How do you *not* know what cocaine at least looks like?"

Brushing off my question, she mused, "Well, it's a cover-up for drugs, then. Let's get Daphne and find out everything we can about Mr. Jha."

"The landlord?"

"Uh-huh. Come on, Shag."

I shake a plastic baggie at her. It's from asking room service to pack me a peanut-butter-and-banana sandwich. "Shouldn't we take this to the police? It's a big clue."

"As long as you promise not to snort it."

I carefully sweep up the cocaine. "Swear to Buddah," I promise her.

****

It takes us another day to wrap up the mystery. Once it's over and we're all packing to go back home to the States, I pick up the phone. I called Mary Jane when we got in, four days ago. I dial our number, but instead of hearing her voice or the answering machine...

"We're sorry," a computerized message intones, "but the number that you have dialed has been disconnected, or is no longer in service. Please hang up, check the number, and dial again."

Five times, I tried to call her. She doesn't have a cell phone because we can't afford it. Five times, and it would have been more, but the truth sank in.

****

When I called her earlier, Mary Jane sounded tired. "Will there be another job after this?"

"I don't know. With our luck, the Vatican will want us to get rid of Satan or something."

"Norville...Shaggy...I don't know how much more I can take," she said softly, almost crying. "You're never home. I miss you."

"I miss you, too, babe."

"I--I know. But Shaggy, it's so lonely without someone here. I don't think I can take being alone anymore."

"Just a few more days," I had said soothingly, "A few more and I'll be home. I love you, Mary Jane."

****

But I guess that she really couldn't take it, because she bailed on me. On us. Gave the landlady a note saying that she put all my things in storage and nothing else.

When I went to pick up my junk, I found those stuffed animals from all those damned crane-games staring at me in dumb apathy. She really was gone.

END