Disclaimer: I haven't slept for about a day, I'm not saying that excuses my writing this but I think it should mitigate things. The fictional work upon which this is based upon does not belong to me.
The gang had just solved the mystery of the flying cactus and had gone to one of the local diners to celebrate.
"Golly," Fred took a sip of his soda. "That was a tough adventure."
"It sure was man," Shaggy agreed. "Like . . . I don't know how I got through it."
"Rah," Scooby agreed.
"Excuse me," the soda jerk called out. "Is there a Shaggy Roberts in here?"
"Like, that's me." Shaggy stood up.
"Phone call for you sir," the man handed Shaggy a phone.
"Thanks man," Shaggy held the phone up to his ear. "What can I do for you man?"
"Shaggy?" The voice sounded hesitant.
"Yeah man," Shaggy agreed.
"I'm Lisa Banks . . . Tony Bank's wife," the voice replied.
"How's he doing?" Shaggy perked up.
"He died two days ago," Lisa's voice cracked.
"I'm very sorry to hear that," Shaggy slumped. "Is there anything I can do for you?"
"I was hoping that you could come to the funeral," Lisa replied. "Tony always talked about you and . . . I was just hoping you could come. It took me two days to find you and . . . and . . . I just hope you can come."
"I'll be there," Shaggy had a lump in his throat. "Where is it?"
"In Saganaw California," the reply came in a whisper. "It's tomorrow, I don't know where you are but . . ."
"I'm not far away," Shaggy replied. "I'll be there."
"It will be at the Parkfield National Cemetary at five in the afternoon," Lisa replied. "Thank you."
"I'll see you then," Shaggy nodded. "Goodbye."
"Thank you, goodbye."
The rest of the gang watched with undisguised curiosity as Shaggy spent several minutes on the phone.
"What was all that about Shaggy?" Velma asked with a raised eyebrow.
"I gotta go do something for a few days," Shaggy tried to project an image of false cheer. "I'll meet you guys in Arizona."
"What do you have to do?"
"Nothing much," Shaggy gave Scooby a pat on the head. "Take care of Scoob while I'm gone."
"We will but . . ."
"Thanks," Shaggy gave another false smile and walked out of the diner.
"I've never seen Shaggy leave food behind," Daphne bit her lower lip. "What do you suppose is wrong?"
"You know Shaggy," Fred smiled. "It was probably someone with a new mystery for us to solve."
"And you think Shaggy would rush off to solve it by himself?" Velma's eyebrows shot up.
"No," Fred shook his head. "I think Shaggy would find a place to hide for a few days."
"I don't know Fred," Daphne shook her head. "I don't know."
Shaggy took a few minutes to throw some clothes into his old duffel bag before heading to the bus station.
"One ticket to Saganaw," Shaggy carefully slid a few tens across the counter.
"Here you are," the attendant handed him a ticket. "Next bus will be here in about two minutes, should get you to Saganaw by tomorrow night."
"Thanks man," Shaggy nodded.
Shaggy slept most of the way to Saganaw and was half starved when he got off the bus.
"Like, excuse me." Shaggy stopped the first man he came to, "but would you know what time it is?"
"Four forty five," the man replied.
"Then could you tell me the way to the Parkfield National Cemetary?" Looked like food would have to wait.
"Take a left at the next intersection and go straight," the man gestured. "It's a big hill . . . you can't miss it."
"Thanks man," Shaggy shouldered his bag and began walking and it didn't take him long to reach his destination.
"Shaggy?" A woman in black approached nervously.
"Yeah," Shaggy gave a sad nod. "Sorry we had to meet like this."
"Come stand next to me," she took him by the arm. "There aren't many people that could make it."
"I'm sure they wanted to," Shaggy blinked away the tears.
The funeral was a sad affair and through it all, Shaggy felt numb inside.
"Would you come with me to get something to eat?" Lisa wiped the tears off her cheek, "I . . . I have some questions I need to ask you about Tony."
"Yeah," Shaggy gave a distracted nod. "Sure."
Lisa led Shaggy to her car and they drove to a small diner.
"I use to work here while . . . while he was away," Lisa shook her head. "I was so happy when he came home."
"Yeah," Shaggy nodded.
"Well," Lisa took a breath. "There's no sense sitting in the parking lot, let's go in."
"Yeah," Shaggy nodded again. "I guess we better."
The two of them entered the diner and found a table.
"What can I get for you?" The waitress smiled.
"I want everything from here," Shaggy pointed to a spot near the top of the menu, "to here."
"Are you sure you can eat all that?" The Waitress's eyes bulged.
"Yeah," Shaggy nodded. "I'd usually get more but I don't have much of an apatite today."
"And you Ma'am?" The waitress turned to Lisa.
"Just some coffee thanks," Lisa attempted to smile.
"I'll have it right out," the waitress folded her notebook and walked back to the kitchen.
"So . . ." Shaggy sighed.
"How did you meet Tony?" Lisa gave a sad smile.
"It was my first day in country," Shaggy's eyes unfocused. "They started calling for volunteers, I didn't want to do most of the jobs they called out until they got to dog handler . . . I've always liked dogs."
"Go on," Lisa nodded.
"They partnered me up with Tony and they gave us our dogs," Shaggy smiled. "I had a bottle of mouthwash filled with whiskey and he had a can of tuna and some salami . . ."
"Thank you," Lisa closed her eyes. "I have another question . . . well, actually it's a question that Tony wanted to ask but never got around to."
"Go ahead," Shaggy nodded.
"He said that you were the bravest man he'd ever met," Lisa looked Shaggy in the eye.
"Me?" Shaggy began laughing, "I was afraid every moment I was in that country."
"But you still did your job," Lisa's hands clenched. "What happened to you? Tony kept track of all your adventures with Mystery Inc. and he could never reconcile the man that would run at the slightest hint of trouble with the man that saved his life."
"Did Tony ever tell you what happened?" Shaggy sighed.
"I'd like to hear it from you," Lisa looked up at the approaching waitress.
"Here's your food," the waitress put several plates on the table. "Call me if you need anything."
"Ok," Shaggy waited until the waitress left. "It wasn't anything special, the area we were in was suppose to be peaceful . . . nothing had happened for weeks. The first sign that something was wrong was when the mines exploded and I don't remember much from those first few minutes. I think that's when Tony got hit and when his dog got killed."
"Then what happened?" Lisa leaned forward.
"We picked up our wounded and started back to the LZ," Shaggy replied.
"Then what happened?"
"I looked around and I couldn't find Tony or my dog so I went back for them, I found Tony by his Dog. Don't know how he got left behind but I guess that things like that happen." Shaggy's hands began to shake, "I bandaged Tony up as best as I could and carried him to meet the helicopter."
"He told me you went back for some reason"
"To find my dog," Shaggy took deep breaths. "We were partners and I couldn't leave him behind . . . I went back and I found him, he wasn't doing so good so I had to . . ." A tear slid down Shaggy's cheek, "well I must have forgotten to tell someone to wait for me because I got back to the LZ just in time to watch the choppers fly off without me."
"What did you do?"
"I spent the next week and a half walking to the nearest fire support base," Shaggy clenched his hands. "I'd never been so hungry or so scared in all my life."
"I imagine," Lisa nodded.
"The first thing I did was eat an entire box of C-Rations," Shaggy had a sour look on his face. "I just couldn't stop myself . . . I didn't ever want to be hungry again."
"So why are the stories about you in Mystery Inc. so different from the stories I heard about you in Vietnam?"
"Something in me broke," Shaggy sighed. "I used up every bit of courage I had in the jungle and when I got home I put every bit of food I could find in my stomach, I just can't stand the thought of being hungry again."
"I see," Lisa sighed. "Thank you . . . do your friends know?"
"That I spent nine months in Vietnam?" Shaggy raised an eyebrow, "I never told them."
"They didn't notice you were gone?"
"They were all away at their first year of college," Shaggy picked up a stack of pancakes. "Wasn't till the second that we got back together and started touring the country. By that time there wasn't any point in worrying about the draft and the gang decided to look me up again . . . they all figured that I'd spent two years completing my first."
"You never told them?"
"They'd never understand," Shaggy shook his head. "Fred still lives in a world where people never die and the girls . . . well I guess that they're the same."
"Thank you," Lisa finished her coffee. "Do you need a place to stay tonight?"
"No," Shaggy shouldered his duffel. "I'm gonna go meet up with the gang and to do that I have a bus to catch."
AN: I was in the video store the other day and they had Scooby Doo on one television and there was a war movie in front of me. I wrote this so the idea would go away, I don't expect anymore parts to ever get written it might happen but I have a real problem seeing where to take something like this. . . In my defence, the original series took place in the 70's and it is very possible that Shaggy could have been drafted and sent to Vietnam.