"Our Own British Comedy" by Erin

"Velma, hey Velms." The girl felt a nudge to her shoulder as she came to. "Hungry?"

Blinking through smudged glasses, Velma saw Shaggy with two baskets of steak fingers with fries and two cokes – Oh. She realized the brick wall pressing into her cheek was of Mrs. Roger's restaurant. She and Shaggy were supposed to be studying for their quiz over France tomorrow afternoon. Guess she had fallen asleep after Religion. At least they didn't have much left to go over.

"Why didn't you wake me up, Shag?" She yawned, feeling worse than she did before the nap.

Setting the food down on the booth table, the tall stick of a boy slid into the seat opposite of her and started in on what might have been his third meal of the night. She had lost count in between all the soda. "You looked like you needed a nap-" he gave her a look that was both teasing and worried. "You're too smart to have to worry about studying."

Velma looked down at her food, trying her best to hide the blush of a compliment. "Even smart girls have to study, Shaggy."

He shook his head, his long hair falling back into his eyes. "Dude, not for Grahm's quizzes. You know his system already. He's going to ask random stuff," he started ticking them off on his long bony fingers. "Who's Marianne? What's the predominant religion? Where does the name 'France' come from? What does the flag look like? What's the biggest tourist attraction other than the Eiffel tower? You know all of those, I know you do."

She opened her mouth to prove that she did, in fact, know every one of those questions, but he was right on two fronts. She didn't need to study as hard as she did for a five-question quiz. Mr. Grahm was predictable, so predictable everyone thought he was hard. She guessed that was why she got so much out of the class. She knew what to study for and then that gave her an outlet to study more than she really needed to.

It was sad; she was looking for opportunities to study more.

Closing her book, she grabbed the ketchup and started in on her first meal of the night. She always forgot to eat when she studied. It was like she was in her own little zone. Nothing could really penetrate it.

Except for Shaggy.

Fry dangling from his mouth, she found him moving from his side of the booth to hers, his legs propped across the table comfortably. It always surprised her how he could find the most comfortable position in any area. Weather it was at school or in a tree, staking out with her. With a flick of his wrist, he produced the restaurant's only remote, and changed every television to Monty Python's Flying Circus. Seeing John Cleese grace the screen above their heads made her realize she should get home. Her parents had gotten use to not expecting her before bed the night of study sessions, but a train would be leaving soon and she didn't want to wait an hour for another one.

"As much as I'd like to see quality British television, I gotta go. Next train leaves at eleven thirty and I don't want to get hit on by drunks again." Velma nudged him in the side.

Shaggy didn't move, just wiggled his eyebrows up and down. "You're gonna miss your favorite sketch – and ice cream!"

She bit her lip, but couldn't help giving him an exasperated laugh. "Come on, we've got class tomorrow. You know I'll turn into a pumpkin if I don't get in bed by twelve." Velma prodded him more, trying to remember that ticklish spot she had come across completely by accident.

He was persistent without even doing anything. "I figured you were one of those girl's who turned into mice." His brown eyes eyed her with a small smirk.

"Shaggy!" She gave up searching for one spot and decided a full frontal assault was her best bet.

Before he could grab her arms, she had him pinned down by her wrath of wiggling fingers. He giggled in the only way a boy could without sounding completely like a little kid. Before they knew it, he rolled off the booth seat, his arms wrapping around her waist in an attempt to stop his fall. Pulling her down onto the ground with him, the two kept laughing until they couldn't breath – until they felt awkward. They couldn't tell who realized first that they were comfortable lying beside each other on the floor, but they both knew unconsciously that now wasn't the time to say anything about it.

Velma closed her eyes and smiled, letting the space between them fill up with something other than an awkward moment. "You wanna walk home with me?"

Still defiant, she knew he didn't close his eyes. "Oh, you're no fun anymore."

Her laugh was soft and more like a sigh. "You act like your life is a Monty Python skit."

Velma wasn't expecting the long pause; it made her open her eyes, discovering her friend was still watching her. Her smile faded a little, but it was still there, hidden under a confusion only he was ever able to create.

Shaggy's eyes widened, as if realizing she was looking at him again. Slowly, he sat up, looking away from her. He was already up by the time he could answer. "Nah, more like a Benny Hill skit."

Just as he was helping Velma up, a hand clamped onto Shaggy's shoulder and Mrs. Roger's appeared in the kitchen doorway, her blond hair frizzy from the humidity in the back. "It better not be."

"Mom!" Shaggy dropped Velma's hand so fast she thought he was going to leap into her arms in surprise. "I was just about to walk Velma home. Is dad picking you up after work, or do you need me to come back?"

Chastain Rogers turned from her son to Velma. It was the unspoken trust that she couldn't quite understand all parents had for her. It was a bit unnerving, especially when she had only known Shaggy's mother for a month now. "You go home, and be careful, alright? As soon as your father gets off work, he's going to come down here and have leftovers and then we'll be home on the last train." She leaned over and took him by the back of the head, kissing his forehead with her ruby colored lips. "I'll see you in the morning."

Flushing under his mother's lips, Shaggy gave her a quick hug before grabbing Velma's things. "Come on, we better get going before we miss the eleven-thirty."

At the door she didn't have to look to know he had mouthed to his mom: I love you.