Green and Orange

What had started as a childhood club for four friends had grown into an impressive private investigative business. Velma had gone on to Stanford and had double majored in Psychology and Early American Literature and had opened her bookstore in downtown Coolsville. Shaggy and Scooby were her only two employees and the Great Dane was a favorite fixture of the patrons, quickly turning the small store into a popular coffee spot. Daphne had gone on to get a degree in Journalism from UCLA. She immediately put her good looks and sharp wit to work getting stories no other reporter could and making connections that proved invaluable in many of Mystery Incorporated's cases. With her newfound fame, Daphne had a sudden downpour of jobs from across the country. Fred had almost immediately volunteered to work as her agent…provided, of course, she finally agree to marry him.

While Fred and Daphne were on their honymoon Velma and Shaggy stepped up to run Mystery Inc while still running Velma's bookstore. Enlisting the help of Mary-Anne and Patrick, the company ran like a well-oiled machine. The building was quiet now, most of the occupants had gone home for the night.

Back in her office Velma's head jerked up and she blinked owlishly at the computer screen in front of her. Feeling her head begin to drop again she vigorously rubbed at her eyes then stared at the clock on the wall…12:21 a.m. She'd spent the last six hours entering data into her laptop from their latest case, a string of robberies with no apparent commonalities aside from the thieves' MO.

The figures on the screen were beginning to run together and Velma knew she was going to need massive amounts of caffeine if she was going to finish by morning. She groaned, thinking about it. She had to open the store tomorrow with hopefully a few hours' sleep. So, she slipped her glasses on and made her way to the kitchen to start a pot of strong black coffee.

Wending her way down the hall she was surprised to see the kitchen light was already on. She peered cautiously around the doorjamb and smiled at what she found – Shaggy and Scooby both enjoying their favorite midnight snack: giant Dagwood sandwiches.

Shaggy skillfully balanced in each hand a towering skyscraper of bread, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and the remnants of the meatloaf Shaggy's mom had dropped off at lunchtime. He transferred one to Scooby's food dish with hardly a wobble and immediately began eating the other sandwich as if it were his last.

Velma's sudden giggle startled the two gluttons and Scooby's tail thumped the floor happily at the sight of his favorite resident geek. But being Scooby his attention quickly reverted to his still full food dish.

Shaggy smiled knowingly at her as she swallowed the last bite. "Kind figured you'd still be up…so, I started a pot for you." He said, tipping his head toward the counter. She sent him a grateful look before shuffling over to grab a cup.

"I, uh, made it kinda strong." Shaggy said and she smiled and took a long slow drink.

"I like my coffee like I like my men, strong."

Shaggy took on a comical expression, flexing one arm and them the other.

Velma couldn't help when a laugh bubbled forth at the young man's antics. "That's why I love you Shaggy. You always seem to know how to make me feel better."

This only made him puff his chest out more and start making kissy-faces at her. In retaliation she reached across the table and poked him in the ribs. His chest deflated in a rush of giggles and he grinned ruefully at her, rubbing his side.

"Back to work then. Thanks for the coffee." She said, saluting him with her mug. He returned the gesture and watched her leave the room with an almost forlorn look on his face. Scooby saw the expression on his friend's face and trotted over to nuzzle Shaggy's hand. He absently scratched the Great Dane's massive head until Scooby purposefully nudged his leg.

"Time for that last run outside?" He opened the back door and the dog rushed out. "Hey! Like, close the door when you come back in this time."

Scooby barked an affirmative and Shaggy shook his head at the goofy dog and started cleaning up. After setting the last dish in the rack to dry he poured a cup of coffee knowing all too well that Velma would need another dose of caffeine.

When Saggy found Velma in her office though, she was asleep at the computer. No matter what he tried she wouldn't wake up. Finally admitting defeat he pulled out the sofa bed she kept in there for such occasions. He dug through her spare clothes in the bottom of the file cabinet until he found a pair of green and orange striped sleep pants and a well-worn white t-shirt. He studied her slumped form and let out a heavy sigh, more than a little intimidated by the task ahead of him.

He took her glasses off and carefully put them away. Turning back to Velma he steeled himself – now for the hard part. He pulled her thick orange turtleneck sweater over her head and tried vainly not to notice her red lacy bra or wonder if her underwear matched. Gritting his teeth, he unfastened her bra and quickly pulled the t-shirt over her head.

Shaggy sat back on his heels and considered Velma's red skirt and the chair she was currently slumped in. Finding no easy was to divest her of her favorite skirt he gathered he up in his arms and lay her across the sofa bed. Unzipping her skirt he slipped it off and quickly tried to put the sleep pants on. Unfortunately, in the process he got an eyeful of the lacy underwear that did indeed match her discarded bra. In his hurry to cover her up her toes were caught in the fabric of her pants.

Velma groaned as her toes were wrenched painfully. Shaggy froze like a deer in headlights as Velma's eyes fluttered open. She stared at the ceiling for a second and then lifted her head to blink owlishly at him.

"Shaggy? What are you doing?"

He looked down at himself and saw what Velma did. She was sprawled on the bed, pants down around her knees, Shaggy kneeling between her legs, hands on her waistband. "It's not what it looks like Velma, I swear."

"It looks like you're trying to put my pajamas on and get me to bed."

"Erm…yeah, actually."

She pulled her pants up the rest of the way and scrubbed a hand across her eyes as she went to stand. "I can't go to bed yet though. I've got too much work to do."

He grabbed her wrist, pulling her back to him and wrapping her in his arms. "No, you need to sleep."

She pushed against his chest. "I've got to finish and get a few hours' sleep so I can open the store tomorrow."

"Don't worry about it. Mary-Anne and Patrick said they'd run the bookstore tomorrow. Sleep." He said firmly and fell back onto her bed, taking her with him. Kicking off his shoes he maneuvered them around until they lay on their sides, him spooned up against her back, still holding her. She wiggled around, trying to escape his embrace.

Shaggy set his teeth, tightening his grip and throwing a leg across her hip. "Velma…don't."

She only squirmed more against him. "Let me go Shaggy. I still have a lot of work to…" She suddenly stopped and craned her neck to stare up at him with wide eyes.

He gave her a tight, if slightly embarrassed smile. "What can I say? I'm just a guy with a really pretty girl rubbing up against me. I can't help it."

"Oh." She replied, her voice almost a whisper.

"Just…like, go to sleep."

Velma lay quietly for a few minutes but Shaggy knew she wasn't asleep, merely thinking, judging by the way she stroked her thumb across the back of his hand.

"You think I'm really pretty?"

Shaggy, a little startled by her sudden question, studied the top of her auburn hair for a moment. "That's like, an understatement."

She carefully twisted around until they were face to face. "But I'm no Mary-Anne."

"What's she got to do with this?"

"She's your girlfriend Shaggy. And here you are spooning with another girl in another bed."

"Velma…Mary-Anne broke up with me like, three weeks ago."

"Oh." She said again.

Shaggy closed his eyes and lay back on the pillow, still keeping his arms around Velma. He just started to drop off when he felt her hands slide up his chest to cup his cheeks. He let out a small, questioning grunt as his eyes began to open. He forgot to breathe when Velma's lips touched his. Air suddenly rushed into his lungs when she pulled back and Shaggy stared at her, confused.

"Wha…what about you and Patrick? Haven't you been together for like, six months?"

"Were."

"Were?"

"We were together for four months…six weeks ago."

"Aw, jeez. We're a pair, aren't we?" Shaggy smiled humorlessly.

"Yeah, but a pair of what, though?" Velma idly drew circles on his chest, not willing to look at him.

His hand gently tipped her face up to his. "I don't know. Why can't we just be…a pair?"

She raised an eyebrow. "I thought you liked tall, leggy blonds?"

"Meh, we had a few things in common but she didn't know me the way you do." Shaggy leaned in for another kiss. His hand traveled down her hip, skimmed her backside and thigh before hooking behind her knee and pulling her leg over his hip. "And you have awesome legs."

"But you can't deny I'm a short, four-eyed geek."

"Yes you're smart, you have beautiful eyes, and you're not short…you're fun-sized."

She giggled, shifting closer to the point where she wasn't sure where she ended and Shaggy began. His pupils dilated at the contact a second before she stole another kiss.

"Besides," he said, pulling back. "I thought you like the intellectual, bespectacled type."

"When your date loses his glasses as often as you do, it kinda ruins the evening. And don't you ever let me hear you say you're dumb. Besides, you have a much nicer butt." She proved her point by reaching down and giving it a thorough squeeze.

"It's from all those years of running in terror."

She laughed and then looked at him seriously. "What I said earlier, it wasn't a lie."

"What?"

"That's why I love you. You always seem to know how to make me feel better."

"Well, then Ms. Dinkley." He said, rolling over to pin her beneath him. "Let's see how much better I can make you feel."

Her hands skimmed his flat stomach, whole-heartedly agreeing with him as she pulled his shirt off.