Salutations, readers! This is my first Scooby-Doo fic: so let's give this a chance, eh? It's written more in the newer style of "What's New, Scooby-Doo", because as much as I love the original version, I am hopelessly attached to the goofy antics of the more modern "What's New" series, where, for some reason, everyone's outfit has changed but Shaggy's.
Speaking of Shaggy: he is my favorite character, so obviously, this story is going to be fairly Shaggy-heavy. But also Scooby, because you really can't have one without the other. And I love all the other characters too, so honestly, it's not so much that I love Shaggy and the story is going to be pretty Shaggy-heavy, it's more like I happen to suffer from SFCMD: Severe Favorite Character Mutilation Disease. Now, it's not THAT bad, my story is only rated K+, so I mean "mutilation" in the lightest of terms. But yeah, a fair warning, for those of you who inexplicably love to see your favorite character undergo much strife, and you love the Shaggy-Scooby relationship, this is the story for you.
Well, before you move onward, I'm not sure whether I'm going to continue this story or not-it's very much just a test run-so the sort of responses I get will decide whether I do so.
Zoinks! I talk too much.
Shaggy Rogers was not a morning person. In fact, he was the only member of Mystery Inc. who actually slept in. Both Fred and Velma practically rose with the sun in a never-ending contest to see who could reach the newspaper first; Daphne liked to run in the mornings (always early so she had time to shower and primp); and even Scooby-Doo woke up at least before 9, stomach incessantly growling in indignation of its nighttime fast. Shaggy usually rolled out of bed and into the kitchen a few hours later, hardly ever before 11.
Which explained why Shaggy was still sound asleep at 10:34 am, sprawled across the hotel's double bed, blankets entwining his limbs to the point of making him look like a very poorly wrapped mummy. Scooby cocked his head, trying to assess if he could wake up his friend without accidentally strangling him.
He decided he could. Gingerly, the Great Dane gripped a corner of blanket in his teeth and yanked. The blanket instantly twisted, throwing the beatnik previously laying inside into a perpetual spinning tornado of sheets hovering above the bed. The startled noises made it perfectly obvious that Scooby's method had done the trick as the blanket cleanly pulled away from the boy, and he fell rudely atop the mattress, face-first.
"Like, whawazatfor?" The question was muffled both by sleep and the cushy mattress Shaggy couldn't bother to lift his face from.
"Rit's rime roo rit up!"
Shaggy lifted his face from the mattress and glanced at the electric clock on the nightstand. At the sight of the red 10:35, his eyes grew big and his hair practically spiked. "Zoinks! Why'd you let me sleep in so late?"
"You forgot?" Shaggy cried, propelling himself off the bed. "Scoob, we've only got 25 minutes to get to the complimentary breakfast before checkout! Well, I've got 25 minutes, I don't know how long you've been up."
"Ra rile. Rey've got rinnamon rolls!"
"Cinnamon rolls?" Shaggy stopped throwing blankets, pillows, and Fred's shirts around the room. "Like, that's it, I'm going down in my pajamas." He zipped to the door, just managing to cram his purple slippers onto his feet before tearing down the hallway, followed closely by his Great Dane.
"Huh. He usually gives himself at least 20 minutes to eat," Fred observed, staring at his watch. "And that's not counting actually packing and checking out. Adding that, he's got more like ten."
"Scooby went up a little while ago," Daphne said, smearing a little more cream cheese on her bagel. "He'll be down in a minute."
"Three…two…one…" The second Velma finished her countdown, Shaggy slid into view, almost knocking over the extra chair in his haste to reach the table.
"Like, I heard there were cinnamon rolls. Is this true?"
Velma smiled and pointed to the buffet counter, where bagels, cereal, muffins, croissants, yogurt, fruit, granola, a waffle iron, and a deluxe coffeemaker all crowded for space on the sleek mahogany. Actually, for a hotel breakfast, it was pretty impressive.
Shaggy, grudgingly used to the kind of sparse options usually offered by hotels, almost knocked the chair over again in his haste to reach the counter.
Velma folded her section of the newspaper and handed it to Fred. "Told you he'd be down."
"I never said he wouldn't be down, I said he wouldn't be down in time…" Fred tapped his watch as he took the newspaper from Velma, handing her the one he had been reading. "And we're going to be pretty pressed for time as it is."
"What time do we have to be there again?" Daphne asked.
"The brunch is at one. And we're a little under two hours away, so we should get there just in time if we leave right after checkout."
Daphne was about to say something when Scooby, who had ambled up to the table silently at some point during the conversation, tugged on her sleeve and pointed at the breakfast buffet.
Shaggy, tray already piled with so much food that individual items could not be distinguished, was reaching for the last cinnamon roll on the warmer. Unfortunately, he was reaching at the same time as another hotel guest, and their hands landed simultaneously.
"Excuse me, but your hand seems to be on my cinnamon roll," the black-haired stranger said rather rudely.
Shaggy frowned. "Like, I think my cinnamon roll is in your hand."
"Seriously, let go of the cinnamon roll."
"What if I don't want to?"
A St. Bernard suddenly appeared at the man's side, looking less like man's best friend than man's most formidable enemy. It didn't exactly growl, but Shaggy didn't know how else to classify the low grumbling sound issuing from its throat.
Scooby was at Shaggy's side in an instant. Of course, Scooby had a hard time looking as threatening as the St. Bernard, but the Great Dane's presence at least gave the appearance of an even playing field.
The guest sneered. "That's the downside of staying at a dog-friendly hotel, Don. We have to put up with mutts."
Shaggy's grip tightened on the cinnamon roll, which both men were still clutching. "Like, that's the downside of staying in a dog-friendly hotel, Scoob. We have to put up with the half-breed owners."
The guest's frown deepened, darkening his already shadowy face. "Pretty high talk coming from someone in their pajamas. By the way, your fly is open."
Shaggy's hand instinctively flew to his pants, only to realize that he couldn't zip up his flannel pajama bottoms.
The guest sneered, picking up the now free cinnamon roll. "HA. You don't even have a fly." He walked away, the St. Bernard dutifully following—but not before aiming another guttural throat noise at each of them, an extra long one for Scooby.
Shaggy glared at the man's retreating form. "Like, and I thought I woke up on the wrong side of the bed." He violently picked up his tray and stormed back to the table.
"What was that guy's problem?" asked Daphne.
"You'd think he owned cinnamon rolls," Shaggy muttered, stabbing a juice box with such force that the straw went clean through the other side. He chucked it into a nearby trashcan, picked up a second juice box, and stabbed it just a little bit softer.
Fred craned his neck around the room. "Weird. He just disappeared. I don't see him anywhere."
"And he's hard to miss with that awful trenchcoat," Daphne said.
"I thought you liked trenchcoats?"
"When they're tan, Freddie. Not when they're camo."
"Oh. I thought it was neat…"
Velma folded her newspaper and set it down on the table. "Random rude guy or not, Shaggy, you've got to eat fast. Checkout is in 15."
"I'mawnit." Shaggy already had an entire blueberry muffin—maybe more—in his mouth.
"So if the brunch is this afternoon, then when is the ceremony?" Daphne asked, dabbing at her mouth with a napkin.
"Tomorrow morning, I think." Fred turned to Shaggy. "Don't you know?"
Shaggy swallowed and nodded. "Brunch today, official ceremony tonight, and Policeman's Ball tomorrow night. It's, like, never-ending."
"Oh, I forgot about the Policeman's Ball! What's the dress code? Do I need to go dress shopping?"
"Daff, it's a town shindig, not a royal ball."
Velma laughed. "I bet your dad is pretty excited, Shaggy. Police Officer of the Year!"
"Like, it sounded that way over the phone."
"It's great he's finally being recognized for his work on the force," Fred remarked. "And it'll be nice to be back in Coolsville. Haven't been home in a while."
"An entire week at home will be great," Velma said. "I don't want to say another whole week without mysteries, since we have a horrible track record with that assumption, but the implication goes without saying."
"I could use a break from mysteries," Shaggy said wistfully.
Fred looked at his watch. "Are you almost done? We've got to get back upstairs to pack."
"Like, that reminds me," Shaggy replied, polishing off a final forkful of fruit salad, "how many white long-sleeve T-shirts did you bring? I can't find anything green under all the white."
Fred frowned and turned to the girls. "How do you girls keep your room clean?"
"It's a gift," Daphne replied. She and Velma pushed back their chairs and stood. "Speaking of which, we're going to go tidy up before we go."
Fred tapped his watch again as the girls left. Shaggy rolled his eyes. "Like, I'm done, I'm done." Then he added as an afterthought, muttering darkly, "It would have been better with a cinnamon roll…"
Two hours later, the Mystery Machine rolled into the parking lot of the Coolsville Country Club.
"Daphne, what you're wearing is fine," Fred said. "We don't have time to stop by the house to change, we're already late."
She groaned as she stepped out of the car. "I'll never get to wear that new dress."
Shaggy and Scooby hopped out of the back and ran up the steps of the country club—breakfast already seemed like a distant memory. Shaggy practically threw open the doors, ready to zip inside with Scooby behind him, but a suited usher stood just inside the doorway, looking at the frenzied teen with something akin to disapproval.
"I'm sorry, but the country club has been rented for the afternoon to a private party."
"Like, we're part of that private party."
"Is your name on the list?"
Scooby peeked out from behind his friend. "Rut's ra ratter?"
The usher grimaced. "There are no dogs allowed here."
Fred, Daphne, and Velma arrived on the terrace behind Scooby and Shaggy. Daphne frowned and stepped up to the usher. "John, really?"
"Miss Blake! I didn't know you were with them!"
"Look at your list, John. Under Mystery, Inc."
He glanced down at the list. "Oh…Daphne Blake…Velma Dinkley…Fred Jones…Norville Rogers…"
Daphne petted Scooby with a cocky grin on her face. "Scooby is part of the family, John. Surely you knew he'd be allowed in the country club?"
"It…must have slipped my mind."
"It's all right. You're new," Daphne said as John sheepishly let them pass. Daphne turned back to him at the last second and asked, "Have my parents arrived?"
"Yes, Miss Blake. I believe they arrived early in order to oversee set-up."
"Thank you." Then she added, with a giggle, "Typical."
The gang followed Daphne down the hallway. She strutted confidently through the corridors, never halting once even though they turned more times than a pinball dropping through an arcade game.
"Wow. This is a confusing place," Fred whistled.
"You have no idea," Daphne replied. "I always felt bad for the servers. They use the hallways under these, and if you think it's a maze up here, it might as well be Pan's Labyrinth on the lower levels."
She finally found the main restaurant. The room, normally tastefully cluttered with white draped tables, did not look much different, save for the long, sturdier tables that had been added to the sides of the room, which each bore steaming platters of food. At strategic locations between the normal tables, leather couches had been situated around gleaming coffee tables to provide a good conversationalist atmosphere. A gargantuan chandelier glittered overhead, throwing light onto the cream-flecked walls and lending a glow to the scarlet carpet beneath their feet.
Fred whistled. "They sure did a nice job."
"That would be my parents' doing," Daphne said. "They donated those couches to the country club."
"Well kudos to them."
"Are we underdressed?" Velma asked.
The gang glanced around the room. Between the people dishing up at the buffet, the people sitting at the tables eating, and the people milling around in between the furniture entrenched in deep conversation, there were plenty of outfit comparisons to be made. Most of the women wore sundresses or pencil skirts, and most of the men had opted for khakis and a nice shirt, some with a tie, some not.
Daphne glanced at Fred's white sweater and Velma's orange turtleneck. "I think we're fine. Freddie, you could have opted out of jeans, but no one will condemn you for it."
She looked to her right, ready to comment on Shaggy's outfit, but he was already gone. Velma tapped her shoulder and pointed to the nearest buffet table, where he and Scooby were practically salivating over the spread.
"Oh. Of course."
Shaggy was about to pick up a plate when Scooby bit his shirt and fairly dragged him to face the opposite direction. "Like, what, Scoob?"
The Great Dane pointed towards a man in a policeman's uniform standing in the middle of the room, grinning and talking to a crowd of people gathered around him. Shaggy's face had barely split into a grin before his friend was off, bounding across the room.
Scooby had no trouble pushing his way through the crowd of people and knocking over the policeman, who at first looked surprised but gradually realized what was going on as the dog licked his face. He laughed. "It's Scooby-Doo!"
The dog continued to lick his face in greeting as he tried to gently push him back in order to sit up. "I missed you, buddy!"
Shaggy gingerly pushed his way through the crowd, a little less forcefully than his dog had, and offered a hand to the fallen policeman. "Like, hi, Dad."
Shaggy pulled his father up and they embraced. After a second, the senior Mr. Rogers held Shaggy out by the shoulders, looking him up and down. "Look at you! Are you eating on the road?"
"Do I really have to answer that?"
Mr. Rogers laughed and put an arm around his son, despite the fact that Shaggy was a good inch taller than he. "Everyone, this is my son, the mystery solver!"
A chorus of "Oh, that's Norville!" and "Nice to meet you!"'s rang out from the small crowd in the area. Shaggy blushed at the attention. "Like, Dad, I don't really do a lot of the mystery solving."
"Nonsense. You're following in the old man's footsteps. Kind of."
Scooby nudged Mr. Rogers' hand. "Oh, and everyone, this is Scooby-Doo."
Scooby, unlike Shaggy, did not blush at the attention, but rather delighted in the crowd's sudden rush to scratch his ears and tell him what a good dog he was.
"Glory hound," Shaggy muttered. "Where's—"
"Oh. There she is."
Mrs. Rogers fairly elbowed an elderly lady out of her path in order to reach her son. "Oh, I've missed you! You're late, young man! Why are you late?"
"Yeah, sorry, Mom…"
"That's no excuse."
"I didn't really give you an excuse."
"That's still no excuse."
"…Okay." Shaggy appeared a little disoriented and chagrined, although happy, as Mrs. Rogers, a good deal shorter than both her son and husband, hugged him around the waist. "Mom…you can stop." Scooby was sniggering from a few feet away.
"And Scooby!" Mrs. Rogers had no problem making Scooby's admirers scatter in order to give her room. "I've missed you, dear!"
Shaggy sniggered this time as Mrs. Rogers landed a kiss on the middle of Scooby's forehead. Scooby frowned and glared at his friend.
"Norville, are you eating on the road?"
"Like, why is everyone asking that?"
Mrs. Rogers continued to fuss over Shaggy as Scooby slinked away to find the other members of Mystery, Inc.
Velma had already seated herself at one of the leather couches, intellectually engaged in conversation with her parents. Scooby nudged her hand.
"Oh, there you are, Scooby!" She scratched his ears. "Mom and Dad were wondering where you were."
Mrs. Dinkley, a slightly taller version of Velma with longer hair, reached forward to pet the Great Dane with a smile on her face. "Velma was just telling us about the case of the missing cats you helped find!" she exclaimed. "It was so noble of you to help all of them since, well, they were cats."
Scooby shot a scowl at Velma that said, without any words, "Really? That's the case you told them about? Disgusting."
Velma, ever an adept translator of facial expressions, smirked. "Believe it or not, Scooby, that case speaks to your better nature."
Scooby tried to stalk away in an offended manner, but he didn't get very far—Mr. Blake blocked his path. "Scooby! There you are." The distinctly aristocratic man gave Scooby a quick pat on the head with the hand not holding a coffee cup. "So nice to see you again, old chap."
Daphne, from behind Mr. Blake, motioned for Scooby to just roll with the "old chap" thing and came to stand beside her father, affectionately hugging his arm. "Dad, did I tell you the decorations look great?"
"Once or twice, yes."
"Well they look great."
"I helped too, you know," a rather annoyed Mrs. Blake commented as she entered the circle, bearing a glass of champagne.
"Mom, you know it's, like, 1:30, right?"
Mr. Blake had already engaged the Dinkleys in conversation when Fred and his father came to the very popular couch, Fred holding a cup of tea, which he handed to Daphne. "There. Happy?"
"Very. Where's your mom?"
Daphne's question was answered a second later, when an extremely energetic blonde woman swished her way by, somehow able to balance at least four cups of tea without a tray.
"There you are! Freddie, you didn't tell me Daphne and Velma were here!"
"I thought it was self-explanatory."
"No, I mean right here, dear! It's a good thing I grabbed extra tea." She set the cups on the table, much to the Dinkleys' appreciation. They clamored and thanked her as she sat down next to Velma, assuring them it was "no trouble at all." Daphne plopped down on Velma's other side as Fred leaned over the back of the couch, his father standing behind him. Mr. and Mrs. Blake stood by Mr. and Mrs. Dinkley's couch on the other side of the coffee table, and suddenly they all realized Mystery Inc. and parents were all together.
"I'm so pleased for Norman," Mr. Blake commented, eyes on the beaming policeman standing with his wife and son on the other side of the room. "I convinced the country club to host this. Usually it's just at the courthouse."
"It seems to be a much bigger deal this year than normal," Velma agreed.
"That's because we all wanted to do something nice for Norman. He's been on the force for so long."
"It sure is nice."
"I do worry about that threat, though," Mrs. Jones said sorrowfully.
"Threat?" Fred, Velma, Daphne, and Scooby all exclaimed the word at the same time and stared at Mrs. Jones.
A hand flew to her mouth. "Oh dear. I forgot you all didn't know."
Mrs. Blake rolled her eyes. "We weren't going to tell them until at least after lunch, Sophie."
"We thought it'd be nice to give you all a little break," Mrs. Dinkley explained. "But it appears there's a mystery in Coolsville."
Very general so far, I know, but the opening chapter had to be long.
Review, please! I'm still deciding whether I want to continue with this piece or not-so your feedback will REALLY come in handy. (I do actually read reviews and I do try to send "thank you" messages to all who take a few seconds to tell me what you liked and didn't like. If that makes you want to review more. Which it probably doesn't.)