Written by Musachan


Pit, pat, pit, pat. The rain fell down from dark clouds. Pit, pat, pit, pat. This had to be the one cloudy day she had forgotten her umbrella. Bundled up in a hooded wind-breaker, she shivered as the intense wind whipped by, bringing with it the drops of rain to fly through her short, brown hair. Pit, pat, pit, pat.

The rain had also hit her thick, tinted glasses, blinding her until she gained the courage to emerge her hand from her pocket to wipe them clean. ''Ooh, I hate the rain'', she grumbled. She looked up at the blur in the sky that was the rain cloud. ''Well, I hate it today, at least.'' Velma usually loved the rain. The 'pit, pat' brought her comfort when attempting to find sleep in the back of the Mystery Machine. Of course, she only loved the rain when she was warm indoors, watching from behind glass.

She shivered briskly, and shook her hair to remove the huge amount of water within it.Her books were getting wet. ''The librarian will kill me'', she pouted, looking over the books and magazines she had borrowed. On the cover of the topmost one was the Mystery Machine, Daphne, Freddie, Shaggy, herself and, of course, Scooby-Doo. She smiled thinly at the memories. That case had been a fine one. A crazy virus. Cyber clones. Time travel.

The adventure seemed so far back in her memory, when it had only happened the month earlier. She giggled at the heading; ''Super-sleuths do it again ... and again.'' They had always managed to solve a mystery. Nothing could beat Mystery Inc.

The roar of thunder jolted her off memory lane. ''Oooh, stupid rain.'' She shivered as an invisible cold blew past. ''Stupid wind.'' A gutter above her head unleashed a stream of water onto her, and she jumped from the sudden cold. ''Stupid Velma.'' She brought the magazines and books close to her chest, wondering how she ever found comfort with the repetitive sound of 'pit, pat'. It wasn't all 'pit, pat', she admitted. Nothing was ever as simple as 'pit, pat'. It was cold when she had her first night in the Mystery Machine. Cold and raining.

Freddie drove on and on throughout the night, a constant whirring on windshield wipers gently calming her nerves. Doggy snores had cracked them. As the cold night wore on, not a blanket in sight, Freddie stopped the van under a tree, and settled down for the night. What was a fourteen year old girl to do, trapped in a van with two boys and a dog?

She brought her knees to her chest, teeth chattering with cold. Scooby-Doo snoozed loudly beside Freddie up front. This was the day Daphne was at a contest for something or other, leaving the gang, minus one. Scooby quite liked the front seat for a change. Velma, however, was frightened. Homesick. Cold. These boys were almost new to her. Sure, they four had been very good friends as children, but as she grew with wisdom she slowly slipped away from them. Close friends were soon acquaintances.

She looked over to Shaggy, hair barely combed and shirt in need of a washing, sleeping softly against the other side of the van. She didn't remember him being so tall. She didn't remember being so short, either. He fidgeted in his sleep, head lazily sinking into his scrawny chest. Velma found it hard to believe such a thin, lanky boy was good at sports. She also couldn't believe such an unkempt boy was good at anything aside from sports, but grades did not lie. The boy was a genius when it came to Roman gods and goddesses. ''They're groovy'' was his simple answer to why he was good at it.

She shivered abruptly, cold and lonely. Shaggy opened a lazy brown eye. He yawned softly, and looked at the tiny fourteen year old. ''Velm? Are you okay?'' The brunette shook her head bitterly. ''I'm cold, tired and...'', she blushed, and bit her tongue. ''I feel like such a kid telling you this.''

He smiled gently. ''Ah, you're no kid. I think you're groovy.'' She smiled, and wiped away a lone tear. ''Really, Shagg?'' ''Course I do. Would I ever, like, lie to you?'' ''I suppose you wouldn't'', she admitted, smiling sheepishly. ''I suppose you wouldn't.'' He stretched lazily, and propped himself up into a more comfortable speaking position. ''Velma, do you remember when we first met?''

''Honestly, I don't'', she replied, curiously blinking at him from across the van's storage area. ''Neither do I'', he sheepishly giggled. ''But I do remember when you went on to High School, when we were still, like, in seventh grade. I promised that I'd do anything for you, remember?''

Velma faintly nodded. ''And I did, sometimes.''

She let her chin rest against her knees. ''Though you didn't know it... Remember on your first day of High School, you forgot your bus tokens?'' ''But, how did you-'' ''And you found a few dollars on the floor?'' She fiddled with her glasses. ''Yes, but what has that got to do with you?'' Shaggy smiled, raising up a peace sign. ''That was me. I skipped school too, well, make sure you made it there okay.'' Velma felt her heart skip.

''I was grounded for nearly a year, but at least I could help ya'', he laughed, placing a nervous hand behind his head. ''Anything for a buddy.'' She giggled softly. ''You're the best, Shagg.''

''Yeah yea... Now, let's get some shuteye. I'm too tired to even eat'', he yawned, stretching out on the floor of the Mystery Machine and almost instantly falling asleep. Velma silently watched, smiling from behind a pair of thick spectacles. 

She shook herself back into reality. ''Oh, I'm going to miss my bus if I keep daydreaming like this!'' Her eyes diverted to her watch, which was just barely visible through the rain build up. Seven o'clock. It had been such a long time since she had spent a long, good while in a silent library, all alone. So long that she had lost track of the time. ''The next bus won't come until 7:30. And I left the book-shop all alone.''

A loud, pathetic groan. ''And it's raining. I hate rain!'' A crash of thunder rolled in the distance. ''Especially thunderstorms. Nothing but trouble.'' She shivered as a thick, cold wind embraced her, slipping it's clutches over her heart, chilling her. The lightning on the horizon seemed inviting, a bright, warm flash within the windy chills and frozen rain. An extreme fear lingered in her mind, freezing her for an instant. All was numb as several bolts of lightning cracked with a loud crash.

 ''It's just lightning, Shaggy. Here, give me your hand.'' The tree-house flooded with a crack of lightning. Shaggy shakily handed his hand over to her, only the dim light of the nearby broken bulb, providing only faint light. ''K-kay, Velma, but what will you do?''

She smiled brightly from behind thick lenses. Gently, she took her wool sweat shirt and rubbed it together. With a gentle tap of her finger to the palm of his hand, a short pulse of blue sparked between them ''That's lightning, Shaggy. Nothing more than a big, fancy show of static electricity'', she explained, placing her sweatshirt down on the ground. Amused to his heart's content, Shaggy looked out the window, his heart bright and cheery even while his most hated of elements poured down. ''Tell me more.'' 

Velma jerked her head up gently, and brought a shaking hand to her face. The rain beat down, a gentle, pulse of pain hitting her as the oversized droplets poured down. ''The newspaper stand. Why didn't I think of it earlier? I can ask Mr. Jenkins if I can just stay in the stand until my bus comes. He'll understand!''

The numbing wind tempted to her just stay put. Maybe if she remained still, the rain would just stop on its own, and it would be warm, sunny and happy and no one would be on the bus! That was as likely as a knight in shining armor riding up to save her from the wretched element.

She shivered once more, and forced her legs to walk ahead for her, towards the corner where the simple little newspaper stand awaited her. The wind brushed by gently, followed by a rumbling, tearing wind, moving all water to sting her face as it poured down. She must escape.

Building up all courage, strength and energy she forced her legs into a steady jog and then into a full run. It was Velma verses the wind, rain and atmosphere. And Velma was almost at the corner. The question goes that if an unstoppable force collided with an immovable object, what will happen?

Nobody bothers to question if the unstoppable force met its equal. And Velma had just discovered the answer to that particular question. Blindly, she fumbled for her glasses, mumbling repetitively. ''I'm so sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.'' ''It's okay'', he started, gathering his items from the wet cement. ''It's my fault.'' ''I'm sorry ... I'm sorry ... I'm so sorry...'' He blinked, shaking loose droplets of water from his hair and face. His brown eyes quickly found the object she searched for; Her glasses. ''Please, sir, could you assist me? I can't see without my glasses'', she asked, blindly feeling the cold ground. ''Course. I'd do anything for you'', he smiled, washing off the precious treasure that was Velma's sight. She blinked, attempting to make out the shape before her. ''Shaggy, is that you? I can't see!''

He nodded, and stopped her hands. Gently, he slid the glasses on her face, blessing her with the vision she so desperately needed. ''It is you! Oh boy, am I ever sorry, Shagg'', she giggled, feeling the blood rush to her cheeks. ''I was in a hurry, and wasn't looking where I was going. It was such a mess-''

He chuckled, bringing a nervous hand to his forehead. ''It's okay! I was being klutzy, too. I was just trying to get to the library real quick.'' Velma gathered her books and magazines from the from floor, oblivious to the rain. ''Whatever for?'' He lowered his eyes to the items in his arms, mumbling meekly, ''Just going to bring these back.'' Classics. Dickens. Twain. Aeschylus. Sophocles. And a mangled, torn dictionary, showing its age. ''These are some of my favorite books. I never knew you liked Sophocles!'', she chuckled, the joy of being near the greatest works of time warming her for a brief moment.

He smiled nervously. ''Well, I just picked them up to, like, read. I heard they were good, so, well, uhm... You know, right?'' Velma's smile shined through the rain. ''I suppose some of the advice and recommendations I made to you actual sunk in. I'm impressed!'', she laughed brightly, pushing back strands of soggy hair. ''They're marvelous, aren't they?'' ''Yeah... Lovely, really.''

A tense silence engulfed them. ''This is rather abrupt, but, erm... Hey, Shagg? I'll walk you over, if you'd like'', she offered, eyes drifting towards the ground in sheer embarrassment. ''Be confident! Be confident! You are not shy, you are Velma and that makes you brave!''

''I'd really like to, if you really wouldn't mind.'' He stared aimlessly at her, unable to speak through the 'pit, pat' of rain. His face flushed, and he focused his attention towards the ground. ''Uhm, yeah. I'd like that.'' ''Way to go, chicken boy. Let her go, why don't you? Hand her to the next cute guy and she'll be on her way, happier than with you!'' ''Then, maybe, we could go for hot chocolate?'', he asked, nervousness in his tone and weakness on his face. Velma smiled shyly, brushing back her hair. ''Why not? I have nothing else to do. Not that I wouldn't, even if I did, I was just saying...'' She slowly let her words fade into weak mumbles, a tiny smile on her face. ''I'd love to.''

Shaggy sighed in pure relief. ''For a second there, I felt sorta geeky!'' Her eyes asked her question; ''Why?'' He blushed, smiling childishly. ''Well, I don't know... It's just, well, you were always my best friend. Well, next to Scoob, of course.'' ''Naturally.'' ''-So, I don't know. I just feel like an idiot.'' ''Same here, sort of. Well, let's get out of this rain and to the library. We have to take those books back, don't we?'' He nodded, pushing himself off the ground, and, taking her hand, pulling her up as a gentleman would. Unable to break their hands apart, each form just stood, staring a dumbfounded.

''Don't you have a bus to catch? It's the last one of the day, until nine...'', he asked thoughtfully interrupting the silence between them. ''Ah, that can wait!'', she laughed, pulling his hand toward the library. ''Don't want to be late! It closes in an hour!'' ''It's a five minute walk!'' ''All the better to hurry up!'' ''Anything you say, Velma.''

The dark clouds loomed over head, and the rain came down in buckets. The wind became a blanket around any form in the area, chilling them down to the bone. And the rain might as well have been frozen, because of the chills each droplet granted. But Velma had never been so warm.

Le fin


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