On The Road Again

Written for Comfortember 2020, Prompt: Road Trip. Comments and kudos would be awesome. Enjoy!

The Mystery Machine is not the most reliable method of transportation.

It guzzles gas, leaks washer fluid, and whether or not the heat is going to work at any given time is a bit of a gamble. The fact that it's so old it's had more part changes than Frankenstein doesn't help matters, either – any repairs are complicated and expensive given how hard it is to find parts that fit the mishmash of previous replacements. It would probably save time and money and energy to just get a new van, something fancier with more space for luggage or for the four people and one very large dog they frequently cram into it. But they don't. The Mystery Machine is as much a part of the gang as they are.

Tonight, for example. They've been driving most of the day. They started in Key West, visiting Daphne's cousin and wrapping up a mystery they'd accidentally stumbled into at the Ernest Hemingway House. The plan now is to go to Chicago. Shaggy and Scooby are very excited about the absurd amount of deep-dish pizza they intend to consume, but while that is a plus, they're really going to check out a few allegedly haunted locations there. It's quite a drive and they're somewhere between Atlanta and Chattanooga when the engine starts to overheat.

It's not a thing they're overly concerned about and quite frankly it made it further than they expected before it happened today. Once the engine cools down, they'll be good to go, but it's late enough that they decide to stop for the night anyway.

They pull out some of the camping gear they have stowed away in the van and make a small campfire at the edge of the forest they're stopped by. Shaggy cooks up some food and fights to keep Scooby from devouring it all. Daphne and Fred are planning out the route for tomorrow. Velma's trying to fix the portable radio that Scooby accidentally buried in sand at the beach – right now it's only managing garbled noises and not so much music.

Finally, after a particularly loud and screechy noise, Velma is successful. Time of the Season by the Zombies cuts in somewhere in the middle of the song, just as Shaggy gets dinner finished. Once the food's gone, it doesn't take Shaggy long to break out his secret stash and the four of them pass a joint around.

Happy, just a little bit high, laughing and content, the dancing starts. Then the kissing. Shaggy pins Fred against a tree on the edge of the woods. Daphne draws Velma into the back of the Mystery Machine. Scooby makes s'mores at the campfire while no one is around to stop him.

When Fred and Shaggy return, sated and love drunk, it's to find the girls much the same. They dig out the blankets and pillows from wherever they're hidden during the day (seriously, if asked, no one but Velma would know – she knows where all of their gear is, no matter how impossible it is that it all fits) and get ready to get some sleep.

Fred claims the front seat, sprawled out across the bench. Shaggy sleeps by the back door, so that if anyone tries to open it, he'll know. Daphne and Velma sleep in the middle, Scooby usually either between them or sprawled across their feet.

Tomorrow, they'll get the Mystery Machine back on the road and do it all over again.