It is fan fiction. Based on We've Got Work to Do from Threadless.
AL?S>AL>FJKSDG YES IT IS THAT AWESOME.
Title: the road this far can't be retraced
Fandom: Scooby Doo, Where Are You! / Threadless t-shirts
Characters: Velma Dinkley, Scooby-Doo, Daphne Blake, Fred Jones, Shaggy Rogers
Pairings: Daphne/Freddie, Velma/Daphne
Rating: Somewhere between PG-13 and R
Summary: Velma saved them in the end. She knew she did, she wasn't shy about it. Her research gave them machetes, chainsaws and shotguns, garlic and holy water, silver bullets. She was the first one to take aim and squeeze off four shots, the last one taking the zombie right through the forehead and knocking him down hard before he could take a bite out of Fred's arm. She took the knife, the kitchen knife they'd found in Fred's apartment and the only one they had then, and she cut off the head and shot it one last time, spraying blood and brain across the asphalt of the road where they'd stopped for a bathroom break.
Velma sits by the fire and fixes her glasses with thick Scotch tape she found in an abandoned office warehouse. They got knocked off again, skittering into the underbrush and the previous tape job just couldn't stand up to it.
Scooby-Doo is on the other side of the fire, still gnawing on a bone. It's human. Most of what he eats these days is. At least with this one he's stripped most of the meat off already, there's just the occasional pink flash of sinew. Behind them is the Mystery Machine that is somehow unbelievably still running, even after how many times she's had to run over zombies in it.
Some things change, some stay the same, she thinks, puts her glasses back on and takes a bite out of a protein bar that tastes like cardboard. The back of the Mystery Machine is organized in a way it hasn't been since before Shaggy and Scooby took it over. There are no more Scooby Snacks. Sometimes she rolls pieces of meat in flour and cooks them over the fire, if she has time, but they're not exactly the same.
Scooby doesn't mind. He's quieter, these days, leaner, less afraid. His blue collar with the little gold diamond is spotted with blood that won't come out, and at night he lies outside the Mystery Machine and keeps watch, waking her with soft growls instead of words when anything gets too close.
The fire pops. She puts a hand to her waist, takes out the machete and the whetstone and sets to work, long slow strokes that hum a little as she puts the edge back on the blade. There's work to do. There's always work to do.
When the dead first rose up they didn't know what to do.
No masks, no disgruntled employees, no showy tricks in order to steal a fortune. Just zombies, slowly, inexorably (in-what-ably, as Shaggy said) forwards. After a few days they learned how to run.
After two weeks the vampires turned up. When the werewolves came a few days later, they knew that was it.
Daphne mostly cried. The family she had left had been attacked early on, all of them dead. Some of them infected. Shaggy spent his time in the back of the van with Scooby, apparently thinking that if he didn't see it, it wasn't there. Velma and Fred drove to isolated areas and tried to figure out what the hell it was they were going to do.
Velma saved them in the end. She knew she did, she wasn't shy about it. Her research gave them machetes, chainsaws and shotguns, garlic and holy water, silver bullets. She was the first one to take aim and squeeze off four shots, the last one taking the zombie right through the forehead and knocking him down hard before he could take a bite out of Fred's arm. She took the knife, the kitchen knife they'd found in Fred's apartment and the only one they had then, and she cut off the head and shot it one last time, spraying blood and brain across the asphalt of the road where they'd stopped for a bathroom break.
Fred didn't say anything. Daphne cried. Shaggy went around back behind the van and threw up, but Velma just took a deep breath and cleaned the blood off her knife because that, that was just what had to be done.
Scooby finds a den full of werewolves. A female, a male, three pups. The male comes out snarling and tackles him down, but when he bites down on Scooby's neck he reels away screaming because he's just encountered the six layers of silver chain twisted under his collar.
Velma hears the yelps from twenty feet away where she's pissing into the bushes and before she knows it she's got her pistol drawn, the one with the silver bullets and the cross carved on the trigger guard. She thinks about how when it was all masks and chases and police at the end congratulating them, about how she would never move so fast then. But that was before and this is now and these things are ingrained into her, more then she would ever have thought possible.
The male goes down with a bullet in his head and that's when the female takes a flying leap and lands on Velma. Velma goes down hard, shouts "Jinkies!" because she never got the hang of swearing but then there's nothing but flying leaves and a massive wolf on top of her, claws raking down her unprotected chest and ripping through her orange tank top. She thinks, for a moment, that this is it, closes her eyes and tries to be ready but then the weight's gone, and Scooby's rolling over and over on the ground with a silver-furred tornado.
She pulls herself upright, somehow, stumbles to one side and empties her clip at the werewolf. At least one of them must hit, because it reels back, howling, and that's when Scooby sinks his teeth into the throat with a spray of blood.
Velma leans back on a nearby tree and tries to breath through the burning pain and panic. Scooby leaves the corpse, sits by her side and looks up her with liquid eyes and a blood-soaked muzzle. "Rokay?" He asks and she can't bring herself to say yes so he just licks the wounds on her chest until she gets up and stumbles back to the first aid kit.
She stitches herself. Books taught her how, and even though it took a long time to get good she has had practice. When she's finished she splashes alcohol on the wounds, thinks about taking a swig but just like she never got the hang of swearing she also never got the hang of drinking and in the end, it's better used as antiseptic. She cleans up Scooby, next, hand-feeds him cubes of meat (and that's all they are, just meat, that's all she'll think about) and tells him that she wishes she had Scooby Snacks for him. He's littered with small cuts that she washes and cleans, stitches the bigger ones while he whines underneath her hands.
When she's done she takes the gun and reloads. She goes to the cave, where the three werewolf pups are sleeping.
She closes her eyes, then she opens them and aims and Velma does what she has to do.
Shaggy died first, and Velma thought that maybe they were all expecting that. It was during the day, and the rest of them were eating by the side of the road. Packaged stuff, things that kept when the electricity went. Shaggy was down a hill to their left, dangling his feet in the creek and wolfing down a bag of chips.
They didn't see it coming. There was just one surprised cry, and then he was limp on the grass. The zombie on top of him raised its head and cried out, a low baying sound. The rest would come to it.
Daphne screamed and screamed and Fred grabbed the shotgun, fired it and the zombie's chest opened up in a spray of red. Scooby-Doo was already halfway down the hill and before they could do anything he grabbed at Shaggy's shirt, dragging him back up. He was covered in blood. Most of it, Velma thought, was his.
They got him into the back of the van and Fred stepped on the accelerator. Scooby lay around his legs, licking frantically at the mess where his neck had once been. Velma checked for a pulse and her fingers slipped inside his trachea.
"I'm sorry," she said, helpless and hating it, hating that none of her books and none of her research ever told her what to do if she was in the back of a van with a dead friend.
"Re's rill reathing!" Scooby barked, licked his face harder and harder and Daphne cried, blood staining her beautiful dress and Velma put her face in her hands and wished she knew what to do.
Vampires are the easiest to kill. Velma wears a crucifix necklace and carries bottles of holy water. There are stakes strapped to her belt and sometimes one on her arm. She has read the Bible countless times, countless versions, until the prayers spill off her lips without even thinking about it.
She swings the stake, knows the force she'll need to snap brittle ribs and find the heart, ave maria gratia plena dominus tecum benedicta tu in mulieribus et benedictus fructus ventris tui. If she gets lucky enough to find a nest during the day, she sprinkles garlic and kerosene, lights the dry bodies mater misericordiae vita dulcedo et spes nostra salve ad te clamamus exsules filii hevae ad te Suspiramus gementes et flentes in hac lacrimarum valle. She sings hymns under her breath while driving, sometimes, in the seat that's still adjusted for Fred because she can't bring herself to change it.
Crucifixes and ropes of garlic hang from the rear-view mirror. In the back, lying on the floor, is a blanket with the Sacred Heart embroidered on it. She found it at a senior's home. It still smells like cigarettes and old lady.
Vampires are the easiest and werewolves are the hardest and zombies fall somewhere in between, but she's killed all three and she knows, driving, Scooby sleeping in the back next to her chainsaw and the .22 calibre Winchester she loads with silver, that she won't ever stop because someday one of them is going to get her before she can get them.
Fred died next and it was long and drawn out and horrific. A werewolf jumped him, came out of nowhere and before they got it off him it had bitten deep into his thigh and the blood was coming in spurts.
Velma had read medical texts and she knew an arterial bleed when she saw one. Daphne screamed until Velma slapped her, breathing hard, said "Shut up and listen to me," and suddenly it was like a switch had been turned because she knelt next to Fred who was breathing like each one was going to be his last, put her hands over his leg, and pressed down on the wound.
Velma took a breath, tried to remember. It was easier then she thought it would have been. She took his belt and his Ascot, made a makeshift tourniquet and handed the Ascot to Daphne so her hands, with the nails that had been perfect before they'd had to load guns and sharpen knives, wouldn't get any bloodier.
Velma drove for the first time, that night, Fred in the back moaning because all they had was aspirin. Daphne talked to him, quietly, kissed his cheek and didn't scream or cry at all. Velma drove hard, foot pressed to the accelerator, occasionally glancing at the map because there had to be a medical center somewhere. Scooby curled by his feet, unmoving, silent the way he had been since Shaggy had died.
But no hospital came up and when the gas ran out in the middle of the mountains Velma wanted to cry. Fred had stopped moaning and just lay there, eyes moving occasionally, breathing slow and shallow. They covered him with what blankets they had, spare clothing, and Velma doused the wound in vodka against infection.
They slept next to him, that night. Scooby still at his feet, one girl on each side, meeting in the middle and Daphne's hand, slim and cool in Velma's, rose and fell with each movement of Fred's chest. When the sun rose, shining through the windows, their hands were still and the blood on the floor was cold and sticky, congealed underneath them.
They buried his body under rocks, hoping the zombies wouldn't find it. They were in the middle of unpacking the Mystery Machine, trying to figure out what they would take with them, when Daphne found the spare can of gas in the back.
Velma stared at it, and for the first time since it had all began she put her head down and cried hard, gasping sobs, tears and snot everywhere and Daphne held her and murmured Latin prayers into her hair until the tears finally dried while Scooby-Doo howled wordlessly into the sky.
A zombie bites her leg and she manages to get its head with her chainsaw before it can get too deep, but she still has to pry its teeth out and after she does she turns her head and is sick with how much it hurts. Scooby comes when she calls and puts his head under her arm, helps her up and gets her back to the van where she grits her teeth and watches stars explode while she pours whiskey over the torn skin.
She knows she should stitch it and she tries, she really does, but her hands shake. She curls up under the Sacred Heart blanket instead and sleeps, Scooby-Doo at her feet whining softly.
When she wakes up she doesn't know what time it is, only that something's wrong. Her glasses are on her face but she can't focus properly, can't see, and she's cold and hot at the same time and finally her brain digs up the word 'infection' and she wants to cry.
But she doesn't cry, she hasn't since Daphne. Instead she drags herself to the door, opens it and lets Scooby out because it's probably been a while and he'll need to pee. He does so, then comes right back and she uses him as a crutch so she can reach the locks and push them down.
That's all that matters, she knows. So long as they can't get in. She wants to check her gun but after staring it for she doesn't know how long she can't remember how to reload, so in the end she just prays, gloria patri et filii et spiritui sancto sicut erat in principio
et in saecula saeculorum
It was a few weeks after Fred had died that they stumbled across a whole nest of vampires. Not just three, or four, but over twenty. They had spread out through the tiny town and taken it over. Daphne, quiet and passive the way she'd been since forever unexpectedly spoke, voice clear, "We need to take them out."
That night, a safe distance outside town they stripped naked. Daphne was unashamed as the tattered remains of her dress fell from her body, as she took off her panties and bra and stood white and glowing in the moonlight. Diana, Artemis, and Velma blushed hotly as she stepped slowly out of her own clothes.
They washed each other in holy water. The jugs they'd carried from church to church, always refilling them were emptied over their bodies. Daphne's hands, surprisingly strong, surprisingly rough, ghosted over Velma's body as she rubbed it into the smaller girl's skin. Velma, too conscious of the calluses and ripped fingernails on her own hands, tucked them behind her until she had to pour the water over Daphne's pale hair.
They dried themselves with the Sacred Heart blanket they'd picked up not long ago, soaked stakes in what remained of the water, peeled cloves of garlic. When they'd done everything they could and Scooby was asleep in the back of the van they sat together.
Daphne drank silently from a silver flask, communion wine. Velma took the flask from her hand and when Daphne stared at her, all wide scared eyes like Velma had seen so many times before, she leaned forward to kiss the drips of red wine like blood from her lips.
When morning came they washed again, their bodies cool and soft against each other, garlic and the cold smell of silver and the taste of communion wine, bitter and old in their mouths. They holstered guns, stakes, and knives, and when they went to find Scooby he gave them reproachful looks which neither answered.
They swept through the town like avenging angels. Velma had vampire dust in her hair and a stake in her hands when she saw the figure behind Daphne and wondered how Daphne didn't see him.
Daphne turned and looked at her. She smiled, the way she hadn't smiled since before Fred, before Shaggy. Before everything. She smiled her beauty-queen smile, and Velma, watching, knew that it had been wrong all along. Daphne wasn't meant for this.
The vampire's fangs sunk into her throat. Scooby and Velma were there in seconds, but it was too late. It had been too late months ago, with Daphne's first scream the first time they realised they were fighting something different.
The vampire died, and when they piled up and burned the corpses Daphne's body was with them. Her hair and her smile turned to ash while the smoke pricked Velma's eyes until she sat down next to Scooby, took off her glasses, buried her head in his fur and cried.
Velma drifts in the fever. Sometimes the rest of the gang is there, with her. Daphne is naked and beautiful, puts her hand on Velma's forehead and tells her to sleep. Shaggy sits with Scooby-Doo in the back of the van, gives her his old goofy grin and tosses a Scooby Snack her way, eats one himself.
Fred squeezes her hand and smiles. She smiles too, because they're all together again, and somewhere outside her dream, in the world, she thinks she hears Scooby whining quietly.
It doesn't matter, she thinks.
She drifts back; opens her eyes to white-hot pain from her leg and eyes that won't focus. Scooby's standing by the van door, he wants to go out. On the third try she manages to open it but can't get it shut again.
It's okay, she thinks. It'll all be okay. She closes her eyes and the gang's all there again with her, holding her close. She smiles and smiles and can't think of what to say through the lump in her throat.
In the outside world, she hears barking and growling. She doesn't want to hear it. She doesn't want the outside world anymore, where her books and her knowledge don't mean anything anymore because they told her that this couldn't happen. She wants the gang, and mysteries and Scooby Snacks and laughter.
Fred touches her hair, lightly, and then brings a hand down to wipe a tear away. She's crying.
I'm sorry, she tries to say. Fred smiles.
C'mon, gang! His voice is echoing, peculiar and suddenly her stomach drops because she knows what he's about to say and she doesn't want to hear it, no, she doesn't, she can't...
Let's split up! Fred says, and she wants to scream and she can't and she can't and then they're gone and she's opening her eyes to the empty van.
The pain's still there. The fever isn't. She drags herself upright and fumbles until she can find her glasses, puts them on. She calls Scooby, but he doesn't answer.
She leaves the van, shaking and exhausted and using the shotgun as a crutch. She calls Scooby again, but he won't answer and she knows what's happened even before she finds his body under the tree, next to three dead zombies, blood soaking the earth around it.
She kneels down, as best she can, checks for a pulse but she know she isn't going to find one even before she touches him. She closes his eyes, whispers a few lines of Latin, deus, cujus miseratióne ánimæ fidélium requiéscunt hunc túmulum benedícere dignáre.
Let's split up, gang!
Velma sits by the fire and stitches her leg. Her hands are steady, the needle passing easily through her skin, soaked in tequila. On the other side of the fire is the Mystery Machine, the one piece of home she has left.
When she's finished, she throws water and earth on the fire, grabs her shotgun and limps over to the van. The back is more organized then ever before, every can of gasoline, gun, knife, and box of ammo in its rightful place. She hesitates, and then closes the side door, getting in the driver's side and placing the shotgun on the passenger's side.
She adjusts the seat until it feels right to her. As she starts the van and drives off, the blood-soaked blue collar with the tiny gold diamond catches the morning light. She catches herself looking at it.
But she can't for long, because there's work to do.
There's always work to do.
Non-Author's Note: IF YOU READ THIS AND LIKED IT YOU SHOULD LEAVE COMMENTS TELLING silverpenlight HOW AMAZING IT IS BECAUSE I AM GOING TO MAKE HER READ THEM.