Disclaimer: I don’t own the characters in True Blood or the Southern Vampire Mysteries. So neither copyright infringement nor offense is meant. I simply want to make the characters do what I wanted them to do for a while. I am especially “unownerly” when it comes to this story. You will recognize a lot of the dialogue throughout as being quoted from Season 5 of True Blood, though I’ve tried to use Eric’s thoughts to make this story “different” from its source. That said, I claim no ownership to the quoted material and have placed it in bold so that it is set apart from my own words.
When Sookie, Alcide, Doug, and I left the garage, we found Bill skulking near Alcide’s van, which I’d mentally dubbed the “Mystery Mobile.” God knows, there was something about the whole situation that screamed Scooby Doo to me.
Pamela had first heard of that animated television program in the 1970’s from one of her human “friends.” She began recording the series on Betamax in the early 80s. She gained much amusement from the episodes, and I will admit that I was entertained by the cartoon too—despite the predictability of each “mystery.”
Every episode followed the same basic plot. A dog and four amateur teenaged sleuths—emphasis on the “amateur”—would attempt to solve cases involving the supernatural. The stories seemingly revolved around ghosts and goblins and zombies—or even vampires and werewolves sometimes. However—always—the supernatural was found to be very “natural” as the culprits ended up being humans in disguise.
Of course, the solving of the crimes was never easy for the group! Though Fred, the de facto leader of the group, would often set up elaborate traps to capture the culprits, the bumbling Shaggy and the always-frightened Scooby Doo would fuck things up. “Danger-prone Daphne” and “the brain” of the group, Velma, completed the membership of “Mystery Incorporated”—until Scrappy Doo, an annoying, yippy little dog was added to the group.
No matter how many times we watched the show, Pam would always yell—”I knew it!”—whenever the culprit was unmasked. In my opinion, it wasn’t hard to guess the true villain. If there was an older man in the episode—he was it. Youth trumped aged almost every time.
As Pam celebrated her correct guesses, I would always think about how scarily accurate Scooby Doo was in certain ways. Supernaturals had often covered up their “crimes” by glamouring humans to take the fall. Hell—I wouldn’t even be surprised to learn that many Supes had crafted elaborate costumes for their human scapegoats over the years, just so that entertaining “un-masking” moments could occur.
God knows Pam had done so on occasion.
As Alcide’s vehicle rumbled over a particularly rough spot in the road, I rolled my eyes. “Definitely the Mystery Mobile,” I mumbled.
“What was that?” Bill asked. He’d been half-sulking and half-glaring at me since we’d left the parking garage. I was pissed at being relegated to the back of the truck, but Scooby Doo—whom I’d cast as Alcide—was driving the truck. And he’d insisted that there was room for only Sookie and Doug in the front with him.
So what if the dog was right about that! I was still pissed that I had to endure Bill. I was even more pissed that I had to overhear the conversation between Sookie and Alcide. Apparently, Alcide didn’t want to talk about how she’d puked on his shoes.
I sort of wanted to hear more about that!
Bill finally spoke as the van made a sharp left turn, which jostled us both. Stupid dog drivers.
“What if Nora orchestrated this whole thing? She pretended to save us so she could send us to Russell?” Bill asked.
“And why would she do that?” I asked.
“Russell could be a powerful ally to her cause—though he’d never agree to do it for free.” His voice got louder. “But if she were to serve the two of us up to him, then she’d be in a position to negotiate with him!”
“Yeah, well, that’s not what she did. She tried to get us out of the country,” I reminded. Gods—Bill really was stupid. Even if Nora would betray me—which I was convinced she wouldn’t, no matter what “cause” she might have joined—she hadn’t learned about Russell from me! Moreover, I was still convinced that she was trying to get us out of the country.
And, even if she had known about Russell from a Sanguinista confederate, my bet was that she had been trying to get me out of my three-thousand-year-old enemy’s way.
“Well, that’s what she said she was doing,” Bill commented acerbically.
Wasn’t he the one who seemed to be flirting with her just a few nights before?
“You’re just being paranoid,” I said.
“Then why is she still alive?” Bill asked.
Wasn’t that obvious? There was still a Sanguinista in Roman’s group—someone with enough clout to convince Roman that Nora had continued use.
I lied when I responded. “I don’t know, Bill.” I wasn’t going to help him if he couldn’t figure out that much!
“She’s a traitor and a liar just like her brother,” Bill said in an inflammatory tone.
“Take that back,” I seethed. I’d had enough of Bill-fucking-Compton accusing me of being a liar, and it was going to stop. NOW!
His phone rang—the phone he’d been given by the Guardian.
Fuck! Okay—perhaps, now was not the time to tear out Bill’s vocal cords, after all.
We both put our fangs away.
“Hello?” Bill answered.
I listened to the techy explain how Bill and I had only until dawn to find Russell.
Bill tried to deny the statement, but Molly alerted us to a test of our iStakes. They were glowing. And beeping.
“Cool,” Molly said brightly. “That means we’re good to go. Good luck. And if you don’t make it, it’s been rad serving you. Peace out.” She hung up.
I couldn’t help myself. Despite the fact that Molly was the harbinger of doom, I still liked her.
Bill hung up. “We don’t have much time.”
He glared at me, and I thought we were going to pick up our previous confrontation until the vehicle jarred to a stop.
Fucking dog drivers!
Sookie was holding Doug’s hand, obviously still recovering his memories.
“They took Russell inside,” she said.
“We don’t have much time,” said the broken record that was Bill. “We should split up. I’ll take the north wing, and you take the south,” he told me.
“Even at full speed, it’s a lot of ground to cover,” I said skeptically. I knew it would be better if Sookie continued to be Sookie.
Bill had other ideas. He spoke to Sookie in that patronizing tone he had. “Sookie, we’d like to thank you for getting us this far, but Eric and I will take it from here. You can stay outside with Doug and Alcide.”
“Yeah, right,” I thought.
“Yeah, right,” she said.
Gods—I loved her. She wasn’t some dainty flower. She had a warrior’s heart, and she was a warrior’s dream. My dream. Moreover, she was probably the only chance we had at finding Russell. Of course, that didn’t stop me from poking the bear. I did so love to rile her.
“First of all,” she started, obviously wound up, “I’ve seen enough horror movies to know you don’t split up when you’re in a big, scary asylum and there’s a crazed killer on the loose.”
She was right about that. Scooby Doo taught the same lesson.
“Second,” she went on, just getting revved up, “I think it’s fair to say that my microwave fingers and the sun are about the only things around here that seem to have any effect on Russell, so the way I see it, it’s me protecting you from him, instead of the other way around.”
Was it wrong that I was fully erect now?
“Third, I got a headache and I gotta pee something fierce, so I’d just as soon get this over with.” She turned and stomped off toward the ‘haunted hospital.’
Bill scowled, but Alcide seemed to appreciate Sookie’s performance too. He chuckled as he followed her, calling Doug as he went.
Doug, whom I had already dubbed as Shaggy—given his perpetually terrified look—followed Scooby.
Of course, I followed too.
As Sookie led us through the hallways of the abandoned hospital, holding a flashlight in one hand and Doug’s hand in her other, I decided that she was both Velma and Daphne. After all, there were two Sookie Stackhouses. Though she couldn’t be classified as a nerd, she was definitely clever, and she got herself out of more problems than anyone I had ever known. On the other hand, she was most certainly eye candy. And she was definitely a danger magnet.
So she was Daphne, too.
That left me trying to figure out Bill’s role. Obviously, I was Fred: good looking, blond, and—ultimately—the man in charge.
Bill clearly wanted to be a “Fred.” But his standard constipated look and his frequent douchy comments disqualified him from that role in my opinion.
Was it possible to have two Shaggies? After all, Bill and Shaggy had some undeniable similarities. Bad hair. Bouts of cluelessness. Inability to correctly pronounce simple words—like “Sookie.” Hell—they even sort of looked alike!
Alcide inhaled deeply. “Wolves have been here.”
“They come with Russell,” Bill said in a douchy tone.
I sighed. Shaggy wasn’t douchy, so that sort of hurt my casting. And I also had to admit that Bill wasn’t a coward.
I’d have to keep working on the analogy. Meanwhile, I turned my attention to Doug, who was whimpering. And sweating profusely.
“I don’t like this,” the man said. I wondered who would.
Sookie was obviously still reading his memories. She grunted, and her knees buckled a little. I held in my chuckle. Through our bond, I knew that she wasn’t particularly taxed from using her gift. Nope. Her stomach had turned—not because of what she was “reading,” but because of what she’d drunk earlier.
“You okay?” Bill asked, his concern thick in his tone—so thick that it sounded fake.
“Yeah,” Sookie said with irritation. “Remind me to avoid peach schnapps in the future.”
I grinned as Bill looked a little confused.
“Turn left,” Sookie instructed, and then she led us into a large room—definitely something out of a Scooby Doo episode!
Doug was rattling on and on about New York City—and about how he’d regret it if he couldn’t go there.
Doug gasped almost comically as there was a clattering in the distance. Definitely Shaggy. And definitely annoying!
A rat ran in front of us, and Sookie—after jumping a little, but not nearly as much as Doug—followed the rodent with her flashlight, only to find it and a couple of its friends snacking on a severed hand.
Not surprisingly, Shaggy—I mean Doug—started crying.
“Oh my God!” Sookie gasped.
“It’s okay, Doug. It’s okay,” Scooby comforted Shaggy.
Okay—so maybe she wasn’t mine. But she felt like she was in that moment. She was brave. And—better yet—I could feel her curiosity.
She wanted to solve the fucking mystery as much as I did!
When we came to a pile of corpses with rats all over them, she was—indeed—freaked out a bit, but her curiosity held. And her courage.
I’d always wondered why humans said such horribly inappropriate things when confronted with true horrors. There was nothing “good” or “heavenly” about the sight, and it certainly wasn’t from the Lord she was referring to. I made a note to ask Sookie about such sayings one day.
Hopefully, I’d get the chance.
Meanwhile, Shaggy was wailing, “No, no, no, no, no,” in a staccato loop.
“Seems like we’re in the right place,” I remarked.
In typical Sookie fashion, she looked up at me before rolling her eyes.
“Obviously,” she intoned, before leading us down another corridor.
I could hear water dripping, and the smell of live humans got stronger.
“This way,” Sookie said, practically pulling Shaggy with her now.
“The morgue. How convenient,” Bill intoned as we passed by the sign indicating that area.
Convenient—yes. It would be light-tight and cool—even without power to the building.
Doug’s loud panting made me wonder if I should have assigned him the role of Scooby. But then—as we heard a noise down the hall—I was reminded of why Alcide had to be the dog.
He growled. “We’re being watched,” the Were said.
I sighed. Shaggy indeed.
Sookie ran after the man, yelling his ‘real’ name. After checking to make sure that those who were watching were not following, I trailed after her, only to find her in a kind of “human cooler.”
More than a dozen humans—all in straightjackets—were hanging from meat hooks—like sides of beef.
How quaint. Sanguinista through and through.
Doug’s screams threatened to wake up all the humans in the cooler, so I covered his mouth with my hand. A disgusting job, but someone had to do it.
As the only coherent human on the hooks begged us to take another—since he’d recently been on a diet and all—I enjoyed feeling the curiosity still reigning inside of my bonded. Oh—she was disgusted and horrified. But neither her courage nor her curiosity had waned a bit!
“Where do they take the prisoners?” Bill asked.
“Down the hallway. There’s screaming and then there’s not,” he added.
Yes—that would explain the piles of corpses down the hall.
I had counted seven drained humans in that little room. That would mean that Russell would be well on his way to recovery, but it would have been impossible for him to regenerate fully—despite the fact that he was apparently gorging himself.
“I’m not going. I’m staying here,” Shaggy proclaimed.
I wasn’t going to argue with the annoying man. He’d served his purpose.
I left the room. There might be a time to free the hung-up humans, but they couldn’t be our priority. Unlike Sookie, they really would be in the way.
I could hear Bill ask Sookie if she was ready, but I didn’t need to hear her response. I felt it. Courage and curiosity—a glorious fucking combination.
Scrappy! That’s who Bill could be in the Scooby Doo episode in my mind.
Ultimately unnecessary. Check.
Bringing down the quality of the “show?” Check. Check.
A/N: Okay, this was one of my favorite chapters to write–in anything! I had so much fun thinking about the scene on the show as a Scooby Doo episode. If you re-watch it, I dare you not to laugh, especially at Doug’s faces. TOO FUNNY! I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. And-I really could see Eric thinking something like this, given his humor. LOL.