"Jeepers! Isn't it neat being surrounded by all these puppets? Why, imagine if we were puppets! We wouldn't be able to go anywhere or do anything unless someone made us!"
Velma chuckled at Daphne's thought experiment. "I'm sure Fred would prefer it that way." she replied.
Daphne let out a cathartic "HA!" at Velma's comment before getting distracted by a monkey marionette with a funny hat. The Gang was investigating the Strand Theater due to Shaggy accidentally stumbling onto a counterfeiting ring. They had traced the counterfeit money back to the local theater and decided to get to the bottom of this mystery (by breaking and entering). Usually during the "split up and look for clues" stage of the investigation, Daphne went off with Fred and poor Velma was left alone with Team Cowardice. But things between Daphne and Fred had been on the rocks ever since Daphne saw that Women's Libs segment on the morning news. Fred's habit of appointing himself taskmaster had finally blown up in his face because Daphne was sick of letting him order her around. Velma graciously offered to split off with Daphne until tensions cooled between her and Fred. Of course this was all great news for her. In the past week, Velma had come to the realization that she was in love with Daphne. For the longest time, Velma repressed these feelings by dismissing Daphne as an airhead not worthy of her time. But now she could no longer play pretend about how she felt, and having Fred out of the picture could allow her to find out if Daphne felt the same way.
"Yes, Velma?" she replied while still preoccupied with her new wooden friend.
"Do you think I'm…" Velma shifted nervously "Do you think I'm pretty."
Even asking this question was tough for Velma. She had always been insecure about her appearance. She'd been called all sorts of things. "Ugly", "Butch", "Four Eyes", "Fat", etc. And some of those were from her own Aunt. Like most of her anxieties, she tried to bury it behind her usual smug demeanor but that didn't stop those words from circling her head whenever she looked into a mirror. However, if she wanted a serious relationship with Daphne, she needed an answer.
Daphne laughed, "Why of course you are, silly! Why would you ever ask-" Daphne stopped. Upon looking into Velma's eyes, she suddenly understood the severity of the question.
"I mean, you have a look that's all your own. You have a cute haircut, adorable freckles, and that turtleneck? Don't even get me started! In this girl's opinion, you are one groovy gal!"
Velma blushed, "You really think so?"
"Honest Injun!" Daphne answered, suddenly starting to feel a little sheepish. She wasn't the only one. Velma felt like she was in a daze. No one had ever complimented her appearance since her parents died. And having it come from Daphne meant so much. Velma tried to find the words to express her gratitude but could barely get anything out.
"You okay, Velma?" Daphne asked. Velma weakly nodded.
"Daphne, there's something I need to tell you-"
Velma lept. She didn't know what it was that nearly hit her because she had lost her glasses while getting out of its way.
"Velma!" she heard Daphne shout. She could feel Daph helping her up. After she was handed back her glasses by Daphne, Velma realized it was a fallen sandbag that almost struck her.
"That rope must have come loose." Daphne hypothesized. Velma went over to examine the sandbag.
"Loose nothing! Someone cut this rope!" She knew the markings of a pocket knife when she saw one.
"Jeepers! Someone really doesn't want us looking around here!"
Velma dropped the rope and turned to Daphne, "Come on, let's go find the others before whoever did this finds them first." If there was one thing Velma had in common with Fred, it was her willingness to throw herself wherever danger lurked.
Daphne followed her lead, "Right behind you! By the way, what was it you wanted to tell me?"
This question caused Velma to stop in her tracks. In all the excitement, she had completely forgotten their previous conversation. "Um, it was nothing. You had something in your teeth. But it's out now. Just thought you should know."
Daphne chuckled, "I'm so glad you're here to look after me!"
"Um, yeah, me too." Velma started blushing again before leading Daph down the hall.