Disclaimer: Don't own and never will
AN: I wrote this as a wedding gift for ChoCedric's fiance Ryan. I'm not as familiar with Scooby Do as I am Harry Potter, but I hope you like it anyway.
AN2: I've borrowed aspects of the live action film adaptations for some of the minor background details and a few bits that I've only heard about from later series. The series Velma will not be relevant here.
Fred was old.
He could see it in his features, even through his failing eyes. He could feel it in his bones. He could even feel it in his soul. No longer was he the eager young crime solver he had once been. Just a slowly declining old man who was still going long after his friends were gone.
He smiled as he looked down at the picture sitting on his lap. It was an old picture, taken many, many years ago. They had just solved another case and were sitting down to eat at some diner somewhere. (Although what the case was, he couldn't remember. They all blurred together these days.)
The diner itself was a fairly average place. Plastic tables and chairs. Neon lights. The things usually found in an average cheap diner really. Shaggy and Scooby were busy scoffing down food like they were starving. Velma was watching them with quiet amusement as she sipped her drink through a straw and Daphne was looking at the camera with a smile. A smile that she reserved for those closest to her.
She always looked so beautiful when she smiled, even in their old age.
Fred sighed as he felt tears begin to form. It had only been a month since she had died, bringing their decades long marriage to a close. The tears were healthy, he knew that. An expression of his grief for his loss. Daphne had cried on his shoulder after Scooby Do had died. And they had shed many bitter tears over losing Velma in her forties in a drink-driving accident. They had all been angry, but it was Norville "Shaggy" Rogers who had to be restrained from punching the drunken jerk in the face.
That had been a surprise.
Shaggy had passed away a few years ago. Now it was just Fred left and he had something very important to do.
The doorbell rang and Fred stood up. He had almost forgotten what he had been planning to do today, lost in memories and nostalgia of better times. Or at least younger, more carefree ones. He hobbled his way to the front door and opened it to be embraced by a young man with short red hair and dark brown eyes.
"Hey grandpa," the young man said as Fred embraced him on the doorstep. "Are you...?"
"I'm holding on," he said, before finally releasing his grandson. "What about you Simon?"
Simon shrugged, clearly unsure as to what he was feeling. Fred didn't blame him.
"I miss grandma," he finally said with a slightly melancholic look on his face and Fred nodded.
"We all do. But I invited you over today for something important!" he hobbled into the building and invited Simon to follow him. "It's something to do with your grandma, at least indirectly. In fact, if it hadn't been for this, I would never have met her. Or the best friends I ever had."
Simon followed him in, closing the door behind them. He was curious, Fred could tell, but he wanted this to be a surprise and he wasn't about to spoil it now.
"What do you mean grandpa?" he finally asked after what felt like an eternity. "Is this something to do with your days in Mystery Inc?"
"Of sorts," Fred said as they reached the garage door side entrance. He put a key in the door and opened it. "More specifically, it's about this particular legacy."
He opened the door and stepped into the garage, followed by his grandson, who let out a small gasp of surprise.
"Grandpa, is that..."
"It is," Fred said with a small smile. He gestured to the vehicle in front of them. A 1972 Ford E200 Econoline van painted blue with green accents and orange flowers painted on. The words The Mystery Machine were painted on the side in bright orange and it looked as good as new. "This is the very van I used to travel with your grandmother in. Along with my friends Velma, Shaggy and Scooby-Do. And eventually Scrappy-Do as well. Everyone always forgets him though."
"The original Mystery Machine," Simon said as he walked around the vehicle and examined it. This was practically a legend in Coolsville. With so many famous cases solved by Mystery Inc, it was a source of some pride that they had come from here.
"You're a pretty good detective yourself," Fred said and Simon raised an eyebrow. "You solved the mystery of the Flaviatus house ghost after all."
"It wasn't just me," Simon said, looking away slightly. "I couldn't have done it without my friends Ryan and Katie and Cedric."
"I know," Fred said with a smile. "In fact, you all remind me of the original Mystery Inc."
"We're just amateurs grandpa," Simon said and Fred chuckled.
"So were we," he said, before holding up a set of keys. Simon looked at them and his eyes widened.
"Grandpa?" he asked, not sure what he was going to ask.
"I had her converted to fully electric a few years ago. And I added a few modern bells and whistles." He handed Simon the keys. "I have a feeling that you and your friends deserve to have a chance. If you're interested?"
"The same age I was when I started Mystery Inc." He placed a hand on Simon's shoulder and looked at him. "I have no doubt that you will make a great successor. And anyway, it's just sitting here gathering dust. I can't drive any more and I think this old girl deserves to be driven out and about in the world." He gave a chuckle. "She deserves to live and be driven, not shut away in some museum. And besides, I think you and your friends will appreciate and care for her."
"Well...yes...but..." Simon admitted as he stared in disbelief at the keys in his hand. "But...it's such an important part of the history of our family. Of this town!"
"It is. And it should belong to someone who I think will solve a lot of cases in the future." Fred gave his grandson a reassuring smile. "You solved the Mystery of the Werewolf of Bayonne Woods when you were only fourteen. With the same friends if memory serves correctly."
"Well yes. But we were the first people to try and look at the strange chemical burns that nobody thought was important. It could have been anyone really."
"But it was you. And that is what makes you a detective. Not reputation or the vehicle you drive or anything like that. It's recognising the evidence that others overlook. About seeing the signs that point to the truth, even though others seem to think that they're unimportant."
Simon looked at the keys and then at his grandfather, then at the keys once more. A million thoughts seemed to be running through his mind and Fred leaned forward on his cane. Finally Simon looked at him and he hugged his grandfather, who soon returned the hug. As the two separated, Fred pressed a button and the front door of the garage opened up to the road.
"No go and show your friends the good news," Fred said with a smile, gesturing to the road. Simon gave his grandfather one last hug before getting into The Mystery Machine and driving away. Fred smiled and waved as he did. The van was in good hands and he knew it.
AN: Yes, that was a nod to Katie and Ryan who I wrote this for. As for future adventures with Fred and Daphne's grandchildren, well I'll leave that to your imagination. As for the Mystery Machine, well someone actually recreated the Mystery Machine, using a 1972 Ford E200 Econoline van as a base, so I just ran with it.