Bedbugs and Broomsticks

Part Three

by Jaka Ray
(9/27/03 - 10/5/03)

General Disclaimer

PART THREE - Ruby Roo Reats Rarerock Roams

CHAPTER ONE - Free suits

Er... about the title: if you've watched the show you've probably raised an eyebrow or two at Scooby's (yes it's a Scooby Doo crossover.) problem with his R's. Translation: "Scooby Doo meets Sherlock Holmes". Sorry if I don't get some things right; I'm no surfer and I don't watch the Scooby show too much anymore. And some of my friends are really as dumb as that admission boy.


As Sherlock Holmes pulled out of the mind-blazingly fast wormhole with unusual smoothness, they almost collided into a group of young surfers. With a playful grins, they each gave the "hang loose" sign and walked off into a nearby, old fashioned café. The detective watched them with a look of reproach, but parked the car. Lestrade and Holmes climbed out and stared at the nearby beach dome filled with a huge wave pool and lots of sand.
In his decisive nature, Holmes walked up to the nearby admission stand and asked the boy working there, "I beg your pardon, young sir, but can you please inform me of the location of the nearest hovercraft rental?" He asked about the rental place because Holmes and his companion had decided that it would be the best place to start tracking down Moriarty and Fenwick.
But the boy stared blankly at the detective with confusion on his freckly features. "Dude, your lingo is way weird - ah, car rental, you said? Well, the beach is right here if you're interested. Free suits, too!" He gave Lestrade the up-down look and winked at Holmes, who flushed.
A look of disgust crossed Holmes' face as he glanced at the suit for men; so different from the ones of his time, although I'm sure he never went swimming for leisure. He tugged Lestrade aside, whispering, "Some teenagers here have nuts for brains. If he thinks I'm going to walk around half naked in that he is quite mistaken." Eyes scanning the beach side, they stopped with a gaze of curiosity and horror on a group of bikini-clad girls.
Lestrade laughed at his amazement and said, "Don't worry, Holmes. California has a lot more than you think."
The skeptical eyes kept moving until they caught sight of the café the kids had disappeared into. He put on his 'thinker' face and held his head back, hand around his chin. Lestrade smiled and led the way into the diner. It was filled with things like old music blaring out of jukeboxes, and truck stop booths and service, too. Holmes wished for the first time he wasn't wearing his Inverness; it was so hot and his old style of dress was getting bewildered stares. But, ever ready for new trends, the teenage boys were soon swarming Holmes and asking questions about his outfit. The girls, on the other hand, upset at having lost their boyfriends for the moment, gathered around Lestrade, giving unwanted tips on how to improve her and such things.
The two New Londoners, pushing out of each of their little crowds, seated themselves at a booth in the corner. But Californians don't give up so easily. They followed the two weirdoes to their seat and kindly gave ideas for what to order. Another youngster, also wearing strange and different clothing, finally disbanded them. But he seemed quite an authority among the surfers, who obeyed with a shrug. Holmes thanked the boy with a smile and a nod. He was a tall, broad shouldered boy with blonde hair and a collared shirt with bell-bottoms. The voice he spoke up in was mild and pleasant, "Hope I did you a favor, mister; some people like all the attention. Need help?"
In a nearby booth, which he pointed out to the two strangers, were a group of his friends. The cluster of four (not counting the huge, brown Great Dane dog beside them) was certainly a peculiar one. The boy already mentioned, introducing himself as "Fred", was apparently the leader, since he took care of the introductions. Pointing at each in turn, he explained, "The other guy is Shaggy, the girl with glasses is Velma, the girl next to her is Daphne. Oh yeah, and the dog is named Scooby Doo. He talks sometimes -- if he likes you, that is." Fred grinned and the others waved with equally warm smiles.
Shaggy was very tall and lanky, about the same build as Holmes himself, but with a foolish slack in his shoulders and a goofball grin. He had brownish, mussed hair with a goatee to match, and also wore bell-bottoms. The dog and his apparent master Shaggy seemed to have bottomless appetites, since they wolfed down their meal in seconds and soon ordered more, which came almost immediately. Daphne, who sat besides Shaggy and Velma, didn't seem to notice his eating, continually glancing at Fred and checking her makeup. They were obviously 'together', although Freddy wasn't as attentive to his girlfriend as she was to him. Daphne finally gave up with a stubborn snort and started picking at her food. Velma, the last one, wore thick square glasses, but still squinted to see far off objects like Holmes and Lestrade. Still, she had a friendly smile and a smart, intelligent demeanor. All of them were dressed in a similar style to Fred who added sheepishly, "Um, sorry, but we've kind of forgotten our last names. Nobody calls us anything else, anyway." Holmes nodded again. "And, pray tell, what is it that you do? Nobody seems to defy your... shall I say, authority. And, I might add, everybody seems to know who you are very well."
Fred, who didn't seem at all confused by Holmes' "lingo", grinned again and sat down. He ordered an ice tea, and then sat thoughtfully for a while, as if contemplating whether or not he should tell them the truth. With a vacant stare and a far off voice, Fred told them, "Well, mister, I guess you could say we're in the detecting business!"
At that remark, Holmes turned from being a bored inquirer to a man filled with an excited flame. "Really? How - What a coincidence! Well, then, I guess you could say the same of us as well!" He pointed to himself, then Lestrade, who sat munching distractedly on crackers that were supposed to be eaten with soup (Our Beth Lestrade certainly has a careless disregard for the rules, no matter where she is.).
By this time, the rest of Freddie's gang had pulled up chairs and joined their separated member. Velma, who was the last to squeeze herself into the booth, looked at Holmes with instant recognition. "Jinkies! You're Sherlock Holmes!"
The detective flushed proudly at the girl's flattering astonishment. And yet, only Fred was affected by this discovery; the rest of the gang was confused and looked to their leader for an explanation. He nodded sagaciously, "I remember having heard something about a guy bringing you back to life. I never thought if was real, though! What brings you two to sunny Cali-for-ni-a?"
Stealing one of Lestrade's crackers, Holmes smiled coolly, "Let it suffice to say that we're just doing our job. May I ask if you have any cases on hand? That is, anything eccentric and baffling?" He asked so earnestly and eagerly that he might as well have been rubbing his hands together with glee.
Velma, who have been expecting the question from the start, quickly replied, "There are a few, Mr. H, and the most interesting one is one that takes place up in Craggy C -" But she was interrupted by a loud, intentional yawn from Shaggy and Scooby. The girl glared at them and crossed her arms with a huff. "All right, wise guys, why don't you pick a case that would interest the greatest detective in the world?"
Shaggy coughed, and his voice, which was still cracking, by the way, said innocently, "I thought you said WE were the greatest detectives in the world." Man and dog wore identical grins, and even Freddy had to cover his chuckle, as Velma turned scarlet.
Daphne, who hadn't spoken until now, glared at the boys and snapped, "Oh, come on, Shaggy! You know that Velma was being sarcastic when you two caught the wrong man in our last case! Besides, we shouldn't waste Mr. Holmes' precious time with our bickering." She batted her eyelashes with a sweet smile in Sherlock's direction. It was Lestrade's turn to cover a laugh and Holmes' turn to blush.
Freddy covered it over quickly with, "Right, Daphne. I'm thinking Mr. H and Inspector Lestrade would like it if we took them along on our newest case up in Sotheby Hills." His friends all nodded their assent. So, after paying their bills, the Scooby gang, along with New London's best officers, headed to the Mystery Machine.

CHAPTER TWO - Squaw, Trojan and Annie

When the Scooby Doo team of old passed away peacefully in old age, they left each of their brains to science. And yes, that includes Scooby's brain as well. With high tech 22nd century cloning, similar to the ones used to bring Holmes and Moriarty to life, geneticists were able to clone new members, requested by the citizens of the United States. Each state, whose government requested a set of the gang, was given one: at a price. "And," Fred added a bit too cheerfully, "If anything bad should happen to us, like if we were blown up or hacked to little pieces, the state of California just takes a vote and if they want a new batch, scientists just clone up a new one!"
Even in the 22nd century, when they had been given newer gadgets, the members themselves hadn't changed much. Sure, they were each equipped with an ionizer, badge, and DNA scanner, but they were still the beloved Scooby characters of old. The Mystery Machine, on the other hand, had changed very drastically. The famous van of Scooby and his friends had to be remade for up to date chases of the criminals of a new century. Although it still had the same Mystery Machine colors and words, the vehicle itself was a hovercoach larger and more spacious than Watson's. The inside included two rows of three seats: the driver and two passengers in front, and three more seats for Shaggy, Scooby, and snacks to keep them entertained. And in case of visitors or caught criminals, there were extra seats folded up in storage. The rest of the space in the van was empty except for various cabinets with camping equipment, emergency kits, and other gizmos and gadgets needed for the work of detectives.
But Freddy was still getting used to the hovering vehicles of futuristic times. Even his takeoff was rough, and countless times Holmes thought they were done for. Velma and Daphne, who sat in front, constantly shrieked and scolded Fred for being "the most careless driver in the world."
"I wouldn't worry about that title too much, my boy," Holmes said once. "Our Lestrade is also a winner of that precious award." The subject of his joke gave him such a warning glare that Holmes limited his conversation from then on. It was actually rather dull, since Lestrade refused to speak to him, and Freddy was busy driving - with Daphne and Velma busy remonstrating with him. Oh, and did I mention that Shaggy and Scooby were pigging out? No? Well, they were. Call me Ishmael, but I'm a bit surprised Holmes didn't die right then and there of boredom. Well, no, he didn't, because it was then that they got there. And I mean "there" as in, where they were going.
The owner of one of the science laboratories up in the hills had begged the bunch of them to go check out a certain monster that was "haunting the lab". When she heard this, Lestrade burst out, "So you aren't really detectives! You're nothing but ghostbusters!" And even though the gang turned scarlet and pretended not to hear her, she was still being a grump when they reached the building.
The lab was high upon an otherwise deserted hill, with yellowed grass surrounding its front and a gray façade. With no windows, it looked like a jail of the Old West, although even the US had adopted the crypnotic method of dealing with criminals. But it wasn't their smoothest day. Before the group even entered the building, a guard bearing obvious signs of Italian descent stopped them: dark hair, dark eyes, and dark face. But he spoke fluent English, with no trace of an accent. "Hold it right there!" he growled with dark authority. The surprise on Fred's face told of an unexpected obstacle.
However, Holmes took over smoothly. Glancing at the guard's ID badge, he spoke with lighter influence, "I beg you pardon, Mr. . Lucas, but did your boss tell you he was expecting visitors today? No? Dear me! And yet, here we are, so if you'll just tell him that we have arrived...."
Lucas raised a dark eyebrow and then narrowed it. "The bunch of you look like pest terminators to me, not detectives! So scram!" And he showed them the barrel of his ionizer. Lestrade was about to scream at him when a voice came from behind her.
"Put down your gun, Mr. Lucas. This English gentleman is right; Lou was expecting visitors besides me. Well, move along! I don't have all day!" This came from a young man standing behind them, and after Holmes turned around he could tell that the man was an actor by his tinted sunglasses, worn by all celebrities who could afford the high-tech eyewear. As usual, the eyeglasses were promoting his latest movie; the storyline or something flashed along the bottom of the shades. He was about the same height as Holmes, average weight, a butt chin, well-defined cheekbones, and a small, dainty nose. His eyes were hidden behind the glasses but his jet black hair would've hidden them anyway when he wasn't wearing the shades, since the bangs were long and unkempt in a ragamuffin fashion.
After the guard stepped aside reluctantly, the actor (who called himself Seth Pratt) led them up to meet Lou Nubbin, the aforementioned owner. This said owner was a chubby-cheeked man with a scowl plastered on his face and bright blonde hair with blue eyes. He leapt into business at once as soon as he told the gang of all his workers and their backgrounds. "I have arranged for you to scout out the laboratory at their lunch break; see if any of them sneak in and mess around. I've informed the guard already by my private P.A., so you won't expect any trouble from him this time." With that, Lou turned to accommodate his actor friend, who had been leaning listlessly against the nearby wall.
Holmes thanked him and led the way. They walked down the nearby hall and spotted a group of three scientists. Remembering Lou's permission to question any of his employees, Holmes started to call out politely. "Excuse- "
But before the Great Detective could finish, New Scotland Yard's cockiest Inspector interrupted him. "Allow me. Please. HEY YOU THREE!!" Holmes sighed but followed Lestrade. He was just in time to hear her demand forcefully, "Have you seen anything suspicious in these parts?"
One of the scientists, another scowl-faced bearded man, growled in response, "Nothing besides that creepy monster." The other two glared at the first. There was an Asian girl with pale skin and a dark, wide-eyed African with twitchy features. Holmes asked them the same question, albeit politely, but they responded to the negative.
Lestrade jumped in. "Where were you when your boss first spotted this monster?"
The two nice ones spoke up in unison. "We were both with him." But the first, whose ID tag read Timothy Squaw, muttered coolly that he had been at home "sick."
Lestrade took the bait and pounced, "Oh really. Can anyone confirm that?"
Squaw didn't blink. "No, but I'm telling the truth." Then he added with fiery eyes, "And that should be good enough for any Yardie."
"Oh, c'mon, Squaw, cooperate!" whined the Asian, and the nervous little African copied her in an even whinier voice. His fingers twitched even more and it seemed like he was covered in sweat. But Timothy just shrugged and walked off, leaving the other two dumbfounded. "Squaw! Come back! I don't think they're- done."
With a sigh, the girl turned to the gang. "Sorry about him; he's a real stubborn ass at times. Sometimes I think.... Well, that he's the monster."
She blushed at her own big mouth but Holmes encouraged her kindly. "It's all right; we're detectives. You can tell us!" The African, ironically named Arnold Trojan, nodded his assent.
Annie continued with the support of the two. "Well, about a week before the monster showed, I spotted Squaw talking with some guy in the alley. Normally I wouldn't have bothered to notice him, but the guy was wearing a dark hood and it attracted my attention. Plus, the man gave Squaw some money but I could tell Squaw was insisting on more because he was pushing the hand away and yelling at him with waves of his arms. The man left abruptly like some invisible hand pulled him away and Squaw stomped off as well. But they might've met again and . arranged a better price or something."
Annie stopped and Arnold piped up, "And Annie told me about it and to test him we asked him what he was doing at the time. Of course, it was asked in a way so that he wouldn't suspect that we knew the real answer. But the man lied and told us in a mumble that he had ate lunch in the cafeteria."
Beth Lestrade started down the hall Squaw had taken, but Holmes held her back, calling out over his shoulder, "Thank you ever so much! We'll be going now!"
Daphne caught up to him and questioned sweetly, "Aren't you going after him, Sherlock?" Holmes replied crisply that they "didn't have enough evidence"; Annie's information meant nothing conclusive, although it was "interesting". Geez, Lestrade thought to herself, I'm starting to hate that word.

CHAPTER THREE -- Time to split up, gang!

Author's note: *Wink* If you look up "erotic" in the dictionary, you'll find that it is way out of context.
The group of them arrived in the main lab after some fumbling with directions. Freddie announced loudly, "Ok, gang, let's split up." He began directing the split when Daphne immediately took a place by Holmes' side. Luckily for Sherlock, Freddie went to his rescue. "Er, Inspector, why not let Velma and Daphne show you how we Americans find evidence? Mr. H. can go with me." Lestrade made no reply, but led the way to the other side of the lab while Scooby and Shaggy, anticipating their partnership, left to scour the next lab. Alone together, Fred turned to Holmes with a weak smile.
"Well, Mr. H, I don't know how to explain this but-" The blonde boy was interrupted by Sherlock's laugh.
"Yes, yes, I know, Fred: Daphne favors me. It's quite flattering, but I can assure you I don't return her feelings and that if you'd like me to speak with her I'd be glad to." Holmes raised an amused eyebrow, taking care not to laugh.
But it was Fred's turn to laugh, "For once, Mr. H, you're real wrong. Daphne's my girlfriend, but our dating has been really stale after she thought she saw me giving a barmaid my number." He trailed off, as if remembering the scene with a wince.
The Great Detective, who was no sucker for girls but who knew the rules of being a gentleman, was aghast, "Lord! Did you really?"
The young boy blushed, "NO! She was a fan! I was just giving her an autograph!" He cleared his throat after his sudden outburst and continued in a calmer, more amiable manner, "Anyway, don't mind her sucking up; she's just trying to get to me." Fred seemed hardly embarrassed like he should've been, because he said with a grin that made Holmes blush, "And, Mr. Sherlock, I won't mind if you decide to play along!"
Shaggy and Scooby never really look for clues when Fred tells them to split up. They just sort of wander around looking serious. But they're really looking for the kitchen, which they usually find pretty well. It's too bad they don't employ their noses in actual detective work, but of course, you already knew that. And if you're really smart and a big Scooby Doo fan, you'd know that the two are always the first poor fools to become mutually acquainted with the monster. Now, Shaggy and Scooby were beginning to put their noses to work, when a loud moaning was heard. Shaggy looked down at his stomach, then over at his dog's. "Like, w-w-w-what was that?"
"I roan roe." (I don't know.)
The skinny vegetarian might've looked as daft as ever, but clones are often ten times smarter than their original hosts.
"Scoob, have you often noticed that we're always the first poor fools to become mutually acquainted with the monster?" (Ok, maybe that's pushing my luck. Let's cut to the chase, shall we?)
Lestrade was clueless as to where to start, but her stubbornness wasn't about to let it show. "So, where do we start?" she asked nonchalantly. Daphne shrugged with a toss of her hair and flounced after Velma. Beth Lestrade snickered; maybe Daphne really did like Holmes. And she would see the Inspector as competition. Shaking her head at the thought, Lestrade peered over Velma's shoulder. The teenager was examining equipment that had been stolen or tampered with, according to the manager. A yawn escaped the Inspector's lips; it was probably dark outside. There were no windows in the room, and Lestrade held a light in her hand so that she could see.
"I don't see anything wrong with it," Velma announced, pushing her glasses higher. Velma wouldn't be Velma without those glasses she always seems to lose at the worst second.
"Me neither." Daphne sighed, prodding tentatively at the wires. Lestrade, to her own disappointment, could also see nothing wrong with the equipment, and strode quickly to the other side of the room. In doing so, she almost broke her nose against Shaggy's face. But that didn't stop the man, who shrieked and dashed away, his pup close on his heels. Rubbing hard, the inspector checked to see if her nose was bleeding as Velma raised her head. Even Daphne looked curious. Lestrade cursed as she pinched the bridge of her nose to stop the flow of blood that had already stained the floor. However, she soon found she had more to worry about. Unplugging her nostrils for the moment, Lestrade caught a whiff of stink.
"PHEW! What is THAT?" A question asked too soon, since the monster stood inches away from her. It was a horrible thing, its skin burned away as if by acid, and the face and hands gnarled and disfigured. Spongy red flesh appeared at its cheeks, and Beth wondered sickly whether that white stuff was bone. Although it was eyeless and mangy, its mouth was fixed in a dopey smile, moans escaping ever so often. Thudding past the bewildered inspector, it reached for the equipment on the lab table, clutching the glass in its arms as if it had all the time in the world.
Daphne and Velma screamed like they never screamed before. For the first time, the beast's head noticed people in the room, but before they could be eliminated, Lestrade regained her Yardie self and cried, "FREEZE! Inspector Lestrade, New Scotland Yard!" An ionizer blast was heard, and Lestrade rolled away from what had been her own shot. It had some kind of. ionizer shield or something, she thought bitterly, shoving the two teenage girls towards the next room. It'd be worth the bluff, though. "Stay back! Drop those . glass... thingies...!" So much for her salvaged pride.
Working together, Sherlock Holmes and Freddy gathered anything of significance in the lab. But still, after ten minutes, there was nothing that even suggested a sabotage or stolen items. It didn't fit. There was no proof of the existence of that 'monster' either. "Do you think Lou was lying?" Fred read Holmes' mind as they gave up and sat pondering.
Sherlock sighed. "There's no evidence of that, yet. But it's probable," he added, admitting that he was a bit befuddled himself. Then, something else in the course of that day's events clicked. He jumped up with an exclamation, recalling to Freddie's mind the conversation earlier with the three scientists.
"You must've noticed the conspicuous attitudes of all three scientists. The first one was uncooperative, the second was trying to act as peacekeeper, and the third was nervous. But before we could finish questioning the first man, he left, saying 'and that should be enough for any Yardie'. But how did he know Lestrade was a 'Yardie'?"
Freddie slapped his knee, shouting at the conclusive evidence against Timothy Squaw. "You've got it, Mr. Holmes! You've definitely got it! Squaw's our man!"
A proud smirk crossed the detective's features. Continuing on in the manner of a superior officer coaching his apprentice, he went on coolly, "Now, now, slow down, my boy. We've still got some work to - Halloa! What the devil!" To his ultimate surprise, Holmes saw, first Velma, then Daphne, and finally Lestrade, run like heck out of the next room.
"What's going on?" Freddie demanded. But the two teenage girls didn't stop; they slid to a pause, flicking their heads back like a deer from a huntsman, and then ran on. Only Lestrade appeared sane.
"That thing's got an anti-ionizer shield!" She gritted her teeth and turned to Holmes. His cane was already at his side with a flick of his deft wrist. The thing appeared at the door, its arms still at its sides; but the smile was gone, and a menacing sneer was in its place. Before she could blink, Lestrade saw the cane spinning through the air. But the Thing had another surprise in store. Without even a twitch it sent the cane flying back at Holmes. Luckily, being the great detective that he was, Holmes had deduced something of the sort and was able to move out of the way, pulling Freddie and Lestrade behind him. They ducked under a nearby table and waited. The monster, which wasn't a very bright sort of chum like all the other monsters in Fred's career, squinted around the room, not bothering to look UNDERNEATH the tables.
Lestrade snorted grumpily, the thing's feet having appeared next to her. Suddenly she froze; although without a good brain between its ears, the monster certainly enough had a keen sense of hearing. Bending over to examine the source of the erotic snort, it was very pleased to find the three quarries. But Holmes was quick, already moving to stand, lifting the table up with him. The monster was kicked aside with an "Oof" and landed onto a nearby table, sending it to the ground with a crash.
"That was easy," Fred realized out loud as he and the girls gathered at a safe distance away from the collapsed fiend. The glass test tubes on the table had cut its façade to shreds, but it wasn't enough to uncover the naughty culprit. Daphne, wanting to impress her boyfriend with some courage, reached for the mask with a bold hand.
"No! Stay back!" But the warning came too late. The monster's eyes flew open suddenly, and with a mighty leap it dragged Daphne aside, the dull end of an Exacto blade to her throat.
"Don't make me hurt her!" it screamed with sudden ferocity of character. Daphne was scared out of her wits. Her mouth opened in shock and speechlessness, but she closed it again without a word, understanding her position as prisoner. She wanted to cry out, fear creeping through her fingers, which were trying to wrench the strong arms from around her neck.
Fred was pulling out his hair. He pleaded with the ogre not to hurt Daphne. The monster's scarred face showed no signs of mercy as he growled, "Two hours! Don't come after me or she dies!" Then, he viciously threw the blade at the group, using the time to get away. There was a final scream, and then all was silence and darkness.

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