Velma And Scooby

amelia_icon.png zan_icon.png

Where: Pearlies Diner

When: August 24, 2012; Late Afternoon

What: The meddling has been done, now to solve the mystery.

It's the senior dinner rush. No, really. There are very few people in the diner and the majority of those present are nearer to grandparent age than adolescent. With a few exceptions. There is a middle aged man in a suit who looks like he's grabbing a bite to take back to his office. At the counter sits a woman dressed as a security guard, probably on lunch break. And in a booth by himself, save for an open textbook and a half eaten burger, is a college aged boy.

Zan's cheek rests cradled in the palm of a hand, while the other taps the eraser end of a pencil against the table top. Every so often he pauses the idle rhythm to underline a few words or make a note in the margin. Then, the tapping resumes again as his eyes move along the page.

The hair is bright blue today. Amelia slides into the seat across the table from Zan, wearing a torn up t-shirt over a white tanktop and a pair of cut off jeans. It is possible she's in the wrong era. But then, she doesn't ever seem to care what clothes she's wearing at any given time.

"Did you sit in her favorite booth on purpose? That's so sweet." It's not the best hello, but then, she's never been good at that whole… appropriate conversation thing.

As soon as there's movement across from him, Zan's eyes tick upward. He sits up a little as he registers Amelia's inviting herself into his booth, straightening out of the slumping, half dozed appearance he'd otherwise had. "Nice hair," he answers first, using his pencil to mark his place in the textbook before flipping the cover closed.

"Probably," he says of his seating choice. He looks at the table top for a moment. Then, sitting back, he lifts his head and looks at the agent properly, brows raising a little. "What's up, Amelia? Heard you took a bullet."

"Thanks. It's a wig. I've never liked blue enough to really commit, you know? Nice to mess around with, but not looking for a lifetime." Amelia reaches over to pick up his burger, taking a bite herself before putting it back down.

And because it's a big bite, she has to hold a finger up to his question while she finishes chewing. "Nothing to fret about. Got a scar to tell completely untrue stories about later. As you can see, back on my feet and everything. How're you handling life on the outside?"

Chances are he was done with the burger anyway. Or had planned on taking it with him. Whatever the case, Zan doesn't protest when it's taken over. "Wasn't worried about it," he replies. "Figured you'd bounce back from it."

Her question gets a shrug and a vague motion toward the textbook. "Could be better. Could be worse." Which isn't much of an answer at all. He taps a finger against the edge of his book, staring at the cover for a moment. "Only one thing can make life any more normal than it is currently. —Any progress been made on that problem?"

"Such faith," Amelia says around a second bite. His lack of protest is, apparently, all the green light she needs. "Blondie? Doesn't remember a thing. That may sound like bad news, but it isn't. Those memories of her life in Fifty-Five? Those aren't hers, either. She doesn't remember that, either. She only thinks she does. For now. So. Mild progress."

Hamburger in one hand, Amelia reaches under the table and starts knocking on the bottom part of the bench. No one around them seems to notice. "Believe it or not, I'm here on a research mission. She had this booth all wrapped up in her head. And I think—" On about the fifth knock, the wood sounds different. More echo.

"I could have told you that much," Zan asides. He had said as much, that her mind had been messed with, even if he lacked the specifics of just what was wrong. But he'll take any progress report he can get, so while he may have a touch of sarcasm in his tone, he does look grateful for the news Amelia's chosen to share.

His brows tick upward while the agent starts testing the bench, and he can't help but glance toward the few patrons within his field of view to see if anyone else notices the action. But since no one's even looking their way, he looks at the woman across from him again. "Research… What…" But he stops the question when the tone changes, a crease settling into place between his brows.

"Well, why don't you just fix her yourself, then. You figure out how she's accessing a set of memories that aren't actually in her head. The girl you've been messing around with isn't even there. She's locked away somewhere. You know how to bring her back?" Amelia seems to miss that bit of gratefulness. But then again, she isn't actually leaving, so maybe not.

She knocks again, as if making sure, before she straightens up and jams her heel into the wood. That someone really should notice, but they still don't. Amelia, though, is starting to look a little tired. So many minds all at once. "Research. Clue hunting. I'm Scooby Doo— Actually, you be Scooby, I'll be Velma, she always figured it out in the end." Leaning over again, she pulls out a plastic box. It still has a sticker on it showing that she bought it from a local store. And recently. This is no storage from the fifties. "That little minx."

Zan shakes his head, sighing. "That isn't what I meant," he says quietly. "I …what? Where is she if she's… Not… in there." He shakes his head again, as if that would aid the explanation in making any sense. Again, he glances around when she kicks the bench, but if he finds their lack of notice unusual he doesn't say anything.

"I'm sorry, it's just been…" He fumbles at trying to explain his worries frustration, and stares at his book cover until the box is produced. He doesn't even seem to mind being designated Scooby, more interested in the container. Those creases along his forehead deepen as his eyes lift and he looks at it. "What? Who..?"

"Let me tell you something about the mind," Amelia says as she folds her arms on the box. "Actually, maybe we should go for a walk, you up for a walk? Old people are so not my scene."

She seems to assume he'll say yes, because she picks up the box and slides out of the booth again. "It's all a bit… technical. If you follow me." At least she doesn't seem to have room for a gun in what she's got on today.

His mouth opens, possibly to ask more questions. But since she's getting up, Zan grabs his book and his backpack. He starts out of the booth to follow Amelia, then stops to fish out money for the burger plus tip. Once that's left on the table, he hurries after her.

He still doesn't ask any questions once they're outside again, but it's in his gaze. He stares at her while taking a second to jam his book into his pack and zipper it closed. "What's technical," he asks, pulling both straps onto his shoulders.

And Amelia doesn't say another word until they're outside and she's leading him away from where listeners might pick up on their conversation. "The mind's a funny place. Nothing's every really gone. I mean, some people can remove memories, but even that's not technically true. Sure, for all intents and purposes, the person will never remember. But it's all still there. It's just buried. I can't fix that kind of thing, not how I'm built. But this thing with Blondie. I've never seen a thing like it. It's possible she might start to remember on her own. Or with… reminders. But if she doesn't… if you're ever at the end of the rope… I know someone who might be able to help. But trust me when I say you want that to be a last resort. You might want to think about whether or not she's fine just the way she is, actually. But, you know. The option's there."

Amelia looks over at him, an eyebrow lifted. "You follow me?"

"I think so." Zan frowns, but it isn't directed at Amelia. The explanation is rolled over, poked and prodded within his own mind to find some sort of sense to it. "She could be stuck with… someone else's memories," he says, mostly to himself. "Forever. Or she might come out of it on her own. Or with help." Which he can't do because she's tucked away, thus far out of reach.

He drags a hand over the back of his head and glances toward the agent. "Why… would the other option be so… dire?"

"Actually, I'm about ninty-nine precent sure she won't keep those memories. The fake ones. They aren't actually in her mind, they're… stored somewhere else. External harddrive. Unplug it and all that's gone. So she'll have her own. Or, well. If she doesn't just stay a blank slate." Amelia gives him a smile there, like she really meant for that to be good news, but it went awry somewhere between her head and her mouth.

"Well… just… some people take favors very seriously. And sometimes interest on a debt isn't a pretty thing. There's a reason I laid in a bed for weeks instead of calling in a favor myself. But you know, when nothing else works, there is a solution. If you don't mind owing someone a favor."

"She's in there," Zan states, so matter of fact it could be debated whether he had proof or not. It's likely, too, that it's just stubborn determination. He pushes his hands into his pockets, and settles his gaze on the ground as they walk along. "She'll find her way back. I'll help her. Whatever I have to do, I'll do it." Which may or may not be agreeing to some debt.

"Who is it," he ask, looking up at Amelia again.

"That's the spirit," Amelia says, even if there is clear sarcasm in her tone, "Buck up, do your damnedest." She doesn't actually look over at him until that question, and she lifts her eyebrows for a moment, internal debate maybe. "I'll tell you when you've exhausted everything else. Too much temptation to take the easy road. But when you nee— if you need the name, I'll give it to you."

She stops then, to tap on the lid of the box. "Want to see what's in here? I mean, it's got to be a better topic, frankly."

"I won't need it," Zan affirms. At least he sounds resolute about it, even if he feels both certain and afraid. "Just curious. It's all more than I've had in weeks. But if you won't share that, you going to get me a pass to go visit and get started on bringing her back?"

The question comes just as the box is addressed again. The box which he looks at like one might a lunchbox left in a locker over Christmas break. It came from a compartment hidden under a bench after all. "Sure, Velma. What's inside?"

"Ahhh, no. But she shouldn't be with us too much longer. I've got a good feeling about getting rid of that external harddrive situation. And then she's all yours. We'll bring her back to her place. Then you can get to bringing her back however you like." Amelia's duties, it seem, don't stretch that far.

When he uses the nickname, though, what just might be a genuine smile comes to her face. "Jinkies." But she sets the box down to pry of the cover. No one's touched it in a long time, that much is obvious. And inside, everything's inside protective bags. Perfectly preserved. Most of it is clothes from that bygone era they just visited, but right on the top is an envelop with his name on it. "You see, I said she was a little minx." Normally, she might take the letter herself to look over, but today, she's feeling generous.

It was worth asking, though Zan manages to keep the disappointment from his expression. Mostly. He lets out a slow breath and nods, whether acceptance and understanding, or just resignation to having to wait, it's hard to say. He stops when Amelia does, glancing aside while the box is manipulated open.

His hands push deeper into his pockets when the contents are first revealed, the envelope taking a second or two to register. "You calling Rylie a minx," he asks when he focuses on his name and the envelope. A glance is directed toward the agent, but he doesn't wait for an answer or an invitation, hands coming out to take it from the box.

"Yes, I am. That girl got herself into a boatload of trouble, but first, she managed to stash away a small fortune. In the form of fashion." Only after he's taken the letter, Amelia start to sort carefully through everything else, but it's only when she gets to the bottom that he can see Rylie's more modern clothes, plus her wallet and her well-and-truly-dead phone. "Not bad." And it's those modern bits that Amelia takes, the rest go back into the box. "Make sure that stuff gets back to her place, huh?"

"How long had she been planning this," Zan wonders aloud. The contents aren't lost on him, and he points at the cell phone and wallet. "Why're you taking those?" It's not suspicious, entirely. He's curious, the paranoia he hasn't been able to shake in over a month finally abating some and letting other things come around. Like an endless supply of questions for everything.

He pulls his pack off his shoulders and opens it, keeping a tight grip on the envelope but offering his pack for the rest of the things to be put inside. To be carted back to Rylie's home.

"How long between your first visit and your second? You can't tell me that portal wasn't on your mind at all during that time. Mister Trouble himself?" Amelia flips the phone in her hand a couple times before she grins over at him. "This is probably the last thing of her real life that she ever saw. Might help."

When he starts to open the letter, Amelia glances to the side, uncomfortably, and starts to make her exit in backward inches. Until she just starts to walk away entirely.

The letter was written hastily, if her penmanship is anything to judge by. While some of it talks about the clothes and how awesome it is to be back in time, there's a section at the bottom that's a little different.

I guess if you're reading this, I probably didn't make it back through the portal. It occurs to me that if that thing doesn't reopen, I might just be an extremely old woman in 2012. Wouldn't that be weird. I might have been in the world twice over for a while there. //Weird. Anyway, if I don't come back, tell my parents I didn't mean— actually, I have no idea what you should tell them. Probably not that I've been time traveling. But hey. I won't forget you, even if I am 80 by the time you're reading this. There's something weird happening back here, and I guess I mean to meddle in it a little. And I know I haven't been the best at talking about feelings and such, but you've been—//

And it turns out, she didn't have time to even sign it.

Zan can only shrug. How often he thought about the portal itself might be significantly less than the experience of being there. He regretted leaving without exploring, despite the sinking feeling that being there was a bad idea. "Couldn't tell you," he answers honestly.

His pack is dragged up onto a shoulder. Then he finally turns his attention onto the letter. There's no real rush in opening it, and even as Amelia starts away, he turns slightly to read it. Even if the writing is rushed, he can't help but grin a little, both sad and happy, at reading of her adventures in a time so far away.

The last bit has his brows drawing together. Zan checks the envelope again, in case he'd missed a part, then studies the writing again. "…It's like she was writing when…" He looks up, scanning the area around him for the agent. "…Amelia?"

Even thought she's a good distance away, Amelia hears her name and pivots around to look back at him. She puts a hand to her ear as if she didn't quite hear him, even though she clearly did. "Sorry? Sorry, I don't do the whole… emotional… thing. If you're gonna gush, you need to find a different audience, just saying."

Her one free hand tucks into a back pocket in her jeans and she lets out a sigh, but she doesn't keep walking, not just yet.

Shaking his head, Zan half holds up the letter. Not enough to relinquish it, but enough to indicate he's going to talk about it. "I'll gush when I get home," he says, almost managing a joking deadpan. He looks at the letter again, creases returning, deep along his forehead. His next question is actually given a fair amount of thought before it's put to words.

"Do you think… Is it possible that her… whatever happened while she was writing this letter?"

"Maybe. Anything's possible, really. Sadly, the only ones who know for sure can't tell us. Or won't. But keep that in arm's reach when we kick her your way. Might help." Amelia lifts a shoulder, glancing away with a sort of forced nonchalance. "I should probably go before Finn starts solving this with his fists and I totally miss it," she adds with a sudden, crooked smile. "I'll check in on you soon enough." She throws a lazy salute his way before she turns again to start walking. With an odd hitch in her stride this time.

The letter is folded, and as he fits it back into the envelope, a glance flicks toward Amelia. "Thank you," Zan says, a little quiet and probably verging on what the agent might consider gushy. He nods, putting aside a literal plethora of questions he could ask, instead leaving the Agent to get back to work. His gaze goes to his name written out on the envelope, but he lingers only for a minute. Soon as he starts walking again, he tucks the letter into his pack for safe keeping.


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