So Close... and So Far

Part 3 - Can I Come Over?


11:35 p.m.:

The ceremony wasn't for another several hours. Even so, partying into the night wasn't going to do much else than give half of those in attendance a hang-over or a headache. Most of that would be saved for tomorrow when the real partying started. After dancing for two hours straight, the exhaustion of the day finally caught up with them and it was time to retire. They headed back for the large Villa looming over them in the darkness, kissed beneath the light of a waning moon.

The Head Butler was waiting for them in the vast opening that was the main room. They hadn't really had a moment to actually reside in their rooms or find out where their things were. The staff had taken their bags shortly after they had come, and after dinner they'd only grabbed a change of clothes from where the bags had been stored for the moment. Now they were in their respective rooms located somewhere up on the second level. They followed without being asked, more than ready to hit the mattress and pass out as Shaggy kindly put it.

It took a good bit of effort to climb the thirty stairs curving upward and unto the second level. The followed the length of the banister, stepping past it into the western wing of the villa. The Butler silently led them down the appropriate corridors, finally coming to a stop when he saw the first door of five. Daphne didn't need to be told which one was hers. She slipped into her room with a wave, and nearly closed the door on Scooby's tail when he slid in with her.

"I thought---"

Shaggy shrugged. "Scooby has his moments," he yawned. "I'm too tired to care."

"Miss Velma, your room is two doors down. Mr. Rodgers?"

"Like, yeah man?"

The butler pointed to the door adjacent from Daphne's. "Your room is there. Mr. Fred, I'm afraid the last room is being occupied by Master Jarrod," he explained. "I've been instructed to take you to the other wing, with our sincere apologies."

Now that was a first...and something they weren't used to. They had their own rooms...and they were being separated. Shaggy sobered up from his sleepy high, unable to do or say anything. The look on Fred's face was strange even in its own right. Velma was confused herself, but chalked it up to their spending nearly every waking moment with one another. She, for one, was glad for a moment of privacy and quickly took it with a bright, "Goodnight!"

"Goodnight, Velma," Fred called. She smiled a bit and closed herself off. The boys were left alone in an awkward silence. Fred rubbed the back of his head tiredly. "So...I'll see you in the morning?"

"Like, sure man."

"Well rested?"

"For sure! It's not like we have to get up this time!"

True. He smiled tiredly, reaching out to lightly tap Shaggy's chin. "See ya bud."

"Yeah...see ya."

Fred walked off with the Butler, leaving Shaggy alone with his hand on the door and a sudden jolt of pain he couldn't quite place. He waited until he was out of sight to limp into his room, shrug out of his clothing, and climb into the waiting king sized bed. Those four pillows sitting pretty and fluffy at the head of the bed were calling for his head in the worst way. A nice plop down worthy of a score of ten, and he was ready for his brain to shut down.

Twenty-three minutes later, he sincerely wondered WHY his brain was being a rebel tonight. 

1:47 a.m.:

The bed was comfortable. He knew that. His body knew it, and his back knew it too. Those nights lying on the bottom of the old girl or in those broken down seats had taken their toll. That, and add the factor that he was getting too old for everything he pulled five hours earlier on that dance floor, he should have been in la-la land. His brain should have shut down the factory and his eyes shut for the duration, and by now he should have been in REM or at least in an awkward position. He was never one to simply sleep. So he was told. When he was in a good sleep, his body laid claim to anything and everything, and it was very easy for him to be wrapped up against a pillow or a body. THAT should have been him now...but it wasn't.

So why at 1:49 a.m. was he currently darting quietly through the halls?

"I don't have the slightest idea," he murmured to himself. His brain said differently. He promptly told it to stow it as he found himself down a familiar corridor.

'This is not the kitchen...'

No, it was not the kitchen, and yes, he was still scratching the back of his head. The kitchen was in the lower part of this labyrinth, which meant that he should have gone down another flight of stairs somewhere. He was too tired to really find the effort to go where he wanted.

"But not tired enough to sleep," he sighed. That was just great. Daphne was going to rip him a new one for sure in the morning.

Was it his fault that he couldn't sleep?!

Somehow he made his way to a door and leaned against it. His sleep muddled yet awake brain did nothing to take in the kind of wood, color or it, or the exquisite curvature of the engravings etched beneath his fingers. He was too tired to care, and too awake to forget why he wasn't sleeping. It's not like he didn't have nights like this. Nights like this usually resulted in exhaustion getting the better of him. He tended not to wake up until noon the next day, which was not going to sit well with Daphne. She'd have his head and then feed it to the guests if he arrived without the much needed rest he was supposed to be getting. However, he had the distinct feeling that this was going to be an all time first. At this rate, he wasn't going to do much else but mull over WHY...and he'd already done that for the last two hours.

Lying awake in his bed three hours prior, he'd done his best to bore himself to sleep. He'd counted the wrinkles in his sheets (none), counted the cracks in the ceiling, (again, none), and even counted how many times he'd sighed in a span of five minutes (38 times...). Once boredom was a failure, he decided to try it in a different form. Reading. It was without fail a known fact that any and all Blake households had a vast expenditure of reading littered throughout the house. Each room was privy to a selection of whatever happened to be on the market. He slipped out of bed and wandered over to the bookcase, hoping to find something. He could have easily brushed up on a bunch of diseases that were hard to pronounce, or maybe fried his brain into overload with the contents of an encyclopedia. Usually there was no telling...except this time when his fingers had slipped onto the binding and pulled. He'd flipped the book to read the cover and dropped to the floor holding his head. The book remained on the floor smirking at him, laughing at the dismay on his face.

How the hell was he supposed to know it was the Kama Sutra?! The GAY Kama Sutra?!

Somehow he'd managed to place the book back, and had pulled another one. It read "Midnight Thirsts", and that was enough. He'd shoved that book back, never minding the twining lock of two men plastered on the front. He didn't notice how one guy looked as if he were in heaven as the other leant into his neck; how his eyes remained closed, fingers curled into the brunet's hair and looking like he was begging silently to be ravished. Didn't flip into the middle of the book, read an eyeful and quickly wished he hadn't. He definitely didn't think about how that title played on his mind, or how he was left rubbing the side of his neck and wondering about the legends of vampires. He hadn't stumbled back into the bed, mumbling with red cheeks, lost in his over reactive imagination and more awake than ever. Nope.

"And who the hell are you trying to kid?!" he snapped at himself. All he'd gotten for his "cures" was an image he couldn't get rid of, and something else he hadn't been able to relieve. Whatever happened to a predictable novel of mystery? Or, a book on something safely boring, like balls or something?

"Oh god...I need sleep," he moaned. He slid down and thunked his head on the door, ready to resort to hitting it harder if it meant passing out. "I do not need her killing me in the morning...."

"Like...I don't need you creeping me out either," a voice mumbled. He looked up and spied the sleepy gaze of his best friend blearily looking down at him. Would it have been considered involuntary manslaughter to die of a dry mouth, or suicide? He didn't know, and sincerely didn't want to be the first victim of that question. He shut his mouth and tried not to stare at the lithe body sinking down to his level.

"Did I wake you?"

"Like no....the boogie man in the closet woke me with his moaning," he sighed. "I think he was getting lucky because he sure was LOUD."

"Loud enough to wake you and not the others?"

"Moron," he muttered affectionately flicking him in his forehead. "I wasn't sleeping. I CAN'T," he admitted none-to-gently. "Believe you me, I want nothing more than to sleep, but like...insomnia is something I'm not used to dealing with."


"Any ideas, Fred?"

Several, but none of which he said aloud. He chided his overactive brain for thinking such things and managed to crawl into the doorway. Once he was in, he gave the door a good kick and shut the door. Shaggy lifted himself up and crossed back over to the comfortable bed. He slumped down into the white fluff, not surprised to see and feel another body plopping down aside him. One eye peered upward to spy Fred glancing down, sleep more than apparent but far from his reach. His mind was going on about something...and he wasn't quite sure if he wanted to know what.

" saw something, didn't you," he mused.

Fred bit the inside of his cheek. "A couple of things," he said easily, "But nothing important. Why are you still up?"

"I could ask you the same thing man."

"You could. So?"


"Why don't you?"

"Why don't I what?"

"Why don't you ask me why I'm still up?"

"Like, why are you still up?!"

"I don't have the first flipping clue!" he crowed, holding the sides of his head and plopping backwards. His eyes hurt, his head hurt, and now his body was sore with an ache he didn't dare tread on. He felt Shaggy shifting on the bed. He didn't open his eyes. He kept them covered from the soft light of the lamp clicking itself on and stayed where he was as the bed shifted again. He might have dropped off like that, had thin nimble fingers not dug themselves into the pressure points of his temple. He knew the sound out of his mouth was obscene, but he didn't care. Not when those fingers were working magic on his aching brain.

"You shouldn't get all worked up like this," Shaggy murmured. He kept up the gentle massage, knowing how much it tended to calm down anyone he used it on. Scooby was the guinea pig he'd started on and slowly that massage evolved to include humans. He'd only ever used it on two people, and the other was not here; Blonde as well, but not here. "It's not good for you."

He couldn't keep the deep groan coming from the center of his chest when his hands moved to his scalp. Scooby had to be the luckiest dog on the planet. "Whatever..."

"....doesn't Daphne do this for you?"

"....are you insane?"

"No...more like, curious is all?"

"Why would she?" he asked, opening his slightly hazed eyes to spy Shaggy staring down at him. "That was over before it even got started," he said. "She's a good girl...but keeping up with her was like trying to keep up with Lance Armstrong. How many times did he win Tour le France?"


"Exactly. Anyone else got tested for shooting testosterone. I'm that guy."

" you wish it hadn't been so short?"

"" And he didn't. When he'd had the chance to think about it, it seemed like the logical thing to do at the time. He was the cool looking guy, she was the hot chick; everything told them they should be together as well as everyone. A good looking couple, powerful and decisive, sure to grow and eventually head down the path of marriage. He would be the world famous Detective/Reporter/Photographer, and she would be the High Fashion Journalist traveling to all the corners of the earth. That's how it would have, and perhaps, should have been.

Yet, it wasn't. They had too many different interests. He wasn't one to sacrifice it all to do what someone else wanted all the time. He did that enough with the whole gang, and even then they let him have his say when it was due. When she wanted to go somewhere, it was someplace he had no business or interest in being there. Facials? Spas? Shopping? Not that often, and most certainly not with a girl who tried to change him. He and she realized it when the mention of a different hair color came into play. She was treating him like a Ken doll, and he was treating her like Barbie. Saying yes to everything and getting nothing in return.

Fred looked away a bit, gathering his thoughts through the mind numbing scratching of Shaggy's fingers. No, he didn't wish it was that short. "I wish it hadn't have happened," he murmured. "She needs someone who will say 'no' and mean it. Not a good friend."

".....Like, you never got past first base, did you."

"Like, NOPE."

Shaggy laughed a bit, shifting himself so that Fred's head was in his lap. A strange and gratifying sense of relief flooded him then. He couldn't quite place his fingers on why, but he was glad. Fred's soft smile of drowsiness was turning into one of total relaxation. His knotted brow had relaxed, and his dimples had subsided in lieu of yawning and moaning his appreciation for the scalp massage. If he wasn't careful, the man would fall asleep in his lap.

Somehow, he didn't quite care.

"So like, what's the deal with Velma?" he asked. Fred's brow canted at his off the wall question. "Is she, or isn't she?"

"Huh?? OH! Oh no. NO!" He shook his head laughing and waved his hands to further emphasize his loud protest. "No way, man. She's picky is all, and no one pays attention with those glasses and that sweater."

"I suppose that's changed now. I can't believe Daphne got her to go out in a Halter Top!"

"She got a nice reaction. Daphne's says she wants to take Velma shopping. I mean, she let her hair grow out some, so why not the rest?"

"Like, the rest is grown out! She just covers it up with those sweaters."

"Shoot me if I ever go back to those long sleeved things," Fred laughed. "I look like such a Jock."

"Do the same for me if I go back to those brown things...and that shirt!" Shaggy chuckled. "Oh's like I had, twenty of the same shirt!"

"You did...because it was your favorite color."

"It still is...Scooby sniffed out that shirt." He stalled his fingers from their massage and reached out to gently trace the line that was Fred's defined nose. His own had a small hump to it, a distinguishing feature bestowed upon him via his father's genes. Fred's was the definitive of perfect, given the fact that he'd broken it once or twice. His fingers stopped at the end of his nose, flicking the tip of it lightly. Fred laughed and snatched his hand, effectively pulling him down.

"Scooby sniffed out that shirt?"

"Like, yeah man. It was before...the first day of high school."

"You don't say?"

"I needed a shirt...and Scooby wandered into my closet and was like, sniffing around the stuff my mom bought but I never wore. He pulled out that shirt, and I figured I'd go with the hippie tree loving look. I wasn't, like, trying to impress anyone."

" did look good in it," Fred mused. "When you were a cute kid."


"Yeah! Girls fed you because you were adorable. Scooby was a bonus!"

"So like, if that's the case, why couldn't I score a date to save my life?!"

Fred shrugged. Shaggy slumped down and thumped his hand on his silent laughing chest. "You suck."

Fred grabbed his other hand and pulled, dragging Shaggy out of his position and landing awkwardly at his side. Somehow his head managed to find refuge on his shoulder while the remainder of his torso lies across his own. It had them laughing again, but they didn't move for the better part of five minutes.

Fred found himself thinking about the old girl sitting back home in the garage. Nights when they had no shelter resulted in them pulling out old blankets and such for the girls to sleep on in the back. Scooby would crawl in and be their pillow, content to have and share the heat on colder nights. He and Shaggy would be sleeping on the seats up front, taking turns throughout the night if they needed to keep driving. If not, they'd take a corner of the back to themselves and stay up a bit longer talking about anything and nothing. Eventually sleep would get the better of them and they'd conk out only to wake sleeping awkwardly against one another. More often than not, Shaggy's head curled under his own was an incentive enough to go back to sleep. He didn't want to wake him...not when nightmares plagued his thoughts a good bit of the time. Doing what they did made Shaggy more of a nervous wreck than ever and sleep was the least he could give him.

It was bad enough when those sick people decided to play it up for whatever reason. When those sick people became real monsters, he found himself questioning the integrity of myths and folklore. It wasn't as accurate as seeing it up close. Either way, when they stumbled across one of those, Shaggy was up for nights on end. He was up, too, easing him into some hours of sleep until he couldn't quite take it himself. It was easier that way...and more comforting the longer he thought about it.

Which only made the thought slipping into his sleep hazed brain a stimulant rather than a tranquilizer. 'Damn you, stupid brain! You couldn't think of that earlier?!' He resisted sucking his teeth and stared down at Shaggy idly tapping the protruding end of his collarbone. He was thinking, but not so deeply that he didn't blush appropriately when Fred linked their hands together.


" know, after that whole Googie thing, I thought for sure you'd leave," he said quietly. Shaggy bit his lip, unsure of where Fred was going with this. Fred gently placed their hands over his heart, sighing as his nose found the head of umber he'd been unconsciously thinking of all night. "I didn't think you'd ever come back home."

"She was...really special to me," he admitted. "Like, the only girl who really noticed me. I thought for sure..."

"I thought so, too. She broke your heart...and broke mine, too."

" did she break your heart? You weren't her...were you?"

"Might as well have been...she took you away. Stole my best friend away...kept him to herself."

".....I did miss you Fred. I did. I just...didn't know how to say know?"

"She hung up on me."

"I didn't know at the time..."

"....but she had the right idea."

Shaggy looked at him as if he'd lost his mind. Fred shook his head silently, inhaling the scent of faded Axe and Shampoo that smelt of peaches and cream. Shaggy must have gotten the girly bathroom. "You needed a break from us...from what we do. Your nerves were shot to hell, and you know it," he said before Shaggy could protest. " needed a break from me."

".....being away from you made it harder to sleep," Shaggy admitted softly. "She was there...but she didn't know how to calm me down. Even Scooby couldn't calm me down like you could. I didn't trust her like you..." 'Didn't love you...'

" trust me now?"

"Of course! Why?"

'Because I'm about to loose my mind...'

He didn't quite need to say it. He nudged his head upward with a soft breath, moving in to steal those lips before he could say anything. It was nothing more than a two second kiss; short, sweet, and chaste in all intentions, but speaking volumes in its very existence. He knew his cheeks were on fire...and he was pretty sure those lurid thoughts were about to hit him harder than they had about twenty minutes ago. Shaggy gaped at him, fixing his jaw in a tight grip that might have had Fred leaping out of the bed. Thankfully Shaggy's eyes weren't good at lying, and neither was he.

", you have like, the WORST timing," Shaggy muttered.

"Hey! I'm not doing it at your wedding! Although that would have been interesting."

"No way! Like, just so we're clear...that wasn't a friend kiss, was it?"

"Hmm? No, why?"

Shaggy effectively shut him up with another, silencing him into complete stupidity with that thing he was doing with his tongue. How the heck did he know how to do that?! It didn't much matter after a moment, stealing his breath away with a light flick of his tongue against the soft palate trembling in excitement. He gave him a second to breathe, stealing his senses away with open wet kisses, mapping the inner caverns of that warmth thoroughly and thoughtfully. He tasted of mint and chocolate, and something more he couldn't quite finger, but found just as addicting as nibbling his lower lip. He got the nicest reaction out of him, and he was too glad he wasn't wearing that infernal gown tonight.

No one had ever kissed him like this, or even TRIED. While he may have been the popular one, he was also a bit of a prude when it came to girls. They were just happy to be attached to his arm, even if they might have been dating Red Herring.

He laughed, almost swearing that the idiot was screaming at him from afar. Shaggy pulled away and bopped him in his shoulder. "Stop thinking about that idiot!"

"I c-can't help's just too funny!"

"Huh. Well this will be hilarious...I'm going to sleep!"

"What?! NO!"

"Give me one good reason not to."

He could give him several...and he decided that enough was enough. Without warning or knowing how it happened, Shaggy was underneath him, gasping for air he couldn't quite catch. Fred's lips were enjoying themselves on the small groove between his chin and neck, and his hands were quickly skirting up the length of his exposed thigh...

"You want to know what I saw earlier?" he breathed against his cheek. Shaggy blinked and almost swore he was in bed with a closeted incubus. That smoldering look left his back in a puddle, and his will was tossed out to the floor much like his t-shirt in the next moment. He had a feeling that sleep was the last thing on Fred's mind.

'Oh my GOD...'  


Part 2 ~~~~~~~~ Back to Scooby-Doo ~~~~~~~~ Part 4


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