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Title: Good Friends Are Worth Their Weight In Gold
Author: [personal profile] smallearthcat
Pairing: Shaggy/Fred
Rating: PG-13
Summary: It's a little bit awkward, suddenly having so many friends when he'd had none.
Author notes: Comments and con crit. are much appreciated.


Shaggy had never had many friends, and the fact that he suddenly had four really messed with...everything. Not in a bad way, of course; not at all. He loved the fact that he didn’t have to spend his Saturdays alone with television and sandwiches, even if it did mean some of them were spent running for his life from criminals and monsters. It was just that sometimes things were a little awkward.

It was easiest with Scooby, obviously. They lived together, after all, and liked a lot of the same things besides. They were practically attached at the hip, which Shaggy wouldn’t have changed for the world.

Velma was maybe the next easiest, if only because she was kind of a nerd and obviously used to being alone and made fun of, just like he was. They didn’t exactly have much in common, but most of the time, Shaggy really didn’t mind listening to her talk about science or history, or whatever thing she was interested in that week.

In the end, what really brought the two of them together was Shaggy’s once-again failing grades. He didn’t ask, and wouldn’t have either, but one day, Velma just sat down opposite him in the library and yanked his math homework right out from under his nose.

“Okay see, you’re going about this all wrong. You just need to…”

And maybe the finer points of what she was talking about were lost, but she still made it a lot easier to understand than any of his teachers ever had, and she let him eat while she talked. The proud smile on her face when he managed to do one of the problems by himself and came up with the right answer made spending extra time on homework worth it.

***

It took longer than it should have for Shaggy to find something he had in common with Daphne, probably because they never really spent any time alone together. Sure, they saw each other plenty when they were working on a case, but at least one of the others was pretty much always there.

And despite the fact that they were friends now, they didn’t really hang out at school, either. She still had her popular girl friends she liked to be seen with, and those girls, he preferred to stay away from. So, they didn’t hang out much, and they might have continued in that trend if she hadn’t come to his house one day looking for Velma, who’d left an hour earlier, and found him smoking a joint in his basement.

She startled him, coming in unannounced, but he wasn’t quick enough to hide what he was doing. Whatever reaction he might have expected from Daphne, it most certainly wasn’t the one he got.

“Mind if I join you?” she asked, flopping down next to him on the couch and making grabby motions toward the joint.

It was mostly pure shock that caused him to hand it over, but she inhaled like a champ and didn’t cough once, so it obviously wasn’t her first time around the block. They shared it back and forth until it was gone, and by the time Shaggy returned from getting himself a snack, she’d turned the TV on and was giggling like mad at some nature show.

Shaggy tried to pay attention, because it must have been pretty funny, but he was too focused on finding the best way to eat his sandwich without losing any of it to bother. He didn’t really register when Daphne stopped giggling, but he definitely noticed when she leaned on his shoulder and stole a bit of his sandwich.

“Like, hey! I was eating that,” Shaggy protested, belatedly pulling his sandwich out of reach.

Daphne just graced him with a wide grin and slumped over until her head was resting on his shoulder. Shaggy froze for a moment, unsure what to do, because he’d never really had a girl this close to him and seemingly comfortable to be there. Then Daphne started to giggle again, pointing at the TV where a bunch of prairie dogs were poking out of their holes, and Shaggy started to laugh, too.

He offered her the sandwich and didn’t even mind too much when a pickle slid out and fell to the floor.

***

By far the most awkward time Shaggy had with any of his new friends was when he tried to spend time with Fred. Part of it was because they didn’t have a lot in common, but that certainly didn’t account for everything. After all, Major League Eating and football weren’t all that different, really (okay, they were, but Fred was willing to explain the finer points of football and listen when Shaggy explained Major League Eating in turn).

That part was totally fine, and turned out to be a lot of fun. No, the awkward part came when, instead of just talking sports or going on group outings to watch Fred play, Fred came over to Shaggy’s house to watch an MLE competition.

Somehow, it wasn’t quite like when Velma or Daphne came over. Because yeah, he always tried to be a good host whenever he had anyone over, but with Fred, he sort of went a little overboard.

“Geez, Shaggy, you’ve got enough snacks here to feed a horse.”

“Like, MLE competitions always make me hungry.”

They did always make him hungry, but looking at the food stacked on practically every surface, even Shaggy had to admit – if only to himself – that even he couldn’t eat that much.

“Hey, you got a new couch!” Fred grinned up at Shaggy as he bounced on it a little and it didn’t immediately crash to the floor.

“Yeah, the other one was getting a little too beat up.”

That was a bit of an understatement, because it had been a little too beat up back when the gang had first come over and the leg had fallen out from under it. In the months since then, all the legs had been removed and a spring or two had sprung up out of the cushions. And Shaggy really had been meaning to get it replaced, but somehow, he hadn’t managed to make that happen until he knew Fred was coming over.

Fred patted the seat next to him, and Shaggy sat down, changing it over to the right station and grabbing the nearest bowl of chips. Things were just getting underway with the competition, and Shaggy couldn’t help going over the stats one more time.

“Miki Sudo is favored to win today. You know, she ate 40 hot dogs her first time out, and-”

Shaggy stuttered to a halt as Fred reached over and grabbed a few chips from the bowl Shaggy was holding, causing their fingers to brush against each other. Shaggy’s face heated up at that, and he was glad that Fred’s attention was firmly fixed on the TV and not turning to ask him why he’d stopped in the middle of his rundown.

He found, all of a sudden, that he couldn’t care less about the competition or who was going to win, or even what anybody was eating. No, all his focus was on Fred, who didn’t seem to realize that Shaggy was trying very hard not to just sit there and stare at him. It wasn’t easy, but he managed for awhile.

Except then, Fred got up to use the bathroom, and when he got back, he sat down right next to Shaggy, leaving them pressed together all down one side. And sure, the couch was really more of a loveseat, so there maybe wasn’t a whole lot of room on Fred’s other side, but this one also didn’t sag in the middle like the last one had, so it wasn’t like they would inevitably have fallen into each other in the middle at some point. Shaggy set his bowl of chips aside and made sure he was staring straight at the television, even if he wasn’t really registering what was going on.

They sat like that for awhile, and Shaggy thought he’d been doing a pretty good job of pretending to watch the competition, until he saw Fred grinning out of the corner of his eye, and when he turned to ask what was so funny, Fred pressed a hand to his cheek and his lips to Shaggy’s.

It was awkward, as kisses go, possibly because Shaggy hadn’t been expecting it at all, but more likely because it was not only their first kiss, but his first kiss. But when Fred pulled back, he grinned brightly, and Shaggy was sure he looked as befuddled as he felt.

“Like, what was that for?”

“You’ve been staring at me since the competition started. That was what you wanted, right?”

Fred suddenly looked unsure of himself in a way Shaggy had never seen before, so he rushed to reassure his friend.

“Yeah, but how did you know? I was trying to be careful not to let you know.”

Fred laughed. “Does it really matter? Now that I do know, we can both have what we want.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.” Fred leaned over and kissed him again.

***

So maybe getting a whole new group of friends all at once had been a little awkward, but Shaggy wouldn’t trade them for anything, especially not now that they’d found commonalities between them other than mystery-solving. There were still occasionally awkward times, because Shaggy was kind of awkward all on his own, but in the end, no one really minded.
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