I wrote this fic because I always sympathised with Evan and hated all the suffering he went through in the books, and just wanted him to be happy for a change. Warning, it's extremely fluffy and self-indulgent. Btw, I looked up the Monster Blood transcript for the TV episode and Kathryn calls Evan's parents Lauren and Paul, one of which I included in this fic.

Evan Ross woke up on the floor of his bedroom, tangled up in blankets, with panic and fear flooding through him. He sat up, breathing hard. Moonlight shone from the window right onto him. His heart was racing, he was trembling, and he was icy cold. He wrapped his arms tightly around himself, trying to regain control of his breathing.

Once he was calm, he thought about what had just happened. He had had yet another nightmare about the monster blood. He couldn't remember exactly what happened in it - by now, all his dreams about the stuff were starting to feel the same - but he did recall that it had involved his most recent encounter with the green blob, when his friend Andy fed it to Cuddles the hamster.

Sometimes he wondered why he was friends with her.

He shakily got up and wandered into the kitchen, not bothering to turn on the light. He stumbled through the darkness of the kitchen, grabbing one of the glasses next to the kitchen sink. Just as his hand found the tap, he heard a scuttling noise and jumped out of his skin. He looked down and saw a small dark figure hurrying out from under a corner of the cupboard.

Was it a mouse? A cockroach? Did it matter?

Quit being so paranoid, Evan, he scolded himself.

He filled his glass with water and returned to his room, walking very slowly. He sat down shakily on his bed and took tentative sips of the water. An owl hooted and he jumped again, that same fear and panic from waking up filling him again.p style="max-width:

Why was he being so jumpy and paranoid?

He quickly gulped down the rest of his water, finding bits of orange juice pulp at the bottom of the glass. Suddenly, he got that scared, panicked feeling again - not as prominent as before, just a lingering feeling, like an annoying itch you couldn't scratch off. He felt nervous and...lonely. He felt a sudden urge to go into his parents' room.

Quit being such a baby, he told himself. It was just a nightmare. You've gotten plenty of them before.

But that scared, panicked feeling persisted. He sighed. Oh, what the heck. He stumbled through the house to his parents' room, turning the doorknob after a long pause.

His parents were sleeping. He shook his mother to wake her up, since she was a much lighter sleeper than her father. Sure enough, she woke up almost immediately.

"Mom?"

Mrs. Ross groaned. She covered her face with her elbow

"Mom."

She groaned again. She turned over.

Evan shook her. "Mom!"

She groaned yet again, rubbed her eyes and groggily sat up. It took a while before she noticed Evan. "Evan - what are you doing?"

Evan felt like turning around and leaving the room at that moment. But he decided not to. "I had a bad dream," he said quietly.

Mrs. Ross yawned, tucking a loose strand of her straight blonde hair behind her ear. "Evan, please. You're twelve-"

Evan was about to return to his room right then and there. But...

"Please, Mom?" he begged. "Can I just stay here for a couple of minutes? Just a couple of minutes? That's alł. I swear. And then I promise I'll go back to my room. I just want to...be with you for a while." He winced. That sounded so babyish.

"Oh, alright," Mrs. Ross conceded, suppressing another yawn.

"Thanks, Mom," whispered Evan. He felt a sudden urge to hug her, but he knew that would make her think she was even more of a baby.

He pulled himself up onto his parents' bed and sat cross-legged on it. His mother put her legs over the side of the bed, her feet on the floor. Evan suddenly felt another urge to lean into her side and squeeze her hand.

Whoops, he was doing it.

Mrs. Ross didn't squeeze back, but she didn't pull away either.

There was a silence, the tick tock of the clock on the wall the only sound and the moonlight streaming in from the window the only light. An owl hooted, again.

"Want to talk about it?" his mother asked suddenly, beginning to slowly rub his back.

Evan hesitated. He didn't know whether his mother had believed Aunt Kathryn about the monster blood. She had told him she thought Kathryn had lost it after she explained it, but when Evan confirmed the story, she didn't know what to think. He hadn't informed his parents about his recent monster blood adventure. He remembered how the kids at his school had disbelieved and made fun of him when he told them about the monster blood. He became known as the weird new kid who made up stories.

So he decided to change the subject.

"I can't believe Mr. Murphy gave me Cuddles," Evan muttered, his voice barely above a whisper. "As a 'present'. Can you believe it?"

Mrs. Ross had returned Cuddles to the school when Mr. Murphy had given him to Evan. She had politely explained to Mr. Murphy that while they appreciated his thoughtful and generous attempt to give them a gift (well, that was a bit of a lie), they didn't particularly want a pet hamster nor had the time or space for one.

Evan had wanted to abandon him on the streets, but his mother said that wasn't ethical. Evan refrained from asking her where sending somebody a demon hamster fell on the etiquette meter.

"Evan, he was just trying to send you a gift," said Mrs. Ross. "Sure, it was one you didn't want, but-"

"Yeah, right," Evan grumbled, his voice still very low. "He-" He started to say more, but cut himself off.

Mrs. Ross reached out her hand suddenly and ran it gently through Evan's curly, carrot-colored hair.

"Don't do that," Evan muttered, but he couldn't muster much heat behind the words.

For some reason, that made her smile. A very weak smile, but a smile nonetheless. She ran her hand through his hair again. Evan grumbled something, but nestled closer into her side, like he did so much when he was younger.

Evan missed spending time with her like this. They barely even talked anymore. She was always so busy, going away on "business" and leaving Evan with his aunt Dee and his bratty cousin Kermit. His aunt thought Evan was a natural born troublemaker and her son was a perfect angel who could do no wrong.

Evan blushed a little when he remembered how much he had begged and whined to his mom when she brought him to Aunt Kathryn's house. He admitted he had acted pretty childishly with his complete refusal to cooperate. He had just felt so hurt and betrayed that his parents were going to leave him with a crazy deaf woman when they could easily take him with them.

Evan suddenly heard shuffling and realised it was his father. He rolled over once, twice, before slowly waking up.

It took him a while before he noticed Evan curled up beside his mother. "What's going on here?"

"Nothing, Dad," Evan said quickly.

"He had a nightmare, Paul," said Mrs. Ross. Was that a knowing look she shot at his father?

"Mom," Evan whined.
Mr. Ross started to say something, but stopped. "Wait a sec, Evan," he said. "I have to go to the bathroom. I'll be back." Then he left the room, returning in a very short amount of time. Evan's mom put her arm tightly around him and pulled him close to her in the time he left.

"Nightmares, huh?" Mr. Ross said to Evan. "I know a thing or two about nightmares. I had them at your age."

"Really?" said Evan, surprised.

"Yes," said Mr. Ross. "And let me tell you...it feels better if you talk to somebody about it."

"I don't want to talk!" Evan whined, a little loudly.

He was expecting his dad to insist, but he just said, "okay." There was a silence. Then Mr. Ross said "Well...maybe I could tell you about the nightmares I had."

He shifted around a little on the mattress. "Did you know, Evan, that my parents died when I was just a little younger than you?" Evan nodded, but he was a little shocked. He knew they were dead, but his father never talked about them, and he didn't know he was so young when they died.

"I had to stay with your aunt Kathryn. She wasn't deaf back then, but still a little weird. I had nightmares about my parents dying...all the time And you know what?" There was a silence. "I never went to her when I had them. Not once."

"I..." Evan didn't know what to say in response to that. Actually, he did.

Then how do you know it'll help to talk to someone?

But he didn't say that.

"I...I was just confused," Mr. Ross continued. "Confused and scared. I got into a lot of fights. Came home bloody and bruised. Your aunt never cared. So why would she care about a bad dream?" Evan felt a sudden jolt of déjà vu.

"Do you think they'll ever stop?" Evan whispered.

"I know they will," said Mr. Ross.

"When did they stop for you?"

"I...I don't know," said Mr. Ross. "It was years ago, Evan. I just...I don't know. I know that they did stop, though."

Evan yawned. He suddenly felt his eyelids growing heavy, even though a few minutes ago he felt as if he could stay awake for an entire week. He let his eyes close and his head sag on his mother's chest. He expected her to protest and remind him that he had to go back to his room in a few minutes, but she just played with his hair like she did when he was little, and he didn't protest either.

He felt his mom rubbing his back for a moment before wrapping her arm around him. Then he felt another pair wrapping around him as well, and that scared, panicked feeling disappear as he fell into a deep, peaceful sleep.