Velma was sitting up in her hospital bed, breathing through an oxygen mask, flicking through a copy of National Geographic so ancient that it was probably in need of carbon-dating. She only felt up to looking at the pictures; her head was still pounding though the oxygen was helping. Her door opened and her face brightened, headache forgotten she held out her arms as Shaggy walked over, sat on her bed and embraced her.

"How's my hero doing today" he asked kissing her on the cheek so as not to disturb the mask.

"Fine, and how's my hero doing" she replied. Shaggy had come round briefly after she had passed out and had managed to get both of them to the doorway where they were dragged to safety by Fred and Daphne.

"Starving, I overslept and missed breakfast this morning. How are your hands?"

"First and some second degree burns, just had them debraded, hence all the bandages." she held up her heavily bandaged hands "Should be OK soonish, still it's quite inconvenient"

"Well if you need help with anything" he said

"Thanks" she was interrupted by an orderly bringing in lunch

"Here you go Miss Dinkley and here is yours Mr Rogers, the nurses thought you would be in here."

Both thanked him and turned their attention to their food and lifted the tray covers. Velma had a few sandwiches and some fruit Shaggy had a chicken pie with boiled potatoes, roasted vegetables, with apple crumble and custard for pudding. Velma stared dejectedly at her food. With her hands bandaged like this sandwiches were one of the few things she could eat without making a huge mess. Shaggy was just about to take a mouthful of food when he saw her face, without a word he swapped trays.

"Shaggy I can't eat this, my..." she said sadly.

"But you want to eat it, you need to eat it, and like you shall eat it."

"Are you going to feed me like a baby?" she asked then wished it hadn't sounded so abrupt.

"No, I'll be your hands; you can guide mine, like just budge up a little"

Velma moved over in bed so he could sit next to her, he put his right arm around her and waved his hands in front of her

"My Miss Dinkley, what big hands you have" they both laughed "So just take hold of my hands as best you can and I'll do the cutting and the rest. Eat as much as you want Velms, eat it all if you like"

It took a few tries but they got their act together. She could hear his stomach growling but he made no comment as she ate. Finally she was full, and they relaxed into each other.

"Shaggy, thank you that was very sweet and caring, I feel so much better now."

"I'm glad, you look better as well, though you always look good" he said quietly "Hang on a second" he took a napkin and gently wiped her mouth clean "There, you look perfect now".

Blushing slightly she looked up at him "Thanks, that was one of the nicest meals I've ever had"

He lent forward "Now I'd like to know what it tasted like?"

She craned her head up closer to his "How do you proposeā€¦"

Velma pulled his head into hers; the pain in her hands went unnoticed. They stopped when the need for air became too much.

"Nice, but the woman who ate the food tastes better, so much better"

"Pudding?" asked Velma and they resumed where they left off

Half an hour later and neither had moved from where they were. They were now reflecting where they had been and were going. Their 'official' first date would have to wait until Velma's hands were well enough to hold an knife and fork but in the mean time they would work through all the other numbers. Once incident kept coming back to them.

"You should have seen Daphne's face when I told her about how her pajamas got damaged"

"Sorr, I just. I needed you so badly it was scary"

"I scared myself in the van. But on reflection it was a good scare."

"Yeah, like a rollercoaster kind of scare."

"Exactly. I think, I think I'd like to be scared again sometime soon."

"Like me too, whenever you're ready that is. You're the only person who makes me want to get scared."

Velma paused for a while; she was examining and stroking Shaggy's hands as best as she could. Holding them was almost out of the question so this was the next best thing.

"You know you do have very big hands Shaggy" said Velma.

"All the better to hold you with" he replied

"Shaggy that's just so corny" she gave a little groan "but show me how better they are anyway."

Unnoticed a nurse slipped away from the door and crept to the phone.

Daphne had been getting regular updates from the hospital on Shaggy and Velma's condition. She and Fred had been worried sick at first but it soon became apparent that neither would suffer any long term injuries. After a brief discussion with a couple of the nurses she was now receiving regular updates on their other condition, the latest update had her dancing round the house much to Fred and Scooby's bemusement. Daphne sat down at her computer and began to type.

How to get Shaggy and Velma to finally admit they are crazy about each other then get them together

By Blake, D. Principle matchmaker of Mystery Inc.