TALKING IN YOUR SLEEP

A/N This story takes place after SD & the Witch's Ghost, at the beginning of Alien Invaders when the gang is riding around in the van in New Mexico. From Fred's perspective, because he's probably my favorite.

The van hit another bump in the road. Shaggy and Scooby were in the front seat blasting rock music, driving, navigating the rocky terrain. They didn't drive the Mystery Machine much. It showed.

A muscular blond young man in his early twenties awoke from his sleep. He yawned. Fred Jones was trying desperately to sleep a little before it was his turn to drive again. He sleepily glanced to either side of him. To his left was Velma—the brains of Mystery Inc. who had been one of his best friends forever. She was sleeping peacefully in one corner of the van. And to his right was Daphne—the girl he had been in love with forever, but he was just too shy to admit it to her. She was sleeping in the other corner of the van…not so peacefully. He had never known Daphne Blake to have nightmares. And yet here she was, rolling and thrashing about in her sleep. He wanted to comfort her somehow, but as soon as he crawled closer to her in the back of the Mystery Machine, she stopped. Fred watched as she began to talk in her sleep.

I hear the secrets that you keep

When you're talking in your sleep

"You'll never…get…away with…mmm" She mumbled.

A few moments later, a large smile spread across the sleeping redhead's face. "Freddie…you…saved me." She rolled over again, happily.

Fred felt a huge grin wash over his face as well. Daphne was dreaming about him!

That meant she cared, right? No, Jones. Don't jump to conclusions. The whole gang was probably in her dream too. He mentally scolded himself. But…she specifically mentioned him!

He couldn't help himself. He leaned down to kiss her, his lips were practically touching hers—and then he pulled back suddenly. He couldn't do that! What if she woke up! What if she slapped him! Instead, he tucked a lock of her bright red hair behind her ear, and settled back down onto his blanket on the Mystery Machine floor, unconsciously scooting closer to Daphne.

Shaggy witnessed this whole ordeal take place from the rearview mirror while driving.

He couldn't hear what Daphne was mumbling, but he was sure it had something to do with Fred. He shook his head. "Darn it, Fred!" Shaggy thought to himself. "Like, why don't you just make your move, before it's too late?" He didn't understand Fred sometimes. But one thing was for sure. He knew he was going to give Fred a talking-to later that evening.

Later, after the gang had discovered that their van was having problems, they walked to a nearby diner and had met up with Lester. Lester invited them to spend the night at his house and to see his "pictures of Aliens."

The gang was more than happy to accept his invitation.

"The big fella here can have the couch," Lester had said, referring to Fred.

"And you ladies can sleep in the kids' room."

"Like, what about us?" Shaggy had asked.

"Oh, don't you worry! I've got a special place for you!" Lester had kidded, leading them to the sunroof.

Fred was now attempting to set his couch up like a bed when Shaggy approached him.

"Hey, Fred. Can I, like, talk to you for a second?"

"Sure, Shag. What's up?" Fred responded.

"Well, you know, it's like this: I saw you with Daphne earlier tonight. Like, I know you care about her, man."

Fred's eyes got huge. He looked guilty and shifted uncomfortably

.

"Like, just tell her how you feel, man!"

Fred looked at Shaggy incredulously.

"But Shaggy…it's not that simple. I—"

"She like, really likes you, you know. It's kind of obvious."

"Eh.." Fred was still unsure. "I'll sleep on it." Fred smiled at Shaggy.

"Thanks, though. I think I needed that support."

"No problem, Fred. But—like, just don't wait too long…" he thought of Velma. "Or she might change her mind."

Fred winced. He recalled Shaggy's heartbreak after Velma fell hard for the author Ben Ravencroft on their last mystery. Ben had turned out to be evil…and Velma had been hurt and emotionally distant ever since. He couldn't imagine having to deal with a similar situation and Daphne in Velma's place.

"Oh, Shag." Fred sympathized. "She just needs time."

"Like, thanks, Fred. It means a lot. And, like, I really hope it works out between you and Daphne. I'm gonna go get some shut-eye now."

" 'Night, Shaggy!" Fred called after him.

Fred was soon done fixing up his couch so that it was bedlike.

He lie down on it and attempted to fall asleep. But it was useless.

Fred lie awake, just thinking about Daphne; Shaggy's words haunted him.

He rolled over uncomfortably. 'Okay, I'm getting up now.' Fred thought to himself.

The muscular blonde slowly got up and wandered into the "kids' room" where the girls were sleeping.

Velma was sleeping calmly on the bottom bunk and Daphne was tossing and turning once again on the top bunk.

Fred looked up, eyes full of worry. He wondered why on earth Velma had let Daphne sleep on the top bunk…it was dangerous!

Daphne continued to thrash in her sleep and called out, "Freddy!"

"Don't hurt Fred! …please. No!"

Suddenly, Daphne rolled right off the bed.

Luckily, Fred was quick to catch her.

Fred was stunned. Here he was, holding Daphne Blake. She was still asleep, but she had, once again, been dreaming about him.

With her eyes still closed, she mumbled in her sleep, "I love you, Freddie." And tears began to softly fall out of her still-closed eyes.

Now Fred was shocked. And happy. And confused. All at once.

Daphne continued to cry into his chest as he carried her out of the room and to his couch.

He sat down on the couch with the sleeping Daphne on his lap. He just held her and stroked her hair as she continued to cry. He wasn't sure whether she was still crying in her sleep or whether she was awake, but he continued to comfort her.

"Shh, it's okay, Daph." He whispered.

Suddenly, Daphne woke up with a start and gasped. She looked around the room and appeared to be confused. Then she looked up and saw Fred.

"I'm so glad you're okay…" She put her hand to his cheek and smiled up at him, eyes still glistening from tears.

But then, she quickly looked away—unsure.

Fred made a bold move. Talking her hand in his, he gazed at her.

"Daph—you don't have to be afraid anymore. We don't. I know."

"Huh?" Daphne was confused by his words.

"Well...uh." Fred began. No, Jones, just say it already! The voice in his head was urging him. "Well…I love you too!" he blurted out.

Daphne inhaled sharply.

"You do?" she was caught off guard completely.

"Yes. Yes, I do."

Daphne responded by cupping his facing in her hands and pressing her lips against his, engaging him in a passionate kiss.

Still locked in the kiss, she straddled his lap with her legs and pushed him back down on the couch as they continued to kiss for minutes, but to Fred, it could've been hours and he wouldn't have known the difference. They completely lost track of time.

After their lips broke apart, they took a second to catch their breath.

Daphne beamed down at Fred, "I really do love you, Freddy. But…how did you know that I do?"

Fred grinned at her. "You were talking in your sleep."

And you tell me that you want me

You tell me that you need me

You tell me that you love me

And I know that it's right

Because I hear it in the night

I hear the secrets that you keep

When you're talking in your sleep