I Promised I would

Disclaimer. I do not own Psych. No copyright infringement is intended

Shawn was spread out across his bed, lying on his back. Almost every inch of his body still hurt, and the dark bruises and marks he obtained were still quite visible on his pale skin. He opened one green eye blearily and squinted against the sun. It was bright, but its warmth felt like heaven on his weakened body.

He'd just been released from the hospital two days ago, after he'd spent quite a few weeks there in the past two moths. The reason he'd been there in the first place was that he'd been tortured by some enemy of Lassiter for information he didn't even have. But it pained him to even think about all of that. So, he lay on his bed, wearing nothing but boxers and a loose long-sleeved shirt.

He didn't like being exposed. He wouldn't even take his shirt off in front of anyone now. He just got so afraid, for no reason too! He hated himself for it, but on the other hand, why not? Shawn had lost a lot of weight, but still hadn't regained much appetite. Not even pineapple could entice him as it once did. Wincing slightly as he rolled onto his side, he caught a glimpse of his raw, cut wrists. From the rope. His breath hitched slightly, and he closed his eyes. Why couldn't this pain just leave him alone? He didn't want to sleep, for fear of the nightmares, but soon he was too tired to protest. He drifted off.

Gus knocked on the door to Shawn's apartment. He felt horrible for not coming to stay with him yesterday, but work had kept him. It seemed almost as if it was purposely keeping him from going to see his best friend. He'd been worried. And uncertain. Shawn wasn't acting like Shawn. His normal quick wit and energetic attitude were nearly nonexistant. He was so quiet.

Gus knocked again. No answer. He might want to be left alone, but no one else was there with him. What if he needed something? What if he hurt himself? Gus groaned and took another key from his ring; the key to his friend's apartment. He slowly opened the door and slipped inside. The place was clean, surprisingly clean. It was quiet too.

Looking around, gus went into the kitchen. he couldn't see that any food had really been eaten. Damn it, Shawn. This was not going to get any better if he lost even more weight. Sighing, Gus exited the kitchen and slipped into Shawn's room. As he almost expected, his friend was sprawled out on his bed, not covered by anything. His unruly hair stuck up at strange angles, and his hands were tucked under his cheek.

Gus's heart twisted slightly in sympathy as he noted a slight shiver running through Shawn's frame. Grabbing a blanket from the closet, he prepared to put it over his friend. Suddenly, however, Shawn gave a small whimper, pulling his hands from under his head. Gus stopped as Shawn tensed, his friend's breath hitching slightly in his bruised chest.

Shawn suddenly gave a small sob, rolling around away from Gus. "No...don't...not again..." he whispered. "Please, oh god...it hurts!" he sobbed, curling himself into an impossibly tight ball. Gus didn't know what to do. He reached out and touched Shawn on the shoulder, earning a terrified gasp from him as he did so.

Shawn thrashed a bit, sweat dampening his hair and shirt. His breaths were now coming in painful gasps, and all Gus could do was watch helplessly. He didn't want to hurt him anymore by shaking or prodding him. But finally, he couldn't stand it. Sliding onto the edge of the bed, Gus reahced down and took both of Shawn's shoulders firmly in his hands. Shawn gave a hoarse cry, and still shivering, bolted upright. Hazel irises darted madly around until they fell on Gus, who was practically having to hold him down.

Without even saying one word, Shawn completely broke down, sobbing uncontrollably. Pulling into himself, his whole body seemed to be affected by his sobs. Gus swallowed hard, his heart breaking. Quietly whispering, "It's okay...it's okay..." Gus wrapped his arms around his friend's back and held tightly. At first, Shawn flinched back, but soon he willingly accepted his friend's grip.

Gus could feel Shawn's heart beating painfully through his own chest, and the press of his spine on Gus's own palm. Shawn instinctivley relaxed slightly as he felt the warmth of his own complete trust in his friend spread through him. This hug was hurting him, but he didn't care. Shawn pressed his forehead into Gus's shoulder, pulling in shaky breaths.

He calmed suddenly when he felt Gus gently rubbing his upper back, trying desperately to ease him. It actually felt really good. He wasn't used to touches like this. In the past few months, touch had usually meant "bad" or "pain". This was different. He closed his eyes again, the warmth making him tired. So Gus stayed like that, sitting in an awkward position at the end of a bed, with his best friend calmy asleep in his arms. Shawn felt so light, so breakable. Gus looked down at him, and remembered a boyhood pact they had made.

"Let's promise to be best friends forever!"

"That's silly."

"Oh come on, Gus!"

"Okay, okay. I promise."

He felt he should really live up to that. After all, he promised he would.