Cory was sound asleep when Shawn set down his stuff next to him.
Glancing up at Eric, Shawn gave him a pained looked. Eric motioned for Shawn to follow him into his room.
When Eric shut the door, Shawn took a deep breath and sat on the black overstuffed chair next to the door. Weird placement. But it is Eric.
"I can't do it, Eric."
"You might want to still keep it down," Eric laughed, "These walls are mighty thin. What can you do with a teacher's salary?"
Eric stretched out on his queen sized bed, getting a sly grin from Shawn.
"Many women on this bed?" he asked, deciding to distract himself for awhile.
But Eric shook his head. "No way man. It would be too weird. I rarely take them back to my place which is saying something because I rarely take the ladies out in the first place. This bed was cause Joshua started spending the night all the time. Something about the couch being a horrid pile of nails," he shrugged and grinned, "Guess we'll find out from Cory in the morning."
With another mention of Cory, Shawn stiffened.
"Tell me what's going on, man," Eric was tired of prying. It was far too early or late or the wrong time of day to put effort into this. He was thankful that Shawn had been so open in the car even if it had sounded like reciting a list of facts.
"Cory can't wake up to me just showing up in the same room. After everything-"
"Pretty sure you and Cory have a weird enough relationship where that isn't even unusual."
"It's different now though. I messed up."
"Again. Not unusual." Eric said but calmed this time as he could see Shawn was started to get himself worked up. "Calm down, man. Cory still loves you."
"I wish it could be that simple, Eric. But it isn't. You never had to see that time in my life. I was so angry. I said so many horrible things to Cory. And then I just ran away like a scared kid. Cory would have forgiven me. I know it. He still will, probably. But it isn't fair."
"Shawn, come lie next to me."
Shawn looked at Eric through his fingers, which were over his face.
"I said Shawn, come lie next to me. Uh, doy."
So Shawn stood up and threw himself backwards on Eric's bed.
"Dude. This bed is amazing."
"I know, right?" Eric said as he propped him face up on one arm, lying on his side. "Here's the thing Shawn. You messed up. Sure. I know what that's like. But you can either avoid Cory forever, which means you'll have to get out of here within an hour because he is on a timer from that baby of his. Or you can deal with it right now. He'll wake up in an hour and probably think he's dreaming that you're here."
"Does he know I'm coming?"
"Angela told him that you called her. So he had a lot of questions as to how you knew. He doesn't know you're coming. I hardly knew if you were coming. I figured you would, but I didn't want to let him get his little Cory-hopes up, you know? Too much as it is," Eric laughed.
"Angela," his voice sounded even more strained, if that was possible. It shouldn't have been. "She's here? Oh God, Eric. What did I do?" He started crying, covering his face. Ashamed.
"Yeah. She's at the house with Topanga and the baby Matthews. Should've mentioned that I guess. Thought you knew considering you called her. Guess not."
"Let's not talk about Angela yet. I can hardly focus on Cory."
"He was pretty ticked that I had your number the whole time. Honestly I'm surprised the little brother slept here instead of the house. Angela didn't mind coming over here. Glad THAT didn't happen. But I guess Topanga and Angela and Faith wanted some 'girl time', whatever that means with a baby."
"I still have that picture you sent me. Thanks, by the way," Shawn muttered, reaching into his back pocket and pulling out an old, beat up, black, leather wallet. He pulled out several pictures. One of Cory and Topanga in their wedding clothes with him standing next to Cory. Another of Faith. One of Angela. One of Jack and Rachel while they were in the Peace Corp, a picture Eric had specially printed to send to Shawn.
"Jack. Is he coming?" Shawn tried.
"Of course. Him and Rachel were actually on their way back. Weird timing. Why don't you go to bed, man? I'll wake you up when Cory is up. You need some sleep."
Shawn let the exhaustion of travel, time change, lack of sleep and emotions catch up to him as Eric spoke.
"I might be out for days. But wake me up when Cory wants to see me. If that's never, let it be never…" he said quietly as he drifted off to sleep. Eric sighed as he looked at Shawn, realizing that Shawn was as broken as he ever had been. He got up to switch the light off and went to the kitchen to make himself some coffee. No sleeping after all that.