A/N: Aaaaaand, Chapter six is here. Welcome to the final chapter of this little fic. I have to say that I am actually really proud of this, because this is the first actual fic I have posted that is longer than two chapters and completed. It's exciting, and hopefully it is a sign that I will be completing (and posting) more fics in the future. I have such a problem with procrastination and writer's block, but this is a promising sign for the future. Thank you to all of my awesome reviewers for letting me know what you thought! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Is this even necessary?
Shawn and Fear
Shawn doesn't admit to fear. He hates it, the sick feeling in the pit of his stomach, the burn in the back of his throat, the shaking of his limbs, the feeling that his world has just been upended. He can't stand fear, but more than that he can't stand to admit when he's afraid. Its weakness, and years with Henry Spencer has taught him that weakness cannot and will not be tolerated.
Shawn has policy of showing no dark emotions. He does not show fear or grief or nervousness, not when he has another option, not when he can hide it. But Shawn can't hide right now. He's too overwhelmed to even care.
He had never been more scared in his entire life than that moment when the bullet slammed into Gus, knocking him to the floor. Seeing the blood well up and spread across the coral pink fabric of Gus's shirt, Shawn thought he would just collapse. He was shaking all over, shaking in the very core of his being.
The anger came then, but it was drawn from necessity, because he could stand the anger and the burning hatred where he could not stand the fear that overwhelmed him, that made him incapable of functioning. The anger pushed the fear back, filling him with adrenaline. But when it faded, when the shooter was in custody and whisked away, the anger left and the fear came back, even stronger, even more forceful, with such a hold on Shawn that he didn't think he could even walk.
He remembers staring at Gus, at the blood and his friend's ashy complexion in wordless horror, willing him to wake up and be okay. When the paramedics came they pushed him out of the way and Lassiter and Juliet pulled him away but he stayed close, shaking and feeling sick and watching as the paramedics worked to stop the bleeding, worked to keep Gus alive. The guilt would come later, it would roar over him and attack him, but the fear was the most prominent thing.
When he was nine he fell out of a tree and broke his arm. Shawn remembers the falling sensation, remembers knowing that he was going to hit the ground and it was going to hurt, and he remembers screaming and remembers the desperation and how he was terrified as he was falling. Until the doctor tells him that Gus is going to be fine it felt like he was falling and screaming and now one could hear him. Even when he looks at Gus and his friend smiles weakly up at him he can feel the weakness in his knees, the Jell-O feeling in his legs.
He doesn't ever want to feel that way again. He doesn't think that he can stand every feeling that way again, like his heart has been plucked from his chest and squeezed, like his lungs won't inflate.
"Gus?" He says, when the room is quiet and they are alone. His friend is sitting up, his eyes closed and his head tilted back. He wakes from an almost sleep and turns his head to look at him. He doesn't speak, just waits. "Gus, I don't want to do this anymore. I quit."
Gus sighs and reaches an arm out towards Shawn, wincing. Shawn's eyes widen and he leaps from his seat, grabbing Gus' arm and pushing it back towards his friend's body. "What are you doing?" He practically shouts, remembering at the last second to keep his voice lower so as not to bring someone into the room.
"Trying to slap some sense into you."
Shawn falls silent. He feels himself shaking and he can't quite get control of himself.
"Shawn, you are not quitting."
"Yes I am, Gus." He says, looking down. "I can't do this anymore."
"You know, Shawn, whenever things get tough you run. But this psychic thing hasn't been easy, and you haven't given up yet. This is the longest you've ever held a job, and this is the first time I've ever seen you really happy. Really content. You can do this, Shawn, and you are going to. You aren't going to give up and run away again because you made one mistake."
"Gus, you got shot!" He says, looking up.
Gus rolls his eyes. "You think I don't know that? I know, Shawn. I know I got shot. I know that you blame yourself too, because I know you. But you can't blame yourself. I don't want you to blame yourself. And I don't want you to run. I want you to stay. I want you to keep doing this, because it makes you happy."
Shawn looks down again. "You getting shot doesn't make me happy, Gus. I can't keep putting you in danger. What if next time its worse? What if—."
"Don't you dare start playing the 'what if?' game with me, Shawn Henry Spencer!" Shawn winces. "You have not ever cared about 'what ifs' and you are not going to start now, understand me? And you are not quitting. There has never been a job better suited to you, Shawn. This is what you are meant to do. I have sat by and watched you run and jump from job to job for years, Shawn, and I'm not letting it happen this time."
Shawn looks up, desperate. "Gus…."
"No, Shawn." Gus's eyes soften. "I know you were scared." Shawn would try to deny it, but the look in Gus' eyes says everything. "I was scared too. But Shawn, we can't live in fear. And you can't quit every time you get scared."
Shawn bends in half, resting his forehead on the edge of Gus' cot. Gus' hand strokes his head softly, in a purely comforting way.
"Do you know what you've got here, Shawn? You've got me, you've got a job you love, you've got the police force behind you, you've got the Chief, you've got Lassi, and you've got Jules. You've got too much to leave behind Shawn."
"I know." Shawn says. "I know but…." He looks up. "Gus, you have no idea how scared I was."
Gus smiles. "I know, Shawn. But we've just got to get through it."
Shawn thinks that, for Gus, he can conquer his fears. For Gus and for Lassi, for Jules and for the Chief, he can stick around. He sits beside Gus' bed and lets go of the fear, because, for the moment, it doesn't matter anymore.