Yep, next chapter already. I'm proud. But I must admit, the credit goes to my wonderfully inspirational *cough-pushy-cough* friend, Cor. Thanks, chica.

Disclaimer: NOT. MINE. (Excluding the basic plot and voice.) Go sue people with money to give you.

Gus Walks Into A Bank tag


Holding Out for a Hero - FrouFrou

Carlton steered the Crown Vic toward the bank, game-face on as he analyzed what needed done for everyone to come out alright.

As he pulled into the parking lot, he noticed a little blue thing that could only belong to Guster. He mentally cursed, because this was definitely not good.

Then he remembered the rather unwelcome phone call that morning, when Spencer had assured him, "I'm not abandoning you, Lassikins! Gus-Gus is just dragging me on some errands today. Tell Jules I give her smooches!"

Which meant Guster was in the bank which meant Shawn was probably in there right then, most likely annoying the hell out the bank robber and about to get himself shot.

Suddenly, Carlton was finding it very hard to breathe. When Spencer stepped out of the car, oblivious and cheerful and not shot, Carlton forced himself to calm down. He had no right, no reason to worry about the infuriating man-boy.

"Lassie! Jules, why are you here?" Said man-boy asked, grinning away, even if it was slightly too strained to be real.

"What are you doing here?" Lassiter threw back, not hiding the fact he wanted Spencer far away, preferably in Kevlar. What could he say, the younger man had a penchant for ending up right in the middle of dangerous situations.

"Shawn, we have a situation. Some guy held up the bank and we think he's taken hostages."

In the split second after O'Hara's announcement, Shawn's face transformed into something dark and angry and frankly terrifying.

Carlton barely caught him in time, and it took a surprising force of strength to hold the smaller man back. "Whoa, whoa, take it easy, Shawn." Carlton tried to sound comforting as he held Spencer against the car.

He hadn't meant to let the name slip, but it seemed to have the right effect as the man sagged into his arms. Lassiter pulled him even closer to keep him upright since his legs seemed to have given out.

"Gus is in there." He whispered, the morbid serious guilty tone so foreign to the eternally cheerful man. Carlton surprised himself by pulling the light-haired head to his shoulder and giving Shawn time to compose himself. He glared at O'Hara until she turned away and chased off the remaining audience, so there was no one else to witness the shaking hands that clung to Carlton's back or the silent sobs that wracked the smaller body.

After a few minutes that seemed to last a lot longer, Shawn started to lean back against the car and Lassiter reluctantly let him go.

"Thanks." Shawn muttered, sounding so weary that Carlton wanted to tell him to lay down in the car and wait it out, but he knew that would never happen. "No problem. Let's go save your friend, alright?" He suggested instead. Shawn nodded morosely, his form uncharacteristically limp as he stared at the wall that separated him from the one he thought of as a brother.

His neck was still warm where Lassiter's hand had held him close, almost tenderly, protectively. It had felt… good, safe. He'd been able to let go for a moment, release some of his fear. He glanced over at the lanky detective still watching him with something akin to genuine concern, and found himself craving more of that feeling.

"Carlton…" He started, the name deliciously foreign to his tongue, only to be cut off by the arrival of a fed convoy. But he hadn't gone unheard, if the heat in Lassiter's stormy gaze were any indication.

The tall dark Irishman planted a hand against the car on either side of the smaller man, effectively trapping him as he leaned closer. His lips brushed tantalizingly close to Shawn's ear as he whispered, "Careful, Shawn. Be very careful." With the warning delivered, he twisted away and stalked towards the recently-arrived force, leaving Shawn gasping in his wake, eyes glued to his retreating back(side).

As they confronted the FBI intruder, one thought ran through both their minds, shoved to the back until Guster was safe.

"He said my name."

Yep, no angst. Hey, hey, what's with the rotten vegetables? It's not angst. Maybe not fluff, either, but still.

Hope ya'll enjoyed it anyway.

(I do so love the comments...)