11.

Shawn and Lassiter were halfway down the block before the rain of cutlery and profanity was halted. Whether Mrs. Lassiter got tired or was restrained by the waitstaff was something neither of them were curious about to check. They didn't stop running until they were across the street and ducked into an alley.

"Well," Lassiter said, panting. "That went about as well as I expected."

"You expected your mom to throw silverware at us?"

"Why do you think I borrowed her knife?"

"Well she got it back."

"I'm aware."

"And mine too."

"I noticed."

"Do you think the restaurant will call the cops?"

"Probably."

"Do you think your mom will tell the cops why she was so upset?"

They stared at each other for a moment, then spun around and started running back the way they'd came.

In the past two months, Shawn and Lassiter had fought over many things. Messes, shaving, public displays of affection; but they'd agreed that being open with their relationship wouldn't be good for either of their careers. The people who needed to know knew, and no more.

But things had been going well enough for these two months that Lassiter had announced he wanted Shawn to come with him to his weekly brunch with his mother. Shawn had known things wouldn't go well, but he agreed anyway.

And then the yelling had started.

"Are you sure you can afford that?" Shawn asked worriedly. He hadn't actually seen the check Lassiter had written to the restaurant, but he recognized the way his hand moved, and there were far too many zeroes.

"No," Lassiter said. "But it's better than letting word get out and losing my career."

"Yeah…" Shawn stuck his hands in his pockets, kicking a pebble on the pavement as they walked to Lassiter's car. "She wouldn't have said anything anyway."

"Maybe, maybe not. If she was angry enough."

"She's your mom."

"She's ashamed of me. Especially now."

"She shouldn't be!"

"I know that. You think I don't know that?" Lassiter grinned unpleasantly. "Why do you think I wanted to bring you along today? I've never made her proud, no matter what. I'd rather tell her the truth and cut off ties now, then keep pretending I care what she thinks."

Shawn didn't see the need to point out of obviously untrue that was, that no matter what you did you would always care what your parents thought, but since that would bring out some rather uncomfortable questions about himself he kept his mouth shut.

"Have you told your father?"

Shawn winced. "If I tell my dad who I'm dating, he takes it as an invitation to either meet them, or tell me who he's dating. Neither of which I want to happen!"

"I won't pretend your dad and I get along," Lassiter rolled his eyes. "But he cares about you. He respects you."

"Since when?"

"Since… Well, I'm not sure, actually. But he does." Lassiter shrugged. "All the times he's saved your skin, or relied on you for something?"

"Yeah…" That was not something Shawn wanted to think about right now. "Is this your way of trying to get invited to dinner tonight?"

Lassiter looked askance at him. "No."

"You're not going to try to fix my relationship with my father? Or mother?"

"Why would I want to do that?"

Shawn breathed out a sighed of relief and grinned. "I love you."

Lassiter's cheeks colored and he scowled. Anyone not close enough to hear what he said would assume he was angry or flustered. Only Shawn knew him well enough to realize he could be both of those and sweet at the same time.

Because what he said was, "I love you too."