Originally posted over on under Insertwittyname here. All mistakes are my own (:
Gus wrinkled and wriggled his nose in mild disgust as yet another six legged, winged specimen mistook the end of his nose for the middle of the flower. Grimacing, he brushed down his arms in case anything else took a fancy to his beige shirt.
As much as he felt like a re-incarnated Scrooge (as Shawn had referred to it)... He really hated butterflies.
With a passion.
He watched with a disapproving eye as Shawn happily grinned up at him - every inch of his blue plaid shirt seemingly covered with the lightly fidgeting... beasts.
'Mini-beasts' his mind automatically corrected him.
He jumped at the sensation of tiny legs crawling up his hand, on a beeline... or a butterfly line... towards the cuff of his shirt, and batted it away in irritation.
Shawn glared at him, appalled at the treatment of his winged friend as he tried to coax said butterfly onto his own shirt.
"Shawn, we can't stay here..." Gus whispered harshly, before shrieking in a totally manly fashion as the bolted door from behind him gave yet another alarmingly loud crash. Shawn jerked in surprise... as did his impressive collection of butterflies as they all flew away in a block of a multi-colored haze whilst Shawn looked on in childlike dismay.
Stupid serial killer, chasing after them in this stupid butterfly sanctuary.
Gus wiped his face nervously - the recently popped up sweat now beading his forehead and nose only partly due to the 110 F humidity inside the greenhouse-esque room.
"C'mon. Lassiter and Juliet should be here by now."
Shawn allowed himself to be dragged away by his shoulder as his head jerked back to the door; his eyes quickly spotting the ever-growing gap between the door and its frame.
Meanwhile, Gus hurriedly scanned the three doors at the back of the room, whilst attempting to keep up some form of momentum. His first instinct was to look for an 'exit' sign, before realizing that the entrance and the exit were in fact, the same door, which was currently being knocked off its hinges by Burly McGruff. He cursed the designer of this stupid building. Making a quick guess, Gus slammed through door number one.
The place was crawling with caterpillars and cocoons that were hanging precautiously off of shining, emerald leaves. Gus shuddered. Shawn huffed from beside him, "Door number two?" he glanced at Gus, his head tilted in questioning. An alarming crack ricocheted on the walls from the butterfly room as the main door swung inwards. The lock had broken cleanly in half. Shawn quickly shut and bolted the caterpillar room door, "Door number two it is then." he said, sounding way too cheerful for someone being chased by a mass murderer.
Stupid Shawn 'glass-is-half-full' Spencer.
"But we're just playing!"
"Well play right Shawn. Or don't play at all."
Gus recalled, with a brief smirk, as he overheard Shawn's discussion with his father over the finer points of the art of hide and seek, from his hiding place. A particularly disturbing growl dragged him away from that particular flashback.
"Shawn, what are we gonna do?" he half squeaked, turning around to his friend who... wasn't actually... there, "Shawn!"
He quickly located him wandering around the plants, looking in mild interest at the little creatures clinging onto them.
"They start of so ugly..." he was saying to nobody in particular.
Gus resisted whacking his forehead with his palm, before running over to the psychic.
"What are you do-?" Gus started to demand as he got closer, before he noticed what Shawn had finally stopped at. Gus had never felt so emotion at seeing a door before. Out of context, he would probably look back at this and find his welling emotions stupid and hormonal.
But this was now.
And right now... Gus' emotions were free-flowing at the sight of the mahogany beauty.
"See dude, this is the old part of the butterfly house," Gus was only listening to Shawn's justification behind the discovery... in fact he had just noticed a potentially complicating problem.
"Shawn..." he whacked his friend's forearm to get his attention, "The plants have grown all over it, how're we supposed to open it?" he asked, almost hopping on the spot in fear as Burly started kicking at their door again.
Shawn rolled his head towards him, with his patent condescending expression splashed out across his features, "Gus, please, that's the least of our worries."
Gus looked at him blankly.
Shawn sighed before explaining, "See, look it's all bricked in." He stated as if it were the most obvious thing in the world, whilst gesturing widely at the door frame. Sure enough, on closer inspection, squinting through the dim lighting, Gus was just able to make out the sand coloured cement filling the minute gaps between the frame and the door itself.
Stupid hyper-observant Shawn.
"Couldn't you have mentioned that before?!" Gus exclaimed, glaring at Shawn incredulously as he threw his arms in the air. He turned to find another way out.
Shawn blinked at his friend's back, "I'm 'observant', not psychic." He said with a small, innocent pout.
Gus dropped to a crouch as he desperately looked through the leaves for anything... hell, he'd settle for a paper sized window at this point, "Contrary to what you tell everyone else." He grumbled.
Shawn feigned shock and hurt, "Gus, I'm appalled!" He stated in a wounded, yet self-righteous tone, and Gus couldn't help but be painfully reminded of a kicked puppy, "I would never lie to you!"
Before Gus could retort frustratingly, and list all the times in their twenty-odd years of friendship in which Shawn had indeed lied to him, Burly McGruff it would seem had finally decided that enough was enough. He was now kicking the door in such earnest; Gus could have sworn that, if put in front of one, the man could have knocked a fully grown rhinoceros of its feet.
Gus jumped to his feet and hurried to meet Shawn in the middle of the room, flailing slightly when he reached him as they both jumped slightly in nervous energy.
"What now?" Gus squeaked, his eyes fixed upon the violently shaking door.
Shawn's eyes flitted to him, darkened by slight irritation, "Dude. Why do you keep asking me that?"
Darting away from Gus quickly, his hazel orbs rapidly scanned the room before landing on a dense miniature forest of leaves in the back corner of the room. He locked knowing gazes with Gus, whose gaze had been lingering on it too, after following Shawn's line of sight.
"You know that's right!" Gus agreed eagerly to the unasked request, before they both darted towards their hiding place. After a brief slapping fight Shawn managed to push his way into the aforementioned camouflage, quickly followed by a very disgruntled Gus.
Gus grimaced in disgust and pulled his jacket around his body at the amount of caterpillars they seemed to disturb.
The door finally gave in with a bang that rivaled the sound of an A-Bomb, causing Shawn and Gus to instinctually shuffle backwards, further into the dense shadows of the undergrowth. Shawn hissed and Gus realized he was sitting on his foot. Assuming this to be the cause of his apparent discomfort, he shifted with a silent apology... well he hoped Shawn got he was sorry, because he didn't actually look back at him to convey said emotion.
The leaves rustled heavily as Shawn seemed to shift from side to side, knocking the bushes, caterpillars, and Gus in the process.
"Shawn, stop!" Gus whispered, barely audible as he placed a hand on Shawn's knee to stop him from moving further, "He'll hear you."
Seconds later, Gus felt fingers wrap around the wrist on his friend's leg in a shaky yet firm grip.
Gus turned back. Shawn was staring at him, eyes wide and mouth slightly open in a small, oddly delicate 'o'. Gus frowned in concern, "What?"
The grip around his wrist grew, if possible, even tighter... it was like a vice.
"Gus, they're all over me." He whispered, sounding panicked.
Gus shifted back silently so he was next to his friend, "What are?"
Shawn suddenly hunched over and gasped, locking his bright gaze on Gus' arm, "They're all on you, too!"
Gus' head shot down to his cloth covered arm and sure enough, little corn-colour, furry caterpillars were burrowing around the little creases in his jacket sleeve. Wrinkling his nose in silent disgust, he went to brush them away with his hand before he realised something. Shawn's bare arms, neck and upper chest were currently being explored by the same... creatures, leaving slight raised red marks in their path. Gus was so covered, with his t-shirt under his button up shirt, jacket, work trousers and knee-high socks that the only way a caterpillar could touch his skin would be if it landed on his head. Shawn on the other hand was wearing a plaid shirt, with his top few buttons undone, and jeans. He was also absolutely covered with around twenty-odd mini-beasts.
Stupid Shawn 'Butterfly-Magnet' Shawn.
"I think they're poison." Shawn muttered, blinking sweat out of his eyes.
"I'll bet..." Gus replied absently, eying the pink welts that were rapidly raising across his friend's skin in an almost perfect pattern.
Realizing his line of sight, Shawn shook his head, "Not just that..."
As if on cue, his entire body tensed up, his previously slack free hand forming into a tightly maintained fist. He arched his back slightly as pain seemed to shoot from every inch of his exposed skin and settle in his stomach like a festering tempest. He felt an involuntary whimper crawl up his throat before he could stop himself, but luckily Gus seemed to catch this and had a hand clamped around his mouth before he could make a sound. The noise caught in his throat and he forced himself to swallow it down to join the building storm of pain in his gut.
Gus' hand remained steady.
It was too much, keeping the lingering agony inside his body. He needed to make a sound - to release the storm somehow. He wanted to scream, cry even, in a totally manly fashion and let the world know of his misery. Instead, he settled for scrabbling at Gus' arm and leg and alternating grips between the two. Gus grimaced but he too, did not make a sound, and pulling his sleeve over his free hand, he began brushing Shawn's now very irritated skin, shooing away the blasted animals and any lingering spines that were either embedded in or resting against Shawn's skin. Once satisfied that his friend was no longer receiving continuous bouts of poison, he worked on his own jacket one handed until he was clear.
Then, removing his hand from Shawn's jaw, Gus placed the arm around his quaking shoulders, allowing him to slump on the small groove between his clavicle and shoulder blade. Feeling his rapid breaths against his ear, Gus grimaced at the light heat radiating from Shawn's face, making his eyes sting.
Shawn sucked in his lip to stop himself from groaning, and buried his face in Gus' coat.
Gus himself, meanwhile, was inspecting the little caterpillars on the surrounding leaves with a frown. He recognized them, but they weren't the larva of a butterfly, but of a moth. He guessed if they looked pretty, they had a place here. In a 'butterfly' sanctuary.
Totally. He inwardly rolled his eyes.
His head jerked back to Shawn as he grabbed Gus' wrist once more, his already suppressed breaths sounded tight and rough, almost as if he were struggling to...
This was all happening way too fast and far too extreme. Even the amount of Shawn's attackers shouldn't be causing a reaction like this.
Either they were genetically mutated moths and this was some kind of messed up horror film or...
Oh hell no.
"Shawn, you are not allergic to puss caterpillar stings!" Gus muttered desperately. Shawn simply choked at him in response.
Stupid Shawn 'never-does-things-half-way' Spencer.
Turning his gaze away from his friend's anxious one, Gus noticed the sudden lack of serial killer. Had he left? He squinted through the dim lighting, made worse by the shadows of the leaves, only to realize that his already limited view was made further so by the fact that he could only see around a quarter of the room.
No serial killer there.
Chewing his lip thoughtfully, his heart fluttering like one of those stupid butterflies, he turned back to Shawn. He couldn't quite grasp how fast his friend seemed to be deteriorating. Shawn was slumped against the thin trunk of shrub, his thumb loosely hooked between two spaces between his buttons covering his chest as he clawed weakly at the ground beneath him, dirt caking underneath his fingernails. His breath was beginning to sound more like stuttered gasps and his pallor had become a sickly, slick grey.
He could barely breathe.
Shawn kept his stare locked upon his partner, something Gus had realized he was doing a lot of.
Then it clicked.
Shawn was looking to him to get them out of this mess... for him to come up with this week's crazy scheme that would allow them to escape without one, or both of them, leaving in a body bag.
He decided he didn't like this sudden role reversal.
Shawn's mouth was silently opening and closing, as he attempted to form some form of coherent speech, "G-Gus..." he finally managed, his voice sounding like it was being rubbed up and down a cheese grater.
That did it for him.
Cautiously crawling forward, Gus poked his head from between the leaves. No killer. Hmm... About ten minutes ago, he wouldn't have even imagined dreaming of dreaming of moving away from the relative safe haven of the bushes, and even now, he wasn't sure.
But then he looked back at Shawn .
Stupid, emotive, entirely dependent, dull, green eyes.
He had to get Shawn out.
Lassie and Juliet were just outside right? They were meant to be meeting them there. But then, an unwelcome though streaked butt-naked across his mind... what if they had been too long already? The detectives had other cases after all. What if they had already left?
No. No thinking like that – they would check the building first.
And looking back at Shawn once more, he made his choice.
Stupid, adrenaline-fuelled idiocy.
He crawled back to Shawn and after telling him their escaped plan (run like hell to the exit and hope for the best), though he wasn't sure how much the man actually took in, awkwardly maneuvered them both silently to the 110 F fresh air of the caterpillar room.
It had to be said again.
Hauling Shawn up by his elbow, Gus slung his partners arm over his shoulders, and began to move as fast as humanly possible to the main butterfly room and too the safety of the parking lot. And hopefully a police car. And some ice cold, preferably alcoholic drinks. With little umbrellas. Shawn grunted weakly as he lost his footing, almost dragging them both down. Oh, hopefully an ambulance too.
A furious, and quite frankly, terrifying sound came from Gus' right, furthest away from Shawn.
There was Freaky McGrowlypants.
He running towards them.
Impressive rugby tackle.
Gus slowly came to on a hot, stone floor. Odd. Shouldn't it be a cold stone floor? Wait. Why was he coming to in the first place? On any form of stone floor?
Tiny legs exploring his hand answered that question.
He groaned as it all came flooding back.
And he groaned as his head gave a particularly painful throb.
And he groaned as his ankle followed suit.
Great, there goes his and Shawn's escape attempt out the window and how...
Rolling his head round lazily on the floor, he stopped as soon as he located what he was searching for.
His best friend.
The alcohol of his ice cold beverage that seemed to be getting further and further away was lying exactly where he fell, over-balanced by the lack of Gus supporting him, and probably dragged down as Gus fell. Gasping like a fish out of water and shaking to the point of vibration, Shawn's eyes were still fixed on Gus and his hand was near Gus' shoulder as if he attempted to rouse him, but gave up halfway through. His other hand was clasping and unclasping at the shirt covering his stomach.
Stupid, freaking caterpillar allergies.
Anyone else would be fine. Sure, they'd be in pain for a while, and he heard it could make you feel like you were dying... but dammit, only Shawn would not only feel like he was dying, but actually would start dying.
Please don't die Shawn.
His breaths were now coming in short jerks.
Their path was still clear and agonizingly close, the door having been knocked clear off its hinges, butterflies (and apparently moths) had started flittering into the caterpillar room. They could still make a run for it.
Well, ok, a mad stagger-like-a-90-year-old-man-with-chronic-arthiritis for it.
But Shawn needed Gus' help.
Gus couldn't walk.
There was no real reason for saying his name. He already had Shawn's full, undivided attention. From behind Shawn, Burly McGrowlypants was clanging the floor by setting out items. Items, Gus recognized with an icy sinking... of torture. Shawn winced at every reverberating clank.
"Can you walk?"
Shawn attempted to answer several times – his mouth forming words that just wouldn't come until, "Th-think... so."
"Get out of here."
Shawn shook his head as wildly as he could (which was pretty pathetic considering his hair was barely grazing the ground as he did so), his dreary, green eyes wide, "Not... Not leavin'... you... Gus."
"You gotta go get Lassiter and Jules. I can't walk." He muttered, gesturing at his busted ankle as he closed his eyes and gathered a deep breath.
Since when did he get so noble?
"Better than us both dying."
Shawn seemed to comprehend the logic behind the request, but he was still reluctant to leave his friend behind.
A particularly loud clang sounded from the psychopath, making Shawn wince. He rolled onto his side to face Gus properly, "Not leaving. Not leaving. Just getting Lassie and... Jules. Not leaving." He was shaking his head in denial and Gus felt it was more to re-assure himself that he was doing the right thing than for Gus' comfort. Rolling onto his front and bracing himself on shaky arms, Shawn raised himself into a standing position, agonizing inch by agonizing inch, all the while Gus kept focused on the man behind him, counting in a miracle that they hadn't been heard already. Shawn staggered towards the door, using the frame for support as soon as he reached it, inching round the wall so he was out of sight, and to his credit, he remained surprisingly silent the whole way there.
As soon as Shawn was out of sight there was nothing to distract Gus from the actions of the man that had once been behind him, so it had been easy to ignore him. Now, Gus felt inclined to watch him, if only to make sure he didn't turn around and realise Shawn missing before Shawn cold make it out the exit and to the, hopefully waiting detectives outside.
Meanwhile, Shawn found himself moving quicker than he had before, thinking more clearly, and yet his heart was still pounding, and pain was still lurking, and he knew things couldn't really be going as well as they seemed. He didn't glare chance one hazy look back at Gus for fear that he would have to run back to him... and get them both killed granted. But, it did seem as though his mind was as clear as his eyesight, so he couldn't really be held accountable for his actions right?
At least that would be his excuse to Saint. Peter.
Wait, ok what was going on? Exit! Right! Quietly... like a Jackal in sneak mode.
"The Jackal has arrived."
He could only hope that Psycho McWeirdison hadn't realised his absence, and wasn't silently torturing Gus in some kind of creepy way. Oh God...it was like Garth Longmore all over again. At least this time no one was pointing a gun at him, but he couldn't help the subconscious raise of his hand to his shoulder as he continued on his perilous journey to the exit.
Ok it was going well though, no freaky growls from behind him, no screaming-like-an-eighth-grade-girl-Gus... his head was clearing, he felt better. Maybe he just needed to run it out of his system.
Or okay, stagger-like-a-90-year-old-man-with-chronic-arthiritis it out of his system.
Oh well. And hey, look! The door was in reach. Unfortunately, just as he reached for the lax handle, there was a roar of fury from behind him as Freaky-pants realised he'd lost a hostage. Gulping down the automatic nerves and the ice cold drift that had shot up from his stomach to his throat, Shawn yanked the door open and threw himself the hell out of Dodge.
"Shawn!" a surprised voice squeaked from somewhere above him. Oh. He was on the floor. Was that Jules? Great, of all the times Shawn ever imagined himself in this position in front of Juliet, this, he had to say, was not on top of his list. However... wounded hero?
Ha. Some hero. He'd left his best friend in there.
Speaking of which.
He lurched himself upright, forcing his knees to lock underneath him, thought it wasn't enough to stop him from swaying like a palm tree in a strong breeze. Though nowhere near as graceful as a pine tree. Maybe like a fern tree in a twister or something...
"Spencer, what the hell's going on?"
"Oh my God, Shawn, are you okay?"
Gentle hands were upon his face, tilting his head side to side as if someone was examining him, peering closely at his skin. The hands were soft... Juliet his mind provided. He so wanted to make some form of inappropriate comment then, just to shake off the concern, but he realised his body was rebelling against his mind again, as the pain came flushing back with an inaudible whoosh and his knees buckled under the strain of holding his body weight.
Stupid, faulty knees.
Suddenly he found himself on the floor again, Juliet having lowered herself with him. In fairness, he guessed, he didn't really expect her to catch him... even his legs couldn't keep him upright and that was meant to be their full time job. Oh well. Enjoy the contact while it lasted, he and Juliet seemed to have distanced themselves as of late. He regretted it, really.
He was kneeling, supported by Juliet who was mirroring his position like some sort of petite, female reflection, trying to get him to look at her. No his neck had decided it couldn't hold his head's weight anymore and was causing it to loll ridiculously. He demanded a new body. This one sucked, no matter how cute it was.
"Shawn!" she cupped his chin with one hand gently, forcing her to look into his eyes, "Where's Gus?"
He frowned at her, "Gus?" then it clicked again, "Gus! With... with him. Told me to get you guys." He looked at her desperately, "Didn't leave him. Didn't leave him."
Juliet glanced up at Lassiter, who was watching the whole scene uncomfortably, his thumb running down his holster in discomfort. But Shawn wasn't paying much attention to him, "Gus... angry. With me. Angry. He said I wasn't allergic... to Puss Caterpillars."
Juliet's eyes widened and Shawn's ever insubordinate body decided that it had now given up on a function he would rather keep. He couldn't get a breath in past his decidedly aching throat, and he guessed Jules got the general gist of his plight as she shouted something at Lassiter.
The next thing he knew was a sharp pain in his leg. A needle? And as his breath clicked on empty, he was aware of the ground rushing up to meet him very quickly.
The first thing that assaulted his hearing was rustling of leaves. No. That wasn't right... the second assault of his nerve endings was far too soft to be the hard floor of the undergrowth. Dream? Dream. Thank God for that. He didn't much want to explain to his father why he suddenly had little caterpillar shaped tattoos dusted around his body.
He arched his back slightly and stretched, trying to get comfortable. He was going to turn his pillow onto the cold side, pull all the covers over himself, and steal half of Abigail's side, and sleep until midday. He turned over as planned, and tried to bury himself in his thick comforter. He tugged. The stupid thing moved up, but left his feet bare. What? Plus, it was way too thin.
Where the hell was his blanket?
He felt around his legs for the rest of his covers, only to find that the tiny square of rough wool was the only thing covering him. Well. His upper body at least. What the heck?
He forced his eyes open, acutely aware of the apparent difficulty he had with it and the irritating brush of eyelashes upon his cheekbones, and as his vision cleared in a rather odd manner, he realized something else.
He wasn't in his bed.
He didn't have a proper quilt.
Heck, he wasn't even in his room...
He was in... a hospital?
With a sigh, he rolled his head lazily to the side, and jerked back at the third assault to his senses – his eyes this time as his father's face was suddenly nose to nose with his. He sighed and returned his gaze back to the tiled ceiling.
Great. What had he done this time?
He absently reached up to scratch his arm, but pulled back sharply as he felt slightly raised welts across his arm. His eyes darted down to investigate. His arm was dotted with little patterns at random intervals, in perfect shapes. He frowned.
"Gus!" he gasped suddenly, shooting upright and feeling a tug in his hand. His sudden movements seem to disturb his father as well as the IV line, as he stirred and rubbed his cheek against the mattress as he began to rouse. Great, he was stuck in this bed for God knows how long, and now his father had wiped his nose all over it.
"Dad!" he grabbed Henry's wrist in a death grip, which felt oddly familiar as he locked frantic gazes with him, "What happened to Gus?"
At least he hoped that was what came out of his mouth. It sounded more like an unintelligible croak to his ears, but Henry seemed to grasp the general idea.
"Easy kiddo, he's fine."
Shawn stopped and sank into the mattress, "But he... the killer! He was going to hurt him!"
His father shook his head, "Never got a chance. According to Gus, he was suffering from a concussion and passed out before the perp could get near him. By the time he woke up, Detectives Lassiter and O'Hara had shown up."
Shawn looked at him mistrusting, "Gus didn't have a concussion."
Henry raised his hands in defense, "That's just what he said."
Shawn rolled his eyes, "He probably screamed like an eight-grade girl when the guy went near him and passed out from fear. He's just trying to man it up a little."
His father chuckled, "He saved your life, cut him some slack." As he was speaking, his face suddenly grew serious.
Shawn gulped. Here we go.
"So, you want to explain to me how the hell you end up trapped inside a butterfly sanctuary with a serial killer? And not only that, but how did the two of you go in there, completely healthy and one come out in complete anaphylactic shock and the other with a fractured ankle? Go on, Shawn. I'm all ears."
Shawn shifted uncomfortably and fiddled anxiously with his pathetic excuse of a blanket, "In my defense, how was I supposed to know I was allergic to caterpillars?" he looked back steadily at his frowning father, "Seriously! I mean, it couldn't just be bee stings could it?"
Ugh. There was that warning drawl.
"Look, all it that happened was I realized there could be something at that stupid butterfly sanctuary, which by the way is a lie – there are moths too – but Freaky McGrowlinson just happened to be there. We walked in on he and an accomplice and he ended up chasing us. That's it. We weren't doing anything stupid."
Henry snorted, "Given who I'm talking to, I highly doubt that." Shawn opened his mouth angrily to retort, but his father cut him off, "When will you learn to stop chasing the bad guys Shawn? You're not a cop!"
"I know that!"
"I would have thought after the first time that stumbling onto perps don't tend to end well Shawn."
"I get it! Dad, really…."
"I just…" Henry sat back down from where he had gotten up and had started pacing angrily. He ran a hand over his head, "I just don't want anymore four AM phone calls, Shawn."
"Believe me, neither do I." Shawn agreed, too tired to really carry on his side of the argument, "It always ends up pretty bad for me."
Henry grimaced and leaned back on his chair.
There was an uncomfortable pause.
"So err, caterpillars?" Shawn muttered, with a smirk, "That's messed up."
Henry just glared at him.
So there we have it. Hoped you liked (: Please review if you see fit :D