A/N: Final chapter, and my personal favorite. Calling this a 'tag' is a bit of a stretch, because over half of it revolves around Shawn's childhood and not the episode. However, the end is where it all comes around again, and the focus shifts to the episode, so I thought it was fine to put it with the others. Also, if this seems slightly out of character, sorry, but I was trying to go for things that are fairly subconscious and would never be said out loud. Also, this format was inspired by the awesome Shules fic, I Listen To Your Silence, by ThousandFreckles. I highly recommend it!
Chapter Four: Constant
Summary: Henry does everything for a reason, and his name is Shawn. Henry perspective.
On that first night that I hold you in my arms, I make a promise to you.
When you are helpless, I will take care of you.
The first time I meet you, I take in everything about you. You're a funny little creature, all wrinkles and pudginess and innocence.
Mini-fingers and mini-toes, a little man in the making.
It's hard to imagine that one day, you won't be so dependent on your parents, won't be just this helpless newborn in my arms. You'll be big and strong someday, and you'll be able to take on the world.
But I'll still be here if you need me.
As you learn and grow, I will watch over you.
I've never seen you as happy as you were on the day that you met your first – and last – best friend.
So his parents and I arrange a play date, and I watch you two together.
He's a cautious kid, whereas you're reckless.
He tries to keep you out of trouble, for the most part.
And though it probably wouldn't matter anyway, I approve.
When the world leaves you lost, I will guide you.
Try as I might to prevent it, you take after your Uncle Jack.
He's hardly ever around, but he's your hero.
I watch as you take in every word he says.
So when he promises to come around on your birthday, and doesn't, I can see your confusion.
And this should be one of those life lessons, but I can't make myself explain that your hero is an unreliable flake.
So I lie and say that Uncle Jack sent me some money to buy you another present, and then we go to the store and pick one out. That night, I let you have two pieces of cake and an extra bowl of ice cream.
I wait until the day after your birthday to push you harder, so that you won't end up like Jack. I try to teach you to recognize the lies so you won't be disappointed when he – or anyone else – makes false promises.
Whenever you run, I will wait.
It isn't long before things get difficult.
Maybe I push you too hard, and then you push back, and then you're a teenager and nothing I say matters. We fight and the family falls apart, and one day, you're just gone.
I spend that first night of realization, trying to pinpoint the precise moment when everything started going so wrong.
But I don't give up on you.
I wait, and even though I move to a new city for awhile, I still hope to hear from you.
I save the postcards.
I save the postcards, and I wait.
I will always wait for you.
When you're in trouble, I will rescue you.
When you're shot and kidnapped, I find myself in the worst experience of my life.
Worry and fear and internal panic.
But I mean what I say – I will bust down any door to find you.
And then you're safe, and I cling to you. You fall unconscious from blood loss and exhaustion, but I take your hand and give it a squeeze, and you'll never remember this, but I am here for you.
Every second, I am here.
And when words fail you, I will understand.
It's amazing, in the end, how very much like me you are.
You, like me, find it difficult to say those three words.
You know the ones.
A little over a week after you've been released from the hospital after being shot, you come over to my house.
I offer you a beer and you open a bag of chips, and we watch the baseball game together. On the commercial break, you turn to me, and I see it in your eyes.
I see those three words and a desperation for me to understand, after all you've been through. Your mouth opens in hesitation, because it's hard for you. I know it is, so I won't make you do this.
You don't need to do it.
I already know.
So I cut you off. "Pass those chips over, will ya?"
You smile in relief and give me a small nod of recognition, and in that second, I realize what you must see.
You see those same three words in my eyes.
Somehow, against all odds, you understand.
I love you.
A/N: Told you this one was considerably different. :P Looking back over it, I actually see some connecting points that I didn't realize were there before. It mentions Gus and Shawn, and Gus trying to keep Shawn out of trouble. It mentions Shawn looking for someone to emulate. Knowing this, I wrote Juliet's chapter with the themes of waiting and promises, although it's not quite as good of a connection as I had originally intended it to be. Anyway, hope you enjoyed it. Reviews are greatly appreciated.