So, apparently I wrote this in my sleep and sent it off to Lu for a read-through.

I have the outgoing e-mail—so I know that I was the one that sent it—but, to the best of my knowledge, I was asleep as of the timestamp on the e-mail.

And I read it for the first time when she sent it back to me.

Yeah, I dunno. Anyway.

Disclaimer: If they were mine I'd probably smish Shawn to death. Luckily for Shawn, I don't own them. :D

Sometimes he lies awake at night and worries.

About everything and nothing, though mostly about the people in his life.

He worries that Juliet will get hurt or—God forbid—killed in the line of duty.

He worries that Gus will get fired or arrested for something dumb he did that he can't talk his way out of.

He worries that Lassie really will find proof he's not psychic and his whole carefully crafted lie will come apart at the seams.

Or that Karen will decide that he's more trouble than he's worth.

Or that his father will have an attack of conscience and turn him in as a fraud and a cheat and a liar.

He's afraid that one day he'll wake up and not be able to tell the truth from the lies and that he'll wonder who the hell Shawn Spencer actually is.

Those nights are long and exhausting and, more often than not, end up with him on the road driving as fast as he can to escape the fears and doubts that nip at his heels like hellhounds toying with a damned soul.

But he can't confess his fears to anyone, can't make a two a.m. call to an open ear and a closed mouth, because if he admits his worries out loud that might give them the power they need to bring him down once and for all.

So he paces. And he drives. And he goes into the dark desert away from all signs of life and human habitation and screams to the stars, howling like a man gone mad or a wolf cut off from his pack.

When whatever is trapped inside has finally found release into the cool night sky, he lays down and just breathes, repeating over and over that everything will be okay and that he just has to keep going, one day at a time, one con after another, spinning those lies, making them stronger, thicker, more tightly interwoven with each retelling.

When the sun rises he returns to his home and collapses into bed and wakes too few hours later to the sound of his best friend and partner informing him that it's past ten and they were supposed to be at the station an hour ago and what time did he finally get to bed last night anyway?

Shawn opens his eyes then, staring at the fibers of his pillowcase too close to be anything but a blur and thinks about telling Gus the truth.

Then he curves his lips in a smile and rolls over in bed and says that if you're not going to watch the entire series, why bother putting in the first Back to the Future?

Gus rolls his eyes and Shawn knows that his mask is still in place.

And that is enough to let him pretend—until the next sleepless night anyway—that everything is going exactly the way he planned.

Review, plz&thx.