Breathing

Summary: He's thinking of her, and he shouldn't be. Set after Shawn Takes a Shot in The Dark. Shawn/Jules and Shawn/Abigail. Angst and a songfic to boot.

AN: Dear Shawn, I know I've been neglecting you for your detective friend with the strong Irish hairline. This fic may be somewhat old (set mid-fourth season), and I know you may not find this an adequate apology since it's angst concerning your love life (you're still a stud, don't worry), but take this as a sort of compromise. I still love you. And....Jules does too. ;) Song is Breathing, by Yellowcard.

Eyes are feeling heavy, but they never seem to close.

Abigail worries about him.

He starts losing sleep, and she thinks it's because he's having nightmares from being kidnapped and shot.

He isn't.

He stays awake and wonders.

He wonders about that phone call. About those three words she, the other she, didn't say.

The fan blades on the ceiling spin, but the air is never cold.

He feels sick with himself. He shouldn't be thinking about her, not here, not now.

Bed sheets wrap around him, suffocating him, and maybe this is a form of post-traumatic stress disorder after all.

He clings to the thought because he needs something to blame.

And even though you're next to me, I still feel so alone.

He's thinking of her, and he shouldn't be.

Not when he has his wonderful girlfriend laying beside him. Not when everything seems so perfect. He can't ruin a sure thing.

If only he felt as sure as he did in the beginning.

I just can't give you anything for you to call your own.

He wants to be the man Abigail needs him to be.

He's not sure he knows how.

And I can feel you breathing

And it's keeping me awake.

He should have backed out in the beginning. Now he feels so stuck, so trapped. He's happy, but not.

He likes Abigail. God, he could love her if things weren't so different. So wrong...

If he didn't keep thinking about her. Jules...

He would've been okay. He could have subdued every one of these emotions if it hadn't been for those three words she never actually said.

Can you feel it beating?

My heart's sinking like a weight.

Sometimes, he wonders if Abigail sees it. He wonders if Abigail knows intuitively that something more is wrong.

He doesn't want to hurt her, not again, not like before.

He doesn't want to hurt anyone.

He just wants to feel whole again.

Something I've been keeping locked away behind my lips.

These thoughts keep him awake.

He doesn't want to be that guy.

The guy that throws away a good thing – a great thing – in order to chase something uncertain, and only potentially better.

Treacherous thoughts...

I can feel it breaking free with each and every kiss.

He accidentally kissed Abigail in front of Jules. He hadn't seen her standing there at the time, and when he pulled away from Abigail, Juliet's eyes caught his own.

She looked almost betrayed, for just an instant. Then the walls were back up and she was guarded, unaffected. Indifferent. But he saw it.

I put that look there, he thought with a rush of guilt.

He always finds ways to blame himself.

I couldn't bear to hurt you, but it's all so different now.

Shawn misses the easy friendship he used to have with Jules. Sure, there were times when it was awkward and he wanted to be so much more...and she wasn't ready...but it wasn't like this.

It wasn't as tense, and the silences weren't as harsh, and the avoidance wasn't as present.

He feels like the time-bomb he so unwittingly created may just explode at any moment.

He's afraid to think of how many casualties there will be when everything is said and done.

Things that I was sure of, they have filled me up with doubt.

Maybe he's just waiting for a catalyst to set his world on fire, so that he doesn't have to hang in this limbo. If something could happen, if he could only get back some of his certainty, maybe then things could be okay again.

A moment and a choice.

His father never told him what to do when every decision seems equally stupid and terrible.

How am I supposed to feel about the things I've done?

Regret.

He isn't entirely sure that he regrets anything.

He isn't entirely sure that he doesn't.

I don't know if I should stay or turn around and run.

Running away. He used to do it a lot.

He's different now.

He's not running away from both of them.

He's not running away from either of them.

And maybe that's the problem.

I know that I hurt you, things will never be the same.

The only love I ever knew, I threw it all away.

A moment and a choice.

A kiss on the cheek and a simple rejection.

Giving up and starting over.

That had been his intention.

He hadn't realized, back then, that it would be so hard.

And I can feel you breathing

And it's keeping me awake.

Abigail turns over in her sleep. Her arm finds its way over his body, and she pulls herself closer to him.

It's nice and wrong and wonderful and reality.

It's sweet and heartbreaking and it hurts.

He likes a girl, loves a girl, and they may or may not be one and the same.

And he can't think about any of it without feeling like he's being ripped apart.

He breathes out, conscious heavy, heart torn.

He doesn't know what to do.

Could you stop my heart? It's always beating.

Sinking like a weight

A/N: This is yet another fic that has been on my computer for a long time, pretty much since the mid-season finale...and I just barely got around to fixing the things I didn't like about it so that I could post it. Kind of a moot point now, with the season finale (his catalyst, apparently)...but still. Hope you enjoyed. Reviews appreciated.