Title: Therapy

Author: Amber (anemptymargin)

Website: .net

Fandom: Shaun of the Dead

Pairing(s): Shaun/Ed

Posted to: anemptymargin, fregg_love

Word Count: 1120

Rating: PG

Warnings: None

Disclaimer: This is a work of fictional parody in no way intended to infringe upon the rights of any individual or corporate entity. Any and all characters or celebrity personae belong to their rightful owners. Absolutely no money has or will be gained from this work. Please do not publicly link, repost or redistribute without letting me know first.

Summary: After the events of Z-Day, Shaun resorts to therapy - with somewhat interesting and not entirely unexpected results.

Notes: Not zombie porn. I promise.

Feedback: Is always very welcome. :)

"Shaun, I think we should talk about Ed today." The counselor peered at her client from over his rather large file.

Shaun looked down at his hands, stretching his legs out and sinking down lower in his chair. "I don't want to talk about Ed."

"What would you like to talk about?"

He was silent a long moment, "I dunno."

"Right." The counselor clicked open a pen and began scratching out notes. "How are things with Liz?"

"Good, good." Shaun nodded to himself. "Quiet, mostly."

"Have you told her about Ed, yet?"

"I don't want to talk about that right now." Shaun pushed up in his chair, folding his fingers. "I told you I'm not comfortable with that."

"You're going to have to tell her eventually, Shaun. You can't just keep it a secret," She sighed, taking off her glasses and setting them down on his open file. "Liz has a right to know to know your dead friend is in the garden shed."

"He's not dead!" Shaun's voice cracked and he bit down into his lower lip. "He's just had some setbacks..."

"Shaun, he's a zombie."

"We don't use that word."

"He died, Shaun. Until you acknowledge that you're not going to be able to move on from this point." the counselor sighed quietly. "He's not the same person he was before."

Shaun pushed himself up out of the chair and paced from one end of the small office to the other. "You don't know him, okay! He knows me, he remembers what it was like... he's not like the ones on the telly - he's intelligent and sweet. He's evolved."

"Stop defending him, Shaun. He's dead. You have to let it go."

"See, this is exactly why I haven't told Liz! You don't understand! You don't know what he's like." He threw himself back into the chair. "You won't even give him a chance. He's not a monster, he's just my friend. Why is it so hard to understand that? Just because he's not exactly the same as he used to be doesn't mean he doesn't still have feelings..." He let out another heavy sigh, his voice catching with the beginnings of a sob. "He needs me."

"Would you like a tissue?" She offered up a mostly empty box, but Shaun pushed it away. "You've mentioned that you've been taking care of Ed even before he... changed..." She paused, waiting a moment before continuing. "Would you say you two had a close relationship?"

Shaun was quiet a long moment, then answered, "What do you mean? We're best mates... I've known him forever."

She nodded slowly, replacing her glasses and scribbling quick notes. "And how would you characterize your friendship?"

"I... I don't follow you." Shaun shook his head, "What are you trying to get at?"

"I'm not getting at anything, just exploring your thoughts."

"Well I wish you wouldn't." He sighed again. "I'm not paying you to explore. I'm paying you to make the panic attacks go away."

"Shaun, you have to confront these issues. It's the only way you're going to be happy." She paused, waiting for him to continue. When he didn't, she reopened the dialog. "What were things like between you and Ed, before?"

He didn't respond right away. After a long pause he shrugged into the chair. "Dunno. Normal, I guess. We played video games and drank a bit. He was always really laid back." His voice faltered slightly, "I mean, he still is, but maybe a little more so..."

"Were you close?"

"That's a stupid question." Shaun shook his head. "Of course we are."

"There's no sensitive way to ask this, but would you say it was a romantic relationship?" the counselor lowered her voice slightly, her writing coming to a stop.

"What?" A blush rose quickly up Shaun's neck. "I don't know what would ever give you that sort of idea..."

"It's just a question, Shaun. Were you two... intimate?"

Shaun's head dropped into his open hands and he was silent for a long moment. "That's a little personal, don't you think?" He mumbled quietly, pulling back up with a shallow sigh, "I mean, it's not like he was my boyfriend or anything." He smiled, but it only looked forced. "I mean sometimes, you know..."

"So there was a relationship there?"

"No... not like that." He shook his head again, letting it drop back into his hands.

"Did you love him?"

Another drawn out pause before Shaun let out a soft sigh, "It doesn't matter, does it? You said it yourself, he's dead now. No matter what, I can't change what happened to him." His voice dropped lower. "It's stupid, anyway."

"It's not stupid, Shaun. It's perfectly healthy..."

"Healthy?" Shaun let out an almost sobbing laugh. "That's fresh."

"I take it you never told him about your feelings?"

"It wasn't like that!" Shaun pushed back up on his feet. "Why does everyone want to turn it into some sort torrid love affair? I just was what it was." He paced again from end to the other, shoving his hands in his pockets. "It didn't matter; I never thought I'd have to tell him anything. He was just always there, any time I needed him he was there and where is he now? He's dead. The useless fucking shit just had to up and die on me when I need him most!"

"Shaun, calm yourself!"

"I'm perfectly calm!" Shaun shouted, then dropped his voice back down to a more acceptable tone. "I mean I just don't know what to do. He's just gone, but I have to hold on to what I've got left. Why is that so hard to accept? I swear, he's different... he's not dangerous, not really."

The therapist's timer rang quietly and she lowered her pen, looking over the notes she had made. It was more progress than he'd made in months, at least. But there was still quite a ways to go. "Alright, Shaun. I want you to think about some of the things we've been talking about... and try to tell Liz about him if you're ready."

"She won't understand." Shaun tried to collect himself to once more face the real world outside the office where he could safely break down on a weekly basis. "She always hated Ed the most."