A/N: This was a plot that ran through my head yesterday, so now it's a story! Rated high for violence.

"See you in school tomorrow?" Cory asked, as he and Shawn walked to his front door, dragging their feet so that their 'guys night' wouldn't end.

"Yeah, see you then." Shawn said, grinning at his best friend mischievously. Cory grinned back as the door closed and Shawn began his walk home. Shawn found his steps slowing considerably as he approached the trailer park. Shawn's home life just hadn't been going so well lately, all though, when had it ever? In fact, the only time Shawn could remember having a relatively stable home life was when he lived with John Turner.

Chet and Verna were getting to know each other again, and Shawn understood that, but he didn't know how much more of these arguments he could take. Somehow, the fights always got turned onto him, and Shawn inexplicably took the heat for something. The fights were getting ridiculous- last night his parents started ranting and raving about tooth paste! Tooth paste for goodness sakes!

There was also something else that was beginning to bother Shawn. His parents were starting to scare him a little. They were starting to get... violent. Lamps were being thrown across the trailer, his mom chased his father around the entire trailer with Shawn's baseball bat, and Shawn was sure that there was a reason Chet threw out their only metal knife.

Shawn sighed loudly, and contemplated just turning around and wandering the streets for a couple of hours when he approached his trailer and heard loud screaming inside. Shawn ran a hand through his hair and bit his lower lip. A breeze passed over him and Shawn shivered in the cold air for a couple of minuets before finally decided to go inside, but decided he would try to stay out of the conflict this time.

"You're nothing more then a pathetic dead beat Chet! I don't know why I ever came back!" Shawn pulled the door open to see Verna screaming in Chet's face. Chet had a beer can in his hand, although both were clearly drunk.

"Ah, shut up you old cow." Chet scoffed at her red face and took another swing of his beer. Shawn tried to close the door as quietly as he could so that he could slip unnoticed into his room, but Chet heard him and jumped at he chance to wave the attention off of himself. "Shawn, you're home late." Chet said, immediately turning away and stumbling to his bedroom. Chet knew that Verna just wanted someone to scream at, and that anyone would make a good target.

Shawn rolled his eyes at his father retreating back, feeling a little betrayed, but definitely not surprised. Chet had used Shawn as a target plenty of times lately and Shawn didn't anticipate an end to thatt anytime soon.

"Where were you?" Verna demanded, rounding on her son. Shawn shrugged out of his jacket, hung it on his hook and walked into the kitchen.

"I was at Cory's, okay?" Shawn answered, annoyance in his voice. Shawn was sick and tired of the way his mom was treating him and his dad. If Shawn knew she was going to be such a drama queen all the time, then he wouldn't have fought for her to come back.

Shawn went over to their fridge and grabbed a can of soda. Opening it, he sat down, took a drink, and put his feet up on the table.

"You don't talk to me like that young man." Verna said angrily, stalking towards Shawn, her face flushed with anger and her eyes furious.

"Whatever." Shawn mumbled passively, not wanting to fight. He took another sip of his soda and tried his hardest to ignore his mother.

Verna's eyes narrowed in fury and she strode forward with rage. Reaching Shawn she abruptly shoved his feet off of the table. Shawn jumped and spilled his soda over himself, the table and the kitchen floor.

"Mom! Now look at what you made me do!" Shawn said angrily, throwing his soda can in the sink so it would stop spurting soda over his already drenched shirt.

Out of nowhere, Verna drew her arm back and slapped Shawn as hard as she could across the face. Shawn gasped in surprise and his head reflexively drew to the side as he brought a hand up to his stinging cheek. Shawn's eyes filled with tears that he refused to let fall and he slowly looked back up at her, his face shocked and vulnerable.

"You apologize to me." Verna said. At the lack of response she slapped Shawn again and yelled, "Apologize to me!"

Shawn closed his eyes after the second slap and breathed heavily. He lowered his hand and bit his lower lip to stop himself from crying out. How could she do this to him? What was she thinking? Thousands of questions ran through Shawn's mind, but every instinct in him was telling him to pacify his mother. "I'm sorry." Shawn forced through gritted teeth, his eyes still closed. He felt another sharp blow connect to his face and Shawn hissed with fresh pain.

"Look at me when you talk to me." Verna demanded, her vision red with rage.

Shawn opened his eyes and stared at Verna in disgust. Shawn was shocked, and not just a little scared, by her actions tonight. Shawn had never been hit by either of his parents before and, frankly, Shawn didn't know what to do about it or even what to think about it. Verna was his mother, so she was supposed to do what was best for him, right?

"I'm sorry." Shawn said again, his voice choked as he stared at his mother with fear.

"And what are you sorry for?" Verna asked, her voice mocking. Shawn was struck with the sudden thought that she was enjoying this, but quickly dismissed the thought- it was too disturbing to consider.

"For..." Shawn hesitated, trying to remember how this all started. Shawn saw Verna's arm tense and flinched instinctively. Stumbling through his words, Shawn rambled whatever sounded good. "For being late and disrespectful and interrupting you and dad and spilling the soda, and..." Shawn ran out of ideas of what he could apologize for, but Verna appeared satisfied. He shut his mouth and lowered his head, watching her from behind his bangs.

"Good. Now clean up this mess." Verna said, pointing around the kitchen and grabbing another beer. Verna left the room and Shawn stayed where he was until he heard his parent's bedroom door close. Shawn let out a breath of relief that he hadn't been aware he was holding and looked around the kitchen with dismay. He breathed deeply for a few minuets, waiting for his elevated heart rate to return to normal. When it finally did Shawn wanted to change out of his sticky-drying clothes first, but was afraid to piss off Verna again and decided to just clean up the kitchen.

Shawn set to work. He threw away the now empty can of soda, washed out the sink, cleaned off the table and mopped and dried the floor. While working, Shawn's brain was working a thousand miles a second.

Shawn nearly couldn't believe what happened. In fact, Shawn had to touch his face several times just to remind himself that it really did. His cheeks were sore to the touch, and still throbbed lightly as he worked. Shawn prayed that there wouldn't be any bruising tomorrow, but, after looking in the mirror above the sink, Shawn was sure there would be. Shawn's cheeks were a dark red and he was dismayed to see that his eyes were too, but Shawn refused to cry. He would not cry.

Shawn had never been hit before, not once in his entire life. Sure, he got into the occasional fight with a peer, but no one had ever just... slapped him like that. No one he really cared about anyways. Shawn tried to justify her actions, and tried to feel as though he deserved it somehow, so that Verna wouldn't be blamed, and came to the conclusion that he did deserve it.

Shawn thought about it and figured that Verna was just having a hard time adjusting to having her family around again. They were probably stressing her out, and it's not as if Shawn did anything to really help- what with being late and all. Not to mention, Verna was probably drunk. She probably never would have done that if she was sober.

Shawn decided that he would just try to stay out of Verna's way for the next couple of days, to let her cool down. Although, she might not even remember this tomorrow, depending on how much she had to drink.

Still disturbed by the nights events Shawn took a long, hot shower, climbed into his bed, and fell into a restless sleep.