The Sound of Settling

Disclaimer: Blah blah blah, I don't own Psych or any of the characters

Reviews are the best!

I might write another story, along the lines of this, but Gus instead of Shawn. I dunno. Reviews would do a great deal to help me make my mind up...

Whenever they kissed, he knew they were both thinking of someone else.

He knew Juliet was in love with Lassiter, but he would never say anything. She needed this as much as he did. Besides, who was he to talk? He was in love with someone just as unsuitable, just as unattainable.

The first time he kissed Gus, Gus assumed he was drunk. And maybe he was, but that kiss sobered him up more than anything else he'd ever done.

And when Gus tried to talk to him about it (he hated himself for it, he couldn't stand it), he ducked out.

He didn't hate himself because he was a coward (though that revelation certainly stung), and not because he had planned out how it would go and he had failed to follow that plan (Gus would bring it up, he'd act like it was nothing, wait till Gus looked away, then he'd turn up the charm and say "Did you like it? Cause there's more where that came from" and kiss him again).


He hated it because he had promised Gus, after some long-forgotten incident in the fourth grade, that he would never lie to him again. About anything.

But when Gus said "About last night..." Shawn had just smiled blankly and responded "Oh man, I was SO drunk! What happened?" and his heart broke.

The second, and last time he had kissed Gus, it was carefully planned, and no alcohol was around to provide an excuse.

But Gus just looked at him, and asked about his girlfriend, and let him know, in no uncertain terms (but without any actual words), that that was unacceptable.

So he closed his eyes and kissed Jules instead.

And, if some things ever slipped out, if he ever accidentally said Gus's name, she never said anything.

And he never told her about the times she called him "Carlton."

It worked.

Now, as he looked at the ring, he asked himself if this was right. If he could live with this.

"Not to be a downer," his dad had said once, when they were watching TV. "But you'll probably never find love. Not real, true love. Hardly anyone does. They just settle. And you will, too."

"You're on." Shawn replied, a reflex. "Two hundred dollars say I marry the love of my life."

His dad chuckled. "Fine. But you better be ready to pay."

She said yes, of course. What else could she say?

He let himself into his dad's house and left the engagement announcement on the kitchen table.

And on top of it he lay two hundred dollars.