Debate Exposes Doubt

Normal, standard disclaimer (as much as I wish, I do not own anything)

REVIEWS ARE MY LIFE. Seriously, I got three on my last story and I was so happy. So please?

Kind of a companion to "The Sound of Settling", but I don't know if I like it as much. Maybe it's easier to be the carefree guy rather than the serious, always thinking one.

Gus was happy.

At least, that's what he told himself.

He wasn't jealous, not at all. That wouldn't even make sense.

Gus wasn't gay.

He'd had girlfriends, hell, he'd even gotten married once!

So what was this feeling he got whenever he saw Juliet and Shawn laughing together?

It definitely wasn't jealousy. Maybe, if Gus had to name it, it was... possessiveness. He and Shawn had been best friends ever since Gus could remember, and who was Juliet?

No one.

At least, that's what she should be to Shawn.

But whenever Gus brought it up, whenever he tried to talk about how, maybe, possibly, Juliet was messing up their friendship, their partnership, what they had, Shawn just gave him that expression.

That stupid, kicked-puppy expression that made him fold every damn time.

And, to tell the truth, Gus was afraid of what he would say, of he was forced to go further, if he was forced to admit just why he hated Juliet.

Whenever he tried to name the feeling, though, it eluded him.

It could be love.

But like a brother. Or a best friend, obviously ( because of course that's what it was).

And if Gus had ever wondered what it would be like, well, wasn't that natural? When two boys had been friends for twenty something years, they were bound to have thoughts like that. It was part of growing up. It didn't make you gay.

Except Gus didn't know if Shawn had ever wondered.

But seeing him flirt with Juliet, lightly touching her arm, Gus had to admit to himself that he probably hadn't.

So what was this feeling?

Maybe it was loss.

Loss of his best friend, the failed opportunities of what could have been (if Gus had been braver, more like Shawn), loss of Gus's tenuous happiness.

Though, if Gus had to admit it (but only barely to himself, and never aloud), he couldn't be happy without Shawn.