Barely Enough

Back to my usual angst (with some more anger), but I did try to inject some hope at the end.

Shawn was such a coward! A stupid, idiotic, dumb coward!

Gus had laid himself on the line, laid bare his feelings, and what did Shawn do?

He ran away!

Oh, not physically, of course (though he probably wanted to), but mentally and emotionally. He had gone on a date with Juliet that very evening, and pretended as though everything were normal. As though Gus had never proclaimed his love for the whole bank to hear.

Well, Gus was sick of it. He wasn't going to take it. He would quit, he would leave, he would go somewhere where he could be happy.

Gus jumped up off his bed, ready to pack. And then he sat down (for about the fourth time. Gus had been having this argument with himself for a long while).

He couldn't leave. Not Psych (the business would fail), not his job (where would he find another?), not his friends, and certainly not Shawn.

He had loved that irresponsible idiot since high school, since he discovered that ache in his chest when he realized Shawn wouldn't follow him to college. And it had only grown when Shawn had come back, had promised he wouldn't leave, when Shawn hadn't left.

But now the ache was growing, too. It had edged in when Gus made his announcement, it had grown a little more when Shawn had gone off with Juliet, and it grew in leaps and bounds every day Shawn pretended nothing had happened.

Gus leapt off his bed again, even going so far as to pull out his duffel bag before sitting back down.

He couldn't do it. He simply couldn't. His crush, his love, wouldn't die that easily. Shawn would forget soon, he was like a little kid in that way. And once he did, things could go back to normal (as painful as 'normal' was).

The decision made to wait it out, Gus went into his kitchen to get a drink before bed. He had just poured the glass when he turned around and...

There was Shawn.

Gus blinked. "Shawn?" He demanded angrily. Was this real?

"Hear me out, buddy, before you yell at me and kick me out of your apartment, OK?" Shawn pleaded, holding out his hands and looking anxious.

Gus frowned, leaning against the counter. Shawn was never this anxious, this desperate.

Seeing Gus wouldn't say anything, Shawn ran his hands through his hair. "OK, OK. You know how I get nervous, right? My first response to anything emotional is to run, run away from all of it. I didn't do that here, I couldn't do that here. So I ran away with Jules, but I couldn't escape, OK? I couldn't run away! And I don't want to run away, I want to stay here and face up to everything and be a man, as my dad would say, and I want this, OK? I want all of this! But I'm still, I'm still a little skittish, and I need some time, some more space to figure it all out, the logistics, whatever, all right?" He was panting by the time he was done talking, his hair a mess, his eyes nervous and bright and anxious and a whole other slew of emotions.

Gus looked at Shawn, unable to decided if this was real, really happening. But Shawn misinterpreted his stare. "Don't say anything right now, OK? You have every right to be mad, but... not now. Later, maybe. Please."

Going to bed a little while later (his glass of water forgotten), Gus wondered if that had really happened. The speech probably had, but the kiss that Shawn had ghosted on his lips as he ran out the apartment? Gus wasn't quite sure that was real (too much wishful thinking, most likely).

One thing he was sure of, though: Gus was glad he had decided to stay in Santa Barbara.