AN: This was written for SisAngel for the Secret Santa Fix Exchange over on Psychfic. She wanted a funny Gus and Shawn friendship fic, and this was the result.
The Twelve Days of Christmas…er, the Twelve Scenes of Friendship
In the first scene of friendship…
Burton walked into kindergarten.
He was three minutes late. He knew he was. His parents had taught him how to tell time. He was supposed to be at school when the short stick on the clock pointed at the two ones and the big stick pointed straight up. But no…His parents had fussed over his clothes, his hair, and taking pictures, and he got to school late.
Burton hated being late.
His classmates had already sectioned off into smaller groups of twos and threes, except for a larger group across the room from him. They surrounded one boy who was apparently telling a story, his hands flying through the air as he talked. Burton watched him for a minute, feeling his lips twitch as he started to smile.
He looked away quickly when the boy caught him staring, and he studied his other classmates. Just what he thought. Looked like he was the only one without a friend to talk to.
He walked over to a table and sat down, pulling open his backpack to take out one of his comic books. He could read, sort of, (he had so finished Hop on Pop in three days) but he got the gist of most of the story by looking at the pictures. He carefully pulled the book out of the clear plastic sleeve that protected it, leaning over the pages as he tried to concentrate.
Burton jumped, looking up wide-eyed at the boy he had been staring at earlier.
"Hi," he said shyly.
The boy smiled and plopped down on a chair next to Burton. "Whatcha doing?"
Burton looked from the comic book to the boy, to the comic book, and back. "Reading…?"
The boy's face lit up, a smile bunching his cheeks. "Wow! You can read?"
Burton felt a proud smile grow in response. Why yes, he could, thank you very much. The smile faltered at the boy's next words.
Burton's eyes narrowed, feeling his position as the smartest kid in class getting threatened. He had worked the whole summer on his numbers and reading and, and…everything to be at the top! "You can read?"
The boy nodded and leaned in to whisper to him. "But don't tell the teacher. She'll tell my daddy and that'll just create a whole bunch of problems."
"You don't want the teacher to know?"
The boy shushed him, looking around the room with wide hazel eyes until he saw the teacher, busy with another student and ignoring the outburst. He heaved a sigh in relief and then shuddered. "And risk being the teacher's pet? No thanks!"
Burton relaxed, his smile coming much easier the next time the boy smiled at him.
"My name's Shawn. Shawn Spencer."
"My name is Burton Guster."
Shawn's nose crinkled. "Burton? No, that won't work." He narrowed his eyes at Burton, tilting his head before exclaiming, "Imma gonna call you Gus!"
Burton thought about it for a minute before nodding slowly. "Okay."
From that moment on, Shawn and Gus were inseparable.
In the second scene of friendship…
Bobby the bully stole Gus' dictionary in first grade and Shawn stole it back. Imagine Bobby the bully's surprise when he reached into his desk to flaunt his new book at Gus and instead pulled out a small plastic spider, also compliments of Shawn. Apparently, Bobby the bully's biggest fear was spiders.
He never touched anything of Gus' again.
In the third scene of friendship…
Shawn liked to stand out. He had perfected being the center of attention, but only when it was for something that was of his own creation. Not because of the skills his father had drilled into him and Shawn had begun to resent. When Shawn's teacher didn't believe that Shawn had read the whole chapter she had assigned for homework, he proceeded to recite that whole chapter, word for word from memory. It was a bittersweet victory because he wouldn't have been able to do that so well without his father's lessons, and it was made all the worse by Johnny's reaction.
Johnny was Gus' main competition for teacher's pet, so Gus already didn't like him; but when he cornered Shawn at recess and called him a freak…all bets were off.
Gus won the next class jeopardy with such a wide margin of points over Johnny that the boy never dared volunteer to play again. Gus also beat him in the spelling bee, in reading class, in math class…
"Don't you think you ought to give Johnny a break?" Shawn asked him one day as they walked home from school.
"He called you a freak. This was his break."
Shawn smiled and punched him lightly in the arm. "Me, too, Buddy. Me, too."
In the fourth scene of friendship…
Gus had a huge crush on Clara.
Clara was a cute little redhead that always smiled when she saw him, and Gus was head over heels in like with her. So head over heels, that when he saw Shawn talking to her after class one day, he was so angry he couldn't even speak. She was looking at Shawn the same way Gus had seen other girls look at Shawn, and he knew. He didn't stand a chance.
He didn't talk to Shawn for a week. He ignored the notes Shawn passed him in class, ignored the doorbell whenever it rang, ignored the tapping on his second floor bedroom window, and threw the ball at Shawn for dodgeball a little harder than was necessary.
"Dude!" Shawn yelled, cupping his nose, ignoring the class crowding around him. "I dew you liked her, so I told her I wasn'd inderesded!"
In the fifth scene of friendship…
Gus bought Shawn an icepack and a pineapple smoothie.
In the sixth scene of friendship…
Gus and Shawn stayed up all night watching slasher movies on Halloween. They perfected their girlish screams that night. Much to Henry's dismay.
In the seventh scene of friendship…
The Great Dare War occurred during their sophomore year. It started small enough, Shawn daring Gus to drink Pepsi and pop rocks, and Gus daring Shawn to wear all of his clothes inside out. Things escalated, until Gus dared Shawn to reenact the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet…
"'Oh, Romeo, Romeo. Wherefore art thou Romeo,'" Shawn said in his falsetto and the crowd laughed.
…In the front of the school, one morning before class.
Shawn snuck a glare at Gus, who just smirked. "'Deny thy father and…'" Shawn said, trailing off when Gus gestured with his hand. His shoulders lifted and fell in a deep sigh before he continued. "Denyyy thy fatheh and refuuuse thy name."
The English accent Shawn affected was truly horrible, and Gus shook with laughter during the whole scene. When he was finished, Shawn gave a quick bow and hurried inside the school, brushing past Gus with another glare. Oh, the revenge would be awful, Gus knew, but it was so worth it.
Or at least it was worth it until he heard what the dare was.
Gus cringed when he looked down at his clothes. He was going to be the laughingstock of the school, he just knew it.
"The space outfit looks good on you, Buddy," Shawn grinned.
"I'm going to kill you, Shawn!"
"Hey! If you hadn't dared me to do that scene from Shakestick, then I wouldn't have had to play dirty and dare you to do this!" He shot back.
Gus pressed his lips together, his eyes closing briefly in pain. "It's Shakespeare," he corrected.
"No, you haven't," Gus said, cutting off Shawn's reply with another glare.
Shawn shrugged, eyes twinkling as he held up the helmet Gus was going to be wearing. "Better get out there, Buddy, or you'll have to declare me the winner."
Gus snatched the helmet from him with a muttered oath that just made Shawn grin wider.
"Oh, and don't worry. I'll get the music."
Gus clenched his jaw and walked out of the bathroom, ignoring Shawn when he fell into step behind him.
"I have to say, you really pull off the whole Dark Helmet vibe."
"Shut up, Shawn."
The silence that fell when Gus walked into the cafeteria was deafening, the laughter that followed even more so. The first strains of "Heartstring" came from the boombox and Gus hesitated. Why did Shawn have to dare him to dress up as the Spaceballs character and sing in front of the whole school? The look of triumph he could imagine on Shawn's face when he failed to complete this dare, however, made him jump into action. His hips started swaying and he belted out the lyrics to the song, getting into the performance despite himself.
The music cut off moments after he jumped onto the lunch table. He turned around slowly to see the Vice Principal cross his arms and Shawn look guiltily between the two of them.
Gus got in more trouble than he had ever gotten in before for that stunt, from both his parents and the school. The one bright spot, besides he and Shawn calling a draw on the war, was Clara's sudden attention. Apparently, she was a huge fan of the movie and the song he had sung; something he had a feeling Shawn knew.
Just like Gus had known Abigail, who saw Shawn's whole Romeo and Juliet scene, was a huge fan of Shakespeare.
In the eight scene of friendship…
Gus' great-grandpa Burton died. It wasn't a shock, the family had been expecting it for quite some time, but Gus still didn't take it well. Shawn sat through all of Gus' blubbering as he talked about how much he would miss his great-grandpa and how hard it was to lose someone he had loved so much.
Shawn just nodded and put his hand on Gus' shoulder, squeezing gently when it looked like Gus was about to lose control again.
It wasn't until he was standing in front of his mirror the morning of the funeral, looking at the suit he was wearing, that Gus realized how much he was going to hate that day.
He turned at the knock on his door, staring at his unexpected visitor in shock as Shawn ran a hand down the dress clothes he was wearing, obviously uncomfortable in them.
"Dude, I'm wearing a tie. You so owe me for this."
In the ninth scene of friendship…
Shawn's parents divorced.
Technically, this scene of friendship stretches over several years. After all, Gus was there for Shawn through all of the fights he heard between his parents, was there as Shawn lost his mother as a buffer between himself and his father. He watched, saddened by the splintering of Shawn's relationship with his father and doing his best to bring Shawn away from the rebellion that Gus knew was imminent.
He was there when Shawn made the decision to leave Santa Barbara and go off on a road trip.
It wasn't a surprise to see Shawn that morning, leaning against his motorcycle in front of Gus' house. Gus had gone out to meet him, unable to deny the dread he felt as he saw Shawn's forced smile.
"How long?" He asked in lieu of a greeting.
Shawn lifted his eyebrows, tilting his head as he looked at Gus in surprise. "How…?" He trailed off, shaking his head.
"You're my best friend. Of course I know."
Shawn looked away, eyes distant as he nodded slowly. "I can't take it anymore," he finally said. "Everything I do, he just…To him, I can't do anything right. He arrested me. My own father arrested me," he said with a bitter laugh.
Gus wanted to tell him he was supposed to go to college with him, wanted to tell Shawn it wasn't right for him to go off on his own, without his brother. Gus wanted to go with. However, arrangements had already been made, money spent, and his parents had already told the whole family his plans. There was no exit for him, but for Shawn…
"You're gonna send me a postcard every month."
Shawn's lips twitched. "Every month?"
There was silence, until Shawn nodded and clapped him on the back. He stared at Gus, pursing his lips until he found the words he wanted to say. "Don't study and stay out late. And for the love of pineapple, get drunk every once in a while."
Gus laughed. Yeah, goodbye was too cliché. "Don't piss off any biker gangs. You'll be outnumbered."
"Touché," Shawn responded, grinning at Gus.
It wasn't until Shawn was back on his motorcycle and driving away that Gus realized what it meant. Shawn was gone, off on his own adventures. He might never return.
In the tenth scene of friendship…
Shawn came back.
In the eleventh scene of friendship…
Shawn came up with a brilliantly stupid idea to open up a psychic detective agency. He and Shawn have since solved hundreds of cases, most of them successfully, some not so successfully.
In the twelfth scene of friendship…
Shawn and Gus both faced Yin. Gus had watched his friend slowly unravel during each Yin/Yang case, feeling helpless as Shawn faltered under the heavy burden. When Yin stood over Gus, the needle hovering just over his arm, all Gus could think was Shawn will be okay. He'll get out of this. He'll be fine.
"I don't blame you, Shawn," he said, looking his best friend straight in the eye. "I want you to know that if I had a chance to do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing. You're my best friend, and we got a chance to live out our childhood dreams." Shawn's eyes remained empty in shock, darting between Gus, the needle, and Yin. He was trying to find a way out and Gus knew there wasn't one. "I don't blame you, okay? And I'm sorry if I couldn't always cut loose the way you wanted me to."
"You kill him, I kill you. You got it?" Shawn burst out, anger and fear mixing over the possibility of Gus losing his life.
They had somehow managed to stall Yin after that and, with Yang's help, had survived that night.
Gus was telling the truth. It didn't matter how many bad guys they faced or how close they got to being killed, Gus would never blame Shawn. He might threaten to kill him a few times when Shawn did something inherently stupid or when they were both in trouble; but honestly, Gus really didn't blame Shawn.
In the thirteenth scene of friendship…
"Shawn spunched the pike. No, no, no, he spicked the spunch…Uh…Spiked the punch! He spiked the punch! And in the fourteenth scene of friendship-"
"Whoa, Buddy, slow down! I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure the song you're thinking of only has twelve scenes—uh days, okay?" Shawn said, mirth coloring his voice.
"Please kill me now," Lassiter groaned.
Gus turned to look at Lassiter, blinking as the room had the audacity to spin around him. He looked at the cup Lassiter held, then the cup in Juliet's hand, and Henry's and the Chief's…All of the cups a plain red color, not the cheery snowman-decorated cups Shawn had picked out for the office party and from which Gus had been drinking all night.
"You…you brought your own cups?" Gus asked in confusion, his words slurring together.
"Guster, Spencer was throwing the party. We brought our own drinks."
Laughter greeted this comment as Gus looked down at his cup, considering the words. "Huh…"
"It was beautiful, Gus. Really," Henry said, lips twitching as he fought his smile.
"I particularly liked the part where you tried to four-part harmonize with yourself," Juliet said with a giggle.
"You spiked the punch?" Incredulous hurt. Then heated anger, "You spiked the punch! I'm going to kill you, Shawn!"
Shawn laughed, punching his arm lightly and then grabbing Gus' arm as he started to tilt. "Sure you are, Buddy. As soon as the room stops spinning, I'm sure." Slowly, Shawn led him to one of the chairs, chuckling as he helped Gus sit. He paused before he moved away, putting his hand on Gus' shoulder. "Hey…"
Gus blinked up at him, squinting until only one Shawn appeared in front of him.
"Me, too, Buddy."
Gus smiled. "Shawn…" That was a better gift than whatever it was that Shawn had "bought" him. With Gus' credit cards. He grabbed a fistful of Shawn's shirt and pulled until he leaned down in front of him. "I'm still going to kill you."
Shawn pressed his lips together to stop the smile. "Merry Christmas, Buddy."
"Merry Christmas, Shawn."
"And a Happy New Yearrr…" Buzz slurred, holding up his own snowman-accented cup and stumbling into Lassiter.
"Get off me, you idiot!"
"Ssssorry," Buzz apologized, holding onto Lassiter's sleeve.
"McNab! Spencer! This is your fault! I should throw you in jail!"
"Best..Christmas…Ever!" Shawn crowed, slapping Gus on the back and rejoining the party. "C'mon, McNaby! Let's get you a cookie," he said, pulling Buzz away from Lassiter.
"Yep! I baked them myself! Even put in my secret ingredient!" Shawn said.
Gus shook his head at that comment and looked around at his family and friends. Shawn was right. This was the best Christmas.
AN: I hope you all had a safe and happy holiday season!