"My single greatest fear used to be that something would happen to me. Second greatest fear was that something would happen to Gus." Shawn Spencer


Shawn wasn't thinking clearly. That is the only reason he could give for wandering into the warehouse alone instead of going along with the rather good plan Lassie and the team were working on: cooperate with kidnappers, and everything would be fine.

And maybe if they'd done it that way everything would have worked out better. Maybe it would have worked out worse. The fact of the matter is that Shawn Spencer wasn't really known for waiting, and so he slipped away from Juliet and his father long enough to get that gun and go down to where he hoped to God Gus was.

He wasn't thinking. Or, more accurately, he wasn't thinking about his actions and the disasterous consequences they could have. He was thinking about being four years old, and playing cops and robbers, and four-year-old Gus spouting something he'd heard his father mutter to Shawn's father the previous afternoon when he'd come to pick his boy up, "How come the black man got to be the robber?" Neither of them really understood what that meant, beyond the obvious fact that Shawn's skin was so pasty white it burned when the sky was covered with clouds and Gus's was brown like the wet dirt they liked to dig up after the rain. But they laughed anyway, pushing each other to the ground and rolling in the mud until they were both black and in desperate need of baths.

He was thinking about when they were twelve, and he and Gus had been riding their bikes down to the lake and had seen a bag come flying out of a car. Their insatiable curiosity had led them to open the bag to reveal two tiny kittens, eyes not even open yet, shockingly, terribly still at the bottom of the bag. They'd taken them back to Shawn's father, riding fasts with hands cupped to chests, but the poor things were already dead. They were buried near the fence in the backyard. They were the first dead things that Shawn wished he had the power to bring back to life.

He was thinking about when they were eighteen, and Gus was gaping at him. "But...you got accepted to three schools, Shawn! Why are you throwing that away?" And Shawn hadn't been able to find the words to tell Gus that he never liked school, that he needed to be free from the confines of life for a while. He'd promised he'd call Gus and hadn't, because leaving his best friend was ten times harder than leaving the father he'd grown to hate. So he'd sent postcards instead, from Wyoming and Wisconsin and New Jersey, hoping that was enough.

(he was almost at the warehouse now, his feet moving on autopilot, his body tense and thinking about nothing and everything and oh-my-God they'd actually cut off Gus's finger. who did that in real life?)

He was thinking about when they were twenty-two and had shown up at Gus's college graduation. With long hair and a motorcycle all the girls were flocking to him, ready for one last crazy night. Gus came over because he was wondering who this guy was, telling all his friends they were brothers. He'd turned a corner, saw Shawn, and stopped moving. Shawn looked at him over the head of a blond, and Gus had smiled, shook his head. He could never resist Shawn's antics. the four years apart were insignificant after that.

(he shouldered open the door to the warehouse, the gun heavy in his hand. guns were heavy. no one really said that. he heard something upstairs like screams and some part of him sent off alarm bells. this vigilante stuff was stupid! didn't Batman's girlfriend die in the last movie? Gus could die, too! but he went up the stairs anyway.)

He was thinking of all the times he'd hurt Gus. When they were in elementary school and playing with the plastic blasters they'd gotten for Christmas and Shawn had flailed his arm too hard and caught Gus in the lip. When they were in middle school and Gus had tried to step in while Shawn was antagonizing a bully and ended up being the center of the steroid-popping kid's rage instead. When Shawn had gotten into his first car accident and Gus had been his wingman like always. Shawn had been fine, had turned his head to see Gus leaning against the dashboard, blood everywhere. And all those times on cases: pulled muscles and small cuts and being blasted into the air and nearly being killed, nearly being killed, nearly being killed.

(he wasn't thinking when he followed the noise, when he opened the door. a part of him had thought that maybe he would hesitate. he'd never shot a person before. but then he saw the guy carving something into Gus's back and Gus was writhing, trying to get away, and he didn't even hesitate a little. he shot them all through the forehead. one-two-three-four-five-six. the last one was dead before anyone really knew what was happening.)

He was thinking that Gus needed to be saved, and Shawn needed to do the saving. Because that's what best friends were for.


Shawn called his father after he'd untied Gus and laid him out on the ground. Shawn's voice was eerily calm, even while every fibre in his body was screaming, screaming there's so much blood. "Dad? It's all good. I killed them. Gus and I are safe. You should probably get everyone down here."

That was all the facts anyone really needed. Shawn took off his coat and draped it over Gus's shivering body, hiding all the marks a knife had made in his arm, his stomach, his back. SHAWN SHAWN SHAWN. A brand. Shawn's own name carved and cut into Gus's skin. When had solving crimes and catching bad guys become so dangerous?

"I'm so sorry buddy," Shawn said, pulling Gus's head into his lap and holding on, willing strength and warmth into his apparently dying friend. It was only when something mingled with all the blood that Shawn realized he was crying rivers of tears, oceans of them, falling thick and fast. His shirt was already drenched. He must have been crying for a while. Lassie's head would explode when he realized Shawn made six clean kills in a row while crying.

Six. Clean. Kills.

He shouldn't move newly-nine-fingered Gus. He shouldn't drag his body out of the room. He shouldn't do anything but stay there and try to keep Gus breathing but he needed out. The dead eyes were staring at him.

"Hey buddy, we're going to go outside to the landing, okay? You don't want to be in here anymore." Gus gripped his arm and locked eyes with him and nodded. Gus understood, because he always understood.

"You know, you should probably stop getting kidnapped. When the bards write their songs about me -"

"Bards don't write songs anymore, Shawn." Gus gasped, his voice a whisper, but Shawn grinned anyway. "I don't think bards even exist anymore."

"That's so not the point. When the bards write songs about me, you're going to end up being the damsel in distress, and I'm not going to bother to point out you're more the Lando Calrission type."

"I'm at least Han Solo." Gus said, then sucked in a breath as his body was jostled.

"Just another three feet. I can't be around dead people. They give me the heebie-jeebies."

"Then you probably shouldn't have created six dead people, Shawn." But this wasn't a rebuke, more of a fond exasperation. "I"m going to pass out now."

"Long as you don't die."

"Trying not to." Gus closed his eyes and Shawn slammed the door shut behind him. He settled on the floor and put Gus's head back on his lap. The jacket had slipped in the move and he could see the brands again. SHAWN SHAWN SHAWN. Later, he'd ask Gus what he'd done to deserve them.

Sirens downstairs. Shawn would have a lot of explaining to do. Maybe he'd go to jail. At this point he didn't even care. Gus wasn't being tortured anymore. That was enough for him.

"Thanks for saving me, Shawn." Gus mumbled, his voice a breath, barely there.

Shawn smiled, "Anytime buddy. You just keep that heart beating."

But that was too much for Gus, whose heart stopped beating two and a half minutes later and Shawn's world collapsed around him again.


so that just took a turn out to left field. we were re-watching and pilot and there's that one scene where shawn shoots the target perfectly and we were like, "well, he'd be pretty pissed they messed with gus, and he doesn't really think things through," so we decided to give him a gun and see what happened. and this happened.

what shawn wasn't thinking about were things like law and procedure and the fact that a gang that imports drugs probably has more than six people in it. jussaying.

anyway, please review.