A/N: Just a short little Claire and Shane one-shot inspired by the song walk away by the script. Enjoy!
It was just a split second but in that second Shane sees everything. Every micro-emotion that crosses Claire's face before the hurt and tears appear. Shock. Confusion. Anger. Sadness. Betrayal. Shane tenses up his face for the slap that most girls (well Eve anyway) would have hit home with.
It doesn't come.
When he opens his eyes Claire is just staring at him, eyes wide, with tears threatening to spill over, which somehow hurts more than the slap would have. Claire looks at him for a few seconds before running up the stairs, letting out a sob that twists Shane's heart in ways it was never meant to be twisted. With an enraged yell, he punches the wall. He doesn't make a hole but he makes a pretty nasty dent and tears the crap out of his knuckles. They're red, the sting and two are starting to bleed. Shane doesn't mind much though he's handled worse.
Putting his non-bleeding hand into the dent he realises Michael will mind very much about the almost hole in his wall. He walks to the kitchen and makes a mental note to disappear before Michael or Eve (or both, hey, they are married now) come home because his either going to get an earful about how he needs anger management and lecture about Claire from Michael, or an earful about Claire and lecture about anger-management from Eve and neither sound attractive. The only probably is, though, the only way to actually disappear in Morganville is to be dead in a ditch somewhere (which is probably where he deserves to be if he was being honest). Or maybe he could rough up some vampires and have the City of Morganville put him up for the night. It would get him attention but that's what he wanted, the attention of someone who could answer him (Amelie preferably but, if it came down to it Oliver would do) what the fuck Claire was working on with Myrnin that was so important that it involved her staying so late with him?
Shane knows that's the reason. His super-smart girlfriend is working on something super top-secret with her boss which she couldn't tell him about. He knows that, well the logical side of him does anyway but the side he inherited from his father (the side that unfortunately keeps winning) had jumped to the worst possible conclusion and that was his super-loyal, super-sweet girlfriend is having an affair with her bloodsucking bi-polar boss. Crazy, right? Well apparently not to his temper. The realisation of how stupid he is makes him want to punch another wall.
Shane has seen this kind of thing before, it was the back-drop to his whole entire childhood (well the little of it he had). The over-reaction and the jumping to conclusions had been something his Dad had done even before Alyssa died. His mom would do something, his Dad would take it up the wrong way and his parents would get into a screaming match over it. Then, his mom would run crying and dear old Dad would punch the nearest thing to him: the wall or Shane. They'd play happy family for a while and then the whole thing would start again and, somewhere along the way, it had become normalised. No matter how hard Frank tried to break the cycle in himself it would last for so long and then it would start again.
He also remembers all the chances his mother had to get out, to leave and still lead somewhat of a normal life. She didn't though. She stayed loyal, she stayed by Frank Collins's side for longer then was healthy and look where she ended up. Dead in some run down flea infested motel in the middle of Fucked Up, Texas. It wasn't safe staying with a Collins for long but no-one really ever seemed to realise it in time. Shane finishes drying his hands and walks out to the sitting room. Claire has come down and she's sitting on the couch, eyes red, staring blankly straight ahead of her. Shane sits down beside her and for a long tense moment no-one speaks until Shane says very quietly, "I'm sorry."
"It's not enough, Shane", Claire says," It's nowhere near enough."
Shane nods and the room goes quiet again. Claire is smart, so was his mom but no-one is ever smart enough to realise some things can't be fixed or mended or changed. In the end, no-one is really ever smart enough to walk away.