Flashfic, aftermath of "We'll Have A Good Time Then"

We lost him. His heart wasn't strong enough. The words still ring in his ears hours later, they'll ring for days, weeks even. We lost him. I'm sorry. No, he wants to scream, no no no. This isn't happening, it can't be happening.

After all that. You promised, Dad, you promised. You and me and Jack, we'd be a family, you promised. It's like some great cosmic joke, isn't it? He wanted to, Shawn knows this, Dad wanted to stay around this time. All those other times he could have and didn't, now the one time he really wanted to, he can't.

The tears won't fall. His eyes sting, his chest aches and they just. Won't. Fall. He knows why Jack didn't cry, he has to be in control all the time. Always dealing with everything just fine, it's Shawn's job to fall apart. So why can't he?

He's only vaguely aware of the door opening, footsteps, a hand on his shoulder...an arm around him. No, two arms. He dares to look up.


And then the dam bursts, the tears flow freely and just won't stop. Everything, the breakup with Angela, the realizations he's come to in the past year, Dad, Jack, his whole life. He's clutching Cory's shirt like a lifeline, he can't speak, he can barely even breathe.

When it ends, his head feels like it's been underwater and he's sputtering and gasping for breath. Everything hurts.

"Feel better now?" Cory moves to go to his own bed, and Shawn grips his shirt more tightly. He's lost Angela, he's lost Dad, all he has now is Cory.

"Stay." It's the first thing he's said since the doctor gave them the news. We lost him. "I-I can't be alone tonight, Cor. Don't leave me alone."

Of course he does. Cory doesn't even bother to get up and change, and neither does Shawn. Cory falls asleep first, Shawn listening to his every breath. Every beat of his heart.

We lost him.

Everything hurts. All he has now is Cory, and he'll cling to all that he has.