( 088 Pain - 100 Days )
Gus bites his tongue to hold back the snippy response ready and willing to leap from its tip when Shawn snaps breathlessly, "Dammit—Gus, I—don’t need your help!"
Shawn’s pain-threshold is extraordinarily low for some one injured as much as he is, and the more it hurts, the shorter his temper gets. Gus guesses that right now the pain in his friend’s bruised and broken ribs, which he’s just managed to bump on the car door, is excruciating. And because the injury isn’t entirely Shawn’s fault, he restrains himself from unleashing his own temper on him.
After all, how was not-actually-a-psychic Shawn supposed to know that Jared Harding was not in fact the main witness to the assault they were investigating, but the perpetrator? And how was he supposed to know that the warnings not to trespass on Jared’s property were incredibly serious? And how was he supposed to know that Jared had booby-trapped his front stoop to fire rock-filled beanbags at whoever moved up them?
Instead he settles for saying curtly, "Fine. I’ll just wait over here while you do it yourself."
Shawn’s head sags as Gus backs away from the car, a pronounced limp hindering his progress. The fake psychic wasn’t the only one in the line of fire, and while the beanbag that had nailed him in the thigh didn’t manage to break his femur, the prodigious bruise that had formed was astonishingly painful and made it extremely difficult to walk properly without wanting to scream in agony and shoot up with the nearest vial of morphine. So while Gus has a great deal of sympathy for his friend’s broken ribs, he’s not going to grant him any more allowances than he already has.
He’s used to waiting, and Shawn speaks up before his patience has even begun to be tried.
"Okay. All right, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I snapped." His breathing hitches slightly, shoulders tensing and Gus grimaces sympathetically.
"Thank you. Are you sure I can’t do anything?"
"Not unless you’ve suddenly acquired magic fingers to go with that magic head of yours. Dammit, this hurts," he mutters, and before Gus can even limp forward a step, his friend has lowered himself to the ground, sprawling beside the car and curling up, arms clutched around his ribcage.
Gus limps over, worried despite himself, and is reassured only by the muttered curses he can hear Shawn mumbling between shallow, ragged breaths. Wincing at the pain to come, he leans against the car door, using it as a support as he slides down beside the fake psychic, trying to ignore the little voice inside him whining about the cleaning bill this is going to rack up. His thigh is definitely not happy about this movement either and he grits his teeth against its protests.
"This sucks," Shawn whispers into the pavement, eyes screwed shut, and Gus grunts in the affirmative.
"Yeah. My leg hurts like crazy," he says mildly, stifling a smile when Shawn snorts, only to whimper pathetically a split second later.
"Gus," he breathes, "you’re not seriously trying to start a My Pain is Worse than Your Pain thing, are you? Because we all know how that’s going to end."
"I don’t know," Gus replies, "If I poked it, I think I could give you a serious run for your money."
Shawn lets out a short laugh which is quickly followed by another half-whimper half-cry. "Oh god, Gus, stop. It hurts too much," he gasps, and his voice is high and tight with pain.
"Sorry. All right, fine. You can have the My Pain is Worse than Your Pain award this time."
"You bet I can. It hurts when I breathe Gus."
"Yeah, well, it hurts when my heart beats."
"Not this bad," Shawn murmurs, and Gus can’t help but agree. He cracked a rib once, and he knows that just one is Not Fun. He can’t even begin to imagine what Shawn is feeling.
"You know we have to go inside soon, right? Your dad’s waiting for us. And the neighbors are going to wonder."
Shawn groans quietly. "Let them wonder. They’ve always wondered. Nosy bastards. Just a few more minutes," he pleads.
Gus simply nods. "All right. Just a few."