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tell me you love me (come back and haunt me)

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Spencer sets the rose on Shawn’s grave, cracking open a bottle of whiskey. The alcohol burns down his throat, and he pours one out into the dirt. Eyes shut, he remembers being here a year ago so damn easy.

.

“Too late,” Shawn says, turning to walk away.

And maybe it’s the nostalgia, maybe it’s the graveyard- but he isn’t gonna give up that easy. “Aight, I got a bottle of Beam at home though.”

“For real?”

“Got it when I heard.”

Shawn’s lips twist- not a smile, not quite a grimace. “Yeah?”

Acting on instinct, Spencer walks up to him, throws his arm around his shoulders like they’re little kids again. “Yeah.”

It’s a short walk to Spencer’s house, and he’s glad Dillon’s at a sleepover and his Mom’s at work. He hadn’t thought about it until they hit the threshold, couldn’t explain in front of Shawn. He’d get mad and leave, and Coop would be all disappointed that he fucked up.

Spencer gets the Jim Beam from on top of his closet, handing it down to Shawn before jumping off the chair.

Shawn crashes on his bed, sprawling out and opening the bottle, taking a deep swig.

“You want a glass for that?” he teases.

Shawn rolls his eyes, “Nah, just gets in the way.”

He offers the bottle back, and Spencer sits beside him, taking a sip, sputtering at the burn. Shawn laughs, “And I thought you were so hard when we were kids. Drinking Brandon’s Beam without a wince. Look at ya now.”

Spencer snorts, “I was wincing, I just wasn’t coughing up a lung like you.”

“Ey!” Shawn exclaims, taking the bottle back. He takes another sip and chuckles. "He was so mad when he found us."

Things ease up more as the drink goes, and Spencer can imagine how different things might have been if Shawn’s brother didn’t ever join- But no, he can’t think like that. Not right next to Shawn, not drunk and too able to break this fragile peace.

He glances over at him, booze out of the way on the table now, and Shawn’s lips are shiny. Reflective in the dim light, close enough that he can barely feel the exhales that part them.

“You gonna do something or what Spence?” Shawn says. His eyes are dancing, amused and waiting.

And hell, Spencer isn’t gonna let that pass. “You want me to?”

The question is supposed to come out cocky, not a question at all. But his tone is too soft, too serious, too invested in this brand new concept he didn’t even know he needed.

Shawn doesn’t answer verbally- pulling him in for a kiss. Dusk turns to night to dawn, overcast and keeping the room dark.

Spencer’s awake, can never sleep well after drinking. Shawn’s curled into his chest, and Spencer’s careful not to wake him, doesn’t want this to end. He might not know Shawn as well as he once did, but he has a hunch how this morning will play out.

He still has now, he reminds himself, shaking off the thoughts. He traces his profile in his mind’s eye, over and over, doesn’t want to ever forget this moment.

Shawn wakes too soon, getting dressed too fast.

“Don’t wanna stay for breakfast?” Spencer asks, still in bed.

“Nah.”

“You got somewhere better to be?” he can’t help but press, and dammit he already knew how this would go, but it still hurts.

Shawn mutters two words, too quiet for him to catch before adding, “See you around Spence.”

.

And Spencer hadn’t tried to talk Shawn out of it again, hadn’t ever told him-

Tears roll down his cheeks as he falls to his knees. It doesn’t matter, there’s no telling Shawn anything now. Only memories that will fade all too fast.