We're Going To Be Friends - The White Stripes
1985 (Age 8)
"It's just a beetle, Gus, it's not even scary."
"It's probably a stink bug or something."
"Boys!" Their arguing is interrupted by Henry yelling from the porch, dressed in his pajamas and a bathrobe. "You're going to be late!"
Shawn sets the beetle back in the garden and picks up his forgotten backpack. "Bye, Dad!"
Henry waves at the two, exasperated.
The boys race down the street, laughing, the bug and the argument already forgotten.
Wouldn't It Be Nice - The Beach Boys
1990 (Age 13)
"I can't wait to get older."
"Why's that?" Gus looks over at Shawn, who is reclining in the sand.
"I'll finally be able to do whatever I want."
"You already do whatever you want."
"Yeah, but I always get in trouble." He huffs. "My dad's such a hard-ass."
"We'll still be friends when we're older, right?"
"Totally." Shawn sits up. "We're always gonna be together."
Gus looks suspicious. "Always?"
"Dude, of course. We'll- We'll enter a legally binding contract." He grins.
"Sounds like marriage."
"I'll marry you, Gus."
"That's illegal, I think." Gus appreciates the sentiment anyway.
"Well when we're older it won't be, and then we'll get married."
Gus smiles, even though that's totally weird. "You really think that?"
"Trust me man, I'm like a psychic or something."
I Ran - A Flock Of Seagulls
1995 (Age 18)
Leaving Santa Barbara is the best thing Shawn's ever done for himself. He's meeting all kinds of new people, trying all kinds of new things.
He's totally not sad about leaving Gus.
He needs to find himself, find a place that isn't at Gus' side.
And if no one can ever fill the Gus-shaped hole in Shawn's heart, well, he'll just have to learn to cope with it.
Running is one of the things that Shawn is best at.
Island In The Sun - Weezer
2007 (Age 30)
"This is awesome."
"How is this awesome? We're stranded."
"We are not stranded! We're… on an impromptu vacation."
"Also known as being stranded."
"Gus, please. It may be an island, but it's not Alcatraz."
Gus crosses his arms. "I'm not dressed for being marooned, I'm wearing loafers."
"Yes, I see that. Now come on, I know you have trail mix in your backpack."
"Do not touch my M&Ms!" He chases after Shawn.
"Why don't you try to enjoy yourself?" Shawn throws a handful of trail mix into his mouth. "It's warm, sunny, the sky is blue, the waters cool. Might as well be paradise."
"Oh yeah, paradise. There might be bears, Shawn."
"Bears don't live on islands."
"Says nature. Now take off your shoes, I want to enjoy the summer."
Gus says nothing as he complies. Maybe it won't be so bad, as long as they're rescued by sunset.
I Want To Hold Your Hand - The Beatles
1991 (Age 14)
Dances are always so painfully awkward. None of the boys want to dance, none of the girls want to ask the boys to dance, so everybody just stares at each other for three hours.
Shawn didn't want to go in the first place, he would much rather be at home. But Gus got asked to the dance by Lana Davidson, which meant that Shawn got roped into going with Lana Davidson's best friend Carmen Velasquez.
"Dude, I can't find Lana anywhere," Gus tells him.
"Beats me," Shawn replies, "Haven't seen Carmen since we got here."
Gus looks more upset than Shawn feels is reasonable, but he can't bear to see him like that.
"What did you even want to do with her? It's not like she was gonna kiss you or anything."
Gus mumbles something.
"What was that?"
"I just- thought we'd maybe… I dunno, hold hands or something?"
"It's stupid, I know-"
"We can do that." Shawn grabs Gus' hand. "You don't need a stupid girl."
"Shawn, what if someone sees us-"
"It's way too dark in here to see anything. Plus everyone's way too worried about themself to notice us."
Gus still looks unsure.
"Wait, come here."
Shawn moves Gus' hands to his shoulders and moves his own to Gus' waist. "There."
"Are we dancing?"
"Absolutely. It's what you wanted, right?"
"I kinda thought it would be with a girl."
"You think a girl is a better dancer than me? No way man." They sway gently to the music. "I'm better than any girl you'd ever dance with.
Gus laughs a little. "Yeah, I guess so."
"I know so."
Blister In The Sun - Violent Femmes
1994 (Age 17)
"Did you get it?" Gus half-whispers, nowhere near as subtly as he's trying to be.
"Dude, shut up." Shawn elbows him. "Yes I got it."
Gus is jittery through their whole last class of the day. Shawn pretends not to notice.
"You're an idiot," Shawn says as they're leaving campus.
"It's just weed, Gus, it's not heroin. God, you need this so bad."
Shawn had gotten the weed from a senior, Derek Jefferson. He knows he paid way too much for it, but part of that is for confidentiality reasons. If his dad ever heard about this, he'd be dead in a ditch by dinnertime.
The two sit in a secluded part of the beach, shielded on both side by cliffs.
"It's gonna be fun, okay? But I read that you need to be relaxed for it to work so….relax."
"Thanks Shawn, I'm cured," Gus shakes his head. "With our luck, your dad's gonna drug test us tomorrow."
"Don't jinx it."
Best Friend - Rex Orange County
1991 (Age 15)
Shawn glares across the cafeteria. Who the hell does Gus think he is, leaving Shawn alone for some girl?
The girl is laughing at whatever dumb thing Gus just said. It probably wasn't even funny.
Shawn angrily takes a bite of his sandwich.
Should be him laughing at whatever stupid thing Gus said. He's his best friend. That's the agreement.
Shawn is supposed to be his favorite person. Not some girl.
Whatever. He's happy for him.
Santa Barbara - Angelo de Augustine
1996 (Age 19)
Shawn has been away for a year.
He's not sure he'll ever go back to Santa Barbara. There's nothing for him there anymore, except-
No, he's already had that talk with himself. No need to make himself sad.
Gus isn't interested.
What I Like About You - The Romantics
2008 (Age 31)
"That's what I like about you!" Shawn dances around the office, using a ladle as a microphone.
"Shawn, I'm trying to work."
"What I like about you! You keep me warm at night!" He pulls Gus out of his office chair and forces him to spin.
"That's because I pay your bills," Gus goes along with his dancing.
"Never wanna let ya go, know you make me feel alright!"
Gus rolls his eyes, but sings along anyway. No one can deny The Romantics.
"Keep on whispering in my ear, tell me all the things that I wanna hear, cuz it's true,"
"That's what I like about you!" They yell-sing together.
Anyone passing by the Psych office would be treated to the sight of two grown men jumping around together, having the time of their lives, paperwork forgotten.
Walking On Sunshine - Katrina and the Waves
2005 (Age 28)
At least once a month, Shawn sent a postcard.
New York, Chicago, once even Honolulu.
Gus grinned every time he opened his mailbox to see a novel-length letter squished onto a 4x6 card, usually written in obnoxiously colored ink.
He keeps each one in a box under his bed, meticulously sorted by date.
The very last postcard Gus received, the one on top of the stack, shows a sunny beach with the phrase "Greetings from Santa Barbara."
Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go - WHAM!
2007 (Age 30)
Sometimes Shawn stays the night at the office, especially when they're working a particularly difficult case. If he happens to wake up with an epiphany, he can get right to work.
Sometimes Gus joins him, especially if there's a late-night marathon on TV.
This is one such night, a difficult case and a Saved By The Bell marathon.
Shawn wakes with a start. "The caterer!"
Gus doesn't stir from his place on the couch, cuddled up with a pillow.
"The caterer, the caterer...erer…. The caterer is the victim's estranged daughter…." He shuffles through papers from a box on Gus' desk. "Amelia Broderick is actually Candace Popovich!"
"Gus! Gus, come on, I solved it."
"Five more minutes…."
"Gus, don't leave me hanging on like a yoyo."
"What?" Gus squints at him, finally sitting up.
"I'm not planning on going solo, I gotta wake you up before I go-go!"
"Makes me crazy when you act so cruel," Gus finally rolls off the couch. "Time for a psychic vision? At…" he checks his watch, "Three fourteen AM?"
"Justice waits for no one, Gus!"
"Yeah, yeah, save the theatrics for the station, will you?"
"Have you ever met me?"
Rose-Colored Boy - Paramore
1992 (Age 16)
Gus has never understood how Shawn can be so optimistic all the time. His dad has spent Shawn's whole life preparing him for the worst. What to do if you get kidnapped, what if you get shot, what if you get lost in the woods, what if what if what if.
But Shawn never worries about any of that stuff.
Not like Gus.
Gus worries about everything, especially when Henry is grilling them about survival skills or fighting off drug-dealing machete-wielding bears.
"Shawn! Don't you think this is dangerous?"
"What could be dangerous about it?"
"Um, it's the middle of the night and we're in the woods. Not to mention no one knows where we are."
"What do you think all my dad's survival lessons were for? He was basically asking us to sneak out here." Shawn points his flashlight at Gus.
"Get that outta my face! We're gonna die out here."
"We are not. Don't be such a Negative Nelly."
"Your dad is gonna kill us."
"Hey, we're here!"
"Where- oh." Gus stops in his tracks.
"Come on, then. That's why we're here." Shawn tugs on his coat sleeve.
Shawn pulls him into a clearing in the trees, where a blanket is laid out in the grass. There's a lantern sitting on top of it, which Shawn flicks on. The light illuminates a cooler and a small battery powered radio.
"Well? Are you gonna sit down or what?"
Gus takes his spot on the blanket. Maybe he shouldn't worry so much, at least not when Shawn is there.
Shawn hands him a beer.
Maybe he should worry a little.
Dancing In The Moonlight - Toploader
1991 (Age 14)
Shawn was not exactly what one would call a "good dancer." However, when it's just him and Gus, he couldn't care less.
"Gus, dip me!"
"I'm not going to- Shawn!"
Shawn had already fallen into Gus' arms. "Wonderful dip, my friend!"
"That's not a dip, it's a trust fall."
"And look at how trustworthy you are!" Shawn looks up at Gus, still in his arms.
"I'm gonna drop you."
Gus wants to, but he doesn't really want to ruin this moment. Shawn in his arms… he likes it a little more than he's maybe supposed to.
"Get up Shawn."
"I think we should do this more often."
Gus drops him.
"Oof- not cool!"
"Never get comfortable."
Shawn gets up, rolling his eyes. "Come on jackass, dance with me."
You Make My Dreams (Come True) - Daryl Hall and John Oates
1996 (Age 18)
"Shawn I'm sure it's nothing personal, you're just…"
"I'm what, Gus?"
"Well you're- you can be… hard to handle."
Shawn gasps. "How could you say that to me, your best friend!"
"You know I'm right Shawn."
"I am a delight!"
"Oh, please, you'll never find someone who puts up with you like I do outside your dreams."
"Gus, baby, you make my dreams come true."
Heaven Is A Place On Earth - Belinda Carlisle
1989 (Age 12)
"I love you."
Gus looks over at Shawn. They're supposed to be sleeping, sharing a tent.
Shawn must think he's asleep.
He would never say that if he knew Gus was awake.
Gus starts. "Y-yeah?"
"I love you."
Shawn hasn't moved.
"I'm not afraid if people know that," he continues.
Gus sucks in a breath.
"Shawn, you can't say things like that. Someone might hurt you."
"I don't care. I'm not scared."
"Well I'm brave enough for both of us."
Shawn reaches out to take Gus' hand.
The Boys Of Summer - Don Henley
1991 (Age 15)
Shawn has spent most of the summer locked in his room. Henry wouldn't be so concerned, if it wasn't for the fact that Gus hasn't been to the house in over a week. It's been years since there's been more than a day between visits.
"Shawn?' Henry knocks on the door, trying to act like a confident yet comforting father.
"I'm coming in."
"God, why?" Shawn groans as the door opens. He takes his pillow from under his head and puts it over his face.
"I'm worried about you, Shawn."
The teenager groans again.
"What's going on with you? I haven't seen Gus for days."
Shawn throws the pillow across the room. "That's because he's too busy hanging out with Bella to remember his best friend."
Henry raises his eyebrows. So that's what's going on. "Shawn, you're both fifteen, it's normal to start dating."
He grumbles. "She's not even cool or anything. She's a mathlete."
Henry shakes his head. "Listen, don't tell Gus this, but first relationships hardly ever last more than a few months. I bet you by the end of summer they'll be broken up and everything will be back to normal."
Shawn looks at his father suspiciously. "Are you sure?"
"What if you're wrong?"
"I'm not wrong, Shawn. Gus will be knocking on the door in three weeks, tops."
"...alright, fine. But what am I gonna do for three weeks?"
"You're gonna mow the damn lawn, for starters."
"I already asked you twice, I'm not gonna ask you again."
Shawn moans and groans as he makes his way down the stairs.
Henry shakes his head again. He worries about that boy.
D'You Have A Car? - SWMRS
1994 (Age 17)
Gus gets his first car when they're seventeen. It's a piece of shit, really, but it's a car, it's freedom. Freedom from asking his parents or Henry to drive him and Shawn around town. Freedom from public transportation. Freedom from having to conform to a parent's work schedule.
He pulls up in front of Shawn's house at six o'clock sharp.
Gus preens a little. "Only cost me a whole year's work."
"Where we going?" Shawn takes his spot in the passenger's seat.
"Anywhere we want.
Shawn grins. "Awesome."
Hey Lover! - Wabie
1988 (Age 12)
"Do you think we have a purpose?"
"Why do you ask?"
Shawn shrugs. "No reason. I was just wondering if...maybe there's something I'm supposed to be doing that I haven't found yet."
Gus considers it. "Well, maybe you have to try a bunch of stuff first, so you know what you like."
"That makes sense."
"It doesn't matter anyway, really."
"Yeah, I mean, you shouldn't have to worry."
"I never worry."
"Maybe you'll become a paragliding instructor or something," Gus says.
"Can you get rich and famous being a paragliding instructor?"
"Maybe if you become the paragliding instructor."
"Would you move to paragliding central with me?" Shawn looks over at him.
"Treat me right and I'll think about it."
Nobody Gets Me (Like You) - Wallows
2009 (Age 31)
Shawn races towards his friend, who is sitting in the dirt, shaken.
"Gus, thank God you're okay-" he hugs him tightly.
"Yeah, yeah, I'm okay…" Gus mutters.
"Did they hurt you?" Shawn pulls away briefly to inspect Gus.
"No, I'm fine. Just held a gun on me."
"I'm so sorry, I never should've left you-"
"It's okay, let's just go home."
"Yeah, yeah, I'll drive." Shawn helps Gus to his feet. "You put up a helluva fight, dude."
"Learned from the best."
"I was talking about Henry."
"Hey! Not too shaken up to wound my pride, I see."
Gus smiles a little. "I'm a complicated man, Shawn."
"Uh-huh, aren't we all."
"I have things going on that you don't even know about."
"No way man, I get you better than anyone you've ever met."
"Hm, maybe," Gus taunts him as they get in the car.
"What d'you mean maybe? Maybe who? Who knows you better than me?"
"That's for me to know," Gus is holding back a laugh.
"That's it, drive yourself home." Shawn makes no move to get out of the car.
"Oh, try me, Burton."
"That's right, I said Burton."
"Take me home, Shawn."
"I'm staying the night."
"Damn right you are."