Shawn flung an arm across his face, groaning at the bright room. The sun was shining through the window straight into his face, intrusive and unwelcome. Even though the window was open, it was still warm in the room, enough so that it forced Shawn to kick off the covers.
He glared at the nightstand from the corner of his eye and squinted at the digital clock. One pm? Already? How could he have slept that long?
Turning onto his back, he noticed the rumpled sheets next to him. The empty, rumpled sheets.
This wasn't the first time he had woken up and found himself alone in bed. The first time was when he got a little drunk and Carlton got a little horny and they ended up in bed together. That was their first time. The next morning he awoke with a killer hangover and Carlton nowhere to be seen.
It had been like that ever since. They'd spend a great night together, but as soon as morning would come Carlton would bolt. (Not that Shawn was ever awake during these moments, and so couldn't say for certain that Carlton bolted, but he had a pretty good feeling the adjective fit.)
But it wasn't like it bothered Shawn. It wasn't like he always looked forward to waking up and seeing the detective sleeping next to him, or wondering what it felt like to wake up in someone's arms instead of empty air.
No, it didn't bother him.
He was leaning against Gus' car, drinking his milkshake and waiting for Gus to get back from the ATM that was around the corner, just gazing at the people milling around the boulevard through his sunglasses when he spotted them: Detective Lassiter and Jules walking toward him from the opposite direction.
He got a funny feeling in his stomach, and found himself crouching behind the blue economy car before he became aware that he even moved.
Okay, he could admit it. He was being silly and an idiot, a big stinking idiot who wanted to scream like a girl and hide behind the first thing he could find whenever he saw Carlton. There was an explanation for it, however. There was.
And it had nothing to do with that word that started with an 'l' and rhymed with 'dove' because Carlton, as far as Shawn was concerned, was only using him for sex. While that assumption would've normally made his head get even bigger- in this instance- it only made the hole in his chest ache more.
It was his own fault, really. He was the one who had asked for it to be casual. His exact words were 'uncomplicated,' and 'not intense.' But somehow, in an ironic twist, this casual thing between them now did become complicated and intense.
He had gone from merely having wild, amazing, fantastic sex with Carlton to actually caring about him in an I'd-marry-you-right-this-minute-if-it-were-legal kind of way.
The rain pounding on his windows woke him. The room looked abysmally dark, and he turned over to see that it was only half-past seven.
Deciding that it was way too early to be up, he closed his eyes and tried to go back to sleep. A moment later his eyes snapped open.
Someone was in his apartment. He could hear muffled noise and, if he listened very intently, an irritated voice.
Jumping out of bed, he looked around for something to defend himself with. But there was nothing. He reached under his bed and pulled out…
"A shoe? Really? A shoe is the best thing that I have to protect myself with." His face twisted into disgust before a loud bang suddenly transformed it into fear.
Yeah, there was still the matter of his apartment getting broken into.
Slowly walking out of the room, his heart in his throat, he gripped his tennis shoe tightly. Well, at least he hoped he could distract the intruder with the shoe while making his escape.
Rounding the corner of the wall, he raised his shoe and screamed, hoping the screaming would do something. Only…the intruder wasn't an intruder, it was Carlton- clad only in black boxers with a spatula hanging in his hand.
"What the hell are you screaming about?" Carlton asked, turning back to the stove, as though it were a common occurrence for Shawn to find him there in his kitchen- mostly naked- and apparently cooking?
All of a sudden, Shawn felt a wave of embarrassment hit him. Here he was standing in his kitchen, holding a shoe up in the air, thinking that his boyfriend was an intruder come to kill him or something. If he didn't feel embarrassed already about feeling like such a girl in this relationship, this put him over the top.
Trying to regain what dignity he had left, he threw the shoe over the back of the sofa, and sat down wearily in the chair. Usually, he could read people like a book, but Carlton still surprised him. When he thought he had the detective figured out, he'd do a 180, and leave Shawn feeling completely flabbergasted.
"What are you doing," he asked after a moment, knowing really what Carlton was doing, but needing to ask the question all the same.
"Cooking some eggs and bacon."
It was weird and surreal to see him standing around Shawn's kitchen, cooking breakfast. It felt so domestic. Not that the scene didn't create a nice picture, it was just, well, surprising and so unexpected that Shawn couldn't help but try to question it.
"Oh, I forgot to ask: how do you like your eggs?"
Carlton dumped his done eggs onto the plate and cracked open two more. Shawn watched him with curious eyes.
"I didn't know you knew how to cook," Shawn commented. He sure as hell couldn't even boil water properly.
"My mother taught me a long time ago. It sure comes in handy when you're single and only living on a cop's salary."
Shawn nodded and picked at the newspaper that appeared out of the blue on his kitchen table. They became silent then, Shawn engrossed by the funnies section of the paper, while Carlton milled around the small space, preparing, somehow, more food than Shawn thought he had.
When the eggs and bacon were done, Carlton dumped them onto Shawn's plate, and took the seat across from him. Shawn still didn't quite understand what was going on. He desperately wanted to ask Carlton what he was doing here, and what it meant because they certainly didn't have that kind of relationship, but he didn't want to jinx it or possibly humiliate himself further.
"These are really good," Shawn said in-between bits.
Shawn grinned goofily before he caught himself and schooled his face into a neutral expression lest Carlton looked at him and thought he was crazy or something. But he honestly couldn't help feeling happy. He might not have known what it meant- if it even meant anything at all- but he was willing to take whatever Carlton could give him.
They were already three months into this relationship- the longest he had in a pitifully long time- and he still felt the urge to run screaming sometimes. However, most often than not, the giddiness that would wash over him at the prospect of having many more moments like these with the man currently sitting across from him overruled those feelings of flight.
Love was a dangerous thing, but, if he didn't risk getting hurt, he risked losing the happiness that came along with the territory. In the end, it all came down to trust: whether or not to put your own being into another person's.
And he trusted Carlton with everything, so it was natural that he got Shawn's heart as well…was just the logical thing to do.