Shawn’s grandmother’s ring was nestled neatly on Juliet’s finger, where it belonged, and after a long day and a lot of miles they were all cramped into a tiny San Francisco apartment, where they belonged.
“I, uh... I should go find a hotel.” Gus said softly, the signs of the day’s wear on him showing in his glassy, tired eyes. He didn’t bring anything with him but his wallet, not even his emergency overnight bag. But it would be okay. Everything was going to be okay because he had made a strong choice in his life – and it wasn’t Shawn pushing him into it. If anything, Shawn had given him every out... and all the turn arounds from Santa Barbra to San Francisco to figure out it was what he wanted without a doubt in his mind.
“No, Gus...” Shawn shot Juliet a pleading look to which she only nodded with a wan smile. “I insist... We insist that you stay here. You know, until you get on your feet.” When he looked back at Juliet the look in her eyes said he may have overextended just a little bit there... but it was Gus. There was no overextending.
“My home...” Juliet’s smile stretched slightly and she corrected; “Our home... is your home, Gus.”
Gus sniffed back a slight tear, his voice momentarily choked by a small whine before he managed; “Thank you...”
“I’ve got jammies. They’re mine, but I think you can pull them off.” Shawn patted his best friend’s shoulder before pulling him close into a tight hug – his lips grazing against Gus’ cheek. “We’re doing this, buddy. You and me and Jules. We’re doing this.”
“I...” Gus whined, his arms squeezing even tighter around Shawn’s waist. He knew. They were gonna be okay.
“Don’t speak.” Shawn murmured, rubbing Gus’ back. “You don’t have to say anything.”
Juliet covered her smile with a hand that couldn’t hide her softened eyes, sniffing slightly. “Okay, boys... you’re gonna make me cry. Stop it.”
“Come on, Jules... get in here. We’ll make a yummy inside out Oreo that lasts longer than a season on the open market.” Shawn gestured wildly until he felt her arms wrap around Gus from behind and her hands on his waist. “There’s a lot of love in this room.”
Exhausted, they all knew the hug-a-thon couldn’t go on forever. Eventually, Shawn and Jules slipped off to bed and Gus neatly folded his suit onto the coffee table – he could go back to Santa Barbra tomorrow and pack properly and get a U-Haul and a storage unit and everything – and put on Shawn’s jammies... noting with little humor that were actually his, they even had his name in sharpie on the tag from when Shawn was stealing his clothes what seemed like years before.
“Good night Gus!” Juliet called from the open bedroom door.
Shawn added; “You’re the best, we’re awesome!”
“Goodnight!” Gus called back, feeling a smile tug hard at the corners of his lips as he curled up on the couch.
“You know, this is a really big bed if you want to join us...” Shawn yelled out in offer; “I’m sure Jules wouldn’t mind scooting a bit.”
“Shawn!” Juliet hissed just loud enough for Gus to hear.
“Right. Sorry. Apparently that’s weird.”
“I’ll be fine.” Gus yelled back, fluffing the pink pillow Juliet had given him for the night. “I’ll see you in the morning.”
There was no answer, and he’d nearly drifted off when he felt something on top of him. A heavy weight, wiggled over him and then slid in behind him – strong, familiar arms wrapping around his waist and holding him tight. “C’mere, you...” Shawn whispered, nuzzling down into Gus’ neck as he tried his best not to push him off the couch. “You’re not spending your first night here alone. Not after all that brave stuff you did today.”
Gus was too tired to rebuke, and too comforted to care. He had his Shawn. Right where they belonged.