Written as part of the Great Shack Challenge of 2001. If you haven't checked out the main page for this yet (101 Ways to Wind Up in a Canadian Shack), do! It has 30 authors in 62 fandoms, and I guarantee there are fandoms you never dreamed of there, as well as some of your favorites. They're short (500-600 words), and they're good. These eight were my contribution.
All of my shacks are collected here.
written December 2001; posted December 31, 2001
"We're here." Shawn stopped the car in front of a small cabin that had been hidden by the trees.
"Thank God. Where's here?" Cory shivered as he got out, rubbing his hands together before moving to join Shawn by the trunk.
"My uncle Tony stayed here for a while a few years back," Shawn said. He started hauling out bags, handing Cory's to him. "It's not much, but it's free, and it's about as far away from the city as I could get us in a car."
Thoughts of the city brought memories crashing back. Before he knew what was happening, his bags were taken out of his hands and put on the ground, and Shawn was holding him tight.
"It's gonna be okay, Cory," Shawn said, mouth right next to Cory's ear. "I promise you. Everything's gonna be all right."
Cory clutched at him, burying his face in Shawn's neck for a minute. He sniffed hard and lifted his head, resting his forehead against Shawn's. "Thanks," he said quietly.
Shawn smiled. "Any time. C'mon, let's go in. It's cold out here."
"Okay, I admit it, this was a good idea," Cory said the next morning, after waking up to bright sunshine and the sight of Shawn making pancakes. "I could get used to this."
Shawn lost the wary look he'd had a second earlier, and beamed as he carried plates of pancakes over. "I'm glad. Now shove over -- we're having breakfast in bed."
"Great!" Cory held the blanket up for Shawn to slide in next to him.
Breakfast was warm and cozy and happily sticky, and Cory felt knots he hadn't realized were there start to unravel deep inside. He put his plate on the floor and leaned back against the wall, staring at Shawn. "Shawnie?"
"Yeah?" Shawn turned to look at him, swallowing his last bite of pancake. "Cory, what is it?"
"Why'd you do this, Shawn?" Cory asked softly.
Shawn smiled sadly. "Because I figured you needed some time away."
"You were right. But why did you do this?"
"Shawn." Cory's entire life kept clicking into place, and he couldn't stop looking at Shawn.
"Cor, don't," Shawn whispered. "Just... just enjoy the pancakes, okay?" He started to slide out of the bed.
For an instant, Cory was tempted to let him go, tempted to forget what he'd just figured out. His life was all mapped out, and this wasn't the right road.
Except -- it was. Or at least, he was starting to think it should have been. He reached out and touched Shawn's arm.
Shawn froze, lowering his head to stare at the blanket. "Cory, please. Don't."
"Topanga's really gone this time, Shawn. She really left me, and she's really not coming back."
Carefully, Cory slid his hand down Shawn's arm until he could twine their fingers together. The last shred of uncertainty vanished when Shawn's fingers tightened on his. "And that hurts. A lot."
Shawn tried to pull his hand free, but gave up when Cory just held on tighter.
Cory took a deep breath. "But it doesn't hurt as much I keep telling myself it does. You know why?"
Shawn shook his head.
"Because you're here. You're always here."
"That's what best friends are for," Shawn said, slanting a glance at him before looking down again.
Cory rubbed a thumb across Shawn's hand. Shawn shivered. "Is that what we are, Shawn? Best friends?"
"Because I'm thinking maybe there's more to it than that." Cory held his breath.
Then Shawn was holding it for him.
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