part four // how would you feel (paean)
5 months in
It had been a month since you realized you were in love with Shawn, and you were trying to act the same as you did before, but it was harder than you thought it would be.
You didn’t want to pressure him into reciprocating, because you knew this wasn’t easy for him either. But you so wanted him to. You wanted him to wrap his arms around your waist under the sheets and whisper little “I love you”s into your ear as he kissed your neck. You wanted him to pull you onto his lap and stroke your hair as he sings love songs to you. You wanted to look at him at the end of the aisle as you walk down in a white dress and-
No, too far.
You were standing on your tip-toes, trying to reach a mug on the top shelf in Shawn’s kitchen. You groan, and you’re about to climb onto the counter when Shawn comes up behind you and squeezes your sides. You jump back, partially scared and partially ticklish. You bend over and put your hands on your knees, dramatically trying to catch your breath. He laughs at you and easily grabs a mug and places it on the counter.
“I’m gonna get you back for that one of these days,” you say, grabbing the mug and starting to make yourself a cup of tea.
“Are you, now?” Shawn asks teasingly as he reaches into the fridge. He pulls out a water bottle and leans against the counter, watching you as he unscrews the cap takes a sip.
“Yep,” you say. “I know you’re stronger than me and what now but I know you’re ticklish,” you joke, pointing a finger at him, “your mom told me you were.”
He laughs. “You’ve met my mom, like, twice. She already told you I was ticklish?” he asks.
“Oh she told me a lot more than that,” you say, remembering the conversation you had with his mom a month or so back when she came to visit. He raises his eyebrows, and you grab your tea and sit at the kitchen table. “You,” you laugh, not even sure you’ll be able to get it out, “used to write Harry Potter fanfiction.”
His face goes bright read. You erupt in laughter, a hand covering your mouth. “Oh my god, I can’t believe she told you that,” he says, now laughing himself.
It was times like these that reminded you. Because how could you not be in love with him? How could you not love a someone that you can just genuinely laugh with?
He pushes himself off the counter and starts to walk from the kitchen, kissing your forehead as he walks by. He drops down on the couch and turns on the TV.
You just now realize how late it is when you look out the window and see that it’s totally dark outside. You check the clock. 9:45. You sigh and follow Shawn into the living room. He pulls you down next to him before you even get the chance to sit down. You rest your head on his shoulder and he squeezes your knee.
“Wanna watch a movie?” he asks.
You wake up a few hours later with your head in Shawn’s lap. You sit up and run your eyes a little.
“Did the show wake you?” Shawn says.
You shake your head. “Why didn’t you wake me up?” you ask. “I would have moved for you.”
“I knew you’d been swamped with school lately and I wanted to let you sleep,” he says as he turns off the TV and stands from the couch. He reaches out a hand for you and you smile as you take it and he pulls you up. He laces his fingers with yours and starts to pull you down the hall. He only kind of laughs when you almost walk into the wall since you’re nearly half asleep. Instead, he reaches down and wraps his arm around your knees and picks you up. You hum and place your head back on his shoulder.
“Do you want a t-shirt or a sweatshirt?” he asks after placing you on his bed and going to rummage through his drawers.
“A t-shirt is fine,” you say groggily.
He changes into sweats before walking back over to you. He gingerly pulls off your jeans and sweater off your nearly sleeping body, and then slides his t-shirt over your head.
“Thank you,” you sigh, curling back under the covers.
“Mhmm,” he hums, kissing your temple. You feel the bed dip beside you, and the orange glow from the light disappears from behind your closed eyes. “Goodnight, babe,” Shawn mumbles.
“Goodnight. I love you,” you say like it’s nothing.
It takes you a moment to realize what you had just said, and your eyes snap open. Shawn is looking at you with wide eyes and the beginnings of a smile.
“Oh my god,” you sit up. “I’m sorry, oh god.” You cover your now bright red face with your hands. “I’m sorry, Shawn I just-”
“Y/n!” he interrupts. “Why are you apologizing?”
“That is not how I wanted that to go,” you say, rubbing your temples. “Ugh, I feel like an idiot.”
“Darling, stop it,” he says.
You ignore him. You’re still mad at yourself. It wasn’t the fact that you said it, it’s how you said it. 1 o’clock in the morning when you’re half asleep doesn’t seem like the best time for the first “I love you”.
“Shawn, I’m really sorry. You don’t have to say it back if you don’t want to, really,” you say quickly.
He grabs your cheeks in his hands and brings your face closer to his. “Y/n, I love you,” he says.
You sigh, and you can’t help the smile that pulls on your lips. “Really?”
“Oh my god, yes,” he says, smiling himself.
“I love you,” you say.
“And I love you,” he says.
He pulls your face into his, finally closing the gap between the two of you. Everything about this kiss was different. You weren’t just a boy and a girl anymore, you weren’t just anyone. You were officially in love.
You smile against his lips and wrap your arms around his neck, pulling yourself onto his lap. His hands trace patterns under your, his, t-shirt.
“I love you,” you say again as you pull away.
“I love you more,” he teases.
“I could listen to that all day,” you say as you close your eyes, letting the words sink in.
“Then I’ll have to say it all day,” he says, leaning in to place another quick kiss on your lips.
You lay back down, though you’re not sure if you’ll be able to sleep now.
“I love you,” you say one last time before closing your eyes once more.