A/N: Hey all! So this is an idea I've had for years, and I've tried writing it every single New Years and Fourth of July for a while now but never got to it! Well, I finally sat down and finished it! Except I did so a few hours right after Fourth of July ended... oops, lol. Anyway, I hope you still like it! I love writing kid!Shawn and Gus, but I don't really think I've done much with them as teenagers before, and this story seemed perfect for that. Enjoy!
Shawn had always loved the Fourth of July. By the time the holiday came around he had already been out of school for nearly a month and the summer would be in full swing. Typically each year, they would have a barbecue at their house with hamburgers and hot-dogs that his dad had grilled, and Gus and his family and other neighbors and friends would bring sides and come over to eat.
However, that was about the extent of what his dad would celebrate. He strongly didn't approve of fireworks, especially in the city. By the time evening rolled around, he would be getting ready to go to work for a late and long shift, mostly consisting of reports of fireworks in the city. Each year he had to witness injuries and even fires, which made his disfavor of them even greater.
Each year he would lecture Shawn about the dangers of the activity and sometimes he would even make him watch the video that the city had put out years ago about being safe and smart and laying out all of the laws associated with fireworks. Then he would go to work and drop Shawn off at the Guster's so that he could go with them down to the pier to watch the show put on safely for the community and then spend the night.
All in all, it wasn't a terrible tradition, but as Shawn got older he couldn't help but get more curious about fireworks. The sparklers and Roman candle his Uncle Jack had given him at the previous New Year's celebration only made Shawn even more curious and eager to get his hands on some fireworks of his own. Especially when his friends would come back after their winter break, bragging about the fireworks they had lit, and the extravagant shows put on at their grandparent's house in the country or something. Simply watching from a blanket in the distance wasn't enough for him anymore.
This year's show wasn't much different from the previous ones. Everyone "oohed" and "awed" at the scene of the colored explosions in the sky over the ocean. It was a spectacular sight for sure, but Shawn didn't feel as much joy as he used to, as he was much more excited for what he had planned for later.
As soon as the fourteen-year-olds got back home, Shawn told Mrs. Guster that he had to run home and get his pajamas, as he had forgotten them. She gave them the go-ahead as he dragged Gus out the front door with him.
"Shawn, I know you didn't forget your pajamas... I saw them in your bag when you put your stuff in my room," Gus said, narrowing his eyes in suspicion.
"I know, I know, but I needed an excuse to get away. Wait until you see what I've got!" said Shawn, barely able to contain his excitement, walking faster as they approached his house.
Knowing that his friend was up to something that they probably shouldn't be doing made Gus worry a little bit.
As soon as they reached the Spencer household, Shawn bolted up the stairs to his room, with Gus right on his heels.
"Wait until you see this!" Shawn smiled as he got down on the floor and reached far under his bed, moving things around in the process.
He crawled back out and held up his arm, revealing two dusty bottle rockets.
Gus' eyes widened as he realized what Shawn had, exclaiming, "Where did you get those?!"
"I found them when my dad had me clean out the garage a few months back. I guess he forgot he had them! I've had them hidden since then!"
"Shawn, you can't be seriously considering lighting these are you? You know how dangerous they are, plus they're against the law! Everyone on the block would be calling to report them!" reasoned Gus.
"Relax Gus! Don't be the soggy pieces in my Apple Jacks! There's only two of them, one for the each of us. Plus, we're going to go down to the beach so that we'll be less likely to be caught. But we've got to be quick so that your mom doesn't get suspicious!" explained Shawn.
"Uh-uh! No way! There is no way I am getting involved in this! If you'd like to burn your own fingers off, be my guest, but you're on your own on this one. I'll be standing a very far and safe distance from you and that death trap."
"Oh please! Fine, have it your way! More fun for me! Let's head out. I need to grab the lighter from the drawer in the kitchen first though before we go."
The boys made their way out of the house and down to the water, with Gus lingering back. Shawn eagerly position himself not far from the water's edge.
If something does go wrong, at least I'll be right be the water, Shawn thought to himself. Okay, now, how exactly do I do this... I imagine it's not much different that a roman candle.
Shawn stood up straight, holding the firework firmly in one hand, positioning it away from himself, arm outstretched with his wrist tilted at about a 45 degree angle, just as his Uncle had taught him.
This is going to be so cool!
"Watch it Gus!" Shawn yelled behind him, eyes lighting up in excitement. He lit the lighter with his left hand and slowly brought it to the fuse in the other, watching it catch fire and retreat back into the bottle rocket. Shawn whipped his head up into the sky, waiting for the display. Gus covered his ears and crouched a little as he glanced up too.
Shawn flew backwards as the rocket exploded out of the bottom, hitting him square in the chest. He let out a sharp gust of air as it knocked the breath out of him. It was like he was suddenly in some action movie, as he fell backwards in what felt like slow motion, watching the explosion right in front of his eyes. He finally hit the ground, his head being the first thing to make contact. As his chest burst in pain and his eyes fluttered close, he couldn't help but think that he was going to need a new shirt.
Gus looked all around in the sky, waiting for the explosion. He couldn't even see a trail of the firework going up like they usually saw. Confused, he looked down at Shawn to find out what was wrong. He gasped as he saw him lying down, his shirt on fire and the stick from the rocket laying on the ground next to him. Gus ran to his best friend, tearing off his own top shirt and trying to use it to extinguish the flames on the other's chest.
"Ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod, ooooh myyyyy gooooood," Gus whispered out loud, panicking at what he should do next. His mind tried to recall what he had learn in first aid, but he couldn't be sure of exactly what to do. He didn't want to leave his friend here alone and injured, but he knew he had to get help. Seeing that Shawn was not in any imminent danger, he took off towards his own house, running faster than he had in a long time.
As Shawn woke up, he slowly listened in to the words around him, not ready to open his eyes yet.
"Incredibly lucky... broken ribs... second-degree burns... minimal scarring with treatment... stupid idiot... I warned him... Need to call his mom" all swirled around Shawn in his drugged and likely concussed brain.
"That's not very nice." Shawn whispered out, slowly opening his eyes. His dad was standing at the foot of his bed, talking with a doctor.
"He returns to the land of the living!" the doctor joked, walking over and checking his vitals. "I'll be back in a bit, I'll let you two chat," he said as he walked out.
Henry said nothing as he stared his son down, giving him a glare that would usually make the teen feel like a small child.
"I'm... sorry?" Shawn squeaked out, feeling the weight of his bandages on his chest constricting him.
Henry sighed and walked to the chair next to the bed. He rubbed his forehead and looked at the teenager. "Shawn, I thought you knew better than this. You know the stories I have told you and everything else I taught you. This should have never happened!"
"I know! I know! I just... I wanted to try it out myself, just once! I thought you were just being overprotective!"
"Well, you might rethink that in the future now, won't you?!"
"Maybe," Shawn muttered, looking away from his dad.
Henry sighed again and griped his pants. "Geez kid, you had me so freaked out. I heard the call come in over my radio. I was sure I was going to be planning your funeral... The way Gus was acting when he showed me where you were had me fearing the worse. I'm just glad you're... okay... all things considering."
Shawn looked at his dad, seeing the rare moment of emotion that showed on his face. The guilt and surprise hit Shawn like a ton of bricks, and he didn't like it.
"Oh my gosh, Gus!" Shawn said, changing the subject. "How is he? Where is he? Is he okay?"
Henry's face returned to it's neutral and slightly annoyed position. "He's fine, he's at home with his parents, worried about you. Mrs. Guster is blaming herself for letting ya'll go out alone and get into this mess. You're going to have to apologize to her. She had nothing to do with this and you know it."
"Yeah, okay!" Shawn huffed. He yawned, as exhaustion started to nibble at him.
Henry noticed this and sat back in his chair.. "This conversation is far from over, we still have a lot to go over. But that's not for now. Get some rest kid, you have a long summer in front of you."
Shawn groaned as he fell asleep. All I wanted to do was have fun. It always gets ruined! Stupid fireworks.
A/N: AAAAAAAND FIN! Well, hope you enjoyed that. I hope the ending is alright. I've never been great at these hospital scenes. It seems to matter how often I write them they always feel OOC (especially Henry). Let me know what you think! I enjoyed writing this, even if it came out a little late. See ya!