In truth, he had grown up with it. It had only really started when he had hit 18, but he could recall inklings of it far earlier. It wasn't nearly as much as he pretended, feelings, vibes on the edge of consciousness. He joked about everything, but he never joked about that. It was no accident that he had chosen to pretend he was psychic. He really was to a certain extent. He wasn't totally clairvoyant, but there was something there.
And every now and then something came along that lit up all of the lights and sent shockwaves through him. His count of those episodes was four.
He collapsed to the floor, his limbs moving with epileptic will. In a moment, he was simply shuttering, shaking as the force of It hit him.
Gus was at his side, calling for an ambulance.
He could see the ancient artifact, could feel it in his hand. It had weight, power that surged through him. The Wrong would be made right, but the cost! Oh, the steep, steep cost! But He had to. He had to repair the world, fix it. It had lost Hope.
He moved his hands mirroring His, raising the powerful Astrolabe to his eye. The energy swirled and danced, taking control.
Then it was over. He was back, safe and sound in the SBPD precinct. Very slowly, he got to his feet. Gus tried to grab him, but he waved it away. He sagged back against the wall unexpectedly, but pushed himself back up before any of the others could rush in.
"Well?" The captain asked. He didn't answer, waving it away. He stumbled toward the door.
"What was that all about?" Gus demanded, following him.
"I don't want to talk about it," Shawn replied.
Shawn was cutting up a pineapple at Psych. It had been six months since his episode at the precinct, and Gus was still asking about it. Shawn just hoped he would drop it.
Suddenly, It hit him again. He staggered, collapsing to the floor, clutching the knife like a one-handed life-line as the shakes took over.
So soon! He had never had two episodes in a single year, never. They were so rare that the odds were astronomical on the scale of the multiverse
He could see Him, holding the Orchid, its single blue flower seemingly glowing blood red. He held the Dagger in his hand, feeling its power through his arm. He suddenly knew what the Dagger could do. It could separate good from evil and repair Him.
Save me, He pleaded, and he wrapped both hands around the Dagger.
"I cast thee out!" Shawn shouted, driving the Dagger deep into His shoulder.
Then he was back, holding the knife millimeters from Gus's knee.
"What the hell, Shawn?" Gus demanded. Shawn lowered the knife and pushed himself back on his feet.
"This is really getting out of hand."
"I'll be fine," Shawn panted, leaning heavily against the counter.
"Well I think that you need to see someone."
"It's never happened like this," he replied breathlessly. "But It's something big."
"It," he insisted. Gus sighed.
"Next you'll be saying you really are psychic."
Shawn didn't answer, focusing on breathing deeply. Gus's eyes grew wide.
"I can't see the future, Gus," Shawn cut in. He left out the sixth-sense thing he seemed to have. He had kept it quiet all of these years; best not to spoil that streak now.
"We need to go talk to him," Artie told Pete and Myka. "If he's what I think he is…" He shook his head.
"What do you think he is?" Myka asked.
"The One who Wasn't," Artie said cryptically and hurried out of his office. Pete and Myka looked at each other before running after him.
Shawn was deep into a new case from SBPD, trying to figure out just what motive Sam Hanson would have to kill his brother. He knew absolutely that Sam had done it, but he didn't know why. He was getting a couple of vibes about it, but there was nothing definite.
There was a knock at the door.
"Gus!" Shawn shouted. "Get the door!" Gus hadn't left him alone since his last episode. He was 'working from home' to keep an eye on his lifetime friend. Gus seemed very sure that the next time it happened, Shawn was going to either hurt himself or someone around him. He may not have been totally wrong.
Gus opened the door to see a short Jewish guy, a tall athlete, and a dark-haired woman on their doorstep.
"Secret Service," the athlete said, flashing his badge. "We need to speak with Shawn Spencer."
Gus turned and shouted, "Shawn, the Secret Service is here to see you!" He turned back. "Come in." He led them in and offered them seats and coffee.
"Shawn!" Gus hurried to the other room.
"Now's not a good time," Shawn said distractedly. "I'm just about there!"
"Shawn," Gus said sternly. "You need to talk to them. They mean business."
"Fine," Shawn sighed. He decided to make it a show. Carefully, he peered around the corner and took a quick look at the three. He froze. The Jewish guy… was Him!
Shawn swallowed. Things were really starting to get freaky. Well, he was still going to have some fun.
So he walked out, stopping dead in the middle of the room.
"Wait, Gus! Gus! I'm getting something!" He squeezed his eyes shut and raised up his hands. "I see… violence, pain. A dagger!"
The woman and the athlete looked at each other then the other man, who didn't look surprised.
"You!" Shawn pointed at Him. "You've been stabbed! 'I cast thee out!' What does that mean?" He turned, clutching his head in his hands. "Orchid! Why am I seeing a… blue orchid?" He opened his eyes and looked at the visitors. "Forgive me. The visions are too much sometimes." He smiled. The Jew smiled back.
"I would imagine, Mr. Spencer. That is precisely why we wanted to talk to you." He stood. "I am Agent Artie Nielsen. These are Agents Pete Lattimer and Myka Bering. We work for a very secretive organization that deals with dangerous artifacts. We believe that you are what is called the One who Wasn't."
Shawn laughed. "You've got to be making this up."
"We're not," Bering said.
"Wish we were, dude," Lattimer added.
"We know you've had two recent psychic episodes. I would bet that they go back even further," Nielsen said. "And I'm talking about true psychic episodes, not the show you put on."
"What are they talking about Shawn?" Gus asked.
"Gus, I think that you need to lock the door," Shawn replied, sitting down. Gus looked at him, but did as asked.
"You need to tell us all about it," Nielsen said.
So Shawn did. He told them about how his first episode had totally ruined his eighteenth birthday, and then how he had had three more in the following ten years. Then he told them about the last two, how they had been strangely so close together, how they had taken on an urgency as never before. He told them about the dreams that followed, about how they were starting to take on an intensity he couldn't handle.
Gus knew he hadn't been sleeping, but he hadn't suspected this.
"Something big's coming," Shawn said, wrapping it up. Lattimer, Bering, and Nielsen looked at each other.
Then they told him everything. They told him about Warehouse 13. They told him about the Caretaker. They told him about the Keeper. They told him about the Speaker of the Warehouse. They told him about the incidents with the astrolabe and the orchid.
"What does this have to do with me?" Shawn asked.
Artie Nielsen took that question. "The One who Wasn't is someone that the Warehouse marked but was never taken in by the Regents. They are psychically sensitive, connected to the Warehouse. The depth of that connection depends. The One can be a possible Caretaker, Keeper, or Speaker. Judging by your… episodes, it looks like you're a Caretaker."
"What does that mean?" Shawn cut in.
"It means that if something happens to the current future Caretaker, then you will likely step into the position," Nielsen replied.
"So then are you offering him a job?" Gus asked.
"No," Nielsen said. "We are not, persay. We just like to keep track of each generation's One so that if something happens, we know where to find them. We may require your services at some future date, but that is not now. We just want you to be fully informed."
"You've got to be kidding me! That's it? You just come in and tell me that you may or may not keep in touch?" Shawn demanded. "That doesn't cut it!"
"What do you want us to do?" Bering asked.
"Train me! Teach me so I can actually start sleeping again! I need to know how to handle my episodes!"
"We can't," Nielsen said gently. "It's different for everyone. You're going to have to figure it out on your own. You likely would have been the best of the Warehouse's Caretakers, but you're not in line for the position. That means that you're going to have to learn to live with your episodes."
"Why isn't he in line?" Gus asked. "That doesn't make sense."
Nielsen shrugged. "The Warehouse works in mysterious ways. It might feel that it needs someone else at the helm in the near future, but it wants to leave the option open. There are even stories of how the Warehouse chose the One as its Caretaker instead of the Next when the time came. It could still happen. That's why we need to tell you all of this."
"You have got to be kidding me," Gus said. Shawn digested everything and smiled.
Well, at least Gus knew he wasn't crazy.