I hope you'll enjoy this totally AU Psych fic that nobody ever asked for yet has been on my mind for a long time! I know I've been solely in the NDHB fandoms but decided I wanted to try something new. So hello again to my old readers and welcome to some hopefully new ones! I hope you enjoy this!
The premise shall unfold. Endgame - Shules and Shawn whump. The rest is up for you to find out!
Usually I try not to beg, but PLEASE consider leaving a review so I can tell if anyone is actually interested in reading this! Might also post on AO3.
"Come on, it'll be fun!"
Famous last words.
Sitting on a grimy bench and wondering how many safety regulations the travelling amusement park was violating, Juliet O'Hara deeply regretted allowing her friends to drag her out here.
Haunted houses, halls of mirrors, rusted mini-rollercoasters… they weren't really her thing, especially after a long day of chasing down criminals.
If she were a saleswoman or secretary, maybe she'd be craving excitement. But as it was, Juliet just really wanted a cup of tea, a good book, and her cat curled up beside her.
Sighing, she saw in the distance that her friends had hopped off the dilapidated Ferris wheel and were heading to the barely-holding-together haunted house.
Reluctantly, Juliet stood up. Not to join her friends but because she was pretty sure the grime on the bench was actually soaking through her jeans. Glancing around, she opted for the friendliest looking path: a stretch of booths lined with stuffed animals and other prizes.
The first booth to catch her eye was the shooting game; some beaten up targets were hung on the further end of the booth and crappy plastic guns lined the counter. It seemed to be unstaffed but Juliet's competitive streak was activated simply by looking at a target.
This place probably didn't get many off-duty cops visiting.
"Want to play?"
Juliet stifled a shriek as two blue-green eyes blinked at her from behind a huge pile of stuffed unicorns.
"I…" She embarrassingly needed to catch her breath. "I didn't see you there!"
The unicorns rippled as they were quickly hung on a hook. From their midst, a young man stepped out.
"Unicorns do tend to have magical cloaking abilities," the man said, his voice serious but his twinkling eyes gave away the fact that he was not nearly as stoic as his expression. "If you just shoot one of these high quality guns at this incredibly well-made target and manage to hit it, one of these fantabulous beings…" he picked up a giant stuffed unicorn and tilted it toward her, its fabric horn tapping her forehead lightly, "…can be all yours."
"You're a good salesman," Juliet smiled slowly, feeling her exhaustion and dark mood lifting slightly at the man's ridiculous commentary.
"It's not hard when you're partners with such sparkly rhino-horse mutants." The man put the stuffed unicorn on the counter. "I happen to know for a fact that this unicorn, Belinda's her name, can charm the pants off any passerby. Taking her home… well, your life would never be the same."
"Is that so?" Juliet leaned forward, a light laugh bubbling up in her chest.
"Beyond true," the man raised an eyebrow. "If you can believe that."
She laughed and put a couple dollars onto the table.
"I guess I don't have a choice," she grinned and picked up one of the toy guns. "I'm succumbing to the unicorn charm." Carefully she aimed and pulled the flimsy trigger, her actions rewarded with a weak popping.
"Missed!" The man leaned against the counter, expression sympathetic.
"No way, I was totally on the mark!" Juliet protested.
She was a cop and a good cop at that. She refused to believe she had missed a flimsy carnival target.
"Try again," the man encouraged her.
Burning with the need to prove herself, Juliet picked up the plastic gun. Four shots later, completing her two dollars' worth of one round, nothing had appeared on the target and Juliet was swallowing her indignation and reminding herself that this was just a game.
"Guess I'm not as good a shot as I thought," she shrugged, turning to go.
She turned and the man was holding out one of the unicorns.
"If the game weren't rigged, you would have earned it," he shrugged. "Besides, Belinda talks the other unicorns' ears off. And she has horn envy. I think honestly it's time for her to just move on…"
Juliet felt something like a childish rush of happiness flood her as she allowed the man to place the fluffy toy in her hands.
"Thank you," she smiled at him.
Then his words caught up to her.
"Wait, this is rigged?"
He looked guilty, glancing one way then the other before leaning across the booth counter. "All the games here are," he whispered.
"I knew it!" Juliet exclaimed, instantly righteously indignant all over again. "I totally nailed those targets!"
"You're a good shot," the man conceded. "I bet you were at the top of your police academy class."
Juliet froze and stared at the man.
"How…" Her brow furrowed. "How did you know I was a cop?"
He laughed lightly, tapping one finger against his temple. "Usually I run the psychic booth," was the only explanation he offered. Quickly his playful expression dropped. "This isn't a good place for a cop to hang out, on duty or off." His deep eyes met hers and all her alarm bells went off.
"What do you mean?" she asked.
He shook his head. "Just… just trust me on this one. You…. You shouldn't come back."
"Is something going on here?" she took a step closer, suddenly worried.
For a split second, the man's expression was devastatingly hollow, void of anything, just…. empty.
Then the moment was over and the man smiled widely at her. "I hope you enjoy Belinda. Make sure you massage her hooves every night before bed, otherwise she tends to have gas…"
On impulse, Juliet put her hand on top of the man's, a tingling sensation emanating from the contact.
"If something is wrong, I can help you," she whispered.
He put his other hand on top of her, sandwiching it. "Stay away." His voice was gentle, discordant with his words.
"Juan, your shift's up. Get your ass cleaning!" a rough voice called out.
The man, Juan, Juliet supposed his name was, pulled his hands away from hers, giving her a small smile. Then he was gone, slipping away into the shifting shadows of spinning lights.
He shouldn't have said anything.
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
He shook his head and tried to focus on picking up garbage. But the only thing he could see was the image of the beautiful blonde police officer he had talked to earlier.
He shouldn't have said anything.
He truly wanted to warn her so she would have her guard up and be safe but as concern filled her expression, he realized he might have just made her more likely to poke around.
At least, he conceded, if she did then she would at least be aware that there was danger.
Maybe he had said something because she was a cop and they were in Santa Barbara.
He had seen the intelligence shining in her eyes and the practiced ease with which she raised the toy gun. She was good.
But nobody was good enough for what was going on here.
A memory flashed across his mind, lifeless eyes staring at him, hair matted with blood, a face barely recognizable yet all to familiar…
"This is what happens when you talk."
What had he done? What hell had he invited down upon the innocent?
He shouldn't have said anything.
The encounter with the man at the carnival lingered in Juliet's mind. It seemed that she was unable to tear her thoughts away from those blue-green eyes that had twinkled so playfully then communicated depths of despair in such close succession.
"Stay away." His soft words rang in her ears.
Frustrated, she ran a hand through her hair while sweeping her gaze across the bulletin board of missing people and wanted criminals.
Seeing the faces peering out at her helped her focus; her hands reached for her gun to reassemble as she took in the painstakingly familiar images.
Wanted: Despaurx. Wanted: Rollins & MacQuarrie. Missing: Professor Christopher Renaud. Wanted: YinYang. Missing: Shawn Spencer.
The last name always caused her to pause; the paper was so old it had yellowed yet nobody could bear to take it down. Not when it was the son of one of their own officers.
Henry Spencer had retired long before Juliet had arrived at the station, yet she still knew of the man. His name was occasionally whispered around the station, with sorrowful regret.
They had failed to bring back his son.
It seemed that nobody really could accept it, and so the fading picture of a smiling twelve-year-old boy stayed with them always.
Juliet jumped, turning to find that her partner, Carlton Lassiter, was striding towards her. A couple weeks into the job and she was pretty sure he wasn't going to request a different partner – something that other officers had told her was quite the feat. Apparently, the head detective had taken a liking to her.
He sure had a strange way of showing it, Juliet reflected as the man barked a quick succession of orders at her. They were running to the patrol car before she had a chance to fully process what he had said – something about a burglary and a officer and a kid… She was still getting used to the whirlwind aspect of the job.
"…and be careful around the subject of Shawn. He's still pretty touchy about it…" Lassiter was saying and Juliet immediately straightened, her attention caught.
Lassiter showing any level of sensitivity would do that.
"Who is?" she forced her words between the wail of the siren above and mumbled words of the detective beside her.
Quickly, the image of the bulletin board in the station flitted through Juliet's mind, one smiling boy's face standing out in particular.
They pulled up to slightly weathered house by the water and Juliet realized where there were.
They had just arrived at the home of the dad of Shawn Spencer, missing child.
"No, I will not calm down!"
The sound of a man shouting angrily greeted them as they exited the vehicle. Juliet picked up her pace, as did Lassiter beside her.
Rounding the corner, they saw a large bald man arguing with a frightened looking police officer.
"We'll take it from here," Lassiter approached. The lower ranking officer gave them a relieved look and scurried off.
"Thank God, finally someone who might actually do something!" The man's piercing blue eyes fixed themselves on Lassiter then her and she was struck by the intense emotion behind them. They reminded her of something she had just seen recently… She couldn't put her finger on it but had to move her attention to the task at hand.
"Mr. Spencer." Lassiter was pulling out a notebook. "What exactly was stolen from your home?"
"I'll take you to the scene of the crime myself," the man huffed, already moving toward the door of the house.
Juliet and Lassiter exchanged a look then followed the man, who was moving remarkably quickly for his apparent age.
Walking through a messy living room and up stairs to a hall dotted with random photos and objects, they arrived at a closed door.
"You should dust for finger prints," Henry Spencer insisted. Juliet was about to reach for the materials to do so when Lassiter stopped her.
"Can we see what is missing first and how they might have entered and exited?"
"It's a crime scene! Do you want to chance messing it up?!" The man's face reddened.
"Lassiter, we can…" Juliet opened her mouth to say it wouldn't be much trouble to dust the doorknob first, but the senior detective swiftly shushed her.
"Trust me, Juliet, we're going to want to know what was stolen before we do anything else." His face was set in a mixed expression of annoyance and resignation.
"Fine," the older man looked none-too pleased with them but opened the door to reveal a small neat bedroom.
Toys lined the shelves, along with comic books and other trinkets and it took Juliet a moment to realize that they were in a child's bedroom. Judging by the looks of things, nobody had lived in this room for years and years…
Juliet's breath suddenly caught in her chest as she realized this was Shawn Spencer's bedroom. She bit her lip and tried not to look at Henry Spencer as she took in the fact that he had kept his missing child's bedroom memorialized for almost twenty years.
"Mr. Spencer, please tell us what was taken." Lassiter's voice was a degree softer than usual, which meant he was being gentler than Juliet had ever seen him be before.
The man didn't quite look at them but pointed to the bed.
"There was a stuffed bear there last night. Now it's gone. I'm telling you, someone was in here. And whoever it was… I know they're connected to Sh… my son's kidnapping."
Again, PLEASE let me know if you're interested in reading more!