Title: Family Sacrifices
Author: Olivia Sutton
Warnings: Violence, Angst
Season: Second season, not specific.
Feedback: Yes, please.
Archive: Fanfic Net, Psychfic, otherwise please ask.
Disclaimer: I don't own Psych, and I'm not making any profit from this. This is for the enjoyment of other fans. Feedback and reviews are most welcome.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Part Four/Revised Date: 23 October 2007
AN: First, thanks to all my reviews. Also, thanks to my betas, Cherie on Fanficmed (Yahoo discussion list) and ilsaluvsrick over at Live Journal. Also Fodor's guide (series) to Southern California for information on Santa Barbara. I finally broke through the writer's block and figured out how to really conclude this story. I hope you like it. Please note that part four starts with a re-cap from what was previously in part three, hopefully this won't be confusing. Reviews welcome.
Family Sacrifices by Olivia Sutton
Gus left the police station and drove his car toward home. He reached State St. where he would normally turn right to drive toward his apartment. He turned left instead and took State to Cabrillo Street which he followed to Santa Barbara's boardwalk and public beach. He pulled into a lot there, parked, then got out of the car, walking to the boardwalk. Gus walked down the boardwalk until he found a bench, then sat and stared at the ocean. The smell of salt, water, and the occasional dead fish filled his nostrils. Sometimes, being the super sniffer, as Shawn called him teasingly, wasn't the most pleasant thing in the world.
Since Santa Barbara was on an inlet on the coast, the Harbor was actually to the south. Gus watched the dark black waves, as they changed to purple, then pink, and finally bluish-green as the sun rose on his left. He sat, quietly, thinking about Shawn, and the times they had both gone to the boardwalk. It was one of Shawn's favorite places and had been since they were both young boys. 'Course when Shawn was upset, he'd walk at a break-neck pace up and down the boardwalk until he burned off his excess energy. Gus preferred being quiet and still, unless he was accompanying Shawn, waiting for him to calm down enough to be able to talk about what was bothering him. Nine times out of ten what was bothering Shawn was his dad. Gus sighed, got up off the bench, and walked closer to the ocean and onto the beach. It was fully light now, the sky a bright robin's egg blue, the waves green with white caps as they fell over and crashed into the sandy beach. After a few minutes looking at the water, he turned, walked back to his car and drove to the Psych Detective Agency.
He let himself in with his key, and walked in. Everything in the agency reminded Gus strongly of Shawn, from the toys on Shawn's desk to the various games and electronics in the office. Gus went to his desk and sat down, then reached for the phone. There was no way he was going to go into work today. No way at all. Even though the police had arrested the guy who shot Shawn, so there was nothing to investigate, he wasn't ready to sell pharmaceuticals, not today.
As Gus hung up the phone, there was a knock at the door. Gus got up and opened it. Juliet stood there.
"Juliet?" he asked, "Is Shawn okay?"
"He's fine, as far as I know. The station hasn't received any calls or anything."
Gus nodded, then looked at her, questioningly.
Juliet looked at Gus, then said, "I'm here, because Gus, I'm worried about you."
Gus looked at her, "What?", then he realised she was still standing in the entryway. "Come in, sit down, then tell me what you mean?"
Juliet did as Gus suggested and before long, they were sitting on the sofa in the Psych Detective Agency office.
Juliet reached out, and touched Gus's arm, then pulled her hand back. "Gus," she said simply, then she took a deep breath and added, "Gus, how are you dealing with yesterday?"
Gus looked at her.
Juliet tried again. "Gus, you're not a police officer. And with everything you and Shawn have seen so far, in your casework, it's a whole lot different to see your friend and partner get shot."
Gus nodded. Then he said, quietly, "I never thought this would be happen."
"Shawn, ... Shawn, always saw it as a game. A way to use his talents. But I knew that it was dangerous. I just didn't expect this!" Gus voice rose at the end, and began to shake.
"No one does, Gus. And remember, he's OK, he'll be OK."
Gus nodded, "I know, that's what's keeping me together. That and remembering the last time... that he survived."
"The motorcycle accident?" asked Juliet. "I wanted to ask you about that. Lassiter and I had no idea! But why did Henry never tell Shawn he was there?"
"Because the minute he was out of the hospital, he was off on a new bike, running around the country." Gus's expression became inward-looking. "Well, it wasn't the next minute. But he worked two jobs until he made enough money, emptied his savings account, bought the new bike, and ran."
"And left Henry behind?" said Juliet.
Gus nodded, sighed, then said, "At first I didn't understand it, either. I mean, he left me too, Juliet. But he kept in touch with me, post cards, phone calls. It was weird - for ten years my best friend and I had a long-distance relationship. But he was letting me know he was ok, and I'd see him every once in awhile. Eventually, I realized that Shawn had dealt with the accident by packing in as much as he possibly could into life. Trying every experience he possibly could. Doing all the things he always promised himself he'd do. Which was a positive thing."
Juliet nodded, "And Henry?"
"You'd have to ask him," replied Gus.
Juliet nodded, "So, you're OK? I mean, I'm here for you."
"I'm OK," answered Gus.
Henry sat quietly in his house, a book in his hand, trying to read. But his mind kept going over and over what had happened the previous day. Then his doorbell rang. Henry rose, walked to the door and opened it. There stood Detective Lassiter.
"May I come in?" asked Lassiter.
Henry looked at Lassiter, then lost all color in his face and felt woozy, and began to collapse.
Lassiter stepped forward, taking Henry in his arms. "You all right?" he asked.
"Shawn?" mumbled Henry, as he pulled away, trying to regain his equilibrium.
"He's the same. We haven't received any calls at the station, Henry."
Henry nodded, then stood on his own, completely out of Lassiter's arms. "Come in," he mumbled.
Carlton nodded, and entered the house, shutting the door behind himself.
"Would you like something to drink? Coffee, a beer?"
"Beer would be good," said Lassiter.
They moved into the kitchen. Henry opened the refrigerator door, took out two beers, and brought them to the table.
Lassiter took his beer, twisted off the cap, and took a swig. Then he looked at Henry.
Henry looked at the beer in his hand, then at Lassiter, but said nothing.
Lassiter waited, quietly.
Finally, Henry said, "I never thought that when Shawn went into police work, any type of police work that he'd actually be hurt."
"Twenty years on the Job, and it never occurred to me what I was sending my son into? How dumb is that?" said Henry, with a smirk of self-recrimination.
Lassiter reached forward, then stopped himself from actually touching Henry, "It wasn't your fault!"
"He was aiming forme, Carlton!" said Henry, hitting his hand against the table. "Shawn put himself in the way!"
Lassiter got up, moved to the older man, and grabbed Henry's shoulders. "It was an instinctive reaction Henry."
Henry began to shake. "I almost lost him. Again! And at the hospital, he was sitting there like nothing had happened! Again!"
Carlton held Henry's shoulders tightly, "And Shawn needs time to process what happened. He will need to see the department shrink, Henry. He works for the SBPD, and was shot on duty. Even as a consultant," Carlton let go of Henry, "Even as a consultant, the department owes him that much."
Henry nodded, then said quietly, "He's not going to leave me?"
Carlton shook his head, then said, "No, he's not," then he took Henry into his arms.
Henry sighed, and let Carlton hold him.
Carlton calmly held the older man in his arms. Suddenly, he knew that his friend and mentor, Henry, and his son, Shawn, had actually made yet another step forward in their relationship. After a minute he let go, "You all right, Henry?"
"Yeah," said Henry, nodding, "Yeah, I am."
Carlton stepped back, nodded slightly, then said, "Good."
The next morning Henry woke up early, dressed, then made himself coffee. At nine o'clock he left his house and drove to the Memorial Trauma Center. He parked his truck in the visitor's lot, then rushed to Shawn's ICU room. When he got there, though, the room was empty. Henry's heart leaped in his chest and he quickly went to the nurse's station.
"Excuse me?" he asked the older nurse at the station.
"Yes, can I help you?"
"My son, Shawn, he was in ICU room four? He's not there now."
The nurse typed on her computer keyboard, read the screen, then said, "Oh, yes, he's in the dialysis unit. That's the sixth floor. The notes have him in room one, but dialysis patients are often changed from room to room at the last minute, so if you don't find him in room one, check with the charge nurse on that floor, OK?"
Henry nodded, "Thank you, nurse. And which way?"
He followed the nurse's directions and was soon walking down a white hospital corridor. As he approached the dialysis unit, he heard laughing and talking. He stopped for a moment, steadied himself, then walked forward at a slower pace, before opening the door.
Henry opened the door and entered the room. Shawn was sitting up in bed, his right arm taped down, with IV's taped into it. The fluid in the IV's was red, and Henry winced. Gus sat on a chair pulled up near Shawn's head on the left side of the bed. Carlton Lassiter stood behind him, standing in a relaxed manner, his knee bent slightly.
The talking stopped, the Shawn said, "Hi, Dad."
Henry moved closer, "Shawn," he said unemotionally.
Gus and Lassiter looked from father to son and back.
Lassiter took a deep breath then said, "We were just telling Shawn who shot him."
Henry started to nod, when Shawn said, "Gus said that wasn't your worst case? That man killed his own child and put his older son into a coma and you've had cases worse than that?"
Henry moved closer to Shawn's head on the his left side. Gus rose and offered his chair. Henry sat, then he said, "Yeah, Shawn. Kendrick was bad, but I've seen worse."
Shawn's eyes widened in amazement, "Do I want to know?"
"Probably not," said Henry.
"And you wanted me to go into that line of work? For God's sake, why?"
Henry didn't have an answer to that.
"I think I do want to know, then."
Henry took a deep breath.
Lassiter looked at the older man, then at Shawn, then at Gus, "Guster, I think they'd like some privacy."
"Uh, yeah," said Gus, "Shawn, I'll be back later. OK?"
"I'll be here for the next three hours," Shawn replied, then he looked at the clock in the room, "Uh, two and a half."
Gus looked at Shawn in sympathy, "You'll be all right, you know."
Shawn nodded, "I know. It's just boring being tied to a machine for hours," he raised his non-taped down hand, "Go."
Lassiter and Gus left.
Shawn looked at Henry, "You've got something to tell me?"
Henry looked at Shawn, then said, "You remember the last time you were hurt this seriously? Your motorcycle accident?"
"That's not fair! You know that I don't remember that! All I remember is leaving Gus's on my bike, and the next thing I knew I was waking up in a hospital, I'd missed my graduation, and you were telling me I'd been in a coma for a month."
"Shawn! Shawn, I wasn't trying to hurt you by bringing that up."
Shawn's eyes glittered as he looked at his father in anger.
Henry stood up walked to the foot of Shawn's bed, turned and walked back, then said quietly, "I wore The Uniform for twenty years, Shawn."
"I know that! You never let me forget it."
"Well, one of the things I had to do was respond to traffic accidents. And some of those were horrific. That was some of the worst things I experienced. I mean, as bad as someone like Kendrick was, I wasn't a homicide detective, that wasn't the bread and butter of my job on the force. So, sometimes, it was a... quantity verses quality type of thing. Only the thing we're talking about here is bad experiences I went through. And dealt with as professionally as I could."
Shawn nodded, "You've never explained it like that, Dad."
Henry sat, reached forward and took Shawn's hand, "Shawn, I... I was there."
Shawn looked at his father, noticed his pained eyes, then said, "Oh, my, god. You... you didn't..." he left off.
"Karen and I were the first car on the scene of a motorcyclist hit by a hit and run driver. That motorcyclist was you, Shawn."
Shawn looked at his father, his eyes widened in shock, then he squeezed his father's hand. "I'm sorry."
"It wasn't your fault. I followed your case, even put in some time on my own. Your bike was clipped by a hit and run driver, whoever it was, was probably drunk, but we never found him. And you recovered, so..." Henry put his hands behind his head, then said, "The only thing that I... I blamed you for was buying a new bike and leaving. I shouldn't have, but I did. And, I'm sorry for that, Shawn. I am."
Shawn nodded, "Truce?" he asked quietly.
"Yeah," said Henry, "I..." he left off.
"I know," said Shawn, smiling at Henry.
There was a light knock at the door. Henry got up and opened it. Gus and Lassiter stood there, Lassiter with two cups of coffee, Gus with two clear plastic cups.
"Smoothies?" said Gus, walking towards Shawn.
"Thanks," said Shawn, snagging a cup from Gus with his left hand.
"Coffee," Lassiter offered Henry.
"Thanks," answered Henry.
"Everything all right between you two?" asked Lassiter.
Gus shot a look at Henry, then at Shawn.
"Yeah," said Henry.
"We're good," said Shawn.
Gus and Lassiter smiled.