A/N: This was intended to be the first chapter of a multi-chaptered fic, but I kind of like it as a one-shot. I do still have ideas for continuing it, or possibly writing a sequal/companion, but that's up to whether or not people like it. So, if you want me to write more drop me a review (which I hope you do anyway) and enjoy! There might be some grammatical or spelling errors, which I take full responsibility for, and I'm sorry if any of the characters (especially Shawn) seem OOC. I was took a few liberties. I'm also sorry if this in anyway resembles any other "Shawn-arrested-by-his-dad" fics that are out there, because I have read a few fantastic ones that may have influenced this, though I tried my best to make this as original as I could. Please, review (and tell me if you want more)!
Disclaimer: USA owns Psych.
Warning: It's rated for language, and could possibly be construed at Shawn/Gus if you squint, and may become Shawn/Gus if I continue it. As of the moment, though, it can be read just as Shawn/Gus friendship.
Santa Barbara, 1995
Shawn Spencer had never hated anything in his life before. It wasn't really in his nature. He was too bubbly; too happy to be alive to waste moments of his time hating. There was too much to do and hatred took far too much energy. He disliked things—people, places—but he had never hated before.
There was a first time for everything, he supposed. And, as Shawn shuffled out of the jail cell—his arms wrapped tightly around his chest, his head down, his hair mussed in an unfashionable manner, and his eyes red and puffy—he hated the police officer who stood to the side with every fiber of his essence. The man's eyes—those cold, self-righteous, judging eyes—burned into him. Shawn didn't look up as he passed, not even to glare, not even to spit, not even to curse. His every hair stood on end and he felt as tightly-wound as a wind-up toy before it is let loose.
God, I hate you, Shawn repeated the mantra in his mind. He would not look up at the man who called himself his father. Looking up, meeting that gaze, that gaze that Shawn knew and hated, yes hated so, would be giving in, would be letting the man—the man who didn't deserve the title father—win. Shawn had been letting him win for years, letting himself be molded into some tool, some dog-and-pony show that his father trotted out for police gatherings and stuffed back into the closet as soon as the observers were gone.
Until last night Shawn had been a promising high school graduate, with a bright future in the police academy. They, the collective them, all said that he would make a fantastic cop someday, as soon as he realized that his unique talents could help solve crimes; could help save people.
That was Shawn's new motto. Before it had been something akin to: Goof off, have fun, but don't go too far over the line. That had been effectively killed by that man. Good, obedient Shawn, who played pranks to make people laugh—the Shawn who got into trouble because he was curious and didn't have enough common sense to keep himself out of trouble, and not because he had malicious intentions—was dead. Dead, dead, dead and buried in the ground. No, dead and laying at the feet of that man, his blood painting that man's hand's red. That Shawn was gone.
Shawn could hear the heavy footsteps following after him, a thud, thud, thud like the beating of a stone heart. A broken heart. Shawn's hands fell to his sides, his nails digging into his palms. He headed for the doors, for the bright sunlight that beamed outside, for a bright cheery world that would have been perfect for Old Shawn. New Shawn suddenly craved the warmth and the bright and quickened his pace, hoping that the sunlight would strike down his nightmares and the dark things that were dogging his steps. He burst into the new world, or was it the same world and only he was different?
It was a little better outside, where the sun was warm but not yet hot—it would reach hot, hot, burning hot later in the day—and the breeze was a cool kiss. It was a perfect day. But Shawn felt dark and sick and hate, hate burned inside him, bile in the back of his throat; a throbbing pain in his brain. He turned towards the road.
"Shawn," that man's voice cut through the day and it seemed to cast a shadow for miles around. "The truck isn't that way."
Shawn didn't pause, though his steps slowed. "I'm not going to the truck." His voice wasn't like Old Shawn's. It was lower and darker than Old Shawn's voice had ever been. He heard, heard the disappointed, angry cluck of that man.
"You still haven't learned your lesson, have you Shawn? Gonna go off and pout, like a little girl?" That man's voice was mocking and the words struck deep. They would have sent Old Shawn reeling, as though the ground had been pulled out from under his feet. But New Shawn expected them.
"Oh, I've learned a lesson. A couple of them actually." Shawn paused, swinging around to stare at that man with his bloodshot eyes. "I learned that I hate you, for one." That man flinched a little, just a little Shawn thought, but otherwise showed no emotion. Shawn had never said that he hated him before. It had always been hard to say 'I hate you' to a man who might not come home from his next work day. "I learned that power, power that a cop—an officer of the law—has, is so easily abused. Abused. How does that word sit with you, huh Dad?"
That man's face was starting to take on an angry tomato red color, a key sign that his temper was about to snap. He opened his mouth, taking in a deep breath to yell. "Sha—," he began, his voice climbing in octave and volume.
Old Shawn had never cursed at his father. Around his father, sure, but at? Never. New Shawn had none of Old Shawn's qualms. "Fuck you, Dad," he shot out, spinning away. That man's mouth snapped closed, his eyes nearly bugging out of his head.
"Fine!" That man roared. "You can walk home, Shawn! And when you get there, you're grounded! No cars, no girls, no Gus, no tv, no nothing! Grounded!" He bellowed after his son. Shawn didn't look back.
Half an hour later Burton Guster open his door to discover a rather worse-for-the-wear Shawn with a black backpack slung over one shoulder. Shawn's eyes were feverish and red, his hair hadn't been brushed, his clothes were rumpled; he looked like hell. Gus took one look at him and stepped to the side, letting his friend in and catching him when he stumbled.
"What the hell happened, Shawn?"
Shawn smiled. In all the years he had known Shawn, Gus had never seen a smile look so disturbing on his friend's face. It simply did not look right, and smiles always looked right on Shawn. It was when he was not smiling that something was wrong. But this smile was crazed, as feverish as his eyes, and his chapped lips cracked, bleeding. "He arrested me," Shawn said.
Silence fell as Gus tried to wrap his mind around those three simple words. Then, like a surgeon wielding a scalpel, he skillfully pulled the entire story out of his best friend.
"Then I told him to fuck off and I hitch-hiked home," Shawn concluded. Gus rocked back on his bed, his eyes focusing on a trophy sitting on his dresser. He couldn't even remember what he'd won it for, not that it mattered. In the awkward silence Shawn whispered something that scared, truly scared Gus.
"I hate him." It was quiet, so quiet, and Shawn was never that quiet. "I hate him."
Shawn wasn't supposed to hate. He was too good, too alive. He had too much potential to hate. Gus would never tell him, but he secretly saw Shawn in an almost god-like way. Shawn was superior, despite his flaws; in fact, because of his flaws. He was so far above the rest. If Shawn had asked him to pick up a knife and stab himself, Gus would have done it, for Shawn and only for Shawn. Shawn—who he would do almost anything for—wasn't supposed to hate.
His frenzied eyes—eyes that were green and brown and gold and right now, right now, where just mud with fever and hurt and hate, hate—turned towards Gus. "I need to go. I need to get out of here. I," he licked his lips, "I can't stay."
Gus understood. He knew. He was fluent in the secret language of Shawn, and he knew exactly what Shawn was saying, was asking. He stood up and crossed the room, pulling open his closet and grabbing a duffel bag. He paused to look over his shoulder. "Where are we going?"
Shawn smiled, and this time it was not so frightening, not so dangerous. This time it was Old Shawn and New Shawn smiling at the same time. "Mexico?"