A/N: At long last here is the third chapter of Smashed! I'm sorry it's taken so long, but I was having trouble with this, and I'm having trouble with the next chapter too, so there will probably be quite a wait for the fourth chapter too. I'm not sure how I feel about this chapter, but I can't really think of anything to do to fix it. Oh well. Shawn's starting to come off as having multiple personalities, isn't it? Maybe he does; I'm not even sure myself. Enjoy and remember to review. (By the way, I know that I never reply to reviews and I'm a terrible person for it. I will, eventually, get around to replying to all of you, and its not that I'm not grateful because I am. Reviews make me the happiest person in the world. I just happen to be lazy, that's all.)
Disclaimer: If you haven't caught on by now, I don't own Psych.
When Gus marched into the police station sans Shawn, something that happened only rarely, and headed straight for the Chief's office without even pausing to smile at his officer friends, everyone knew that something was wrong. He rapped on the Chief's door and entered without waiting for permission. Karen was on the phone but when she looked up and saw his face she made an excuse and dropped the phone back in its cradle.
"Sorry to interrupt, Chief, but I need your help."
"What's wrong?" She asked, her expression tired and resigned.
"Shawn's gone." She blinked at him.
"What do you mean, gone?"
"He's gone. Fifteen minutes ago he was about thirty miles north, headed to San Francisco. Now I have no idea where he's going."
Gus frowned and collapsed into one of Karen's chairs. "I don't know why." He buried his head in his hands. "I don't know. He wasn't okay when I left the hospital but I thought it would just be a quick slip. He doesn't like me around for them, not after the first time." Karen frowned in confusion but Gus ignored her expression and kept babbling. "And I knew he was guilty about Lassi—," Karen winced, thinking about the detective. "How is he, by the way?"
"His surgery went well, though he hasn't woken up yet. He'll be recuperating for a long time and he'll have to go through physical therapy, but so long as infection doesn't set in he should be fine. Shawn was guilty?"
"Is guilty." Gus said, looking up. "I knew he was guilty and upset and angry at himself and definitely slipping into New Shawn/Old Shawn mode, but he shouldn't have run. He should have been just fine. Unless…." Gus trailed off. "Oh God dammit. Henry." Karen frowned again, deeper, as Gus buried his head into his hands.
"What do you need from me, Gus?"
Gus looked up, pinching the bridge of his nose. "I need you to put out an APB on Shawn. Make sure that no one pick's him up or even approaches him, but make sure that if he collapses somewhere he'll be taken care of. Just keep tabs on him and tell me where the hell he's going so that I can get him."
Karen looked hesitant. "Do you normally do this? Is there some secret how-to guide for chasing Shawn Spencer?"
Gus looked her straight in the eye. "There is a how-to guide. It's me. But normally I let him get it out of his system. Normally he isn't hurt though, and normally he isn't running from whatever he's running from. In this condition—I know that he's spiraling—I need to find him and bring him home as soon as possible. Please, Chief."
She hesitated a moment longer then nodded. "Okay." She picked up the phone. "Once you bring him back, Mr. Guster, you are going to have to explain everything you just said." Gus smiled wearily.
"There's no explaining Shawn. Trust me." His eyes took on a flinty look. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go and have a talk with a certain ex-cop."
Karen Vick had never been even the least bit intimidated by Burton Guster. He was just not the kind of person that you would be frightened of. But, looking in his eyes at that moment, Karen felt that she was looking at an entirely different person, and couldn't help but feel the slightest bit of pity for Henry Spencer. Then, when Gus left the room and she put the phone to her ear, remembering what she had to do, all of that pity went sweeping away.
Henry Spencer answered the door wearing an apron and an irritated look, a bottle of beer in one hand, a carving fork in the other. Gus' eyes flickered to the sharp utensil and then back up, his expression flinty. "Hello, Mr. Spencer," he said in the same calm but hostile way that he'd greeted Shawn on the phone.
Henry knew that something was wrong; his eyes narrowed. "What happened?"
Gus gave a short laugh. "What happened…that's a good question, Mr. Spencer." Henry stepped back to let the other man into his house. "Why don't you tell me what happened?"
"Gus," Henry growled, putting the beer and carving fork down and folding his arms across his chest.
"Shawn's gone." Gus ground out. "He ran."
Henry scowled. "Checked himself out AMA?"
"No. Just left."
"Where is he?"
Gus shrugged. "I have no idea. He was headed towards San Francisco; he's most likely not now. What the hell did you do?"
"What makes you think I did something?"
"The only time he runs like this is when you've royally screwed up. You are the only person who has ever been able to affect him so much." Henry looked away.
"I might have been a little harsh but—"
"Damn you Henry Spencer." Gus cut in. "You always go on about how he doesn't think, but the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, does it?" He spat. He turned and stalked out of the house, slamming the door behind him.
Henry stared at the door and then turned his back, picking up his beer and taking a swig of it. Shawn would find his way back. He always did. Henry sat down to his pot roast and lifted his fork, then paused, closed his eyes and shook his head, and pushed the plate away. He threw his fork down and grabbed his coat instead.
"Dammit." His curse resounded through the empty house before the door slammed a second time.
On a normal day Shawn could drive for hours, but by just after six Shawn was forced to stop. He pulled into a motel parking lot; it wasn't anything expensive or fancy, probably not even rating half-a-star, but it had a bed and a bathroom and, if the sheets weren't clean, at least he'd probably slept on worse at some point. It took more energy than he had to even get off his bike, tears biting at the corners of his eyes as sharp pain tore through him. He stayed for a few moments, leaning against his bike and breathing deeply.
He mustered his strength and stumbled into the lobby, forked over a wad of cash, thanked God that seedy motels had a 'no questions asked' policy, and somehow made his way to his room, where he collapsed on his bed. After a few moments of rummaging in his bag he found his bottle of aspirin and popped two of the pills, following them down with a bottle of water. He contemplated turning on his phone and calling Gus—just to check on Lassi, he told himself—and decided against it. Gus would jump in his car—the Psychmobile—and drive four hours to sleep, complaining, in the seedy motel bed with him and then drag him back in the morning. It wasn't happening.
Gus would understand though. He always did. He'd been dragged on enough trips—Mexico, with the sun and the tequila and the bright water that you couldn't drink without a death wish, the first place, the first trip, the place to hit rock bottom so that Gus, and liberal amounts of booze, could bring him up—to understand Shawn's flight mechanism.
Shawn waited for the aspirin to kick in and the pain to abate; aspirin was no morphine with its golden glow but it was still something.
"It's all your fault."
"Shut up." Shawn said to the emptiness around him. He wasn't in Santa Barbara anymore; the guilt and the anger and the hate and the hurt could just slip away and leave as Shawn, just Shawn, happy Shawn that everyone knew and, well, if not loved at least tolerated.
Stripping down to his boxers Shawn crawled under the sheets, perfectly aware that it was barely six o'clock at night and just not caring. He closed his eyes, against the pain, against the whispering voices of his guilt, against the hate—God, he didn't want to hate—against that man, against Gus, against New Shawn and Old Shawn and every Shawn in between. He squeezed his eyes shut tight against the images from the morning, images that his stupid, fucking memory couldn't and wouldn't forget, tried to block out the sound and taste and feel and smell and sight of the blood—was it his blood or was it Lassi's blood?—and when was the aspirin going to kick in?
Shawn closed his eyes and shut out the world and tried, for a brief moment in time, to forget; to just forget anything and everything. By the time the clock struck six-thirty he was lost in the unshakable, dead-tired sleep of a man who has demons on his tail and a the weight of the sky bearing down on his shoulders, and not even his restless, dark dreams could wake him.
Juliet O'Hara sat in a chair next to her partner's bed, her head resting ever so gently—she wasn't sleeping, she swore—on his cot. Lassiter had woken for a few brief moments—too brief for him to even comprehend anything around him, to brief to even be counted as consciousness—when he'd gotten out of surgery, but he hadn't woken since then. Yawning Juliet took a look at her watch. It was almost eight and she should probably go call Shawn to see if he was okay, since she hadn't even made sure he was okay earlier, but she couldn't bring herself to leave Lassiter's side.
He'd been so pale, and the blood…Juliet knew that she should be used to the blood and she was, just not when it was seeping out of her partner's body and staining everything it touched. It hadn't just been blood; it had been life. She'd watched as his life had started slipping away.
God, she never wanted to see something like that ever again.
A slight movement made her look up. Lassiter moved a little and then groaned. "Sweet Justice that hurts." He opened his eyes and Juliet grinned.
"Glad to see you're awake." Lassiter moved more and bit his lip. "Hold on," Juliet said. She stuck her head out into the hallway. "Excuse me, nurse?" One of them paused. "He's awake."
She bustled in and dosed him with morphine as one of the doctors entered. He looked at Juliet. "Family?"
Juliet pulled out her badge. "Partner. Do you need me to go away?"
"If you wouldn't mind." Juliet nodded and made her way out into the hallway, where she lingered rather than returning to the waiting room. A few minutes later the doctor emerged and tilted his head in her direction. She took that as a signal to return and re-entered the room. Lassiter was sitting up, a cup of ice chips on the table.
"Sit, O'Hara, and tell me what the hell happened."
Gus stared around his bedroom. He'd been there earlier, when the hospital had called, but he hadn't taken the time to look around. Half of the bed—his half—was neatly made, the other half a riot of jumbled sheets. Half of the clothes in his closet were neatly pressed and dry cleaned suits, dress pants, and button down shirts; the other half was a riot of brightly-colored t-shirts and everything from shorts to jeans to a single pair of nice pants. Gus collapsed onto the bed, his face buried into an orange pillow. Shawn's scent was ingrained in it.
The phone rang and Gus wearily picked it up. "Hello?"
"Mr. Guster, it's Chief Vick."
"Oh! Chief, any news on Shawn?"
"That's what I'm calling about, Gus. A traffic cop spotted his motorcycle in the parking lot of a motel in Hodge, CA." Gus groaned. "What? Is that bad?"
"Only if he gets to where he's going."
"Where is he going?"
Gus inhaled Shawn's scent and tried to calm himself. "Vegas." He reached under his bed and pulled out a red duffle bag. "Listen, Chief, thanks for the information. I've got to go."
"Shawn," was Gus' only reply before he hung up the phone and dropped it on the bed.
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