Lifeline

A/N: Here it is. The chapter dividers used in this separate the original one-shots in "Angst Junkie's Fix". Each section is a bit extended, and after the last 'one-shot' section, the new section will be the resolution. Just to make sure everything makes sense.

And for those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, the labels (Silence, Questioning, and Blood) are for three one-shots on a series of mine currently not archived. If you haven't read the originals, just ignore all those labels and stuff.

Enjoy!


Silence

Henry raised his head weakly as some strange noise filled his room. What the hell was that thing?

Oh. His cell phone. Damn. Some weird chimes ringtone.

Caller ID said…Shawn. Who the hell else would call at three in the morning?

"Shawn," Henry answered groggily. "What ever it is you want, it can wait until morning."

"Sorry, daddy dearest," a voice that did not sound like Shawn's. "This is too…urgent…to wait until morning-"

"Whatever your newest stupid little prank is, you're not stringing me along. I'm still asleep…what do you want this early?"

"Henry, oh Henry. Time to wake up," the voice called him.

"Shawn?" He asked the voice didn't belong to his son.

"No, but he's here. Say hi to Daddy, Shawn," the angry voice said. A scream of pain in a familiar voice had Henry's eyes open in a flash.

He sat up, stiff as a board, helpless but to listen at his son's screaming.

"STOP!" Henry shouted almost reflexively. And within a moment, the screaming stopped, though Henry could still hear Shawn's whimpering and heavy breathing in the background.

"I suggest you be nicer to me, Mr. Spencer," the voice said.

"W-who are you? What do you want? What's going on-"

"Shut up or Shawnie-boy here gets round two, got it?"

Henry swallowed.

"What do you want? Please, just don't hurt my son."

"You do exactly what I say," the mysterious voice said. "And Shawnie-boy gets to leave without another scratch, got it?"

"Yes," Henry agreed immediately.

"DAD!" He heard Shawn rasp out. "Don't listen. He wants you to-"

"Shut up-"

"No-AAAAARGH!"

"Shawn!" Henry cried out. He could feel his chest tightening as he heard his son screaming again. After a few more moments, the screaming died down to more whimpering.

"I love stun guns, don't you?" The voice said sweetly.

"Please," Henry said. "I'll do anything. Just let. Shawn. Go!"

"Aw, but without him here, it's no fun," the man said. "Now shut up and listen. It's your own damn fault I have him here. You took me away from my son. Now I'm taking you away from yours. Unless, of course, you're willing to come here. Alone. You get to replace Shawn, and go through what he's going through right now."

"Fine," Henry said immediately.

"DAD, NO-"

"Shawn!" Henry cried out as Shawn's screaming filled the phone line again. Ice pumping through his veins, Henry shouted to the jackass doing this, "Please, stop!"

He did. Except this time, instead of whimpering or heavy breathing, there was…nothing.

"Unconscious or dead?" the voice asked. Why was he asking Henry-

"I don't know," another, softer, voice in the background answered.

"Well, sorry, Henry," the voice said back to him. "But in case Shawn is alive, you better come. Alone. No calling the cops, because I'll know, and no trying to visit any detective, because I'll also know then. Alone."

"Fine," Henry said panicking, already pulling on some jeans, and looking for his hand-gun. "Where?"

"Look on your doorstep. Where it all went down. You have half an hour to get here."

And then there was nothing. Henry's eyes widened, and he dropped his phone onto the bed and ran down the stairs like a flash and nearly wrenched open his door. At first, he was slightly confused. It was just a newspaper…

But the paper-girl didn't deliver until about five. It was only about a quarter past four. He picked it up…

The paper was dated almost fifteen years ago.

Actually…Henry double check. There was a specific article wrapped inside yesterday's newspaper. The article…oh, shit.

Henry knew who it was. He also knew where he had to go.

The panicked ex-cop ran back upstairs. He grabbed his phone, and almost holstered his gun...except that might give him away. So he did one thing he always told everyone not to do: he pulled it out and stuffed it in his pocket.

He ran back outside and started his truck, tires squealing out of there in a way he previously thought was only possible in the stupid movies Shawn liked so much.

He wouldn't call the police. But he doubted that the psycho who had Shawn would expect Henry to have the chief of police's home phone number.

Henry made it a point to stay in touch with all his old partners, Karen included.

"Hello?" the female voice answered, sounding about as tired as he was not even half an hour ago. "Karen Vick, speaking."

"Karen-"

"Henry? Do you know what time it is-"

"Shawn's been kidnapped!"

A paused.

"What?"

"Listen, remember that case I first told about when you were a rookie? About why it's so important to do everything legally?"

It took her a moment to remember.

"Yeah. You and your old partner screwed up, and some child abuser who should have gone to prison for life only got about fifteen years. Why?"

"Well, it's been fifteen years. He's out. And he's pissed. And he has Shawn. And I don't know what's going on, but I heard screaming. A lot of it. I'm headed to where it went down – you know where that is – but he wants me there alone-"

"I'll get a few silent units headed that way," Karen said. "Where are you?"

"Heading there."

"Henry, you can't-"

"My son might be dead, Karen. And if he's not, I'm going to make sure it doesn't happen."

"Henry-"

Henry shut the phone, and all Karen would hear was silence.

(Extended After This Point)

She stared at her phone in shock.

"What the hell are you thinking?"

"Who's thinking what?" Nathan asked from the other side of the bed.

"My old beat partner," she said. "The one made the first toast at our wedding. His son was just kidnapped by a couple of psychos and he's going after them alone. His son is my psychic! I'm sorry, Nate, but I have to go…"

She hopped out of the bed and practically shoved herself into her clothes.

"I'm sorry, Nate…I have to go…remember to give Iris her prescription formula for that cold!" She called softly over her shoulder as she ran out the bedroom door. She zipped out, calling her detectives and telling them the who, what, when, where, and why.

As she finished the call, she snapped her phone shut and pulled up to the precinct.

She paused when she parked, and looked up at the ceiling of her car.

Please, Henry…please, be okay.


Questioning

Henry drove like a maniac straight to the abandoned house on the edge of town. He knew he broke a couple of driving laws, but honest to god, he really didn't care. He had to get to Shawn. He had to save Shawn.

It was his fault Shawn was being tortured, anyway. But how the hell could Johnson just get to Shawn like that?

He didn't care. Really, he didn't – not right now. All he cared about was making sure Shawn was all right. Because he really just had to be. He had to be, because Henry didn't know what he'd do without Shawn.

He swerved down a road and drove straight for the house. Of course, it was a two mile road…but now, no intersections, nothing – he kicked it into high gear and raced at breakneck speeds, barely slowing down when he needed to.

The retired police officer Skidded to a halt outside that house and cut the engine.

"Shawn? SHAWN!" Henry said, running into the house.

His eyes narrowed at the maniacal man leaning against a wall in the hallway. Henry's eyes narrowed.

"Anderson," he spat.

"Oh, Henry," the man said. "Call me Johnny. I thought we'd be on a first name basis by now."

"What the hell do you want? Where's Shawn?"

The man slowly shook his head.

"You underestimated me, Henry. Phone lines are so easy to tap. Especially cell phones. Including yours. You didn't listen to me. Now Shawn is going to pay the price."

Henry ran forward and pinned the man to the wall, his face almost alarmingly close to Anderson's.

"WHERE IS HE?"

"Now, now," the man said. Henry heard an unmistakable click from below, and sure enough, he felt the pistol pressing up against his stomach. "No need to get rude. I suggest you let go of me before the cops arrive only to find your guts all over that wall."

Henry was tempted to dare the guy to shoot, but he knew he couldn't help Shawn if he was dead. He glared but slowly backed up.

"Hands up," the man said carefully. Henry obliged. Anderson reached into his pocket and pulled out the gun, cocked it, and pointed it at Henry.

"Did you really think I wouldn't see that coming?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.

The door opened again, this time to reveal another, younger, man. Henry knew him, too. Arrested ten years ago for assault.

"Clarkson," Henry acknowledged. "So what, you two are teaming up against me?"

"You arrested both of us," Clarkson said. "So we got out roughly around the same time. Thought we'd get our…compensation on you."

Henry shook his head as Anderson handed his gun to Clarkson.

"Where's. Shawn?"

"Oh," Clarkson said merrily. "I just dropped him off. Don't worry, he's fine. At least, he will be until the gas bomb goes off."

As both those men laughed, Henry paled.

"Andrew," Anderson said. "Did you remember to bring the handcuffs?"

"Right here," Clarkson said almost sadistically, holding them up.

"What do you want?"

"Well," Andrew said. "There's obviously been a change in plans, hasn't there?"

Before Henry knew it, both men suddenly pinned him against the wall, before sliding him down right next to the radiator. Henry brought his arms up in the confusing flurry of bodies and arms, but they both just grabbed one each and pinned it against the bar of the radiator, and Henry felt the cold metal entrapping him against to the house as the men stepped away.

"There, there," the man said. "Unfortunately, none of us can be with Shawn right now. Don't worry – you'll still be bale to see his last moments. Eventually."

With that, both men went upstairs to get what they called 'the tech', and Henry quickly looked over his shoulder.

Finally – God chose now to give him something to work with.

These guys were amateurs in this area. He quickly propped himself up on his knees, before trying to stand. Seeing as his hand could only go two feet up the wall on the bar, that made him have to bend back at an awkward angle.

His back was killing him, a byproduct of old age, but he brought his leg up as best as he could and kicked the wall, right were the two bars of metal at the bottom met.

Some of the ancient plaster fell off, but it was still intact. Beat nothing, though. He could see the unstable part and kicked again.

Now, there was a small hole in the wall. He rattled the metal, but while it did sway heavily, it was still stuck. One more kick, however, should do it.

He brought his leg up as high as possible and kicked down painfully hard.

He felt the impact pain from his foot to his hip, but when the side of the radiator fell free, it was completely worth it.

He heard their footsteps, and quickly dropped himself down again, and pulled up on the radiator with his shoulder as best as he could, enough to slip the cuffs out from underneath, and under his own feet as well.

His wrists were still stuck together, but at least now they were in front.

Clarkson appeared first, holding both guns, while Anderson appeared to be carrying a bunch of computers and wires around with him.

Anderson ran for another door, while Clarkson came after Henry, trying to use the gun to knock him out.

Henry, however, managed to dodge the gun and looped his cuffed hands around his neck and tried to bash his head into a wall.

Clarkson slipped out before any damage could actually be done, and he flipped the gun in his hand, took aim right at Henry's head and pulled the trigger.

But when he did, Henry was already ducking and running head-first for Clarkson's stomach.

He heard a car squealing away, but Clarkson didn't seem too worried about that. Damnit, he had another car!

Seeing as Clarkson suddenly had Henry in a painful neck-hold, this did not bode well.

But Henry stamped on the bastard's foot and simultaneously elbowed him in the stomach, releasing him at once. Henry tried to swing at his head again, but missed and hit his chest almost painfully.

For a moment, all Henry was aware of was a flurry of limbs, fists, feet, bullets, and bangs. But then a different sounding bang rang out, and suddenly, there were even more limbs in the picture.

Henry around himself being ripped away, while several officers were holding onto the nearly hysterical and largely hostile Clarkson.

"He has my son!" Henry shouted out, trying to get to him but being held back by other officers. "He knows where my son is! Let go of me, they're going to kill Shawn!"

"We got that," another, and somewhat gentle looking, officer said. "We like Shawn, trust me. We're getting him down there and Lassiter is going to find out where Shawn is. You used to work the beat, you know the drill. It's better this way."

Henry's heavy breathing slowly started getting back to normal.

"Please," he said. "You don't get it…I have to get Shawn…you don't even care-"

"I do," the officer said. "He's a friend of mines. He saved my life from a serial killer. I even invited him to be a groomsman at my wedding, so yes, I do care."

Henry slowly nodded, only vaguely noting his surroundings as they got him to the car.

"Please," the officer said as another one turned on the siren and started driving. "What is going on? What do you know that we don't?"

"Jonathan Anderson," Henry said. "Fifteen years ago, he beat one of his kids to death. He was supposed to get at least twenty, if not life. But me and my partner screwed up some evidence, and the legal system let him get off with only fifteen years. His main complain was being taken away from his other kid. Andrew Clarkson, arrested ten years ago for aggravated assault. Landed a guy in a coma. He also bitched about losing his daughter. Now both of them are getting revenge on me by hurting Shawn."

The man nodded. Henry could see him swallowing.

"You really know my son, don't you?" Henry asked almost warily.

He smiled.

"I get him a Vanilla-Pineapple Smoothie every morning. And I'm usually the one to keep a lookout for Lassiter when Shawn's rearranging his desk or something."

"That would make you Buzz McNabb?" Henry asked. He nodded. "Shawn brags about you all the time. Said…actually, that is weird. Keeps saying if I had been nice as a cop, I'd have been you. Whatever that means."

Buzz only grinned.

"Don't worry. Shawn saved my life, so I'm saving his."

"We're here!" The other cop said.

"Thanks," he said. "Let's go. Lassiter's already putting Clarkson through the ringer."

Henry didn't need another word. He bolted out of the car and ran into the precinct, and zipped passed the officers, all of whom knew to get out of the way, and Henry nearly skidded to a stop outside the interrogation room just as Lassiter slammed his hand right onto a table, making Clarkson jump in his seat.

Alongside the police officers slowly building up watching the interrogation, Henry walked up to the one who'd have a clue.

"O'Hara," Henry said. "Anything, yet?"

"Tons," was all Juliet said, smiling. Obviously, whatever it was, it was good news. "Carlton's that good. We got tons…even though we just started the questioning."

(Extended After This Point)

There was a pause, and they watched Lassiter start the 'bad cop' act on the man.

"I'm also going to have to go in," Juliet said. "Buzz, stay here with him."

With that she slipped in to complete the 'good cop, bad cop' act.

Ten minutes. The man was stone silent. He didn't even seem to hear Lassiter or Jules. Which Henry knew was entirely possible.

"We'll be back," was all Lassiter said at some point, and they left.

"Nothing," Henry snarled.

Lassiter shook his head.

"We'll…work on it. Just…we need a break." He started walking out.

"But Shawn-"

"What can we do?" Lassiter ask. "Nothing. We're going to get that damn coffee and think of a new angle to approach this from, and while he slowly cracks down from absolutely silence, then maybe, just maybe, it'll help towards our side."

Henry remained stone still, but walked after them, anyway.

Buzz McNabb, if nothing else, would make his career with his excellent coffee, that was for sure.

"Let's just go with 100 'bad cop' routine," Lassiter ended the ten minute coffee break with. He paused and looked at Henry. "Do me a favor. Stay here. You need it. We're going to need you when we go after Spencer."

Henry sighed and nodded. At this point, he didn't know if he could handle watching that man help in Shawn's possible eventual death by not talking without snapping and strangling the man until he spilled.

"Agreed."

With that, they went ahead. McNabb stayed behind to stay with Henry.

"You really care about Shawn, don't you?" Buzz asked.

"Of course," Henry snapped. "But I suppose he spreads around the rumors that I'm a dictating, control freak tyrant?"

"Kinda…"

"…and?"

"Says you're a good cop. A great one, actually. Says you're a terrible person, but a good cop and good detective."

Henry blinked. He…that wasn't something he'd expected of Shawn.

There were several tensely silent minutes, before suddenly, Juliet and two beat boys walked in.


Blood

"So what did you find so far?" Henry asked her about Clarkson's interrogation.

"Where Shawn's being kept."

Henry's eyes widened.

"WHERE?!"

"The warehouse across town, off the 101 and down Crescent Lane. SWAT team is already headed there. Come on!"

With that, several of the officers and Juliet were already running out.

"What about Carlton?" Henry asked as they started walking with a Lieutenant behind them calling out orders.

"He's still got a bad knee, so he's just going to try and focus on getting so more information form Clarkson."

Henry nodded and started running practically towards the cars.

"Henry!"

He snapped back when the chief called out his name.

"Karen?"

"You…you can't go. I won't let you get hurt."

Henry's eyes narrowed.

"This," he said darkly. "Is my son. And I'll be damned if I just stay back when he's being threatened by a bomb. Don't you dare-"

They were interrupted by his phone ringing. He was about to just yap at whoever it was…

But it was a text message. And the caller ID said it was from Shawn.

"It's from Shawn's phone!" Henry said. He flipped open his phone, and his face paled.

"Well?" Karen asked. "What…?"

He turned it around to face her.

The picture was of Shawn, covered in the horrible purple marks an the eerily familiar crimson was coating him all over.

The message read, Say goodbye, daddy!


"FASTER!" Henry pleaded to Juliet.

Rather than arguing, she just obliged.

Pedal to the metal at a speed that had Henry convinced they should be flying, or at least surrounded by sparks.

But soon enough, with it all being a blur, Henry was silently sneaking along behind the rest of the cops he was surrounded with.

The door blasted open, and suddenly, gunshots went flying.

That Buzz kid knocked Henry to the ground to protect him.

"Shawn…" Henry gasped out.

"Argh!" Anderson's voice rang out when Henry heard the rather distinct sound of a bullet hitting flesh. Must not be that vital, whatever it was that was hit. Henry shoved that kid off of him and ran up.

"Where's Shawn?" Henry asked Juliet, panicked.

"I can't find him!" Juliet said. She immediately whipped around to Anderson.

"Where is he?"

Anderson didn't respond, clutching his thigh in agony.

Almost immediately, Juliet started barking orders at them to start searching around for Shawn.

"He must be in one of the crates," Henry breathed out.

"Then shut the hell up!" Juliet suddenly cried out. After a moment, there was no sound…

…except for the sound of whimpering.

"That one!" Buzz said, running over to a crate three crates over. It was rather large, and a hard knock on it made it sound hollow.

"Get a toolbox here!" Henry yelled out. "Shawn's in there!"

Within moments, the side of the crate was being ripped open…

…and the first sight that hit everyone was all the blood.

--

--

Henry stared in shock. Shawn was huddled in a corner of the crate, arms wrapped around himself tightly, sobbing almost silently and whimpering. He was also lying in an extremely thin, shallow pool of his own blood.

His son was covered in gashes, clothes nearly ripped apart and barely hanging on. His entire body was covered in red and that sickly yellow color of fresh bruising. And the way he kept spasming…

Henry spotted the stun gun that the bastard on the floor with a bleeding leg had dropped.

"Shawn!"

Henry ran into the large crate and tried to place his hands on Shawn's shoulders. But there must've been some head injuries, because Shawn jerked away with a cry of fear, not recognizing Henry.

"Please," Shawn begged, head hanging low, shaking slowly, sounding almost eerily like a lost, scared child. "Please, stop it…please make it stop…please…"

Henry swallowed as he felt his heart being torn out of his chest, valve by valve, vein by vein, artery by artery…

"The EMT's are on their way," Juliet said. "We're lucky – we're close to the hospital."

Henry could tell she was on the verge of crying. All the officers were.

Suddenly, Henry's grief was replaced with something else: anger.

The other officers saw it.

They backed away from Anderson as Henry got up and stormed him.

"WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU DONE TO MY SON?!?!?"

Anderson still managed to smirk cruelly at Henry.

"Just…enough to…hurt you…so you can blame…all of this…on yourself…"

Henry knew that the bastard was saying that on purpose, just to push the right buttons. That didn't make this realization any less painful. And that didn't make punching the bastard in the nose any less satisfying.

Dutifully, one of those other officers pulled Henry off (muttering about how the guy could still report him) and pulled the guy up.

One last hate-filled glare and Henry ran back to Shawn in the crate, but made sure to keep his distance.

"How much longer till the EMT's get here?" Henry practically begged from Juliet.

They heard sirens in the distance.

"Does that answer your question?" Juliet asked. Henry nodded, and EMT's ran in, a gurney between them.

"Be careful," Henry said. "He…he's…"

"We know," one of the EMT's said. "Can you talk him down? We'd rather not use sedatives, but it looks bad enough we might have to…"

Henry sighed.

"I'll try…"

He whipped around and slowly walked forward.

"Shawn," he said quietly. "Shawn…it's me…dad…"

"Please," Shawn said. "Make it stop…"

"Shawn…do you recognize me?"

"Please…dad, please, make it stop…"

Henry's eyes widened. Shawn recognized him, somewhat.

"Shawn, please," he said. "There are some people here…they can make it stop…"

Shawn didn't calm down, but the erratic muttering paused, and Henry continued.

"They can make it stop hurting…they can help you…you just have to let them near you…I promise, when they touch you, they'll do their best not to hurt. It will sting a lot, but it won't hurt…"

Five-year-old kidnapping his voice, Shawn mumbled, "Promise?"

Henry nodded.

"When have you known me to forget a promise? I promised to help you with that case, and I did…I promised to lay off your back on that bike when you got the new helmet, and I did…I promised to make you clean my gutters, and I did…"

Shawn's lip twitched at that, and Henry smiled again. He was reaching Shawn. He took another step forward, and held out his hand.

"Shawn…please, it will sting a lot, but it won't hurt…just let us help you…"

Sanity starting to come back home, Shawn slowly nodded, just twice. He tried to grab for Henry's hand, but it was too badly hurt.

So Henry gently took Shawn's hand for him.

"I think it'll be all right," Henry called out to those EMT's.

They quickly ran in, and started checking on him, bandaging what they could and one of them gave him a mild painkiller, all they could for right now. All the while, Henry kept a firm but gently grip on Shawn's hand, muttering reassurances to him, telling him to stay still…

They got him onto the gurney and loaded into the ambulance, and the whole time, Henry never let go of Shawn's hand. Henry knew at this point, he was quite possibly Shawn's only anchor. He'd let Shawn down before, but it wasn't going to happen again.

"Don't worry, Shawn," Henry said as they started driving. "I got ya, all right?"

Shawn smiled weakly and nodded.

Henry smiled back and set a gentle hand on Shawn's leg as his son tightened his grip on his hand…his lifeline.


A/N: I have no idea why I stuck to the thing of only using the title as the last word…but I did. Go figure – I think I'm just crazy like that.