The moment Shawn walked into Chief Vick's office, he knew he was in trouble.
Lassiter and Juliet were already there, and as he closed the door behind him and crossed the room to his seat, he could feel all three of them watching him intently.
"What's going on?" He asked, his eyes darting nervously between them as he tried to figure out exactly what he was missing.
"It's not going to work, Chief." Lassiter said, ignoring Shawn's question.
"Well, he'll have to get a haircut…" Vick agreed thoughtfully, appraising Shawn with a critical eye.
"A haircut?" Shawn's hand instinctively covered the top of his head. "What are you talking about? Why would I need a haircut?"
Vick leaned back in her seat, crossing her legs and gently resting her elbows on the chair's arms.
"What do you know about the police academy, Mr. Spencer?" She asked.
Shawn shrugged, still eyeing them suspiciously.
"I dunno…the first movie was pretty good, but the sequels sucked. Why? Are we going to watch them?"
His face suddenly brightened.
"Can I get Snowcaps? I always get Snowcaps at the movies."
"No, Mr. Spencer." The Chief pressed on, ignoring the quip. "The actual police academy."
Shawn almost sounded disappointed as she picked a file up off her desk and handed it to him. He flipped through it quickly as she explained what he was looking at.
"Two cadets have died in training in the last month. Both on the obstacle course, both from apparent heart attacks, even though they both passed their physicals with flying colors and neither of them had any history of heart problems."
Shawn handed the file back to her, caught up now.
"And you're thinking it was murder?" He concluded.
Nothing unusual so far…
He'd look the case over and give it his usual, charming flavor…
Standard fake psychic procedure.
…But then, why were they all still staring at him like he was the last donut in the box…?
"I need you to get a psychic reading on what is going on there. We can't prove it yet, but it sure seems like someone is killing police recruits."
"On the Academy obstacle course?" Shawn looked doubtful. "Was there a climbing rope involved? Have you questioned all the local junior high gym teachers?"
Lassiter rolled his eyes and stood up gruffly.
"I told you it wouldn't work, Chief!" He barked. "You can't send him in undercover! With that smartass attitude of his, he'll wash out in a day!"
"Wait! Undercover?" Shawn looked as horrified as Lassiter as he suddenly realized what they were thinking…why he was the last donut… "Me? At the Academy? No, way!"
He shook his head adamantly, but Vick and Juliet weren't about to give up without a fight.
"Shawn, we have to find out what going on." Juliet said quietly. "We need someone on the inside."
"But why me?" Shawn demanded. "I don't even like obstacle courses! Or school! Or blue!"
"The Academy doesn't let just anyone in. You have to already work for the Department," Juliet explained.
"And we need someone who can pass the entrance exam by Saturday." Vick added. "We don't have time to get someone to study for it. If our agent doesn't pass on Saturday, we'll have to wait another three months before it's offered again. And I 've been told you already aced the detective's exam…"
"Yeah…" Shawn admitted, glaring at Lassiter. "When I was fifteen!"
"Then you won't have any problem with the entrance exam."
Shawn groaned, dropping his head into his hands.
"Not the Academy, Chief!" He pleaded. "Why couldn't I go undercover at the circus? Or a sorority house? I would totally wear a dress if I had to!"
"I'm not giving you an option, Mr. Spencer." The Chief said firmly. "You're on the police payroll, and you will take the cases assigned to you."
She stood up and handed Shawn a stack of papers.
"These are your application forms for the Academy. Have them filled out and on my desk by 5 o'clock."
Shawn sighed and reluctantly accepted the papers as he slowly made his way back to the office door.
"My dad had something to do with this, didn't he?" He muttered bitterly, though no one seemed to hear.
"This goes against every instinct I have." Lassiter groaned painfully, hesitantly taking his gun out of its holster and handing it to Shawn.
Shawn rolled his eyes and grabbed the piece.
"Relax, Lassie. I know what I'm doing. You just point the end with the bullets at the other guy."
He aimed it lazily down the shooting range, holding it sideways in one hand like a gangster in a movie.
"That's not how you hold it!" Lassiter snapped, snatching it away again.
"What?" Shawn blinked innocently. "That's how they do it on TV!"
"Listen, Spencer. If you're going to get into the Academy and actually pass as a recruit, you have to be able to fire a gun. This is how you hold it."
Lassiter clapped one hand firmly underneath the grip while the other slowly squeezed the trigger. Three rounds quickly unloaded, all landing squarely in the center of the paper target's chest.
"There." He grinned, handing the gun back to Shawn. "That's how you shoot."
"Oh…!" Shawn gasped in feigned awe.
He clapped his own hand underneath the grip and spread his legs shoulder-width apart in a mocking impression of Lassiter's stance.
"You know, Lassie. This isn't a very comfortable way to stand…" he murmured, lining the target up in his sights. "And I can only imagine how uncomfortable it must be with that stick up your--"
"Shut up, Spencer. Just shoot the damn gun."
Shawn turned his head away from the target and looked at Lassiter, continuing to talk as he emptied the gun down the range without so much as a glance.
"I don't see what the big deal with the whole gun thing is…" he said, not even flinching as the shots reverberated off the cement walls. "…I mean, how hard can it be?"
"Watch what you're doing, Spencer!" Lassiter shouted. "For God's sake, that's how you get people killed!"
He angrily hit the button on the wall, and the paper target came sailing up the range to where they were standing.
"Relax, Lassie. He's paper. I don't think he minds if I kill him." Shawn rolled his eyes, dropping the empty gun into Lassiter's hand.
Lassiter was about to launch into another lecture about proper shooting technique, but at that moment he happened to look at the target.
Across the black silhouette head was a perfect frowny face made of bullet holes, complete with two eyes, a nose, and a downward-arching mouth.
He stared at it in dumbfounded amazement, then finally looked at Shawn, who just shrugged.
"What?" Shawn grinned. "Is that good for my first time?"