Title: What Would It Take
Disclaimer: Man, I could be making so much money and I didn't know it? Damn. Just joking, I own nothing.
Summary: Five Father/Son moments between Shawn and Henry
Genre: Drama, with implied Shassy.
Rating: T, for a few naughty words.
Author's Notes: I keep reading stories where Henry is just downright mean to Shawn. Maybe I see it differently, but underneath Henry's cold demeanor, I see examples in nearly every episode that prove he loves his son. The following are five conversations between Henry and Shawn. Serious conversations. They might be a little OOC, but that's because it's serious, whereas the show is more funny. I just don't write funny all that well. Sorry.
Author's Notes 2: The first one clearly starts at the end of the season finale. I've seen epidodes where Shawn's mother is either in or mentioned in the flashbacks and in the pilot, Shawn tells his dad that he left to help his mother get over her divorce. However, his reaction to her showing up in the finale can only be described as total shock. Therefore I've ignored whatever mentions of her in the series at all and made it where she left when Shawn was eight. These can be read as a series of oneshots or as stand alones. The last three are clearly related and they kind of need to be read in order, but it's really not necessary.
What Would it Take
(You might want to read the Author's Notes first)
"Mom?" Shawn asked in disbelief, stepping back from the door.
Elizabeth stepped into the house, "Hello, Shawn," she greeted, giving him a hug. She looked over his shoulder, "Henry."
"Liz," Henry greeted.
Shawn shook his head in disbelief, "I can't believe this. I'm out of here." He left the house.
Elizabeth frowned, "Shawn," she called.
Shawn didn't turn around, "Save it mom," he called.
Henry glared at Elizabeth before taking off out the door after Shawn, "Shawn," he called, seeing Shawn getting on his bike.
Shawn paused, his helmet in his hands, "I'm not doing this dad," he stated.
Henry sighed, "She's your mother Shawn," he returned.
Shawn scoffed, "Please. Only biologically. She left before I was ten. Doesn't make her a mother. Just a person."
Henry gave him a long look, "And you've never ran?"
Shawn rolled his eyes, "I ran from you. And I still called every week, like clockwork. I told you where I was. Sent you letters, postcards."
Henry nodded, relenting Shawn's point. He remembered those phone calls. Came to depend on them. They let him know his son was alive. Let him know that his son still cared enough to call and let him know he was alright.
"But, she, she left. No contact for twenty damn years. No. That's different and you damn well know it. Her showing up doesn't make everything go away. Doesn't make everything right." He sighed, "You know dad," he started, staring down the street towards the beach, "I hated you for a lot of my childhood. You pushed, you pulled, nothing was ever good enough for you, I was always a disappointment..."
Henry sighed, "Thanks a lot, kid," he whispered, crossing his arms over his chest.
"But," Shawn continued, now looking down, "I never doubted that you cared for me." He put his helmet on, "I can't say the same about her. So, if you'll excuse me."
Henry sighed, "Will you at least go straight home? I don't like the idea of you riding around on this deathtrap while you're upset."
Shawn smiled, "I promise, Dad," he returned, starting the bike and driving down the street.
Henry sighed, hoping Shawn didn't run this time. He walked back up the walk, "So, Liz, what exactly are you doing here?" he asked, fighting to keep the worry out of his voice.
"Where is he going?" She asked, "I wanted to see my son. I came to see my son."
"After twenty years?" Henry returned, "He's going home, hopefully." He sighed, "If not, he'll call on Sunday night." He walked back into the house.
"Call on Sunday night? What are you talking about?" She followed him into the house.
Henry shrugged, "He tends to run when he doesn't want to deal with things," he explained. "If he runs, he'll call on Sunday. If not, he'll go home." He glared at her, "If you make him run, I'll..." he trailed off.
Elizabeth laughed, "You'll what, Henry," she asked, not taking him seriously.
Henry turned his back to her, "I told you not to come. I told you he wouldn't want to see you." He rubbed his head, turning back around, "I've tried very hard to get my son back over the last few years, and you may have just ruined it. So thank you, Elizabeth. Thanks a lot."
"Don't make the bad guy here, Henry. I couldn't breathe in this house. You were...and I was... I made my decision, but I refuse to take the full blame for this."
Henry glared at her in disbelief. "Are you kidding? Okay, you hate me, that's fine. We get divorced. You don't walk out of an eight year old's life. Never calling, no letters, nothing. He cried for weeks, thinking he'd done something wrong. And then you expect to walk back into it over twenty years later and expect everything to be okay. What the hell's the matter with you?" He stormed upstairs.
Shawn pounded on the door, "Dad! Open up." He knew he should have had a key around here somewhere, but that wasn't really an option right now. He beat his fist lightly against the door, resting his weight on it, unshed tears pooling in his eyes. "Please..." his voice was reduced to a whisper, "open the door."
Henry flipped the light switch, illuminating the stairs, walking to the door. "Damn it kid," he seethed. "This better be good, Shawn," he said a little louder as he unlocked and opened the door. He froze as he took in the sight of his son standing at his door.
Shawn pulled himself off the door just before it was opened. He managed to stay upright, steadying himself with the doorframe, "I need your help, dad," he whispered.
Henry reached for Shawn, "What the hell?" he asked, helping Shawn into the house. "Did you have an accident? I told you that motorcycle would be the death of you. Why aren't you at the hospital?" Shawn's clothes were torn, and he was bleeding from at least three places.
Shawn shook his head, "You have to help me," he whispered, echoing his earlier statement.
Henry reached for the phone, "I'm going to help you by getting you to the hospital," he returned.
Shawn backed towards the door, "No! No hospital!"
Henry sighed, "You know, this thing you have against hospitals, you have to let it go."
Shawn shook his head, "You spend six weeks in a bed," he returned, "and then tell me you want to go to the hospital. I didn't come here for that. I came here for help."
"That was your fault. You and that damn motorcycle," Henry roared, before taking deep breaths to control his anger. He walked to Shawn, "Come on, kid, let me take you to the hospital. I won't let them keep you. I'll bring you home."
Shawn shook his head, "I need your help."
Henry froze. That was the third time Shawn had said that. "With what?" he asked, feeling as if he'd finally asked the question Shawn had been waiting on.
Shawn looked at Henry, "To not run away."
Henry was confused, "To not..." he trailed off, horror on his face. He'd taken advantage of the last three years. It was the longest time he'd seen his son in one stretch since Shawn had left when he was 17. Running away was what Shawn did. Henry thought, was hoping, that Shawn had finally gotten that out of his system. He'd hoped they were rebuilding a relationship. He looked at Shawn, "How?" he asked. He wasn't sure how to handle this. Shawn had never come to him.
Shawn smiled, a soft, reassured smile, "Thanks," he whispered, and gave Henry a fierce hug, crying softly into his father's shirt.
Henry put his arms around Shawn awkwardly, not really remembering the last time he'd hugged his son. It had to have been at least 15 to 20 years. He was at a loss, but knew he still needed to get Shawn to the hospital. "How can I help you stay, Shawn," he asked, softly.
Shawn still had his face buried into Henry's shirt, "I need you to take me to the police station," he whispered. "Then the hospital."
Henry froze, "'The police station'," he echoed, "Why?"
Shawn took a deep breath, "I need to report a crime," he whispered.
Henry pulled back to hold Shawn at arms length. "What kind of crime?" he whispered, fearing the worst. "Shawn, did you do something..."
Shawn tore out of his arms, "What? No. Jeez, Dad," he walked to the door, his gait awkward, "thanks for the unwavering confidence. I mean, damn, I came to you for help." He broke down, "I came to you for help." He leaned against the door, sliding to the floor.
Henry ran a hand over his head, before sitting next to Shawn on the floor, "I'm sorry, kid," he whispered, putting an arm around Shawn's shoulders. "What happened?"
Shawn curled into Henry's side, "I didn't invite it, Dad. I swear. I was just walking to the bike. That's all. I swear. They took everything. My cell phone, my wallet, keys, my bike. I was leaving the office; Gus has been in LA all week for some conference. I don't know if it was because I was alone, I don't know..."
Henry cursed under his breath, "I'ts okay, Shawn." He tightened his hold.
Shawn continued speaking, "My first instinct was to run. It always is. But I'm tired of running. So I came here."
"I'm glad," Henry returned. "Okay, let's go to the station. I'm calling Lassiter." He stood, the phone still in his hand.
Shawn followed, taking the phone from Henry's hand, "No. No Lassy. No Jules." He stated firmly.
Henry sighed, "Okay. Come on. You need to be in the hospital, so the sooner you get done at the police station, the sooner I can get you there." He took the phone back from Shawn, setting it on the table. He helped Shawn to his feet and led him to the truck.
Shawn got off his motorcycle and took off his helmet. He could see his dad on a ladder, cleaning out his gutters.
Henry looked over his shoulder when he heard his son's motorcycle pull up in the driveway, "I could use a little help over here," he called out.
Shawn sighed, walking into the garage to grab the other ladder.
Henry paused, watching Shawn in disbelief. He couldn't remember the last time his son had done something he'd asked without an argument before. He shrugged, continuing to clean out the gutters, not pausing when he heard the ladder hit the roof next to him. Shawn climbed the ladder and silently began working.
Henry glanced at him, "So, what case brings you here this time," he asked.
Shawn shook his head, "No case." He took a deep breath, "Dad, can we have dinner on Saturday?"
Henry paused his work completely to stare at Shawn in disbelief. "Dinner? You want to have dinner?"
Shawn nodded, "Yeah. I was wondering if you would mind if we had dinner."
Henry thought about that for a moment, "Just us?" he asked.
Shawn diligently continued to dig leaves out of the gutter, "Not exactly," he returned.
Henry pounced on that information, "Shawn," he sighed, "I really don't want a repeat of last time you brought someone home for dinner."
Shawn rolled his eyes, "Dad, come on, I was 16. And Jenna was a nice girl. Even you said so."
Henry smiled, "Yes, she was. But she kept flirting with me. It was unnerving."
"She did that with everyone, Dad," Shawn responded. "It was one of the reasons I liked her so much. She could make you nervous. Not many of my dates could pull that off. Most were scared of you."
Henry sighed, "Still..."
Shawn sighed, "Think about it dad. I was 16 the last time I brought someone home for dinner. What does that tell you?"
Henry focused his attention solely on Shawn, "It tells me that you're serious. Are you serious Shawn?" he asked, "You want to bring some girl home for dinner? For what, my approval?" His approval had never mattered to Shawn before.
Shawn nodded, still avoiding Henry's gaze, "It is serious, Dad," he returned. "Almost six months serious. And yes, I would like your approval. Is that so wrong?" He finished cleaning the section of gutter in front of him and, in leiu of climbing down the ladder just to move it and climb back up it, merely climbed onto the roof to continue cleaning.
Henry stilled, "Get down from there before you hurt yourself," he chided.
"This is easier," Shawn replied.
Henry sighed, resting his elbows on the gutter, "Okay," he relented. "Bring your girlfriend over on Saturday. We'll have dinner. What's her name?"
Shawn looked down at the roof, his hands stilled. "Dad, um..."
Henry sighed, putting his head in his hands, "So much for grandchildren," he mumbled, looking back up at Shawn, "What's his name, then?"
Shawn continued to look down, "Um, you're not really gonna believe this..."
Henry looked at him, "It's not Gus, is it?" he asked.
Shawn's startled eyes shot to Henry, "No, of course not. Gus gets twitchy whenever I even hint at my sexuality, you know that."
Henry nodded, his thoughts racing. He couldn't come up with any other candidates, but Shawn had hinted that this was someone he knew. He looked at Shawn, "Well, who is it, then?"
Shawn sighed, dropping his eyes, "Carlton," he whispered.
Henry was sure his surprise showed on his face, "Lassiter?" he asked in shock. Shawn nodded, keeping silent. Henry took a deep breath, "You don't do anything easy, do you kid?" He couldn't wrap his head around this, "You do know what this could do to his career, don't you?" he whispered, hoping his voice didn't contain accusations, because that wasn't his intention.
Shawn nodded, "That's why we haven't told anyone." He looked up at Henry, "I know it's stupid, dad. I know it's dangerous. I know that he deserves better. And I'm very well aware of what this could do to his career. But I can't help it." He sighed, "I love him," he whispered.
Henry nodded, accepting that as fact. This was the second time Shawn had requested Henry meet one of his dates, and the first time his son had ever mentioned the word 'love' concerning anyone. He clapped Shawn on the shoulder, "Bring him over. We'll have dinner."
Shawn smiled, "Thanks, Dad."
Shawn was sitting in the bathroom when Henry found him. His knees were pulled up to his chest, tears falling unchecked from his eyes. He sat next to his son, "Hey," he whispered.
Shawn looked at him, "What are you doing here?" he asked, furiously wiping his eyes of tears. Henry would see crying as a weakness.
"Looking for you," Henry responded. "I heard what happened." He took in their surroundings, "May I ask why are you hiding in the men's room?"
Shawn shrugged, "They don't know," he explained, speaking softly, "They can't know. I can't explain." He looked at his dad, "I'm pretty sure this," he gestured to himself, "would give me away. I can't do that to him." He rested his chin on his knees and closed his eyes.
Henry sighed, "Damn, kid," he whispered, putting an arm around Shawn's shoulder, "Why can't you do things the easy way?"
"It's not worth it if you don't have to work for it," Shawn replied, and damn, Henry knew that statement was going to come back and bite him in the ass. Shawn turned to Henry, "Do you have any news?" he asked.
Henry sighed, "I ran into Karen when I got here. He's out of surgery, but not awake. She's going to call when he wakes up." He looked at Shawn; he'd never seen Shawn this upset. Not since his mother had left. "You really love him, don't you?"
Shawn sighed, nodding, "So much it's terrifying," he intimated.
Henry sighed, "Is he as serious about you?" he whispered. Because Henry couldn't wrap his head around this. As serious and affectionate as Lassiter had been at the dinner they'd had, a secret relationship? That couldn't be conducive to a good relationship.
Shawn let out a shaky breath, "Yeah." He looked down, "His divorce was finalized last month." He looked Henry, "He wants to make me his life insurance and pension benefactor. I told him not to."
Henry raised his eyebrows, "At the risk of sounding like a gossiping woman, why not? Seems like that's a pretty big step. Figured, what with how serious you are, that would be something that would make you happy."
Shawn shrugged, "It would mean the end of his career. He shouldn't throw away his dreams because of me."
Henry marveled, "You've finally become responsible," he mumbled. He squeezed Shawn's shoulder, "But he wants to."
Shawn nodded, "I know. It's just...it's a really big step. Contrary to what you may think, coming out isn't easy.
Henry nodded, "I can imagine. Just think about it. Obviously, it's something he wants." He changed the subject, "So, what happened today?" He'd gotten the story from Karen, but wanted to hear it from Shawn's point of view.
Shawn shuddered. "There was blood everywhere." He looked at Henry, "I've been to crime scenes before, but nothing like this." His eyes were filled with hurt and despair, "How could you want me to have to deal with that all the time? You're my father. Father's are supposed to protect their children, but you, you wanted..."
Henry took a deep breath, pulling Shawn into his side, "I wanted you to rise to your fullest potential. Your gift, Shawn, it's amazing. I wanted you to help people with it."
Shawn nodded, "I do help people with it, Dad," he returned.
Henry smiled softly, "I was leaning more towards helping people legally, but well, what can I say?" He felt, more than heard, Shawn's chuckle, and sighed, "But I never wanted to cause you pain." He looked down, "I wanted you to understand," he whispered.
Shawn looked up at him, "Understand?" he echoed, "understand what?"
Henry looked straight ahead, "There are a lot of things I'd like to go back and change about your childhood, Shawn, but that's not possible. I wanted you to understand why I did the things I did. Why I acted the way I did. Why I pushed you, why I never..."
Shawn stared at his father in awe, "You wanted me to stop hating you," he stated.
Henry nodded, "I thought that if you walked in my shoes, you'd understand me a little better." He looked down at Shawn, "I just never thought that it worked both ways. I never bothered to try and walk in your shoes to understand you better."
Shawn nodded, "I think we both understand each other a little better."
Henry sighed, "You ready to head back out yet?"
Shawn shook his head, "Can we sit here a little longer?"
He sounded so much like the five year old who didn't want to go to bed that Henry couldn't help but smile, "Sure we can, kid," he whispered.
Shawn walked into his father's house, "Dad," he called, "Where are you?"
"Out here," Henry replied, his voice coming from the garage. He poked his head out of the truck, grabbing a rag to clean his hands. He met Shawn in the kitchen, "What's up, kid?"
Shawn paced the kitchen, "I need to talk to you."
Henry nodded, "You told me that when you called to say you and Lassiter were coming over for dinner tonight. Which wasn't supposed to be for another seven hours. What's going on?"
Shawn took a deep breath, "Carly wanted to tell you tonight, together, but, well, you don't take surprises that well, and, um..."
Henry followed Shawn with his eyes, "What is it, Shawn?" he asked, suppressing the urge to roll his eyes.
"We're planning a trip. Out East," Shawn stated, still pacing.
Henry leaned against the counter, his eyebrows raised, "That's what you wanted to tell me?" he asked in disbelief, wondering why that would have Shawn all worked up.
Shawn paused in his pacing, "We're, um...well, we're going to meet Carly's family, and, um, we're..."
Henry stared at Shawn, waiting, "You're what?" he prompted, "Moving there? Adopting a kid, what?"
"We're getting married!" Shawn blurted out before freezing.
Henry's eyes grew large, "Married?" he echoed in shock. Of all the things he'd been expecting, he had to admit that hadn't been one of them.
Shawn looked down shyly, "He asked. I couldn't say no." He looked up at Henry, "I didn't want to say no."
Henry nodded dumbly, "Well, um..." he fumbled for words. Shawn was looking at him expectantly, "I'm...congratulations." He took a deep breath, "So, I'll see you tonight." He turned back towards the garage, needing to think about this.
Shawn sighed, "That's not exactly what I came to talk to you about," he whispered.
Henry froze, slowly pivoting, "You are adopting a child?" he asked.
Shawn grinned, "Not yet," he whispered, before the grin dropped off his face, "We...I, I was wondering if you wanted to be there," he whispered.
Henry stared at his son in awe, "You want me to be there?" he asked in disbelief.
Shawn shrugged, "You're my dad. I'm getting married. It might not be conventional; it might not be what you always pictured." He paused, looking at his dad, "Okay, sometimes pictured?" He sighed, "Look," he began, "I know this isn't exactly how you pictured this happening, and I know Carly isn't the exact daughter-in-law that you dreamed of." He walked to Henry, "But that doesn't make it any less serious." He was whispering now, "Doesn't make it any less life-changing, any less real." He took a deep breath, "And I want my family to be there."
Henry was in shock, "Your family," he echoed.
Shawn nodded, "Yeah, my family. Gus...and you," he explained. He could see the shock on his father's face and backed up quickly, "But, only if you want to," he hastily added.
Henry regained his composure and walked over to Shawn, "Do I have to wear a suit?" he asked.
Shawn grinned, "Not if you don't want to," he returned. "We leave on Friday. That okay?"
Henry nodded, "I'll be ready." He walked back to the garage, "So, I'll see you tonight for dinner?"
Shawn nodded, "Yeah, around 7. We'll be here." He walked to the door, "So, we're okay?" he asked, "You're okay with this?"
Henry grinned, "Go on, kid." He turned back around, "Oh, and Shawn, really, congratulations."
Shawn smiled, blushing slightly, "Thanks," he whispered.
(So, what did you think? Love it? Hate it? Want to cover me with acid? Review!)