A/N: First of all, I had to put up a physical fight to get this chapter uploaded. I don't know why this site hates me right now...probably because I took so long to update? Sorry!!! Life is busy...and when its at its busiest, I write...go figure. But here it is...the final installment. Thanks so much for sticking with me through my numerous long breaks! Special thanks to those who took the time to review. I so very much appreciate it!! So here it is, to wrap it all up.
If you had told Lassiter that he would be ending this day trapped in an interrogation room with a dog, he would have scoffed, asked how much Spencer had paid you to say that, and then, more likely than not, he would have shot you for being so ridiculous. However, as the Santa Barbara Police Department's head detective sat uncomfortably in a metal chair, staring at the panting collie in front of him, he wished someone had told him. That way, he could have shot himself hours ago, saving him from this humiliation.
"Alright, I'm all done here, detective." Dr. Hill said, packing up his things. "She should be fine now. The girl just needs a good rest."
Lassiter was snapped from his thoughts which were filled with ideas about how to get Buzz assigned to this menial task instead of him. Unfortunately, Mcnab's cat was deathly afraid of dogs and the stupid mutt had developed some sort of bond with Lassiter, following him around despite his warnings of euthanasia. "Thank you. You can leave your report with the front desk."
The veterinarian gave a polite nod and left the room, leaving Lassiter to finish off a staring contest with the mutt. Lassiter lost. Grumbling and cursing his fate, the detective hooked a leash to the animal's collar. "Let's go, mutt."
The collie stood and stared up at him obediently.
"Don't you dare try to get on my good side." Lassiter growled. The collie seemed to smile at him in defiance.
"Detective Lassiter." Chief Vick was obviously hiding a smile as she exited her office to speak with him. "What's the word?"
"She's fine. I don't see why I have to-."
"Now, Detective, this dog is a material witness and a damning piece of evidence. One of those men is still out there. I would hate to see something happen to her."
Lassiter was hardly one to argue with direct orders, but this situation was definite grounds for discussion. "That doesn't explain why she has to stay with me…at my house."
"She's sick." Vick shrugged, her eyes bright with a kind of mirth that almost frightened the detective. "She's also quite the hero. A cold kennel doesn't suit her. Wouldn't you agree?"
"Yes, ma'am." Lassiter conceded, glancing down at the mutt which was staring up at him with the same delighted look. Curse Spencer and his hair-brained theories which almost always turned out to be right… he'd rather be stuck with the dinosaur.
"Argh! Lassie is probably getting better treatment than me!"
Henry just stood over his son, arms folded, as he listened to the hoarse ranting. He almost appreciated the fact that Shawn could only manage to raise his voice slightly above a whisper or he would have been tempted to smother the child.
Just being able to muster those thoughts back was a good sign to Henry. Mere hours ago, he'd been regretting every slightly less than praiseworthy comment he'd ever made to his son. Seeing his child in a total state of panic, unable to draw breath seemed to have that effect on him. Thankfully he was back to thinking slightly less than violent thoughts about Shawn and was grateful for every lesson he'd taught him that could have had a hand in saving his life.
"I don't know about that. The chief has ordered Carlton to take protective custody of her." Juliet explained with a smile as she walked into the hospital room.
Shawn's face instantly lit up. There was a glint in his eye, whether from the drugs or something else, Juliet wasn't sure. Either way, seeing Shawn with some actual color to his face, whining in a somewhat coherent manner lifted her spirits considerably. She'd been hesitant about visiting, but once the chief had saddled Lassiter with the dog, she'd stuck Juliet with the joint task of getting Shawn's statement and heading his protective detail.
"Jules!" Shawn's voice cracked as he called her name, but his smile didn't falter. "Gee, I can't imagine who is more upset with that arrangement…"
"You'd be surprised." Juliet grinned.
"Detective," Henry interrupted, causing her and Shawn to look away from each other. "Can I have a word?"
"Of course." Juliet nodded, following the elder Spencer into the far corner.
"Do you have any leads on where this guy may be?" Henry asked in an urgent whisper.
"None so far-."
"Mr. Spencer?" Gus said in a voice that clearly stated it was Shawn asking him to interrupt, and not himself. He valued his life and limbs more than that.
"What?" Henry snapped, his eyes instantly going to Shawn.
"Who is it?" Shawn asked. He ended up having to ask it twice and Henry couldn't actually hear him the first time.
"The guy that got away."
Juliet and Henry exchanged looks. "How do you know that, Shawn?" Juliet asked curiously.
"There are like, 5 uniforms out there. I know I'm popular at the office, but they're not coming in to say hi, so I figure they're working. It's kind of dumb to keep it from me, dad, the guy who saw the bad guys." Talking so much was irritating his throat again and he stifled a painful cough. It almost hurt more than just letting it out. Almost. But basically everything he did was aggravating the giant hole in his abdomen. Stifling it turned out to be a very bad idea as it did nothing to relieve his throat and instead incited more coughing. This time he let it out and consequently prayed for death.
As the attack subsided, he became aware of the warm hand on his shoulder and looked up into the face of his father. "This is why I didn't tell you, kid."
"Because somehow being sick makes me useless as a witness?" Shawn rasped.
"Shawn," he looked up to see Juliet giving him a reproving look. "Shh."
He obediently, but reluctantly agreed, if for no other reason than that he was afraid of provoking another attack. It also helped that she had been the one who asked…
"Shawn, you had a panic attack at that warehouse that nearly killed you." Henry explained as Shawn diverted his gaze to look anywhere but at the three other people in the room. "When Detective O'Hara found you, you weren't breathing at all."
Shawn locked eyes with Juliet for a brief second before she looked away, blushing furiously. He finally looked back at his dad, making sure to speak as close to a whisper as possible, "What does that have to do with-?"
"We didn't tell you because we didn't know what could trigger another panic attack." Henry continued, ignoring his son's interruption.
Shawn studied his dad's face. There were emotions hidden underneath that top layer of disapproval that told him more than words ever could. Concern was definitely one of them…fear was another. That alone was almost enough to send Shawn into a panic. He didn't remember much of anything that had happened in the last four hours, but whatever had happened was enough to scare his dad, Henry Spencer, the best detective Santa Barbara had ever seen.
Shawn had no idea how to deal with that. So he dealt with it like he did everything else that he didn't know how to deal with. He ignored it.
"Clearly, I'm not panicking now. Just tell me Goliath wasn't the one who got away."
Juliet cleared her throat, wishing the awkward weight in the air would clear just as easily. "If you mean Jeffrey Casey, no. We also have a Michael Payne in custody. From prints we found out the fugitive's name is Joel Barker."
As she said the names, images of the men flashed simultaneously in front of his eyes. Jeff with the knife, Mike with the gun… and then jacket thief. "Spencer." Shawn murmured.
Henry raised a concerned eyebrow, worried his son might still be suffering effects from the drugs he'd been injected with. "What?"
"Cannon. That's his name, alias, I guess. Spencer Cannon. Lassie bit him a few times, so you should check clinics and hospitals."
Juliet nodded and hurried out the door to call the Chief.
Shawn looked around as if suddenly noticing he was in a hospital. Gus had the same reaction. "So by hospital…" Gus started, trailing off as he glanced at Shawn. "But that's what the cops outside are for… and the two other hospitals and countless clinics in Santa Barbara."
Shawn smirked. Gus was afraid of scaring him. "If it makes you feel better, Buddy, I don't think he's coming to visit. He wanted out of here as soon as possible. He's just gonna run."
"Good work, Shawn." Henry nodded.
His son gave him a look of shock and surprise which slowly faded to a smile. They both knew by 'good work,' Henry was saying much more.
"You sure you really want to be here?" Gus sighed as he unlocked the Psych office door.
"Of course." Shawn scoffed, ignoring the faint twinge it caused in his stomach. While being almost completely symptom free from whatever illness had ailed him, the infected stomach laceration wasn't quite healed yet. "We're still broke after paying all those overdue fees. It's time to open up the office again and attract all those poor spouses of adultering fiends and their money. Besides, if I have to spend one more day at my dad's, I'm going to go insane."
Gus just rolled his eyes as he flipped on the lights and slid behind his desk to work on some paperwork he needed for his route. Henry had let Shawn leave, but only with explicit instructions to Gus to make sure he didn't do anything stupid, and that he was the first call he made if anything suspicious showed up. They weren't so worried about Cannon anymore as all evidence pointed to the fact that he was long gone and had no intention of returning, but there was always the chance, and Henry was not one to be caught off guard.
"Dude, we got a new couch?" Shawn cocked his head and studied the new piece of furniture which had taken the place of the now absent loveseat.
Gus shrugged, not having noticed it. "I didn't buy it." He panicked for a brief second, but it didn't seem very plausible that Cannon would spring for a couch for the man who he'd kidnapped.
Shawn found a card sitting on the armrest and read it silently, his face splitting into a grin.
"What's it say?" Gus asked, getting up to look over his shoulder.
Shawn snapped it shut. "Nothing."
"You're not smiling at nothing. What's it say?" Gus demanded, trying to snatch the card from his friend.
"Uh uh, I'm injured. You can't touch me." Shawn warned and Gus stopped in a huff.
"That's not fair."
"Fine," Shawn smirked, covering up half the card and flashing it at his friend. "Lassie says, 'don't get blood on this one.'"
"Lassiter bought us a couch?" Gus asked disbelievingly.
"And Jules." Shawn shrugged. "I think she made him chip in."
"Probably to apologize for not believing you."
"Or to thank me for giving him the best pet ever." Shawn grinned. "Who knew they would get along so well?"
"Not him." Gus said with raised eyebrows. "So what did Jules say?"
"Shawn…" A knock at the door cut Gus off from threatening him.
"Can you get that?" Shawn asked with a sweet smile as he plopped down on the couch, admiring its soft cushions. "It's like sitting on a giant marshmallow, Gus!"
His best friend just rolled his eyes as he opened the door. A small well-dressed man was standing there, looking up at him. "I'm looking for a Shawn Spencer."
"Uh, yeah. Come in." Gus stepped aside and motioned to Shawn who was stretched across the couch, rereading the card. Gus cleared his throat loudly, making Shawn look up.
"How can I help you?" He asked brightly.
"I came to repay you. I did promise." The man flashed brilliant white teeth as he smiled.
Shawn sat up suddenly as recognition set in. "George!"
"Sorry it took me so long, but I couldn't seem to get a hold of you. Anyways, here you go." George held out what looked like a check to Shawn who took it as memories flooded back into his brain. "You really helped me out, kid, so I added some interest there."
"Oh well, thank you." Shawn smiled, standing up to shake the man's hand. "I was happy to help."
"Thank you, Shawn." George nodded, smiled at Gus and left without another word.
"Shawn…" Gus said once the door had shut. "Who was that?"
"Don't be silly, that was George." Shawn said. His eyes suddenly widened as he read the amount on the check. "Wow, talk about interest."
"Yes, I got that." Gus grabbed the check and looked like he was about to pass out. "What is this for?!"
"Remember all that money I 'lost'?" Shawn said with a proud smile. "I didn't lose it. It just slipped my mind because I was totally and completely wasted when I gave it all to that guy."
"And again, I ask, who is he?"
"George Williams. He's some big shot lawyer. He got stranded at the same bar I happened to be at in Mexico. He was in a pretty embarrassing situation I guess and didn't want to call home for money, lest the press catch wind and ruin his reputation, so I spotted him some cash… Why are you giving me that look? You should be happy! Our money's back!"
"You gave all our money to a complete stranger. How did you know you could trust him?"
"I didn't. But like I said, I was trashed." Shawn shrugged. "Guess even then I have some pretty good judgment. I just made bank off that guy." He grinned. "So…now comes the mystery of your money. Donate it to the charity fund to help recovering comic enthusiasts, did you?"
Gus just glared at him, his expression unchanging.
"Oh come on, Gus. You can tell me." Shawn said with an encouraging slap on the shoulder.
Gus sighed. "You can't tell anyone, Shawn. Promise me."
"Of course, Buddy." Shawn said.
"Uncross your fingers."
Shawn rolled his eyes and brought his hand from behind his back. "Fine."
With a nervous look, Gus led Shawn to the back of the office and stopped in front of an unused closet.
"You…have a body in here?" Shawn asked with a raised eyebrow.
Gus opened the closet door. Shawn shielded his eyes from the sudden explosion of pink. It was like the objects inside were emitting their own light source. "What is this, Gus?!" He cried in horror.
"The guy was really convincing okay? He told me they would be collector's items in less than a year, worth ten times their current value!"
"But Hannah Montana? Seriously? My dignity just ran for cover."
"It's an investment, Shawn." Gus defended. "She's very popular."
"This is getting padlocked, possibly with numerous incendiary devices inside. But first," Shawn lifted his phone and snapped a picture. "This is going all over facebook."
Gus made a grab for the phone, but Shawn held it out of reach. "You promised, Shawn!"
"I was crossing my toes."
"Toes don't count! Since when have toes counted?" Gus cried, stalking toward Shawn who backed up.
"Since we were seven and made a pact on it."
"We rescinded that when we were 13!"
"I don't remember that." Shawn said innocently. Gus made another grab for it. "Hey, remember, injured?"
"Oh I'll injure you alright." Gus growled, lunging for his former best friend. Shawn screamed and leapt over the coffee table.
Juliet O'Hara almost reached for her gun on hearing the scream, but withdrew her hand once the details of the argument reached her ears. Instead she laughed. It was good to have him back. She was going to knock, to talk to him, but she stopped herself for some reason. It had set her emotions into a tailspin, having him gone, then suddenly back, then almost gone again…forever.
Juliet dropped her hand and set the pineapple on the ground in front of the Psych door. She could be patient. Maybe she was being hasty anyways. Everything would calm down again and go back to how it was. She was just grateful to have her friend back and that was all she needed…for now at least.
A/N: Yeah, I left it open on purpose...I may write a sequel. I'll make sure to write it all before i update of course. :D Please review! And thanks again to everyone, I had a blast writing this and getting your feedback!