Disclaimer: The concept and characters of Psych are not mine, and this story intends no copyright infringement.
Spies like us
"I can't keep living a lie anymore," Shawn said. He took a deep breath. "I'm a spy."
Juliet rolled her eyes, crossed her arms over her chest. "What a coincidence." Her voice was drier than the Sahara desert. "So am I." Then she walked off, blonde hair twisted into a neat bun the last Shawn saw of her as she moved away.
"No, seriously!" Shawn called after her. "I'm not joking! I'm a spy!"
"Seriously!" Juliet called over her shoulder. "So am I!"
Shawn pouted. "Why does no one ever believe me?"
"When I was nineteen I was recruited by the CIA," Shawn said.
"Uh huh," Gus said. His eyes moved quickly across the computer screen.
"They gave me a gun and a license to kill!"
"Right," Gus said. He clicked something, then spent a few brief moments typing furiously.
"I went on international missions! To international countries!"
"There's no such thing as an international country, Shawn," Gus said. Shawn felt vaguely vindicated by this show of Gus's attention, but also vaguely bummed by the pointing out of fallacies in Shawn's statement.
"There is so," Shawn insisted. "Switzerland!"
Gus finally looked away from his computer screen to give Shawn one incredulous, extended look. "The Central Intelligence Agency sent you on secret spy missions… to Switzerland."
Shawn nodded furiously. Then paused. "Uh, maybe not Switzerland." He paused again, then quickly rallied. "I had my own handler! His name was Roy Usted Barkley."
"Right, Shawn," Gus said.
"Gilroy, in fact."
Shawn huffed in disgust. He huffed louder when that got no reaction. HUFF. Still nothing. "Why don't you believe me?" He was aware he sounded dangerously close to whining.
"I believe you, Shawn," Gus said as if by rote. He added, off-hand, "I was recruited by the CIA too."
"Didn't you ever wonder why I kept on moving around after high school?"
Henry stared at his son. "How did we get from flyfishing to your shiftless teen wanderings?"
Shawn rolled his eyes. "I wasn't a teenager for most of those years," he pointed out.
"Could have fooled me," Henry muttered, and crossed over into the kitchen, opening the fridge and grabbing a beer.
"Dad! Pay attention! I am trying to bare my soul to you here."
Henry dragged a deep breath into his lungs, then let it out slowly. He turned and rested his back against the counter, opening his beer and taking a pull. "All right, kid," he said. "Let's have it."
Shawn waited a beat. He was trying for 'dramatic' but mostly came off as 'jackass'. He said, stated, orated, "I was on a series of secret undercover missions to keep America safe."
Henry rolled his eyes. "Should have known you'd try and fake me out with some sort of mumbo-jumbo story. You don't need to do that, Shawn – you don't need to trip me up with a fake story to get me to help you with the real one. Just give it to me straight."
"I am!" Shawn tugged at his hair in frustration. "Dad, this is the truth! I. Am. A. Spy. Or, at least I was. I'm in forced retirement."
Henry shook his head. "I should never have let you watch all those CHiPS episodes as a kid. You got addicted to the idea of a car chase in every scene. Too hooked on adrenaline to even pretend to live a normal life."
"Daaaaad," Shawn keened. "You're not hearing me. Spy. Spy!"
"Oh, I hear all right," Henry said grimly. "I hear a cry for help." He took another long gulp of his beer. "What, do you think it's glamorous to call yourself a spy? Do you think that's what all the 'cool' kids are doing? Should I be a cool kid too? Well, Shawn, I'll say it. I'm a spy. Does that make me cool?"
"No," Shawn said sullenly. "And by the way, this isn't an after school special. It's actually been a very long time since I've been in school."
"I'm surprised you can count that high, not having been in school so long."
Shawn glared. "Oh, haha. I will remember this exchange the next time I think of having a heart to heart."
Henry offered only one terse word of advice: "Good."
Two days later while at the police station Shawn followed Juliet stealthily in the hopes of surprising a few case details out of her only to see her slip into what seemed to be a closet. Puzzled, Shawn snuck in behind her – to find a high tech display and Juliet standing at attention in front of the videoconferencing of what looked to be a man in dress uniform, medals pinned to his chest. "Everything's progressing well, General, "Juliet said.
"Good," the General said. "We're proud of you back at the NSA, Agent Walker."
Juliet – if that was her real name – threw out a smart salute and clicked the video conference off. Then, shoulders tense, she said without turning around, "I know you're there, Shawn."
Knowing the futility of denial, Shawn said, "Dude! Two days ago I was spilling all my secrets and you gave me nothing, nothing, not even one little twitch of a clue that your secrets and my secrets? The same secret!"
Juliet turned and Shawn could see her perfectly groomed eyebrows rise in exasperation. "If you'll recall," she said archly, "When you said 'I am a spy,' I said 'So am I.' Twice, even. It's not my fault you didn't take me seriously."
"You – I – "
Juliet rolled her eyes. "It's not a big deal, Shawn. I'm not working on anything that involves your past with the CIA. The CIA is barely even in this op."
"Our whole relationship is a lie!"
Juliet looked at him with incredulous blue eyes. Shawn sighed and deflated a bit. She patted his cheek.
Shawn burst into Gus's apartment. Gus was, for once, wearing sweats instead of immaculate shirt and pressed suit pants. He sat at his kitchen table, folders and folders open before him – probably some new drug that came out. "Gus! Gus! Juliet is a spy."
Gus didn't look up. He just calmly said, "Sure, Shawn."
"ARGH, why do you never pay attention to me anymore? This is important information."
"I heard you, Shawn." Gus shifted some more papers around. "Juliet is a spy. Old news."
"I can't believe you're not taking this seriously." Shawn crossed his arms over his chest and pouted. Gus didn't look up. Shawn pouted harder. He even got his hair to get into the act by wilting ever so slightly. All this effort, wasted – Gus still didn't look up.
Gus sighed and rubbed his forehead tiredly. "Shawn," he said. "I need to do this today, it's actually kind of important, so could you just –"
Never one to let a rival for Gus's attention stand unmolested, Shawn darted over to the table and started frantically rifling through it, messing it up as much as possible. As he thought, it was about a bunch of new trial drugs, and he grabbed fistfuls of the documents to wave in the air, spastic.
Gus growled and leapt at him, wrestling with him to let go. "Shawn!" He grunted, shoved Shawn against the closest wall, said, "This isn't funny, Shawn! This is life or death –"
"Oh, come on," Shawn mocked, "This is drug sales."
"Yeah," Gus said, eyes intent and tone implying something more meaningful than Shawn could easily discern. "This is."
Shawn looked at Gus's serious face, then tracked his gaze slowly to the papers he held crumpled in his grip. He made out strings of numbers, fancy long pharmaceutical names, all arranged too deliberately, he saw now, his mind trained to think in complex codes and patterns. "This is… you're code-breaking."
Gus nodded. He frowned. The lines of his forehead were sharp as if carved with a knife. "I'm the intelligence. Agent Walker is the muscle. When I said I was recruited by the CIA too, I meant it, Shawn. Come on. Didn't you ever think? Gilroy. Usted. Barkley."
Shawn blinked at him dumbly. His world had just shifted radically on its axis, a decade of facts thought right suddenly become wrong, wrong, oh so wrong.
"No one else could keep a leash on you," Gus said. "They recruited me out of self-defense."
"What – I –" Shawn sputtered.
"When you retired, I got put on retainer. They only call me in for support in an op. I don't go out in the field, Shawn, there was never any reason for you to know."
Shawn kept on with his gaping. Mouth open. Like a fish.
Henry's face hadn't changed expression since the beginning of Shawn's diatribe. "No, seriously!" Shawn insisted. "Everyone is a spy." Henry shook his head.
"Did you ever think, kid, the fact that everyone is a spy isn't something you should be yelling all around the place?" His voice was disapproving. More than that, his voice was –
"Dad," Shawn asked. Apprehension crawled up and down his spine. He wasn't sure if he wanted to know, but, "Why are do you all of a sudden have a British accent?"
Henry went on. "The way you're carrying on about Gus and that NSA girl, I thought it was the best time to let you know about us, Shawn."
"Us?" Shawn parroted weakly.
Henry huffed impatiently. "Yes, us. Your mother and me."
"Your mother. And me. We're spies too, Shawn. Why do you think we never tracked you down and dragged your ass back home when you were still just a kid getting in trouble all over the world?"
Shawn stared at his dad. "You –"
"I was the liaison between MI6 and the CIA, and your mother was quickly climbing the ranks. Why do you think she's always moving around? Why do you think we never worried about you?"
Shawn couldn't even remember the words, What the hell, he was so in shock.
"Your mother is the Director, Shawn. We always knew what you were up to." Henry leaned in. "We always knew what stupid punkass thing you were up to." He leaned back. "I'm frankly a little disappointed you didn't figure any of this out on your own. I thought you American agents were trained better than that. Or maybe you're just rusty."
"I, just, I don't even –" Shawn stared at his dad, all big eyes, then dragged his hands through his hair, let out a strangled shout-scream, and stalked out the door.
Henry rolled his eyes. "Drama queen." He scowled at all the extra food half cooked. Trust his idiot son to leave him in the lurch for dinner. He checked his watch. It probably wasn't too late to call his lead agent over – it would be good to know what he would have to say about the current situation of the IRA in California. It was probably a good thing Shawn had taken off, after all. Who knew what his reaction would have been to hearing Lassiter was with the Agency too?