Pay close attention, people. The tenses give the timeline / point of view – they're inconsistent for a reason. It's a little complicated, now I've read it through a few times. Sorry!
Well done to Laura, who got it nearly right.
I wish I owned Psych, then I'd be happy. Sadly, I don't own it and so I'm not happy. This means I take out my whump urges in fan fiction. You've been warned.
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I've seen Shawn Spencer happy, excited, scared – although then I usually only see the back of him – angry, and occasionally sappy.
But I've never seen him looking quite like he does right now.
He's scared, I can see that, but there's shock dulling the light in those emotional eyes, and anger bringing a different sort of spark to them.
Then, I can see the red mark on his cheek where I hit him.
He's on the floor in front of me, on his knees but leaning back on one hand, looking up at me with those damnable eyes, seeing right through me as though he really is a psychic.
His free hand rises up to gently touch the mark, and his eyes close briefly as the fingers make contact, then spring open again. "You hit me. Wow, Lassie…" He's disbelieving; hey, I can hardly believe it myself, and it's my fist that's hurting.
There's a noise behind me, the door slams open, and Chief Vick's strident tones ripple across the room. "Detective! What on Earth do you think you're doing?"
I can't answer her. To be honest, there isn't an answer – I hadn't actually been thinking anything.
Spencer's on his feet though, springing up in some faint imitation of his usual self. "Hi, Chief. Sorry about that – you know how these visions can get. Lassy just snapped me out of a bad one." He laughs, and rubs his cheek. No flinching now; he's prepared for the pain that touching the mark brings. "The husband did it, by the way."
"But – what?" The Chief's about to ask more questions, then her expression goes thoughtful and she snaps her mouth shut. "The husband? But he had an alibi."
Shawn snorts. "They know each other through poker games." He holds one hand to his head in that stupid 'something's coming to me' impression we all know and detest. "He decided to exchange some of the cash he won for a solid alibi."
"Really… Excuse me, gentlemen. Detective, my office in ten minutes." She's out of the room and breezing down the corridor before Spencer or I can speak again.
"Dude, I totally saved your ass." And it's back! That damned smug look that he's had half the day, the grin and those dancing, amused eyes.
Before I know it, I'm pushing him up against the wall. The thud echoing around the room and Spencer's gasp gives away quite how hard I shoved him. Maybe he's winded, maybe just shocked again, I don't know. My hands are curled in his jacket, and he's practically on tiptoes as I hold him up. Maybe he's having trouble breathing – the way I'm holding his jacket forces my hands against his throat. Whatever it is, his breath is coming in quick little gasps that sound like a precursor to hyperventilating.
For the first time, he's looking down on me – without standing on a desk, that is – and he's scared. Boy, is he scared. That mark on his cheekbone, livid now against pale skin, stands out accusingly. He looks all of twelve years old, his eyes wide and fixed on my face, his hands sporadically grabbing at my jacket and letting go.
He actually has no idea what I'm going to do. To be honest, neither do I.
With a growl, I let him stand back on firm ground, moving back out of his personal space and snatching my hands away from his jacket with a disgusted snort.
I turn away, and when I look back his eyes are closed, and he's leaning against the wall like it's the only thing keeping him upright. Looking at the paleness of his skin, I think it might be.
It's all I can do to stop myself from apologising, but I bite my tongue as I stalk from the room. A rustle of clothing and a faint thud tells me that Spencer's back on the floor again.
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I think Spencer's avoiding me.
I've not seen him once since yesterday, but I've shamelessly abused my rights as head detective and found out that he was in earlier, put a solved file on Vick's desk and left, with no one noticing.
Possibly it's the first time he's come in here without bouncing off the walls – I'd consider it a success if I wasn't feeling so damn guilty.
The Chief had words with me about hitting Spencer – I think I got away with it, as she didn't see anything and Spencer doesn't seem to want to press charges. She's not spoken to him, but the fact he didn't run straight to her would suggest I'm in the clear.
Talking of the Chief – she's just come out of her office, shouting something about a double murder at the beach, gun fire, getting everyone mobilised and to the scene.
I'm the third, maybe fourth person out the door, O'Hara behind me as we sprint to my car. We take second place in the convoy of vehicles, our sirens screaming and lights flashing.
Two ambulances join us about two minutes in, near the back of our little group. I can see them in the mirror, standing higher than the cruisers they're following.
I'm getting a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach as I recognise the road we're driving down. Spencer's office is just along this stretch, and God knows what he's mixed up in.
As the patrol car in front slows, I slam on the brakes. I can't afford distractions like Shawn Spencer now – I need to focus on this damn case.
I tell myself once, twice and a third time, 'It's not Spencer.' Of course it's not him, and the other body isn't Gus. They wouldn't be so stupid as to get murdered. Gus wouldn't let it happen.
Still, I'm hurrying more than I usually would as I get to the beach, one hand on my holster just in case the perp's still around, and as I see the bodies laid out next to one another in a gruesome parody of sunbathers, my knees go weak.
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"Dude, I have no idea. All I know is, he growled something about smugness then I was on the floor."
His feet on the desk, Shawn held the phone in the crook of his neck as he flipped TV channels and scooped up a bite of the pineapple upside down cake sat on his lap. Who says men can't multi-task?
"I know! I mean, seriously, who's he kidding? He's just jealous we solved it before him. Wait, hang on a sec."
Part of the pineapple cake had slipped from the fork, and Shawn used both hands to scoop it off his shirt and tip it into his mouth.
"Ok, I'm back. Ooh, wait a second…" He stood up, looking out the window. "Gotta go, man, stuff's happening."
"Shawn? Shawn, what's happening? Shawn?"
"Bring me a smoothie later?"
Without waiting for an answer, he dropped the phone back onto the hook before grabbing his cell phone and jacket and heading out the door, abandoning the cake half-eaten on the desk.
When a guy walks past your window with a gun to someone's back, it's no time to be hanging around.