Thanks to Kimly for FINALLY making me get off my ass (ok, getting on it to use the damn laptop) and write something.

Thanks to everyone who reviewed, you guys rock.

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I've never seen Spencer so still.

He's not twitching, not shouting, not doing stupid psychic impressions, barely even breathing. He's so pale that, were it not for those tiny regular shifts of his chest, and the beeping of his heart monitor, I'd not believe he was alive.

He's still got a damn black eye; hard to believe that was only… what, yesterday? Yeah, yesterday.

The nurse said it'd be a couple of hours till he comes round from the anaesthetic; they'll take him out of the ICU then. Till he's out of there, he's only allowed one visitor for more than five minutes. There's no question that it's going to be Henry, so the rest of us file out quietly. O'Hara runs her fingers along Shawn's arm, where it rests on top of the covers; she avoids the IV line.

Henry tells us to go home, get some rest. It's nearly midnight – I figure we're all going to be seeing dawn, at this rate. No way can any of us sleep after this. Still, we humour him and head off, promising to come back before work tomorrow.

I can't think of anything to say as I look at Shawn's still body – nothing other than a whispered, "sorry," comes from my mouth.

And, oh, am I sorry.

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Carlton and I are waiting outside the ICU. I know, we should have respected Henry's wishes and left, but I can't leave until I know Shawn's going to be all right. I guess Carlton feels guilty, he always gets this look on his face. He feels guilty about too many things.

Sometimes I wish I could just give him a hug and take away all of his worries and just make him relax for once in his life.

Buzz has gone home for now – poor Francine, he rang her earlier and said he'd be late but definitely home. I'd hate to marry a cop. It's bad enough worrying about all my friends, let alone a husband who risks his life every day. Maybe I'll marry an accountant, or a lawyer. Ooh, that'd mean a man with money. Juliet O'Hara, designer suit wearer. Wait, Juliet… Shepherd? Yeah, make him a doctor. A doctor that looks like Patrick Dempsey, that'd be nice.

Where was I?

Hugging Carlton, that was it. Probably not a good idea right now, he's sat down looking like the weight of the world is on his shoulders.

Oh, I don't care what he thinks. He needs a hug. Hey, I need one too.

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"O'Hara? What are you doing?"

There are slim arms around my shoulders, and a blonde head pressed into my neck. "Giving you a hug. What does it look like I'm doing?"

"I don't know what it looks like, all I can see is your shirt." I can smell it too. It's nice, something flowery. Suits her.

She's still not letting go. Ah, my shoulder's getting soggy.

"O'Hara? Juliet?"

She's definitely crying. Damnit, I don't need this. Not tonight, not ever. Crying women are not my specialty. No, my specialty would be screwing up.

I'm patting her back, and I can feel her shaking as she turns towards me more. If anyone sees this, I'm never going to live it down at the station. Wait, I'm Head Detective, I can just fire them. Or make their lives misery. Either way, I figure I can keep it quiet.

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The same old scene met Susie Evans as she entered the Intensive Care waiting room; a couple in each other's arms, one crying, the other trying to stay strong for her. He looked tired, and Susie couldn't see what the woman looked like, but suspected she would appear the same. His arms were around her and holding her tight; they were close, very close, and she could see him stroking her back.

The paleness of both their faces suggested they hadn't been there long – the ashen shade usually wore off after an hour or so, though the other symptoms of shock would remain for a little longer.

Susie decided not to interrupt – she'd come back in a few minutes and offer coffee, a couple of biscuits, comforting words or even some advice, if she thought it would be received well. Sometimes it was best to keep quiet, but sometimes people just needed to be told how to cope.

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Shawn woke to dim lighting, the sound of snoring, and the smell of antiseptic that his motorcycle accident had forever embedded in his mind as A Bad Thing To Wake Up To.

His eyelids were heavy, and his stomach was roiling with the nausea he associated with general anaesthetics. His chest ached a little, and his arm, though less so.

Despite the low lighting, he could read the clock on the far wall – 3.17. From the darkness, it was three am, not three in the afternoon, so he had to be in the ICU. Nowhere else would he be so turned around as to be waking up at this time. Staying up till three, sure, but waking up? Never.

Shawn closed his eyes again, and when he awoke a young nurse was checking the lines that lead into his right arm. He licked his lips, ready to make a smart comment, but nothing came readily to his anaesthesia-clouded mind.

She noticed the movement, however, and smiled at him. "Hello, Shawn." She pointed out of the room and said, "I'm going to get some ice chips. Your dad told us the anaesthetics make you feel ill, they should help."

Mute, Shawn nodded. Of course his father would have passed that on.

Moments later – though it may have been several minutes, time seemed to be moving in peculiar jumps – she returned, and held a spoon to his lips.

The ice chips chilled his throat and calmed his stomach, and he closed his eyes in relief.

"Ok, Shawn, I'm Sarah, I'm a nurse. You're in hospital – you were shot. Do you remember that?"

Stupid question, but she wasn't to know that. "Yeah, I remember." His voice was weak, and he could feel his lungs protesting the extra effort. That was probably a bad sign, but at least he was still using them.

"Good." Their voices were low; Henry slept in his chair, the snores now subdued. "You got a bullet in your chest, and one in your arm. We're keeping you on morphine, you'll stay on it for a few days. Don't try and sit up, however well you feel. In a couple of hours we'll have you moved somewhere more comfortable, but for now just lie back and try and get some more sleep."

Shawn nodded mutely. He could feel the sedatives still working, dragging him back to sleep, and he didn't have the strength to argue with them.

"Sleep well, Mr Spencer." The words took on strange forms in his mind, tumbling and spinning in bright colours as the anaesthetics established their side effects.

= - / _ = - / _= - / _= - /

The nurse has just come out of Spencer's room. She's not in a hurry; she went in with ice chips a few minutes ago, and she's got a hint of a smile, though most people wouldn't see it. I remove O'Hara's head from my shoulder – which is still slightly damp, thanks to her – and lay her down on the seats so I can intercept the woman.

She smiles at me, pre-empting my questions. "He was awake, coherent and is up to his eyeballs in painkillers, at least for now, but he's just fallen asleep again. Some time after six we'll be moving him to a private room. He should be out of danger now."

I feel myself sag once again, the tiredness and worry taking its toll on me. "Ok. Thank you." I let her go on her way.

"O'Hara? Wake up." She's sweet when she's sleeping. She bats my hand away, muttering, but when I shake her shoulder she's immediately awake.

"Lassiter? What's wrong, is it Shawn?" Then she seems to read something in my face, because she's all smiles and hugs.

Somehow, I manage to squeeze out, "He's awake." She pushes me to arm's length for a second, then hugs me again, then lets me go.

"Thank God."

I blink my eyes, just as she's doing – they're heavy with lack of sleep, and I'm pretty sure I'm too tired to drive without some rookie pulling me over and breathalysing me.

Let him try. I'm going home, and I'm going to bed, and Shawn Spencer is going to continue to make my life a living hell. A hell where the smell of pineapples makes me smile; where I look forwards just a little to some manic interrupting my workday; where I'll have to apologise repeatedly for hitting someone who truly, genuinely deserved it (even though he didn't, really); where 'psychic visions' have become the norm, and where Shawn Spencer, fake psychic extraordinaire, is counted among my closest friends.

Maybe hell isn't so bad after all.