Disclaimer: Psych is not mine; this is a work of fanfiction only - no profit is made.
Warning: Serious spoilers for "Lassie Did a Bad, Bad Thing" If you don't want to be spoiled, Don't read!!!!
When his son initially disappeared, Henry assumed that Shawn had found something more interesting to do than tape together shredded documents, even if it was his theory being tested. When Gus glanced out the window the second time to find the two men gone, Henry had merely shrugged and muttered, "He'll be back" and started to work on another document. Gus, however, was furious, and stormed outside to find his wayward partner and give him a piece of his mind. Henry chuckled to himself, gratified that he wasn't the only one his son irritated with his irresponsible tendencies, as he reached for another strip of paper.
All thoughts of puzzle-solving flew out the window at Guster's panicked yell. "Mr. Spencer, come quick! I think something's happened to Shawn!" The retired cop ran to Gus's side on the boardwalk, finding him staring wide-eyed at something on the ground.
Peanuts. Two nearly-full bags of spilled peanuts. They were scattered over a considerable distance in a more-or-less straight line, implying that they had been thrown rather than merely dropped to the ground. Viciously stomping the butterfly that had unexpectedly appeared in his stomach, he forced himself to be nonchalant. "So? Someone didn't like the peanuts," he rationalized.
"Mr. Spencer, I looked, remember? The only person who bought peanuts here before the vendor moved off tonight was Shawn."
Henry dropped his chin to his chest in defeat. While his son might wander off with a police officer if he had a new lead, or even a new video game, he would never haphazardly discard recently-purchased junk food. "Fine. Let's head to the station and see if he turned up there." The two men piled into Gus's car and headed out. While they drove, Henry tried his son's cell phone several times, only to be diverted to voicemail. Shawn either wouldn't or couldn't pick up.
Finding Juliet still at work was a bonus, and Henry tried to keep everything in perspective. His son and her temporary partner had wandered off together, and Shawn was staying incommunicado to avoid taping together paper shreds. Then Juliet informed them of the lie Drimmer had told regarding his whereabouts for the evening.
Henry pursed his lips, finally admitting that he was concerned. "He was establishing an alibi," he concluded darkly. "Then he went looking for Shawn."
"But why would he do that?" the female detective was confused.
"I don't know, but now Shawn is missing." He had a bad feeling about this. "Detective O'Hara, we need to locate Detective Drimmer immediately."
"I'm on it," she replied.
"I believe the term you're looking for is 'divined'," Spencer corrected testily, ignoring the growing fury on the face of his captor. While he was trying to irritate the man into doing something stupid, giving Lassiter an opening of some sort, he was unprepared for the raw violence of the sweet man who brought Jules cupcakes.
The punishing blow to the back of his head came as a surprise. One second he was thinking furiously of ways to distract Drimmer, the next his world had exploded in a mind-numbing sea of stars that blanked out everything else. All he could manage to do for a moment was hold the back of his skull to keep his head attached to his shoulders and wait for his senses to clear.
Carlton winced, but took the opportunity to step backwards. The more distance he could put between himself and Spencer, the harder it would be for Drimmer to cover them both with one gun. Still, staring at the semi-conscious psychic, he begrudgingly acknowledged to himself that, while he might fantasize about physically silencing the man, he could no sooner do it than he could kick a puppy. Spencer wasn't exactly a 'friend', but…well…
Lassiter squelched that train of thought savagely, redirecting all his attention on the lunatic in front of him with the gun.
Shawn missed Lassiter's sympathetic flinch backwards as he slapped the arm of the worn, brown couch in pain. Drimmer's next words were lost as the psychic tried to push past the blinding whiteness and concentrate; if he didn't pull it together, fast, he was a dead man. They both were.
Marshalling all his resources, he finally got the input from his ears registering again. "…and he was gonna go to the Chief with it, so you shot him. You two being former lovers and all, you were overwhelmed with guilt…"
'Oh, now that just isn't right', the psychic thought. The two of them could barely stand being in the same room for more than a few minutes; no way was anybody going to buy the drivel Drimmer was dishing out. Despite his pain, Spencer found the energy to point out the stupidity of the plan.
"Former lovers? Really?!?" he demanded, with the implied 'Are you a complete idiot?' hanging in the air. Lassiter would have chuckled except for the gravity of the situation.
"It's called 'misinformation'. He's hoping they won't look too closely." Lassiter explained calmly, never taking his eyes off the dirty cop pointing the gun at his chest. "You are one sick twist, Drimmer," he spat.
Their would-be murderer smirked as he replied, "I know", then inexplicably swung the gun around to point at the near-incapacitated man on the couch. Apparently Drimmer had some mild OCD issues, and felt it necessary to actually kill them in the order of his fairytale - Spencer first, then Lassiter.
Despite his still-closed eyes, Spencer knew that time was up. He forced down the bile rising to the back of his throat and struggled to a sitting position. "Woah-woah-woah-woah-wait, wait, wait! Just wait! I'm getting something, I'm sensing something…" His mouth was moving, but he was clueless as to what to say. The pounding from the back of his head kept him from thinking. Well, nothing like a little free-association to pass the time. "Something wild…uh…something in the way you look tonight…something blue…something…" His eyes finally opened and met Lassiter's; good, the man was taking advantage of any distraction Spencer could provide and was inching towards the kitchen counter.
Drimmer's irritated attention was clearly focussed firmly on the psychic. "Do you ever stop talking?!?," he demanded angrily, gun pointed unwaveringly at Shawn's head. He didn't even notice Lassie's movement until he heard the breadbox slam open. "Hup-up-up-up-up, what're you doing there, detective? Looking for one of your spare pistols? That you've hidden? Uh-uh. Cops found all your guns." Apparently Spencer had irritated their captor so much that he kept his weapon trained on the unmoving man on the couch rather than the trained police officer roaming the room.
The psychic dizzily raised his head as Drimmer tried to watch Lassiter out of the corner of his eye. "Hey. Hey stop it, what're you doing?" he demanded, gun still pointed at Spencer, as if threatening the psychic would actually get Lassiter to stop moving. "Stop that." Lassie kept up his slow approach as Drimmer tensed, ready to swing the gun towards him if he got within leaping distance.
Lassiter continued his slow advance; after all, Drimmer had made it clear that they were both dead anyway. "Back off!" demanded the larger man as sweat began to run down his face. "Stop that!"
While the weapon still pointed at Spencer, the criminal's eyes fixed on the approaching cop. Shawn knew he'd probably not get a better opportunity, so he took a deep breath to quell his nausea and grabbed Drimmer's wrist, forcing the gun towards the ceiling. As the pair struggled for the weapon, Lassiter sprang for the peanut-bowl sitting on the kitchen island, hand emerging with a small weapon firmly in its grasp. There was no hesitation as he pointed and fired, intentionally catching the killer in the left shoulder. Drimmer sagged painfully to the floor as Spencer snatched his gun and bounded away.
Outside the building, Juliet, Henry, Gus, and two uniformed officers were carefully making their way up the sidewalk. As the shot rang out in the quiet residential neighborhood, O'Hara and Buzz exchanged a surprised glance, then rushed for the front door. They quickly determined that the front hallway was safe, then headed towards the second floor apartment where Lassiter lived, taking the stairs two at a time. Henry and Gus followed just a heartbeat behind.
As his vision was still seriously blurred, Shawn felt that holding a gun at this point was probably dangerous, so he quickly passed it to the Chief Detective. "Looks like they missed one," he gasped, moving behind Lassiter and out of the line of fire.
"At least one," concurred the dark-haired man stonily, never taking his eyes off their prisoner. Both weapons came to bear at the man. "There are eight. And I seriously doubt that they found the one in my shower, hidden in my hi-fi."
As Spencer returned his hand to his pounding head and blinked, trying to focus the suddenly-twin Lassiters into one image, the apartment door exploded open. The room was abruptly swarming with people, most of whom seemed fixated on taking Drimmer into custody. Shawn swayed slightly as he turned his attention to his nearest rescuer. "Jules!" he exclaimed in a pleased voice. "How'd you find us?"
The woman kept her eyes and weapon trained on her 'temporary partner'. "I tracked Drimmer on his cell phone GPS."
Henry paused as he rushed into the room, momentarily shocked at the sight of his son. Shawn was swaying unsteadily on his feet, and looked like he'd gone a round or two with George Foreman. He moved over and grabbed his arm, reassured by the contact with his son's solid flesh.
Spencer was suddenly aware of his father's firm hand holding him steady. "Shawn. Shawn, are you all right?" He turned to stare into the eyes of his Dad, surprised by the concern that flickered there. Well, that was…weird. Time to nip this in the bud.
"Yeah. Yeah, I think so." Glancing over at Lassiter, he still caught his father's movement out of the corner of his eye; the elder Spencer was clearly determining the etiology of Shawn's injuries. He ignored the facsimile punch in favor of teasing the detective.
"Hi-fi? Lassie, you were so cool a second ago," he whined, indicating that Lassiter clearly wasn't 'cool' any longer; not with having a 'hi-fi' in his bathroom. The world suddenly took that opportunity to lurch sideways, and his body fell backwards to compensate. A strong arm around his back halted his collapse, and he knew instinctively that his father wouldn't let him fall. He smiled slightly as the hand returned more firmly to his arm, steadying him, and a second hand patted him reassuringly on the back as he regained his balance.
'Huh.' he thought muzzily, as Lassiter did an admittedly-cool move with the empty shell casing, catching it one-handed while not even looking. The detective's self-satisfied smirk faded as the room grayed around the edges of Shawn's vision. Gravity unexpectedly tripled its pull on the psychic, who found his father's hand the only thing keeping him from becoming intimately acquainted with Lassiter's linoleum. 'Woah. That was different.' He barely registered the now-cuffed Drimmer being hustled past him and out the door by Buzz and another uniformed officer.
His vision tunneled to the floor beneath his stumbling feet as he was guided back to the couch. Wait a second. When did his father grow extra hands? One…two…three…four…five… He counted, knowing that he could be quizzed on it later. His sight was worthless at this point, so he relied on his sense of touch. "This must be more 'sensory deprivation'," he muttered groggily.
"Shawn? You need to lie down for a few minutes." Was that actual concern in his father's voice?
The psychic tried to wave it off; if he didn't admit it, it wasn't real, right? "No, Dad, I'm fine." 'Sitting is good, however', he decided as he sank down onto the threadbare cushions that he had vacated mere minutes before.
"I'm calling an ambulance," announced Juliet from across the room.
"Good idea." The detective's firm voice was surprisingly close, and Shawn swung half-shuttered eyes in his direction.
"You OK, Lassie?" he asked, concerned. Had he missed something? Had Drimmer hurt him?
"I'm fine, Spencer," reassured his fellow captive. "You, however, are getting a free ride to the nearest hospital to check out that hard head of yours."
"Nah, Lassie, I'm good." He batted ineffectually at the hands still holding him upright. "Jus…lemme rest a second."
Uh-oh. That was his father's 'you're in trouble' tone of voice. Blearily he looked in his dad's direction, desperately ransacking his memory for the details of Lassie's apartment. It wasn't fair to quiz him right after a blow to the head. Two blows to the head. Possibly a concussion. Of course, when did fairness have anything to do with spot-quizzes?
"I'm not going to quiz you, Shawn."
Oh, no. Had he said that out loud?
"Shawn! Just… lie down." His father firmly grabbed his shoulders and began to push him sideways into the cushions. After a momentary struggle, he gave it up as a lost cause. Besides, the couch seemed a lot more comfortable than it had the first time he had awakened on it. He'd just…rest his eyes a moment, then he'd get up. Gus would take him home, he'd get a good night's sleep, and all would be right with the world in the morning. No need for a hospital. Not at all. The world faded to black.
Henry gave a sigh of relief as his son finally stopped struggling and sagged into the cushions. Juliet knelt beside the group, meeting his unasked question with, "The ambulance will be here in ten minutes."
"Thanks." He studied Shawn's battered face for a moment, then turned to Lassiter. "What happened? Clearly he got cold-cocked by a good right hook, but what else?"
Lassiter's eyes didn't move from Spencer's face. "That must've happened before I got here. Drimmer had the drop on both of us - planned to make it look like a murder/suicide. Spencer kept distracting him, trying to buy me a chance to make a move."
Gus shook his head. "Shawn's best distraction is his ability to verbally annoy people."
Lassiter shrugged, not disagreeing. "Since he planned on killing us both anyway, Drimmer had no compunction about messing us up a little first. When Spencer became too irritating, he slammed him on the back of the head with the pistol."
"Did he lose consciousness?" asked Gus worriedly.
"Not completely, but it clearly hurt. He was still holding his head when you guys burst into the room."
Henry nodded, remembering the bleary eyes that met his, and the right hand lowering to his side. He fondly mussed his son's hair. "Stupid kid." He winced mentally as his fingers encountered the large lump on the back of Shawn's scalp.
"Dad, don't mess up my hair…" muttered his son, half-asleep.
"If he hadn't distracted Drimmer, we'd both be dead now." Lassiter wanted to make certain Henry understood that his boy was a hero. "He got the dirty snake so angry at him that he completely ignored me. I was logically the bigger threat: upright, uninjured, a trained police officer, and on - literally - my home turf. Yet, by the time Spencer's mouth was done with him, all he could think about was killing the SBPD's resident psychic." Glancing at the peanut bowl, he added, "And I'm going to have to talk to the Chief about some refresher courses in the 'art of a room search' for our department."
Just then the EMTs arrived. Shawn barely moaned as vital signs were taken and an IV started. The younger of the two paramedics looked inquiringly at the four upright people in the room. "Are any of you relatives?" he asked.
"I'm his father," replied Henry, stepping forward. "Will he be all right?"
"He's stable for the time being, but needs to be checked out at the hospital. However, you can ride in the ambulance with him."
Henry nodded. "I'd like that very much."
Shawn later remembered only flashes of the rest of the evening. The slight sting of the IV being started, the pinch of the blood pressure cuff inflating, the jostling of being moved to a stretcher and then being loaded into the ambulance, the incessant pounding of his head - but through it all, a firm hand holding his, reassuring in its steadiness. His father, never much for the 'touchy-feely' aspects of parenthood, murmuring vague encouragements the entire trip, mostly along the lines of "Hang in there, kid" and "You're gonna be fine". It was surreal.
He missed it, though, once they reached the hospital and he was whisked off for evaluation and treatment. Bright lights, barked commands, and a series of blood tests followed. He dozed when they allowed it, most notably in the CT scanner when he was instructed to hold perfectly still. He could do that…
Next thing he knew, he was in a private room and his father's hand was back. The lax fingers clasped his loosely as the first rays of the morning sun began to peek in the window. Looked like it was going to be a beautiful day. Glancing at the chair beside his bed, he winced at the awkward angle of his Dad's neck as he snored. Ouch, that was going to be stiff when he woke up…
As if reading his mind, Henry's eyes popped open and met his own. Shawn had always been jealous of his father's ability to go from deep sleep to full wakefulness in the span of a heartbeat. Gently shaking his still-throbbing head, he smiled at the unasked question in his Dad's eyes. "I'm fine, Dad."
Rubbing the crick in his neck, Henry sat up. "That's what you said last night, too, kid."
"Well, OK. My head hurts a little bit, but at least I'm not thinking about puking up my toenails any longer."
"You actually tried that last night, after we got to the ER."
Shawn was surprised; that must be why the back of his tongue tasted like roadkill. "Really?"
"Yeah. Apparently getting knocked out twice in one evening is bad for the digestion." Henry allowed his concern to show on his face. "We were worried about you."
Shawn peered around the room, then machine-gunned questions at his father. "Who's 'we'? Where's Gus? Is Lassie OK? I seem to remember Juliet at some point…"
Henry held up his hands in surrender, a small smile on his face. "I sent them home after the doc cleared you of serious injury. Despite everything that happened, looks like you got away with just a concussion. They wanted to watch you overnight, then have you take it easy for a few days after you get out. By the end of the week you should be back to your normal exuberant self." His smile faded and his expression became stern.
'Uh-oh. Here it comes…', thought Shawn. His discouragement mirrored in his face, causing Henry to back off his chastisement slightly. Still, his son needed to understand the lesson.
"Look, Shawn…" Henry shook his head; this was hard to phrase carefully. "First, you did good. You cleared a good cop and caught a bad one."
"I hear a 'but' coming."
"Yes, son, you do. But…you went into the police station, snooped around, and put yourself at risk…after you expressly promised me that you wouldn't. I'm betting you ran into Drimmer while you were there and said something that tipped him off. Then he came after you." He sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger as if staving off a headache himself, and for once Shawn didn't interrupt. "When I take the time to make you promise me something, there's usually a reason." He fixed him with a steely gaze. "To be brutally honest, I'm usually worried about your safety. Seems this time I was right."
Shawn paused and let his father's words sink in. It wasn't often that the older man admitted concern for his son, and for once Spencer didn't want to make light of it. He nodded, then replied softly, "I'm sorry, Dad, but it's what I do. I had to play it out to the end." He winced and stared at his hands folded in his lap, waiting for the verbal explosion, the ultimatums, and the threats. When all he heard in response was a sigh, he glanced at his father's face in confusion.
Henry Spencer nodded, a chagrinned smirk on his face. "I understand. Doesn't mean I have to like it, but I understand. Just…listen to me when I make you promise to do something. I usually have a pretty good reason, even if I can't put it into words."
It was Shawn's turn to nod. "Fair enough, Dad. Thanks."