A/N: IT LIVES!!! MWHAHA. Welcome to the long overdue sequel to Intuition. If you haven't read said story you will be heartily confused by this one. Intution got a ton of awesome reviews, so thank you to those of you who did review, and those who put me on their favorites, and those who put me on author alert. Paranormal continues on from where Intuition left off; and since Intuition ended with Shawn dying...well, this does have Shawn in it. A Shawn who isn't dead, but isn't exactly alive either. There are going to be some minor religious tones to this story; how could I deal with the thought of life, death, and an afterlife without a smidgeon of religion? (That rhymed...) But trust me, the religious tones aren't really that big. There's a mention of Purgatory and a great mystical force, but since I'm not really any religion I'm certainly not going to utilize massive amounts. This is just mentioned so that I don't have people banging on my door with pitchforks screaming at me because I didn't warn them. Anyhoo, if you read Intuition you know quite well that this is slash. This story is fairly different from Intution in a couple of key ways: it's more character-driven and less action-packed, my writing style has changed since I wrote Intution (though I tried to keep it mostly the same), and this one is a little longer. By longer I mean that this will probably run four chapters and an epilogue (and the next chapter is finished and will posted tomorrow, most likely. The third chapter is almost done, and the fourth chapter exists only a thought at the moment). So, after this freakishly long author's note, welcome to the story and enjoy!
Disclaimer: Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's not mine.
When Shawn first comes to consciousness he senses nothing. This strikes him as odd, because he always senses something, whether its hearing or feeling or smelling; always something. He doesn't really remember what happened and he has no idea where he is; he just remembers flashes of something elusive that refuses to come fully to him. Eyes and blood and pain. He remembers pain.
His eyes flutter open and he sees nothing but white, like a blank slate, like the white padded rooms trademark of the insane asylum clichés. Is he in the hospital? Shawn doesn't remember hospitals being so clinically white and he doesn't hear the beeping that he's accustomed to hearing when he wakes up in a hospital room.
Shawn sits up and discovers that he feels no pain. He fully expects it but no sharp stab greets him, and he doesn't see anything that he expects to see.
It's white. All white, as far as he can see. There's no definition to the world; rather it's like he's floating inside of a cloud. There is no up, no down, no right, no left.
The fear comes quickly, breaking over Shawn like a wave breaking over his head: he can't breathe, he can't think, he just knows that this is horribly, terribly wrong.
"Wh-What?" He stammers out—and Shawn Spencer does not stammer, ever—and closes his eyes, blinking and trying to wake up, because surely this must be a dream. He even pinches himself, but when he does he feels nothing. He pinches harder, digging his nails into his skin until they leave crescent furrows, but there is no feeling at all. It's as if his arm isn't part of his body, as if all of his nerves are dead.
Shawn stomps his foot, just to make sure that the floor is actually there, but feels nothing. His foot stops and makes a sound, but he doesn't feel the impact. The dull sound is absorbed by the world around, almost as if it is muffled.
"What the hell is going on?" The words drop from his lips and are gone, swallowed by the white.
There is no answer and Shawn wraps his arms around himself, as if he were cold even though he is not.
Shawn decides that he must be dreaming and closes his eyes, envisioning his bedroom, with the blue comforter and the blue curtains. He will be at home, in his bed, safe and sound when he opens his eyes again, he wills. The light will be streaming through the curtains, falling on his face because he's slept until noon, again, and Gus will be pounding on his door, yelling at him 'get your lazy ass up, we've got work to do'.
Shawn opens his eyes.
And falls to his knees when he sees nothing but white spread out around him. Shawn doesn't feel the impact, doesn't even realize that he's falling until he finds himself on his knees rather than upright. He wants to cry but he doesn't, just brings his hands to his head and closes his eyes.
Shawn can't remember. That has happened only a matter of times before: once when he was so severely hung-over that he couldn't even walk, once when he got into his motorcycle accident and hit his head, once when someone slipped him some kind of drug, once when he fell out of a tree, once when his mom left. He massages his temples, concentrating, searching for the memories that have to be there.
They won't come, and this time Shawn lets a sob of despair escape him. He opens his eyes and finds that the white nothingness is gone. Everything is still white, but now it has the definition of a room, complete with four walls, a floor, and ceiling. He sits in a black chair, and he can feel it beneath him. He nearly cries when he realizes that he can feel again, and he makes it his job to run his fingers across his face, through his hair, over the chair beneath him.
Shawn jumps when the voice comes out of nowhere; it is familiar in an entirely unfamiliar way, as if he's heard it a thousand times before but never really heard it. "What's going on?" He asks.
"Welcome to Purgatory."
Shawn starts, staring at the figure which emerges from a door that appears on the white wall. The figure is clothed in white, his hair so blonde that it is almost completely colorless, his eyes so pale blue that they are a mere shade from white, white wings sprouting from his back.
"P-P-Purgatory?" He stutters. "So I'm d-dead?" Shawn Spencer does not stutter in the real, normal world, but now his world has been turned so thoroughly upside down that he can do little but stutter.
The figure frowns.
Shawn sucks in a shaky breath.
"You did die. Your heart stopped for a minute and a half before the paramedics were able to restart it."
Shawn's memories are shrouded in a kind of fog; he can touch them but not access them, unable to reach through the fog and remember.
"Your memories will return soon. The shock of dying sends them into an unreachable place, to allow you time to adjust."
"Adjust to what?"
"To being dead."
"But you said I'm not dead."
"Technically, no. Currently your body lies in a coma. You will remain here until your fate is decided."
"My fate?" Shawn's head is spinning.
"Whether or not you will live or die. Every person is judged upon death, Mr. Spencer. In your case the judgment is whether or not to return you to life or send you to the afterlife."
"I don't want to die."
"Not many do. It is not your choice."
Shawn wants to scream at the unfairness of it. It's his life, why shouldn't it be his choice as to whether or not he keeps living it? He can't even remember how he "died". What was he doing? Was anyone else hurt? He has a hundred questions; that famous Shawn-curiosity is still thriving. He is never without the answers, but now he has not a single answer to guide him.
The figure turns, pulling the door open.
"Wait!" Shawn says, reaching out a hand. The figure pauses. "Who are you?"
"No one of importance."
The figure disappears, the door closes, and Shawn is left in the white room, sitting in the black chair. Then the floor drops out from beneath him.
The voice, deep and loud, echoes around him.
"Say goodbye," it says.
He finds himself suddenly staring at himself—or at least, the broken body that was his—and he remembers everything.