A Case Of Redemption
By Andie O'Neill
Pairing: Shawn/Lassiter (Eventually), Gus/Juliet
Genre: Romance, Angst, Humor, Action, Mystery
Summary: Henry Spencer's old partner is back in town for a visit, but things go from bad to worse when a killer is found dead and Henry goes missing.
A/N: As fun as it was to write one-shots I've been itching to write a longer fic and this idea hit me over the head and refused to be ignored. Hope you guys enjoy! :D
Disclaimer: Steve Franks and the USA network own the show and it's characters.
"You know what Shawn, that's it! As of right now we are no longer speaking!" little Gus Guster shouted in a huff, wincing as his outburst seemed to aggravate his injuries.
Shawn Spencer frowned, worried about his friend's well-being. He felt guilty enough as it was and he really didn't feel like fighting with his currently injured best friend. "Gus, what was I suppose to do?! You really think I could have taken Brain Connors! He's like the toughest kid in school! He would have pummeled me and then what good would I be?! I'd be dead and you'd be all alone with no best friend!"
"What part of not speaking do you not understand?!" Gus spat, then whimpered, touching the sensitive bruise beginning to show on his right cheek.
"I already said I was sorry, Gus! What more do you want from me?! I panicked! How can I make it up to you? I got it… we could pull a prank on Connors tomorrow! I'll put orange juice in his backpack during lunch or something!" Shawn pushed, walking beside his friend, opening the gate to his house so Gus could get cleaned up. Shawn and Gus both knew Gus' parents would freak at the sight of blood and even though they wouldn't be able to hide the bruise, they could at least do something about the cuts and dried blood on his shirt and pants.
"Whoa! What the heck happened?!"
Shawn looked up, surprised to see his father's partner and fellow detective Eddie… or 'Uncle Eddie' as Shawn often called him. The boy sighed, looking over at his friend. "Gus got beat up after school."
"Because someone ran away like a little girl instead of having my back!" added Gus angrily.
"I said I was sorry!" fought Shawn. "You would have done the same if you'd been in my position!"
Uncle Eddie frowned, folding his arms. "Gus, why don't you run inside and get Henry to help you with those cuts and maybe put some ice on that bruise… Christ, you look like you got hit by a car, kid!"
"Yes, Mr. McCall," Gus spoke, giving Shawn a passing glare before he entered the house.
Shawn was about to follow when Uncle Eddie grabbed his arm, pulling him back. "Did I just hear you admit to abandoning a friend in need?" he asked, looking rather disappointed. "Cause Henry's boy would never do such a thing."
Shawn shrugged. "But Dad told me no fighting! Brian Connors is the toughest kid in school and he would have murdered me! What was I supposed to do?!"
Eddie sighed, pulling him over to the table outside. He sat down slowly, then gestured for Shawn to do the same. "No it's true, you shouldn't have fought him. What you should have done is run and gotten a teacher, or even the Principle. You and Gus are best friends. You gotta have each other's backs!" Shawn had heard it from his father more than once, and it sounded no different coming from Eddie. He would have rolled his eyes, but knew that would only make things worse. Maybe if he got the speech now, he'd avoid getting the speech from his father later. "Take me and your father, I'd gladly take a bullet for Henry, and visa versa! One day when you're a cop you're gonna face a lot of bad people… people worse than that bully who beat up poor Gus. It's about loyalty… self-sacrifice… knowing who you can count on when things get tough. There's more to being a detective than just catching the bad guys. Don't ever forget that Shawny."
Shawn nodded, dropping his head in shame at failing Gus. "I'm gonna go help Gus, thanks Uncle Eddie," he muttered, sliding off the bench.
"Anytime kid," said Eddie, with a smile and a wink. "Anytime."
"I should kill you Shawn!" shouted Gus angrily.
It wasn't the first time Gus had ever been mad at him, and Shawn suspected it wouldn't be the last. Shawn frowned, running to catch up with his friend as they left the car and walked into the Psych office. "What was I supposed to think?! Gus, you haven't had a date for like a year now! And let's face it, it's not like I've seen many girls walking out of your apartment since we started working for the Police Department. I've tried to hook you up with some pretty hot chicks and you never seem interested. I just thought… you know… maybe it was because… because you-"
"I'M NOT GAY, SHAWN!" shouted Gus, giving him an angry glare, and Shawn could swear steam was actually coming from his ears.
Shawn sighed. "Did I say that? No one's saying that!"
"THEN WHY DID YOU SET ME UP ON A BLIND DATE WITH A MAN?!" shouted Gus, looking absolutely pissed, blushing furiously (which was hard to do considering Gus' dark complexion.)
Shawn winced at his tone. "Okay, so maybe that wasn't the best idea I ever had, but at least now I know! I promise, from here on out… I will never, ever set you up with men again! Scouts honor!"
"You were never a scout, Shawn."
"Come on, Gus, yes I was! Remember that week in July of 87?"
"You lasted one week before they kicked you out for causing that fire during the annual camping trip," Gus reminded him.
Shawn rolled his eyes. "That's not the point. Look Gus, I'm sorry! I messed up! But come on! I only did it because I was worried! See, this is why you're so uptight! You need to release some tension, dude!" Shawn fought. If Gus wasn't careful the little Gusters were gonna shrivel up! Shawn was only trying to do his friend a favor. Besides, Calvin Winters was an ex-boyfriend of Shawn's and he knew first hand just how… ahem… helpful the guy could be. He would have taken care of Gus' problem easily!
"I'm not having a one night stand, Shawn."
"No one said anything about a one night stand. I'm just saying you need to get out there! Make some noise! Hit some bars, or a club… something!" Suddenly Shawn was hit with a thought, and he could kick himself for not seeing it sooner. "Unless of course… unless you already have somebody in mind. Gus?" When Gus' blush deepened, Shawn's eyes widened. "Gus! Why didn't you tell me?!"
Gus sat at his desk, fiddling with a piece of paper before balling it up and throwing it in the trash… a two pointer. "Because… it's never gonna happen anyway. She's out of my league… besides, I could tell you liked her too so I figured I might as well back off."
Shawn searched through his memories, trying to find some moment, some look that would give him a clue as to who Gus could possibly be interested in, but he simply couldn't figure it out. "Dude, what are you talking about? Who is she?" he urged, sitting on his own desk, a little excited by the news that his friend had a crush.
"No way, Shawn! We are not having this discussion! And don't think I'm not still mad about last night!"
Shawn groaned, wishing his best friend would just tell him. It had to be a woman they both knew… someone Shawn flirted with. They both knew her. Was it that waitress? The one that worked at 'Burritos, Burritos, Burritos?' No, that couldn't be it! Shawn only flirted with her to get free food. Then suddenly, as if a light had been turned on in Spencer's head he knew exactly who it was Gus wanted. He couldn't really blame his friend. She was extremely attractive, and Shawn didn't blame Gus for being just a little hesitant about asking her out, especially since Shawn had tried in the past and failed spectacularly. "Oh my god… you like Jules, don't you?"
Gus' eyes immediately widened. "How did you-"
"You mean I'm right?! How long has this been going on?!"
Gus looked away, eyes downcast as if he were in trouble. "Not long… it's kinda new actually. It's just… we have so much in common. I mean, she likes comic books, and she's fun to be around. And you gotta admit she's beyond attractive… but you know… I know how much you like her. I mean, you've been trying to start something with her for years now! I couldn't-"
"GUS! We've competed over women before!" Shawn reminded him; a little surprised that Gus would back down simply because Shawn had show interest.
"That was different! Juliet is better than those girls! She's unique! She's not some trophy to compete for!" Gus fought.
Shawn deflated, a little disturbed by what he was only just learning about his best friend. "Gus, it's true… I do flirt with Jules, but it's not as serious as you think it is." Perhaps it was time he aired his own dirty laundry… Gus wasn't the only one who could keep secrets.
"What are you talking about? You're always staring at her… and you flirt-"
"I flirt with everyone, Dude… it's who I am. Besides, Jules is hot… of course I stare. I also stare at food, but that doesn't mean I want to sleep with those muffins they keep on display in the window of 'Jamba Juice'," Shawn pointed out.
Gus gave him a confused look.
"If you'll notice she's not the only one I flirt with… and if you'll also notice, she's not the only one I stare at." His best friend's blank stare spoke volumes and Shawn wanted to groan at how clueless Gus could be. "Dude, I've been flirting with Lassiter just as long as I've been flirting with Jules. Our first year working for the department I sat in his lap! Why do you think I enjoy getting under his skin so much? It's fun watching Lassie get all riled up! I mean, you gotta admit, he's pretty hot when he's angry."
Gus gave him a disturbed look. "Uh no, Shawn… I don't."
"Whatever dude, the point is, you should have told me! Now we just need to come up a plan to get you and Jules together!" Shawn was already formulating ideas… brilliant ideas.
"No Shawn! You promised… no more interfering in my love life!"
"Actually, I promised I wouldn't set you up on dates with men… I never said anything about women… including Jules," Shawn corrected proudly.
Gus moaned, rubbing his forehead. "I really, REALLY hate you sometimes, Shawn."
"I know buddy… I know," Shawn mumbled as he went in search of a pen. He had some serious planning to do!
"… the body of Mr. Keith Michaels was found by his wife of two years in their house only days after being released from prison. Michaels had been charged with the murder of Mr. James McCall, a cold case reopened after twenty-one years, but due to lack of evidence was released. Head Detective Carlton Lassiter of the Santa Barbara Police Department was unavailable for comment at this time…." Henry rolled his eyes, cutting off the television as he grabbed some sauce from the kitchen and walked outside to finish barbequing dinner. Shawn and Gus were supposed to be coming over and he wanted to make sure everything was perfect. He set the barbeque sauce off to the side and was just getting ready to light a fire when he sensed he was not alone. Henry Spencer paused for a moment, before looking up, and his heart immediately stopped as he saw the visitor standing awkwardly in his yard.
"Eddie?" Spencer questioned, not quite sure how to react. It'd been a long time since he'd seen his partner… over twenty years. Eddie had quite the force not long after his brother's murder, and the two had part ways in a less than dignified manner despite a friendship that had lasted almost ten years.
Eddie smiled, running a hand through his hair as he walked closer. "Hiya Henry… been a long time."
Henry could tell something was wrong immediately, noticing the five o'clock shadow and the circles around his eyes that hinted to lack of sleep. The years had not been very good on Eddie, although at least he still seemed to have all his hair. There was a backpack swung over his left arm, and his hands were stuffed in his pockets, and Henry wasn't quite sure what to make of the sudden visit. "Twenty years… last I heard you moved back to New York."
Despite years living in California, Eddie had never lost his New York accent… something that had always made it easy for Henry to identify when his friend and partner would call. He probably wouldn't have believed it was really Eddie if he hadn't heard that familiar accent. Eddie shrugged. "For a while… but I'm back now, at least for a week or so, and I thought I should take the time to look up old friends."
Henry had once considered Eddie a good friend. He'd been nothing but a rookie when they'd first been partnered together, and Henry hadn't been pleased, but Eddie made a good cop back in the day. He'd been one hell of a detective, and eager to learn. After ten years Henry couldn't have trusted anyone as much as he'd trusted Eddie… until one gruesome case had not only ended their friendship, but Eddie's career. Henry hadn't heard from him since, except for the gossip from some of the other officers about his whereabouts. Henry couldn't be too pissed with the kid… he'd lost his brother in that case, a case that Henry had been forced to lead. They'd never found the killer, and the case had been closed. That was the day their friendship had died and Eddie had left the force. "Old friends?"
Eddie frowned, running a hand through his hair, and Henry pushed back the jealousy at just how thick it was. "I said some things… things I wish I could take back, and it's taken me twenty years to say it… but you deserve an explanation."
"I didn't need an explanation, Eddie," Henry assured him, turning completely to face his 'old friend.'
Eddie nodded, glancing at the house. "Got a minute?"
Henry hesitated, positive Eddie was hiding something. He wouldn't look Henry in the eye, was fidgeting like crazy, and Henry knew the signs well. His old partner wasn't being completely honest with him as to why he was there, but perhaps if they went inside he'd stop playing games and get to the point. Henry walked over to the door, opening it and standing aside to let Eddie in. "For you… I'll give you ten," he said, with a friendly smile. Henry owed him at least that much.
Eddie smiled, walking inside. "Thanks Henry."
To Be Continued