By Andie O'Neill
Word Count: 1,317
Genre: Drama, Romance, Episode Related
Summary: That was the moment that Henry realized Shawn didn't need him anymore.
A/N: This takes place right after the events of "Lassie Did A Bad Bad Thing." It's from Henry's perspective and I only thought of it because me and my mom were watching my brother's wedding video. You'll understand better when you read the story. It's probably just a bit cheesy, but that was just the mood I was in! :D Written for challenge at psychflashfic community at LJ. Thanks to beggar_always at LJ for helping with editing! *huggles*
Disclaimer: I don't own Psych or any of it's characters.
No matter how old his son got, whether he was nine or ninety, he would always be Henry Spencer's son. That was what it meant to be a parent. It didn't just stop once they reached adulthood. It wasn't just some club you could get out of whenever you wanted to. The moment Henry had held his son in his arms and watched Shawn give him the brightest smile in the world, tiny fingers holding his larger one in a death grip that simply wasn't possible for an infant, he'd become a father. It was as simple as that. It had been at that moment that Henry realized nothing was more important than protecting his son. He was a cop once, had seen a lot of horrible things that'd kept him up some nights imagining all the things that could go wrong, all the things that could happen to his family. Nothing was more important than keeping them safe whether it be from a fall off Shawn's bike, or a dirty cop that was willing to kill to save his own ass.
When Henry had realized that Drimmer had possibly taken his son he'd felt the fear deep in his chest, the need to protect Shawn. It was the same fear he'd felt when Shawn was a kid. He still remembered that same fear when he'd watched his kid's bike go into a slide, heard his son cry out in pain as he fell against concrete. It was that moment in time that stuck with Henry, because he'd failed. He'd failed to protect his son. Years later and he was still stuck in that moment. That single need to protect his kid, take care of him. Only a parent could understand that feeling… that need. So he'd rushed off with Gus and Detective O'Hara, knowing Shawn was in danger. Drimmer had taken him, and he wasn't going to let that bastard hurt his son. Only they'd gotten there too late. His kid was alive, to Henry's relief, though certainly not in the best condition. He'd been knocked around pretty bad, and it had taken everything Henry had not to pull his son in his arms and thank whoever the hell he had to that his boy was safe. Shawn was still a little unsteady on his feet, and Henry knew he'd been hurt, catching him as he swayed backwards while teasing Detective Lassiter. He didn't notice the worry on Lassiter's face, too busy focused on that moment in time, because his boy was hurt and that was all that mattered.
The paramedics had finally arrived, and after giving a statement to Chief Vick about what'd happened he'd immediately gone searching for his son. He could still see his little boy lying on the concrete broken in the back of his mind and the feeling returned, because he was Shawn's father and he needed to protect his boy. Officers were walking in and out of Lassiter's place, doing their jobs despite the ungodly hour. Henry bumped into a few on his way towards the ambulance where Shawn was getting treated for his head wounds. Henry had just finally gotten through the crowd when he noticed Lassiter sitting beside his son while a paramedic took a look at Shawn's head. There was a cut in the back where he'd been pistol whipped and the medic was wrapping gauze to stop the bleeding. "You scared the shit out of me, you know," Henry heard Lassiter admit, tentative eyes turning to look at Shawn, and the retired cop didn't remember ever seeing Lassiter look so shaken up.
Henry could see the pain in Shawn's eyes, probably had a major headache after what he'd been through. "I know," was all he said, looking back at Lassiter. Something private passed between the two men even in their silence, and when the paramedic left they were finally alone.
Lassiter pulled his gaze away, looking down as he took in a shaky breath. Slowly his hand took Shawn's, fingers linked together and the touch was more intimate that Henry had ever thought possible. "You okay?" he asked, and Carlton was looking back up at Shawn once more.
Shawn smiled gently, and Henry could see his boy's hand squeeze Lassiter's just a bit tighter, as if afraid he would go. He'd never seen this side to Shawn before. "I am now that you're here," he spoke, his tone teasing, but Henry could detect the truth in Shawn's eyes.
Lassiter was smiling back, and he leaned forward to kiss Shawn's lips, just a gentle kiss before pulling away. "Good, cause I don't plan on going anywhere."
The words hit Henry harder than he would have expected. He knew about their relationship, though not many others did. In a way the words were symbolic, because it was at that moment that Henry realized Shawn didn't need him anymore. Oh he was still a father, that would never change, but his son had someone else to depend on. Lassiter could take care of him now, care for him. Hell, he'd already saved his boy's life. It should have hurt to know he wasn't needed, but as he looked at the love in Lassiter's eyes he knew the detective would do just fine, would protect Shawn just as Henry had sworn he would when his son was born. As much as he wanted to make sure his son was okay, tell him he was there and that everything was okay, Henry couldn't bring himself to interrupt his son and Lassiter. Slowly he backed away, heading off for his car. He was stopped seconds later by a hand on his shoulder and as he turned he could see Karen giving him a worried look. "You okay, Henry? I thought you were going to check on Spencer?"
Henry smiled as he turned his head to look back at his boy, still sitting beside Lassiter. "I'm fine, Karen… and so is he." Vick seemed to understand as she followed his gaze and he knew that as a mother, she would understand. Henry opened his car door, and Vick's eyes moved back to him as she watched him climb in and start his truck. "Night Karen."
Karen smiled, taking a step away so he could pull off. "Night Henry."
He'd been sitting on the porch enjoying the cool breeze while he son pedaled back and forth on the sidewalk. His wife had made him some lemonade which he'd been sipping when he leaned over to put the glass down, body immediately frozen as he heard the painful cry, the sound of bike tires screeching and a slam. As he looked up over the white picket fence his heart was pounding as he realized his son had taken a fall, and before he could think he was flying off the porch and rushing out of the lawn towards his son. "Shawn!" Henry could see the tears in his boy's eyes; see Shawn holding his arm, forcing himself not to scream in pain. He immediately knelt in front of his son, gathering the boy into his arms and out from under the bike. "Hey I'm here… tell me what hurts, Shawn?" Shawn gestured to his arm and Henry saw the wound, he'd have a nasty scar. He'd probably need some stitches. He held his son through the tears, covering the wound with his hand, but the blood was still seeping through. Henry kissed his son's temple, giving him a comforting smile. "You okay, kid? You took quite a nasty fall there."
Shawn was wiping away tears, but he finally nodded, then buried his face in Henry's chest. The words that came from the younger boy's mouth immediately made Henry smile grow, holding him just a little bit tighter. "I… I'm okay, now that you're here."