Title: Cross the Sun
Summary: Shawn sees dead people. Not to mention psychotic, revenge seeking cops, and a super awesome but probably insane vampire hunter, but you don't have to be psychic for those.
Genre: AU (alternate universe, main difference being Shawn really has psychic powers), sequel to the Placebo Effect, mystery
Rating: PG, not really anything worse than is found on the TV show
Pairings: None really, but you can read any pre-relationships you like into it…slash, het, or just strong friendships
Warnings: death, violence…ok nothing really that you wouldn't normally find in watching a psych episode. Oh, and it does contain a male pairing and homophobia
Spoilers: I might include information gleamed from anything up to and through season 4; I don't intend to give away anything major but I make no promises. And as I hate spoilers myself, I can guarantee there won't be spoilers for any episodes that haven't come out yet…I can't spoil what I haven't seen.
Disclaimer: I do not own Psych, nor am I making any money from this.
Note: This is a sequel to The Placebo Effect. While the plot side of the stories are pretty standalone, the au nature of my Psych universe is better understood if you read the Placebo story first.
Gus stared up at the bulging colorful array that strained for the sky, tugging at its leash. The basket swayed gently beneath it, small and flimsy looking. That tiny, open basket was meant to be all that came between him and a deadly plummet to the distant ground.
Shawn eyed the basket as well, his expression a mixture between awe, excitement, and fear. He took half a step forward, only to find himself held back by a surprisingly hard grip to his shirt. He turned to see Gus frozen, clinging tightly. A short but urgent conversation followed in low voices. Shawn reminded Gus about the super coolness of flight, of Gus's beloved comic book heroes, even appealing to his pride as a man. Gus continued to shake his head vehemently and ended by running beneath the nearby bleachers just as Shawn's dad returned from talking to the ticket man.
"Alright, ready to go?" he said, before his eyes darted around and his brow furrowed at the distinct lack of Shawn's friend. Shawn's eyes darted towards Gus where he continued to crouch in the shadows, close enough to hear what was going on but far enough that he could run if anyone made a move to drag him into the basket by force.
"Where's Gus?" Mr. Spencer asked, despite the fact that Shawn's eyes had already given it away.
"He…uh, he said he can't go," Shawn answered evasively, his loyalty warring with his fear that Gus's defection would ruin Shawn's own chances at a balloon ride.
"Oh?" Mr. Spencer said, before approaching the bleachers slantwise, but directed his question towards his son, "And why is that?"
"Because…" Shawn answered, hesitating briefly before blurting out, "he's a vampire!" Once the initial shock of the ludicrous notion made it out into the open, Shawn relaxed into the lie. "He didn't want to tell you, but it's true. Last night he was bitten and drained, and now he's the walking undead."
"Oh?" Shawn's dad said, "And vampires can't ride in hot air balloons?"
"Of course not!" Shawn answered, his voice sounding exasperated at having to point out the obvious, "He'd get fried by the sunlight!"
"Is that right?" Mr Spencer asked, finally turning to look directly at Gus who was still huddled under the bleachers, waiting to see what the final verdict would be. He didn't agree or disagree with Shawn's story, being disinclined to lie but finding the truth equally distasteful.
"You know," Mr. Spencer said, kneeling down so that he was more or less at Gus's level, "Sometimes the best way to get over a fear of the sunlight is to step into the sun."
"Do you want him to burn to death!" Shawn exclaimed, "I really think we should leave him here. We can come back after the balloon ride."
"Oh no," his dad answered, "We stay together. We all go or none of us go." Gus and Shawn both frowned, then Gus looked down at the ground. It was one thing to refuse to go. It was another thing to not let anyone else go either. Mr. Spencer waited. Gus began to shift nervously, his eyes darting to his friend and then to the balloon once more. From this distance it wasn't quite so imposing as up close. But that didn't mean he wanted to do it. Shawn too was looking at the balloon with longing in his eyes. He watched as some children peered out of it, one holding tightly to their cotton candy, and then it started to rise above the fairground.
"I…" Gus began to say, a slight tremble in his voice. His eyes got a determined look as he watched the balloon rise, tugging at its anchor. Shawn could see it in his eyes; Gus was ready to do this. Then Shawn sighed as he pulled up some determination of his own. Gus started to speak again, "I guess…"
"Actually," Shawn interrupted quickly, shifting on his feet, sliding slightly to make sure he was completely in the shade, "We're both vampires."
Justin Rivers leaned slightly out of the basket as the wind swept his hair and he looked down, trying to see in his mind's eye how it was going to go. He knew he should come down; Lexie would be there soon but for the moment it was just him in the basket along with the roses and the picnic basket. And the box, of course. The all important but pocket-sized box that would hopefully finish their evening with another reason to celebrate.
Below him was water and sand. The evening was still young; a few children pointed excitedly towards his balloon but most walked under it ignorant of its presence. He watched the walkers in an absentminded way. The light was dim as the sun had just set which was disappointing. He had planned on timing it so they would see the sunset together but Lexie had called earlier about a delay. No matter; a night in sky under the stars would work just as well. Perhaps they could stay up all night and see the sunrise. Justin continued to drift, considering bringing the balloon down but he really wanted to wait for Lexie to arrive and find the surprise. So he watched.
He saw the shadowed figures but didn't see them. Or rather, he didn't notice them at first. In the darkness below the people passed from streetlight to streetlight, hard to see between the gloom and the too bright lights. But he did notice the figure at last, because it was moving towards the beach and he had wondered, for one brief moment, if it might be his date. Except the person was too big, and anyway, Lexie didn't go for black clothes. This person moved like a shadow in the night, and they were moving towards another figure.
There wasn't anything really odd about that, but Justin got a sudden sense of unease all the same. He didn't hear any distant shouts of greeting, not that the sound would probably carry anyway. But something looked…off. He fingered his cellphone, ready to call…someone. His phone suddenly rang, startling him into dropping it.
"Hello?" he said when he finally managed to fumble it open, not taking the time to check the caller id in his hurry to answer before it stopped ringing.
"Where are you?" demanded a familiar voice and Justin swiftly moved to look over the side again, grinning slightly, the mysterious figure forgotten. He could see Lexie below on the beach, looking around for Justin.
"Look up," Justin answered, and when he saw the figure below shift their head, he waved.
"Justin?!" Lexie cried in a surprised and excited voice. Justin waved for a second longer than moved to the controls while still listening to Lexie gush over the phone. He intended to bring the balloon down so Lexie could climb in. But it was more or less at that moment that the balloon exploded.