A/N: A response to MusicalLuna's character fantasy for a Breathless!Shawn fic over on psychfic. It didn't turn out quite like I hoped, but that's life I suppose. ;-)
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Shawn jerked the wheel of the car sharply to the left and then the right, feeling the small car shifting its weight at the rough treatment. He yelled loudly as he violently thrust the wheel back to the left and –
"Spencer! Will you get out of the car before you inflict greater damage than you've already done?"
Shawn sighed and dropped the hands from the wheel of the car.
"Lassie," Shawn said with another exasperated sigh as he leaned his head out of the window of the car and looked down at the Head Detective standing beside the car lift holding the car that Shawn was currently occupying a few feet above the ground, "what is this? I was in the zone! You know better than to interrupt a – nay! – this psychic at work."
"Spencer, the car is about to fall off the lift and I'm quite certain you've actually damaged the bottom of it," Lassiter reprimanded as he looked the car over. "Will you just tell us what we're doing here?"
Shawn looked over at Juliet and realised that she did not look even remotely amused. Apparently receiving his call at eleven at night because he had figured out the case was not on her favourite-things-to-happen-of-all-time list.
"I was getting there Gnarly Carlyton," Shawn retorted as he shifted his weight to look over at the criminal he was supposed to be admonishing, who was currently standing closer to the car than the two detectives and Gus, who was looking up at Shawn from behind Juliet with mixture of amusement and annoyance on his face. "Smarty here, was not as smart as he first thought," Shawn continued dramatically as he pointed at the man in question, "he thought he had fooled everyone into thinking it was the mechanic that had murdered the client."
"Johnson's fingerprints were all over the screwdriver used as the murder weapon," Juliet said which Shawn only took as a prompt to continue his dramatic reveal.
"That was what Smarty wanted you to think, but why wouldn't Johnson's fingerprints be all over the tool he uses day in and day out as he works on the cars?" Shawn smirked inwardly as he saw the flicker of uncertainty in the two detectives' eyes. "All Smarty had to do was make sure that it was the tool that he knew Johnson often used. Johnson hadn't been wearing his gloves the day the murder took place. It was a perfect opportunity for Smarty to put on his gloves and kill Ben Dover, while at the same time framing Johnson for the murder."
"But why would Smarty even want to kill Ben Dover?" Lassiter questioned, though he also took a step towards the quiet car mechanic, "He didn't even know Ben Dover other than when he came to the shop."
"Exactly!" Shawn exclaimed as he threw the car door open with enough force for the small Mini to wobble slightly. "Smarty was just another mechanic who didn't get enough recognition," Shawn turned to look at Smarty and his tone softened slightly, "Dude, I know how it feels. I was thrown out working as a mechanic once for no reason whatsoever."
"You destroyed the car, Shawn," Gus said.
"The wheel was still attached to the car," Shawn defended, momentarily forgetting about the wrap up he had been doing.
"You were supposed to just drive the car out front for the client, but instead you wanted to, and I quote you on this, 'take the car on a spin' around the garage. You crashed the car into a wall," Gus said as both Juliet and Lassiter and even Smarty looked on as the two friends bickered.
"Minor detail. That was so not relevant to what I'm talking about," Shawn said nonchalantly.
"How is it not relevant that you –?"
"Can we get back to the case!" Lassiter yelled, cutting off whatever Gus had wanted to say. Shawn looked at him for a second before shrugging.
"As I was saying," Shawn said with the previous dramatic tone, "Smarty was working on Ben Dover's car when he found traces of drugs from Dover's latest job. He confronted Dover because he wanted a piece of that action. There were definitely more money to be made with drug trafficking than working as a mechanic."
"That's a lie," Smarty growled, speaking for the first time since the detectives' arrival.
"Ben Dover would hear none of it," Shawn continued, ignoring Smarty's comment, "so when he refused to even pay you for your silence, you grabbed Johnson's screwdriver with your glove wrapped hands and thrust it into Dover's heart. There were witnesses to account for seeing Ben Dover and Johnson arguing earlier that day about dissatisfactions with the car. It was supposed to be Johnson's shift but you swabbed with him making sure that there was no paper work to backup that little story. Thus Johnson was quickly arrested for Ben Dover's murder, leaving you to think you had gotten away with it."
"You have no proof!" Smarty shouted as Carlton took another step towards him.
"Oh really," Shawn said seriously as he fixed Smarty with a pointed look, "Numero uno, your alibi does not check out. You said you were home with your girlfriend. Clearly she's trying to cover for you because according to her when the police talked to her you were home just like you said. It just so happens that I psychically spoke to her where she told me that you were at a poker game. Numero dos," Shawn said as he jumped down from the car. That turned out to be a big mistake.
Lassiter had moved right up behind Smarty but was not prepared to suddenly have his elbow buried in his gut. The Head Detective doubled over trying to catch his breath long enough for Smarty to dive at Shawn. The pseudo psychic had already been slightly off balance from his jump from the car so when Smarty's weight crashed into him his body toppled sideways. The other man's body landed on top of him – hard. The air left his lungs momentarily and he gasped for breath as the weight above him shifted.
There was no relief though.
As soon as Smarty's shifted a searing pain erupted from the right side of his chest. He did not have long to think about it as the criminal's body was quickly pulled from his own.
The lack of the other man's weight across his chest did nothing to aid his breathing though. If anything it was worse than it had been before. He coughed pathetically as he tried to push himself off the ground, but simply breathing was already almost too much of an effort.
"He has a screwdriver!"
In any other circumstances Shawn would have made a joke of Lassiter's shout, but instead he coughed again as he tried to clear whatever was lodged in his throat making it this hard to breathe.
"Take him away."
He looked up, surprised to find his vision swimming slightly to see guys in blue lead Smarty away as Lassie and Juliet looked after them.
"Shawn?" Ah, Gus had finally noticed his ass had still to leave the floor. "Shawn, are you okay?"
Gus sat down next to him as Shawn wheezed in a shaky breath. Since when was it so hard to breathe?
"Don't…don't f-feel…so good…" Shawn managed to get out before coughing again. He tried to put a hand to his chest put quickly pulled his hand away when even that small pressure seemed to make it harder to breathe. Was he really sweating so much? Otherwise, why did his hand now suddenly feel wet?
"Oh God," that was Gus again and he sounded really scared. Shawn wanted to assure him that he was just fine, but instead all he managed was another strangled wheezy cough. "Lassiter! Juliet!"
"What is it?" Wow, Lassie sounded really grumpy. He heard the detectives crouch down next to him more than he saw them. He hadn't even realised his eyes had closed again. When Lassiter continued his voice was a lot more urgent and concerned than it had been before, "He must have got him with that damn screwdriver. What is it with this guy and screwdrivers anyway?"
"We have to lay him down," that was Jules and Shawn would have really liked to say something in response to that, but all he managed was a strangled yell as pain burned along his chest as they carefully – yeah, right, that's what they would call it – lay him back down on the concrete floor.
It was getting harder to draw a breath with each passing second and he gasped, his mouth closely resembling the fish his father loved to torment.
"Apply pressure on the wound," Lassie's voice again but he never heard what else the detective said as somebody, probably Gus or Jules, pressed down on his right lung.
He tried to yell again, but he didn't have the breath as he continued to gasp shallowly. He was in agony. God, how hard could it be to just breathe? It was a supposedly ingrained logic for the body to inhale, then exhale and then inhale again and so on.
"I…I can't…" he wheezed trying to push the hands away from his chest, pushing down so hard he thought he would die from either the pain or the lack of air.
"Shawn? Shawn, you're okay," that was Jules again and she sounded so scared, though she clearly tried to mask the fear in her voice, "the ambulance is on the way, you're going to be alright."
Clearly she had misunderstood his sentiment. He didn't particularly care about any ambulances right now. He just wanted to breathe!
"Can't…can't…" Shawn tried again to make her understand that he wanted her to remove the weight crushing his chest making it near impossible to breathe.
"Don't talk, Spencer," Lassiter reprimanded, but Shawn didn't care.
All Shawn cared about was breathing. He had to breathe, but he couldn't. Why couldn't he breathe?
Gus watched as Juliet put practically all of her weight into pushing the shirt he had no idea where had come from over the blood gushing wound in Shawn's chest.
"I think he's punctured a lung," Juliet said, failing to sound professional as she looked at her partner.
"Where the hell are those paramedics?" Lassiter yelled as he relieved Juliet in applying pressure.
Shawn was gasping and whimpering at the same time as though it seemed he couldn't decide what was worse: the pain or the fact that he was unable to breathe.
It was with great effort and self control that Gus pushed himself over to sit by Shawn's head. He almost didn't dare touch his friend for fear of making anything worse. His best friend of roughly twenty-five years was in agony and Gus didn't even have to be as clever as he was to realise Shawn was dying. This wasn't like when they were kids and had scraped a knee while playing. This was the real world, and Gus did not like it at all.
"…can't…" Shawn gasped desperately as he once again tried to lift a hand to push away the hands leaning on his chest, but even that proved too much of an effort and his hand dropped limply to his side again.
"The paramedics will be here soon, Shawn," Gus whispered to his friend.
"He's not getting enough air; his lips are turning blue," Lassiter said, and Gus had no idea how he managed to sound so calm when he looked so scared.
Gus looked down at Shawn again and saw that, sure enough, Shawn's lips were turning blue. Shawn had stopped trying to talk, his body instead going almost too still as though he was starting to give up on his desperate struggle for air.
"Come on, Spencer," Lassiter said roughly, this time forgoing trying to sound calm.
Shawn's breath hitched as he lessened his effort to draw in air. His body was getting tired of the constant fight, and his face was rapidly loosing colour, leaving him looking nothing short of your average corpse. Gus touched his forehead, rapidly taking his hand away when he felt the cool, clammy skin. Shawn's breath kept being drawn unevenly as he once again tried to fight to draw in air.
Gus turned his head as the paramedics came rushing through the garage towards them, though he only felt a small sliver of relief. Lassiter was still pushing with all his might against the wound in Shawn's chest, as one of the paramedics dropped down on the floor next to him.
"We've got a punctured lung here people!" The paramedic shouted to his compatriots, and Gus almost told him to be a little more considerate as talking like that surely couldn't be helping Shawn. "I need a pleural tap, now."
Gus was pushed out of the way, paramedics blocking the view of his best friend, but he could still hear Shawn's rapid gasps for air as his body worked against him. Gus closed his eyes, but it was with a great deal of self control that he relented from putting his hands over his ears. He did not want to hear his friend suffering so much just to breathe. It was not how this evening was supposed to go at all.
"…hemothorax in the pleural cavity…" Gus's eyes were wrenched open as he heard the paramedics firing comments and orders between them. He caught a glimpse of Shawn as one of the paramedics shifted position, only to see Shawn's chest rising and falling unevenly, his face even paler than before.
"The pleural tap is not enough, we need a chest tube," one of the other paramedics said, just as Gus felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked up briefly to see Juliet standing there, looking pale and dishevelled, clearly as affected by this as Gus, though she was holding herself together slightly better as Gus had now realised that something wet and very unmanly had managed to slide down his cheeks.
"He's going to be fine, Gus," Juliet said as Gus managed to push himself to his feet, though he was unsure of whether she was trying to reassure him or herself.
Gus only nodded, not trusting his voice at this point. He looked at Shawn, as he heard a sharp gasp of pain as the chest tube was inserted, though as he watched he did not want to let his eyes dwell on the now present tube poking out of Shawn's side. It seemed so wrong that Shawn, of all people, should have a tube into his chest to help him breathe.
"Alright, let's move it, we need to get him to a hospital ASAP," yet another paramedic yelled when he was satisfied that Shawn's condition was not deteriorating even further after the insertion of the chest tube. In fact, Gus was in the hopeful mindset that it actually looked to be helping his friend.
He could breathe.
That was the first conscious thought that reached him. His chest still throbbed dully, but it was nowhere near the fire that had been burning there previously. He blearily looked around the hospital room, for once not actually caring to be in one as long as he could breathe. He had had his share of injuries but he had never been deprived of air this badly before. It was most certainly not on his to-do list anytime soon.
He groaned slightly when he noticed his dad in the chair on his right side, but bit it back when the older man stirred from his slumber.
"Shawn," his dad mumbled as he opened his eyes, "how's your breathing?"
"It's alright," Shawn said in what he would like to say was a husky voice, but it was probably more along the lines of a hoarse voice. "What happened?"
"What's do you remember?"
"Smarty-pants McStabby," Shawn said as he shifted slightly on the bed only to wince from the pain coming from his right side.
"Stop moving around," Henry scolded then looked at Shawn in a way that clearly said, 'please continue', just without the 'please'.
"Then owie," Shawn mumbled, feeling incredibly sorry for himself.
"From what I gathered from Gus, which was not much let me tell you, you got yourself stabbed with a screwdriver which just so happened to puncture your lung," Henry explained, though he sounded mostly like he was delivering a police report.
"You say that like it was my fault," Shawn mumbled as he looked down at his right side, finding it a little disconcerting just how uncomfortable one punctured lung was. Then again, he would probably have been more surprised if it had been a comfortable experience.
"It usually is," Henry commented, to which Shawn would have taken great offence, had he been coherent and had enough energy to be so.
Shawn sighed, wincing again as it pulled at his chest. He let his eyes slip closed, feeling fatigue grab him again, but he gladly welcomed it.
"Where's Gus anyway?" Shawn mumbled as the thought that his best friend was not actually there hit him.
"I sent him down to get coffee," his dad answered him, though his tone had softened slightly, "Are you in pain?"
Shawn mumbled, or grumbled, he wasn't quite sure which, something in the negative. He wasn't exactly in pain anyway. Give him a good long sleep, and then all of this would blow over in the morning.
"It's probably not that simply, Shawn," Henry said, only for Shawn to feel a hand smooth back the hair from his face. His excuse for not batting the hand away was that he was simply too tired to care.
Wait a minute.
Had he said all of that out loud?
Henry chuckled slightly, so he presumed that it was now twice he had said something without meaning to. Yep, it was definitely his cue to go to sleep.