SAVING GRACE

By JessicaRae

Rating: K

Summary: He never thought his father's voice could sound so good. The relief that it was finally over made his knees go weak, but no later than hearing his dad were there solid hands gripping him, steadying him as he stumbled.

Major Spoilers: Shawn Takes a Shot in the Dark

Author's Notes: Okay, it has been years since I wrote anything, so please forgive me if this doesn't read well. I just needed some comfort to go with all that hurt poor Shawn suffered in this episode... And I had to add some more hurt just because I'm sadistic.

I hope you enjoy this. I am afraid I got a bit carried away with it.

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Psych and gain no money from this. This is for entertainment purposes only and no infringement is intended.


saving grace: noun

- a quality that makes up for other generally negative characteristics; redeeming feature -


"Shawn!"

He never thought his father's voice could sound so good. The relief that it was finally over made his knees go weak, but no later than hearing his dad were there solid hands gripping him, steadying him as he stumbled.

"Come here… Come here, son," Henry's soft voice grounded him; filled him with so much emotion he wanted to collapse.

"Dad…"

It was mumbled, slurred, but easily understood by his father.

"Come here," Henry repeated, his voice softer with every word. He guided Shawn to Lassiter's car, helping him to lean heavily against it, "That's it."

Shawn felt the car shudder as Lassiter slammed his former captor down on its hood. As his father left his side to help restrain the man, Shawn couldn't help but wonder how Lassiter could be so upset at him for jumping on his car when he so willingly slammed people's bodies onto it himself. From his close vantage point, Shawn was pretty sure he saw a new dent in the hood that was not his doing, but then Lassy would probably blame that on him, too.

His study of Lassiter's hood was interrupted when the man spoke.

"Nice shooting, detective."

That made Shawn's head swing up, wondering if he was becoming delusional. Surely, he was hearing things.

"Did you just call me detective?" he asked, slurring slightly.

Lassiter froze and stared at him for a few seconds, then averted his eyes before answering, "No."

Shawn was pretty sure he was lying, but didn't have the energy to care at the moment. His eyes caught the sun sparking off something in the distance and he pointed down the road, slurring his speech "Hey, shouldn't we wait for Diesel and Rodriguez before you slap the cuffs on him?"

A slight smile tugged at Shawn's lips at the sight of the bright blue Echo, his father and Lassiter twisting to look at the limping vehicle. It looked like it was going to be a little while before it reached them, still almost a half mile away. Shawn squinted at the slow approach of his best friend, his smile falling into a frown. He was beginning to feel really weird. The last 24 hours had been a seemingly nonstop roller coaster. Everything around him had been at a pace he'd struggled to keep up with, highs and lows that really threw his sense of time out the window.

Now everything seemed to be moving so slow, almost coming to a stop. Shawn found that the only thing not affected by the slowed time was his heart. It beat a fast staccato against his ribs, and Shawn sucked in a heavy breath as the beating suddenly spread to his wound. Pain pulsed on every other beat, growing in intensity with every throb. It had gone numb after his dad had propped him up against the car, and he'd hoped that now that everything was over it would stop hurting so much.

He was wrong, very wrong. His eyes slammed shut as his grip on the car slipped, the motion sending an electric shock through his shoulder. His fingers flexed against the car in an effort to keep their grip, but they only slipped again as his body became heavier and heavier, his legs trembling. He pried his eyes open as he now felt himself sliding down, his legs apparently giving up the fight. The hot surface of the car was smooth against his fingertips as they left bloody smears on the shiny dark blue. Lassiter was going to kill him for getting blood on his car.

His good shoulder was pressed hard into the car as he tried to use his weight against it to slow his downward slide, but his backside still hit the pavement with jarring force. He squeezed his eyes shut at the pain that spiked at the jolt, a low cry escaping his clenched teeth as he twisted his head to burrow his face against warm metal.

Shawn thought he heard his named called, but right now he was too busy trying to melt into the side of Lassiter's car, his uninjured shoulder pressed into it with bruising force. He gripped his wound with stiff fingers; just wanting it all to stop hurting so damn much.

A hand suddenly covered his, calloused and warm. He knew who it was even before his ears began working again and sound filtered though.

"Dad," he spoke softly, hating the way his voice cracked. He sounded like he was five years old. Shawn wanted to turn his head and look at his father, but just couldn't bring himself to leave the hard warmth of the car's metal. He was so cold, and he didn't want to move at all.

"Hey," came the gravelly voice, another hand resting at the back of his neck, squeezing gently. "Hey, kid. Just take it easy. You're gonna be just fine, son."

Shawn knew that, he really did, but he was just so tired of hurting. He could feel the blood dripping down his chest and back, the sensation causing a shiver to run through him. He wasn't sure the bleeding had ever really stopped, though he supposed his acrobatic routine onto Lassiter's car didn't help matters much. He knew that his side was coated with red beneath his shirt, the blood partly dried so that it felt like paint. His back was probably worse since it never even had the benefit of the makeshift bandage as his front had. Not that the duct-taped shammy had done much good. It was on the outside of his freaking shirt. How the hell would that help anything? Especially when he had still felt the tickle of dripping blood when he was taped to that stupid chair.

Garth Longmore had sucked at first aid, despite his military past. Flesh wound smesh wound. It hurt like hell and bled like crazy. That's all Shawn cared about. A bullet had punched though his shoulder and left a HOLE. He was bleeding and it hurt, hurt, HURT. So, flesh wound or not, it was a big deal to Shawn. A big deal that he really, really wished would go away. He wanted somebody to make it better. Somebody, just fix it. Please.

Shawn stiffened as the car shook and then flinched at the slamming door, knowing his captor was now locked inside the car. In the distance he could hear the clunk-clunk-clunk of Gus' car, behind him Lassiter's stern voice. His dad's hands had left him and were now doing something with his shirt. Whatever it was didn't hurt, so he didn't much care what he was doing.

"Ambulance is on its way," announced Lassiter. Shawn heard him clicking his phone shut and the crunch of gravel as he crouched down behind him. "How is he?"

Henry paused in his actions, then Shawn felt him gripping his hand and gently lifting it away from his shoulder to rest in his lap, "He's needs medical attention. Now."

Fast, heavy footsteps suddenly came to Shawn's ears, but he really couldn't be bothered to see who was coming. His dad and Lassy were there to protect him, and the car was just too nice and warm. Shawn's eyes remained closed.

"SHAWN!"

The shout of his name caused Shawn to jerk, eyes snapping open even as he hissed in pain. He blinked at the figure running towards him. His brow furrowed, "Gus?"

"Shawn!" Gus called again, huffing noisily as he hit his knees before his friend, effectively completing the circle of protection around the downed fake psychic. His dark face was rife with concern, "Shawn, hey… You alright, man?"

Shawn stared at Gus, then looked behind his friend to see the blue Echo still a quarter mile away, but now with its passenger door flung wide open as it limped closer. Shawn's eyebrows rose.

"Dude, you ditched your car!"

Gus blinked at him, then gave his head a tiny shake, "I saw you collapse and just couldn't sit there, Shawn. I- I thought… Are you okay?"

A genuine smile brightened Shawn's face, smoothing away the lines of pain, "Yeah, dude. I'm good."

Gus didn't look like he believed him, so Shawn smirked and was about to crack a joke to assure his friend when his dad interrupted him.

"Shawn, I need you to look at me, okay?"

Confused, Shawn did just that. He didn't like what he saw in his father's eyes. Apology. He had what looked like two shoulder pads in his hands. Shawn's eyes shot to Lassiter, no longer crouched behind him but standing above him. He was shrugging his blazer back on. Shawn hadn't even heard them rip them out of the coat. His gaze snapped back to his dad and he shook his head. He was just managing to tolerate the pain as it was, if his dad…

"No," pleaded Shawn, eyebrows scrunching together as he looked at his father. "Please, don't."

Henry swallowed noticeably, lips thinning as he held his son's gaze, "I'm sorry, Shawn, but we have to get control of the bleeding until the ambulance gets here. You've lost so much… We- I- …I gotta stop it."

Shawn pressed himself into the warmth of the car, away from his father as he reached toward his shirt, "Dad, please."

Shawn knew he was begging, but he didn't care. The last time he had tried to put pressure on the wounds he'd found himself waking up against the trunk of a tree, having passed out from the pain. He couldn't do that again. They could wait for the ambulance; it wouldn't take that long. He wasn't bleeding that badly, really. Yeah, he was cold—almost shivering, which he knew wasn't a great sign, but the car was warm so he was good. Really. He was good. Fantastic. They could just wait and-

"Shawn."

Shawn blinked, looking at his father's strained face and realizing he had just rambled all of those thoughts aloud. He was gasping for breath, panicking. He didn't want to do this. Really, really didn't want to do this.

"Dad…"

One last plea, one last try, but he could see the resolve on his father's face and turned away, forcing himself to slow his breathing. He burrowed his face back into the warm metal of the car, closed his eyes, and waited. He was really becoming attached to Lassiter's car.

Shawn felt his dad pull his shirt back and shivered as the wind hit his wet skin. Huh. His dad must have unbuttoned it.

"Oh, my God."

Squinting one eye open, Shawn saw Gus' eyes widen at the sight of the blood that coated the side of his chest. Then he saw him gulp. Oh, man. Don't bail on me now, dude. Please.

Surprisingly, Gus stayed put. He looked like he wanted to go puke in the ditch, but he stayed. Warmth filled Shawn's cold body at the action. Gus stayed. He felt like he should say thank you or something, but the feeling was quickly wiped away as searing pain ripped through his shoulder.

He screamed.

The sound was strangled and muted by his clenched teeth, but no one had any problem hearing it. His hands shot up and gripped his father's wrists with bruising strength, but Henry didn't lessen the pressure. If anything, he pressed harder.

Ah, God! Stop, stop, stop, STOP!!

"Gah- Dad! Stop! Please…"

Pain twisted Shawn's face and his voice sounded choked. His eyes were clenched shut and he was pushing against his dad with his hands and even his feet, looking as if he was determined to disappear into the car, but there was nowhere he could go.

"Dad," he choked, opening his eyes to plead with his father, but instead was shocked at what he saw. His dad was crying, CRYING. Like, clear liquid was falling from his eyes and trailing down his face. CRYING.

"I'm sorry," Henry forced out, like it was hard for him to talk. "I'm so goddamn sorry, kiddo."

"It's okay," Shawn found himself saying, the words coming fast. He forced his hands to release his father's wrists, letting them fall to his lap and curl into fists. He stopped fighting and rested the side of his head back against the car, letting his eyes fall closed.

"It's okay," he whispered and then smirked. "It's just a flesh wound."

A strained, short laugh broke from his father's lips, but his words still sounded sad, "Yeah, son. Just a flesh wound."

The smile stayed on Shawn's face until the pain spiked. He bit his lip and clenched his hands so tight his fingernails dug into his palms. It came in waves now, the pain. From tolerable to holding his breath until it eased. When his father pulled one of the pads away to check the bleeding, Shawn could feel his skin stick to the saturated cloth and pull. The feeling made his stomach turn and he swallowed hard against the feeling. When the pressure returned with renewed strength, Shawn couldn't stop the cry that escaped and clenched his eyes tight.

A hand suddenly rested on his and pried his fist open before grasping it, giving Shawn something to hold onto. He took the gesture gratefully and gripped the hand with all he had, as if the action could ease the pain. Gus was going above and beyond now; that he'd even get this close to blood surprising Shawn.

Then a hand brushed through his hair before resting on the side of his face. Shawn's eyes snapped open, because that was a little too close buddy.

It wasn't Gus.

"Jules?" Shawn croaked, breath hitching slightly.

"Hey, Shawn," smiled Juliet, her blue eyes watery soft. Her thumb rubbed against his cheekbone for a second before the hand dropped away. "You really gave us a scare, you know?"

Shawn was still trying to process how she was there, until he finally looked beyond her to see the blue Echo parked and Gus pacing back and forth in front of the car as he kept looking impatiently down the highway.

He smiled crookedly, wanted to shrug but knew that wasn't an option, "Hey, it's October. Just getting a jump on Halloween."

Juliet shook her head with a grin and then twisted to look behind her as sirens were heard approaching. When she looked back at Shawn, her expression was serious, though her eyes swam in emotion, "You need to be more careful, Shawn. This- This isn't a game, you could have been killed."

"Oh, I don't know, Jules," he smirked, fighting back the slur that kept trying to run his words together. "I think we have something pretty good here. We could make this into a board game that would rival Clue. First one to find the kidnapped psychic wins! I can see it now, it'll be a hit!"

Normally Juliet would have smiled at his wit, but Shawn was taken aback when she instead gave his hand a hard squeeze, leaning in close with an expression that caught his full attention. The sirens were almost deafening as the police backup and ambulance arrived, but Shawn had no trouble hearing her lowered voice.

"No joking, Shawn," she almost pleaded; squealing tires and sirens cutting off mid wail framing her words. "You have to promise me that you'll be more careful."

Car doors slammed and multiple running footsteps crowded around him, but Shawn could only stare at Juliet as she waited, blue eyes watery with unshed tears. He shook his head slightly in confusion, not expecting anything like this. He glanced at his dad, but Henry's eyes were fixed on his shoulder, determinedly pretending he wasn't hearing anything.

"Jules," he whispered, pain turning his voice rough.

"Promise me, Shawn," she repeated, a tear finally breaking free to slide down her cheek. She quickly wiped it away.

Paramedics had arrived and were trying to move everyone away so that they could work, but Juliet didn't move an inch, waiting. Shawn felt his father slowly release his shoulder as the medic replaced him, the shoulder pads quickly being removed and replaced with sterile gauze. Hard pressure renewed the pain Juliet's presence had muted, and he grunted, eyes wincing shut. His hand jerked in her grasp as he gasped in a breath.

He forced his eyes open and caught her worried gaze, his voice shaky, "I promise."

The smile was small, but it lit up her face and he caught her hand as she began pulling away. She looked back into his eyes as he whispered, "I promise."

Her smiling lips trembled as she nodded, their hands finally breaking in their grasp as she stood and backed away, Shawn's view of her quickly obscured by another paramedic. As he was surrounded by the controlled chaos, he had an overwhelming feeling of love sweep over him. Shawn basked in the knowledge that no matter what might happen in his life, his friends and family would always be his saving grace.

The End.