Author's Note: For the purposes of this story, I have slightly exaggerated the effects of a wonderfully delicious fruit. In fact, I'm pretty sure this is entirely impossible, so please don't be scared! Continue eating the ambrosia of the Earth without fear!
"Did you know that that the pineapple symbolized hospitality and friendship to the early people of the Caribbean?"
Juliet O'Hara looked up from the paperwork strewn over her desk with a smile. She was always happy to see the resident psychic of the Santa Barbara Police Department, even if a quick glance at her partner, Carlton Lassiter, showed that the sentiment was not shared.
"What are you doing here, Spencer?" Lassiter stalked over from his desk, pointedly ignoring the fruit in Shawn's hands. "We don't have any cases that require your attention, and even if we did I wouldn't call you in until-"
"Until you got stuck?" Shawn interrupted with a grin. The grin widened when Lassiter, coloring slightly, couldn't think of a comeback. Shawn let him flounder for a moment, then turned to Juliet.
"Since today is National Pineapple Day, one of the most glorious national holidays coined by Benjamin Franklin during the Civil War, I thought I'd bring you a sample of this delicious flavor."
Juliet smiled indulgently. "Benjamin Franklin was around during the Revolutionary war, Shawn, not the Civil War."
Shawn placed the pineapple on Juliet's desk so he could raise the tips of his fingers on both hands to his temples. "You're absolutely correct, Detective O'Hara! My psychic-history vibes are getting confused by the absolute library of Civil War facts coming from Lassie's big head over there!" The psychic placed his hand on Lassiter's forehead and nodded to himself. "You were practicing with your Civil War buddies, weren't you?"
Lassiter slapped Shawn's hand off his head. "Fine. I may have been practicing last weekend, but there's no such thing as National Pineapple Day!"
Shawn sighed sadly. "In this case, Lassie, you are correct." Juliet's eyebrows rose, and even Lassiter looked surprised. Buzz McNabb, who had been walking by, stopped in his tracks and looked back at the group standing around Juliet's desk. After looking at them all carefully for a moment, he shook his head confusedly and continued to booking.
"Today is not National Pineapple Day. There is no such day, which I want to point out is a crime against humanity!" Shawn's voice had risen until the cry brought the attention of several nearby officers, who ignored him, used to Shawn's antics.
"Then why the pineapple, Shawn?" Juliet asked, confused.
Shawn grinned, then shouted. "You can come out now, Gus!"
The pharmaceutical representative came out from behind a nearby pillar, sporting a large white box in his arms as well as a thoroughly disgruntled expression.
"I still don't know why I agreed to this, Shawn," Gus commented aggressively as he came to stand next to his friend.
"Because I promised that if you helped me out on this I'd get you tickets to next year's spelling bee."
"You know that's right," Gus said. He tried to give Shawn a knuckle bump, but the large white box was in the way and, after much fumbling, muttering and angry looks at Shawn, Gus set the box down on Juliet's desk.
Shawn shook his head at Gus, giving the pharmaceutical representative a shame-instilling look. Gus glared back at him with an expression that screamed 'this is your fault.'
"Where was I?" Shawn asked loudly.
"Leaving." Lassiter said matter-of-factly, though by this point he didn't actually expect to be taken seriously. Plus, he might have been (not that he'd admit it, except under oath) slightly, very slightly, interesting in the contents of the box.
"Today is not in fact National Pineapple Day, but as we all know, April 20 is National Pineapple-Upside-Down Cake Day!" Shawn flipped to cover off the white box to a distinct lack of either a drum roll or applause.
Inside the box was a large pineapple upside down cake and a knife. Lassiter had come to trust the psychic and his associate (because Gus refused, under any circumstances, to be called an 'assistant). But he still glared warningly to the duo before rolling his eyes and returning to his desk.
Shawn pulled paper plates and utensils from the box and served pieces for himself, Gus and Juliet. While Shawn and Gus dug in, Juliet set her plate to the side.
"What's the matter Jules?" Shawn mumbled through a mouthful of cake.
"I have work to do, Shawn. I'll have some later, I promise."
Shawn swallowed and picked up a pineapple smoothie that Juliet hadn't noticed off of a nearby officer's desk. After taking a quick sip, he smiled. "Very well Juliet, but if your taste buds rebel, don't say I didn't warn you!" He waved goodbye while taking a long draught of smoothie, and started to walk away.
Before he could get two steps, however, Shawn stumbled, barely catching himself on the pillar. Gus caught his friend's arm as Juliet jumped to her feet. "Shawn! Are you alright?"
Shawn slumped against the pillar, head turning with a delayed reaction to her question. Jules watched anxiously as it took several seconds for his eyes to focus on her. "I'm fine," he murmured, swaying on his feet like he was dizzy. After a quick moment, he shook his head clear and blinked a few times. With a confused look on his face he walked away quickly. Gus shrugged at Juliet and followed.
Juliet sat at her desk, worried. She stared at the pineapple upside-down cake for a moment before pushing the papers on her desk and switching on her computer. Paperwork could wait, her friend was in trouble.
"Gus! Shawn!" Juliet cried as she rushed through the doors of the Psych office.
Gus came out of the bathroom. His usually tidy shirt was disheveled and the sleeves were rolled up. "Detective O'Hara?" He asked, concerned, but polite as ever.
"Where's Shawn?!" Juliet asked urgently.
"He's in the bathroom, puking up all that pineapple upside-down cake. Juliet, what-?" Gus spun around as Juliet rushed past him into the bathroom.
"Call an ambulance, Gus, now!"
"What the hell is wrong with my son?!" Henry practically shouted at Gus. The younger man was sitting in the plastic chair of the hospital waiting room, still shocked by the development.
"Mr. Spencer," Juliet interrupted Henry's glare. "This isn't Gus' fault. This has been a long time coming."
"What are you talking about? I want a straight answer!"
"Please, sit down, Henry." When the former detective complied, Juliet sat down next to him. "Shawn has manganese poisoning. Manganese is an element that is found in high concentration in pineapples and can cause neurological damage. How long has Shawn been eating excessive amounts of pineapple?"
Henry took a deep breath, finding it difficult to believe that his son's favorite fruit had caused his sickness. "His mother fed him pineapple-flavored baby food; ever since then it's one of the few fruits he'll tolerate."
Juliet sighed. "When I saw him getting dizzy after drinking a pineapple smoothie at the precinct, I did some searching online. I found that dizziness is a sign that the long accumulation of manganese has reached a point of toxicity to the body. His throwing up was probably caused by the same thing."
At that moment, a doctor came into the waiting room. "Is there anyone here for Shawn Spencer?"
Gus, Henry and Juliet all stood up. "That's my son," Henry replied.
"Well, your son has presented with manganese poisoning. That's when-"
"Yeah, we know what that is," Henry cut off the doctor. "When can we see him?"
The doctor was suitable surprised that anybody actually knew what manganese was, but he moved on. "We've successfully removed most of the manganese from his body, luckily, we caught it in time, so the neurological effects of the element should be countered. You can see him now."
The doctor led them to Shawn's room, where he was sitting up on his bed.
"Shawn! How are you feeling?" Gus asked his best friend, rushing to his side.
"I do believe that I've never felt better in my life. Thank you ever so much for inquiring as to my health, dear Burton." Shawn patted Gus on the shoulder lightly. He smiled congenially at everyone's stunned looks. "Do you find it difficult to believe that I am able to be polite, on occasion?"
"Well yeah Shawn, you've never shown us anything different." Henry was very confused by his son's out of character behavior. He turned to the doctor. "Is this a side effect of the treatment?"
The doctor checked Shawn's chart. "No, the only treatment we gave counteracted the effects of the pineapple toxicity. This is Shawn, pure and simple."
Shawn stood up, shaking hands with the doctor. "I'd like to thank you for your excellent treatment, as well as your bedside manner. That Knock-Knock joke you told me was quite entertaining." He turned to Gus. "Now, Mr. Guster, if you wouldn't mind giving me a lift to my apartment? I need to do some cleaning, and I simply refuse to ride that death trap called a motorcycle which I previously chose to utilize, for one thoughtless reason or another." He smiled politely again. "I'll see you later, my friend, Father." He nodded and Juliet and Henry before leaving the hospital.
Gus trailed behind confusedly and Henry sat down in a chair, trying to process what had happen. Jules sat down on the hospital bed and started crying, knowing that the Shawn she loved would never be back.
"Pineapples…bad!... sick!... motorcycle… Jules, don't cry!... NO!"
Shawn sat up in bed, gasping for air as the pictures of his nightmares slowly gave way to reality. The sweat-soaked sheets stuck to him, but he threw them off, rushing to the cluttered kitchen of his apartment and wrenching open the refrigerator.
There was the pineapple upside-down cake he'd brought to the station yesterday, the smoothie he was saving for breakfast. Shawn pulled a whole pineapple from the top shelf and made quick work of cutting it up of the cutting board he kept on the counter for his midnight snacks.
He brought a chunk to his lips and chewed it thoroughly, savoring the taste.
"It was just a dream," Shawn assured himself. "Just a dream."
"Shawn!" Gus' voice startled Shawn into dropping a chunk of pineapple.
"Gus, what are you doing here? It's one a.m.!"
Gus glared at him, expression suddenly visible as he switched the kitchen light on. "I'm here to stop you from eating so much pineapple. Your doctor said it's bad for you!"
Even a single word lets me know people are actually reading this! Please drop in a quick review!