A/N: Thanks to those who have given this a chance :) It's been a fun foray into Psych fic for me!
So, hospitals. Apparently not that much of a step up from being kidnapped in the trunk of a car, though he would probably argue that it was a substantial improvement from being tied in the back of pickup truck. All that wind in his hair really didn't do anything for him. The tousled look was so ten years ago.
So, really, he should have been happy about his new surroundings. After all, they were clean, moderately spacious, no one seemed to be waving any guns around and he wasn't tied to a chair. Though Lassiter did seem to be itching to pull his gun when he visited to collect a statement, and the IVs were rather restrictive, what with being stuck into his arms and all that.
He eyed them surreptitiously and wondered how vital they could be. For all he knew, that was just high priced water being dripped into his veins. Or perhaps they sprang for Sprite. Or even 7Up.
Which was, oddly enough, something to perk up his spirits about being laid up with a gown that merely tied in back. He was comfortable with his body, this much was true, but he wasn't sure he liked the idea of his father seeing him naked.
His eyes moved from the IVs to his father, who was still stationed in the chair by his bed, almost like he was stuck there. Shawn wondered if the old man had taken a bathroom break at any point. It certainly hadn't been while Shawn was awake, if he had, and given that Shawn had already been stuck in this place for two days, there was now good reason to believe that his father's colon was in jeopardy.
Or worse, that somewhere during his father's years as a hard ass, it had become a literal reality.
To think, his father could even pull of that bizarre mixture of menacing and ridiculous while half-asleep in a hospital chair. If he just stopped wearing those ridiculous shirts, it would help. Maybe he could bribe a nurse to say such mortifying prints were negative to Shawn's health. Surely, Gus would back him up on this one.
Well, Gus might were he not passed out on the other chair in Shawn's hospital room. Unlike his father, Gus had actually left his seat from time to time, presumably to go eat something and use the facilities.
Facilities. What a funny name for the bathroom. Perhaps the term can would be more appropriate. The john, even, for the colloquially minded.
Shawn sort of wished he could use the bathroom, no matter what name they liked to give it. He'd been confined to bed rest, quite literally, and while he had graduated to a bedpan after he came out of unconsciousness, he had yet to be cleared for walking.
What did these doctors know. He'd been shot in the shoulder, not the leg. So the blood loss and infection were forces to be reckoned with, but he was pretty sure that for a nice spot on an actual toilet, he'd be willing to take them on. He had survived a kidnapping; he was pretty sure he could handle the bathroom.
Of course, his case would be more convincing if he could stand up on his own and move without wanting to curl up into the fetal position and sob like a little girl.
It was a manly pain, though. He had taken a bullet. And undergone emergency surgery. And he was fighting off a mid-grade infection. And he had some stranger's blood coursing through his veins. All in all, pain was probably to be expected and he was man enough to let his guard down and show the world his pain.
And there was pain. It had been the thing that had woken him up, the first thing that had permeated the haze of his mind. Just that it hurt. It almost surprised him that he hadn't noticed it quite so acutely before.
The doctor had explained that the wound itself had been exacerbated by Shawn's excessive movement, and that the blood loss and infection were working against him. All of which Shawn could have concluded on his own were he not in so much pain.
Stoic, he was not.
And thirsty, he certainly was.
Chewing his lip, he looked at the table in the room. It was crowded with a myriad of things. Some drinks. A candy bar wrapper. A takeout box. Even a newspaper. And, most of all, the water pitcher. Standard hospital issue, with a little handle and a lid, and honest to God water inside.
Sure, Shawn would have preferred something more tasty. A pineapple smoothie would have been divine, but beggars could not be choosers. And injured psychics, fake or not, had to take what they could get. The idea of peeing in a pan was hard enough to deal with. The thought of pushing out a number two while flat on his back while his father refused to leave the room? Was even less appealing.
So, until he was graduated to the big boy's room, liquids it was.
If he could reach the thing.
Annoyed, he looked around, trying to figure out who had come to this brilliant decision to put the water in the farthest possible spot. It had been by his bedside when he'd taken his nap (rather, his nap had taken him--he still had no recollection of how or when he'd fallen asleep, just that his father had been talking and then he'd woken up), which meant that someone in the interim had decided to move it.
Possibly a nurse, he thought, giving his IVs another look. It could have been in the way of the IV pole, but these were almost empty, so it looked like they hadn't been messed with while he'd been asleep.
He looked to his father, eyes narrowed. Perhaps it was his father's sadistic ploy to make Shawn acknowledge his needs. The old man could be itching to feel useful, and moving the water could have been an attempt to satisfy that. Needless to say, his father was crafty enough for such a venture, and he was also morbid enough to make his injured, hospitalized son suffer for his own personal gain.
Or, worse, it was a lesson for Shawn. Trying to teach him self-reliance or survival or something equally inane that no father should teach in actual practice.
But his father was asleep, and his arms weren't even crossed angrily across his chest. This was a real sleep, a down-for-the-count kind of thing. His father wasn't tired, he was exhausted, and of all the things on his father's mind, torturing Shawn for his own benefit wasn't high on the list at the moment. (And thank God for small miracles!)
Lastly, his eyes flickered to Gus. His loyal friend. A beloved compatriot. The candy bar wrapper on the table was a Kit Kat. His father was a tried and true Snickers kind of guy, so the Kit Kat undoubtedly belonged to Gus. He probably liked the four sections--it would make it seem to last longer.
Chocolate could be a delicious treat, but it was also one that incurred a thirst. A deep one. And Gus did like to keep hydrated, sometimes obsessively so.
And there was a plastic cup on the table. Shawn's from earlier was still on the bedside. The one Shawn had thrown in an attempt to play basketball with the trash can was still on the floor by Gus' chair.
Someone had been drinking. Someone not afflicted with severe injury and pervasive illness had taken his water and used it for their own personal gain.
Someone who had eaten a Kit Kat and was sleeping off his atrocity.
There Shawn was, lying in bed, drugged up, fevered, transfused, and shot, and his best friend had stolen his hospital water to enjoy a Kit Kat that he hadn't even offered to share. First getting shot, then getting thrown in the trunk of a car, then being smacked upside the head and tied up, and now this?
He really needed to look into developing a worker's compensation package for Psych. So the doctor had told him that he was on his way to full recovery; that didn't change the fact that he was in pain and thirsty with the only pitcher or water on the other side of the room.
He could just wake his dad and Gus up. One word and he was fairly certain they'd be awake and asking him what he needed. Such had been the case the other three times he'd woken up so far. Between Gus' well-intentioned bumbling and his father's sharp tongued fretting, Shawn was feeling more coddled than a child or a sick puppy.
He'd been kidnapped and shot, and yeah, maybe it'd been bad, but he wasn't an invalid. At least, not permanently, and he was getting pretty tired of trying to prove otherwise. Not that he didn't appreciate the attention or try to milk it for all that it was worth, but there was a difference between being spoiled and being smothered and they had long surpassed the former and moved well into the latter. His father had tried to feed him ice chips, for goodness sakes. Straight out of a bad 80s TV show.
No, it was time to be resourceful.
Eying the pitcher, he thought about getting up. Moving slightly, hot pain lanced through his arm again and he felt flushed. Psychic or not, he had visions of himself standing and promptly falling again, which, despite his natural grace and debonair ease, would attract undue amounts of attention, thus thwarting the intent of the plan to begin with.
So maybe he hadn't thought this through. The bed was on wheels, but maneuvering the bed across the room and pulling all the equipment with it might be a trick. Disconnecting things might work, but then he was pretty sure that the staff would think he was dead and that wasn't a commotion he needed. He'd already had the dramatic pass out session with his dad on the side of the road, and he would rather not have a repeat of that, whether it was a false alarm or not.
Looking around, Shawn looked for some alternative inspiration.
There wasn't much within reach, and fondling the medical equipment was a no-go. Were it anyone but himself in the bed, he might feel more adventurous in that regard, but as it was, he did not feel like dying or experiencing any lapses in consciousness or any undue amounts of pain.
But there. The Kleenex box.
In Gus' self-centered snacking, he had not taken the tissues.
Yet, what good would that do him? His nose wasn't runny and he didn't feel like trying to blow it, because he was pretty sure that would not be so fun for his stitches (and he was quite intent on keeping his stitches happy at the moment, thank you very much).
But tissues could be wadded. They made pretty good bases for spit balls, were Shawn so inclined.
Too bad his mouth was dry. All this intravenous hydration may have kept his internal organs happy but didn't do a whole lot for his mouth. The cottony feeling had subsided some after being awake, but he wasn't exactly swimming in the saliva at the moment. Besides, where would he find a straw when he couldn't even get to the water?
But he could still throw it. Tissues were funny things to throw, and getting them to go anywhere was a bit of a feat.
And Shawn liked challenges.
Especially those of the Kleenex nature.
Reaching over with his good arm, he plucked a tissue from the box. Wadding it purposefully, he pressed it tightly in his palm, compacting it as best he could. The key, of course, was reducing its center of gravity, giving it more mass so it could actually get somewhere.
Satisfied, he eyed his target. It would be a stretch, that was for sure, but it was a worthy goal.
Eyes narrowed, he lowered his chin and aimed. The wind up was a bit stifled, but the effect was there, and then he released.
And watched his Kleenex ball unfurl in the air, floating easily next to the floor beside Gus' foot.
The bitter taste of failure. Not even cottonmouth made it sting less.
Or that could have been the painkillers wearing off.
He really wanted that water.
But more than that, he really wanted to hit Gus with a wadded up Kleenex. That would be justice, after all. For taking his water in the first place to consume a Kit Kat without even offering to share.
Nabbing another Kleenex, he created another ball, even firmer than the last. This time, it landed on the other side of Gus' chair.
His aim would never matter if he couldn't get the wad to be more solid. If he just had some water...
Perturbed, he stuffed the next Kleenex in his mouth. It already tasted like cotton, so some dissolvable fabric wasn't really all that bad. Maybe a bit fiber-y, but considering that he hadn't eaten anything that resembled real food in days, it really wasn't so bad.
After a moment, he removed it, finding it not as wet as he'd hoped, but enough to get the job done. Mashing up the Kleenex a bit more, he closed one eye, defining his target once again. Gus' perfect, round head was the ideal thing to aim for, and fortunately for Shawn, there was a lot to aim at. Normally he wouldn't need such a cushy target, but today he'd take all the help he could get.
Readied, aimed--then Shawn fired.
The dampened tissue arched into the air, looping easily toward Gus. But, Shawn had underestimated his own injury, and the lack of force behind the throw became painfully evident as it began its downward slope far too soon. It would never make it to Gus. Not even close.
But it was the perfect course for his dad.
Right in the balding head.
It hit with a wet smack, before bouncing off and hitting the ground with a glop.
For a second, Shawn dared to hope that his father could have slept through it.
But the old man startled, arms flailing and legs spasming as he blinked rapidly. A garbled string of something like profanity spewed from his mouth as he jerked to attention.
Then his eyes settled on Shawn, and then what he did next really surprised Shawn.
With wide eyes, chest heaving, the first words out of his father's mouth was: "Are you okay?"
Shawn raised his eyebrows. "I assume you mean that relatively speaking," he said, as a matter of fact.
His father stared at him, incredulous.
"After all," Shawn continued. "I do have a hole in my shoulder. And I've got an infection."
"So you're fine," his father said.
"Well, I'm not sure I would say fine," Shawn said.
"Are you dying?" his father snapped.
"Well, I think we're all dying."
"Are you bleeding again?"
"Not since they stitched me up."
"Is your fever up?"
"Do I look like a human thermometer?"
His father sighed, leaning back in his chair and rubbing a hand over his face. "So you woke me up just to be a pain in the ass," he concluded wearily.
"No," Shawn said. "I woke up to get a drink of water."
"By throwing something at me?"
"Again, no," Shawn said. "I was aiming at Gus."
His dad glanced to his side, where Gus was rousing. "I taught you better aim than that."
"Well, excuse me for being thrown off by fever, blood loss, and surgery," Shawn sniped.
"It wasn't even your right shoulder."
"So I get nothing for the general pain and overall impact?"
His father did not look amused. "If you're going to do something, you do it right," he said. "No half-assing it."
"Thank you for that well-timed lesson," Shawn replied. "Next time, if you could wait while I'm still under the anesthesia, I'm sure it'll be much more effective. You know, maybe if they'd let you in the operating room--"
"You two are really loud, you know that?" Gus muttered, squinting sleepily at them.
"Well, sorry, buddy, seeing as it is my hospital room, I sort of thought I had the prerogative," Shawn said.
Gus sat up, wincing as he did. "Yeah, well, at least you get the bed."
"Would you like to trade?" Shawn offered. "I'd gladly trade you the IVs and the bedpan for the chair."
Gus made a face. "Pass."
"Yeah, throwing exploits aside, you're not moving from that bed until the doctor signs off on it," his father said.
"Which, normally I wouldn't object to," Shawn agreed. "A little time off is just what I need."
"So what was with throwing things?" his father asked.
"Well, I was trying to stay in bed, as requested by all parties, but I was thirsty. Since someone moved the water pitcher, I had no other choice but to attract attention." He looked purposefully at Gus.
"You could try asking."
"Which is what I'm doing now."
"So what was the need to throw things?"
"What did he throw?" Gus asked.
His dad picked up the wadded tissue, tossing it at Gus, who caught it, his face twisted in disgust as he flicked it clear of himself. "That is the poorest excuse for a spitwad I've ever seen."
"Well, if I'd had some water, I might have been able to do it properly."
"You're supposed to use spit."
"Of which I have very little since I'm so thirsty. Literally, parched. Do you know what it's like to be parched?"
"I think I know what it's like to be parched," Gus said, grumpily.
"Getting woozy after running the mile in gym class doesn't count."
"Mild dehydration," Gus insisted. "The nurse said so."
"And I'll bet she gave you water."
His father groaned, shoving to his feet. With much fuss, he grabbed a cup, pouring it into a fresh glass. Walking back to Shawn, he held it out. "There," he said. "Water. Are you happy?"
"No straw?" Shawn asked, as innocently as he could.
Mouth and chin set, his father pulled a straw from Shawn's old glass, plunking it down.
"Do you want the damn water or not?" his father snapped.
Mollified, Shawn took the glass. "Okay, okay," he said. "I just thought that maybe my heroics had earned me a bit more than that."
"Oh, please," his father said, shuffling back into his chair.
"It wasn't really heroic," Gus said with a thoughtful shrug, now fully awake and completely annoying.
Shawn took a sip, brow creased. Swallowing, he shook his head. "I got shot, I jumped on the hood of a moving vehicle, that's not enough?"
"But you didn't save anyone," Gus pointed out. "You're more of a survivor than a hero."
"What about standing up in the face of unrelenting evil? Holding true to the integrity of selfhood even under extreme duress?"
Gus made an indecisive face. "Ehh," he said.
Shawn groaned, flopping back. "Thank you, buddy," he said. "I can't believe you're denying me my heroics on a technicality."
"It's a pretty big technicality."
Taking another sip, Shawn looked at his friend crossly. His good humor was strained in this situation, much thanks to Garth Longmore and his gun.
And if that wasn't the set up for a raunchy movie, he wasn't sure what was.
None of which was helping him come up with an adequate comeback. Maybe this whole ordeal was affecting him more than he had thought.
He allowed himself another sip, letting it linger long not to quench his thirst but to muster around for some comedic dignity. "Yeah, well, you're a...." He furrowed his brow, swallowing hard against the persistent dryness in his throat. "A technicality." He mumbled the conclusion, averting his eyes.
"Wow, you really don't feel well, do you?" Gus said.
"The doctor said he'd still be pretty out of it," his father interjected, as if Shawn needed the help. "We're barely twelve hours post-op. Cut him a break."
"Yeah," Shawn chimed in, despite himself. "Twelve hours ago, I was in surgery."
"I know, Shawn," Gus said firmly. "I was there."
"A cushy waiting room doesn't exactly mean there."
"I had your blood on my hands," Gus said. "I had to take three showers to clean that up."
"And I haven't gotten to take a shower in two days!" Shawn exclaimed. "Do you know what that is doing for my hair? How am I supposed to pick up attractive nurses while looking like this."
"I'm sure Abigail will keep you company."
Well, that much was true. Sometimes it was hard to remember that his flirtatious wiles had to be reigned in. "Is she coming back soon?"
Gus sighed, sitting back and rolling his eyes a bit. "She was just here."
"I didn't see her."
"You were asleep."
"And no one thought to wake me?" Shawn asked, feeling a rise in his incredulity. "Why not? I could have used the company."
"Because I told him not to," his father said.
Shawn turned wounded eyes to his father.
"The doctor said you're supposed to be taking it easy," his dad continued. "So you're going to be taking it easy. Remember you've still got the infection to take care of and I'm not wasting any more time in this hell hole than absolutely necessary."
"Well, thank you very much everyone," Shawn said. "I now feel sufficiently neglected, abused, and forgotten."
"You do realize that we've been sitting here all day. And all last night. For you."
Shawn refused to be placated. "After you send my friends away and drink my water."
"And I'm not your friend?" Gus asked, somewhat indignant.
Shawn jutted his chin a little. "You still drank my water," he said.
Gus rolled his eyes in earnest this time. "Fine," he said. "What would you like to drink? Name it, and I'll get it for you."
At that, Shawn brightened. "Really?"
"It's better than hearing you complain about your water all day."
"Hey, keep it simple," his dad said. "You haven't even had solids yet."
"But a pineapple smoothie isn't a solid," Shawn pointed out, rather gleefully.
"How am I supposed to find a pineapple smoothie in the hospital?" Gus asked.
"That is why you have the magic head," Shawn told him. "For just such awesome magic."
"Maybe I'll just bring Abigail back."
Shawn coughed, dry and weak, letting his upper body enunciate the motion.
"Okay, okay," Gus grumbled, standing up. "But only because you're still in the hospital bed. I looked at your chart, dude. The medicine you're on? Isn't anything to mess around with."
"And thank you for such a reassuring thought," Shawn said.
"I'm just saying."
"And I'm just thirsty."
At that, Gus relented, moving to the door with a scowl on his face. But his friend paused before he left, and with his lingering gaze, Shawn could see that this had been hard on him.
And Shawn knew it wasn't just about the company car.
A pineapple smoothie would help, but it wouldn't make it better. For either of them. But, for now, he knew it was the best either of them could manage.
Considering all that Shawn was trying to manage at the moment, that really was something.
It was a weird thing, being in the hospital. Being cooped up in a bed was not his forte and entertaining the odd string of visitors had been more than a little different. After all, he was devoid of his usual props and limited to the bare essential gestures. Any excessive dancing or gesticulating was certainly out of the question, and Shawn had found it surprisingly difficult to communicate effectively without his full range of motion.
But weirder still was the way other people acted. The Chief, actually being sweet to him. Lassiter, being uncomfortable. And Juliet had barely stayed long enough to ask him if he really wanted his official statement to include the part where he screamed like a little girl when poor Garth Longmore had taken the shot.
Even his father--just sitting there. He knew his father had a certain fortitude for the bizarre, but this perhaps could take the cake.
And why wasn't there more cake on the hospital's menu?
Thinking about cake would do him no good. Back to his father.
Who was just sitting there.
Of all the things. Sitting there. Not talking. Not making critical commentary on how poorly Shawn wore his gown. He hadn't even asked how many hats were in the room, though that was probably a pretty easy one considering it was a private room.
But still. His father being quiet was never exactly a good thing.
Besides, Shawn didn't like silence. Silence was, too, well, silent.
"So, uh, seems like a nice day for some fishing," Shawn said, hoping to elicit some response.
His father made a face at him. "You hate fishing."
"Well, maybe," Shawn said. "But near death experiences are great for reminding me to rethink life. To take nothing for granted. And never again do I wish to take for granted how some days are just too precious to not slaughter innocent fish."
His father scowled.
"Or, you know, camping. Though, I think I did have enough of the great outdoors for a while," Shawn admitted, keenly aware of the time he'd spent stumbling through the woods. "Beside, aren't there ticks in the woods? I mean, have they even checked me for that? Behind the ears?" Shawn put his fingers behind the ears. "Or in the hair. Which, hey, would be way easier for you to check for."
There was another scowl, but it was no more pronounced than the first. Shawn had pulled out a bald joke and everything, but no dice at getting the old man to crack.
Normally, he'd ramp it up a notch. Keep prattling until he found a weakness and exploited it.
The problem was, however, that the weakness today was Shawn himself. He just did not have the energy to be his usual self.
Instead, he sighed. "Is there something wrong, Dad?" he asked. "I mean, beside the obvious."
His father grunted a little at that. "Beyond the obvious?"
"The whole shot-kidnapped-hospital thing," Shawn said, trying to shrug a little.
"Oh, that thing," his father returned with heavy sarcasm.
"Oh, come on," Shawn said. "The bullet went in, the bullet went out. A little blood loss, a little fever, and I've earned my merit badge. Like Rocky. Or Rambo. Without, you know, the bandana. Maybe I can have Gus get me one before he comes back. Do you have a phone?"
"You're not calling him," his father said shortly.
"But I'm sure he has one," Shawn said. "He was into the A-Team pretty heavy when he was a kid."
"You're not taking this very seriously," his father fussed, his brow furrowed.
"I'm taking this very seriously," Shawn countered. "I do not joke about bandanas."
"This isn't about the bandana."
"Well, if it's about the hitting you with the wet Kleenex, I'm sorry. But I couldn't very well get up on my own to get my own drink of water. No excessive movement yet, remember?"
His father rolled his eyes. "The doctor said you're going to be fine."
Shawn was incredulous. "First I'm not taking it seriously enough and now I'm taking it too seriously?" he asked. "Come on, Dad. Make up your mind."
Shifting in his seat, his father huffed. "Well, if you had taken it seriously in the first place, we probably wouldn't be here."
It was Shawn's turn to roll his eyes. He threw his good hand in the air. "Oh, okay," he said. "I'm not even off the pain meds yet and you're giving me a lecture."
"You should never have been in that storage yard by yourself at night," his father continued, seeing his opening and unable to resist it.
"Yes, because I should be able to know when crazy criminals are there with guns."
"You're doing a cop's job without any of the protection."
"No, I'm doing my job," Shawn said insistently.
"Yeah, so getting shot was all just another day at the office?"
Shawn sighed. "I admit, that one threw me."
"Threw you?" his father said, eyes wide. "What about getting tossed in the trunk? You do know how lucky you are that he didn't kill you and drive off to bury you, don't you? Could have chopped you up right there, burned you beyond recognition with a welder."
Wincing, Shawn shook his head. "Thanks, Dad, for that very pleasant image."
"Well, how do you think I felt getting called in the middle of the night to come down there?"
"About as good as I felt being thrown in a trunk with a bullet hole in my shoulder."
"Which is my point," his father said forcefully, sitting forward now. "You can't take those kinds of risks. You shouldn't be putting yourself in that kind of danger. You're not armed, Shawn, and believe it or not, you're not invincible."
With a short laugh, Shawn gave his father a look. "Sitting here with the stitched up hole in my shoulder, I think I know that pretty well."
"Do you?" his father challenged. "So what was with jumping on the hood of the car, huh? What kind of hare-brained idea was that?"
"You're the one who said to never stay with a bad guy. To get out, first chance you get."
"Not by jumping from a speeding car," his father exclaimed loudly.
Shawn sighed. "Okay, not my smartest move ever," he said. He didn't know how to explain it. That it wasn't just about the heroics of it, but because, in the end, he just so did not want to be a hostage anymore.
Playing the hostage was playing the victim. And Shawn was many things, but a victim?
No, thank you. That required too much vulnerability. Too much trust of outside sources. There was no control in it. Staying in the back of that pickup truck, he was at the mercy of whatever that maniac tried to pull off and whatever his friends managed to intervene with. Staying in that pickup kept him the victim.
Taking that jump, for as stupid as it may have been, gave him the choice.
Shawn liked choices. Blonde or brunette, carrots or peas, hair gel or cream. Some were harder than others, and sitting in the back of that pickup, it really had been pretty easy.
His father was staring at him, eyes dark with a wild bent. It was typical Henry Spencer, passionate and stubborn.
And scared out of his damned mind.
Because Shawn could put two and two together, just like his dad could. And his dad had concluded all the ways it could have gone wrong when Shawn took that leap, while Shawn had fixated on the one way it could go right. But he could have ended up as a spot on the pavement, and no matter what kind of friction there could be between them, Shawn didn't doubt that his father wanted to avoid that at almost any cost.
Shawn didn't like the conclusion this took him to. Because if his father was scared to lose him, that meant that his father very possibly, sort of, kind of...loved him.
The sentimentality of it was almost nauseating, but, then again, that could be the ebb of the pain medication that he was in dire need to have replaced.
And to make it all worse? Shawn couldn't capitalize. Didn't want to. Because, okay, the thoughts had crossed his mind--what if he never got to see his friends again. What if he never got to see his dad again. What if he never got to see Abigail again. What if he never got to see Juliet--
Which was not something he could deal with right now.
He could barely deal with this. That after over thirty years of hurt and misunderstanding and frustration, he ended up with the very thing he'd wanted to see all along: that his dad loved him.
Sure, the old man showed it in funny ways and was pretty much mental about it nine times out of ten, but that didn't change the fact that the worry was written all over his father's face. His father hadn't even moved since he'd been here, a feat Gus hadn't even accomplished. And while that did speak to his father's persistence, it spoke more clearly to the fact that this was his dad and he was Henry Spencer's son and fake psychic or not, that bond mattered.
To both of them.
Swallowing, Shawn looked at his hands, feeling sheepish. "Okay," he said.
His father's eyebrows raised. "Okay?"
Shawn nodded, looking up. "Okay."
"You're right," he said. "Jumping on the car was pretty stupid."
His father's stare was nothing short of incredulous. "You're apologizing."
"I seem to be," he said.
"You're actually apologizing?"
Shawn fidgeted. "Well, I can always take it back."
"No, I just want to be sure I got this straight," his father said. "You, Shawn Spencer, are actually apologizing. Admitting that maybe I was right and that you were wrong."
His eyes narrowed. "Are you trying to make this harder?"
"Maybe we should get it in writing," his father suggested.
"You know, if you're going to be like this--"
"Because if you recall, I was suffering from severe blood loss."
"Which you made worse by jumping."
"And infection," Shawn pointed out.
"Which meant you shouldn't have moved at all."
"So the fact that I was bleeding and in pain means nothing to you? What do I have to do, actually die before I get some sympathy?"
His father's jaw tightened imperceptibly. "No, I just...," he said, rubbing a hand over his face. "I don't ever want to go through that again."
Shawn relaxed a little. "Well, I can promise you, Dad, I really don't want to give it a go again either."
His father nodded, looking up at him. "You did good, kid."
It wasn't much, but it was more than Shawn had expected. "Yeah," he said. "Well, what you taught me--it probably helped. A lot."
Something like amused satisfaction settled over his father's face, and it lingered there for a long moment.
Suddenly uncomfortable, Shawn tried to shift, wincing as the movement pulled against the stitches in his shoulder. All sense of bravado and facade aside, he really was pretty thirsty. And tired. And tired of being thirsty.
He blinked, slowly, and the room spun a little bit.
Apparently, being shot and kidnapped was more exhausting than he'd thought. His face felt hot and a flush of the fever swept over him as the pain swelled again.
There was a soft snort from beside him, and a firm hand on his shoulder. "Go back to bed, kid," his father said.
Shawn looked at him, and realized things were a little blurry. "But what about my pineapple smoothie?"
"It'll be here when you wake up," his dad assured him, hitting the button that reclined his bed.
Shawn frowned a little. "But what if Gus gets thirsty again?" he asked.
"He won't," his dad said.
"But how can you be sure?"
"Because I'll be here when you wake up, too," his dad said.
And there was something right about that--something oddly contenting. Shawn didn't have to think about it, he didn't have to get from A to B to C. He could just trust for once that he'd end up where he was supposed to be, so he closed his eyes and let himself fall back to sleep.
He dreamed of pineapples doing the cha cha, and Gus was there to suggest that the hula would be more appropriate for a fruit of such a stature, and Lassiter would want to try some target practice, and Abigail shook her head and told him that his job was far more dangerous than it had a right to be. And the Chief hired him and paid him in smoothies and his father was putting Garth Longmore in jail and Juliet was there, just smiling and smiling and smiling until Shawn woke up.