"Dude, if we were in Ghostbusters, would I be Bill Murray or Dan Aykroyd?" Shawn took a few seconds to look up from his DS version of the Ghostbusters video game to glance over at his friend.
Gus kept his eyes on the road. "Now's not the time, Shawn. We're about five minutes away from the museum, and you better be ready to go when we get there, so turn that thing off."
There was a long pause. Then, Shawn said, "Definitely Dan Aykroyd."
"Glad you could settle the matter," Gus said. "We're here."
Gus pulled up in front of the museum and parked on the curb. Lassiter spotted them and walked over to their car.
"About time," He snapped as Gus opened the door. "Come on, this way."
Gus followed Lassiter up the steps towards the front entrance of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Halfway there, however they stopped as they realized they were missing someone. They looked back at the car. Shawn was still sitting inside.
"What is he doing?" Lassiter asked.
"Hang on," Gus answered, and walked back to the car. He rapped on the window.
Shawn looked up, irritated, and rolled down the window. "What?"
"What are you doing?" Gus asked.
Shawn looked back down at his game. "I'm almost-"
"Get out of the car, Shawn."
"Fine, fine," Shawn grumbled, storing the DS in the glove compartment and stepping out of the car. He followed Gus back up to where Lassiter was waiting.
"Hello, Lassie!" he said cheerfully, as they all began walking again. "You look angrier than usual this morning. Any way I can make it better?"
"Shut up, Spencer," Lassiter said. "We've got too much to deal with already without your crap."
They entered the building now. Cops swirled all over, taking photos, fingerprints. Shawn and Gus followed Lassiter into a room with even more cops, if it was possible. Crime scene tape encircled a stand that just the previous day had held the priceless jewel, the Ottoman's Pearl. Valued at over three million dollars, the jewel was only supposed to be in Santa Barbara for two weeks.
And now, just before what was going to be opening night, it was gone.
Even Chief Vick was on-scene this morning, marking how important the case was.
"There you two are," she said as the approached.
"Sorry we're late," Gus said, "Someone wouldn't get out of bed."
"I can only wonder who," she replied.
"In my defense, it is a Saturday," Shawn said. "And seven o' clock in the morning is a time I didn't even know existed."
Vick sighed. "Fine. I don't care, you're here now. What do you already know?"
"We know the Ottoman's pearl was stolen," Gus said.
"The thief calls themselves Gemini," Vick said, "and they left this behind."
Vick handed Gus a card, and he and Shawn read it.
Bored out of my mind
Let's have some fun
I'll plan a heist
And get it done
Your next victim is
A target of one
You must look directly
Into the sun
Gus looked up, confused. "A target of one? Look into the sun?"
"That's why we called you," Vick said. "Spencer, have any ideas?"
"It seems even the spirits are asleep at this hour, Chief," Shawn replied. Lassiter rolled his eyes very non-discreetly.
"So, Gemini," Gus said. "As in the Zodiac, the twins? Could there be two thieves?"
"We can't rule it out, but the note does mention me and I."
Juliet walked up to stand next to Lassiter.
"Jules!" Shawn said, "How goes the investigation?"
"Badly," she said, "There's no footage on any of the cameras and there's no fingerprints so far. Whoever this guy is, they're a pro."
"Gus, note to self," Shawn said. "We are dealing with a ninja."
Lassiter rolled his eyes again.
"The only thing they left behind other than that card was a knife they used to bypass the security alarm on the case. That's the only real lead we have right now," Vick said. "Carlton, I want you and O'Hara to see where you can get with that. Spencer, you keep that card and figure out what it means."
"Will do, Chief," Shawn said. As Vick walked away, Lassiter turned to Shawn.
"Don't get in our way, Spencer. This is the biggest case of the year and we don't need you under our feet tripping us up."
"I sure hope you mean that figuratively, Lassie," Shawn replied. "Gus and I would never try to trip you. And we don't usually hang out on the ground either, unless we're playing leapfrog."
Lassiter was silent for several seconds before answering.
"Just stay out of my way," he grumbled, and walked away.
Juliet smiled. "Good luck," she said, and followed her partner.
When they were gone, Gus turned to his friend. "So what now?"
"We do exactly what we always do, Gus," Shawn said. "Exactly the opposite of what Lassie tells us to do."
"Excuse me," Shawn called out as the two approached a security guard. He was leaning up against a wall and seemed rather distracted. He looked up as Shawn and Gus stopped in front of him.
"I'm Shawn Spencer, and this is my associate, Jaguar "Spots" Jackson," Shawn said. "I'm a psychic working for the SBPD and I'm getting some serious vibes that tell me you were on guard duty last night."
In reality, they had asked McNab.
The guard blinked. "Yes, I was. Davie Goodman."
"Pleased to meet you," Gus said.
"Same to you, Mr. Spots," Goodman said pleasantly. Gus shot Shawn a look.
"We were wondering if you saw anything last night," Gus went on.
Goodman's smile faded. "Not a thing. I still can't believe it. One minute the jewel was there, the next, it was gone."
Shawn turned to Gus. "What'd I tell you, Spots?"
"It's not a ninja, Shawn!"
Goodman shuffled his feet. "Do the police…have any leads?"
"Mr. Goodman, we have this case under control," Gus said, glancing over at Shawn. He was surprised to find that his friend wasn't paying attention anymore. He was about to say something when he recognized the look on his face.
Sure enough, a few seconds later, Shawn's hand flew to his head.
"I…am having…a psychic vision!"
"What do you see?" Goodman asked in wonderment.
"Yeah, "Gus said, with considerably less wonderment, "What do you see?"
"The spirits," Shawn said, eyes scrunched closed, "I think they're trying to tell me how the thief got in!"
And with that, he took several jolting steps towards the place on the floor he had been staring at. Once there, he did a quick sweep of the ground, and found what he was looking for.
This wing of the museum had been closed for a few weeks while it was set up to display the Pearl. Fortunately, not many cops had been through this part of the room yet, because, although it was subtle, there was dust on the floor that had yet to be swept up for opening night. And there was a distinct set of footprints running along the floor that didn't belong to any museum staff. They were from moccasins, or a similar shoe. A shoe that made no sound.
Shawn was off again, twirling a bit as he did so, with Gus and Goodman not far behind.
He led them, stopping and starting, out of the main exhibition area and into the back where they found a personnel only hallway. The footsteps stopped, but this was close enough. Shawn stopped at the first door, a closet, and noting that it was already ajar, nudged it open the rest of the way with his foot.
All three looked inside.
The window in the back was wide open, almost as if the thief were teasing them.
"Good god," Goodman muttered.
"Well, Spots," Shawn said cheerfully, "I guess our work here is done."
"Damn that Spencer," Lassiter grumbled as he and Juliet pulled into the parking lot of Smith's Weapons and Ammo. "What did I tell him not to do?"
"Get involved in the case," Juliet said.
"And what did he do before I was even out of the building?"
"He got involved in the case," Juliet answered, slightly amused. "But Carlton, he was just trying to help."
Lassiter snorted. "Please. The day Shawn Spencer does something for us completely out of the goodness of his heart is the day I turn in my guns. He was showing us up."
"Yeah, well, at least we benefited from it," Juliet offered.
This didn't cheer Lassiter up. She hadn't expected it to.
They walked into the building and were greeted at the counter by the owner of the shop, Kevin Smith.
"Hello there, sir and madam," He said. "How may I…"
He trailed off as his eyes landed on Lassiter's holster. "Oh, my. Do you carry guns, sir? As you can imagine, I'm quite enamored with them myself. Would you mind If I…"
"Yes," Lassiter replied. "I would."
Smith cleared his throat. "Oh. Of course, sir. How…how may I help you two?"
"Hi," Juliet said, taking over, "I'm Detective O'Hara, and this is my partner Detective Lassiter. We have some questions for you."
"Fire away," Smith said, shrugging. "Not the first time the cops have been in here."
Juliet and Lassiter exchanged glances before Lassiter continued.
"We think one of your knives was used in a jewelry heist last night. Do you carry Kainuun knives?"
"Occasionally," he answered. "They're pretty rare, though. Handmade."
"All the better," Lassiter said, taking the knife out and handing it to Smith.
"Oh," Smith said, "Oh, yes. I remember this beauty."
"Well, do you remember who you sold it to?" Lassiter asked.
"No," Smith said, "But my computer might. Hold on."
He walked away from them and through his store. Juliet and Lassiter followed him until they arrived at his office. Sitting down at his desk, Smith accessed his computer and a few minutes later looked up at them.
"Found him. Do you want his information?"
"Seeing as that's what we came here for," Lassiter said.
Smith turned back to his computer. A second later, a printer started whirring. Smith snatched the paper that came out of it and handed it to Lassiter.
"There you go," he said.
Lassiter looked it over. "Okay, we have an address. O'Hara, let's go."
"I told you, that knife was stolen from me two nights ago." Joel Warren looked up at the three individuals standing in front of him and leaned back into his couch, crossing his arms. "To be honest, I didn't think I'd ever see it again."
"You expect us to believe that?" Lassiter asked.
"I'm hoping you will," Joel said, "Since it's the truth."
"And I, for one, believe him," Shawn said. He was the only one not standing over Joel. He was instead sitting on another couch, playing his DS again. Lassiter, Juliet, and Gus turned to look at him. He didn't look up from his game.
"See?" Joel said. "At least someone here's thinking straight."
"Why do you say that, Shawn?" Juliet asked.
"Well," Shawn said, "For one…aw, man. I always die at this part."
"Oh, for god's sake, Spencer," Lassiter snapped, "Will you put that thing away?"
Shawn sighed and closed the DS, pocketing it. He looked at Joel.
The young man had shaggy black hair and brown eyes. His green t-shirt boasted "the voices made me do it" in white letters, and both it and his black undershirt had flecks of what looked to Shawn like paint.
"Let me ask you something, Joel," Shawn said. "You're an artist, right?"
"Uh…Yeah," Joel answered.
"So why'd you have a knife, Joel?"
"For carving and whittling."
"And how much did it cost?"
"Around four hundred dollars."
"Wow, that's kind of pricey."
Joel shrugged. "I paid for quality."
"Spencer," Lassiter said, "What does this have to do with anything?"
"Absolutely nothing, Lassie," Shawn said. "Joel, may I escort Gus to the bathroom for a minute? He sometimes has trouble going alone in stranger's houses."
Joel quirked an eyebrow and smirked. "Wouldn't want him to wet himself."
Shawn stood and ushered Gus out of the room, ignoring the looks he was giving him. As soon as they were out of earshot, Gus turned to Shawn.
"What are you doing?"
"Taking you to the bathroom, remember?"
"Stop it, Shawn. What was all that about?"
Shawn looked at Gus and sighed. "Gus. Come on. Would you pay four hundred dollars for a knife, then leave it behind at a crime scene?"
Shawn opened a door and walked inside. Gus followed, saying, "If he's innocent, then why are we snooping?"
"You can never have too much snooping, Gus. For one, it builds character. For two, the more information you have, the better."
"Even when the information in question is completely useless and irrelevant to the case?"
They were in Joel's bedroom. Scraps of papers and empty canvasses littered the floors and paintbrushes sat in containers on shelves. Shawn's eyes fell on a few framed photographs on a dresser. "Oh, will you look at this?"
"What?" Gus asked, walking over.
Shawn pointed out one of the photos. In it, Joel stood with two people. One of them was another guy, taller than Joel, with sandy brown hair. He was in police uniform. The third was a girl with blonde hair and blue eyes. Then he pointed at another picture, this time just with Joel and the girl.
"Girlfriend?" Gus asked.
"Could be." Shawn's gaze fell to the floor and he noticed something. He bent down and picked a barrette and held it up to the picture. The girl was wearing a similar one. "She's been here recently."
"Congratulations, Shawn," Gus said. "You've proven he has a social life. How does this help us?"
"Not sure yet." Shawn pocketed the barrette and moved across the room again to Joel's bedside stand. A cell phone sat there, plugged into the charger. Shawn causally picked it up.
"Shawn!" Gus said.
"What? I'm just looking."
"You can't go through someone's phone, Shawn!"
"Will you relax?" Shawn said, and opened the message box. Nothing, but Shawn wasn't giving up that easily. He opened the address book, and clicked on the first name. Ben Stark. Shawn memorized the number, then closed the phone. Putting it back on the table, he turned to Gus. "There. Done."
"Good. Can we please get out of here before someone catches us?"
Shawn shrugged and followed his friend back into the living room.
"Thanks for that," Shawn said as they walked in. "I keep telling Gus there's nothing to worry about, but he still needs me."
"Yes, Thank you, Shawn," Gus said sarcastically. "Where would I be without your help?"
Joel looked from Shawn to Gus, grinned, then turned to Lassiter. "Look, if you guys aren't going to arrest me, is there anything else I can help you with?"
"No. If these two are done fooling around, we'll be on our way."
"Um, Detective," Joel said, "I was wondering…is there any chance of me getting my knife back?"
Lassiter turned to him and smiled. "Mr. Warren, I'm still ninety nine percent sure you're our thief. And I don't have enough to arrest you just yet, but I wouldn't push your luck. Am I making myself clear?"
"…Absolutely crystal, sir."
Shawn leaned over and whispered to Joel as he was about to leave. "Don't worry. I'll talk to him about it."
Joel looked up at Shawn and smirked. "You really think that'll help?"
"Uh…" Shawn shook his head. "No. Not really."
Joel rolled his eyes but continued to smirk as Shawn walked out the door.
"Ok!" Shawn said, as he and Gus broke away from Lassiter and Juliet. He pulled the thief's card from his pocket. "Now, we focus on this. That is what the chief asked us to do, after all."
"We?" Gus asked.
"Yes, we. It's a pronoun meaning you and I. Together. Us."
"I know what the word means, Shawn. But in case you're forgetting, I have to work today."
"Aw, come on, Gus. Like anything in the wonderful world of pharmaceuticals is going to beat chasing down a phantom thief!"
"Listen up, Shawn," Gus aid, stopping in front of his car door, "I'm meeting three new doctors today. I'd like to make them clients. I've been rehearsing my pitch for days."
"Wow, dude," Shawn said, shaking his head, "We really need to find you a new girlfriend. Or a hobby that doesn't involve the history channel. At the very least a cat."
"The point is, this is a very important day for me, and I don't need you messing things up. I'm dropping you off at the office, and after that you're on your own until six o'clock. And if you even think about showing up claiming my great uncle is dying or my cat is having kittens, I will personally make sure your hop ball ends up popped."
"…Alright, fine. But for the ball. And what do I do in the slim possibility that one of those things actually happens?"
"I don't have a great uncle. Or a cat."
"I said the possibility was slim."
"…Get in the car, Shawn."
Bored out of my mind
Let's have some fun
I'll plan a heist
And get it done
Your next victim is
A target of one
You must look directly
Into the sun
Shawn sat in his chair with his feet up on his desk, studying the card.
He was nowhere closer to solving the riddle than he had been when he started.
A target of one? That could mean any number of things?
And look directly into the sun? He wasn't too inclined to try that, and he didn't think it'd help much anyway.
Finally, after a few more minutes of staring at the card, he gave up and pulled out his cell phone.
He had one other lead to follow.
He dialed the number he had seen in Joel's phone, and waited as it rang.
"Oh, hi there. My name's Shawn Spencer, and I'm calling about Joel."
There was a pause. Then…
"What did he do this time?"
Surprised, Shawn wasn't sure what to say next. "Uh…"
"Was Maria with him? Look, if they broke something, I'll pay for it."
Maria? The blonde girl. It must be. Shawn grinned.
"Ok, sir. Glad to hear it. But just so you're aware, the price may be a bit steep for you."
"Hundreds of thousands. Maybe even millions."
"Dude, I'm totally kidding with you. I'm actually calling to…to get a hold of Joel to let him new his new paints are in."
"…Uh huh. And why are you calling me? Did he leave me as a contact for his paint pickup?"
Shawn heard the guy sigh. "I'll try and let him know, then. Anything else?"
"Well, now you've peaked my interest, sir. Why'd you think Joel was in trouble?"
"Because…" he sighed. "Look, Joel and Maria are my good friends, but they do get themselves into…situations."
Curiosity peaked, Shawn pressed on. "What kind of situations? Any…arrestable offenses, for instance?"
"Oh, no. None of that. They're just…goofs. …Why are you asking this, anyway?"
Damn. Distraction time. "Ben," Shawn said, "You're a cop, aren't you?"
"…Yeah. How'd you know?"
"Well, funny you should ask. If you must know, I am a psychic."
"…A psychic that works at an art supply store?"
"…You're really creeping me out. One would think you'd have better things to do with your time than ask customers random questions over the phone."
Shawn was about to reply that he really didn't have anything better to do than that, and that there wasn't a much better pastime, when he stopped.
"Wait…what did you just say?"
"I said, one would think-"
"One. As in one person." Shawn grinned. "As opposed to say, a whole organization."
"That's brilliant. Thanks, buddy."
Shawn hung up before Ben could say anything. Then he dialed Gus, who, of course, didn't pick up. When the voicemail beeped, Shawn left a message.
"Gus, dude. You'll never believe it. Your great uncle's having kittens. Call me back. Hurry up."
A few minutes later, Gus called back.
"This better be good, Shawn, I'm right in the middle of-"
"Gus," Shawn said, grinning, "I know who the next victim is."