You know you guys are awesome, right? I mean it, seriously.
Here it is! The very last chapter! Just as promised. I would've waited until tomorrow in order to give more people the chance to read Chapter 12, but I was too eager to finally finish this story. I know you guys are eager to do so, too.
Shawn moaned as he regained consciousness. The pain in his leg and shoulder had dulled, but that didn't mean it wasn't there. Although, he couldn't really distinguish between the pain in his leg and shoulder from that of his swollen face and bruised body. Put simply, his entire body was just one huge bundle of hurt.
He blinked a few times to clear his vision, but soon found that he couldn't open his left eye due to the swelling. He had no idea why his face would be so swollen and painful, but he had a pretty good idea that it was from a meeting between his face and Bill's fist.
He couldn't remember anything after calling Lassiter and trying to tell him where he was and what was happening. He got the feeling that he never did make it to that destination. The smell of manure that he got a whiff of told him that he was back in the countryside, where he had first been taken to and then subsequently shoved into a deep, dark hole.
Looking around, Shawn deduced that he wasn't back inside the hole. The fact that there were four walls, a floor, and a ceiling complete with a bare lightbulb attested to this fact. It would appear that this time his captors had decided to provide him with more humane accommodations, if you could call it that. As he became more aware of his surroundings, Shawn took in the absence of windows and the cold, concrete floor he was lying on and decided that he was being held in the basement of somebody's house.
Shawn expected someone to barge in through the single, heavy-looking door at any second, like they would in the movies, but no one came. Soon, he found that it was becoming harder to keep his eyes open. The concussion he must've sustained at some unknown point of his abduction was getting the better of him. He'd barely been awake for a few minutes before he was slowly slipping back into unconsciousness.
He wasn't the type to worry about anything too much, but as the comforting arms of blackness prepared to embrace him again, he thought that the others had better find him soon; because he didn't know how much longer he could hold on.
Juliet explained her theory slowly and carefully to the Chief, Henry, Gus, and Lassiter (who was listening over speaker phone). She didn't want them to think she was being wishful and hadn't thought through her plan. She honestly believed that this could be it, and frankly, they didn't have any other leads to go on. This was their only hope.
The Chief visibly hesitated before saying, "Alright... O'Hara, you lead a couple of units to this farm. Lassiter," she addressed the man on the phone, "you head on over as well. I'm sure CSU has our unidentified victim's case well in hand. I'll follow up from the station and coordinate emergency services as well as handle the DA's office. They're calling for Carmichael's and the Clarkes' heads." Juliet nodded and Lassiter made a noise of agreement. They ended the call, and Juliet began to hurry out of the building.
"Wait a minute!" Henry called out.
Juliet turned around to find Henry and Gus both staring pointedly at Vick. The woman sighed, "Fine. O'Hara, take Mr. Guster and Mr. Spencer with you."
"And, gentlemen? Do as she says," Vick raised her eyebrows, daring either of the men before her to challenge her order. Neither one did.
Soon, they were off to follow up on nothing more than a hunch. As they climbed into a squad car, Juliet fervently prayed that she was right. She didn't think anyone could take another disappointment. And, though she didn't want to even consider it, she didn't think Shawn had the time for another mistake.
An indeterminate amount of time later, Shawn was roughly jolted awake by a kick to the stomach. He groaned in response to the renewed pain in his body and opened his eyes, grimacing as the sudden light aggravated his already throbbing head. He squinted up at the figure towering over him, and recognized him as Alexander Carmichael.
"Hey, man," Shawn greeted weakly. "What's up?"
Carmichael crouched down to Shawn's eye level, pure hatred for the pseudo psychic clear in his eyes. "'What's up'? I'm going to kill you now for what you did, you fucking asshole. That's what's up." He stood suddenly and kicked Shawn again, this time aiming for his rib cage.
Shawn curled into a fetal position in a vain attempt to protect himself. He knew it was useless, but in his weakened state it was all he could manage. He was actually impressed at being able to do even that, what with his leg, his dislocated shoulder, and his various other injuries. God, he was a mess.
"I should've just done it all myself," Carmichael grunted as he kicked Shawn again, this time making contact with Shawn's forearm, which was protecting his head. "Then I wouldn't be having these problems."
"But I just had to listen to my sister and let her make a production of it," Carmichael mumbled mostly to himself as he wandered away for a moment, walking around Shawn.
"She wanted me to show the SBPD that I knew their game, that I was smarter than them," Carmichael continued. "So we came up with this kidnapping as a distraction. It took Mona a month to get in with that family. Then we used their daughter as a distraction..." Carmichael trailed off, and Shawn couldn't help it as he saw an opening to interject. It was just in his nature.
"Dude," Shawn peeked at his abductor from behind the dubious protection of his arms to stare at Carmichael, who had turned away from him. "You know that this monologue thing is a total cliche, right? You're having a Scooby-Doo moment!"
"Shut up!" Carmichael yelled angrily, turning back to face him.
Even as weak as he was, Shawn couldn't help the half-hearted grin that took up residence on his face. "What, are you going to say: and I would've gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for you meddling kids?" Shawn considered his own suggestion for a moment. "I'd consider rephrasing if I were you. I don't think that Lassie would appreciate being called- Ooof!" Shawn got the wind knocked out of him as Carmichael launched a series of vicious kicks all over his body.
By the end of the brutal assault, Shawn was biting his bottom lip to keep from crying out in pain. He knew he shouldn't have said anything, but his smart mouth was a lot more persuasive than his self-preservation instincts.
Shawn could tell from the sharp pain in his left side that at least two ribs were cracked, maybe broken. He was wheezing, too, but he didn't know if it was from the sudden attack or if a rib had punctured a lung. Shit, he was in bad shape. He attempted to concentrate on riding out the waves of pain, but his focus was soon broken by a tell-tale clicking sound. He looked up to see Carmichael standing in front of him, a gun in his unwavering grip.
Rage simply rolled off the man, and Shawn could see that he wouldn't hesitate to pull the trigger. There was nothing Shawn could do, and he certainly wasn't going to open his mouth and try to persuade Carmichael not to do it. Trying to reason with this man wasn't going to work. Shawn closed his eyes briefly; it looked like his time had finally run out.
He opened them again to stare down his potential killer. If he was going to go down, he was going to make sure he looked Carmichael in the eyes. Shooting a man in the back was one thing, but seeing the look in their eyes as they died was another. It was also an act of defiance, and if there's one thing that Shawn Spencer was, it was defiant. Rebelliousness had always been his second nature.
Carmichael met his stare unflinchingly.
And then everything went to hell.
Juliet was an absolute maniac behind the wheel. There was no traffic law she hadn't broken by the time they arrived at the farmhouse. She parked it haphazardly beside the only other vehicle on the premises, a large van. She, Henry, and Gus jumped out of the squad car as three other units joined them. Not long after, Lassiter's borrowed squad car came barreling onto the property.
"Okay, Jacobs and Marks, take the east end of the property with the fields," Juliet ordered as the other cops approached. "Brennan and Jones, take the west end with that old farmhouse. Lewis and Kingston, you guys take that garage to the south. Lassiter and I will take the farmhouse. Henry and Gus, stay here." The other cops nodded their assent and broke off to investigate their assigned locations. Juliet looked over at Lassiter to find him staring at her peculiarly.
"What?" She snapped. They were so close and she was in no mood to talk about how she had just snatched the reigns of this operation out from under him.
"Nothing," Lassiter said calmly, still staring. "You just surprised me, O'Hara."
She ignored him, and, with a determined look in her eyes, set off toward the farmhouse. Lassiter jogged after her, which left Gus to look after Henry, whose obedience Juliet wasn't entirely sure would last.
She'd found the farmhouse through some old papers in Ramona Clarke's file. When she'd married Trenton Clarke, her brother had bought Trenton's excess property, the farmhouse, from the newlyweds. He'd never lived there, and it wasn't listed in any of his files, but he'd vaguely referenced it in the past and had a link to it. That was enough for Juliet, and apparently the rest of the SBPD as well. Also, she couldn't think of another place that Carmichael might find animals at the ready; that is, if he really did intend to make good on his promise of vengeance.
Juliet and Lassiter made their way into the house and split to the sides to cover more area. After finding that the main floor was clear, they went to the only place they had left to search: the basement. Since the house didn't have a second story, it had only one set of stairs leading down.
They descended the stairs carefully and quietly, taking it all in. They were about halfway down when they began hearing muffled voices, and that was enough to make them hurry down the stairs. Following the voices, the traveled down a hall and to the second door on the right. They exchanged a brief glance, both nodding in silent agreement before Lassiter, without warning, kicked the door in with minimal fuss. There was a loud, echoing boom as the door was knocked off its old, rusted hinges and onto the floor.
The sight they were met with was utterly shocking, and they only had a nanosecond to take it all in. They could see Carmichael, a gun in his hands and aimed at the man on the floor, who just happened to be the very man they were looking for.
However, they had no time to be relieved, because as soon as Carmichael heard the door slam open he flinched and pulled the trigger reflexively. Everything after that happened in a mad rush and a haze of action and shouting.
Juliet and Lassiter found that there was no stopping Carmichael in his state of apparent rage, and so when he prepared to shoot the two of them, Lassiter immediately fired his own weapon.
Carmichael went down with two bullets to the chest. He didn't get up.
Juliet rushed to Shawn as Lassiter secured the body. She couldn't believe she'd been right! They'd finally found him! She was absolutely elated as she kneeled next to his still form from where he lay on the floor. Her happiness lasted for only a few moments though, when she realized that Carmichael's accidental shot had hit its target.
"Oh...oh, my God! Shawn!" Juliet cried as she ripped off her bulletproof vest in order to gain access to her light jacket. She quickly took it off and pressed it against the newest-looking wound among many. She could see that he had endured many injuries since his abduction, but the bullet wound to his abdomen was obviously new due to the volume of blood coming from it.
"Stay with me, Shawn," Juliet ordered, pleased when his eyes opened slightly to squint up at her. The corner of his mouth quirked up in an attempt at a smile, and Juliet felt tears spring to her eyes. "The Chief has already called EMS. They'll be here soon."
"ETA two minutes!" Lassiter interjected from where he stood just behind Juliet, coordinating with the other search teams and Vick's requested emergency services over his radio. He glanced somewhat worriedly at Shawn as he saw the man struggle to breath properly. He quickly turned back to his radio for a distraction when he heard the garbled voices of other officers announce that they had a male suspect in custody.
Juliet, however, registered the static-distorted voices as nothing more than background noise. She was entirely focused on the man in front of her.
"'M glad you found me, Jules," Shawn whispered, which clearly took a great deal of effort on his part.
Juliet gave him a small half-smile, "Me, too. Now you just have to hang on, because your dad and Gus aren't going to be very happy with me if they don't get to see you."
Shawn gave an amused snort, which turned into a pained moan as the act jostled his injuries. "D'nt think I can..."
"Yes, you can, Shawn," Juliet said harshly, her heart clenching at his words. "I know you can. You've made it this far, you can keep fighting just a little longer."
Shawn obviously wasn't too sure, since his next words were a soft apology, "'M sorry, Jules." And then, much to Juliet's dismay, he lost consciousness.
"Where are those damn medics!" She hissed at her partner as she applied more pressure to Shawn's wound.
Lassiter was about to reply, but that was when the paramedics decided to finally make their appearance. They burst into the room, bringing with them a gaggle of worrisome medical jargon. They quickly loaded the injured man onto the stretcher and, with the two detectives' assistance got him up the stairs, out of the house, and into the awaiting ambulance. The two detectives kept their distance from it, and saw Henry leap in just before the doors slammed shut.
As she watched the bus screech away, Juliet didn't think she'd ever been so terrified in her life.
The constant beeping was driving him crazy. Shawn could swear that he hadn't set an alarm last night. There was no way he was getting up to anything other than his body's natural rhythm. He hadn't used an alarm clock since high school, and even then he'd only used it in the most desperate of times, like when the school cafeteria was selling doughnuts before school.
That's when he realized that this steady, consistent beeping wasn't actually an alarm clock. It was his own heartbeat, relayed to him by a heart monitor. Shawn frowned slightly; why would he be in the hospital? What kind of trouble did he get himself into this time?
"...shhh! I think he's waking up!" A vaguely familiar voice whispered excitedly. There was an anticipatory murmur that even Shawn, in what was surely some kind of drug-induced haze, could sense.
"Shawn?" Now a voice spoke directly into his ear. "Shawn, can you hear me?"
This voice he recognized as his father's, and it triggered a myriad of emotions and memories. He remembered hearing his dad's voice in his head as he sat, waiting, in a hole with a burning gunshot wound in his broken leg. The memories of pain were what really brought back the whole situation. The abduction, Carmichael, being shot (twice). He wasn't aware of it, but as these memories resurfaced, the beeping of the heart monitor sped up and the murmur around him changed to a tense, worried silence.
He felt a weight on his right hand, and heard his dad whisper into his ear for only him to hear, "It's okay, son. You're safe. You're in the hospital. You're okay."
Though he would later deny it, his father's calm tone soothed his panicked state. Once that had passed and Shawn had pushed the memories to the back of this mind, he found himself wondering what lay beyond the sight of the inside of his eyelids. Not that the inside of his eyelids weren't totally thrilling and all, but he thought there just might be more out there than that. He decided to try to open his eyes, which ended up being a lot easier said than done. After several false starts, he was finally able to pry his eyes open and he winced at the bright light that greeted him. He was also suddenly aware of the blessed lack of what had previously been constant pain. Score one for hospital-issue drugs, Shawn thought.
Blinking to clear his vision, Shawn came face-to-face with his father, who was much to close for comfort. Shawn blinked again before trying to speak. When he did, his voice was raspy and harsh, "Uh, Dad? Wanna.. back up... a little?" He grimaced as his dry mouth and sore throat protested the use, but smirked when his dad pulled away and allowed him to see beyond his hulking figure. Before he could check out the human figures before him, his dad was shoving a spoonful of ice chips in his face; Shawn accepted the offer gratefully, nodding his thanks as he swallowed.
"Hey, man," Gus said, moving to Shawn's left side and vacating the spot he'd held at the foot of Shawn's hospital bed. "Good to see you awake." He held out a fist, and Shawn raised his own in response. Gus grinned and met it, gently fist bumping him.
"How long have I been asleep?" Shawn inquired. He didn't remember anything after staring down Carmichael's gun and assumed he'd been shot. "What happened?"
"You've been asleep for about twelve hours," a third voice piped up. Shawn followed the sound and honed in on the location of the speaker in the corner of the room. It was Juliet, and she moved to stand next to Gus on his left side.
"You were kidnapped," his father added solemnly, not quite addressing his second question.
"I remember that, Dad," Shawn said, rolling his eyes. How could he forget? "What I meant was: what happened in the basement, with Carmichael? How did you guys find me anyway?"
Juliet and Gus smiled at Shawn's familiar attitude while Henry frowned slightly. Juliet laid her hand on his and told him he'd been shot, but that the rest of the story could wait for another time. Maybe when he didn't still look like death warmed over.
Shawn shrugged; that was okay with him so long as they didn't intend on keeping things from him. Not like they could anyway. He was "psychic" after all. He grinned at his own thoughts, and the others looked at him curiously.
"Shawn," Gus began warningly. "I know that look. If you're thinking I'll participate in those ridiculous wheelchair races again, you're wrong. Once was enough."
Shawn laughed, but only grinned wider, "Buddy, wheelchair races are a thing of the past. I'm thinking we'll have to go bigger this time. What do you think of gurney surfing?"
Gus scowled and crossed his arms over his chest resolutely, "No. Nuh-uh. No way. I will not be sucked into this again, Shawn! I don't care if you're injured, I will beat you over the head to knock some sense into you if I have to!"
Shawn laughed at his best friend's response. He was ecstatic to be having this conversation with Gus, and to be around Jules and even his dad. A few times during his abduction, he hadn't thought he'd get to do this again. He'd been afraid that this playful banter and his idiotic ideas had come to an end. He was so relieved to be wrong that he was almost giddy.
Now, the only thing that could make this day even better would be convincing Gus to try gurney surfing with him. Shawn knew he'd wear his friend down eventually, and he figured he'd be in the hospital long enough to make this new dream into a reality. All he really had to worry about was how to acquire the gurneys...
Alright guys, it's been fun :) I'm so glad that you've taken the time to read this story and follow it, maybe favorite and review. Also, to those people that added this story to their communities, thank you! I didn't really realize what had happened, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that you thought this story belonged in your communities :)
Please let me know what you thought by reviewing. It would really mean a lot to me :)
I hope you guys liked "A Kidnapping Catastrophe" and its conclusion.
PS: Who, besides me, is absolutely pumped for Psych the Musical?! I can't believe it's actually happening! I'm beyond excited!