A/N: Hello lovely readers. Nice to see you all again. Yes, I am indeed writing for Psych now. For all of you NCIS readers who do not watch Psych, have no fear. I may have branched out into a new show, but I will not be ignoring you faithful people in the least (though I do encourage you to get into Psych if you can. It's an awesome show. I'm thinking of possibly writing a crossover sometime in the future). I have been working on my 2 NCIS WIPs as well as the sequel to HTR, and hope to begin posting to them again soon. I have been crazy overrun with school and work lately, but I think I've got the swing of things down now, and will soon have organized writing time again. *Rejoices*
So, to all my loyal readers who have decided to join me as I try something new, as well as the shiny new readers I may accrue, thank you so much for reading, and enjoy. :D
Chapter 1: Not Exactly What I Meant By 'Having a Blast'
"I'm just going to take a quick look around, ok?" Shawn assured Gus. "Maybe spot a couple more pieces of evidence that I can 'divine' in the vision that will undoubtedly come upon me when Jules and Lassie get here."
Gus shook his head. "I don't like it, Shawn. That old building gives me the creeps. I mean, just look at those two broken windows on the top floor. It's like they're staring at us. I really think we should wait."
"Come on, Gus," Shawn said in a coaxing, slightly patronizing tone. "Everything gives you the creeps. The cowboy at Pete Sanders' seventh birthday party gave you the creeps, and he was a perfectly nice man."
"Uh-huh," Gus scoffed. "You're just saying that because he let you have another balloon after you accidentally let go of your first one."
Shawn's mouth fell open as he stared at his best friend with mock affront. "Ok, first of all, you know very well that letting go of that balloon was no accident. Margaret Johansson tripped me. Deliberately. With a cold, calculating smirk on her evil, evil little face."
Gus rolled his eyes.
"And second of all, if that building is staring at you, than it's also smiling. Look at that pattern of graffiti on the siding below. Now, all together, doesn't that look like a smile to you?"
"Maybe a creepy smile," Gus muttered.
Shawn heaved a giant sigh. "Fine, Gus. You don't have to come. You can stay here and be chicken if you want."
"Shawn! You take that back! I am not chicken! I just—"
"Ooh! Idea!" Shawn interrupted with a theatrical gasp. "No, no, no, this is perfect! You stay right there so you can direct the police to the correct building in case they get here before I come back."
"Alright, I'll admit that's not likely, taking into consideration my almost cheetah-like speed and precision, but I feel it's best to be prepared for the possibility that—"
"Shawn," Gus began again, a note of warning in his voice. "I really don't think this is a good idea."
"Oh, would you relax, Gus? Don't be such a doubting tomcat."
Gus raised his eyebrows, incredulous. "'Doubting tomcat'? Did you seriously just say that, Shawn? I think you mean 'doubting Thomas.'"
Shawn waved a hand dismissively. "I've heard it both ways."
"Shawn, that's ridiculous. You have not."
"Look, I'm just going to be in and out. I'll be back before you even notice I'm gone." At this, Shawn started off toward the building at a jog.
"Shawn!" Gus called after him angrily.
Shawn turned with a merry grin, giving Gus a short wave before disappearing inside.
Gus crossed his arms across his chest sulkily as he leaned back against the Blueberry to wait.
"Uh, yeah, Shawn. I think I noticed that."
As the outer door thudded heavily closed behind Shawn, his bravado disappeared and he gulped. This was indeed a creepy building, even creepier on the inside—not that he'd admit it to Gus—complete with eerily creaking floors, strange shadows thrown every which way against the walls, and an almost palpable hint of menace hanging in the still, musty air: all necessary ingredients for a B-grade horror flick.
"Ok, Shawn," he said aloud, feeling better as soon as he heard his own voice break through the ominous silence. "It's not really that creepy. It's just your imagination borrowing a little fear from Gus. Find the clues and get out, and everything will be fine."
He looked quickly over the room, taking in anything out of the ordinary. Fresh scrapes marred the wooden railing above a stairway and a few flecks of rust had fallen to the cement steps below, indicating that something large and made of metal had recently been moved through there. He also took note of a distinctive set of boot prints in a thin layer of dust on the floor that led directly from the steps to a far wall, and then straight back.
One section of the wall was ever so slightly different in color than the rest, and Shawn knew immediately that there must be something behind it. Careful not to disturb the footprints, he stepped closer and scrutinized the wall. Exactly at eye level was an almost perfectly round knot in the wood, and Shawn reached forward and pushed it. The next second, a small door swung open into a hidden room.
Shawn chuckled to himself. "Secret rooms and passageways? Gus is going to be sorry he missed this."
It was a bare, ordinary looking room though, and Shawn frowned, let down and also a little confused. This couldn't be all there was. He turned around, inspecting the room intently, and something caught his eye. A small panel near the floor protruded a fraction of an inch more than the rest.
"A secret compartment within a secret room? Bonus!"
This one was harder to open though; the wood seemed to have been wedged in at the wrong angle and was stuck fast. Now Shawn really wished Gus had come, but finally he managed to work the panel out. He set it aside with no small amount of satisfaction.
Then blinked in shock as he realized what he was looking at.
Gus paced outside. Shawn had been gone too long.
He checked his watch again.
30 seconds had passed since he had checked it last, meaning that Shawn had been in there for a total of 14 minutes.
Which wasn't really that long, but it was longer than it usually took Shawn to sleuth out clues. He should have been back by now.
Unless, of course, he'd found a shipment of smuggled pineapples in there to occupy his time.
Or if he'd come across a pretty girl to chat up.
Or if he'd been captured by bad guys.
"No, you did not just think that," Gus scolded himself. "Shawn has not been captured by bad guys. He probably just found something he didn't expect and has to think of a new way to reveal it, or else he got distracted by something and doesn't realize how long he's been in there. Yeah, that's got to be it. Punctuality has never been one of his strengths."
His nervous self-pep-talk was cut off just then as Santa Barbara's finest drove up, several black-and-white squad cars following closely behind an unmarked sedan.
"Guster, where the hell is Spencer?" Detective Lassiter called as he got out of the lead car and slammed the door shut. "If he's going to call us all down here, taking valuable time away from our other leads, and then can't even be bothered to show up, I swear I'll—"
"Now, Carlton," Juliet interrupted. "I'm sure Shawn wouldn't call us down here without a reason."
"You know that's right," Gus agreed, shooting Juliet an approving look. "Shawn's in the building already. He told me to wait out here to make sure you would know where to go."
"Well," Lassiter began, refusing to be chastened, "this had better be good."
"Why didn't you both just wait for us out here?" Juliet asked.
Gus shrugged. "Shawn said that he sensed something bigger was going on here than we all thought, and he wanted to see what more he could divine before you got here."
Lassiter rolled his eyes. "In other words, he wants to put on a performance, as usual." He sighed. "Well, might as well get on with it."
What Juliet remembered most clearly after that was the complete and utter stillness of the air as they began walking forward, all sound seeming sucked into the vacuum of the building ahead, before it was suddenly, forcefully shot back out in a violent cacophony of shattering glass and splintering wood and shaking earth. As fiery debris rained down on them, she realized she was face down in the dirt with no recollection of diving for cover, her partner's arm still protectively pushing down on her shoulders.
"Shawn," she gasped, ignoring her scraped and stinging knees as she struggled to her feet.
Shawn was in there, she realized in disbelief.
"Shawn!" Gus echoed, pushing himself up on Lassiter's other side.
Lassiter himself went straight into command mode as he stood, taking off his ruined suit jacket with one hand as he dialed dispatch with the other. "I need the bomb squad down here, now! Send the fire department and paramedics, too."
He closed the phone with a snap and surveyed the scene with troubled eyes. The cop in him that had seen many such scenes in his lifetime knew there was little chance that anyone in what was left of that building could still be alive, but the side of him that was part antagonistic rival, part reluctant comrade and friend, hoped for a miracle.
We'll get you out of there, Spencer. Hang on.
A/N: How did I do on my first chapter of my first Psych fic? Is it a good hook? Did I get the characters down? Is anyone hopelessly OOC? Please give me some feedback and let me know! xoxox