Disclaimer: I do not own any characters from Psych. Copyright with NBC and respective scriptwriters.
(Well.. I could not let my poor prisoner rot there, could I? So here is the continuation for "The Prisoner". In fact, I saw ONLY this one episode from the series, and I hope, I do not bend the characters too much… I tried my best!)
=== A hotel room in Los Angeles ===
Clack… clack…vroom! The deep metallic sound echoed through the darkness, dragging a slight vibration behind. It seemed to come from nowhere and was totally enveloping the tiny black universe, in which only fell eight small white stripes of light.
John T. Waring startled from his sleep. Sitting in the unfamiliar comfortable hotel bed, he stared into the room. The constant blinking from a neon sign flickered through the open shutters across the floor up to the disgusting modern picture in cheap frame. No, this was definitely not the state penitentiary anymore. He was free.
He leaned back and tried to relax his aching muscles. A whole day walking through the city was obviously something he was not used to anymore. However, once the gates of the penitentiary had closed in his back, John had wandered through the streets, alleys, parks of Los Angeles. Aimless, just to see again how it would feel walking without barbed and electric fences around him; just to see how it would be, when no harsh commands ordered where and when to leave and to come back, or to turn, or to undress for checkup.
He could wander around until he sank down exhausted – no one would care anymore. And in fact, he did. He was not even sure in which urban district this hotel stood. Stumbling in at nightfall was all he had done. Only to discover that despite his exhaustion, he could not find sleep. On one hand, because of the noise of the street, on the other, because so much swirled around in his thoughts. As soon as he dozed off, he was back in his cell and heard the sound of the door closing. And contrary to all his days in prison, where he had managed to stay calm and disciplined; now he panicked. It was a deep, unconscious fear this freedom, this hotel room, this flickering neon light could only be a dream, an illusion, and if he would wake up, the white walls and bars were around him again.
John got up, went to the window and looked down. It was long past midnight, for sure. But this city was as sleepless as he was. On the corner leaned a little black harlot, and some drunken youth crossed the street yelling and singing. Maybe I should procure something to drink, too, he mused, but dismissed the thought. He did not want to spend his first night in freedom since 6 years lying boozed up in some pub.
Six years… six god damned years…they stole me six years of my life! His hands clutched around the ledge. They destroyed my enterprise, my reputation, and nearly my family! … No, he corrected himself, taking a deep breath of the still sticky night air of the city. No, HE destroyed it! The chance to see the real murderer of this Marshal had been denied to him, however, John remembered perfectly the man's face from his trial 6 years ago. Wayne was his name, and he had been an FBI-officer, too. How convenient! Producing a little accident, and then putting the blame on a scapegoat, just wonderful! Nonetheless, this was not even the worst in John's opinion. No. The worst had been agent Wayne's slimy hypocritical patriotism during his declarations in front of the court, and later the press! How heroically the witness had been, how heroically Wayne had been, what a perfectly good citizen, who saved the world from another insidious criminal!
Well, not that John had been an innocent altar boy – who in fact would be innocent in the L.A.-business world? The struggle to survive was hard, and yes, sometimes not very fair. He had some dark spots in his history – who had not? The life was full of tricks and traps, one had to be very smart to evade them or better, use them to own advantage. He had done this successfully, up to this particular day. He had pushed opponents aside, very rough perhaps several times, but…. But I have not killed people. And this bastard had me sentenced for murder… Everywhere in the press everyone could read it!
His daughter had changed her name, when she went to study. But at least she has never stopped visiting me… contrary to Jacob… He did not even know where his son was now.
He closed the shutters and stepped back to the bed, let himself fall down and stared at the ceiling. Now he was free. After the conviction for this assassination was revoked, the two other things connected with it via a thin string of assumptions, crumbled into dust, too. Cleared of the accusations of illegal weapon's dealing and connections to the Chinese Triade, too. Then fell the rest of the evidence, partly due to his lawyer, partly to the fact that the two principal witnesses had been the dead Marshal and the now arrested Wayne. And so J. T. Waring had left the penitentiary nearly 10 months after the visit of the two weird 'psi'-guys.
Some time he tried to sleep again, but now the closed shutters made him feel enclosed, and moreover it was too hot, because the AC did not work properly. John stood up again and went into the little bathroom, under the shower. What a wonderful feeling… he thought, standing back leaned against the wall and eyes closed, letting the water flow. It would not abruptly stop, because his scheduled 'cleaning-time' was over. And he could adjust the temperature just as he liked it. If I stay here one hour, no one will care… He smiled. The hot water seemed to take everything with it, not only the sweat from his body. At one moment, his smile became a broad grin, and then he finally laughed. Free again! To hell with all those big and small restraints, all the multiple foulnesses he had experienced the past years! To hell with Wayne – might he rot behind bars forever!
After the shower, he decided that it would be a waste to spend his first night in freedom in this musty hotel room. He dressed again and left, went down to the beach, where he waited for the sunrise. A good place to think about how he could build up his life again from the ruins…
=== Next Day / Santa Barbara ===
Shawn, Gus and Juliet sat together in the living room of Shawn's apartment. Originally, Juliet had only wanted to drop by to tell some news about a case on which she worked for some days. But they had talked and talked, then called a pizza service – and now they still sat together. The sun had set quite a while ago. Hearing the door bell, Gus jumped up.
Shawn held him back. "Wait!"
"Uh… I just have the feeling, you should not open the door."
His friend and partner rolled his eyes. "Because?"
Juliet laughed and shook her head. Shawn and Gus were really two weird ones! However, this was exactly the reason why she liked them that much. When the bell rung for the second time, she stood up and went past her friends to decide this with a simple move. She opened the door and stared at a man she vaguely thought to know from somewhere, but… no, not really. Someone who needed help because his car broke down and he saw the lights in here, was Juliet's next reaction. Before she could mouth anything, the stranger himself spoke.
"Good evening. My name is Waring. I wondered if Mister Spencer would be at home."
The reaction from inside the floor, where Shawn had sneaked in on the door, made not only this obvious, but the fact he knew the late 'guest', too. His possibilities for flight blocked, Shawn stalked the last steps towards Juliet and Waring, managed a cheerful 'Good evening' himself. "… and… how can help you?"
"You already did, remember?" John said. "I owe you much, and the least I could do was thank you. I haven't lost all good manners there, where I have been."
"O…uh…ha… Just saying thank you. Okay." Shawn tried to collect himself. This man might be cleared from this murder-accusation, but this did not mean he was a nice guy and all-American-good-neighbor!
"At the moment, I have no other means to express my gratitude, Mr. Spencer," Waring continued.
Juliet began to sense, what the talking about a 'special presence of this man' had meant… Shawn cleared his throat: "Well, don't bother. We only did our job! Nothing spectacular. And we did it to help a friend, so… really… no reason to… you know, bother with it." He grinned like a schoolboy, then, after a second of hesitation, he stretched his hand. "Wish you … all the best."
John smiled and took the hand. "Thank you. I'm sure you will have a profitable career with your skills. – Good bye." With that, he turned around and was gone a moment later.
Shawn breathed out. Juliet closed the door and watched him and Gus, who only now dared to show up in the floor. "My two heroes. – So this was the man, Scott worked for and whom you have contacted some months ago…"
"Yes. John Theodor Waring."
"The infamous Waring," Gus added. "Why is he out again? I mean – he was serving three lifetime-sentences! How the heck can he be out again, after we… I mean, you, Shawn, cleared him of just one thing?"
"Good lawyers? Anyway, he has no reason to harm us, has he? We don't need to freak out."
"Who freaks out?" Asked Gus in return.
Juliet raised her hands and suppressed a little laugh. "Okay, guys, I think I'll go now! It is already past 11 PM, and tomorrow work is waiting!" She grabbed her coat and the keys for the car. "You'll pay me a visit tomorrow in the office, Shawn, in the lunch break?"
"Yeah, good idea!"
Some 'See you' exchanged, Juliet finally left. It had started to rain, and she hurried to her car. Wonderful, the first rain in Southern California this year, and she had to 'appreciate' it, of course in her new white trousers!
The unexpected 'guest' at Shawn's home let her think of Scott again. She still liked her old High School friend. No, not only like, she had been totally crazy about him! Wait. What had she just thought? 'Had'? Juliet changed up the delay of the wiper. The rain had changed into a cloudburst! Driving further, she still mused about Scott and everything else. She wasn't sure, if she did not only cherish a memory not existing anymore. It was that difficult to define anything in this matter. Scott had changed, and she had changed… and maybe… On the other hand, there was Shawn! Nice, wonderful, crazy and funny Shawn. She smiled.
This was the moment, when she discovered the man on the sidewalk, strolling through the pouring rain, without umbrella, as if it would be a sunny afternoon. She stopped, opened the window and now recognized Shawn's unwelcome visitor. J. T. Waring. Juliet hesitated only shortly – he had not seemed to be a person risking his new-won freedom by anything stupid; moreover, she was armed, as usual. So she called out through the rain: "Hey, shall I take you somewhere?"
Obviously surprised he turned his head. "Pity, because I walk through the rain?" He wiped over his face, of no avail in the rain, of course, and stepped closer. "You are Scott Seaver's girlfriend, right?"
The question aroused some unease on her part. Why did he ask her this now? How could he even… "How do you know?"
"He showed me a picture of you, once. I have a very good memory. And he… well, you don't forget the man who brought you in a high security unit." Again he wiped over his head. "It might be enough rain, indeed. If you could take me downtown? I have a hotel room there."
Juliet opened the car's door. "It's really no weather for a nice walk. Sorry, I have not even some Kleenex to dry."
"I enjoyed it, actually. There are always the small things you miss, while in prison. … the noise outside your old home, the flavour of your familiar toothpaste… standing in the rain…Oddly enough often it's the annoying things you miss, the ones you wish away while you have still time to savour them." John stopped with an excusing smile. "Sorry, I did not plan to drop nonsense over you, in addition to the water."
"Well… I never thought about that. I mean…." Juliet stopped at a traffic light. "… mean, how a prisoner would feel."
"You shouldn't ponder about it. It is not your job."
"That's right. Though…"
"I was at the wrong place at the wrong time, then. But the most of the people in THERE have been at exactly the place they wanted to be, when the police was a bit faster than they thought. – How long do you work for the Santa Barbara PD?"
He nodded and looked out of the window. "Don't ponder," he only repeated. Then they drove on in silence.
Half an hour later, Juliet dropped her passenger off.
"Thank you," John said, already half turning towards his hotel.
"No problem. You only… flooded my car a bit."
A faint smile crossed his lips. "Good night. And… Scott Seaver is not the right man for you."
Juliet opened her mouth, but was too stunned to answer anything. She just watched John T. Waring walk over the street and vanish in the cheap little hotel. What a weird night! Eventually, she hit the road again in the direction of her home. Time to get some sleep. Don't ponder.