Henry was angry. So angry. He had put this guy away; it was supposed to be for life. For the thousandth time in the last week he cursed the prison transport guards that had let this happen. Rooker was dangerous, he was one sick puppy and those idiot guards had let him get away. Henry wished he'd been allowed in the interrogation room when Lassiter had interviewed those morons; he would have given them a piece of his mind.
He sighed thinking, he was lucky that Karen had even let him help out in this investigation. Granted he wasn't allowed the police resources that he felt he needed in this investigation but Shawn had helped a little with that after all. He hated to admit it, even to himself, but he was glad that he was working with Shawn on a case. For real this time, not just dishing out advice. Even though the two Spencers were driving each other crazy, they made a pretty good team. They always had, he guessed, as long as they had Gus as a mediator. This case would be over soon. They would catch Rooker and Henry would go back to being retired with nothing to do but fish. He liked to fish of course but it didn't compare to the excitement that came with solving a case. Henry sighed again.
"Henry, I swear if you sigh one more time you're sitting in the back with your spawn," Carlton Lassiter growled from his driver's seat. Henry glared back over to him, he liked Carlton but tempers had been getting pretty bad in the last few days and the head detective especially had been getting on his nerves. Lassiter was not pleased that the case had lead them to Colorado to assist the local PD who had spotted Rooker a few days ago and only an hour before a body had been found, the killer believed to have been Rooker. That was where they were heading now. Carlton hated the snow and was taking it out on everyone, especially O'Hara who had flat out refused to even be in the car with him, instead grabbing Gus and heading for the other rental, calling over that they would meet them at the crime scene.
"Maybe, if you drove a little faster I wouldn't be sighing in frustration," he shot back.
"It actually felt a little bit more like despondence." The voice came from the back seat.
"Shut up!" both Henry and Lassiter shouted back at Shawn.
Shawn had been especially frustrating during the investigation and Henry was beginning to wonder if he was irritating him and Lassiter on purpose. Who was he kidding? Of course it was on purpose.
"You know this whole atmosphere is feeling a little tense, maybe we should try some breathing exercises," Shawn suggested, leaning forward in the back seat towards the metal gate that separated the two front seats from the back ones.
Shawn's words were met with silence.
"Really? Neither of you know any breathing exercises? I thought that Lassie for sure would –"
"Spencer if you don't shut up I will pull over and throw you out of this car!" Lassiter growled again, knuckles turning white on the wheel he was gripping.
"Okay now you're just not being clear, there are two Spencers in the car."
Henry and Lassiter were stopped from responding when the whole car lurched forward with a bang.
"What the hell!" Lassiter yelled, looking in the rear view.
There was a blue pick up right behind them, it had smashed into the back of the head detectives crown vic and from the looks of it was done deliberately. The two cars continued to speed down the deserted road, mounds of icy snow on either side of the road.
"It looks like we're being followed," Henry remarked, looking in the side mirror.
"What gave that away, Dad?" Shawn called from the back.
BANG! The pick up had struck them again.
"Spencer! Call O'Hara and tell her we need back up!" Lassiter called to Shawn while trying to keep his hands on the wheel.
"You think its Rooker?" Lassiter asked Henry while Shawn was calling Juliet.
Henry narrowed his eyes to catch a better glance at the figure in the front seat of the car behind them.
"Looks like it!" just then the pick-up hit them even harder and Lassiter lost control, the icy road causing the car to slide towards a particularly large mound of snow. At the speed they were going this was going to hurt.
WOOOF! The sound of the impact was muffled but that didn't stop it from being painful.
There was a moment of silence in the car. Lassiter, dazed, looked around and all he saw was white. It looked like they were wedged right into the icy mound. Damn. Carlton shook himself, realizing the situation they were in.
"Spencer," he called, not sure himself which Spencer he was referring to. Henry groaned beside him and dazedly raised a hand to his head.
"You okay, Henry?" Lassiter asked, looking him up and down and other than a bump on the head Henry looked okay. Without waiting for a response, Carlton turned towards the back seat.
"Shit." He cursed. Shawn was unmoving in the middle of the back seat, chin to his chest, he looked unconscious.
"Spencer!" Lassiter called back, this seemed to get the attention of one Spencer at least, just not the one he was hoping for. Henry looked towards the backseat where Lassiter's attention was focused.
"Shawn!" he yelled, unclipping his seatbelt and grabbing the door handle. Nothing. The door wouldn't open. Lassiter tried his side. Nothing again.
"Reverse!" Carlton turned the key but the car wouldn't start.
"God damnit!" the head detective cursed, turning back to Shawn in the backseat who still hadn't moved. In the rear window Lassiter spied movement and, judging from the light coming through the back windows, it looked like only half the car was buried in the snow.
"Shawn! Shawn wake up!" Henry called, gripping the gate that separated the front and back seats and tried to pull it loose.
Lassiter gripped it too, in the hopes that the two of them could somehow get through the gate. Nothing. Suddenly the back door behind Lassiter's seat opened. A face peered in, a familiar face. They had been looking for that face ever since his prison transport crashed and he'd escaped. Rooker.
"Hey there, Henry! Long time no see." Rooker made it sound like they were old pals.
"Rooker." Henry growled back, trying to ignore how close the convict was to Shawn who was still very much unconscious.
"I hear you're looking for me, Henry, well I'm looking for you too," Rooker smiled. Henry cursed that he hadn't been allowed to bring his gun, Karen had forbid it ex-cop or not. He glanced at Lassiter who was searching for his gun which had been knocked out of his holster in the crash. Henry had to keep Rooker talking.
"Oh you have, have you?" Rooker smiled again.
"I have. I just wanted to tell you something," he continued.
"Tell me what?" Henry growled, trying not to let the anger he was feeling from showing and failing.
"That we were even," Rooker said, face still inside the car, body outside.
"Even?" Henry scoffed, "You killed eight people." Rooker's smile disappeared.
"So? They deserved it. But you! You took away eighteen years of my life!" Lassiter was now trying to reach the gun that had fallen under the dash towards the pedals but because of his size, couldn't reach it. Rooker turned his attention to Lassiter for a moment before deciding that it was unlikely that the detective could reach the gun, he turned back to Henry.
"But that's okay, Henry," Rooker said calmly, "because now we're even," he smiled again at Henry,
"Goodbye, Henry, maybe we'll see each other again someday, if you can catch me that is," Rooker chuckled and disappeared from sight, door ajar. Henry and Lassiter sat frozen, listening to the steps get further away, feeling a small sense of relief. The steps sounded again, boots through snow , back towards the car, Rooker poked his face back into the car with another smile.
"Silly me, I almost forgot," he chuckled and to Henry's horror, reached over and unclipped Shawn's seatbelt.
"Don't you dare!" came Henry's yell from the passenger seat. Rooker didn't respond, he put his arms underneath Shawn's and started to pull the still unconscious psychic from the car.
Henry and Lassiter panicked, both gripping the door handles again and banging into the sides of their doors. Rooker was almost out of the car with Shawn before he stopped and looked over at Henry.
"I'd say we're even now don't you think?" with another smile he pulled Shawn out of the car completely.
"Rooker!" Henry screamed, "Rooker! You bastard, get back here! I will kill you!"
They could hear the sound of footsteps through snow again, and the sound of something being dragged. Shawn being dragged.
"Rooker! If you stop right now we can make a deal!" Lassiter shouted and if Henry hadn't been so panicked he would have remarked on how desperate the head detective sounded. Lassiter didn't make deals with criminals. Lassiter never made deals with criminals.
Henry whipped from side to side, trying to see through the fogged up rear window, listening. Nothing, it was completely silent except for the sounds of Lassiter trying to knock the snow back from his just lowered window which only resulted in the car filling with snow.
Henry's heart was in his throat, he flashed back to every crime scene that Rooker had caused, every body, butchered. And the man had Shawn. Shawn.
"Rooker! If you touch a hair on his head I swear I'll –"
Henry and Lassiter froze at the gunshot. Henry had never been so absolutely frozen in terror.
"No! SHAWN!" He screamed as if that could prevent what had already happened, "SHAWN!" Henry beat his hand against the car door again, ignoring the blood that was dripping off of it at the continued abuse. Suddenly Lassiter grabbed Henry's arm. Henry turned to yell at him but froze at Lassiter's expression. In the silence Henry heard a crunching sound, boots through snow, moving back towards the car.
Lassiter's gun still out of reach they had nothing to do but wait. The steps moved closer, finally there was a clink of metal on metal. There was the sound of an engine starting and a moment later the whole car jerked. Henry and Carlton put their hands onto the dash at the sudden movement. After another jolt, the car was pulled back, away from the snow. Finally it came to a stop and Henry and Lassiter leapt out the doors to find a scene they did not expect.
Rooker's pick-up was still on the road, its driver's side facing them, no Rooker in sight. There was, however a Colorado PD SUV behind the Crown Vic, it had apparently towed them from the mound of snow. There was also, parked behind Rooker's truck, O'Hara's rental. There was a uniform next to the pick-up and one unlatching the tow from the rear bumper of Lassiter's car but no O'Hara, no Guster, no Rooker, and no Shawn.
The uniform that had been standing next to the pick-up caught Lassiter's eye and nodded to the far side of the vehicle. Both Henry and Lassiter leapt forward and raced to the truck, stopping in just to the right of the hood. Rooker lay on the ground just in front of them, a hole in his chest, unmoving. O'Hara was standing above him, talking into a radio, at Lassiter's look she nodded that she was fine; she seemed to be calling for paramedics. Henry froze again.
Paramedics. But Rooker was dead. He walked around the body to see the other side of the car. There, leaning against the rear wheel, was Shawn. Awake and alive. Gus was holding a mound of snow to Shawn's head and asking him questions. Carlton patted Henry on the back and gave him a relieved look. Henry shakily walked over and fell to his knees beside Shawn.
Shawn looked away from Gus, surprised. Henry reached out and pulled Shawn towards him, placing his forehead against his son's. Shawn, surprisingly didn't pull away. Gus had stopped asking questions and wandered over towards Lassiter to give the two a moment. They sat for a few minutes like that, Henry kneeling; Shawn sitting in the snow, forehead to forehead before Henry finally spoke,
"Don't. Ever. Do. That. Again." Henry played his part and sounded as angry as he could, though most of what he felt at that moment was overwhelming relief. Shawn, for his part, made a joke,
"Okay, Dad. It's settled, next time I ride with Gus."
"No, Shawn, next time you ride up front."