Shawn leaned over to whisper in Gus' ear, his body sinking even deeper into the cushy couch they sat on. "Dude, it's just not right."

Gus' glare told Shawn much more than the simple "Shut up!" he whispered back.

Shawn shook his head. "He's doing it all wrong! It's common courtesy to tell him!"

Gus leaned towards Shawn, narrowing his eyes in an effort to come off as threatening. "If you say anything, I'm going to kill you, Shawn!"

Shawn leaned away, blinking against the spit that flew from Gus' mouth. "If we don't, he's just going to make a fool of himself."

"Shawn!" Gus warned, but he could do nothing to stop Shawn now.

"You've never held anyone hostage before, have you, Bob?"

The nervous man standing across the room jumped at the question, turning away from the window he was staring out. He cleared his throat, rubbing a hand across his balding head to wipe away the sweat. "No. Never."

Shawn nodded. "We thought so. In fact, we thought we'd give you some free tips; you know, just in case you're ever in this situation again."

"Shawn!"

Ignoring his friend, Shawn leaned forward on the couch. "First, when it comes to restraining your hostages, rope isn't a bad choice. But always, always choose a neutral color. Black is okay, but tan is the best. That's the color that pops into everyone's head when you talk about rope. What color did the cowboys use? Tan. Never, ever go with hot pink rope." Shawn held up his bound hands as evidence. "It just takes the scare factor down a notch, you know what I mean? Not to mention that it's humiliating to tie up two grown men—"

"One grown man," Gus interrupted.

"One and a half grown men with pink rope," Shawn finished. "Oh, and if you ever use duct tape? Use silver. Maybe even the camo colored one, but that's the only exception." He cleared his throat before continuing. "Following that…" Shawn nodded at the television, "It was really nice of you to ask what we wanted to watch, and we really appreciate it. After all, the finale for American Duos is on tonight, but it's just…too kind."

Gus broke in, speaking quickly to cut off Shawn. "Don't listen to him, Mr. Black. What you're doing is perfectly fine. In fact, I much prefer the way you do things," he said, the smooth voice that he always used to either impress someone or to try and get a date in effect.

Gus elbowed Shawn and the lecture was put on hold while the two bickered silently. Bob continued to watch them, his nervousness fading away to be replaced with bewilderment.

"And next," Shawn broke out as he tried to slide away from Gus. The couch was against him, however. It didn't matter how he moved, the couch just sucked him back into the center, right next to a very angry Gus. "Next, you're not even doing anything. You're just standing there silently!"

"What should I be doing?" The man asked in confusion.

"Nothing!" Gus squeaked as Shawn hummed thoughtfully.

"Well, making threats seems to be the way most kidnappers-slash-hostage takers go."

"Threats?" Bob's face scrunched as he considered Shawn's words. "Like…I'll turn off the television if you…keep talking?" He asked slowly.

Shawn's head dipped as he looked at Bob dubiously. "Yes," he said, drawing the word out. "Or, you know, something a little more hardcore. Like you'll hurt us if…I don't know, the police try to come in?"

"Oh."

Shawn and Gus exchanged a small look, Gus giving a slight shake of his head.

"You know, throwing a few punches never hurts, either," Shawn added thoughtfully.

"Yes, it does! Shawn!" Angry Gus was back and Shawn flinched away from his bony elbows.

"Seriously, dude! Chicks dig the whole 'injured hero' thing!"

"They do not!" Gus exclaimed.

Shawn just nodded smugly. "Yes, they do. A black eye, a bruised rib…I'm telling you, buddy, the ladies love it."

"Why?" Bob asked.

"I have no clue, but trust me on this. I got a date once because I fell from a tree and broke a rib. The lady said I was mysterious and asked me out."

"Did you tell her you fell from a tree?" Bob asked, crossing his arms and tilting his head, obviously interested in Shawn's story.

"Nope; I told her I got it in a fight."

"You're unbelievable," Gus huffed. "Don't you think it was…unwise, maybe even dangerous to go out with someone who liked you because you were 'beat up?'" Gus lifted his bound hands to form air quotes.

"Oh, it was definitely dangerous," Shawn grinned, waggling his eyebrows. "She had this set of—"

"I don't want to know!" Gus yelled over Shawn's voice.

Shawn smirked before looking back at Bob. "Seriously man, take a swing."

"No! Don't!" Gus interrupted.

"I can't," Bob said, shaking his head and taking a step back.

"Sure you can! You'd be doing me a huge favor. You see, there's this very hot detective that I would really like to impress and I need a little something extra, something to tug at her heartstrings. A black eye should just about do it."

"Are you sure?" Bob asked.

"Quite," Shawn replied, with a resolute nod of his head.

"O…okay then. If it will help you."

He took a step towards Shawn when Gus exclaimed, "Are you kidding me? Don't listen to him! He's an idiot. In fact, don't listen to anything he just said."

Bob came to a stop, looking between the two friends. "No?"

"No," Gus answered.

"Oh, come on man!" Shawn said, pouting at Gus.

The door to Bob's house slammed open and Lassiter's voice rang out. "On the floor! Now! Hands where I can see 'em!"

"Oh, and Bob? Never keep your hostages in a place that's connected to you. It makes it really easy for the police to find you," Shawn said, finishing his lecture with a smile.

More officers were pouring into the house as Lassiter cuffed the man and began to lead him out of the room. He paused, a smile twitching the corners of his mouth as he caught sight of Shawn and Gus' hands. "Pink rope? It's a nice touch. Really."

Shawn scowled at the tall detective as Juliet hurried over. She quickly freed their hands before meeting Shawn's gaze. "Are you hurt?"

"No," Shawn soothed. "I'm fine."

"Oh."

At the disappointment on her face, Gus and Shawn froze. "Oh?" Shawn questioned.

She nodded. "It's just…I was a nurse for Halloween last year, and I was really hoping to get some more use out of that costume." She gave a coy smile as she stood and walked away.

Shawn stared after her, his mouth opening and closing in shock. He turned to meet Gus' wide eyes with his own before he closed his mouth and swallowed. "You're dead to me," he said hoarsely. He pushed against the couch to stand, cursing when the cushions sucked him back down.

"Jules, wait!" He called, stumbling in her wake when the couch finally relinquished its hold on him. He darted after her, his voice rising over the noise the other officers were making. "Jules, I may not have been hurt physically, but my heart hurts! Jules! I was just held hostage! It was a harrowing situation! Jules? Jules!"


AN: It's not the genre I usually write in, but this idea popped in to my head when I was at Menards yesterday and refused to leave me alone. :) I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!