A story I creating for a whumping contest. It's a slight AU for One, Maybe Two, Ways out. Shawn/Juliet (of course :) ) Hope you enjoy :)
"Get in the car, Shawn." The ex-cop said sternly to the figure on top of the short set of stairs, standing where the light of the orange street lamp barely touched him.
"I believe that would be categorized as a kidnapping, given the fact that said action would be against my will." Shawn said cynically, his shoes thudding reluctantly down the concrete steps of the quiet, empty building.
"Not in the mood, kid." Henry crossed his arms and glowered at his son. "You wake me up at 1:30 A.M. with a phone call begging me to drive out for fifty-two minutes – in the rain – to a strange town to pick you up…"
Shawn frowned and glanced up at the star speckled blackness, his father's aggravated rant shifting to the background with the crickets. The thin crescent moon illuminated a few chunky clouds that hovered in the night sky, but they had yet to drench anything down below.
Redirecting his focus, Shawn looked at Henry's truck, noting the windshield wipers that were stopped further up on the glass than usual, having recently been used. Squinting at the tailgate, also he spotted a wet glimmer in the streetlight.
Shawn gave an inward sigh as he glanced over at his motorcycle, predicting a fun trip back home. He tuned into Henry again.
"…trying to follow those crappy directions you gave me—"
"Yeah, Dad, believe me, calling you was a last resort. Did you get the gas?" Shawn stepped past Henry and placed his hands against the edges of the truck bed as he peered inside, looking for the red container of precious fuel for his thirsty vehicle.
"Shawn, you're not driving that thing back home; I just came through a torrential downpour on the way up here. Feel this humidity? That rain isn't far behind us."
"You didn't bring the gas…" Shawn muttered, irritably working his jaw as he shoved off from the side of the truck. "What about my bike? I can't just leave it here to be picked up by whoever drives past."
"Why do you think I have a truck, Shawn?" Henry spoke in an obvious tone as he moved to the back of the truck and lowered the tailgate.
Shawn rolled his eyes. "Yeah, that's just great, Dad." He gauged the height of the truck and mentally weighed his motorcycle. "In case you haven't noticed, I'm not exactly the Incredible Hulk."
Henry ignored him as he reached into the shadow of the truck bed and tugged out a wide length of wood, and adjusted it so one end touched the ground at a slope, creating a ramp.
"Of course," Shawn said in annoyance at the obvious solution and now picturing the plank he'd barely noticed in the back while looking for the gas container.
"You know, Shawn, if—"
"Dad, please, I really don't need another life lesson right now… Can we just get my bike and go?"
Henry watched him for moment, then nodded his head toward the dormant motorcycle. Within a few minutes, they had gotten the bike in the back of the truck.
After Henry double checked Shawn's work at securing the bike, he opened his door and sat down behind the wheel. The ex-cop rolled his eyes as the truck lurched from his son's sharp movements as he jumped into the passenger seat and grabbed the door handle, jerking it closed.
Henry silently started the engine and U-turned down the abandoned street, heading back home.
True to Henry's words, about five minutes later the truck drove back under the hidden storm clouds and into a steady rain.
Henry sighed and flicked on the windshield wipers, frowning at the streak of rain they missed on the lower half of the glass. He sat a little straighter to see over it, making a mental note to buy a new set of wipers the next time he was at the store.
Daring a quick glance, Henry looked away from the road and over at Shawn, who was slouching against the door, absentmindedly running his thumb under the seatbelt across his shoulder as he stared out the dark window. Something was obviously on his mind.
Henry looked back at the road, feeling the urge to say something to his son, though he wasn't quite sure how.
The driving rain intensified, thudding against the roof of the truck and creating a squeak with each frantic pass of the wipers. Henry slowly applied the brake as he lost sight of the road up ahead in the rain.
"What?" Shawn looked over at Henry.
"You always drag Gus along on a case. Isn't that the reason you were at some random town forty miles away at one in the morning? If you were playing psychic and trying to track down a suspect without letting anyone else know where-"
"I'm not on a case, Dad." Shawn cut off the usual scolding of being irresponsible and reckless. At the corner of his eye, he saw Henry furrow his brow and glance toward him.
"Then what in the world were you doing out here?"
"Everybody takes midnight walks on the beach; this is my version. Can't I enjoy a good moonlit ride near the beach?"
"Not when there's no beach nearby or enough gas in that death machine of yours."
"Don't hate on the bike."
"I have a right when it quits on you in the middle of nowhere."
"The gas meter was broken."
"Then you should have taken care of it."
"Don't hate on me either."
"I'm not; I'm simply—"
"Telling me what to do like when I was nine?"
"Shawn, don't start."
"You said that a lot when I was nine, too."
Henry sighed, shooting a look over at Shawn, who continued to stare out his window. "Shawn, I could have ignored your phone call and let Gus handle it, or even call Lassiter on you, or, heaven forbid, let you figure it out for yourself. But I didn't. As usual, I came to your rescue and drove all the way out here and I believe I have earned the right to know why I had to do so in the first place."
"Didn't you always tell me not to distract you while you were driving in the rain?" Shawn countered.
"Shawn, you're really starting to tick me off."
"Welcome to my side of the universe."
Henry rolled his eyes. "You know I can pull over and kick you out in the rain at any time."
"Yeah, but you won't." Shawn spoke without hesitation. "Your signature on my birth certificate binds you to protect me."
"Why are you being such a crab?"
"Gee, I don't know, Dad. Let's look at the options here," Shawn retorted, shifting in his seat to face straight ahead. "Could it be, A, it's past my bedtime and I didn't have my soothing glass of milk with Mrs. Guster's delicious dozen of chocolate chip cookies that she thinks she sends to Gus every week; B, crabs happen to be my favorite animal, food, and/or negative emotion; or three…"
Shawn trailed off as headlights shone into his eyes.
He wasn't quite sure how it happened – he figured it was either somehow caused by his hyperactive memory snapping to attention, something to do with the word 'adrenaline' that crossed his mind, or maybe that his heart was a time machine. Whatever the reason, just as his panicked heartbeat doubled, everything shifted into a slower pace. He ran a quick compare, making note that it was not exactly slow motion like in the movies, but not quite real speed either... Interesting.
While a Cheerio sized portion of his brain figured that out, the rest of his mind was focused on tracing the SUV that appeared straight in front of them through the curtain of rain. Even though it was obvious, Shawn couldn't help but jerk his hand up and point toward the vehicle in their path. "Dad, look out!" His other hand automatically reached toward the steering wheel as his right foot stomped on an imaginary brake.
In response, Henry jerked the wheel to the right and slammed the brakes, but the slick roads continued to shove the truck forward as it started to skid sideways, following the slanted tires.
Neither of them had to be psychic to know what was going to happen when the front of the truck rolled off the side of the pavement as the other car continued to advance on the wrong side of the blurred road.
With his left hand still outstretched toward the wheel, Shawn tightly gripped the door with his right and looked to his dad.
Without looking away from the sight before him, Henry tensed as he ordered, "Close your eyes, Shawn."
His heart pounding audibly, Shawn suddenly found his eyes shut tight against what he knew was coming.
In his mind, he could still see the image of his dad behind the wheel as clearly as if he could see through his eyelids. But that scene was soon blasted from his head as he felt the sudden impact of the oncoming car.
The force shoved Shawn heavily against the door and caused his head to crack against the window. He winced, tensing as he felt the truck move unnaturally beneath him.
Suddenly, his sense of gravity shifted, and with a jolt, he realized that the truck was balancing on its two right wheels, getting ready to fall on its side.
Unable to move, Shawn's weight against the car door gave the truck the final shove it needed.
Shawn's seatbelt locked, cutting into his shoulder as he jerked against the restraint. He felt his body temporarily lift from the seat before it caught against the belt and was slammed back down again.
Then the action repeated.
In the confusing jerks, slams, and falls, Shawn made the only sense that he could: The truck was rolling downhill.
In the darkness, the location of the road had been previously unknown. Now Shawn realized that the road must have been on a slight wooded incline, judging by the snaps of branches that he heard outside. With the angle that they had slid into and the power of the car that hit them must had been enough to push them down the hill.
The jerking routine continued down the slope, until a loud burst of pain exploded through Shawn's head.
The following sound of shattered glass transitioned into a dark silence.