Title: Too Bad
Author: Luna Knyte
Rating: T (to be safe)
Summary: What if Henry couldn't deal with Madeleine leaving and having to raise Shawn all by his own? What if he was actually struggling and his job at the police station wasn't enough...what if their house is up for foreclosure and makes a rash decision? What if Shawn is left behind? What will that do to him in a long run?
Inspiration: Nicklebacks song "Too Bad"
"Shawn, wake up," Henry called from down the hall.
"Shawn, wake up! You have to go to school!" Henry yelled as he made his way out of the bathroom. He looked around the halls with distaste and almost disgust. Its been two years since Madeleine left and since then he's never really felt up to cleaning the house properly anymore. There were soda cans on the floor, Shawn's toys thrown all over the place, dust everywhere, and stains decorating the rugs.
Henry opened Shawn's room and found it a total pigsty.
"Shawn, wake up! And what have I told you about cleaning your room?" Henry demanded.
"To do it..." Shawn mumbled as he woke up.
"But do you?" Henry asked.
"Is that a trick question?" Shawn asked as he got out of bed. His Pj's old and torn, and a bit tight on him. They were given to him by his mom three Christmas' ago, and he refuses to throw them out.
Henry gave a tired sigh and rubbed his eyes, "Just...just get ready for school...please, Shawn, today, just be a good little boy and do what I say."
Having been trained by his father for already many years, Shawn heard the difference in his fathers voice. He really didn't understand what that difference was, but he could tell that is wasn't good.
"Yes sir..." Shawn said and he got ready by looking for his clothes and book bag.
Henry nodded and continue his way through the house. In the living room he passed a few family pictures and gave another tired sigh. He didn't know what happened. One day they were happily married with a beautiful and energized boy who made them both smile. The next day they were fighting. It was random fights that made no sense to him, there were very illogical. Being a cop his natural response was to fight back, so he did. The next thing he knew Madeleine was packing and he and Shawn were left to themselves.
He wanted to be strong, but really...he could feel himself falling. Little by little everything started to lose control.
"Dad, are we having breakfast today?" Shawn asked as he came down fully dressed and back pack over his shoulder.
"Here's a banana. You'll be late if you don't leave now," Henry said.
"But I don't want a banana," Shawn whined with a frown on his nine year old face.
"We don't have anything else right now Shawn. But here, if you hurry you can get breakfast at the school," Henry said and gave Shawn some money.
"Can we go grocery shopping when I get back?" Shawn asked as she placed the money in his pocket.
Henry paused for a second and tried to mull things over in his mind. He knew that lately his money wasn't being spent in smart places. It was usually in booze and gambling. Since Madeleine's leaving these were the things that could replace the pain for a moment since the chief wouldn't let him go one anything bigger than a purse snatcher case, and even then he was being monitored. But he owed it to his son to have food in the fridge, and ultimately on the table for all three meals.
"Sure buddy. You and me will go shopping when you get back," Henry replied.
Shawn smiled and put on his jacket since it was entering October and it was kind of chilly. Swinging his back pack over both shoulders Shawn hurried out of the house, turned back to wave at Henry with a big smile on his face, and then headed off to school. He was hungry.
Since his behavior as of lately has been questionable Henry finds himself to be at home a lot more that he'd like. As he gets up from his recliner chair in the living room he looks outside to see that the mail man just passed by. Henry sighed for what seemed the umpteenth time that morning.
Since the whole divorce thing became real, he's been putting off paying a lot of bills. Once or twice the lights or water have been shut off. When Henry went to the mailbox he took out the envelopes and wanted to scream. He tore open one letter and couldn't believe his eyes.
Stamped on the letter that explained many reasons to Henry in big red capitalized letters were: FORECLOSURE
It was a half day at school today since it was a Friday and Shawn was making his way home. Gus had to stay because his Chess club always had meetings on Fridays no matter what. So Shawn walked the few blocks to his house alone.
He was actually smiling a bit because his dad promised that they'd go shopping. He was happy because one: they would have food in their house again. And two: he missed spending time with his dad. Even if it was to do those annoying test they used to do, he missed time with him since his mom left. His dad was the only family he had left since he didn't have any brothers or sisters.
As Shawn reached the corner of his block he could see his dad already outside putting things into his truck. Shawn smiled, his dad not only remembered that he had a half day but was planning something for them to do as well!
"DAD!" Shawn yelled as he began to run towards his house, but then slowed down when he saw his dad's face.
His dad's face was full of shock and his eyes widen as if he were scared. But that would be impossible...his dad was never scared. He faced many bad guys and criminals and he was never scared! Not even of the monster under the bed that liked to scare Shawn in the middle of the night.
"Dad?" Shawn asked as he got closer. By the time Shawn reached the second house next to his, Henry was already in the truck with the engine on.
"Daddy... ?" Shawn asked uncertainly without moving from his spot where he seemed frozen in place.
Henry gave Shawn a hard look and his lip thinned out into a very tight and straight line before he tore his eyes away from Shawn and looked ahead angrily before driving off.
Shawn dropped his back pack where he was and started to race down the street in a futile attempt to catch up with the truck. All the while yelling for his father.
It was Monday around noon that Mrs. Guster heard a knock on the door. She was curious to see who it was seeing that both her children were at school and her husband was a t work. She was very surprised however to find Burton's best friend, Shawn Spencer at her door.
"Shawn! What on earth are you doing here at this time of day? You should be in school," Mrs. Guster chided. Though she would admit she was even more confused than ever. If Shawn had been up to any mischief that would involve her Burton, why would Shawn show up at her doorstep while Burton was at school? And now that she thought about it, she hasn't seen Henry Spencer over the weekend like she would usually. If not for asking where his son was, it was dropping off Burton safely at home.
"May I come in Mrs. Guster?" Shawn whispered as he looked down at his feet.
Very concerned now Mrs. Guster moved to allow Shawn some room to come it. "Sure thing."
Shawn followed her to the kitchen and now that she got a good look at Shawn she frowned. Shawn was covered with dirt, looked far too pale, had dark rims under his eyes, said eyes were blood shot, perhaps from crying, and...she knew him to be thin, but he has never looked more skinny.
"When was the last time you ate Shawn?" Mrs. Guster asked.
"Yesterday?" Shawn replied with a whisper and a shrug, still not looking up from the ground.
"What did you eat?" Mrs. Guster asked.
"A banana," Shawn said quietly.
"That's all?" Mrs. Guster asked gently.
"That's all I had at home..." Shawn replied quietly.
Mrs. Guster sighed. She and some of the other neighbors have seen how Henry was slowly losing control. Some worried about Shawn, but since she saw him regularly she never saw him as anything but a normal playful child. But now...
"When was the last time you had a real meal, Shawn?" Mrs. Guster asked.
"Uh...Maybe Thursday? Yeah...dad ordered Chinese take out," Shawn replied.
"Thursday? Shawn, it's Monday! Now you sit right there and I'll get you something to eat," Mrs. Guster ordered as she headed for the fridge.
"No!" Shawn said in a normal tone voice, or the way Mrs. Guster saw it, yelling for a whispering child. "I...I don't wanna be a burden."
Mrs. Guster looked at Shawn carefully before she took out some of the left over spaghetti and meat balls from last nights dinner, warmed it up and placed it in front of Shawn. Placing a cup of juice for him as well.
Shawn was hesitant at first but after a brief moment, even Mrs. Guster heard Shawn's stomach growl in hunger. He picked up the fork Mrs. Guster had placed near him and dug in. Mrs. Guster saw how Shawn was trying not to pig out but still she saw how he was eating. She knew Henry was depressed but she never would have thought that Shawn would ever be to the point of near starvation.
When Shawn finished he pushed his plate away from him like he's learned from Gus, to let Mrs. Guster know that he was done. Though the plate was empty.
"Shawn?" Mrs. Guster asked getting Shawn to look up. It broke her heart to see so much...pain and tiredness, in a child so young. Shawn's hazel green eyes were scared and looked so lost.
"Yes Mrs. Guster?" Shawn replied.
"Why are you covered in dirt?" Mrs. Guster wanted to ask more serious questions but the boy in front of her now wasn't the usual over confident and curious boy that is her sons best friend. In front of her now was a timid little boy who seemed to be alone.
"You can tell me Shawn," Mrs. Guster coaxed.
"My...my dad left Mrs. Guster. I saw him drive off when I got home Friday when it was a half day...that morning he told me to clean my room. So I did. So when he gets back...he'll know that I am a good boy...and that I can follow orders..." Tears began to fall from Shawn's eyes but that didn't stop him from explaining, "I wanted to show him that...that I can be good. That I'm not a screw up...so I spent the whole weekend cleaning up the whole house...waiting for him to come home..."
"Oh Shawn...Have you been alone all this time?" Mrs. Guster asked.
Shawn wiped away his tears, and nodded.
"Okay...lets go get you all cleaned up. You can borrow some of Burton's clothes. Then we'll go down to the police station and see if we can find your dad okay?" Mrs. Guster asked.
"They're not gonna find him," Shawn said miserably.
Mrs. Guster frowned and crouched down to Shawn's eye level, "Why's that?"
"Our house is being foreclosed..." Shawn took out a folded piece of paper and a dog tag necklace, "My dad left these nailed to the front of the door..."
Mrs. Guster gasped as she took the letter from Shawn and looked from it to Shawn. Then she tried to offer Shawn a smile, "Go into the bathroom and run the water, sweetie, while I get you some of Burton's clothes."
"Okay...thank you," Shawn headed towards the bathroom but stopped and looked back, "And I'm sorry."
"For what sweetie?" Mrs. Guster asked confused.
"For burdening you..." Shawn whispered and continued his way to the bathroom.
After placing some Burton's extra clothes in the bathroom Mrs. Guster went to phone her husband.
"Is something wrong dear?" Mr. Guster asked since it was abnormal for his wife to call him randomly at work like that.
"Henry Spencer walked out on Shawn, Bill. Shawn's been by himself all weekend. Lord knows when he had a real home cooked meal, he's too thin!" Mrs. Guster ranted.
"Winne...calm down sweetheart. What do you mean Henry walked out? Couldn't it he just be on a job or a stakeout or something?" Mr. Guster asked.
"No. We always see Shawn and Henry on the weekends and we haven't this time. And Shawn showed up at the house awhile ago. You should have seen the poor boy Bill. He was covered in dirt, he's as pale as a ghost, his eyes are dark and it looks like he's spend hours crying! And...their house is being foreclosed," Mrs. Guster explained.
Mr. Guster sighed over the phone, "So Henry Spencer just left...?"
"Looks like it," Mrs. Guster replied quietly. The situation finally sinking in fully.
"What's going to happen with Shawn?" Mr. Guster asked.
It was Mrs. Guster turn to sigh, "I have no idea. I have to take him to the station...after that...I can't say."
"Fine...do what you think is best. I'll get home as soon as I can and then we'll see alright?" Mr. Guster said.
"I'm worried for Shawn's sake. He may be a handful...but he's just a child," Mrs. Guster said.
"I know...I'm worried too."
Shawn held on to Mrs. Guster's hand as they walked towards the police station. Since Shawn apologized to Mrs. Guster before his bath he really hasn't said a word. Walking into the S.B.P.D. Mrs. Guster went to talk with one of the policemen at the front desk to help her understand the situation and what she should do next.
In the mean time Shawn wondered off. Having been there already with his father many times before Shawn already knew where everything was and who everyone was.
"Shawn? Is that you?"
Shawn looked up and saw the chief.
"Hello Chief," Shawn nodded to the man in the press cleaned suit.
"Hello there Shawn. Is your father here?" the chief asked.
"No sir...my dad left," Shawn replied.
"Left? Left where Shawn?" the chief asked as he escorted Shawn to his office.
"I don't know. Our house is being foreclosed and I saw him pack his stuff into this pick-up truck...he drove off...I haven't heard or seen him since..." Shawn said sadly. To most people it would hurt, but to him it hurt more. With his eidetic memory he could remember every single detail of that day. Maybe if he'd gotten home sooner he could've gone with his dad. Maybe if he'd cleaned his room the first time his father had asked he would have been taken along...maybe if could have been everything or anything his parents had wanted they'd both be with him right now and he wouldn't be an orphan, because that was what he was at the moment.
"How long have you been alone Shawn?" the chief asked.
"My dad left Friday around eleven in the morning," Shawn replied.
"And you came here all by yourself?" the chief asked.
"No...the last thing in the house to eat was a banana that was going bad, but I ate it anyway cuz I was hungry...I had already clean the whole house, and I couldn't start the lawn mower...with nothing else to do to make the house look nice for when my dad came back...I had nothing else to do and I didn't go to school because I didn't want the grown ups to say anything so I went to the Guster's house.
"Mrs. Guster got me some spaghetti and meatballs and let me take a bath over there...It felt nice...our house only has cold water..." Shawn said.
"Is Mrs. Guster here Shawn?" the chief asked.
"Yeah. She's talking to Jones I think," Shawn said.
"Wait here for a minute Shawn. Do you want anything? Pizza? Tacos?" the chief asked as he got out of his chair.
"A pineapple smoothie?" Shawn asked timidly.
"Sure kid. I'll order a Hawaiian pizza for us as well," the chief said to Shawn and then to himself, "We might be here a while."
The chief asked one of the younger and more charismatic cops to hang around with Shawn. He ordered a pizza and Shawn's smoothie and brought in one of their TV to keep him entertained while he went to speak with Mrs. Guster.
"Mrs. Guster I'm Chief Herb Wilkins," The chief said.
"I'm Winnie Guster. My son and Shawn are best friends," Mrs. Guster said.
"Yes, I was wondering if you could shed some light on the situation for me," the chief asked.
"Shawn just showed up at our house and told me about what happened. The house being foreclosed, Henry leaving...he hasn't eaten a full meal since Thursday...if you can call take out a meal," Mrs. Guster said.
"I see," the Chief said as straightened his shoulders.
"What's going to happen to him?" Mrs. Guster asked.
The chief sighed, "Well if Henry drops off the grid...I can't really say if we'll find him. He may have gotten sloppy over the last few months but he was one of the best. The next thing we can hope for is to find his mother..."
"I'm sensing a 'but' in there somewhere," Mrs. Guster said.
"But it may take a while for us to find her as well. If too much time passes I'm afraid Shawn will be put in the foster care system," the chief said solemnly.
"Oh my..." Mrs. Guster covered her mouth with her hand. "Can't he stay with us? We'll be more than happy to house him."
"That's awfully nice of you Mrs. Guster. There are some forms you can fill out, but I'm afraid that until the papers get approved Shawn will have to be placed in the system. But lets cross our fingers and hopefully we'll find Mrs. Spencer. In the mean time, will he be allowed to stay with you?" the chief asked.
"Of course," Mrs. Guster replied.
"Alright..." the chief was about to leave but stopped, "I wish for you and your husband to fill out the paperwork as soon as possible. I'll do everything in my power to get those papers approved and enforced as quickly as possible...
"I care a lot for Shawn...kid has been here a lot of times and its hard not to care for him. Which is why I don't want him to ever go through the system...foster kids don't always have the best memories, and if Mrs. Spencer is as difficult to find as Henry...I want him to go somewhere safe and happy," the chief said.
Mrs. Guster have a stiff nod and replied, "Of course."
After talking with the chief for a bit Shawn got the basic idea of what was happening. Then they were on the way back to the Guster home. When they did get back it was still early, plus Joy and Gus both had after school activities and wouldn't be home until much later.
Mrs. Guster looked at Shawn and saw him forcefully blink his eyes as if he was trying to stay awake as if life depended on it.
"Why don't you head on up to Burton's room and take a nap Shawn? I'll wake you when he gets here," Mrs. Guster said.
Shawn couldn't help but yawn at the idea and nodded. Still Shawn hadn't spoken as much as Mrs. Guster is used to hearing him. When she tucked him in she was about to leave but Shawn's voice stopped her at the threshold.
"If my dad doesn't come back for me...what's going to happen to me then?"
"The chief and his men are going to find your mom," Mrs. Guster said.
"But she already left me and dad once before...am I going to go to an orphanage?"
"Of course not sweetie. If anything you'll just stay with us." Mrs. Guster was about to leave again but Shawn stopped her again.
"Your a mom...right?" Shawn asked timidly holding on tightly to the ends of the covers.
"Yes, sweetie, I am, why do you ask?" Mrs. Guster replied.
"Can you...can you tell me what's...what's wrong with me?"
"What do you mean? There isn't anything wrong with you," Mrs. Guster reassured him.
"But there has to be something wrong with me...I mean, why else would neither of my parents not want me?" Shawn asked as a tear fell from his eye.
Mrs. Guster walked over to Shawn and placed a kiss on his forehead, "There is nothing wrong you sweetie, and I promise you...everything will be alright."
"You can't promise me that, but thanks for trying to make me feel better," Shawn said as he laid back down.
"I can promise you that Shawn," Mrs. Guster argued.
"My mother promised she'll always be there for me, but she left. My father promised he'd teach me how to grow up...and now he's gone...Promises are just lies," Shawn whispered as he nodded off.
Winnie Guster bit her lip as a tear fell down her cheek. As horrible as it seems Shawn was right. Even though she wanted to promise that, and they were capable of taking care of Shawn...the law didn't always work out like a fairytale. Shawn could be taken away from them in a matter of days, and there would be nothing they could do to stop it.
Youtube "Too Bad" by Nickelback and watch the video. When I did it just scream "Make me into a fic!" and it might be my hormones that are making me overly sensitive right now, but I cried when I saw the music video.
Please review and let me know what you think.
I am also the author of "Just Shawn Spencer" its just on a different account, but please check it out