A/N: I really should stop making promises, because I really, really suck at keeping them. So today I wrote 9 pages of this story because I felt bad about not updating…and now it's done! YAY! Thanks for all your wonderful reviews, they've really motivated me to keep working at this story. Thanks specifically to "AwesomeISmyGame," who gave me the ideas for how to hurt Shawn in this chapter. (Oh yes, there's more whump). Anyways, I hope you enjoy this last chapter. I'm not thrilled with the ending, but I totally couldn't figure out how to write it, so that will have to do. Thanks again! I'd love to know what you think
"Surgery again? Wasn't once enough?" this time Henry's voice was the first one Shawn heard when he woke up.
"Shhh, keep it down Henry. The doctor said that appendicitis cases often have many complications. The infection isn't healing as well as they'd hoped, so they need to open up the site again and flush it out, maybe remove some of the infected tissue."
A quiet curse from his father, then Gus's voice, low and scared. "Will he be okay?"
"He'll be fine, Sweetie," his mom responded in a much nicer tone than she had used with Henry. "The doctor said his breathing has been improving, so at least something is getting better. And hopefully they can get all the infected tissue out this time."
"Did Juliet stop by before?" Gus asked Maddie, anxious to know how their first meeting had gone.
Maddie nodded. "What a sweet girl. And Shawn is just so taken with her." Shawn opened his eyes quickly and groaned to get everyone's attention, not wanting his mom to continue with that thought. "Shawn!" just as before, his mom was by his side in an instant. Henry came over almost as quickly.
"What's going on?" Shawn mumbled quietly, hoping he hadn't heard correctly when his mom had said something about more surgery. Maddie had the back of her hand on his forehead, testing his temperature herself, not trusting the monitors.
Henry squeezed Shawn's shoulder smiling at his son. "Hey kid. Don't you think you've had enough attention already? Time to get better," he said it jokingly, but his tone was tinged with worry.
"More surgery?" Shawn asked worriedly, hating that he already knew the answer. His mom moved her hand from his forehead, brushing back his hair.
"Yeah, sweetie, the doctor wants to go in and check out the incision site."
"Can't he do that without cutting me back open?"
Maddie smiled at Shawn's whining. "The infection is inside, Shawn. Hopefully the doctors can get out all of the infection and then you'll start to feel much better."
Shawn's shoulders slumped and he pouted, "Don't wanna be cut open again." He looked over at his best friend standing in the corner. Gus was never good at hiding his emotions, and Shawn could tell he was scared. "Gus, buddy! Come here!"
Gus came and stood by the foot of Shawn's bed. "Hey, man. Sorry to hear you're not feeling that much better."
Shawn shrugged, determined to try and cheer Gus up. "Yeah, but I still feel better than I did before. Jules said you talked to Jackie. What'd she say?"
Gus felt uncomfortable talking about his date around Mr. and Mrs. Spencer, but he would do anything to cheer Shawn up and take his mind off the surgery. "She wants to go on another date, Shawnie boy. And she actually called me!"
"Wow, Gus! That might be a first – a girl actually chasing you."
"Definitely a first. Well, besides Mira. But now I have to pretend like I'm actually a concerned friend," he joked, shaking Shawn's leg and smiling, amazed that Shawn could make him feel better when Shawn was the one lying in a hospital bed feeling like hell.
"I don't think that will be so hard for you," Shawn mumbled, yawning. "So when are they cutting me open again?" he asked no one in particular.
"The doctor wanted to speak with you first," Maddie supplied.
"I'll go get him," Gus offered, heading off in search of the doctor.
Shawn let out an exhausted sigh once Gus had left. "How are you really feeling, Shawn?" Henry asked in a no-nonsense tone. "You don't have to pretend with us."
"Awful," Shawn admitted. "Am I really going to be okay?" he knew he sounded like a scared kid, but at the moment that was exactly how he felt.
Henry squeezed his shoulder again, trying to reassure him. "The surgery isn't that invasive, so there's less of a risk there. It's just a matter of getting rid of the infected tissue and giving your body more of a chance to fight the infection."
"The doctor was very optimistic that this would work," Maddie added reassuringly, though she could feel how high his fever was and it was hard to sound so sure of herself.
Shawn nodded again, feeling the same tight, hot, itchiness that had bothered him before. He reached up to move his mom's hand from his forehead, hoping that she knew it wasn't because of her, but instead because it was making him feel even more claustrophobic.
"Shawn?" Henry was trying to get Shawn's attention, obviously recognizing the reaction Shawn had had before when his fever had gotten too high. "What's his temperature?" he asked Maddie, who was closer to the monitors.
Maddie turned back to check the reading, gasping at how high it was. "One hundred anc five," she all but whispered, looking at Henry worriedly. Shawn's teeth were chattering loudly and he was beginning to hyperventilate again.
Henry kept his hand on Shawn's arm and tried to keep him calm, but it was useless. It was a relief knowing that Gus was on his way back with the doctor, because at this point Henry was really starting to panic and he could tell that Maddie was too.
"Shawn, can you hear me?" Maddie asked, trying to get Shawn to focus.
"Mom? So hot." Shawn whimpered, taking one last gasping breath before going limp.
"Shawn!" Henry barked out, checking to make sure his son was still breathing. "He's just unconscious," he told Maddie, relieved when he saw Shawn's chest rise. The relief was short lived, though, as Shawn's body suddenly started jerking and spasming.
Gus returned to the room right in the midst of the chaos, and once the doctor saw what was going on, he immediately called for additional help. Several nurses and techs hurried in and helped hold Shawn down while the fever ran its course, making sure he didn't injure himself further. The spasms eventually died down, but Shawn didn't regain consciousness.
"What's wrong with him?" Maddie asked anxiously.
The doctor was checking over Shawn's vitals and ordering one of the nurses to get ice packs, but turned back towards Maddie. "It was most likely a febrile seizure, but I can't rule out the possibility that the infection is affecting his brain and central nervous system. We're going to try and cool him down now and then we'll run some tests. I'm afraid you'll have to return to the waiting room until we're finished, though," he told the three of them apologetically. "Don't worry, we're going to take good care of him."
Henry nodded, and after a moment put his hand on Maddie's shoulder. "Come on, Hon." They followed Gus out of the room, taking one last look back at Shawn before heading to the waiting rom.
Juliet had joined Shawn's parents and best friend less than an hour later, disheartened at their news but not all that surprised that Shawn's condition had worsened. She knew he had been feeling sicker; she should have forced him to admit it.
Luckily, they didn't have to wait all that long for the doctor to return with news. "Mr. and Mrs. Spencer," he greeted them with a smile. "I've got mostly good news." He took a seat in front of the group, clasping his hands in front of him. "I had been leaning towards a neurological problem when Shawn had his seizure, mainly because febrile seizures are more common in children and infants and, when one happens in an adult, it's usually indicative of some more serious underlying condition. But all of Shawn's tests came back normal. We've been using ice packs to cool him down, and his fever has dropped to 101 degrees. Still high, but not nearly as serious as it was before."
"What about the infection?" Henry asked.
The doctor nodded. "That's the not-so-good news. It hasn't worsened, but it hasn't improved so significantly that no further intervention is needed. We're going to go ahead and reopen the incision site and clear out some of the infected tissue. Also, in ruptured appendicitis cases an abscess can sometimes form. Basically, this is a pus-filled mass that the body forms in order to localize the infection and prevent its spreading. If this is the case, we'll need to put a drain in the site and monitor it for up to two weeks, but we'll cross that bridge when and if we get there."
The doctor noticed the worried looks on their faces and quickly continued. "I know it sounds like a lot, but Shawn's condition is actually improving. His body's fighting hard, he just needs a little more medical help to heal all the way. Do you have any questions?"
"When are you going to take him into surgery?" Henry spoke up again.
"As soon as possible. Like I said, we've been able to somewhat stabilize his body temperature, so now would probably be the best time."
"If everything goes well and no drain is needed, how long will his recovery be?" Maddie asked.
"That depends on Shawn. He's young and fit, though, and barring any further complications, I don't believe his recovery will be too lengthy. But we're getting ahead of ourselves; let's just see how the surgery goes and we'll move forward from there. I promise, I'll send someone out here to update you shortly."
"Thank you, Doctor," Henry said sincerely, and the doctor nodded before leaving the waiting room and returning to the ER.
Carlton Lassiter would never admit it (at least not when sober), but he was continually impressed by Shawn Spencer's ability to determine the culprit and method of a crime long before anyone else could even come close. Sure, Spencer would often pinpoint the wrong person before determining the correct one, but that seemed like a relatively minor detail when examining the number of cases he'd successfully closed since joining the SBPD and becoming an ever-present thorn in the head detective's side.
Lassiter had turned back two times on his way to the hospital. They had booked Jorge Montero – the rogue gardener – in record time, and the chief had ordered him to go home and get some rest. But he couldn't seem to get his mind off the department psychic, and he had unconsciously found himself driving towards the hospital. Lassiter sighed loudly; even when he wasn't there, Shawn could be a thorn in his side.
After making two U-turns and nearly causing three separate accidents, Lassiter decided to just go to the hospital. If anyone asked, he'd say he was just coming to update his partner on the case and not to check on the condition of his pseudo-colleague.
Juliet spotted him first, and she got up to greet him, looking so broken and scared. He didn't know how to offer comfort, so he put his arms out, expecting one of their awkward hugs. Instead she folded into him, her body shaking with silent sobs. It reminded him so much of that night when he and Guster had saved her from Yin, and he put his arms around her and let her cry. And he was suddenly glad he had decided to come, if only to offer his partner whatever measure of comfort he could.
"Is Shawn okay?" he asked when she finally pulled away.
Juliet wiped her tears away, shaking her head slightly. "He's in surgery again. There were complications, and he had a seizure before."
Shit, Lassiter thought. Of course Spencer would have complications. "He'll be okay," he heard himself saying. Juliet nodded but didn't say anything, leading him over to where Gus, Henry, and Maddie sat waiting. He nodded to them, taking a seat next to Juliet, hating the worry that he felt. Once Spencer was better, he was so going to kick his ass for this.
Shawn came awake slowly, blinking through the drug-induced haze that he was all-too-familiar with now. He felt a tight pull on the right side of his stomach and immediately remembered not to move. Rachel, the nurse who had taken care of him earlier, was checking his vitals when he opened his eyes.
"Hey," she said softly, smiling down at Shawn. "How are you feeling, Shawn?"
Shawn groaned slightly, moving his hand towards the pain.
"You don't wanna do that," she said, gently taking his hand and moving it away from the wound. "It's kinda gross," she admitted, as if letting him in on a secret. Shawn chuckled, grateful for the levity. "Seriously, though. Do you feel a little better?"
Shawn took a moment to take stock of himself so he could answer her question as accurately as possible. The fever had definitely gone down; he could tell because he no longer felt like he was trapped in a sauna. His chest seemed less tight, and he could breathe much more easily. His stomach still hurt, but then it had been cut open twice. It'd probably be weird if it didn't hurt at all. "Yeah," he told her, smiling. "Feel much better."
Rachel smiled widely. "That's great! The surgery went really well, and the doctors think they got all the infected tissue out."
"So no abscess?" Shawn asked, hopeful. That detail had really grossed him out, as had the prospect of having a drain in his abdomen for two weeks.
"Nope. No abscess, no drain. Doc thinks another week or so and you can go home." Shawn tried to sit up but immediately fell back with a groan. "Whoa, slow down there, speedy. You're still going to have to take it slow to let your body heal."
"Got it," Shawn gasped out. "No sudden movements."
"That's a start. Do you need anything right now?"
"Okay, I'm going to go let your family know that you're awake. They should be able to come in and visit soon. Glad you're feeling better."
Shawn relaxed back against the pillows, breathing deeply. He was exhausted and in pain, but even that felt so much better than before. Shawn closed his eyes and let himself drift off to sleep.
2 ½ weeks later
"Spencer, stop bothering Detective O'Hara. I'm sure she has better things to do than listen to you whine about how you're bored."
Juliet smiled at her partner, then looked back at Shawn who was sitting on her desk, looking smug. "Do you have better things to do than listen to me whine, Jules?" he asked her sweetly.
"Shawn, I would like nothing more than to listen to you whine, but the chief has been getting on our cases for the backload of work. Besides, if I don't get it done, I won't be able to come to your house for dinner later."
Shawn got serious at that. "My mom would be devastated. You finish up your work, Jules, I'll be fine by myself for awhile." He hopped of her desk, curling in a little as the landing jolted his still-tender abdomen.
"Shawn be careful!" Juliet scolded, standing up and putting her hand on his back.
"I'm okay!" he assured her, standing up. "See! All better." Juliet gave him a skeptical look, touching his stomach gently. Shawn took her chin in his hand, moving it upwards so she was looking at his face. "I'm good, Jules," he smiled and pulled her in for a long kiss.
"Spencer!" Lassiter shouted again. "Scram!"
Juliet pushed his shoulder. "You better get out of here before he arrests you."
"Good idea," Shawn agreed, but he stopped at Lassiter's desk as he was leaving.
"What do you want, Spencer?"
"My mom wanted to make sure you were coming tonight." Lassiter hesitated for a moment. "You don't want to disappoint my mom, do you?
"Well, I…I'll probably be at the office late. I have a lot of work to do."
"Chief Vick said you could take the night off."
"You talked to the chief?"
Shawn nodded. "She's coming too. See you at 7!" Shawn hurried out, ignoring whatever Lassie muttered after him.
Gus was waiting at the psych office when Shawn pulled up on his bike. "Shawn, what the hell? You told me you were getting a ride with Juliet. You know you shouldn't be riding that thing."
"She had work to do. I didn't ride it far." Gus just glared at him. "Fine, I won't drive it for awhile."
"If you ask me, you should just get rid of it."
"Yeah, maybe someday. Do you have the info for our next case?" Gus held up a sheet of papers and handed them to Shawn. "And what exactly are doing for…Earl Hebert?" Shawn asked, reading the name from the papers.
"It's actually his sons, Donald and Craig. Their dad apparently has late-stage Alzheimer's, and according to them, they just found out that he had a fortune in old pirate gold buried away somewhere. Only problem is, they don't know where, and he's not exactly able to help them."
Shawn grinned widely. "Dude, this is just like The Goonies."
"Sounds like a wild goose chase to me."
"That's exactly what they thought about the Goonies. We're so taking this."
"Figured you'd say that. They're offering a large reward, so we might as well give it a shot."
"Sweet. We gotta find ourselves a Sloth!"
"Nah, that big creepy dude from the movie."
"Of course." Gus grinned. "Good to have you back, man."
Shawn smiled back, holding out his fist for Gus to bump. "It's good to be back."
Done! I hope you enjoyed it :) Please review, you'll make my day!