Chapter 11: We Meet Again.
Shawn looked out over the back yard of his dad's place, out towards the beach and out and over to the ocean. He had been staying there while they both recovered and had the Chief fuss all over them. The Commissioner had arranged a relief Chief while Lassiter also recovered. Henry was standing at the barbeque, cooking some steaks and sausages, while Karen was sorting out a salad.
Shawn watched as his younger half brother and sister ran around like chooks with their heads cut off. He shook his head just as Tom dumped a handful of sand down the back of his sister Jo's shirt. This got him a look from his father.
"What's wrong, Shawn?"
"Nothing's wrong, Dad."
"Shawn, I know you, what's wrong?"
"Ok, when I was a kid and if I did half the things that they do, I would have been punished. Why, Dad, why did it always have to be that way?"
Henry walked over to Shawn and sat down next to him.
"Shawn, I wasn't trying to hurt you, or even punish you. I saw in you a great cop and yes, now I can say I went a little overboard with you, but it wasn't supposed to have been a punishment."
"But that's how I saw it, Dad. While other kids were out having fun, I was being trained by you. Hell, I'm surprised that you let me stay friends with Gus all this time."
"I knew you and Gus were going to be close, I just didn't realise how close. And you did become a cop, in the end."
"Yes, Dad, I became a cop and next week I can go in and do the tests and I might be a cop again."
"Only if that's what you want to do, Shawn, remember that," Henry said patting Shawn's leg before standing up and going back to the grill.
Henry only answered with a smile. Suddenly three more kids came running through the house to join the others. They were followed by Gus and Juliet. While Juliet went to help the Chief, Gus walked over to Henry, gave him the meat he had brought and then went and joined Shawn.
"Hey, buddy," Gus said as he sat down.
"Gus, so how was work today?"
"Good and yours?"
"Boring, I had to go shopping with Dad. Not a fun thing to do."
"I can believe that. I've heard that even the Chief doesn't take Henry with her," Gus said with a smile.
"I hear what you're saying, brother." Shawn answered back holding his fist up. After they bumped fists, Shawn got really serious. "Ok, Gus, what's really happening tonight?"
"I don't know what you mean, Shawn."
"Gus, what is going on?"
"Umm... what's that, Mr. Spencer, you need a hand?" Gus said as he jumped up from his chair and walked over to Henry.
"Umm... Mr. Spencer. I think we have a problem."
"And what's that, Gus," Henry asked without looking up.
"Shawn just asked me what's really going on tonight."
Henry turned and looked at Gus and then at Shawn. While still looking at Shawn he asked, "What did you tell him?"
"Nothing, I just got up and came over here. What do we do, Mr. Spencer?"
"What we will do is, you will take over here for me and I'll talk to Shawn."
"Better you then me, sir." And with that Gus watched as Henry walked over to Shawn, then Shawn got up and they both then walked out onto the beach.
"What, Dad, what lie are you trying to think up now. All I want to know is what is really happening tonight?"
"You really want to know?"
"Yes, I do."
"Fine, Carlton and Michael are coming around," Henry said as bluntly as he could. He watched Shawn change from a boy that was being kept out of the secret, to a very sick and pale child that had just been punched in the stomach. "Shawn, you need to see them and they need to see you. You can't just keep going around avoiding them. You need to work this out."
"Why, why would they want to see me? I abandon them and went with Conner. And then I failed them again and they nearly died because of me. I wouldn't want to see me again after that."
"Shawn, you love them and they love you."
"Not Michael, he can't love me because he's never really known me and there is no way Carlton still loves me, no way!"
"He does, that's why he has kept his distance; so you had time to heal."
"Forget it, Dad, just forget it." And Shawn walked off down the beach.
Just as Henry entered the yard Carlton and Michael were walking out the back door. He could see the tension in Carlton's face as he looked around for Shawn. Spying Henry, Lassiter walked over.
"Henry, the yard is looking good."
"Thank you, Carlton."
"Where is Shawn?" Lassiter asked looking back behind him to see if he could see Shawn again.
"I'm sorry, Carlton. He figured something was going on and when I told him, he just walked off down the beach." Lassiter could see the sadness in Henry's eyes.
"Hi, Granddad," Michael said as he walked up to them. "Well, if he's gone off somewhere, Father, let's go and find him," Michael said determination burning in his eyes.
"Are you sure, Michael?"
"Positive, and don't worry, Granddad, we'll bring him home," Michael said as he gave Henry a hug and then headed out onto the beach. "Come on, Father."
"We'll be back soon, Henry," Lassiter said shaking hands; he then followed his son out after Shawn.
They hadn't walked far when Michael spotted a man lying on the dunes nearby. Guessing it was Shawn, they both walked up to him. It was Shawn laying there, his eyes closed and his breathing steady as if he were asleep.
Michael took in the image before him. Now that he was looking at an older Shawn, not the one in the photos at home, he could see what people meant when they said that he looked like his dad. They had the same brown hair and olive skin. He didn't need Shawn to open his eyes to know that they were different; Shawn's were hazel and his were blue.
Lassiter just stood there, staring. Here before him was a man he never thought he would see again. Shawn was still just as handsome as before, he was so mesmerized by what he saw, that he jumped when Michael suddenly spoke to him.
"So should we kill him first, or just bash him and take the money?" Carlton was shock at first, but when he saw the grin on Michael's face he knew he was just kidding around.
Shawn on the hand didn't. He jumped to his feet yelling. "I don't have any money, please don't hurt me."
His reaction surprised both Carlton and Michael in a way that Michael thought Shawn was going to attack them. Luckily Lassiter recovered quickly and he tried to explain.
"Whoa, Shawn, it's just us, Carlton and Michael."
Shawn opened up his eyes and all that they could see was fear, but as his mind caught up and realise who they were, the look in his eyes changed to sadness.
"So, you've finely come to take your revenge on me. I understand." Shawn knelt onto the sand, bowing his head. "So do whatever you want to, I won't stop you."
"What?" Lassiter said and then he realised what Shawn had said. Kneeling down beside Shawn, Lassiter pulled Shawn into a strong embrace. "Shawn, we didn't come here to hurt you. We came here tonight to finally see you again. To find out if you still want me, want us," Lassiter said tears running down his face at the thought that Shawn wanted them to hurt him.
"Yeah, Dad..." Michael said also kneeling down on the other side of Shawn and placing his arms around him. "I want get to know this wonderful Dad I have, the one Father here has been telling me about all my life and I thought I never would get to meet."
"Really, you want to know me? But it's my fault Conner came after you."
"From what I got, he was a nuttier. That's not your fault. Look, we've got plenty of time to get to know each other. I think I'll give you and Father some space." Shawn looked at his son and then at Carlton, who was still holding him.
"Hey, no worries, I'll tell Granddad to keep your food warm." And with that he gave Shawn the cheekiest grin he could, before heading back up the beach.
"You did a good job with him."
"Thank you, Shawn, but I didn't do it alone. I had your Dad and the Chief; Juliet and Gus; McNab and his wife, as well as the rest of the station. Without their support, I would have given up all hope and ..."
"Don't, please, I know I should have told you about Conner, and maybe things would have turned out differently, but it didn't."
"No, Shawn, it didn't. You went to hell and back to protect me and Michael from Conner. And we went through our own living hell without you. But it doesn't matter anymore, because we are here now, together again. Yes, I know we will have our ups and downs, but at least I want to try. How about you? Am I still worth fighting for?"
"You always were, Carlton." They then shared their first kiss in fourteen years and it felt like they had never been apart.
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