Chapter 1: I don't have friends, I have a semi-competent team and a neurotic old man by Mrs-N-Uzumaki
I don't have friends, I have a semi-competent team and a neurotic old man
"Oh come on, Lassie-frass. You've been working on this for months. Admit it, you need me," Shawn had insisted, placing his backside on the detective's desk and munching on his packet of popcorn.
Lassiter smacked Shawn's arm with a folder to get him off his desk before he sat down. "I would rather wrestle a porcupine."
"Firstly, ouch. You'd be pulling out spines-"
"Or quills," Gus added, digging into Shawn's packet of popcorn.
"Yeah," he shrugged.
"Gus, I don't think the porcupines will be writing him a strongly-worded letter."
"Quills is a perfectly acceptable word for spines, Shawn."
"Oh my God, enough!" Lassie yelled. "I will happily spend a week pulling out spines, quills, whatever, than deal with you two for another second."
"Cool," Shawn said, nodding. Lassiter was almost taken aback at how quickly he had admitted defeat. But then, "I'll just ask my dad."
Ignoring Lassiter's protests behind him, Shawn made his way over to his father who had been conversing with Officer Allen by the coffeemaker. He smiled at her and said, "Hi Martha, you look fantastic as always. Are those new earrings?"
She beamed at his comment. Bless her heart, she was always greeting him with her most contagious smile. "They are, thank you for noticing!" She patted his arm in a playfully flirtatious manner.
"How could I not? You are turning heads." She laughed. Shawn then cut to the chase. "Can I borrow mi padre for a second?"
Shawn dragged his father into an empty conference room where no one would be around to hear them.
"What is it, Shawn?" his father said, irritably. "I only have ten minutes of break time."
"I need you to hire me on Lassier's race case." He grinned. "Hey, that was fun to say. Race case. Race to the case. Case of the-"
Shawn groaned, throwing his head towards the ceiling like he was sixteen again and asking to borrow his dad's truck. He resisted the urge to include some foot stomping. "Come on, Dad. He's getting nowhere and now a dead body shows up."
"The police can handle a dead body without your help, Shawn. We're not as incompetent as you think."
"That's funny, you were singing a different tune last week when Buzz accidentally shredded your weekly reports." His father glared at him, showing that he wasn't backing down. Shawn sighed and tried a different strategy. "Look, I get why you keep purposely turning down cases thrown my way-"
Henry began to protest, "I'm not-"
"You've had five opportunities to hire us and you didn't. And I get it, Dad. You worry."
"I can handle myself, I promise. I don't need you to protect me."
"Firstly, that's not it," Henry said, finally getting a word in. Although he had to admit that it didn't sound convincing even to his own ears. "And if it was, it's only because you don't have any back-up."
"Gus is back-up."
"Gus is a civilian. And neither of you carry any arms."
"I don't need a gun to do my job."
"I'm sure the perps holding you at gunpoint are very grateful."
Shawn closed his eyes and counted to ten. He supposed it might be difficult to explain to someone that had spent their entire career with a piece strapped to their side but he preferred using words to distract and de-escalate. Carrying a weapon almost seemed like tempting fate, as if someday he would have to use it. Aiming a gun at a target was one thing; imagining the thought of using it on a live human being was something Shawn never built the stomach for.
There was a pause before he gathered his next words. "Look, you're working again, and I know I gave you a hard time because I was convinced that you'd keep me away from cases. Which, in retrospect, I was right. But the truth is I'm actually happy for you, Dad. I really am. You're clearly enjoying it." He paused, making sure he had his father's undivided attention. Shawn continued, slowly, "But this is my livelihood you're messing with. This," he said, lifting his hand to his head for emphasis, "is my job, it's what I do. Lecture me with your 'I'm-disappointed-you're-not-a-cop'' speech all you want back at the beach house. But not at my place of work. I can give an occasional leeway to 'grow-up-Shawn', so long as you let me do my job."
The surprising display of maturity on Shawn's part left Henry temporarily speechless. For the past year, he had been convinced Shawn was fooling around as usual with another "calling" that he was going to get bored of within three months. Surprisingly, his son had shown more commitment to this job in particular than any of the other hair-brained schemes he'd gotten entangled in in the past few years. Henry was impressed. Almost.
When his father hadn't responded, Shawn said, "Is this penetrating through that scowl of yours? I can't tell. It hasn't moved since fifth grade when I put your badge in the microwave." He remembered his father yelling why on earth he would do this, and his ten-year-old self simply shrugging, "just to see what would happen." Shawn had a brain, but that didn't mean he always used it.
There was a knock at the door and McNab peered his head in to quickly let them know that the Chief wanted them in her office.
Everyone's attention turned to Shawn and Henry when they entered the Chief's office.
"Thank you for joining us," Karen said. "I was just explaining to Detective Lassiter that we now need all hands on deck. Which means Mr Spencer, Mr Guster, you're hired."
Shawn grinned as he and Gus bumped fists.
Karen continued, "We were also discussing approaching this case with a new angle and Lassiter has volunteered to go undercover."
Shawn snorted. "Are you guys serious? Lassie, really?"
"Watch it, Spencer."
"No, no, I mean no disrespect. I'm sure your adhesive moustache is very convincing but I'm just saying…out of all of us, who here can actually ride a motorcycle?"
"Oh big deal," Lassiter countered. "I know all about motorcycles. They're just bikes, with an engine. How hard can it be?"
Shawn stared at him, almost in disbelief. "I guess you're right, Lassie. So you know all about the pressure foot?"
"The upper tension regulator?"
"Practically an expert."
"Well then congratulations, you just made yourself a nice little sweater. Those are parts for a sewing machine."
Juliet lightly snickered besides her partner, which earned her a glare from him in return.
Shawn turned to the chief with a determined look in his eye. "Come on, Chief. The brotherhood, the furious, the fast. This was made for me. You know it."
"Mr Spencer, as much as I appreciate you offering your services, I don't know if I feel comfortable putting a civilian at risk like that." Karen took a few seconds to think it over, then turned to her liaison. "What do you think, Henry? Can he do it?"
Everyone in the room looked at Shawn's father, including Shawn.
Henry saw the pleading look in his son's eyes and thought about the conversation he had with him earlier. This was even more dangerous than the previous cases and he was most certainly not comfortable throwing his son in the middle of an illegal street race. At least without backup.
Finally, he relented. "Shawn has a point." Henry saw his son look up, the corner of his mouth lifting with a smile. "He has the knowledge and experience in dealing with these...things. He's less likely to mix them up with sewing machines," he said, throwing a look at Detective Lassiter's outraged expression.
Shawn's face split into a beaming grin. "So I'm in?"
Henry pointed a lecturing finger. "You have to report to me at all times-"
"So I'm in?"
"And the second anybody is on to you, you get out of there." Shawn stared at him, awaiting for his question to be answered. Henry sighed. "Yes, you're in."
"Score! Let's get us some matching bandanas, Gus. I saw one with pirates on them."
"Whoa, whoa!" Henry put his hands up. "I never said I'd put Gus in there too."
"When you hire Psych you get a team, Dad. There's no apple without my pine." He then said to Gus, "You can be my ambassador."
"As long as I'm not riding in the sidecar."
"Sean Connery rode in the sidecar."
"If anyone's Sean Connery, it'd be your dad," Gus huffed.
"How could you possibly make that comparison?"
"His name is literally Henry in the movie, Shawn."
"Guys," Karen tried to break it off, but they seemed to have ignored her.
"Fine then, Alison Doody. Is that who you wanna be?"
"Why are you skipping over Denholm Elliot?"
Lassiter watched Gus and Shawn continue to bicker and he said to the Chief, "I'd rather be sewing sweaters right now."