A technological wonder has revamped the cell phone industry and it seems everyone needs to have one of the new StarLite smart phones. However, when multiple pictures start appearing online with invisible people, Shawn and Carlton find out that being a vampire is about to become a lot harder.
When your life depends on secrecy, what do you do when your secret can be outed with a single click of a phone's camera?
4th in the Moonlighting series
Sequel to 1-No Such Thing As Psychics, 1.5- 12:04am Wake Up Call, 2- Out of the Past, and Into the Fire, and 3- Love Lasts Forever, but Sanity Has a Shelf Life
, Alternate Universe
, Crossover Characters:
Gus, Henry, Juliet, Karen, Lassiter, Marlowe, OFC, Shawn
Action/Adventure, Drama, Horror, Mystery, Supernatural, SuspenseWarnings:
Graphic Violence, Sensitive MaterialChallenges: Jeepers Creepers!
Challenges: Jeepers Creepers! Series:
June 26, 2014 Updated:
February 26, 2017
I couldn't wait any longer to post this. I've had it on my computer for at least six months and my willpower isn't what it used to be.
This is the 4th official installment of my Moonlighting series: Psych/Moonlight crossover. It is the sequel to:
1-No Such Thing As Psychics
1.5- 12:04am Wake Up Call
2- Out of the Past, and Into the Fire
3- Love Lasts Forever, but Sanity Has a Shelf Life
This story is going to focus on exposing vampires on a wide scale. For those who know Moonlight, you know secrecy is VERY important when you're a vampire. If you don't know Moonlight, you're about to see why.
I do not own Psych or Moonlight or Chuck.
1. Technological Wonders by Redwolffclaw
2. A Pineapple Situation by Redwolffclaw
3. Let's Get Invisible by Redwolffclaw
Technological Wonders by Redwolffclaw
I hope everyone likes this new installment.
It was high noon when Gus walked into the Psych office, dog tired. He'd spent most of the night and all morning standing in a line at the Buy More in Burbank to get one of the new StarLite cell phones. His buddy Chuck said he'd get him a great deal, and he had... but unfortunately didn't save him a spot in line and things got a bit hairy in the rush. However, after eight hours and one split lip, he’d gotten the phone.
As he opened the door, he wasn't surprised to find the shades drawn. Shawn was most likely here and working, as usual. Besides spending time with his family, it seemed to Gus that Shawn immersed himself in work. He'd asked Shawn about it but he ended up getting a noncommittal shrug and said he needed to keep his mind busy.
Gus had a feeling that it was more than that, a lot more. He shook the thought off, not wanting to think about it right now. Today was going to be spent at his desk, playing with every gadget, gizmo and app he could download.
Just as he entered the main part of the office, he noticed Shawn sitting motionless on the couch with his arms on his knees, and his eyes closed. There was no way his friend was sleeping, because the only way he could sleep is if it was under 40 degrees. So Gus wondered what exactly was going on.
"Shawn?" He asked tentatively as he turned on the office light.
Shawn's eyes shot open. For the briefest instance, Gus saw white irises before a blink brought his eyes back to their normal brownish-green hue.
Rubbing his eyes, Shawn squinted at him, from the sudden glare of the illuminated office. "Gus? I wasn't expecting you back for at least another half a day..." Shawn rose and stretched, as if he'd been sitting a while. "From the sound of your last text you were about to take a machete to your fellow techies." He could see that Shawn had detected his injury by the subtle sniffs in his direction. "Looks like they won buddy."
Gus snorted indignantly and sat down on the couch next to Shawn, admiring the phone. It had a bright blue casing, reminiscent of the Blueberry, and silver lettering scrawled in tiny letters on the back. "Dude, it was worth every bit of it. This has the most up to date technology of any phone. The camera is supposed to be state of the art too!" He immediately started putting in his new settings and selecting his home screen wallpaper. So many choices...
Shawn took a look at the phone with a raised eyebrow before scoffing and leaning back against the corner of the couch. "Why did you even need a new phone? Your other one was just fine."
He gave Shawn an annoyed look, "I still have it. I'm just going to use it as my Playa Phone."
"Again with the Playa Phone." Shawn mocked. "In case you forgot, you have a girlfriend. You don't need a playa phone."
Shawn went right for the jugular, as usual. Coraline and Gus had been officially going together for seven months and he'd never do anything to jeopardize their relationship. Plus the fact that Coraline, a centuries old vampire, could snap him like a twig if she wanted to.
Giving indignant sputters as he knew he'd been beat, Gus ranted loudly, "You can't just let me have my dreams Shawn!"
Shawn's shushing came too late, as a wailing cry of a cranky baby pierced through the office. The vampire winced at the noise, and Gus immediately felt ashamed for waking the baby up. He should have known Shawn was watching his daughter while Juliet was at work.
"Aw Felicity..." Shawn baby talked as he bent down and picked up the small bundle of blankets. "Did mean ol' Uncle Gus wake you? Yes he did..."
Despite being made out to be the bad guy, again, Gus had to smile at the scene of his friend and his baby girl. She had sandy blond locks with a little bit of curl and puggy baby cheeks that Gus could say, without embarrassment, he'd pinched more than once. Her eyes were the spitting image of Shawn's own, and in the five months since her birth, they'd darkened to their permanent greenish brown hue.
Remembering his phone, Gus tapped the camera icon to catch the ridiculous face Shawn was currently making. He'd show it to Juliet as soon as he saw her. That, and he'd keep it as blackmail for later. Shawn hated being caught doing something cute.
He tapped the phone once more and the screen flashed as the image was captured.
"Hey! No fair!" Shawn griped as he heard the small click of the artificial shutter sound.
"Suck it Shawn." Gus grinned widely, knowing that his friend couldn't retaliate with his arms full of baby. He looked down to see if he'd managed to get the full kissy face Shawn had been making, but there was something wrong. "What the hell?"
Shawn started to head over, curiosity outweighing outrage. "At least tell me you got her smiling." He leaned over to see what Gus was gawking at. His eyes widened and his mouth fell open in disbelief.
Gus imagined Shawn's shocked expression mirrored his own. It wasn't every day you saw a flying baby, or what looked like a flying baby.
Felicity was there, still wrapped up in her blankets. A gray button down shirt was also there, but any part of Shawn that wasn't covered in clothing... was completely gone.
"Thanks Strode. I'll come pick the bags up after my shift." Carlton Lassiter bid farewell to the station's coroner who'd been supplying him with the bagged blood he'd been drinking since being turned just shy of a year before. It was expensive, but since he didn't have to spend any money on food besides what Marlowe ate, it wasn't breaking his bank too much.
Carlton let the doors swing shut behind him and he headed down the almost new hallways of the SBPD. The builders had used some of the original specifications from the old blueprints, but added on improvements like monitors in the corners for announcements, computer stations for visitors and new cells for the inmates. The records room, which had been completely destroyed by the explosion that had killed three officers and destroyed the whole building nine months before, had been narrowed down to a few computers and maybe one or two filing cabinets. He had to admit, he liked the additions.
Looking up, he noticed Buzz McNab, who waved as he passed. Carlton gave him his own half-hearted wave as he continued on his way.
As he walked, Carlton's thoughts, drifted to his wife. Lately she'd been subtly putting some pressure on him to turn her. It was a big move but he'd promised her when she was still in prison that he would. However, after what he'd seen Shawn go through the last few months, he didn't know if he'd be able to deal with it.
Sure, Shawn looked and acted a lot like his old self, most of the time, but he couldn't hide how he was feeling from Carlton. It wasn't just because Shawn was his sire, it was the subtle shifts in scent, movement, and moods that tipped him off. It was a hell of a front the other vampire was putting up though, and if it worked for Shawn then Carlton wasn't going to call him out on it. For now.
The detective trudged up the stairs and realized he was getting a bit weary from the sunlight pouring through the windows. Fortunately though, he'd been given his own office after the rebuild of the SBPD and he'd already pulled the shades down earlier and was looking forward to a little bit of privacy and shade.
Carlton was almost there when a small commotion caught his attention and he saw Shawn and Gus rush into the station, ignoring the other officers and making a B-line straight for him. "Oh Christ what now?" Carlton mumbled and dropped his hand from the doorknob so he could address the two men approaching him.
"Lassie!" Shawn called and jogged up to him. He was holding his baby girl so he wasn't going terribly fast, but his trot seemed urgent.
When Shawn got within reach he thrust Felicity into his arms and Carlton had to grab her quickly. "Spencer, Guster wha−" His words were cut short when an extremely bright flash went off right in his face.
By the time his eyes cleared, he saw that Shawn and Gus were huddled over a little bright blue gizmo. "Spencer I don't know what the hell that was but don't include me in your little practical jokes."
A small laugh brought his attention to the baby and she was smiling up at him. For some reason she always found it funny when "uncle Carlton" was grumpy. Carlton vaguely wondered how something so adorable could come from Shawn and Henry's DNA.
Apparently Felicity's better half of the gene pool had overheard him and wandered over from her desk. "Carlton what's going on?" She asked coming up behind him. She noticed her daughter and made little raspberries in her direction.
Nodding in Shawn and Gus' direction Carlton grumbled, "Ask them. They're the ones flashing people." He realized what he'd said a moment after saying it and saw Juliet wrinkle her nose in mock disgust. "Camera flashes."
Juliet snorted and rolled her eyes at him before walking up to her fiancé and his friend. Reluctantly, Carlton followed. He was mildly curious as to what had their attention so captivated anyway.
"Alright what are you two up to?" Juliet smiled, but when Shawn looked up at her, the intensity of his gaze showed her it was no joking matter. "Shawn?" He angled, what Carlton now saw was a phone, towards them and on the screen he was able to see Felicity, his dark blue suit, but that was it.
Carlton passed the baby off to her mother and grabbed at the phone, but Gus pulled it away protectively. "I'm not going to steal it Guster! I want to get a better look." Reluctantly, the black man handed over the phone. Carlton turned the device every which way and tried to see if it was just a trick of the light, but no... he just wasn't there. "What the hell is this?"
"No idea." Shawn shook his head, mystified. "We just found out and had to see if it was the same with you."
Furrowing his brow, Carlton asked, "What do you mean the same with me?"
Carlton watched astounded as they swiped through at least thirty photos of what was apparently Shawn, but the only thing they saw was the objects he interacted with, and his clothes. Nothing more. Some of them were almost funny, floating objects and all, but the seriousness of the situation tempered the humor.
"This is impossible." Juliet lowered her voice so the other officers around them wouldn't hear. "I thought vampires not showing up in mirrors and pictures was a myth."
"It is!" Shawn stressed. "At least as far as I was told." He still looked unsure.
Carlton guessed it was something they would have to ask Mick St. John, their vampire detective friend from LA, or Josef Kostan, a wise yet vain four hundred year old vampire and mentor.
Suddenly, a disturbing thought occurred to Carlton as he watched them check out the pictures again. "Guster, what kind of phone is this?"
"It's a StarLite phone. Newest on the market."
"And how many of these are out there?" Carlton continued, hoping his theory was wrong.
Gus snorted, "Please! This is the most wanted phone out there. Actually just came out this morning. By next week half the world is going to have one of these babies, and I have one of the first." He smirked smugly.
Shawn's face went slack and Carlton knew his sire had just come to the same conclusion he had. "So, hundreds of people are walking around right now with a cell phone that makes vampires look invisible?" Carlton cringed as fear trickled through the air and Shawn's eyes paled. "We need to call them."
"Call who?" Gus asked, concern marking his face as well.
"Everyone. There's not much we can do about the phones already out, but we need to stop people from getting more. Maybe Josef could do something, get a hold of someone to stop this." Shawn balled his fists at his sides and closed his eyes in an attempt to calm down.
"Shawn," Gus said slowly. "I know Josef has connections and all, but we're talking about the entire world. This phone is going to be everywhere."
Carlton could tell Gus and Juliet were concerned that Shawn was over reacting, but he doubted they knew how important secrecy was to vampires. It kept both sides safe. Vampires safe from human hunters, and humans safe from vampires who would otherwise go on killing sprees but didn't because of their code. Now, all it would take for them to be ousted would be some schmuck taking a 'selfie.'
"We can at least warn them." Carlton sighed. "Doing nothing isn't going to help anyone."
"Oh my God, I have to call Coraline!" Gus grabbed his phone and quickly headed outside to make his call.
"Spencer," Carlton got the younger man's attention. "You should call Morgan. Let him know what is going on. He has government contacts and he could do something too. I'll call the others."
Nodding and coming back to himself, Shawn opened his eyes. He looked next to him at Juliet and his baby. "Things were going too good for us weren't they."
The statement almost broke Carlton's heart. He'd gotten a lot more respect for Shawn since they'd been turned and his sire had been through hell and back, but still the blows kept coming. "I suppose so Shawn." Carlton spun around and headed for his office, before he could say something, God forbid, endearing. There was no time for sentiments right then anyway. Things were going to change fast, and they had to be ready for it. He had the sinking feeling that being a vampire was about to become more of a liability than ever.
It may be a while before this is updated. I have my other story, "Mirrored Lives" to finish and all, but I am really going to try to get another chapter out soon.
A Pineapple Situation by Redwolffclaw
Sorry for the year wait! Believe me I didn't think it would take this long, but I have a lot of stuff written for this story, and I never leave one unfinished.
This chapter has a few Chuck references. One in particular Psych fans will love... and no, I did not make it up. It really happens in the show.
“Thank you for shopping Burbank Buy More!”
Morgan Grimes doubted he could be heard above the throng of people crowding around the Nerd Herd desk. After the initial wave of customers clamoring to buy the StarLite cell phone, they all moved over to the store’s tech help desk where he was currently stationed, greeting people. Even though the whole store was a front for their spy business, it still needed to be kept up and he was still the manager and needed to make an appearance.
Beside him was the leader of the Nerd Herd, his best friend Chuck, who was patiently explaining the new features of the phone to a customer. However, the co-workers next to him, Lester and Jeff, were currently showing off the phone's durability by smashing it against Jeff's head. Repeatedly.
Morgan was doing his best to ignore them, and the hunger beginning to gnaw at his psyche. He'd have to head to their base under the store, they called it Castle, to get some blood soon. Standing out in near sunlight was really starting to take it's toll, not to mention being bombarded with scents and emotions from so many people was making him super anxious, and hungry.
After greeting probably his thousandth customer of the day, despite being barely after 1pm, his phone rang. He looked down and saw it was Shawn Spencer. Quickly excusing himself and earning a puzzled look from Chuck, he moved to the enclosed entertainment system room for some privacy.
“Hey there bud.” Morgan greeted his blood brother.
“Morgan. I really need to talk to you.”
As much as Morgan liked talking to Shawn, they were completely swamped, and he was sure that Shawn would understand. “Not the best time. We’re getting slammed here and I don’t exactly have a ton of privacy right now.” His eyes flicked to a family bringing their young children into the room to look around, and one of them definitely needed to be changed.
“Are you still selling the phones?”
Rolling his eyes Morgan groaned. Shawn must have seen Gus' new phone and wanted one for himself. “You really should have gotten here with Gus this morning. We’re almost sold out…” A very loud growl came through the phone. “Whoa! Chill dude we’ll probably get more if you want one that badly!”
“That’s not the point! You need to stop selling those phones right now! It's the camera, man! We don’t show up on it. It’s like we’re invisible or something.”
Alarmed by his intensity, it took a moment for Shawn's words to register and Morgan scoffed in disbelief. He then nervously eyed the family in the room with him. It really wasn't the place to get into this kind of discussion. He turned his back and walked nonchalantly out of the room before ducking quickly into his office before replying. “Invisible? Like, “vampires don’t have a reflection” invisible?”
“Yes. Exactly that.”
He couldn’t believe it. Josef had told him that with the age of digital photography vampires luckily didn’t have to worry about that anymore. Much to their relief. With social media, if vampires didn’t show up in mirrors or film, there’d be no hiding at all…
Then, suddenly, it dawned on him why Shawn was so upset. One picture could completely ruin them, let alone thousands of pictures. “Dude?! Do you know how many of those things we sold today!? How many of these people are still walking around the store with them?”
“They’re still in the store!?” Shawn exclaimed excitedly, “Get them! As many as you can! Say they’re defective, anything! Just don’t let them leave with those phones!”
Morgan bit his lip, he knew exactly what he needed to do, but didn’t know how much help it would be if millions of stores around the world were selling the cell phones too. “What about Mick and Josef, what did they say?”
“Lassie is dealing with them. Just please hurry. I’ll give you a call later.”
Hanging up, Morgan sprinted out of the office and straight to the store PA system. He knew just what to do.
Years ago, even before Morgan started working at the Buy More, there had been a simple word that was supposed to non-descript and innocent sounding as not to cause a panic in the customers if something were to go wrong. It had since evolved into a word that no one was to speak, ever, lest it cause a berserker frenzy among the employees leading to store wide chaos. It was only ever used in the direst of circumstances, when lives were on the line.
Times like this.
Morgan took a deep breath, and steeled himself for the inevitable backlash he’d get from Chuck and Casey, who he hadn’t warned. “Hello! Everyone! May I have your attention please!?”
Those who knew him best narrowed their eyes, figuring he was up to something. Others looked to him as their fearless leader, ready to do his bidding at a moment's notice. Though the Buy More employees were a fickle bunch, he'd earned their respect more than once. From that respect he gained a trove of loyal, yet sometimes hopelessly lazy, followers.
"Buy More employees... PINEAPPLE!"
Mick leaned back in his office chair, sipping a cup of blood and watching the news. It had been a busy couple of months case wise and he was enjoying the lull between cases. Truth be told he'd had more excitement in the last year than he'd wanted, but it all seemed to turn out alright, for the most part.
He was just about to go see how Josef was doing when his phone rang. Seeing it was Carlton Lassiter, he answered it quickly. "St. John."
"St. John, we have trouble."
Mick took a moment to lament on the fact that his quiet days never really turned out to be all that quiet. "What's wrong? Is it Shawn?"
Josef and Mick had gone out of their way to make sure that someone was keeping an eye on Shawn at all times. He'd been inches from going feral, and despite the fact that Josef decided to let him go home, they were keeping very close tabs on him.
"No, it's not Spencer..." Carlton paused, "Well it is Spencer, but not like that."
"Okay, what is that supposed to mean?"
"You heard of those new phones they've been advertizing all over for the last two weeks, Starshine or something hippy sounding like that."
"You mean StarLite?" He'd heard of the phones. Beth expressed interest in them, and Mick had half thought about seeing if Josef could use his connections to get her one early.
"They don't show us, St. John. Camera, video, nothing! It's like we aren't there."
Mick stood up from his desk and immediately turned on the news, searching for any proof that this was true and that their secret was out. A small voice in his head told him it was too soon, the phones had just come out that day, but even an inkling of their secret in the media was cause for alarm. "Are you sure? It isn't Shawn playing a joke is it?"
"They're just as stumped as I am. Spencer and Guster came rushing in the precinct making a scene and somehow those idiots got one of those phones. We don't show up in picture or video. How is this possible?"
Of course a detective would immediately want to know the how, why and the who, but Mick didn't have it. Silver in the photographic process and silver backed mirrors were the only reason that vampires historically cast no reflection. There was no reason a modern phone could cause that. Maybe he'd have to see if Josef could get his hands on one after all.
"I don't know either. Digital photography doesn’t use silver… I’ll call Josef and we'll try to figure something out. Meantime, keep your ears open, we can't have a panic. Human or otherwise." If human's panicked it would be bad for vampires, but if vampires panicked it would only make matters worse.
"Just tell everyone to be careful. Spencer is talking to Grimes right now and squaring things away on that end." There was a pause before Carlton asked, "Is there any way to halt their distribution? Some kind of emergency plan that vampires have in case something like this happened?"
Mick thought of the cleaners, but even their operation was too small. Their only purpose was really to deal with the vampire population if things got out of hand. There weren't enough to deal with all the humans. Even if they called in all their human contacts there wouldn't be enough people to stop it. The more he thought about it, the more afraid he became, but he didn't want to worry the detective. Not yet anyway.
"I'll see what I can do. Josef might be able to call in some favors and at least stop some stores from selling any more."
"Good. I'm going to see what Grimes and the other tech-nerds said. Maybe they have some good news."
"Good plan. I'll call you later." Mick said, and hung up before dialing again right away. He really should have been calling Josef, but he needed Beth. He could already feel the panic setting in. Coraline had told him about the vampire purges in the French Revolution, and saw the terror on her face as she recounted the mercilessness of the humans as they executed vampire after vampire.
"Beth!" He tried to keep the shaking out of his voice. "I need you to come home. Something's happened. We're about to be outed."
"We?" She asked, obviously thinking he meant them as a couple.
“I’ll be there in two minutes.” Beth answered before hanging up. Despite the situation, his girlfriend's reply brought a smile to his face. He knew there was a reason he loved her.
As Shawn peeked around the corner, listening in on Carlton's conversation with Mick, he tried not to be angry that him going feral again was the first thing that came to their minds. He knew the others were still skittish about him, no matter how many times he'd told them that he was okay, or how many times he had to tell himself that he was okay. Hearing it out loud though, really put a damper on his already stressed out mood.
Once Carlton was off the phone, he came around the corner, acting as if he'd just arrived. "Lassie, did Mick know anything about what's going on?"
With a small scowl, Carlton shook his head. "No. St. John had no idea about the phones. He mentioned something about silver but it isn’t used in photography anymore. There would be no reason a digital camera wouldn't be able to get our pictures."
Filing that information away for later he asked, "Is he going to talk to Josef then?"
"Yeah, he's going to see if Kostan can do something to stop them."
The older vampire did have a lot of business connections. He might even be able to put a dent in the distribution. "Ditto with Morgan. He can't do much, but he can stop people from leaving the store with them."
Carlton pursed his lips and nodded, understanding. An awkward silence hung in the air between them until Juliet headed back over with Felicity and Karen wasn't far behind her, obviously having heard about the news. "Mr. Spencer, O'Hara just informed me about the phones. Is there anything I can do?"
Shawn thought about it. Unfortunately it wasn't illegal to have the phones, so she couldn't arrest the owners... but she could keep an eye on them. "Chief, can you get a list from the stores in the area that sold these? Maybe we could, I dunno, watch them or something?" There really wasn't much they could do at that point, but maybe surveillance would keep his mind occupied.
With an exasperated sigh, Karen said, "Besides being highly illegal and an invasion of privacy, I don't think we even have the man power to do that right now. I'm sorry." Shawn's face fell. So much for keeping occupied. "What I can do, is watch Felicity for you tonight if you need to go anywhere to discuss things." She reached out to the baby and took her expertly into her own arms. "Kyle loves having her over."
The chief had her own baby boy shortly after Juliet, and the two children got along well. Shawn was grateful for the offer. "Yeah, that would work. We have a lot to talk about." He began to wonder how he'd tell his dad. The old man would probably find a way to blame him for this too though.
"Alright then. You can drop her off in a few hours." She gave both Shawn and Juliet a reassuring smile as she put Felicity in his arms. "Until then, I believe my detectives still have some work to do."
With a determined nod Carlton went back to his desk, but Shawn doubted he'd be getting any work done. If the vibes he was getting were any indicator anyway. Frustration and anger were the big ones, but there was also worry and fear.
"Shawn?" Juliet waved her hand in front of his face. "Are you alright?"
Blinking, Shawn looked at Juliet, and he didn't need to feel her worry and fear, he could see it plainly on her face. "Sorry Jules, I'm fine. Just tired."
She pursed her lips like she didn't believe him, but she nodded anyway. "Well, maybe we could get some rest tonight with Felicity gone, it's been a while since it was just the two of us."
Shawn leaned in and kissed her forehead. "You can be Vivian Ward from Pretty Woman, and I can draw you a nice hot bath..."
Juliet blushed, but played coy and gave her daughter a peck on the cheek before joining her partner at their desks. He waited until she was gone before turning and heading for the exit. He growled low, frustrated at his lack of ability to do anything about the situation. "Hurry up and wait, eh Doodlebug?" Felicity merely smiled and cocked her head, blissfully ignorant of how much danger they were all in.
I'll just have to wait and see what Gus heard from Coraline.
He followed his friends lavender scent trail that led out the front door, easily spotting the blue car near the rebuilt hedges that separated the front parking lot and the main building. He quickly put on his sunglasses and headed for the shaded area. "Buddy! Any news?"
"No. She didn't answer." Gus sounded worried, but Shawn figured she could still be asleep. It was barely afternoon, and unless she had any appointments, she would most likely be held up in her freezer. "How long do you think before people figure it out?"
"The question is, how long before most of the other vampires figure it out."
"C'mon man. If vampires found out that they could be found out with just a picture, what do you think most of them would do to protect their secret? Even the cleaners, they'd want to get rid of any witnesses."
Gus scoffed in disbelief. "Shawn, that would only make things worse."
"Worse is only the beginning Gus." Holding Felicity in on arm and snatching the phone away from Gus with the other, he flipped it over and examined the camera. Shawn thought back to Carlton's statement about what caused vampires to not be seen. His sneaking suspicions were confirmed when a small silver glint caught his eye when the camera reflected the sun back into his eyes. He blinked and moved the phone away, "I think the lens they used in this is silver."
"Lemme see!" Gus snatched the phone back, and after looking for himself, decided the best thing to do was research it. "There's gotta be something about this on the website."
"Don't you think it's a little weird to be looking up a phone on the phone itself?"
"Shut up, Shawn." After a moment, Gus found it. "Listen to this: The Starlite cell phone has an innovative camera lens that takes clarity to a whole new level. The world's smallest digital single lens reflex camera makes your video and pictures come alive. Oh my God, you were right! It's literally a miniature, silver mirror!"
"Aaaaannnd things just got worse." Shawn hung his head. "How can this be happening?"
Gus put away the phone, still shaking his head. "Look Shawn, things will cool down. I mean, what are the chances that someone is going to catch a vampire on film anyway?"
Shawn understood Gus' need to explain things, but the problem was that his buddy hadn't really seen any vampires besides their little group. Despite the aftermath of his forced fledglings, Gus still naively considered their race to be more like Mick, Coraline, and Josef. Even Lance, despite being a complete psychopath, kept things in their own circle; Secret and unseen by the human world.
What Gus didn't know, and what Shawn's own fight with his instincts had taught him, is that given the right opportunity some vampires would tear down any social norms and plunge things into complete chaos just to be able to hunt humans as they see fit. Their secrecy wasn't just protection for them, it gave them rules to govern and control.
The only question was, after being exposed, who would strike first; Concerned humans, or a rogue out for a good time?
Shawn pursed his lips and pointed to the phone. "I'd say the chances are pretty good if we found out about it within the first three minutes. Things are about to get bad buddy, really bad."
Yes, Chuck has pineapple references too. :)
Let's Get Invisible by Redwolffclaw
*Slinks in after a year and a half absence* Hi.
This is a very Lassie-centric chapter with some flashback thrown in!
"In other news, the Burbank Buy More was evacuated due to what some are calling, a 'staff riot.' Sandra Playa is on the scene with some of the customers."
"All I remember is someone yelling something over the intercom and it became bedlam!"
Carlton looked up at the television with a scowl. Leave it to Morgan to almost bring more attention to the situation than help fix it. Never the less, he did stop more of those godforsaken cell phones from being sold, and that was at least something.
"Carlton, are you okay?" Marlowe sat up on their couch and looked at him questioningly.
He hadn't told her about what had happened yet. He'd basically come home, gotten blood, and slumped down on the couch, turning the TV on. It wasn't something Carlton did often, and he knew it would raise his wife's suspicions, but he'd been too tired and worried to say much.
"Baby, something happened at work..."
It didn't take as long as he'd thought it would to explain the horrible position that they, and vampires in general had been put in. There was still a chance that things would smooth over. Maybe.
The first thing Marlowe asked after he'd given her the rundown was, "How are Shawn and Juliet taking it?"
Carlton smirked, his wife did tend to think of others before herself. "O'Hara and Spencer are using tonight to plan, and maybe tell his mother and father what's going on."
Marlowe nodded. "Does this mean it wouldn't be a good time then?"
The detective bit his lip. He had a feeling this was coming. "Marlowe, until this blows over, I think we should wait. I'm sorry but−"
"No. No I get it. It's alright Honey Bear." She got up from the couch and leaned over to kiss him. "I'll see you before you go to bed." Their lips touched briefly before she walked to their room and closed the door.
Putting his head in his hands, Carlton growled in frustration. She wanted to be turned, and he wanted to turn her, but it never seemed to work out timing wise. Things kept popping up and now, even to himself, it started to sound like he was making excuses not to.
Damn it Spencer this is all your fault!
Deep down Carlton knew it wasn't even close to Shawn's fault, but it was his own fears of what could happen to Marlowe if he turned her. Anyone with a brain could see that Shawn was barely holding it together, and even the thought that something similar could happen to Marlowe was more than he could stomach.
Is that all we are? Just animals waiting until something happens that brings out our beast?
He'd been asking himself that question since day one, but the day he and Shawn had to confront their first rogue in Santa Barbara, it really began to eat at him.
Three Months Earlier:
It had been less than a couple months since Shawn had come back, and Juliet had come off of maternity leave just a week before. She was still on desk duty, but had been happy to have something to do and said she was sick of all the guys fawning over her because according to her she was 'perfectly fine.'
Karen Vick had still been on her own maternity leave, having her son only a couple weeks after Felicity had been born, so Carlton had been made Acting Chief once he'd assured her that he could handle it. Albeit, in retrospect he shouldn't have brought the subject up during her labor.
He remembered the day had seemed almost blissfully... normal. Carlton had the office door open, so he could see what was going on in the bullpen while he finished up some papers. It was just past four in the afternoon, when Shawn had showed up with a smoothie for Juliet, and to let her know that Felicity was at his parent's house for the afternoon.
"C'mon Jules! We haven't had any us time in weeks!" He gave her his best pout, while Gus wrinkled his nose at the innuendo.
Carlton smirked, and figured he was jealous because Coraline had been out of the country for a bit, getting things in line so she could move most of her research back to the States. He was just going to get up and tell them to break up the love fest, and that his partner still had some work to do. It was the same old, same old, that almost gave him comfort that everything really would be okay.
That's why no one had been prepared for the call to come in.
"Attention all units: Person acting erratically at Paseo Nuevo shopping center on State Street. Be advised, subject may be armed and unstable."
Carlton stopped at the door, listening for any more information. Shawn froze and was doing the same. Paseo Nuevo was the same mall that Zach, one of the gang members that kidnapped Shawn and turned himself, had killed three people at almost six months ago. Karen and The Cleaners had smoothed the situation over, but some of the families were still demanding answers and there was a memorial for the victims currently going on.
Hundreds of people were there.
Carlton didn't know why, but he had a sinking feeling that something was very wrong.
"That can't be a coincidence." He stated, walking closer to the radio. "What is his description?" He was really hoping it was just a remorseful relative of one of the victims, who had too much to drink and was getting a bit unruly.
A few of the other officers, as well as Shawn, Juliet, and Gus gathered around the dispatcher, who was looking decidedly nervous to have his boss staring him down. "Caucasian, 5'8", blond hair. According to the officers on site for the memorial, he's wearing a lot of leather, biker gear." Carlton saw Shawn physically relax. He'd probably been hoping it wasn't Adam and that the large, redheaded man was still somewhere in Timbuktu with Pierre Despereaux. Carlton could say he felt the same. "They also said he did say something about the murders being vam−"
Before the dispatcher could continue, a transmission blasted through the radio. "Dispatch, he has a hostage!"
Shawn and Carlton acted instantly, both turning around and running out the door for their respective vehicles with both of their partners right on their heels. Carlton didn't know how he'd called it, but it definitely had something to do with the murders. He and Juliet hopped in the car, despite his protests. "O'Hara I need you to stay out of this!"
"No chance partner. Drive!" She smacked the dashboard.
Gritting his teeth, he knew, that she knew, that they didn't have time to argue about this. "Fine."
Gus hopped in his Blueberry while Shawn veered away and got in his green Charger.
Carlton and Juliet got out of the parking lot first and both Psych cars were in quick pursuit towards Paseo Nuevo, only three minutes away.
Oddly, when they pulled up, there didn't seem to be any panic yet. Patrons were still going about their holiday shopping, and there was a larger group hanging out at the side entrance where most of the candles were being lit for the memorial. Being in the middle of December, it was already almost full dark despite the early hour.
Suddenly, there appeared to be a shift in the mood, a lot of shoppers were leaving very quickly, and the first screaming person exited shortly after. The mourners on the side were curious at first, but then more officers showed up and started to usher people away and secure the doors.
Jumping out, Carlton went into 'Chief Mode' and pulled one of the officers over, finally getting a brief on the whole situation. "The memorial had just started, and this guy gets up, saying that vampires were responsible, and that everyone there was part of the food chain. A few of the relatives tried to get him quiet, some were rougher than others, but this guy... he tossed a two hundred pound man like he was a sack of flour and ran into the store."
"No. No no no." Shawn grumbled and paced like a panther who's territory had just been invaded. Gus tried to comfort him but his helping hand was brushed off. The scents he was giving off were chaotic, caught between excitement and rage, but the detective couldn't have his sire going off the handle.
"Cool it Spencer!" Carlton growled back at him and motioned for the officer to continue while Shawn tried some deep breaths.
The officer looked nervously at Shawn before continuing. "After he got inside, he grabbed a lady who was Christmas shopping and backed himself into a corner. We can't get to him."
"Alright. Back everyone out, but keep them close. I'm going in to negotiate." The officer nodded and radioed the plan to the other officers. He turned to Shawn, "Are you ready for this?"
Shawn closed his eyes, and nodded. "I can do it Lassie." While Carlton readied his silver clip, Shawn addressed Juliet. "Jules, you and Gus stay here!" Shawn ordered, holding his fiancé's shoulders and looking her in the eye.
"You've got to be kid−"
"If he gets past us we need you to get him or keep him away from the civilians until we can get The Cleaners down here. The cops don't know what they're dealing with and a lot of them could get hurt if he gets loose." Finally understanding, Juliet nodded. "Good girl. Gus, keep her safe."
"You know that's right." The men bumped fists and Shawn turned, indicating he was ready.
They made their way through the crowd and were let into the almost deserted mall. Down the archway they could see a couple of officers keeping their sights on the suspect until they got there. "Lassie, you go from the front. I'll sneak up from behind and see if I can get the girl away from him."
Carlton considered for a moment and agreed, nodding. "What the hell are we going to do once we get him? We can't take him to the station." This whole thing was way too public to brush it off as a 'drunk and disorderly.'
"I don't know. You think maybe we'll figure that out when he doesn't have a woman by the neck." Shawn cocked an eyebrow at him, and pulled out a vial from his pocket.
Carlton got a whiff immediately and groaned. "No... not that stuff again."
"Would you rather him find out and announce to the whole force what we are, or do you want to get up in there right now like a super cop and save her?"
The detective didn't reply. He simply took the dropper and put who drops on himself. Luckily, they found out they didn't have to practically roll in the stuff, just a dab would do it. Unfortunately it also messed with their own sense of smell too. "Aren't you going to put some on?" Carlton asked.
Shawn put the vial in his pocket without putting even a drop on. "I need to be able to get a read on him. Besides, you're stinky enough for both of us."
"I'm going to kill you." Carlton knew he'd smell for days no matter how hard he scrubbed. Last time Marlowe wouldn't even touch him until the stink had worn off.
"Save that pent up rage for the rogue okay, buddy?" Shawn patted him on the back and ran quickly, and surprisingly quietly, up the stairs to the second floor.
Stifling a growl, Carlton took his gun out and slowly made his way to the corner near the food court. Once the other vampire laid eyes on him, he quickly adjusted his position, addressing the new threat. The other officers turned and looked to him for help. The rogue had himself almost completely covered by the woman, and they had no shot.
Stepping forward he stated, "I'm Acting Chief Carlton Lassiter of the SBPD. Let the woman go, and put your hands on your head." Carlton didn't recognize him at all, which was good, but he could definitely see the vampire was hungry, and very agitated. The rogues face was normal for the moment, but the silvery white bleeding into his eyes was giving away his state of mind.
The hostage's life was hanging by a very thin string.
"Chief? what do you want us to do?" One of the officers next to him asked.
"You two go down the corridor and make sure he doesn't get past me. I'll try to talk him down." It was the only way to get them out of harms way if this went bad. They both quickly did as he asked, and stopped to usher a couple more scared patrons out from under the tables.
Then, it was just him and the rogue.
The other vampire's eyes narrowed, and his nose wrinkled in disgust at the cover scent Carlton had put on. "Stay back! I'll bleed her out if you come one step closer!" To make is point, his nail grew out and he pressed it right against the woman's jugular. She moaned in fear and he put his nose next to her neck, sniffing up the line of her flesh to her hair. Fear was like ambrosia for vampires, and it was just a matter of time before he snapped.
Carlton knew he had to get him talking. "I know what you are. This doesn't have to end badly, let her go."
That got the rogue's attention from the woman back to him. "You have no idea what I am, or what I can do. This place should be a goddamn shrine!" The rogue looked around in reverence. "Not to the cattle who were killed, but to the vampire that had the balls to show the world exactly what he was... what WE are."
Mick and Josef had warned him that vampires like this were out there, searching for any reason to show themselves. It's why The Cleaners wanted to take care of it so quickly. Copycats were common.
Vampire see, vampire do.
"What are you besides a wannabe who crashes someone else's party?" Carlton knew he'd probably gone to far, but the little jerk-off was getting on his nerves, but he also had to be careful what he said with the woman right there. "How do you think this is going to end for you?"
The rogue's smile was unnerving to say the least. "I'm going to show the world what we're capable of." He sneered. "Starting with you and the woman. Next, the whole town!" Carlton's grip tightened on the trigger. He didn't want to risk hitting the hostage, but in a second he'd have no other choice.
Then, the rogue's demeanor changed and he sniffed the air, turning towards the darkness shadows of one of the food court pillars. From behind it Shawn stepped out, fully changed and pale with fangs showing. The hostage gasped in horror. "No! Please! Oh my God, don't kill me!"
Carlton was shocked and furious. He'd been playing everything straight while Shawn had the plan to expose himself as a vampire the whole time. Damn it Spencer!
While Carlton was still cursing Shawn's name, the rogue was still trying to assess whether Shawn was friend or foe. "Who the hell are you?"
Shawn came closer and put his hands up. "Hey man, I'm just here because I smelled something was up." The rogue backed up further, protecting his meal. "I'm not here to take her. I've already eaten." Shawn grinned and showed his fangs. "I figured you could use a hand with the detective over there."
The psychic's heartbeat was steady and calm. No doubt the rogue could tell it too. If Carlton hadn't known better, he'd say that Shawn was about to turn on him.
"You can help me? You can help me show them?" The excitement in the man's voice was clear.
"Yeah. Take'em out and show them who's really on top of the food chain. I was just waiting for someone with the same...agenda." Shawn moved closer, as if sensing the other vampire relaxing at his presence. "We could take the whole town. Really show them what we can do. That's what you want right?" Another step closer...
Apparently it was one step too close. The rogue reacted and moved to bite the woman. Shawn reacted too, faster than the rogue he reached and grabbed the woman out of the other vampire's grip, only leaving a small chunk of her hair in his hands. Once safe, the now screaming hostage was pushed towards Carlton and he caught her. "It's okay. There are officer's down the hallway, get to them!"
He wasn't sure if the panicked woman had understood what he'd said or not but she ran in the general direction that he'd pointed, which was good enough for him. Turning around Carlton saw both vampires struggling and screeching on the floor.
"This is my town you crazy sonofa bitch!" Shawn growled, gouging a deep line of claw marks on the rogue's face and putting him in a headlock. A knee to Shawn's stomach forced them apart again before Carlton could enter the fray.
Both detectives circled the cornered rogue. Their line's gift instinctively let each of them know how to move in tandem with the other to keep their prey secure and trapped. Shawn's teeth were bared, ready to attack, just waiting for the opportunity to tear the rogue to pieces for invading his town. The look in his eyes was akin to his look before he'd ripped Zach's head off with a chain and Carlton worried that they'd have to be cleaning up a body instead of wondering how to keep a live vampire in jail.
The rogue roared charged at Shawn again, teeth and claws aimed to rip his face off. Shawn deftly dodged to the left, grabbing the back of the rogue's leather jacket and slamming him to the ground face first. "Lassie! A little help here!" He called from the angry vampire's back.
Quickly grabbing the silver cuffs from the velvet case his pocket, Carlton latched them onto the rogue's hands that Shawn had wrapped around his back. As soon as the silver came in contact with the vampire's skin he screamed, cursing Shawn for betraying his own kind.
"GAAH! You take the side of humans over us?! You deserve to be dusted mother fu−"
Carlton had enough. He was stressed, and didn't have time to argue with a psychopath. His inner vampire burst through and he'd roared in the rogue's face. "Shut up!" The rogue went silent, surprise and terror on his face realizing just how outnumbered he actually was. Honestly Carlton surprised himself more with the display of authority.
"Wow, Lassie I didn't know you had it in you." Shawn grinned, still holding the rogue down, and still fully transformed.
Fury surged up at the boneheaded move Shawn had pulled. "What the hell do you think you're doing? Do you want The Cleaners to erase you? That woman saw everything!"
"Relax Lass." Shawn wiped a bit from his face and a white base powder showed on his sleeve.
Carlton gaped. "How−?"
Both of them turned to see their partners running up to them along with at least a dozen officers. Juliet and Gus caught sight of Shawn's face and gasped. A few of the other officers saw too. It didn't help that the hostage behind them was yelling about vampires trying to eat her.
"Shawn, what did you do?" Juliet asked, frightened at the repercussions they'd all face if anyone found out.
With a knowing laugh, Shawn started wiping off the white make up on his face, and the reddish tint around his eyes. "Claire's still had a bin of Halloween costume make up that hadn't sold. I saw it last week when we were here shopping with Felicity. Lassie distracted him, while I put on vampire make up to get close to him."
It was a good cover. Really good, and Carlton had to hand it to Shawn thinking on the fly like that. Now, no matter how much the man screamed about vampires short of changing into one himself (which Carlton and Shawn would never let happen) no one would believe him.
Juliet hugged him tightly while Carlton leaned into his ear and hissed, "Now can I ask what we do with him?" They couldn't keep a vampire in jail for long. Someone would find out the truth.
Juliet broke away and he shrugged. "Relax. I'll call The Cleaners and keep an eye on him till they get here to 'post bail.'"
At the mention of The Cleaners, the rogue started to struggle again. "You think this is over! You'll see! Once they know what you are they'll kill you like the rest of us!"
Playing dumb, Carlton pushed the man forward while holding him as tight as he could, "Sure whacko. Tell it to your lawyer."
The Cleaners had gotten there in two hours flat, and the rogue was 'extradited' to Los Angeles for other crimes he'd supposedly committed there. The SBPD was more than happy to get that loon off of their hands and didn't ask too many questions as he was hauled away, still screaming about vampires ruling the world.
That's what got Carlton thinking. What if rogues weren't the exception, but the norm?
Unfortunately, that meant he and his friends who lived and worked with humans were the freaks. That would also mean that the only thing keeping most of their kind in line was the fear of repercussions. In that case, it would only be a matter of the status quo changing to bring out the real side of their species. It was the same with humans on some level, but humans couldn't lift Buicks and slice someone in half from stomach to neck with their claws in one swipe.
Vampires were bred to kill, and that's exactly what they'd do.
It was a terrifying thought, for anyone, let alone someone wanting to bring their wife into that kind of life. "I can't do that to her, not now."
With a heavy sigh, Carlton walked to his room to lay with Marlowe for a while before getting in his freezer. So far she'd been patient with him, and he hoped her patience would last because this situation was far from over.
Two weeks later:
"See Mick. See! 'I told you so' doesn't even cover this!" Josef paced, swigging his blood and randomly throwing his arm in the air for emphasis. "It's a catastrophe! We're finished. Ruined! We'll be hunted to extinction and burned alive!"
He always was a nervous eater. Mick thought as he watched his friend practically tear his hair out watching the newest reports come in on the StarLite phones.
Not even two weeks after the phones were released, despite the best efforts of the vampires with clout in the technology world, the dam had already started to break. Too many of the phones had gotten out, and when people began to use them, to Snap Chat, Twitter, and Vine it was all too apparent when people just 'didn't show up.'
Everyone thought it was funny at first. Balls floating in mid-air and such. Then it was friends refusing to be photographed, news reports showing clothes moving by themselves, and people saying the "V" word.
So far, the media was playing it up as an elaborate prank. Mick wasn't sure if some vampires in power were behind some, if not all of the covering up. Reporters would say it's some kid with too much time on his hands who thought it would be funny to fake invisible people in their videos. According to them, the other videos popping up of the same thing were just part of the fad, like 'planking' or the 'cinnamon challenge.'
"Monkey see, monkey do." As he'd heard Josef put it when he'd seen a video of kids simultaneously eating bananas and drinking Sprite with horrible results.
However, just this morning, a Buzzwire news broadcast had shown their network affiliate on scene complete with live video of the apprehension of a robbery suspect. No big issues there, but it was the video turned into them later that morning that showed the same apprehension, but two of the paparazzi were missing from the footage. Of course their cameras were there, and their clothes, but nothing else. They even had the time stamp from when the video was taken, and there was no way it could have been altered, at least that quickly.
It had been playing off and on all afternoon, showing the side by side video of the disappearing young men that no one had been able to explain. Mick knew that they wouldn't ever be able to explain it, and it was only the start.
"We just have to lay low for a while Josef. Let it run it's course. You know humans, people will get bored and it will die off." Mick hardly believed it himself, but it was better than spreading mass panic among a volatile species.
Josef stopped his pacing, and put his drink down with a sigh, not meeting the private detective's gaze. "Mick, I love your sense of insufferable optimism, but I think in this case the only thing that will be dying off... is us."
I have been working on this one, I just need to get my random written scenes in order. I swear it won't be as long before another chappie is posted. :)
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.